Mac Mini 2012 OSX update

alefello

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 3, 2019
5
0
Hello everybody
I know better windows and linux worlds than OSX world so I ask you fo an advice.
In our office we have 2 2012 Mac Mini (one 2,3GHz i7 and one 2,5GHz i5). I upgraded both to 8GB RAM and I'm planning to change the original HDD witn a 250GB SSD. The workload is quite light: internet, email, filemaker DB, video play but the secretaries using them claims slowdowns every 5 minutes. The documents are all on a SMB fileserver so on the MAC itself we don't need much storage, but the better SMB compatibility is necessary.
For these reasons I'm planning to reinstall OSX when replacing the HDD. At the moment OSX version is Mavericks because the old IT technician said it was the best version to keep on this model. I'm looking for the best version to install on that model at the moment. We're looking for speed and reliability with these hardware specs and SMB functionality. If Mavericks is still the best choice, I'll install it again without problems.
Thank you and sorry for my english
Best regards
Alefello
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,182
5,536
SSD will take care of "the slowness".

Mavericks is getting to be too old.

I'd suggest Sierra (10.12), High Sierra (10.14), or Mojave (10.14).

Of those, I use Sierra 10.12 on my personal 2012 Mini. It will not get an OS update beyond that.
 

alefello

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 3, 2019
5
0
Ok thank you. So your advice is Sierra. Where can I download the installation disks for old versions (I mean Sierra too)?

I saw on other threads thato other people advice Mavericks too (even if it's getting old) for speed. Is there a huge difference in speed between Mavericks and Sierra?

Thank you
 
Last edited:

Ubele

macrumors 6502a
Mar 20, 2008
631
97
I can't answer your question directly, but I have a 2012 Mac mini i7 2.3 GHz with 16 BG of RAM. If I recall correctly, it was running fine with Mavericks on the original 1 TB HDD, and it didn't start feeling really slow until Sierra. I installed a Fusion drive in 2017, and it was like getting a brand-new computer. I currently have Mojave installed, and it's still fine for most tasks. The only time I get the spinning beach ball for a few seconds is when I'm doing something medium-heavy in Photoshop or another photo-editing app, which is more taxing than what you describe. I also upgraded my wife's 2012 Mac mini i5 with 8 GB of RAM to a Fusion drive, and it, too, is running fine with Mojave. She uses it for basic productivity tasks (email, web browsing, MS Word, and her large Apple Photos library).

Unless someone has a better suggestion, mine is that you go ahead and get that 250 GB SSD. If you don't feel comfortable installing it internally, then putting it in an external enclosure and booting externally will work fine. There's no reason not to install Mojave, unless you run older apps that aren't supported. If that doesn't solve the slowdown problem, then the problem likely lies elsewhere -- maybe something with the connection to the server?
 

marclondon

macrumors 6502
Aug 14, 2009
323
40
London
I would put the latest OS on, Mojave. You also get the latest Safari and Mail systems.

You can check here for the last security updates for various systems - probably Sierra is the oldest you should go for but I always put the latest on as the code is likely to be more efficient and I always want Safari and Mail updates.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201222
 

alefello

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 3, 2019
5
0
I'm sorry but we are in a business environment, so we don't use safari and mail nor any other preinstalled apple app. Our need is a fast, clean and SMB fully compliant OS far more than security features or shining things
 

chrfr

macrumors G3
Jul 11, 2009
8,190
2,517
I'm sorry but we are in a business environment, so we don't use safari and mail nor any other preinstalled apple app. Our need is a fast, clean and SMB fully compliant OS far more than security features or shining things
I'd still use Mojave. SMB has had lots of bugs worked out of Apple's implementation over the years.
 

alefello

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 3, 2019
5
0
And what about speed and usability? I red many opinions about slowdowns and problems with lastest versions
 

Ubele

macrumors 6502a
Mar 20, 2008
631
97
And what about speed and usability? I red many opinions about slowdowns and problems with lastest versions
I haven't had any issues with speed. The only problems I've encountered are with external USB hard drives and my USB audio/MIDI interface sometimes becoming unavailable. Then I either disconnect and reconnect them, or reboot my mini. However, the drives are connected to a USB hub, and I have the same problem with a USB hub and external drives connected to my 2015 MacBook Pro.

There are certain things I use my mini for, because it has 16 GB of RAM (vs. 8 GB on my MBP) and a quad-core i7 processor (vs. a dual-core i5 on my MBP, even though that's newer):
  • Ripping my DVD collection in the background while I do writing and other productivity tasks on my MBP
  • Recording music with Logic Pro
  • Running a couple of WordPress development sites on virtual servers using Local by Flywheel (8 GB of RAM isn't enough for that)
  • Sometimes editing photos for the WordPress sites, although I usually use my MBP for that, because it supports my 4K monitor
The only time I notice any slowness is when applying various filters to large photo files using one of my photo-editing apps--but that happens with my MBP, too. Honestly, if the mini supported my 4K monitor, I'd be completely happy with it. Not bad for a seven-and-a-half-year-old computer, eh?
 

alefello

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 3, 2019
5
0
Hello. Sorry for keeping the thread alive. I'm still doubtful. In the last years I heard many hopinions all concording last updates of Apple software is not so stable. I'm looking for an OS version I don't need to update for the next 5 years because we're in a business environment so every time-consuming update and every possible cause of disruption is to avoid like a bad disease. For this reason I would install OSX and then block the updates. I did that with the Windows 10 PCs too and we execute only security updates manually during holidays.
Considering that, is still Mojave the best OS? Or is better to remain on Sierra which I think is possibly more stable?
Thank you
 

opeter

macrumors 68000
Aug 5, 2007
1,566
485
Slovenia, EU
MacOS Sierra 10.12.6.

That is what I have on mine 2014, because it is the last version, that uses HFS+ format for SSD disk and the whole experince for me is faster than the later versions. I tried Mojave (10.14) and is was for whatever reason slower at opening windows etc. on the same hardware if i compare it to Sierra (10.12). So I stayed with Sierra.

Of course I am using macOS Mojave on my other Mac mini (2018), because you cannot install older MacOS/macOS, than that, what came with the machine.
 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
4,195
1,875
New Jersey Pine Barrens
I have a 2012 i7 2.6ghz 16gb mini which is similar to yours. Am running Sierra on it with no problems, it feels very fast and I use it with demanding software like Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro. The operating system is installed on an external USB 1TB Samsung T3 SSD.

Now I also have a 2014 2.8ghz 8gb Mini with Mojave, it also runs well and feels fast. The operating system is on an internal 128gb SSD (which was actually split from the original fusion drive). HOWEVER... this machine has filesharing enabled and seems very slow when I access it as a network disk.

And that is odd, because I also have a lowly base model 1.4ghz 4gb Mini with Mavericks, and filesharing was faster on that machine. I haven't taken the time to dig into this in depth, but I'll get around to it eventually. However, it makes me wonder if Apple did something that slows down filesharing under Mojave.

Anyway, if your Mini's are running well under Mavericks I don't see much reason why you should change. Installing SSD's (either internal or external) should make a big difference in performance. But Sierra should be fine too IMO, and you won't need to worry about any APFS issues.