Should I trade my MacBook Pro for this Mac mini?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by UhFive, Dec 10, 2015.

  1. UhFive macrumors regular

    UhFive

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2013
    Location:
    Texas
    #1
    I currently have a Late 2012 MacBook Pro (i7) and was offered a 2012 Mac Mini (the highly desired i7)...I have a few questions.
    1) I'm interested to know if this is a good trade? I believe the Mac Mini has a more powerful processor than my MBP, can anyone confirm that? What about similar values?
    2) Is there any diagnostic software I can run to ensure his is full functional? He has replaced the HDD and I want to ensure it was done properly and there wasn't any damage.
    3) Is there a way to check the serial number to make sure it isn't stolen?
     
  2. SpinalTap macrumors regular

    SpinalTap

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    Sep 25, 2003
    Location:
    Bournville, UK
    #2
    I own a 2012 Mac Mini i7. My advice: keep the MBP. Your extra expenditure will be taken in buying a decent monitor.

    If it's just about your perception of 'faster processing speed' on the i7 Mac Mini, this is easily overcome on your MBP.

    Swapping the HDD for SSD on your MBP will eradicate any perception of a 'slower' processor. I did this on my daughter's MBP. This was a very wise investment.
     
  3. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #3
    Assuming they are both quadcore (ie a 15 inch macbook pro) then just get an exteranl screen for your MBP and it'll be much better than the mini as a desktop due to better graphics. If your macbook pro is a 13 inch one and dual core then it might be worth it if you don't need portability.
     
  4. wickedpapercut macrumors member

    wickedpapercut

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    #4
    Interesting swap question. I'd think that most people would be looking to swap a desktop to move to a laptop. But, since you asked, I agree with the above answers and don't see much of a reason to make this trade. You'll need a monitor, keyboard, and mouse/trackpad if you swap (if they're not included). You'll also be giving up the portability of grabbing the MBP and taking it to a coffee shop to continue working. Unless you REALLY need the small incremental processing power that the i7 quad-core will give you, I don't think I'd do the trade.

    Add some memory to the laptop and replace the slow spinner with a fast SSD drive and you'll see some major performance improvements for everything except the most serious CPU-intensive tasks.

    That said, I have the aforementioned 2012 mini with the i7 and think it's a great machine. I also have a 2009 MBP and an iPad that give me the minimal mobility that I need.

    Good luck.
     
  5. UhFive thread starter macrumors regular

    UhFive

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Texas
    #5
    I should have clarified before...mine is a 2012 13" MBP with the dual core 2.9ghz i7 and his is the late 2012 MacMini with the quad core 2.3ghz i7.
    Portability is not a huge factor for me and my wife has a MBP too, so if I really need it I can use that too...so I consider the portability a wash.
    I primarily use my machine to rip/convert all my blu-rays, back up my phone, play music throughout my house (iTunes/Airplay), occasional facetime calls and to use "messages" when I have a lot to type or to type fast. I hardly even surf the web on my MBP as my phone is usually more accessible.
    The trade includes a monitor (24" Asus VE245), Apple keyboard, and Apple Trackpad.

    The reason I am considering this trade is that I've been looking at setting up a Plex server for a long time now and this Mac Mini with external HDD's seems to be the go to solution for an always on PMS. Not just a PMS, but my wife often times needs access to content stored on my drives at home so I have been considering buying an always on dedicated server anyways. Will this be the right solution? or should I stick with my MBP and just use it as the server?

    Anyone know about diagnostics software for the health of his machine or a way to search the serial number to make sure it is not stolen?
     
  6. SpinalTap, Dec 10, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2015

    SpinalTap macrumors regular

    SpinalTap

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Location:
    Bournville, UK
    #6
    I still wouldn't buy the Mini. Keep the MBP, add the SSD: you really won't notice the difference, even if you were able to compare it to a Mac Mini. Why do I say that?

    Given that you want to rip movies, and want a PLEX server, a more sensible/cheaper/expandable solution is to buy, for example, a QNAP TS-451+. This is a quad-core Intel-powered NAS. It has AirPlay, TimeMachine, iTunes Server, AppleTV compatibility, Kodi, and PLEX - and has HDMI output. Everyone in the house can access the files on this QNAP.

    Add as many as 4 x HDD's (with back-up redundancy). It is 'future proof' as far as your storage needs are concerned. Even if you were able to fill all the 4 bays with the largest HDD's, you can add a QNAP expansion array to expand the system as you budget or needs allow/grow.

    https://www.qnap.com/i/uk/product/model.php?II=196
     
  7. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #7
    I'd keep the MBP,I think overall it has more utility then the Mini
     
  8. RedCroissant Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    #8
    I also would keep the MBP but remove the Superdrive and RAID 2 SSDs. This way, you get amazing performance from a machine that's more easily upgraded/modified than a Mac Mini. This coupled with Airplay mirroring, and the availability of the FW port in addition to TB and the USB ports, I think you have a much better machine.
     
