Buying a 2014 mini right now (am I crazy?!)

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by joesl, Oct 28, 2016.

  1. joesl macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2016
    #1
    Hello all,

    I've been struggling to decide whether to buy a mini right now (2014 version). Looking for opinions and I thank in advance for all your comments!

    First, I'm thinking to get the i5 2.6 + 8GB Ram + 256 SSD. This will amount to 850€ more or less without VAT.
    The purpose of the machine is going to be browsing, office-ing and the most CPU intensive task will be using a few very-low-level photoshop.
    Bottom line is: I know that this setup will do just great right now. My plan is to keep this machine for 6-8 years to come (used like.. 2-6 hours a day).

    I'm struggling on..:
    - wait? (again.. have been waiting all 2016 for update on the mini)
    - risk that apple kills the line and then how to get the configuration I want?
    - buy something else? what? I really would like to stick to osx and don't really want the trouble of building an hackintosh.
    - buy ... then be happy.. and then maybe apples releases new mini in few months..

    I've been reading a lot of disappointment on the mini but I personally don't find the above setup so bad for the need of the machine I need (maybe a little overpriced today due to ~3 years old tech..). Am I missing something?

    Really looking forward for your opinion!

    Thanks a lot!
    Joe
     
  2. iV1n5 macrumors newbie

    iV1n5

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    Oct 28, 2016
    #2
    The next event might be on March or next Autumn. There will still be a big wait ahead. The best chance is a specs refresh and that might come before the Christmas holidays but I heard no rumors on that. My suggestion is wait until Christmas to see what happens.
    And if nothing happens... consider buying a new MacBook instead ^_^
     
  3. essiw macrumors member

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    Location:
    Netherlands
    #3
    I totally agree with iV1n5, wait untill christmas just to be sure. The reason: it seems strange to me that they did not say a single thing about mac mini's iMacs or mac pro's at last event. To me it feels like something happened that had them push back everything except the macbook pro's. However even if my hunch is right, it does not mean that the mac mini is part of it. We could be waiting an other year for a new upgrade, and even that ine might still be dual core (so no big difference between the 2014 one).

    The question you want to ask yourself is, how would you feel if they would announce a quad core mac mini in march? And also, do you really need a new mac mini right now? Personally I do really need a new mac mini, but I cannot take it to buy an outdated mac mini with the possibility of it getting updated soon, so I am not buying a 2014 mac mini.
     
  4. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #4
    Review that mega-thread "The New Mini is almost certainly coming", that should help you weigh the value of any predictions you get here. If you had asked that question in 2013, the advice would have been to wait just a little longer, since a new Mini was almost certainly coming. Truth is, you'd have been better off getting a 2012 instead of waiting at that point.

    If you asked the question two weeks ago, the advice would have been to wait until October 27… when the new Mini was almost certainly coming. Now the advice is to wait until Christmas, when the new Mini is almost certainly coming.

    For what you describe, you don't need much of a computer. I have a 2012 2.5 ghz Mini, the model you want is about 13% faster. I also have a 2013 i7 MacBook Air with a geekbench rating just about the same as the 2014 2.6ghz mini. I use them both with Photoshop, Final Cut Pro and other software and they "feel" just about the same. They are both more than adequate for "browsing, office-ing and very-low-level photoshop".

    So buy a new computer if you need it now. Otherwise wait (and wait) because "the new Mini is almost certainly coming"! :rolleyes:
     
  5. Rigby macrumors 601

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    Aug 5, 2008
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    San Jose, CA
    #5
    For the uses you describe this machine is more than enough. Even if there was an update in the not too distant future, it wouldn't bring any improvement for what you are planning to do with it. It is, as you say, overpriced by today's standards, but if you want MacOS without messing around, there is really no less expensive alternative. My recommendation would be to go ahead and buy it.
     
  6. BittenApple macrumors 6502a

    BittenApple

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    Nov 29, 2008
    #6
    I would go for a more upgradable 2012 but yea those are showing their age too...
     
  7. sublunar macrumors 6502

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    Jun 23, 2007
    #7
    For a machine to be kept for 6-8 years, why not wait another 6 months as I think a refresh might come in March. Has the Mini price changed much this week for you? If you were in the UK then the answer is absolutely not worth buying it now due to the price hike.

    Also, with your requirements, have you considered an iPad Pro? I expect the second generation might give you something to think about if it gets the DCI-P3 screen that the 9.7" got.
     
