My new Mac Mini (2014)

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Populus, Apr 29, 2019.

  1. Populus, Apr 29, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2019

    Populus macrumors 6502a

    Populus

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2012
    Location:
    Valencia, Spain.
    #1
    Hello.

    I'm planning to purchase tomorrow a used Mac mini from 2015. It's the Haswell model, at 2.6GHz and 8GB of RAM. My only concern here is the RAM memory, but it is impossible to find a Mac mini with 16GB. And this model doesn't have upgradeable RAM, so I will stick with 8GB.

    The good thing is that it is pretty cheap. And it hasn't been used a lot.

    My only caveats are the integrated Iris graphics (HD 5100) and the 8Gb of RAM, but don't plan on playing videogames on a mac, I have a PS4 Pro for that. As long as it supports Metal API and handles smoothly the UI, I'm cool with it.

    My idea is replace this summer the original 1TB hard drive for an SSD, when I have time to disassembly it. It seems pretty easy.

    After the purchase of an iPad Pro 11" and this 2014 Mac mini I will be able to replace my 2010 13" MacBook Pro (which is aging, the Bluetooth is not as reliable, lacks continuity, AirDrop to iOS devices, and other features) with a Mac desktop and a iPad as a portable device. I think it is a good combination. My plan years ago was to replace this old 2010 MacBook Pro for a new MacBook Pro, but at this point with the reliability issues I've decided to not get a new MacBook Pro until the next redesign, which may be still far away, and probably will cost more than 2.000$, which I can't afford now.

    If anyone knows what may I be missing with the 2014 2,6 GHz Mac mini compared with the new one (aside from the T2 crashes and half the CPU compute power), just let me know. But this machine costs less than half the price of the 2018 basic mac mini which only carries 128GB of SSD storage. And I expect this 2014 machine to last 3-4 more years of macOS support.

    I guess an Intel i5 2.6 GHz Haswell CPU will be a significant upgrade compared with my 2010 13" Core2Duo MacBook pro with the integrated Nvidia 320M. Also I will be able to AirDrop files from my mac to my iPad Pro and viceversa, something I wasn't able to do with my 2010 MacBook Pro because none of the handoff and continuity features were avaiable.
     
  2. macdragonfl, Apr 29, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2019

    macdragonfl macrumors 6502a

    macdragonfl

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale,Fl
    #2
    For the price you are doing the right thing, you don’t have to open it up just boot from an usb3 enclosure and a ssd. I had a 2012 was going to replace it internally. Temporary was my intention. It ran so well I just never did it. I also replaced MacBook Pro with mini an an iPad Pro. For my workflow it is an unbeatable combination. I bought a 2014 8gb for a friend who needed a bargain I also set it up with external boot drive. It’s a great machine. No you cannot upgrade the ram but it will be fine for your use.
     
  3. Populus thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Populus

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2012
    Location:
    Valencia, Spain.
    #3
    Thank you. That was my point.

    At this moment, my 2010 MacBook pro after god knows how many battery cycles on the second battery, still lasts 3-4 hours, but that's not enough for me in the long run. And it will only get worse. And it is obsolete, I cannot replace the battery again. I'm starting to get tired of the non retina screen. And after 9 years of non-stop work (it has been on daily), I think it is the moment to look for a replace. I will keep this laptop, tho, as it brings me a lot of memories. It has been with me a third of my lifetime.

    I tried an iPad Pro 11", because the new MacBook pros are not an option now, and it did good for me outside my home. But my fear is always needing macOS for something I can't do on the iPad Pro yet.

    But as I said, there's an additional reason: My 13" 2010 MacBook pro didn't communicate properly with the iPad, as it doesn't with my iPhone. So I think the 2014 Mac Mini would be well integrated into the workflow and my home ecosystem.

    Benchmarks say this Haswell Mac Mini is DOUBLE the performance of my Core2Duo MacBook Pro. And I think I won't need more, CPU wise. And the GPU, as long as it's good enough to move the UI smoothly, I'm ok. Metal compatible, and I'm good.

