What to buy: Mac Mini 2012 vs Mac Mini 2014

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by tawfiqmp, Dec 18, 2014.

  1. tawfiqmp macrumors member

    tawfiqmp

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #1
    Hey guys,

    Looking for some advice here.

    I'm trying to buy a Mac Mini but I can't figure out which one is best for me. Basically I want it to run mainly as a media server, and I'll be using Plex for that. So my question is, which Mac Mini is the best for something like that? I know the 2012 Mac Mini's had i7 quadcore processors while the 2014s are i7 dual cores. I've been looking at the 2012 refurbs and I see that they have a 2012 Mac Mini i7 quad core 2.3 ghz with 8gb of RAM for $849. I know it's out of stock right now, but between that one or the 2014 Mac mini i7 dual core 3.0 ghz 8gb ram for $949, which one is better for my situation? I'm trying to seek the best value for the set up i'm looking for.

    The main reason I want an i7 is so transcoding 1080p files on Plex is not an issue.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Joelburman macrumors regular

    Joelburman

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2014
    Location:
    Stockholm
    #2
    I think you answered your own question: "The main reason I want an i7 is so transcoding 1080p files on Plex is not an issue."
     
  3. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #3
    Why do you think an i7 is required for transcoding 1080p? Shooootttt I could do this with my old Core2duo Allendale processors @ 2.4ghz (transcode from 1080p to 480p no issue). A modern i3 shouldn't even have a problem with this anymore in real time.
     
  4. spatlese44 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    Location:
    Milwaukee
    #4
    So... wouldn't the 2014 i5 1.4 GHz model do everything needed. It's cheaper, and I'm thinking quieter, but not sure. Would the workload of transcoding kick the fan in? Would a higher end processor run cooler? I'm thinking money could be better spent on an external storage solution if that's something important.
     
  5. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #5
    Perhaps going over to the Plex site and asking in their forums would provide more answers based on specs and experience.

    The two items you need to find out is how Plex performs with 2 vs 4 cores and the difference between the two on board Intel video chipsets and if Plex takes better advantage of hardware acceleration with the newer version (2014 Minis).

    My guess is some over there will tell you that the 4 core is overkill. My take is that the flexibility of RAM and drive replacement makes the 2011/12 a far more useful machine. If at a later date you wanted to replace your Mini with another computer/device, the Mini will be a more useful machine for other things in general (simply put - beyond the GPU and Tb2, the 2014 has nothing to offer and is a less powerful machine).
     
  6. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    #6
    Don't the GPU's in the 2014 also support h.264 in hardware or something? I'm not sure if a) that is true b) that is relevant.
     
  7. mojolicious macrumors 68000

    mojolicious

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2014
    Location:
    Sarf London
    #7
    Yeah, I've come to the conclusion that the most distressing thing about the 2014 isn't the absence of quadcore, but rather the inability to upgrade – and possibly at a later date downgrade – the storage/memory.
     
  8. tawfiqmp thread starter macrumors member

    tawfiqmp

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #8
    More so because of simultaneous multiple transcoding which would take more than a core 2 duo processor.

    I guess I did answer my own question though. I also read on this page on Plex.tv which gives me a better idea that I'll probably need to go with the 2012.

    https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/ar...kind-of-CPU-do-I-need-for-my-Server-computer-

    Thanks for all the help guys!
     
  9. Lock macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #9
    I use an i3 to do exactly what you are describing and I have never had an issue. My 2011 mba can even handle this. You'll be fine with either model.
     
  10. stapoz macrumors member

    stapoz

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2014
    #10
    I'd advice to buy mac mini 2012 i5 or i7 with 8GB RAM, buy additional 8GB (can be any kind of memory - I have one from PC in my mm), add SSD as a primary drive and you will have same (or better) power then current mini 2014 for the half of the price.
    It's still possible to buy new mini 2012 in iSpot on sell off
     
  11. crazzapple Guest

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2014
    #11
    Definitely get a 2012. The 2014 is a throwaway desktop computer, basically apple has applied it's "iDevice" model to a desktop Mac... shameful really.
     
  12. tawfiqmp thread starter macrumors member

    tawfiqmp

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #12
    Yeah, I think I'm leaning towards the 2012 Mac Mini now. From everything I've read now, it seems like the better option for me. It being customizable and more powerful is probably something that I'll accept over 2 thunderbolt 2 ports and Wireless AC (won't be using wireless anyway).

    Thanks for all the help guys!
     
  13. George Dawes macrumors 6502

    George Dawes

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2014
    Location:
    Woof bark donkey
    #13
    Crazapple is correct , no point even doing a BTO with the 2014 imo.

    Real let down mac , worst ever imo. :(
     

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