The "I just ordered / bought / got my new/refurb Mac Mini" threads, merged

jayducharme

macrumors 68040
Jun 22, 2006
3,440
3,016
The thick of it
After doing lots of research to make sure it would work out for what I need to do (and with a lot of helpful suggestions from these forums) I ordered one to replace my 2013 Mac Pro. It's amazing to think that when I get everything set up, that little box will best the Mac Pro on every level, and for far less money.
 

rambo47

macrumors 6502a
Oct 3, 2010
598
103
Denville, NJ
I was looking to build my own mini pc, primarily to run SETI@home and free up my laptop from those duties. First of all, I have no clue what I'm doing when it comes to building a pc. Shoehorning all the components into a tiny case is probably not the best way to begin. Also, mini pc's require a lot of compromises with components. Second, I'm a life-long Mac user so pc's and Windows are not my wheelhouse. I didn't want to break the bank for a dedicated SEIT rig though so a pc seemed like the most cost-effective option.

I ended up scoring a Late 2014 Mac Mini with a Core-i5 processor,, 8 GB of RAM and a 500GB SSD for $400. In that price range I don't think I could have cobbled together a mini pc worth running. Hell, I don't know if I could cobble one together at all. No need to find out now. I'm running the Mac Mini headless and managing it from my MacBook Air and iPad (Real VPN).
- - Post merged: - -

After doing lots of research to make sure it would work out for what I need to do (and with a lot of helpful suggestions from these forums) I ordered one to replace my 2013 Mac Pro. It's amazing to think that when I get everything set up, that little box will best the Mac Pro on every level, and for far less money.
I go back a ways with computers and remember when the G4 Cube was the bee's knees. But the new Mac Minis are orders of magnitude beyond what anyone dreamed back in 2000. You used to have to accept huge compromises to get the small form factor. Sure, there are still compromises, but way less than before. And these Mac Minis are still powerful computers in their own right. More than good enough for my modest needs at least.
 
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jayducharme

macrumors 68040
Jun 22, 2006
3,440
3,016
The thick of it
You used to have to accept huge compromises to get the small form factor. Sure, there are still compromises, but way less than before.
I'm surprised at how quickly the tech has advanced. It's amazing to me that an iPad can beat the benchmarks of many desktops. That said, I'm still more comfortable doing most of my work on a desktop so the Mini should work fine for me.
 
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Toonartist

macrumors 6502
Sep 19, 2017
288
160
Newcastle Upon Tyne
After doing lots of research to make sure it would work out for what I need to do (and with a lot of helpful suggestions from these forums) I ordered one to replace my 2013 Mac Pro. It's amazing to think that when I get everything set up, that little box will best the Mac Pro on every level, and for far less money.
Same here. Just ordered the i7 Mac mini 2018. It will replace a 2013 Mac Pro 6 core 32gb of ram.

Also ordered 32gb of memory, liquid metal paste for cpu, Razer Core X eGPU enclosure with a Radeon 5700 8g card and just looking at the OWC 4 bay PCIe SSD TB3 enclosure. This way, I'll just have to replace the mini with base ram / ssd rather than paying for GPU/SSD space each time.
 

McTaste

macrumors 6502
Jan 21, 2014
255
474
So far I am happy with my two mac minis, each of which drives one 5k display using a tb3-dual dp adapter. Far preferable to running 2-3 of these displays on one workstation, constantly having MST *and* multimon issues. Now it is just MST issues...but even those seem reduced.

The main display is still driven by a more powerful workstation, but that is now running much cooler thanks to the removal of unnecessary gpus. And the minis, with the help of a fan base, run nice and cool as auxiliary computers.
 

MacDonaldTrump

Suspended
Nov 28, 2018
318
718
Brisbane Australia
Have been keeping my eye on refurb store here in Australia. Tonight I saw a 3.2 i7, 8gb, 1tb for a nice price so I jumped on it.
I will need to look at upping the ram and an egpu so will spend some time learning from you all.

can you take the mini to apple to have them install ram after purchase?
 

jayducharme

macrumors 68040
Jun 22, 2006
3,440
3,016
The thick of it
I just received my Mini and am all set up. So far what I notice most is how much quieter it is than my 2013 Mac Pro, pretty much silent. I haven't begun working on 4k videos yet; I'm waiting for my eGPU to arrive. I set it up from scratch, not using my Time Machine backup. So it took a few hours to get everything configured. But I know I'm now working from a clean slate. Hopefully this beast will keep working well for several years.

