Question, Stick with Mac Mini 2012 or swap to Mini PC?

neuty

Distinguished Member
Hi All and Mighty,

Ive had my Mac Mini 2012 i5 for approx 6 to 9 months now. I have added a 500 gb ssd and extra 1 tb hard drive for storage of files. It works a treat and it streams to my Apple tv for music etc via iTunes. I have Bootcamp with Win10 on it and its refreshing to use as I am more used to Win10 than Mac Os. Mac Os is more for browsing etc and the fact that imessage and other Apple apps sync well.
If i do any sort of PC stuff I swap to Windows.

Would I be better off switching to Win10 entirely and ditching Mac or stay with my Mac and Bootcamp.
Benifits of Mac, its seamless between Mac, iPad and iPhone. Limited to 1080p.
Benifits of Windows 10, more functional for my pc needs, better graphics likely, likely faster and more.

Also what are out there that would replace a 2012 Mac Mini i5? Something with decent speed, graphics, BT, fit 2 ssd, almost silent ot fanless.

I could go for £200 ish maybe?

Thoughts by me are a Intel NUC as I had one years ago, but I bet there are far better now.

Carl.
 

Jamie

Distinguished Member
Your situation is very similar to mine, I bought my 2012 MacBook Pro a couple of months ago, mines got a 1TB SSD and like you I'm new to Mac's being a PC owner.

I don't even have any iOS devices so that advantage is moot for me and yet I find myself using windows less and less. What is it about W10 that makes you return to it?

For me it took a little while to appreciate MacOS, take a while to learn how the desktop management functions work (if you're using Apple input devices like a magic mouse or trackpad learn the appropriate gestures for switching between the desktop spaces. The more I use it the more returning to W10 feels like a backward step TBH

If i do any sort of PC stuff I swap to Windows.

What is this "PC stuff"?
It was a bit of effort to set up but as well as using bootcamp for Windows 10 I can also access my Windows installation using VMWare Fusion which is now free to use. Surprisingly Windows is perfectly usable as a VM, I can scroll right with 4 fingers to my Windows desktop or 4 finger scroll left for my Mac workspaces and apps. My MBP is an i7 with 16GB of memory.

Benifits of Windows 10, more functional for my pc needs, better graphics likely, likely faster and more.

2 months ago I would have been replying and agreeing with this last part but now I think I'd be saving the money to get a better Mac in the future TBH. Probably a newer Intel Mac so i still have a dual purpose windows and Mac machine but I'm defenitely using windows less and less.
 

neuty

Distinguished Member
@Jamie as I use Windows for work and all software is licensed through that I can use on a number of Windows pc's. For example software I have always used on a Windows pc I find more natural using on windows than Mac. Word, Excel etc I find easier. I do the odd bit of Android software modding and its so much easier via Windows. Most of the time the software isn't written for Mac.
I do love the little short cuts Ive used in Mac OS.

I could just run my Mac so it boots only to Windows and see how that goes to be honest and see if I miss using anything. Its still a pretty fast machine for my usage.

Thinking more, my way to go would be better Mac OS with Windows bootcamp or VWWare Fusion as you ave stated.

At least I get the best of both then.

Cheers, I will give VMware Fusion a try.

Carl
 

neuty

Distinguished Member
Where did you get VMWare Fusion free? I can see a trial version.

Carl
 

Jamie

Distinguished Member

Jamie

Distinguished Member
Where did you get VMWare Fusion free? I can see a trial version.

Carl
The bit of effort I mentioned setting it up was mainly working out how TBH, I read a news article saying it had gone free for personal use but it was really difficult to find out how. I used the link on this post to create a VMWare account and add the fusion licence but I did seem to go around in circles quite a bit.

 

neuty

Distinguished Member
I've just had a quick look at your Mac on the everymac site.
This is yours I believe Mac mini "Core i5" 2.5 (Late 2012) Specs (Late 2012, MD387LL/A, Macmini6,1, A1347, 2570): EveryMac.com

If you're only getting 1080P I presume you're using HDMI to connect to your monitor, do you have a display port available to use instead because in theory you should be able to get a max Res of 2560x1600 with a suitable monitor and cable.
Exactly the one I have. I tried a DP cable to hdmi but with no luck. Also using a suggested Display app. I was unable to get more than 1080p.
 

neuty

Distinguished Member
The bit of effort I mentioned setting it up was mainly working out how TBH, I read a news article saying it had gone free for personal use but it was really difficult to find out how. I used the link on this post to create a VMWare account and add the fusion licence but I did seem to go around in circles quite a bit.

Found the same, but not that obvious. Registering now.
 

Jamie

Distinguished Member
Exactly the one I have. I tried a DP cable to hdmi but with no luck. Also using a suggested Display app. I was unable to get more than 1080p.

I only tried it briefly with my wife's company supplied monitor but I successfully got 1440 x something or other working but only with a direct display port connection, using my TB to HDMI cable still only gave me 1080 on the same monitor.

