Upgrading fr mac mini 2012 to late 2018 i7 core

ecmoran

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 18, 2020
2
0
usa
Hi, The late mac mini 2018 model is now on the way to me and I really don't want to have "buyer's remorse" lol. While everything I've read about the late 2018 mac mini i7 core sounds perfect for me, I wonder how I'm going to use *all* my peripherals since there will be less usb ports. I'm currently using usb for my printer, scanner, keyboard and cintiq connections--please see attached screenshot of my usb tree. Can anyone else relate to this scenario? In order to get the most bang for my buck w/ my new mac mini would I need to get a new usb hub? If so, any recommends? Thanks, in advance, for your feedback!
 

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Erehy Dobon

macrumors 6502a
Feb 16, 2018
528
369
While everything I've read about the late 2018 mac mini i7 core sounds perfect for me, I wonder how I'm going to use *all* my peripherals since there will be less usb ports.
The Mac mini 2018 has four TB3/USB-C ports plus two USB3 ports with the USB-A connector, a total of SIX USB-compatible connectors.

The Mac mini 2012 has four USB3 ports with the USB-A connector, one TB port and one Firewire port.

Your new Mac mini has more USB ports than your old one.

If you need additional USB connectivity, buy a USB3 hub. But don't complain about your new Mac mini having fewer ports than your old one. That's not the case.

If you have faster peripherals than you did in 2012, then buy good USB-C/USB-A cables. Connect those to the USB-C ports on your new Mac.

Best of luck and enjoy your new Mac.
 
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ecmoran

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 18, 2020
2
0
usa
Hey thanks for answering. I appreciate the info on USB connectivity. FWIW, I wasn't "complaining" about the no. of ports--I just wanted to know because I made my purchase today and read shortly afterward (on a thread elsewhere) that the mini 2018 had fewer USB ports than the 2012. Apparently, it was a dif model. So good to know I'm in the clear. Cheers!
 

mr_hyde

macrumors newbie
Nov 3, 2018
17
8
Italy
Remember that the 2018 mini has 2 USB-A port while the remaining are TB3/USB-C ports.
So, if you need to use more than 2 devices with USB-A connector you will need to use a Hub or adapters to USB-C.

Consider also that some USB 3 devices plugged in the USB-A ports may interfere with Bluetooth (this may cause problems, for example, with magic trackpad/mouse), someone resolved with issue buying a USB-C hub (obviously able to connect also USB-A) with a cable long enough to avoid interferences.

My experience (from a 2009 mini to a 2018 mini) : I use the old Apple USB keyboard (USB-A) plugged in the mini, sometimes old USB 2 disk connected to the other port, old Magic Trackpad and I have no issue. Keep in mind that the keyboard is also a USB hub (it has 2 USB 2 type A ports) and I use it for an old USB sound converter (I use it just to use my old headphones). With this config I have no issues.

I observed issue with Bluetooth only when I used one of the mini USB-A ports to plug a USB 3x SSD disk (issue solved simply using instead USB-C)
 

MacModMachine

macrumors 68020
Apr 3, 2009
2,267
145
Canada
Remember that the 2018 mini has 2 USB-A port while the remaining are TB3/USB-C ports.
So, if you need to use more than 2 devices with USB-A connector you will need to use a Hub or adapters to USB-C.

Consider also that some USB 3 devices plugged in the USB-A ports may interfere with Bluetooth (this may cause problems, for example, with magic trackpad/mouse), someone resolved with issue buying a USB-C hub (obviously able to connect also USB-A) with a cable long enough to avoid interferences.

My experience (from a 2009 mini to a 2018 mini) : I use the old Apple USB keyboard (USB-A) plugged in the mini, sometimes old USB 2 disk connected to the other port, old Magic Trackpad and I have no issue. Keep in mind that the keyboard is also a USB hub (it has 2 USB 2 type A ports) and I use it for an old USB sound converter (I use it just to use my old headphones). With this config I have no issues.