  8. essiw macrumors member

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    Netherlands
    #8
    ^the point is that it is not sure that in 6 months a new mac mini is coming, last keynote was the most obvious time for a new mac mini, now every date is logical as it is overdue. So it might seem like 6 months while it may be actually one or two more years (I certainly don't hope so). I myself wanted to buy a new mac in 2014, because I had my mac mini for 5 years... I decided to wait for a real upgrade and here I am, still waiting for a quad core mac mini which might never come...
     
  9. BenTrovato macrumors 68020

    BenTrovato

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    Canada
    #9
    Quad core 2012's are great. I still use an i5 2012 maxed out wth an ssd and it works great. No 4K support but otherwise a very capable machine. Hard to see myself shelling out the money for the 2014 versions.
     
  10. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #10
    IMO, it's equally likely that Apple will just quietly kill it, as it is doing with the MacBook Air. Personally, I hope not, because I would be interested in a new model to replace the 2012 I use as a dedicated video editing machine. I considered getting a 3ghz/16gb/256gb Mini recently, but am having a hard time justifying the $1400 pricetag for a machine that's only 15% faster than my 2013 MacBook Air.

    But the OP doesn't need a high spec machine for his intended use.
     
  11. Micky Do, Oct 28, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2016

    Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

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    Aug 31, 2012
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    An island in the Andaman Sea.
    #11
    If you need a new Mac Mini now, buy now. If you can wait a bit, wait. A new Mac Mini is almost certainly coming….. sooner or later.

    I replaced my base model 2005 original Mac Mini, that did have its shortcomings, with an early 2009 base model. Over seven years on it is still fine for my needs, and hopefully will remain so for another year or two, maybe more if I replace the HDD.

    In reality, how much more upgradeable is the 2012 Mac Mini over the 2014.

    Yes, the 4 GB of RAM is user upgradeable to as much as 16 GB in the 2012. The 2014 comes with 4 GB RAM (base model) or 8 GB (mid and top model) but can be custom ordered with up to 16 GB if required.

    The HDD and SSD options available on both the 2012 and 2014 can be upgraded post purchase.

    The 2014 will be supported by Apple for a couple of years longer than the 2012, which is a factor for folks planning on keeping a computer for 6 - 8 years.

    If you do need quad-core grunt, the 2012 is a good choice, but the OP doesn't. Otherwise the 2014 models offer a small performance improvement over the 2012 equivalents, and they do have better connectivity.

    Folks who own 2014 Mac Minis specced to suit their needs , even the base model, have been satisfied with them in use, and have posted as much in these forums.

    Yes, Apple does seem to be intent on dropping the MacBook Air, but it does offer other models with equivalent functionality, albeit at greater cost. They are keeping the 13 inch Air in the line-up as their base level MacBook. My guess is that the 11 inch has not been selling well; I have never seen one outside a shop.

    For desktops, on the other hand, the Mac Mini has no equivalent in the iMac and Mac Pro line-ups. Each is quite distinct, and suited to different roles. The demise of the Mac Mini has been predicted since 2009, if not longer, yet is still with us, filling a niche and I reckon will remain so.
     
  12. joesl thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 28, 2016
    #12
    Thanks to all for the comments and food for thoughts!
    To answer some of the questions posed:

    Yep, I need to replace a 10 years old PC, which is really no longer up to its tasks :)

    I'd be like: ..dddaaang! :eek: I'm sure I wouldn't be too worried about the performance differences, and I'd focus on the fact that "I wasted" 2 years of support into the future.

    Indeed, i've been silently waiting for more than a year now!

    This is basically what I am leaning towards more and more..

    No! My country didn't leave the EU :D

    This is what I am afraid about as far as waiting.. what if I wait too much and then I can't order anymore the custom system (SSD, etc) That'd be a bummer because i'd be left with much more expensive options :mad:

    This is indeed my "gut feeling"..

    You make a good point, and I'd love to fast-forward 2 years into the future and see what happens. IMO there is a chance the mini will die, leaving only one expensive monitor-less box for "pro users" as an option to iMac or a laptop. I can imagine shareholders meetings where the say: "kill the mini", "kill the nice"! :(
     
  13. majkom macrumors 65816

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    #13
    From what I heard, it is quite possible that there wont be any new mac mini, or maybe merged with aTV (less probable)... but, thats just what I heard...
     
