Is Apple’s Mac mini worth buying?

When the topic of Apple’s computer systems comes up, pretty quite a few attentions is given to the enterprise’s MacBook or iMac machines. Even as the iMac and MacBooks are excellent computers, now not all people need a computer or an all-in-one desktop.

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Enter the Mac mini.

The Mac mini has been round for a long term, however for a few causes it’s miles nevertheless overshadowed through its higher recognized siblings. That’s a disgrace because it is able to be an excellent opportunity to MacBooks and iMacs for the right user.

The one-of-a-kind Mac mini alternatives

Apple presently gives three unique pricing alternatives for the Mac mini: $499, $699 and $999.

Right here’s a brief breakdown of the tech specs for every Mac mini:

$499

1.4GHz dual-center Intel center i5 (Turbo Accelerate to 2.7GHz) with 3MB on-chip shared L3 cache.

500GB (5400-rpm) tough pressure. Configurable to 1TB Fusion power. 4GB of 1600MHz LPDDR3 memory. Configurable to 8GB or 16GB.

Intel HD Photos 5000.

$699

2.6GHz dual-center Intel middle i5 (Turbo Accelerate to a few.1GHz) with 3MB on-chip shared L3 cache. Configurable to a few.0GHz twin-middle Intel middle i7 (Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz) with 4MB on-chip shared L3 cache.

1TB (5400-rpm) difficult pressure. Configurable to 1TB Fusion pressure or 256GB of flash storage (SSD).

8GB of 1600MHz LPDDR3 reminiscence. Configurable to 16GB.

 

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Intel Iris Pictures.

$999

2.8GHz twin-center Intel center i5 (Rapid Boost up to three.3GHz) with 3MB on-chip shared L3 cache. Configurable to three.0GHz dual-middle Intel middle i7 (Rapid Accelerate to a few.5GHz) with 4MB on-chip shared L3 cache.

1TB Fusion power. Configurable to 2TB Fusion pressure or 256GB, 512GB or 1TB of flash storage (SSD).

8GB of 1600MHz LPDDR3 memory. Configurable to 16GB.

Intel Iris Pictures.

Observe that whilst you move to buy your Mac mini, you can favor to pay more for a quicker processor, more RAM, or a bigger difficult disk or flash garage. So that you do have a few configuration options to let you tweak the specs of your Mac mini.

The Mac mini as opposed to the iMac

Many folks who are within the market for a computing device Mac aren’t sure whether or know not they must get an iMac. Fortuitously Macworld Uk has a completely useful evaluation of the Mac mini and iMac which can you assist you decide between the 2:

In terms of specs, the iMac is a higher deal than the Mac mini because it capabilities extra current processors, greater RAM, and higher Photos. It additionally capabilities an incorporated reveal and comes with both a wireless keyboard and mouse. However, if you want an HDMI port, the Mac mini gives one.

We’d endorse the entry-level £399 Mac mini over the iMac if you’re looking for a price range no-thrills Mac, however past that it gets a chunk murky.

If you are the simplest considering the access-degree Mac mini, the rate of the iMac is appreciably better. You can equip the less expensive Mac with a screen, mouse and keyboard, and now have cash left over. There is no question that the Mac mini is the most inexpensive manner to shop for a Mac, However, it’s one of the lowest spec Mac levels to be had.

Greater at Macworld United kingdommac mini

Mac mini critiques

There had been quite some opinions of the Mac mini published by way of outstanding tech websites. So I’ve included hyperlinks beneath so that you can see what reviewers have stated approximately the Mac mini.

CNet: Apple’s maximum affordable Mac

Expert critiques: The Mac Mini 2014 is a superb upgrade for what turned into already an incredible access-level Mac

Tom’s Guide: An affordable and attractive OS X machine, even though it sacrifices the upgradability of previous fashions.

Mashable: The cutting-edge Mac mini is 56eab742a58e3778cd3080d979724cd6, however doesn’t skimp on energy

PCMag: Apple’s ultra-modern tiny laptop pc, the Mac mini, is in top form thanks to its superb construct excellent, scads of connectivity alternatives, exact selection of preloaded software program, and a surely satisfactory price.

Ars Technica: now not the Mac mini improve we have been hoping for

What people are saying approximately the Mac mini

The Mac mini currently got here up in a Reddit thread While a capability customer wanted to understand if it became worth shopping for.

I’ll leave you with a ramification of feedback from that thread in order to give you a concept of the way the Mac mini is appeared by means of Apple clients:

Mikeian: “My overdue 2007 iMac died some months lower back and that I haven’t changed it yet. I have an iPad and get most of what I want carried out on that, but I do pass over having a desktop for my song, movies, pics, etc. I used to be thinking about getting a Mac mini because I can’t justify spending the cash on a brand new iMac that I’m able to only use a couple instances a week.

Can absolutely everyone with a Mac mini permit me realize if they’re well worth it? Thank you!”

