How long can a Mac Mini actually last?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by BlindSoul, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Location:
    Israel
    #1
    Hello.

    I've been wondering about how many years can a Mac Mini 2010 last?
    I'm using it daily so it might effect.
    By the way, Do you guys clean it sometimes? If so how?
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    iStudentUK

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    Location:
    London
    #2
    It is nearly impossible to say. Some will break in the first few months (lemons) and some could last many years (but they become out of date). I think 3 years is a reasonable length of time to expect/hope one to last. Then it will be getting a bit old anyway. However, most of it is just luck.

    Don't worry about using it daily, computers are there to be used. Just don't encode 1080p video whilst watching youtube for 23 hours a day!
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    #3
    If using it as a primary machine one could delegate it to other tasks once it's no longer fast enough to be a primary machine. These things can last for years and years. I have two 09 Minis. I expect that if I want to, I should be able to use them for years to come.
     
  4. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    #4
    It's anecdotal I know, but all of the macs I've ever had have lasted extremely well. Still have a 1991 Classic II, a 1999 iMac DV and an early 2005 mini all in perfect working order.

    Of course they date and will be replaced by newer and faster machines over time. I agree that 3 years is a realistic upgrade cycle for your main machine, but there's no reason why the mini won;t last much longer than that.
     
  5. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2010
    #5
    I have one of the first intel mac minis. From 06 I believe. It's currently set up as a HTPC and is on 24/7. It does get a lot of encoding and web streaming and itunes use daily. So far it's been going strong. The HD did crash on it, which I replaced with a SSD. I expect to get a few more years from it as a htpc.


    Like others said, you usually end up replacing a machine due to it becoming outdated or too slow than it simply no longer working.
     
  6. macrumors 68000

    DustinT

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    #6
    Having replaced the harddrive with an SSD you'll be in good shape moving forward. You've eliminated one of the major points of failure.
     
  7. macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #7
     
  8. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    #8
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8G4 Safari/6533.18.5)

    If your willing to repair them to a point, as long as te costs don't out weigh a new one
     
  9. macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    ~119W 34N
    #9
    Still running a 350Mhz B&W G3 as my router/gateway and DNS, mail, and web server (10.2 Jaguar Server).

    It's been running 24/7 for going on 8+ years (except for the odd power outage out lasting the UPS).

    One of these days it'll get replaced by a 933Mhz G4 with 10.5 Server. Mostly because of improvements in mail service.

    I wouldn't worry too much about the Mini itself. The HDD or optical might need work at some point, but even then you might be surprised (the B&W's HDDs have been running for most of the last 8+ years).

    Although I'm running some vintage h/w for the servers (and have a moderate collection of classic and PPC models), we do have fairly late model Intel portables, iPads, and iPhones for our individual needs. I just don't need a lot of horsepower for the server.
     
  10. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    My 08 Mini died just a few days ago...

    Right now i'm jugging between getting a new Mini or a Streaming box, although none of them match the capacities of having a 'real' computer.
     
  11. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #11
    I still have an Original G4 Mini in use as my iTunes Server (Audio), and its been in full-time use since Feb 2005. Thats on 24/7, and in use for 12-14 hours a day. Only difference between it and most Mac Minis is that it is running Leopard Server (Panther Server -> Tiger Server -> Leopard Server has been its OS history), and isn't ever really touched except to add CDs to my iTunes library on it.

    Just as a side note: If you can Id go with a Dual 867 G4 over a single 933, just because OS X 10.5 Server eats CPU cycles like no other. (My G4 Mini 1.25 is noticeably slower under 10.5 Server than under 10.4 - the effect is much less noticeable on my Dual 867 MDD)
     
  12. macrumors 65816

    MultiFinder17

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    #12
    A well cared for mini can last as long as you want it to. The mini has the best overall reliability record of the Macintosh line, and that's saying something. My mini's been on 24/7, in use around 12 hours a day since March of 2009, and it's yet to have a single issue. I expect to be able to use it as my primary desktop for around another two years (8GB of RAM helps, along with a nice fast HDD), and after that it will continue to serve me as a secondary machine or server.
     
  13. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2011
    #13
    It's impossible to say how long it will last.

    My mother bought a Windows p.c in 2001, and she spend 9 years with that thing. The only reason she replaced it was because things like youtube and multitasking requires more processing and RAM than a 9 your old p.c

    The Mac is probably the same, you can replace it when you think the hardware is outdated.
     
