Please help ... 2011 Server or 2012 i7 2.3GHz?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by GameGuru38, Nov 24, 2016.

  1. GameGuru38 macrumors regular

    GameGuru38

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Location:
    Ohio
    #1
    i want to get a quad core Mac mini to replace my 2007 Mac mini. I use Audacity for my podcasts and Filmora for my YouTube channel on my PC but want to do all my production on a Mac. I have a few questions.

    First, which can max out more memory. Second, can the 2012 handle two drive or can only the server versions do this?

    OS X wise I am assuming the 2012 will be supported longer so that is good. I don't necessarily need two drives but I will be running it on an SSD so having a second large 7200rpm drive also would be nice. I know I can go external which I have a few, I just like the faster speeds of internal.

    What system should I get and why?
     
  2. jpietrzak8 macrumors 65816

    jpietrzak8

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio
    #2
    Actually, you can find a good summary of all the features of all the Minis, side by side, on their Wiki page:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mac_Mini

    Some specific answers:

    Both the 2011 and 2012 Minis max out at 16 GB of RAM.

    I believe all the 2011 and 2012 Minis can handle two internal 2.5 inch drives, but I'm not 100% certain about that. However, messing around with the internal drives inside the aluminum Minis is a fairly intricate and painful process, involving spaces with small tolerances, and dealing with flimsy connectors, security screws, and drive covers connected with adhesive. :(

    Cross your fingers. Apple hasn't really shown any rhyme or reason to their choice of when to cut off a particular device. For example, the 2009 Mini and the 2010 Mini have roughly similar internal hardware, but Apple chose to cut off support in Sierra for the 2009 Mini, but keep the 2010. No clue as to why... :(

    Let me point out again that messing with the internal drives on a post-2010 Mini is not fun. (Makes your 2007 Mini look like a piece of cake. :) ) More importantly, let me also point out that the 2011 Mini has a Thunderbolt port, and even better, the 2012 Mini has that plus four USB3 ports. Therefore, you can get some serious throughput on an external drive with these machines.

    As to which one I would choose: the 2012 has those very nice USB3 ports, as well as HD4000 graphics (a decent improvement on the HD3000 in the 2011). Otherwise, there isn't all that significant a difference between the two; so, if the 2011 isn't significantly less expensive, I'd go for the 2012.
     
  3. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #3
    The lack of USB 3.0 would be a deal breaker for me. I just got a used 2012 2.6ghz 16gb quad with original Apple 256g SSD. Really happy with this machine, it is exactly twice as fast as my base 2012 Mini for rendering video. Compatibiliy with futures MacOS versions doesn't matter much to me. What especially attracted me to the 2012 is that it can run 10.8.5 which works well with all my legacy software. :)

    I decided against messing with internal drives on either of my 2012 mini's after watching a tutorial. I'm sure I'm capable, but it looks like a real pain with a number of steps that could damage something. Have been multiple posts in this forum where people thought they could do it but ended up creating problems.

    Here's another resource where you can compare the different Mini models. http://www.everymac.com/systems/app...-mini-core-i7-2.3-late-2012-server-specs.html
     
  4. Richard8655 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    #4
    I have a late 2012 2.3ghz I7 quad-core, and can confirm it has 2 HD bays. I also just replaced the original and failing HD with an SSD. It was successful, but I don't know I would do it myself again. As mentioned, internal connections are very fragile and easily damaged if not careful and/or experienced in doing this.
     
  5. GameGuru38 thread starter macrumors regular

    GameGuru38

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Location:
    Ohio
    #5
    In one of the iMacs in our home I did upgrade it to an SSD and that was a process so I think I would be fine doing this, watched a couple of videos so know what to look for.

    Now it is looking like I can get the 2011 server for a couple hundred less than the 2012, am I losing anything really in going with the 2011? I realize the CPU cores are clocked slower and the integrated video is a step down but will I still be really happy with the 2011? I am upgrading from a Core 2 Duo 2007 so it will have to be leaps and bounds over that.
     
  6. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #6
    Geekbench shows the 2012 to be 35% faster and the lack of USB 3.0 on the 2011 means you need thunderbolt for fast external drives (more expensive with fewer choices). I suppose the condition of the specific machines could make a difference, but you'd expect a computer that's one year older to cost less, wouldn't you? In theory, it will die a year earlier. :)
     
  7. GameGuru38 thread starter macrumors regular

    GameGuru38

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Location:
    Ohio
  8. Miat macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    #8
    The 2012 model. Quad core i7, USB3, and the HD4000 iGPU are worth every penny, and it will hold its resale value much better that the 2011.

    Also add my vote to those saying that mucking around inside them is really not for the inexperienced (maybe apart from swapping RAM). Too fiddly, and too easy to get it wrong, and Apple charge big time for post warranty repairs.
     

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