You had waited, waited, and then waited so more. Finally Apple announced an update for their Mac Mini line after over 2 years, yeay! Then like many customers who had prepared to splurge the saving to buy the latest release of Apple’s “most affordable desktop”, you ended up disappointed. The only good news is now the Mac Mini line starts at $499, but that is if you are able to live with i5 1.4GHz processor. That makes it fall into “sub $500 gift ideas” if you want to give a really really nice gift.
For me, I immediately started looking for the previous generation Mac Mini (2012) to replace my old 2010 Mini. For the first time in history, I actually believed a computer that was two years older was actually better.
Below are my reasons why I decided to grab Mac Mini 2012 instead of the latest generation.
It Still Has FireWire
Yes, it is an aging connector and in a couple of years probably all your peripherals with this type of connector will already be replaced. But if you still have that external HD which you spent some extra money to buy with FireWire option, it is good to know that you can still use it.
It Has Thunderbolt and USB 3.0
You can keep using your old(er) external devices, but also use newer and faster connectors. What else could you ask for?
User Upgradeable RAM
When I heard the 2014 Mac Mini’s RAM was no longer user upgradeable, that was the biggest blow. I mean come on, if Apple did not make any change with the design of the machine why would they remove this feature. That is just plain mean.
Option for Quad Core i7 Processor
Apple also dropped the option to get the Mini with i7 quad-core processor, even for built-to-custom models. This had been the feature that could change an affordable computer into a powerhouse for resource intensive tasks. I think this is a way of Apple saying, “Want a powerhouse desktop? Buy the Mac Pro!”
The 2014 Base Model will Age Quickly
What can you do with 1.4GHz i5 processor? Well, almost everything honestly. From browsing, checking email, working on documents, even Photoshop. All will work, not optimally, but in 2-3 years time you probably could not use it anymore for multimedia applications which always demand more processing power with each update.
Should You Buy 2014 Model Then?
Of course if any of the items below is something you really need or want, then please go with a 2014 model:
- Thunderbolt 2 (2012 model is still first-gen Thunderbolt)
- Two Thunderbolt ports (2012 model only has one)
- 802.11ac Wi-Fi (2012 model only has 802.11n)
Did you buy a new or used Mac Mini after the 2014 line announcement ? Which model did you end up buying?