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View Full Version : Current minis arent worth it are they?




daneoni
Nov 1, 2006, 05:46 AM
A friend was considering getting a mini as a small Desktop computer and had a display/KB/Mouse.

A respectable config..1.83/2GB/160GB comes to around 756 with HE discount but i just felt it was a little too much for what you were getting and an iMac would be a better bargain.

Is that a fair analysis or im just hallucinating?



Markleshark
Nov 1, 2006, 06:02 AM
It depends really. I had the same sort of situation, however due to the fact I could upgrade my display in the future as I wished, I went with the mini. The Minis are very expensive for what you get compared to the new C2D iMac... But it depends what you want to do in the future. It's so small and funky as well, whereas I'm not to fond of the 'chin' on the iMac... Personal thing tho

Dont Hurt Me
Nov 1, 2006, 06:08 AM
Depends what you want to do, if your not a gamer and have no need for a video card and have no need for expansion its perfect. Mac OSX cant be beat in my view. Hardware wise Mini is overpriced, but for style small size and ease of use there is nothing that touches it. Now if you enjoy those games or need those slots then stay tuned for my mini review of a dell e521.

miniConvert
Nov 1, 2006, 06:16 AM
It'd be nice if there was something in the mini's spec that made them a little more attractive in the current Apple lineup, but I still think they're worth it. You're paying for the form factor and I personally think the mini is the most desirable computer form factor on the planet. You just want to... *touch it*.

I'd love to see the price come down some more so a lot of people can try a Mac who are currently priced out of the game, but there you go :D

joe50000
Nov 1, 2006, 06:38 AM
The minis are overpriced. They're supposed to be a low end and the high end is only $200 away from being a full desktop computer.

gnasher729
Nov 1, 2006, 07:09 AM
A friend was considering getting a mini as a small Desktop computer and had a display/KB/Mouse.

A respectable config..1.83/2GB/160GB comes to around 756 with HE discount but i just felt it was a little too much for what you were getting and an iMac would be a better bargain.

Is that a fair analysis or im just hallucinating?

The MacMini is squeezed into the tiniest possible space, and you pay a price for that unless you go for the absolute minimum. Yes, the iMacs are an absolute bargain. And if you were looking at the 1.83 GHz, have a look at refurbished iMacs at the Apple Store. You can get the old 20" model for under 800, and a new 17" for 699.

dmw007
Nov 1, 2006, 08:29 AM
The Minis are really only worthy it if you already have a keyboard, mouse, LCD, and set of speakers that you want to use. :)

rneglia
Nov 1, 2006, 09:13 AM
The Minis are really only worthy it if you already have a keyboard, mouse, LCD, and set of speakers that you want to use.


I just bought a 24" monitor for my PC, but I really want a Mac for music recording, mostly Garageband. So I bought a mini because it'll get the job done.

There's only two macs that don't come with monitors, the mini and the pro. Where's the mid-range, you turkeys?!?!?

QCassidy352
Nov 1, 2006, 10:04 AM
The Minis are really only worthy it if you already have a keyboard, mouse, LCD, and set of speakers that you want to use. :)

nah, not even then. Compare to the core 2 duo iMac. If you configure the mini so that it has equal HD and RAM to the 17" iMac, it's $125 cheaper. In saving that $125, you lose:
.17 Ghz
Core 2 duo
17" monitor
keyboard and mouse
dedicated graphics

The mini is just a bad deal, no matter how you figure it. Even if you have a KB/mouse/screen the iMac is STILL a better deal. Apple really should address this, either by giving the mini competitive specs or, preferably, dropping the price significantly.

mkjj
Nov 1, 2006, 10:17 AM
My new MacMini is hooked to my Sony LCD TV and works a treat, wireless network, used the Bluetooth KB & M I already had and bingo!

