Planning on buying the Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by iTom17, Jan 23, 2016.

  1. iTom17, Jan 23, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2016

    iTom17 macrumors 6502a

    iTom17

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Location:
    the Netherlands
    #1
    Hello everyone,

    So I'm planning on getting myself a Mac Mini. Have seen quite a good deal and since I finally have money to get my first Mac (not for a Macbook unfortunately, since I need to save a bit as well) I also want to make sure I'm doing the right thing. That's why I have a few questions, hopefully someone can answer them.

    1. Does El Capitan run well on the 2.6 GHz model? I've been trying to find some video reviews showing this, but couldn't find anything.

    2. Is there a huge difference between the normal HDD and the Fusion Drive (like in, would it be a selling point I should look out for)?

    3. And in general, is the difference between the 2.6 GHz and 2.8 GHz significant enough to go for the more expensive model? I wouldn't really mind going for that one, but if the difference is not that huge, I'd rather take the few €100 cheaper model

    4. How well does Windows 10 run on the Mac? See, I'm in the IT field so I need Windows quite a lot times. However, I don't want to switch between my notebook and the Mac everytime to get something done that's only possible on Windows. And I know there's Bootcamp to run Windows on the Mac, but I was wondering if anyone can share his experience with this.

    I don't need comments like 'Apple might release a new Mac Mini soon, I'd wait if I was you', because it's not that I would be doing a lot of heavy stuff anyway. Even if it would get the Skylake processor, I'll pass it. Or Apple should have to release it prior to March. But I've come at a point where I really want to start using OS X. It has become so advanced the past few years. Features like Split View and continuity alone make it a great OS for me. It might not replace Windows, but it could get near this.


    Thanks in advance for answering my questions! :)
     
  2. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #2
    El Capitan runs fine on the mid-range mini. Folks may not post videos but "it just works".

    The Fusion Drive is fast. :eek: It has a PCIe SSD for a front end and is far beyond the normal HDD in performance. The FD has a slightly larger capacity than the normal HDD as well but the difference is not significant.

    Nope. The 2.8 comes standard with a FD but the 2.6 upgraded to a FD is $100 less. On the other hand, the 2.8 is slightly faster.

    I have not run Windows 10 on a Mac. Perhaps someone else can provide information for this question.
     
  3. iTom17 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iTom17

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Location:
    the Netherlands
    #3
    Thanks for the reply! All clear to me. Still going to think about it of course. Heck, I might even go for a Macbook Pro after all (apparently there's some good deals about those either). But that's something to look out for the upcoming weeks.

    Thanks again!
     
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    OP wrote:
    "2. Is there a huge difference between the normal HDD and the Fusion Drive (like in, would it be a selling point I should look out for)?"

    Yes, there is a HUGE difference.
    If you buy a Mini with only an HDD, you are going to regret it from the moment you first boot it up.
    You should consider buying a Mini ONLY if it has either a fusion drive, or a "straight" SSD.

    "3. And in general, is the difference between the 2.6 GHz and 2.8 GHz significant enough to go for the more expensive model? I wouldn't really mind going for that one, but if the difference is not that huge, I'd rather take the few €100 cheaper model"

    The speed difference isn't significant, but there is another important "difference".
    The "top-of-the-line" Mini comes with 8gb of RAM, a 1tb fusion drive (120gb SSD portion and 1tb HDD portion), and the IRIS graphics.
    It's only $100 (if I recall) more than the mid-range model with the 1tb fusion drive option added on.

    So -- for that difference -- get the top model, and you'll be happy!
     
  5. EdwardSmith36 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2016
    #5
    I would suggest you to hit a purchase on Macbook Pro instead.
     
  6. Celerondon, Jan 24, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2016

    Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #6
    Did you read that first sentence of the OP's detailed question sequence? The second sentence contained more information regarding iTom17's requirements. If a MacBook is out of the OP's price range then a MacBook Pro...

    Oh, I see now! The OP is ambivalent.

