Is upgrade from 2011 to 2012 Mini worth while?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by md63, Nov 21, 2014.

  1. md63 macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2007
    I have a 2011 mini 2.5Ghz i5 dual core with 6630M graphics, 8gb of RAM, 240GB SSD and 1TB HDD. My external drives are Thunderbolt and I do have a Kanex Thunderbolt to USB 3.0 adapter which I really don't use much. Most intensive things I do are processing videos to stream on Plex. Other than that I am on Safari, emailing and MS Office. No gaming. My mini is running fine.

    Would it be worth while for me to pick up a 2.3 i7 quad core since I am not using the video capabilities of my current machine and get something with a better CPU? Would I be able to swap out my SSD and HHD into the new machine or do I need to reinstall from Time Machine? Also, could I just swap the RAM from the 2011 to 2012 mini? Its my understanding the 2012 uses faster RAM. Would there be a significant performance hit? Thanks for your advice.
  2. trs0722 macrumors member

    Oct 29, 2011
    Newark, DE
    I'm in the same boat. I have a nearly identical 2011 Mini. Was all set to order the 2014 for the quad core but as you know Apple dropped it. I've read tons of stuff here and elsewhere in the last few weeks and decided to give the 2012 quad core a shot instead of going for a 2014. I don't think a quad core is necessary for many people but I've started to see some lag with photo and video work with Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, iMovie, Premiere, and Handbrake. I will know this weekend as long as I get the new one up and running correctly (installing 16GB RAM and another SSD-Crucial 550 256GB).

    The GPU in the 2012 is one generation newer than the 2011 I believe. From what I've read, it has a little better performance. I don't think you can swap the RAM between the two (1333 vs 1600).

    I would think you could swap your old SSD out and put it in the new one...but if you're interested in selling your old one, a good selling point would be to leave the SSD and RAM in it.
  3. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey

    Op you could switch the ram the 2012 would be able to use it.

    I own the 2011 with the 6630
    I own the 2012 base
    I own the 2012 quad
    I own the 2014 base.

    I am selling make that I sold the quad with 16gb ram a 750gb samsung ssd and a 1.5tb hitachi hdd runs as a diy 2.25tb fusion

    Having used all of the above the quad well slap the 2011 around quite a bit.
    And the quad will allow usb 3 the 2011 does not.

    If I were you I would consider making the switch.

    @trs0722 the ram will work if he moves it.

    I am selling my quad only because I now have a diy window 7 that crushes the apple to the core.

    After 10 plus years all apple I am moving back to windows basically because apple does not sell a desktop that is close to what I want. It will take a few years but I will make the switch. (unless the 2015 mini comes back with a quad core)
  4. spatlese44 macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2007
    One could argue don't do anything then. When I bought my 2012 2.3 quad I was pretty happy to pay the extra bucks for the quad core and still am happy I didn't cheap out and get the base model, but that was the extent of my finances at the time and I really wanted the fusion drive. Now I'm reading about trim issues and there's always some risk to opening up a computer. The reality is that my quad core cost $800 and a fusion version of the new mini would be about $850. Yes, the old one has faster processing and I probably will upgrade it, but were they both available right now I might go with the preconfigured fusion drive. It would deliver the most performance for the dollar for what you do. Not everyone, but based on the needs you described. On top of that you get better graphics and possibly a more future proofed machine.

    Or you could wait 1-3 years for the next one. That's what I'm going to do.
  5. crazzapple Guest

    Oct 19, 2014
    I will be taking a solid look at Win 10 next year. Expose/spaces functionality is key to my workflow and MS is finally adding it. Apple is going throwaway appliance model for its computers. That combined with the yearly osx updates is crazy for anyone that needs a computer for work use. Unless they fix this, they will just be left with Joe-consumer buying these things (maybe what they want).

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