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Switching to OS X for web development ?

#26
Wow. My late 2009 iMac used to be 1800 € tops for the 27 inch model.

Now you have to pay upwards of 2300 € for the 27 inch models.

A 256 GB flash drive upgrade (no Fusion Drive) is +100 USD, in Europe it's +240 €

You want 16 GB RAM you add 240 € (for + 8 GB) when 2x 8 GB of branded "gamer" SDRAM like HyperX is 130 € on Amazon. Even the most ridiculous overclocker / gaming enthusiast pair of 2x 8 GB is 160 €.

I knew Apple was ridiculous about RAM price but the Flash upgrade and the total price of iMacs nowadays is kinda disappointing.

Is it worth it for a 5 K display ? Meh. Guess I'm not switching soon after all. :/
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#27
I'm having seconds thoughts about a Hackintosh now.. particularly if I continue to work inside a VM for some time it's much less of a gamble. I have a free 128GB SSD for it, and my PC was already built for that.

Are they very stable these days, and can you use the latest OS X version?
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#28
I'm pretty sure they run the latest OSX/MacOS that's out there. I have a Hack on my main PC that I installed dual boot just to mess around with it, but I haven't used it too much since I still actually prefer to develop on my retina-MBP. Here is what I will say though. When I first installed back on Maverick, it was a little tough. My mobo wasn't very standard, it was an ASUS and was a mobo I bought back in 2012 in Japan and was apparently not common. I found a guide specifically for it on the TonyMac forums and followed that during installation. Even doing that, I had about as many problems getting it going as I had experienced with getting some Linux distros working in the past (pre-2010). I had to mess around with KEXTs to get everything working. Eventually I got it working and nearly everything worked. My Nvidia driver worked, SSD was being stripped properly, the CPU was even being properly scaled based on workload requirements, and I could actually put the system into Sleep mode. Eventually I updated it to El Capitan/Sierra and surprised at how moderately painless the process was. The only thing I had issues with was the video driver which didn't work with the new upgrade and I had to remember how to get into the bootloader (which I had disabled to make it boot straight to Mac), in order to disable the vid driver from starting so I could update it. Beyond that the update was incredibly painless and I was surprised how easy the new Clover installer was.

I only ever use Mac for dev work though so I can't comment on the stability of Adobe's applications on a hack really, but in the little that I have used it, I haven't experienced a kernal Panic or anything like that. I also suspect if you followed a TonyMacs build guide complete with a Gigabyte board, you should probably have a much easier time than I had. If you have the parts and time to do it, it might be worth checking out before you drop 2k+ euros on a new system.
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#29
I built a small hack a few months ago with sierra. Since sierra was relatively new at the time, it took a while getting everything working properly. Most things worked, but the big thing was audio wasn't working and It took a lot of messing around to get it to work. In retrospect it wasn't too hard, but I was learning about bootloaders and kext files so I ended up doing a lot of wrong things and had to re-install a quite a few times.

If I were to do it again, I would follow one of the guides and configure my box exactly like the person who wrote the guide. That way, you have a good idea that it's not going to take days getting the thing working.

The main thing about hacks is that I can't stand any of the pc cases out there. I almost considered building my own case like this guy did because I couldn't find a single one that looked good enough to have on my desktop. People usually say Lian Li cases are good design, but IMHO ther cases are just barely "not ugly" but I wouldn't call them good looking. I'll probably end up bolting this one to the bottom of my desk and it won't really be an issue, but what's up with pc cases? Aren't there any pc users out there that like to have a computer that's just simple and elegant? I'm not really into the cases with glass windows and neon inside like it's a lowrider or something.
Edited: 2017-02-13, 5:19 pm
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#30
(2017-02-13, 10:26 am)ファブリス Wrote: Wow. My late 2009 iMac used to be 1800 € tops for the 27 inch model.

Now you have to pay upwards of 2300 € for the 27 inch models.

A 256 GB flash drive upgrade (no Fusion Drive) is +100 USD, in Europe it's +240 €

You want 16 GB RAM  you add 240 €  (for + 8 GB)  when 2x 8 GB of branded "gamer" SDRAM  like HyperX is 130 € on Amazon. Even the most ridiculous overclocker / gaming enthusiast pair of 2x 8 GB is 160 €.

