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macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 11, 2008
Looking to buy a used 2012 Mac Mini that I can upgrade with 2x 8g RAM plus 2tb Samsung SSD and connect to an Apple Display.

Will this work ok, and what screen resolution is the older Mini model capable of outputting? Will I be able to obtain full screen resolution on the latest Apple Display?

Apart from web surfing, will mainly be used for home sharing music and movies, Lightroom and transcoding video files.

Will this set up be ok?

I understand that any later model will not be upgradeable? Any cheaper options?
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macrumors 6502a
Apr 14, 2016
Your setup looks great! The Quad Core 2012 Mac Mini is so much more machine than todays Mini's, but it's Achilles Heel is the HD4000. However you asked if it will drive the latest Apple Display and the answer is yes!
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Aug 26, 2014
And stick with Yosemite. If you're handy, you may want to get a drive-doubler SSD kit: Maybe a 250 or 500 GB SSD for OS/Apps and a 1 or 2 TB SSD for your LR catalog and media. If you want TRIM, get Disk Sensei or get Angelbird drives for "native" TRIM. Whatever you want. It's too bad that the max. RAM is 16GB on these, otherwise I'd be using 32GB. Best of luck.
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macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
2014 does not have upgradeable RAM, so order what you need up front. You can change the SATA drive and/or you can have a much faster PCIe blade drive. The GPU is faster than the 2012.

2012 cannot use PCIe blade as a drive, but you have two SATA interfaces. So you can replace the existing drive or get a drive doubler kit and have two drives. The GPU is slower than the 2014. Quad core models are available, which will make an enormous difference when transcoding video files...enormous. I am not overstating this. Video transcoding is one of the very few tasks that can make absolute use of every single bit of CPU speed and number of cores that you can throw at it.

I believe maximum resolution for both models is 2560x1600 over MDP/Thunderbolt. They will both drive an Apple display just fine.


macrumors 68000
Nov 9, 2015
Honolulu HI
I have the 2012 quad Mini and I had random kernel panics starting from 10.10.3 to 10.10.5 (10.10.2, where I started from, was stable). This was a Yosemite-HD4000 problem as others had the same problem. El Capitan 10.11.0 to 10.11.3 has been stable, except 10.11.3 started having kernel panics and freezes since Safari 9.1. This problem seems to be fairly widespread (and based on the posts here on macrumors, much more common than the Yosemite-HD4000 problem) but is much more consistent for the HD4000 (and thus preventable) than the Yosemite-HD4000 problems were.

So, I wouldn't use Yosemite (unless you plan to use 10.10.2) with the 2012 Mac. But you haven't mentioned what 2012 model you're planning on buying. I don't know if the Yosemite-HD4000 problems were limited to certain configurations or not.


macrumors 68000
Jan 26, 2008
Poznan, Poland
If you want TRIM, get Disk Sensei or get Angelbird drives for "native" TRIM
Just issue the command
sudo trimforce enable
in Terminal and reboot. no kext patching, is native system TRIM as Apple intended, does not need reapplying on system updates.
Also no reason whatsoever not to use El Capitan. I run three Minis of very similar configuration and they're more than happy with ElCap. In fact, they score slightly better in Geekbench and are just as responsive as in Yosemite in various scenarios, even running AutoCAD on my wife's Mini.
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