    The RAM was, and is the only caveat, but if I see I need more RAM in the future I can always sell it again and get a newer Mac Mini. My only concern for RAM memory is if I decide to start learning Audio software like Logic Pro X or Garageband, or editing video with Final Cut Pro X. I guess I would be able to "learn" the basic skills and non complex projects with 8GB of RAM, and if someday I want to take a step further to learn more advanced skills, look for a computer with more RAM.
     
  4. MattA macrumors 6502

    MattA

    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #4
    I've been running that same Mac Mini for about a year and a half. I did swap the 1TB 5400rpm drive with a 1TB SSD (this improved performance considerably). For normal tasks, there really isn't anything wrong with it. It'll even play games that aren't too resource intensive. I play WoW and Diablo III on mine without any difficulty. That said, the new 2018 will run circles around it. But for $350, it's a pretty screamin' deal.
     
  5. Populus thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Populus

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2012
    Location:
    Valencia, Spain.
    #5
    Thank you for your input.

    I've already bought it. It's in pristine condition. Plugged to my 24" 1200p display looks gorgeous, using the mini DisplayPort output. The HDMI gives me a bluish tint on the screen, but I'm pretty sure that's the display fault, as I recall a similar case with other device. I have no problem on using an alternative port.

    Another issue I've seen it's that moving a window on the desktop (Mojave) is not as smooth as on High Sierra. After some reboots and clearing the PRAM, it looks better. But still, Mojave reminds me of Lion: lots of new features, with a performance hit.

    Overall I'm pretty happy. Currently I would never spend 1.100€ on a 2018 Mac Mini. The entry level mini? Spending 800€ on a computer with 128GB of storage and an underpowered CPU? No thanks. I know I can still attach an external SSD but I don't see it worth it for that high price. Maybe in 3 or 4 years I could get the latest mini on the market, and max out the RAM, but now I don't see it's worth it for me.

    Now I'm stuck trying to make work my old Apple Wireless Keyboard while booting on an install USB (in order to format the hard drive). The Operative System does recognize the keyboard, trackpad and the mouse, but once you boot from the external USB, I'm stuck with the screen of "trying to detect your wireless keyboard". I've ordered a USB to PS2 adapter to use my old keyboard to configure this mini.
     
  6. Populus thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Populus

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2012
    Location:
    Valencia, Spain.
    #6
    Hello again.

    I'm experiencing issues with the Apple Wireless Keyboard (the old one), it happens the following:

    After coming back from sleep mode, sometimes, I try to type and the keys appear slowly, like one letter each 2 seconds. This gets solved turning off and on the Wireless Keyboard, but it is annoying.

    Do you think the newer Magic Keyboard will work flawlessly? The new one has Bluetooth 3.0, whilst my old Apple Wireless Keyboard is 2.1

    I've found a deal on the new Magic Keyboard but I'm hesitant to buy an expensive keyboard that won't work properly either... Any good alternative?

    Thank you.
     
  7. ChrisChaval macrumors 6502

    ChrisChaval

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2016
    #7
  8. Tulani macrumors 6502a

    Tulani

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2012
    #8
    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/8011623
     
  9. Populus thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Populus

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2012
    Location:
    Valencia, Spain.
    #9
    Thank you Tulani, I haven't tried the WiFi yet, but I will check it. Probably if there's an issue with the Bluetooth, there will be with WiFi as well. Anyway, reseting the PRAM was the first thing I did after purchasing it.

    This is a good idea, let me reset the Bluetooth module and I will edit my message with the outcome.

    Thank you so much!
     
  10. Tulani macrumors 6502a

    Tulani

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2012
    #10
    i have a 2014 mac mini (mojave)
    i use it specifically as a Plex media server for my movies and tv series
    it has a wifi problem such that i have just turned it off and now using ethernet
    bluetooth use (with headphones / first gen apple keyboard & trackpad) is flawless....maybe because i have completely eliminated use of wifi

    so you can troubleshoot along these lines

    i have tried reseting PRAM...powering it down and yanking power cord....it has never worked
    i have had this machine for over 4years now since new
     
  11. macdragonfl macrumors 6502a

    macdragonfl

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale,Fl
    #11
    When I first purchased my 2012, the old wireless keyboard did not work well, I bought the newer version and it was fine.
     

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10 April 29, 2019