Mac Mini and Old Thunderbolt Display

So my old Mac Mini has died and I’m considering my options…

I’m intending on going with a new Mac Mini, but I have one nagging question: will I be able to use my old pre Thunderbolt 2 display with it? I suspected the answer is yes, but a confirmation would be nice.

Also, any opinions on going with the Fusion drive?

Thanks for your comments in advance.

Apple display’s with mini display port will work on a Thunderbolt port.
You will only have the display feature, not all the Thunderbolt features (USB, Ethernet, audio)

These babies don’t have enough RAM. AFAIR 8 GB is the max. I’m running my old MacPro with 16GB, which made a big difference to the 6 GB I had before.

I had got 16 GB for my iMac and it was heating too much, so I went back down to 8 GB and it runs OK with Yosemite.

I have a 2010 Mini server, the first Mac Mini to accept 16GB of RAM (source) and I love it.
If you’re ordering a new Mini from Apple make note that you cannot change the RAM yourself on the new models, you have to order it at build time from Apple - like their laptops. So max it out then, because I’ve had good look with Minis lasting quite a long time.

My recommendation is to get a Mac Mini model from just before when they started sealing the RAM inside.

Yep- it will work just fine. If you can go there, you might consider one of the laptops or iMacs with Retina displays. Rarely do I spend more on a computer than the minimum necessary, but Retina displays have made it onto my “minimum necessary” list. :slight_smile:

FWIW, if you go to, they’ve got 16GB kits for Mac Minis all the way back to 2011, and they work just fine.

Just checked: Apple has custom configurations with 16GB Mac Minis now, so it’ll be very easy to get RAM for them.

@Greg: even 16 GB isn’t enough for the future. Or I would have to buy a new MacMini every 2 years or so. Most likely I’m old fashioned, but I actually like to use my computers as long as possible. My 6 year old MacPro is not the fastest but it handles Xojo fine - after I got new hard disks and new memory. Those fixed RAM machines don’t have enough RAM to last that long.

Hi Guys,

Thanks for all the feedback, lots of food for thought there. Although it is looking like a definite Mac Mini with 16GB right now.


in regards to the Fusion drive, I have a few notes:

Mail was making my iMac very sluggish (diagnosed after a lot of work). I suspected it was the large amount of email I get combined with Mail’s high disk i/o work - many little files, handled often. I get a lot of notification emails from our systems that are automatically filed.

I looked at Apple’s Fusion drives and also at just going full SSD but I wanted about 1TB of storage and wasn’t going to pay that amount.

So I rolled my own “Fusion” drive using a 1TB HD and a 256GB SSD both installed internally in the iMac. There are a couple of command-line things you need to do that the Disk Utility won’t do but there’s a lot of information online and it was quite easy. Now it appears as a logical volume in DU and I can partition and format as I need. I get the combined space of both drives (around 1.2 TB) and the OS shuttles less-used files to the HD and often-used files to the SSD.

Anyway, the difference was night and day. It was better than any RAM, graphics card or other upgrade I’ve ever done. I’ve been using it for a couple of years now and the only serious reason I’m considering upgrading the iMac is that it won’t drive a 4K display and I’ve been pining…

So, yes to Fusion. And if you don’t want theirs, rolling your own is simple.

Thanks for the insight.