nMP vs Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by fredr500, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. fredr500 macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2007
    So I'm trying to justify this in my mind, then I get to take it to the wife. I thought I'd throw it out here first.

    A fully tricked out current mini (fastest processor, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD) comes in at $1400 today.

    An entry level new Mac Pro is $3000, about twice the price of the mini, same size RAM, same size SSD, better processor, better graphics.

    My current mac Pro 1,1 is almost 7 years old and really for my needs only needs to be replaced because the OS is 2 versions downlevel and can't be brought to Mavericks without a lot of $$ in upgrades. But it lasted 7 years.

    A mini will probably get me 3 years, but by then the display world (at least for photo and video - my world) will be 4K and the mini won't drive it so I'll be going through an upgrade cycle, another $1400 or so.

    I also need a new monitor. I've been looking at 27" monitors in the $5-600 range, but 4K's are coming in at not too much more. So a 27" Dell or Monoprice for today's mini will also have to be replaced in 3 years to get to 4K.

    So a new MP today will end up costing about the same over a 6 year period and give me better performance and 4K today.

    What am I missing?
  2. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    If you really make a living in photo and video, I assume you also have a business? Have you looked at the tax implications of a tax write off and how much that will "save" you off the top of the cost of the Mini or Pro? For example, between my State and Federal taxes, I pay about 35%-40% of my business income in taxes. That means that the Mini in your example would be an out of pocket expense of about $1000, and the nMP would "only" be about $2000. That's already lowered the gap from $1600 to only 1K out of pocket expense....

    Just some thoughts. I'm struggling with whether a nMP or waiting until the Mini refresh. The Mini only being able to natively drive one 1440P panel doesn't do me anymore (I refuse to buy the TBD). IF the refresh would have dual TBD ports like the iMac, I could probably make do with a tricked out Mini.... Unfortunately no one knows when said computer will be released and so it leaves me wondering if I would just be better diving in and going nMP.
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    I'll _guess_ that the Mini (the "late 2012" model as being sold now) won't be "enough" to meet your needs in the future.

    In that case, I see two options:
    1. Buy a new Mac Pro now
    2. Hold on until the next version of the Mini debuts, and make the decision at that time
  4. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    Your comparison is missing the cost of monitors you would still be buying for the nMP and the resale value of your first mini when you upgrade in three years.
  5. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Couldn't he use the existing monitors?
  6. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    Couple of points...

    You don't need to max out the mini on day 1, nor do it from apple.

    The cash put into the mini is not a black hole. In 3 years, you can resell it / recover some of that cash.

    Even if you don't sell it, minis are versatile. When on your second, the first can be pulling duty as a server or under the TV.

    You're comparing high end 1080 screens to low end 4k screens. The dell version of that $800 screen is more like 200 in 1080 form. And a 2017 mini will drive all of it.

    The real question is can you make use of the GPU cycles the MP is generating (and requires $ for)? Cause in 3 years, 4k will be normal and the advantage of the MP will be left to speed.
  7. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    If he could use the existing monitors in the nMP, then why can't he use them in a Mac mini?
  8. carjakester macrumors 68020


    Oct 21, 2013
    however much sense you make of it, you still have to justify your spending to your wife. that is the hard part. good luck!
  9. fredr500 thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2007
    No, I wouldn't waste my money on a 1080 screen. The minimum I'll buy is a 1440.



    And I realize I can sell the old mini, but I most likely would find something else to do with it so that wouldn't really help. And I know I don't have to max it out, and I can do better with OWC memory and Samsung SSD, I was just trying to compare Apples to Apples.

    Thanks all, at least I'm not totally off base. This could make economic sense.
  10. fig macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2012
    Austin, TX
    Personally I've found running dual 1080p screens suits my needs better than one big 1440 screen, but to each their own.

    I've got a Mini now and may swap it out for a Pro at some point in the future, still waiting to see some real world use cases of the nMP with 3D apps.
  11. Wahlstrm macrumors 6502a


    Dec 4, 2013
    I went with the Mini

    Geekbench is about same as nMP, and those fancy GPUs in the nMP don´t really do much today as far as helping out with photoshop goes.

    The mini is available right now and it´s easy to sell later on when nMP rev2 comes out, and photoshop has been updated some more.

    Here is my mini
  12. wetcanvas macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2014
    The 27 inch imac will benchmark just about the same as a mac pro baseline but is a grand cheaper. the difference is negligible enough to save the cash. you can save even more by getting a refurbished model.

    speaking as a pay per performance mileage.

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