How long can a Mac Mini actually last?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by BlindSoul, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. BlindSoul macrumors 6502

    May 30, 2010

    I've been wondering about how many years can a Mac Mini 2010 last?
    I'm using it daily so it might effect.
    By the way, Do you guys clean it sometimes? If so how?
  2. iStudentUK macrumors 65816


    Mar 8, 2009
    It is nearly impossible to say. Some will break in the first few months (lemons) and some could last many years (but they become out of date). I think 3 years is a reasonable length of time to expect/hope one to last. Then it will be getting a bit old anyway. However, most of it is just luck.

    Don't worry about using it daily, computers are there to be used. Just don't encode 1080p video whilst watching youtube for 23 hours a day!
  3. mdgm macrumors 6502a

    Nov 2, 2010
    If using it as a primary machine one could delegate it to other tasks once it's no longer fast enough to be a primary machine. These things can last for years and years. I have two 09 Minis. I expect that if I want to, I should be able to use them for years to come.
  4. lfc321 macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2011
    It's anecdotal I know, but all of the macs I've ever had have lasted extremely well. Still have a 1991 Classic II, a 1999 iMac DV and an early 2005 mini all in perfect working order.

    Of course they date and will be replaced by newer and faster machines over time. I agree that 3 years is a realistic upgrade cycle for your main machine, but there's no reason why the mini won;t last much longer than that.
  5. jdreier macrumors member

    Dec 20, 2010
    I have one of the first intel mac minis. From 06 I believe. It's currently set up as a HTPC and is on 24/7. It does get a lot of encoding and web streaming and itunes use daily. So far it's been going strong. The HD did crash on it, which I replaced with a SSD. I expect to get a few more years from it as a htpc.

    Like others said, you usually end up replacing a machine due to it becoming outdated or too slow than it simply no longer working.
  6. DustinT macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2011
    Having replaced the harddrive with an SSD you'll be in good shape moving forward. You've eliminated one of the major points of failure.
  7. MacBookPr0 macrumors regular

    Feb 5, 2011
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    If your willing to repair them to a point, as long as te costs don't out weigh a new one
  8. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    Still running a 350Mhz B&W G3 as my router/gateway and DNS, mail, and web server (10.2 Jaguar Server).

    It's been running 24/7 for going on 8+ years (except for the odd power outage out lasting the UPS).

    One of these days it'll get replaced by a 933Mhz G4 with 10.5 Server. Mostly because of improvements in mail service.

    I wouldn't worry too much about the Mini itself. The HDD or optical might need work at some point, but even then you might be surprised (the B&W's HDDs have been running for most of the last 8+ years).

    Although I'm running some vintage h/w for the servers (and have a moderate collection of classic and PPC models), we do have fairly late model Intel portables, iPads, and iPhones for our individual needs. I just don't need a lot of horsepower for the server.
  9. Aegelward macrumors 6502a

    Jul 31, 2005
    My 08 Mini died just a few days ago...

    Right now i'm jugging between getting a new Mini or a Streaming box, although none of them match the capacities of having a 'real' computer.
  10. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Feb 13, 2009
    United Kingdom
    I still have an Original G4 Mini in use as my iTunes Server (Audio), and its been in full-time use since Feb 2005. Thats on 24/7, and in use for 12-14 hours a day. Only difference between it and most Mac Minis is that it is running Leopard Server (Panther Server -> Tiger Server -> Leopard Server has been its OS history), and isn't ever really touched except to add CDs to my iTunes library on it.

    Just as a side note: If you can Id go with a Dual 867 G4 over a single 933, just because OS X 10.5 Server eats CPU cycles like no other. (My G4 Mini 1.25 is noticeably slower under 10.5 Server than under 10.4 - the effect is much less noticeable on my Dual 867 MDD)
  11. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000


    Jan 8, 2008
    Tampa, Florida
    A well cared for mini can last as long as you want it to. The mini has the best overall reliability record of the Macintosh line, and that's saying something. My mini's been on 24/7, in use around 12 hours a day since March of 2009, and it's yet to have a single issue. I expect to be able to use it as my primary desktop for around another two years (8GB of RAM helps, along with a nice fast HDD), and after that it will continue to serve me as a secondary machine or server.
  12. Jef88 macrumors newbie

    Mar 23, 2011
    It's impossible to say how long it will last.

