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Mac Mini late 2012 is a little gem

dorsetdreamer

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 20, 2015
4
3
UK
I have a souped up late 2012 i7 Mac Mini with extra ram and an SSD running Yosemite.
Did a lot of searching on Google on what would and would not work with it and there's seems to be a lot of misconceptions so I thought I'd put my experience here to save a lot of time if you're looking for the same info and setup.
Note - if you upgrade to an SSD this must be sited in the original slot not the second one to be able to install the OS onto it.
I've teamed it with the LG 34UM95-P 3440X1440 UltraWide monitor via thunderbolt with no problems.
Final cut pro works extremely well and all of this extra screen real estate makes it a joy to work with.
There's a lot you can do with this little machine and unless you need to, why spend more on something more powerful unless you really, really need it?
 

Dark Void

macrumors 68030
Jun 1, 2011
2,614
478
I agree. I have a late 2012 i5 model. While it is only dual-core, it provides all of the processing power that I need. I paid $500 for this unit and purchased it new on sale at a local electronics store back in late 2013 before the approaching 2014 models. I upgraded the RAM to 8 GB via a Crucial aftermarket kit for $45, and plan to upgrade the HDD with a SSD when it starts to experience any sort of crawling. It being only a 5400 RPM stock drive, however, starts the machine up in 25-30 seconds typically, and all of my applications never seem to need more than one bounce animation to fully launch.

With tax and everything included, I am in it for less than $600, and I have been using it as my daily computer for some time now. It runs very well under Yosemite and I have not had any issues with it whatsoever. It's quiet and runs cool. It has so much connectivity for such a small form factor desktop. It has all of the ports that I could possibly need with no need for any sort of hub. I have a lot connected to this Mini and it handles everything even on that dual i5.

It is more than a gem. I wish they hadn't both soldered the RAM and removed the quad-core options in the 2014 models. I have no interest in any other desktop computer after using my 2012 Mini.
 
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idntknw

macrumors regular
Nov 11, 2012
149
13
I have a souped up late 2012 i7 Mac Mini with extra ram and an SSD running Yosemite.
Did a lot of searching on Google on what would and would not work with it and there's seems to be a lot of misconceptions so I thought I'd put my experience here to save a lot of time if you're looking for the same info and setup.
Note - if you upgrade to an SSD this must be sited in the original slot not the second one to be able to install the OS onto it.
I've teamed it with the LG 34UM95-P 3440X1440 UltraWide monitor via thunderbolt with no problems.
Final cut pro works extremely well and all of this extra screen real estate makes it a joy to work with.
There's a lot you can do with this little machine and unless you need to, why spend more on something more powerful unless you really, really need it?

Hello...Just was curious about why it needs to be in the original slot. I thought both bays were functionally identical.
 
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Galvao

macrumors member
Nov 14, 2013
41
1
Lisboa, Portugal
In fact I have just installed a 500GB MX200 SSD, letting the stock drive where it was (lower bay, Mac mini in the normal position). It has been a fairly easy process, and after everything was in place, formatted the new drive (upper bay), cloned the old one to the new with Super Dupper, restarted from the new SSD, wiped the HD. Smooth and easy. The final result was excellent as expected, and with its 16gb ram (1st upgrade) runs very, very well.
 
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solaris

macrumors 6502a
Apr 19, 2004
706
98
Oslo, Norway
I totally agree. The 2012 Mac mini is a great little machine.
I have a late 2012 Mac mini Server. Quad-core i7, 16 GB ram and 2 x 1 TB hdd. When warranty is out I will go fully SSD. Its my file and VPN server, torrent seeder, and more on my gigabit fiber connection. Runs great, and barely get hot.

Love it! :)
 
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hallux

macrumors 68040
Apr 25, 2012
3,262
849
Hello...Just was curious about why it needs to be in the original slot. I thought both bays were functionally identical.

It doesn't matter. I have my SSD in the "upper" location on my Mini and it works fine. The HDD that came in the Mini is still in the "lower" location where it was situated when I first opened the machine.
 
