2.6Ghz mini worth getting for $599, as an extra computer?

David58117

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 24, 2013
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507
I already have a 2017 13" for daily use, but I'm debating getting a 2.6Ghz mini primarily for linux / possibly Plex server, and just something to mess around with. Something low powered, that I can leave on 24/7, with Apples build quality and apple care sounds good.

Is there any reason not to get one, for those uses? I had a 2012 i7 quad core, but sold it a few years ago, and I don't need that power.

I looked at windows PC's, and surprisingly, it seems unless I want to take a gamble or get something that may not last, the $599 mini may be the best bet.
 

Sackofnickels

Suspended
Jul 13, 2018
285
492
I already have a 2017 13" for daily use, but I'm debating getting a 2.6Ghz mini primarily for linux / possibly Plex server, and just something to mess around with. Something low powered, that I can leave on 24/7, with Apples build quality and apple care sounds good.

Is there any reason not to get one, for those uses? I had a 2012 i7 quad core, but sold it a few years ago, and I don't need that power.

I looked at windows PC's, and surprisingly, it seems unless I want to take a gamble or get something that may not last, the $599 mini may be the best bet.
I bought one last year. Use it as my main desktop and as a Plex server. Keep all my media on an external 4TB using usb 3. It runs 24/7. No issues at all.

The only thing is the $599 version comes with a 1TB spinner. Way too slow for my tastes. I put in a Samsung EVO SSD. Much faster and usable. I would recommend that upgrade right our of the box. Took me 10 minutes to swap the drive referencing iFixit. I found mine on sale and saved a few dollars. I even run dual 4k Samsung monitors using TB II to Mini DisplayPort. Has been very reliable.

FYI the graphics are a bit behind the times. The best resolution I could get was 2560 x 1440 at 60hz.

Keep in mind there are rumors of a new mini on the horizon. I'd wait at least until the 12th to see what is released.
 

mtneer

macrumors 68030
Sep 15, 2012
2,894
2,058
You'd be paying good money for 4 year old hardware. As it has been mentioned, there are rumors of an updated McMini on the horizon, so it would be worth the wait to atleast pay 2018 dollars for 2018 hardware.
 

David58117

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 24, 2013
1,225
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You'd be paying good money for 4 year old hardware. As it has been mentioned, there are rumors of an updated McMini on the horizon, so it would be worth the wait to atleast pay 2018 dollars for 2018 hardware.
I really wonder if these will be more expensive, and honestly..since things have stagnated (and this is a desktop), I'm not sure what else would be appealing for linux / possible Plex server use (in case I ever move it off my Nvidia Shield).

Either way, I'd have a 45 day return period in case any news comes out.
 

crsh1976

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2011
972
699
I really wonder if these will be more expensive, and honestly..since things have stagnated (and this is a desktop), I'm not sure what else would be appealing for linux / possible Plex server use (in case I ever move it off my Nvidia Shield).

Either way, I'd have a 45 day return period in case any news comes out.
Have you considered a NUC? Or any of the SFF boxes out there, like the Gigabyte Brix series, they are available with processors ranging from Celerons to i7 quad cores depending on your needs and budget.
 
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Fozziebear40

macrumors 6502
Apr 14, 2008
260
108
Newton-le-Willows, England
I did it 4 months ago and very happy. I got a refurb 2.6GHz with 250GB Flash storage. Lucked out and it came with 16GB ram. (ordered 8GB, but that happens ordering refurbs)

Running dual 27" monitors 2560 x 1440 60Hz, silent running. I love the Mini format. Swizzing between desktops (3 finger swipe) is so smooth, 3 desktops on each monitor.

I think if a new model comes out it will be more expensive (in the UK anyway) and not be much faster the way Apple cripples specs to maintain higher model differences.
 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
4,672
2,128
New Jersey Pine Barrens
Sounds like you have pretty much decided to buy it and just want confirmation. ;) Personally, I would wait since there's a real possibility that new Mini line will be announced in less than a week (or possibly in October). If nothing else, maybe there will be some sales on the 2014 models.
 

WilliamG

macrumors G3
Mar 29, 2008
9,104
2,563
Seattle
I did it 4 months ago and very happy. I got a refurb 2.6GHz with 250GB Flash storage. Lucked out and it came with 16GB ram. (ordered 8GB, but that happens ordering refurbs)

Running dual 27" monitors 2560 x 1440 60Hz, silent running. I love the Mini format. Swizzing between desktops (3 finger swipe) is so smooth, 3 desktops on each monitor.

I think if a new model comes out it will be more expensive (in the UK anyway) and not be much faster the way Apple cripples specs to maintain higher model differences.
If a new model comes out, it will be massively faster.
 

