Mac Mini Advice

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by carefree, Mar 19, 2016.

  1. carefree macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2015
    Hi All

    Im looking at picking up a Mac Mini, leaning towards the middle 2014 version but not to sure weather to change the Hard drive to a 256gb SSD or a 1TB Fusion Drive. The upgrade is the same price, would appreciate any thoughts on the best way to go. I am going to wait and see if anything comes out of the Apple event on Monday but even still i reckon i will still pickup one of these.

    Im planing on just using it as a Server mainly, i did consider the cheaper 1.4ghz version due to the price but by the time you upgrade the RAM and the drive to a Fusion drive as a standard SSD is not an option you already hitting £680. I have seen the refurb 2.6ghz 8GB Ram and 256GB SSD going for £619 which seems ok but always a little wary of a refurb.

    Thanks guys
  2. jpietrzak8 macrumors 65816


    Feb 16, 2010
    Dayton, Ohio
    I think the main factor to consider with the 2014 Mini is its (lack of) upgradeability; the internal drives are extremely hard to access, and as the RAM is soldered to the motherboard, upgrading that is impossible. So, what you buy now is pretty much what you'll be stuck with for the entire lifespan of the computer.

    With that in mind, consider what you are going to be doing with this machine. You say you're planning to use it as a server; most types of server tasks place little demand on the CPU or RAM, but tasks like file, e-mail, or web server tend to require a lot of disk space. I don't know if you plan on starting by squeezing all your data into the Mini's internal drive, but I would guess that during the lifetime of the server you'll be needing to use external disks to hold everything...

    My preference would be to only choose the Fusion drive for Minis that will never be connected to an external drive. Once you start managing files on multiple drives yourself, the "simplicity advantage" of the Fusion drive is lost. It is better, I think, to instead maximize the amount of internal SSD available to get as much of a speed advantage as you can, and use inexpensive external disks for bulk storage of data.

    On refurbs, I have to say that I've had no trouble at all with the Apple refurbs I've gotten in the past. That said, you can get Applecare support for Apple refurbs.
  3. carefree thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2015
    Thanks very much for the in depth response mate much appreciated.

    You make some very good points, with regards to storage I have a nas that holds most of my files so the mini would be used maybe more as a media server rather than a file server. This is the main reason I'm thinking towards an ssd rather than a fusion purely because space is not that important on the actual mini itself.

    Thanks again for you advice
  4. jpietrzak8 macrumors 65816


    Feb 16, 2010
    Dayton, Ohio
    Ah! Do you mean you'll be connecting the Mini directly to your TV / audio system (i.e., making it a "Home Theater PC")? Yeah, in that case, I wouldn't be too worried about the internal drive system; you can stream media just fine without any SSDs at all.

    I think the one item to note would be that you do want to stick with the mid- or high-end Mini here for the slightly better CPU & GPU; I would imagine that all the 2014 Minis can process most modern video codecs in hardware, but as codecs continue to change, a faster processor will be handy for managing future video formats...
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    OP wrote:
    "Im planing on just using it as a Server mainly"

    What are your projected "storage capacity needs"?

    Will 256gb do it for you?

    If you plan on putting more on there, I'd suggest the 1tb fusion drive option.
    Plenty of storage space and very good speeds. The fusion drive will probably be much faster than actually required to keep the server humming along...
  6. Osty macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2008
    Melbourne, AU
    IMHO, if you are primarily using it as a server you'll find better bang for you buck elsewhere. Unless you are serving OS X only services (like iTunes, Airplay video) then an Intel Nuc running Linux or even FreeNas is a much better deal.

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