Mini purchase dilemma

Dr Charter

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 26, 2011
275
8
Oklahoma
I'm in the market for a new Mac Mini. I'm not waiting for the refresh but am choosing between these two models. They are new and available at these prices through my university IT store.

2012 2.5 I5 with HD 4000 graphics: $569
2011 2.5 I5 with AMD Radeon HD 6630M: $469

Both have 4GB ram, which I plan to upgrade later regardless, along with an SSD at some point. I know the 2011 has USB2 but my drives are all Firewire or Thunderbolt anyway. I know that both are powerful enough for my needs (productivity apps and media playback). I love the price of the 2011 but have some reservations about buying a 2011 computer in 2013. Are these units comparable in your experience? Does the 2011 lack anything I haven't mentioned? Any feedback would be appreciated.
 
Last edited:

nollimac

macrumors 6502
Oct 10, 2013
287
18
What I did was to choose the late 2012 Mac Mini which was in an open box condition for $431.99 from Best Buy...hint, hint!
 

nollimac

macrumors 6502
Oct 10, 2013
287
18
No kidding. This might be a good time of year to look for them. Damn. Now I have a third option to consider. :D
I agree...I am even thinking of when I get the Samsung 840 Pro 128GB SSD next week and max out the memory to 16GB to put on Ebay. By April, it should be clear if the 2014 Mac Mini will be coming out.
 

phrehdd

macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2008
3,326
749
I agree...I am even thinking of when I get the Samsung 840 Pro 128GB SSD next week and max out the memory to 16GB to put on Ebay. By April, it should be clear if the 2014 Mac Mini will be coming out.
That is pretty close to what I did.

I got the base model of the higher end Mac Mini, added a Samsung Pro SSD and 16 gigs of Crucial RAM. It runs quite well though the only thing I really wanted over this model and the previous was the Intel Iris Pro gpu on board. This should hold me over until 2014 comes along.
 

Crosscreek

macrumors 68030
Nov 19, 2013
2,854
5,726
Margarittaville
I'm in the market for a new Mac Mini. I'm not waiting for the refresh but am choosing between these two models. They are new and available at these prices through my university IT store.

2012 2.5 I5 with HD 4000 graphics: $569
2011 2.5 I5 with AMD Radeon HD 6630M: $469

Both have 4GB ram, which I plan to upgrade later regardless, along with an SSD at some point. I know the 2011 has USB2 but my drives are all Firewire or Thunderbolt anyway. I know that both are powerful enough for my needs (productivity apps and media playback). I love the price of the 2011 but have some reservations about buying a 2011 computer in 2013. Are these units comparable in your experience? Does the 2011 lack anything I haven't mentioned? Any feedback would be appreciated.
Refurbished site of Apple has just restocked. I recommend this over BB.
 

MrGuder

macrumors 68030
Nov 30, 2012
2,780
1,770
I'm considering a refurbished now, but I don't want a 500GB hardrive, at 5400 rpm that is way too slow, boot up time and opening applications will be slow, I've seen youtube videos of time difference between a 5400 and a SSD and the 1TB Fusion they are night and day differences.

SSD is best, then the Fusion is ok (because it also has the 128GB Flash) but the 500GB w/ 5400 rpm is the slowest.
 

Dr Charter

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 26, 2011
275
8
Oklahoma
I'm considering a refurbished now, but I don't want a 500GB hardrive, at 5400 rpm that is way too slow, boot up time and opening applications will be slow, I've seen youtube videos of time difference between a 5400 and a SSD and the 1TB Fusion they are night and day differences.

SSD is best, then the Fusion is ok (because it also has the 128GB Flash) but the 500GB w/ 5400 rpm is the slowest.
I agree about the drive. I currently have my media on an external and will probably keep it there. I'm planning to swap out the 500 GB HD for an SSD. With that and RAM upgrade, I should be good to go.
 

Crosscreek

macrumors 68030
Nov 19, 2013
2,854
5,726
Margarittaville
I'm considering a refurbished now, but I don't want a 500GB hardrive, at 5400 rpm that is way too slow, boot up time and opening applications will be slow, I've seen youtube videos of time difference between a 5400 and a SSD and the 1TB Fusion they are night and day differences.

SSD is best, then the Fusion is ok (because it also has the 128GB Flash) but the 500GB w/ 5400 rpm is the slowest.
I bought a refurbished 2.5 mini and plan on using external 250mb ssd as a boot drive that I already have for my rMBP that I use for time machine and storage. When the refresh happens I will have the mini ready to sell as a base unit. I did buy 8GB of ram for it. That is what I have in my MBP and thats more than I ever use.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,381
6,694
[[ I'm planning to swap out the 500 GB HD for an SSD. ]]

There's no need to "swap out" the internal drive.

There's space for -two drives- inside.

Just add the SSD, and keep the HDD for a backup, extra storage, etc.

You will need another ribbon cable to the motherboard for this, however.
 

scottsjack

macrumors 68000
Aug 25, 2010
1,899
303
Arizona
[[ I'm planning to swap out the 500 GB HD for an SSD. ]]

There's no need to "swap out" the internal drive.

There's space for -two drives- inside.

Just add the SSD, and keep the HDD for a backup, extra storage, etc.

You will need another ribbon cable to the motherboard for this, however.
That's what I am going to do when I gen mine in a couple of weeks; 2.3 i7, Crucial M500 960GB, 16GB of Crucial RAM and an OWC Data Doubler kit.
 
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