Are you generally happy with your Mac Mini 2018?

satchmo

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Aug 6, 2008
2,254
2,060
Canada
I know we're a very picky and demanding lot here on MacRumours, but was wondering those who did buy the 2018 Mac Mini, how they have found it over the past year and a bit. Did it meet your needs or surprise you in anyway?

Need to purchase some gear before years' end...thinking this would be a nice little addition to my home business.
 

Toonartist

macrumors 6502
Sep 19, 2017
269
137
Newcastle Upon Tyne
Only had mine a month so can only offer a limited opinion.

System
i7, 32gb Ram,
Sonnet PCIe TB3 enclosure with a 1tb Samsung 970 Evo, (256gb internal SSD)
Razer Core X eGPU PowerColor Red Dragon Vega 56.

I sold a Mac Pro 2013 6 Core, d500 with 32gb Ram and wanted a system that could grow over time and be easily upgraded. I use it for photography, illustration and footage/motion graphics.

When I seen the new Mac Pro I knew it would be more than I wanted to spend for now. So far, this handles everything I throw at it with ease and I have the comfort of knowing I can easily upgrade each element and have the fastest Ports/Connections available (for now).

What surprises me is how small it is on it's own. Without the eGPU it's footprint is tiny... and is very quiet when not under heavy load. It offers a great modular system and from what little work I've done with it so far, it has done so with ease. Very happy.
 

Stephen.R

macrumors 68000
Nov 2, 2018
1,794
1,445
Thailand
Need to purchase some gear before years' end...thinking this would be a nice little addition to my home business.
you’re cutting it pretty fine on that point, no?

In general I’m quite happy with the Mini. A few niggly issues, and with the return to tower Mac Pros that aren’t crazily focussed on GPUs I expect it’ll be a single generation on the Mini train for me, but I’d absolutely recommend one if you want a mid-range desktop Mac sans display.
 

getrealbro

macrumors 6502
Sep 25, 2015
362
126
Hardware:
2018 i7 Mini w/ 32GB RAM & 256GB SSD (System + Current project(s))
BenQ EW3270ZL & DELL 2407WFP both via USBc
Satechi Type-C Aluminum Stand/USBc Hub, Cateck USB3.0 Hub
1TB External T5 (Data) , 8TB Seagate (Photos & iMovie libraries) 8TB Seagate (Time Machine)

Primary Usage:
Light Duty: Firefox, Mail, Calendar, TextEdit, Notes, VNC Viewer, Quicken/TurboTax/Excel (financial)
Heavier Duty: Photos (catalog photos and videos), Preview/Photoshop Elements (image processing) iMovie/Premier Elements (video processing), QuickTime (video viewing & trimming), Google Earth (mapping, aerial photo overlays, etc.), QGIS (GIS mapping)
24/7 Monitoring: Peak Hour 4, Intel Power Gadget, Activity Monitor

Satisfaction:
After decades as an Apple Computer user (I still own a Lisa) and despite its flaws (e.g. USB/Bluetooth foibles, and hardwired SSD), the 2018 Mac Mini is the ONLY current Mac I would buy (again). The i7 is overkill. But I plan on using this Mini for at least a decade. When my wife's late 2013 27" iMac dies, it will be replaced with a Mini.

GetRealBro
 
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tagumcity

Contributor
May 11, 2015
121
63
Scottsdale, Arizona
I’m content with the 2018 Mac mini and that it can be expanded through the thunderbolt 3 ports. With the development of the the iPad over the next few years this Mac mini will probably be my last desktop.
 

satchmo

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Aug 6, 2008
2,254
2,060
Canada
you’re cutting it pretty fine on that point, no?
Indeed it is! I was holding out for a new redesigned iMac or updated Mac mini this year, but that never materialized. Then I forgot about it until...this last week.

Glad to see most are generally happy. I guess one just has to have realistic expectations...especially with the built-in GPU.
 

LogicalVue

macrumors member
Aug 28, 2007
85
48
USA (Maine)
I’ve had mine since August. I got the i7, 1TB SSD and upgraded it to 64GB RAM. It replaced a 2009 Mac Pro and I love it so far. It’s tiny and nearly silent most of the time. I primarily use it for software development.
 
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Duncan68

macrumors 6502
Sep 22, 2018
279
205
I am very happy, but I'm just a home user who already had a nice monitor and didn't like the idea of an AIO. I also didn't want to buy a very expensive laptop with a sealed, degradable battery. I'm funny that way.

I mainly use it for lossless music playback and must admit I never got around to upgrading from 8GB of memory. I almost never see a slowdown.
 

macdos

macrumors 6502
Oct 15, 2017
251
317
It met expectations and requirements with mathematical precision.

Mac Mini was the proper replacement for my MacPro 2008. I do photography and shorter videos, design and typesetting, some coding and text work, a bit simulation, and I have no need for an eGPU.

I attached an external 8TB drive for storage, and do manual backups to old hard drives using an Icy Box. I use 2 x 4K screens at native resolution. I filled up the RAM, a necessity given shared VRAM and Catalina's erroneous memory handling.

I expect to keep it until 2028 or so.
 

jinnyman

macrumors 6502
Sep 2, 2011
442
425
Lincolnshire, IL
Love mine for what it does, but the problem with USB interfering with TB3 is annoying for port selection sometimes. Lack of dGPU is only area that I'm not fine with. It cannot handle (or doesn't handle well) 4k UI.
 
