Top of the line current gen vs Upcoming Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Engali, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. Engali macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    #1
    Hello,

    I am a bit impatient for the Mac Mini update. I want to use a Mac Mini as an HTPC and get rid of my HP laptop that's currently connected to my HDTV via HDMI. I'm also planning on gaming on it occasionally. Do you think the updated Mac Mini with Ivy Bridge will be better/faster than a current gen Mac Mini with the following specs?

    2.7ghz
    8gb RAM
    750gb HDD and 256gb SSD

    I know this is probably overkill for an HTPC and what the specs on the upcoming Mac Mini is conjecture, but I wanna futureproof as much as I can. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Big Bone macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2009
    Location:
    North Salt Lake
    #2
    Well the biggest thing keeping me waiting is the 3.0 USB ports. I have several USB 3 ready portable HD's I use and I'd love to do downloads faster.

    I figure if I have to wait a month and some change, I can be patient.
     
  3. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #3
    Future proofing is pointless. There will be no significant performance boost with the upcoming revision for your usage.
     
  4. Quash macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    #4
    I would wait a month, even if you would like to buy that computer, good chance you can get it for 100$ or more less, when the new ones are released.

    There is also chance of a (35w) quad core ivy bridge at that price point. Which is a lot faster! It will be interesting to see if apple will drop the dedicated gpu with Ivy Bridge, there are not a lot of interesting mobile GPU's which use the same amount of power as the 6630m
     
  5. Ice Dragon macrumors 6502a

    Ice Dragon

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    #5
    nVidia GeForce 640M LE perhaps? Is that better or worse than the 6630M?
     
  6. Quash macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    #6
    Yeah that gpu is the only one that would make sense. It is significantly better then the 6630m. I hope apple is willing to make the effort to put a dedicated GPU in the mini. Because with the next gen, Haswell coming it would probably make sense to drop the dedicated GPU from the mini.
     
  7. theRAMman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 6, 2012
    Location:
    The Moon.
    #7
    the lowest spec mac minis will probably be upgraded to intel 4000, but im not sure about the higher end models, the biggest change will be the higher Ghzs on the processer, which isnt really a massive deal, but it will speed up your normal computer usage
     
  8. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #8
    Every so once-in-a-while, there comes along a "technology bump" that makes the waiting worth it by offering something new that is simply impossible to get on the older machines.

    The new Minis are going to offer such a bump. It will be USB3.

    Doesn't sound like much off-the-cuff, but the performance improvements that USB3 offers will soon make USB2 look as old and outdated as does USB 1.1 seem now.

    Firewire probably won't be around much longer (gone within 2 years), and Thunderbolt doesn't seem to be going anywhere either.

    Others may disagree, but it looks like USB3 is "the future" insofar as connectivity is concerned, and that makes it worth waiting for.
     
  9. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #9
    If the OP is gaming, the HD4000 will be a significant improvement. USB3.0 isn't a deal breaker, but it's worth waiting for unless he needs a computer today.
     
  10. Ice Dragon macrumors 6502a

    Ice Dragon

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    Jun 16, 2009
    #10
    Yeah because I think the regular 640M might be too much.
     
  11. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

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    Jul 26, 2011
    #11
    I don't see the probable upgrade to an Intel HD4000 as a "significant improvement." The best one can hope for is around a 40% increase in speed which means the HD4000 is still an anemic GPU for gaming. There is a lot of info online comparing the HD 4000 to other GPUs running popular games.

    If you want to game a discrete GPU is the way to go. Better yet is a PC set-up for gaming.
     
  12. Litany macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    #12
    Actually it is. USB2.0 is pretty much worthless for hard drives and USB sticks.
    Remember the days when people were saying USB1.1 was good enough?
     
  13. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

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    Oct 21, 2008
    #13
    That's gross hyperbole.
     
  14. Ifti macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #14
    Personally I think you should wait. Whether you use the extra power now or not, I don't see the point in buying older components when newer ones are just a few weeks away, and probably at the same price.
    I, like the OP, am looking to buy a mini for use as a HTPC mainly, but also for some encoding etc, and I will buy the server version, with the best CPU possible. I'll upgrade the ram and HDD myself, but can't upgrade the CPU. So in order to make the unit last as long as possible ill stick the extra cash in now while I have it. Although the components may be overkill for now, as new software is released it makes use of higher powered components, so this way in a few years at least I know I can still be upgrading to, and running, the latest software.

