So is it worth getting a 2012 i5 Mac mini at this point?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by mactracker75, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. mactracker75 macrumors member

    mactracker75

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    #1
    Granted the 2012 mini i5 isn't quad core but I have a chance to score one on the cheap and I feel even if it lacks the quad core, I can always install more memory and a better hard drive to give it a nice speed bump. I watch lots of Netflix, Hulu download torrents and the like for shows and movies, occasionally use hand break but not for any sort of professional use, occasionally game but I'm really utilizing the iPad Air for that these days and web surfing. I realize the new mini is faster but I just can't get past the lack of expansion and paying more for it. The speeds don't seem to be that much faster for basic use. The 2014 entry level mini looks gruesome and the midrange is nice but not compelling at first glance. I'm running an early 2008 iMac so anything is likely to feel like a speed demon but for around 400 bucks I have to give the 2012 i5 mini a good look.
     
  2. Richard8655 macrumors 6502

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    #2
    I'd say yes, the 2012 I5 is worth getting given the depressing 2014 choices and lack of memory upgrade capability. Especially if you're cost conscious, the 2012 I5 looks much better than the entry level 2014.
     
  3. schopaia macrumors member

    schopaia

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    #3
    I'd definitely go with the 2014 for the updated intel graphics. The performance on the low end is not what the 1000's of posts here are bemoaning. Their issue is with the loss of quad core on the high end.
     
  4. mactracker75 thread starter macrumors member

    mactracker75

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    #4

    This is my thought also. I know processor power counts but for my needs, I won't miss the quad core too much and save a ton of cash. Other world computing has some upgrade kits that are very reasonably priced. An SSD in this thing and boosting the memory up to even just 8 gigabytes would do wonders I'm sure.

    I don't know what Apple was thinking here. It's so shocking I'm considering a 2 year old machine over the new one.

    ----------


    Yes the outrage over the loss of the quad core is heard around the world. The graphics are a concern for me. However many are saying that in real world use the difference in graphics performance is negligible. That's not my thought as I really don't have any way for comparing them myself but I'm seeing many saying that here in the discussions.
     
  5. Richard8655 macrumors 6502

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    #5
    I couldn't have said this better. With an inexpensive memory upgrade that's user supported, this unit will be excellent for the money. That quad core I7 was good, but I would never need that specific capability. The other factor is that both the I5 and I7 have exactly the same GPU, so to me the I7 was not cost effective for another $200.
     
  6. mactracker75 thread starter macrumors member

    mactracker75

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    #6

    This is how I see it as well. I know it's always a good idea to go with what's new in technology but Apple has plunged us into the twilight zone with this one. As far as I can determine from my reading here and elsewhere, the new minis offer a slight speed bump over the 2012 models and consume less power but was the 2012 really that much of an energy hog to begin with?

    And let us say this 2012 model becomes obsolete rather quickly due to some unforeseen system requirement on an OS update, I don't feel I've taken a bath at this low price and given the longevity of my 2008 iMac, I am sure I'll get a good number of years out of this thing with the proper upgrades.
     
  7. melendezest macrumors 68000

    melendezest

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    #7
    Upgrade-ability is the key. I'd take the old, upgradeable one.

    It'll last you longer, for sure. Think of it: 2 OWC SSDs in RAID 0. Maxed out RAM. You can do both when prices drop.

    'Nuff said.

    Graphics-wise, it's a mini. It'll do it's job just fine; it never was a graphics powerhouse.

    That said, I fall in the same category of users akin to people still running Win XP or Win 7 on the PC side. I'll be stuck in Mountain Lion mode for the foreseeable future, so my system requirements may be less demanding than yours. :D
     
  8. rainydays macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    If you can get the 2012 i5 at a lower price than the 2014 and you don't care much about GPU performance or thunderbolt 2 then I'd say it's the better choice. At the same price I'd be voting for the 2014 model.

    The 2014 seems to be user upgradable in terms of storage, but you cannot fit two drives in there however. So if it's a plus for you then it's another vote for the 2012.
     
  9. Menel macrumors 603

    Menel

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    #9
    The 2011 without shared video meory, dedicated gpu ram remains the best IMO.
     
  10. giggles macrumors 6502

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    #10
    SSDs yes.

    Old RAM in high capacities? You're in for a bad surprise if you stand at the window waiting for its price to drop.
     
