Upgrade Mini (Mid 2010) or replace?

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

  1. erraticity macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    #1
    Hi all , my Mini (Mid 2010) is getting increasingly grindy. I was shopping out a replacement in the $700 range, but couldn't decide on a basic Mini with a Fusion Drive, or better memory/CPU with a standard drive. Cost is a big factor - I'm doing this because I'm getting very sick of beachballs.

    According to Crucial.com, I could max the memory on my current mini to 8 gig and get a 500 gig SSD for under $300, which is a very attractive alternative. I'm comfortable installing these myself.

    Given the specs on my current mini,
    Processor: 2.4 ghz Intel Core 2 Duo
    Memory: 2 GB 1067 Mhz DDR3
    Mac Mini Mid 2010

    Would I get better value from
    1-Upgrading my current 2.4 ghz Intel Core 2 Duo mini to 8 gig of memory and an SSD drive, ($300)

    2- Buying a new 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 mini + 4GB memory + Fusion Drive ($750)

    3- Buying a new 2.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 mini + 8GB memory with a standard drive? ($700)

    Thanks all!
     
  2. marclondon macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    Location:
    London
    #2
    I would try and stretch to a new 2.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 mini + 8GB memory but with an SSD. This should last you five years. The 2010 Mini is a bit too old now to throw money at, but others may disagree.

    Also you may be able pick one up cheaper on the Apple refurb store.

    M.
     
  3. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #3
    You didn't say what you use your computer for. As long as it isn't computationally heavy, the $300 upgrade will certainly give you the most performance for the dollar.

    Check your RAM usage. If 4GB is enough then just adding the SSD would be even a better deal. If 4GB isn't enough then you might as well nix the new 1.4GHz choice as it would be as slow as your current machine. The new system with a conventional drive will seem slower than SSD or Fusion choices for most users. However it would be the best and fastest choice if you use is computationally heavy. (Actually for computationally heavy, the best bet is try to find a quad core mini.)
     
  4. erraticity thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    #4
    Thanks for the tips, Talmy and MarcLondon!

    My use is pretty mainstream - iphoto, powerpoint, and imovie. At this point, I'm inclined towards "replace" - it's cheaper and is closer to recycling!

    There's one mini listed on the refurbished page, $80 cheaper than buying new - http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/mac
     
  5. xylitol macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2013
    Location:
    Finland
    #5
    Why 500GB SSD (presumably Crucial MX100 512GB)? You're stacking the deck against option 1. :)
     
  6. Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2012
    Location:
    An island in the Andaman Sea.
    #6
    My tuppence worth

    I have an early 2009 Mini, the base model that came with 1 GB of RAM and a 120 GB HDD. It got awful slow about three years ago, and was transformed with an extra 4 GB RAM installed along side the original 1 GB, and an upgrade to Mountain Lion.

    It is still running fine, but with the original HDD now about 6 years old, and about 2/3 full, I am inclined to replace it with a 500 GB HDD. With that, at a cost of about $100 installed, I reckon my Mini should be good for another 3 years, by which time it will be about obsolete and due for replacement.

    I did consider the replacing the HDD with SSD, but reckon that storage would be more cost effective for my needs than a performance boost. I can live with how my Mini performs now.

    My use is probably similar to the OP, general work (as a teacher) and personal use of iLife apps, especially iPhoto, as well as Pages and Numbers. I have Office for Mac installed, but only occasionally use Word, Numbers and PowerPoint.

    If I was to replace what I have I would be inclined to go for the $699 mid tier Mini, and spring an extra $200 for the Fusion Drive option.
     
  7. aajeevlin macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    #7
    I think I have the same exact machine, it's from 2009 but I'm not sure if it was the base model (although I'm fairly sure it is). However giving your usage, I don't see why you would have to get a new one. You mentioned that you have 4GB RAM in it already, you can easily make that into 8 GB, swap out the HDD for an MX500 SSD and you got your self a new machine.

    Unless you are ready to throw down $900+ and you just want something new I think the 2009 mini runs just fine with some minor upgrade. I also run computational software on top of all the regular stuff.
     
  8. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #8
    Mickey Do was right again!

    You would get better value from-

    3- Buying a new 2.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 mini + 8GB memory with a standard drive!
    ($699) + Fusion Drive - The cash you get from selling your old computer.

    -if you would enjoy having a brand new machine with fast graphics, fast modern interface features, and PCIe fast SSD powered storage.
    +a warranty
     
  9. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #9
    Mickey Do was right again!

    You would get better value from-

    3- Buying a new 2.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 mini + 8GB memory with a standard drive!
    ($699) (+ Fusion Drive - The cash you get from selling your old computer.)

    -if you would enjoy having a brand new machine with fast graphics, fast modern interface features, and PCIe fast SSD powered storage.
    ( + a fresh warranty - DIY on a new computer)
     
  10. erraticity thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    #10
    Thanks to the additional posters!

    Fwiw, xylitol, Option 1 is my preferred choice because it's cheapest. 500gig is adequate for my needs. Micky Do, I'm with you, but I am going to go for the SSD.
     