An iMac maybe better value but would look stupid next to my TV!:D

SkyBell
Nov 1, 2006, 10:28 AM
The mini is just a bad deal, no matter how you figure it. Even if you have a KB/mouse/screen the iMac is STILL a better deal. Apple really should address this, either by giving the mini competitive specs or, preferably, dropping the price significantly.

That may be true for you, but I think you're missing the point. The Mini isn't supposed to have high specs. Its supposed to be low specs. iMacs may be better priced with the same specs, but If you want the specs of an iMac, why are you buying a Mini?

I think a lot of people think the Mini is a bad deal, becasue they're looking for iMac specs at a Mini price, and the Mini wasn't meant for that.

JAT
Nov 1, 2006, 10:41 AM
nah, not even then. Compare to the core 2 duo iMac. If you configure the mini so that it has equal HD and RAM to the 17" iMac, it's $125 cheaper. In saving that $125, you lose:
.17 Ghz
Core 2 duo
17" monitor
keyboard and mouse
dedicated graphics

The mini is just a bad deal, no matter how you figure it. Even if you have a KB/mouse/screen the iMac is STILL a better deal. Apple really should address this, either by giving the mini competitive specs or, preferably, dropping the price significantly.
No, it's a bad deal to you. And that's fine. But maybe you should look around, you aren't alone on the planet.

Don't need any of that list. The Mini is the only computer that fits into my needs, so comparing it to an iMac is pointless. Mine is plugged into my home theater, my TV is the screen and I have wireless keyboard/mouse needs. The screen I especially don't want attached. There are plenty of people who don't need all that stuff. Dedicated graphics, geez....get a life people. That's the most common complaint around here, yet they are only needed for high-end video applications and games. (and if you are considering a Mini for those uses, you have other problems) I'll bet 80% of the people whining about integrated graphics never even approach maxing out the Mini's graphics capabilities with what they do, they just think they need better.

Sure, it would be nice to have the Mini be cheaper, that's a short conversation. But it was mentioned above, it costs to fit all that stuff into a small package. And there's only about 2 computers on the planet that fit into my needs, and only one has OSX.

roland.g
Nov 1, 2006, 11:20 AM
I has two choices, a 24" iMac and a Mac Mini. I wanted the 24 but couldn't get it ordered with the discount I was going to get, not to mention I knew I would have to pay another $200 for Leopard and iLife '07 next year. So my solution was to wait on the 24 and get a Mini till then that I woud sell to my dad for his TV or on eBay if he decides he doesn't want it.

Got a 1.66 Rev. A Core Duo Superdrive refurb for $649 + a Canon Printer and a $100 rebate, add a Bluetooth Keyboard (already had mouse) and 2GB RAM from OWC and I am all set.

Now the RAM is arriving today and I have to say with only the stock 512 in there, that Mini is still a sweet little machine and zippier than I expected.

For me there would have been no point in getting a 17" iMac in the interim. I already have a 19" LaCie Electron Blue and I am not downsizing my screen.

MacSA
Nov 1, 2006, 12:05 PM
nah, not even then. Compare to the core 2 duo iMac. If you configure the mini so that it has equal HD and RAM to the 17" iMac, it's $125 cheaper. In saving that $125, you lose:
.17 Ghz
Core 2 duo
17" monitor
keyboard and mouse
dedicated graphics


Don't forget you also get Speakers, built in iSight Camera with the iMac.

The 2GHz Core 2 iMac is only 80 more than the 1.8 ghz Mac Mini with 1GB RAM and 160GB hard drive in the UK.

Spanky Deluxe
Nov 1, 2006, 12:12 PM
Don't forget you also get Speakers, built in iSight Camera with the iMac.

The 2GHz Core 2 iMac is only 80 more than the 1.8 ghz Mac Mini with 1GB RAM and 160GB hard drive in the UK.

