Which Mac mini should I buy?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Romasport, Sep 3, 2014.

  1. Romasport macrumors newbie

    Feb 14, 2012
    Greetings all,

    I have a MBP 13 Mid 2010 with 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD drive.

    I'm thinking about buying a Mac Mini in a trip to US in October, as a replacement, but I don't know which one would suit me better...

    Besides the basic tasks, I also work with VMs (Windows 8.1 and Ubuntu) and LR5 with RAW files, and, occassionaly, I do some coding and some video editing.

    So the questions are:

    • Should I go for the dual core model or the quad core?
    • If the quad core is the way to go, what do you thing about the 2.3 vs 2.6 model?
    • As I live in a place where temperatures are high most of the time, my main concern is about heating. Any tips or advices?

    Considering the cost/benefit and the heating issue, I appreciate any advices!(and, yes, I will upgrade the little beast to 16GB RAM and a SSD..:))
  2. rrl macrumors 6502


    Jul 27, 2009
    Either quad core i7, the dual core i5 doesn't properly support virtualization.
  3. illusionx macrumors 6502

    Jul 4, 2014
    Brossard, QC
    I would wait just another week before taking a decision see what apple is going to announce...

    And rrl, why doesn't the i5 doesn't support virtualization?
  4. rrl macrumors 6502


    Jul 27, 2009
    I said properly. You can run a VM, but it doesn't support VT-d.

    If Wikipedia and Intel are to be believed, I got my information from here:





  5. mvmanolov macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2013
    check these out. I did one myself as well, dropped temps by 8-10C

  6. illusionx macrumors 6502

    Jul 4, 2014
    Brossard, QC

    You don't need vt-d for virtualization. Vt-d is for direct IO which is not used in VMware
    Fusion/parallel/virtual box.

    What you are looking for is vt-x, which is virtualization technology.

    Even if you are running ESXi, you don't need direct IO. Unless you want to assign a PCI-E device or a hard drive directly to the vm, which can hardly be done on a mini anyways.
  7. rrl macrumors 6502


    Jul 27, 2009
    I could be wrong, but according to the image below USB devices go through the PCI bus and thus could benefit from VT-d. I just got my i7 Mac Mini on Saturday so I'm not sure yet what impact if any my USB audio interface will have on a Kubuntu 12.04.4 VM.

    Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 10.33.47 AM.png
  8. paulsdenton macrumors 6502


    Oct 9, 2010
    Barton, Vermont USA
    I echo the caution of the previous poster about delaying your purchase-the Mac Mini is very much overdue for a refresh. Maybe next week?

    I do not know about the technical aspects of virtualization support, but from experience I can tell you that Parallels (the only VM I have tried) runs so abominably slowly on my 2011 Mac Mini that I had to stop using it.

    If you are going to use a VM like Parallels, get the fastest processor you can and all the RAM you can afford. You'll need it.
  9. LorenK macrumors 6502

    Dec 26, 2007
    Rather than cut it up, they sell stands that hold the MacMini in a vertical position. As the Mini is, well, mini, having it vertical doesn't take up any space, so it stays cool enough. (I fried my first one, overused it, but it was under AppleCare and it was replaced. No problem so far with the replacement.)
  10. illusionx macrumors 6502

    Jul 4, 2014
    Brossard, QC

    Vt-d would only benefit in a VMware esxi environment. VMware fusion will simply be able to assign your USB device to your vm.


    VM runs abominably slow because of the 5400rpm hdd that is shared with the main OS. And the amount of ram you have in your system comes into play how well your mv will run. A 2011 mini came with 2gb ram. That certainly did not help your experience.

    The i5 CPU is plenty for what a consumer would do with a vm.

Share This Page