List of ways the 2014 is better than the 2012

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by giggles, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. giggles, Oct 24, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2014

    giggles macrumors 6502

    Dec 15, 2012
    In no particular order

    1) Cooler, quieter, less power consumption
    2) Wifi AC
    3) PCIE 4x 1TB flash option with Apple firmware optimization and Apple TRIM
    4) new UEFI+GPT bootcamp of PCIE ssd Macs (useful for some stuff like plug and play external GPUs in Windows)
    5) Two thunderbolt ports for a grand total of 12 TB devices (think of the possibilities, one port could be completely dedicated to eGPU)
    6) Thunderbolt2 instead of Thunderbolt1 (20Gbps vs 10Gbps), again useful for eGPU

    (subject to changes and additions)

    Now many of you will hear about "eGPUs" for the first time, but basically it's now extremely easy to hook up a badass nvidia Maxwell GPU (like a gtx 970) to your Yosemite Mini (using products like Vidock 4, Akitio Thunder2, Sonnet III D and the like), there's a lot to read about it on "tech inferno forum".


    In that regard, the 2014 Mini, having TB2 and two ports, is better equipped.

    Think about what kind of "modular" Mini the 2014 can end up being.
    A 4x1TB ssd raid0 for booting and 5x6TB for storage on one TB2 port.
    A GTX 970 on the other port.

    Down the line, 3-4 years from now you only change "the brain" (the Mini) but you keep all the Thunderbolt equipment. The miracles of having an "external PCIE" interface.

    Apple won't give us a "MacX" or "MacCube", but with two TB2 you can basically build one on the outside.
    With one TB1 not so much.

    But go ahead hoarding on the 2 years old model. (of course people actually benefitting from a quad core in their workload are right, but everybody's a "2012 Mini hysteria"....)
  2. mojolicious macrumors 68000


    Mar 18, 2014
    Sarf London
    Your scenarios make about as much sense to me as putting a $2000 sports exhaust on a ten year old Honda Civic.
  3. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    When the #1 benefit listed is puffery, I am immediately skeptical. For my needs, it's crap, and I won't buy it or recommend it.
  4. giggles thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 15, 2012
    I knew this was coming.
    Well, going modular is of course pricey.
    You could easily buy a base or moderately upgraded nMP with the kind of money we're talking about.
    But you'd be stuck with a d300/d500 gpu forever, and with CPU power in excess and an idle power consumption that maybe is beyond your needs.

    By going modular, down the line you can just drop in new stuff as needed. Choices.

    The real concern is: do it now or wait for the next version of thunderbolt (Thunderbolt 3 aka Alpine Ridge). But that will probably come in June 2016 Skylake Minis.
  5. psymac macrumors 6502

    Jul 17, 2002
  6. giggles thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 15, 2012
    Now that I think about it I could use a 45W quad core to fry eggs in the morning. That's a plus for the 2012.

    Macbook Pro Retina 13" users and MBA users are fine with this kind of power, even calling it a desktop replacement, "my primary PC" and so on, now an haswell dual core is suddenly crap.
  7. rrl macrumors 6502a


    Jul 27, 2009
    Wow, it sounds like someone is suffering from a major inferiority complex. If it's any consolation, the 2014 is probably the best dual core Mac Mini ever produced.
  8. cinealta macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2012
    But that "brain" is a mobile CPU. No comparison whatsoever to a nMP's Xeons. Sure a mobile CPU can turbo for awhile but will eventually throttle down. Those Mac Pro Xeons can crunch 24 hrs a day for years in a row. Modularizing a Mini is like putting a Porsche body on a VW.
  9. jaxhunter macrumors regular


    Dec 14, 2012
    They do... They're called Audis.
  10. giggles thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 15, 2012
    Finally someone that puts it against the Core2Duo Mini that most of the people considering an upgrade currently have.

