Help! Thinking of buying 2011 Mac Mini - Need some advice

sozbun

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 2, 2017
3
1
Ok here is the short version. 2 years ago I handed my iMac over to my wife and built myself a pretty beastly PC. So happens I was doing a lot of gaming and I also do VIDEO RENDERING EVERY DAY! Believe it or not, I'm missing my Mac OS. Not only that, my beast computer seems to render video very slowly. It has 16 ram, 6 gig graphics card, and an AMD AMD FX-8350 Black Edition Vishera 8-Core 4.0 GHz (4.2 GHz Turbo).

So here is my question. I'm looking at a Apple Mac Mini Intel Core i7 (i7-2620M) 2.7GHz 16GB DDR3 250GB HDD.

In your honest opinions. Do you think It will perform well and render podcast and videos at a fast pace? I would use Garage band and Screenflow. I currently use camtasia studio with my PC. Or do you think the speed would be so far behind that I would long for my built rig again? ( i will sell the PC if i buy the mini). Also, how well is the graphics on these things? Don't need high end gaming, but some gaming will happen.

Thank you for your help in making this decision
 
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oc_jcs_fan

macrumors newbie
Dec 11, 2015
3
0
If you are intent on going with an older model in the Mac Mini 2011 line, I would avoid model 5,2 (the one with the AMD Radeon graphic card) as there are people who have had graphics card failures in the model - myself being one. Pretty much leaves 5,1 for 2011 (scroll down here to see specs https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mac_Mini#Intel-based_Mac_Mini)

I think many would recommend a model from the 2012 line if you can afford it as there were good improvements from 2011, and the 2012 line was also the last line of Mac Minis that can be opened by the end-user to put more RAM in or swap the HDD.
 

opeter

macrumors 68000
Aug 5, 2007
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487
Slovenia, EU
In your honest opinions. Do you think It will perform well and render podcast and videos at a fast pace?
My honest opinion: it is and old thing, don't hope for miracles. My answer is: it won't perform well if you compare it to you actual AMD PC.

And by the way: the mention 2011 Mac mini has only a dual core CPU, so... don't let the i7 name confuse you.
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,267
6,253
If you're having speed problems with that rig, I don't think a 2011 Mini is going to satisfy you. It's a 6-year old entry level Mac computer with mobile components.
 

sozbun

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 2, 2017
3
1
Maybe the answer is to keep the gaming rig in case I end up hating the Mac Mini. Can always resell it I suppose. Or just use the Mac Mini for most uses, gaming RIG if and when needed... I will be getting the Mini version with upgrade ram to 16g and SSD Drive. Also has a 90 warranty from seller.
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,267
6,253
Or just use the Mac Mini for most uses, gaming RIG if and when needed.
I used to do something sort of like this. A Mac and PC connected to KVM switch. I'd start a processing job on the Mac and use KVM to switch to the PC in order to keep productive while waiting for the job to finish.
 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
4,198
1,876
New Jersey Pine Barrens
Is this it? https://everymac.com/systems/apple/mac_mini/specs/mac-mini-core-i7-2.7-mid-2011-specs.html

Personally I would not want one of those. Not familiar with that graphics card but have to believe that only having a max of 256mb VRAM would be a problem with any kind of video software. The geekbench ratings are about the same as the 2012 base model mini: https://everymac.com/systems/apple/mac_mini/specs/mac-mini-core-i5-2.5-late-2012-specs.html

The 2012 would give you the HD4000 onboard graphics (which is definitely showing its age), but it uses 768MB of VRAM is supported by Final Cut Pro and most third party plug-ins. More important, the 2012 has USB 3.0 which gives you much more options of inexpensive, fast external disks. The 2012 quad i7 2.7ghz mini is more than twice as fast, but those tend to still be rather expensive.
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,267
6,253
More important, the 2012 has USB 3.0 which gives you much more options of inexpensive, fast external disks. The 2012 quad i7 2.7ghz mini is more than twice as fast, but those tend to still be rather expensive.
I agree with you, USB 3.0 is enormously faster and that alone is well worth the price difference between a 2011 and a 2012.

The 2012 is always an easy recommendation.
  • It is the only year with both USB 3.0 and upgradeable memory slots (older models are stuck with USB 2.0; newer models are stuck with soldered RAM).
  • It is the last year offering quad-core i7, the last year with Firewire, and the last year that can accept two standard SATA 2.5" internal drives.
  • The CPU for base model 2012 is just as fast as the base 2014.
 