I knew Apple was ridiculous about RAM price but the Flash upgrade and the total price of iMacs nowadays is kinda disappointing.

Is it worth it for a 5 K display ? Meh. Guess I'm not switching soon after all. :/

Apple is semi-famous for stable prices within their lines.  I would chalk the price discrepancy up to a combination of inflation and different specs.  I did a little search and 1800€ in 2009 is 2019€ now.  As you've noticed, a little more or less RAM can account for the rest of the difference.

As far as ram and harddrives go, well that's the way it's always been with macs.  Apple's margins are in the top 3% of the consumer electronics industry.  That's why you can build a similarly speced hack for less than 1/2 the price.  But you can bet the mac is working out of the box and you don't need to worry about incompatible parts or unexpected glitches.
Edited: 2017-02-13, 9:25 pm
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#31
(2017-02-13, 5:17 pm)yogert909 Wrote: but what's up with pc cases?  Aren't there any pc users out there that like to have a computer that's just simple and elegant?  I'm not really into the cases with glass windows and neon inside like it's a lowrider or something.
There was a time in my life that I liked the idea of windows and that other nonsense but then I realized it was pointless and I didn't like the idea of LED case lights or anything. The closer to the case being a solid color with few to no external bays, the better IMO. I actually kind of like the the cube cases that are out there. I've been eying some for a new system I might build to replace my '09 laptop that I use for browsing/email/etc. The cube designs allow you to split the drive bays and mobo area up which is kind of nice. A pet peeve I've kind of realized I have about some of the newer cases is special drive bay mounting systems. I lost some of the parts for one my cases and it proved to be a pain to mount stuff without the parts. I guess I should just keep those special parts inside the case in the future so I always know where they are.
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#32
I don't see the logic of the Fusion drive at all. Maybe to keep the price down, or rather margins up?

It's one of these stupid Apple decisions when they don't give you the options any reasonable person would expect ... or take away ports like in the new Macbook Pro. I'm holding on to my early 2015 MB Pro as long as I can because I have USB devices and we have HDMI ports for room displays at work.
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#33
(2017-02-14, 12:33 pm)Irixmark Wrote: I don't see the logic of the Fusion drive at all. Maybe to keep the price down, or rather margins up?

It's one of these stupid Apple decisions when they don't give you the options any reasonable person would expect ... or take away ports like in the new Macbook Pro. I'm holding on to my early 2015 MB Pro as long as I can because I have USB devices and we have HDMI ports for room displays at work.

The logic of a fusion drive is simple. SSDs are faster quieter than HDDs but cost a lot more.  So people like to have both and put their frequently accessed files on the SSD and less often accessed files on the HDD.  I'm sure you know this.  You could split them up yourself but the operating system has a better idea which files are frequently accessed and how much space is left on your SSD.  Why not let the computer do what it's good at and not worry about it?  Also, it's easier to organize on large drive rather than having several drives where you need to thing about organization on top of how ofter files are accessed.  I really don't see the argument that you 'need to have control' - it just sound like work to me. TLDR; It's a fast inexpensive drive that you don't need to mess with.

It's not just a mac thing too.  You can buy hybrid drives for your pc and I'd imagine there is software to accomplish this if you want to create your own.  When I built my hack, I made my own fusion drive.  The only downside I can see is my data is split between two drives, so it's the possibility of a crash may be 2x (not sure about this).  But I always back everything up on an external time machine drive, so it's not really an issue.

Taking away ports is an argument I've heard since I bought my first mac without a SCSI port.  People thought it was the end of mac or stupid or something, but hmm I never missed it.
Edited: 2017-02-14, 3:06 pm
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#34
(2017-02-13, 3:35 pm)vix86 Wrote: I only ever use Mac for dev work though so I can't comment on the stability of Adobe's applications on a hack really, but in the little that I have used it, I haven't experienced a kernal Panic or anything like that. I also suspect if you followed a TonyMacs build guide complete with a Gigabyte board, you should probably have a much easier time than I had. If you have the parts and time to do it, it might be worth checking out before you drop 2k+ euros on a new system.

