Mac Mini 2011 or 2012 Model?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by stazzex, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. stazzex macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2013
    #1
    Looking to make the jump to a Mac, currently on the UK site I'm toying between the base Mac Mini:

    £499.00

    2.5GHz Mac mini
    2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
    4GB memory
    500GB hard drive
    Intel HD Graphics 4000
    OS X Mountain Lion

    and on the refurb page:

    £469.00

    2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
    4GB memory

    500GB hard drive

    AMD Radeon HD 6630M
    Eligible for OS X Mountain Lion Up-to-Date Program

    Which is the better buy? I have been reading lots of different sites, but I haven't found a comparison with these specific models. I have established that the AMD is a better graphics card, however is there any other pitfalls purchasing the older model? Which would offer better performance?
     
  2. stazzex thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2013
    #2
    Specifically the models are MC816B/A vs MD387B/A
     
  3. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #3
    I would buy the refurbished. it is a better buy but for reasons like it comes with lion and a free upgrade to mountain lion. this means buy it clone the osx to an external hdd giving you lion on a booter. then upgrade to mountain lion giving you mountain lion on the internal. that is 2 os for less then one. a little know fact about the 2011 macmini is this ram runs at 1600 mhz on it.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kingston-Hy...XAAK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1362930679&sr=8-1

    a second fact is the 6630 will allow the ram to not be drained off to run graphics. this makes the machine not need about .75gb of ram. also most people agree the 6630 is better then the 4000 . so if you buy it and add the ram I picked for you it is a better machine in performance and has 2 os not one.


    buying the exact ram above will make up for most cpu/ram speed differences between the two. a push.

    the gpu the 2011 wins.

    2 os vs 1 os the 2011 wins.


    most users do not need the 16gb ram option some do.

    there is a chance you can make do with the oem 4gb ram and in the 2011 it is like 4.75 since .75 does not go to the gpu
     
  4. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a

    Paulywauly

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Location:
    Durham, UK
    #4
    There isn't a lot of difference between them internally. The 2012 model is faster but not massively so. You just really need to weigh up how important the AMD graphics chip would be for you, although for most people the HD4000 is more than sufficient. As the 2012 model has an Ivy Bridge cpu+integrated graphics it does run cooler, and also has USB3 ports.

    If you plan on keeping the Mini for a long time it's also worth considering software support. The older Mini will most likely get dropped from OS updates before the 2012 model will, this shouldn't be an issue for a few years though.

    I don't know what your usage habits are, but unless you do a lot that will push your Minis GPU i'd go with the 2012 model.
     
  5. elolaugesen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    #5
    jumping to a mac? The machine chosen depends on what you do. Some converters are very disappointed because they come in at too low a level for the work they do.
    Why? Cost of a Mac is significantly higher than a PC. The buyer therefore expect a lot more performance?? However this all depends on what you do. A 5400rpm disc drive is a 5400rpm disc drive etc etc...

    therefore look at your work load. then look for some good advice before you buy...
     
  6. stazzex thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2013
    #6
    Yeah I understand this, I have considered building a dedicated hackintosh and have successfully had a snow leopard install which I played with for a bit which I liked, but the updating process was not worth my time. I don't play games, mainly use my PC for internet, I do occasional html coding. So nothing too intensive. My current setup is an i5, amd card and 4gb of ram and seems to be sufficient for my needs, however the base unit is huge, looking for an alternative.
     
  7. Sleepy01 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2013
    #7
    I have a 2011 with 6630 gpu that has been a work horse since it came out.
     
  8. mwhities macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Location:
    Mississippi
    #8
    I'd take the 2012 model. I'm not a gamer and I'm currently moving 500Gs of data and it's taking 5 hours. USB3 would be a lot faster.
     
  9. Sleepy01 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2013
  10. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #10
    t-bolt is faster more reliable and in the states it has come down in price.
    usb3 has known issues with interfering with blue-tooth and wireless
     
  11. Sleepy01 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2013
  12. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #12
    truth of the matter the choices are close.

    I have had better luck with t-bolt gear then usb3.

    The op could most likely get either one and be happy.
     
  13. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #13
    Do you want USB3, or can you live the next few years with USB2 speeds only?
     
