2012 Mac Mini. Wow!
Before Christmas I ordered and took delivery of a 21.5" 4K iMac. I was very disappointed with the screen - it had a slightly blue cast near the top and a yellow cast towards the bottom. I'm sure most users wouldn't have noticed or been bothered by it, but given the display is what that machine is all about it had to go back. I took a refund.
I decided to buy a Dell Intel i7 all-in-one instead, given I do like Windows 10 and see Windows 10 and OS X as pretty well matched. Oh dear, the Dell was nice but had a fan which drove me to distraction - it was like a high-pitched wasp, the frequency was perfect for getting into your head and creating nasty resonances. Then, under slight load the pitch would increase and decrease in waves. The Dell had to go back too.
Then I thought about the Mac Mini, given that the choice of monitor was in my hands. I decided to go second user and bought a refurbished 2012 Mac Mini 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5 from eBay. I upgraded the memory to 8GB and installed a Samsung EVO 850 250GB SSD drive and El Capitan. I bought a Dell U2414H 24" monitor and the last generation Apple Wireless keyboard and mouse. All my media files live on a Synology NAS and I run a Plex server on the Mac. The whole lot was just over half what the the iMac cost me.
I am loving my setup! The little beast flies, it's rock solid, fast and silent. Don't overlook older generation Macs guys, pop in an SSD and you have an amazing machine. I'm not convinced an older i5, for example, is really that different in day to day usage than a newer version.
- 01-16-2016, 12:25 PM #2
Re: 2012 Mac Mini. Wow!
It isn't. Modest like 200 mhz gain in clock speed, a couple other marginal improvements in other aspects. The only real notable improvement since Ivy Bridge has been energy consumption. Haswell+ CPUs have much better battery life. Since the Mac mini is plugged in though, that gain is largely irrelevant (unless you're trying to go green or something)
I still use the machine you bought, which I've had since they were new. I've upped to 16 GB RAM and 960 GB SSD and it is by far a better computer than my 2014 rMBP. The only major complaint I have about it is the HD 4000, which is fairly old and outdated compared to newer graphics chips. I suspect the majority of people who are interested in the Mac mini don't have need for sophisticated graphics though.
Power users really underestimate what the dual core i5 is capable of. It is an excellent CPU.
Re: 2012 Mac Mini. Wow!
Indeed. I'm not a gamer and have little use for high-powered graphics so the Intel 4000 graphics chipset in the 2012 Mac Mini is more than good enough for me. I so recommend anyone to upgrade to an SSD before they think about upgrading the Mac itself. An SSD absolutely transforms any computer and has a huge discernable effect.
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