New base Mini vs Latest Dedicated-GPU-powered Mini - which one to buy

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by saotomefirst, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. saotomefirst macrumors regular

    Aug 16, 2012
    Rio de Janeiro
    Hello there Macrumors community!

    This time, I'm calling your help to decide between the new base Mini that just launched versus the last generation unit with a dedicated GPU.

    First of all, I'm a gamer, and I was hoping that the new Mini would follow the Macbooks and be upgraded that Radeon GPU with a more powerful nVidia one. Not only this didn't happen, they removed the dedicated GPU from all versions and replaced it with that horrible Intel HD 4000 - I own a 2012 13'' mbp so I know how bad it is.

    Also, the pricing in my country skyrocketed - almost doubled from last versions - up to the point where I believe it's not worth it buying even the simplest model. For a comparison, base Mini now costs R$ 2,500.00. For R$ 300.00 more I can buy the standard previous version with a dedicated GPU from a local reseller.

    My only concerns are: is it worth it to stick with an older model just because of the GPU? Will I be losing too much from the upgrade? Can I still expect this older unit to be usable/upgradeable for at least 3 years - when I intent to replace it?

    I appreciate your thoughts. Thanks in advance :D
  2. phoenixsan macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2012
    I dont think so.....

    The mini with a dedicated GPU can be appealing to a gamer, if I believe all the horror histories heard there about the mini as a HORRID gaming computer. Still, I prefer a dedicated GPU over that hideous Intel thing. Maybe you can do a informed decission, if you look in the Internet for benchmarks using the games you plan to throw out in the mini.:):apple:
  3. jmcgeejr macrumors 6502


    Oct 7, 2010
    Seattle, WA
    Dont get either, I bought a mini last years model with the dedicated graphics and even something as weak as wow I can only run at fair settings without any issues.
  4. saotomefirst thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 16, 2012
    Rio de Janeiro
    First of all, thanks for your replies :D

    Now, I know the mini isn't going to be a terrific gaming machine. I'm looking for something better than my current option - a 2012 13'' mbp with that Ivy Bridge stuff that barely works for Civ V at minimun settings... Running this game without having to look at deleted pixels from the Ivy Bridge's incapacity of fully assembling a leader's image is good enough for me.

    In this scenario, even a weak dedicated GPU will be better than what I have. If I had more money to spend, I'd be looking at buying the previous iMac for a better GPU, but I don't. My budget currently limits my purchasing capacity to the Mini.

    I already know the gaming performance of the last Mini model and I was satisfied with what I saw. I was just waiting for the updated version for a better GPU - didn't want to buy my Mini just to have it outdated in a couple months. Now I'm sad I did this, because I can't buy the old version anymore directly from Apple, so the money I separated to upgrade my RAM will have to be spent on a retailer's markup :(
  5. Ifti macrumors 68000

    Dec 14, 2010
    In your case I wouldnt get either.
    I personally think the HD4000 is a fine chip - the most intensive tasks I complete on my machine are more CPU based rather then GPU, so the HD4000 is more the fine for my needs.
    If you want to play the odd light game, go with the dedicated GPU. If you are more heavier gamer, which sounds like you are, I would skip MAC altogether and spend the same money on a beefier PC setup.
  6. saotomefirst thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 16, 2012
    Rio de Janeiro
    Agreed. My 13'' MBP is more than enough for my everyday needs - college, office, videos, etc. It even run some games - although, as I mentioned before, just barely. If only it had some more GPU power...

    Anyway, I have a PC at home which I can upgrade with a graphics card to better play games. However, I'd like to stay in the OSX environment if possible - 100000x better than Windows.

    Also, I'm not that rigorous about GPU performance - as I said above, the previous Mac mini with a dedicated GPU was more than enough for me.

Share This Page