Entry level Mac Mini (late 2014) too slow for Yosemite

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by ivassilis, Jun 4, 2015.

  1. ivassilis macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    #1
    I and only got it for light office work. It should at least run Yosemite decently. However, even Settings are slow to come up. The 1,4GHz or 4GB of RAM (non upgradeable after purchase) are probably inadequate for this version of OS X. Apple should never launch such a lousy combination. Will return it.
     
  2. ardchoille50 macrumors 68020

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    Feb 6, 2014
    #2
    I own the base model Mac mini 2012 and it runs Yosemite quite well. Perhaps and exchange instead of a return?
     
  3. hkoster1 macrumors regular

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    Jul 29, 2012
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    The Netherlands
    #3
    Your Mac Mini could run a bit slow at first because of Spotlight indexing your drive(s). I have the same 2014 base model and it runs Yosemite just fine, including a couple of VMware Fusion Linux VMs. Mind you, first thing I did after delivery of my new MacMini was to crack it open and replace that slow (indeed) 5400RPM HD with a 250GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD. (You could also use it as an external USB-3.0 boot drive.) Now it positively flies.
     
  4. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #4
    The hdd is what's causing trouble, not RAM or the CPU.
     
  5. magbarn macrumors 68000

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    Oct 25, 2008
    #5
    Agreed. Slap on a usb3 ssd and watch that sucker fly. MBA's with the same cpu are pretty decent machines. The difference is the ssd. Apple needs to strike all hdds as boot drives from their line ups.
     
  6. ivassilis thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    #6
    Thanks for the tip. This is my 3rd mac mini (I always buy the base model, it's a secondary machine) and was really surprised to see it run that slow. I will let Spotlight do its thing for a couple of days and re-evaluate then. An external SSD seems a nice idea, since you must (crack) open it now to get inside..
     
  7. scottsjack macrumors 68000

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    Aug 25, 2010
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    Arizona
    #7
    I would get a midrange model at the least. I'm stuck on i7s and 16GB RAM but in reality a lot of people get buy nicely with a mid i5 and 8GB RAM. Apple's base machines used to be OK deals for the money. Lately I wouldn't touch any of them. It's almost criminal to sell computers that will turn out to be disappointing. Come on Apple!
     
  8. Fishrrman, Jun 4, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2015

    Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #8
    OP wrote:
    'I and only got it for light office work. It should at least run Yosemite decently. However, even Settings are slow to come up. The 1,4GHz or 4GB of RAM (non upgradeable after purchase) are probably inadequate for this version of OS X. Apple should never launch such a lousy combination. Will return it.'

    In posting after posting on this board, I have written that no one - NO ONE - should buy the "entry level" Mini, and instead buy the "midrange" model with a 1tb fusion drive.

    The OP's post above vindicates my position.

    I'm going to guess that the OP never read any previous postings on the subject.

    OP:
    Your experience is not unusual.
    However...
    .... if you were to return the Mini you now have in exchange for the "midrange" model and add the option of a 1tb fusion drive (replacing the standard HDD), I predict you will enjoy a much more satisfying user experience....
     
  9. Graz9 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2014
    #9
    My brand new 2012 mini was absolutely unusable as a computer full stop. It was only intended for streaming iTunes but to use it for even surfing was SLOW AS HELL. This is only a dual core with 4GB.

    I put in an SSD and the difference is ridiculous. It is super fast now for all the basic stuff I use it for, email, surfing, light work etc.

    The 5400rpm HDD they put in them is horrendous.

    I am running latest Yosemite and I have never felt I had an issue with performance since the SSD.
     
  10. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #10
    His problem is the ssd. The mid range model also comes with an hdd.
     
  11. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    Dec 17, 2009
    #11
    It has nothing to do with 8GB of RAM or the i5 2.6ghz, it has to do with the hard drive. When spotlight indexes on a mechanical drive, the computer becomes almost useless (especially for the first indexing). It is all about the drive. Advising the OP to move to the Mid-model won't change this in the slightest and just waste his money.
     
  12. dollystereo macrumors 6502a

    dollystereo

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    Oct 6, 2004
    Location:
    France
    #12
    SSD problem here. The entry level CPU is fast enough. (it's really fast indeed).
    Return the machine, and get the fusion drive upgrade.
     
  13. MacVidCards Suspended

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    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #13
    I have purchased two of these machines. In both I replaced the HDD with an SSD and a PCIE Blade.

