Did I Screw Up?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by GPDU, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. GPDU macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2014
    Hello Everyone.

    I wonder if I could trouble you for some advice. I've been using Macs since the early 90's. I still have a near mint Classic II, Imac Graphite G3 and still using a Imac G4 20" with a massive 1.25GB of ram ( yeah I know ).

    I use Windows on PC as well so not quite stuck in the dark ages.

    Not surprising, as unique and pretty as it is, the G4 is showing it's age. I long ago abandoned a new Imac as an alternative. I just cannot work with a glossy screen so a Mac Mini became the next move. Like many of you I've been waiting for the next refresh and was a little underwhelmed.

    The day after the announcement I found a new 2012 2.3 I7 with Mavericks I believe, for $200 NZD under the old list price ( probably around $740 USD on current exchange rate, formerly $900USD, we get reamed on Apple down here in NZ ). I've since bought 16gb of Crucial Ram to max it out and the plan was/is to throw in a SSD somewhere down the line probably once the warranty is up or if the 1TB HD is okay I'll stick with it and get Applecare at some point to get another 2 years.

    At this point both Mini and Ram are still sealed, unopened.

    I figured for future use just maybe the quad core option could be good to have if needed. Don't need extra TB slots so retaining Firewire is good because at some point I'm going to want to transfer HD DV video from tape to disc. I'm hoping iMovie will work well enough for this. My Canon camera uses Firewire for transfer.

    Going to hook it up to a Dell 2007WFP I've had sitting around. HDMI to DVI, hopefully it will look and work fine.

    Here is where the doubt creeps in. The GPU. I don't profess to know much about this side of things and this is my concern with the 2012. Is the HD4000 GPU going to be a big limiting factor in the coming years (you may have noticed I hold on to things for a while ).

    I do not game, no interest and for now the transfer of Video and whatever the web and OS require is all that will be asked of the GPU. Maybe some photography software down the line , PS or similar.

    So my question is should I stick with the 2012 with 16gb or look to sell it and spend a lot more money ( not desirable ) and buy the 2014 mid model with 16GB ( $250 USD down here for the extra 8gb from Apple ) and perhaps the 1TB Fusion since the ability to self upgrade has been largely lost with the new models.

    Think that about covers it, sorry about the short novel. My thanks for any advice offered.
  2. Jackintosh macrumors 6502a


    Mar 21, 2009
    As a quick reply (I'm sure others will have more detailed thoughts), I think you're concern is well-founded.

    There's no doubt the 2012 I7 is an excellent machine, as its main processor outdoes the latest 2014 Mini's along with the capability to upgrade memory. But my feeling is this unit's older GPU is going to become more and more noticeable over time, especially as you tend to hold onto these units (as I do).

    For this reason I hesitate to go with the 2012's. But if you stick with the 2012, it's by no means a judgement error. They're flying off the shelves by me, as many are of the opinion the graphics shortcomings are outweighed by the benefits mentioned.
  3. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    The new one is bad news, and the "better" video is not even noticeable unless you want to use a 4K monitor poorly (no 60 Hz refresh).
  4. xylitol, Oct 24, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2014

    xylitol macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2013
  5. slenpree macrumors 6502a


    Apr 13, 2010
    i know someone who purchased the mid 2011 iMac in late 2012 because it still had a CD drive. Since then they've used the CD drive once for a piece of software that is also available online (legitimately) and now they don't get all the continuity features of yosemite and the LCD is not fused to the glass so they get a lot of reflection problems.

    With the mac mini, you should be fine with the 2012 model though!
  6. cinealta macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2012
    The 2012 with the HD4000 will be fine.
  7. GPDU thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2014
    Up and running

    My thanks to all who replied, they were reassuring and helpful.

    Now typing at my new 2012 Mini and so far so good. Using Dell Keyboard, Mouse and 2007 WFP monitor connected via HDMI to DVI cable. Black and silver all look great together, too many cables though, have to sort that.

    Only problem so far seems to be the sound bar not working. Power plugged into monitor, cable to the Mini. Light is on but no sound. Would the HDMI to DVI adapter make a difference? Can't see how, any suggestions most appreciated.

    Otherwise I'm at ease with my decision. If Mavericks proves to be a good OS I won't bother updating to Yosemite and beyond so GPU will hopefully remain up to the job. So far just cruising the net a little and there is a slight gain in speed over the G4 to say the least.

    The irony of the last few months is not lost on me. The long wait for a refresh of the Mini, hanging out for a the new model and yet like many others only to then buy the two year old tech. That said I got it cheaper and it has the Quad for future use if required and thus helps to justify buying an older model over a new one that has taken a bit of a sideways step.

    Apple are a classy company that make fine products but they can be frustrating, giving with one hand but always seemingly taking away with the other, never really making the decision to buy or not clear cut and easy.

    I don't mind the all in one iMacs and would have bought another some time ago but robbing Peter to pay Paul turned it into this glossy, unnecessarily slim machine that lacked stuff to make it a true all in one. I know many don't miss the optical drive but it's good to be able to pop in a DVD every once in a while or transfer a CD to iTunes without having to plug in a drive, I've got hundreds of both. Matt screen and a Blu ray drive and I was sold. The Mini suffers the same, win some lose some.

    Will drop in the 16Gb of ram soon and sit back and enjoy the ride. SSD further down the track as the prices fall and the warranty expires should keep it fairly relevant for a few years to come.

    Got to find a place for the G4 now, too pretty to lock away.

    My thanks again and good luck to those still tormented, deciding and waiting.
  8. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    Hold Option and click on the sound icon on the menu bar. Select your output device from there.
  9. crazzapple Guest

    Oct 19, 2014
    You definitely made the right choice. As others have said the 2014 gpu can drive a 4k monitor, but at only half the refresh you are used to. I think there is still some time to go before that tech is mature.

    I have email notification setup for refurb 2012 quad-core mini and I've passed on it twice. Even though for my use it is far preferable to the 2014 model, I cannot bring myself to purchase it. I think it's the idea that I could have been enjoying it for the past two years and the awkwardness of purchasing a two year old machine from an industry that typically increases performance year after year. In any case, enjoy the mini, I still want one.
  10. GPDU thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2014
    I managed to get the soundbar working. Couldn't see why it wouldn't go, it's new and been sitting in a box waiting for the day. Anyway a few in and outs and turning in the socket kicked it into life. Sound quality is barely acceptable though so some decent speakers sometime could be on the list.

    The only thing I'd say to there being a reluctance to buy the two year old model is this. I felt exactly the same way ie. it's old, could have had it ages ago but after the new release I was able to buy retail the 2012 at a discount, nearly 20% less, almost unheard of down here so that helps compensate for a. not having it when I could have and b. it still has things going for it over the replacement.

    It could be a very long time until the next refresh and how good will that be?

    Like I said previous, Apple doesn't always make it easy.

    My thanks again for your replies and interest.

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