Would it be foolish to get a BTO (8GB) entry level mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by EightyTwenty, Dec 27, 2016.

  1. EightyTwenty Suspended

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2015
    #1
    My needs are very modest (web surfing, YouTube, Netflix, word processing). I refuse to buy any computer with 4GB ram in 2017, so the entry-level is not an option.

    The main reason for switching is to use macOS and I plan on keeping it for at least 5 to 7 years. Seems like technology is moving at a snails pace today (my budget PC from 2009 is still firing on all cylinders today).

    Entry: $579
    Entry (8GB): $687

    P.S. I'll be booting from external SSD.
     
  2. Kaida macrumors regular

    Kaida

    Joined:
    May 28, 2016
    Location:
    Singapore
    #2
    I would think to buy a mid tier with a faster processor, 8gb of ram, 1tb hdd and iris graphics at $699 to be a better buy.
     
  3. EightyTwenty thread starter Suspended

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2015
    #3
    Mid tier is $849 Canadian. I don't need any of the things I'd be paying extra for, but might be worth it for resale value maybe?
     
  4. opeter macrumors 65816

    opeter

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Location:
    Slovenia, EU
    #4
    There is quite a big difference between the 1,4 and the 2,6 GHZ CPU. Not joking.

    Look here:
     
  5. Darien Red Sox macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Location:
    CT, USA
    #5
    I would go with the mid range one. I ordered a mid range one the other day and went with the 256GB SSD and 16GB ram just to future proof myself. Computer is for my Mom and Dad and they are hoping to get at least 6 to 8 years out of it.
     
  6. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #6
    IMO, that is a poor reason to spend more on a computer. I have three mini's, a 2014 base, 2012 base and 2012 quad. The 2014 base really is a slow computer although it's fine for my use as an iTunes server (just sits in a cabinet and runs iTunes with home sharing). However your need are very modest, so it would probably be fine, especially since you will use an external SSD for a boot drive.
     
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #7
    Get the midrange model with the 1tb fusion drive upgrade.
    You will NEVER REGRET spending the extra $$$.

    If you can't afford a new one, look at an Apple factory refurb.
     
  8. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #8
    Curious…. given the OP's scenario, why do you think he needs a fusion drive? He plans to use an external SSD, so why not just settle for the cheap, slow stock 500gb drive? I just setup a 2012 Mini with an external Samsung T3 drive and am getting write speeds of about 400MB/sec and read about 430. The fusion drive might work well for some people, but it alway sounded like a gimmick to me. I would prefer a pure SSD.
     
  9. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #9
    "Curious…. given the OP's scenario, why do you think he needs a fusion drive? He plans to use an external SSD, so why not just settle for the cheap, slow stock 500gb drive?"

    Midrange and high-end 2014 Minis have better graphics courtesy of a better GPU.

    I've been booting and running my late-2012 Mini i7 quad core for just short of four years now, quite well versed in setting up a Mini with an "external booter".

    But... the flash blade SSD that comes built into the 2014 models is significantly faster than booting from an external SSD. USB3 limits you to about 430-435mbps when reading externally. Just got 432mbps "reads" and 273mbps "writes" ten seconds ago testing my external SSD (using BlackMagic).
     
  10. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #10
    Just trying to frame the discussion in the OP's context, I understand that the mid range is a better computer. But do you really need better graphics for "web surfing, YouTube, Netflix, word processing"? I have a base 2014 Mini and a base 2012, both have the stock 500gb hard drives that feel very slow in everyday use. The 2012 has the external Samsung SSD which makes a big difference. It takes 30 seconds to boot off the external SSD. OTOH, I also have a 2012 quad 2.6 with the original Apple SSD and it boots in 14 seconds.

    Now I only use my 2014 base mini as an iTunes server, so I don't care how fast it boots or launches programs, it just sits in a cabinet running home sharing. I would not want one of these as an all purpose computer, even with an SSD. But that is me and my needs are different from the OP's, who already stated "I don't need any of the things I'd be paying extra for".

    FWIW, this is what I get with a Samsung USB T3 SSD

    [​IMG]
     

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