Which 2018 Mac mini?

Hi community, I need to kick my lethargic 2014 i5 Mac mini to the curb. After considering all the options (I don’t really want to configure a NUC or pay the extra $$ for a Nucleus or other dedicated option), think I’d like to just upgrade to one of the new Mac minis.

Based on the system requirements provided by Roon, my instinct is to get the 3.0Ghz i5 with 8Gb Ram and 256Gb storage. (I’ll use an external drive for the music). Does this seem reasonable? Is the base i3 model sufficient? I really don’t want to spend more than the $1399 CAD that the i5 gets me to, so would welcome any advice.

I’d say get the highest processor you can afford, and more RAM, stick with the 128gb storage and get a dedicated Thunderbolt 3 SSD extternal if you need more local storage ( besides your music, etc.) the SSD via T3 will run as fast as onboard storage and you have 4 T3 ports so that leaves plenty for expansion/daisy chaining. My 18 MM has an i7, 16gb ram, I have a 1gb SSD, and several T3 raids for music, and movie, run Roon and Plex with no issues, extremely fast, stream 4K HDR and 192 audio to bluesound, shield, oppo, and apple TV without a hiccup.

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I had that config except opted for 512. Very glad I did. Can’t upgrade the SSD.

It ran perfectly fine with 8 GB. But, ‘just because’, I replaced the 8 GB RAM with 32. Bought the Ram for about $225 and rather than mess with the tiny screws etc I had a local shop install the memory for $45. First one they had done. Said it took them longer than expected and would charge more for the next one. I think Amazon charges $96 for install.

My music is on a LaCie 2Big T3 (6GB) which I mirror.

I extremely happy with my configuration. Good luck with your planned upgrade.

Yes. I just made this upgrade from an older, i5 Mac Mini.

The base model w. 8 GB RAM, quad core i3 and 128 GB SSD is all you need.

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If you wont use it for other than core duties 128GB ssd should suffice 256 would be a waste unless you have a very small library and do mainly streaming. 16gb is also more than enough. i5 if you like some dsp use or if you want to punch it with room correction etc maybe the i7. If you have larger libs then external is best. Ram can always upgrade if needs permit.

Here is my base model Mac Mini running:

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Thanks to everyone! This really helps with my decision. I’ll probably end up with the i5 for DSP. Good advice on the external SSD!

What’s the specification of your 2014 Mac Mini?

I’m using a 2012 i5 Mac Mini - with original 500Gb hard drive changed to 256Gb SSD and memory upgrade from 8Gb to 16Gb. Music is stored on an external 3Tb drive. The upgrades - particularly the SSD - made a big difference. I have over 7,000 CDs (so not a small library).

I use some DSP (Parametric Equalisation) but don’t upscale. Roon never uses more than 20% of processor capacity (and usually less). Before upgrading to 16Gb of RAM the swapfile was occasionally used - not that never happens, there’s always about 6Gb or RAM unused.

Overall the system is very fast - hardly notice any delay when searching local library.

Have you thought about upgrading your 2014 Mac Mini?

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In case you plan to have a direct USB connection to DAC, you need to stay away from new models with T2 chip:

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Remember too that apple offers a 14 day no ? Asked return policy if you just want to suck it and see :smiley:

So I went with the base Mini and it’s a huge upgrade in a few ways. First it’s amply faster…everything is very crisp! Even the iOS apps are much more usable. No pausing at all.

Screen sharing is fast and resolution on my MacBook Air/iPad is finally sorted out.

But the biggest revelation I didn’t expect is much-improved sound quality. Everything has opened up! Thanks for your suggestions. I’m a much happier Rooner! Rooney?


I wonder if the T2 audio glitch was ever solved?