MacBook Pro or Mac Mini

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Bikegypsy, Aug 31, 2015.

  1. Bikegypsy, Aug 31, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2015

    Bikegypsy macrumors newbie


    Aug 31, 2015

    I'm about to buy a new computer but I'm split between 2 choices. A used late 2013 15" Mac Book Pro in excellent condition or a new Mac Mini. Incidentally, both items are about $700.

    Here are the specs for each

    Mac Book Pro late 2013

    15 inch
    2.0 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7-4750HQ Crystal Well processor
    8 gig ram
    256 gigabytes HD
    Used but excellent condition

    Mac Mini late 2014 (current)

    2.6 GHz Intel "Core i5"
    8 gig ram
    1 T HD

    Intended use: Photoshop, Illustrator, Wordpress represent 90% of my work.

    I do realize that this question has been asked before, but I do not know enough about current processors. The thing that makes me question the Mac Mini is the i5 instead of the i7. Note that I currently have a 2008 iMac which I will be dedicating for my communication (google, FB, etc) only once the new computer comes in. I do not currently need portability but it could be handy in light of my lifestyle. I have an extra screen, mouse and keyboard.

    Can any mac expert give me their opinion on this one?
  2. interfreak macrumors regular


    Mar 14, 2012
    Queensland, Australia
    I actually own a late 2014 Mac Mini (2.8Ghz/1TB Fusion/8G RAM) and an early 2015 Retina Macbook Pro (13.3"/2.7Ghz/256GB/8GB RAM).

    The Mini is fantastic for what it is - a powerful, small form factor desktop that is quite portable compared to most desktops, that can be connected to nearly any display (mine is connected to a 27" 2560x1440 display). In normal use, there is very little difference between it and my rMBP that I can see.

    My rMBP is faster in heavier tasks, with it's more advanced and efficient Broadwell processor (compared to the Haswell processor in the Mini) and 20% better graphics (Intel Iris 6100 vs 5100 in the Mini). There is also much faster PCie speeds as standard in the rMBP (at least 2X as fast as the Mini's PCie's SSDs).

    The Mini you are looking at only has a 5400rpm HDD, the rMBP would absolutely annihilate it for speed. Even the Mini's fusion drive would decimate the standard HDD for speed. I would strongly suggest that if you do choose the mini, you do not get it with an old school HDD. YOU WILL REGRET IT.

    I enjoy using both. The Mini is my main go-to for word processing, photo browsing (it's large drive easily store my entire library) and light video editing, the rMBP for more general browsing, portability (holidays, work etc) and is really my 'tablet replacement'. I use it all around my house, and it's great to just be able to pick up such a powerful device and trust that it will do what I want, and then some.

    It's really up to you to decide what you want out of your machine. Do you intend to keep the computer in one spot most of the time or do you want something that is portable and can be used anywhere?
  3. Bikegypsy thread starter macrumors newbie


    Aug 31, 2015
    Hello Interfreak,

    Thank you for the great reply.

    The HD available on the Mac Mini is the Serial ATA Drive and I do not want to upgrade as my budget is $800 for the computer. Note that I always work directly on portable HDs and use my computer HD as a back up. I always have 3 versions... a working version and 2 back ups (I've lost too many important work in the past). The computer will be a workhorse... 10-12 hours a day of pro work. I have a beach house which I use 3 or 4 times a year. If I get the Mini, I''ll get a new screen and leave it there. If i get the MBP, I intend to get a new external 1TB HD... so there will be another + or - $200 purchase following this anyways.
  4. cambookpro macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2010
    United Kingdom
    Either computer will handle Ps, Ai and Wordpress comfortably, but the MBP is a lot faster if you ever do anything more CPU-intensive.

    Also, as the poster above said, the SSD in the MBP will make day-to-day tasks feel many orders of magnitude faster than the Mac Mini. If you do decide on the Mini, get an SSD instead of the HDD.

    Personally, I can't see any advantage buying the Mac Mini. The MBP is portable, faster, and can still be used with your extra screen, keyboard and mouse to turn it into a desktop with the portability of a laptop. If the price is the same, I wouldn't hesitate buying the MBP as long as 256GB is enough for you.
  5. JackieInCo Suspended

    Jul 18, 2013
    I own both a 2012 i7 Mac Mini and a 2015 retina 15" i7 MBP.

    There are times when I prefer to do things on the Mini because the fans seem to do a better job of spinning down and not staying at full spin while doing whatever task it is doing. The fans on the MBP will just spin at the highest RPM while doing the job until it is complete. That can be annoying depending on how long the job will take. The fan noise on the Mini is far less annoying no matter what I do on the Mini.
  6. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009

    You ARE NOT going to be happy with the 2014 Mini with only a 1tb HDD (platter-based hard drive).

    You're going to be back, asking "how can I speed this *#*$ thing up?"

    HOWEVER -- if you add the 1tb "fusion drive option" (for an additional $200), you WILL be happy and satisfied with the speed and performance.

    I would advise anyone to NOT buy a Mini UNLESS it has either a fusion drive or a "straight SSD" inside...
  7. ThisOldMacHead macrumors member

    Dec 17, 2007
    South Jersey
    I've owned desktop Macs over the years, but my preference has always been 'books. Between the two you listed, the MBP is a far superior machine. With that said however, if I didn't need, nor want the portability of a 'book... I'd look for a slightly older Mini server with the quad-core i7.

    It's a shame they discontinued that variant...
  8. CoastalOR macrumors 68020


    Jan 19, 2015
    Oregon, USA
    I would go for the 2013 MBP since it is faster and portable. You have your external drives for your graphic file storage.
  9. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    At $700 the pro is a much better machine for the money it's a no brainer.
  10. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'd go with the laptop, myself. The portability feature is to great to pass up and as mentioned you already have a desktop.
  11. =E= macrumors regular


    Nov 8, 2013
    I think you should go with the rMBP. Do it! :)
  12. Bikegypsy thread starter macrumors newbie


    Aug 31, 2015

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