Mac mini should I?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by reno55, Mar 23, 2015.

  1. reno55 macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2006
    I am strongly considering picking up a Mac mini. I have a windows PC that I use for gaming ,Plex etc so this mini would be used for basic stuff like working on my eBay and ecommerce business and basic day to day apps and what not. Nothing like video editing etc.

    I am wondering if the base Mac mini would be ok? I am hung up on the 1.* GHz processor and can't understand how that with 4gb memory can run Yosemite OK?

    I also considered the option of the macbook and then just using a dock for it?

    Any input would be greatly appreciated.
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    The base Mac mini would easily handle the workload you described. Depending on your typical use, it's more likely that you may benefit from 8GB of RAM than you would from a faster processor, as most users rarely push their CPU anywhere near its limits. The Mac mini is a good choice for running Plex Media Server, as well.
  3. reno55 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2006
  4. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    That is correct.
  5. reno55 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2006
    How bad would sticking with the 4gb ram be? Is Yosemite that much of a hog?
  6. Blackstick macrumors 6502


    Aug 11, 2014
    Sunny South Florida
    I'd strongly recommend 8GB if you can fit it into the budget. All versions of OS X tend to be RAM hogs, 10.11 even more so I'd expect.
  7. richmlow macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2002
    Hi reno55,

    The Mac Mini 1.4 GHz should be more than adequate for your described tasks. However, I would recommend that you get 8GB RAM for the machine.


  8. David58117 macrumors 65816

    Jan 24, 2013
    4 gigs will be fine. My mini has 4 gigs only and I don't have any problems.

    8 is the safer choice though, just because you have the chance now to double the memory, while you won't in the future.

    It's more a piece of mind thing. But 4 will be fine.
  9. burne macrumors 6502


    Jul 4, 2007
    Haarlem, the Netherlands
    If anything, OS-X, FreeBSD and other Unices, tend to use almost all their memory, instead of having you pay for expensive memory that never gets used. Only a small part of the available memory is kept empty, for quick allocation if an application asks for it.

    This is my 16Gbyte 2012 MacMini, with a browser and a TV window open, and nothing else:

    MemRegions: 189862 total, 6541M resident, 148M private, 776M shared. PhysMem: 15G used (3604M wired), 731M unused.

    Only 731 megabyte of free memory. On a machine that does almost nothing:

    CPU usage: 4.39% user, 2.20% sys, 93.40% idle

    Then again: should an app ask for half a gigabyte of memory: it's available and almost everything else we do (like keeping a instant replay buffer of about 2 hours) is done from RAM. No disk access. All disks are spun down, at this time.

    Yes, 16Gbyte RAM was not very cheap. But it's earning its keep.

    Then again: Yosemite will scale down to a gigabyte without a complaint, and down to 512Mbyte if you don't mind single tasking.
  10. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    You have 14 days

    You have 14 days to return it so just get the base model load it up and see how it goes (it'll be fine yosemite runs fine on 2gb). If it's not what you need return it and get something else...
  11. antipex macrumors member


    Aug 31, 2006
    Portland, Oregon
    I have a 2010 Mac Mini as a HTPC with 4GB of RAM and it's definitely not enough. After opening Safari, Spotify, and iTunes it slows to a crawl and takes forever to do anything. It's been slow since Mavericks but Yosemite really killed it. More RAM is on order...
  12. xylitol macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2013
    ...which doesn't help anything if you have a slow HDD as a system drive instead of an SSD.
  13. TelegraphRoad macrumors newbie


    Jul 9, 2010
    4G works

    I have a 2013 Macbook air - 256G SSD and 4G RAM. 10.10 runs perfect. At the moment I have iTunes open, calendar, email, turbotax, evernote and safari. Works fine. so .. just opened pages and numbers ... no issues. It has a 1.3 processor, which I believe is the slowest clock speed ever on a macbook air but because it is under 2 years old and has an SSD, it whips along.
  14. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Yeah I have three Mac minis for these kind of purposes. They are small, quiet, and don't take up much space. I can easily stick them to the back of the TV/monitor with just double sided tape (well more like 3M VHB double-sided tape). Has been working great.

    Though I have only the older ones which were upgradeable, so I cannot comment on the new models. Mine have 8GB of RAM with a smaller SSD (256GB) and bigger HDD (1TB); the combination seems to work well.
  15. Abbara macrumors member

    Feb 11, 2014
    If you're using the mac mini to do things like ebay, google, youtube, skype, facebook etc... you really don't need 8gb of memory. 4 is more than fine.

    Beyond that the mac mini is great. SSD is not strictly necessary but it will make a difference for things like bootup, wake from sleep, opening certain apps and moving files. Again not necessary, but it's definitely a nice bonus. (as opposed to 4gb -> 8gb memory, which I don't think will make any difference for your usage). So I'd personally get the SSD.

    The issue there is that somehow the cheapest Mac Mini has no SSD option in my country, not sure 'bout the US. The 2.6 ghz version, does. But then with an SSD it's around $1k here. At that price, I'd much prefer a base model MBA personally which works great docked (the new 2015 model can even output 4k video at 60h!) and leaves you the option to take it to bed, to another room, to work, holidays etc.

    Also I'd get the feeling that a MBA might have a little better resale value than a mac mini, especially the base model.

    So in short, 4gb is generally enough for the usage you do. But if you do need more than 4gb and don't have it, it'll use the harddrive. If that's a HD instead of an SSD, it'll be slow. If it's an SSD, you can manage occasionally swapping (doing memory tasks on storage). If you want to stick with an HD, it'll be really slow to swap, so it may be a good idea to shell out $100 for the 8gb memory. But if your budget is slim, I definitely wouldn't say it's a deal breaker to go with just 4gb. And if you decide to go with an SSD in general, I think you can get away with 4gb even if you occassionally need 5gb or whatever.
  16. antipex macrumors member


    Aug 31, 2006
    Portland, Oregon
    For what it's worth, I threw 8GB of RAM in this machine last week and while the HDD definitely keeps it from feeling snappy, performance is much improved. I can switch between running apps without waiting 30 seconds with the beachball now. I'm considering getting an SSD but it's fine for now.


    That's a fantastic idea! I might do that when my Mini finally needs replacing down the road.
  17. JuryDuty macrumors 6502


    Sep 22, 2014
    An SSD will make a huge difference, especially on boot up, but I think for what you do the Mac Mini is an excellent second machine.

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