What would you do in my situation?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Elho, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. Elho macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Location:
    Belgium
    #1
    Okay, this week, and this week only (till next Friday) i'm able to buy Apple products at dollar prices.

    You own a MacBook 2008 and only use it for photo management and encoding movies. You've been waiting for the new mini since september 2013.

    Would you buy the stock i7 that will cost you 789 dollars which wil otherwise cost you 1000 dollars here in Europe and update it with ram and ssd? Or do you keep waiting for the 2014 model?

    Or, would you even abandon the whole mini idea and buy a stock MacBook air/pro. Which wil cost you about as much as an updated i7? You dont need the portability, you would only do it for the 'better' specs.

    Decisions decisions...
     
  2. Miat, Feb 13, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014

    Miat macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    #2
    More RAM and an SSD will make the Mini fly, and overall it will easily outperform a stock MBP or Air. (Make sure you get a 6G/s SSD, not a 3G, the Mini has a 6G internal interface. Shame to waste it. ;) )

    The iGPU in the current Air is better than the current Mini (5000 v. 4000), but that is only a significant plus if you are doing graphics heavy work like serious gaming or video processing (as opposed to straight encoding, which is a trivial task in comparison). The Mini iGPU is still good for running a couple of screens, or watching hi-res, hi bitrate vids. I got no complaints about the performance of the GPU in my 2012 i7 Mini. Plus you have to figure the GPU difference against the much greater CPU grunt the Mini has, which can compensate a lot for its lower power GPU.

    Given you don't place a high value on portability then the MBP and Air don't seem to offer anything special. Plus they come with 4GB RAM standard, which may not be enough for you, so there will be extra cost if you want that upgraded.

    The Mini has the dual drive bay for expansion, and HDMI port, and more USB ports (4). The Mini and MBP also have an ethernet port.

    One minor advantage of the stock (non-retina) MBP over the Mini and Air is that it has an optic drive, if that is important to you. Can be removed and a second hard drive added.

    I presume you already have an external screen to hook up to the Mini? If not then that will bump up your total cost for a Mini by a big chunk.

    Bottom line? Any of those 3 options will be a nice toy. :)
     
  3. Elho thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 22, 2013
    Location:
    Belgium
    #3
    I'm using my current MacBook as a desktop. So indeed, i already have an external screen, mouse and keyboard.

    The only thing i can think of that would be better in the mini 2014 is the gpu. But i dont know if its really worth to wait and than buy the mini 2014 at normal euro prices! Maybe the 789 dollar now is a better investment. The money i save for buying it at dollar price wil buy me the ssd and ram.
     
  4. Cloudsurfer macrumors 65816

    Cloudsurfer

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    Apr 12, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #4
    I would buy the 2.3 ghz model for 584 euros (799 dollars) and upgrade the rest when i get home with cheap parts. It will blow your 2008 MB out of the water.

    Best not to take a whole lot with you to avoid drawing attention from customs when you arrive back in europe.

    The Iris Pro is supposedly a lot faster than the 4000, but if you're doing a lot of encoding then the gpu won't matter much. Cpu wise you will not gain a lot vs Ivy Bridge, but compared to your 2008 Core 2 Duo you will absolutely benefit from the quad core chip and faster memory. Throw in an ssd and you're golden for years.
     
  5. Miat macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    #5
    If you don't need a better GPU then I don't think you will regret grabbing the Mini at that price.

    I got a 2012, 2.3 GHz i7 from the refurb store a few months back, for AUD $749. Added 16GB RAM ($150), and just about to add a second hard drive (a 7200 rpm platter drive, can't afford a decent size SSD yet). Plugged into a 27" H series Dell monitor. No regrets at all. Sweet little set up. :)
     
  6. Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2012
    Location:
    An island in the Andaman Sea.
    #6
    If you need / want it now, get it now.

    If not, wait.

    Any update is more likely to be evolutionary than revolutionary. If you expect any major enhancements you could well be disappointed.

    I reckon on keeping my early 2009 Mini a while yet. I bought it when my 2005 original broke down and didn't seem worth repairing. With all but a few days of my important files backed up, the next day I picked up the new one at the shop and was at work on it in no time at all.
     
  7. scottness macrumors 65816

    scottness

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    Mar 18, 2009
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    Room 101
    #7
    I'd go with the mini if you don't need portability. It's far more capable than your current MB and you'll be happy with the difference.
     
  8. blanka macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #8
    You better bought one in the Netherlands 2 weeks ago. The MediaMarkt VAT free days are better than the hassle of smuggling Apple products through customs, and cheaper, especially if you have a VAT ID and get the VAT back.
     
  9. Elho thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 22, 2013
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    Belgium
    #9
    I'm not buying it in the states. I'm able to buy it in a big us military base in Germany. Which prices their products in us dollars.