The parts I selected for this PC were based on a TonyMac guide in late 2011 I think? The parts are: Intel Core i5-3570K (3.4 GHz), Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H (with UEFI), Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670, TP-LINK TL-WDN4800  (wifi). I think I succesfully installed OS X 10.8 once. 

I'll give it a shot. If anything help me decide if I want to buy the real thing. That Gigabyte board though is one of their first UEFI I think and it is a little buggy.

Now the trick is how to get Sierra. I have a Macbook Pro from mid 2009. It seems that I can't upgrade to Sierra on it (only MBP mid 2010 and up), but I have the  Mountain Lion installer on it. Probably from the last Hackintosh. Presumably I can upgrade then to El Capitan.

Instead I found an article about patching Sierra for MBP mid 2009, and they have a link to the Sierra installer...

So yeah I don't want to buy a new machine at all. I would end up with the equivalent of a Late 2012 iMac which had a Core i5 - 3470 which is pretty similar, as if I upgraded that iMac to Sierra... sounds like a reasonable setup.
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#35
(2017-02-13, 9:25 pm)yogert909 Wrote:
(2017-02-13, 10:26 am)ファブリス Wrote: Wow. My late 2009 iMac used to be 1800 € tops for the 27 inch model.

(...)

Apple is semi-famous for stable prices within their lines.  I would chalk the price discrepancy up to a combination of inflation and different specs.  I did a little search and 1800€ in 2009 is 2019€ now.  As you've noticed, a little more or less RAM can account for the rest of the difference.

As far as ram and harddrives go, well that's the way it's always been with macs.  Apple's margins are in the top 3% of the consumer electronics industry.  That's why you can build a similarly speced hack for less than 1/2 the price.  But you can bet the mac is working out of the box and you don't need to worry about incompatible parts or unexpected glitches.

Could it be related to the BREXIT thing? I Heard Apple upgraded the prices in UK but I didn't think it would affect Belgium or other countries in Europe.

Yep I totally understand about the quality of life. It's worth it to me.

What bummed me is I realize I'd have to buy the upgrade to SSD only, because their 1TB Fusion Drive, if you read the small print, is actually just 24 GB Flash and the rest is an HDD.

I want to split that drive in two, so I can make sure the HDD is only storing data / backups, and I don't want to hear the grinding of the HDD going on. Ideally the HDD is for backups & data I only need occasionally and would go to sleep.

Better yet, I'd want to have two SSDs in there, and no HDD at all. But that's not in the options how would that even work? 

If you go "all flash" their option of 512 GB likely is one drive; That's not acceptable either. If it breaks, I'm in a bad place. Having two SSDs is much more secure.

So can you even get two SSDs in there, and then how much do you pay on top? I'm guessing maybe a repair shop can do that. With the price they are asking, I'd be better off buying the base model ,and then pay a shop to install two SSDs that I currently own. If that's even possible within their warranty...
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#36
(2017-02-13, 5:17 pm)yogert909 Wrote: The main thing about hacks is that I can't stand any of the pc cases out there.  I almost considered building my own case like this guy did because I couldn't find a single one that looked good enough to have on my desktop.  People usually say Lian Li cases are good design, but IMHO ther cases are just barely "not ugly" but I wouldn't call them good looking.   I'll probably end up bolting this one to the bottom of my desk and it won't really be an issue, but what's up with pc cases?  Aren't there any pc users out there that like to have a computer that's just simple and elegant?  I'm not really into the cases with glass windows and neon inside like it's a lowrider or something.

I bought a nice Corsair "Carbide" that looks similar to this .. basically a black monolith. Mine has a plexiglass pane. A friend tried to make fun of it, but I actually like it. Even without the LEDs and whatnot you can see the parts inside why not? Problem is the inside very quikcly accumulates a ton of dust and it doesn't look that nice anymore :Tongue  Oh, and it's heavy AFFFFF
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#37
(2017-02-14, 3:49 pm)ファブリス Wrote: What bummed me is I realize I'd have to buy the upgrade to SSD only, because their 1TB Fusion Drive, if you read the small print, is actually just 24 GB Flash and the rest is an HDD.

