Keeping an old Mac mini going vs buying a new M1 Mac mini

Ditto in 2012, but I did install a new power supply in my iMac G5 ALS and used it for another year or so before transitioning completely to my Mid-2011 iMac which is still running just fine with MacOS 10.13.6

Ditto in running MacOS 10.13.6 on my 2011 Mac Mini.

So what are we missing by not having an M1 Mac Mini?

Amazon is having a flash sale today on the introductory M1 Mac Minis.

Hmmm, the advantage of having only 2 USB ports instead of 4 USB ports?

802.11ax instead of 802.11n WiFi?

Bluetooth 5 instead of Bluetooth 4?

Having to buy all new Thunderbolt 4 capable peripherals and cables?

AND no ability to increase the RAM, once purchased! :pensive:

You couldn’t increase the RAM past 16GB anyway

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If you’re planning to upgrade a mini, I would at least wait until after next week’s announcements, in case it gets updated.

If more ports and RAM is more important to you than CPU/GPU speed, you can still buy the 2018 Intel Mac mini. Apple’s web site shows that they are still selling the two high-end models:

  • 3.0 GHz 6-core Intel i5 (Turbo boost to 4.1 GHz, 9M L3 cache)
  • 3.2 GHs 6-core Intel i7 (Turbo boost to 4.6 GHz, 12M L3 cache)

Both of these models feature:

  • 8 GB RAM, configurable to 16, 32 or 64GB. (And upgradable, if you’re careful)
  • 512 GB SSD, configurable to 1TB or 2TB. (Sadly, soldered-down and cryptographically tied to a T2 chip, so not upgradable)
  • Integrated GPU (Intel UHD Graphics 630)
  • Video support for 3 4K displays or a 5K display and a 4K display
  • 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports (up to 40 Gbps in TB mode, or 10 Gbps in USB mode)
  • 1 HDMI 2.0 port
  • 2 USB 3.0 type-A ports (5 Gbps)
  • Analog headphone jack
  • Gigabit Ethernet port (configurable for 10G)
  • 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 5.0

I’m currently running the i7 model (purchased in October 2020 with 16GB RAM and 2TBSSD). It works great and I expect it to last quite a long time. I don’t plan on upgrading (beyond maybe maxing out the RAM to 64GB) until Apple drops support - when they stop releasing security updates for the most recent version of macOS it can run.

Judging by history, I expect this to happen 2 years after they stop publishing new macOS releases for the platform. I expect that to happen 2-3 years after they stop selling the last Intel model. Assuming every Mac product gets upgraded to Apple Silicon by the end of this year, I will expect the last Intel Macs to be discontinued no sooner than late-2023. Which means I will expect the last Intel-compatible MacOS to be shipping in 2025-2026 and security updates therefore being dropped in 2027-2028.

In other words, if you buy an Intel Mac today, I think you can expect reasonable levels of support for 5-6 years. And maybe a bit longer if they keep selling Intel Macs for more than a year after everything gets upgraded to Apple Silicon.

25 posts were split to a new topic: How to run Snow Leopard on an Apple silicon Mac

There’s a very high probability we’ll see a new Mac mini next week. Either it’s the high-end variant with an M1 Pro/Max and extra goodies like high RAM ceiling and lots of ports, or we’ll see an upgraded Mac mini with M2 in which case I would also expect a higher RAM ceiling and support for more ports than on the early vanilla M1. Either way, waiting for another 5 days sounds like a no-brainer to me at this point. Personally also, unless I had specific need for an x86 Mac (let’s say for Bootcamp or VMs), I wouldn’t go near an Intel Mac these days. Once you’ve seen what M1 Macs can do and with how little power they do it, you just cannot undo that experience. If you need x86, fine. Otherwise, stay away.


Me too…it will replace my file server and my photo Lightroom work will move to my M1 Pro MBP instead of main catalog on an Intel iMac and travel catalog on the laptop. Will get an LG 5K monitor to use with the laptop at home…but will size the RAM, cpu, and SSD on the mini for Lightroom work rather than file server work in case I rethink the ‘single Lightroom catalog’ idea later.

I have a 2018 Mac Mini and manually upgraded just after purchase the RAM myself to third-party 64GB fairly easily for vast cost savings over buying it direct from Apple (it’s a bit of an involved process, but pretty much anyone careful/sensible can do it following one of the many online guides).

For the M-series Mac Mini machines, I’m waiting for at least the same 64GB option to be available out-the-box from Apple, which of course will cost more than any DIY option would have cost – but that’s the nature of SOC memory, of course. The extra bonus is that SOC memory is even more efficient, so 64GB of SOC memory is more like 128GB of non-SOC RAM – plenty to last several years for me!
Also the next Mini will have the more ports that the initial offering doesn’t, and a Max chip makes several hi-res displays an easy possibility too (I have two LG 5K’s available).

I am keeping my fingers crossed for tomorrow’s presentation!

Me too…but if it’s the mini studio sort of Mac Pro Mini that we’ve been seeing the past few days it will be expensive and beyond what most users need. I’m hoping for an M1 Pro/Max mini in the small form factor…slots and expansion and the dual SoC we’ve seen talk about the last week or two isn’t the ‘more peo mini’ that most of us are looking for I don’t think. Maybe we will get both.

When all is said and done, especially after today’s announcement, my 2018 Mac mini with 32 GB of memory and 1 TB SSD doesn’t sound that bad after all. I use a 27 inch Samsung color TV for display. Of course, it’s no Studio Display, but I only paid $95 for it at a yard sale.


Paying $95 for any version of the 2018 Mac Mini is a steal; let alone one with 32 GM of RAM and a 1 TB SSD: congratulations!

Today’s announcement has nothing to do with it…

While the announcement of the Mac Studio appears to be a game changer in many ways, unfortunately for me, it does not include the next generation Apple Silicon Mac Mini; at historical Mini prices.

Here is an interesting 3D-printed working concept for making a portable Mac Mini/iPad Mini 6 combo!