If you're monitor has a DP input you just need the right cable, I can't vouch for it long term but this is the cheap cable I got from Amazon to try it.

Amazon product
 

neuty

Distinguished Member
I only tried it briefly with my wife's company supplied monitor but I successfully got 1440 x something or other working but only with a direct display port connection, using my TB to HDMI cable still only gave me 1080 on the same monitor.

If you're monitor has a DP input you just need the right cable, I can't vouch for it long term but this is the cheap cable I got from Amazon to try it.

Amazon product
I’m actually considering a new monitor or two. Many have a DP port.
 

eaglemmoomin

Active Member
Your situation is very similar to mine, I bought my 2012 MacBook Pro a couple of months ago, mines got a 1TB SSD and like you I'm new to Mac's being a PC owner.

I don't even have any iOS devices so that advantage is moot for me and yet I find myself using windows less and less. What is it about W10 that makes you return to it?

For me it took a little while to appreciate MacOS, take a while to learn how the desktop management functions work (if you're using Apple input devices like a magic mouse or trackpad learn the appropriate gestures for switching between the desktop spaces. The more I use it the more returning to W10 feels like a backward step TBH



What is this "PC stuff"?
It was a bit of effort to set up but as well as using bootcamp for Windows 10 I can also access my Windows installation using VMWare Fusion which is now free to use. Surprisingly Windows is perfectly usable as a VM, I can scroll right with 4 fingers to my Windows desktop or 4 finger scroll left for my Mac workspaces and apps. My MBP is an i7 with 16GB of memory.



2 months ago I would have been replying and agreeing with this last part but now I think I'd be saving the money to get a better Mac in the future TBH. Probably a newer Intel Mac so i still have a dual purpose windows and Mac machine but I'm defenitely using windows less and less.

I don't think that's a good idea long term. Intel Macs are a dead end for Apple now. So they are going to deprioritise development and support for them more and more. Whatever they say it's in Apples interest to shift you off Intel and further into their eco system. Unless you just want the nice H/W and engineering to install Windows on an Intel Mac then there's still usable life left in them. You may as well rip off the band aid and lock yourself into their proprietary CPU. Enough stuff is cloud based now that maybe that's how you retain portability.
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
Hi All and Mighty,

Ive had my Mac Mini 2012 i5 for approx 6 to 9 months now. I have added a 500 gb ssd and extra 1 tb hard drive for storage of files. It works a treat

It's not really clear what issues you're having running Windows on your current PC that makes it worth changing. Is it problematic or just not as fast as you'd like?


£200 isn't much at the moment and anything you buy is likely to be closer in age to your existing machine rather than a new one.

In general terms the 8000 model CPUs, like the i3-8100 and i3-8300, were a pretty good jump and they launched around 2017 so I'd probably aim for them, although a quick check of ebay and CEX suggests Mini PCs using them are generally going for over £200.


Your requirement of good (powerful?) graphics could be a tricky one. Anything more pokey than the baseline Intel integrated graphics is rare in small desktops, and a lot of those that did fit such chips were not quiet under heavy load.

Or are you just talking about capabilities like video outputs and decode/encoding cores?
 

neuty

Distinguished Member
It's not really clear what issues you're having running Windows on your current PC that makes it worth changing. Is it problematic or just not as fast as you'd like?


£200 isn't much at the moment and anything you buy is likely to be closer in age to your existing machine rather than a new one.

In general terms the 8000 model CPUs, like the i3-8100 and i3-8300, were a pretty good jump and they launched around 2017 so I'd probably aim for them, although a quick check of ebay and CEX suggests Mini PCs using them are generally going for over £200.


Your requirement of good (powerful?) graphics could be a tricky one. Anything more pokey than the baseline Intel integrated graphics is rare in small desktops, and a lot of those that did fit such chips were not quiet under heavy load.

Or are you just talking about capabilities like video outputs and decode/encoding cores?
I am not having issues at all, but is having a Mac Mini as a Windows PC ideal? Surely a dedicated Windows unit is better? £200 was my Extra i could add onto the possible sale of my Mac Mini.
My thoughts were as it is my only pc use as i sold my unused MacBook Air 2018. I would revert back to Windows only.
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
I am not having issues at all, but is having a Mac Mini as a Windows PC ideal? Surely a dedicated Windows unit is better?

Better than perfect?

Are you worried about some sort of underhanded tactics from Apple where they're restricting the performance of their hardware if you're running a non-Mac OS operating system like Windows?

Apple do occasionally refuse to support part of a standard everyone else supports (MST springs to mind) but they're usually pretty good at being definite - things will either work or not work - rather than just doing a half hearted job and ending up with a slow and buggy product.

On a PC like yours where Apple are providing Windows drivers I'd expect it to be running as well as any other machine with Windows drivers. Certainly not badly enough that a similar PC from a different brand will be noticeably better.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Sky Glass, Epson Laser Projectors plus Home Cinema Subwoofers and More…
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom