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View Full Version : What should I get for the Mac Mini?


jayeskreezy
Mar 6, 2005, 10:26 PM
Ok I think I might be getting the new mac mini soon. It's the 80gb one with 256mb RAM and a combo drive. Im into video editing and stuff so I wanted to up the RAM on it to 1gb but on apple's website it's $375...thats a CHUNK of change and you might as well just get a regular computer for that much.

I have a few questions though:

Is there any way that I can get RAM for the mac mini somewhere else for cheaper and have the apple store people install it? If so, where can I get 1gb of RAM for less than $250 that will fit the mac mini? What is it called?

Why is it $75 extra for 512mb of RAM and $375 extra for 1GB of RAM?

If I want to get bluetooth, but I dont want to get the internal bluetooth installed can I buy a bluetooth usb adapter and still have bluetooth on the mac mini?

I would like to get a 16x dvd burner, but which one works best with a MAC AND PC? ( I have an IBM laptop and dell desktop at work that I'll be going back and forth with)

Im also looking to get an external hard drive. Which one of those works best with a MAC AND PC?

Thanks yall!

ravenvii
Mar 6, 2005, 10:37 PM
Is there any way that I can get RAM for the mac mini somewhere else for cheaper and have the apple store people install it? If so, where can I get 1gb of RAM for less than $250 that will fit the mac mini? What is it called?

Don't buy RAM from Apple, they rip you off on RAM. Get it from NewEgg (www.newegg.com), Crucial (www.crucial.com), etc. You just need a regular DDR RAM stick, get PC2700 (DDR266). You can just install it yourself. If you can't, you can go to a Apple Store or reseller and have they install it for you, usually for $30 or so. Really, it's not that hard to install yourself.

Why is it $75 extra for 512mb of RAM and $375 extra for 1GB of RAM?

See above.

If I want to get bluetooth, but I dont want to get the internal bluetooth installed can I buy a bluetooth usb adapter and still have bluetooth on the mac mini?

Yes.

I would like to get a 16x dvd burner, but which one works best with a MAC AND PC? ( I have an IBM laptop and dell desktop at work that I'll be going back and forth with)

Any external DVD burner should work on both. Make sure to get either Firewire (if your laptop has Firewire) or USB 2.0 otherwise.

Im also looking to get an external hard drive. Which one of those works best with a MAC AND PC?

Same answer as above.

jayeskreezy
Mar 6, 2005, 10:43 PM
thanks that was REALLY helpful....

what's the difference between ddr266 and ddr333 memory?

this might sound like a silly question, but will the current RAM be removed to install the new one or do you just add it to what's already there? if the old RAM is removed can I install it in my laptop to boost that RAM or no?

ravenvii
Mar 6, 2005, 10:49 PM
thanks that was REALLY helpful....

what's the difference between ddr266 and ddr333 memory?

this might sound like a silly question, but will the current RAM be removed to install the new one or do you just add it to what's already there? if the old RAM is removed can I install it in my laptop to boost that RAM or no?

Oops, I meant PC2100. Actually you can get DDR333 or anything above 266. DDR333 is basically 333 MHz RAM, the Mac mini's system bus is 266 MHz, so if you get DDR333 and put it into a Mac mini, it'll be downclocked to 266 MHz. So your best chance is to get DDR266, since it's probably the cheapest.

The Mac mini only has one memory stick slot, so yes you'll have to remove the stick already in there to put in the new one. Nope, the Mac mini uses regular, 128-bit DDR sticks. Your laptop most likely uses the smaller 64-bit sticks. It's probably not even DDR at that. What you'll probably want to do is just sell the old 256 MB stick on eBay or something. It won't net you much, but hey.

Datazoid
Mar 6, 2005, 11:59 PM
For RAM upgrades, FastMac's Take-Your-Mini-to-the-Max Program (http://www.fastmac.com/ProductPage/minimax.html) is pretty reasonably priced ($199, and that includes shipping your mini both ways) and you don't have to worry about tearing your mini open and [risk?] voiding the warranty.

Update: disregard the above, I didn't do full research. Sorry. *walks away, hanging head, feeling foolish*

feakbeak
Mar 7, 2005, 12:07 AM
First, a correction from earlier posts. The Mac mini has a 167 MHz system bus, so the DDR (double data rate - read/writes twice per clock cycle) RAM effectively runs at 333 MHz, this is also called PC2700 RAM. You can also use DDR 400 (PC3200) but it will still only run at 333 MHz. You need standard 184-pin desktop SDRAM.

I think the 512 MB upgrade from Apple is reasonable for $75. The 1 GB upgrade is about $100+ more expensive than it should be. I ordered my mini with 256 MB and purchased a 1 GB stick of Crucial memory from NewEgg.com I installed it myself and did not have any problems. There are video's on the net about how to open the mini with a putty knife. I used this tool of choice and it was pretty simple. I put a small (1 mm) knick in the white plastic on the bottom of the mini when opening it, but who will see the bottom and look hard enough to find a small ding. I'm very proud of that ding and how it saved me about $125 on my memory upgrade.

Here (http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?description=20-145-086&depa=0) is the link to the exact stick I bought off NewEgg.

kgarner
Mar 23, 2005, 11:22 AM
I bought a PQI 1GB stick from NewEgg for $135 shipped and it works flawlessly so far. The install was the most difficult install I have ever done, but that said, it was not that bad. OWC (http://www.macsales.com/) has a really nice video on how to take it apart and upgrade everything. Definitely recommend the RAM upgrade as everything is nice and smooth now. I use a D-Link Bluetooth dongle in a USB hub on my mini and recommend both of those add-ons as well.

Chappers
Mar 24, 2005, 05:43 AM
[QUOTE=jayeskreezy]What should I get for the Mac Mini? [QUOTE]

Monitor, keyboard and mouse. - sorry had to do it - terrible crap joke.

jayeskreezy
Mar 24, 2005, 10:44 AM
thanks everybody...i got the ram a few weeks ago and installed it from newegg and it works great

ebow
Mar 24, 2005, 11:02 AM
You may also want to get a USB hub. Since the mini only has two USB ports and one will be taken by the keyboard/mouse, you'll have to do a lot of swapping between any printers, cameras, card readers, USB iPods, etc. that you have. As for which USB hub to get, I couldn't say--I've never owned any. I'm sure someone can make a sound recommendation, and I'll be doing my own research later when I get one to go along with the Mac mini that I'll be coercing my parents to buy. ;)

jayeskreezy
Mar 24, 2005, 11:13 AM
yeah i got a usb hub too .... i also have a usb/ps2 adapter on the way...its like $10 on ebay and you can hook your ps/2 mouse and keyboard up to the same usb port...its a suggestion if you arent one who feels like goin to get new hardware just yet