  14. alien3d macrumors newbie

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    Oct 29, 2016
    #14
    i just bought on may i think.. i don't think apple will release new mac mini. only 4gb no ssd.. if just normal surfing 4gb is okay and normal photoshop file.. meanwhile microsoft office 2016 seem a bit heavy to me.. i mearly use it for xcode and surfing only currenntly.. For photoshop , i using old cs4 in my windows laptop.. i got to many laptop windows.. :(
     
  15. x43x macrumors newbie

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    Aug 29, 2011
    #15
    I've been waiting over a year for a new Mac Mini and was extremely disappointed there wasn't an announcement this week. But after the new MB Pro unveil, I might just pick one up. The current Mini has the ports I need. SD Card slot, standard USB ports, and a legacy Thunderbolt port + HDMI. I'm worried that a new model will scrap the SD card slot and go with USB-C only, leaving me to attach a bunch of dongles to make my current set-up work. Even if they announce a new, faster model in March, I would rather have the ports I need than a few seconds of processing time.
     
  16. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

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    Zurich, Switzerland
    #16
    There are two possibilities: Apple does release a new model at some point (whenever that might be - could be some time) - or they don't and simply kill that particular model (or rather "let it die by neglect"). In the first case, you might have gotten a "better" model by waiting. In the later case, you will have to scramble to get one of the remaining units or buy 2nd-hand. Prices for used Minis will skyrocket even beyond the absurd levels paid now.

    There is no MacBook Air anymore. As such, Apple would have to use the CPUs of either the 12" rMB or the entry-level MBP for the Mini (I don't believe they would do anything else).

    Does anybody know when Intel projects an actual, noticeable increase in performance for the chips used in the current Mini. AFAIK, SkyLake isn't much faster than what is in current Minis. The GPUs are certainly better, but that's it.


    The problem with the Mini is also that it doesn't really help increase Mac sales overall. Especially, if it's perceived as "too good" - they would shift less iMacs then.
    As such, I wouldn't be surprised to see yet another long delay before a Mini update comes through. Most of the people who buy one today don't care.
     
  17. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #17
    Really? That's news to me: http://www.apple.com/macbook-air/

    If you go "by the book", the status of the MacBook Air is exactly the same as the Mini. Apple still sells it but has not updated it for a long time. The handwriting on the wall regarding the MBA seems very clear to me, they will just continue selling it as is with no updates, since it fits into a special niche for a low cost laptop. The situation is a little less clear with the Mini, since there isn't any similar product in the Mac lineup.
     
  18. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    The Air is a dead man walking, so to speak. And unfortunately, the Mini seems to share the same fate.
    I hope they update the Mini with rMB components at some point (whenever those Core-M chipsets are actually faster than the current Haswell-generation)
     
  19. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #19
    Well I agree, but you said "There is no MacBook Air anymore", which isn't quite true because Apple is still selling them. :)
     
  20. essiw macrumors member

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    Netherlands
    #20
    It was obvious what he was trying to say, by your view his words can never be true, as even if apple stops selling them there will be people owning a macbook air, and later museums might have them...
     
  21. now i see it macrumors 65816

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    #21
    Gotta remember that the latest Mac mini was a downgrade from the previous one. At the rate Apple is screwing up, there's no reason to believe (at all) that the next mini, if there will be a next one, will be a significant improvement over the current model. In many ways, you can count on it being more irritating.

    Buy a mini now. The future of the mini looks grim
     
  22. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #22
    Nonsense, that is not "my view". I think we're all in agreement that the MacBook Air is not going to be upgraded, but I am just pointing out that Apple still sells it.

    This is basically the same as the Mini, the only difference is that people here are hopeful that someday Apple will update it. I'm skeptical.
     
  23. rbrian macrumors 6502a

    rbrian

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    #23
    If you're replacing a 10 year old PC, have you considered a new PC? Windows 10 is actually very good, and if you saw the Microsoft event, you know it's going to get better and better. The momentum is with Microsoft right now. You'll have to do a bit more research; there's more choice, which makes it harder to choose, but competition means you can get a much more powerful small machine for less money.
     
  24. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    It was indeed a bit sloppy to declare that there's "no MacBookAir anymore". The 2015 model is still sold, as is the 2015 iPhone model and the 2014 Mini model.
    It looks like (has been for a while) we're heading for multi-year refresh cycles. From an environmental point of view, that's actually positive: gear gets used longer, less energy is wasted (producing the components of modern IT-gear usually uses much more energy than they actually use over a long - sometimes very long - time-span).
    If you can work with Windows, there is indeed more choice - but once you limit your choice to the big three (HP, Lenovo, Dell) and their business-lines (consumer-grade IT is horrible), there are maybe one or two models per vendor that come close to Apple's MacMini in design, usability and durability.
     
  25. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #25
    I wouldn't base the value on an expected 6-8 year run. It may or may not make it that far, and you may find yourself replacing a hard drive within that time.
     

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