Mac Mini 2014 on Big Sur/Monterey?

Wondering if anyone here has been running a late 2014 Mac Mini on either of these macOS versions, and how they were finding it? Looking at it as a replacement for my ageing 2011 MacBook Pro.

If I get one it’ll get upgraded to a SSD.

Just doing odd bits of web design, and general messing around, so don’t need a powerhouse of a Mac, though the M1 Mac Mini is tempting lol

I have that exact model as my main work machine when I’m here in Spain. It runs Monterey and has a 500gb ssd and 8gb ram. It powers a 27in 4k LG monitor.

I originally bought it to run the CCTV system on, but didn’t need it in the end, so turned it into a work machine, and while I was skeptical it’d cope, it’s been great, and means I don’t have to bring over my MBA when I travel here.

Right now it’s running RWC, Affinity Designer and Photo, Transit, Pages, Safari and Spark Email, no lagging or anything.

Very occasionally it’ll beachball for a few seconds, but that’s it.

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BTW- My one came spec’d with an SSD from Apple, but I also bought one for mate that had an HDD, and I upgraded it for him to an SSD. Even though you have to entirely strip out the alu shell of all the internals to get at the drive, it’s easy enough.

I took a load of photos of the job if it’ll help you.

From memory you need two unique tools to get all the guts out, I bought them from iFixit.

Thanks @TemplateRepo , I might well take you up on that offer.

If I were you , I’d continue to be tempted by actually the now M2 Mac mini. Absolute night and day compared to 2014.

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As tempting as a brand new Mac Mini M2 is, it’s just not an option unfortunately.

However, I have managed to get a 2014 with 1TB SSD on eBay for a decent price, so hopefully that’ll keep things going for a few years.

@TemplateRepo did you install a 2.5" SSD or an NVMe SSD?

The Mac I’ve bought comes with a 2.5" SSD, so considering putting in another NVMe SSD for the system to get the best out of it and a bit more space.

Think I’ll need some sort of cable and either an Apple SSD/compatible, or can I use a standard NVMe drive with an adapter?


I replaced the HDD, so 2.5. I know you can add an extra SSD to SSD equipped models. But no idea how.

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The whole idea of getting cracking SSD performance out of a 2014 model is futile. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. It’s neither equipped internally nor externally for the kind of speeds modern tech is delivering via M2/U2/NVMe.

Rubbish. I run a 2012 Mini with 2 internal SSD’s and 16Gb memory. For creating web sites, loading image library viewers, optimisers plus a ridiculous amount of open Safari and Chrome tabs email, etc., and this system is perfectly acceptable to build web sites on a professional basis

A correctly built RW Stacks project will preview in an instant.

You simply do not need "cracking"M2 Mac performance to build web sites.

Frankly, the world would be a better place in many ways, if computer users would stop buying new computers when they have a perfectly functional computer to do the job. IMHO Apple users seem to be some of the worst offenders.

You can get an adapter and a dual cable for the older Mini’s to add 2 internal drives inside the Mini case. Thermally, the older Mini’s are really good and very reliable and you can get a cheap eBay backup to stanby as a system replacement should something fail.

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Not rubbish by today’s standards. If you’d like to contextualise to building websites, which I suppose is fair enough given what this forum is about, sure. But talking NVMe and 2014 in the same breath is rubbish.

Good on you for understanding that we don’t need what we don’t need. But if if in my own words you think 2014 SSD is “cracking”, you are sadly mistaken and need to look at some 2023 benchmarks.

If it works for you, great, but my comment stands. Trying to upgrade 10-year-old computers to today’s standards is futile. That was my point.

Thanks for the warning but I really didn’t expect full NVMe performance from an older Mac.

Extra performance would be nice but more space is the main benefit, so I can add some extra space more easily than taking out the SSD and replacing it with a larger model.

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Yes, that was my point which sadly @Webdeersign completely missed. Not to mention the misquote “cracking M2” performance. I was referring specifically to upgrading storage bandwidth in older computers. Before that, yes, I was questioning the benefits of investing in 10-year-old tech when a 2023 M2 is so affordable.

I don’t recall anyone complaing about HD performance back in 2015 when RW + Stacks was essentially the same as it is today. What led many to believe that a higher performance Mac and disc access was required, we now understand was inefficient use of overly complex stacks such as adding non framework based stacks into frameworks, adding in complex stacks to achieve simple things and the practice of adding stacks inside stacks inside stacks (e.g. Foundry), local images, big resources files, huge icon and font files, etc., that slowed down preview and Export within RW.

We now know (at least some do) that using a lean modern framework such as Source, is the way to build sites that don’t slow down Stacks, and as such, an 11 year old MacMini, is in my experience, very capable. E.g. I don’t experience any delays in preview or export that are significant enough to warrant any HW upgrade. SSD speed is just not an issue.

If anyone is finding their RW builds are too slow, then they should look at how they use RW to build sites instead of justifing new HW, IMHO.

Because that investment was made 10 years ago. This is not about affordability, it is about consumerism. Why buy a new Mac if the old one works fine for the job it is used for?

Way more likely a CPU issue than an SSD/HD issue. None of the resources you refer to are remotely large, try working with video or audio. So yeah, once you’re on an SSD, all that small shit is fine. You’re still missing my point about upgrading old tech with new tech: the bandwidth simply isn’t there at a core hardware level to support modern upgrades, it’s a waste of time.

I don’t make purchases based on “consumerism”, too many do I agree, but I don’t.

“Because that investment was made 10 years ago. This is not about affordability, it is about consumerism. Why buy a new Mac if the old one works fine for the job it is used for?”

No it wasn’t. Look at the original post. OP is looking at upgrading 2011 to 2014.

I feel we are at cross purposes here.

I just wanted to make clear for anyone reading this, or new to buiding web sites, or new to RW, that you don’t need the latest Mac to build web sites with RW + Stacks. Within the RW forum world, there is frequent discussion about the very latest Mac and that can give a missleading impression that Mac performance is an issue when using RW.

Cost of buying a 2014 Mac mini, and either upgrading the internals or adding external storage, vs cost of buying new 2023. And then weighing up the performance differences… Please stop implying that I said you need the latest Mac to create websites. It still makes a difference though.

Thanks to everyone for the contributions.

I got the Mac Mini because it gets me to Big Sur/Monterey, which seems to be the new default cut off point for more recent programs/apps.

I’m not in a position to spend a lot on a new(er) Mac, this is a hobby and not something I can expense out or recoup in client work.

I picked this model as it would support running Big Sur and has a little bit of upgrade options. So for ~£150 I’ve gotten a newer Mac that should tide things over for a few years 😎


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