2011 vs. 2012

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by davidg4781, Oct 22, 2017.

  1. davidg4781 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Location:
    Alice, TX
    #1
    I just upgraded my 2011 mini to an SSD, but now I'm starting to wonder if I'm missing anything exciting vs the 2012. I know I'm missing USB 3.0. For me, right now, the only thing I'm using USB for is TM backups to an attached HDD. Really, it doesn't bother me that much since it just sits there and does it's thing.

    Is there anything else I'm missing? I'm just wondering if I could make a bit of a jump to a 2012 by selling this one and putting in a few bucks. Or just stick with what I have until something great comes along?
     
  2. Boyd01 macrumors 601

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #3
    The lack of USB3 would be a deal killer for me. I use lots of external disks and copy a lot of huge files every day since I work with video. I also use a 1TB external SSD as my boot drive and it's really fast, did not want to open up the mini to install that.

    The difference in USB 3.0 is considerable, I get write speeds of 400Mbytes/sec with my SSD. That same drive would only give me about 30Mbytes/sec on USB 2.0. I use the thunderbolt port for a Blackmagic video device, so that isn't available on my 2012 mini.

    If you really don't care about this, I suppose there isn't any big reason to upgrade though. And buying a 2012 Mini in 2017 may not make a lot of sense either.
     
  3. ActionableMango, Oct 23, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2017

    ActionableMango macrumors G3

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #4
    A 2012 Mac Mini is considered by many to be the best year. It is the only year with both USB 3.0 and upgradeable memory slots. The CPU for base model 2012 is just as fast as the base 2014. It's the last year offering quad-core i7, the last year with Firewire, and the last year that can accept two standard SATA 2.5" internal drives. Personally, I definitely would have purchased a 2012 (and I did).

    However, everything depends on use cases. You say this computer is just "sitting there and does its thing". If it's just a file/backup/media server or something like that, if it's not a daily driver, and if you don't mind backups taking a long time because they are unattended, then I suppose there is no significant difference and I'd stick with the 2011.
     
  4. Neodym macrumors 68000

    Neodym

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2002
    #5
    Lack of USB3 on the 2011 mini can be mitigated via a Thunderbolt dock.

    I would definitely wait for the next iteration. Perhaps Apple really implements a modular concept with a mini as basis that can be upgraded over time to become a MacPro eventually.
     
  5. ziggy29 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2014
    Location:
    Oregon North Coast
    #7
    If I were buying one now, I'd go with the 2012. But if you already have a 2011, and you managed to put an SSD into the internals (not an easy task with the Mini), I'd stick with it. You can get an adapter to run USB 3 through the Thunderbolt port if you needed the speed of USB 3 for data transfer.
     
  6. titangears, Jan 20, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2018

    titangears macrumors member

    titangears

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2005
    #8
    Check out this thread. This helped me make my decision between the two.

    https://everymac.com/systems/apple/...2012-mac-mini-mid-2011-mac-mini-aluminum.html

    I just bought an i5 (2520M) 2011 mini (Macmini5,2) instead of an i5 2012 (Macmini6,1). Why? Two reasons. First was price. I picked up my mini off eBay for $260. While that may not seem to be a big difference, this mini came with a full 8GB of Crucial RAM in it. Second was the GPU. This mini I picked up has a Radeon HD 6630M GPU. All the 2012 i5 mini computers have the considerably slower Inter HD Graphics 4000 GPU. Using the mac comparison chart found (see link below) you can see the processing power between a 2011 and 2012 i5 mini is negligible.

    https://everymac.com/ultimate-mac-c...5&prod2=MacMiniIntel016&prod3=MacMiniIntel019

    The faster GPU in this particular 2011 mini might actually make some graphic intensive apps run faster on the 2011 than on its 2012 counterpart. The one downside is USB 2 in the 2011 vs USB 3 in the 2012. For me that was a minor issue since I'll be using Time-machine on a Firewire 800 connection.

    So, depending on which 2011 Mac Mini you purchased you may have ended up with a better computer IMO.
     
  7. dogslobber macrumors 68040

    dogslobber

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2014
    Location:
    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    #9
    I think Apple might force people to toss their 2011 Minis in the trash when 10.14 is released. The 2012 has another 3-4 years support, I reckon.
     
  8. Neodym macrumors 68000

    Neodym

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2002
    #10
    While benchmarks see the 6630m and the HD4000 roughly in the same performance ballpark, the 6630m is starved for VRAM with its measly 256MB, whereas you can have 1-1,5GB on the HD4000. Could be the difference between make or break, depending on use case. Graphic intensive apps usually require and/or perform better with more VRAM.
     
