2012 Mac mini - No Big Sur

CalMin

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 8, 2007
693
240
From https://9to5mac.com/2020/06/22/macos-big-sur-compatible-macs/ and https://www.apple.com/macos/big-sur-preview/

Here’s the full list of macOS Big Sur compatible Macs:

  • 2015 and later MacBook
  • 2013 and later MacBook Air
  • 2013 and later MacBook Pro
  • 2014 and later Mac mini
  • 2014 and later iMac
  • 2017 and later iMac Pro
  • 2013 and later Mac Pro
----

I wonder if there's a technical reason for this. Mine has a quad-core i7, 16GB RAM and lots of SSD space. It's still a beast for most daily tasks.

I'm not really complaining though - I got tons of mileage out of it and it will be fine on Catalina for a couple more years after that.
 
  • Sad
Reactions: Joelallen3

MadCar

macrumors regular
Oct 21, 2014
139
103
The internet
Must be some thing on the GPU side as the 2012 are more powerful than 2014 Mac Mini

Was going to leap on a new iMac or updated Mini but no hardware announced which is rather disappointing, all a bit Meh with todays updates all round.
 

phoenix-mac-user

macrumors member
Sep 21, 2016
70
50
There is no reason other than to get you to buy a new Mac. I am sure someone can invent a reason but I had a 2010 Mac pro that was an absolute monster with an AMD video card and they arbitrarily stopped supporting it to try to get me to buy their new Mac Pro.
 
  • Like
Reactions: frou

fuchsdh

macrumors 68000
Jun 19, 2014
1,608
970
There is no reason other than to get you to buy a new Mac. I am sure someone can invent a reason but I had a 2010 Mac pro that was an absolute monster with an AMD video card and they arbitrarily stopped supporting it to try to get me to buy their new Mac Pro.
If they want to drop old technologies or reduce support, yeah, there's a reason. Apple has kept to a roughly seven-year general lifespan for its products. Some last longer, some a little shorter, but it's not like not getting the new OS instantly turns your machine into a worthless hunk of junk.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tranceking26

phoenix-mac-user

macrumors member
Sep 21, 2016
70
50
If they want to drop old technologies or reduce support, yeah, there's a reason. Apple has kept to a roughly seven-year general lifespan for its products. Some last longer, some a little shorter, but it's not like not getting the new OS instantly turns your machine into a worthless hunk of junk.
Should have been clear I was referring to technical related reason the original post asked about. Highly doubt there is a technical reason that it isn't supported, and someone will release some loader app that will allow you to hack it to run Catalina to prove that point.
 
  • Like
Reactions: frou

MevetS

macrumors regular
Dec 27, 2018
128
72
Earth
There is no reason other than to get you to buy a new Mac. I am sure someone can invent a reason but I had a 2010 Mac pro that was an absolute monster with an AMD video card and they arbitrarily stopped supporting it to try to get me to buy their new Mac Pro.
I had a 2010 MacPro that I bought in 2010. I retired it last December for a 2018 MacMini.

Ten years of support.

Far from arbitrary, problems with Intel processors, spectre and such, led to the end of support.

And that Mac Pro still runs. It didn't all the sudden stop working. I'd still be running it today if it wasn't for the great deal on the Mini through my company. So while Apple wanted me to by a new Mac, and I did, I did not have to. All the software I wanted to use still worked just fine.

This just in, Apple is in the business of selling stuff. Stuff they want you to buy.

And yes, you can run Catalina on it. It is just not officially supported. But it doesn't support Thunderbolt. Nor some of the other newer technologies. So is that a technical reason for not supporting it? Seems an argument could be made for both sides.
 
Last edited:

tennisproha

macrumors 65816
Jun 24, 2011
1,269
759
Texas
Just found out and am pretty pissed. I have a quad 2012 mini and am planning on keeping it a while. I just got a SSD and upgrades for it. I would have been fine if they'd ended support with Big Sur but ending on Catalina is a pretty ****** decision.

Will there be any workaround for this, to force install Big Sur on the mini?
 
  • Like
Reactions: geneking7320

Che Castro

macrumors 603
May 21, 2009
5,709
529
My 2012 i5 Mac mini is on Mojave , whats best overall MacOS for this mini in terms of features and performance

also I installed my ssd In 2015 , is working fine now but is it time to change it before it dies ? Or can Ssd last a long time
 

playtech1

macrumors regular
Oct 10, 2014
158
108
Sad that it is going EOL, but eight years is a decent lifespan for updates and to be honest all Intel Macs are essentially EOL sooner rather than later, so we will get more from our 2012 Mac Minis than many others.

I think the possible technical reasons will be that it does not have a Haswell processor, so no AVX2 instructions and perhaps because Intel HD4000 no longer cuts it.

I will keep using my Mac Mini (on Mojave) as a Plex server and occasional HTPC / Geforce Now client. Upgraded the RAM recently to 16GB and it has an SSD, so still feels fairly snappy in use. I bet it's quicker than a current i3 MacBook Air under load!
 

August West

macrumors regular
Aug 23, 2009
129
33
Land of Enchantment
Writing this from my 2012 which is running Catalina and still works fine. I swapped out the original spinny drive for a SSD when it was new. Although I have been thinking about upgrading to a newer unit I think I'll wait now and see how the ARM units perform. Hate to buy a new machine with an EOL architecture design.
 

