i5 or i7 for medium user?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by theanimala, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. theanimala macrumors 6502

    Mar 2, 2007
    I have been limping along with my late 2007 Aluminum 24" iMac with a 2.4ghz Core 2 Duo / 4GB ram systems for years now. The system is VERY sluggish and I suspect the hard drive is ready to die again.

    I'm debating if it's worth getting the i7 Mac Mini for $200 more. My mac is used primarily for iPhoto (have to keep the library to only 1 year as my HD is too small and the iMac become unresponsive when I pull in the entire library (200GB or so), iTunes (music storing and syncing, no videos), email and web.
    I would love to go dual drive (SSD and 1 large internal drive), but I am not sure if the new Mini supports that. Would also upgrade to 16GB of ram.

    Does anyone think it's worth the cash to go for the i7 processor in my case?
  2. mwhities macrumors 6502a

    Jul 13, 2011
    Just the move from the C2D to the i7 wold make a world of difference. Plus, if you do get the SSD, you would wonder why you didn't do this last year.

    The new mac mini "appears" to be the same design (roughly) as the 2011 models. I would wager that one will be able to add additional drives as the server model supports it too. Unless Apple packs the extra space with some, one should be able to add the second drive just as the 2011 was able to.
  3. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    I don't see anything in what you're currently doing that requires an i7. Your issues seem hard drive related.
  4. Pie Chips Salad macrumors member

    Sep 28, 2012
    Absolutely the extra 200 dollars is actually peanuts. You use your computer prob 4 + hours a day its worth investing in. I have a 2009 24 2.66 core duo 4 gb ram imac. It still runs fairly strong. But Im going to go all out on an imac top spec . Might even do an official solid snake hard drive
  5. snow blind macrumors regular

    Mar 3, 2011

    Id rather have an Otacon drive ;)
  6. Pie Chips Salad macrumors member

    Sep 28, 2012
    Haha I didn't think anyone would get the reference!
  7. sean barry macrumors regular

    sean barry

    Oct 3, 2012
    Belding, MI
    The new minis have a fusion drive available, 128 gig SSD and 1TB HDD that would be great for you. I would not think you would need the i7, unfortunately (as far as I can tell) the Fusion is only offered in the i7 units?
  8. TetheredHeart macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2012
    It's only one of the biggest gaming franchises... ;)
  9. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level

    i have an i7 at work and an i5 at home and tbh, the experience is pretty dang identical for what i do

    id save the money
  10. cocacolakid macrumors 65816


    Dec 18, 2010
    Is the i7 a quad core or dual core? The quad core's are faster.

    However, for the OP's purposes, an i7 isn't necessary. OP could buy the base model and upgrade to an SSD hard drive when money allows. The Samsung 830's have been on sale for a nice price for the last week on both Amazon and New Egg. 256GB was $169.99 last I saw, with the 128GB version around $108.

    It will support 2 hard drives, all of the 2011's did and this is the same case. So OP could either install an SSD in one slot and keep the 500gb or upgrade the 500gb to something larger as well.

    But to do that from Apple, it gets a little pricey compared to the $599 base model. You have to buy the $799 model to get HD upgrade options, and the Fusion Drive is 1tb for $250 more, or a 256GB SSD is $300 more. Now you're at $1050 or $1100. Which is still a good value, but if you're on a tight budget or the machine is overkill, just makes no sense to spend that. BTW, nobody is certain yet if the Fusion Drive takes up both hard drive slots or just 1.

    The nice thing is that the 2012 should be like the 2011 to work on, easier to work on than the 2010, which was a tighter fit for the internals since it had an optical drive.

    So my advice is buy the base model and upgrade the hard drive(s) when you can afford it.
  11. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    Both are dual core. However, a dual core can still outperform a quad core on certain tasks as usually a quad is lower clocked so depending on how well the application is threaded, may see a faster performance with a dual core machine.

    However I am of the mindset to always get the base config, save the 200,300, 400 dollars and what not and put it towards a future machine that will certainly be faster than what those upgrades would have given you in a sense. Those savings are 20-40% of the cost of a new 13mbp or up to 60% the cost of a new base mini

    Just my thoughts
  12. MattA macrumors 6502


    May 15, 2006
    Orlando, FL
    the new i7 is a quad-core. The i5 is still a dual core.

    The big downer on the new i7 is that it doesn't include the discrete graphics chip. Other than that, it's a big upgrade over the 2011 Mac Mini.
  13. snow blind macrumors regular

    Mar 3, 2011
    And one of the best! I'm so excited for Ground Zeros!! ok back on topic haha.

    I'm likely going to pick up the base and throw 16gb memory and a 128gb sammy 830 SSD in it come spring.

    How do these mini's handle 1440 displays?
  14. theanimala thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 2, 2007
    I really want a larger than 500GB HD so I was considering doing the i7 so I could have the 1TB hard drive. But now I'm thinking i'm paying $200 more for a speed bump I may rarely use and a HD that's probably still not big enough. I'm thinking I would like to have a 2 or 3TB 7200RPM drive as well as a 128GB SSD.

    Can you put 7200RPM drives safely in a mini? I'm thinking with that Storage along with the ram upgrade that I would have to put into either config and I should be set for quiet some time...

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