Why I want a Mac mini instead of iMac

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Easttime, Jun 30, 2016.

  1. Easttime macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2015
    #1
    In a phrase: compact flexibility. My big, heavy 2011 27" iMac died and I am trying to decide how to replace it. While waiting I am using an old MacBook running a 27" external monitor front and centre on my desk. I like that setup much better than having the iMac in front of me, mainly because it takes seconds to switch over to my little work Windows laptop. If I get an iMac, I won't be able to do that (use the imac's screen as an external for the work laptop). So a Mini would be ideal. Easier to plug in external drives too.

    My wish: quad processor, 1 TB SSD, four USB C ports. Flexibility in a compact package. Sigh.
     
  2. ardchoille50 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2014
    #2
    I'm still using my late 2012 Mac mini. The Mac mini is an excellent machine and I plan to buy another one soon for use as a media center in the living room. Wonderful desktop machines, in my opinion.
     
  3. Nukemkb macrumors 6502a

    Nukemkb

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Location:
    Columbia, SC
  4. DevNull0 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2015
    #4
    I agree with you. I have the 2012 quad core i7 which has easily upgradable memory and it's great. But Apple has made it very clear they don't want people like us as customers. I actually bought mine at the refurb store right after the 2014's came out (and it's my first ever refurb). There is simply no mac worth buying today.

    Take a look at the intel NUC offerings. The latest is a lot smaller than the mac mini but has a 6th gen i7 quad core, iris pro 580 graphics, supports 32 gig of DDR4 and has all the normal bells and whistles; wireless AC, bluetooth 4.2, dual m.2 drive slots, thunderbolt 3, and display port. Basically it's everything anyone could wish the mac mini was.

    At some point, you have to ask how long you're going to struggle to make due with the junk that passes for Macs these days when the hardware outside the Apple ecosystem is magical by comparison.
     
  5. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2012
    Location:
    Northeast
    #5
    I setup one the NUC you mentioned for a client and that may very well be my next computer. Nice job Intel!
     
  6. Easttime thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2015
    #6
    A NUC will run OSX? Or does it require a bunch of tweaking?
     
  7. Richdmoore macrumors 68000

    Richdmoore

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Location:
    Troutdale, OR
    #7
    Can a nuc be make into a hackintosh?

    Right now I am good with my iMac, but at some point would like to upgrade, and would prefer not to abandon macOS for Windows. I did use a Dell 9 hackintosh back in the day and it was a pain to keep up to date, so maybe a clean break is better.
     
  8. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2012
    Location:
    Northeast
    #9
    I am OK with Windows 10. No hackintosh for me.
     
  9. DevNull0 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2015
    #10
    It's actually not really any harder to install OSX on a hackintosh than on a genuine mac. I would make sure to buy hardware from a recommended build (and I didn't take the time to check if the NUC is on the list).

    But you never said macos was a priority in your original post. The way the mac is being turned into an iPhone accessory these days, you're going to have to switch eventually anyway. Apple is being crystal clear on their direction for the mac.
     
  10. George Dawes macrumors 6502

    George Dawes

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2014
    Location:
    Woof bark donkey
    #11
    I've got 3 x new minis dotted round the house and they're amazing , best mac apple make imo

    Silent , run cool and more than fast enough as long as you get a fusion drive and plenty of ram
     
  11. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #12
    The new NUC is amazingly small. But to be fair the Mac Mini is entirely self contained, whereas the NUC has an external power brick. And I prefer the tidiness of the Mini over having a power brick.

    Sad the Mini is so far out of date. Like you say, the NUC really is everything that we wish the Mini could be.
     
  12. jpietrzak8 macrumors 65816

    jpietrzak8

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio
    #13
    You know, this has always surprised me. Brick or not, the computer is going to have a long cord winding its way down towards wherever an outlet is available. Most places I've been, home or office, that outlet is down on the floor somewhere behind some furniture (usually a desk). Often, there are power bars or uninterruptible power supplies sitting down there as well.

