Should I wait for the new macmini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by MacHaris, Dec 7, 2013.

  1. MacHaris macrumors member

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    #1
    With Christmas on the way I was hoping to get a Mac mini i7 2.3ghz on boxing day for a cheaper price, so i was wondering should I wait for the next Mac mini or just get this one. My major question is, is there going to be HUGE SPEC CHANGES or not, also what are the chances of a redesign?
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #2
    Apple is done with updates for 2013, though I'm unsure if they have any particular sales at boxing day since that holiday isn't really celebrated here in the US, so we see no such sales from anyone.
     
  3. DeSnousa macrumors 68000

    DeSnousa

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    #3
    JB HiFi are selling the Mini for AUD$807 at the moment, really good deal.
     
  4. MacHaris thread starter macrumors member

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    #4
    Yes I know but it could go cheaper.
     
  5. And macrumors 6502

    And

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    #5
    or it could get more expensive.
     
  6. fig macrumors 6502a

    fig

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    #6
    The price won't change significantly either way.

    And the main update for the next Mini is most likely the Haswell chip (would result in moderate but not huge speed increases) and possibly a faster wifi connection which you probably won't notice.

    If you need a machine now I'd get one now, if you're not in urgent need wait it out and see what happens. I bought my Mini back in May when people were already saying we might want to wait....they're still waiting.
     
  7. fastlanephil macrumors 6502a

    fastlanephil

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  8. mvmanolov macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    I am with you on this. I bought in mid November and can't be happier :D
     
  9. DeSnousa macrumors 68000

    DeSnousa

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    #9
    That is nearly 20% cheaper than RRP. Even if it is cheaper it is not going to be by much and you risk losing the deal.
     
  10. haravikk macrumors 65816

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    #10
    At this point a redesign seems somewhat likely, probably ditching the spare drive bay in favour of an even smaller and more compact design, possibly using an SSD blade to provide Fusion Drive options within the smaller space.

    Spec wise though I'm not sure what you consider huge. The Mac Mini may get a second Thunderbolt port, but if Apple do go smaller I'd say it's more likely they'll just drop FireWire 800 and leave a single Thunderbolt port. Not sure how likely it is to upgrade to Thunderbolt 2 or not; Apple do prefer to go for consistent ports specs across the range, so it's possible, will just be a bit weird when the iMacs don't have it yet.

    Intel's Haswell processors aren't all that much faster in CPU performance compared to what the Mac Minis get right now, the main benefit is the much better integrated GPUs for both gaming etc. but also for OpenCL performance (which may become a bigger deal in future, but also may not, it's hard to judge). In fact the Iris GPU should be pretty decent for casual games or older games from a few years ago. The most interesting CPU option will be Iris Pro (if it's even offered) as it has a Crystalwell 128mb cache which will make the GPU perform more like a discrete GPU, but it can also accelerate the CPU, or any combination of the two. I wouldn't expect that except maybe on a built to order quad-core option and/or the server model (if they even continue to offer it, personally I doubt it). I think it also boosts performance of virtual machines by a small amount, but not loads, just in case you run any.

    Otherwise I'm not sure what else to expect; MacBook Airs still have 4gb of RAM as standard, so I doubt the Mac Mini will make the jump to 8gb as the majority of users don't need that much anyway (especially now that Mavericks has added RAM compression). Might get some more HDD options, but again the majority of users don't need much either.

    So yeah, unless you're really interested in OpenCL and/or gaming then I doubt the Mac Mini will be a "huge" spec-bump, and if you've always looked at the Mac Mini and thought "damn that's one bulky computer" then the redesign might be of interest, but otherwise I expect it'll be mostly incremental.


    I'm on an early 2008 Mac Pro so I'm definitely waiting for the next Mac Mini, as even the current quad core Mac Minis outperform my dual CPUs, and the Haswell graphics improvements mean the new ones should also outperform my GeForce 8800 GT; not by a massive amount, but enough that it could still be a bit of an upgrade, especially when you consider much faster RAM, Thunderbolt and USB3.
     
  11. DeSnousa macrumors 68000

    DeSnousa

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    #11
    Awesome post, makes sense. OpenCL sounds awesome, does iMovie take advantage of this? What about Handbrake?
     
  12. Jobine macrumors newbie

    Jobine

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    #12
    Currently debating between a Mini and a high-specced PC for the same price :/
     
  13. DeSnousa macrumors 68000

    DeSnousa

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    #13
    I have been doing this for years and I miss just having a box that works and is dependable over a period of time. I have repaired and upgraded a ton with my computer rig and while it has been fun I am ready to switch back :)
     
  14. haravikk, Dec 10, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2013

    haravikk macrumors 65816

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    #14
    I don't think iMovie does, and OpenCL support in x264 (which Handbrake uses for H.264 video encoding) is currently experimental and only accelerates certain features rather than encoding as a whole so it doesn't make much noticeable difference.

    I don't doubt that more programs will add OpenCL support, especially professional apps. Apple will presumably add it to Final Cut Pro, especially now that the new Mac Pro is nearly here, but whether it will trickle down to iMovie I'm not so sure. Some pro apps do use GPUs for computation, but many that do currently use CUDA (NVidia only) so it will take time for them to switch to the more compatible OpenCL.

    Best way to think about it is like other hardware features like 64-bit; they're great features to have, and some applications may benefit considerably from them, but I wouldn't bet your money on it as you may end up disappointed.

    However, if you don't mind having a better GPU for gaming or other apps that are GPU accelerated in the traditional way, then it's still worth having, and OpenCL might just be an added bonus later on.
     
  15. Bear macrumors G3

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    #15
    I'd say a redisgn is not likely to happen yet. As for the spec changes, I'd say based on what other Macs included with the Haswell changes, you will see:
    • Better integrated graphics.
    • SSDs will be PCIe based.
    • 802.11ac
    How important any one of these changes are to you depends on what you do with your computer. How long you plan to keep it for might also be a factor in whether to wait or not. Although only you can decide how long you can really wait before buying.
     

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