I want to split that drive in two, so I can make sure the HDD is only storing data / backups, and I don't want to hear the grinding of the HDD going on. Ideally the HDD is for backups & data I only need occasionally and would go to sleep.

Better yet, I'd want to have two SSDs in there, and no HDD at all. But that's not in the options how would that even work? 

If you go "all flash" their option of 512 GB likely is one drive; That's not acceptable either. If it breaks, I'm in a bad place. Having two SSDs is much more secure.

So can you even get two SSDs in there, and then how much do you pay on top? I'm guessing maybe a repair shop can do that. With the price they are asking, I'd be better off buying the base model ,and then pay a shop to install two SSDs that I currently own. If that's even possible within their warranty...

This is all just theoretical, but the drive bay has to be big enough to fit a HDD and a SSD for the fusion drive. I'm not sure if the HDD is a laptop form factor or full size. It's likely that you should be able to get a fusion drive imac and reformat the drives as 2 separate drives as that's all that they are in the end. It should be as easy as booting from a thumb drive and deleting the logical drive then reformatting the individual drives.

If you want to go the route of getting a small HDD and swapping it for two larger drives, they "should fit" as long as you get the same form factor as whatever apple is using as the HDD part of the fusion drive. The one thing I would worry about is an iMac with one harddrive wouldn't have internal connections for 2 drives but it probably does. You should be able to find the answer with a little googling.

Another simpler option would be just get the imac with the SSD and have your data on a NAS or external drive somewhere. The NAS would be better if you are concerned with noise as it could be in another room and you wouldn't hear it.

I just found you an article on how to split up a fusion drive.
Edited: 2017-02-14, 7:33 pm
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#38
Thanks yogert. I linked to the fusion splitting drive earlier in the thread. I'd have to add +360 € for the 2 To Fusion Drive, which would in theory split to a 128 Go Flash drive, and a 900-ish HDD.

But this morning I thought about the second option. Indeed there must be a way to use an external enclosure via Thunderbolt and put in 1 or 2 of my SSDs, or just buy one of the Thunderbolt compatible external drives so at least I'd have a second SSD. It seems like you can even boot OS X, Win or Linux from the external drives. (eg. [this StarTech external enclosure](https://www.amazon.com/StarTech-com-Exte...B00IFZN842))

If I went that route, and I saved 360 € I could still split the drive, and it seems like Sierra could just fit in the 24 GB flash. And then the inside HDD could be used for backups only ... assuming it stops spinning when not in use.

I mean lol... those 360 € probably gets you an enclosure AND a SSD drive.
Edited: 2017-02-15, 6:17 am
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#39
Slightly off topic:

Just heard about https://www.figma.com/ ... it is described as a potent alternative to Sketch ! it's web based and hence provides a UX design tool that could potentially replace Photoshop UX / Web design in native Linux. Even more impressive is it appears you can import many UI kits made for Sketch. Very cool...
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#40
First, moved this to Off topic, don't know why it wasn't already /blush

So I installed Ubuntu again natively and I'm not convinced. First I tried elementary OS Loki (0.4). It looks nice, but it's like OS X from 5 years ago. I get what they are trying to do overall, but as an alternative to Ubuntu I don't really see the point, seeing as it removes a bunch of options such as the Terminal Preferences so I end up spending even more time fiddling with configuration files and all kind of "unofficial" tweaks to get it usable.

Then I installed Ubuntu. Thing is, I kinda like Ubuntu. It looks nice and at least it's got its own personality. But what's up with the themes? I found out there are beautiful themes, at least in the screenshots, like ARC and Vimix.. but when I install theme it doesn't look like the screenshots. There are bits and pieces that look nice, and then there are all kind of artifcats like extra lines, or edges that are not aligned ,etc. It's like they made a screenshot of the best bits? Or did they make screenshots in some other distro, because in Ubuntu 16.04, it's just not coherent.

But overall really, I may as well keep uisng my VM.

So I'm thinking about the Mac again. I think I'll splurge this year. New models are supposed to come out?

I looked at the model in store and it's hard to deny the screen is amazing. What's concerning is the potential for gaming. I found an article that seems to confirm that downscaling is not bad :

ArsTechnica Wrote:"The fact that the GPU is scaling the image up to fit to the underlying 5K pixel grid really doesn't appear, at least to my eye, to yield any of the blurriness that you get when using non-native resolutions on lower-DPI LCDs.

https://arstechnica.com/apple/2014/10/th...g-machine/

On my current low density 1440p scaling down to 1080p looks bad. It's quite blurry. So it sounds like the 5K screen would handle better downscaling to half, and perhaps even 1080p?

Looking at the cost of upgrades again it seems to me like the best is to go for the basic memory, so I can use the RAM from my PC (2x 8Gb), and then add 120 € for the 256 GB flash, so there is no HDD inside. And then use an enclosure and hook up my current SSDs externally which would run at practically the same speed.

That said since 5K is not so new anymore maybe the newer models this year would come down in price.
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#41
Yeah, I've been a GNU/Linux advocate for a long, long time, but I admit these last years have been pretty crazy. Instead of taking advantage of the windows 8 / 8.1 debacle to attract lots of discontent users, we lived, more or less simultaneously, our own version of the same disastrous situation: critical base components were ditched in favor of more complex substitutes, forcedly introduced before being stable enough IMO (the classical init system replaced by upstart, and then systemd; pulseaudio's mess; the venerable X system looking for a decent successor in Mir or Wayland; etc.) and the same happened to essential GUI / desktop components (GTK v3 & KDE v4 [IIRC], responses motivated by these in the form of Ubuntu's Unity or Mint's Cinnamon and Mate or elementary OS...)

[rant]Regarding the GUI paradigms, seems like everyone, including MS, was obsessed with constructing a one-true-and-only GUI to be used in every possible case, from desktops to tablets to phones to TVs... Look, Apple got it right: a classical OS for desktops and laptops, a different OS for portable & touch devices, another one for wearables... The natural way to do that in Linux would have been to just add NEW GUIs to the already huge desktop ecosystem, targeted specifically at the new devices hitting the market... but they did such mess instead, sigh...[/rant]

The good news is that we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, thanks to everything settling down at last. Right now, the two GNU/Linux distributions I'd recommend the most are LinuxMint, based on Ubuntu (well, or directly on Debian if you install the rolling release they provide), and Fedora (RedHat's free edition). Personally, I use the former (either Mate or Cinnamon edition), but I only heard good things about the last version of the latter (with goodies like wayland finally landing, python v3 everywhere, Rust programming language support, migrations from previous versions without rough edges, etc.)

The desktop environment is a lot more subjective choice and the zoo is really big here but, for a "full blown desktop" experience, Cinnamon is my favorite sane, classical interface, with Unity's paradigm and Gnome3's Shell finally deserving some attention (cannot speak for recent versions of KDE, though).

Quote:Then I installed Ubuntu. Thing is, I kinda like Ubuntu. It looks nice and at least it's got its own personality. But what's up with the themes? I found out there are beautiful themes, at least in the screenshots, like ARC and Vimix.. but when I install theme it doesn't look like the screenshots. There are bits and pieces that look nice, and then there are all kind of artifcats like extra lines, or edges that are not aligned ,etc. It's like they made a screenshot of the best bits? Or did they make screenshots in some other distro, because in Ubuntu 16.04, it's just not coherent.

It's pretty possible they made a screenshot of the best bits. But it's also possible you need to tweak some settings after applying the theme so they look as they're supposed to. Can't help you much there, didn't use Unity a lot and never tried to install a theme for it.
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#42
What I am looking for is a coherent UI. So Ubuntu does pretty well in that respect. I tried LinuxMint but not natively with Cinnamon. I'll give it a shot.

I might end up with OS X and Linux. Lately I'm thinking what I need from Windows. If I run Photoshop in OS X I'm not sure why I need Windows. I'm still running Windows 7 .. so if I buy a Mac.. I don't think I'll buy a new Windows copy.