  9. sublunar macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    #11
    As mentioned already you can get USB-3 using the Thunderbolt port quite painlessly. Upgrading to a 2012 (or 2014) might not be worth it if you're looking for significantly more performance unless graphics (and screen mode) performance matter to you.
     
  10. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #12
    "I think Apple might force people to toss their 2011 Minis in the trash when 10.14 is released. The 2012 has another 3-4 years support, I reckon."

    Only a fool would "toss a computer into the trash" because Apple stopped "supporting" it in the OS.

    I have a 2006-vintage white Intel iMac 24" that still boots and runs well enough for what I use it for (audio recording and music production).
    It boots to either 10.7 or 10.6, depending on my whims.
    I even have the original copy of OS 10.4.11 on it, as well.

    I jumped off the "you HAVE TO upgrade NOW" train a long time ago...
     
  11. MAlexB macrumors member

    MAlexB

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2017
    #13
    Obsolence is coming from two angles: a smaller one is the lack of future security update but the bigger one is the end date and non-renewal or renewability of some digital certificates...
     
  12. dogslobber macrumors 68040

    dogslobber

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2014
    Location:
    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    #14
    You're an exception then because most 'fools' want to have the warm feeling of being cuddled by Apple. A 12 year old machine unplugged from the internet is okay to use.
     
  13. titangears macrumors member

    titangears

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2005
    #15
    The 2014 mini, for the most part, was rejected by Apple customers. Since it is clear Apple doesn't want to make a 2011-2012 type mini that people can upgrade, and the market for a 2014 style mini is poor, it seems reasonable to conclude Apple will not be making any more minis at all. If this is true, then all Mac minis will eventually become unsupported. The question will then become how long do Apple customers keep using their unsupported minis?
     
  14. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #16
    titan asked:
    "The question will then become how long do Apple customers keep using their unsupported minis?"

    I don't care whether a Mac is "unsupported" by Apple or not.
    If it works, I'll use it. My late-2012 Mini i7 still runs like new.

    I still have a 2006-production iMac that I use, and it still works fine for its intended tasks. I'm certain that it's "no longer supported" by Apple. So what?
     
  15. Jonathan50 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2017
    #17
    Will a 2012 logic board fit in a 2011 case and play nice with the 2011 peripherals, like power supply, dual disk bracket, wifi antenna, fan, heatsink, etc?
     
  16. dogslobber macrumors 68040

    dogslobber

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2014
    Location:
    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    #18
    I'm not sure.
     
  17. Neodym macrumors 68000

    Neodym

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2002
    #19
    Both 2011 and 2012 mini look very similar (if not identical) on both in- and outside (if memory serves me right). Assuming that the mini already was some kind of stepchild back then, I’d be surprised if Apple invested more than necessary for the CPU drop-in replacement.

    So I think it’d well be worth a try if you got a bargain on a nice 2012 mini motherboard fully stacked. If you give it a try, please let us know the outcome!
     
  18. haralds macrumors 6502a

    haralds

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2014
    Location:
    Silicon Valley, CA
    #20
  19. redheeler macrumors 604

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #21
    My 2006 24" iMac is set up to dual-boot OS X 10.8.5 and Linux Mint, with the latter being my preferred choice lately as a lot of newer apps and browsers simply do not support 10.8.5 (the latest Firefox still runs unsupported but slower than in Linux), and the lack of security updates might also be of concern to some people.

    Often it's possible to run a newer MacOS than what is supported thanks to a third-party patch (for example, the 2009 Mac mini can unofficially run High Sierra). After that, you get three to four years before you have to tolerate apps not being supported and open exploits not being patched, though how much of a problem this becomes depends on your use case. For example, older music production software will continue to work just fine even if the latest version isn't compatible. Your other option to extend the life of the hardware, if you're willing to venture away from MacOS, is to install Linux.
     
  20. jerwin macrumors 68020

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    Jun 13, 2015
    #22
    http://programming4.us/multimedia/19532.aspx

     
  21. tibas92013 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2013
    Location:
    Costa Rica
    #23
     
  22. haralds macrumors 6502a

    haralds

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2014
    Location:
    Silicon Valley, CA
    #24
    I just bought this from Amazon and can attest that it has superior speed to USB 2 and the Matrox DS1 adapter. With a 4TB drive I was getting speeds in excess of 300MBps. More that twice what I saw with the DS1.
    I have not tested the eSata port or SSD
    --- Post Merged, Apr 12, 2018 ---
    Confirmed. I just yanked the DS1 and put in a Kanex. The mini is a server running TimeMachine. A whole stack of disks is hanging off this thing. It'll do - no reason to upgrade the server now.
     

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23 October 22, 2017