Mac Mini 2018 - Longevity and ability to handle 4K monitors and above

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Tigerman82, Nov 2, 2018.

  1. Tigerman82 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    OS X Mojave made my Mid-2010 iMac obsolete (it's still fast, especially with the HDD upgraded to SSD, but the connections and communications are not up to today's standards) and I'm now thinking about buying a new Mac. One of the reasons I'm sticking with Apple is the longevity of their desktops as I never had I problem with my iMac and could probably continue using it for another five years. However, I'm not sure about the Mac Mini. Back in the day I had a Early-2009 Mac Mini and even with an SSD installed it slowed down and stopped received OS X updates after El Capitan. Put it this way...

    What do you think of the new Mac Mini? Especially the six-core model (no BTO parts)? Will it have more life expectancy than the earlier Mac Minis? Do the inner parts guarantee that it will not slow down for basic task even after a decade (like with my iMac)? What about those 4K and 5K displays? Will it be able to handle them after 6-10 years? My main worry here is that without a powerful GPU the Mac Mini might end up slowing down significantly after 5-7 years.

    I was counting on Apple to release new iMacs and buy one of those but this new Mac Mini made me think that I could save almost $1k by getting the six-core Mac Mini with something like Dell U2718Q 4K monitor instead of a 27" iMac (I'm sure they'll raise prises if and when they standardise SSDs like they now did with the Mac Mini). I originally bought my 2010 iMac for ability to do light gaming (because of the GPU power) but I might as well buy a PS4. I do do some light photo and video editing but nothing hardcore.
     
  2. strawbale macrumors 6502

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    #2
    An early-2009 Mac Mini (that came with 10.5.6) could run 10.11.6, which received the latest (and probably last) security and safari update on July 9th, 2018, so a secure lifespan of 9+ years.

    The 2018 Mac Mini has 8th gen desktop procerssors, one generation newer tha the ones in the latest (mid-2017) iMacs, so I'd expect them to last at least as long, depending on the amount of RAM and, less importantly, the processor, but that is equally true for an iMac.
     
  3. Tigerman82 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Yes, Apple does provide at least those updates even if they stopped supporting newer OS X versions. However, I still have the Mac Mini in question and even with an SSD and 8 gigs of RAM inside, it's extremely slow in basic tasks. For example, when I'm using Chrome, even with one tab open the speed in annoyingly slow, let alone when I have several tabs open. I have taken care of the OS and at one point even did a fresh install. The point is that I'd rather splurge on an iMac if it guarantees that there won't be a significant slowdown in basic tasks after 6-8 years. However, if the current Mac Mini can guarantee that, I'll certainly think about buying one. I mean would the price increase indicate that this time around they are really making a reasonable desktop replacement (minus the GPU power).
     
  4. MRrainer macrumors 65816

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    #4
    With the new Mini, you can always buy an eGPU.

    As for longevity: nobody knows how long those fans and the logic boards are going to last. The caps could go out after five years or fifteen. Only way to find out is to buy one and use it.
     
  5. strawbale macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Can't comment on your specific situation, but my 2007 MM with originall HD is still snappy because I left in on 10.6.8.
     
  6. MRrainer macrumors 65816

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    #6
    I would guess that there will be an eight-core option for the iMac - for a price.
    But: if the display caves in after five years, your iMac is a paperweight, too. The repair will be very costly.
    With the Mini, you can at least keep the Mini (or the display).
     
  7. strawbale macrumors 6502

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    #7
    My 2007 MBP is indeed much slower with El Capitan than it was with Snow Leopard, but probably pertially due to still having the original HDD.

    This thread might be of interest re: problems/slowness of SSD's in an early 2009 MM:
    https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/mini-ssd-upgrade-2009-vs-2012.2030743/
     
  8. now i see it macrumors 68040

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    #8
    I had a 2007 mini that finally conked out in 2017. Some logic board problem.

    It's important to remember that you don't NEED to upgrade the OS every year on a new machine. Maybe only go one or two at max revisions up.
     
  9. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

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    #9
    My guess (and it's ONLY "a guess" at this point) is that a 2018 Mini, properly equipped, will have a "longevity" that rivals that of the 2012 i7 models.

    In other words, "pretty good"...
     
  10. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

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    #10
    I too have a 2010 and it too (w ssd) feels sluggish but a big part of that is the years since my last full clean install, which I consider a software problem - with an easy remedy. So do that first. But...

    2018 is not only an as good upgrade, with its performance focus I consider it better suited for longevity than previous models. In particular the usbC ports. They make it nearly as future proof as the pci slots in a 10 year old Mac Pro!
     
