Long time reader, first time poster. Seen the same question popping up all over, but none of the posters requirements meet my own, so I thought I'd create another 'Which one is best for me?' post, so apologies in advance. I've been waiting for ~1 year for the Mac Mini to be refreshed ready to pull the trigger the second it came out, and now I'm not so sure which I'm best going for. The Mini will be based in my living room, connected to the TV, on 24/7, running Plex Home Theatre so it'll be the HTPC but it's also going to be running the Plex Media Server software too and transcoding to iPad/Nexus 5/Roku. It'll also be connected up to some form of DAS/External drive which will contain all my films and music (undecided on which device yet. Was leaning towards Drobo but the proprietary raid and possibility of losing data concerns me.... open to suggestions on this one) and I also want to stream music around the house to Sonus devices (this is an afterthought and it's primarily a HTPC/Plex Server) The fact it's going to be transcoding makes me think that the mid level 2012 mini is a no brainer, but I'm reluctant to pull the trigger on 2 year old tech so need some opinions. This'll be my first Mac purchase, and other than my iPad I got through work, my first Apple purchase too. My house isn't fully 'Appled Up' so I'm open to alternative devices, but the problems I see are:- Gigabyte Brix = Too loud Intel NUC = Dual core Zotac Z = Don't know much about these Noise is a concern about any device. The wife won't be happy if it's loud. She used to find the original PS3 which I used for DLNA streaming very offputting. Any advice on 2012 v 2014 for my purposes and/or any alternatives that I should consider would be appreciated. ---------- Also, just to add, upgrading it myself is something I'm comfortable doing, which is another reason I'm leaning towards the 2012 model.... my only concern is that if I go for the 2012 and opt for external TB storage, I'll be missing out on the TB2 port available on the 2014 model.