MacMiniUpgrader

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 6, 2019
33
21
i love my mini, i started with 8gn ram and an rx 580 and its made my work flow easy, finally got around to upgrading and maxing the system specs out
 

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Mac... nificent

macrumors 6502a
Nov 20, 2012
864
440
I have had every mini since the first version (except for 2014). I have always LOVED them!

The 2018 model is the first one that I'm disappointed with.
 
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Meatsuit

Contributor
Nov 29, 2018
82
35
North America
2018 Mini i7/500/8 upgraded the ram to 32gb and got an RX580 eGPU. Really like TB3. Have a few external GDrive SSD that is fast and reliable.
Pretty happy overall. i7 runs hot when pushed hard. A fan base and Macs fan control fixed that. The boot prosses in Catalina is a little wonky with the eGPU but it works with a second screen. Had Bootcamp working with Mojave pretty good. BootCamp was not workable for me with the eGPU and Catalina. Got a new Alienware gaming box so Bootcamp is not needed. The Mini is no gaming rig when compared to Anything else.
Looking to get a second 2018 Mini to upgrade my 2014 headless Mini that is dedicated to Security Spy NVR software and IP cams. HATE my 2014 Mini i5/500/8. Slow from day one. Even with a hard drive upgrade. POS. I would like to retire it with a hammer and a torch. But with probability donate it.
Also had a 2012 Mini i5 and 2010 Mini Core 2 Duo liked both a lot at the time.
 
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MaskedCarrot

macrumors 6502
Mar 25, 2009
292
85
Northern VA
2018 Mini i7/500/8 upgraded the ram to 32gb and got an RX580 eGPU. Really like TB3. Have a few external GDrive SSD that is fast and reliable.
Pretty happy overall. i7 runs hot when pushed hard. A fan base and Macs fan control fixed that. The boot prosses in Catalina is a little wonky with the eGPU but it works with a second screen. Had Bootcamp working with Mojave pretty good. BootCamp was not workable for me with the eGPU and Catalina. Got a new Alienware gaming box so Bootcamp is not needed. The Mini is no gaming rig when compared to Anything else.
Looking to get a second 2018 Mini to upgrade my 2014 headless Mini that is dedicated to Security Spy NVR software and IP cams. HATE my 2014 Mini i5/500/8. Slow from day one. Even with a hard drive upgrade. POS. I would like to retire it with a hammer and a torch. But with probability donate it.
Also had a 2012 Mini i5 and 2010 Mini Core 2 Duo liked both a lot at the time.

How you like your Alienware machine? I am still debating on whether to return my Mini and get an Alienware r9, but just can't make up my mind.

I don't PC game anymore, and the power would probably goto waste on me, but still, a killer PC system for the same price I paid for the mini is tempting.
 
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iAssimilated

Contributor
Apr 29, 2018
708
2,052
the PNW
I absolutely love my 2018 Mac mini (specs are in my signature). It does everything I ask it to do with ease (even gaming). I love the flexibility the mini provides (ie with TB3 and an eGPU I can upgrade the video card in the future when my Vega 56 gets long in the tooth, the desktop class processor provides more than enough power, I like the fact I can upgrade the RAM, and [again] with TB3 I can expand the storage almost limitlessly). It can run hot depending on how hard you push it, but you can get creative on the cooling: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/cooling-solutions-for-the-mac-minis.2157182/

I am staying on Mojave at the moment because I have had zero issues with 10.14 (why fix it if it ain't broken) and I am a bit hesitant on replacing iTunes with Music.

Having owned three different generations of mini's, I am by far the most impressed with the 2018 model.
 
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monkeybongo

macrumors regular
Sep 13, 2007
131
56
Canada
Bought the 2018 i5. I was planning on getting an external thunderbolt NVME, 32GB of ram and eGPU but the machine work pretty good so far. I just added a tiny Seagate 500GB external SSD over USB 3.0 for $50 and likely just 16GB of RAM.
 
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AdamJohnG

macrumors regular
Mar 30, 2019
110
25
Malaga, Spain
I got a good deal on a standard i5 with 256GB/8GB and upgraded it to 32GB from Crucial before even initiating it the first time.

Connected by HDMI to a Dell U3818DW running native at 3840x1600 at 60 Hz with which I have no issues except that the volume controls on the keyboard doesn't change the volume of the monitor's speakers. I am waiting on a USB-C cable to do a direct connection to the monitor's USB-C input as I have read that might solve the issue.

There is a lot of talk about the Intel graphics not being powerful enough for big monitors. My experience is that if you stay with monitor's that use their native resolutions it is fine. I do not do much photographic work and practical zero video work and am very happy with the monitor's image and do not miss having gone 4K and then needing it to be scaled down.

The only other small problem I have had is that a couple of times it has not found my Magic Mouse 2 when starting up, and I have had to plug in a USB mouse to log-in, from then it goes fine. I have read this same problem elsewhere.

I also have connected a 500GB TB3 Samsung X5 for additional storage - as fast as the internal SSD.

