Thinking about buying Mac Mini? [2015]

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Totodile, Apr 7, 2015.

  1. Totodile macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2015
    Southern Ontario
    Hello! I'm sorry if this is in the wrong section, I'm new to the forum and I'm not 100% sure that this is the right section for this. I've looked around a bit and it seems like the most appropriate but again I'm not 100% on that.

    Anyway, I've been considering picking up a Mac Mini. I haven't used OS X much other than on my Mid-2007 MacBook. I don't use my MacBook all that much because it is nearing 8 years old and the specs are not exactly desirable.

    Basically, I want to upgrade to a Mac Mini as my main computer. Currently my main computer is a Windows Machine with some decent specs but I don't always have access to it because it is a family computer. I'm only 17 years old, so this would be my first major purchase as far as computers go. The model I'm looking at is the $749 model on the canadian Apple website. It has 8GB of RAM and a 1TB HDD similar to my current main computer. I'm uncertain about the Intel Iris Graphics but I believe the i5 is better than my current computers processor. My whole reason for upgrading is that I am in love with minimalistic design and that is perfect because the computer ships with Yosemite.

    I prefer OS X to Windows and I deal with design a lot, specifically Adobe programs. Even on my Mid-2007 MacBook I can run most of the CS6 programs at a decent speed without too much hassle. Does anybody here own this model of Mac Mini and could you tell me what you think about it?

    Side note: I'm fairly new to this site, and I'm already loving the forums! Can't wait to see you all around here while I'm browsing later! I've been on this forum a few times for help with various things but never considered registering until now.
  2. mauka, Apr 7, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2015

    mauka macrumors regular


    Nov 24, 2006
    My advice is to not under buy, and keep the iMac option open

    I just purchased a new Mini from the Apple refurbished store, and went for the high end model. If you take a look at the threads here you'll read quite a bit about how under powered some configurations of the 2014 Mini can be. Memory cannot be upgraded, and your hard drive upgrade options are limited. Others here know more about hard drive options.

    Knowing these limitations I went for the high end model with 2.8 processor and 1TB Fusion hard drive. It was refurbished, and the first owner ordered it with 16GB of RAM, (2x the standard 8GB). I'm quite happy with the computer, even more since receiving my new 32" Samsung monitor. The fusion drive in mine seems as quick as the EVO Pro in my Windows box.

    You'll see advice about getting the older model - because it has a four core CPU and better upgrade options. I considered going that route, but decided I didn't want to spend my time and money doing upgrades, plus I wanted the security of AppleCare. Three years of coverage is available when buying a new or refurbished computer from Apple. The two year extension is $99.

    I mention the iMac because when you start adding the price of components together you can get within the price range of an iMac, and I suggest you consider that option if an iMac fits your needs. I wanted a monitor larger than 27", so the Mini made sense for me. However I owned an iMac 27" from 2010 until recently, and it was a fine computer. Good Luck!
  3. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Prediction for OP:
    You will not be happy with a Mini with [only] a platter-based HDD. You will find its performance slow, at best. Numerous others postings in this forum report as much.

    If you want a Mini to serve as your "main" computer, you should get at least the "midrange" model with the 1tb fusion drive option. It will have:
    - FAR faster CPU
    - Better graphics
    - 8gb of RAM standard
    - the fusion drive.

    It's all-but impossible to overstate the importance of the fusion drive (or "straight" SSD) when running Yosemite.
  4. GilesM macrumors 6502

    Oct 17, 2008
    Take note of this advice - please!

    I had read comments like this, but I ignored it and went and bought an entry level Mac Mini (late 2014) model.
    I soon had problems, I found the machine to be virtually unfit for purpose.
    So, after advice from this forum, I purchased an SSD and an enclosure and now run the OS from the external SSD. This made an incredible difference, the machine is now much, much better. I no longer regret my purchase.
    So this cost me £399 (for the mini) and £90.00 for the SSD.

    If you do buy a mini at entry level be prepared to get an SSD and do what I did, or buy the one with the fusion drive.
    You will not be happy with an entry level unit without modification. Really you will not be happy with it.
  5. xylitol macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2013
    The funniest part is that Apple is getting away with this. I wish people would use the HDD Mac Minis when making public presentations. Let them see all those spinning beach balls!
  6. Micky Do, Apr 9, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2015

    Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

    Aug 31, 2012
    An island in the Andaman Sea.
    I do….. or rather my students do, using PowerPoint on my early 2009 case model Mini, which still has the original HDD in place. No problem.

    I have also tried running the PowerPoint presentations opened with Keynote. Again, no problem.

    I had an extra 4GB of RAM installed along side the original 1 GB when it was updated to Mountain Lion, which I am still using.

    With the HDD now being about six years old I reckon I'll be replacing it soon….. and that will be with a 500 GB HDD (about $100 installed) which should see me right for another three years or so.

    If you are getting beach balls on the latest basic spec Mini, more fool you. You are just being a cheapskate, buying an under-specced computer for what you expect of it…. then come whinging how hard done by you were by Apple.

