Late 2012 Mac Mini or Current

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by stromlance, Jun 6, 2017.

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  1. stromlance macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2017
    #1
    Hello! This is my first post and it actually involves me getting into Apple products in the first place.

    Best Buy currently has the most recent Mac Mini with i5 2.6GHz, 8GB memory, and a 1TB hard drive for $599.99.

    At the same time, I can potentially get a Late 2012 Mac Mini from someone for the same price. It has the i7-3615QM, 16GB memory, and a 128GB SSD.

    On paper it looks to me like the Late 2012 is a far better deal, but I'd like to pick your brains and see if the various improvements to the models is worth giving up what I would be giving up for the Late 2012 model.
     
  2. teksurv macrumors regular

    teksurv

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #2
    The 2012 is the better machine overall, depending on your use case. The "current" 2014 model will likely be supported a bit longer by Apple. I have a 2012 i7 quad and it is used as an iTunes and Plex server/handbrake transcoding.
     
  3. tibas92013 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 2, 2013
    Location:
    Costa Rica
    #3
    Sounds like one is new and the other MM(Late 2012) is used; if it meets your needs go with the new MM(Late 2014) in which you can also purchase Apple Care to cover you for two(2) more years
     
  4. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #4
    I have a 2012 quad i7 2.6ghz mini server and love it. Perfect machine for my specific needs, it is dedicated to video and audio editing. But that might not be a good fit for you. Mine is about 1.5 times faster than the current top of the line 2014 Mini in terms of CPU, which is what matters most for me - makes a big difference rendering large video files.

    The 2014 Mini has much faster 802.11ac wifi (nice if you need it, but I use gigabit ethernet so I dont care). It also has a more recent video chip, the 2012 Mini uses the HD4000 chip which is getting pretty old. And the 2014 mini has two thunderbolt 2 ports while the 2012 has one thunderbolt port and one firewire 800 port. The firewire port is good for me, since I have legacy peripherals that can use it.

    And, of course, the 2014 Mini is new with a full warranty and applecare availability, so it may be a better choice if you plan to keep the system for a number of years.
     
  5. dandeco macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    #5
    I got the 2012 2.3 GHz quad-core Mac Mini with 16 GB of RAM, and it sure is fast and powerful, especially since I replaced the original stock hard drive with a 1 TB hybrid drive, which sped things up quite a bit.
    Some time after the current Mac Minis were announced in 2014(!) I had decided I'd be better off with a quad-core 2012 model. Then last February, I saw one being sold for $500 at a used electronics shop in Boston, with the RAM already maxed out, and so I just had to have it! (Especially since my mid-2009 MacBook was starting to show its' age more.) Worth every penny.
     
  6. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #6
    You don't want ANY Mini that has only a platter-based hard drive inside. You just don't.

    Let that advice guide you the most...
     
  7. tibas92013 macrumors 6502

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    Costa Rica
    #7

    Strongly 2nd Fishrrman's advice!
     
  8. dandeco macrumors regular

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    Dec 5, 2008
    #8
    I only went with the hybrid drive in my Mac Mini because I was tight on money and I HAD to replace the stock hard drive in it, as it was starting to not work very well. So far, the startup time is quicker, along with opening apps.
     
  9. munakib macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 22, 2011
    #9
    Just recently bought a used yet mint 2012 Mac Mini (quad i7) for only $500 - upgraded ram to 16GB and switched the HDD to 1T SSD. Now this is a monster! DO NOT GET 2014 model.
     
  10. dogslobber macrumors 68040

    dogslobber

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2014
    Location:
    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    #10
    Well a spinner in a Mini you can replace is okay. That's what I did, bought an SSD and put it in place of the spinner and tossed the spinner out of one of my Windows.
     
  11. epca12 macrumors regular

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    Jun 11, 2017
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    I would go for the 2012 unless you want thunderbolt 2
     
  12. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    Zurich, Switzerland
    #12
    2014 can do 2x2560x1600 (or 2x3440x1440, IIRC).
    2012 can only do 1x2560x1600 + 1920x1200 via HDMI.

    2014 has faster PCIe SSDs (well, not the one you think about buying).

    2012 has user-serviceable RAM and the hard drive can be replaced with an SSD. You can even add a 2nd SSD (both SATA only)

    I'd probably lean towards the 2012, given the right price.
    Add up all the upgrades you want to make and compare with a (used) iMac you could get for that money.

    What do you want to do with it, anyway?
     
  13. NZBred, Jun 26, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018

    NZBred macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    #13
    Like you, I have the same setup (+ 1gb fusion drive) and six years on, no complaints. I sometimes switch between ethernet and Wifi as need location settings for programs like calendar and maps. Even though the internet is a little slower on Wifi, it's still adequate for my needs. It's strange for me to still have this setup six years on. I normally replace my systems every 2-3 years but haven't needed too with this configuration due too - touch wood - the amazing reliability I've experienced.

