Late 2014 Mac mini in 2022 - Still Worth Buying?
About a year ago, I reviewed the 2014 Mac mini on this blog. Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that it was still an excellent machine for productivity tasks, but it could also handle some more intense things you threw at it. Thus, it became my daily driver up until I upgraded to a 2017 MacBook Air a few months ago. That being said, I’ve still been using it some, so I thought I’d briefly share how it’s holding up these days. Here are my thoughts on this miniature Macintosh one year later!
Over the last year, I’ve been impressed by how much this Mac can handle. It’s rocking a 2.6 GHz dual-core Core i5 with 8 GB of RAM and a Samsung 860 Evo 1 TB SATA SSD. What all that jargon essentially means is that it’s a moderately powerful little computer, although it certainly isn’t going to put newer Macs to shame.
Regardless, I’ve been able to do lots of coding, video editing, and schoolwork on this computer, and it has generally worked pretty well. Granted, it can take a while to start up the Android emulator, editing 4K video is an exercise in patience, and the schoolwork I do on it mainly consists of word processing and Google Meets. However, Android Studio and Xcode are certainly usable on this computer, 1080p video editing is no problem, and this Mac works great for productivity tasks, so I’d say that it’s still a perfectly capable computer for most people, at least from a performance perspective.
Thankfully, software is another area where this computer hasn’t disappointed. It’s still fully supported by macOS 12, so it’s completely up to date. Even though it was introduced long after this Mac mini’s debut, this version of macOS runs just fine on it, and I haven’t experienced any real issues with it.
As for whether or not it will receive the macOS 13 update, it’s hard to say. On one hand, this Mac was sold until 2018, but it’s also getting up there in age. Consequently, I have reason to suspect that macOS 12 will be the last compatible release for this desktop, but I suppose there is a small chance that this won’t be the case. Either way, macOS 12 will still be getting security updates for a while after it is replaced, and it may be possible to unofficially patch newer releases on this Mac as time goes on. If not, since this is an Intel Mac, there are always the options of Windows and Linux, so I feel like this Mac’s software situation isn't too bad at this point.
Still Worth Buying?
With all of that in mind, could this Mac mini still be worth the money? Well, in my search to answer this question, I discovered something rather unexpected. As of right now, the i5/8GB 2014 Mac mini configuration like I have is going for only about $200 here in the US. For some context, I got mine for $375 just one year ago, which was about the price that these were usually going for at the time.
That low price paired with the fact that this Mac is still fully supported actually makes this machine much easier to recommend now than it was last year. I’ve found my Mac mini to be very capable for most tasks, and I feel like it’s more than enough for a lot of people. So, if you can find one for $200 or so, I’d say it’s definitely still worth it. If you want something that will be supported for a bit longer, there are better options out there, but I’d say that there’s never been a better time to pick up a used 2014 Mac mini than now. Mine’s been holding up great, so I can recommend it with confidence.
Anyway, I hope that you found this post helpful, and thanks for reading! If you’re interested in buying a 2014 Mac mini, be sure to check out my original review of this desktop for more information.