Mac mini i5 or i7 ?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Melchett, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. Melchett, Oct 20, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2013

    Melchett macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2013
    I am planning to buy a mac mini and I am not able to decide between the i5(dual core) and i7 version(quad core). My needs are as follows:

    1) A lot of time on xcode to make mac and iphone apps
    2) Run windows in a dual boot.
    3) Some casual stuff like reddit and full hd videos.hd

    The issue is budget. I can buy an i7 mini but my savings will take a hit. If there is no noticable difference between these two minis, I don't mind settling for the i5.

    Thanks in adavnce for the help.

    EDIT: Should I wait for haswell? I am in India, so it might take some time to come to India.
  2. opinio macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2013
    I would get the i7. There is a big difference is you have CPU intensive tasks.

    Not sure what you mean by dual boot, but if you mean running two OSs at the same time such as in a VM setup then the i7 gives you a lot more processor to spread around.

    The i5 is still fine, but with CPU intensive tasks that means waiting a touch longer. Some have said that waiting is only seconds, but it can be hours if you are running batches of CPU intesntive work.

    Either is ok for full HD video (say in a HTPC setup). But neither is good for high end gaming.

    On the Haswell Q: There are many posts on this that are current so I will not start a new debate here. I suggest you scroll down and check them out. The only think I will say is that if you get the current ivy 2012 mini you should be more than happy for years to come.

    Also get a minimum of 8GB RAM (potentially 16). Buy the RAM your self, not via Apple as it is too expensive, but very easy to install.
  3. mdgm macrumors 6502a

    Nov 2, 2010
    Wait at least for a few days to see if Haswell is announced then. The 2012 models might be obtained cheaper after that.

    If you get the quad-core that would be better for working with Windows in a Virtual Machine (should you prefer that to dual boot) or with HD video.
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    [[ the issue is budget. I can buy an i7 mini but my savings will take a hit. If there is no noticable difference between these two minis, I don't mind settling for the i5. ]]

    The CPU is the only thing you can't upgrade later on.

    If there is -any- way you can afford the i7, get it.

    You might also consider buying an Apple factory-refurbished model, which should save you around $100.

    HOWEVER -- if you're getting along ok at the moment, you would do well to WAIT until the new Mini is introduced (should be here by January/February).

    Then -- either pick up the new one, or find a just-discontinued "late 2012" at closeout pricing...
  5. Melchett thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2013
    I just wanted to say that the retailer from which I am planning to buy the mac mini said that mac mini is not going to get an upgrade. Ipads, mavericks and Macpro are on the list)
  6. mdgm macrumors 6502a

    Nov 2, 2010
    The retailer most likely would not know much more than we do and would only be making a guess based on supply available currently and from reading rumour sites such as this one.
  7. Serban Suspended

    Jan 8, 2013
    and they want to sell the last devices. Wait, probably the i7 will get iris pro vs HD5000 for i5
  8. hudson1 macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2012
    There isn't a Haswell i5 processor above 1.4 GHz with HD 5000. More likely we'll see an i5 with HD 5100.
  9. theonekcrow macrumors 6502a


    Jul 12, 2009
    There is an i7 model refurbished in the apple online store (US) right now. You actually save $120 off the normal retail price. You also still get the same 1 yr warrantee as if your buying a new one. That is a great deal!
  10. ioannis2005gr macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2013
    I have the same opinion.

    Besides, talking about cost vs performance, an i5 Haswell + IRIS 5100 is much better than a dual core i7 Haswell + HD5000. Also, a quad core i7 Haswell + HD4600 doesn't make a big difference...

    If IRIS PRO 5200 + quad core i7 Haswell is selected, it will be the best "value for money" option.

    What do you think?
  11. WSFrazier macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2006
    Waiting for a Mac Mini update myself, really want one with a dedicated graphics card.

    Would like to play a little bit of WoW on one if I got it.
  12. Ugg macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2003
    Next Friday, I'll have the money and since I'm not a graphics intensive user, if there isn't a new Mini by then , I'll buy the existing one. Yeah, I'd like the newest and greatest but I don't see the difference as being big enough to wait for 3 or 4 months.
  13. calvol macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2011
    I would buy the 2011 i5 refurb with Radeon 6630 dGPU for $549 and call it a day. It will depreciate less than a new 2012 model with HD4000 if the 2013/14 has HD5000 or Iris.
  14. slu macrumors 68000


    Sep 15, 2004
    Agreed. I couldn't wait any longer and pulled the trigger on this one today.


    I am not a gamer, but isn't this game quite old (in game terms)? I would expect any modern Mac could run WoW. Again, I may just be ignorant because everything I know about WoW I learned from South Park.
  15. ioannis2005gr macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2013

    If you read the tech specs, you will realize that new Mac Mini is going to be similar to new 13'' rMBP.

    That means, i5+HD5000 and i7 (dual-core)+Iris 5100.
    It seems Iris Pro 5200 won't be an option since it requires quad-core i7 processors at MAX TDP 47W (mini case supports MAX TDP 45W).

    There is an option to see quad-core i7 + HD4600, if you are happy....that's fine! :cool::cool:

    PS: I think you'd better buy an older Mac Mini, provided you accept HD4000.
  16. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    In its current form yes with 2 hard drive bays. If they reshuffle the internals because of the extra space from moving to PCI SSD, they could let it handle 100W TDP easily.
  17. ioannis2005gr macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2013
    Thank you, blanka!

    I wish APPLE will read your comment and follow your logic...

    Indeed, technically you are right! :p
  18. mvmanolov macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2013
    i would still rather be able to put another storage drive in the damn thing! i don't need much storage and rather not have the clutter of external storage solutions...

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