Need Recommendations and Criticism

Apple Mac Mini MGEQ2LL/A – Intel Core i7 3.0GHz, 16GB RAM, 1TB HDD – Silver (Renewed)

I’m thinking of buying this Mac Mini. But am I missing out on anything buying an older and non M1 model? Never owned a Mac either.

Need advice from Mac users and what they think. Thanks I’m advanced!

Conversation 33 comments

  • simont

    Premium Member
    07 March, 2021 - 2:41 am

    <p>Apple is going to stop supporting the Intel based versions at some point in the future, so rather buy an non-Intel/M1 version.</p>

  • matsan

    Premium Member
    07 March, 2021 - 3:14 am

    <p>Since you are going for a Mac I take it your are not a heavy user or gamer, but I may be wrong. Anyway, if you don't have a Mac history I'd say go for a M1 Mac.</p>

    • Paul Thurrott

      Premium Member
      07 March, 2021 - 8:26 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#616908">In reply to matsan:</a></em></blockquote><p>Agree with this. Not sure if you need 16 GB of RAM (vs. 8) but I suppose from a future-proofing perspective it makes sense.</p>

      • j5

        07 March, 2021 - 9:43 am

        <blockquote><em><a href="#616915">In reply to paul-thurrott:</a></em></blockquote><p>@matsan &amp; @paul. OK that makes sense about future proofing. I thought about that but that's why I wanted to ask to see if it was that big of a deal.</p><p><br></p><p>So you think 8GB RAM is fine?</p><p><br></p><p>Yeah I'm not a PC gamer. I'm mostly just email, surf the web, watch YouTube etc. stuff like that.</p>

        • matsan

          Premium Member
          07 March, 2021 - 10:00 am

          <blockquote><em><a href="#616941">In reply to j5:</a></em></blockquote><p>Some RAM to spare will make macOS and you happier. However, Intel-based (haven't tried a M1 yet) macOS is extremely good at managing RAM. </p><p>Storage is another pain-point – 256 or 512 GB…. </p><p>If you budget allows for 16GB/512SSD that would be my recommendation.</p>

          • j5

            07 March, 2021 - 10:21 am

            <blockquote><em><a href="#616943">In reply to matsan:</a></em></blockquote><p>I was more concerned about RAM than storage. I don't game but I do have a lot of files and photos. But I was thinking an external HD would be fine for extra storage. And I have an Office365 subscription so all my files are backed up to OneDrive.</p><p><br></p><p>Do you think the 16GB RAM would make that big of a difference for web surfuring, YouTube, some programming, photos, etc. stuff like that, I've fully entered the old person using their computer phase lol.</p>

            • matsan

              Premium Member
              07 March, 2021 - 1:32 pm

              <blockquote><em><a href="#616946">In reply to j5:</a></em></blockquote><p>Excluding "programming" from the list and I'd say 8GB would cut it (if you aren't doing heavy photo editing).</p><p>"Programming" on the other hand could be a problem depending on your tools. If your programming includes Xcode – 16GB no options. Python, PHP, JavaScript etc you could probably do with 8 GB if using a light-weight editor (Sublime, VSS etc). Heavier IDE (JetBrains or some Eclipse-based IDE) – 16GB.</p>

              • j5

                08 March, 2021 - 12:31 am

                <blockquote><em><a href="#616967">In reply to matsan:</a></em></blockquote><p>I just want to experiment with maybe making apps for iOS. Nothing major. I don't think that would be major, is it?</p>

                • dftf

                  08 March, 2021 - 5:29 am

                  <blockquote><em><a href="#617006">In reply to j5:</a></em></blockquote><p>If you want to experiment with iOS app-making then an M1 Mac would make more-sense given (1) Apple make the software you use to do that, and likely won't release updated versions of it on Intel Macs before-long, and (2) M1 Macs can natively run iOS apps, so you could run your own app on it for testing and get a better-idea of how it works</p>

                • j5

                  08 March, 2021 - 12:32 pm

                  <blockquote><em><a href="#617014">In reply to dftf:</a></em></blockquote><p>That's true and I didn't think about that at the time of seeing that Mac Mini. It would be smarter to go with the M1 as that's the future of Mac.</p>

                • Paul Thurrott

                  Premium Member
                  08 March, 2021 - 8:32 am

                  You’ll want 16 GB for developer environments like XCode for sure.

              • Paul Thurrott

                Premium Member
                08 March, 2021 - 8:37 am


        • Paul Thurrott

          Premium Member
          08 March, 2021 - 8:39 am

          If you’re looking to just dabble in iOS programming, I guess save money and don’t worry as much about chipsets or RAM. If you think you’ll want to keep using it, I’d think about going M1 and with 16 GB for that future-proofing reason.

          • j5

            08 March, 2021 - 12:34 pm

            <blockquote><em><a href="#617062">In reply to paul-thurrott:</a></em></blockquote><p>After seeing yours and everyone's reasons to go with 16 GB I'll have that as a base requirement. I'm not to worried about storage as I'm a OneDrive user. And I can use an external HD for more storage space. </p><p><br></p><p>Paul do you have any external HD recommendations for the Mac Mini?</p>

            • Paul Thurrott

              Premium Member
              09 March, 2021 - 8:51 am

              No, not exactly. I always use WD hard drives, mostly because I’ve never had any issues. I don’t even own a USB-C-based external hard drive.

