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SmartSDR for Mac on older Mac Mini?

I am running Mac SmartSDR on my M1 Mini and M1 Macbook Air. I am interested in adding another Mac Mini to dedicate to it in the shack, and am looking at refurb Minis.

Anyone that can comment on how well Mac SmartSDR runs on a late-2014 vintage dual-core i5 Mini?


Steve AK0M


  • MarkS
    MarkS Member ✭✭

    Per the SmartSDR for Mac manual you need to be running at least Mac OSX 10.15 Catalina. I think that’s going to be the issue with the older macs operating system rather than the horsepower.

    However, if you can run windows 10 on a virtual machine, with SmartSDR for Windows, you might have a workable solution.

    Mark Wd9jen.

  • Steve - AK0M
    Steve - AK0M Member ✭✭
    edited March 30

    The late-2014 Mini's are stated to be compatible with the current Monterey OS. The next older generation (late 2012) are compatible with 10.15.7 Catalina but nothing later.

    I am most interested in whether the late-2014 models perform acceptably well.

    I am running SmartSDR for Windows already in my shack, but potentially migrating there as well to SmartSDR for Mac.

    Steve AK0M

  • Lou KI5FTY
    Lou KI5FTY Member ✭✭
    edited April 2

    I'm running it on a Mac mini (Late 2012 2.5 GHz ) Catalina and it is working with occasional stuttering of the audio if I make new request on a web browser at the same time. I also run it on MacBook Pro (mid 2015 2.2 GHz i7) Monterey with no problems at all.

  • Steve - AK0M
    Steve - AK0M Member ✭✭

    I found a great deal on a used late-2014 Mac mini with an i5 and only 4GB RAM. It is running Mac SmartSDR on Monterey just fine. It was initially almost unusable until I replaced the mechanical hard drive with an SSD (a non-trivial exercise, btw), now it runs very snappy. Added bonus is that I installed Bootcamp and Windows 10, so now I still have a way to get to my Windows ham software when needed.

    73, Steve AK0M

  • W7NGA
    W7NGA Member ✭✭✭

    Just a note - I am running SmartSDR for Mac on the Mac mini with the M1 and macOS Monterey. $699 and it hasn't missed a beat. All applications run smooth as silk, and that includes Photoshop, Lightroom, Capture One, Amazon Music, and Universal Audio LUNA recording software. While listening to the bands, I can edit photos or record a wicked guitar solo. No issues, and no performance difference from my $5500 iMac Pro! Highly recommended.

  • Lou KI5FTY
    Lou KI5FTY Member ✭✭

    SmartSDR for Mac now requires 11.15 - Catalina is no longer supported