2011 Mac Mini 2ghz quad core vs 2012 Mac Mini 2.5ghz dual core

which model should I buy?

  • 2011 2.0ghz Mac Mini Server

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2012 2.6 Mac Mini

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Neither. Buy the 2014 model or other laptop

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    0

TheDanishPastry

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hello everybody :)

I've been offered 2 different Mac Minis at roughly the same price (500$). Their specs are as follows:

2011 Mac Mini Server (2.0 ghz quad core):
https://support.apple.com/kb/SP633?locale=en_US

2012 Mac Mini (2.5 ghz dual core):
http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/mac_mini/specs/mac-mini-core-i5-2.5-late-2012-specs.html

It needs to be said that the 2012 model that I've been offered has 16gb ram and a 240gb ssd drive.

First of all are these still good macs worth buying, that won't bog down during daily use? Which one is the faster one? I'll mainly be using it as a media center, surfing, occasional video editing in 1080P and occasional Photoshopping using pixelmator.

Thanks in advance for your time and answers :)

Peter
 
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honestone

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hello everybody :)

I've been offered 2 different Mac Minis at roughly the same price (500$). Their specs are as follows:

2011 Mac Mini Server (2.0 ghz quad core):
https://support.apple.com/kb/SP633?locale=en_US

2012 Mac Mini (2.5 ghz dual core):
http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/mac_mini/specs/mac-mini-core-i5-2.5-late-2012-specs.html

It needs to be said that the 2012 model that I've been offered has 16gb ram and a 240gb ssd drive.

First of all are these still good macs worth buying, that won't bog down during daily use? Which one is the faster one? I'll mainly be using it as a media center, surfing, occasional video editing in 1080P and occasional Photoshopping using pixelmator.

Thanks in advance for your time and answers :)

Peter
I have the slightly more "powerful" Late 2012 Mac Mini model. It has a Core I7 processor, and runs at 2.3 GHz. I have not increased the Ram from the stock 4 gig (don't need to, although it is an easy upgrade), and I did remove the slow 1 TB 5400 rpm internal drive, and replaced it with a fast Samsung 256 gig 840 Pro SSD.

I have had no trouble with it all, and all my peripherals work well with it. I do, though, take very good care of it by performing my weekly disk maintenance/cleanup/repairs and backup processing (thankfully, I have never needed to repair the SSD). (I do the same for my mid 13" MacBook Air). That is certainly a key thing to keeping my Macs. There is some good software (both free and paid) that is available for such tasks.

In any event, as long as the machine is in good condition, and you take care of it, it should work fine. The SSD will definitely help with the speed, as will the 16 gig of Ram. However, not sure how good the Mac Mini is for two of the tasks you plan on using it for, that is, occasional video editing in 1080P and occasional Photoshopping using pixelmator. I have never done any of those tasks. Of course, you'll need a good external monitor, and especially for the video-related tasks you will be running.
 

TheDanishPastry

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Thanks very much for your reply :) I'm still considering what to get. I'm wondering if there's really much of a difference between the two.

I have the slightly more "powerful" Late 2012 Mac Mini model. It has a Core I7 processor, and runs at 2.3 GHz. I have not increased the Ram from the stock 4 gig (don't need to, although it is an easy upgrade), and I did remove the slow 1 TB 5400 rpm internal drive, and replaced it with a fast Samsung 256 gig 840 Pro SSD.

I have had no trouble with it all, and all my peripherals work well with it. I do, though, take very good care of it by performing my weekly disk maintenance/cleanup/repairs and backup processing (thankfully, I have never needed to repair the SSD). (I do the same for my mid 13" MacBook Air). That is certainly a key thing to keeping my Macs. There is some good software (both free and paid) that is available for such tasks.

In any event, as long as the machine is in good condition, and you take care of it, it should work fine. The SSD will definitely help with the speed, as will the 16 gig of Ram. However, not sure how good the Mac Mini is for two of the tasks you plan on using it for, that is, occasional video editing in 1080P and occasional Photoshopping using pixelmator. I have never done any of those tasks. Of course, you'll need a good external monitor, and especially for the video-related tasks you will be running.
 

honestone

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I understand. The 2011 model does have an i7 processor, like my late 2012 model, but it "only" clocks at 2.0 ghz. However, it is quad core, where as the other one you are considering (my model is quad core) has an i5 processor and 2 cores. Yet, it has 16 gig of Ram. How much Ram does the other one have? Also, does it have an SSD drive, or a slow, 5400 rpm 500 gig drive?

If the 2011 model does not have the same amount of Ram, and especially if it has the "stock" 5400 rpm 500 gig internal drive, then I would go with the late 2012 model. When I first got my late 2012 model, even though it had a 1 TB drive (I actually did not need that much space), because it spins at only 5400 rpm, it was slow. But, after I swapped it out for the 256 gig Samsung 840 Pro SSD drive, it made a world of difference regarding speed.
 

TheDanishPastry

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The 2012 model has a new 240gb ssd drive. The 2011 has 4gb ram and 1tb hard drive (2 x 500gb). Not sure about the speed but I believe that I read online somewhere that the quad core came with two 500gb 7200rpm drives. Do you think the 2012 one is faster?

I understand. The 2011 model does have an i7 processor, like my late 2012 model, but it "only" clocks at 2.0 ghz. However, it is quad core, where as the other one you are considering (my model is quad core) has an i5 processor and 2 cores. Yet, it has 16 gig of Ram. How much Ram does the other one have? Also, does it have an SSD drive, or a slow, 5400 rpm 500 gig drive?

If the 2011 model does not have the same amount of Ram, and especially if it has the "stock" 5400 rpm 500 gig internal drive, then I would go with the late 2012 model. When I first got my late 2012 model, even though it had a 1 TB drive (I actually did not need that much space), because it spins at only 5400 rpm, it was slow. But, after I swapped it out for the 256 gig Samsung 840 Pro SSD drive, it made a world of difference regarding speed.
 

honestone

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I see from the link that you provided that yes, the 2011 model does come with 2 500 gig, 7200 rpm drives. However, while faster than 5400 rpm drives, the SSD will still be noticeably faster. Also, the 2011 can only be upgraded to 8 gig of Ram, and that can only be done at Apple. The 2012 model already has 16 gig of Ram (any one can upgrade the Ram themselves), and the fast SSD.

If you need more space, an option would be to go with the 2012 model, and purchase an inexpensive external drive.

This article has some useful information about SSD versus HDD:

http://www.storagereview.com/ssd_vs_hdd
 
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TheDanishPastry

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Thank you so much for your help and time! It's greatly appreciated :) and a merry Christmas and happy New Year to you and you family!
 

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