Customer Review

50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly powerful computer for such a small size. Top quality., 3 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Apple Mac Mini (Quad-Core i7 2.3GHz Processor, 4GB DDR3 SDRAM, 1TB, HD Graphics, Launched Oct 2012) (Personal Computers)
I'd been looking for a desktop Mac to compliment my MacBook and initially was looking at the iMac, having had one previously I know just how great they are, but what concerns me with the iMacs is that when you want to upgrade you have to change the entire system, screen and all! For about the same price, you can buy the Mac Mini and a 27in Thunderbolt screen, giving you pretty much the same identical system, but with the advantage of being able to upgrade the main computer unit at a later date without having to get rid of your monitor, which proves to be very cost saving!

As with any Mac, it was up and running within minutes of me getting it out of the box and I was away and working with all my applications downloaded / installed in minutes ready to get to work! It comes with Mountain Lion installed, although it needed the latest update, that didn't take long to do.

The inclusion of USB 3.0 on the latest version of the Mac Mini is a huge bonus and allowed me to add a large capacity external hard drive for much more storage space for all my photo and video library, yet it still copies files as quickly as having the drive mounted internally. You can use the Thunderbolt port to add external storage, but prices are still very high for Thunderbolt enabled devices compared to USB 3.0 and the advantages are limited given hard drives can't get anywhere near the USB 3.0 data transfer limit. The one great thing about Thunderbolt is that with the Apple 27in Thunderbolt monitor, it acts as a hub for your other devices with more Thunderbolt and USB ports, not to mention the speakers and a built-in webcam, all of which get configured automatically once you plug it in.

I've upgraded this with an SSD myself, it is a bit fiddly to get to the hard drive be honest but well worth it in terms of performance boost. I wouldn't recommend doing it if you're an absolute beginner as there is the potential to damage the internals, but I also wouldn't recommend paying Apple's prices for their own SSD upgrades!

With the SSD it now sits there almost silently and because it is so small it can be hidden away off the desk. You can get a 3rd party caddy that screws under the desk to hold it in, which is a nice neat solution. With an HDMI port on the back you can easily hook up two monitors - one via the Thunderbolt port and one via the HDMI and it sorts everything out automatically for you with no effort required configuring anything.

A quality product as you'd expect from Apple. Well worth considering against an iMac - though I realise the new iMac's are super thin and look very cool! I'm hoping that Apple will update the 27in display soon to the new thinner model they have on the 27in iMac.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 4 Dec 2012 09:50:15 GMT
Caspar Field says:
Thanks for the notes. I'm pretty tempted to get this Quad Core version - the benchmarks posted elsewhere online are impressive. The biggest difference between this Mac Mini + Apple Display set up and an iMac is the lack of a decent graphic chip. How do you find the graphics performance - are you running any games on the system?

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Dec 2012 10:05:44 GMT
Lucius says:
Hi, Yes I suppose that is the biggest difference. I don't play games on the Mac so it isn't really a problem for me, you'd have to look elsewhere for that. It runs two high-res screens without any issues for me under 'normal' use. I was concerned about it not having a fast graphics card, but I've had it running 5 1080p YouTube videos side-by-side on the screen and seems to keep going fine! I haven't put Final Cut Pro on there yet, that is probably the most graphic intensive program I run, but I also use FCP on my laptop and to be honest I never see it switch to the faster graphics card automatically (I do check!) even when I think perhaps it would!

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jan 2013 16:15:08 GMT
Can you upgrade the ram and hard drive in this?Also have u played any games on it yet eg Football Manager/COD?
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