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Finn Baingo

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 15, 2020
3
0
Hi, im new in the mac world so i need some advice in buying a mac mini, i found one fore little money, the only problem i found Is that the model is not going to get new software updates.
I’m using an iPad Pro 2020, an iphone XS and an Apple Watch.
I’m looking for a Mac to save pictures and backups, and do some research. So i don’t need the best chip and stuff.
please send me your advise
(the one i saw was a 2011 Mac mini with i5, 256gb ssd and 8 gb ram... i would plug in my 4TB hard disk to improve the data space)
 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
7,748
4,616
New Jersey Pine Barrens
I'd avoid the 2011 Mini, if for no other reason than because it does not have USB 3. That will make your external disk run at about 30MB/sec which is horrible. The 2012 Mini is much better and in fact, if you can find one of the quad-core models, they are faster than any of the 2014 Mini's (they dropped the quad models in 2014). Of course, the 2012 Mini's are also going to stop getting updates soon. I have a 2012 quad and used it for things like Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro for a number of years. The USB 3 ports allow it to boot from an external SSD and still perform very well.

The upper 2014 models are OK, I use a 2.8ghz/8gb 2014 Mini as a media server and it's fine for that. Avoid the base model 1.4ghz/4gb model. I also have one of these and it's ok as a server but almost unusable for anything else. The memory cannot be upgraded on the 2014 Mini but the 2012 Mini was designed with user-upgradeable RAM.

If there's any way you can afford it, do yourself a favor and get a 2018 Mini (the current model). If you go to Apple's refurb store you can get a base i3 model for about $600 with the same warranty as new (although it will have a non-upgradeable 128gb SSD). These have about the same Geekbench rating as the top 2012 quad Mini but should be faster because of other improvements. The RAM can be upgraded in the 2018 Mini although that is not blessed by Apple since it requires disassembly. Based on lots of threads here, the 2018 Mini is happier with 16gb RAM.
 
Last edited:

opeter

macrumors 68030
Aug 5, 2007
2,684
1,606
Slovenia
In the long term (?), the only really usable and cheap Mac mini are these from 2018.

Like the i3 (an i5 would be better, but out of reach). Just two days ago, I found one brand new i3 on an UK ebay site for 425 ₤ + postage.

As soon as it arrives, I will upgrade the RAM to 16 GB and will got myself an external SSD.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,583
12,693
Don't buy anything older than a late-2012.

2012 was the first Mini to get USB3. You WANT this.
If possible, try to find a 2012 with an i7 CPU inside.

IF you find a 2014, BE AWARE:
The RAM on these is soldered-in and you CANNOT upgrade it.
So... DO NOT BUY a 2014 with only 4gb of RAM.
If you get a 2014, MAKE SURE it has 8gb of RAM or more.
 

dia3olik

macrumors member
Sep 14, 2007
99
18
Italy
if you need one and you're in europe I have a nice late 2012 with i7 and fusion drive genuine from apple not aftermarket, let me know
 

Finn Baingo

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 15, 2020
3
0
if you need one and you're in europe I have a nice late 2012 with i7 and fusion drive genuine from apple not aftermarket, let me know
Yeah im from Europe and your Mac seems interesting for me, can I ask how much space the Mac mini brings with, and what is your thoughts about the pricing.
Best regards.
 

Cookie18

macrumors 6502a
Sep 11, 2014
583
684
France
Yeah im from Europe and your Mac seems interesting for me, can I ask how much space the Mac mini brings with, and what is your thoughts about the pricing.
Best regards.

I would second the poster above who got a Mac mini on eBay. I just bought a 2018 i3 Mini this week for £390 on eBay. It's brand new and sealed. Barely more than what Mac minis from the beginning of the decade go for. There seem to be a lot of clearances of the i3/128GB models right now. For the price I couldn't pass it up.
 
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Farsider

macrumors 6502a
Jul 30, 2014
620
301
London, UK
I would second the poster above who got a Mac mini on eBay. I just bought a 2018 i3 Mini this week for £390 on eBay. It's brand new and sealed. Barely more than what Mac minis from the beginning of the decade go for. There seem to be a lot of clearances of the i3/128GB models right now. For the price I couldn't pass it up.

That's a fine deal. I can't find anything much under £500 at the moment for the same spec.
 
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