Potential Mac Mini User - Few questions

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by SSD-GUY, Feb 7, 2016.

  1. SSD-GUY, Feb 7, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2016

    SSD-GUY macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    Location:
    London, UK
    #1
    Hi guys

    I'm in the market for a used Mac Mini 2014 (hopefully still under Applecare) to replace my Hackintosh, as I've had enough of updating and modding/fixing things to get basic functionality such as sleep, sound, iCloud etc.

    I'm a heavy user in the sense that I game some light games such as UT2004, truck simulator, some light video editing, but some moderate usage of lightroom/photoshop/imovie and adobe Audition, all whilst powering 2x 1080p 23 inch monitors

    Furthermore, as I'm a student, I use safari a lot (like when researching essays/lectures etc, I have 20 to 30 tabs open), plus I will have evernote, a few powerpoint lectures, some pdfs and multiple word documents open, on top of spottily and iTunes. This paragraph represents my average day to day use of my mac.

    At the moment, my Hackintosh handles this ok, but sometimes slows down (could be because I've done back to using a 7200rpm spinning hard drive and not an ssd due to trim/kexts issues), however my question is:

    Can a Mac Mini Late 2014, i7 3.0 or i5 2.8 with 16GB ram and the 256/512 of PCIe storage be ok with my above needs, plus handle displaying 2x 25 inch 2560 x 1440p monitors (not 2x 1080p monitors like my current setup). Will the Mac Mini slow down with my average day to day usage scenario, or should it be able to handle it ok?

    Thanks
     
  2. AFEPPL macrumors 68030

    AFEPPL

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    Location:
    England
    #2
    You don't need anything that large. i5 with 8GB will be more than fine.
    However you really do need SSD, OS X on HDD is really not a good experience.

    You could also look toward intel NUC running either windows or linux and that will give you a better performance/$ return than a mini would.
     
  3. SSD-GUY thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    Location:
    London, UK
    #3
    Thanks. Are you sure the 8gb of ram and highest i5 will be ok? As geek bench benchmarks the i5 model at 6200, whereas my mackintosh with a 2500k benchmarks at around 10500. Would I not see a noticeable difference in speed?
     
  4. CalMin macrumors 6502a

    CalMin

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    #4
    I got one of the dual SATA 2012 era i7s with 16gb ram, an then added a 256SSD and a 1tb spinning drive as a fusion drive.


    This machines roars. It's like Mac Mini Pro.
     
  5. AFEPPL macrumors 68030

    AFEPPL

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    Location:
    England
    #5
    i have a few rMBPs which are all fitted with the same specs as the mini is available with.
    From the smallest/oldest device i have which is 2.5Ghz 2013 with 8GB RAM to this device I'm posting on now which is a Mid 2014 i7 3Ghz with 16GB Ram you can not tell the difference for normal tasks such as you described above.

    Save your cash, or if you want a to end device, intel NUC or M900 lenovo is the way to go.
    Ive stop using my mini as it was just an iTunes server and my existing HP desktop does that better and more reliably.

    Dont worry about a second drives, SSD internal and NAS for data...much more scaleable.
     
  6. SSD-GUY thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    Location:
    London, UK
    #6
    Thanks. The reason I'm not going for a 2012 version is that it can only handle one 2K display (as it only has one 2k port), otherwise I would've jumped on it, especially due to it's upgradability.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 7, 2016 ---
    TBH, I just can't go back to windows. It was one of the reasons I went for a Hackintosh in the first place.

    I've got the opportunity to buy a base Mac Pro for around £1400 which is 6 months old. The price is a bit steeper then i'm willing to pay, but I hear that Mac Pro's generally keep their value. Is this correct?



    Also, another quick question. Those with a 2014 Mac Mini with the PCIe flash drive, is it easy to upgrade the flash drive, as I have a 512 PCIe Apple/Samsung drive, but looking at the fixit teardowns, is it easy to lift the existing SSD up and replace it? As there doesn't seem to be a lot of space within the wide hole to lift it out?
     
  7. AFEPPL macrumors 68030

    AFEPPL

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    Location:
    England
    #7
    Go linux then..
    PCIe easy to upgrade, not really any different to other storage media. Just a different form factor
     
  8. SSD-GUY thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    Location:
    London, UK
    #8
    I enjoy the iCloud ecosystem though. My photos backed up and accessible anywhere, bookmarks, iCloud links, and most importantly, messages/handoff etc.

    Thanks, I just found this ifixitlink, https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Mac+Mini+Late+2014+SSD+Replacement/32646

    Means I can easily upgrade the SSD, so might just buy a late 2014 model once this refresh has been released and if it isn't anything spectacular.
     
  9. CoastalOR macrumors 68000

    CoastalOR

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #9
    Be warned that the Apple PCIe proprietary connector flash drive is not easy to find since there are no 3rd party manufacturers. It can be found, but is as or more expensive that ordering the desired size at the time of purchase of the 2014 mini. I understand that your choices may be limited if purchasing a used Mac mini 2014.
     
  10. SSD-GUY thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    Location:
    London, UK
    #10
    Hi. I already have a 512GB Samsung Apple SSD drive. It worked in my rMBP 13 but I didn't need as much storage on the go.
     
  11. SSD-GUY thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    Location:
    London, UK
    #11
    So just to reiterate, as I've found a really good deal on a used i5 2.8/16/256 Mac mini, will it be able to handle my workload as described in the First post (basically 20 safari tabs, multiple word documents, multiple PowerPoint presentations and around 5/10 PDFs plus Evernote, iTunes and Spotify AND 2 x 2560 X 1440p displays)?

    I'm mainly worried about the 2 2560x1440 25 inch displays. I'm not going to play games or anything, but does the Mac mini have enough power to drive 2 X 1440p displays smoothly etc?
     
  12. Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2012
    Location:
    An island in the Andaman Sea.
    #12
    Yes…..

    Video Support
    Support for up to two displays at 2560 by 1600 pixels, both at millions of colors

    Thunderbolt digital video output
    • Native Mini DisplayPort output
    • DVI output using Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter (sold separately)
    • VGA output using Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter (sold separately)
    • Dual-link DVI output using Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter (sold separately)
    HDMI video output
    • Support for 1080p resolution at up to 60Hz
    • Support for 3840-by-2160 resolution at 30Hz
    • Support for 4096-by-2160 resolution at 24Hz
    DVI output using HDMI to DVI Adapter (sold separately)

    http://www.apple.com/mac-mini/specs/
     
  13. SSD-GUY thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    Location:
    London, UK
    #13
    I know the 2014 Mac mini can theoretically handle 2 X 1440p displays (look at my previous post, it's one of the reasons I don't want to get a 2012 model), however my question is, can such a small dual core device with integrated GPU sufficiently handle 2 1440p displays? As in will it be buttery smooth or will I notice FPS lags etc?
     

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