2014 Mac Mini options

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited November 2014

Which is the better option:

 

16gb RAM

Fusion Drive

SSD

 

I haven't seen anywhere that compares the relative performance benefits....thoughts?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,195moderator
    fcardman wrote: »
    Which is the better option:

    16gb RAM
    Fusion Drive
    SSD

    I haven't seen anywhere that compares the relative performance benefits....thoughts?

    If you aren't running out of RAM, more RAM won't be very noticeable, it just caches more files.
    If you have a standard hard drive, Fusion will improve loading times for apps and the OS for items cached to the SSD. For sequential transfers outside the SSD, it's the same speed as the HDD. Random writes are faster with Fusion than HDD.
    An SSD is faster than Fusion because higher capacity SSDs have higher performance anyway and all of your files will go onto it so even sequential reads/writes of large files will be a lot faster.

    The ideal setup is to buy as much RAM as you need so you don't run out plus an SSD.

    If you are running out of RAM at say 8GB, the 16GB upgrade is best. Running out increases beachballs.
    If you aren't running out of RAM and you need a lot of storage beyond what SSD offers, Fusion is better than RAM.
    If you aren't running out of RAM and you don't need a lot of storage, SSD is better than Fusion and RAM.

    To find out how much RAM you need, check your swap used in Activity Monitor. Add that to your physical RAM and that's roughly how much you need. If it's zero after using the OS for a long time, no more RAM is needed.
  • Reply 2 of 7
    sequitursequitur Posts: 1,901member

    What are the chances that the Mini will have Broadwell in the near future? Would Broadwell improve the Mini? In what way?  

  • Reply 3 of 7
    marvfoxmarvfox Posts: 2,275member

    Chances not very good.

  • Reply 4 of 7
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,195moderator
    sequitur wrote: »
    What are the chances that the Mini will have Broadwell in the near future? Would Broadwell improve the Mini? In what way?

    They've moved the mini to the ULT processors, same as the 13" MBP. I think these are going fanless. The fan takes up a lot of space:

    1000

    This is mostly height. The motherboard is underneath and still a bit wide:

    1000

    The power supply next to it is still quite tall but this can be shrunk down with the lowered power draw and no fan. A single hard drive will still limit how short it can go but it can go down to the height of the old MBP base. If this means the USB ports go horizontal, they might have to take one out but if USB-C is the way forward, they can stick with 4.

    That's not going to count as an improvement to everyone but it'll be silent at least, except for the HDD noise.
  • Reply 5 of 7
    sequitursequitur Posts: 1,901member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

     
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sequitur View Post



    What are the chances that the Mini will have Broadwell in the near future? Would Broadwell improve the Mini? In what way?




    They've moved the mini to the ULT processors, same as the 13" MBP. I think these are going fanless. The fan takes up a lot of space:



    That's not going to count as an improvement to everyone but it'll be silent at least, except for the HDD noise.

     

    Thanks.

     

    I like the idea that the Mini would be quieter. Any thoughts on when it would go fanless?  I'd like a Mini to replace my defunct MBP as I don't need a laptop anymore, but I'd rather not wait and wonder when the change will happen.  I couldn't find that info on MacRumors. They suggest buying a Mini now.  

  • Reply 6 of 7
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,195moderator
    sequitur wrote: »
    Any thoughts on when it would go fanless?  I'd like a Mini to replace my defunct MBP as I don't need a laptop anymore, but I'd rather not wait and wonder when the change will happen.  I couldn't find that info on MacRumors. They suggest buying a Mini now.

    The Broadwell processors will arrive January-March next year. That's within the Macbook Air update schedule, around 5 months from now. If they go fanless and have a larger model, the 13" MBP can go. These CPUs would then be likely across the low-end, including the mini. The next mini update I wouldn't expect until a while after though as it would need a full redesign of the internals. If you need a replacement now, get the current model. The 2012 models are good value if you can get a refurb as you can upgrade the RAM and they are faster than the new ones for CPU performance but there doesn't seem to be any just now. Whichever model you get, go with 8GB of RAM.
  • Reply 7 of 7
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fcardman View Post

     

    Which is the better option:

     

    16gb RAM

    Fusion Drive

    SSD

     

    I haven't seen anywhere that compares the relative performance benefits....thoughts?


     

    Since the thread title refers to the 2014 mini, one point concerning RAM.  If I remember correctly the RAM is not user replaceable so if the original poster is wonder about 8GB vs 16GB, it might be best to order 16 initially.

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