Mac Mini (Late 2012) i5 or i7

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by njharris97, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. njharris97 macrumors member

    Hi Guys,

    This is the first time I have posted on this forum, so here goes.

    I am going to be upgrading my server, with a Mac Mini. I will be running OS X Mavericks Server, for multiple access file sharing, both local and via internet, and a web server hosting multiple sites.

    I would also like to use the Mac Mini for general use such as internet browsing and emails at the same time as running the server.

    I am hoping that the Basic Mac Mini i5 (2.5 GHZ) 4 GB RAM will be enough, or would I have to spend the extra $200 to upgrade to the i7, what do you think?
  2. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    The i5 is plenty, but get at least 8gb of RAM. More if you can.
  3. njharris97 thread starter macrumors member


    Ace, thanks mate, I expect the RAM upgrade will be much cheaper than the i7 anyway! :)
  4. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2009
    Durham, UK
    Seconded, put as much RAM in that sucker as you can and it will be more than enough for your needs. The i5 obviously runs cooler too, so less heat/energy usage which is obviously a good thing if its running 24/7.

    I have that model and whilst i don't host websites our usage sounds quite similar. Hope thats helpful
  5. bobtennis, Oct 29, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2013

    bobtennis macrumors member

    Jul 8, 2013

    The Mac Mini i5 and i7 use the same RAM, so no price difference. Purchase 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800). It comes with 4 GB RAM, you can upgrade up to 16 GB.

    I don't personally see much difference in brands in terms of performance, as long as the RAM modules are good and not defective, but search through the forums for other member's opinions on what they believe is the best RAM brand to get. There are MANY threads on this topic.

    Enjoy your new machine, and yes, the chime is the same!
  6. ToomeyND macrumors 6502

    Sep 14, 2011
    I have the i5 with personally upgraded 16 GB ram and a 256 Crucial M4 SSD. It flies. On the occasional handbrake, I remember that it isn't the fastest processor out there, but that is a VERY limited use on my machine. I saved $200 on a machine (and bringing the price into the bargain area of $599) while only giving up performance in about 2% of my uses. Very happy with the mini.
  7. ioannis2005gr macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2013
    good choice!
  8. Waughy macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2012
    i5 here, went to 8Gb and added an intel 330 series 120Gb SSD and made a fusion drive with the 500Gb spinner. The thing runs great, only issue I have is sometimes when streaming to my Apple TV (mini on wireless, ethernet from router to ATV) I get video lag for a few seconds here and there, still looking into that but I don't think it's the mini as the video keeps playing fine on it's monitor. It's either the mini or my router, I'm looking to get an airport extreme or time machine soon so that may help.
    I used handbrake recently and did notice it got a bit warmer than normal, but I wouldn't say it was hot. No regrets in not spending the extra for the i7 for the way it's used in my house.
  9. montom macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2005
    Definitely the i5. Lower power requirements and thermal loads might mean greater reliability (just speculating). Money you save can go toward the next Mac Mini or upgrades.

    The i7 would be a no brainer if you did a lot of Photoshop, Logic, or Final Cut work.
  10. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    How long do you plan to keep the new purchase up and running? I say this because if you plan to keep it as long as possible, get the i7. I say this because software changes and may end up doing more and the fact that you are doing multiple tasks that may be related and some unrelated. The notion of more RAM is better doesn't hurt either.

    I have seen people regret not getting the best they really can afford (usually 1-2 years down the line) as they engage new applications, new uses and increased multi-tasking.

    i7, 16 gig RAM, SSD is an ideal to strive fore given all the tasks you mention. In the future you may find that mail, webfaces and more can get tied up rather quickly along with access to storage by multiple users.

    In short, the less bottlenecks at any level the better you are down the line.
  11. EdwardC macrumors regular


    Jun 3, 2012
    I had the same dilemma and chose the i5 and upgraded to 16GB of RAM and am very happy with the descision 4GB is not enough to do much of anything with Maveriks, 8 would probably do fine but I'm bumping up on 8 and I'm not a power user but do leave a lot of apps open. CPU usage is very low with 94.8% idle as I type. I think another advantage may be less heat generated = longer life. Of course YMMV.

    Take care........Ed
  12. Diesel79 macrumors member

    Aug 3, 2013
    Just a quick question: Could the CPU be upgraded at a later point?
  13. mvmanolov macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2013
    nope :(

    Sadly you are stuck with what you buy initially… :(
  14. Diesel79 macrumors member

    Aug 3, 2013
    That's a shame. Thanks for the reply.
  15. Windows2Mac macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2013
    Mac mini for programming

    If I wanted to use this for development purposes, would the i5 be adequate?

    I plan to dual boot with windows, possibly using VMware/parallels to access the physical drive from time to time (I've read this is possible). I will be running visual studio 2010 and SQL server. Possibly doing some photoshop as well.

    Maybe also running mac apps also at the same time. If I upgraded it to SSD and 8/16gb ram would this be capable of easily supporting some, if not all of this going on? Just trying to get a sense of what the i5 is capable of. This would also be my first Mac.
  16. 2trout macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2013
    as my signature shows, I upgraded my mid '10 Mac Mini to the late '12 with all the bells and whistles!
    It positively flies. I ordered it with the 1TB HD, but then got the OWC SSD, installed it into the box and use that as my main HD and the 1TB as my backup, about half for TimeMachine and the other half for my photo's, it all works great!
    I also run Parallels for the odd time I need Windows 7, again, everything just runs flawless.
    I am extremely happy with my setup which will do me for quite some time to come. :)

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