Deciding 2012 or 2014

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by majkom, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. majkom macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #1
    Hi, I am in market for mac mini, after refresh have some questions.
    But first of all, my usage - I found out that I do not need much of mac, after buying ipad, most of my time I do spend using ipad, mac is just my photo archiver, I use it for downloads (torrents), sometimes doing some basic spreadsheets in Numbers, and sometimes, when I feel that typing on ipad little longer message/text is not convenient, and from time to time playing L4D and starcraft 2. So, I made decission that I will sell my macbook air and buy cheap mac solution - mac mini.

    What I want from mini:

    1. fussion drive or ssd (I was looking on 2014 upgrade options, hell, getting fussion will cost me 200 USD here) - spinner alone is not acceptable for me after SSD experience

    2. playable L4D 1 and 2, and Starcraft 2

    3. cheapest possible sollution (but dont want to buy aftermarket units, goigng to buy brand new, either 2014 or 2012)

    So, finally my questions:
    1) does mac mini 2014 support 2 SATA drives (so buying base model and adding own SSD will be cheap way to get fussion drive)?
    2) Is intel hd4000 is capable running at least l4d 1&2 decently (native os x, full hd)
    3) Any idea if hd4000 will be capable to run os X decently at least 2-3 years? (and how it works with yosemite now?)
    4) better gpu, ac wifi, 1 TB port - is that all that you miss if you go 2012 instead of 2014?
    5) does 2012 mac mini support all Yosemite features? (continuity, hands off, Airdrop with ios devices)?
    6) which is better way to connect mac mini tu hdmi TV (it will be my monitor - 32inch, full hd) - hdmi to hdmi or TB to HDMI (I do have TB(miniDP) to HDMI cable)?

    thx.
     
  2. Donoban macrumors 6502a

    Donoban

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2013
    #2
    Hi, I am in market for mac mini, after refresh have

    I have a 2012 mini. i7 quad core.

    1. fussion drive or ssd (I was looking on 2014 upgrade options, hell, getting fussion will cost me 200 USD here) - spinner alone is not acceptable for me after SSD experience

    256 SSD is fast[/COLOR]

    2. playable L4D 1 and 2, and Starcraft 2

    Starcraft 2 is playable with some detail turned down. Haven't tried L4D.


    3. cheapest possible sollution (but dont want to buy aftermarket units, goigng to buy brand new, either 2014 or 2012)

    OK.

    So, finally my questions:
    1) does mac mini 2014 support 2 SATA drives (so buying base model and adding own SSD will be cheap way to get fussion drive)?

    Not sure.


    2) Is intel hd4000 is capable running at least l4d 1&2 decently (native os x, full hd)

    It might play it, but not sure if you're going to get 1920x1200 full screen high res man.

    3) Any idea if hd4000 will be capable to run os X decently at least 2-3 years? (and how it works with yosemite now?)

    Fine in Yosemite now.


    4) better gpu, ac wifi, 1 TB port - is that all that you miss if you go 2012 instead of 2014?

    SSD is PCIe based.


    5) does 2012 mac mini support all Yosemite features? (continuity, hands off, Airdrop with ios devices)?

    Yes.

    6) which is better way to connect mac mini tu hdmi TV (it will be my monitor - 32inch, full hd) - hdmi to hdmi or TB to HDMI (I do have TB(miniDP) to HDMI cable)?

    Depends on what kind of refresh rate you want but yes, hdmi to TV works great. I've used my mac from my parents 46inch LCD.

    On my 24 inch screen I use TB to DVI, also works great.



    Good luck.
     
  3. deaglecat macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2012
    #3
    The 2014 model should, according to the progress of technology, have materially improved in the intervening 2 years.

    Seriously, it is the equivalent to asking to whether to buy an ipad 3 or an ipad air 2. It "should" be a no-brainer to choose the newer model.

    The fact that this (totally) valid question is being asked should be a matter of concern to apple. :apple:
     
  4. majkom thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #4
    I thought about it little more, probably buying 2014 base model and later will change spinner for SSD (if that will be possible, waiting for ifixit to tell us more). Just thinking whether 4gigs of RAM will be enough (definitely is now with macbook air...)
     