WilliamG

macrumors G3
Mar 29, 2008
9,104
2,563
Seattle
Moore's Law is coming to an end. Computers don't get massively faster year on year. It's true that an iMac Pro is massively faster, but Apple wouldn't cannibalise sales of it's 'Pro' line of products to sell a cheap 'massively faster' Mini computer.
Year on year, yes. But we’re not talking year on year with the Mac mini. And remember the 13” MacBook Pro is massively faster this year than last year with quad cores available. That’s the kind of processor available to the Mac mini.
 

sublunar

macrumors 65816
Jun 23, 2007
1,346
792
I'd go along with the NUC idea if Linux is your primary concern. Much more choice, more upgradable. Otherwise wait a few weeks till the end of October to see if the much rumoured 2018 Mac Mini comes out - it would be a massive upgrade on the current 2014 model whatever parts they use and Apple will generally keep the same price point unless they are moving the entire range upmarket.
 
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960design

macrumors 68040
Apr 17, 2012
3,014
961
Destin, FL
I already have a 2017 13" for daily use, but I'm debating getting a 2.6Ghz mini primarily for linux / possibly Plex server, and just something to mess around with. Something low powered, that I can leave on 24/7, with Apples build quality and apple care sounds good.

Is there any reason not to get one, for those uses? I had a 2012 i7 quad core, but sold it a few years ago, and I don't need that power.

I looked at windows PC's, and surprisingly, it seems unless I want to take a gamble or get something that may not last, the $599 mini may be the best bet.
No, wait until Wednesday!

I have two Mac Mini's stacked in my office, running as servers. (used to have three, but lighting killed one and wounded another ). So quite, so neatly organized
 
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kevink2

macrumors 65816
Nov 2, 2008
1,415
135
I would not buy a Mini for any reason other than an inexpensive Mac. For Linux, I agree that I would consider going the NUC route (though I just a week ago repurposed an unused convertible windows laptop into a Linux VPN server).

After going the Hackintosh route for a couple years for my desktop, I got tired of fighting that. I just want a desktop system that I don't have to think about too much for "server" use. Maintain my photo library, music library, taxes, etc. Maybe decide to try iPhone coding again sometime. I used a Mac Pro for 8 years, but it hasn't been supported by at least the last 2 versions of MacOS.

I use my MacBook Pro for my normal web usage.

My former Hackintosh takes up enough space I can't really fit an iMac there, and more than I want to spend.

I'm thinking a new mini with 16GB ram, and fusion drive would work. I have available external drives.
 

ivnj

macrumors 65816
Dec 8, 2006
1,240
50
I got a mini on august 30th for 368.98 after tradeins from bestbuy 2.6 8gb. Very good for the price even if a new one comes out. No major issues. And I even got apple care for 3 years in that price so bot that bad. Unless 10.15 all of a sudden stops 2014 support its all good. But if 14 supports even 2012 then 15 will still be good probably. And 2 years for sure at least. This year for sure since 14 is supported. And 1 year later because even if 15 is not supported 14 will still be good while 15 bugs are being worked out.
 

getrealbro

macrumors 6502
Sep 25, 2015
430
165
I was patiently awaiting Apple’s announcement of an updated Mac Mini when the discrete graphics “card” in my early 2011 Mac Book Pro died before my eyes*.

This couldn’t have happened at a worse time in Apple’s upgrade cycle. Apple no longer makes a Macbook Pro that interests me. And the other Macs are listed as “Don’t Buy”. It was time to fish or cut bait. I already had a decent monitor, wireless keyboard, mouse, external HDD. etc.. So I decided to buy a late 2014 Mac Mini that I could pickup the next day and be back up and running in less than 24 hrs.

One major advantage of my brand new “antique” Mac Mini was its ability to work with my existing hardware right out of the box (e.g. USB 3 & Firewire drives) and it could run older versions of OS X like El Capitan, that was on my MBP when it “died”. I simply attached the MBP to the Mini (in firewire Target mode), transferred the fully working system and data to the Mini’s HDD, and rebooted. After a little tidying up (e.g. Apple ID, DropBox passwords, etc.) I was back in business :)

ANY other “new” Mac would have required me to go through the brain damage of a forced OS/application upgrade. For example, I would need to upgrade Office 2008 to Office 365, rebuild QGIS, etc. The antique Mac Mini allows me to do these updates later when I have more time.

FWIW I’m still looking forward to an updated Mac Mini RSN. But now I have time to let the dust settle on the new hardware/OS/applications. Then I can upgrade and convert this “antique” Mac Mini to a headless file server.

GetRealBro

* I later resurrected the MBP following the instructions in https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...ntel-integrated-gpu-efi-variable-fix.2037591/ . But that process requires a functioning computer to a) learn how to do it, b) download Arch Linux and build the USB boot device, etc.
 
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