Big Sur: New Life for the Late 2014 Mac Mini

What The Hell Is A Mac Mini?

When people ask me what a Mac Mini is, I say it’s an iMac you can use on any monitor. To be honest, I never really thought about a Mac until the late 2014 Mac Mini came out. While you won’t play top-notch games on it, you can get some work done on it.

When the 2018 Mac Mini’s came out, I went to my local Apple store to see if they had one I could play around with. When I asked, the young lady acted as if she had never heard of such a thing. I am going to give her the benefit of the doubt and assume they where just instructed not to promote is as they did not have one on display at the store.

Subsequent macOS updates have rendered this particularly underpowered Mac desktop almost useless. Updates designed for more powerful computers frequently bogged down the Mac Mini as well as other entry level Mac desktop and laptop computers.

Big Sur Is A Beast

Enter 2020 and Apple’s decision to introduce its own CPUs. While this CPU is being regarded by Apple Fanboys as an Intel killer, Apple’s OS upgrade is simultaneously its most aggressive push towards its iOS mobile platform ever. Apparently within that push is less hardware hungry software. As I am writing this article on the dusty late 2014 Mac Mini running Big Sur, this is the best experience I’ve had on this computer since I first got it back in 2015.

There are plenty of youtube videos and blog posts that slobber over the new features of the new Big Sur OS and the three new Apple Silicon computers. That is not what this is about. I am talking about new like for your existing hardware. I am talking about people who have never had the opportunity to experience the true power of the Mac ecosystem having an opportunity. Having a lower barrier of entry with older lower-powered computers being viable again.

No this is not perfect, just better. It is crazy that in 2020 functionality is celebrated. Thank you, Apple for giving new life to a computer that was purposely underpowered in the first place. Hopefully, my experience continues to be good.

If you have one of the underwhelming Macs that came out between 2014 and 2018 feel free to leave a commit about your experiences.

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