    Basically (the i5 28W parts, not the base one) double the performance for half the power consumption/heat, good. And Hyper-threading for 4 virtual cores.
  11. rrl macrumors 6502a


    Jul 27, 2009
    You had to know this was coming, because my two S4s would beg to differ.
  12. giggles, Oct 24, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2014

    giggles thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 15, 2012
    Well once you set up the "thunderbolt infrastructure" (and admittedly that's a steep price upfront), then it's up to you: Mini, nMP, Air, there are no limits to your upgrade path down the line. But you got to choose your GPU, your boot drives and your storage drives with no regards to apple limitations or upgrade prices.
  13. loud0g40oz macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2012

    There's nothing wrong with Audis. The S series of cars are pretty nice!
  14. mojolicious macrumors 68000


    Mar 18, 2014
    Sarf London
    The modularity/choice I'd always dreamt of in the mini was a PCI slot. Now I'm nostalgic for the days of SO-DIMMs.

    eGPU would make more sense in the days of the CPU-centric 2012 mini, but seems a bit redundant with the GPU-centric 2014 model. Investing heavily in Thunderbolt peripherals for the new mini appears a) perverse, given that the 'beating heart' of your system is an anæmic processor built to save you 5¢ a day on your electricity bill, and b) risky, because (as you say) TB is still a fast-evolving technology.

    I don't think TB will ever be priced low enough to drive demand, and as a consequence will not fall significantly in price. For storage, surely far and away the most common usage of TB, it's not significantly quicker than USB3. And USB3.1 is very much on the horizon. FW800 was significantly faster than USB2, had a ten year head start on USB3, and didn't carry TB's price premium. It still 'failed'.

    If TB remains a niche product (and I think it will) then the price of TB interfaced gear will remain prohibitively high, and I think your money would be much better spent on a Mac Pro.
  15. xylitol macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2013
    Although I kind of dig it, it makes me laugh that one needs to have this 'Let's Make the Best of It' attitude toward Apple's new stuff.
  16. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

    Nov 16, 2012
    Well played my man, well played :)
  17. BlackMax macrumors 6502a


    Jan 14, 2007
    North Carolina
    For me the new Mac Minis are a step backwards and a major disappointment. I've owned Apple products since 1984 and these new Mac Minis are not what I would call "insanely great". Just calling it like I see it and each of us will have our own opinions. If it works for you then buy it and be happy.

    For me, I just upgraded my late-2009 iMac with double the memory, an 1 TB SSHD, and a fresh install of Mavericks. It is like I just bought a new machine for less than $200.

    Was going to throw an SSD in there and build my own fusion drive, but wanted to keep the Superdrive a little while longer and thought I'd see how the SSHDs actual perform. :)
  18. torquer macrumors regular

    Oct 16, 2014
    I find it pretty amusing that folks on this forum assume every 2012 Mac Mini ever sold came with the 2.3GHz Quad Core and that every 2014 Mac Mini will be a base 1.4GHz Core i5.

    History is in the eye of the beholder apparently. The 2.3 Quad was not the most often chosen CPU, was not the base CPU, and not a cheap upgrade by any stretch.

    The real comparisons should be between the 2.3 Quad and the 3.0 dual. Single thread performance will be far better on the 2014, multithreaded performance will be better on the 2012.

    Anyone who knows anything about Intel CPUs for the past few years or the differences between single and multithreading as well as the performance differences between different generations of CPUs already knows this. Everything else is FUD by trolls and people who proclaim to know something about PC hardware but clearly don't.

    All these threads, all of this blustering over nothing. Its a use case scenario. Content creators and people wanting a server should go find a 2012 quad. For everyone else, the 2014 dual with 8GB or more of soldered RAM will be happy.

    I wish the internet would learn that people use products for different things and with different priorities.
  19. giggles thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 15, 2012
    Well put this way, yes you're right that it's a bet. (incidentally it's also betting that using a non-approved GPUs on OSX will stay easy as is today)

    On the other hand, if one creates a setup it's happy with TODAY, there's little to lose, whatever the future may hold.

    If your needs are GPU-oriented (appstore 3D gaming? steam? pro apps leveraging gpu acceleration or CUDA?) and you absolutely want a Mac desktop:

    1) a nMP with maxed out GPU, 16GB ram and 1TB flash is 4899$.

