Is it REALLY worth paying a premium for a 2012 model over a 2014 model?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by MST, Feb 12, 2016.

  1. MST macrumors 6502

    MST

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    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    #1
    We're in the process of having our house renovted and extended and part of the project is to install the Control4 smart home automation system; part of this install will include the addition of an "AV hub" in a rack in the loft space that will serve the whole house.

    I've been using Plex Media Server with great success over for the last few years by streaming direct from the various iMacs I've had in that time to our smart TVs, but have decided that I'd really like to install a Mac mini in the rack with the addition of a bluetooth extender so that I can use the mini for both Plex and as a normal desktop system; albeit remotely, via the TV.

    I've been researching my options over the last couple of days and initially came to the conclusion that I needed a Core i7 2.6 GHz because I didn't like the idea of not being able to upgrade the hardware with the newer models. Then I saw the prices! Even if I was prepared to purchase the ever so slightly lower spec Core i7 2.3 GHz I'd still be looking at paying as much as 75% of the price of a brand new mini with AppleCare.

    Am I mad for considering paying more for an older model that either is or is going out of warranty just because I can upgrade the RAM and HDD?
     
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #2
    Don't bother with the late 2012 model.

    Get a well-equipped 2014 Mini.
    Get either 8gb or 16gb of RAM at purchase, and buy it with either a fusion drive or SSD.

    And I write this as someone who -owns- a late 2012 model.
     
  3. MrAverigeUser macrumors 6502a

    MrAverigeUser

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    #3
    No, you are not mad at all to look for the 2012 model, you are smart.
    Regard the link in my signature and some threads like "Old vs new MBP" and so on. All arguments were already exchanged.
     
  4. Fancuku macrumors 6502a

    Fancuku

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    #4
    Paying 75% of new price for a 4 year old machine makes no sense to me. Plus the HD4000 graphics are terrible.
    I'd buy a new 2014 if I were you unless you really need (not just want) the quad i7.
     
  5. MrAverigeUser, Feb 12, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2016

    MrAverigeUser macrumors 6502a

    MrAverigeUser

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    #5
    Sorry, but this is misinformation at its worse...…. the market is more like that:

    I bought a 15" MBP model of late 2012 only 2 months ago for 1000 EUR second hand. Price was one of the highest in the market, but it still had one full year of apple care with it! Was as-new, assembled in 2013 (one of the last ones, AND with the fantastic mat (!) HiRes Screen). Had to upgrade it for only 340 EUR with a 1TB top-SSD (Samsung 840) and a 16 GB RAM kit for about 90 EUR. That took not even 15 min.

    Altogether the bottom line is: 1.430 EUR with nmaxed upgrades. It runs rapid and perfectly.
    while the new MBP with the same configuration costs 3.209 EUR in the apple shop. By the way: I purchased a 15" MBP late 2011 with a SATA II SSD (only 512 GB) and 8 GB RAM for about 3.200 EUR. So - Either you are comparing apples with pears or you don´t know what you´re talking about. All non-retina MBP models are fully upgradable, that is a great advantage. And the performance of the 2012 Modell is just 14 percent less than that of the 2015 model! So - NO difference in real life at all.

    BUT: The "old" MBP has still Optical by, but can also be upgraded with a second SSD or HDD, has still a FW800 connection. And NO clearing retina-Screen full of reflections.

    When prices of discontinued products go up there is always a good reason for that - as is the case for the pre-solder/glue generation of apple products. As is also now for "old", classic MacPros 2008-2012… prices go up…

    SO compare by yourself:

    The same configurations (16 GBRAM and 1 TB SSD) show dramatic different prices:

    NEW PRICE 2011 MBP (but only 8GB and 512 SSD) -----------------> 3.200 EUR (apple shop)
    Upgraded 2012 Model (1 TB, 16GB RAM plus Optical bay in it) ----> 1.430 EUR
    NEW 2015 Model (Glued battery, soldered RAM and SSD)----------> 3.209 EUR (apple shop)


    Since the DVD/CD bay costs about 200 EUR this should even be added for the "original" models, making them even more expensive.