  11. Stephen.R macrumors 65816

    Stephen.R

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    #11
    That’s probably more to do with chrome being a pig on resources than your hardware, to be fair.

    How long it will be usable depends how you want to use it. My parents just replaced the 2009 Mini I gave them when moving overseas (overheated, cpu cooked itself apparently), and they’re still using the 2007 17” MBP I gave them (at the same time).

    I’ve just replaced a 2011 17” MBP because it’s started “eating” fans at a rate of 1-2 a year, and it’s not reliable enough for work.

    The key thing (for basic usage) with longevity is usually memory. In the new minis, it’s upgradable (even if only officially by authorised service centres), so that’s less of a problem going forward even if you just opt for the base memory for now.
     
  12. Tigerman82 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    True. In fact the culprit of my Mid-2010 iMac's fans ramping up was Chrome or rather certain addons I was using with it. However, as for the Early-2009 Mac Mini (SSD, 8 gigs of RAM) in question, it's laggy with other apps as well. For example, opening up the OS X App Store takes ages. You see this with those cheap PC laptops as they get slow and laggy extremely fast even for basic tasks. If I'm going to pay Apple prices, I would at least want a computer that's able to open up it's own App Store relatively quickly even after 6-8 years.
     
  13. MRrainer macrumors 65816

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    #13
    Addons are the death of any browsers.
    I don't use Chrome anyway, but I've removed all plugins from Firefox and don't use any on Safari.
    This helps stability across all platforms.

    The only real add-on that I have left is an ad-blocker in Opera.

    The 2008 iMac (24") I have is kind-of usable. It boots slowly, opening anything takes a while - but you can still watch HD Youtube stuff on it - which is its main use these days.
    It's running El Capitan.

    It took ages to open my giant IMAP inbox and it was unusable with VMWare Fusion, which is the main reason I bought the 2012 i7 in 2014.
     
  14. StellarVixen macrumors 68000

    StellarVixen

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    #14
    Unless Apple doesn't ditch Intel soon, and leave Intel users behind just after few years? Remember Snow Leopard?

    Last PPC Mac was made in 2005, and made obsolete by Snow Leopard in 2009. That's just four years.
     
  15. saulinpa macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Any word on the soldered SSD's life expectancy?
     
  16. strawbale macrumors 6502

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    #16
    True! Hadn't thought about that - the more reason to stick to the base model...

    Though SL received security updates until Sept 2013, which makes it 8 years, ànd was a very good OS!
     
  17. nesss01 macrumors newbie

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    #17
    My early 2009 MM with 8 GB RAM and SSD is still useable but sluggish with El Capitan. But it was snappy up through Mavericks and speeds up a bit if I restart with a bare bones OS install.

    Still, its just about done and I will be buying the 2018 MM. Hope it lasts as long.
     
  18. InquiringMac macrumors member

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    Dec 16, 2013
    #18
    Is MM 2018 capable of driving one 8K monitor like, for example, Dell UltraSharp 32 8K (7680 x 4320 at 60 Hz)? What minimal MM configuration is required?
     
  19. strawbale macrumors 6502

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    #19
    No, max 5120x2880 (5k) @60Hz
     
  20. mcnallym macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 28, 2008
    #20
    None of MM 2018's will drive that with 630 iGPU. All of that have that iGPU. However you could add an eGPU Enclosure and put in something like an RX580 that can do so. At which point won't matter what the spec of the MM 2018 is.
     
  21. strawbale macrumors 6502

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    #21
    assuming it's the newer Titan Ridge TB3, eGPU could do 8k @30Hz uncompressed and @60Hz compressed:
    https://appleinsider.com/articles/1...displays-better-usb-c-peripheral-connectivity
     
  22. InquiringMac macrumors member

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    #22
    Thank you very kindly, dear @strawbale and @mcnallym !
    I see the iGPU is the real bottleneck here, not the CPU or RAM, etc.
    Is the current Mac Pro with TB2 only up to the task (8K @ 60 Hz, uncompressed), please? Probably not, I would guess...
     
  23. strawbale macrumors 6502

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    #23
    for 8k @60Hz uncompressed I think you need DP 1.4 or HDMI 2.1, neither of which is available on any current Mac.
     
  24. InquiringMac macrumors member

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    #24
    Am I correct in my understanding, it is uncompressed?
     
  25. strawbale macrumors 6502

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    #25
    Yes, should be.
     

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24 November 2, 2018