Starting my own business...New or old Mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Jemmers, Nov 1, 2018.

  1. Jemmers macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2018
    #1
    Hi guys,

    I've been a MBP user for 7 years but a complete n00b really when it comes to techy stuff so please bear with me and apologies for my ignorance!

    In fairness this isn't really a technical question just more of a financial / performance dilemma.

    I will be starting my own business in March and will need a desktop setup with dual monitors (Benq gw2270hm) that can handle the following. Heavy multitabbed chrome usage. Multiple word and excel docs open. Outlook. Maybe a couple of PDFs. So nothing hard-core but quite a bit of multitasking.

    My dilemma is do I go for the new mini 2018 and would the base level be sufficient for my needs (i am thinking yes but opinions welcome). This will cost me 799 UK plus keyboard. Monitors and everything else I have.

    Benefits are warranty, future proof machine, peace of mind. Negatives are quite a large outlay compared to second option...

    Second option is get a second hand mac mini 2012 I can get one with trackpad and keyboard for example for £300 which has 16GB RAM and 240 SSD. I5 2.5ghz. Apparently runs like a dream.

    Obviously a cost saving there which is important given this is on a tight budget and starting a business. However I forego the warranty, piece of mind and I guess it can go bust at any moment. Also buying of a random seller. Trusted but random.

    Additional benefit of new is I can claim as a business expense and claim the VAT back.

    So my question is are the specs on the base model good enough for my needs and is the additional financial outlay worth it compared to getting a second hand 2012 which has been specced up a reasonable amount.

    Any input hugely appreciated and thanks in advance!
     
  2. pl1984 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2017
    #2
    It appears you've already determined the 2012 model will meet your requirements. Given it has twice the RAM and twice the SSD (I think 128GB is ridiculously small in 2018) of the base 2018 Mini and costs £399 less it seems the obvious choice.

    Regarding warranty...you could purchase two of the 2012 model for less than a single 2018 model. As for the business expense will you receive £399 back on that write off?

    If it were me I'd buy the 2012 (though I really like the new one). In fact I have two of them operating as Linux servers. They've been running 24 x 7 for over three years without a single hiccup. If you feel the condition of the 2012 is worth the price it's likely it will last you for many years to come. Spend the difference on a solid backup solution.
     
  3. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #3
    Don't get an "older" Mini. Not now.
    The 2018 models have MUCH MORE power and will have much more longevity.

    If you're going to be using it "in your business", then you can write off the extra startup costs.
     
  4. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2013
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #4
    Startups benefit from lean and mean. It’s also good discipline for you. And if the business really needs the extra power, the business will be generating the cash to make upgrading easy. And you’ll have the old one as a hot spare for extra redundancy or extra person. The used market is also about to be flooded with a ton of old ones.

    Start small and grow
     
  5. Irishman macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    #5


    Go with the new Mini, if for no other reason than TB 3 and HDMI 2.0.
     
  6. Jemmers thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2018
    #6
    Mixed bag of responses so far. Thanks everyone for their input.

    Keen to hear more!
     
  7. Boyd01 macrumors 601

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #7
    You appear to be talking about the base model 2012 Mini (dual core 2.5ghz). I don't know what those monitors are by looking at the name, what is their resolution? If they are just 1920x1080 then it should be no problem with two screens, but if they are higher resolution that might not be so good.

    I gave my kids my 2012 base Mini with 16gb and it isn't a bad machine, however it has now evidently died (haven't visited recently to check myself). I have the top spec 2012 quad core 2.6ghz Mini and it is still a respectable machine, but much faster than the base model you're considering. Even so, the graphics chip really shows its age.

    Personally, I wouldn't buy a 2012 Mini today. It's 6 years old and may have a limited life. If you can't afford the base 2018 Mini, have a look at 2014 refurb models directly from Apple. I would NOT get the base 2014 1.4 ghz model, but perhaps you can get a deal on a 2014 2.6ghz Mini with 8gb. It will have the same warranty as a new computer and be eligible for Applecare.

    But I think the base 2018 model is worth the additional cost.
     
  8. OneMike macrumors 603

    OneMike

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    #8
    I think that either is beyond fine for you. You have basic use cases so there is no advantage in getting a 2018 model performance wise. Those monitors are also only 1080p so again no need for more power.

    I think focusing on growing your business is the most important and the saved money can go to just that.
     
  9. fathergll macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    #9

    Personally if my most important apps are Microsoft apps i'd probably be looking at a Windows desktop.


    Make sure you have some kind of redundancy in case something blows up. I'm not sure exactly what you are doing but make sure if you do end up with a desktop you have some kind of fall back laptop that you can use in case your desktop took a dive.
     
  10. nutmac macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #10
    If you can swing it, I would get the new one. 128 GB is enough if you don't need to install a ton of applications and you are willing to use external disk.

    Looking at the history, Apple probably will stop supporting 2012 Mac mini within the next 2 years, both from servicing point of view (see Apple's vintage and obsolete products page) and by macOS.
     
  11. Heat_Fan89 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2016
    #11
    If OS updates are important to you then the 2018 is your only choice. I own the 2012 base model and while it gets the job done for the basics, I'm getting the feeling my 2012 will not see another macOS update past Mojave.
     
  12. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #12
    Chiming in as a business owner with several 2012 maxed-out i7 Mini Servers in my offices and one in my home office, all are used as production machines but not as workstations, and I'm eyeing the new Minis when they come out and get put through the review wringer. I'm likely to consider not selling the 2012 model units and keep them in place as I'm able to bill them out, they're paid for, and they run very well.