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yukari

macrumors 6502
Jun 29, 2010
457
207
My set up: i7, 8 GB (upgraded myself to 32 GB), 256 GB SSD, with 2 TB external via TB, LG 32" 4K UHD.

I've had this for about a year and an very happy with it.
 

MandiMac

macrumors 6502a
Feb 25, 2012
777
384
i5 with 256 GB SSD and 8 GB RAM. Runs 24/7 for remote sessions, TeamViewer, content creation and BOINC (World Communit Grid). Absolutely no problems so far.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
18,030
5,977
My 2018 Mini (i7, 16gb, 512gbSSD) is doing fine. I bought it as an Apple-refurb.

Only quirk is that it always goes through the "black screen at boot" for a second or so.
But then... it always "comes back on" and then proceeds normally.
I can live with that.

Mine runs on Mojave and will remain that way for its useful life.
I have too much older 32-bit software that I like to bother with Catalina, and the OS versions that will follow.
I don't particularly care for the way the Mac OS "is going", in any case.

However, I'll maintain a bootable EXTERNAL SSD with newer versions of the OS, just to have it around.
 
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macjunk(ie)

macrumors 6502a
Aug 12, 2009
908
504
Not happy with mine at all. However, this is the only Mac I would buy right now. Plenty of issues:
1) T2 crashes
2) Frequent trackpad disconnects
3) Frequent trackpad jitters
4) High temps (noticed the fans don't spin up even when the CPU cores hit 80C)
5) My external wired keyboard is not recognized every time the Mini wakes up. Have to re-connect
 

macdos

macrumors 6502
Oct 15, 2017
251
317
T2 is the messenger, not the cause. Your peripherals are the cause to all of your problems.

It is desgined to handle high temps. If it would make you feel better, you can install Macfanscontrol to blow more air, but it doesn't mean anything in practice.

Not happy with mine at all. However, this is the only Mac I would buy right now. Plenty of issues:
1) T2 crashes
2) Frequent trackpad disconnects
3) Frequent trackpad jitters
4) High temps (noticed the fans don't spin up even when the CPU cores hit 80C)
5) My external wired keyboard is not recognized every time the Mini wakes up. Have to re-connect
 

MevetS

macrumors member
Dec 27, 2018
32
11
Earth
Yes I am.

I'm coming from a Mac Pro 2010. Now, I've only had it a week or so. But other than the well known black screen issue with eGPU (for which I've found a solution that works for me) I've had no issues with the Mini. My bluetooth keyboard and Magic Trackpad v1 work better with the Mini.
 

Wolf1701

macrumors member
Sep 16, 2006
62
43
I5, 256, 32... 24/24 securityspy encoding h265 with 4 cam, plex server, file server... removed the bottom, the antenna and placed a noctua 200 mm under it. I love it.
 

tpivette89

macrumors 6502
Jan 1, 2018
453
230
Newark, DE
It's about 14 months old... hardly 2 years yet.

Mine works great for its use case. The wife has it connected to our living room 55" 4k TV and uses it for web browsing, streaming, and the like. Looks up recipes from the kitchen and watches youtube/netflix/hulu/apple TV+ from afar. Upgraded the RAM to 16gb and it handles the large(dish) display perfectly. Apple magic mouse and keyboard (version 2) never have a problem connecting or disconnecting. Specs are: i5/16gb/256gb. Heres a photo before we got furniture in the room (you can see it on the shelf in the background).

. IMG_2579.JPEG
 
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Toonartist

macrumors 6502
Sep 19, 2017
269
137
Newcastle Upon Tyne
T2 is the messenger, not the cause. Your peripherals are the cause to all of your problems.

It is desgined to handle high temps. If it would make you feel better, you can install Macfanscontrol to blow more air, but it doesn't mean anything in practice.
Agree.

One added benefit of the external eGPU & SSD is that the CPU doesn't heat them up and vice versa. I use iStat menus and can see the temperature of each of them and even though the internal drive is not in use, it quickly heats up to a similar temp as the in use external drive when processing 4k/motion graphics etc. I can comfortably maintain 4.2 - 4.5gHz for longer periods of time now with temperatures sitting at 80-85c.
 

macjunk(ie)

macrumors 6502a
Aug 12, 2009
908
504
T2 is the messenger, not the cause. Your peripherals are the cause to all of your problems.

It is desgined to handle high temps. If it would make you feel better, you can install Macfanscontrol to blow more air, but it doesn't mean anything in practice.
Not a single peripheral is attached to the Mini.. unless you count the monitor attached via HDMI as one.

But consistent high temps are not going to be good for the Mini I thought? I use istat menus to ramp up the fans anyway but it has become a noisy machine right now
 

jw1806

macrumors newbie
Nov 10, 2018
4
1
Have a 2018 (i7 / 16 GB / 512 GB) that I use with a Dell 4K monitor and it works really well!

I did try to run it booted from a Samsung X5 for the first month or so and had a lot of issues.

The X5 ran pretty hot and I think it would sometimes end up throttling down the r/w speeds to reduce heat...not great for a boot drive!

After I started booting from the internal SSD, things have been working great. Am still using the X5 to run VMs and Docker, and haven’t seen any throttling since.