    My mother bought a Windows p.c in 2001, and she spend 9 years with that thing. The only reason she replaced it was because things like youtube and multitasking requires more processing and RAM than a 9 your old p.c

    The Mac is probably the same, you can replace it when you think the hardware is outdated.
  13. Kebabselector, Apr 20, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011

    Kebabselector macrumors 68030


    May 25, 2007
    Birmingham, UK
    My early intel mini (1.66 ghz) has been on most of the time since I bought it in August 2006 - I thought I broke it the other day when I installed a 500gb hdd in as I was getting a ? Folder on boot up - turns out I forgot I setup a firmware password (removing a memory module helped me boot up!)

    So to answer your question, I don't know how long your mini will last - but based on experiences with most Mini owners it'll be fine.
  14. SideStepSociety macrumors 6502


    Feb 12, 2011
    Vancouver, BC
    My late '06 is still running, albeit not as good as it once did.

    The combo drive died (or at least, when it's connected, the computer won't boot.), the Airport card is failing/failed, it only stays connected if it's within a couple feet of the router, if it's far away, it stays connected, then over a short amount of time, the signal starts dropping until it can't even pick up a connection anymore.

    But other than that, it's been a real trooper. Still using it as my HTPC, hooked up to my 46" Sony Bravia rear projection TV. I'm really impressed by it, but also disappointed that things are failing. Been considering replacing them, but with my luck, the root issue of these things dying is probably something bigger, although the computer performs just fine.
  15. cherry su macrumors 65816

    cherry su

    Feb 28, 2008
    You can use compressed air to clean the unit.
  16. btbrossard macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    I find the 2010 mini's tend to collect a bit of dust on the inside. I don't know if it's the smaller vents (due to it's small size) or the slower speed of the fan, but dust seems to go in but not come out.

    I've blown out the inside of my 2010 mini a few times since it's purchase (August 2010). It stays on 24/7 though, so if that's all I have to do, that's fine.

    The first sign that dust may be building up (for me, at least) is that the optical drive takes longer to recognize inserted media.
  17. zap2 macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
    I have one of the original Intel Ones, so thats early '06...HDD died on me a while ago, but thats always something I can see myself wanting to get a better part for.
  18. LocoStrange macrumors member

    Aug 18, 2010
    Basically what the answer is...

    it will last until you think it is outdated or it actually dies. Whatever comes first but probably the first will occur with any technology.
  19. theferret macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2011
    I've just taken delivery of a 2006 1.66 Core Duo Mac Mini. First thing I did was pop off the case and blow out the dirt with my compressor.

    Machine seems in good working order although the Wifi reception is not great, I think this is more a design issue than "wear and tear".

    I also have a ibook clamshell 466 from c.2000 and an ibook g3 dual usb from 2001 which both work fine.

    I still use my Amiga 500+ sometimes from 1991 and that works great still :)
  20. sfphoto macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2010
    Another vote for reliability. Our office has a 2005, never had a blip. Gets turned off once a week.
  21. mrrippey macrumors regular

    Apr 7, 2009
    Just an FYI

    I have an original Mac Cube (with the original 20GB HDD) is running everyday, since 2000. Now it is used for browsing and some Office documents and it runs decently. If you are going to use it not as a gaming machine, you can keep it for a long time.

    My Cube is running on OSX 10.4 but everything still works on her. I'm waiting for the new Mac Mini to buy one.

  22. iZac, May 6, 2011
    Last edited: May 6, 2011

    iZac macrumors 68000


    Apr 28, 2003
    I passed my old 1.25 G4 mac mini to my dad, who still uses it daily for the limited amount of email / browsing he does, as well as some light inDesign work.

    I notice it's slow when I visit, but it's certainly not unusable and that machine is what ... 6 years old?
  23. kazmac macrumors 603


    Mar 24, 2010
    On the silver scream
    very encouraging

    I've been uncertain about my next Mac (sister is inheriting my iMac) and I thought I was going to go MBA but I have been reading about how reliable the minis are and that is so great to hear. A part of me can't let the desktop element go (I hate trackpads). I would be using it for document/script/novel creation, light photo and video editing.

    As I am already gathering peripherals, the Mini might be my new 'Mac' of choice > especially since they seem to be lasting a good 5 or six years for other folks. For the price you can't beat such longevity. The fact that I can choose my own monitor, speakers etc. is another plus esp. since the iPad seems to cover my portable needs.

    I wasn't quite ready for the Mini last year, but seeing how my iMac and MBPs are utter overkill (and MBA is real expensive) I'll be waiting :).

    Thanks for posting such a positive thread. :)
  24. lamerica80 macrumors 6502a


    May 22, 2008
    Well my 09 mini has been running pretty much 24/7 for almost 2 years and is still as snappy as when it was doubting it will ever break. Wont stop me from upgrading to an ¨11 mini though if it ever comes out! :)

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