    2) a maxed out 2014 Mini (3Ghz i7, 16GB ram, 1TB pcie 4x flash) is 2199$

    You have 2700$ to spare to buy:
    - a thunderbolt2 to pcie 16x (mechanical) enlcosure (plus external PSU if needed)
    - whatever Maxwell gpu you may like, even the monster GM200 "big daddy" ones (384bit bus, 2800 CUDA cores) coming up in the next few months

    The cheapest (or sweet spot) and "cleanest" (no hardware "hacks" or need for another PSU) setup is
    279$ Vidock 4++ (that cripples the bandwidth to 4Gbps of the ExpressCard interface, but that's not a huge deal for most people) plus 200$ Sonnet Echo Expresscard Pro, plus a 350$ GTX 970 of your liking. You just saved nearly 2000$ (to be invested in GPU or whole-Mini upgrades in the coming years, or some humongous 30TB raid storage over TB). Sure the CPU is miles away from the nMP one, but maybe you don't need the latter and you're better off with a powerful GPU.

    That's something one may be perfectly happy with on day one, whatever the future of TB is.
  20. mojolicious macrumors 68000


    Mar 18, 2014
    Sarf London
    I wish Apple would do the same, though, and give purchasers the option of a quad core processor to go with those shiny upgraded GPUs.

    But... approximately 97% of 2014 mini loathing is down to the soldered RAM.
  21. cinealta macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2012
    True but it's still an approximately $225 difference:

    2012 2.3 Quad with 8 Gb RAM = $775
    2014 3.0 Dual with 8 Gb RAM = $1,000
  22. Crosscreek macrumors 68030


    Nov 19, 2013
    While I agree that what the 2014 Mini is intended for fitting the bill of entry level Mac and works fine for some one not doing heavy encoding and video editing.

    But we have lost the luxuries of dual bay, quad core and upgradable Ram super charged Mac Mini computers.

    It's a kick in the teeth by Apple but that's progress for a planned obsolescent billion dollar vertical inaugurated company.

    Keep the customer coming back every 2 years because they won't be able to upgrade or change the Apple appliance.
  23. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Even the Dual Core i5 2.6ghz model scores slightly faster geek bench scores (roughly 3100) than the 2012 2.3ghz quad (3000). That's a $700 machine vs $800 machine.

    This all comes down to use cases.... For 95% of the world who buy Mini's, the dual core options are fine. Most don't even care and would never even realize they "only" have a dual core (and also generally are the same population who don't visit sites like Macrumors). GPU is becoming so much more important anymore. For the 5% who would buy a Mini and use it for encoding, VM's, etc it won't be good enough.

    They aren't good enough for what I need them for (as a supplement to my MBA) since I use them for all the things my MBA doesn't do well (VM's, encoding, etc).

    If I use my immediate and extended family, we are a population of 12. I am literally the only person who does any regular video encoding and the only person who uses VM's (okay my wife occasionally boots up a Windows VM to play some of her stupid games). For everyone else, a quad core Mini would be completely overkill.

    Do I wish Apple offered a quad core mini with Iris or Iris Pro graphics? Absolutely. But then again how many people complain that Apple hasn't offered a discrete GPU since the 2011 Mid-Mini? They can't please all. I'm just happy to see Dual Thunderbolt ports!
  24. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    You're making a better case for PCs than for the new Mini. ;)

    This Mini has taken a step away from modular, for any reasonable price anyhow.
  25. giggles thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 15, 2012
    By the way for all we know we're 138 days from a quad core Mini (broadwell) to go live on the store the night of the WWDC keynote.

    As for the ram, I guess it's ok for a 829$ iPad to have fixed ram (imagine if iOS9 or iOS10 allows side to side or PiP multitasking) and it's not ok for a 499$ mini. Just max it out to your needs from the get go? Big deal.

    As for the loss of dual 6Gbps internal bays (loss of one of them actually), just throw money at the issue and use an external thunderbolt bay, here:

    This is only TB1 (10Gbps) but it's relatively cheap.


    I would gladly pay 500$ for a Yosemite license for a PC build by me, tailored to my needs and tastes in terms of parts and cooling solutions.

    Unfortunately that's not possible and TB2 is the next best thing.

    What price is reasonable is an opinion.

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