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Selecting a configuration

 
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Mini Configuration Options
2.7GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i7 with single 750hd
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
2.0GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 with dual 750hd
100%
 100%  [ 3 ]
Total Votes : 3

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martlet530
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:46 pm    Post subject: Selecting a configuration Reply with quote

About to purchase a Mac Mini to replace two Power PC iMac's. Have already purchased my 27 Mac Display so am committed to the mini over another iMac.

About my needs...I plan to use the mini as a desktop machine - no fancy requirements. On year two of ownership I will replace it with a newer mini and move it to duty delivering a massive collection of music and video.

As I understand it the discrete graphics available with the two base models offer clear advantages to graphics intensive uses - ie gaming. Unless I count the overdose of gaming I got with my 128k Mac, I've never been a gamer and don't plan on changing. I've read comments by those using limited photoshop needs and the on-board graphics of the server model appears to be just fine.

If I buy the server I will use standard menu options to turn off the server and use the unit as a desktop.

As I look at the advantages of the three main options available on the Apple Mac Store - I can upgrade the middle machine to the 2.7 dual core processor then will end up with a 750 gb 7200 rpm drive (and possibly the secondary ssd though $600 is a steep price for this add on).

Alternatively I can purchase the slightly slower but sexier quad core processor and get two 750gb drives (or a ssd mix like above).

I've tried to look at this from as many approaches as I can. I will probably never use the server software. The machine will indeed become a media/music server but only within my home. I'll never use the more advanced software commonly used for off-site access.

And to those who may say the iMac better addresses these needs - I'll say again that I don't mind cost of the mini/external display option as I won't wait as long to upgrade (and yes I've been through the just sell the iMac and upgrade to another iMac discussion). Having a separate CPU box just makes more sense to me. The mini is what I want.

SO - any thoughts on what to buy, the faster 2.7 processor with single 750 hd or the slower 2.0 quad core processor with dual 750 hds? I think you can tell from my writeup that I am leaning toward the second configuration.

Your thoughts?

Thanks

Scott
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saul
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you really don't have much need for speed then save your money and go for the base 2.3. Even that one will blow away a PPC. It will also run the coolest when you later turn it into a file server.
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martlet530
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saul -

Thanks for the insightful reply. In addition to the older macs I have a slightly newer Powerbook - so some speed is something I have long been use to. The old macs just were always still useful and never got replaced.

Looking ahead I plan to keep this mini as long. I take your point that once it becomes dedicated to media, there will be less of a need for speed.

That brings up storage - when it is used for media, having two 500g or 750g drives will likely hold off the need for external storage for some time. Basically I'm trying to spend a little more now in looking for more years of use.

Really appreciate your comments. This wonderful site is one I have already recommended to several other current and potential mac users.

-Scott

Second response...

Saul -

Maybe what you are suggesting is that if I were to buy a mini today for use holding iTunes and videos that the high speed drives would be overkill. If so, this point may be one that I should give some thought to.

In that respect a cool running lower powered Mini with external drives might be a better "second" solution though I had hoped to avoid external drives until needed. Of course a second drive can now be added to a mini.
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saul
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lots of angles with this and there is no right or wrong answer. If you over analyze you might always question your choice. Regardless any new mini should meet your needs.

Another angle is that it is not very difficult to upgrade the drive yourself in the 2011 model. Today you can buy a 1TB internal drive for around $200. In two years you should be able to get 3TB internal drives and install two of them if that is what you need.

Big question is how much space do you need today and in the next year?

If you don't have any other driving factors then it really is just how much you are willing to spend.

For the middle mine most are saying that the upgrade from the 2.5 to 2.7 is barely noticeable.

Last piece of info: If you want two 27" TB displays you need the mini with the AMD discrete graphics.
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martlet530
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have spent as much of the last 24hrs as possible reading about mini's. As Saul put it..."lots of angles".

For those interested in the most detailed discussion of this topic that I came across, here is a link...

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1214333

I can't say I'm any closer to a conclusion though I am significantly better informed.

-Scott
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Based on your needs... music/video playback, internet, longevity media server and no need for 3D it's a no brainer, the quad core is a much better choice. Why all the "angles", there is no need to complicate things.
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martlet530
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to all for the very decisive responses. On a day when holiday crowds make talking with Apple Store sales staff all but impossible, this help has truly been invaluable.

