Mac Mini upgrade on a budget

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
lightandaprayer Senior Member • Posts: 3,994
Re: More info please.

Jacques Cornell wrote:

Would this be a significant upgrade? Local CraigsList

This Mac Mini is from 2012 has an 2.6 GHz Intel i7 with four cores, It has the the maximum RAM of 16 GB and a 500 GB very fast Solid State Disk.


If your current mini is booting from a spinning-platter hard drive, the Craigslist mini's SSD alone will be a real breath of fresh air for you, delivering much faster boot and app launch. The additional CPU cores will double your speed on some operations with some apps and make no difference at all on others. I don't know whether or how well Afinity leverages additional cores.

Do you currently keep two copies of your photos on separate drives? Perhaps your main archive on the mini and a backup on your external drive? If not, I strongly urge you to budget for a backup drive. You could use a 2TB drive to backup the 1TB external and also hold a Time Machine backup of your mini's drive. In 20 years as a Mac-using pro photographer, I have had three drives die, and each time a backup saved my bacon. You do not want to be the guy wailing "All my photos are GONE!" because you didn't spend $80 on a backup drive.

It's difficult to say how good a deal the 2012 Mini is without knowing what the seller is asking for it. . .

When I began using an external USB 3.0 SSD as the boot drive my 2012 Mini became a speed demon.  But the SSD doesn't do anything to help the Mini run cooler when under load. . .   I never hear the fans in my 2018; that's not the case with the 2012.  According to what I have read and the demo videos I've watched, the M1 runs much cooler than the 2018 Mini and its fans rarely if ever run above minimum speed.

It's obvious that the M1 is the only way to go. . .  It's the future of Apple and third-party software as well.   The OP's budget is sufficient to upgrade to 16GB RAM.  Bump it to $1100 and it's enough for a 512GB SSD if the OP requires that much internal storage.

I used my 2012 Mini 4-core with 16GB RAM for 7 years as my primary Mac and I could have gone longer. . .  Now I can use it for AV streaming or sell it.  An M1 should be able to last as long if not longer. Take the Long View and configure the M1 accordingly. The cost-factor won't matter very much when it's 5 years later and the M1 is still getting the job done.  

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