  14. Kebabselector, Apr 20, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011

    macrumors 68020

    Kebabselector

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    #14
    My early intel mini (1.66 ghz) has been on most of the time since I bought it in August 2006 - I thought I broke it the other day when I installed a 500gb hdd in as I was getting a ? Folder on boot up - turns out I forgot I setup a firmware password (removing a memory module helped me boot up!)

    So to answer your question, I don't know how long your mini will last - but based on experiences with most Mini owners it'll be fine.
     
  15. macrumors 6502

    SideStepSociety

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    Roblin, Manitoba
    #15
    My late '06 is still running, albeit not as good as it once did.

    The combo drive died (or at least, when it's connected, the computer won't boot.), the Airport card is failing/failed, it only stays connected if it's within a couple feet of the router, if it's far away, it stays connected, then over a short amount of time, the signal starts dropping until it can't even pick up a connection anymore.

    But other than that, it's been a real trooper. Still using it as my HTPC, hooked up to my 46" Sony Bravia rear projection TV. I'm really impressed by it, but also disappointed that things are failing. Been considering replacing them, but with my luck, the root issue of these things dying is probably something bigger, although the computer performs just fine.
     
  16. macrumors 65816

    cherry su

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    #16
    You can use compressed air to clean the unit.
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    btbrossard

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #17
    I find the 2010 mini's tend to collect a bit of dust on the inside. I don't know if it's the smaller vents (due to it's small size) or the slower speed of the fan, but dust seems to go in but not come out.

    I've blown out the inside of my 2010 mini a few times since it's purchase (August 2010). It stays on 24/7 though, so if that's all I have to do, that's fine.

    The first sign that dust may be building up (for me, at least) is that the optical drive takes longer to recognize inserted media.
     
  18. macrumors 604

    zap2

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Washington D.C
    #18
    I have one of the original Intel Ones, so thats early '06...HDD died on me a while ago, but thats always something I can see myself wanting to get a better part for.
     
  19. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    #19
    Basically what the answer is...

    it will last until you think it is outdated or it actually dies. Whatever comes first but probably the first will occur with any technology.
     
  20. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #20
    I've just taken delivery of a 2006 1.66 Core Duo Mac Mini. First thing I did was pop off the case and blow out the dirt with my compressor.

    Machine seems in good working order although the Wifi reception is not great, I think this is more a design issue than "wear and tear".

    I also have a ibook clamshell 466 from c.2000 and an ibook g3 dual usb from 2001 which both work fine.

    I still use my Amiga 500+ sometimes from 1991 and that works great still :)
     
  21. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    #21
    Another vote for reliability. Our office has a 2005, never had a blip. Gets turned off once a week.
     
  22. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    #22
    Just an FYI

    I have an original Mac Cube (with the original 20GB HDD) is running everyday, since 2000. Now it is used for browsing and some Office documents and it runs decently. If you are going to use it not as a gaming machine, you can keep it for a long time.

    My Cube is running on OSX 10.4 but everything still works on her. I'm waiting for the new Mac Mini to buy one.

    Rippey
     
  23. iZac, May 6, 2011
    Last edited: May 6, 2011

    macrumors 65816

    iZac

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2003
    Location:
    Shanghai
    #23
    I passed my old 1.25 G4 mac mini to my dad, who still uses it daily for the limited amount of email / browsing he does, as well as some light inDesign work.

    I notice it's slow when I visit, but it's certainly not unusable and that machine is what ... 6 years old?
     
  24. macrumors 68020

    kazmac

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Location:
    ... in my imagination
    #24
    very encouraging

    I've been uncertain about my next Mac (sister is inheriting my iMac) and I thought I was going to go MBA but I have been reading about how reliable the minis are and that is so great to hear. A part of me can't let the desktop element go (I hate trackpads). I would be using it for document/script/novel creation, light photo and video editing.

    As I am already gathering peripherals, the Mini might be my new 'Mac' of choice > especially since they seem to be lasting a good 5 or six years for other folks. For the price you can't beat such longevity. The fact that I can choose my own monitor, speakers etc. is another plus esp. since the iPad seems to cover my portable needs.

    I wasn't quite ready for the Mini last year, but seeing how my iMac and MBPs are utter overkill (and MBA is real expensive) I'll be waiting :).

    Thanks for posting such a positive thread. :)
     
  25. macrumors 6502

    lamerica80

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    #25
    Well my 09 mini has been running pretty much 24/7 for almost 2 years and is still as snappy as when it was newborn..im doubting it will ever break. Wont stop me from upgrading to an ¨11 mini though if it ever comes out! :)
     

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