New Mini 2018, setup, initial thoughts, and, wow, this coffee is delicious :D

D.T.

macrumors G3
Original poster
Sep 15, 2011
9,412
7,540
Vilano Beach, FL
Ordered on Wed/Sep 18th, received on Fri/Sep 20th :) It's an i7 3.2/32/512, see below for OEM vs. DIY RAM mental gyrations :D

Just some general thoughts ...

It's pretty awesome. Super fast (processor and storage), quiet, lots of connectivity; simple, beautiful design.

For reference the machine it's replacing is a 2015 MBP 15" i7 2.5/16/512 with the 370X dGPU. This isn't my first Mini either, I had two 2012 models, the i5, and later the "white whale" i7 quad core (now living in Canada ...)

I used Migration Assistant via a direct connect ethernet (USB-to-Ethernet on the MBP side), it was pretty fast considering it was moving about 300GB. The only thing that really went pear shaped was Postgres (it's a DB server), the service account didn't get created, did a reinstall (which reported doing an "update"), fixed it right up.

Then of course a few authentications needed for things like DropBox, iCloud), a couple of license activations (Parallels wanted to active on this machine, de-active the old, sure, click, done :))

So what do I do with my machine? Code work (web, native mobile, various platforms/frameworks/langs/services, VMs, etc), "lite" image editing, general computing, it's both a critical business tool and my [favorite] primary personal computing platform.

I'm using a wired Das 4 Mac Keyboard (cherry MX switches), and an Apple MM, I may replace the latter with a Space gray flavor, just for aesthetics :D

Going to quote myself a few times - posts from right here in the Mini area - just for some back reference :D


I'm currently running 2 X Dell U2518 displays, that's a 25" QHD (2560x1440), off my '15 MBP (i7/16/370X dGPU). I went 25" with the QHD as it bumped up the PPI a decent amount, and figured that was a good middle ground to be driven by the MBP - so I'm figuring if (when?) I pick up a Mini, these displays will be terrific, and not really need too much additional GPU power (for my specific uses). I think my plan is to score an i7/3.2/512/32 Mini, use these displays, "wait and see" with regards to an eGPU, and then if that option really sorts itself out, I'd pass these monitors on to my wife and/or daughter, do an eGPU and switch out to 27" 4L displays.

Same plan! Currently just running one display via HDMI, as my USB-C-to-mDP adapter didn't come yet (out for delivery today), I had a post about my display connection options, but short version: Display 1 via HDMI, Display 2 via USB-C to adapter to mDP cable, with this caveat:

I'm assuming I'm not missing anything in terms of a downside to mixing the two displays across two different ports (like any different in sleep/wake issues, etc.)
:)


I was using a VM for Windows, then had some work opps that needed more [Windows] performance, so I went to BC (later that turned out to be __way__ to slow, switched to a beastly gaming/VR machine), but in the last couple of years, it's gotten to where my workflow would be greatly enhanced by moving back to a VM - in fact, I'm currently running my BC as a VM with Parallels 14. So I'd like a more CPU performance, some additional RAM headroom (32 vs. my 16), and my notebook stays "docked" 99% of the time - seems like a new Mini is a perfect fit for me.

It doesn't seem to be breaking a sweat running my VM (vs. the MBP), 8GB allocated (up from 4), and plenty left over for MacOS (and the number of services/apps I tend to run concurrently). I actually __prefer__ Coherence, and the native Windows-windows are running great with the iGPU, apps load instantly, and with the new 32GB setup, I'm leaving Parallels up and running (with the VMs in sleep mode if they're not being used).


I've got my MBP in an aluminum vertical stand, it's adjustable width (uses a little allen fastener), and I think it'll expand enough to sit the Mini in it, on its side. I also have a large (LED lit) PC fan I wired into a USB cable, powered via a charging bud, and stuck to the stand with 3M tape so it just blows across the bottom of the MBP (the bottom faces the wall so it's not even visible), and that little extra air circulating makes a measurable difference, figured it will help the Mini a little too.
Uh yeah, that's a no go :D I saw a super clever, very slick looking DIY cooling solution I'm going to pursue after I'm fully committed to keeping this machine.


Again, it's a business machine, $500 more over 3 three years is not even a blip on the radar, but that little voice in my head that LOVES to DIY things, that made my previous business highly successful for saving a buck here and there, keeps telling me to save the money :D

My business sensibility (aka my partner/wife :D) won out, I went with the OEM 32GB, if I keep this machine, I'll add AC+ for $99 (or less) and have no worries/cost/warranty concern for 3 years, which comes to about $175/year more than a DIY.


Check out https://www.schiit.com, specifically the Modi 3 DAC, it's spectacular for the price ($99 new. $89, B-stock).

I had this connected with the optical out from the MBP's headphone port, which, per the thread where that quote originated, was removed from the 2018 Mini. Well, the Modi 3 has TOS/Coax, and USB! The latter on earlier models wasn't as clean, but the version 3 has been thoroughly tested and shown to not have any difference between the interfaces, so it's hooked up via USB now, and still sounds amazing.
 
