*USED* Minis - Generations to Avoid?

i486dx2-66

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 25, 2013
31
8
After holding out for years, I'm now in the market for two Mac Minis - one of which will be purchased second-hand.

Given that these are older models, are there any particular years/generations of Mac Minis to avoid due to known age-related hardware or software concerns? (For example, my 2010 MBP is on its second repair for GPU failures...)

Here's what some quick Google searches turn up:
* Mid 2010 (and earlier) - Apple classified as "Obsolete", Can't run macOS Mojave
* Mid 2011 - Can't run macOS Mojave, graphics failure or corruption issues on models with Radeon graphics
* Late 2012 - ???
* Late 2014 - Soldered RAM, so avoid the 4GB models

Thanks in advance.
 

harriska2

macrumors 65816
Mar 16, 2011
1,093
562
Oregon
I’ve just started playing with our 2010 with dual core i5, 250gb ssd, and 8gb memory. It is on El Cap and I’m learning Mac and will try to upgrade to High Sierra so that I can get my bookmarks to work. For a little old machine it works pretty well. Upgrading to Mojave is pretty difficult with hacks. It booted in about 30 seconds and has no lag in notes or safari. Looks sort of bad on my 4k 40 inch monitor but it is very usable. I would rather get a current i3 for $800 than a used for $200 or $300 but that’s just me. It would feel like throwing good money after bad. Mine was free as a hand-me-down.
 

Kaida

macrumors regular
May 28, 2016
184
74
Singapore
After holding out for years, I'm now in the market for two Mac Minis - one of which will be purchased second-hand.

Given that these are older models, are there any particular years/generations of Mac Minis to avoid due to known age-related hardware or software concerns? (For example, my 2010 MBP is on its second repair for GPU failures...)

Here's what some quick Google searches turn up:
* Mid 2010 (and earlier) - Apple classified as "Obsolete", Can't run macOS Mojave
* Mid 2011 - Can't run macOS Mojave, graphics failure or corruption issues on models with Radeon graphics
* Late 2012 - ???
* Late 2014 - Soldered RAM, so avoid the 4GB models

Thanks in advance.
* 2010 and 2011 can run Mojave with the Dosdude1 patch. http://dosdude1.com/mojave/
* 2010 ram upgrade have to be 1066mhz which may be hard to find now. You will need a DVD to HDD bay to use the 2nd Sata bay.
* 2011 I have had 2x Radeon failure so far and I'll keep away from it.
* 2012 still the best with the ram and dual 2.5" sata3 bay, we have managed to squeeze a 15mm 2.5" sata 5TB into it. Intel HD4000 is a bit older by now and can't run 4K.
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/will-a-15mm-hard-drive-fit-in-a-2014-mac-mini.2116128/#post-26277439
* 2014 avoid the entry 1.4ghz model. Try to get one with the Apple Blade SSD and you can still add another Sata HDD.
 
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ktcifone

macrumors member
Oct 30, 2009
48
27
go for the 2012 mini i7 you can put in ssd drives and upgrade the memory to 16GB for sure, granted its not for the faint of heart. did my upgrades before I powered it on and ran like a champ for 4 years.

I run 3 small vms pretty well on the 2012 model now, moved my workstation workload to the 2018 model.


Went with the 2018 i7/512GB/32GB because i didn't want to open it up. ran the numbers and figured it's worth the apple tax, not disappointed.
 

Spectrum

macrumors 65816
Mar 23, 2005
1,341
702
Never quite sure
2011 quad is also a good model if you can't get hold of the 2012 quad.
Takes up to 16GB RAM, and two SATA SSDs. But is limited to USB2 not 3.
The 2012 was definitely a classic and is worth searching out.