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Mac Mini thoughts
Old 10-20-2014, 08:24 PM   #1
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Mac Mini thoughts

A few weeks ago I posted a thread concerning Apples Macs and Windows desktop PCs. Thanks for all the good comments. Now to get down to some brass tacks so to speak. Has anyone gone the mac mini route ? I don't need a new monitor, keyboard, mouse etc. and it looks like the mac mini might be a good way to go. Just last week Apple announced some upgrades to some of their products, although the upgrade to the basic mac mini actually looks like a downgrade, slower processor but a hundred dollar drop in price. Just wondered if any forum members have gone the mac mini route and their experiences, such as regrets or would they do it again, did they upgrade the ram or HD, etc. ? Again, thanks in advance to any who comments.

One thing about the new mac mini is you can't upgrade the ram.
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Old 10-20-2014, 09:47 PM   #2
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I have a Mac mini and am very happy w it - get one level over the basic memory config and you should be fine . If you do lot's of memory hog apps like photoshopping big images of video editing then get more memory


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Old 10-20-2014, 10:15 PM   #3
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The one they announced should be faster.

The previous model is over 2 years old.

It's certainly the lowest entry price and if you really like your monitor, it would be a way to go.

I'd double check to see if you can still upgrade the RAM yourself. I'd add the RAM with after market, though some Macs, like the laptops, the RAM is soldered on so that they can make it as thin as possible.
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Old 10-20-2014, 10:52 PM   #4
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Fwiw, mac shipments last quarter hit an all time record high. They must be doing something right
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Old 10-20-2014, 10:55 PM   #5
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I have a 2011 Mac Mini which I enjoy. I was looking forward to the refresh, but what I've read doesn't leave me too excited. The RAM is soldered on, so no cheaper upgrade there. The storage options also are only OK.

With the 2011 Mac Mini I was able to add another 4GB of RAM after market and when storage was tight, I bought a 1TB hybrid drive and installed it myself. With the new model, you can still upgrade the hard drive, but it would be nice if it would be less expensive to buy it upgraded directly from Apple.

I don't have a pressing need to upgrade and don't regret the one we bought. But at the $900 price point that I would spend on a Mac Mini today, I'd look at their other offerings first to see if there's a better deal.
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Old 10-21-2014, 08:01 AM   #6
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F-i-l has the all in one Mac. Can't remember screen size, but maybe 27". Went for more memory and larger HD too.

It seems to me that with most apple products, the one you think is reasonably priced is inadequate, and you need to move up a notch. I made that decision in the model mentioned above so that obsolescence is somewhat delayed.
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Old 10-21-2014, 08:01 AM   #7
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I have a 2012 Mac Mini and upgraded the RAM from 4GB to 8GB (fairly inexpensive via Amazon). I have been happy with the Mini (along with 25" HP monitor, Apple keyboard and wireless trackpad), but don't use it as much as expected since I really like my MacBook Air with SSD. I decided to go with the trackpad over a mouse since I was used to it from the MacBook Air.
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Old 10-21-2014, 09:58 AM   #8
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The new mac mini has only dual-core processors available. This is a non-starter for me as most of my photo apps will take advantage of multiple cores. I suspect most video programs will do so as well.
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Old 10-21-2014, 10:10 AM   #9
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A friend of mine uses a Mac mini to control all of his 'entertainment' hardware and software. He likes having it separate from his work computer for both security and reliability reasons. An old keyboard, old mouse and small monitor are stuffed into a small cabinet, where they are rarely seen.
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Old 10-21-2014, 11:44 AM   #10
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I have the 2012 edition Mac Mini, with quad-core i7 processor and 16 GB of RAM and two 1 TB hard drives -- one to boot into Mac OS X and the other to boot into Windows. I already had a nice, big flat panel monitor and I don't use really CPU or graphics intensive applications much, so it's plenty of computer for me. I'm happy with it.
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Old 10-21-2014, 11:48 AM   #11
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I'll probably upgrade to the 5K iMac in a year or two.

I put some of my pictures on iCloud Photo Stream and then share it among my devices and run the Ken Burns effect screensaver.

Pictures are sharper on an HP laptop with a 1080p 15-inch screen and a Retina MacBook Pro than it is on my 2013 iMac.
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Old 10-21-2014, 03:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by explanade View Post
I'll probably upgrade to the 5K iMac in a year or two.
I think a retina iMac will be pretty much the perfect desktop (at least for me). I'm waiting to upgrade my old 27" iMac to 5K until one more bump in performance. That's a lot of pixels to push around and the current hardware does it, but without a lot of performance headroom.

I bought the retina MacBook Pro and while it's a great machine, the GPU it has just barely can push around all those pixels. The 2nd gen retina MacBook Pro performs much better and I wish I had waited for that.