Last edited:

D.T.

macrumors G3
Original poster
Sep 15, 2011
9,412
7,540
Vilano Beach, FL
Just got my Cable Creations USB-C to mDP adapter, used the existing cable, *poof*, up and running on both displays - not a bad solution for under $10 :) It was actually $0.00, used Amazon Prime cashback :D Since I was losing my "built-in" UPS with the MBP, I needed one, and I picked up a replacement battery for an existing APC I owned, also $0.00, 725w up and running for $28.
 
  • Like
Reactions: kazmac

Stephen.R

macrumors 68000
Nov 2, 2018
1,782
1,402
Thailand
Nice. It’s amazing what such a small machine can do. My work has some overlap to yours, I periodically have to rebuild Vagrant base boxes, the biggest batch is 18 (3 hypervisors x 3 major releases of Debian x 2 arches ), it absolutely screams through them compared to my old machine.

Enjoy your new machine!
 
  • Like
Reactions: DeepIn2U

D.T.

macrumors G3
Original poster
Sep 15, 2011
9,412
7,540
Vilano Beach, FL
Everything is running *great* after a few days, had an odd little issue come up, then sort of resolve itself :D

See here: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/2018-mac-mini-video.2199382/#post-27790004

This machine is insanely quiet, I was a touch concerned over some people experiencing the SSD hum/buzz, it's like it's not even on, it's almost disturbing - maybe it's not, maybe I'm just typing on a keyboard and starring at blank display ... o_O
 
  • Like
Reactions: DeepIn2U

D.T.

macrumors G3
Original poster
Sep 15, 2011
9,412
7,540
Vilano Beach, FL
Normally a few minor patches on my main Win10 VM, the MBP fans fired up like a 747 taking off, this was a major Win10 update, I think maybe the fans stepped up a tiny amount[?] MacOS didn't even blink, I wouldn't have even known, if I didn't know. :cool:
 

D.T.

macrumors G3
Original poster
Sep 15, 2011
9,412
7,540
Vilano Beach, FL
Hmmmm. And sluggishness running photoshop while running VM’s?
Don't use Photoshop, when I have some mild photo editing needs, I use Pixelmator (in MacOS), which runs perfect, even with a Win10 VM fired up (which kind of stays running in the background).

Like right now, I have running: Chrome (12+ tabs), Mail, Messages, iTunes (listening to a Podcast), Postman, Sublime Text 2, Soulver, Postgres (DB service), a number of background services, a ton of terminal windows, a Window 10 VM running VS2017, IIS, MS-SQL server.

No slowdown, no fan noise (MFC is showing 55° C). :cool:
 

gigapocket1

macrumors 68000
Mar 15, 2009
1,664
973
Don't use Photoshop, when I have some mild photo editing needs, I use Pixelmator (in MacOS), which runs perfect, even with a Win10 VM fired up (which kind of stays running in the background).

Like right now, I have running: Chrome (12+ tabs), Mail, Messages, iTunes (listening to a Podcast), Postman, Sublime Text 2, Soulver, Postgres (DB service), a number of background services, a ton of terminal windows, a Window 10 VM running VS2017, IIS, MS-SQL server.

No slowdown, no fan noise (MFC is showing 55° C). :cool:
awesome. I just purchased an i5 today. Haven’t took it out the wrapper yet.. going to upgrade it to 32gigs... maybe even 64.... but. That would be just overkill lol. It would be just because I wanted 32 gigs lol
 

D.T.

macrumors G3
Original poster
Sep 15, 2011
9,412
7,540
Vilano Beach, FL
awesome. I just purchased an i5 today. Haven’t took it out the wrapper yet.. going to upgrade it to 32gigs... maybe even 64.... but. That would be just overkill lol. It would be just because I wanted 32 gigs lol
Sweet. Yeah, you know if I was going to DIY my own RAM upgrade, I __think__ I'd just go directly to 64GB, my current Amazon pricing show about $120 vs. $280, so open it once, spend $160 more, have RAM out the wazoo :D


Nice 'puter, but I came to this thread to learn more about this coffee you mentioned. Talk about clickbait. Pffft... :rolleyes:

At least you mentioned some other good Schiit in the thread.

;)
Hahaha, yes, I'm generating my own in-thread ad revenue :D It was some kind of blend of a couple of different whole bean, like Peet's House + some Kenyan something-something from my monthly delivery.

Speaking of Schiit ...

Next time I see a Loki in the B-stock, I'm going to grab one. Flat, neutral audio? Screw that :D
 
  • Like
Reactions: Duncan68

SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
25,734
8,667
Detroit
Hahaha, yes, I'm generating my own in-thread ad revenue :D It was some kind of blend of a couple of different whole bean, like Peet's House + some Kenyan something-something from my monthly delivery.

Speaking of Schiit ...

Next time I see a Loki in the B-stock, I'm going to grab one. Flat, neutral audio? Screw that
I've had some coffee from Peet's before, good stuff.

Just went to look at the Loki. $150 isn't too bad at all. I may have to add it to my list of things to get.

