Buying a Mac Mini 2014

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by FredLyngg, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. FredLyngg, Mar 1, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2014

    FredLyngg macrumors newbie

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    Mar 1, 2014
    #1
    I'm considering buying a mac mini i7 2.6 GHz, 256 GB SSD and 4 GB of RAM (will be replaced with 16 GB soon). It will be my first Apple computer and it will mainly be used for programming purposes, more specific iOS-programming. But it has been a very long time since Apple has updated the mac mini so it might be updated in the nearest future. My question is: should I buy a mac mini now or wait and see what happens?
    Macs are very expensive in Denmark and my budget is not big enough to consider an iMac or MacBook Pro with similar specs. My main concern about waiting is the fact that the next mac mini may not be memory upgradable which means it will be more expensive to get at least 8 GB of RAM. But on the other hand a new mac mini will likely have better overall specs problaly including: Haswell processor and thunderbolt 2 ports.
    Btw there are no official Apple refurbish stores in Denmark, else that would have been an option too.
     
  2. matrickz macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2014
    #2
    wait for the new one.

    if it's not user upgradeable,
    then just get the old one, for less money.
     
  3. FredLyngg thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 1, 2014
    #3
    Yeah, since I'm not into overclocking (which Haswell is said to be better at) and it's not a laptop where battery life matters it is limited how much extra power I will get by waiting.

    Thanks for replying.
     
  4. deconstruct60, Mar 1, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2014

    deconstruct60 macrumors 604

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    #4
    There is a good chance that new Mini will bring an Haswell CPU+GPU improvement. If neither the incremental speed bump of the x86 cores or the more substantive GPU improvements make a major difference to what you are doing then it is more a question are you happy with your current Mac to wait. If have high need tasks to do now that the current Mini can do dramatically better then buy it.


    None of Apple's desktops have soldered RAM. Even the recently updated Mac Pro. Soldering RAM on a Mini doesn't buy anything design wise. The Mini already thicker than the laptops that used so-DIMMs. There is about zero rational reason to shrink the Mini height below 0.8" with a corresponding "blow out" in horizontal space usage. Soldering RAM on laptops is an "OK" trade-off because human hands are only so small so the keyboard means have to have considerable horizontal usage. Soldering's expansion is "paid for" with the human hand size constraint already have. The Mini has no keyboard (and human hand size constraint) so it is a rather hugely ineffective tradeoff to go to soldered RAM.

    Apple may nuke all of their > 0.8" laptops but that more likely means the Mini will simply just stop tracking them for parts. As opposed to the Mini shifting to taking on the characteristics of a MBA. MBA's primary characteristics don't solve the primary problems the Mac Mini addresses. The Mini could switch to tracking the entry level iMac for internal design ( it is now primarily iGPU + so-DIMM based just as the old > 0.8" laptops were. )

    There may be none, but there are likely 3rd party retailers whose stock won't drop to exactly zero the day a new Mini is released. You would have the constraint that you had to be prepared to move fast, but on announcement day the "old" mini will probably be available. You'd just have to upgrade a stock config.
     
  5. FredLyngg thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 1, 2014
    #5
    Well good point about RAM. If the price on a potential new mac mini 2014 doesn't increase in comparison to the 2012 mac mini why not get that extra GPU-power. Since I'm not in a hurry to do tasks that only a mac can handle, I should problaly wait a few months and see what happens.

    Thank you for replying, very helpful information.
     
  6. Variant macrumors 6502

    Variant

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    Oct 22, 2005
    #6
    To each there own, but I would never pay full price for technology that was two years old. If you're not in a rush, I would wait.
     
  7. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    Dec 17, 2009
    #7
    Except that any processor with an HD5000 or Iris variant is considerably more expensive than current IVy Bridge models which means at best we will see HD4600 in the Haswell Minis or even the HD4400. Neither of those are dramatically better than the hd4000.
     
