New Mac Mini recommendations

Posted on
Sat Apr 07, 2018 6:10 am
rehafer offline
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New Mac Mini recommendations

My old workhorse 2009 Mini has started randomly restarting so it looks like it’s time for a replacement. Just about any Mini I buy today will meet the minimum requirements for Indigo, but what all you smart people recommend for good performance? I currently run Indigo, Airfoil and iTunes. I would like something that would last another 9 years.



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Posted on
Sat Apr 07, 2018 6:22 am
roussell offline
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Re: New Mac Mini recommendations

I am especially fond of the 2012 i5 and i7 Minis. The RAM and HD are both upgradeable and they are solid little workhorses. I have two i5 minis that run continuously, each replacing a 2006-era mini that died much like yours did.

The 2012 mini can be found cheaply, are solid and I think have better performance than the 2014-2018 minis, plus as I mentioned they are RAM/HD upgradable. I plan on using 2012 minis until a new and worthy version is introduced by Apple, or Indigo runs on another platform...

Terry


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Posted on
Sat Apr 07, 2018 6:49 am
rehafer offline
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New Mac Mini recommendations

Also, is 4gb of ram really enough? It seems that running lots of plugins, including HBB, would run better with more headroom.
Would there be any advantages to installing a SSD? I wouldn’t there’s much I/O bottleneck in Indigo.


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Posted on
Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:00 am
Colorado4Wheeler offline
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Re: New Mac Mini recommendations

I run quite a few plugins and I just did a rough estimate using Activity Monitor to see what everything was using and it was about 1.5GB, including running 8 different Homebridge servers under HomeKit Bridge. On 4GB that doesn't leave much room for everything else like Airfoil, iTunes, etc. I'm sure you'll be fine but I've always maxed out my Macs with ram and always use SSD.

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Posted on
Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:18 am
roussell offline
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Re: New Mac Mini recommendations

This might be the old curmudgeon coming out in me, but I still find myself leery of SSDs for critical things. I know they’re making them better every day, and with things like wear-leveling they have a theoretical maximum life longer than traditional drives. In the data center -with always-on drives- I’ve noticed that rotating drives fail a little more gracefully than their SSD counterparts. My completely uneducated theory is that once wear leveling space runs out, there’s nothing to do but fail... I do have SSDs in the minis, but I don’t really trust them LOL, and have an external USB conventional drive connected to each for time machine backups, plus I copy all Indigo-related data offsite every hour. Can’t be too careful...

I’ve got some 15 year old drives that still work well (but I do have copies of the data on those, I’m not that crazy), don’t know that I’d be able to say that about an SSD. Maybe so, but the crusty old IT fart in me says Bah humbug! :-o

Terry


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Posted on
Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:20 am
jay (support) offline
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Re: New Mac Mini recommendations

roussell wrote:
the crusty old IT fart in me says Bah humbug!


Get off my lawn!

Jay (Indigo Support)
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Posted on
Mon Apr 09, 2018 2:47 pm
roussell offline
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Re: New Mac Mini recommendations

Yes! I actually said a variant of that this weekend. A lady down the street thinks it’s perfectly acceptable to bring her tiny designer dog to my lawn to crap. My two Pit Bulls running out the front door in conjunction with me yelling for her to take her dog crap with her hopefully got the point across.

Now in reality my dogs are no more than pillows with faces, but she didn’t know that.


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Posted on
Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:25 pm
akimball offline
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Re: New Mac Mini recommendations

I faced this issue most of last year, aware that apple doesn’t seem interested in updaing the mac mini. I just bought the 4 year old mini and so far have been happy. There was some <possible> weirdness with the 2413U PLM and the mini USB3.0 ports.... that I never resolved... but I changed over to the 2448A7 wireless only PLM. Very happy. Most people don’t have the PLM issue.

-Al

Posted on
Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:26 pm
lanbrown offline
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Re: New Mac Mini recommendations

Part of the problem, it is a low volume product and Intel keeps changing the packaging. So it is not like Apple can just drop a newer processor in. The package that the current Mini uses is FCBGA1168.

7th generation is FCBGA1356
6th generation is FCBGA1356
5th generation is FCBGA1168

So Apple could move up a generation and that is it. If you look at the processors, the 4th generation in the current Mac Mini has a higher turbo boost clock rate.; 3.5GHz vs 3.4GHz. So people looking at numbers would like the 4th generation. TDP numbers are the same as well. I was just comparing the i7 processors only.

I got a new work laptop a few months ago; it has the same core/thread count as the previous one that was 3 years old at the time. The old one was actually slightly faster in benchmarks, but the new one takes far less power. The old one had a 90 watt power supply, the new one has a 40 watt power supply.

If Apple is going to update the Mac Mini, hopefully it will be with a processor that has the meltdown fix in it; aka the processors later this year.

Posted on
Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:40 am
johnpolasek offline
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Location: Aggieland, Texas

Re: New Mac Mini recommendations

roussell wrote:
This might be the old curmudgeon coming out in me, but I still find myself leery of SSDs for critical things. I know they’re making them better every day, and with things like wear-leveling they have a theoretical maximum life longer than traditional drives. In the data center -with always-on drives- I’ve noticed that rotating drives fail a little more gracefully than their SSD counterparts. My completely uneducated theory is that once wear leveling space runs out, there’s nothing to do but fail... k


That's why you put the SSDs in an external fault tolerant RAID with hot spare... and a couple on the shelf.

Posted on
Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:38 am
akimball offline
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Re: New Mac Mini recommendations

We build mission computers for industrial and military vehicle purposes. The SSD’s are almost a requirement for war theater mobile applications. Sitting in an air-conditioned home and rarely jostled, not so much.

-Al

Posted on
Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:04 am
rehafer offline
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Joined: Feb 08, 2013

Re: New Mac Mini recommendations

akimball wrote:
We build mission computers for industrial and military vehicle purposes. The SSD’s are almost a requirement for war theater mobile applications. Sitting in an air-conditioned home and rarely jostled, not so much.

Reminds me of MilSpec calculator cases. (Yes,I’m old)



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Posted on
Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:02 pm
rehafer offline
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Re: New Mac Mini recommendations

Went with with a 2012 Mini with 8 gb of ram. After a little finagling, everything is up and running.
I wish I had timed reaction times with Alexa and HomeKit Bridge before and I swapped the new Mini in because they feel faster after.



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Posted on
Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:07 am
howartp offline
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Re: New Mac Mini recommendations

“Alexa, are you quicker now than you were previously?”


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Posted on
Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:44 am
akimball offline
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Re: New Mac Mini recommendations

“I don’t know how to answer that.”

...it seems to me to be better all the time.

-Al

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