Will cheaper/larger SSD drives keep the 2012 Mac Mini's around?


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 4, 2014
I migrated my parents from a 2012 Mac Mini to a 2015 21.5" iMac. Its not the fastest machine in the world, but it was a good deal, and they appreciate having only a power and ethernet cable. My only gripe is having it run off an external 512GB SSD.

Their grand kids got the old 2012 mac mini, while i was installing an SSD drive, it occurred to me that fairly soon we might be getting SSD drives larger and cheaper than ever before.

I could easily see the day where you could have a mini with 2x2TB SSD drives in them. You could almost have what amounts to a huge 8TB external thunderbolt drive, the size of a mini with 2x4TB SSD's.

Will this give the old 2012's a new lease on life?

or will potentially getting dropped from an OSX update seal their fate?


macrumors 68000
Nov 2, 2018
Nothing potential about it, really. It’s a certainty, and probably not too long from now. 2011 MacBook pros aren’t supported by Mojave, the next release to drop models (some don’t change base requirements) will almost certainly drop 2012 minis.


macrumors 65816
Nov 17, 2007
I think you might be better off with external storage options regardless of the potential storage capabilities of the 2012 Mac Mini although the internal SSDs could be later moved to an external encloser. You would also have to have a need for that much storage coupled with an older Mac.

I’m running El Capitan on my 2009 MacBook Pro for light office work. A new macOS release doesn’t neccesarily make the previous ones obsolete but eventually basic features compatibility will require newer hardware.


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 4, 2014
Probably, I just think its interesting because when they came out HD's were maxed out at 1TB or maybe 2TB.

I have never seen one in person, but thought I saw a 4TB SSD in a very small package. The SSD drives seem to suddenly make old hardware suddenly work much better.

eBay is loaded with obsolete Thunderbolt Drives that could be a boat anchor, yet a few small SSD's give you the same storage space.


macrumors 65816
Nov 2, 2008
Depending on how handy you are with working on an Mac Mini, assuming adequate RAM (which may be upgraded at same time), it probably would be worthwhile to upgrade. Even when Apple stops supporting the computer with new OS's, you should still get another year of security updates.

My old 2010 MBP is still going strong 3 years after I got rid of it. Though no OS support anymore. I replaced the drive with a SSD years ago, and I only handed it down to my father's wife since the previous computer, a 2008/9 Mac Mini, had bit the dust and they needed a new computer. They had no money, so they got a computer, and I spent the money on a 2015 MBP.

Murphy's law though. You spend the money on upgrading it, then something else breaks.

I'm running a Mac Mini 2018 now for my desktop usage computer.


macrumors 6502
Dec 5, 2008
Brockton, MA
I got a 960 GB solid state drive for my 2012 quad-core i7 Mac Mini, and it really cut the boot-up time in half (maybe less than half), and my applications open very quickly now. I first got a taste of SSD usage when I got a 256 GB SSD for my 2009 MacBook and was impressed by the speeds, but of course with this being a quad-core Mac Mini with 16 GB of RAM, it's even faster. It should also help when I edit video too (the original spinning hard drive was 5400 RPM; video editors say that's less than ideal for video editing, and should either go with 7200 RPM or a SSD.)


May 30, 2018
Nothing will keep my macmini ‘round, the computer will always be square!

I uograded to Mojave yesterday and the mini (2012 4gb ramj is working fine, faster by the hour somehow.


macrumors 65816
Mar 23, 2005
Never quite sure
I installed a 2TB SSD from crucial in a 2011 MBPro. The GPU now failed and I can't bypass it.
Said SSD is of little use now, sadly, because no way to install in new MBPro or 2018 mini (but could use it externally).

So upgrades are good. But some things like SATA SSDs, which I thought were here to stay, are now superceded.