Buy a new Mac mini now or wait

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by marlie, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. marlie macrumors newbie

    Dec 6, 2013
    Hi Guys,

    Im in the process of building a new media centre for my living room, and would like a to start with a mac mini to run Plex, is it worth buying one now or will there be a new one released soon?
  2. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    Folks here are speculating an update may be available by February-March, but thats only a guess.

    I hear even the 2010 and 2011 models run plex very well, however. Not sure if a new version over a refurbished unit would buy you anything as a media server.
  3. Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

    Aug 31, 2012
    An island in the Andaman Sea.
    Buy now if you need / want a new computer now. If you are in no big rush, you might like to wait.

    Changes to the Mini are likely to be evolutionary rather than revolutionary. For day to day use, I doubt that there will be any great difference.
  4. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

    Nov 16, 2012
    One thing I know for sure. I myself would NEVER buy a mini with a spinner hard drive. Nope. No way! And it comes with a 5400 SLOW spinner.

    SSD all the way baby!
  5. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    For plex there won't be much gain going from an Ivy Bridge to a Haswell based Mini. The biggest gains form Haswell was power consumption, but that doesn't do much for desktops. HD5000 vs HD4000 isn't much of a job especially when it comes to video playback (i.e. no advantage). If you need it now, go with what is out. Get a refurb if you can. Frankly even the Base mini should be fine for a media center.
  6. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    If it is just 90+ % percent just for Plex server work then buying now or later doesn't seem to be to be a big deal if not buying the most stripped down configuration.

    As a "viewer" even less so.
  7. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
  8. Klae17 macrumors 65816


    Jul 15, 2011
    Minis are overkill for media centers in my opinion. But then again I have an Apple TV streaming from my desktop.
  9. And macrumors 6502


    Feb 23, 2009
    92 ft above sea level, UK
    I second this. However I can't help but think March is now a realistic date for the next update.
  10. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    try to find a good deal for a 2012 quad. here is the problem . the hd 4000 gpu works well enough with 1 1080p screen that apple does not have a lot of incentive to improve the mini.

    Most minis run 1x 1080p type screen and they run it pretty well. (other then heavy duty gaming)

    It will be hard to need a better video gpu until the Sony type tv sets with 4x pixels really lower in price

    when these screens make a real dent in homes huge video upgrades will be needed to be done. once you see this tv at a demo like best buy or wherever you will realize 1080p tv is meh but this costs too much.

    My wife and I saw this in a sony style store. they had a rotational pan view of a bowl of raspberry's strawberry's and cherries. the bowl was read and the table clothe was red. the screen was 100% red and absolute perfection.
    this screen will be the new driving force for computer upgrades. but it costs too much right now. I think in 2 years it will go close to 1k and get to be in more homes. I will then have a 2012 quad that will not work well enough with it and I will need the upgraded mini.
    So if your gear is older then 2011 a 2010 or a 2008-9 machine get a 2012 on a deal. since the upgrade that does come out in 2014 will not really be a lot better and it won't do justice to a 4k tv/screen.
  11. haravikk macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    The main differences to expect for the next Mac Mini are Haswell processors, which will mean a much better integrated GPU. This might make some improvement to Plex, but the integrated GPUs of current Mac Minis already have video decoding, so I'm not sure it'd be a huge difference.

    Likewise the CPU difference will be various minor improvements to things like virtualisation. On the CPU side Haswell is fairly incremental though I think, no huge leap so possibly not going to matter to you. The biggest potential bonus is an Iris Pro CPU option (possibly a quad core built to order option), which will mean 128mb of L4 cache, which allows the GPU to function a lot more like a discrete GPU, or to accelerate CPU workloads, or some combination of the two.

    Otherwise in terms of technology the Mac Mini may gain Thunderbolt 2 though it would be a bit strange for it to leap ahead like that. If they keep the current case design it may get two Thunderbolt ports, otherwise I'd expect a redesign to be even smaller, so most likely still only a single port. Either way I'd expect FireWire to go, as the Mac Mini is the only machine that still has it.

    If there is a redesign then I'd expect the space for a second hard drive to go, to be replaced with a smaller space for an SSD blade, probably a much more compact design that pushes it even closer to an Apple TV (until the Apple TV is reduced to the size of a suppository that is).

    Aside from all this; when you say a media centre, do you mean it'll be a Plex client or Plex server? If it's streaming video from elsewhere and just making it available on your TV then there may be much less expensive options; in fact I believe a Raspberry Pi can run the Plex client well enough for an HD TV.

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