Should I sell my 2011 Mac Mini 2.3?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Bonnie, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. Bonnie, Apr 23, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012

    Bonnie macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2004
    #1
    Hey Guys,

    I recently bought a 2011 Mac Mini 2.3GHZ i5. I wanted it to be a home file server and possibly a media computer for Plex, but I can't get over how slow it runs. Comparatively, I also have a late 2011 13" Macbook Air with an i5 processor and 256gb ssd, and it is SO much faster than this Mini.

    I can't have 5 web page tabs open at a time. Web pages take forever to load. I feel like I'm on dialup. :( I'm sure most people here will respond that the problem is related to the small amount of ram in the Mini, but I can't imagine that adding more ram would make the experience that much better (my MBA only has 2gb more and flies).

    I don't want to throw money into a pit. Bottom line: I'm not sure that this computer can handle Lion.

    So, should I just sell this computer and wait a bit for some SSD solution? Should I bother taking it to the Genius Bar?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Flood123 macrumors 6502a

    Flood123

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Location:
    Living Stateside
    #2
    If you don't need it, sell it. If you need it, keep it. :). Solid drives will totally speed things up, but that is throwing more money into the same old thing.
     
  3. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #3
    The Air can handle it because of the SSD allows the virtual memory to run much faster. More RAM will be a big help, but an SSD would improve things even norr
     
  4. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #4
    you need to do 2 upgrades 8gb ram and an ssd. now if you have little skill at diy read my thread on seagate t-bolt adapter just look up my threads on this site. it under a half hour or so your mini will be faster then your macbook air.

    I could give you the long explaination of why if you want it just let me know.
     
  5. obsidian1200 macrumors 6502

    obsidian1200

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    #5
    I'd agree with this. It's pretty well agreed that the 2gb of RAM in the mini isn't enough for it to provide a pleasant computing experience. I'd suggest spending the ~$40 on an 8gb RAM kit and popping it into the mini before trying to sell it. If that's still not fast enough, then you should probably sell it if you don't want to invest in a small SSD for booting purposes.
     
  6. Bluedog54 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Location:
    Boston
    #6
    RAM is so cheap. Head over to Newegg, Crucial, or wherever and buy as much RAM as your mini will take. I just installed 8GB of 1600 RAM into my mini for $64. Do it!
     
  7. philipma1957, Apr 23, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012

    philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #7
    here is my thread on thunderbolt adapters.


    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1317577

    adding the seagate thunderbolt adapter an ssd and a t-bolt cable will allow the mini to fly. this is not that costly compared to a new macbook air.

    the mac mini is 568 at amazon the ram is 40 that is 608 the mushkin the thunderbolt and the t-bolt cable is about 450 so you are at 1058. for a faster machine. with 8gb ram and a 500gb hdd and a 240gb ssd.


    A good mouse/keyboard screen is 300 so 1308 vs 1699 for top of the line macbook air
    takes almost no skill to assemble and is better then the macbook air in every way except portability.



    http://store.apple.com/us/product/MC913ZM/A cable
    _______________________________________________________________________________________
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/840972-REG/Seagate_STAE121_GoFlex_Thunderbolt_Adapter.htm

    in stock but overpriced adapter


    http://www.provantage.com/seagate-stae121~7SEG904F.htm

    good price but out of stock
    ________________________________________________________________________________________
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-list...p?ie=UTF8&qid=1334584973&sr=8-3&condition=new

    in stock but over priced mushkin

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226226 out of stock mushkin ssd
    ________________________________________________________________________________________

    Read my thread and figure out why the above items sell out.
     
  8. lilsoccakid74, Apr 23, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012

    lilsoccakid74 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #8
    The amount of ram you have is holding your mini back, big time...Here's why.

    The mini needs to write data to the hard drive (known as page-outs) when not enough ram is available for what is needed. Obviously, writing to a HD is MUCH slower than writing to ram, and this is why 2gb ram in the stock model was a horrible choice on apples part. Many people have returned them not knowing that spending 40 bucks on 8gb ram makes it a whole new machine!

    The SSD is also a good option, but I would say making any decision without first trying 8gb ram would be regretful. Besides opening apps/restarts, the mini with 8gb should spank your MBA.

    Remember 2gb ram means that you got 1.5 to run lion, and 512mb for EVERYTHING else... That means you open safari and itunes and your already crippled by "Page-Outs".



    Hope this helps!
     
  9. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #9
    The op has gotten used to his macbook air. the air goe right to the ssd when he runs out of ram (2gb IIRC) and he feels like his gear is snappy or quick. BTW it is snappy in any ram or hdd area of work. He will bog down only if he pushes his cpu with a job like hand brake or any really big cpu user. SSD's are very addictive.

    If he puts the ram in his mini it will help and 40 bucks for 8gb is low cost easy to do. But that mod will not make the machine have ssd quickness of his macbookair. I have lots and lots and lots of gear tested and used.

    ssd ram cpu = speed

    mac mini is lite on the hdd and the ram .

    the mac mini cpu is much better then the air cpu but the hdd and ram are really slow. I do not know the op's needs maybe he moves his air around a real lot.

    BTW the macbook air loses out to a properly modded 13 inch MBP. in all areas but weight and screen resolution. frankly I would rather have a 13inch MBP and ram and an ssd then have the current macbook air.

