Mac Mini...Is it worth it to go for the i5 2.8 /1TB Fusion drive/8GB?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by testudoaubreii, Aug 19, 2015.

  1. testudoaubreii macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2014
    #1
    I am looking at a Mac Mini for home use, light Garageband use and some digital media school use. The model I have been looking at is the i5 2.6/1TB/8GB model. I would like to know how much of a performance difference the next model up (i5 2.8/1TB Fusion Drive/8GB) would be and is it worth the $200 price increase.

    Thank you in advance for all of your help!
     
  2. CoastalOR macrumors 68000

    CoastalOR

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #2
    According to the online Apple Store, the i5 2.6/1TB/8GB model is $699. The next model up (i5 2.8/1TB Fusion Drive/8GB) is $999. A difference of $300 not $200. If you do a build to order (BTO) a i5 2.6/1TB Fusion Drive/8GB (replace the 1TB with a 1TB Fusion Drive) then the difference is $200. The BTO is the option I would recommend. I would not recommend anything less than a Fusion Drive or an SSD. The spinners can be slower than I care for with a current OS. BTW, the BTO option is the one I went for and I'm glad I did.
     
  3. swift_bk macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2015
    #3

    Agreed. I did the BTO option with the 2.6/1TB fusion/16GB. That was in January 2015, and haven't look back since.
     
  4. testudoaubreii thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2014
    #4
    Thank you both for your responses. I should have said that the two models I am looking at are on Craigslist. I have talked with both owners and they are still under warranty with the option to bump up to AppleCare, so I think they are legit. Anyhow, I can get the i5 2.6/1TB/8GB for $450, or the i5 2.8/1TB Fusion/8GB for $560. Really it is a $110 difference. I should have been more specific.

    What would you guys say to that? Those prices definitely make my wallet feel better. I know that I would spend a pretty penny on a customizable mini.
     
  5. CoastalOR macrumors 68000

    CoastalOR

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    Jan 19, 2015
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #5
    My recommendation has not changed.

    I would not go any lower than a Fusion drive. If you are planning on getting the 1 TB HDD and replacing it with a SSD then your warranty would be voided plus the additional cost of the SSD and the risk of opening the mini causing damage. I would not want to void my warranty after buying a used mini from Craigslist. Your choice, your money.
     
  6. tibas92013, Aug 19, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2015

    tibas92013 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2013
    Location:
    Costa Rica
    #6
    Last June I bought my second Refurbished MM from the Apple Store which is a MM(Late 2014), 2.8GHZ,8GB RAM, 256 SSD for around $850.00 plus another $100.00 for Applecare and around $60 sales tax. It is one great machine AND as you are probably aware Apple's policy on their Refurbish Machines is like buying a brand new machine in which a "new one" would have cost over $1000 with the above "specs" not including the cost of the AppleCare and State Sales Tax.

    My other Refurbished i5 MM(Late 2012), 2.5GHZ,4GB RAM, 500GB HDD which I bought in August, 2013 and in which I upgraded the RAM to 16GB last January. This is a very good machine, however, my MM(Late 2014) runs circles around this machine due to the much slower HDD. Adding the extra Ram did not seem to increase the speed very much. I now use this MM as a Media Server. I plan to add a internal SSD when my AppleCare expires on this machine next year.
    Of note, on this MM I am still on OS X "Mountain Lion" and I have no plans to upgrade the System Software until I add a SSD to this machine.

    I would recommend a MM with a SSD as I have no experience with a Fusion Drive.
     
  7. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #7
    For a brand new mini direct from Apple, a Fusion Drive (FD) is worth the $200 premium. Since that Craigslist FD equipped mini is only $110 extra, your decision should be easy.

    Choose speed! :cool:
     
  8. testudoaubreii thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 14, 2014
    #8
    I how long do you think the dual core i5 in 8 gigabytes of RAM will stay relevant?
     
  9. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

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    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #9
    Oh, oh! Now you are getting into the speculative realm of "future proofing".

    Since this is a MacRumors forum, I can confidently assert that a dual core i5 with 8 gigabytes of RAM will almost certainly stay relevant for 5 to 7 years. ;)
     
  10. AFEPPL macrumors 68030

    AFEPPL

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    Sep 30, 2014
    Location:
    England
  11. testudoaubreii thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 14, 2014
    #11
    :)...I had to ask.

    I think I am going to pick up this i5 2.8/1TB Fusion/8 GB right now. It is under warranty until November and I still have the option for AppleCare until then.
     
  12. testudoaubreii thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2014
    #12
    I just picked up the Mac Mini. $560 and It is in perfect condition and much to my surprise the AppleCare warranty is good until October 2017. I think I made out pretty good. Thank you for all the help.
     
  13. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #13
    Now with all that horsepower under the hood, will you care if someone calls your Mac mini obsolete four years from now?

    The design of my 2012 i7 with HD4000 graphics and a Fusion Drive will be three years old in a few months. I do not anticipate a sudden loss of capabilities at that time. Shucks, I am struggling with the urge to upgrade my RAM from 8 to 16 Gb. RAM prices have dropped but I cannot justify the upgrade with a predicted performance boost!
     
  14. AFEPPL macrumors 68030

    AFEPPL

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    Location:
    England
    #14
    That's really strange given the number of people who are complaining the rMP is underpowered - but yet its more powerful than a 3YO mini.... Hmmmm, maybe the duality of macrumors members has reared its head again...?

    #confused... #Greatwhenitsupportsyourpointofview #rubbishifitdoesntsupportyourpointofview
     
  15. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #15
    Is that the rMBP (Retina MacBook Pro) you are referring to? I would not pay those complainers any mind. People grumble about all sorts of things.

    Whether the machine is a laptop or this compact desktop the question is the same. Does the computer perform well for you? If it does then you should use it. (and perhaps enjoy it!) ;)
     

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