  11. DJsteveSD macrumors regular

    DJsteveSD

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    #11
    was just at the Apple store and they did have the 2012 Mini's but just the mid level and server versions available but at the same price as the 2014 models.
     
  12. Richard8655 macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Just to clarify. The refurb 2012 I5 Mini's were just at the Apple Store (now sold out) at $419. You're saying the 2012 server versions were there too, but at 2014 prices (I didn't see them when the I5's were there)?
     
  13. cinealta macrumors 6502

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    #13
    I believe he is talking about a physical, bricks and mortar Apple Store in San Diego area, not the online Apple Store at apple.com.
     
  14. Richard8655 macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Oh I see, that makes sense. Thanks.
     
  15. mactracker75 thread starter macrumors member

    mactracker75

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    #15
    So is it worth getting a 2012 i5 Mac mini at this point?

    I learned earlier on another thread that the dual core i5 was briefly available as refurbished at the Apple Store and I told the guy I was going to buy one off of via Craig's list to forget about it, I'll get it from apple. Well, I had it in my virtual shopping cart, went to take a call, went back to finishing the transaction but was kicked out of the payment and shipping screen and back to an empty virtual shopping cart. So close, yet so far. I suspect more will be available but I've got to watch out for it like a hawk. I did not realize apple was selling limited refurbished models. Every time I checked, the mini section was greyed out. I thought they weren't selling them, at all. I'm ready for the next wave. It's a steal.
     
  16. DJsteveSD macrumors regular

    DJsteveSD

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    #16
    That's correct. At a store in San Diego.

    ----------

    :cool: sorry about the confusion
     
  17. Minicube macrumors regular

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    #17
    yep

    "It's so shocking I'm considering a 2 year old machine over the new one."

    You're not the only one. Good job, Apple.
     
  18. cinealta macrumors 6502

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    #18
    Considering? I've already bought two 2012 Minis this week.
     
  19. SoCalReviews, Oct 24, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2014

    SoCalReviews macrumors 6502

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    #19
    Ivy Bridge was engineered for improved performance as a desktop CPU that could also be used in laptops/notebooks. Haswell was specifically designed for power efficiency in laptops/notebooks. Intel is now designing their CPUs for the most common future application which is for mobile devices with power efficiency being more critical than improved performance.

    The upgradeable 2012 Mac Mini models were a good deal for a desktop design compared to the current Mac Haswell lineup. With the price discounts the new and refurbished 2012 models really are a steal of a deal. Anyone in the market for a good deal on a Mini should consider buying a 2012 model while they are still available.
     
  20. SoCalReviews, Oct 24, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2014

    SoCalReviews macrumors 6502

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    #20
    I hear you... I bought another new 2012 quad core i7 this week before they become unavailable. I just got it today. As prices on 512GB and 1TB SSDs drop in price these Minis will be upgraded.
     
  21. cinealta macrumors 6502

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    #21
    Agree and next year's Broadwell will mostly be a lateral upgrade only increasing power efficiency with modest performance increase. Power efficiency is not really a critical factor in a desktop computer. Until Skylake comes out, 2012 Ivy Bridge Mac Minis will be unmatched for multicore performance.
     
  22. SoCalReviews macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Yes, and besides dramatically better power efficiency and lower thermals the only other noteworthy upgrade for these future Intel designs that will directly effect the desktop Mini will be better on board graphics performance.
     
  23. giggles macrumors 6502

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    #23
    What about quad cores and dual cores on the same BGA socket again (as opposed to no quadcores on BGA1168 in Haswell, basically the reason we don't have quad core minis this time around)?

    For all we now by June or July we could have Broadwell-H 37W-47W quad core minis.

    Broadwell-H will come in dual and quad core versions.
     
  24. Osamede macrumors 6502

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    #24
    Yeah, but no. When it comes to these ultra compact units, used in the living room, heat = noise & failure.

    Also, I believe Apple intends an eventual convergence between Mac Mini/Apple TV for cable tv replacement - thus the slow but steady drive to make the Mac Mini smaller......and to lock it down like a maximum security prison.
     
  25. iosuser macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    Definitely. If I was looking to buy one now, I'd definitely take the 2012 even at th same price. For me, the ability to add a standard SATA SSD and keeping the original HDD is a must. If I can just live with a single drive, I'd have just bought a MacBook Air and plug it into my monitor. Plus, although RAM doesn't go bad that often, if it does go bad in the 2014 Mini, you're SOL when you're out of warranty.
     

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