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I am looking for some advice about getting a macbook pro or mac mini. Basically, the case with me is that I currently have a mid 2014 macbook pro that is a base model. I use the macbook pro at home and on the go, so it was inevitable that the ram and hard drive space was not enough for me. I am considering upgrading to the macbook pro model 13" with processor and ram maxed out along with 512 GB of disk space. However, I recently noticed that most of my heavy duty work (i.e.: running matlab/data analysis/VM at the same time, which are typically done at home and with my current set up at home, I have 2 27" monitors connected to the macbook pro). So, I recently thought about the mac mini and how it might be a better decision while using my macbook pro on the go. I just turned out to be a laptop guy so I never really thought about getting desktops but I really enjoy the portability of laptops but mac mini to be honest is also not to immobile also.

So I'm looking for some advice. I noticed that if I were to buy either, they both have i7 processors while macbook pro has turbo boost up to ~3.3 GHz with 3MB of shared L3 cache and mac mini has 3.5 GHz 4mb shared L3 cache. Though I'm unsure about the hyper threading capabilities of the Mac mini compared to the macbook pro. Seems to be a majority of the difference would be the disk space, if I'm correct.

Or the 3rd option is just to all out and go for a refurbished mac pro, which I noticed has 12GB of L3 cache + 10GB of memory for base, which is just insane but I do have a limited budget and can't afford to get upgrades for the mac pro.

What are your recommendations ? I appreciate any advice and thanks in advance.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Tetsujin, grg, Mark, bassplayer7, IconDaemon Feb 10 '16 at 13:13

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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The current Macbook Pro 13" (early 2015 model with i7-5557U) is faster than the latest available Mac Mini (late 2014 model with i7-4578U).

On paper the Mac Mini (late 2012 model i7-3720QM) is faster and more easy to upgrade (ram + hard drive) but it's probably not available for purchase any more. In reality the new Macbook Pro will be much faster because of its insane fast SSD (AND its bus). Yes you can upgrade the Mini with an SSD but you're still stucked with that bus.

Don't be fooled with the form factor. Mac Mini's and iMacs basically are laptops in desktop casings.

I'd personally go for the Macbook Pro, any day of the week. You state you are a notebook guy. Stick with being one. On top of that the Macbook potentially has better 2nd hand value if that's important to you.

The new Macbooks (Macbook Air from Mid 2013 and Macbook Pro's from Early 2014) have insane fast SSD's. Remembering what every forum told thousands of times: if you want to get more speed out of your Mac, upgrade to an SSD before spending money on the RAM. On a maxed out Macbook Pro you'll have both.

  • Got it I guess sticking with the laptop is the way to go since I use a 2 tb hard drive anyways so there is not much of a difference between the fusion drive that the Mac mini had. Thanks for your advice – PutsandCalls Feb 10 '16 at 22:58

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