  14. raniel macrumors regular

    raniel

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2011
    Location:
    Ph
    #14
    if you don't need the USB3 and you want to play games, I say go with the older model
     
  15. mwhities macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Location:
    Mississippi
    #15
    In the last month, I've moved too much data around and it's taking forever. Even if I only do it once or twice a month, I wanna be sure it's FAST.

    OP, good luck on what you decide but, I'd recommend base model or mid with USB3.
     
  16. blanka, Mar 14, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013

    blanka macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #16
    Don't botter with the USB3. Both Mini's have gigabit ethernet that does full-duplex and jumbo frames. If you need to move a lot of data these days, it is more probably on a home network than on a single-disk external drive. I only use USB for low speed peripheral. All data is moved over ethernet.
    The Gigabit is twice as fast as USB2, and with read/write at the same time, the benefit can be 4-fould.

    And the Radeon HD6630M is nicer than the HD4000. The HD4000 in the i5 is slower than the HD4000 in the quad i7, which is slower than the HD6630M

    Go with the 2011. It will have better resale value too, as it is the last Mini to support the god-almighty-snow-leopard. So it runs roughly all Mac apps from 2000 and later. As long as there is no new seperate GPU Mini on the horizon, people will keep offering much for the HD6630.

    Even if you really need USB 3, buy the other one too: £469.00 is a steal for the Radeon Mini, and you can easily sell it for 100 bucks more.
     
  17. Vidivici macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2012
    Location:
    Europe
    #17
    An other substitute for usb 3 is FW800.
    It's still a relatively fast connection.
    About twice as fast as USB 2
     
  18. QWERTYMac7 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    #18
    How many monitors are you planning upon running?

    If you need two HDMI monitors perhaps the 2011 will suit you better as there are some issues with the HDMI out on the 2012 MM.
     
  19. BookEmDanno macrumors member

    BookEmDanno

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2010
    Location:
    State of ~Aloha!~
    #19
    So there are still issues with the late 2012 model's HDMI? I thought apple came out with a firmware fix. I'm still waiting for my MM so I couldn't personally test.

    ~ Aloha! ~
     
  20. philipma1957, Mar 14, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013

    philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #20
    the snow and the blackout are fixed but plenty of crushed whites. there is a test site and my i7 can only see 1 of 12 test patterns correctly when a calibrate i see 10 of the 12 patterns but the whites get too warm so tv's and videos have too much orange . My diy pc shows all 12 patterns. so it is a bit annoying. I am debating selling my 2012 i7 and buying a 2011 with the gpu.. they just listed the gpu model for 549 as a refurb I purchased it. most likely will be selling my i7 2012.
     
  21. SoCalReviews, Mar 14, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013

    SoCalReviews macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2012
    #21
    I have the mid-2011 Mini for personal use already and it works fine using the HDMI to a Samsung 23" LED HDTV/Monitor. I got tired of waiting for more reports on the 10.8.3 update so just pulled the trigger on a new 2.3Ghz i7 2012 Mini. I will be able to finally test it for myself. It's going to be used for business and it will be connected to a Samsung monitor via VGA, DVI or HDMI. I will be upgrading the memory to 16GB and although I like Crucial I will probably try the Kingston HyperX this time for the reported performance benefits.

    These reports of crushed whites are strange because many 2012 model owners are reporting great results through all connections including HDMI. I wouldn't be surprised if many of these HDMI issues are specifically related to particular monitors and cables. It would be very disappointing if the crushed whites was a built in problem related to hardware. I have noted before that I wonder if some of these HDMI issues like the crushed whites are related to a change in the HDMI spec. for system hardware designed after 2010/2011 in an effort to better protect licensed HD resolution content. I will test the new late-2012 Mini thoroughly a week or so after I get it and post if I have similar issues.

    Update for all readers : The good news is that Apple released the 10.8.3 final (non-beta) update today and the first reports are (with philipma1957's report included) that the crushed whites issue has finally been resolved with this latest ML update.
     
  22. BookEmDanno macrumors member

    BookEmDanno

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2010
    Location:
    State of ~Aloha!~
    #22
    So the ML 10.8.3 fixed the "crushed whites" issue. I really cannot wait for my MM that supposed to be shipped next week.

    Mahalo
     

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