Is the Mac Mini right for me?

Shinrouen

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 28, 2017
2
0
Tucson, AZ
Hi there,

I'm trying to get some feedback on whether the Mac Mini would be the right choice for my computing needs. I currently use a 6th gen Core i7 Windows 10 desktop along with a 13-inch Macbook Air Early 2015 1.6 i5 with 4GB of RAM. The user friendliness of the Mac OSX system and the lack of computer issues has pushed me away from the Windows scene and I would like to add a Mac desktop to the home office.

I work as a consultant and my daily routine uses are tied to Outlook, Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Chrome (40 or so tabs). It is not out of the ordinary for me to have two Chrome windows open side-by-side with each window having 20-30 tabs. I will need to start doing some light video editing work. 1080p will probably be the highest resolution I need to go as I don't foresee using 4K. I predominantly will be filming speaking engagements and editing with visuals before uploading it online. I'm currently using a 32" curved monitor running at 1920x1080 resolution. In the future I would like to upgrade to a 34" 4K monitor.

Planned Build
3.2GHz 8th i7
8GB DDR (will self-upgrade to 16GB)
256GB SSD

My understanding is that I can probably get away with the i5 but I'm thinking about future-proofing so that I don't have potential future bottlenecks. I'll be offloading projects onto an external HDD and will only keep my primary pipeline projects on the computer so i don't think I'll need more than 256GB SSD.

Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.
 

archer75

macrumors 68030
Jan 26, 2005
2,698
1,235
Oregon
For your needs i7 all the way, no doubt. And upgrade to 32gb.

Just with our daily programs open my mini shows using 14gb of ram. And you're using way more tabs than I use.
 
Last edited:

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,170
5,526
I think the i5 would do well enough.
From what I've read, there's only about 5% difference in benchmarks between the i5 and i7, and the graphics are the same.

I'd suggest the i5, and use the money save to buy it with 16gb right off the bat.

You might consider the 512gb SSD, as well. Yes, it's a little more, but 512gb is kind of at "the sweet spot" for internal storage and it will come in useful for video editing later on.

One other thing:
I'd keep FAR FEWER tabs open in Chrome -- why is it necessary to have 40 open at once?
Better yet -- STOP using Chrome altogether -- it's a known "resource hog" on the Mac.

My opinion only.
 
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Shinrouen

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 28, 2017
2
0
Tucson, AZ
The 40 tabs are usually the max that I hit. I consult on corporate retirement plans and often times I'm benchmarking existing plans against industry standards so one browser will have 18-25 tabs of investment fact sheets and another window will have another 18-25 tabs of benchmark fact sheets. When I'm not doing that I'm down to a more reasonable 15-20 tabs.

Having been primarily a Windows user, I guess I just never got away from Chrome. You're right though, I prefer Safari on my phone and would appreciate the multi-device integration.

As far as video editing 1080p goes, is that process primarily driven by CPU and that I will not need to be concerned too much about integrated graphics? I tried using iMovie on my Air the other night to clip and edit a 1080p video and it was already getting bogged down. Is it safe to assume the Mac Mini will be able to handle the 1080p editing process?

This might be off-topic but I know there are some seasoned veterans on this board who might be able to chime in...for a rookie starting off on video edits, what is the general consensus on recommended software? Is iMovie the most user-friendly?

Thanks.
 

DomKud

macrumors member
Nov 19, 2018
46
7
Hi there,

I'm trying to get some feedback on whether the Mac Mini would be the right choice for my computing needs. I currently use a 6th gen Core i7 Windows 10 desktop along with a 13-inch Macbook Air Early 2015 1.6 i5 with 4GB of RAM. The user friendliness of the Mac OSX system and the lack of computer issues has pushed me away from the Windows scene and I would like to add a Mac desktop to the home office.

I work as a consultant and my daily routine uses are tied to Outlook, Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Chrome (40 or so tabs). It is not out of the ordinary for me to have two Chrome windows open side-by-side with each window having 20-30 tabs. I will need to start doing some light video editing work. 1080p will probably be the highest resolution I need to go as I don't foresee using 4K. I predominantly will be filming speaking engagements and editing with visuals before uploading it online. I'm currently using a 32" curved monitor running at 1920x1080 resolution. In the future I would like to upgrade to a 34" 4K monitor.

Planned Build
3.2GHz 8th i7
8GB DDR (will self-upgrade to 16GB)
256GB SSD

My understanding is that I can probably get away with the i5 but I'm thinking about future-proofing so that I don't have potential future bottlenecks. I'll be offloading projects onto an external HDD and will only keep my primary pipeline projects on the computer so i don't think I'll need more than 256GB SSD.

Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.
lol, yes. For your needs, the mini will be an excellent computer. You're looking for reliability and basic computer tasks - your planned build will do just fine.
 

Jorbanead

macrumors regular
Aug 31, 2018
116
120
The i7 is a great future proof option for your needs. The benefits between the i5 and i7 vary depending on your workload, but with a lot of multitasking you would benefit most from more multithreads and a lot of ram. Generally speaking, you should see anywhere between 20-30% of a performance boost on heavily multithreaded tasks. I’m not sure where Fishrrman got his 5% gain from, but I’ve seen other benchmarks that show higher gains. I’d even say go for 32gb of ram and just upgrade it yourself. It’s around $250-$300.
 

MacWorld78

macrumors 6502
Jul 25, 2012
426
181
This my opinion.

I think you can get away with i5 (8gb/256gb) rather than i7.
As you can always upgrade anytime SSD(external only)/Ram/eGPU/Thunderbolt3 because price will come down eventually.

I want to get my self i7 but I end up with i5 - I have no issue with VMware (running from a external USB-c) + Photoshop.
 

harriska2

macrumors 65816
Mar 16, 2011
1,093
562
Oregon
I’m on windows 7 with an i5 and 16 gb memory and having one tab open overnight just about kills my computer with firefox. Chrome also seems to be a complete hog.