  8. ammar17 macrumors newbie

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    Jun 29, 2013
    Location:
    Germany
    #8
    Couldn't agree less.
     
  9. Jambalaya macrumors 6502a

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    UK
    #9
    I agree with this. However there was lots of speculation about a new Mac in June 2013 when I decided to upgrade my 2009 Mini instead of waiting for a new model. @Fred if you can wait then do so but you could be waiting six months, you might consider a used machine which you can sell on. As for pricing even in the UK the US prices are 40% lower, do you know anyone in the US/going on a visit, with a Mini you can buy the machine there and get a country specific keyboard locally.
     
  10. barkmonster macrumors 68020

    barkmonster

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    Lancashire
    #10
    They keep having the base 2.3Ghz quad i7 and the 2.5Ghz i5 on the refurb part of the Apple Store for quite large discounts. The i7 was under £600 and you can get quite high discounts on the base models on Amazon Prime too. If I was going to jump on a 2012 model myself, I'd rather buy a heavily discounted refurb/brand new Mac Mini from Apple or an online store than save very little by going for a used model.
     
  11. Jambalaya macrumors 6502a

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    UK
    #11
    Agreed
     
  12. FredLyngg thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 1, 2014
    #12
    If it was possible I would go with a mac from Apple's refurb store.

    Unfortunately I don't know anyone who will be traveling to the US very soon. So I'll problably wait for a month or so and see if Apple updates the mac mini.

    Anyway thank you all for the replies.
     
  13. grandM macrumors 6502a

    grandM

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    Oct 14, 2013
    #13
    discount

    Amazon.de asks 747 euro without shipping. Apple 850 euro with shipping. Not a huge discount...
     
  14. barkmonster, Mar 2, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2014

    barkmonster macrumors 68020

    barkmonster

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    #14
    They had the 2.3Ghz Mac Mini on the Apple refurb store the other day for £579, it's usually £679 and Amazon have it new for £605. That's a saving of £100 and £74 respectively which is still better than no discount. Particularly in the case of new vs new pricing rather than refurb pricing.
     
  15. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

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    Mar 10, 2009
    #15
    Only if stay in Mobile class. If Apple wants to shift to tracking entry iMac design they can go HD5xxx and not really increase costs much at all. It means adjusting the enclosure a bit to deal with a higher TDP constraint.

    If trade-off at PCIe blade SSD for a 2.5" drive bay, they can apply some of that space (e.g., bigger fan ) to the moderate TDP increase to finally take Mini to desktop CPU status.


    HD4600 brings support for OpenCL 1.2 , DisplayPort 1.2 (potentially 4K 60Hz ) support. In terms of being able to get more out of future OS graphics/computation stack updates and future displays it is dramatically better. If actually trying to exploit those future OS/graphics updates with this as a development base machine, it is clearly better.


    Is the 4600 going to take the Mini into a extremely different zone from HD4000 on high end 3D graphics game apps. No. It is about as big a jump from HD4000 to HD4600 as it was from HD3000 to HD4000. But there are more dimensions to improvement than that.
     
  16. TPadden, Mar 2, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2014

    TPadden macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Disagree, only one on the US site yesterday (now gone) for a whopping $70 (7%) discount.

    2.3 quad, 4GB, 250GB SSD Refurbished ....... $929.00
    Same New .........$999.00

    Guess quite large is a matter of perspective, we get a "quite larger" discount by simply buying online where we can avoid sales tax ;).
     
  17. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    #17
    OpenCL 1.2 was implemented on the newest drivers for the HD4000.
     
  18. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

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    Mar 10, 2009
    #18
    Brings support but doesn't bring the same performance. +100 GLFOPs down.
     
  19. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    Dec 17, 2009
    #19
    Benchmarks show marginal advantage in all but a handful of benchmarks...
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i7-4770k-haswell-review,3521-3.html

    Further if OpenCL is really that important just about any AMD discrete crushes it...
     
