What upgrades should I get for the mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Ice Dragon, Oct 31, 2018.

  1. Ice Dragon macrumors 6502a

    Ice Dragon

    Jun 16, 2009
    I realize there will be a lot of these threads over the next days, weeks, and months.

    I was thinking...

    - 16 GB of RAM

    - 512 GB SSD

    - Updating the Ethernet to 10 Gb because why not and even though I have FiOS which is very fast, it could go even faster.

    - Applecare+ obviously

    I was almost considering upgrading to the i7 and/or getting 32 GB of RAM. Why 32 GB of RAM? Why not? It would certainly allow me to keep this machine for a lot longer.
  2. archer75 macrumors 68020

    Jan 26, 2005
    Add the ram yourself, save some money. I do a lot of photo work, video encoding, plex server and gaming. I have 32gb of ram in my desktop and never come close to using anywhere near that.

    You don't need 10gbps ethernet. It will do nothing for you.
  3. LaloG macrumors member

    Mar 29, 2013
    Get the i7 based on what you need it for because why not. Upgrade the RAM yourself and save yourself some money because why not. Stop wasting money on things you can easily do yourself because why not :)
  4. BillyBobBongo macrumors 68020


    Jun 21, 2007
    On The Interweb Thingy!
    Why do you think that you need AppleCare? In all the years that I have used Macs I have never needed it. All repairs etc have always been covered by warranty.

    To some degree I get it on iPhones, I don't use it personally as I've never dropped a iPhone/iPad, but it just seems like throwing money away on something like this.
  5. iZeljko macrumors regular


    Sep 20, 2018
    North Sea
    I am thinking of grabbing one with i7, 16GB RAM and the smallest SSD available.
    The reasons are technical and they might change depending on seeing first reviews.

    The Core i7 is what makes your Mac future proof - if it can not be replaced on the user level.
    - wait for the teardown

    I have searched for the 64GB RAM module, couldn't find one.
    So we need to see if the RAM module is made by Apple thus eliminating a lot of third party RAM...
    On the other hand, taking a 16GB instead of 8 GB RAM might prolong me from popping the MM open for some time.
    - wait for the teardown

    - previously with the Fusion drives we did had some SSD, and now that SSD is increased to 128GB for the smallest storage. Why not go cheaper and use external SSD or HDD storage for the remaining data? Maybe a Synology DS or Apple Time capsule would work great as NAS for your needs. Or TB3 storage solution.

    I expect a TB3 to 10GB LAN adapters to become available at some point. In that case I could add the 10GB connectivity when needed. I might be wrong, but when you look at the LAN solutions - none of the MBPs have it so it needs to come out in a TB3 dongle form.

    My biggest concern in the MM is the T2 chip.
    Do not get me wrong - I love Apple. I consider myself a hard core Apple fan (not a big metal fan)...
    ... but seeing the problems on 2018 MBPs and the iMPs which are related to Kernel Panics and the time that it takes Apple to address and fix the issue - that is not what I'm willing to leave my money for.

    If Apple would be willing to release the information on which part numbers are suspected to come from a "bad batch" or "bad factory" I would be willing in grabbing one. But buying a MBP for 3750EUR (2,6 / 16 / 512 APP+) makes me expect to receive a perfect Mac. Some folks on this forum have already replaced their new MacBook Pros 3 times...

    So I will wait about a month, see how the MM runs and then if the T2 does not misbehave I will buy one. Add an eGPU and I'm done for some time.

  6. bigpoppamac31 macrumors 68020

    Aug 16, 2007
    What’s the point of the T2 chip? What’s its function and why has it caused issues?
  7. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    bigpoppa asks:
    "What’s the point of the T2 chip? What’s its function..."

    It's there to pull you into Apple's "walled garden" -- similar to how iPhone and iPad users must live. Apple touts that it provides an extra level of "security" for the user. But I sense that it also provides a higher level of control (on Apple's part).

    I also believe it has something to do with Apple's long-range plans to merge Mac OS with iOS, to create a "unified Apple operating system". The T2 may need to be there as a part of the entire "hardware platform" upon which "Apple OS" runs...
  8. iZeljko, Nov 1, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018

    iZeljko macrumors regular


    Sep 20, 2018
    North Sea
    The T2 runs SMC (system management controller) and encryption for your storage, and much more. You can read all about it on web, maybe this link is not a bad start:

    I do appreciate Apple's approach and idea behind the T2, but for all the problems related to T2 equipped Macs and time it takes to solve these problems, I do fear that there might be something seriously wrong with the T2, the implementation or with the code...

    If you check the following topic about the most recent MacBook Pro problems you will soon get the idea of how Apple struggles to push a decent software repair for the problem: https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...bridge-os-error.2128976/page-98#post-26737590
    In my eyes this tells me that the Mac team is nowhere near as large and capable in solving problems as the iOS team - which is somewhat reasonable considering the size of the iOS business. I would not moan about this if the computers would be priced lower - due to the evident problems and then I would understand that I have purchased half of a Mac and I'm getting half of the support. Paying 3750EUR for a mid tier basic spec 15" MBP is just too much with these problems that are frequently seen across the MBP range.

