Which mac mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by NasalApe, Sep 18, 2015.

  1. NasalApe macrumors newbie

    Sep 13, 2015
    I want a Mac Mini, but don't know if I should get the cheap baseline model or the tier up.

    It will be used for school work (microsoft office and very light video editing), internet browsing and, perhaps, a game of Football Manager.

    Do you think the more expensive one is worth the money for me?

  2. Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

    Aug 31, 2012
    An island in the Andaman Sea.
    If you are going to do just the basics, using the standard apps, the base model would probably do.

    Do you intend to use Office for Mac, (which runs using OS X), or install Windows to use Office?
    How much video editing do you think you will do?
    Might you needs change over the near to medium term?

    If you are likely to ask a bit more than the basics of your Mini, the next tier up could be the way to to go. It comes standard with 8 GB RAM, a faster processor, better graphics, and a 1 TB HDD. However, there is little point in getting more Mini than you require if your needs don't justify it.

    For me, both my Minis have been base models. I usually use iWork (Pages can open Word documents, and export Pages documents as word, with little or no hassle; I do it often. Converting between Numbers and Excel can be done, but not always so successfully; I don't bother). The iLife suite is good for most of the rest of what I do, and I haven't really found myself wanting for more than the base model.

    As I am doing more photography now, I would be inclined to go for a mid tier model, possibly custom specced with Fusion Drive or SSD, when the time comes to replace what I have….. which is over six years old already, and has just 5 GB RAM (the original 1 GB plus an extra 4 GB). However, it remains fine for my needs for now (as a teacher), so I don't anticipate replacing it any time soon.

    Check out this page:


    Try out various configurations, and read the advice offered on what to choose.
  3. Cape Dave macrumors 65816

    Nov 16, 2012
    My strategy is this. SSD on the inside, plenty of USB 3 storage externally. You will not miss the spinner. I guarantee it.
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Feb 20, 2009
    Unless you can't afford it, my "minimum recommendation" is....

    ... The "midrange" 2014 Mini with the optional 1tb fusion drive.

    Buy "less than this", and you're going to be back, asking "how can I speed this up?"
  5. Partron22 macrumors 68000


    Apr 13, 2011
    I look at the fusion drive as a transitional technology, so went w the mid range mini with the 5krpm HD, and run System off a USB connected 512GB SSD. Use the internal drive for backups, Time Machine and music libs.
    The setup has worked well for me so far.
  6. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    I don't own the bottom of the line Mini but have seen many comments from people who do and they seem to find it a poor performer beyond typical use of web browsing and a once in awhile word processing exercise.

    To consider - it is not just the apps you are using but how many may be open at once as well as how each app can take advantage of hardware. In your case, the lowest end will work but as you are doing video editing, it isn't your best choice moving forward. I don't like this incarnation of the Mini as I prefer a quad core however, if you want a dual core, I would consider the middle model a sweet spot in price and performance relative to the other offerings.

    As for drives, that is up to you. SSD fastest, fusion 2nd and plain old hard drive (either 7200 or 5400rpm) slowest. SSD and or fusion would be a good target depending on your budge as well as a good external drive. Again this is just an opinion based on observation and experience.
  7. c8rlo macrumors 6502


    Sep 1, 2015
    i'm in a similar situation, using it the same way as you but to replace an aging Windows slim desktop; then deciding if it's cost effective to just upgrade the RAM and replace the HD w/ an SSD or buy a higher tier model...
  8. NasalApe thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 13, 2015
    Thanks guys, think I'll stump up the extra for the mid-tier model.
  9. iceman42 macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2012
    if u buy the mid tier you should be happy.i bought the mid tier one from best buy and it runs great.if u can wait a few months to buy a mac mini.the new mac mini is coming soon.
  10. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Feb 20, 2009
    OP wrote:
    "Thanks guys, think I'll stump up the extra for the mid-tier model."

    As I cautioned above, if you buy the midrange with [only] the 1tb internal HDD, you may be unhappy. For most folks, it's just not fast enough.

    The midrange -is- a fine Mac, -if- you also add the 1tb fusion drive option.
  11. tibas92013, Sep 24, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2015

    tibas92013 macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2013
    Costa Rica
    Last June I bought the MM Late 2014 Midrange with 256 SSD and what a "speed demon"!

    My first MM is a Late 2012 with a 500GB HD which I plan of upgrading a SSD in the very near future. SSD makes a world-of-difference in the daily overall operation of my MM and I now will never purchase any type of Mac or PC Computer without an SSD.
  12. robertk328 macrumors regular


    Jun 24, 2010
    Which external do you have?

    I'm in the $699 + external SSD vs $999 with Fusion dilemma.
  13. Fstein macrumors newbie


    Sep 29, 2015
    After waiting for a new Mini, I passed and got a refurb quad core i7 with ssd and memory maxed out. do a lot of photos and music.
  14. Partron22 macrumors 68000


    Apr 13, 2011
  15. robertk328 macrumors regular


    Jun 24, 2010

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