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aajeevlin

macrumors 65816
Mar 25, 2010
1,201
526
Agreed with all the above. However, the problem is if the current trend of Mac Mini continues (under power, soldered RAM, higher price etc...), how much longer can we honestly suggest buying the 2012 Mini before we admit that we are paying too much to simply stick with the Mini form factor. As great as the Mac Mini 2012 might be, it is still three years old. I plan to run my Mini 2009 into the ground before I have to switch, but I honestly have no idea what I would get after this.
 
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Crosscreek

macrumors 68030
Nov 19, 2013
2,862
5,741
Margarittaville
I have owned my 2012 Mac Mini since 2013. After running many PCs over 30 years I can say that the Mini is the best computer I have ever owned. I will be investing in a Skylake machine next year and I hope that Apple offers something as well engineered as the 2012 Mac Mini.
 
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dano0726

macrumors newbie
Jul 5, 2011
26
9
NW Houston
Bought my 2012 Mac Mini in January, 2014 -- the base model 2.5GHz dual core (MD387LL/A), but I immediately added an 8GB stick of more RAM (to get to 10GB of RAM)...

Yesterday, I swapped the original 500GB hard drive with a new 120GB SSD from OWC -- can't believe the speed difference.

Just don't see the need to upgrade from this and spend more money
 
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JoePa2624

macrumors regular
Oct 12, 2014
246
102
AZ
I picked up a 2011 Mac Mini and immediately threw in 16gb of RAM and a 256gb SSD. I use it as my main office computer and absolutely love it. An upgrade to SSD is the single most notable performance improvement you can make to a computer.
 
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Traverse

macrumors 604
Mar 11, 2013
7,062
3,382
Here
My mother loves hers, but only uses Chrome to browse Yahoo and check her email.

She grossly underutilizes it which is why I may "share" it and use it as local extended storage.
 
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alfredone1978

macrumors newbie
Jun 22, 2015
11
0
I've a Mac Mini Late 2012 with 16 GB of RAM (2 x 8GB Crucial DDR3 1600 MHz) and dual drive kit (SSD Crucial MX200 250 GB and WD Black Scorpion 500 GB - 7200 rpm).

My Mac Mini is wonderful but after updating Yosemite to 10.10.3 version, I got a bunch of pixels flickering on some random position of my screen. They appear random, sometime after 10 minuter of working, sometime after 2 hours...! You can see what happens in the following video:


I tried resetting PRAM and SMC, but the issue is still present.
I tried formatting my hard disk and I reinstalled all again, but the issue is still there!
And, if I go back to OS X 10.10.2 (via Time Machine), the issue disappears!!!

it's frustrating, because when I had OS X 10.10.2 I hadn't any issues! The problem regards every Mac computer having as GPU the Intel HD Graphics 4000.

This issue often appears when I use Final Cut Pro X 10.2.1: while I'm working on, Final Cut freezes and I see the "artifacts glitches" on the screen...!

Does it happen to you?
 
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Galvao

macrumors member
Nov 14, 2013
41
1
Lisboa, Portugal
I have an identical machine (see below), also tried with FCP 10.2.1, but so far so good with Yosemite 10.10.4 Public Beta. Try it.
 
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alfredone1978

macrumors newbie
Jun 22, 2015
11
0
I have an identical machine (see below), also tried with FCP 10.2.1, but so far so good with Yosemite 10.10.4 Public Beta. Try it.

1) Do you often use FCP 10.2.1?
2) When you had Yosemite 10.10.3, did you have my same issue I described?
 
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Crosscreek

macrumors 68030
Nov 19, 2013
2,862
5,741
Margarittaville
I've a Mac Mini Late 2012 with 16 GB of RAM (2 x 8GB Crucial DDR3 1600 MHz) and dual drive kit (SSD Crucial MX200 250 GB and WD Black Scorpion 500 GB - 7200 rpm).

My Mac Mini is wonderful but after updating Yosemite to 10.10.3 version, I got a bunch of pixels flickering on some random position of my screen. They appear random, sometime after 10 minuter of working, sometime after 2 hours...! You can see what happens in the following video:


I tried resetting PRAM and SMC, but the issue is still present.
I tried formatting my hard disk and I reinstalled all again, but the issue is still there!
And, if I go back to OS X 10.10.2 (via Time Machine), the issue disappears!!!

it's frustrating, because when I had OS X 10.10.2 I hadn't any issues! The problem regards every Mac computer having as GPU the Intel HD Graphics 4000.