  5. majkom thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #5
    maybe another question, is there anybody using mac mini with TV insted of PC monitor?
     
  6. majkom, Oct 23, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014

    majkom thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #6
    my decission process goes on - these are my choices:

    A) 2014 base with ram upgrade (8GB): 710 USD
    B) 2014 middle one: 860 USD
    C) 2012 base with myself bought 8GB RAM: 730 USD

    I dont need quad core (at least I think so - will I benefit from quad core if usage si planned to be dual user - two users, one mac - if I for example do download torrent on one user and switch to another, will this benefit from having 4 cores?), my usage as stated above - net surfing from time to time, casuall gaming (starcraft 2, left 4 dead, little word processing and spreadsheets, downloading).

    so, what i like:
    A) better gpu than 2012 mac mini, newer model, hopefully longer support from apple - if I choose not to upgrade RAM, cheapest sollution, but will be 4gigs later enough as it is today?
    B) perfect machine - CPU, GPU best from those threee, enough RAM, but, of course, most expensive
    C) what i like is option to upgrade RAM later, so at given moment the cheapest solution (regarding that 8 gigs are possible), but I dislike intel HD 4000 and fact that it may be discontinued earlier...

    I do plan SSD upgrade in all three scenarios:
    2014: either PCIe SSD (if there is a slot even if you buy non fussion drive version of 2014 mac mini - ifixit says it is possible, owc say it is not - does ana one know the answer?) or fully SSD (for price of fussion drive now I can have 500 GB SSD SATA 3 drive)
    2012: later on, sata SSD (either full or fussion with OWC kit)

    SSD upgrade seems to be same price for all three scenarios...
    Maybe one question, should I care for AC wifi?

    anyones opinion, what to do?:) feel free to discuss, i will appreciate that. thx.

    PS: prices are valid for European market here where I live:)
     
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #7
    I wouldn't buy ANY new Mac unless it had 8gb of RAM -- nothing less.

    The 2012 Mini's offer greater CPU power at the expense of video processing power.

    The 2014 Mini's yield improved grahpics at the expense of CPU power.

    SSD upgrade in the '14 will be more expensive because of "gum stick" type flash SSD.

    Having said that, there's nothing that prevents one from connecting an external SSD (in either an enclosure or in a USB3/SATA docking station) and booting that way. Performance will be very good, although not equivalent to PCIe.

    If I needed a Mini today (I don't), I'd buy the mid-level model upgraded with an i7 CPU and 16gb of RAM. I'd probably just buy the HDD version (1tb), and boot from an external SSD. Again, this wouldn't yield the optimum speed as would a PCIe SSD, but the differences would not be noticeable for my usage once up-and-running.
     
  8. gnomeswe macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2014
    #8
    Optic audio out

    I'm finding myself in the same pickle. Although I'm nearing a decission in favour of the 2014 model with a i5 2.6 GHz and 16gb Ram. But one question remains... the audio out: As my surround system does handle optic signals rather than hdmi I'm wondering if the 2014 models headphone jack is compatible with an optic-mini-jack-to-toslink-adapter? Like the 2012 model of Mac mini. If not I have no choice but to get a hold of a 2012 model. Can anyone confirm? Even the techsupport at Apple here in Sweden couldn't give me an answer :confused:
     
  9. Ridley macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    #9
    If you don't get an answer let me know on tuesday. I'll have the 2014 mac mini by then and I already run toslink audio to my desk to test it for ya.
     
  10. majkom thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #10
    SSD update will cost me same, I will probably go full SSD later - change 5400rpm for SSD...
     
  11. gnomeswe macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2014
  12. majkom thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #12
    one more question, do we know how durable is the fussion drive? I know that there is little bit higher failure probability with fussion drives than with pure SSD or pude spinner solution (thats simple math), but, real life experience? I have decided for new mac mini probably with 8 gigs of am but I cant decide between disk solutions...
     
  13. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #13
    They've had the fusion drive now for a little while in the iMac and its been very reliable. Regardless, you ought to have a solid backup procedure.
     
  14. gugy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    La Jolla, CA
    #14
    On the 2012/14 topic, to use the Mini as media center, Time Machine backup center and file server, would the base model with 4gb RAM enough to run under these conditions?
    I like the entry level price point and want to avoid getting more RAM and spend $ if I don't need to for what I want to use for.
     
