New Mini or keep Late 2012 Mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by BrentD, Oct 16, 2014.

  1. BrentD macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    #1
    Some background: I have the base model late 2012 version with 2.4 GHz i5 and 4GB of RAM. That one was an upgrade from my last one, a base model mid-2010 version upgraded to 8GB of RAM. The 2010 model was starting to show its age when it comes to lag, but was still adequate for what I do. The 2012 version has been much better for me, and my plan is/was to upgrade it to the max 16GB of RAM shortly. I've been waiting to see what was announced before I bothered. All because I bought this around a month ago and I have 45 days to return it to Best Buy since I'm Elite in their rewards program.

    All that being said... I do a lot of graphic design and photography (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign), and a little bit of recording and video work (GarageBand, Reaper, iMovie). I wouldn't consider returning it and getting the new base model being an "upgrade" since it's now a 1.4 GHz i5 and what I have is the 2.4 i5. I don't know what difference the 3rd gen i5 versus the 4th gen i5 makes in terms of performance.

    So anyway, if I went to the mid-tier model, I'd get a bump up to 1TB from 500GB (no big deal since I use network storage), 8GB of RAM from 4GB (again, I'd be upgrading to 16GB and would have to get rid of the 8GB chips anyway), and Iris graphics instead of the HD...and all that for about $110 more before the RAM upgrade than I paid for what I currently have. Essentially, upgrading my late 2012 model to 16GB of RAM would put its total cost around the mid-tier current model.

    So for my listed uses, is there any point in upgrading to the newest mid-tier model from my current plan? Are the Haswell processor and Iris graphics worth it? And all of this is assuming the RAM in the new Mini is even upgradeable or reasonable in price. Losing Firewire would also be an annoyance and added expense for Thunderbolt adapters since I use Firewire audio interfaces and an external Firewire drive as one of my backups.
     
  2. fa8362 macrumors 65816

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    Jul 7, 2008
  3. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #3
    I'd keep an eye open for a 2012 Quad Core (refurbished?) if I were you.
     
  4. BrentD thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    #4
    Well if you read all of that, you can see the question I posed would still be an upgrade, albeit modest. I'm essentially asking if going from the 3rd gen i5 to a 4th gen i5 of a slight bump in speed and to Iris from HD are worth it, assuming that RAM is still user upgradeable in the 2014.

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    Refurb is not an option. Best Buy is where the original came from and where the new one would come from due to no interest financing while I take freelance jobs to pay it off quickly. Although, if Best Buy lowers the price of the 2012's to clear them out, the quad core may be a very viable option.
     
  5. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #5
    Well if you're lucky they might still be selling the 2012 Quad, but if they are, it won't be there long. The new dual cores are not an upgrade for you.
     
  6. jtara macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    #6
    For graphics work, I dunno.

    For developers, it's a slam-dunk. The new offerings are not attractive. I'm keeping my 2012 i7 quad-core. There is no reason to "upgrade".

    BTW, see if Barclay is still doing 0% on Apple Store online orders (and you don't mind another credit card). I'd rather not give my money to Worst Buy. Plus, can you even get a build-to-order from Worst Buy?
     
  7. grandM macrumors 6502a

    grandM

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2013
    #7
    I just saw one still being sold in a large belgian it store. I already have an i7 mac mini :)
     
  8. BrentD thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    #8
    And it appears the RAM in the new ones can't be upgraded, either. Apple Store site says "Configurable to 16GB only at the Apple online store". :(

    ----------

    Don't need or want any new credit cards. No BTO at BB, but I'm not doing BTO anyway. I'm doing the RAM myself since it's much more economical than Apple's overinflated RAM prices.
     
  9. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #9
    Keeping mine how it is.

    May upgrade when they physically change next time.
     

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  10. MikeyMike01 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2010
    #10
    Doesn't that mean you have to order it online, as they only carry certain configurations in the stores?
     
  11. BJonson macrumors 6502a

    BJonson

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    #11
    I picked up a 2012 dual core 2.5ghz months ago for $300 on craigslist. Wish I had gotten the quad but for the price I did well. You should hold on to that forever as it is going to be a legend. I have a 12 core mac pro 2012 that I am keeping forever too. Apple is really surprising me with these updates. :(
     
  12. BrentD thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    #12
    Can't say for sure, by myself and what seems like the rest of the MR forums are reading that as it can't be upgraded by the user. Most that can say something about user-accessible RAM or something similar.
     
  13. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #13
    I was expecting a new form factor, which now I am guessing will be the next iteration. This mini upgrade and the old Mac Pro upgrade are fairly similar, i.e.: they took forever to refresh and when they did it wasn't a very good upgrade. Then the new designed Mac Pro was introduced later.

    but... yes this mini continues to do everything I need it to do plus more, it is actually under utilized. I may have this little guy for a long.....long time.
     
  14. grandM macrumors 6502a

    grandM

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2013
    #14
    lol I am already considering to buy one of the remaining late 2012's in case my late 2012 gives out on me :d
     
  15. Crosscreek macrumors 68030

    Crosscreek

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2013
    Location:
    Margarittaville
    #15
    This will be my new Mac Mini when they go on sale next year for HTPC and Steam.
    I will hang on to my 2012 until it dies. Maybe Skylake will come to the Mini by then.
     

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