This issue often appears when I use Final Cut Pro X 10.2.1: while I'm working on, Final Cut freezes and I see the "artifacts glitches" on the screen...!

Does it happen to you?
It's a software issue. I'm running OS X 10.4 Beta and it does not seem to be happening anymore. What I do when it happens I go to Mission Control to show all windows and then back to my original Desktop and that fixes the pixelation.
 
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alfredone1978

macrumors newbie
Jun 22, 2015
11
0
It's a software issue. I'm running OS X 10.4 Beta and it does not seem to be happening anymore. What I do when it happens I go to Mission Control to show all windows and then back to my original Desktop and that fixes the pixelation.

Did it happen only when you had Yosemite 10.10.3? So, now with Yosemite 10.10.4 Beta, don't you have this issue anymore? Can you tell me it, please?
 
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JackieInCo

Suspended
Jul 18, 2013
5,178
1,599
Colorado
I still enjoy using my 2012 i7 Mini. Last month I bought a 2015 top of the line 15" retina MBP. I intended to use it as my main Mac and I in fact i do so. Today, I was converting about 200 250-300MB AVI files to play on my ATV2. The MBP handled them as it should, exceedingly fast BUT the fan never once spun down. It was annoyingly loud during the two hours I spent converting about 50 of those files.

I then copied the remaining files over to my mini and am very glad I did. The fan still spins up to 5500 RPMs but it also spins down to about 2100 RPMs during half of the conversion of each file. Sure it's taking longer then the MBP but the fan is not as annoying.

Interestingly,, the MBP stayed cool to the touch during those two hours and it was only slightly warm on the bottom center of the laptop so the fans in it are doing their job well.

This is just one of those times where I am glad that I have more then one Mac to get things done.

On a side note, I did have Little Snitch installed and had to remove it. My Mini began having problems where it would simply reboot or have kernel panics. Many times I would wake up the computer and after ten minutes of waiting, a grey screen with a folder would come on and I would have to reboot. Removing Little Snitch solved that problem for the most part. I would not recommend that program to anyone.
 
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alfredone1978

macrumors newbie
Jun 22, 2015
11
0
...On a side note, I did have Little Snitch installed and had to remove it. My Mini began having problems where it would simply reboot or have kernel panics. Many times I would wake up the computer and after ten minutes of waiting, a grey screen with a folder would come on and I would have to reboot. Removing Little Snitch solved that problem for the most part. I would not recommend that program to anyone.

While you had issues on your Mac Mini (reboot, etc...), which version of Yosemite did you have? Perhaps 10.10.3?
 
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alfredone1978

macrumors newbie
Jun 22, 2015
11
0
My Mini is still on Mavericks. I am waiting till I get an SSD and more RAM before I upgrade to Yosemite. My Mini still has the stock 4GB RAM.

I understand. Remember that after upgrading to Yosemite 10.10.3, you'll have several graphic glitches issues, because of problems on graphic drivers (introduced by Yosemite 10.10.3), regarding our GPU (Intel Graphics HD 4000)!!!
 
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JackieInCo

Suspended
Jul 18, 2013
5,178
1,599
Colorado
I understand. Remember that after upgrading to Yosemite 10.10.3, you'll have several graphic glitches issues, because of problems on graphic drivers (introduced by Yosemite 10.10.3), regarding our GPU (Intel Graphics HD 4000)!!!
I may just end up skipping Yosemite on my Mini then. It's running very well with Mavericks so I see no reason to bring on problems now.
 
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alfredone1978

macrumors newbie
Jun 22, 2015
11
0
I may just end up skipping Yosemite on my Mini then. It's running very well with Mavericks so I see no reason to bring on problems now.

Yes, I understand your point of view! :)

But Apple has to fix this software issue because our Mac Mini Late 2012 is a wonderful machine!!!
 
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dorsetdreamer

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 20, 2015
4
3
UK
macmin.jpg
In reply about installing the SSD I found if you want the OS on it, it would only successfully install if the SSD was sited where the initial drive was.
Here is a picture of my setup.
 
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