Which Upgrade is Better for New mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by MJedi, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. MJedi macrumors 6502a


    Dec 16, 2010
    Hello all,

    At work, I am going to be assigned a new Mac mini. I do PC and Mac technical support, Adobe software troubleshooting, and some network administration on my current Mac (using RDC to Windows Servers for Windows-specific tasks.) I am told I can customize the specs on this mini, keeping it around $1500. When I do a BTO of the 2.5 Core i5 mini, I see I can do one of the following 2 options while staying within the budget:

    1. Upgrade to Core i7, 8GB RAM and 750GB @ 7200 RPM; or

    2. Upgrade to 256GB SSD only (no other upgrades)

    Both will include Apple Care.

    Which option gives the the best performance? I will use Windows 7 in Parallels on the new mini so I can do better support for our Windows users and run Microsoft Management Console (MMC) without needing to RDC into a server.

    Thanks in advance for everyone's opinions.
  2. FluffyPop macrumors member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Would upgrading to i7 and SSD and then fitting the RAM yourself be an option?
  3. dlimes13 macrumors 6502a


    May 3, 2011
    Perrysburg, OH
    Seeing as you can save money by buying 3rd party SSD and RAM, upgrade to the i7 and save your money. Just my 2 cents. Apple charges WAY too much for RAM, and you can save a bit w/ the SSD yourself.
  4. Mr.C macrumors 601

    Apr 3, 2011
    London, UK.
    It may not be as straight forward as that if the company is paying for the Mini.
  5. soloer macrumors 6502a


    Sep 27, 2004
    Is getting the server model an option? Then you'd already start with 2 7200rpm drives. Based on what you said you'd use it for, it doesn't seem you'd need dedicated graphics at all. If you couldn't go out of band for memory, you could pay the $200 for Apple to upgrade it to 8 and still only be looking at $1199. You might also need to spend an extra $79 for the superdrive as well, as I suspect you'll need it to load some of the software you support.
  6. Ice Dragon macrumors 6502a

    Ice Dragon

    Jun 16, 2009
    Go for the $600 SSD, or get the server edition and pay $400 for the SSD.
  7. brendu, Sep 12, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2011

    brendu macrumors 68020

    Apr 23, 2009
    you can upgrade to an i7 and get a 256GB SSD for $1499. That should be within your $1500 budget you listed. Then just add ram later yourself if you need it, its cheap and easy to upgrade.
  8. DesertSilver macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2011
    Portland, OR
    MJedi, this may come off wrong, but from the description of the work you do, it seems you would be more than qualified to answer your own question since you do some technical work. ;)

    That being said, I would suggest option 1 as it seems like the more all around performer of the two options you provided.
  9. slyseekr macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY

    The SSD will yield much more dramatic improvements than a processor increase. But, I'd also upgrade the RAM through Newegg, much cheaper and probably still under your $1500 budget when all is said and done.
  10. MJedi thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Dec 16, 2010
    Yes, I knew someone would eventually call me out. :D

    I have an idea of what I would want, but wanted to ask others as a second opinion. The majority of the replies is to get the i7 and SSD. I was initially going to stick with the i5, but I read some benchmarks and the performance difference is larger than the i5 to i7 in the new MacBook Air. The SSD will have to come from Apple, but I will definitely buy the RAM from another vendor in due time.

    Thanks for everyone's input.
  11. DustinT macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2011
    Yup, thats exactly what I'd do. Heck, I'd even pay for the ram myself if the company wouldn't, just to get the SSD and the i7\graphics upgrade.

    You'll love it.
  12. mdgm macrumors 6502a

    Nov 2, 2010
    2GB RAM isn't enough for a good experience on Lion. Get the SSD but also upgrade the RAM yourself. 8GB (2x4GB) is cheap. 16GB (2x8GB) will work but it's still expensive for now.
  13. Sodner macrumors 68020


    Jan 12, 2011
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Agree. I had a new base mini with 2 Gig & Lion and it was sad. Must have 4GB min.
  14. MJedi thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Dec 16, 2010
    I'm starting with the 2.5 Core i5 Mac mini (the $799 model) which already comes with 4GB RAM standard. Then I'll customize it with an i7 and SSD.
  15. patent10021 macrumors 68030


    Apr 23, 2004
    Would love to have SSD for audio work but 256GB is just way too small. Would love to see at least 500GB SSD. Can this be done myself? 500GB must be hella expensive.

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