All in all I am happy and satisfied.

I still have a Mac mini 2014 i5/8GB that now has a 500GB Samsung SSD and a Sabrent Rocket 256GB NVMe.
 
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Meatsuit

Contributor
Nov 29, 2018
82
35
North America
How you like your Alienware machine? I am still debating on whether to return my Mini and get an Alienware r9, but just can't make up my mind.

I don't PC game anymore, and the power would probably goto waste on me, but still, a killer PC system for the same price I paid for the mini is tempting.

I wouldn't trade my Mini for the Dell. I like Mac's OS, it works better for me. I had some fantasy that I was going to use Bootcamp and play games on the Mini. Found the Mini with Bootcamp and an eGPU it's stupid.
The Alienware is an Aurora R9 i7-9700, 16, 512-NVMe, RTX1080. It's nice. No issues. Doom Eternal plays great. I wish I had more time to game. Windows 10 is Bla... OK. Found a good deal on Slickdeals using Deal Alert.
 
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macdos

macrumors 6502a
Oct 15, 2017
513
788
Why the disappointment?

I've used everything from IIfx to iMac, Mac Book and Mac Pro, and MM 2018 has easily been the best experience.

I have had every mini since the first version (except for 2014). I have always LOVED them!

The 2018 model is the first one that I'm disappointed with.
 
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stillcrazyman

macrumors 68040
Oct 10, 2014
3,685
29,466
Exile
I replaced a Late 2012 iMac 27 with the 2018 Mini i7/32GB, 1TB SSD. I've added an Asus XG Station Pro with a Vega 56 card. I run a 32" 4k monitor for photography editing.

Other than random bluetooth disconnects with the trackpad and keyboard, no real issues. Except for the eGpu which annoys me to no end having to switch inputs from HDMI to DP just to get it to work.

If my needs were a bit less demanding for graphics work, I'd be more than satisfied with the Mini setup.

I don't think I'd go this route again though.
 
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mctrials23

macrumors 6502a
Sep 19, 2013
507
501
Why the disappointment?

I've used everything from IIfx to iMac, Mac Book and Mac Pro, and MM 2018 has easily been the best experience.

I find this odd too. I have a 2020 Mac Mini and I love it. Bags of power for what I do (programming). Upgraded the RAM myself to 32GB for £120 and now I have a machine that is much faster than the 2018 15" macbook pro it replaced, doesn't sound like a jet taking off 90% of the time and I'm not waiting for the day it breaks due to awful thermal management.

The macbook pros I have had since 2016 have always disappointed me in a major way. Be it the keyboard, touchbar, power or thermal management. The mac mini hasn't disappointed me at all apart from when I was running it with 8GB RAM while waiting for the 32gb to arrive. My workflow asks far too much of 8GB ram especially on an integrated GFX card and 2 full 4K monitors so I can't really blame the MM for that.

The 2018 MBP this has replaced is currently getting sent to be repaired because the battery has swollen after less than 2 years of very careful care. Apple refused to repair it for free because apparently a year is reasonable for a £2500 laptop to last and after that its not their concern. Even though the 2016 model has an acknowledged issue with the battery, the 2018 is fine... Having god awful thermal management that causes constant throttling even with the fans on full doesn't damage any components or reduce their lifespan apparently.
 
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phoenix-mac-user

macrumors regular
Sep 21, 2016
103
88
I have a 2018 i5 with 32GB memory and an RX570 egpu. I got it to replace a 2009 Mac Pro tower that I ran into the ground and upgraded as far as I could. So far, I am very pleased.

The mini with the eGPU is much faster than my old tower (backed up by the Geekbench stats) and I think the TB3 allows for quite a bit of upgradability. Was originally holding out for a new Mac Pro and then gave up (only for them to finally announce a couple months later) but I think my $1200 investment in the Mini fits my needs better than spending 5k on the lowest level Mac Pro.
 
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drmeatball

macrumors member
Aug 3, 2019
79
55
Ellicott City, MD
I may have the most tricked out Mini there is short of Cupertino.. or pretty close to it. i7 64GB, Radeon VII EGPU, 16TB SSD (2TB internal, 2TB NVME TB3, 2x2TB NVME USB-C, 2x 4TB SATA USB-C). 9TB Raid5 (Final Cut), 2 8TB (1 for Time Machine, the other is a backup for the RAID 5). CalDigit TB3 dock adds more USB-C ports, have a 16 port USB3 hub about half full. Myriad of other <2TB SSD/HDD/BluRay drives.

Audio and video production. It's a beast.
 

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Erehy Dobon

Suspended
Feb 16, 2018
2,162
1,991
No service
I have a refurbished 2018 i7 with 16 GB RAM (Mojave) and a Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box + Sapphire Pulse RX 580 (8GB). The eGPU was acquired last week primarily for goofing off with Davinci Resolve.

