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Time for a new Mini? Or just a bigger SSD?
Posted by: Mr Downtown
Date: May 19, 2017 11:41AM
For decades, I’ve generally bought a whole new Mac when it was finally time for me to jump to a new OS. I really need to (finally) jump past Snow Leopard, but I find myself wondering if I’d benefit all that much from new hardware.

I’m currently running a Mini (model 3,1) from sometime around 2011 with an Intel Core 2 Duo. I’ve upgraded it to a 240 gig SSD and 8 meg RAM. I mostly work on Illustrator documents, some of them pretty big. The only other demanding thing I do is run ArcMap GIS software using Parallels.

The refurb store has 2014 Minis with 8GB memory and a 1TB Fusion Drive at $849, but I wonder if just upgrading my SSD and my OS would be a better use of the money.
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Re: Time for a new Mini? Or just a bigger SSD?
Posted by: btfc
Date: May 19, 2017 11:56AM
That's the late 2009 mini. If it were mine, I'd probably put 10.9 on it, but later OS versions would work acceptably.
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Re: Time for a new Mini? Or just a bigger SSD?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: May 19, 2017 12:16PM
Mr D,

1TB drives from reputable manufacturers are as low as $250 or so bucks. Unfortunately, I think the only improvement you'll get is more storage. Speed-wise, I doubt you'll notice a difference. If you're looking for an improvement in performance, replacing the SSD isn't going cut it. You'll need to move to a newer machine. If you're finding you want more performance, then it's time to replace the machine. If it's just a storage issue, then replacing the SSD will be dandy.

'course, moving to a newer machine has other benefits, aside from just speed. That 2014 model, for example, will get you USB 3.0, T-Bolt, better graphics and 802.11ac. Just food for thought.

Chekc out the specs from here:

<[en.wikipedia.org];

(everymac.com is down, otherwise, I'd tell you to check there.

Robert

--

Corrected typo. 1TB SSDs for as little as $250 or so.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/19/2017 12:56PM by Robert M.
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Re: Time for a new Mini? Or just a bigger SSD?
Posted by: jdc
Date: May 19, 2017 12:16PM
Well, going from "8 meg RAM" to "8GB" of ram will be H-U-G-E! ;)

A different SSD in the old mini wont change anything speed wise, just give you more space. You could bump to 16 GB ram right?

The 2014 mini with a way better proccessor and faster GPU is the best bet... and I think you might be surprised how much you can still get $$ for the mini.

You didnt mention what kind of screen you have, or if you have considered used, or what your ultimate budget is... but under $1000 could get you a pretty sweet 2012 ish 27" iMac. If you are using Illustrator CC (or even CS6?) Ai has been using the power of the GPU more and more. So the iMac, with a dedicated GPU, can make Ai even faster...



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[www.fakesteve.net]
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Re: Time for a new Mini? Or just a bigger SSD?
Posted by: PeterW
Date: May 19, 2017 12:32PM
Nope, no 16GB RAM in 2009 minis - 8GB is the max. And the highest OS is 10.11.6. Make sure you don't need Rosetta BEFORE you make the change.
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Re: Time for a new Mini? Or just a bigger SSD?
Posted by: wurm
Date: May 19, 2017 12:46PM
Quote
Robert M

1TB drives from reputable manufacturers are as low as $50 or so bucks.

SSD? Where?
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Re: Time for a new Mini? Or just a bigger SSD?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: May 19, 2017 12:56PM
Wurm,

Typo. $250.00.

Robert
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Re: Time for a new Mini? Or just a bigger SSD?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: May 19, 2017 01:29PM
.....always bigger.....Ladies Love.....'da bigger......



____________________________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: Time for a new Mini? Or just a bigger SSD?
Posted by: clay
Date: May 19, 2017 01:55PM
Quote
jdc
Well, going from "8 meg RAM" to "8GB" of ram will be H-U-G-E! ;)

A different SSD in the old mini wont change anything speed wise, just give you more space. You could bump to 16 GB ram right?

The 2014 mini with a way better proccessor and faster GPU is the best bet... and I think you might be surprised how much you can still get $$ for the mini.

You didnt mention what kind of screen you have, or if you have considered used, or what your ultimate budget is... but under $1000 could get you a pretty sweet 2012 ish 27" iMac. If you are using Illustrator CC (or even CS6?) Ai has been using the power of the GPU more and more. So the iMac, with a dedicated GPU, can make Ai even faster...

yes. this. either one of these options. If you want to stick with a mini, the newer models will be a good bit faster. the iMacs are very nice as well.
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Re: Time for a new Mini? Or just a bigger SSD?
Posted by: space-time
Date: May 19, 2017 04:39PM
the iMacs are very nice as well.

While I agree they are nice, and the appeal of all in one is strong, keep in mind that it is more difficult to upgrade SSD in these machines, and if you have display issues, you need to take the whole machine back to Apple Store.
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Re: Time for a new Mini? Or just a bigger SSD?
Posted by: wurm
Date: May 19, 2017 05:53PM
Quote
Robert M
Wurm,

Typo. $250.00.

Robert

Thanks for clarifying. I had my credit card ready. smiling smiley
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Re: Time for a new Mini? Or just a bigger SSD?
Posted by: sekker
Date: May 19, 2017 08:48PM
Updating that mini to a larger SSD will only help a bit with speed, but you will lose any gains with 10.11.5.

You will have a harder time with the new Mac OS interface and look than anything else.

I'd consider keeping that machine around and get a new machine like the mac mini or iMac.

Do you have a use for the older mini? media center?
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Re: Time for a new Mini? Or just a bigger SSD?
Posted by: bobinmurphy
Date: May 20, 2017 06:50AM
Quote
btfc
That's the late 2009 mini. If it were mine, I'd probably put 10.9 on it, but later OS versions would work acceptably.

Yup. I'm in the same boat. Upgraded to 8Gig of RAM and installed a 1TB HD partitioned so I can test later versions of the OS. Hated having to move off Snow Leopard, but I finally moved up to Mavericks and it runs OK. Have tried Yosemite and El Captain, but right now I'm sticking with Mavericks. My hope is that Apple finally figures out they need to seriously upgrade the MacMini HW and release a new system that will allow me to keep up with OS upgrades for a few years.
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Re: Time for a new Mini? Or just a bigger SSD?
Posted by: sekker
Date: May 20, 2017 01:28PM
Quote
bobinmurphy
Quote
btfc
That's the late 2009 mini. If it were mine, I'd probably put 10.9 on it, but later OS versions would work acceptably.

Yup. I'm in the same boat. Upgraded to 8Gig of RAM and installed a 1TB HD partitioned so I can test later versions of the OS. Hated having to move off Snow Leopard, but I finally moved up to Mavericks and it runs OK. Have tried Yosemite and El Captain, but right now I'm sticking with Mavericks. My hope is that Apple finally figures out they need to seriously upgrade the MacMini HW and release a new system that will allow me to keep up with OS upgrades for a few years.

10.9 is the oldest current Mac OS getting security updates. In my experience, 10.9.5 is VERY stable.
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