Just bought refurb 2012 mini, but thinking of returning it for 2014 one

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by earthbound, Dec 4, 2014.

  1. earthbound macrumors member

    Oct 12, 2007
    Hi all,

    I bought a refurb 2012 2.3 Quad, 256gb SSD Mac mini when the Apple Store had it in stock a couple days ago. It's scheduled to be delivered today, but now I'm having second thoughts about it. With my educational discount, and taking into account that I want to upgrade the 2012 RAM to 16GB, I can get the following 2014 mini for less than $200 more.

    2014 Mac mini
    2.6GHz Dual-Core
    16GB RAM
    256GB PCIe SSD
    Intel Iris Graphics

    The most intensive programs I use are Photoshop and Lightroom for photo editing. Would the newer dual-core processor, PCIe SSD, and Iris graphics be better for my needs and and in terms of future-proofing; or does the quad-core in 2012 mini alone makes it a better choice?

    Thank you all in advance.

    PS. I've actually bought a refurb 2013 27" iMac a few months back, but there was yellowing on the bottom half of the screen so I returned it, and now I'm not too keen on the idea of all-in-ones :(
  2. abley22 macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2013
    Hi, i did the same, return a iMac because of the yellow warm color on the bottom of the screen, and i get the 2014 mini with fusion drive, the mini got a wifi issue! And the thunderbolt display have the same yellow issue from the bottom of the screen...

    Seems like it not easy to get a new computer without issues. I have swap a lot in the last days..
  3. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    I can only tell you what I would do. I would get the 2012 and max it out myself with RAM and SSD. Depending on how you use Photoshop, it not only takes advantage of "as much RAM as you can throw at it) but also multi-core CPU. The latter tends to really show improvement when there is a large history per a file or using various filters/plugins.

    Unless you have a real need for Thunderbolt 2 or the newer GPU (which really makes no difference in Photoshop), there is zero reason to get the 2014 dual core.

    My opinion is based on using quad core Mini at present and having used iMacs and older Mac Pros. I put in an SSD and upped the RAM with 16 gigs via after market purchase. All runs well.
  4. gugy macrumors 68030

    Jan 31, 2005
    La Jolla, CA
    Yeah, I just got the 2012 i7 as well. The main reason is that I can save money upgrading to 16gb RAM and I have a SSD sitting around. Plus is easier to add a second HD.
    I will use this a s secondary computer for Photoshop when I travel and when not, it will be a media center.
    The i7 is more powerful for PS because the quad core and cheaper to upgrade than the 2014 options.
  5. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Aug 25, 2010
    Almost. I currently use a 2012 mini 2.6 16GB SSD for PS CS6. It works really great though not as good as my dearly departed (and dearly missed) 2010 MP 3.2 24GB SSD HD 5870.

    Besides the obvious greater RAM and a CPU that could go at 100% for a long time the MP definitely had smoother display. When sliding a large image at 100% or more across the screen the the MP produced a noticeably smoother movement.

    That does not seem to translate to better PS operation on the typical 5D3 images that I work on but it is very apparent.
  6. earthbound thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 12, 2007
    Sounds like I made a good choice pulling the trigger on the 2012 mini then. I've gone ahead and placed an order for the 16GB RAM upgrade :)

    Thanks, everyone!
  7. brentmore macrumors 6502


    Jul 19, 2002
    I def agree. I just got my 2012 refurb that I ordered last week. Just hooked up dual 24", installed a 240GB SSD and 16GB and it's flying. Typing on it now!
  8. Dsnoops macrumors newbie

    Dec 3, 2014
    Picked up a 2012 refurb several weeks ago, ordered a 2.3 with SSD drive and was sent a 2.6 with SSD came with basic 4 gb ram. Ran it for a week to make sure it was running ok. Ordered 16 gb ram from Crusial.com they helped me get the correct ram. After installing the 16 gb problems started, the mini would not boot, even with the original ram. After much trouble shooting I could only get it to boot with the bottom slot empty, no matter what stick was placed in the bottom it would not boot.

    After taking a closer look it seems the bottom slot was missing some of the plastic around metal clips. That refurb looked brand new, only a little dust on the fan etc. Since I was in the two week return window, back to apple it went.
  9. newellj macrumors 603

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    You would not notice much difference with LR but PS is likely to benefit from the quad core CPU. I think you made the right choice.
  10. Acronyc macrumors 6502a

    Jan 24, 2011
    I use both 2012 (2.5/8GB/128SSG) and 2014 minis (2.8/8GB/1TB Fusion). My 2012 is at work and 2014 at home. I don't notice much difference between the two, except the PCIe SSD in the 2014 Fusion drive runs much faster than the Transcend SSD I put in my 2012 and the Iris graphics in the 2014 is way better than the HD4000 in the 2012 if you do any type of gaming. Otherwise, not much difference. The 2014 gets a lot of flack but personally I think it's a fine (albeit overpriced) machine.
  11. trs0722 macrumors member

    Oct 29, 2011
    Newark, DE
    I struggled for weeks wondering if I should go with a 2014 or 2012 quad refurb. I also use Lightroom 5 a lot for personal photos and occasionally hop over to Photoshop CS6 and Premiere. I went with a 2012 when one popped up on the refurbished site. Immediately put 16 GB RAM and added a 256 SSD to go with the 1TB HDD. I had already put an SSD in my 2011 dual core Mini so I was pretty confident.

    Lightroom is running much better as expected over the 2011 2.3 dual core. Most of what I read indicated that Lightroom does do better with a quad core and the graphics processor doesn't matter that much. However, I did read one good article that said a higher CPU speed on a dual core along with an SSD could be just as fast as a quad core.

    To get 16 GB RAM and an SSD on a 2014 would have cost $1,099. Saved a few hundred bucks getting a 2012. I read that the PCI flash is supposed to be faster than the SATA but I couldn't bring myself to pay Apple for the upgrades they forced everyone to purchase through them.
  12. earthbound thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 12, 2007
    Hi all,

    I just want to post my experience after using the my 2.3 quad, 16gb ram, 256gb ssd for a few days. For less than $1000, I'm really pleased with its performance, especially with Lightroom.

    I was very underwhelmed with the $2500 iMac that I returned, which had 3.5 quad, 8gb ram, and 3tb fusion. For speed during actual photo editing workflow, especially moving from one photo to another, Lightroom was slower on the iMac, and very snappy on the Mac mini (for export/import, the iMac is likely to be faster, though). Maybe this was due to the iMac's 8gb ram and fusion drive, but it meant that I need to spend even more money to get the Lightroom performance I'd be happy with on the already expensive iMac.

    It's definitely nice to have a dedicated desktop computer. I was using my Macbook Air + monitor + peripherals, and disconnecting/reconnecting all the cables was really a pain. I've considered getting a Thunderbolt HUB but they are expensive, and a Mac mini provides me with more useful ports anyway (ethernet! sd cards!).

    So anyways, I just want to say that I'm glad I finally bought this Mac mini! :) Thank you all who helped me made the decision to stick with the 2012 quad core one!

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