What mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by mischa72, Oct 30, 2015.

  1. mischa72 macrumors newbie

    mischa72

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2015
    Location:
    Munstergeleen (South of Netherlands)
    #1
    Hi all,

    I've never been very fond of Apple devices, but since about 9 months I'm using an iPhone 5s professionally and a iPad Air 2 64GB for about 1 month now. I have to admit that the way it works, it just works, which I like a lot. Now I'm even looking for an upgrade for my home PC. This system is mainly used for electronics design, video- and photo-editing. The graphics stuff so to say.
    I've seen a guy I know doing all I want on a Macbook Pro (I believe) and was pleased by the speed. Now I'm considering to buy a Mac Mini myself.
    When I look at the options within my possible choices I see a Mac Mini Core i5 2,6GHz 8GB and 1T (5400rpm) and a Core i5 2,8GHz 8GB and 1TB Fusion drive.
    The price difference between the two is about € 250,00. Now I ask myself: What will be the fastest system, the first one with the 5400rpm HDD replaced by a SSD drive and the 1TB HDD connected to it by USB or the second system as is (with the Fusion drive)?

    For the monitor I'd like to use a Dell Ultrasharp U2515H

    I also see in the Buyer's Guide it's not the right time for buying a Mini. Could someone explain why?

    Best regards,
    Mischa
     
  2. aajeevlin macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    #2
    Simply because it has been a while since the last update, as you can probably see the 379+ days and counting. Also most people are probably waiting (more like wishing) for a better Mini then the 2014 ones, which doesn't give you much ability to do much upgrade (soldered RAM, security hex screws and such).

    Almost the same thing with the Mac Pro it has some 680+ days since last update. I'm pretty much in the same boat, I'm in the market, but I'm not paying for something that's more than a year old (or almost two years old in the case of Mac Pro).
     
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #3
    The next version of the Mini -- if there's going to BE one -- will be much better for video/photo work. 4k video support, better graphics abilities, etc.

    This isn't to say the 2014 Mini is "not OK", it's just that there are big advances coming down the line.

    BUT -- I don't see a new Mini being released until March 2016 at the earliest. Perhaps later.

    Although I'm a "Mini fan", if I needed the power for video editing, I'd probably be looking at one of the 27" iMacs right now.

    What specific applications do you intend to use?
     
  4. mischa72 thread starter macrumors newbie

    mischa72

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2015
    Location:
    Munstergeleen (South of Netherlands)
    #4
    Thanks for your reply. I intend to use iMovie for movie editing and Lightroom for photo editing. For designing PCB's I use Cadsoft Eagle (professional).
    I'm also looking for 2nd hand Minis (late 2012). I see these are available with an i7 processor, 8 or 16GB ram and are easy to upgrade to a SSD. Would this bring some power compared to the 2014 minis? I also have to mention that I need a Firewire connection to import movies from a miniDV-camera :). I saw the late 2014 mini doesn't have Firewire, but I also saw firewire to thunderbolt converters exist.

    Ow, and I don't want to wait untill next year to purchase a mini. I also thought about the 27" iMac, but it's too big. As said in my first post I want to use a 25" monitor matching the max resolution of the mini.

    Regards,
    Mischa
     
  5. c8rlo macrumors 6502

    c8rlo

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2015
    Location:
    FL
    #5
    i went with the late-2012 base MM, cause it has 3.0 USB(2011 and earlier have 2.0 USB), RAM upgradeable(2014 is soldered) and BT 4.0 which is compatible with the new Trackpad and Mouse. i upgraded the RAM to 8GB and installed (2)Samsung 850 Pro 256GB SSD(got them cheap...:D). upgraded to El Capitan and runs smooth.
     
  6. mischa72 thread starter macrumors newbie

    mischa72

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2015
    Location:
    Munstergeleen (South of Netherlands)
    #6
    Thanks for your contibution. I wonder how picky a Mac Mini is for the choice of the SSD. Is it possible to build in the regular brands?