  9. UhFive thread starter macrumors regular

    UhFive

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2013
    Location:
    Texas
    #9
    Thanks everyone for your help!
    Instead of trading the MBP what about purchasing it from him? He is asking $450...is that worth it or stick with a similar priced NAS?
     
  10. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #10
    450 for a 2012 Mac Mini seems a little pricey, especially when you can buy a band new one for 500 bucks
     
  11. tod macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2009
    Location:
    Ohio
    #11
    I am typing this on a Late 2012 i7 Mac Mini. I prefer this over a laptop for many reasons:

    - I upgraded the RAM to 16 GB
    - I used the additional internal HD bay to add another SSD, which I use for Time Machine
    - I prefer a real keyboard to a laptop keyboard
    - I prefer a mouse to a trackpad
    - I like a big display
    - I use my computer in one place and have no desire to take it with me. When I leave the house, I want to be away from the computer
    - I have a lot of stuff plugged into it. My preferred keyboard and mouse, a Wacom tablet, iOS devices, additional backup drives, a DVD player. You could plug these things into a USB hub and then into a stationary laptop, but it's even more cumbersome. I have a setup that doesn't need to move.
    - Quad core makes a big difference with anything multi-threaded. I would even take a quad core laptop over a dual core desktop (but use the laptop like a desktop).

    You can add a keyboard, mouse, and display to a laptop and think you're getting the benefits of a desktop with the ability to use it as a laptop if you want. I've tried that in the past, thinking I would get the best of both worlds. I found that I used the laptop option so infrequently that its usefulness just couldn't compare to the usefulness of having extra drives right in my computer and extra stuff connected to it, like a Wacom tablet, more backup drives (I take backups very seriously), and other things.
     
  12. David58117 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    #12
    Yeah - that's a 1.4GHz i5.

    I don't believe they offer a quad core model anymore.

    If you want an i7 quadcore that you can upgrade to 16GB ram and an SSD - I think the 2012 model is the last chance.
     
  13. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #13
    I like my late-2013 15" rMBP (16GB RAM, 1TB SSD) AND my 2012 i7 Mini Server (with 2 1TB spinners and upgraded to 16GB RAM). My regular Mac is my rMBP, that was until yesterday - one of the memory modules died and the motherboard is being replaced, soooooo for a few days the Mini Server is my main Mac..... I set up a user account for surfing and the like on the Mini, and here I am.

    Most of my usage is now not being mobile so much with a PC/Mac and my next Mac may be an iMac with a VESA mount, but I'll still be keeping the Mini Server. I chose the 2012 version, buying earlier this year over the 2014 version because I wanted more internal options - and I KNEW it wouldn't be my main Mac, but after using it for a few days it could be - the only two mods I would make are the RAM I added and using an SSD for its boot drive; the Mini works well in a user profile but starting things up and rebooting are a PITA now that I'm used to an SSD. I have a 256GB TB SSD with Yosemite loaded on it and booted the Mini from that SSD and the Mini is a different beast now - given that the Mini is a file server and iTunes server (tied to iTunes Match), I won't be upgrading to an SSD but I would if I used this Mini everyday.

    Given that last bit of my advice, either way I'd parrot what others have offered - add RAM and an SSD to your Mac of choice, your main Mac that is. If you choose to hold on to your laptop and add the Mini to your stable I'd leave the spinner HD in the Mini and use the money for a display or RAM. Both of my Macs were purchased from the Apple Refurb Store, and I added cheap AC from Amazon/B&H.
     
  14. UhFive thread starter macrumors regular

    UhFive

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2013
    Location:
    Texas
    #14
    Update: Good thing I didn't do this trade...he just updated his ad to say that the "the fan needs to be replaced. When I changed the HDD, the cable connector came loose".
    Looks to me like someone in-experienced messed around with this and there is no telling what else they damaged while inside.
     
  15. wickedpapercut macrumors member

    wickedpapercut

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    #15
    If you can buy the 2012 i7 mini for $450, I'd suggest buying it. Do some comparison shopping on eBay and I think you'll see that similar machines are fetching prices upward of $600. A replacement fan can be obtained for less than $60 and is an easy repair. More likely, the connector just needs to be re-seated and snapped into place (a mistake I made myself). Snap in 16GB of RAM, install the SSD drive, and you have a fast desktop box.

    Or, if you don't feel like performing surgery, take the mini to an Apple store and let the service folks tell you the cost of a repair. If it's just the fan and not a broken connector (requiring a new logic board), negotiate to the middle with the seller and you're still getting a reasonably priced mini.

    Just my opinion.
     
  16. David58117 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    #16
    Fans are easy to replace, and that happens quite easily.

    It really is a simple fix..
     

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