    So its less than 45% (more around 40%) of the new price, but fully functioning and always ungradable/repair-friedly MBP. You can even buy and upgrade TWO and a half "old" MBP for the price of a soldered/Glued one without Opticaöl bay or for the price of the less equipped 2011 model once it was new.

    The 4000GPU works fine as does the dGPU. The dGPU can fail - but this is also the case in all later MBPs. And even in the NEW Trash-Can-style MacPros (apple just started a repair program) .

    If the GPU opt the MBP fails -there are 3rd party services who solder in anew dPU for about 200 EUR.
     
  6. Fancuku macrumors 6502a

    Fancuku

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    #6
    BS is paying 75% of new price for a 4 year old machine.

    kthxbai
     
  7. jpietrzak8 macrumors 6502a

    jpietrzak8

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    Dayton, Ohio
    #7
    Well, yes, the prices of the 2012 models are staying very high just because they have advantages over the 2014 models. :)

    If you can predict exactly what role the machine will play for the entirety of its operating life, and you don't need the power of a 4-core CPU, there is really no downside with choosing a 2014 Mini. Certainly, a media center PC doesn't need huge amounts of CPU power, nor amazing amounts of RAM, nor (to be honest) even an SSD. Even a low-end 2014 Mini should do a decent job. But, if you ever want to use the PC for other purposes in the future, you may find the flexibility of the 2012 models to be advantageous...
     
  8. MrAverigeUser, Feb 12, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2016

    MrAverigeUser macrumors 6502a

    MrAverigeUser

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    #8

    edit: erased because I was WRONG about prices (erroneously thought it was about MBP, not MacMini)
     
  9. chrfr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #9
    This thread is about Mac Minis, not Macbook Pros.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 12, 2016 ---
    If you don't truly need the CPU power from the quad i7– and it sounds like you don't– the old Minis are not worth the premium for you. I echo the suggestions that tell you to get an SSD or fusion drive installed, and be certain you have enough RAM for anything you may need. If you can wait another month, I would wait to see if the rumored March 15 Apple presentation happens in case something new comes along.
    Also, consider buying a refurbished 2014 if you can find a configuration you like that way. There's effectively no downside to getting an Apple refurbished Mac, but you can get a pretty significant savings.
     
  10. MrAverigeUser, Feb 12, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2016

    MrAverigeUser macrumors 6502a

    MrAverigeUser

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    #10
    oups… Thought I am still in the MBP Forum.. I am really sorry.
    But the principle facts don´t change a lot.
    Soldered and glued products should be a No-GO.
    For Mac Minis even more since it is more difficult to have access to the inbuilt parts…

    @Fancuku

    Sorry, I was wrong as for Mac Mini prices.
     
  11. Fancuku macrumors 6502a

    Fancuku

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  12. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    Sep 21, 2010
    #12
    These are the significant differences.

    2012: Quad-cores models have the highest multi-core performance. Upgradeable socketed RAM. Up to two 2.5" drives.
    2014: Highest single core performance. Permanent soldered RAM. Faster GPU. Can use PCIe blade SSD.

    Different people will have different priorities, so which one is better really seems like it is up to you and your specific use case.
     
  13. Toltepeceno, Feb 12, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2016

    Toltepeceno Suspended

    Toltepeceno

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    #13
    As someone who has a 2012 model I would not trade it for a 2014 unless I could sell it and get another 2012. I got a nos 2012, maxed out the memory and put a 256 ssd in it and it was less than 600.00. Osx runs horrible on a spinner, trust me, and with a base which runs the same as the 2012 base in tests you can't even get an ssd. They shrunk the ssd in the fusion and I would not have one without an ssd. If you go with the 2.6 you can get maxed out memory and a 256 ssd for 1100.00.