  11. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Location:
    Arizona
    #11
    I had a pretty good late 2009 mini, 2.66GHz C2D, 8GB RAM, 7200 RPM WD Scorpio Black 750GB HD.

    I replaced it with a 2012 2.3 quad mini. Even right out of the box with only 4GB RAM and the OEM 1TB HDD the newer one was so much stupidly faster than the old it was almost shocking.

    Other than that crappo base model I would take any configuration 2014 mini over any hotrodded 2009 or 2010. Naturally 8GB is the minimum amount of RAM and Fusion is better than a HDD.
     
  12. erraticity thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    #12
    Thanks ScottsJack

    for making a strong argument for replacing. I wish there were some basic benchmark comparisons that were available.
     
  13. Cloudsurfer macrumors 65816

    Cloudsurfer

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #13
    I'm in the exact same boat actually. Here at home we have all mid-2010 hardware (two Macbooks and a Mini) and their age is starting to show. Even with an SSD.

    The problem is that the system is based on Penryn, which in mid 2010 already was an older chip (originally released in 2008). This 7-year-old architecture just can't keep up with today's demanding software anymore, so upgrading it would just delay the inevitable.

    Anyone with a Core 2 Duo watching 1080p on Youtube, especially in 60fps, knows what I mean. Not to mention 4K, which is pretty much taboo on Penryn.
     
  14. erraticity thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    #14
    Thanks for that, Cloudsurfer

    that does get to the core of my question.
     
  15. xylitol macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2013
    Location:
    Finland
    #15
  16. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #16
    If you think about it, there are plenty of system specific benchmarks that show huge performance disparities. If you compare factors like the interfaces(USB/Thunderbolt/HDMI), storage(SATA/PCIe), network(Ethernet/WiFi), RAM, and display adapter the differences are clear. Without even considering CPU advances, the 2014 is generations better in multiple ways. This doesn't mean that the older machines are no longer useful. They just can't compete on several key levels.
     
  17. Pieterr macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2015
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #17
    I watch 1080p videos on YouTube regularly on my Mac mini 2009 mediacenter without problems. The 9400M is quite capable showing 1080p h.264. Propably depends on if you're running other applications at the same time. I don't when watching YouTube on TV.
     
  18. Joelburman macrumors regular

    Joelburman

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2014
    Location:
    Stockholm
    #18
    Sounds to me that you're using way too advanced programs for sticking with the 2010 long-term. I'd sell it while its still hot on the used market. There are a lot of people really liking the built in superdrive. Use that money to pick up a 2012 version used if you can find it for a good deal.
     
  19. Pieterr macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2015
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #19
    Really? I use the same programs on a 2009 Mac mini.
     
  20. El Hikaru macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2013
    #20
    I would buy a new machine.
    Intel's graphic is so much improved in the past years.

    I have 2011 mini.
    I converted from 2GB Memory to 12 GB, 500GB HDD to 250GB SSD + 2TB HDD over the years.
    It works fine for now, but I am constantly under temptation to replace it.

    C2D is a bit too old to invest your money. Keep that money and buy a new one. You've been using your old machine long enough to deserve it.
     
  21. janitor3 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    #21
    I have a mid 2010 mini, late last year I put 8GB memory and a 1TB HD in.
    Working great, no complaints about the performance.
    Unless it actually breaks, and costs too much to repair, I'm not planning on replacing it.
     
  22. mcnallym macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2008
    #22
    I use my mini 2009 2Ghz fitted with 8Gb and an SSD and it is perfectly usable still.

    I even bit the bullet and upgraded from 10.8.5 to 10.10.3 last night on it.

    If getting a new mac 2014 then don't get one with a HDD.

    If I was replacing my 2009 mini then I would go for 2.6Ghz with 8Gb and the 256 SSD. I store data on external drive anyway so the loss of storage compared to a 1Gb Fusion isn't an issue for me personally.

    However I am going to try and wait out for the next mini release instead.

    I would say try the upgraded mini 2010, then if not happy with it put the SSD in an external USB3 caddy and use with a purchased 2014 as an external disk. All that potentially losing is the RAM money.

    However I reckon that upgrading should make it last till the next mac mini when hopefully get a better spec then the 2014's.
     
  23. Joelburman macrumors regular

    Joelburman

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2014
    Location:
    Stockholm
    #23
    I mean its probably wiser to invest in a newer system for longevity. But I guess if you run Snow Leopard it will still be crackling fast in a couple of years.
     
  24. xylitol macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2013
    Location:
    Finland
    #24
    I would install 4-8GB RAM and 256GB SSD into the 2010 Mini and wait for better Minis (or more reasonably configured). The old one would have better resale value, so I wouldn't lose much.
     
  25. whoiare macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    #25
    agreed here. i too have a 2010 mini with 8gb and 256SSD and ive contemplated getting a new one every year they release a new mini...but nothing so far has been a game changer with mini's that my C2D doesnt already do for the amount of computing i do with it....save your money...8gb and 256SSD make it feel like a brand new computer which will hopefully take you as long as you need to go until apple releases a NEW mini worth having.
     

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