It's abotu time for me to get a mini.. help?

jrm27

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 3, 2008
489
4
Hello all,

A few years ago I had a mac mini that was destroyed in a house fire. It was a killer machine, and now it's time to get a new one for home. I'm assuming it will be used rather basically, but I'd like to be able to do some light graphics/video editing work. I currently use my 15"MBP for that type of work, but would like to be able to do some of that when I've left my MBP at work or something.

I've also got a hard drive full of all my DVD's that I've converted with handbrake. I'm thinking of streaming them to an Apple TV from the mini, so i don't know if that would make any difference.

Is the RAM user upgradable? I remember on the old ones it was kind of a pain to access. Any thoughts on what is the best bang-for-the-buck mini out there? I don't mind refurb. Any input would be most appreciated.
 

jrm27

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 3, 2008
489
4
that's good to know! I can save a chunk of change there at least... any thoughts on a machine? I'm thinking the quad core i7 would be one that would age the best...
 

ColdCase

macrumors 68030
Feb 10, 2008
2,992
149
NH
For me, the sweet spot is a new 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, 4GB memory and SSD. I'll buy 16GB memory for ~$140 (install is simple) and use external drive(s) ($120 for 4TB USB3).

Just about any recent mini will do, streaming video is not a burden. An internal SSD will make a mini quite responsive. Swapping internal HDs can be a PITA, but you can pay someone like OWC about $100 in labor to do it for you.
 

jrm27

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 3, 2008
489
4
Cool. That's good to know. I haven't been using SSD on any of my other setups, so I guess I'm just not that informed on the benefit. I know they are faster, but boot-up time isn't that important to me. I've been thinking of setting up an SSD as a scratch disk for photoshop, but otherwise, I'm not sure why I would need one on a mac mini. Can you help me understand why I would? I'm not trying to busty anyone's chops, just trying to learn. Thanks!
 

ColdCase

macrumors 68030
Feb 10, 2008
2,992
149
NH
Once you have one, you don't know how you lived all those years without. It is certainly not necessary.

Apps load faster, everything seems to run snappy. Its just a good feel. If your apps are using a lot of RAM and the OS is doing memory swapping, the performance improvement is dramatic. The OS is always sending/receiving data from the boot drive, and when you set the SSD as the boot drive, it just makes the OS that much better.
 

Dont Hurt Me

macrumors 603
Dec 21, 2002
6,055
6
Yahooville S.C.
Apple made a mini with a real gpu, mid 2011 i5, a great lil machine i would suggest this model or wait fro the next gpu upgrade on a new one which should be spring of 2014 aprox.
 

blanka

macrumors 68000
Jul 30, 2012
1,549
3
You can also install 16GB and use 4GB of it as scratch disk. Then assign this virtual RAM disk to be the first swap disk in Adobe CS. With most light work, 4GB scratch is more than enough, and it will be even faster than SSD.
 
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