    I purchased the Mac Mini as a stop gap and have continued to spec it up over the years i.e. ram and fusion drive thinking I would replace it in 2015/2016 at the lastest. I know hardware support is no longer available and future macOS's may not be compatible, but its here to stay now and can't see why I it won't be on my office desk two years from now. One of the best decisions I ever made. Even if I didn't know I was making it. I really don't know why they 'dumbed' newer models down.
     
  14. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #14
    You have posted this same thing in several places, and AFAIK, it is incorrect. Apple no longer provides hardware support for the 2011 Mini, but the 2012 is still supported (for now). See this: https://support.apple.com/en-us/ht201624
     
  15. Neodym macrumors 68000

    Neodym

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2002
    #15
    Actually, the 2012 can even do 3440x1440@50Hz via its TB port + 1920x1200 (my personal experience is only with 1920x1080) via HDMI.

    It is just finicky in a multi-monitor multi computer setting, when you switch regularly between various inputs on the monitor being connected to the mini via TB (probably due to it being only DP1.1, not dealing well with too many topographic changes in the DP connection), requiring a reboot every other week or so.
     
  16. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #16
    NZBred wrote:
    "I know hardware support is no longer available and future macOS's may not be compatible"

    I couldn't care less about either.

    As an example, I still have a 2006 white Intel iMac that runs and works for the tasks I need it for. It runs OS 10.7 "Lion". Official "support" is long gone, but... so what?

    It runs for the tasks I need it for.
    That's all that needs to be said!

    My 2012 Mini i7 is still doing fine.
    Even if Apple released a new Mini tomorrow, I wouldn't upgrade... yet.
    I'd like to get 2-3 more years out of it.
     
  17. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    Zurich, Switzerland
    #17
    I prefer the 1600 vertical lines - and I get almost zero problems with the setup. Every once in a while, the TB2DLDVI adaptor needs a reboot - but that's it.

    3840x1600 would be interesting.

    A "5k+" display with 3200 vertical lines - that would be very nice - and a Mac to drive it....
     
  18. Neodym macrumors 68000

    Neodym

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2002
    #18
    Would never go back from 21:9 (curved)!

    LG 38WK95C, available for less than 1000€.
     
  19. for this, Jun 29, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2018

    for this macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2014
    #19
    What about the internet if it's the only computer in the house? Is there still a current browser for 10.7? By the way, Windows 7 (9 years old!) is still supported by the latest version of Chrome which requires at least 10.10 if you're on the Mac :(
     
  20. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    Zurich, Switzerland
    #20

    I doubt the 2012 Mini can handle that. Unfortunately.
    The 2014 could, AFAIK. But I'm not that crazy.
     
  21. Neodym macrumors 68000

    Neodym

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2002
    #21
    It probably couldn’t. In theory you could add an eGPU, but the massive hike in energy consumption contradicts the idea of a small machine that could run 24/7 and still only sip on power ...
     
  22. Expobill macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 30, 2018
    #22
    I was telling a neighbor’s guest months ago her MBP2012 is the pinnacle of computing after she was complaining about that being old.
    I also would never replace my mini, they are like corvettes, they drive and look great!
     
  23. Denmac1 macrumors 6502a

    Denmac1

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    Apr 22, 2007
    Location:
    Lost in Space
    #23
    I agree. My 2012 Quad has been fine, but yesterday it shut down and gave me the black screen restart. I'm thinking I'm headed towards a HD death march. I'm tempted to just pick up a 2014 Mini refurb as a backup and then update my 2012 with a new SSD and hopefully that will solve my issue. I think then I could use the 2014 for a media server.

    I know I'm buying old tech, although I will buy a refurb, but as before with the 2014, I purchased the 2012, even knowing it was older as my fears (that came true) that an 'upgraded' Mini would be crippled.

    In buying a 2014, I feel that even if they upgrade or have a redesign, I am still purchasing a useful product. And it could be EOL for the Mini. I believe that Mojave will be the last OS update that the 2012 will be capable of.

    With that said, I don't believe that 4GB of RAM is sufficient for my needs and at this time can't afford or want to pay Apple's price for 16 ( Think 8 will work for me). I will have to watch the refurb page closely for what I want.

    Apple needs to make a decision about their 'entry level' machines. I had a G3 iMac and that was the last all in one I would ever buy. I know that the current iMacs are selling well, but 'once burned'.....
     
  24. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #24
    My 2014 1.4ghz/4gb/500gb HD Mini has been a terrific iTunes server. It just sits in a cabinet and runs iTunes 24/7 with all my media on a fast 4tb USB 3.0 disk. For my own usage patterns, more RAM or a SSD would add nothing. I see Apple has these as refurbs for $419 but we have seen brand new ones for even less during sales at big box stores. At the moment, the next step up at the refurb store is a 2.6ghz/8gb/256gb SSD mini for $759. That would certainly be a much better computer for all-around use, but not worth the extra $340 if you only want a media server IMO.
     
  25. tibas92013 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2013
    Location:
    Costa Rica
    #25
    I purchased a Refurbished MM 2.8GHz,8GB Ram,256SSD from the Apple On-line Store in June, 2015 and I continue to be one happy Apple customer with this past purchase!
     

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