i5 Base vs i7

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Noimus, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. Noimus macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2013
    #1
    Hey guys quick question. I'm almost ready to buy the Mac Mini. Definitely getting 16gb of RAM but I won't get an SSD until I really need it. I am a college student so I am trying to save as much money as possible.

    The only reason I will use the Mac Mini is for browsing it to do homework and listening to music. No video encoding or anything like that.

    I also do like my computer being fast and I hate it being laggy but I feel like 16gb of RAM is a lot.

    Also to note, the mac mini will be on sleep mode a majority of the time. Is that bad?

    I'm just leaning on buying the base mini and adding ram. What do you guys think?
     
  2. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    #2
    Don't add any RAM until you spend some time using it. I can't see why you need any additional RAM for what you plan to do.
     
  3. sergiobaschi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2012
    Location:
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    #3
    Go with the base version and upgrade the RAM by your self.
     
  4. Noimus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2013
    #4
    The base i5 version right?

    Eh I like having more than 6GB of RAM on my machines so I feel like 16GB of RAM would be a huge improvement.
     
  5. marzer macrumors 65816

    marzer

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado
    #5
    To reiterate what fa said, use it for a while before your spend the extra $$ on memory. Keep in mind, if your uses don't exceed the base 4GB you'll see no benefit to adding 16GB. My Mac mini with 4GB runs 24/7 with several apps and services running all the time, it rarely exceeds 2.5GB of memory usage. I could drop 16GB in but it'd still use only 2.5GB with no improvement in performance.
     
  6. fig macrumors 6502a

    fig

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #6
    I'd really go the other way, get the SSD or Fusion drive and then add the RAM in a few months if you feel you need it.

    The SSD will make it feel much snappier for everyday general use, it's well worth the investment.
     
  7. Noimus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2013
    #7
    How do I check how much RAM it uses? Also do you have a SSD drive?
     
  8. opinio macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    #8
    Apart from what is said above, I think if speed is importatnt to you I would look first to a SSD. You can pick up a 128gb for a similar price to 16GB Ram these days.
     
  9. Lancer, Jun 26, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2013

    Lancer macrumors 68020

    Lancer

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Australia
    #9
    My 2 cents - If you're tight for money don't get the RAM, 3rd party RAM is cheaper and you can get it later if needed. Stick with the i5 for you needs the i7 might be a waste. But look at Fusion, which will give you 90% of the speed of SSD at less cost for the size.

    Also get a good 24" monitor any thing bigger might be a waste of space and money. Maybe get one that has a HD tuner built in so it doubles as a TV.

    ETA - Fusion - you can set up it on older Mac, with the Mini just install a small SSD, maybe 64/128Gb (bigger if you can afford it) or just wait until you have the money. Or just run it as 2 drives. The big advantage of Fusion is it will put the OS X and stuff you use more often on the SSD and other stuff on the HDD. But you should already know this.
     
  10. marzer macrumors 65816

    marzer

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado
    #10
    You can monitor memory usage using Activity Monitor, the available memory is equal to Free + Inactive.

    Yes, but its a cheapy, a 32GB Crucial V4 that I employed as the boot drive. Its got decent reads at 200MBps but the writes suck, usually around 45. In fact I just order a replacement this past weekend, Samsung 830 128GB that should be here the end of the week.
     
  11. Noimus, Jun 27, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2013

    Noimus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2013
    #11
    Would I be able to install the fusion drive later? I think I'll buy the base mini version now and down the road I'll get an SSD and data doubler kit. But would that mean everything that I'd have on my HDD primary would be gone? Plus would it be possible to make the SSD my primary drive and the HDD as the secondary?


    EDIT: Couldn't I just buy a hybrid drive from Amazon and install that only and not have to get the data doubler kit?
     

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