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macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 26, 2018
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Hi!

I wrote few post about futere of the Mac mini (just my point of view) here and there, but never thought I will be buying one before Apple will update it... I have option buy used Mac mini from local shop. There are two models, and we don’t talk about big money. Regular price is a big „NO”, because of old hardware, but I can buy Mac mini for ~$200

Mac mini 2012, i5 2,5 GHz, 4GB ram, HDD
Mac mini 2014, i5 1,4 GHz, 4GB ram, HDD

I’m not pro user at home. For work I use MacBook Pro 2017. Mini will be only for movies, browsing, downloading files and for casual old games like Starcraft Remastered. I want macOS at home, but I don’t want to buy iMac (dust problem). I want to keep Mac Mini for 2 years. After this time there will be new Mac Mini or new iMac design (I hope so). That’s why I’m interesting in old Mac mini.

For 2014 pros are longer macOS support (I hope next year Apple will not cut off devices with 4GB of ram and still update them after Mojave) and a little bit better graphic, which is importach for Starcraft (this game doesn’t have big requirements anyway). Cons are only 4GB and little bit worse CPU in multicore.

For 2012 pros are option to upgrade ram up to 16 GB and little bit better CPU. Cons are worse graphic and probably only 1 year macOS support.

I will update HDD to SSD in both 2012 and 2014.

Which one should I take?
 

MBAir2010

macrumors 604
May 30, 2018
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Ah, our weekly “which Mac mini do I buys” thread.........
I love my macmini 2012, I can add ram, a new fangled ssd, and seems more shinier than the 2014.
Hope this helps!
 
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macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 26, 2018
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When I worked at a bike shop, I always asked “what kind of cycling you do?”

What kinda computing do you do?

Hi, as I said before - I’m not pro user at home. For work I use MacBook Pro 2017. Mini will be only for movies, browsing, downloading files and for casual old games like Starcraft Remastered. I want macOS at home, but I don’t want to buy iMac (dust problem). I want to keep Mac Mini for 2 years. After this time there will be new Mac Mini or new iMac design (I hope so). That’s why I’m interesting in old Mac mini.

:)
 

for this

macrumors 6502
Nov 18, 2014
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166
Internet browsing can force a mini with 4GB ram to use (spinner) disk swap quite often. Not a good experience.

So I would choose the 2012 and upgrade the ram to 8GB. The one less year of OS support is OK for me. Since you plan to use it for just 2 years, 3rd party browsers like Firefox and Chrome will still support it within your time frame.

Update, just noticed you said you would upgrade the HDD to SSD. So may be 2014 then.
 

MBAir2010

macrumors 604
May 30, 2018
6,675
6,130
there
Hi, as I said before - I’m not pro user at home. For work I use MacBook Pro 2017. Mini will be only for movies, browsing, downloading files and for casual old games like Starcraft Remastered. I want macOS at home, but I don’t want to buy iMac (dust problem). I want to keep Mac Mini for 2 years. After this time there will be new Mac Mini or new iMac design (I hope so). That’s why I’m interesting in old Mac mini.

:)
I’m using my macmini 2012, 4gb original hd for internets, CS4, mp4, photo editing and storage and iTunes.
High Sierra really slowed down the mini were installing camera card meant contunous spinning ball, so bad I had to unplug the mini.
I recently went back to elcapitan and the mini is running great!
Since these macs are going to be obsolete like my igloo g4 sooner than later, I’m not investing anything to improve the mini like ram.

Sooooooooo, my advice to You is get the one YOU will love, BUT consider the2012 is upgradable.

Hope this helps
 
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Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
7,797
4,676
New Jersey Pine Barrens
I would cross the 2014 1.4/4gb/500gb HD off the list. I use one as an iTunes server and it's fine for that. But any interactive use is unbelievably slow. Also had a 2012 2.5/4gb/500gb HD and it was much more responsive. I upgraded the 2012 to 16gb and a SSD and gave it to my daughter's family two years ago. It's their only computer and they're still very happy with it.

If you want a 2014 Mini I think you need to get at least 8gb but preferably 16gb. And that will make it rather expensive. I'd go for the 2012, upgrade to 16gb and SSD and you will have a decent little computer, unless there's some software you need that won't work with the HD4000.
 

Yvan256

macrumors 603
Jul 5, 2004
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Canada
You can upgrade the RAM of the 2012 Mac mini. Not so with the 2014.

The only problem is the HD4000 graphics, they'll be obsolete a lot sooner than the HD5000 of the 2014. But since you said you only want it for 2~3 years, that should be okay.
 
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opeter

macrumors 68030
Aug 5, 2007
2,686
1,607
Slovenia
So, you have two options:

1.)

2012 with the 2.5 GHz i5-3210M CPU - you can swap the HDD for an SSD* and upgrade the RAM to 16 GB
https://everymac.com/systems/apple/mac_mini/specs/mac-mini-core-i5-2.5-late-2012-specs.html

*Actually, you can install two HDDs/SSDs or combination of these

5AQ1cth.jpg


2.)

2014
with the 1.4 GHz i5-4260U CPU - the speed of the CPU is almost the same as in the 2012 model, but the integrated GPU (HD 5000) is a bit, but just a bit faster. You can only update the HDD, the RAM is fix (so you need to search for a 8 GB RAM model, for longer lasting)
https://everymac.com/systems/apple/mac_mini/specs/mac-mini-core-i5-1.4-late-2014-specs.html

qyyapNp.jpg
 

Neodym

macrumors 68020
Jul 5, 2002
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1,077
Except for the second TB port and the better iGPU, that 2014 mini is worse in nearly every other aspect. The 2012 mini can be easily upgraded (especially Ram, because 4GB is very little today) and even the (in comparison) weaker iGPU in the 2012 can be remedied by using an eGPU (Link to good forum for that topic).

To play any halfway decent game without having to play on minimal optics, you would probably want more GPU power anyway than even the 2014 mini could provide.
 

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macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 26, 2018
134
170
For $50 more I've bought Mac mini 2014, middle tear version. It have 8GB RAM, Intel Iris GPU and i5 2.6 GHz. I will change current HDD to SSD. I think it will be still ok for basic things for next 2 years.
 

Neodym

macrumors 68020
Jul 5, 2002
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But what about graphics? Can a 2012 do 2K or 4K?
3440x1440@50Hz is no problem and offered directly from macOS, no tinkering needed. 4k is not possible without massive tinkering and - unless you'd go the eGPU route - would lead to unusable refresh rates.
 
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