Is 2012 Mini worth an upgrade?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by jcbhammond, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. jcbhammond macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    #1
    I purchased my current Mac Mini, the mid version with AMD graphics, the week it came out last year (2011). It was my first personal Mac and I have loved it. For everyday things it is perfectly adequate, only occasionally slowing down. I am interested in upgrading to the mid 2012 version for the USB 3 and quad core processors. I do some game playing, Killing Floor and COD4, and they seem to run well enough to play regularly. Are the Intel 4000 graphics enough to play the games similar or better to the dedicated AMD 256? I plan on upgrading to 8 gb of ram so I should be able to get up to 512 VRAM with that setup. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. phoenixsan macrumors 65816

    phoenixsan

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    #2
    I am not a gamer, but....

    Lots of gamers complaints about Intel integrated graphics. My complaints with that hideous Intel thing is about render/graphic work. Maybe if you can get some real benchmark with the games you plan to throw out in the mini, you can do a informed choice. But Quad Core power and more RAM helps a lot, too.....:):apple:
     
  3. CausticPuppy macrumors 65816

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    May 1, 2012
    #3
    From what I've been reading, the HD4000 is only a tiny bit slower than the old integrated graphics.

    All things considered, you'd probably get a lot more out of the system by going up to the quad-core model. Generally speaking though-- it rarely makes sense to upgrade a machine that's a year old.

    I rarely game these days, but when I do, it's Portal 2 community maps.... and that works just fine even on my lowly HD3000. :)
     
  4. jcbhammond thread starter macrumors member

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    May 3, 2010
    #4
    OK Thanks for your help. I have no idea how to get a benchmark for a game. Would that be listed on the game site?

    That did bum me out a bit that they put the USB3 and quad core in this years version instead of last years, but thats Apple for you. :apple: In all likelihood it will be another 6-8 months minimum before making the upgrade. I just don't feel like I'm using the AMD graphics as much and would be better off with the quad processors and USB3 to help round out the machine. But if there was a big difference between the AMD and the Intel, I would be more inclined to hang on to what I had for a little longer.
     
  5. tperry macrumors member

    tperry

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2011
    Location:
    East Texas
    #5
    Now the question comes into play... if you purchased your mid level I5 2.5 2011 within the last 20 days is it worth taking back and getting the 2012 mid level and losing the AMD graphics chip. No game playing, no video editing (mainly web related work). I'm torn as I just got 16gb RAM to put in this one and don't really have any complaints, but am leaning towards taking it back to get the Ivy Bridge and I-7.
     
  6. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    #6
    If you won't lose any $$$ then it is worth considering. But if I remember correctly the 2011 uses slightly slower RAM, which I assume can be installed in the 2012.

    I think that the difference between the AMD and Intel HD4000 is a wash, so you won't lose or gain anything GPU-wise the way you use your Mac.
     
  7. jcbhammond thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    #7
    Personally, if I didn't use it for gaming I wouldn't think twice about it. From the latest reports I've been reading the new Mini can still power dual thunderbolt displays so I think that it has nearly the same power as the AMD. The new Mini seems to me to be pretty future proof now with Quad core, fair graphics, TB, and USB3.

    Just a guess, but the next major upgrade will probably include a redesign after one more slight upgrade. I think that the Mini has come out to be a pretty powerful machine now and that Apple can focus on the other products. THOUGHTS?

    I'm kind of considering a dedicated Win box for games and those *special programs* that are to good to run on Apple. This way I have a "gaming rig", a dedicated Win machine, and then a Mac for my everyday use.
     
  8. tperry macrumors member

    tperry

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    Apr 3, 2011
    Location:
    East Texas
    #8
    1333MHZ compared to 1600MHZ... and the slower can be used in the newer system. It would just be a straight out return and will not lose anything. I'm thinking it is going to get boxed up tonight and returned tomorrow. I don't know if Best Buy will just give me a gift card or make me wait 10 days for a check since I paid by CC and it was over $500. I don't see the new ones hitting the stores before 11/02 at the earliest, and that's the last day I can do a return.
     
  9. blanka macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #9
    Still looking for a good benchmark. I can only find PC benchmarks, and there the HD6630 is always a GPU on the main RAM, not with dedicated DDR5 like with the previouw mini. Wonder if that makes a difference.
     
  10. emmab2006 macrumors member

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    Mar 16, 2008
    Location:
    Stoke on trent
    #10
    I Too am in this dilema , i am unsure as what to buy the i5 2.5 with 6630M 256MB , or the quad core with HD 4000 , its quite a Dilema
     
  11. Mojo1, Oct 28, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2012

    Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    #11
    Try barefeats.com; he may have done some testing using Macs.

    Unfortunately, I didn't retain the URLs that can back up my statement. I was writing from memory so there is always the chance that I have it wrong. But I recently spent a fair amount of time looking into the matter so I think I have it right...

    Frankly, if someone is really into gaming a Mini probably isn't going to cut it. There are posts on this forum where gamers have detailed their experiences running popular games using integrated and dedicated Mac GPUs. Here is a current thread: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1477222. More info can be found elsewhere online. If your gaming needs are modest then a Mini might suffice, depending on what you play and the compromise settings you are willing to accept.
     
  12. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #12
    It never pays to upgrade a system if it is doing the job. Wait until your current system dies or cannot do what is needed.
     
  13. tperry macrumors member

    tperry

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2011
    Location:
    East Texas
    #13
    Unless you are in the situation that I was in. 21 days ago I purchased the mid-range Mini Mac from Best Buy. Today I just took it back in and upgraded to the latest one, since I don't need the high end graphics card as I don't play games or do any video editing.:p
     
  14. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #14
    This. generally you won't see massive improvements from ONE generation to the next.

    Enjoy your current machine, wait for the next rev, or the rev after that.


    The exception to this is if you bought the wrong machine in the first place... but if the machine you bought is doing the job just fine, keep it.
     

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