Of course the question is what do I need from Linux if I run OS X? Currently the main use for me is the VM I use for development. I imagine in general you have free alternatives, but most of these are also compiled for OS X anyways (like GIMP).
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#43
Agreed. As I already said, for your use case your choice of an OS X system -with a Linux VM at hand just in case- seems the most reasonable option (though you're bound to either build that hackintosh or spend a good deal of money on the new machine, but either way investing on your primary work tool is likely worth it).

You're hardly ever, if at all, gonna find yourself needing a tool that works on Linux but not on OS X (even complex things based on Linux kernels like Docker run well there). Most of the freelance developers I know have switched to Mac already and never heard a single complain to date. I've considered the option to invest in apples myself (笑), but I'm sticking with Linux for the time being for a lot of personal reasons.

I won't care much about Windows for the tasks you're going to do, but if you legally own a W7 license maybe you could also build another "emergency" VM with it (to me it's the best Windows version to date: W10 still gives me the feeling that's constantly getting in my way, though not as annoyingly as W8 did). It can be useful for some esoteric hardware which only had windows drivers released (gladly, those days seem to be history anyway), or for some niche applications (well, or not-so-niche, sometimes) that only got released for that OS.
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#44
Doh! I just realized I could buy a Mac Mini for web development!

Anybody have a Mac Mini? What do you think?

Looks like I can plug in Thunderbolt enclosures just the same for added storage. The current (old) full specced model is still a dual core though.. but maybe that doens't matter (hardly ever see my cores full utilized unless I convert a video or make an archive).

Can you think of any downsides using Mac Mini for web dev vs the iMac, besides 4K (which I don't really need).
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#45
The thing I'd be a bit nervous about with a Mac Mini would be that it hasn't been updated since 2014, which I'm guessing means it might end up being dropped by Apple and then not supported by some future OSX version earlier than you might like.
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#46
Are you sure?

Actually what made me think about it is that there are rumors of updates coming. Somebody said they were waiting for a Mac Mini.

But yes, that is an option if they hopefully release a new model this year.
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#47
I was just going by the info on https://buyersguide.macrumors.com/#Mac_Mini -- certainly if they did release a new Mini this year that would be a machine with a more long-term future.
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#48
Yeah I missed your earlier point.. it hasn't been updated in a while.

Dammit... that seemed like the better option for me. I'd want three years out of it if I was going to buy one now.

ps: could see myself buying a second hand one I'm seeing them go for 500 ish EUR with a 500 GB SSD not bad.. but how did they get a 500 GB SSD in there? Also its kinda weird they put in a 500 GB SSD and have the stock 4 GB RAM .. and you cant change the RAM in the 2014 model apparently >_>
Edited: 2017-03-14, 12:07 pm
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#49
I have two older mac minis and I really like them for work that isn't too computationally intensive.  One nice thing about mac minis is as they age, you can re-task them as a home theater system because they are small and don't look bad in the living room.   

As you've mentioned, the bottleneck for working on them is RAM.  I wouldn't get one with less than (the maximum)16GB ram because you know apps are just going to get more ram hungry every year. 4GB isn't sufficient today, so you know in 3 years the machine will be next to unusable.  pm215 is right, they haven't updated them since 2014 which is the reason I didn't buy a new one.  If they ever come out with a mac mini with modern internals I will buy one in a heartbeat.
Edited: 2017-03-14, 1:43 pm
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#50
I feel like taking the plunge. I want to get rid of my bulky PC seeing as I don't AAA game atm.

A Late 2012 Mac MINI with a 500 GB SSD (Crucial "Micron" ?) and 16 GB RAM for 630 EUR . (base config i5 3210M dual core) What do you think ?

I looked at benches and it sounds like the i7 only makes a significant difference for apps that are really optimized for multi threading such as "Handbrake". Even the simple zip archive bench seemed to not make much difference.

My thinking is under 700 € it's fine if i want to replace it in 2-3 years. And if Apple by some miracle releases a mac mini with TB 3 and better specs this year.. I'm ok with that.


ps: are they noisy with the fans? ANd can you clean the dust inside yourself?
Edited: 2017-03-26, 6:15 am
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