    Regards,
    Mischa
     
  7. tamag9 macrumors newbie

    tamag9

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2015
    #7
    If you're going for the 2014 Mini, the SSD and RAM are not user replaceable. You would need to configure the system with an SSD or more RAM when you order it from Apple. However, it you do go with the 2012 Mini, the SSD and RAM is user replaceable.

    Its flagged as "Don't Buy" because a new Skylake version is expected to drop within either Q1 2016 or maybe even in time for this year's holiday season. As the Mac Mini uses the same guts as the 13" MacBook Pro, they should both be released at the same time. Intel has already launched an i5 and i7 line suitable to be used in them. If your work depends on GPU power, you should wait for the Skylake version as it comes with a much more powerful iGPU (Intel Iris 550 (14nm, 48EU) + 64MB eDRAM) compared to the 2014 version (Iris 5100 (22nm, 40EU), no eDRAM).

    The current 2014 Mini is pretty powerful CPU-wise, but definitely lacking GPU-wise with your only choice being an Iris 5100. The 2012 can be bumped up to a quad-core i7, but, again, your only option for a GPU is the ageing Intel HD 4000 chip.
     
  8. c8rlo macrumors 6502

    c8rlo

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2015
    Location:
    FL
    #8
  9. jpietrzak8 macrumors 6502a

    jpietrzak8

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio
    #9
    But it ain't nearly as easy as it used to be... :)
     
  10. tamag9 macrumors newbie

    tamag9

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2015
    #10
  11. Fishrrman, Nov 1, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2015

    Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #11
    Tamag9 explains things well in post 7 above.

    The late-2012 Mini with a 2.6ghz i7 has a quad-core CPU.

    I don't use the apps you listed above, but the questions to be asking here are:
    Do these apps benefit more with CPU processing power, or a powerful GPU?
    Can they take advantage of a quad-core CPU if it's available?

    The top level 2014 Mini offers a better GPU but is only 2-core.
    The late-2012 i7 offers quad-core processing, but has a less-powerful GPU.

    If you can afford to hold out for another 3-6 months, I sense that the next release of the Mini will be worth the wait.

    If you need something right now, the choice depends on whether you can live with a 4-year-old design (with quad-core CPU), or the current version (which actually can be a VERY good performer if you buy the top-end model with 16gb of RAM).
     
  12. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    Zurich, Switzerland
    #12
    The top-end 2014 with 16GB RAM and SSD-only should be pretty fast, indeed. It will kill any 2012 on I/O at least.
    For a price.
     
  13. c8rlo macrumors 6502

    c8rlo

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2015
    Location:
    FL
    #13
    no, but if there was damage proven by the installation then yes.
     
  14. kazmac macrumors 601

    kazmac

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Location:
    in a Shaw Brothers wu xia
    #14
    I should have listened to my gut and bought a high end 2014 Mini over the dud 27" iMac which is going back. Thankfully my 2010 iMac, while stupid cranky, is still running. After this experience with the 27" it's time to move onto a much more stable and sane machine for me, the Mac Mini. If I can hold out until the next batch of minis are released, it'll be high end top configuration. If not, 2014.
     
  15. aajeevlin macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    #15
    What's wrong with the 27"? Not that I'm a fan of those either. I had a 2007 imac that I sold while back. I personally think the all-in-one computer is a bad idea. Right before I sold off my 20007 I tried to use it as a server. However the huge size of make it a very bad sever as I can't put it any where I want. I personally won't touch another iMac.
     
  16. kazmac macrumors 601

    kazmac

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Location:
    in a Shaw Brothers wu xia
    #16
    They're thinking faulty video card. Some folks apparently have fan and the usual screen issues. I am grateful this cranky 2010 21.5" is still going, but she'll be the last iMac I own. The funny thing was I had to replace a lot of my peripherals for the 27" so nothing happens by accident I guess.

    If I were to jump now, I'd go top specc'd 2014 mini since the 2012s are scarce and I am nervous to buy a 2012 from eBay.
     

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