Undecided about mac mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by ElectricMayhem, Sep 1, 2012.

  1. ElectricMayhem macrumors newbie

    Sep 1, 2012
    Long Island, NY
    im trying to decide about which mac mini to get. I already have a macbook pro and i just need something more desktop like without being too overly expensive. so i have a few questions because i dont have too many people to help me with the decision. I am not concerned with waiting for the new one because im not getting it for at least another month.

    1. Should i go with the mid level mac mini, or the high end server based mac mini.

    2. I will be doing some light gaming. (ie minecraft, counterstrike, team fortress, grand theft auto vice city) nothing too straining on the computer. With this in mind, i was weighing my options with the intel hd graphics 3000 vs the AMD radeon HD 6630M. im told and ive read that the AMD is the better choice.

    3. im thinking of getting the mid level and just upgrading to the i7, and then upgrading the ram at a later date, i think this is the best option because it comes with the better graphics card, and i can always update harddrive ram etc later.

    sorry if the post is kind of weird or a repost but i hate having to look through everything to find answers. thanks for the help guys.
  2. MR.BUTTON macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2012
    Vancouver,Canada and Shanghai,China
    since you do gaming, go for models with discrete graphics, and upgrade the RAM yourself. AMD is a MUCH better choice. but the fact is, server is much faster. if you don't run cpu-intensive apps, there's literally no difference.

    i recommend you to wait for the 2012 ivy bridge model.both the graphics and processors are faster. the release is around the corner
  3. Bilalo macrumors 6502

    Aug 17, 2012
    Oxford, England
    I agree with Mr Button, try and wait for the new one and go for the AMD :)


    I agree with Mr Button, try and wait for the new one and go for the AMD and ssd if possible.
  4. dh2005 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    If gaming is anywhere in your plans, whether "light" or otherwise, you always want the best GPU that you can get. So I agree entirely that you should wait... and also that you should get an SSD, if you can afford it.

    If we were to see a mini with an optional mid/high-end laptop GPU in the next update, I'd be tempted myself.
  5. theRAMman macrumors regular

    May 6, 2012
    The Moon.
    im getting a base mini later this year also. The base will be able to play minecraft well enough for me (im using a 2008 macbook, so anythings an improvement) but for you the mid range, or even the top range models will be better
  6. ElectricMayhem thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 1, 2012
    Long Island, NY
    well what ive been looking at is the mid level mac mini with the AMD graphics card, and upgrading the processor to the 2.7ghz i7. i will be upgrading the ram and the hard drive myself at a later date. i think thats what im going to get. its an upgrade from my macbook pro which i run all those games on fine. and thats the 2010 model.
  7. ElectricMayhem thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 1, 2012
    Long Island, NY
    now my friend is confusing me, because i was telling him i was thinking about getting the server based mac mini and he says its better than the mid grade one. is the quad core i7 that much better even though its 2.0ghz and the other one is 2.7ghz. sorry i dont know much about computers.
  8. teksurv macrumors regular


    May 25, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    For the games you mentioned the discrete AMD graphics far out way any benefits of the the quad i7. I have the mid model with i5 and AMD 6630m and it was the best choice in versatility for me.
  9. Gman021 macrumors regular

    Aug 21, 2012
    I am too curious about the difference between the dual core 2.7ghz i7 and the quad core i7 @ 2.0 ghz.
  10. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    If you run a multithread program such as handbrake the server will use the four cores and hyperthread to eight cores. translation the server will do 1 hour handbrake task in 40 minutes the dual core will do it in 70 minutes.

    Most games don't use the 4/8 cores of the server. Off the top of my head handbrake is the best reason for a server. The program is free and a lot of people use it for a lot of reasons. mostly adjusting movie/video resolution and storage size.
  11. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2011
    The current Intel HD 3000 is no slouch. It can play many games available today. You have to consider your target resolution. One factor could be the max resolution of your LCD. Most are 1080p 1920x1080. The Intel HD 3000 can run most games at the resolution with settings turned down. Beyond that the AMD 6630M is superior.

    FWIW, the extra clock speed for the 2.7GHz Dual-Core Intel i7 does not come close to making up for the 4 cores in the slower clock speed 2.0GHz Quad-Core Intel i7.
  12. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012

    There is a contradiction in there:
    Buy Radeon now, or wait and get HD4000. New Mini's won't get dedicated. Not that it matters much, the HD4000 comparable to the HD6630. And Ivy is not much faster than sandy, just cooler.
    And wait can be till 2013. If there is nothing presented next week, just go get the i5 Radeon now. The i7 BTO only delivers 10% extra power at most, and just costs a lot extra.
    Oh, and the serverpower is overrated. With heavy Photoshop use for example, the drive is messing things up so badly, that you need to toss it anyway for an SSD. That way it gets more expensive than an iMac, making no sense.
    Best deal is an i5 Radeon, now often for 100-150 bucks less, and put in 16Gb and a Samsung 128/256 830 SSD drive. Then you have an awesome machine for 850 or so.
  13. alias99 macrumors regular

    Nov 3, 2010
    Wouldn't you be better of with a new Base iMac as they are soon to be released?

    The mid range Mac Mini with i7 upgrade, Keybaord, Mouse, Screen will cost pretty much the same as the base iMac with inferior components.

    The new ones should have Ivy Bridge, 8gb Ram, Better GFX Card, Quad Core Processors etc etc and comes with the Screen and Keybaord + Mouse.

    The GFX card should be a significant bump from the current base mini.

    Just a thought.
  14. Lancer macrumors 68020


    Jul 22, 2002
    Which corner ;)

    I've been considering a Mini (over the iMac) with 2x 24" full HD LCDs potentially cheaper than the iMac with loads of screen space.
  15. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    I would wait on the new release no matter what. Especially when you are a gamer. The hope for a better dedicated GPU is definitely worth the wait.

    Excellent point. And skip the i7 now you are a gamer.
  16. ElectricMayhem thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 1, 2012
    Long Island, NY
    the other reason im thinking of the server based is because it comes with double the hard drive space. idk. i still feel like im leaning towards the server based one.
  17. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2011
    For the added cost you could purchase a nice external drive with more space and options for how you can utilize it. And have some left-over $$$ too!

    I'm partial to the new MiniStack from OWC: http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/ministack
  18. ElectricMayhem thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 1, 2012
    Long Island, NY
    i actually really like that idea. get the mid level with the i7 upgrade and get one of those. what does it connect to the mac mini with?
  19. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2011
    Firewire 400/800, USB 1.1/2.0/3.0 and eSATA.
  20. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    "im trying to decide..."

    I believe the best option is to "remain UNdecided" -- UNTIL the next version of the Mini is released.

    It will offer USB3 (which may not sound like much now, but is a worthwhile upgrade over current models), faster CPU's with better integrated graphics, perhaps more RAM "as standard". We may see the firewire port dropped, with 2 Thunderbolt ports instead.

    I would expect to see a new Mini either towards the end of this year, or possibly early next year (Apple seems big on "January releases").

    If I had to buy a Mini *right now*, I'd buy a refurbished "server edition" with the dual 7200rpm drives.

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