Mac mini New or Old?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by DougR_99, Jan 14, 2019.

  1. DougR_99 macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2019
    My daughter looking to do video production in college on an Apple. Will be using Adobe Premiere. Wondering if I will be better off getting her a Mac mini late 2012 with an i7 chip or purchasing the 2018 model? I've found a late 2012 on Craigslist with a 2.3 ghz quad core intel i7, 16 GB of Ram and 512 Gb hard drive for $400.00 Thanks in advance for any input
  2. mripadmini macrumors regular


    Aug 24, 2013
    id get a new one as the 2012 one is 6 going on 7 years old at this point.
  3. Boyd01 macrumors 601


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    I have a 2012 i7 2.6ghz quad mini that I use exclusively for video and audio editing (although I use Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro). It works very well for my needs, which is primarily 1080p30 and a lot of legacy SD video. But I wouldn't buy one today, especially if I was sending it away to college with my daughter. I agree, it is getting too old. The base model 2018 has the same geekbench rating as the 2012 quad and also has a better selection of ports, faster wifi and other improvements.

    I'm keeping my quad for awhile since it works for me and I don't want to spend the money on a new one. But that is not the same as setting up a new one and then sending it away. Two years ago, I gave my 2012 base mini (upgraded with a SSD and 16gb) to my daughter's family. Several months later they started having some odd problems that were difficult for me to diagnose over the phone, and they ended up having to restore from time machine several times over the coming months. They finally gave up on it, and this Christmas I gave them a new MacBook Air since they decided a laptop would be more useful.

    Is there some reason why you are only considering a Mini? I'd think a laptop would be a better choice for a college student.
  4. DougR_99 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2019
    --- Post Merged, Jan 15, 2019 ---
    Thank you for your response. Currently my daughter has a Mac laptop that is about three or four years old and is struggling to run Adobe Premier effectively. I'm not sure exactly what chip is in it, but I know it is not a quad core and might also have a limited ram. I was wanting her to gravitate towards a larger monitor for the video editing, but also wanted portability. That is why I was thinking the Mac Mini might make sense. But maybe a smarter option would be to purchase a new laptop and then have a separate monitor that she can connect to when she is in her dorm room? Thoughts?
  5. Boyd01 macrumors 601


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    I would certainly consider that option, she would then only have one computer to deal with and it would be fully covered by a warranty. Have you checked to see what kind of machine the university recommends for this course?
  6. DougR_99 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2019
    She is a freshman and is on break returning next week. We suggested that she reaches out to one of her professors for some additional input. But I think based on our conversation, that maybe going the wrong way of a new laptop along with a separate monitor makes the most sense. Best of both worlds, and it will be a new computer as you stated with a warranty. Thanks again for taking the time to respond.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 15, 2019 ---
    *going the way of a new laptop...
  7. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    She should keep the existing MPB that she has (for portability) and get either a 2018 Mini or perhaps consider a 2017-design (current model) 5k 27" iMac (either the midrange 3.5ghz model or the i7 -- the midrange might have less fan noise, if she is sensitive to such things).

    The 2017 iMacs remain very classy machines...
  8. open0 macrumors member


    Dec 29, 2018
    be aware that Adobe Premiere runs on Windows better than Mac
  9. DougR_99 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2019
    That will probably only make sense if I can upgrade her current laptop to run Adobe Premiere more efficiently. Right now it does not run smoothly. Wondering if I go the route of a new laptop, will it also need a graphics card?
  10. Boyd01 macrumors 601


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    Doesn't the university have some kind of computer lab where students can work on their projects? I realize that is not as convenient as having your own computer, but it would at least give her a chance to learn more about editing and computers so she could actively participate in the choice of a new computer later in the semester. She would learn more this way, instead of Dad doing everything for her.

    I just question why a college freshman taking an entry level course would need more than one computer of her own. How serious is she about working with video? My daughter got a BFA degree in musical theatre, and today she is operations manager for a major firm in New York. College is just the beginning. :)
  11. pl1984 macrumors 68000

    Oct 31, 2017
    I would suggest you look at Windows based solutions. The Mini is a great system but has a weak, relatively speaking, GPU. A Windows based solution may be a much better fit for her needs.
  12. F-Train, Jan 15, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019

    F-Train macrumors 65816

    Apr 22, 2015
    NYC & Newfoundland
    There is a good deal of discussion on the internet to the effect that Final Cut is optimized for macOS and runs noticeably better than Premier Pro on Apple computers. That said, Adobe is apparently aware of the problem and is said to be addressing it.

    Speaking more generally, I can say based on personal experience that the i5 and i7 Mac minis and Final Cut do a good job when editing both 1080p and 2160p video. If one is editing RAW video footage, an external graphics card would be necessary.

    As for Mac laptops, there are lots of people editing videos on them.
  13. Macintoshrumors, Jan 15, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2019

    Macintoshrumors macrumors 6502


    Oct 18, 2016
    I’d go with the newer models. The 2012 is on the brink of losing support from Apple. Not only will the new ones last like a decade, they are prime for adobe updates for years. Is adobe a must have? Final cut will save money over time and is optimize for macs obviously.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 15, 2019 ---
    I had a iMac and MacBook Pro in college. There is nothing wrong with having two computers in college one can afford it. MacBook was for class and iMac was for heavy work on a bigger screen.
  14. mikehalloran, Jan 17, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2019

    mikehalloran macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2018
    The Sillie Con Valley
    Late 2015 was when the MacBook Pro with the PCIe 3/4 "quad" bus was introduced. These have an NVMe 3/4 SSD to take advantage of the bus speed.

    Older MBPs and other MacBooks like the Air have a PCIe 2 bus and corresponding SSD. Upgrading to a quadcore chip like the 970 EVO will not increase performance in these. You can install a larger one to increase storage capacity, however.

    As far as I know, the 2015 iMac was the only one where Apple put a PCIe 2 chip in a quad bus. This did not change till the 2017 model.

    If Adobe Premier is required, it does run better on the PC last I heard though Adobe has promised better Mac performance.

    The 2012 i7 Quad Core Mini isn't a bad machine but its GPU isn't that great. An SSD drops in pretty easily if you follow the instructions. You do not want to leave a spinning hard drive in one.

    I like the idea of a later MacBook Pro.

    A 2018 Mini with a decent monitor, RAM and storage is more expensive than a 2017 iMac. I like 2017 iMac better—good monitor and better GPU unless you add eGPU to the Mini.
  15. Cheapassmac macrumors regular

    Nov 5, 2018
    Between the 2012 and 2018 mac mini, as much as I love my 2012, it's worth getting even the low end 2018 model over saving the $400 cash.

    Performance benefits aside, there are some things the 2018 model can literally do that the 2012 can't: 4k resolution desktop natively, and GPU expansion via thunderbolt. For content creators on the mac, this is a must.

    While it's possible a windows set up could have better performance for lower cost (this is not news, nor was this asked by the OP), a Mac Mini 2018 model is a very viable machine that has workarounds for its shortcomings if needed (unlike the 2012 model).

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