    I guess I just have a tendency to always buy the best CPU possible - maybe it just makes me feel better! Lol
     
  15. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Apr 13, 2010
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    Howell, New Jersey
    #15

    you would be wasting money. wait and see what comes out in the next few weeks.
     
  16. OneMike macrumors 601

    OneMike

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    #16
    I'd wait. I sold my 2011 mac mini locally today. I use it for a ton of media and usb 3 alone made it worth it to me.
     
  17. NutsNGum macrumors 68030

    NutsNGum

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    #17
    I'm considering replacing my 2011 17" Pro with the next mini, the option of two display outs without having to purchase a second thunderbolt display, iMac, or rMBP is a huge benefit.
     
  18. Acorn macrumors 68020

    Acorn

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    Jan 2, 2009
    Location:
    macrumors
    #18
    I am scared they will replace the mini with the hd4000 across all lines. id like to use photoshop with my mini which really relies on a good gpu.
     
  19. Engali thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    #19
    Wow! Thanks for all the good advice. You all have convinced me; I'll wait to see what's up next for the Mac Mini line.

    One more question since I am not all that computer savvy. How do you think the new Mac Mini will stack up vs the Retina MBP for gaming? I'm talking about getting high FPS at high resolutions. I know I'm kinda comparing apples to oranges since I wouldn't be using a particularly high resolution with the Mac Mini connected to an old 720p HDTV, but thoughts anyway regarding this? I read in the MBP forum that the rMBP is decent for gaming, but doesn't stack up that well against desktops built for gaming. I dunno how a Mac Mini would compare to most PC desktops as far as gaming is concerned and thought I'd ask that here.
     
  20. Acorn macrumors 68020

    Acorn

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    Jan 2, 2009
    Location:
    macrumors
    #20
    usually when the mini gets a dedicated gpu it only gets 256 megabytes of video ram. the 15 inch laptops are usually a gig of video memory. the laptop would be better gpu wise by a mile. I think the gaming on the retina is good as long as you dial the resolution down.

    however it is possible to get a non retina model and still walk away with a good video card.
     
  21. Litany macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    #21
    Actually its not. Even the old firewire 400 is significantly faster than USB2 and FW800 wipes the floor with it. The only thing USB2 is good for is mice and digital cameras.
     
  22. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    #22
    Really? My entire video library is on USB 2.0 drives. Works just fine.
     
  23. spike8585, Jul 8, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2012

    spike8585 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    #23
    Yes, USB 2.0 is "fine". Usb 3.0 is definitely worth the 1-2 week wait.
    USB 2.0 is a severely aged spec. We are not working with 100mb files anymore. One movie at acceptable quality is 8 gig. Over 2.0 it is torture. But that is all I have, and it works. If you have lesser taste in video quality, then your movies are 700mb. USB 2.0 definitely works for that. (look at apple with itunes spreading low quality music when CD's were around 30 years ago...its the rage (for the same price, might i add.))

    Im dying for usb 3.0 speeds, so i'll wait. But I do not think anyone is "trolling" in support of USB 2.0.
     
  24. lannisters4life macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Location:
    Sydney
    #24
    Yeah the comparison is a bit crazy... I'd bet the Mac Mini (with the 6630M) would play more smoothly at 1280x720 than the retina Macbook Pro would at 2880×1800. But I mean, if you're sane, the rMBP down at 1680×1050 seems to play very well.

    On the Mac Mini refresh, imagine if they crammed a 650M in there, what a little machine it would be.
     
  25. Engali thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    #25
    Hmm...

    So I just ran across the Pocket TV on Kickstarter and it might just be the solution I'm looking for. I can throw in a 64gb SD card for storage and connect an external HD through one of the USB2.0 ports (I think I can live with that) for HD movies--and it'll support 1080p, which will be nice when I get a new HDTV.

    I was planning on getting a MBA 13" as a portable laptop to complement my HTPC Mac Mini, but going the Pocket TV route will free up some money so I can get a rMBP instead. I think my mom got me an Apple TV 3 yesterday; I can use AirPlay with the rMBP if I need it. I know some would say forgo the Pocket TV or similar mini PC altogether and just use the ATV3 + rMBP set up, but I want to cover the possibility of doing something on my rMBP that the iPad I'm using right now can't while watching stuff on my TV.

    Anyone have any thoughts about going this route? Speedy replies would be appreciated; the Pocket TV gets funded in like 6hours :/
     

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