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patseguin

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 28, 2003
1,696
507
I have an early 2011 MBP 2 GHz i7 that I've updated with 16GB RAM and 1 1TB Samsung 850 EVO SSD. I currently use it along with my PC connected to my 27" 2560 1440 display for switching between Windows and OS X. It sits on a cooler plate which doesn't do much since the MBP's fans go up to full speed just playing Hearthstone regardless.

Anyways, the MBP I have is 5 years old now. I have been itching to upgrade and am wondering about my best options. A notebook doesn't make much sense to me anymore since 100% of the time this one just sits on the cooler as a desktop PC. I also already have the new Magic Keyboard and Trackpad.

I looked at the Mac Mini which seems like the best fit for my needs. However, am I right that it hasn't been updated since 2014? Also, the stupid idea to solder the RAM means I can't save money and get the 8GB now and upgrade myself. The iMac is tempting with it's 5K display but at $1799 it's pretty expensive plus I already have a display and don't really want 2 on my desk.

Is my only real option to wait and see if Apple updates the Mini this year? And even if they do, would it be a worthy upgrade from my venerable 2GHz i7 MBP tricked out with SSD and more RAM?
 

theluggage

macrumors 604
Jul 29, 2011
7,628
7,760
The iMac is tempting with it's 5K display but at $1799 it's pretty expensive plus I already have a display

...plus, there's no way of hooking your PC up to the iMac screen and switching between Mac and PC - of course, you could dump the PC and switch to Parallels/VMWare or Bootcamp (unless you're running the latest PC FPS games).

The real question is, what is your 2011 MBP stopping you from doing (apart from fan noise which you'll get on any Mac once you start 3D gaming)? That SSD will have given it a new lease of life and while a new mini would probably be faster (you can look up benchmarks - you don't give the full spec of your MBP) Its unlikely to be a night and day difference.

I'm still using a 2011 MBP 17" and there's really no pressing reason to upgrade other than the craving for that "new Mac smell". The only real hitch is the lack of USB3, and that can be fixed with a Thunderbolt dock.

A somewhat beefier Mini would suit me too (although I might succumb to an iMac5k - Parallels fulfils my PC needs and I can stand to keep a second display on my desk) - apparently, Intel is planning a new NUC:

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/intel-skull-canyon-gaming-pc-confirmed,news-52124.html

...so maybe, just maybe, when the (currently unreleased) CPU from that hits the market, Apple could restore some dignity to the Mini. If not, it may be Hackintosh time...
 
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patseguin

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 28, 2003
1,696
507
...plus, there's no way of hooking your PC up to the iMac screen and switching between Mac and PC - of course, you could dump the PC and switch to Parallels/VMWare or Bootcamp (unless you're running the latest PC FPS games).

The real question is, what is your 2011 MBP stopping you from doing (apart from fan noise which you'll get on any Mac once you start 3D gaming)? That SSD will have given it a new lease of life and while a new mini would probably be faster (you can look up benchmarks - you don't give the full spec of your MBP) Its unlikely to be a night and day difference.

I'm still using a 2011 MBP 17" and there's really no pressing reason to upgrade other than the craving for that "new Mac smell". The only real hitch is the lack of USB3, and that can be fixed with a Thunderbolt dock.

A somewhat beefier Mini would suit me too (although I might succumb to an iMac5k - Parallels fulfils my PC needs and I can stand to keep a second display on my desk) - apparently, Intel is planning a new NUC:

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/intel-skull-canyon-gaming-pc-confirmed,news-52124.html

...so maybe, just maybe, when the (currently unreleased) CPU from that hits the market, Apple could restore some dignity to the Mini. If not, it may be Hackintosh time...

Yeah, my setup right now is good because I do a lot of 3D design work and 3D gaming on my PC which is a home built i7 extreme with 24GB RAM, SSD's, RAID, SLI video, etc. and I can just switch the input on my monitor and be in OS X.

I can't really put my finger on why I feel the need to upgrade. Probably a combo of your "fresh Mac smell" analogy and just knowing that it is 5 years old and I could probably benefit from the latest tech.

I'd much rather be doing my design work on OS X because Windows 10 is a mess and not much fun to work in. The 2 GHz i7 is nice but I notice the difference in rendering between my 3.4GHz i7 extreme and the 2GHz regular i7. Plus my desktop seems a little cluttered with a laptop sitting on a cooling plate with wires coming out the side and a hub on top. If Apple had a current gen i7 mini I'd probably go out and grab one and sell the MBP.
 

Santabean2000

macrumors 68000
Nov 20, 2007
1,884
2,044
Yeah, my setup right now is good because I do a lot of 3D design work and 3D gaming on my PC which is a home built i7 extreme with 24GB RAM, SSD's, RAID, SLI video, etc. and I can just switch the input on my monitor and be in OS X.

I can't really put my finger on why I feel the need to upgrade. Probably a combo of your "fresh Mac smell" analogy and just knowing that it is 5 years old and I could probably benefit from the latest tech.

I'd much rather be doing my design work on OS X because Windows 10 is a mess and not much fun to work in. The 2 GHz i7 is nice but I notice the difference in rendering between my 3.4GHz i7 extreme and the 2GHz regular i7. Plus my desktop seems a little cluttered with a laptop sitting on a cooling plate with wires coming out the side and a hub on top. If Apple had a current gen i7 mini I'd probably go out and grab one and sell the MBP.
Unfortunately, I can't see the mini getting an update until WWDC at the earliest. More likely a silent bump later.

Btw I hope I'm wrong.
 
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