    To me 1100. is getting into the area that I would not pay for a mini and that's just the first up from base. Now it's getting close to mbp prices and the mbp has keyboard, screen, etc. It's essentially a previous version (not even the version being sold now) 13" mbp in a box anyway and the base is the previous version macbook air base.

    You are getting close to a macbook pro that has newer stuff. Like others have said, why pay a premium for older stuff minus a keyboard and screen? You can still plug a mbp into a monitor.
     
  14. dogslobber macrumors 68020

    dogslobber

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    #14
    In fairness, the 2012 Mini was only discontinued 15 months ago.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 12, 2016 ---
    I sold a basic quad for 950$ about a year ago. That was a enough profit of about 2/3 of the price of a dual core which I still use. Looking at the prices now, most buy it nows are into 4 digit prices! They'll probably increase more when the 2016 Mini underwhelms us.
     
  15. Toltepeceno Suspended

    Toltepeceno

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    #15
    The internals in the new mini's were discontinued in the 13" mbp's last refresh.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 12, 2016 ---
    I am running the i5 base which is more than enough with an ssd and plenty of memory. I don't see me upgrading for a couple of years at least. It's the same speed as the 2014 base mini. Like I say though, before I pay around 1100.00 for a mini with 256 ssd and maxed memory I would go a few hundred more for a mbp with newer version cpu, gpu, etc. and plug IT into a monitor.
     
  16. dogslobber macrumors 68020

    dogslobber

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    #16
    I only bought a 2012 dual core Mini as it was 419$ refurbished. They're giving them away at that price. In a few years it'll become the HTPC replacing the current 2009 model.
     
  17. Toltepeceno, Feb 12, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2016

    Toltepeceno Suspended

    Toltepeceno

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    #17
    Mine was less than that price new from B&H. I would go that route over the new base mini that is the same performance, or tke base air thet is a generation newer than the new mini. I would go with a mbp over the other models of mini. They ate a generation newer. Plug it to a monitor and have the best of both worlds.

    Edit, mine was 425.00 shipped christmas 2014.
     
  18. Larry-K macrumors 68000

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    #18
    Yeah, you could get a MacPro and pay 100% for a three year old machine.
     
  19. Toltepeceno Suspended

    Toltepeceno

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    #19
    Whats the current mini, a year and a half?
     
  20. MrAverigeUser macrumors 6502a

    MrAverigeUser

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    #20
    Yes, prices for the wonderful and still upgradeable "classic" MacPro 2008-2012 are getting higher and higher.
    Why? If you upgrade them a little bit they get even faster than the top-level Trash-Can MAcPros…. :D

    … BTW did I mention already that the infamous trash Can design caused already overheated GPUs and apple does UNDERclock some GPUs instead of trying to reach at the performance of the competitors?
    Did I mention that there is now - 2 Years after the disaster began - apple is silently starting a "Extended repair program" for their once extremely (CLASSIC) MAcPro line, getting now - thanks to Jony Ive - UNRELIABLE? The program is so silent that even the genius in the apple shop never heard about it…. *ROTFL*
     
  21. Larry-K macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    #21
    Hey, mine's top of the line.

    My friend down the hall still regrets selling his old 12-core for the new one, single core performance is not what he expected, and his wasn't even hot-rodded.
     
  22. OS-SEX macrumors member

    OS-SEX

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    #22
    Just wanted to mention that the new Fusion Drives with the tiny SSD only appear in the new iMacs. The 2014 minis still ship with the unneutered Fusion Drives. You can bet that will change when the new mini is released.
     
  23. opeter macrumors 65816

    opeter

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    #23
    And when will this happen? This year?
     
  24. Toltepeceno Suspended

    Toltepeceno

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    #24
    Ah, I stand corrected. Thank You. Yes, you know they will change with the new mini.
     
  25. MisterAndrew macrumors regular

    MisterAndrew

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    Portland, Oregon
    #25
    If you can find a 2012 mini for a good price go for it. 75% of the new price is a great deal. If the mini is just for a HTPC though you'll probably be fine with any 2014 model with 8gb or 16gb of RAM.
     

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