4sallypat

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2016
666
655
So Calif
Writing this from my 2012 which is running Catalina and still works fine. I swapped out the original spinny drive for a SSD when it was new. Although I have been thinking about upgrading to a newer unit I think I'll wait now and see how the ARM units perform. Hate to buy a new machine with an EOL architecture design.
Same here - love the 2012 Mini - it still runs faster than my Air or iMac especially after both HDD were replaced out with dual SSD.

My 2012 Mini has about the same processor power as my 2015 MBP (both i7 & 16GB RAM) so I am not concerned...

I'll keep the Catalina for awhile since I had to buy a newer version of Microsoft Office for Mac and Adobe Acrobat because of the 64 bit enforcement...

Will wait for the ARM version whenever it releases....
 

monkeybongo

macrumors regular
Sep 13, 2007
109
24
Canada
The Mac mini 2012 will work fine for a long time so I would not worry. I'd imagine that Big Sur will be a hot mess with all the ARM transition and dual compiled versions so staying on Catalina for a year is not a bad idea.
 

tyc0746

macrumors regular
Apr 3, 2019
195
64
Liverpool, UK
My 2012 Mini has about the same processor power as my 2015 MBP (both i7 & 16GB RAM) so I am not concerned...
Not surprising really ;)

The top-of-the-line (non-server) 2012 MacMini was a 2.6ghz quad-core Ivy Bridge i7-3720QM.

The top-of-the-line 2015 MacBook Air was a 2.2ghz dual-core Broadwell i7-5650U.
 

nicho

macrumors 68040
Feb 15, 2008
3,432
2,235
Not surprising really ;)

The top-of-the-line (non-server) 2012 MacMini was a 2.6ghz quad-core Ivy Bridge i7-3720QM.

The top-of-the-line 2015 MacBook Air was a 2.2ghz dual-core Broadwell i7-5650U.
MBP usually means "MacBook Pro", not "MacBook Air" ;)

The mid-2015 15" MBP had quad-core processors.
 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
4,677
2,129
New Jersey Pine Barrens
My 2012 quad has been running on Sierra from an external 1tb SSD for the past few years, although a couple months ago I installed Catalina on the original internal 256gb SSD just to see how it worked. But one advantage of the 2012 Mini is that it can run Mountain Lion (which is what mine shipped with). So I have an external 500gb SSD with 10.8.5 that I can boot from if I ever want to use about $5000 worth of CAD and 3d legacy software.

But now that I have a 2018 Mini, I plan to transition the 2012 quad into a headless Time Machine / File server. Haven't yet decided which version of MacOS will be best for that, will probably try with Catalina first and see how it goes.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jack Neill

dandeco

macrumors 6502
Dec 5, 2008
353
76
Brockton, MA
Yeah, I have been thoroughly enjoying my 2012 quad-core i7 Mac Mini since I bought it in early 2016 at a now-defunct used electronics shop in Boston; it already came with the RAM upgraded to 16 GB! And last spring I even swapped out the spinning internal hard drive for a 960 GB solid state drive that I was able to buy for just over $100, and it REALLY sped up performance. I even upgraded it to Mac OS 10.15 Catalina, and for the most part it works great, probably due to the SSD I installed in it. Last month I even edited my first 4K video on it, using Final Cut Pro X, a short video, and it worked pretty well. (But I'm still largely going to stick with 1080 as my highest definition.)
As for no Big Sur, I kind of saw this coming, as it seemed Apple had a pattern with every two years being a cutoff for certain older Macs. But my plan is that once I've gotten one of the numerous I.T. jobs I've applied for online and have saved up enough, later this year (like some time in the autumn) I will buy a 13" Touchbar MacBook Pro (I'm leaning towards the $1799 model) so I can use that to run Mac OS 11 Big Sur, and continue to use the 2012 Mini as my desktop, because I really do need to replace my late 2009 polycarbonate MacBook first... Then in a year or two, once Apple has come out with a good ARM-processor Mac Mini, I may get that to replace the 2012 Mini, while I keep said 2012 Mini in storage just in case I need to run any older Intel apps and whatnot. (If there isn't a decent ARM Mini released, I could always go with a nice 21" Retina iMac.) If Apple is going to make this transition gradual, I can make MY transition gradual as well.
 

Mizouse

macrumors regular
Nov 5, 2014
212
271
I guess this means its time to upgrade my 2012 2.3ghz i7 mini.

It's served me well. I picked it up refurbished from Apple in 2014 for $600. Have since upgraded it to 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD.

Considering a 2018 i7 for better performance in FCPX. 🤔
 
  • Like
Reactions: Boyd01

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
4,677
2,129
New Jersey Pine Barrens
Do you mean the SSD question? I have a 512gb 2013 MacBook Air that has been used heavily and still works fine. My 2012 Mini still has the original Apple internal 256gb SSD and no problems there either. But here's an interesting article.

 

ivnj

macrumors 65816
Dec 8, 2006
1,240
50
- - Post merged: - -

but it's not like not getting the new OS instantly turns your machine into a worthless hunk of junk.
Actually it does. Security updates only go back 2 systems. So on 2023 my mac mini 2014 will be useless. And if big sur is the last update then it is useless. Browsers will only support for so long. And others apps too. Even the high sierra my 2014 mini came with already feels dated.

I have a G5 IMAC sitting in my basement boxed, Useless now. No browsers or email or other main apps work. There is 104FOX. But all sites are not supported. And when they stop that the its mo good.
 
Last edited:
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.