Trusteft

macrumors 6502a
Nov 5, 2014
582
510
Ok here is the short version. 2 years ago I handed my iMac over to my wife and built myself a pretty beastly PC. So happens I was doing a lot of gaming and I also do VIDEO RENDERING EVERY DAY! Believe it or not, I'm missing my Mac OS. Not only that, my beast computer seems to render video very slowly. It has 16 ram, 6 gig graphics card, and an AMD AMD FX-8350 Black Edition Vishera 8-Core 4.0 GHz (4.2 GHz Turbo).

So here is my question. I'm looking at a Apple Mac Mini Intel Core i7 (i7-2620M) 2.7GHz 16GB DDR3 250GB HDD.

In your honest opinions. Do you think It will perform well and render podcast and videos at a fast pace? I would use Garage band and Screenflow. I currently use camtasia studio with my PC. Or do you think the speed would be so far behind that I would long for my built rig again? ( i will sell the PC if i buy the mini). Also, how well is the graphics on these things? Don't need high end gaming, but some gaming will happen.

Thank you for your help in making this decision
What editing software do you use on the pc?
Have you tried other editing software on that pc? There's a free version of lightworks you could try to see if you get better performance out of that PC.
 

MarkJames68

macrumors 6502
Sep 24, 2017
394
246
Also, if you get a 2012 quad core for a decent price (meaning market value), if a month later it wasn’t working for you there is a very high likelihood you’d get nearly all your money back.

What’s your budget?

The other option if you’re not adverse to tinkering is to build a Hackintosh. Assuming your RAM is DDR3 you could get a compatible Intel CPU and motherboard and probably leverage nearly everything else in your AMD rig to test out. Or, build your own Hack Mini and see how that works.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,194
5,543
Don't get a 2011 Mini.

Get a 2012 instead. It has USB3. That's a BIG jump up...
 

sozbun

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 2, 2017
3
1
It seems like for what I'll end up spending on a decent Mac Mini I could build a Hackintosh that's better then my current PC. Maybe that's the way to go. Just worried about stability and the pain of trying to get it to work. I've defiantly decided not to buy the Mac Mini. Glad I decided to sleep on it.
 
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opeter

macrumors 68000
Aug 5, 2007
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Slovenia, EU
It seems like for what I'll end up spending on a decent Mac Mini I could build a Hackintosh that's better then my current PC. Maybe that's the way to go. Just worried about stability and the pain of trying to get it to work. I've defiantly decided not to buy the Mac Mini. Glad I decided to sleep on it.
Yes, that was/is a smart decision.
 

leo-tech

macrumors regular
Sep 23, 2017
186
172
Try to install macOS as Guest OS in VM (Virtual Machine), chances are you may like it.
 

Boyd01

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Feb 21, 2012
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New Jersey Pine Barrens
I could build a Hackintosh that's better then my current PC. Maybe that's the way to go. Just worried about stability and the pain of trying to get it to work.
I'm sure you can get it to work, but that route doesn't interest me. I want a computer that is officially supported on my operating system of choice. A Hackintosh is going to be a permanent "science project". Some people enjoy that kind of challenge (and also enjoy bragging about it here :p ) but not me.
 
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jpietrzak8

macrumors 65816
Feb 16, 2010
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Dayton, Ohio
I'm sure you can get it to work, but that route doesn't interest me. I want a computer that is officially supported on my operating system of choice. A Hackintosh is going to be a permanent "science project". Some people enjoy that kind of challenge (and also enjoy bragging about it here :p ) but not me.
Also: OS X just isn't as far ahead of the competition as it used to be. Both Linux and Windows are now quite comfortable to use on the desktop, and do not restrict your hardware choices.

I find it harder and harder to justify using Apple on the desktop. I once had multiple Minis running and was evangelizing Apple to friends and family; but I've reached the point today where I no longer have any OS X boxes in use. :(
 

MysticCow

macrumors 6502a
May 27, 2013
831
381
Also: OS X just isn't as far ahead of the competition as it used to be. Both Linux and Windows are now quite comfortable to use on the desktop, and do not restrict your hardware choices.

I find it harder and harder to justify using Apple on the desktop. I once had multiple Minis running and was evangelizing Apple to friends and family; but I've reached the point today where I no longer have any OS X boxes in use. :(
Same here. OS X just isn't used that often on my 2011 mini. I run it under Win 10 more and more.