1. meskoj's Avatar
    I'm looking to get a new 2014 mac mini. I'm planning on getting the base $499 model and I'm well aware that the RAM cannot be upgraded, however the HD can be upgraded. There is a processor and RAM increase by spending another $200 and getting the mid-level mini.

    My question is, what is a better bang for the buck? Will I see more performance by increasing the RAM and processor by spending $200 more on the mid-level mini or would I see better performance by spending $200 on an SSD and swapping it out with the stock 500gb HD?

    My wife just bought the new 13-inch macbook air and it seems MUCH quicker than my friend's $499 2014 mac mini and the only difference is the SSD (they use the same processor and RAM).

    Bottomline is, what gives better performance, more RAM and slightly faster processor or an SSD?

    Thanks for any inputs that you may have.
    11-11-2014 12:50 PM
  2. warcraftWidow's Avatar
    Deepening on what you are using the Mac mini for, you'll probably notice the SSD more than the RAM and processor bump. But since the RAM can't be upgraded later, I'd still go with the RAM upgrade. Then save up the money to swap the HDD with an SSD later.
    11-11-2014 03:24 PM
  3. Speedygi's Avatar
    Get the RAM bump as I feel it's the best value for your buck... More RAM equals more apps you can open at any single time. More apps means you will be more productive.
    11-15-2014 04:22 AM
  4. Algus's Avatar
    If you have the money, definitely go for the $699 model. The processor and RAM bumps are ~HUGE~ and will give you a much better computer. The $499 model is an ok entry-level machine that will serve adequately for managing iOS devices and doing basic desktop work (web browsing, office work) but it will show its age much faster and will not do very well running high performance apps.

    IMO the 1.4 ghz and 2.6 ghz models both at base specs are the only two Minis really worth considering right now. The fusion drives are nice but not $300 nice and that CPU bump is not substantial enough to merit the extra pocket money. I'm also not overly impressed by the dual-core i7 in name only CPUs. You'll be fine with the i5s since dual core is your only option. 16 GB RAM is great but with Apple RAM costs, the smarter move is to stick with the base configuration now and just consider a new machine altogether in a few years when 16 GB RAM is more than just a nice luxury.

    Don't be to enticed by the storage situation. A 500 GB 5400 RPM drive is actually still ~very~ fast and both OS X and Windows 7+ have been optimized well enough to load from these things quickly. Additional storage is easy enough to provide externally and still get substantial performance via USB 3 and Thunderbolt.
    12-02-2014 04:38 AM
  5. PeltFrelken's Avatar
    I strongly (and kindly) suggest that you do not buy the entry level Mac Mini. OS X loves RAM. 4GB is not even ideal today, December 2014, let alone going into the future.

    Spend the extra $200 and get the middle model.
    12-09-2014 02:40 PM
  6. ecr80's Avatar
    agree that mid level mini is the way to go. got one on friday, so far been impressed with it.
    12-20-2014 11:23 AM
  7. TechnologyTwitt's Avatar
    agree that mid level mini is the way to go. got one on friday, so far been impressed with it.
    I'm looking to pick one up with tax refund money in late February (mid level but 3.0GHz and Fusion Drive).
    12-23-2014 09:56 PM
  8. LockOnTech's Avatar
    I too am also looking to get one, I do not mind the base model mac mini at least it will be way much better than my windows PC; perhaps it can also run rings around my clumsy PC.


    Sent from my iPhone 5s using Tapatalk
    TechnologyTwitt likes this.
    12-25-2014 11:16 PM
  9. n8ter#AC's Avatar
    I too am also looking to get one, I do not mind the base model mac mini at least it will be way much better than my windows PC; perhaps it can also run rings around my clumsy PC.


    Sent from my iPhone 5s using Tapatalk
    Is your PC like 7-10 years old?

    You can upgrade the Graphics, Storage (though the storage in Windows PCs is faster than the Mac Mini's HDD out of the gate - you can feel the performance increase going from 5400 to 7200 RPM), RAM, etc.

    Desktop PCs typically have faster RAM, Storage, Capability for Faster Graphics... All for less than $200 in upgrades.

    I'm routinely shocked by how many people replace or throw away PCs that haven't even began to reach the halfway point of their potential for something that costs 3-10x what it would cost to get it there :-(

    If you prefer OS X then that's a totally valid excuse. I just got a MBA. Great as a personal use PC, but I still do most of my work on Windows because the software and software choices there are generally better (if you don't want to splurge for apps geared for Pros, at least :-) ).
    01-06-2015 01:09 AM
  10. LockOnTech's Avatar
    Is your PC like 7-10 years old?

    You can upgrade the Graphics, Storage (though the storage in Windows PCs is faster than the Mac Mini's HDD out of the gate - you can feel the performance increase going from 5400 to 7200 RPM), RAM, etc.

    Desktop PCs typically have faster RAM, Storage, Capability for Faster Graphics... All for less than $200 in upgrades.

    I'm routinely shocked by how many people replace or throw away PCs that haven't even began to reach the halfway point of their potential for something that costs 3-10x what it would cost to get it there :-(

    If you prefer OS X then that's a totally valid excuse. I just got a MBA. Great as a personal use PC, but I still do most of my work on Windows because the software and software choices there are generally better (if you don't want to splurge for apps geared for Pros, at least :-) ).
    No sir, my personal computer was made in 2010 and it was made inexpensively; I had the privilege of upgrading the ram on it, and that is pretty much all I can do on it. It is one of those budget throw away when it gives up computers, so I pretty much got what I paid for... And then some. It still works but as I mentioned, I am using my mac more often.
    02-01-2015 12:42 AM
  11. scgf's Avatar
    Don't overlook an older MacMini - see my post today about my 2012 model. You can upgrade memory easily and hard drive relatively easily and you could buy the 2.5GHz Intel i5 model. That way you'd have a decent processor and the advantages of more RAM and an SSD drive.
    01-16-2016 09:42 AM

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