    Changes it from lethargic and sluggish, to a zippy machine that rarely shows a beachball. It is truly night and day.

    Ditch the 5,400 rpm boat anchor.
     
  14. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #14
    If you don't have an SSD, that's why.
     
  15. JaguarGod macrumors 6502

    JaguarGod

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    Mar 27, 2010
    #15
    I have a 2014 base model at the office for light work, no upgrades at all, and it runs Yosemite fine. I was actually quite pleasantly surprised how it runs Yosemite. I am sure with an SSD it would run so much better though. And more ram also. Here at the office we have a couple 2012 Mac Mini's with SSD's and they run Yosemite well also. The SSD makes quite a difference.
     
  16. srminton macrumors member

    srminton

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2008
    #16
    I bought the same model and had exactly the same problem. As suggested by others here, I then created an external SSD boot drive (Thunderbolt, but USB 3 should also work). This thing now flies! It runs at least as fast as the MacBook Air which has the same processor. The SSD really is the difference. I'm surprised that Apple still insists on selling computers with old HDDs, but I suppose it's because some customers buy a computer based on how much storage it has (so they think that a 500GB HDD is way better than a 128GB SSD). Anyway, creating an external boot drive is pretty easy, and it works great with the 2014 base model Mini!
     
  17. Dark Void, Jun 10, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2015

    Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    Jun 1, 2011
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    Cimmerian End
    #17
    I doubt it is the HDD. I have a 2012 i5 with a 5400 RPM drive and it's very snappy. My common programs (Photoshop, iTunes, Mail to name familiar ones, as well as many third party) launch in one bounce animation, basically a second or two. The Yosemite progress bar begins immediately on start-up and it takes about 25 seconds to arrive at the desktop with everything ready to go, and I have 3 start-up applications. It shuts down almost instantaneously, and restarts with a combination of the two.

    What I will say, and I hope this helps, is that when I had the stock 4GB of RAM installed in it, it wasn't "slow" but it was at least noticeably less quick in terms of operation before I added an aftermarket 8GB kit. I realize that the 2014 models have been neutered in that area, so perhaps at least an 8GB BTO configuration will help you out if you are still interested in the product line after your return.

    I realize that the HDD is more than likely always the prime suspect on everyone's mind, and not saying a SSD upgrade won't speed the experience up because it will, but this has been my experience with the same device, only slightly different model, and I hope it helps you.

    I think it is extremely ignorant to claim that the reason a computer doesn't run something that it is optimized for is because it doesn't have a SSD. The population seems quite spoiled by these becoming mainstream. I have used them and I still find mechanical drives to be more than viable, even though my clear opinion is that SSDs are superior in more than one aspect.
     
  18. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    Dec 17, 2009
    #18
    With the first few days, the hard drive is a major sticking point. Spotlight will index all files on a drive. What mechanical drives are bad at, is accessing a ton of little files since each file requires a seek. Seek times are exponentially worse on mechanical drives than on mechanical drives (SSD's are near instanteous). This means that the initial indexing takes exponentially longer. The issue is compounded when you try to actually use a Mechanical drive based Mac while that initial indexing is happening. Now the very slow drive has to not only try to feed spotlight all the files it needs, but also feed the user the files they need.

    An SSD will hide this issue with Spotlight because of the speed and near instantaneous seek times.

    Once the initial indexing is complete with the mechanical drive, then the RAM will start to be an issue, but again an SSD would hide the limitations of the 4GB since using an SSD as virtual RAM is considerably better than a Mechanical drive. Further with RAM compression introduced into OSX, 4GB isn't as terrible of an experience for most users as it used to be.
     
  19. scottsjack macrumors 68000

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    Aug 25, 2010
    Location:
    Arizona
    #19
    Totally agree. All three of my current machines, 2012 MBP, 2012 MP and Z230, are booting on the three M500 SSDs that I have had for a couple of years. My 2012 minis, ret. were always OK on the OEM HDDs. Things mainly got ugly with really big iPhoto, iTunes and Aperture libraries as well as with Photoshop HDRs and panoramas.

    For people without such huge libraries, hi-def music and BR movies basic HDDs are OK. 4GB RAM was about the same. If you are not going to do much on your computer not much RAM works fine. I put 16 GB in my minis. It was comforting to know that I always had a little too much RAM but never not enough.
     