    If I was to replace my Mini I would go for the mid range model, probably with Fusion Drive, which would set me back about the same as what paid for the 2009 Mini I am using now. However it is not a decision I will have to make for a few years.
  7. xylitol, Apr 9, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2015

    xylitol macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2013
    Yeah sure, blame it on the customers. Even the midrange non-configured model comes with a slow spinner. Who's the real cheapskate here?

    And we are in effect talking about poor performance on Yosemite, as the new ones ship with that.
  8. Cloudsurfer macrumors 65816


    Apr 12, 2007
    Hi, and welcome to the forum!

    If you prefer OS X and your only point of reference is a 2007 MacBook, you're going to love the new Mini! My only advice is, upgrade the hard drive to a fusion drive, or preferably SSD-only. Hard drives are painfully slow and will affect your experience in a negative way.

    The Minis, even the low end models, are very capable computers and will handle the tasks you describe without any problems.

    Be aware though that, unlike your Windows pc, the mini is not upgradable. This means you have to make sure you know what you need before you place your order.
  9. MistrSynistr macrumors 65816

    May 15, 2014
    Just be sure to get a Fusion or SSD drive with your mini. I have a 2012 I installed a Crucial SSD in and it's an insane difference in performance.

    Check the Refurb site for some.
  10. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    It's $900 (USD) to get the Mini with an SSD... for a desktop computer with an ultrabook CPU and onboard graphics.:confused:
  11. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000


    Nov 20, 2007
    Hi OP, if you get the machine you first mentioned and upgrade the HDD to 3rd party SSD (I recommend Crucial for value/performance/reliability) you can have a fast machine with not too much outlay.
  12. newchemicals macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2015
    I'm new to the mac mini, I just got mine a week ago. I ended up getting the cheapest mini, I considered getting the upgraded model but for me money is tight, I am new to OS X and I figure once I know the ins and outs of the system I'll have a better idea next time.

    It sounds like you would be better off with the mid grade mini.
  13. 2macman macrumors member

    Nov 20, 2010
    Samsung monitor for mac mini

    I'm quite happy with the computer, even more since receiving my new 32" Samsung monitor.

    My late 2009 iMac 27 monitor has the "monitor-terminally-going-black problem. So, I'm interested in the getting a mac mini and 32 Samsung monitor. Can I ask you which specific Samsung monitor you bought?

  14. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    Buy the cheap one, put an SSD (or two) into it.

    Turns it into a speed demon.
  15. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2015
    Speed demon? No.

    Consirable faster? Yes.

    I currently have Mac Mini 2014 middle model. I didn't want to risk opening it and I simply purchased SSD + external USB enclosure.

    While it isn't quite as fast as internal solution it is fast enough for my needs and I can easily sell Mini once I have saved enough for a cMacPro.

    Are you absolutely certain you want Yosemite?

    I cannot recommend Yosemite at this point since it is full of bugs, especially when it comes to graphics drivers. I have used all previous OS X versions and Yosemite has most problems after Lion. It might work once it Apple has updated it to 10.10.5 but I am very disappointed with Apples software quality!:mad:
  16. Partron22 macrumors 68020


    Apr 13, 2011
    I'm not seeing the advantage of a fusion drive nowadays. It's clearly a transitional technology, and within the next year, or at most two, SSD's will reach the point where a happy Terabyte doesn't cost an arm and a leg.
    I saved a few bucks by getting the HD mini, and will wait out the warranty period before ripping the thing open and slapping in a cheap, big, third party SSD. A year is not such a long time to wait.
    Boot is slower than I'd like, but once up an running it's easy to appreciate how much device buses have improved these past few years.
  17. GoKyu macrumors 65816


    Feb 15, 2007
    New Orleans
    I have a midrange (i5) 2011 Mini that was serving me very well, even running Photoshop without any trouble (I also maxed out the RAM to 16gb.)

    But in the past 8 months or so, I started recording music online. I had a few limitations along the way - GarageBand would need to be restarted every 20-30 minutes because of latency issues, etc. But overall it was an ok setup.

    Last week, things slowed down so much, (and I didn't have the money for a new machine), that I overnighted my first SSD from OWC and installed it the following morning.

    INSTANT difference - my nearly 4 year old Mini felt like it was brand new. 13 second boot time (while strangely enough, my bootcamp Win 7 still takes 50 seconds, even with optimization...), GarageBand can stay open a whole day without any latency issues, most apps open instantly and the larger ones *almost* instantly, I'm willing to dual-boot more often now because the boot times are so short.

    Basically, I haven't seen any downside to an SSD, and the traditional HDD is the bottleneck that keeps even a great processor like an i5 from performing at its best.

    If your apps rely on speed, make sure to have either an SSD or a fusion drive, especially on these newer Minis, which have a much more limited upgrade path.
  18. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Aug 25, 2010
    I'm running SSDs in all three Macs, MBP Yosemite, MP Yosemite and mini W8.1. For some reason current Macs HAVE to have SSDs to perform properly. The Windows mini was actually OK on the OEM HDD.

    When the mini's SSD was in the MP it also ran really fast but not that much faster than on a hard drive. Run Mac OS from a HDD and you have a beach-balling dog. I don't recall it being that way a few years ago.

    I began replacing the Windows mini with an HP Z230 workstation last night. Windows runs so fast on the 7200 rpm HDD that I may use the SSD for something else. I don't get it.

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17 April 7, 2015