Going from Mac Mini 2011 to Late 2012

RandmTask

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 26, 2009
14
0
Hi,

I have a 2011 Mac Mini with 16gb RAM (2x8gb) and a 128gb SSD and thinking of replacing it with a 2012 Mac Mini

It runs plenty fast enough for what I need it to do mainly as a Plex Media Server, however I wanted to upgrade for USB3, Catalina and continuity features.

Just want to know if the RAM would be compatible if I take it out of the 2011 Mac Mini and put it in the 2012?

Also, I'm pretty sure the answer is no, but you couldn't just swap out the hard drives of the two machines and have it up and running immediately right?

Cheers,

RT
 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
4,238
1,899
New Jersey Pine Barrens
Sorry, don't know about the RAM. But I suspect you actually could swap drives and have it work. I was setting up my 2012 Mini several years ago, and had a clone of my 2013 MacBook Air with Sierra on a Samsung T3 external SSD. I was surprised when the 2012 Mini booted directly off that drive when it was connected. So I just cloned it to the Mini's internal SSD and am still using that installation today. :)
 
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nkawal

macrumors regular
Jan 12, 2011
168
28
NYC
Hi,

I have a 2011 Mac Mini with 16gb RAM (2x8gb) and a 128gb SSD and thinking of replacing it with a 2012 Mac Mini

It runs plenty fast enough for what I need it to do mainly as a Plex Media Server, however I wanted to upgrade for USB3, Catalina and continuity features.

Just want to know if the RAM would be compatible if I take it out of the 2011 Mac Mini and put it in the 2012?

Also, I'm pretty sure the answer is no, but you couldn't just swap out the hard drives of the two machines and have it up and running immediately right?

Cheers,

RT
I too would like to do the same. My 2011 mini is specd out sitting in a closet running Plex and iTunes server. I want to upgrade to something that can handle Catalina like my MacBook Pro.
 
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McTinker

macrumors newbie
Feb 10, 2020
7
2
The Mac Mini from 2011 usually comes with DDR3 1333Mhz memory, and the 2012 one with DDR3 1600Mhz. Physically they would fit, perhaps it woud start, but it's not the reliable configuration you want. Swapping the drive would probably work too (I wish I had the mm's to test that!). But if you want upgrade to Catalina, why not take the opportunity to do a clean install on a fresh and bigger SSD? Migrating your data between two working Mac Mini's is less risky than transferring the disk. And after transferring the disk, you end up with two Mac Mini with only one working. "Why not both?"
 

nkawal

macrumors regular
Jan 12, 2011
168
28
NYC
I don’t plan to move the drive over, I’ll start fresh. It’s just that the 2011 doesn’t support Catalina. 2012 and up only.
 

RandmTask

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 26, 2009
14
0
Thanks Everyone for your replies. I might upgrade the HDD also but I don’t really need much more than 120gb at the moment.
 

tpivette89

macrumors 6502
Jan 1, 2018
467
238
Middletown, DE
Both the SSD and RAM will transfer between the 2 machines with no issues. Just power down, swap, and power on. Easy.

However, the 2011 RAM is 1333mhz at best, and as such will be "slower" than what can be installed (1600mhz) in the 2012. That being said, you honestly won't notice a difference between 1333mhz and 1600mhz RAM in the 2012.

Just an FYI... the 2012 was the cutoff year for Mojave, and Catalina was carried over to those devices. There's no guarantee that the 2012 will be supported after 10.15. So there's a risk involved with purchasing a 2012 Mac as far as continued OS support beyond Catalina.
 
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dandeco

macrumors 6502
Dec 5, 2008
304
40
Brockton, MA
Just an FYI... the 2012 was the cutoff year for Mojave, and Catalina was carried over to those devices. There's no guarantee that the 2012 will be supported after 10.15. So there's a risk involved with purchasing a 2012 Mac as far as continued OS support beyond Catalina.
Yep, I am going to prepare for that once I've gotten enough money from an I.T. job. I'm going to buy a new Retina MacBook Air as my main laptop (as my current one is a late-2009 polycarbonate MacBook running MacOS 10.13 High Sierra), and if MacOS 10.16 won't be supported on my late 2012 Mac Mini, I will continue to use that as my desktop but also have the MacBook Air to run 10.16 on until the time comes for me to get a new Mac desktop.