Is next spec Mini up from base worth $300 more?

steve333

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Original poster
Dec 12, 2008
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Hi all,

2011 Mini crapped out 1 1/2 years after spending $330 to replace logic board. The logic board went again and Apple told me to pound sand.
Looking at base Mini with 16Gb RAM vs next model up with 16Gb RAM. It costs $300 more and has the bigger hard drive and faster processor.
All I really do is go on the internet but want the computer to last a long long time which is why I want to get 16Gb RAM.
Thanks
 

doboy

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Jul 6, 2007
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I personally don’t think so. Just buy a decent ext SSD like T5 or an ext NVMe drive that does ~1000 MB/s read and write.
 

steve333

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Dec 12, 2008
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I dont even need a big HD so maybe I will go with the base and save $300. Would the better chip in the next model extend the lifespan of the computer?
 
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doboy

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Jul 6, 2007
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I dont even need a big HD so maybe I will go with the base and save $300. Would the better chip in the next model extend the lifespan of the computer?
Haha, who knows when they’ll release an update. Maybe 4-5 yrs later? :) Main advantage of the current lineup is the increase # of cores so I don’t expect significant speed increases in the near future.
 
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doboy

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Jul 6, 2007
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I mean I don't want an updated OSX that says core i3 not supported, need i5 minimum
This gen i3 is pretty much the same as last gen Intel i5 :) Don’t worry about it, it’ll get updated for a good while. Current Mojave runs on 2012 Mini.
 

Jorbanead

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Aug 31, 2018
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I dont even need a big HD so maybe I will go with the base and save $300. Would the better chip in the next model extend the lifespan of the computer?
No it won’t. It’s just a faster processor with more cores, but it doesn’t mean it will last any longer than the i3. For your needs, you don’t even need 16gb of ram either. The base model should be perfect for you, and if you do ever need more ram you can always upgrade it later on.
 
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steve333

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Original poster
Dec 12, 2008
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OK, thanks for all the info. I'm going to do the 16Gb RAM though, I upgraded my 2011 Mini myself to 8Gb but this model is a pain to access
 

russell_314

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Feb 10, 2019
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All I really do is go on the internet but want the computer to last a long long time which is why I want to get 16Gb RAM.
Thanks
If all you're doing is browsing the web a $199 Chromebook would work perfectly... I'm not saying this to get you to buy a Chromebook but rather since the base model Mac anything is far ahead of this you'll be fine. If getting 16 GB of RAM helps you sleep at night then by all means go for it. It might make it run a bit smoother if you have a zillion tabs open and it's not a huge expense.
 

steve333

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Dec 12, 2008
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I'm on a cheap PC laptop temporarilty and I can't stand it. Apple's got me by the maraca's
16Gb RAM would make me more comfortable since RAM is usually the thing that OSX needs more of down the line. Upping my old Mini from 4 to 8Gb was a huge difference, down the line who knows so I think it's worth it even though Apple is ripping us off. $200 to go from 8Gb to 16 is ridiculous
 

OldMike

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Mar 3, 2009
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Dallas, TX
I personally like loading my computers with RAM right from the get go - but in your case I think 8GB RAM would definitely be fine. If you think about it, there are a lot of people paying $1800+ for MacBook Pro 13 laptops that only come with 8GB with no chance of ever upgrading beyond that.

The fact that your Mini can be updated at any point in the future (and it is actually pretty easy to do in reality) means it will always be an option if you ever actually need it. Instead of paying Apple $200 for an additional $35 worth of RAM, you would be better off upgrading to the i5 Model for $300 more even if you didn't need it (since on the Mini you will never be able to upgrade the storage and CPU).
 

steve333

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Dec 12, 2008
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Technically you're right but I don't want to open her up if I don't have to so I'm going to go with the 16 GB and just not have to think about it. I never go above 100Gb storage anyway and I can offload to a thumbdrive or external HD if need be. The 16 Gb will give me peace of mind.
As long as the base CPU won't be an issue for 8 years, that would be my only reason for moving to the next model up
 

twalk

macrumors regular
Apr 22, 2009
149
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Just a few tidbits: You said you were running a 2011 Mini. The fastest 2011 Mini was the i7 quad core. The i3 in the new Mini is about 55% faster than the 2011 quad core Mini. It's just a tad faster than the i5-7500 kaby lake parts (gen 7), which shipped commonly in the last generation of iMacs. Keep in mind that kaby lake intel computers are still shipping in high quantity right now. So performance wise, the current i3 is pretty middle of the pack solid for currently shipping systems. In addition, the i5 will only really give you a benefit if you're doing more multitasking (with the i7 being about +15% over that, until you thermal throttle). If you're not doing much multitasking (which can include lots of safari tabs), then the i5 isn't much of a benefit