  20. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    #20
    I understand, I read other posts about Spotlight indexing but I was simply sharing my experience. I agree with you, although I personally can't remember if I had experienced any issues due to this when I first got mine, and that's the only reason I didn't include it. My experience was that 4GB had been sufficient for average use (I upgraded as I needed) but those same "average" tasks were noticeably quicker in terms of operation with the 8GB kit installed.

    I don't want it to be misinterpreted that I am not "for" SSDs (not suggesting you're saying that, just reiterating). I have one and they are clearly far superior to mechanical drives but my opinion is that mechanical drives, even spinning at 5400RPM, are still viable today. They will still be relevant for some time I would argue, until the prices of SSDs continue to drop, in terms of storage space. I'm glad you share the same opinion with mechanical drives. I use Photoshop regularly, and while I don't use RAW files, I do load and edit quite large PSD files and the stock drive handles it well. After a cold start up, Photoshop takes just a bit more than one bounce animation to open, which I find extremely satisfying.

    I understand that for almost everyone - time is money, and specifically professionals in a computing based field, SSDs cut these load and start up times and those seconds become minutes and hours in the long term. I, personally however, do not mind waiting 25 seconds for my computer to start up as opposed to 5-10, and I don't mind 1 or 2 bounce animations instead of instantaneously opening a program.

    I monitored my RAM usage closely and with everything I have running at one time, it is typically between 2-3GB, and that's too close to the 4GB threshold that the system shipped with for me to feel comfortable. If I did one or two things out of the norm then it would start to affect the system negatively.
     
  21. MacVidCards Suspended

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    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #21
    Believe it or not, I am using an entry level 2014 Mini as a high end gaming machine.

    Other then the Titan-X via eGPU on TB2, the only other change was to remove the 5,400 rpm boat anchor and place a SATA SSD and also added a PCIE SSD blade I removed from a nMP. (256 GB)

    The machines are plenty fast, you just need to remove the one thing weighing it down.

    And, not wanting to be wasteful I even found a good use for the HDD.
     

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  22. ixxx69 macrumors 6502a

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    United States
    #22
    Yeah, they're still viable... in the same way a Toyota Tercel is viable as a car... it will still get you from point A to point B. But that's not the point. The OP complains about the performance, and it's not the CPU or RAM that is the problem... it's the HDD.
     
  23. themightyjaymoe macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 26, 2015
    #23
    My 2014 with 1.4 GHz 8gb of Ram runs Yosemite 10.10.2 500gb hdd with the full version of Avid Pro Tools 12 and several plug ins at the same time just fine. Granted everything from Pro Tools is written to an external drive, but my system is running as fast as it was when i bought it
     
  24. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    Jun 1, 2011
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    Cimmerian End
    #24
    I guess you didn't read my post at all.

    I explained that is typically the culprit but in my experience with an extremely similar computer it has not been. The point is that anything could be slowing it down, and I shared my experience and expressed opinions in order to attempt to help the OP.

    It could be a software issue, or indexing as mentioned. Do you honestly believe that a base model of a computer would be offered and shipped as a configuration if it was a choppy experience for the user without any issues being the cause?
     
  25. ixxx69 macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 31, 2009
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    United States
    #25
    I did read your post (and I've noticed a lot of your recent posts...), and it was thoughtfully written, but here's the issue... you're going by your experience, and I'm going by mine (and I have over 30 years of it... I was already a computer geek when a hard drive was still a rare thing), and this is the way I see it:

    Whether or not the OP's performance problems are just some initial indexing, software issues, etc., the very fact that the OP is complaining about it tells me that they are someone who is likely going to be dissatisfied with the HDD performance no matter how much it "clears" up.

    One thing everyone with extensive experience knows about HDD's is that the performance slows down with usage... within a year or two of normal usage, there will always be beach balls and the preference panel taking a few beats to open up at times. Without doing a complete profile writeup of the type of user the OP is, I can't know with certainty that the OP wouldn't be happy with an HDD, but chances are they won't be. I'm going with the percentages.

    To your final question, yes, Apple ships computers with HDD that are ultimately a poor experience for most users (though they often don't know that it's the HDD that's responsible). There are users who simply can't afford an SSD/FD, or usage/experience is so limited that they don't know or care. While I wouldn't recommend anyone purchase a computer with an HDD as a boot drive, people can buy whatever they want in the end, no skin off my back. ;-)

    Cheers!
     

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