Upgrade mid 2011 Mac mini or new?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by prk60091, Jan 14, 2016.

  1. prk60091 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    #1
    Here is my question. I currently have mid 2011 Mac mini w/16GB RAM and factory 500G HDD. Is it worth installing 2 1TB ssd' to speed it up or go with new Mac mini and 2TB FD? I do a lot of photo manipulation in Lightroom. Your thoughts are appreciated.
     
  2. tibas92013 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2013
    Location:
    Costa Rica
    #2
    I have a Refurbished i5 MM(Late 2012), 2.5 GHz, 16GB Ram, 500GB HD; the 16GB of Ram cost me around $250 in January, 2015 here in the Country of Costa Rica, so, I will be spending another $250 to upgrade to a 256 Internal SSD in the very near future.

    My thinking on this is for another $250 I will have a almost brand new MM which should serve me for a couple of more years. I am a light Mac user; surfing the internet, "burning" DVD's, etc.
     
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #3
    If you can afford it, I'd go with the new one. Better graphics, USB3.
    Just be sure you get either the mid-range or upper-end model (along with the fusion drive), and enough RAM.
     
  4. treekram, Jan 16, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016

    treekram macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Location:
    Honolulu HI
    #4
    Would have to agree with Fishrrman. 2TB of data will take along time to populate with USB2 and there are much better monitor options available with the 2014 model.
     
  5. qs933 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2015
    #5
    I changed out the stock 500GB hard drive on my 2011 mini to a 500GB SDD a few months ago. The SSD (Crucial) was around $140. It made a huge difference; it's like a whole new machine.

    My initial plan was to get a 2014 mini with the 16GB RAM and 256GB SDD upgrades, but for a fraction of the cost, the SSD upgrade in my 2011 will hopefully keep me satisfied till the next mini revision.
     
  6. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #6
    Well there you have it prk60091! You have a choice to make and reasons to go either way.

    As a photographer, USB 3.0 could be the deciding factor. Tibas92013 and s933 are correct. There is no doubt that your 2011 would be fine machine with SSD storage. But as usual, Fisherman has identified the critical factors. The thing about USB 3.0 is that it is fast and inexpensive. This ubiquitous interface approaches the speed of Thunderbolt and the hardware is dirt cheap!

    Have you decided yet? :rolleyes:
     
  7. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #7
    I'll step outside convention and suggest upgrading to a 2012 quad-core, for the following reasons:
    • 2012 model is the last year with expandable/upgradeable memory.
    • 2012 has USB 3.0, as suggested by others to improve the speed of importing photos.
    • 2012 can accept your two 1TB SSDs.
    • Adobe says that Lightroom can make good use of multicore processors (up to six cores). The 2012 is the only Mini available with 4 cores, and it's multicore performance is superior to that of the current model, which is limited to only 2 cores:

    [​IMG]

    Now, all that being said, we are due for a refreshed model. If you are able to wait a few months, you might wait and see what's offered. Perhaps quads will make a comeback. Or perhaps the newer Intel dual cores offered will finally outperform older quads. Or maybe there will be something else you like, such as USB-C connectors with Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1 support.
     
  8. borgusio macrumors regular

    borgusio

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    #8
    If you have a dedicated AMD 6630 Graphic card upgrade it, if you are on Intel, switch to the new model.

    My mini 2011 is an i7 with dedicated AMD graphics and is more powerful than a 2014 model. I edit even 4K video
     
  9. Osty macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Location:
    Melbourne, AU
    #9
    This ^.

    I have the same machine and it's great. Upgrade the RAM and install and SSD and it will handle any productivity task you throw at it for years to come.

    As for transfer speeds, it has thunderbolt so there's nothing stopping you getting a Kanex TB to USB/eSATA adapter for the occasions when you need to do large, sustained file transfers. My Mini doubles as an iTunes server with a 3TB USB3.0 external drive. When I initially populated the drive, I used a Thunderbolt adapter, but for 99% of the time now I just use it to read and perform occasional writes and for that USB 2.0 is more than adequate, even for HD content.
     
  10. borgusio macrumors regular

    borgusio

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    #10
    Welcome in the club! We should create a dedicated thread for all owners of this amazing version of the machine: it is the last Mac Mini which really deserves to be called a Mac. Unfortunately the future looks darker... After 5 years still no news at the front :/
     
  11. Osty macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Location:
    Melbourne, AU
    #11
    Amen, brother!
     
  12. snagnyou macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2015
    #12
    I got a late 2012 i5 used and upgraded it to 16GB with an SSD and it rocks ~ $500 well spent
     
  13. minton macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #13
    I have the 2011 i5 Mini with the shared Intel 3000 graphics, and I really wish I would've gotten one with the dedicated AMD 6630 graphics card instead. I probably pushed the machine too hard and it now shows (occasional screen black outs & garbled pixelation that require shutdown / rest / reboot). I occasionally have 100+ tabs open across 3 browsers and mea culpa for ignoring the 100% cpu utilization and full-blast fan noise for too long (those stupid flash and other moving graphics on sites seemed to take the biggest toll).
     

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