    All your advice seems logic, i better buy it now and upgrade it to the max. I dont really need the gpu. I'm no gamer or graphical designer. And it wil be a huge improvement to my current 2008 macbook ...
     
  10. scottsjack macrumors 68000

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    Arizona
    #10
    I used to own a late 2008 MBP 15' and a late 2009 mini, both C2D with 7200 RPM HDDs and 8GB RAM. Both were sold and replaced by a base 2012 i7 MBP 15' and a 2012 i7 mini. Even before I added 16GB RAM and 960GB SSDs they new ones were so stupidly faster than the old ones that it was startling.
     
  11. Elho thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 22, 2013
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    Belgium
    #11
    true, my 2.0 ghz - 4gb ram macbook is really getting old. If i open iphoto with about 10.000 pictures it takes forever. Especially when icloud is syncing! For browsing the web it's still great though ...
     
  12. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #12
    Few things not mentioned.

    There are a few things I'd like to just point out. First of all, the MBP's come with PCIe SSD's, meaning the SSD's are way faster than what you can get from a Mini. Second, the MBP's come with Thunderbolt 2, which would greatly improve your import speed for your photos. Third, the memory clock of the MBP is 1600 MHz, over the 1333MHz of the Mini (Also comes with 8 gig standard. Previous posts were probably referring to 13" non retina, which I assume you're not?) and lastly, the GPU will have a performance difference for your encoding, now that OS X supports OpenCL for integrated GPU's. The difference won't be major, and the CPU is still the most important part, but it's something to consider.

    I'm not necessarily saying the Mini is a bad choice, as it probably is still your best bet, but it's just a few more things to consider, so that you know for sure you're making the right call
     
  13. Elho thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 22, 2013
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    Belgium
    #13
    thanks for pointing that out for me.

    You are right, a mbp is considerable but not that user servicable for end users i think ... maybe the (updated) i7 wil still be the better choice after all.
     
  14. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #14
    Since "time is of the essence", and you can't afford to wait for a new Mini, your best bet might be to buy the i7 now, and do your own upgrades later on as needed...
     
  15. Elho thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 22, 2013
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    Belgium
    #15
    it's not that i cant wait. It's just that i have an extreme good opportunity to buy a stock i7 the next week. But you are right, i think i'm going to place the order. (it's my brother who is in the us army base)

    At first glance, which SSD do you suggest. I think 160gb wil be enough. (using it as a superdrive combo with the 1tb hdd)
     
  16. Elho thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 22, 2013
    Location:
    Belgium
    #16
    Okay this is it. Apple you win this round of the waiting game. My brother is taking home an i7 on Friday for me. The profit i can make by buying it at 789 dollar is too good to be true.

    With 16gb of ram and a 256 SSD it wil be still under the regular price for a stock i7 mini priced at 850 EUR here in Belgium! (About 1050 dollar)

    Hope i'm making the right decision.
     
  17. Jambalaya macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 21, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #17
    An i5 will be fine for what you want. Movies can be queued and converted overnight. I'd get a 4gb i5, the base 500gb machine will be fine. Add more memory (8gb) or HDD (1tb) if you wish from Apple but easy and cheap to do later if you wish. I appreciate the i7 16gb seems cheap but it's much more than you need.
     
  18. Elho thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 22, 2013
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    #18
    You may have a point. But i think an i7 will be more future proof than the i5. Even if the i5 would probably suit my actual needs.
     
  19. Jambalaya macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #19
    I'm still using my 2009 Mini, I dream of the speed of an i5 :) I do think SSD upgrade would make more difference than i7 but I understand your choice and it's your money and your right to choose. Have fun !
     
  20. grandM macrumors 6502a

    grandM

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2013
    #20
    well

    Mediamarkt has the same promotion now in Belgium. Almost all apple products (as the mini) are EXCLUDED. If you have a VAT id, you never pay VAT. So keep your facts true...
     
  21. Karlitr0s macrumors member

    Karlitr0s

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2014
    #21
    If you're flat rate VAT registered, you get a VAT number, but you have to pay VAT on amounts < £2000.

    FYI...
     
  22. Elho thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 22, 2013
    Location:
    Belgium
    #22
    Anyway, for people who are still reading this thread and are curious about my decision.

    The mini i7 arrived yesterday :) Made a "profit" of 275 EUR !!
     
  23. Noetics macrumors member

    Noetics

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2013
    #23
    I love my i7 mini so much that I would buy another one in a blink :)

    Nice to hear you did the right thing!
     
  24. grandM macrumors 6502a

    grandM

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    Oct 14, 2013
    #24
    vat

    In Belgium vat is only paid on difference between received goods and paid goods. So firms pay almost no VAT.
     
  25. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    Boston
    #25
    Congrats and enjoy your new machine. Glad you were able to save some money on the purchase.
     

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