Apple Mac Mini Intel i5 1TB SATA Desktop
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So a massively obsolete computer (2014) for quite a chunk of change. Why would anyone buy this?
I’ve still got a late 2012 Mini that I’m just now going to swap for something else. Running Mohave, BTW. If someone wanted a general purpose Mac desktop, this thing is good for a few more years. For serving up media on your home network, even longer.
Mine has 16gb of memory, but I need that much.
We’ve got three Mac Minis running 24/7. Two of them are are 10 years old. They’re hooked up to TVs as home theater systems. We watch more computer than TV channels.
Bottom line: these are fantastic computers.
Seeing them here gives me hope that maybe an update is coming soon
The 2012 model will probably outperform the 2014 model. Apple dropped from a quad core Intel to the current dual core processor in all models since 2014. I’d be tempted on this and I’ve been eyeing Apple refurbed for some time, but the 8GB is the deal breaker for me. At least offer me a 16GB model and I’ll upgrade the spinning drive with an SSD (voiding any warranty), but that would be a decent deal for what they’re asking here.
The older quad-core will perform better ONLY for processes that need multiple cores. The faster clock speed of the newer chip will outperform the quad core for single-core processes. Which one will work better for you depends on your needs. This article explains:
People with intensive multi-core needs probably shouldn’t be in the Mac Mini market anyway.
Having said that, Apple is likely to announce upgraded minis very soon. It’s been way too long since the mini was updated. All the usual rumor sites are making unsubstantiated noises that the new minis are on the way.
There are several websites to watch for those Mac-interested. This page says Mini is being refreshed this fall and gives a nice breackdown of upgradable parts for this model.
A few days after new product announcements, look at ifixit.com, which often has disassembly videos of the latest products.
This Mac Mini’s disk drive is replaceable and standard 2.5" SATA-3 interface. But the RAM is soldered onto the mainboard and not repaceable. Be aware that Appple seems to be moving toward a design/support model that minimizes the number of parts and eliminates internal connectors. New MBP’s, for example have SSD and RAM soldered onboard (not replaceable). The service method would be to put the system into target disk mode and copy all data to a replacement system board. The advantage of this method are that connection contacts, like memory, cpu and disk are the most common point of failure. So, if you’re one of those people that wants to upgrade incrementally, it might be better to buy this known kit rather than hope a new mini bucks the Apple trend.
I have a circa 2014 mac Mini running 4gb RAM and though I’m not a Mac guy I have to say it is a solid computer. I got it to try out the Mac experience and it’s fine but I’m not a convert so I use it here and there. It’s never had an issue. The price seems a bit high but it should last as long as you want it to and do what you need it to without taking up any space.
Apple still sells computers? Last time I seen anyone with that brand was back in the 90’s and it was a Macintosh.
These are not bad computers if you rip out the absolute boat anchor of a hard drive (seriously, apple, 5400 RPM???) and replace it with a SSD; it’s like two different computers.
The 4th-gen i5 sounds really old (okay, it is), but it still scores 4362 on Passmark. That means it is plenty fast for general purpose computing. Also remember that Mac OS X is much more multi-core friendly than Windows.
Upgrading this computer to an SSD is ideal. I have a laptop of about the same vintage (3rd-gen i5) and, with a good SSD, it does quite nicely for personal and business tasks.
We have this at home as our general use computer. Added an SSD to this thing to boot MacOS off of and it is really, really fast. I have a 5k iMac and a Macbook Pro at work, and with the SSD the mac mini seems to run a fair bit faster than the work computer, and about the same as the Pro. You can use an external SSD to accomplish this, and then use the internal 5400 RPM HDD for time machine or whatever else you want to store on it. Also have a Windows partition on there and it is blazing fast, and seems to run games that it shouldn’t really be able to run that well.
My first thought too!
I installed a 1TB SSD in my 2014 Mini - it’s what I’m using now while I wait for the new Mac Pro to ever be ready. It turned into an actual useful computer once it had the SSD to boot from. It does have a great collection of ports on the back.
Exactly!! A total game-changer for me too.
I run VMs on my Macs all the time (Windows and Linux) and recently moved from a 2011 Mini to a 2017 5k iMac for the sole reason that I needed more than two cores. For day-to-day stuff, even that ancient 2011 machine was just fine. MacOS is really more efficient than Windows and doesn’t need as much umph. Because of that, I’d say this is a decent deal if your needs are those of a mortal and you want a Mac. As others have said, replace the HDD with a SSD and this computer will serve you well for longer than a current-generation comparable configured Windows machine. Plus it won’t suck the same way a comparably configured Windows machine will.
As a software developer who runs multiple VMs, dual cores and 8gb of RAM won’t cut it - but for most people (non devs, non gamers) this is a great little machine. It also would make a great Plex server.
I bought this for my office and for the amount of work and tasks, it was EXTREMELY underwhelmed. The worst part is that that year’s Mac Minis had soldered their RAM into their motherboard, so it is non-removable nor upgrade-able.
If you don’t mind something that is outdated (and soon to be outdated by OS), please pass on this item.
Hopefully the next update to the Mini will allow RAM expansion like the 2012 and earlier versions.
It’d be nice to have maybe 8GB soldered and have 1 SO-DIMM slot for expansion.
I picked up a very good condition in-the-box 2012 on eBay that allowed me to expand it to 16GB and added an SSD. It’s not a speed demon, but I like having a separate monitor.
As someone said earlier, if these units had 16GB, would be so much nicer.
RE: adding a new SSD/hard drive.
It’s a very involved, delicate process to do this. See the ifixit guide. I removed the single spinner, then added an SSD and also a 2TB 2.5 drive. I had to buy a dual drive cable and the tools to properly do this. It was nerve racking and I was very concerned about breaking something during the HD addition/swap. Look over the ifixit guide to get an idea. I worked slow and steady over an entire afternoon and fortunately there were no issues afterwards.