will a Mac Mini feel faster or slower than a MBA(2013)?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Jaranson, Dec 22, 2013.

  1. Jaranson macrumors member

    Dec 7, 2013
    I have a base model MBA 11.6" 4GB 256GB SSD that I bought recently.

    I'm considering getting a Mac Mini as a present to someone tomorrow. Since I have zero experience with the Mac Mini, I'm wondering if it will feel faster or slower than my MBA?

  2. Chatran macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2013
    You will feel mini is much slower since it does not have SSD.
  3. windowpain macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2008
    It depends on what you mean by feels slower.

    Like Chatran says, having a SSD will make things feel a lot more responsive, apps will open quickly etc.
    But put a SSD (or Fusion drive) in one of the latest mac minis and it is a very nice little machine, especially the quad cores ones which are impressively fast.

    It will also take up to 16GB of ram (compared to the 8GB of the macbook air) so if you are pushing the system with video encodes etc, then the mini will feel faster.

    Unless you have a slow HDD in the mini, neither will feel slow.
  4. adamneer macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2013
    Chicago, IL
    yes, but the clock speed is much higher on the Mini than on the MBA. Adding an SSD will definitely speed things up, and can be added in addition to the HDD that comes with it, using a kit available via OWC and Amazon. It's not the easiest modification, but there are some highly detailed how-to's available on the internet, and i believe the kit itself comes with a great instruction manual. You might check out everymac.com and plug the two models into the compare feature to see how things match up, including benchmarks for both machines.
  5. iMarvin macrumors 6502


    Sep 29, 2011
    On the internet!
    The air feels a lot faster in everyday tasks, it's when you start getting into the heavy stuff i.e encoding the quad core in the mac mini shines.

    Specs on air is base 13" and mini is quad i7.

    /a proud air and mini owner
  6. Jaranson thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 7, 2013
    I stopped by the mall and visited the Apple Store this morning.

    I was ready to buy the Mac Mini with i7. The employee asked me "last minute present for someone tomorrow?" and I said no... it was for myself. He then pulled me aside and told me to wait a little longer. He said that "something" is coming. This same employee sold me my MacBook Air recently and knows what I use my computers for. (yes, same one who forced me to exhange it 5 times because of battery issue unrelated to Mavericks)

    Unfortunately, he wouldn't say what the "something" is going to be like. I do appreciate honest retail employees! :) I insisted on buying the Mac Mini and he finally gave up and said I will probably regret not waiting.

    Can't wait until I get home tonight and unbox it! :)
  7. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    Retail employees just don't have that information this far in advance. Certainly there's no Mini coming out for several weeks at minimum. Although it's not a big seller they wouldn't want to have to take returns on all the ones sold for Christmas.
  8. iMarvin macrumors 6502


    Sep 29, 2011
    On the internet!
    Hope you like it, the mini and air go pretty well hand in hand. Perfect home setup. :)
  9. mvmanolov macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2013
    if you take a look at my signature, these are the MBA and mini that i have. in my case the mini feels and is significantly faster than the air... i use it as a htpc and server, and my main workhorse.
  10. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    We also have my signature mini and MBA 4/256 i5 at home.
    The MBA is obviously faster but the mini is very responsive, too even with hdd.

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