EDIT: I just played a game on Steam, and yeah, I'll need that eGPU. On my Mac Pro everything ran smoothly at 4k resolution; on the Mini the resulting low frame rate makes it nearly unplayable.
 
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AudibleNectar

macrumors member
Jan 22, 2018
47
31
Well, here goes nothin' :)

Making the leap into Apple as main computer for the first time, coinciding with the expiration of Windows 7. Really like the phone environment (migrated from 'droid to Apple across two phones starting two years ago), and am hoping this sets up well in my newly progressing den/entertainment area. Will use for usual personal web and phone duties on a new 27" LG 4K panel, as well as using the 55" Sony display panel on room's end for theater style web viewing in an HTPC type environment as well as for some sound applications. Went Mini for one reason, really - I could not shut off the 27" iMac panel while leaving the computer itself on, meaning that I needed to have the monitor and computer separate. The iMac 27" looked really good for the $$, but I needed the power switch separate so the computer screen is dark while I watch the web based vids and so forth on the 55".

I DO like the idea of the components being separate - the LG and Mini being more serviceable/switchable has it's benefits, but it costs, as the "thrown in on the deal" Radeon 580 would have been included on the iMac. Not being a video editor I think the included card on the mini will deliver streaming video to the two screens in OK enough fashion, at least enough to believe it worth giving this a try. If not, then we'll see about add ons.....

i7
16GB RAM
1TB SSD
Applecare

I'll have a month to see if I can make this all work. If it does, it will likely be a unit I try to keep for the longer haul, hence the BTO added specs.

The machine arrives in the next week or so, as have some of the newer peripherals, so as i started out the post.....

Here goes nothin' :)
 
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Ocnetgeek

macrumors newbie
Sep 1, 2018
24
4
Oak Creek, WI
Ordered my 2018 Mac Mini today to replace a 2015 15" Inch Macbook Pro. Decided to go with the Mini since my Macbook Pro sat at my desk connected to a keyboard, mouse, and monitor about 99% of the time anyway. Not really thrilled with the direction Macbooks have been heading but still prefer OSX to Windows so I thought I would try a Mini for my main computer for a change.

i7
16GB RAM
512GB SSD
Applecare

Was thinking about the 1TB drive but only have my existing 512 GB Drive half full and have read lots of posts here about how well external storage works so I will upgrade that way when needed.
 

jayducharme

macrumors 68040
Jun 22, 2006
3,440
3,016
The thick of it
I finally got my Razer Core X and Radeon 5700 RX hooked up. The results so far are underwhelming. There are two games where I see a very modest increase in frame rate. Steam games, as I feared, are barely playable at full resolution since they would have to be designed specifically to take advantage of Metal. But working with Final Cut Pro, Motion and Logic definitely benefit. I'm really impressed with how quiet the Core X is even under moderate load.

Interestingly, if I check off the "prefer eGPU" option on any app, the app takes a big graphics hit and barely functions. It seems best to just let the OS decide what to do.

Update: I just tried running Trainz: A New Era, which is really graphics-intensive and usually choked my old Mac Pro. It runs smooth as butter with the Core X (and with the "prefer eGPU" option off). So the card seems to be doing its job. Something else must be going on. I'll keep investigating.
 
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Ungibbed

macrumors 6502a
Dec 13, 2010
620
125
USA
Just recently picked up a 2012 Mini with the factory SSD. Got my 16GB kit from OWC and now debating if I have the skill to upgrade my SSD to something better. Dual 2TB disks? Overkill but the ultimate upgrade for just about anything this Mac will ever do. Most likely 1TB disks seems more realistic.

Already have an existing TB display which gives me the option for another (if one can be found).

This is going to be a basic photo editing rig simply covering tasks that can’t be done with my iPP. Plus MS Office stuff.

