Getting a new Mac mini

I’m looking at getting a new Mac mini. The base config is good enough for me, but I could use some more horse power. What’s some of your ideal configs?

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Only you know what you need and can afford. Without going too far over the top, I’d say get the i5 with the 512GB SSD and 8GB. RAM for $1100. If you can spare the $, up the RAM to 16GB for $200 extra.

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Unlike old mini models, the current (2018) Mac mini does not have user-installable RAM (unless you’re willing to void your warranty and half take apart the unit.) So get the maximum RAM you can. I had 16Gb when I had a machine running High Sierra and I bumped up against it from time to time.

If the base config is good enough for you then get that, but with more RAM.

Adding external storage is easy and cheap. I’d generally choose an external Thunderbolt3 SSD as needed over Apple’s pricier internal offerings, especially if I’m on a budget. (And don’t forget separate external storage for backups.) Good luck!

When I made my choices I liked future-proofing with the 10 GBe option, but not for everyone of course.

I got base RAM and did an upgrade myself with aftermarket RAM – not hard, but not a walk in the park either.

Depends a lot on what you’re using it for. I’ve got one that’s a home server that has just 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, but since it’s plugged into a big RAID array and doesn’t run hardly any apps, it’s fine (kind of wish I’d gone for the 10gig ethernet as for future proofing, even though I don’t have any use for it at the moment). On the other hand, if I were speccing a desktop machine I’d want at least 16gb of RAM and a 1TB of SSD.

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Interested how everyone is feeling about the ARM transition. I’m looking at a Mac Mini as well. On a late 2014 iMac at home. Time for a change.

I think the base i5+512GB with the 16GB or upgrade is the right option for the typical buyer. More RAM and storage is always nice, but depends on a) your needs, b) your willingness to mess with external drives and DIY RAM upgrades (there are guides on iFixIt, but good point above about the warranty issue with that.)

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The Mini really is a good “transitional” or “wait and see” machine.

I bought mine with the upgraded RAM and upgraded to the 6 core. At the time, that netted me the 256GB storage SSD and I hang two externals from it - one for documents and the other for time machine.

I wanted it to last me a while, so I paid for the extra RAM.

In my case I have a fully specced 2016 MBP and a 2015 iMac that’s going to my dad this year. I am reasonably well equipped to last the transition, the MBP should last until it’s over. I am not buying a Mac that’s not ARM - and I’ll eagerly be waiting for the ARM Mac Pro.