Yeah, that does kind of put it in perspective. Although personally I wouldn't get the 160GB hard drive option on a mini. If I were looking for a mac in the price range of a well specced mini + external display of my choice I think I'd pony up the extra cash for a 2Ghz Core 2 iMac and *still* get a separate display. Unless space was an issue.
I think the Minis could be updated at the same time as the MacBooks to Core 2 Duo and improved Intel graphics which will hopefully make them a bit more reasonable in pricing.

pjarvi
Nov 1, 2006, 04:12 PM
I use my G4 1.25 Ghz Mini more than any of my other 3 computers. It cost $499 at the time compared to the $599 base price of the Intel Mini's, and I didn't bother to get the wireless/bluetooth upgrade since I planned on using it with an existing USB keyboard and mouse. All I wanted was a small simple computer for surfing the 'net and to handle my iTunes purchases with, and it fits that role perfectly. The Mini is small enough to fit beneath my LCD monitor and handles: web browsers, iTunes, iPhoto, and DVD playback with ease.

I do think the $599 base price for the Intel Mini's is $100 too much, though. It kind of defeats the purpose of having a low-cost system to get people to dip their toes in the Mac world, when the cheapest iMac is only $400 more. When you consider the value of having a display, keyboard, and mouse out of the box, it doesn't make the difference in price seem all that much.

mrgreen4242
Nov 1, 2006, 04:22 PM
Nope, they're not worth it at all... and I'm saying that as a (G4) mini owner and a potential Intel mini buyer. The low end is priced well, and is pretty decent power wise but has no SD option. The high end machine is nice, but priced to high.

The last revision high end in the refurb store (1.66 CD, 512mb, 80gb, SD) for $649 is a pretty good price, though. I'm debating between one of those and waiting till either a) the next revision of mini (hoping for C2D, x3000, and 1gb RAM) or at least till iLife 07 and Leopard are out so I can get those "free".

4JNA
Nov 1, 2006, 04:51 PM
personal preference i guess. for the 'do it yourself' crowd, the core solo refurb (or ebay) and a retail core 2 duo processor is a great way to go. not for everyone i agree, but my mini with the 2ghz C2D is faster than my 2ghz CD imac on everything except games, and it cost me around $800 to build/upgrade. since i already had a the monitor/keyboard/mouse/speakers, it was a good value for me. runs 24 x 7, is silent (i can't tell it's on), and takes up less space than an external drive. very sweet indeed.

bousozoku
Nov 1, 2006, 04:56 PM
It's not a great deal when you consider the upgraded iMac line or the cost of Apple displays.

However, the mini has two things going for it: inexpensive 3rd party displays and the ease of upgrading the processor.

I can get a 20.1 inch Samsung display at 1680x1050 for $299 in contrast to $699 for the Apple display. If I'm not worried about a professional graphics application, the less expensive display is fine.

While the iMac is a great package, if something goes wrong with the display, everything is in for repairs, just like a laptop computer.

frankblundt
Nov 1, 2006, 04:57 PM
.. I personally think the mini is the most desirable computer form factor on the planet. You just want to... *touch it*...

mmmmmm. touching it now...

if i had a longer ethernet cable i'd be clutching it to my bosom.

mahonmeister
Nov 1, 2006, 05:20 PM
I really like what the mini has built in and the tiny form factor. But I too have felt that ever since they switched it to Intel processors and upped the price points it was no longer a good deal. My family has the 1.42GHz mini for $599 and I think that was a great deal. If they were to bring back the $499 and $599 (or $699) price points then that would be fantastic.

daneoni
Nov 1, 2006, 06:02 PM
Told him what i thought and he is gonna wait til MWSF to see what the product line is then.

QCassidy352
Nov 1, 2006, 08:14 PM
No, it's a bad deal to you. And that's fine. But maybe you should look around, you aren't alone on the planet.

Is there a reason you had to be rude about disagreeing with a perfectly valid hardware comparison? :rolleyes:

That may be true for you, but I think you're missing the point. The Mini isn't supposed to have high specs. Its supposed to be low specs. iMacs may be better priced with the same specs, but If you want the specs of an iMac, why are you buying a Mini?