(I also but the "S" iPhones - they seem to have fewer rough edges on them, so to speak)
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Old 10-21-2014, 05:32 PM   #13
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Bought a new mac mini yesterday, bought the previous model 2.3G I7 quad core.
Those models are disappearing fast. The new dual core models are not as fast.
Late 2014 Mac Mini Benchmarks Indicate Decreased Multi-Core Performance - Mac Rumors
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Old 10-21-2014, 06:18 PM   #14
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I recommend getting the version of Mac Mini prior to the latest release this week. The new Mac Mini has soldered RAM memory (not upgradeable) and is slightly slower despite being a new release. If you're in the $750-$1000 price range, you may want to consider a refurbished Macbook Air or Macbook Pro with a monitor adapter to run your larger monitor (and use the laptop monitor as a mirror or second monitor). This will give you the same logic board as the Mac Mini with the portability of a laptop should you want that.

The refurbished products from Apple are full warranty and excellent computers. Personally, I have only purchased refurbished at a significant cost savings and been very happy. For my business, I've purchased well over 200 Macs (Macbooks, Mini, Mac Pro, etc) and the majority of them have been refurbished with excellent performance and reliability. Here is a link to their refurbished page...

Refurbished and Clearance iPod, iPad & Mac Products - Free Shipping - Apple Store (U.S.)

Display Port Adapter...

Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter - Apple Store (U.S.)
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Old 10-21-2014, 07:07 PM   #15
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Where would one look for the previous version? I don't see any on the website - refurbished or otherwise.

Thanks for any comments...
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Old 10-21-2014, 07:11 PM   #16
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Where would one look for the previous version? I don't see any on the website - refurbished or otherwise.

Thanks for any comments...
The best place to look is in the physical Apple Stores (not online). They usually have a back stock of the current ones and can pull one for you prior to the new ones arriving in bulk. Just ask any of the sales folks. You can try calling the Apple Store online but they may not be able to access the previous stock of Mac Minis.

As someone else suggested in this thread, upgrade the RAM to 8GB and you should be fine for most functions. 4GB of RAM underperforms just enough to get frustrating if you are multitasking.
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Old 10-21-2014, 07:17 PM   #17
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Would upgrading to 8GB of RAM make it work easily with Yosemite? Or should there be more RAM ?

Any other tips - to make it last a long time?

Anticipate working with photos. Maybe a little video but not a lot. No gaming.
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Old 10-21-2014, 07:26 PM   #18
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Would upgrading to 8GB of RAM make it work easily with Yosemite? Or should there be more RAM ?

Any other tips - to make it last a long time?

Anticipate working with photos. Maybe a little video but not a lot. No gaming.
8GB of RAM should work fine for what you are doing (photos, video, etc) as well as with the operating systems you are (and will be) running. Upgrading to 16GB of RAM may not be cost-effectice at this point since you'll really only see the benefits with more complicated and niche tasks like creating/rendering 3D motion graphics, etc. The size of the internal drive may become an issue over time but I wouldn't worry about that now as drive capacities go up and costs come down regularly and you can upgrade later.

I HIGHLY recommend getting an external USB drive (a 3TB Toshiba Canvio will do) and making sure you have a Time Machine backup going on a regular basis. I've witnessed too many people lose their internal hard drive to a failure along with the media (photos, etc) in it. A small investment up front with the USB drive will save you in the long run.
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Old 10-21-2014, 08:09 PM   #19
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I have the 2012 edition Mac Mini, with quad-core i7 processor and 16 GB of RAM and two 1 TB hard drives -- one to boot into Mac OS X and the other to boot into Windows. I already had a nice, big flat panel monitor and I don't use really CPU or graphics intensive applications much, so it's plenty of computer for me. I'm happy with it.
What are you using 16 GB of RAM for mostly if not graphics - if I may ask.
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Old 10-21-2014, 08:13 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spncity View Post
Would upgrading to 8GB of RAM make it work easily with Yosemite? Or should there be more RAM ?

Any other tips - to make it last a long time?

Anticipate working with photos. Maybe a little video but not a lot. No gaming.
My understanding is the new $499 Mac mini models comes with only 4GB of RAM and is running the Yosemite OS. The real bummer on these new minis is the RAM can't be upgraded and if you change out the HD you void the warranty. Since I'm still in the research stage I'm in no hurry to pull the trigger on a new machine. That said, if I were going to get something I would probably opt for the older model, with the faster processor, HD and just add 8GB of RAM. Still looking at almost a grand going that route. Also I need to research the refurbished models that might have all the bells and whistles I'm looking for at a more cost effective price.

Thanks everyone for your sage input.
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