    My 2p? As a business owner, the only real shortcoming in the 2012 units are the relatively poor graphics on the Mac side, Apple hasn't updated their GPU drivers in years, and next year the 2012 units will likely be deemed as being no longer officially supported even though they run until the cows come home in 2025. FYI Intel's Win drivers for the GPU in the 2012 have been updated several times and the one Mini I have that's running Win10 Pro can easily drive displays that choke in macOS (Sierra, HS, Mojave) - I'm not the only MR member that casts an evil eye at Apple for casting off the graphics support for the 2012 Mini, trust me on this bit. I'm older, wear glasses, and use production software from Office apps to AutoCAD to SolidWorks to Illustrator - the 2012 Mini just doesn't cut it IMHO with graphics, the Mini on my desk can keep up with me (2.3 i7, 16GB RAM, 512GB Samsung 850 Pro SSD) but the graphics give me a headache after a couple of hours and I have nicer/newer BenQ displays than the units you've listed (much higher pixel pitch).

    My money would be on the new Mini for a workstation, mainly for the GPU update. If you run your business like I do with mine, installed storage on workstations likely isn't important as you'll utilize network storage - you won't miss or need the ability to upgrade the SSD. Today, the 2012 Mini is around 7 years old and about to be dumped by Apple Support.

    You should also read up on the ugly underbelly of the Mini back then - issues with motherboards, cables, ports, drives. Along the lines of "what's in the backroom bin, stick it in". My personal Mini Server still only runs the secondary drive at SATA II speeds even though it's capable of SATA III speeds - read up on slow drive speeds with 2012 Minis before laying down some cash. Cheers!
     
  13. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2013
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #13
    People are responding based on the question they hear:

    1) I’m launching a business that will have customers and billings, what should I get?

    2) I’m launching a business that may have customers and billings, what should I get?

    The difference is everything
     
  14. kevink2 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    #14
    I would think now that you should go with the older model. Just ensure you have a way to backup your system, either to external hard drive or the cloud. An older system is more likely to have something like a fan and have OS support stop earlier, which would affect future software needs.

    I wouldn't be thinking of a 6 year old computer as one you would be using 4 years or longer, while the newer one could be with additional RAM now or in the future. But the available money now for use as living expenses, or other emergency, is probably a better choice now even if over the next 6 years it may cost you more. It isn't like we are talking thousands of dollars.

    It is like extended warranties. Paying extra for the new mini now is like buying the extended warranty. If the computer fails in 2 years, you may wish you had just gone ahead and spent the money rather than the repair. But you may never need the repair. (Many electronics never need repair work after the normal warranty expires during the usable life of the product)
     
  15. Boyd01 macrumors 601

    Boyd01

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    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #15
    You make many excellent points that I agree with, but the 2012 Mini is almost exactly 6 years old. It was introduced on October 23, 2012. :)
     
  16. Spankey macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 30, 2007
    Location:
    NJ
    #16
    As others have said. I wouldn't spend the money on an older computer that is reaching its end of life. Mac OS future updates may not happen in as little as a year. Do you want to risk that and the security that comes with it? Your call.
     
  17. pl1984 macrumors 68020

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    Oct 31, 2017
    #17
    So, you've received a number of responses which appear to be 50/50. Did we help? :)
     
  18. teohyc macrumors regular

    teohyc

    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    #18
    You're starting a business. Save money.

    Here's one way to look at it. Technology is going to help you save/make time and money. Is the new Mac Mini going to help you save/make time and money more so than the old Mac Mini?

    Here's another perspective, say I could get a Mac Mini that's 1000x more power than the 2018 Mac Mini, but that will not help me produce more content for my blog or Youtube channel. Why? Because what I'm lacking is not computing power, it's time to make content.
     
  19. Oculus Mentis macrumors member

    Oculus Mentis

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    Sep 26, 2018
    Location:
    UK
    #19
    Have you considered that a 2012 mac mini might not be supported by the next version of Mac OS? The 2011 Mac Mini for example is not supported by Mojave...
     
  20. Boyd01 macrumors 601

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #20
    Of course I have considered that, and if you read my post above, I said I would NOT to buy a 2012 mini today.

    I was simply correcting a factual error in @campyguy 's post. The 2012 mini is 6 years old, not 7 years old.
     
  21. pl1984 macrumors 68020

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    Oct 31, 2017
    #21
    The question is: Is this something to consider? What would be the benefit of upgrading the OS compared to remaining on the current version? Personally I know a lot of small business owners who continue to use older versions of operating systems in their businesses. These owners are of the mindset "if it ain't broke don't fix it". Unless there's a compelling reason to upgrade many of these people are happy to use what they have. They have neither the time or inclination to spend time upgrading an OS and dealing with the aftermath of doing so. They have a business to run.
     
  22. campyguy macrumors 68040

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    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #22
    Factual correction noted, thanks for that. FYI and not nitpicking I used 7 years due to my using accounting terms without thinking more about it - it's over 6 years old therefore it's in its seventh year of operations, depreciation being what it is... :confused: My milestones are what my accountant tells me they are... o_O
     
  23. Spankey macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 30, 2007
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    NJ
    #23
    So let’s not consider security updates when running a business.
     
  24. pl1984, Nov 2, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018

    pl1984 macrumors 68020

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    Oct 31, 2017
    #24
    When did Apple stop providing security updates for the previous version upon the release of a new version? It used to be they would support the previous version and, usually, the version prior to that. I'm disappointed to hear they're no longer doing that.
     
  25. Oculus Mentis macrumors member

    Oculus Mentis

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    Sep 26, 2018
    Location:
    UK
    #25
    After having re-read the use case of the original poster, if money is tight, even an older Mac could be enough.
    I have a late 2008 MacBook that I upgraded to 8gb of ram and a 256gb ssd. I hacked it to run high Sierra and it can drive an apple 30” Cinema Display. It runs Chrome and Office 2019 without a hiccup...
     

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25 November 1, 2018