    I use the dvd player for software alot. i would add 16gb ram and a big ssd and my 13 inch macbook pro would be decent gear. But My eyes are old so screen resolution means nothing much to me and I don't lug the gear around a lot. For each user one piece of gear may be a better choice then the other.



    http://store.apple.com/us/product/FD314LL/A this is 1269 I pull the hdd and sell it it for 75 bucks I am at 1200. I buy a big ssd like a crucial 256gb for 299 on sale I am at 1499 put in 16gb ram for 100 I am at 1599 with a machine that truly smashes a macbook air like the one below


    http://store.apple.com/us/product/G0ME0LL/A at 1439

    but to some the extra weight and screen resolution means something more then me.
     
  10. lilsoccakid74 macrumors 6502

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    Apr 13, 2010
    #10

    Agreed, I meant that the mini with 8gb would spank the air in cpu intensive applications. Also, thank you for adding that the SSD in the air is making the lack of ram feel less-drastic because it can perform faster page-outs, not sure if i mentioned that :rolleyes:
     
  11. 8281 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2010
    #11
    Invest in 8GB of RAM and decide if it's fast enough for you. My 2011 13" MBP was terribly slow with 4GB of RAM, so I upgraded to 8GB and it made quite a difference.

    You could also sacrifice your CD drive and install a small SSD boot drive. But for a HTPC, a 7200 RPM hybrid drive might be the best compromise between space, speed, and cost.
     
  12. Bonnie, Apr 23, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012

    Bonnie thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2004
    #12
    Thanks for the thoughtful responses everyone!

    I'll upgrade the ram, but as others have said, I still don't think I'll be quite happy with it because I'm so used to how quick the Air is and the faster page-outs. Hmm...

    I really wish that the Mini shipped with an affordable SSD. Kind of boggles my mind.

    Can't a gal have an zippy home server/HTPC/centralized backup machine for under $1k?!? Haha. :D
     
  13. SR45 macrumors 65832

    SR45

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Location:
    Florida
    #13
    More ram, more open applications. Simple solution and cheap. ;)
     
  14. lilsoccakid74 macrumors 6502

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    Apr 13, 2010
    #14
    I would be very surprised to see a MBA beat a mini with 8gb ram, the SSD will make page-outs faster, but when the mini gets the new ram it should never experience page-outs.:)
     
  15. tshrimp, Apr 24, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012

    tshrimp macrumors 6502

    tshrimp

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    #15
    I am new to mac, and bought the Mac Mini. I too was shocked at how slow the system was. I had been told by the apple store as well as the Apple faithful that 2Gb is like 4GB on a Windows PC due to the OS efficiency. I found this not to be the case (and I expected this might not be as I was informed). So I upgraded to 8GB of Patriot ram from a local retailer for $40. It helped a lot. But keep in mind the HD is the slowest thing on that system. If you compare it to your SSD MBA then you will be disappointed. If you add an SSD you will probably notice a marked improvement. I did this on a PC with a 7200RPM HD and the speed increase was insane.

    If you have web pages that are loading too slowly I did notice that I had this issue. What I found that if I connected from my Mac Mini to my Dual Band Router on the 5g then things would crawl. I switched over to the 2.4 and all was much better.

    Good luck to you, and ignore the negative clicks I saw on some of your responses. Don't let that reflect those of us who are trying to help. Some just don't like if you say anything negative about your Mac.

    I am open to any links anyone can provide concerning a cheap Mac Mini Mid 2011 hard drive cable. Thanks
     
  16. WilliamG macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #16
    Honestly, any relatively recent computer with an SSD will feel much faster than a top-of-the-line system without an SSD. An SSD is the absolute best upgrade you can do at this point. I personally won't run an OS off anything else.
     
  17. lilsoccakid74 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #17
    Thats kinda pushing it IMO, you will feel it when loading something on/off the drive, but it wont effect the performance of a program besides that. Most of the hard drives work is done after opening the program, so a 2009 Core2Duo Mini w/SSD might open something faster than my 2011, but from that point on it would not be a race.
     
  18. WilliamG macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #18
    I'm not saying anything about running Photoshop or gaming (though actually it does make a difference when working with large RAWs/TIFFs or loading up games etc), but in terms of general computer use, which the originator of this thread appears to be discussing, this is the KEY element that separates her MacBook Air from the Mac mini. There's a lack of RAM in her new mini, definitely, but the biggest issue is the 5400rpm disk in there.

    An SSD doesn't just make a world of difference over a mechanical disk, - it makes a universe of difference. In fact, I'd rather have a Mac mini with 2GB RAM and an SSD than a Mac mini with 4/8GB RAM and no SSD. Without question.

    And since I own both a 2011 MacBook Air, and a 2011 i5 2.3Ghz Mac mini, I have the experience to back up my claims. :D :D I was NOT happy with the 500GB 5400rpm drive in the Mac mini, and swapped it out for an SSD. I did add 8GB RAM later, but the biggest difference in general use was the SSD addition.
     
  19. lilsoccakid74 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #19
    Glad your enjoying it, although i still believe that the thread starter is 100x better off with the ram, especially since its affordable. I love my SSD, but to be honest, after saving the 5-45 seconds depending on whether Im loading a game, photoshop, restart, etc, the advantage (in most cases) is gone. The ram would make applications run faster while they are actually running, and would cost a sliver of the price of an SSD.
     
  20. WilliamG macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #20
    Well if money is an object, sure the RAM will help some. But absolutely in no way will it bring the Mac mini anywhere near close to the "feel" of the MacBook Air unless an SSD is introduced.
     

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