In addition, the SSD in the new Mini is so fast compared to normal SSDs, that it can do virtual memory paging *much* faster, such that for normal tasks you can get away with a bit less memory than you would otherwise. If your previous 2011 only had a hard drive, then you won't believe how much of a difference it will make
 

steve333

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Dec 12, 2008
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The SSD is what I'm most looking forward to, I had the regular hard drive.
I had the middling chip in it, not sure what that is.
I keep sometimes up to 10 tabs open in safari but even my old Mini could handle that
 

Partron22

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Apr 13, 2011
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Yes
If all you're doing is browsing the web a $199 Chromebook would work perfectly
A $35 raspberry pi 2 b+ with another hundred for case, keyboard, etc. Works remarkably well for browsing, Firefox, music, vids and typing. GUI as good as Winblows 10. Linux shell, so no weird dos commands. I'm up to 4 of the things now. If someone stole all my Macs, I'd be hard pressed deciding what to replace them with.
 

steve333

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Original poster
Dec 12, 2008
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I guess I need to decide whether the extra $300 is worth it to move to the next model up. $1000 vs $1300 (I should add that I'm unemployed right now). hmmmmmm
 

doboy

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Jul 6, 2007
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I guess I need to decide whether the extra $300 is worth it to move to the next model up. $1000 vs $1300 (I should add that I'm unemployed right now). hmmmmmm
Also consider Apple refurb units for extra savings or when Mini goes on sale at Best Buy or other online retailers.
 

steve333

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Original poster
Dec 12, 2008
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Nah, not taking a chance with refurb after seeing what a ****** job Apple did 'fixing' my Mini. Best Buy only sells 8Gb models
 

doboy

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Jul 6, 2007
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Nah, not taking a chance with refurb after seeing what a ****** job Apple did 'fixing' my Mini. Best Buy only sells 8Gb models
BH photo and Adorama sells all the configurations and often $50-100 off plus tax savings to some states. I got my base unit from Best Buy for $699.
 

steve333

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Original poster
Dec 12, 2008
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I'll take a look, thanks
I see the next model up with 16Gb RAM is $100 less than direct from Apple.
I wonder if they add the RAM themselves or order it that was from Apple?
 
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mpfuchs

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Sep 19, 2014
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I'll take a look, thanks
I see the next model up with 16Gb RAM is $100 less than direct from Apple.
I wonder if they add the RAM themselves or order it that was from Apple?
B&H doesn't install the RAM, if you get the 16GB model.
They just have them discounted vs. Apple prices.
 

steve333

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 12, 2008
854
471
I might do that.
Dumb questions:
My monitor has the following inputs-DVD-D w/HDCP and RGB. I had my mini hooked up with some kind of adapter to enable it to plug into the Mini, does the new Mini have the same monitor out ports that would take this cable or do I need something else?
Also, with only 2 USB ports how do I plug in my old HP 2610 all in one? The 2 ports will be taken up by my mouse and keyboard. Also, what to do if I need to plug in my iPod?
Thanks
 

mpfuchs

macrumors 6502
Sep 19, 2014
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I might do that.
Dumb questions:
My monitor has the following inputs-DVD-D w/HDCP and RGB. I had my mini hooked up with some kind of adapter to enable it to plug into the Mini, does the new Mini have the same monitor out ports that would take this cable or do I need something else?
Also, with only 2 USB ports how do I plug in my old HP 2610 all in one? The 2 ports will be taken up by my mouse and keyboard. Also, what to do if I need to plug in my iPod?
Thanks
Not sure what all this monitor port port stuff means. You'll most likely use HDMI to hook the monitor to your Mini.
As far as USB-A ports, I'd get a USB-C hub that will plug into one of your ports on the Mini and then you'll have multiple USB-A hookups to use.
I'd even get one of those, so you'll also be able to plug in any memory cards straight into the hub:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1462690-REG/iogear_guh3c37sd_usb_c_hub_with_multi_memory.html
This one has 3x USB-A, 1x Compact Flash, 1x SD and 1x Micro SD.
I'm sure there are different options by many manufacturers by now.