Mac Mini advice - mid 2011 (2.5 Ghz) vs Late 2014 (1.4 Ghz)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jeevhi, May 25, 2017.

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Which one will your pick?

  1. mid 2011, i5 2.5Ghz 8GB RAM

    7 vote(s)
    46.7%
  2. late 2014, i5 1.4 Ghz 4GB RAM

    8 vote(s)
    53.3%
  1. jeevhi macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 25, 2017
    #1
    I am in market for mac mini. The primary use is for ios development running latest xcode.

    I am getting mid 2011 (2.5 Ghz) and Late 2014 (1.4 Ghz) for almost the same price. Both are with 4GB/500GB. In either case, I plan to replace HDD to SSD.

    The downside of 2011 version is quite an old CPU, but on positive side, I can upgrade RAM to 8GB which I can not do it in 2014 version (please correct me).

    Also, 1.4Ghz appears to be on slower side.

    Right now I only have these two choice in local used market - my budget doesn't permit new one so any other mini is out of question.

    Kindly advice which one to go for?

    Thanks
     
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #2
    2014.

    1) 2011 will soon be EOL. 2014 MM should still be supported until at least 2021/2022.
    2) 2012 or later models have USB 3.
    3) The 2.5GHz i5-2520M in the 2011 has practically identical performance to the 1.4GHz i5-4260U in the 2014. CPU architecture > clockspeed.
     
  3. jeevhi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 25, 2017
    #3
    EOL is a very good point, skipped my mind. I noticed USB 3 but it was not a big concern but thanks for pointing that out too.

    yes, I show the benchmark but just wondering how it translates in real life, anyone here using 1.4Ghz for xcode development can share their experiences.

    thanks
     
  4. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #4
    If the CPU usage is high, it will turbo accordingly. Performance is not an issue and clockspeed is incidental. If anything, you will be getting better performance from the newer chip due to better architecture.
     
  5. DesertSurfer macrumors 6502a

    DesertSurfer

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2014
    Location:
    Between the Sonoran Desert and the Pacific Ocean
    #5
    I found, in a 2011 MacBook Pro, and a 2012 Mac Mini, that 4gb was really not enough. Too much swapping and bogging down, I suggest at least 8gb of ram if you can do that. Otherwise, I agree that the 2014 is a better bet.
     
  6. sevoneone macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 16, 2010
    #6
    Also, not mentioned yet, the 2.5GHz i5 and i7 2011 Minis have a discrete AMD 6630M graphics chip with it's own dedicated VRAM which is a ticking time bomb. If it hasn't died yet, it probably not have much time left.
     
  7. krause734 macrumors 6502

    krause734

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    #7
    I would strongly encourage you to not get the bottom tier current Mac Mini, but the mid and higher end Mini are great especially if you can splurge for an SSD. However, it's 3 years old and hasn't had a price drop. I would also consider an Intel NUC for something more up to date.
     
  8. DesertSurfer macrumors 6502a

    DesertSurfer

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2014
    Location:
    Between the Sonoran Desert and the Pacific Ocean
    #8
    Or, wait for the new mac mini. It's almost certainly coming.:)
     
  9. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    #9
    If I had to decide between an old an a new Mac Mini I would decide between a 2012 (i5)/i7 and a 2014 (maybe more the mid-range model) OR wait till the next one comes out, as the others say. (2012 has USB3, Firewire800 and Thunderbolt-1, if that is interesting for iOS developement anyway. PLUS, you can upgrade the RAM, too).
    What about Ebay? Or Apple's own refurbished shop (though they ask rather high prices for old machines)?
    No new one? So the 2014 will be used, too?
    Have you been thinking of a used iMac, but I guess you already have a screen fiting long code lines, right?
     
  10. Mal67 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Location:
    West Oz
    #10
    My mid 2011 mini has 16gig of memory. It is DDR3 though but runs well for what it is used for. I use my mini daily though not for coding. I suggest looking for deal on a current model with 8gig.
     
  11. dogslobber macrumors 68020

    dogslobber

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2014
    Location:
    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    #11
    There might be a new Mini at the WWDC this year! Might as well wait another 10 days...
    --- Post Merged, May 27, 2017 ---
    Not long now. A day closer than this time yesterday!
     
  12. eRondeau macrumors 6502a

    eRondeau

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    Location:
    Canada's South Coast
    #12
    I've got the exact same 2011 Mac Mini (w/ 8GB RAM) and although I don't use it every day, it's a decent performer and is the second-fasted Mac in my collection. However I agree with those who are concerned about its impending EOL; it might run the next version of MacOS but I'd be surprised if it runs the one after that. The 4GB RAM sucks but a fast SSD will minimize its impact for you. And USB-3 would be a deciding factor for me.
     
  13. jeevhi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 25, 2017
    #13
    Thanks all of you for responding. I got mac mini 2011 as there was quite a discount and accessories with it and I am on budget at this moment. Appreciating all the inputs.
     
  14. marioman38 macrumors 6502a

    marioman38

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    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Elk Grove, CA
  15. tonyc46 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    #15
    Hope I'm not too late.

    I have a 2011 MM that just died. I've got a line on a 2014 MM with little use. Is the RAM and SSD from the 2011 transferable to the 2014?

    Thanks.
     
  16. dogslobber macrumors 68020

    dogslobber

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2014
    Location:
    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    #16
    2014 Mini memory is soldered to the motherboard.
     

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