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Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by patricem, Aug 16, 2013.
Getting ready to pull the trigger on the new mini. Is it really worth it to go with the i7? Thanks
Depends on how many programs you use that utilize all cores.
In normal everyday run of the mill word processing, web browsing, email, etc., not much difference. Noticeable difference in heavy duty tasks such Handbrake video encoding, etc.
Since you are not mentioning any particular use of it, I'd say it's not worth to get the i7. The increase in processing power is useful only for processor intensive applications, nothing the average user gets to use.
For the mini, yes the quad core i7 is better than the dual core i5. Do you actually NEED the i7? We dont know \_(0.o)_/
Depends. Is this going to be an HTPC? A standard desktop? A NAS solution of some kind?
So little that most people do is limited by CPU power that it's hard for me to recommend CPU upgrades most of the time. A Fusion Drive is usually a better upgrade.
I believe you must order the i7 to get a Fusion drive or SSD. Both of those will make a noticeable difference in speed. If you are comfortable working inside a computer, however, there a lots of threads here about installing SSD's or Fusion drives yourself.
Just for normal stuff. I do like to have tons of tabs/windows open and switch between them all, doing many tasks at once. I was thinking of getting a fusion or the 256 SSD. I could bump my ram to 16 gb if I just got the i5. I want fast tho. Thanks
Thats interesting, i didn't realize that. I plan to order from a mac place who does the installs for you, and he offers the SSD with either i5 or i7.
An i7 might shave a few minutes off a heavy video or audio workload, but otherwise won't make switching between tabs and windows any faster.
It sounds like you're the type that has lots of apps open, lots of browser tabs, and lots of other stuff going all at once, so you should make RAM your top priority, a SSD second, and cpu last.
For most people, a i5 Ivy Bridge processor isn't going to be a bottleneck.
Don't pay for the RAM upgrade from Apple, you can order it yourself from Otherworld Computing or somewhere similar for at least $100 less.
That is me exactly. I like to be doing 20 things at once. Is 16gb ram going to be enough for me? Or should I think about an Imac? Either 2011 or the 2012 with an SSD or fusion drive ? I could add more ram as I go. Thanks!
16 should be plenty. Next step up is 32 and you'd need a 27" iMac to get that option.
Yes I am wondering if I should get an imac. I have a 2008 now. I read the mini was faster, and I like the FW as my externals are FW. But I have always loved imac. I worry with the 2012 if your hard drive goes out, it could be costly repair, a few years down the road. Maybe SSD doesn't go out the way the HDD do?
For coding on handbrake etc there is a big difference. I ran 5 seasons (1-5) of Simpsons avi files on the AT3 setting on a 2011 i5 and ran the same (seasons 5-10) plus a 20gb mkv of Kung Fu Panda on a 2.6ghz 2012 quad. The quad took about 6 hours (finished in the morning) while the i5 was about 1/2 to 2/3 through its batch at the same point. It 11am and the i5 is still not finished!
Yes I fully understand the different CPUs (sandy, ivy etc) in this example, but it gives you an idea of real world differences when you actually need the CPU. In a different test of say word processing or web browsing the average user would not notice any difference between a base i5 I used and the current top of the range quad.
Bottom line, if you need the CPU for your tasks then get the quad. There is a big difference. But if you don't need CPU power and only browse the net etc then an i5 I still very good.
If it is the latter then save your dollars and get an SSD. If it is the former and you get a quad then you probably have dollars anyway so still get an SSD
Minor point, but if you're not in too much of a hurry, the whole Mac line-up is most likely getting refreshed (or redesigned in the case of the mac pro) this fall. While the Hawell CPU may not be that big a deal for desktops, PCIe flash storage could be, and maybe 802.1ac for future-proofing.
That said, I'd shoot for a base Mini and do the upgrading myself if I were buying now. You can make your own Fusion drive, replace the HD with an SSD entirely, or add the SSD and run two internal drives.
The 2.6GHz i7 almost doubles the base Mini's price tag - $550 vs $900.
$900 would pay for a new Mini and 90% of next year's.
Or, I could buy two Mini's - one to encode video and one to use while the other is working. At least that way, I'd have a spare.
Two Hyundai's or one Porsche...
I'll take the Porsche
Unless your family members need to get somewhere when you have work.. then you need 2 cars...
Hard drive failures can happen and are a pain in the butt to replace regardless of which computer you buy. The mini is much easier to disassemble from what I've seen, if you ever needed to try a DIY project. If FireWire is a valuable feature then getting a 2012 mini would be a good idea. Apple has been phasing out FireWire, and it will disappear from the mini eventually.
Since already started this thread, how is going to perform under FCP and A.Illustrator? does it run smooth on i5?
I'm looking between the i5 or i7 for my purchase.
I couldn't agree more.
I have an i7 2012 Mac mini and maxing out the RAM made a huge difference in performance.
I'll add a second, hybrid drive, later.
I have an i5 2011 with Samsung 830 and it runs both smooth. OK, the final rendering takes a little longer than on a i7, but the working in FCP is snappy. AI is no problem, that program works basically the same as Illustrator 1, so even a Motorola 68000 can handle it
OWC has a kit that you can purchase that comes with all the tools you will need plus a detailed step by step instruction book.
I opted for the iFixit kit instead when I did my swap http://www.amazon.com/iFixit-Mini-Dual-Hard-Drive/dp/B00BJ8U3OU/
Couple $ less and nice tool kit.
Youre not really doing a lot of things at once. Youre having a lot of tabs open, but once theyre open they dont really do anything.
Youll be fine with an i5 and youll be fine with 16GB