Time to upgrade - what to do?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Muttster, Jan 11, 2016.

  1. Muttster macrumors member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Needs your suggestions and ideas - seems that Apple and i am going into different directions.

    I have had Apple computers for the last 20 years, starting with the Apple IIC and ending with a mid 2011 Mac Mini sever with an i7 2Ghz Core and 8gb of memory. I'm noticing that it is getting a little old int he tooth and now i want to upgrade. I don't have the savy or the desire to put a SSD in the unit so its time to upgrade.

    I would like to stay with Apple but I'm toying with getting a PC simply because I would like to play some war games and simulations that are not available on the mac platform. I have heard that the new Mac Minis are less powerful than the older ones so that doesn't appear to be an option if that information is correct. I could also go with an iMacbut I already have a nice 27" monitor and I don't want to spend a minimum of $1700 on a new iMac. In the $700-$1000 range which is where I want to be, I will probably be looking at a 2011-2012 iMac which I don't know would be that significant of an upgrade from what i have now. I also thought of an older Mac Pro (I have an old 1,1 Mac Pro laying around collecting dust now) but don't know if that would be an upgrade.

    So what would you suggest - do I or stick with the Mac line or go with the PC (which would be a lot cheaper probably)? Seems that the Macs are either very cheap or very expensive with little in the mid point.
  2. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2008
    Zurich, Switzerland
    Upgrade the 2011 with an SSD and replace the RAM to 2x8.
    They are sufficiently easy to upgrade.
    Then wait till Apple upgrades the Mini again - which might be this year or next year.
    Not sure if even next years upgrade will bring them on par with the 2012 Quad-Core models, though.
    You can still "upgrade" to a PC then. Nothing lost. Actually, a lot of deprecation spared...
  3. easheer macrumors regular


    Sep 12, 2010
    I went back to a PC as my second computer for not even a year, before I gave up, and bought myself a 27" iMac. Aside from using a PC at work, I'll never own another PC at home.
  4. Muttster thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 28, 2007
    I don't want to spend $200 to upgrade a 400-500 dollar computer. Are there any other options?
  5. Smeaton1724 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 14, 2011
    Leeds, UK
    Find a 2012/2013 Mac Mini Quad, upgrade the RAM (don't need to be savvy for RAM). Massive specs for the size. I had one and let it go, worst sale I have made, even more so than selling my iPod Classic.

    Alternatively go down the MacBook Air route, get some portability and output to your monitor. That way you have added potential portability to your options. Beyond that iMac territory and the refurb store offers some solid discounts.
  6. Algus macrumors regular


    Jun 8, 2014
    What kind of hardware requirements do the games you want to play have? If you are going to need a video card to run those games, you will be unhappy fooling around with a Mac mini. $700-$1000 is a good budget to get yourself a basic gaming PC.

    If the hardware requirements on your games are minimal, it will be worthwhile to install Bootcamp on your Mac to run those games. I would upgrade your 2011 Mini with more RAM before considering either a 2012 or 2014 model. It will be money better spent.

    You can shop for a refurb iMac to save money. For instance this 2013 21.5'' The discrete GPU is not so good but depending on what games you want to play will probably be adequate for it but IMO your money is better spent on your current system or a gaming PC.
  7. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    I think you need to think about this from a "do I want a mac or pc?" perspective. And the way to answer that is see if a either will satisfy your requirements, then go for the best solution for the price. Can you get to a storefront that sells both (Best Buy) or an Apple Store or a Microsoft Store? Run the games you want to run and see if they work for you. Then figure out the best product from there. There are pro's and con's to each platform. One thing I can tell you with certainty is if you are running a 2011 mini with an original 5400HDD, it's a dog, especially if it's running 10.10 or later. Switching in an SSD alone will make it run better than new, and may buy you a couple of years of usefulness. I say this because 1) your drive is probably near the end of its useful operating life and 2) the recent mac os's are burdensome to HDDs. You may want to add more memory to better accommodate whatever simulators you're planning, but the SSD is the first thing that would help.
  8. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2008
    Zurich, Switzerland
    Then you must spend much more for either a decent iMac or a used MacPro. Or a decent PC (if there are any at all left - most likely in a price-segment comparable to an iMac)
    While it seems silly to spend "$200 to upgrade a $500 computer", at the end of the day it's still only $200 - and not $2000.
    The money you save will buy much more computer-power somewhere done the line, in a year or two.
    I bought a (basic) 2012 QC in spring 2014 and spent the same amount on upgrades - it's still going strong and in fact works even better than at the beginning, when bugs in OS X (which are finally fixed in El Capitan) showed sometimes.

