Yet another can I get buying advice thread - 2014 specs to buy?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by heiber, Oct 28, 2014.

  1. heiber macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2014
    I've been reading the threads and trying to decide on a configuration to buy. I am going with the 2014 model because I feel the better graphics will matter more than 4 core performance for me long term. This is a home pc with the following uses: productivity apps, web, music, Lightroom, iMovie, occasional plex streaming, light kids gaming (probably more web based and Minecraft than anything else). Also plan to run Parallels occasionally for Quicken on Windows or other apps not supported by the Mac. Not planning dedicated always open VM.

    Plan to go with the 2.6 mid-tier model. My questions:

    1. 8 GB or 16 GB of ram? Is 8 enough. I know 16 is better, but in the real world is 8 enough and will it last for the next few years. I've gotten 5+ years out of my current PC

    2. SSD or Fusion? I realize SSD will be better, but how much better and is it really worth it and instead of the additional 1 TB of space with the fusion drive? If I get the SSD then I have to get an external drive for sure. I would rather put that money towards the extra memory if needed.

  2. benx1111 macrumors member

    Oct 17, 2013
    I suggest you, 16gb ram and 1TB fusion drive. Yes you are right, the 8gb is enough for now, but for the future maybe not. Upgrade is imposible. Only you know how long you will use this mac mini. And for fusion drive the speed is nearly the same with clear ssd drive maybe 2-3%. Good luck!
  3. jlxz macrumors newbie

    Dec 23, 2013
    I'm in the same situation like you. After reading a lot about mini2012 vs mini2014 wars, new architechture, mini future, etc, this is what I'm buying next month. I use my mini as a workstation and I want it to last as much as possible. Now I'm using a mini early 2009.

    In 2014 mini model RAM is soldered so you can't upgrade it later. So it would be better to buy 16GB if you want your mini last 5 or 6 years. Today 8GB is enough for almost everything, but we don't know in the future or next OSX versions.

    SSD vs FusionDrive. First I considered FD, but after reading many things about it (most of them good, and some bad) the thing that I don't like is that the FusionDrive decides what files I access most to allocate them in the SSD and I can't do anything to change that. So I decided the best option is buy 256 SSD PCIe that is blazing fast and use external drive to store static data like photos, music, etc. Macmini2014 has USB3(4Gb/s) and Thunderbolt2(20Gb/s). USB3 is cheaper and enough to normal uses.

    So I'm buying to replace my venerable Macmini 2009:
    i5 2,8GHz, 16GB RAM, SSD 256GB and a external WD Elements USB3 2TB

    After reading a lot, for me that's the best option to buy a future-proof macmini 2014 as a workstation. As I told I want to use as long as I can, I don't intend to resell it in 2 or 3 years.
  4. benx1111 macrumors member

    Oct 17, 2013
    I don't think is a good idea. Fusion drive is a better option again if you want more space.
  5. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Nov 20, 2010
    ladner cdn
    Mini 2.6GHz,16g mem,256ssd

    -2.6GHz (base model is more $$$ to ug mem and hd)
    -16g mem (simply because you can't upgrade it latter)
    -256 ssd (ask yourself if anyone will sell laptops with complete non ssd drives 5 years out...resale value!)
  6. xylitol macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2013
    No, it is better (than SSD+externals) only if you don't want to think about what goes where.
  7. ceraz macrumors member

    Apr 1, 2008
    I'm narrowing down on this option also but still question the 16GB RAM upgrade. Nearly all macs ship with 8GB as base memory except Mac Pro with 12GB and 16GB. Does Apple really want to alienate all its users by launching an OS that will require RAM upgrades? Maybe in 5 years but by then the i5 CPU will be outdated and the Mac Mini 2014 can be recycled to become a headless iTunes server.
  8. vovov macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2014
    The memory upgrade is the problem for me too. 200e is a lot of money for extra 8gigs and the gains are not easy to quantify. With CPU and storage the benefits are easily and consistantly seen in use but the difference between 8gigs and 16gigs is not that clear. Only clear benchmarks i have seen are from photoshop use with large files.
  9. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    1. I'll be purchasing a 2014 eventually. I will be going with the Mid-Mini solely. 8GB has been enough for my MBA + a VM. It's also been enough for my wife's Base late 2013 15" rMBP. I look at it this way, if 8GB is no longer enough, I'll take the $200 I saved (+ interest!), sell my 2014 Mini and upgrade the entire thing. At that point the entire Mini will be faster than my 2014. It won't just be "holding on" because it has enough RAM. It'll have better graphics, faster CPU, better i/o, etc. And probably won't cost me much more than the what I sell my Mini for used + the $200 I saved by not upgrading.

    2. I won't be buying an SSD for mine from Apple. I will either use one of my many SATA III SSD's and just swap out the internal spinning hard drive (yes I will have to buy the security torx screw), or go external with Thunderbolt. Probably more than likely to do the internal swap. Why? Because SSD's really show their strength not in the Fastest sequential transfer rates, but rather their ability to find small files in virtually no time. My first MBA (2011) had the "crappy" Toshiba SSD that topped out at 200MB/s. My 2013 MBA has the samsung PCIE SSD. Strange thing is, even though the Samsung benches 4x as fast, in day to day operations it is hardly noticeable. Why? Because the seek time in either drive is virtually instantaneous which is the biggest benefit to SSD's. How many files will you be accessing that are 200MB or larger? If I opened a 200MB file on my 2011 it would take 1 second, on my 2013 it takes 1/4 of a second. Both are virtually imperceptible. So whether I go with an SATA III SSD that tops out at 500MB/s or a PCIE SSD that does 800MB/s, I'm just not going to notice it on a day to day basis will I? And I already have the SSD.... Just my .02 worth.

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