What I find surprising is just how cheap these old Minis can be had for (this is my first). Combing eBay got me the mac for just $200 with super fast shipping. The upgrades to it are more costly but it’s like a project car, there’s always something left to do.
 
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AudibleNectar

macrumors member
Jan 22, 2018
47
31
I purchased the aforementioned Mac mini earlier this month - it seems the separate monitor was the better way to do this here, so we bought a new Mac mini (16GB, i7, 1TB SSD) and a new LG 4K monitor.

After a couple of weeks of harsh illness, we've done the initial setup and seems to be going OK for the first couple of days in, we have the LG and the Sony 55" talking to the Mac and passing audio to the audio system. The Apple TV setup looks to be the ticket out of a the cable box, which will be gone with the current contract negotiation period.

So I have a couple of weeks to play and make sure all is well and happy with the new setup before the return period expires. So far, so good....especially for being the first time on MacOS it's gone greater well so far, granted with some advance study in advance of the move....

I also like how the other Apple devices "merge", which was another reason for making the move.....just a much more streamlined setup.

Watching/keeping aware of a couple of HDMI issues within Catalina in other threads but mine works out of the box and will hold it there until more is known regarding software updates. It will be fixed in time, I'm sure.....
 
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AAtte

macrumors newbie
Jun 4, 2014
29
4
Just bought second hand Mac Mini 2018 i5/16gb/500gb 3 months old for 1000 euros! :) I immediatly ordered Razer Core X and 5700Xt Strix.
 

Scorned

macrumors member
May 20, 2016
44
17
NJ
picked one up on eBay- 2014 Mac mini 3.0 I7, 16GB and added a 500 GB WD Black NVME. Consolidated the other three Mini's into one.
 

JeffreyVB

macrumors member
Feb 27, 2019
34
11
Va Beach, VA
I'm doing the same. I have a 12in Macbook as my laptop, but my home desktop is an HP Win 7 PC. Not too impressed with Win 10, so I thought I'd make the jump over to Mac for my home desktop as well.

Picked up a base model 2018 on eBay over the weekend. Plan to bump the RAM and add an external hard drive, not much else. Most of my work is surfing, email, IT administration, and some light photo editing. Expecting this lil guy to serve me for a few years. :)


Well, here goes nothin' :)

Making the leap into Apple as main computer for the first time, coinciding with the expiration of Windows 7. Really like the phone environment (migrated from 'droid to Apple across two phones starting two years ago), and am hoping this sets up well in my newly progressing den/entertainment area. Will use for usual personal web and phone duties on a new 27" LG 4K panel, as well as using the 55" Sony display panel on room's end for theater style web viewing in an HTPC type environment as well as for some sound applications. Went Mini for one reason, really - I could not shut off the 27" iMac panel while leaving the computer itself on, meaning that I needed to have the monitor and computer separate. The iMac 27" looked really good for the $$, but I needed the power switch separate so the computer screen is dark while I watch the web based vids and so forth on the 55".

I DO like the idea of the components being separate - the LG and Mini being more serviceable/switchable has it's benefits, but it costs, as the "thrown in on the deal" Radeon 580 would have been included on the iMac. Not being a video editor I think the included card on the mini will deliver streaming video to the two screens in OK enough fashion, at least enough to believe it worth giving this a try. If not, then we'll see about add ons.....

i7
16GB RAM
1TB SSD
Applecare

I'll have a month to see if I can make this all work. If it does, it will likely be a unit I try to keep for the longer haul, hence the BTO added specs.

The machine arrives in the next week or so, as have some of the newer peripherals, so as i started out the post.....

Here goes nothin' :)
 

Cookie18

macrumors member
Sep 11, 2014
54
41
France
Just ordered my first Mac Mini, I’ve got a MacBook Pro and iMac but I’m excited as I’ve wanted a Mini for ages.

I’m considering getting a 480gb Sandisk SSD and putting it in a usb c enclosure. Is there any downside to doing that? Any better ways that I should be looking at? I run my iMac off a Samsung T5 but the prices of those are quite high at the minute compared to some other deals.