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Need to upgrade. Should I buy used or New?

nemofish

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 11, 2019
12
4
Software I use is Creative Suite - Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, Lightroom.

I have a mac mini late 2012, 2.3GHz i7 with 16 GB Ram and a 240 SSD + 2 TB HDD. Also attached via USB are 2 external Hard Drives for photos and for backups as my main drive is out of space.

This setup has lasted me extremely well and has been on constantly for 7 and a half years except for a week or two while on holiday.

I had a beachball issue a few weeks ago which seems to have gone away after freeing up space on my SSD (constantly running low on space) but nothing I can't live with. However I am aware it's getting towards the end of its expected reliability and OS11 will not be compatible and I am cautious of my resell value now versus in a few months time so looking to possibly upgrade.

That has all started me off looking into upgrades either the iMac or Mac Mini, but after watching Linus Tech Tips he said any new Mac is dead on arrival due to the life support Apple will provide to Intel chips which are being phased out - so I doubt I will see another 7 years and good resell value?

So in a bit of a pickle as to which way to go. I would happily buy used but no idea what to go for that will give me a speed boost
 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
5,162
2,407
New Jersey Pine Barrens
I have a 2012 quad Mini like yours, but with the 2.6ghz i7 CPU. Replaced it about 3 months ago with a 2018 i7/64gb/2tb Mini and couldn't be happier. Got it from Apple's refurbished store, which is about 15% cheaper but with the same warranty as new. Personally, not very interested in the new Apple Silicon Macs because a main reason I got the new computer was running Windows in Parallels (which it does really well) and that will not be possible on the new machines.

Also note that there have not even been any rumors about the release of an Apple Silicon Mini, just laptops and iMacs. So it could be awhile before they hit the market, and Apple will need to continue supporting Intel Macs for quite a few years. I don't even consider the resale value of a computer that I plan to keep for a long time and just assume it will be almost worthless when I'm done with it. The 2012 quad Mini's used to fetch a high resale price before the 2018 models were introduced, because they were faster than any of the 2014 Mini's. From what I've seen, they have gotten pretty cheap now. I re-purposed mine as a file server with 20tb of external disks. It should be fine for that until it dies.

In terms of speed, the i7 2018 Mini has a geekbench rating twice as fast as my 2012 quad 2.6ghz i7 Mini. But that is really only part of the picture, the SSD is unbelievably fast in these new machines - about 2600MB/sec compared to only about 500MB/sec on the 2012 Mini. This makes a huge difference for many things. Then there is the T2 chip that makes a big difference for video, and also much faster thunderbolt/USB ports. My external Samsung T7 USB SSD's are about twice as fast as the internal SSD on the 2012 Mini.

Of course, the weakness of the 2018 Mini is the integrated graphics, but they have not been an issue for my kind of usage, and are much better than the HD-4000 integrated graphics on the 2012. An external GPU is an option if your need better performance. I also considered a new iMac, the price was similar to the Mini plus screen, keyboard and mouse. But I really wanted a larger screen, and am glad I got the Mini.
 
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nemofish

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 11, 2019
12
4
Thanks so much. What screen do you have hooked up? I am running a 27" pro design monitor but it's only QHD. I hear 4k doesn't work great on minis / scaling?
 
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hallux

macrumors 68040
Apr 25, 2012
3,197
746
As for the "life support" being pulled for the Intel Macs, here's my evaluation.

The transition was to take 2 years (was that 2 years from announcement of the change or 2 years from release of the first ASi Mac?). Let's use the announcement as the basis.
So.. Last Intel Mac to be sold AS NEW will be in 2022.
Last Mac to be sold on refurb will be at least 2023, if not 2024.
Apple SHOULD provide OS support for at least the duration of AC/AC+ for the last Intel Mac sold that is eligible for such (and refurb ARE eligible), so add another 3 years to when the last refurb Intel Mac would be sold.
This gives us OS support for Intel Macs until at least 2026 or 2027.

That's just the way I see it.
 
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Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
5,162
2,407
New Jersey Pine Barrens
What screen do you have hooked up?

I am using a 32" BenQ PD3200Q QHD monitor. Really happy with it. I chose a screen that would be about 100 ppi because I've used a 23" Apple Cinema Display I got in 2006 for all these years and find the text size just about right (the BenQ is 92 ppi). I wanted to be able to run the screen at native resolution without scaling, not only because of the problems I've heard about, but because I suspect the legacy Windows software I use heavily might not play well with "retina" screens. Anyway, very happy with this setup.
 
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nemofish

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 11, 2019
12
4
All I am going by is the move from Power PCs to Intel. The time between the first Intel Mac and a new OS that required it was just 3 years. That rendered all Power PCs obsolete - even those sold a year before. I remember, I had one!

So if history repeats that's only 2023/2024
 
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Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
5,162
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I had a Powerbook G4, two PowerMac G4's and a PowerMac G5. They all kept doing what I needed until I was ready to upgrade. Was working a lot with video back then and got a 15" MacBook Pro in 2008. It was so much faster, there really wasn't much need for the G5 anymore, so when it suddenly died one day, I just threw it away.

Personally, I would not want to be an early adopter of the Apple Silicon Macs. And, like I said, running Windows and using legacy software is very important. So I'm quite comfortable with my new Mini. :)

If you can keep doing what you need with the 2012 Mini, then just wait a couple more years. By then there should be some more mature Apple Silicon Macs.
 
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nemofish

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 11, 2019
12
4
Thanks, I think I'll go with the mini and maybe try the BenQ.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
20,488
7,270
IGNORE "Linus". Go with your own experience.

You got excellent service from the 2012 Mini, right?
Then... perhaps the logical choice is the 2018/20 Mini.
Just "swap the boxes" and go.

That's what I did.
To save a little money, I went with Apple refurbished.
Looks and works like new.

I predict you'll get as many good years from the newer Mini, as you got from the old one.
 
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Erehy Dobon

macrumors 68000
Feb 16, 2018
1,618
1,471
No service
Ignore vloggers in general not just "Linus."

Like Fishrrman, I have a refurbished Mac mini 2018 that works great. The refurbs directly from Apple have the same exact warranty as the retail box units and are eligible for AppleCare+.
 
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hobowankenobi

macrumors 65832
Aug 27, 2015
1,501
511
on the land line mr. smith.
I expect the change to AS to be substantial...but I do think it will be 2-4 years before it really starts to gut the value of Intel Macs.

Anybody that thinks this is a reasonable timeline should be looking for an interim Mac...something that 3-5 years from now they will be ready to retire. A low mileage used, or refurb makes the most sense for most folks...now is not the time to buy a fully loaded top drawer Mac, unless you really need the power today, and will be ready and able to replace a new-today machine in about 4 years.

We may all have a better idea once the first AS Mac ships...should be very soon.
 
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