    Please do mind that this problem does not happen on all the Macs, but if they do happen on your Mac, better have an Apple Store near by as many users have already replaced 4 MBPs on the KP & T2 related issue.

    Un fortunately, I do not live close to an Apple Store so I just do not want to leave my 3k75 EUR for current MBP.
  9. bigpoppamac31 macrumors 68020

    Aug 16, 2007
    Yeah I’m in Canada and Apple products are very pricy here also. I’m still using a 2014 MacBook Pro. It works just fine but I do have that itch to upgrade. Not a fan of the high cost of more SSD or ram.
  10. iZeljko macrumors regular


    Sep 20, 2018
    North Sea
    Hi Bigpoppamac 31,

    I know the feeling. I'm doing all my CAD work on the 2013 13" i7 MBPR with 1050 ti eGPU that's driving the external monitor. I am dying for upgrade to 6 core machine with some half decent GPU.

    The price that I gave you is for the Mac in Germany's apple store. The price for the same mac at the Croatian Apple store is just above anything you would call reasonable.

    MBP 2018 mid tier (2,6 / 16 / 512) with no warranty put's you at $4516US (tax included), compared to 2799 + sales tax price in the USA. So even if the sales tax would be 10% you are still looking at $1437US price difference - and that is more than 50% higher price.

    I'm not trying to say that it is acceptable to get KPs when paying 2799+ tax but I'm saying that for the price that I need to pay for the MBP here it just needs to be perfect.

    Oh, I do need to spend one traveling day to reach Frankfurt in order to leave only 3299EUR for he same machine and I would do it if it would be perfect. Giving the chance of being screwed up I just can not take that risk.
    If the Mac Mini fails to be problem free I will have to take the infamous Hackintosh route...
  11. cornerexit macrumors 6502

    Sep 11, 2014
    This. First I'd wait for the ifixit tear down. Would not order until they do it and release their findings. Next I'd get the 6 core, base storage. To me always better to just run the OS off the primary drive and nothing else. OS and programs off that drive. External drive to save all files, iTunes storage, name it. The OS and progs don't take up a lot of room and doing it this way keeps the price of the machine down. The 6 core base storage and ram is $1099. Then I'd upgrade the RAM myself if all the indications are correct and it can be done. I'd upgrade to 32gb or 64gb of RAM depending on price and availability. And I agree with him on memory, 32gb is plenty unless you are doing hardcore video rendering or running a full blown studio. At that point I'd upgrade to 64gb.

    archer is correct on the ethernet port as well. Fast internet is great but utilizing it is always dependent on servers from the companies you stream through or download from. 1gb internet will suffice for many many years.
  12. Ice Dragon thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Ice Dragon

    Jun 16, 2009
    I wouldn't go beyond 32 GB of RAM because by the time I would need 64 GB, the speed of RAM would probably be significantly faster than 2,666 MHz.
  13. macdos macrumors regular


    Oct 15, 2017
    Your mileage may vary, but 32 GB is the bare minimum once you do some productive work. 64 GB will be the new minimum in a few years. Might as well max out.

    And I don't think you can bypass the internal bus speed of the mini.
  14. tedson macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2002
    What upgrades you should get depends on your expected workload over then next few years. You didn't tell us what you expect to do with your machine.

    For me being the cheap bastard that I am and having relatively simple needs, I'm going to get the bottom end machine then add upgrades as I need them.

    8GB of memory for now but will be buying more from third parties in the future. Apple wants $200 to go from 8GB -> 16GB. 3rd party vendors will sell me 2x16GB SO-DIMMS for ~$280 – $330 (OWC) Apple wants $600 for 2x16GB SO-DIMMS. You do the math. I upgrade my Mid 2011 Mac mini with a 2nd hard drive and an SSD so I'm not afraid to take my machine apart myself. If you don't have the skills or desire to to your own upgrades, then pay Apple upfront to do it for you.

    I'm going to get the 128GB SSD. MacOS system files take up ~30GB of that leaving 98GB of free space, plenty of space for my non-media files. Apple will bump me up to 256GB for $200 but for $228 I can get a 1TB Samsung T5 SSD external. That's sufficient for my media that that I don't access on a regular basis. 1TB vs 128GB more space for only $28 more seems like a bargain to me and since the Mini just sits on my desk I don't mind hanging an external drive off it.

    The 10GB ethernet upgrade only makes sense if your are running a compute or server farm and have multiple computers networked together to share the load. If you're running a single machine or small office 1Gb ethernet should be sufficient unless you have special needs. Again, this depends on your expected workload.

    The only option I'm thinking about is whether to get the base I3 or the I7. The I3 would probably be sufficient but I might get the I7 for future proofing because its the only upgrade that I would not feel comfortable doing myself.(assuming the CPU is socketed and not soldered.
  15. Ice Dragon thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Ice Dragon

    Jun 16, 2009
    Nothing really too extreme. The most I would be doing is some video editing and podcasting, but otherwise nothing else.

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14 October 31, 2018