    The addition of a power brick down there, out of sight, has never mattered to me. Less stuff up on the desk, on the other hand, definitely helps. So in my mind, relocating the power supply out of the computer's case (a) does not change the fact of a cord coming out of the back, and (b) actually reduces the amount of desk space used by the computer.

    So yeah, for my money, a power brick is more tidy, not less...
     
  13. DevNull0 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2015
    #14
    I do agree about the power brick, though it's not a huge thing. It's too bad Apple looses all the big things. I also have a late 2009 mini with the external power brick. I preferred the older smaller footprint, but the lack of external power brick on the newer one more than made up for it imo.

    I did just find out my 2012 quad core is worth more today than I paid for it two years ago though, so I guess there are perks to Apple making the macs worse year after year. I found it funny when MacWorld magazine was talking about how great a new iMac was by describing it as almost as powerful as the previous model. Talk about a low bar.
     
  14. msh macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Location:
    SoCal
    #15
    Yep, that's direction I am going too.

    I have two macminis (an '09 and '12) but won't be buying another. I use them as client and server for HTPC purposes and I don't need macOS on them either as I use Windows HTPC software (JRiver). So when the time comes I will replace them with Intel NUCs running Windows. I still use macOS on my cMP ('09) but, like the mini, I will most likely replace it with a Windows workstation. It would seem there is no future for professional Apple desktop hardware or software.
     
  15. scotttnz macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    #16
    And (c) removes a source of heat from inside the computers case allowing for either more powerful components or less cooling noise.
     
  16. MH01 macrumors G4

    MH01

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #17
    If my Mac mini dies, it's getting replaced by a skull canyon. The 2014 Mac mini are awful and damn expansive in comparison
     
  17. Kaida macrumors regular

    Kaida

    Joined:
    May 28, 2016
    Location:
    Singapore
    #18
    Haha I had the same thought too. wish it was a nvme and a 2.5" though.
     
  18. Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2012
    Location:
    An island in the Andaman Sea.
    #19
    Up to you, but there are several who have posted here who own and have been happy with the latest Mac Mini, including the base 1.4 GHz model (which can ramp up to 2.7 GHz for a bit if required).

    It depends on your needs and expectations. If it is bragging rights to the hottest specs, current Mac Mini will disappoint for sure. In the end though, it is OS X that makes a Mac.
     
  19. MH01 macrumors G4

    MH01

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #20
    There was no reason to gimp the Mac mini, no excuse why a 2014 desktop does not have a quad core option. You cannot go off turbo boost, the 2012 max mini run 2.6 on 4 cores before boost.

    Also there is no bragging rights in a 2012 quad core, my 2012 rmbp has a faster processor .

    Yeah for many the 2014 is fine, but they are getting less
     
  20. tubeexperience macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    #21
    Sure it is: Tim Cook wants you to buy the most expensive iMac so he can build a solid gold swimming poll.

    A Mac Mini with quad-core and upgradable memory? Can't have that!
     
  21. richpjr macrumors 68030

    richpjr

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    #22
    I'm not sure bragging rights has anything to do with it. The reality is the 2014 Mini was under powered when it was released and has fallen even further behind. It may suffice for some and that is great but it's just not a good buy right now. And with Microsoft finally releasing a solid OS in Windows 10, the big advantage Apple had in the OS has narrowed to the point that a Windows machine is a viable alternative and certainly a better buy at this point.
     
  22. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Location:
    Alabama
    #23
    Agreed! And I personally think the Mini is actually Apple's "hidden" gem. I have two of them and they, like you said, are silent and capable.
     
  23. BornAgainMac macrumors 603

    BornAgainMac

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Location:
    Florida Resident
    #24
    I am debating if I should upgrade my Quad Mini to have 2 internal SSD drives at 2 TB each. Hard to go back to 5400 rpm drives after experiencing SSDs and having 4 TB of internal SSD storage would be something you can't even do with the iMac.
     
  24. George Dawes macrumors 6502

    George Dawes

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2014
    Location:
    Woof bark donkey
    #25
    My 2011 mini is perma bricked due to an el crapitan bug but tbh the thing was noisy and got very hot - loads of posts on here about ventilation problems with it

    The new mini is a really grate bit of kit
     

Share This Page