A few hours ago I placed an order for the Quad Core model. Unlike the decision making process for the last four Macs I purchased, I felt I had much more of a rage of products to address my needs due to the current line of minis.

Just as iPads have affected the sales of laptops (hopefully more Wintel machines than Apple), I wonder if Minis will now sell in a volume which will decrease the number of iMacs sold. The advantage of now being able to use the mini later in its lifecycle when a display is no longer desired is an attraction I found impossible to resist.

As a way of saying thanks to Saul and Bill for the time they took in responding to my post I'd like to offer an online profile of my favorite singer, Eva Cassidy. This ABC Nightline offering had been broadcast three times, an unusual result for a news based program.

http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/video/rainbow--10170062

Thanks again. I hope to be a frequent visitor and sometimes contributor to this forum in the months and years ahead.
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm glad you pulled the trigger on the quad core model. I sell Apple computers for a living. I often tell people that are on the fence, to go for the one they truly want. You'll only kick yourself in the butt once (at the register) vs. 5 years of regretting the fact that you didn't get the upper end model.

We all evaluate our purchase decisions after the fact. Seldom to we regret getting "the best".

Along the line of iMac vs. mini I'm a fan of both. We probably sell 100 iMacs to every 1 mini. The mini is often overlooked (even by our store). We have it hooked up to a cheap display, cheap keyboard and mouse. Basically a budget switcher setup. Personally I' like to see it connected to the new 27" Apple Thunderbolt display. In a few years replace the mini and delegate the existing mini to another task (just as you intend to).

I think the mini deserves a lot more respect than it gets. I'm sure your mini will serve you well for many years. Congrats!
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saul
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Enjoy your new mini! It has lots of potential.
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philiparcario
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

martlet530 wrote:
Thanks to all for the very decisive responses. On a day when holiday crowds make talking with Apple Store sales staff all but impossible, this help has truly been invaluable.

A few hours ago I placed an order for the Quad Core model. Unlike the decision making process for the last four Macs I purchased, I felt I had much more of a rage of products to address my needs due to the current line of minis.

Just as iPads have affected the sales of laptops (hopefully more Wintel machines than Apple), I wonder if Minis will now sell in a volume which will decrease the number of iMacs sold. The advantage of now being able to use the mini later in its lifecycle when a display is no longer desired is an attraction I found impossible to resist.

As a way of saying thanks to Saul and Bill for the time they took in responding to my post I'd like to offer an online profile of my favorite singer, Eva Cassidy. This ABC Nightline offering had been broadcast three times, an unusual result for a news based program.

http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/video/rainbow--10170062

Thanks again. I hope to be a frequent visitor and sometimes contributor to this forum in the months and years ahead.



i am a big beleiver of the quad core 2 x 750gb model I own one. your machine comes with 4gb ram. here is a link for 8gb ram from new egg.


this is a great deal for ram


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231295

it works well I have purchased it time and time again.



***************************************************************************
Speedy ram below works faster costs more based on your needs I don not think you need either one.

the ram below cost more but works well and is a bit faster

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820104257


most users don't need it



the last one on the list is the fastest ram that will work in your machine. most likely you don't need it


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820104259


********************************************************************************
_________________
2010 Mm 2.4 C2D oem 320gb hdd 8gb ram
2012Mm base 2.5 with 16gb ram diy fusion drive
2012Mm quad with 8gb ram oem 1tb hdd

promise pegasus r6 3x 3tb + 3x 4tb =21tb hdds
lacie little big disk 2x 512gb ssds
synology 2tb disk station
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martlet530
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought long and hard about the dual hard drive option but finally went with the ssd and 750 hd. I reasoned that since this was our family machine, I would not be tweaking but leaving alone. It then made sense to get AppleCare - which installing more efficient drives later, would void.

I will certainly followup on the ram in the coming weeks! Thanks for the link!!
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are going to a have a very fast mini with the SSD. It is unbelievable how much of a difference they make (for drive related activities).

You don't mess around Wink Smile

The first time you turn it on you'll smile.
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