  • StevenLayton

    07 March, 2021 - 3:53 am

    <p>I have no advice on the Mac Mini, but your account photo has brought back many childhood memories. I loved those films as a kid!</p>

    • j5

      07 March, 2021 - 10:17 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#616911">In reply to StevenLayton:</a></em></blockquote><p>Thanks, yeah I loved those movies when I was a kid too.</p>

  • ghostrider

    07 March, 2021 - 7:15 am

    <p>Your considering buying a Mac for what reason? Do you actually need one, is it out of curiosity or do you just have money to burn? </p>

  • F4IL

    07 March, 2021 - 11:18 am

    <p>Your biggest concern would probably be <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">peripherals with incompatible drivers. Since you're going in legacy free (software-wise), I don't see a reason to get the Intel variant.</span></p>

    • j5

      08 March, 2021 - 12:34 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#616957">In reply to F4IL:</a></em></blockquote><p>Yeah all my peripherals have always been used for Windows. But they're from companies like Logitech, Keychron, a set of Bose noise cancelling headphones and some no name earbuds. And my monitor and LG widescreen. So I need to check compatibility first, thanks for that reminder ??!</p>

      • Paul Thurrott

        Premium Member
        08 March, 2021 - 8:31 am

        Based on my experience, I bet the compatibility is really good.

        • j5

          08 March, 2021 - 12:30 pm

          <blockquote><em><a href="#617053">In reply to paul-thurrott:</a></em></blockquote><p>Ok good to know, thanks.</p>

  • bkkcanuck

    07 March, 2021 - 11:36 am

    <p>That is a 2014 Mac Mini – that would mean that next year might be your last year for macOS upgrades to new versions (the existing version will continue to be supported). If you are using it for development that would hinder it significantly. The pricing for Intel Macs will be unlikely to hold their prices for much longer either. It would be significantly underpowered as 2014 would be only a 2 core system.</p>


    07 March, 2021 - 12:52 pm

    <p>Buy a model with an SSD, can't say this enough. If this is indeed a 2014 model then the HDD will be on it's last legs and dog slow. Seems expensive for the age.</p><p><br></p><p>8GB should be fine.</p><p><br></p><p>As others have said, no doubt Intel support will be dropped by Apple in a couple of years.</p>

  • txag

    07 March, 2021 - 5:03 pm

    <p>I own a late 2014 Mini, and it has had some issues (delay in opening the Apps menu, network flakiness) starting with Catalina and not fixed with Big Sur</p><p><br></p><p>Mine is an SSD that I put in myself because the 1T HD in that model was very slow.</p><p><br></p><p>This is about the oldest Mini that could get Big Sur, so I think it will probably drop off the upgrade list soon.</p>

  • jimchamplin

    Premium Member
    07 March, 2021 - 6:13 pm

    <p><em>NO</em>. The 2014 model is sad. Between the dual-core (Yes, the 2014 models only had dual-core options) CPU and the absolute garbage HDD, this isn't going to be something you enjoy using. Especially not for $819 when you can get the new model for $120 less. If you want a Mac mini, get the new M1 model.</p><p><br></p><p><em>Do not purchase this. Purchase the $699 M1 Mac mini.</em></p>

  • rob_segal

    Premium Member
    07 March, 2021 - 9:06 pm

    <p>Considering these price points, I agree with those saying get an M1 Mac Mini. Programming can be complicated. 8 GB of RAM is enough for something like Visual Studio Code front-end projects, Visual Studio .NET 5 stuff, Azure SQL, stuff like that. Haven't used XCode, so I don't how much memory that will take. Light photo editing will work on 8 GB of RAM. If you plan to do a lot of this, 16 GB of RAM could be beneficial on occasion. If you don't plan to tax your Mac with a lot of photo editing and large code projects, your money could be better spent upgrading storage. If you can responsibly afford it, 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage would future-proof it better and give you room to do more with your system if you so choose.</p><p><br></p>

    • jimchamplin

      Premium Member
      08 March, 2021 - 11:58 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#617005">In reply to rob_segal:</a></em></blockquote><p>Xcode is fine with 8GB unless you’re going to be building a game or some kind of huge desktop software.</p><p><br></p><p>And the way the system is architected, the 8GB isn’t as much of a limitation as it seems, since it’s on die, and therefore absurdly fast.</p>

  • interloper

    08 March, 2021 - 6:32 am

    <p><a href="; target="_blank">This video</a> gives a pretty good analysis of the 8Gb vs 16Gb Mac Mini in the real world. As others have said, don't buy an Intel Mac now (especially not the 2014 model as even Mac Mini fans despise it) – go for the M1 as it can natively run the very iOS apps you want to develop.</p>

    • Paul Thurrott

      Premium Member
      08 March, 2021 - 8:29 am

      Yeah, but that’s the situation now. Things change, and as developers get used to targeting more capable Apple Silicon chipsets, the M1 might get left a bit behind. Were I switching to the Mac, I’d go 16 GB regardless of the system.

  • Usman

    08 March, 2021 - 7:30 am

    <p>Definitely not at that price, this Mac Mini is from 2014. I'd stay away from it.</p>

  • j5

    10 March, 2021 - 12:46 pm

    <p>Thanks to everyone who gave their tips and recommendations ??! This is a great community! </p><p>So I went with the M1 Mac Mini 16GB 512 GB HD. 16GB like most people recommended. This will be my daily driver so like ya'll said having 16GB will be better in the long run. My computer right now is an Asus K501UW laptop. It's about 5 or 6 years old. And it's been having old age tech problems. So I feel like this M1 Mac Mini will be a significant computer upgrade regardless of being a different OS.</p><p><br></p><p>But I can't help shake this dirty feeling of cheating or leaving for the Dark Side after only ever being a Windows user. Any other "switchers" out there? And how did you cope with it, ?!</p><p><br></p><p>Thanks!</p>

    • Paul Thurrott

      Premium Member
      11 March, 2021 - 9:37 am

      Good stuff, and good luck!

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