    It works for me.
    I can't know what works for you.
    You asked here - you don't need to like the answers.

    People these days...
  9. Older bird macrumors regular

    Older bird

    Apr 26, 2015
    Same here. Windows is just bad after owning a Mac for any length of time
  10. Crosscreek macrumors 68030


    Nov 19, 2013
    I have run Widows 10 in bootcamp and Parallels 11 for the past year with no crashes. This is amazing to me after using Windows at work for 25 years and constant crashes. I also use Linux in Parallels with occasional glitches. I have used OS X for 4 years with no problems.

    I love OS X although it has become bloated and I like the fact I can run Windows and Linux at the same time seamlessly.

    I do not like Apples profiteering of the computers and upgrades they scalp us on. I do not like the fact that they do not offer a mid tier headless desktop with desktop processors.

    I am left with the decision of an AOI Mac or buying a second computer that is capable of running desktop apps with desktop a processor. Depending on what Apple does with the Mini I maybe forced into buying a PC to run Linux or Windows 10 on and use my 2012 Mini just for OS X stuff.
  11. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2008
    Zurich, Switzerland
    That may indeed be an option.
    But I've got an older desktop (from work, but not that slow) below the desk that I intended to use to run virtual machines. But I think I powered it up maybe once after I spent 30 bucks on a gfx-card so I could connect my old 30" display to it.
    It's just too loud and not "nice" enough.
    I could get a new desktop with i7 etc - but it would never be the same as running OS X.
    I would still prefer to run OS X most of the time - and then the money would be wasted.
    I'm rather spending it on OS X software like updating Omnigraffle or Fusion.

    If I need to run a VM that is too large for my Mini, I spin it up on the cloud at work.
  12. Schnort macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2013
    Almost certainly the crap that the company's IT department installs for anti-virus or remote provisioning.
  13. Muttster thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 28, 2007

    Actually I'm planning on going to the Microsoft and Apple Store tomorrow. If I stay with the Mac, I probably will upgrade to a SSD depending upon how much installation costs. I did price Quad Core Mac Mini's and many were being sold between $750-1000!

    It's a shame that Apple doesn't have a mid-range product but I'm guessing they are afraid that this will cut into IMac sales.
  14. tibas92013 macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2013
    Costa Rica
    In August, 2013 I purchased from the Apple On-Line Store a Refurbished MM(Late 2012), 2.5 GHZ, 4GB Ram, 500GB HD with Apple Care in which I paid around $800.00 which included Costa Rica Import Taxes.

    In January, 2015 I upgraded the RAM to 16GB here in Costa Rica for around $250.00 and is presently meeting all my computer needs and then some! So, I Plan on upgrading to a 256 SSD which will cost me another $250.00 with a one year guarantee at the same local Apple Authorized Dealer that installed the 16 GB RAM.

    So, in my thinking, I will have a "almost" brand-new 2012 MM for a cost around $250.00 in the year 2016 which should meet all my computer needs for a few more years.

    However, I must admit my computer needs are very basic: Surfing the Internet, Burning my large DVD Movie Collection, using SKYPE, ETC., so, I have no need for the latest and greatest!

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