I observed issue with Bluetooth only when I used one of the mini USB-A ports to plug a USB 3x SSD disk (issue solved simply using instead USB-C)
another great thing to remember is the USB A ports are only 5g on these mini's , most usb c hubs too are only 5g with the exception of a few. so keep that in mind if you are driving several SSD's off one port.

a thunderbolt 3 dock can give you single tb3 port to many usb c 10g / usb a 10g but they are pricey.

the 4 tb3 ports are also shared over 2 controllers, incase you plan on a eGPU.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
18,199
6,076
OP wrote:
"I wonder how I'm going to use *all* my peripherals since there will be less usb ports..."

Huh....???

The 2018 Mini has MORE "USB ports" than does the 2012. 1.5x more.

The 2012 Mini has 4 USBa ports.
The 2018 Mini has 2 USBa ports and FOUR USBc ports.

Add this to the USBc ports:
... and use them as you would any USBa type port.
 

getrealbro

macrumors 6502
Sep 25, 2015
378
130
Despite the 2018 Mini’s 4 - USBc, 2 - USB 3 and 1 - HDMi 2.0 ports, it can be surprisingly easy to become port limited. Especially if you use an older monitor and BlueTooth keyboard/mouse. Here’s how…

HDMI 2.0 port:
Not all cable-monitor combos work with the HDMI 2.0 port.
Alternative - use a USBc port & cable for your monitor.

USB 3 ports:
The 2018 Mini’s USB 3 ports can interfere with BlueTooth keyboards/mouse .
Alternative - use another USBc port to attach a USB 3 Hub at a distance from the Mini, for printers, external HDDs, SD card readers, etc.

Remaining USBc Ports:
So now we are down to 2 free USBc ports for…
- a 2nd USBc/3 hub for more USB A stuff
and
- an external USBc SSD
or
- a 2nd Monitor attached via USBc
or…

This is not a disaster, but depending on one’s monitor(s), keyboard, mouse and prepherals, it may take a little thinking to use a 2018 Mini’s 4 - USBc & 2 - USB 3 ports wisely.

GetRealBro
 
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MacModMachine

macrumors 68020
Apr 3, 2009
2,267
145
Canada
Despite the 2018 Mini’s 4 - USBc, 2 - USB 3 and 1 - HDMi 2.0 ports, it can be surprisingly easy to become port limited. Especially if you use an older monitor and BlueTooth keyboard/mouse. Here’s how…

HDMI 2.0 port:
Not all cable-monitor combos work with the HDMI 2.0 port.
Alternative - use a USBc port & cable for your monitor.

USB 3 ports:
The 2018 Mini’s USB 3 ports can interfere with BlueTooth keyboards/mouse .
Alternative - use another USBc port to attach a USB 3 Hub at a distance from the Mini, for printers, external HDDs, SD card readers, etc.

Remaining USBc Ports:
So now we are down to 2 free USBc ports for…
- a 2nd USBc/3 hub for more USB A stuff
and
- an external USBc SSD
or
- a 2nd Monitor attached via USBc
or…

This is not a disaster, but depending on one’s monitor(s), keyboard, mouse and prepherals, it may take a little thinking to use a 2018 Mini’s 4 - USBc & 2 - USB 3 ports wisely.

GetRealBro
you know , on the HDMI 2.0 part. im starting to think the port is just trash lol , I have 2 mini's both that selectively work with HDMI , brand new cables, different monitors. same effect. they will work sometimes , but re-plugging can cause them to just stop working. SMC reset will fix it usually.
 

getrealbro

macrumors 6502
Sep 25, 2015
378
130
you know , on the HDMI 2.0 part. im starting to think the port is just trash lol ....
The 2018 Mini’s HDMI 2.0 port may not be “trash”, but it is way too finicky about cables when attaching a pre-HDMI/Display Port monitor. I’ve basically given up on finding an HDMI <-> DVI cable that works with my 2018 Mini and DELL2407WFP or P2312H monitors. I've gone back to wasting a USBc port and using this cable that does work with either DELL monitor.


GetReakBro
 
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