Apple unveiled a new Mac Mini last week for the first time in four years. It is the first major redesign of seven. But all this new speed and power has a price: $ 800. Here dies the "cheap" Apple desktop.
If you are still clinging to your older Mac Mini for fear of an account balance, there is a cheaper option: Update it. Mac mini models that shake up the Intel Core architecture are still getting updates for the operating system, right up to the macOS Mojave. All use removable hard drives that you can upgrade to a cheap solid-state drive ̵
To test this premise, I have a Mac Mac 2012 with an acceptable 8 GB RAM and a slow 5400 RPM hard drive opened by laptop. I replaced it with a 500GB Samsung 840 SSD that I did not use. I admit: this is not an easy process as there are many tiny, tightly formed parts to break. For example, if you did not feel comfortable, for example, when you open your newer smartphone to replace the battery, you might want a local repair shop to do it for you. And before you start, you want to create a Mojave recovery disk that is also a bit tricky.
However, the results can not be denied. Booting this particular Mac takes about four minutes on the hard drive and about thirty seconds with the second-hand SSD. The read and write speeds have improved by a factor of five to ten. Programs are loaded immediately. Even Chrome, notoriously popular on MacOS, feels more lively.
For a $ 100 upgrade, it's pretty fantastic. And the knowledge that $ 700 (at least) was in my pocket is immensely satisfying.
Also, this special upgrade is not for the faint of heart: Apple does not make it easy to do a Mac upgrade, and so it is. You'll also need to know how to create a bootable macOS hard drive (and possibly enable TRIM support for your SSD), things that are almost deliberately dull in macOS. However, if you have some elbow lubricant and your Mac Mini is already well away from its warranty date, the effort is well worth it.
If you would like to do this task, you should find out your particular Mac model Mini, then chase iFixIt for a guide specific to that model. You should follow the steps carefully – maybe even load a video to keep track of – and use the logic board removal tool if necessary. After very careful work and careful control of all the small screws, you will be rewarded with a Mac Mini that will last for years to come.