Upgrading from 2014 Mini to 2018 Mini

OLDGUYWITHAHIFI

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Nov 14, 2018
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Thinking of replacing my one year old 2014 Mac Mini 2.6 with 8gb of ram and a 256SSD with a 2018 model.

The model I have now came with a 1TB spinner, but I upgraded the drive myself to an SSD. Really made it usable. I use a Samsung 4K monitor which I can only get 2160 by 1440 max resolution out of with this mini.

Has anyone had experience coming from the most recent 2014 Mini to the 2018 version? What was the biggest difference you experienced... Or differences in general? Which model would be an upgrade? i5, i7? Base model?

I have edited video on my current Mini with FCP, iMovie, used Logic, etc., the programs run OK, but I am wondering if I will see a big gains in speed and efficiency, moderate gains, or minimal gains with these types of programs.

I am not just looking at the specs, I am interested in real world experiences by my fellow users.

Thanks in advance for the info.
 

rmdeluca

macrumors 6502
Oct 30, 2018
250
391
Thinking of replacing my one year old 2014 Mac Mini 2.6 with 8gb of ram and a 256SSD with a 2018 model.

The model I have now came with a 1TB spinner, but I upgraded the drive myself to an SSD. Really made it usable. I use a Samsung 4K monitor which I can only get 2160 by 1440 max resolution out of with this mini.

Has anyone had experience coming from the most recent 2014 Mini to the 2018 version? What was the biggest difference you experienced... Or differences in general? Which model would be an upgrade? i5, i7? Base model?

I have edited video on my current Mini with FCP, iMovie, used Logic, etc., the programs run OK, but I am wondering if I will see a big gains in speed and efficiency, moderate gains, or minimal gains with these types of programs.

I am not just looking at the specs, I am interested in real world experiences by my fellow users.

Thanks in advance for the info.
I upgraded from a 2014 i7 with a 256GB SSD to a 2018 i7 with a 512GB SSD and it's night-and-day. Everything is a LOT faster. Using a TB2 cable w/ TB3 adapter between the two machines I migrated in about an hour or so. When I finally booted into the new Mini my old desktop and apps were there (duh) but everything was a lot better.

I'd highly suggest getting the 512GB SSD (or more) in the new Mini so you have more write performance.

If you're handy, you only need to order the 8GB of base RAM and then upgrade it yourself with a 16 or 32GB kit like these:

http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/compatible-upgrade-for/Apple/mac-mini-(2018)

I'd suggest getting the i7 because it's going to be all around faster (10%-15% on average) than the i5 and it's not much more expensive (~$200). The only reason to get the i3 would be extreme cost or noise requirements (or you could not care less about speed).

I'd also recommend that anyone who is considering supplementing their storage needs with NAS get the 10GbE port. For the $80ish bucks you get an order of magnitude more potential network speed, which is great if you're going to use SSD based NAS. The reason why it's important to get the 10GbE built-in (vs later via a Thunderbolt adapter) is that the bandwidth used by the ethernet port will not affect whatever you do with Thunderbolt (such as eGPUs, fast secondary storage and audio interfaces).
 

OLDGUYWITHAHIFI

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Original poster
Nov 14, 2018
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I upgraded from a 2014 i7 with a 256GB SSD to a 2018 i7 with a 512GB SSD and it's night-and-day. Everything is a LOT faster. Using a TB2 cable w/ TB3 adapter between the two machines I migrated in about an hour or so. When I finally booted into the new Mini my old desktop and apps were there (duh) but everything was a lot better.

I'd highly suggest getting the 512GB SSD (or more) in the new Mini so you have more write performance.

If you're handy, you only need to order the 8GB of base RAM and then upgrade it yourself with a 16 or 32GB kit like these:

http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/compatible-upgrade-for/Apple/mac-mini-(2018)

I'd suggest getting the i7 because it's going to be all around faster (10%-15% on average) than the i5 and it's not much more expensive (~$200). The only reason to get the i3 would be extreme cost or noise requirements (or you could not care less about speed).

I'd also recommend that anyone who is considering supplementing their storage needs with NAS get the 10GbE port. For the $80ish bucks you get an order of magnitude more potential network speed, which is great if you're going to use SSD based NAS. The reason why it's important to get the 10GbE built-in (vs later via a Thunderbolt adapter) is that the bandwidth used by the ethernet port will not affect whatever you do with Thunderbolt (such as eGPUs, fast secondary storage and audio interfaces).
Thanks for the info. Is throttling a concern at all with the i7? I often combine and render video clips to create one large file. Things tend to warm up a bit with my current setup. Just wondering if the i7 enclosed in the mini is going to heat up and throttle back at all.
 

archer75

macrumors 68030
Jan 26, 2005
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Thanks for the info. Is throttling a concern at all with the i7? I often combine and render video clips to create one large file. Things tend to warm up a bit with my current setup. Just wondering if the i7 enclosed in the mini is going to heat up and throttle back at all.
It's been discussed in other threads here. When you max the CPU it will heat up. I encode video which does that for hours on end. But while it heats up the turbo boost is still kicking in as long as it can keep the CPU temp under 100c.
You're probably wondering if by throttling it would reduce clock speed more than the stock speed? No, I have not seen that.
I see about 3.6ghz during a several hour encode. Stock speed is 3.2ghz.
 
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rmdeluca

macrumors 6502
Oct 30, 2018
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391
Thanks for the info. Is throttling a concern at all with the i7? I often combine and render video clips to create one large file. Things tend to warm up a bit with my current setup. Just wondering if the i7 enclosed in the mini is going to heat up and throttle back at all.
It's been discussed in other threads here. When you max the CPU it will heat up. I encode video which does that for hours on end. But while it heats up the turbo boost is still kicking in as long as it can keep the CPU temp under 100c.
You're probably wondering if by throttling it would reduce clock speed more than the stock speed? No, I have not seen that.
I see about 3.6ghz during a several hour encode. Stock speed is 3.2ghz.
Yeah this has been beaten to death in other threads :p The (completely normal) turbo boost throttling exhibited by the i7 will not leave you underperforming the other processor options.
 

OLDGUYWITHAHIFI

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Yeah this has been beaten to death in other threads :p The (completely normal) turbo boost throttling exhibited by the i7 will not leave you underperforming the other processor options.
I read about the throttling issue elsewhere as well, but I was wondering how it affected the actual user. Lot's of complaining but having it put into perspective by an actual user is more valuable to me.
 
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