At some point I might acquire an inexpensive (<$1000) Wintel PC (similar form factor to my Mac mini) with Thunderbolt 3 but I haven't found a great candidate yet.
 
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Treq

macrumors 6502a
Apr 23, 2009
715
876
Santa Monica, CA
Disappointed with my 2018 mini with i7 6 core. I had the 2009 mini, and the 2012 quad core i7 mini and loved them. Skipped the 2014 mini because of the soldered memory. Bought the 2018 on the news that you could once again swap memory, but didn't hear that the ssd was not swappable. So I got the minimum and regret it. Also, I have the same bluetooth problem as many do and another problem where it won't recognize my monitor when rebooting. I have to unplug the power and wait 10 seconds every time. Worst mini yet in my opinion. Also it doesn't seem all that much faster than my 2012 mini. At least it will display in 4k... so there is that.
 
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CharlesShaw

macrumors 6502a
May 8, 2015
681
654
After a month with my refurb 2018 base model, I'm thinking it's probably more than I need, but it's also the minimum I could buy, as I'm in love with the 4K monitor I bought for working from home during the pandemic. Since 2006, my MM's were only ever connected to my TV. This is my first desktop setup since 2004 and I'm enjoying MacOS a lot more now. I'm sure I'm not the only one who set up a desktop and even bought a desk this year.
 
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DoubleFlyaway

macrumors 65816
Nov 16, 2017
1,426
2,159
I have the base model 2018 and I’m perfectly happy. I’ve been using just an iPad Pro for two years and was happy with that until I decided I wanted a bit more professional setup for my LSAT tutoring business than I cared about when I was working for someone else. But that shows you that my tech needs are not super advanced. Really the only thing I am gaining is more extensive multitasking ability. But I’m enjoying my new setup!
 
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Em St

macrumors newbie
May 31, 2020
21
11
got a 2020 i7 swapped 32gb crucial into it. It’s good and all. I have a triple 4K 60hz setup. Had issues with the HDMI, whitch disappointed me. Found a srtable workaround though and now I am satisfied but sceptical
 
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colin warburton

macrumors member
Jun 5, 2011
74
5
Yorba linda, Ca
I love my 2018 mini. I use it for video editing, web browsing, and sometimes gaming. Its my replacement from the ol mac pro 5’1 tower, and it also replaces my 2012 mini. Specs i7 3.2GHZ, 32GB RAM, 1Tb ssd. I also use a razor chroma x with an rx580 from the mac pro i had. I use bootcamp to game sometimes. Were talkin pcsx2, While i hate the buggy drivers, the new fast insider build has fixed my egpu issues.
 
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WickedPorter

macrumors 6502
Sep 28, 2012
274
220
Just built my "work from home" rig using a Mac Mini:
  • Mac Mini (2018) i7 6 core, 1TB SSD, upgraded to 64GB RAM
  • Razer Core X with 5700 XT
  • CalDigit TS3+ thunderbolt dock/hub (mostly for accessibility, the Mac Mini is a bit tucked away)
  • (2) Dell P2715Q 4K monitors, (1) Dell P2415Q 4K monitor
Cinebench R20 score average 2989 (4 tests, 2 minutes apart)

Working very well for me so far, other than the occasional black screen at startup using the eGPU. Since I don't have to reboot all that often, it's not a big deal... can get it to work by unplugging the Razer Core X TB3 cable, powering on, waiting a few seconds and plugging it in. Hopefully this is fixed in a future software update.
 
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mini5apple

macrumors member
Jun 2, 2020
39
6
the mac mini i have purchased doesnt seem to work with a none 4k monitor pleasantly ( havent tried one yet) causing eye pains and fatigue quickly

kind of defeats the object of buying a cheaper mac for audio etc

i use the mac for basic streaming and audio nothing taxing for the onboard graphics


is the mm just to be used as a server?
 
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ashleykaryl

macrumors 6502
Jul 22, 2011
353
146
UK
The 2018 MBP this has replaced is currently getting sent to be repaired because the battery has swollen after less than 2 years of very careful care. Apple refused to repair it for free because apparently a year is reasonable for a £2500 laptop to last and after that its not their concern. Even though the 2016 model has an acknowledged issue with the battery, the 2018 is fine... Having god awful thermal management that causes constant throttling even with the fans on full doesn't damage any components or reduce their lifespan apparently.


@mctrials23 My daughter has an 2018 MBP so I am very aware of the issues you cite. We found that placing a fan controlled cooling pad underneath in normal use has made a tremendous difference. The fans no longer rev up like a jet engine at the first sign of activity and it seems a lot more composed. It can pretty much run all day like a desktop now.

Time will tell with the battery, but I do wonder about the high number of cycles it has accumulated in a relatively short period. This replaced a 2017 MBP under warranty that was an absolute disaster and it really put me off buying an Apple laptop. Given the sort of work I am doing the mini seemed like the only real alternative now that the Mac Pro is starting to look old. So far it's working well but I've only had it a short time. The temperatures get a bit high under load compared to the Mac Pro.
 
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