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Getting a new Mac mini! Which are the worthwhile upgrades?

 
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sundressed
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:16 pm    Post subject: Getting a new Mac mini! Which are the worthwhile upgrades? Reply with quote

I am a HEAVY photoshop user (I run actions all the time and work with 1-2gig files, 50-100 layer files all the time) and do some light video work every few months in premiere. My current 4 year old macbook does not cope well with it, and I've maxed out the 4GB ram capacity.

I am thinking of getting a mac mini, I already have a display, tablet (instead of a mouse) and a keyboard, so they are not "additional costs".

I'm not a specs whiz when it comes to computers, I just want that is zippy!

My budget is $1100USD so I can afford most of the upgrades.... but I don't know if it'll be worthwhile.

Questions:
Definitely get the better model if I want it to last me for the next 4-5 years right? The graphics card is better, yes?

Should I upgrade to i7 for $100 more?
Should I max out the ram (not though apple of course) ? Is it the most important upgrade?
Is the "750GB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm" going to give me a significant enough boost to bother? I don't need the additional space, I already have 2 1.5 tb external drives. (I can't afford the SSD)

This is the link to the upgradable options for the better mac: http://store.apple.com/us/configure/MC816LL/A?select=select&product=MC816LL%2FA&mco=MjMzOTQ1NDI

Thanks for your replies/advice! [/url]
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Cypher
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd probably do as you suggested

1) Start out with the better model Mac Mini
2) definitely max out the Ram (8GB from crucial is $54 versus Apple at $200)

As for the other two I'm not sure, but I think I would up the CPU before the HDD. Actually you can change the HDD later, the CPU you need to decide now, so I would definitely do the CPU before the HDD.

Have a look at this video to see if you fancy doing a
DIY RAM and HDD upgarde video RAM is easy but the HDD looks a little tricky


I'd probably purchase the Mini with CPU upgrade from Apple, and buy the ram from crucial. I'm not sure on the benefits of the 7200 HDD but I did do this upgrade when I bought my MBP but as I have nothing to compare it to I don't know if it was a worth while upgrade or not. The way I looked at it it wouldn't have made it any worse.
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PaPat
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Definitely upgrade the parts that are not user-upgradable - the CPU. RAM and disks you can do yourself. If you watch the sales, you can get great deals. I bought 8GB RAM from NewEgg for 39.95 USD, free shipping and it takes less than 1 minute to change it out. I also added an SSD as my boot drive, which will have the biggest impact on your photoshop usage. You say that you cannot afford an SSD, but with the budget you have, you could purchase one of the smaller (120-160GB) drives out there. NewEgg sells Intel drives for less than 300USD. In fact, I would recommend an SSD for any computer you use on a regular basis - Mac or Windows. It's the most noticeable upgrade you can make, as boot times and file transfers take a fraction of the normal time. Some have posted that the drive replacement is difficult, but it is not that hard as long as you use iFixit as a guide and have the correct tools (torx drivers). Apart from those tools, you will need some type of cloning tool. For a clone of Lion, do some research so that you copy the hidden restore partition to the new drive.

Good luck. The new Mini is a great choice, now that it has a more powerful i5 based processor.
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iMav
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can't wait till these are back in stock!

Great price.
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mdgm
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The new Mac Mini can actually take 16GB (2x8GB) RAM. It's expensive now, so you could upgrade to 8GB (2x4GB) RAM now and upgrade the RAM again later when you need even more.
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gks68
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 7:47 am    Post subject: 8gb RAM Upgrade Reply with quote

How can I tell if the RAM I bought from Crucial and installed in my Macmini is working? Thanks in advance for your help.
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mooblie
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

 > About this Mac... then what does it say here?:



Does it say what you expected?
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