Help me choose a Mac Mini

EricandSuebee

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 18, 2014
39
3
New Hampshire
So i'm in the process of trying to sell my PC gaming system to get back into a mac as a home system, I'm currently decided on the i5 or the i7 base systems, I would upgrade the ram and add a SSD HD, now my question is I would use this system for web browsing, music, photos, word processing, watching movies etc.. nothing too big, I will at some point like to convert all my dvds & blu rays and put them into the system via a external HD so I can watch them from any room we have a tv connected to. You think the i5 would be fine or go with the i7?
 

deezayy

macrumors newbie
Apr 2, 2011
26
0
Buy the i7. You never know what your needs will be in the future and I would rather have more processing power than not enough.
 

QWERTYMac7

macrumors regular
Nov 20, 2012
161
11
I have an i5 and have ripped over 400 DVD's and BlyRays.

The 2.7 would have faster - but the work is still done...

I'll probably spring for the faster processor next time to see what I have been missing...
 

EricandSuebee

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 18, 2014
39
3
New Hampshire
Thanks for the replies, now gotta decide on do I go for the refurb when they are available with a SSD or the fusion or just go with base i7 model and just add a SSD to it instead.
 

Jambalaya

macrumors 6502a
Jun 21, 2013
731
98
UK
I use my 2009 Mini for just this and it all works fine, so any new model is going to fly by comparison. FYI I use a combination of RipIt and Handbrake (which can be queued up to run multiple files overnight). As per my signature I have a WD Black 750GB HDD running at 7200 rpm, I would certainly go with 8GB RAM. SSD certainly nice to have but not essential by any means.
 

MrGIS

macrumors regular
Jul 30, 2010
163
41
Ontario Canada
Get the quad.. Definitely the way to go for converting all those DVD's or any video work. Apps like handbrake and iMovie use all physical and virtual cores to do their work.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,481
5,676
Buy -nothing less than- the i7. You won't regret spending the extra $$$ in the future.

Buy ONLY an Apple-refurbished unit (if you're going to buy a "late-2012" model). No use paying full price for a design that's 1.5 years old.

ADD RAM yourself. Get the 4gb configuration from the factory.

DON'T buy one with a factory-installed SSD. You will get a much better deal by buying and adding that yourself. Just today over at dealmac.com I saw a Crucial m500 480gb SSD for $216 shipped. These prices are dropping daily.

If you don't feel like opening the case to put the SSD in, you can buy a USB3 enclosure or USB3/SATA dock and enjoy boot and run speeds the equal of an internally-installed drive. Will set you back about $25. Far easier and cheaper than an internal installation "surgery".
 

jbarley

macrumors 68040
Jul 1, 2006
3,788
1,625
Vancouver Island
If you don't feel like opening the case to put the SSD in, you can buy a USB3 enclosure or USB3/SATA dock and enjoy boot and run speeds the equal of an internally-installed drive. Will set you back about $25. Far easier and cheaper than an internal installation "surgery".
If you choose to go this route you should be aware of the problems this can cause, and many of us have experienced.
These problems are documented here in this 'White Paper' from intel.
 

MrGIS

macrumors regular
Jul 30, 2010
163
41
Ontario Canada
Buy -nothing less than- the i7. You won't regret spending the extra $$$ in the future.

Buy ONLY an Apple-refurbished unit (if you're going to buy a "late-2012" model). No use paying full price for a design that's 1.5 years old.

ADD RAM yourself. Get the 4gb configuration from the factory.

DON'T buy one with a factory-installed SSD. You will get a much better deal by buying and adding that yourself. Just today over at dealmac.com I saw a Crucial m500 480gb SSD for $216 shipped. These prices are dropping daily.

If you don't feel like opening the case to put the SSD in, you can buy a USB3 enclosure or USB3/SATA dock and enjoy boot and run speeds the equal of an internally-installed drive. Will set you back about $25. Far easier and cheaper than an internal installation "surgery".

What fishrrman said, though I would suggest the surgery is more like replacing a cast than removing a brain tumor...
 

blanka

macrumors 68000
Jul 30, 2012
1,549
3
It's even easier: remove the airport grill, hookup the cable to the new drive (buy one on ebay), slide it in, pop the cable on the empty slot on the mobo en you're ready to go. If it is too loose, slide in the additional spacer that comes with most SSD's. Don't bother about not screwing it onto the frame. The difficulty is on par with adding a SSD to a USB enclosure.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,481
5,676
[[ If you choose to go this route you should be aware of the problems this can cause, and many of us have experienced. ]]

I've been running my 2012 Mac Mini for more than a year booting externally from an SSD mounted in a USB3/SATA docking station, with ZERO problems.

Runs great. Again, ZERO "problems".

On the other hand, I seem to read of LOTS of "problems" from folks here who opened their computers to install something, and then ended up breaking connectors, etc.

What specific problems have YOU experienced, personally?
 

jbarley

macrumors 68040
Jul 1, 2006
3,788
1,625
Vancouver Island
[[ If you choose to go this route you should be aware of the problems this can cause, and many of us have experienced. ]]

I've been running my 2012 Mac Mini for more than a year booting externally from an SSD mounted in a USB3/SATA docking station, with ZERO problems.

Runs great. Again, ZERO "problems".

On the other hand, I seem to read of LOTS of "problems" from folks here who opened their computers to install something, and then ended up breaking connectors, etc.

What specific problems have YOU experienced, personally?
The worst one is the USB un-mounting when wake from sleep, plus BT touchpad and/or keyboard un-pairing, I've not had the wi/fi issues, thankfully.
These issues were not a problem before I started using USB3 and have all disappeared since I put my external drive in a Thunder bolt sled, plus the TB is faster.
 

MikeLane

macrumors newbie
Dec 28, 2009
5
0
Thanks for the replies, now gotta decide on do I go for the refurb when they are available with a SSD or the fusion or just go with base i7 model and just add a SSD to it instead.
I recently got a refurb i7 with fusion drive which I'm very happy with. I've got over 200GB on the drive (i.e. well over the SSD capacity) but it's still many times faster in normal use than a plain HD