Thanks to Orchard Resales for sponsoring this week! If you’re looking for an older Mac mini to use as a server or entertainment center, you can pick up used 2012/2014 models dirt cheap!

I use a 2012 Mac mini as a basement server, running headless (no keyboard or monitor) and controlled over screen sharing. It runs Docker (and a few containers that give me things like network speed charts and VPN tunneling), Plex, and all of my home automation with all of my controllers hooked up to its USB ports. I also have a Synology, but you can easily set up file storage and serving with a Mac mini and a big external RAID drive. The one I run in my basement is a 2012 with a 500GB SSD and 16GB RAM. I’ve never needed to upgrade it any further to get everything I need out of it.

Want to set up your own, or have another use in mind for an old mini? Well, thanks to Orchard Resales you can pick one up for as little as $50 US. Deck one out with 16GB of RAM and an SSD and you’ll come out around $100. For a whole server, and it’s as easy to set up as using a Mac. And if you need spare parts, you can get non-functional Mac minis starting at just $15.

No, these can’t run the latest macOS, but for 99% of uses, they don’t need to, and if you’re really into it, you can use OpenCore Legacy Patcher to get all the functionality you need.

Check out Orchard Resales today and get started with your own server! Or buy a bunch and make a server farm!