8 Replies
Phil Mayor

I would by the base system and buy more memory from Crucial as you can get 16Gb for much less than half of what Apple charge and it is easy to fix.

Not sure about the fusion drive it is not an option in the UK, I have used storyline on a Macbook air and that flies considering the low spec processor

Edit Fusion Drive is available if you go with i7 processor never noticed :-(

Steve Flowers

The fusion drive is a $250 upgrade. This adds a smart 128G SSD drive to a 1TB physical drive. Definitely worth it. The thing will boot almost instantly and from the reviews I've read, the software layer does an outstanding job managing IO. So the things you use most often will be automatically moved to the SSD, stuff you use less often will be pushed to the HD.

Max out the memory, as Phil says. Don't go with Apple's upgrade on the memory. Definitely cheaper to go with Crucial or even walking into Best Buy for some PNY.

Craig Bligh

In my experience, if you had to push for two areas to upgrade over a base model, it would definitely be memory and hard drive.

The standard 5,400 RPM hard drives (which I believe is what comes with the Mac Mini) these days are the biggest bottleneck to system performance. The architecture around them has improved exponentially over the years, but you're still left with this hard drive with technology over 10 years old. 

I'm using a Fusion Drive on my spanky new iMac and it is a DREAM! Highly recommended. I'm also running Articulate through Parallels too, and have been able to get great performance - much better than through a native 2 y/o PC.

Tim Slade

I would agree with Phil and Steve on the performance options. I've never used Parallels before...I currently use Apple's built in Bootcamp to run Windows on my MacBook Pro. I found it to be best option for me. But, I've heard good things about Parallels. 

I worked at an Apple store several years ago and the Mac Minis have come a long way and are a great option. However, keep in mind, they no longer have optical drives, so you will either need to download any software that you want to install (which is usually not an issue nowadays) OR use an external optical drive.

Best of luck!

-Tim 

Susan Jones

I have an original mac mini and I need to use an external hard drive with it, I didn't even have enough ram to run the install on the latest OS! I will upgrade to a new iMac as soon as I can. On Parallels, it has it's ups and downs - however, just a heads up that it will hijack your quick keys on your mac keyboard. So for a flash user like myself - I lost control of F6 - as it automatically focuses on what program you are working on or sends you back to parallels, so make sure you turn off the keyboard shortcuts on the PC side if this causes you any issues. 

David Osborne

I agree with Tim and Bootcamp has been the way forward for me. With that solution there are no restrictions and the full potential of the hardware is all focused at your Windows session. However, I have also used virtual solutions in Mac OSX and have to say that they run very well if you need to constantly have access to the Mac environment as well as Windows. If you can bear to be away from OSX until a reboot then Bootcamp is great with Windows 7 and 8.