  20. barkmonster macrumors 68020

    barkmonster

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    Dec 3, 2001
    Location:
    Lancashire
    #20
    I was just mentioning the prices they were selling for in the UK. Today there's just a 2.6Ghz system with 8Gb and the Fusion option for £899. Hardly worth it on any level. We can't avoid VAT over here unless you're a business and buy products for business use (or claim that's what they're for).
     
  21. helloshirosan macrumors member

    helloshirosan

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    Jan 12, 2014
    #21
    My mac mini internal hardware is finally complete!

    I got visited by the tech gods today with some toys! Last piece of the puzzle:) About to swap out the 4gb of stock ram with an update of Crucial 16GB DDR3 1600MHz kit. Let's see how much more performance improvement I will see with my workflow in FCPX.
     

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  22. pentool macrumors newbie

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    Jul 20, 2013
    #22
    I have the late 2012 mini with the same specs (i7 / 2.6GHz / 8G RAM). You said you will use it mainly for iOS dev. So do I. You don't need an i7 for development. It's nice. But not needed. You definitely don't need to wait for the new ones if you mainly will use it for dev.

    Full HD playback is super. So is 3D work. Not heavy one though. Rendering will get the fan going big time. I'm not a gamer, just have basic card game or two, so can't comment on heavy 3D game play.

    Get the basic mini with the 1TB drive and 4G RAM. You can up the processor if you want to. I popped in 8G RAm and a 128G SSD 6G for boot drive and use the 1TB for data. Disabled the fusion mode. Flies like a charm.
     
  23. gcwebbyuk, Mar 19, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2014

    gcwebbyuk macrumors newbie

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    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    East Sussex, UK
    #23
    I am in the same boat - looking to buy a Mac Mini but not sure whether to hold off or not.

    The suspected release date seems to continually change.

    I would be using the Mac mainly for web development, and possibly photo editing.

    I currently use an i7 overclocked PC as my main workstation. However, I need to start using Macs more often as I have IT support clients that use them and I need to get to know OS X like the back of my hand.

    I have been using a Mavericks virtual machine on my PC for the mean time.

    Do Mac prices usually drop just before a new model is about to be released - or will the 2012 model still be the same price?

    Can a second hard drive be added internally to the Mini? I have a spare SSD drive that I could use in there, and re-use the hard drive as a data disk - or will this have to be external?
     
  24. robE89 macrumors regular

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    Oct 9, 2011
    #24
    Hd4600 is certainly an improvement:

    http://www.hardwareluxx.com/index.p...intel-core-i7-4770k-and-i5-4670k.html?start=3

    HD4000 is that really baseline igpu and that's all, with 4600 at least you can play some games more decent.

    I will refuse to buy the HD4000 version, i better make an hackintosh with 4770k than to buy the hd4000 at the same price. I just hope that we will see a new Mac Mini at wwdc the latest, altough i can't really find one good reason apple not to release a refresh by now, unless a redesign or something more big is in the works.
     
  25. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    Dec 17, 2009
    #25
    Did you really look at the numbers for the 4600? Yes the HD4600 is always about 60% faster, but what people fail when comprehending the benchmarks is that the 60% does NOT make games playable. Metro had a 9fps compared to 6.5fps! Congrats on still not being playable.

    Taken from the article you linked to:

    Mostly, the new HD 4600 achieved about 60 percent more power than the HD 4,000. Nevertheless, a 3D first-person shooter with sophisticated graphics and high resolution won't be displayed well, but it's enough for casual games. If you play at a lower resolution and low quality level, it may even run a current blockbuster smoothly.

    Point is, the extra GPU strength of the HD4600 isn't enough to make it a gaming box, so that still leaves it in the realm of being good for Day to day tasks, which the HD4000 does just fine. I have both a Hackintosh with a 4770 and a 2012 Mac Mini. Comparing the two, the Mini does just as well as the Hackintosh when using the iGPU because neither are gaming GPU's.
     

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