    Carry On EdwardSmith36! Why do you recommend the MacBook Pro? :)
     
  7. iTom17 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iTom17

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Location:
    the Netherlands
    #7
    I think I'm indeed going for the Macbook Pro, as it would be great to have something I can carry around with me. And it has a Retina display. From my experience I know it looks stunning on the Macbook. The price difference is significant, but it would be worth it for sure looking at the differences between the Mac mini and the Macbook Pro.

    Anyway, I'll do my research to make sure it's indeed worth it and maybe I soon have my first Macbook. :)
     
  8. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #8
    It will be great if that MacBook Pro can fit your requirements. What else do you plan to do with your computer?

    The entry level MBP comes with a 128GB SSD for $1,299. That is not a lot of storage. If you can work with 128GB or afford an upgrade then the MBP is very attractive. If your IT job requires you to be mobile then you should try to make the MBP happen. :apple:
     
  9. iTom17, Jan 24, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2016

    iTom17 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iTom17

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Location:
    the Netherlands
    #9
    Well, I'm planning to use it for the following things:
    • Web browsing for both private and educational purposes (for that last part it's mostly having to be able to access Cisco Networking Academy and of course the Electronic Learning Environment of the school)
    • Watching TV
    • Mail, messaging
    • Creating documents, spreadsheets and presentations with iWork and/or Office (I already have a Office 365 subscription, so this is not an issue)
    • Basic photo editing with Photoshop
    • Basic video editing with iMovie
    • Virtualization (mostly for school, as I am in training for system administration)
    • Basic programming (also for school)
    • Maybe learn to create iOS apps (always wanted to do this, but without a Mac this is nearly impossible to do)

    I know the entry level MBP comes with just 128 GB of storage, which is quite disappointing. However, I do have an external USB 3.0 drive with 1 TB of storage and of course I've got iCloud (50 GB, which I might upgrade if necessary). So that's not a huge deal either. Think I'm going to use the external drive mostly for the ISOs for virtualization. Other stuff will be local or in the cloud.

    I'm kinda thrilled to finally go to the other side. Partly thanks to a customer I had to help recently with her new Macbook Pro (same model as I'm planning to get). It helped a little bit to get to know OS X. My sister has a Macbook Pro as well, one from 2012. And especially since OS X Yosemite things have come so far. Like I said in my main post, there's continuity. I already use this to easily switch between my iPhone and iPad, but I often feel like I'm missing something: switching between the iPhone and a notebook. The collaboration between Apple products is incredible and a huge deal to me.

    And like I said as well, it would be a great way to finally learn developing iOS apps. Wanted to do that way earlier, but the possibilities are simply too limited when on Windows. Do have to admit I'm not into programming at all (except for building websites with HTML and CSS, but that's about it), but the Mac could push me to finally dive into the world of creating apps.

    By the way, speaking of the pricing: here in the Netherlands Apple products are significantly more expensive due to several tax regulations. The 13.3 inch Retina Macbook Pro with 128 GB SSD costs €1,449, which converts to almost $1,565. But then again, I saw this deal at some tech shop here, and they tend to keep it that way for a long time. So that might be my best option.
     
  10. CaptMarvel macrumors 6502a

    CaptMarvel

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2014
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #10
    Or you can carry the Mac mini with you, it's just as portable! :eek:
     
  11. iTom17 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iTom17

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Location:
    the Netherlands
    #11
    Haha, but I would have to carry around a monitor, keyboard and mouse as well. Ain't gonna fit in my bag. xD
     
  12. rshrugged macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2015
    #12
    I have this model with 8gb RAM and SSD. EC runs excellent.

    If it's available to you, for whichever you buy, consider a refurbished machine from the Apple Store.
     
  13. CaptMarvel macrumors 6502a

    CaptMarvel

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2014
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #13
    Strangely enough when I am somewhere for extended period of time, there is always a tv available I can hook up my Mac mini to. The magic keyboard/trackpad are super thin! I just wish there were carrying cases for them.
     

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