Spiral out!
 

D.T.

macrumors G3
Original poster
Sep 15, 2011
9,412
7,540
Vilano Beach, FL
I wound up running both my U2518s off USB-C, Cable Matters USB-C_to_mDP adapter, and existing Dell supplied mDP_to_DP cables. No more HDMI latency during wakeup (I mean, at worst case it was only like 4-5 seconds, but __just__ enough to be annoying ...)

Finally fixed a weird email issue that come up as a result of the migration, basically a second iCloud account email, needed a different auth. My cloud based backup also inherited, working great.

Still researching some cooling options, mine isn't too stressed, so it runs pretty cool, fans almost never step up, but figured it couldn't hurt.

Spent quite a bit of time in my Win10 VM over the last few days, really happy with the performance and being able to run MacOS concurrently (vs. my old Bootcamp).

Think this is a keeper and I'm going to add some AC+ to it, for $99 (so cheap), I can be "worry free" for 3 years :)



Just went to look at the Loki. $150 isn't too bad at all. I may have to add it to my list of things to get.
When they show in B-stock, they're only $99, which is an insane deal ... !
 

D.T.

macrumors G3
Original poster
Sep 15, 2011
9,412
7,540
Vilano Beach, FL
... and since I did go with an OOTB/OEM configuration, so zero questions about warranty, I did add AC+, only $99 for a Mini :)


1573050640998.png




What I was totally not aware of, was AC starting at the AC purchase date (today) vs. the original equipment purchase date (since you can get it up to 60 days post purchase for a Mini). I got an extra "free" 50 days of warranty I guess (should've waited till 58 days ... :p)
 

sigmadog

macrumors 6502a
Feb 11, 2009
789
623
just west of Idaho
Thanks for the info. I'd be interested to know what you have planned for cooling the unit because I'll be buying the i7/1TB/64GB version in March and overheating is one of my fears.
 

D.T.

macrumors G3
Original poster
Sep 15, 2011
9,412
7,540
Vilano Beach, FL
Thanks for the info. I'd be interested to know what you have planned for cooling the unit because I'll be buying the i7/1TB/64GB version in March and overheating is one of my fears.

I posted in the "cooling thread", but I picked up an AC Infinity S4, it's a 140mm fan, with a 3-speed switch and rubber standoffs on both sides. I have the Mini just sitting on it, running at medium speed, almost imperceptibly quiet, things are staying cool.


I mean, I'd like to not have to worry, but I figure I'll just use it like I want/need to, its' covered for 3 years if it happen to overheat and melt :D
 
  • Like
Reactions: sigmadog

D.T.

macrumors G3
Original poster
Sep 15, 2011
9,412
7,540
Vilano Beach, FL
Just picked up a TEKQ Rapide 960GB TB3 external for $157.50 on Ebay, new + 10% coupon, wow, if this is what it purports to be, this will be a heck of a deal.
 

Squuiid

macrumors 68000
Oct 31, 2006
1,507
774
Thanks for the info. I'd be interested to know what you have planned for cooling the unit because I'll be buying the i7/1TB/64GB version in March and overheating is one of my fears.
The only overheating you'll see is if you have the built in 10GbE NIC and are running BootCamp Windows. The NIC consistently overheats and disables itself requiring a power off to restore. (Reboot won't fix)
Otherwise the 2018 mini is solid. Buy with confidence. I did the same switch from a Mac Pro as you appear to be doing and it runs great, especially with a 5700 XT eGPU.
- - Post merged: - -

Haha, in this case not true. The TEKQ is actually a great enclosure. Sure, the drive inside could be better but you can always do what I did and replace it with a Samsung 970 EVO NVMe.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: sigmadog

Stephen.R

macrumors 68000
Nov 2, 2018
1,782
1,402
Thailand
The TEKQ is actually a great enclosure.
The joke/actual thing that happens is not so much that the thing claimed to be shipped is not good, but that it's just a different thing shipped completely.

Like if it said you're buying a fully loaded unopened-box MBP16, and instead it was a white plastic MacBook.
 

D.T.

macrumors G3
Original poster
Sep 15, 2011
9,412
7,540
Vilano Beach, FL
The joke/actual thing that happens is not so much that the thing claimed to be shipped is not good, but that it's just a different thing shipped completely.

Like if it said you're buying a fully loaded unopened-box MBP16, and instead it was a white plastic MacBook.
We were OOT for a Christmas getaway (Universal/Hard Rock) and waiting for me today when we got home was my drive. Hahaha, I showed the wife your post, she thought it was hysterical.

Well ...

... it's a TEQK Rapide ... and yes, the 960GB model :D (I started thinking maybe it was just the driveless case). Drive, TB3 cable, bag, in a sealed OEM box :) Mounted right up as an exFAT drive, changed it to APFS, it's fast, I'll run some additional benchmarks, but seeing ~2300-2500MB/s read speeds, 1900+ write, I just copied over my photo library from my old external spinner (wow, that took a while), getting ready to sync up iCloud photos.

Woot!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Stephen.R