  15. bjgpp macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    Location:
    Southlake, TX
    #15
    I have been rustling around with the same question. I am thinking that upgrading the RAM to at least 8gb will be necessary since it is soldered in and for future proofing. I have no doubt the the 1.4GHZ (Turbo to 2.7GHZ) i5 will be more than enough for what you are trying to accomplish. I think people see 1.4GHZ and assume it's a bad processor. My 1.4GHZ MBA handles all my media without breaking a sweat. I just wish I had more than 4gb of ram in it.

    Also, the lower power consumption of 2014 haswell will result in cooler temps than the 2012 ivy bridge processors, while using less electricity given it will be running 24/7.

    Do you plan on using handbrake extensivly, editing videos, using virtualization software, or transcoding 3 or more simulatanious 1080p streams via Plex (or similar)? If so, I would look at a 2012 quad model. If not, the 2014 base processor with at least 8gb RAM will easily fit your needs.
     
  16. Jackintosh macrumors 6502a

    Jackintosh

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Location:
    Illinois
    #16
    Sure, the 2012 has a nifty and fast quad core processor. But in the end, you're looking at an outdated graphics processor that'll start to look slower and slower as time goes by. You're also not getting the extra 4gb memory that is now standard in 2014 at 8gb.
     
  17. gugy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    La Jolla, CA
    #17
    Hi,
    No for handbrake. I have a MP that I would use for these tasks.

    The Mini would be only to handle media as a centralized hub so my family can access it via iOS devices and ATV, I also want to create a server so I can access working files remotely and finally another place to back up all my Macs using Time Machine.

    So the RAM is a trick question because for what I need, I believe the base model at 4gb is enough but I wonder if someone has an answer to that based on their experience. I don't really want to spend too much $$$ for this set up.
    Eventually I might put a SSD on it and have external HDD to handle the media/TM/server files
     
  18. wepiii macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2012
    #18
    Is it possible to upgrade the hard drive on the 2014 Mac mini?
     
  19. cinealta macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    #19
    AFAIK yes.
     
  20. majkom thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #20
    OK, decission time! I am sure I will buy 2014 mini, just cant decide between:
    - middle config
    - base config with 8GB ram upgrade
    - base config

    I will later add SSD (either PCIe if there will be any sollution or Exchange spinner with ssd). Cant decide if it is worth, with my usage, to invest more than base or base with more ram...
     
  21. magbarn, Nov 6, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2014

    magbarn macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #21
    Get the middle config. Since you're gaming, the faster gpu/cpu is worth the extra $100 over the base config + 8gb, plus you can walk right into a store to buy it vs ordering the upgrading the base config. The base config is horrible with the 4gb ram. I see the base config as the crappy lowest priced car on the dealer lot to lure in the customers that has hand crank windows and no air conditioning. The reason why the MBA feels ok with only 4gb of ram is that it can swap to the ssd. Swapping memory into a 5400rpm spinner is glacially slow.

    PS If you can afford it, I'd get the middle config and get it with the 256gb PCIE SSD from the factory. That way you can purchase the 2012 2nd hard drive kit and use the cable from it to add the spinner. I don't know if and when 3rd parties will be making the PCIE SSD cable/mounting kit anytime soon.
     
  22. majkom thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #22
    Probably middle ist the best deal for money... but for sure i dont want to buy SSD now, have to buy ipads as well:) so i will either wait for 3rd party pcie sollution or Exchange spinner later (now you can have 500 GB SSD for the price of apples 256 update)
     
  23. xylitol macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2013
    Location:
    Finland
  24. macaron95 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 5, 2014
    #24
    have ordered a 2014 CTO Mac Mini with i5 2.8 16 Gb and SSD

    finally cancelled it

    and bought a 2012 Mac Mini Server i7 Quad and had ram and SSD upgrade for a total amount spent cheaper than 2014 Mac Mini :)

    my latest 24" Dell display works just fine with the Mac Mini with intel HD 4000
     
  25. majkom thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #25
    Will go for middle 2014 - for a second I played with idea to buy fussion add-on, but no, I need those money for ipad air:)
     

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