looking at a late 2012 MM 2.6 i7 16GB/256gb sad

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by vailm3, Oct 7, 2017.

  1. vailm3 macrumors newbie

    vailm3

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2017
    #1
    As super long title says, I am looking to buy a late 2012 mac mini from a friend with the specs listed for 460 USD worth the buy? Also should I upgrade the SSD to 1tb+?

    2.6 GHz Intel Core i7
    16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
    Intel HD Graphics 4000 1536 MB
    256GB Solid State Drive
     
  2. Boyd01 macrumors 601

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #2
    I have the exact same machine and use it exclusively for video editing. It's great, quite fast. The main drawback is the HD4000 graphics chip, although it is still supported by Final Cut Pro. That is a really good price - since it's a friend I assume that you know it's in good condition, because otherwise I'd be suspicious. Depending on how good a friend it is, you might suggest that he do a little research because he might be able to get almost wice that much from what I've seen. Some people are payiing about that much for used base model i5 dual core Mini's with a 5400RPM hard drive. ;)
     
  3. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #3
    The price is very good. It is still good gear as long as you do not use a 4k screen you should like it.
     
  4. Boyd01 macrumors 601

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #4
    Regarding the internal 256gb SSD, I left mine alone. You can read many posts in this forum where people damaged their mini trying to upgrade, Apple did not intend for you to do that. I left Mountain Lion on the internal SSD with all my expensive legacy software. But for regular use, I boot Sierra from an external 1TB Samsung T3 SSD. It's almost as fast as the internal drive and works well with Final Cut Pro.

    For some of the shortcomings of this model, the largest monitor the HDMI port will drive is 1920x1200, I use my 10+ year old Apple Cinema Display. The Thunderbolt port can drive higher resolution screens, but I use it for a BlackMagic Ultrastudio box with a Sony production monitor.

    There is only one (original) thunderbolt port, the other port is Firewire 800, which is good for me since I use it with a Sony DVCAM/HD deck for my legacy video tapes. But aside from this kind of older gear, you probably won't find much use for a firewire port anymore, it is much slower than USB 3.0

    The 2012 mini also has the older, slower wifi (the 2014 has the fast 802.11ac) - again, not a problem for me because I use gigabit ethernet.

    The 2014 mini has a faster internal SSD interface, but this isn't likely to make much difference for most people. My 2012 internal Apple 256gb SSD has a write speed around 450MB/sec and my external Samsung T3 is about 400MB/sec.
     
  5. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #5
    As an owner of several 2.3 i7 Mini Servers that came with HHDs but have been upgraded to SSDs I'm all in with Boyd01's advice, especially leaving the existing SSD in place and using an external drive for the reasons outlined in the above post. That price for the unit is frickin' outstanding especially coming from a known seller, and I'd buy it in a heartbeat if there's no guilt involved and it's in decent condition. About the wifi, it's still plenty zippy for my needs at home.

    If you choose to upgrade the SSD and you're new to Minis be sure to budget an extra $250 for the hour of therapy you'll need later… (Apple or an authorized dealer can do this for about a Benjamin.)
     
  6. Boyd01 macrumors 601

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #6
    See, I think there's a bit of a moral dilemma here. If this is really a friend, I think you owe it to him to explain that he could probably get $400 or $500 more on the open market. Maybe he won't care, and that's fine (I have sold things to close friends for a fraction of what they're worth just to help them out).
     
  7. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #7
    IMO I did, by proxy, by agreeing - all in - with your advice and I thought/think you are clear on that. That bit written, I do offer deals with my friends such as selling most of my power tools recently to my friends for pennies on the dollar (although I know now where I can borrow a Festool driver or Metabo sander…). I offered those tools to my friends first, no guilt or remorse on my part with money-back offers if the product craps out.
     
  8. ziggy29, Oct 7, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017

    ziggy29 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2014
    Location:
    Oregon North Coast
    #8
    I've done many hardware upgrades and drive swaps. But I have the same model listed (2.6 GHz quad i7, 16 GB RAM) but I also have dual 1 TB spinners in the box, and I am terrified of opening this one and trying to swap the spinners for an SSD. (The only upgrade I did was to max out the RAM to 16 GB and that was trivial.)

    I bought an internal SSD (500 GB Evo 850) but got cold feet before attempting to install it -- I instead got a SATA to USB 3.0 cable and hooked it up externally and I boot from the SSD connected externally. I think I lose a little throughput but not much -- I can still sustain something like 440 MB/s on most reads and writes, instead of around 530 as rated for internal. Good enough for me, considering this model is pretty much like major surgery to swap a drive. Maybe some day when this is a secondary or tertiary Mac for me, and the resale value is almost nil, I might chance it. Not now.

    As I own this model (but with 2x1 TB HDDs, not an SSD) I've watched the market value of these and if it works well, $460 is a pretty good price. If you wanted more SSD storage, I'd simply keep the OS and most heavily used apps on the internal SSD and buy an external SSD for more storage. In fact, depending on what you are running, 256 GB of SSD might be enough for you (with the OS and a few important apps on it, leaving at least 50 GB or so free) and many other apps, music, photos/videos and other stuff would be fine on an external USB 3.0 HDD. The OS and some apps benefit a LOT from being on an SSD. Some other stuff, not so much. For example, I use VMware Fusion (on the SSD) together with the Mac OS (excuse me, macOS) on the SSD and a virtual Win 10 disk on an internal HDD and it works almost as well as if I put the VM file on the SSD itself -- in fact, it's much faster than a NATIVE Boot Camp install of Win 10 on HDD. As I didn't want to burn 100 GB of my SSD space I left it on the spinner -- having the host OS and Fusion app (about 700 MB) on the SSD was good enough for most of the reasons I have to occasionally use Windows -- a few apps I need that don't have a Mac version.
     
  9. vailm3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    vailm3

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2017
    #9
    Thanks for the input all most likely will leave SSD as is I have a 6TB time capsule i push all my media to so pretty ok in regards to storage. As price i mentioned ithat it is work almost double but was ok about it. Should grab it next week leave it as it just link to the TC and be done with it. Thanks for the note on 4k monitors. will avoid.
     

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8 October 7, 2017