Mac Mini upgrade on a budget

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
strawbale Senior Member • Posts: 1,496
Re: Mac Mini upgrade on a budget

rb61 wrote:

strawbale wrote:

rb61 wrote:

I have a Mid 2011 Mac Mini

I would like to find something used that could increase speed by approximately 50% for image editing programs.

Time for something newer and I expect 10 years is over its life expectancy.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

What programs do/would you (like to) use? Do they use multiple cores and/or GPU?
Are you shooting RAW and/or JPEG?

Here's a list of Mac benchmarks: https://browser.geekbench.com/mac-benchmarks

Your current Mac Mini scores 501 for single-core and 1119 for multi-core.

A 2012 i7-3615QM (2.6GHz, 4-core) scores 665/2613

A 2014 i5-4308U (2.8GHz, 2 core) scores 736/1583.

A 2018 i3-8100B (3.6GHz, 4 core) scores 896/3199

A 2020 M1 (3.2GHz, 8-core) scores 1705/7387 and can be had for €669 at the moment: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1604799-REG/apple_mgnr3ll_a_mac_mini.html

As you can see the mult-core scores for 4-core Mac Minis (2012 i7 models and 2018 models) are much better than your (2-core) Mac Mini, but only useful if your software will make use of that.

PS: What's roughly your budget?

Budget is $600-1000

The biggest challenge is processing/editing RAW images with Affinity Photo.

Given your budget, your use of Affinity, the fact that Affinity is already running natively* on Apple's new M1, I'd strongly advise to get a new MacMini M1.

An 8GB RAM/256GB SSD ($669 at BH) would already be much faster than what you have now, but I'd advise you to consider 16GB (RRP $899), and an external SSD for more storage (doesn't have to be a real fast one**), so you'd be able to keep your new Mini for another 10 years!

(and, of course, additional disks - spinning will do - for backups, but I assume you've already got those)

* see:

https://affinity.serif.com/en-gb/press/newsroom/affinity-apps-accelerate-with-macos-big-sur-and-native-m1-support/

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/64552123

** e.g.:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1346575-REG/samsung_mu_pa1t0b_am_t5_1tb_portable_ssd.html

and/or read:

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/64612833

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