Lorenzojc: “I have a 2012 Mini, it’s truely really worth it. Quad center i7, twin difficult drives (exquisite for 1 SSD + 1 HDD), user-upgradable reminiscence (16 GB). Can run all programs without a glitch, which includes heavier stuff like Surest and DaVinci Remedy. For fundamental use you can get the dual i5 version for around four hundred–$500 already loaded with an SSD, throw in every other 4 GB of mem and it will remain you a long time.

Avoid the 2014 model although, that’s overless expensive crap (5400 rpm power, soldered reminiscence, pretty a lot impossible to get your fingers in, and many others)”

Olekzap: “I’ve a 2014 2.eight Ghz. I swapped the 1 TB HD for a 500 GB SSD and left the 128 GB PCIe component in there as nicely. Doing that made it plenty rapid for any of my wishes. The ones in general encompass storing Tv suggests on it to flow to the Apple Tv, using far off computing device to work at home, and preferred surfing. It handles two monitors pleasant.

I do want every so often I had long past with a Macbook seasoned just due to the fact with two video display units on a desk it takes up a lot of area. Usual I’m happy with it although and assume it to final a long term. It changed my macbook seasoned from college that lasted 7 years. ”

Winterds001: “I’ve the brand new Mac Mini sixteen/256 as my PLEX server. It’s best.”

Shmoe: “I’ve had 2 – a late 2009 and now a modern-day gen. I got an outstanding deal on an i7 with 8GB of RAM on eBay that changed into nevertheless inside its first yr so I used to be able to slap AppleCare on it as nicely.

Love it – simply make 8gb the bare minimum quantity of RAM, cross for 16gb if you could and you’ll destiny-proof your self rather.”

NormanKnight: “They’re splendid.

You could omit the nice of the iMac screen if you pass for a lower priced screen.

Right here’s a thing about Minis–they preserve their fee higher than some other Mac. Significantly, you can purchase a new Mini for $499, and that I see people mechanically selling for 12 months old ones with not first rate specs for $400.”

Machineglow: “Truly, best get a mac mini in case you definitely need the smallest case viable, a close to silent operation, and am too green or lazy to place paintings into shopping for something else.

In any other case, I’d do a little work and build a small hackintosh. You’ll get way extra pc for the dollar spent.

Plus mac minis aren’t that low priced to start with especially with all the later models having soldered ram and non-preferred SSDs. Or take the mac mini money and purchase a laptop.”

PrairieDog: “they may be brilliant little Macs! I have mine hooked up to my HDTV, with an Apple Bluetooth keyboard and mouse to force it.

If you are searching on the 2014 models, you’ll really need to go together with a SSD or maybe the Fusion pressure in case you want lots of storage. The 2TB Fusion Dive is the fine cost because it marries a 128GB SSD with a 2TB HD, that’s the correct Fusion force configuration. Remember the fact that RAM is not upgradable after buy, So that you may want to do not forget upgrading that when you buy. It’s going to need to do for the life of the system, so may additionally as properly max it out.

The Mac mini is still a super virtual hub and makes an extraordinary media Mac. The HDMI out makes it perfect to hook as much as HDTVs.”

Sziehr: “I use a modern-day gen mac mini as a server. I got one off a man in craigslist and I’ve been very pleased with its overall performance. I am certain in case you toss a display screen on it You could use it for mild laptop paintings. The best actually limiting factor is the reality you cannot upgrade the ram beyond the four gigs it comes with so maintain that during mind While trolling round. I would now not purchase a brand new one I would However paintings at it and pick out up a fantastic replica used off eBay or CL. I am hoping that helps.

I also had the difficulty of an iMac 2011 that bit the dirt and wanted the server functionality without the top. I am migrating to all laptops. I was platform agnostic When I used to be looking for a server, But I needed to have thunderbolt for my array and the mac mini was the proper fee and match for that need.”

Ignativs: “Regardless of all of the hate towards the 2014 version, I have it and Adore it with a ardour. I’m no longer new to Apple, in view that I personal an iMac and a MacBook Air, so I’m aware of how different Apple machines experience like. I suppose the contemporary model of the Mini is best for the sort of use you’re speakme about.

My inspiration is to shop for the HDD model. Later, if you need to improve it, purchase a SSD someplace else and deploy it your self, it surely makes a distinction. I’m no longer hardware savvy in any respect and it was quite easy following an internet tutorial.”

Tgma99: “A colleague at work gave me a Mac Mini that he wasn’t the use of, so I should have a Mac computing device. I used to be using an Airbook with an external display earlier than that. I’ve an iMac at domestic. I love the Mac Mini and When the iMac dies I will get one at home.

The actual kicker is that it has an HDMI output, so Whilst we went on vacation, I took the Mini and used it for a few paintings stuff, even though 75% of my work can be carried out on an iPad. The main element I need the Mini for is Boot Camp and Microsoft workplace stuff.

The attraction is that it’s cheaper and I’m able to simply get a decent reveal so that it will nonetheless be there once I alternate inside the mini. Oh, and the reveal received’t crap out with “dust” like my iMacs did.”