I think a lot of people think the Mini is a bad deal, becasue they're looking for iMac specs at a Mini price, and the Mini wasn't meant for that.

Well, the RAM upgrade is mandatory IMO. An intel mac with integrated graphics will beachball you to death with 512 RAM - I speak from experience. So you're looking at $875 before tax. That's not expensive, but it's not cheap, either. Yet it is, as you said, low-end. Mid-range price for low-end specs is a bad deal as far as I'm concerned. No iMac comparison needed.

mrgreen4242
Nov 2, 2006, 08:49 AM
I'd like to see the next generation mini with 3 options:
$399
Core Solo 1.5 (unless the Core Duo 1.66 is TRULY the same price to Apple)
512mb RAM
60gb HDD
Combo drive (no upgrade option)
x3000 GPU
OPTIONAL: AE, BT

$549
Core Duo 1.66
1gb RAM
80gb HDD
Combo drive (option for SD)
x3000
AE, BT

$699
Core Duo 1.83ghz
1gb RAM
100gb HDD
SD
x3000
AE, BT

I think these would be a good value, and compare well to the iMacs in terms of price to performance. Keep the lower clocked CD (not C2D) chips to control prices, bump the RAM on higher end models (makes them better buys in store with no CTO), use the new integrated GPU which shouldn't add any/much cost but will add some performance and therefor value. Strip out features on the low end JUST to get the cheapest Mac ever. Put something between the high and low end too, the $200 spread between them now is just a bit much, especially when the low end starts at $600.

I'm still holding out that Apple will put the 17" WS LCD from the iMac into a iPod styled case, take out the FW/USB hub and ideally add an iPod dock - $249. I'd like to see some bundling from Apple as well. Put a keyboard, mouse, 17" LCD in a single box for $279 and offer it in stores. Give away a shuffle if you buy a mini+LCD/keyb/mouse in the same purchase. That's a full system, with iPod, for <$700-1000, which makes it compete with the iMac, but not so much that you wouldn't look at the iMac for the 'real' GPU, faster HDD, bigger screens, faster C2D CPU.

OK, enough time wasted thinking about this. :P

MacSA
Nov 2, 2006, 11:15 AM
OK, I've said this lots of times, It's nearly 2007, for the prices Apple charge for hardware, they should not be selling combo drives in ANY computers. The superdrives should be standard.

bousozoku
Nov 2, 2006, 11:21 AM
OK, I've said this lots of times, It's nearly 2007, for the prices Apple charge for hardware, they should not be selling combo drives in ANY computers. The superdrives should be standard.

Probably but they're including Gigabit Ethernet and you don't normally see that standard in machines. However, it's about $50 retail as an add-on and there is no place to add it to the mini or the MacBook otherwise. The SuperDrive can always be an upgrade.

jdechko
Nov 2, 2006, 11:28 AM
I agree that for what they offer, they seem kind of expensive. What ever happened to the entry-level Mac that the Minis used to be. I think that the specs are decent (though I'd like to see BT and AP built-in to every Mac... not as an option anymore-- that and SuperDrives as standard). I think that their real problem, though, is that they're no longer a "value-system". The prices have slowly crept up while the rest of the lines have more or less remained constant. I realize that Apple has added new top-end stuff which pushes prices upward, but the ComboDrive Mini Used to start at $499 and there was a $599 option. Now its $599 and $799. Pretty ridiculous if you ask me

mahonmeister
Nov 2, 2006, 10:47 PM
I'd like to see the next generation mini with 3 options:
$399
Core Solo 1.5 (unless the Core Duo 1.66 is TRULY the same price to Apple)
512mb RAM
60gb HDD
Combo drive (no upgrade option)
x3000 GPU
OPTIONAL: AE, BT

$549
Core Duo 1.66
1gb RAM
80gb HDD
Combo drive (option for SD)
x3000
AE, BT

$699
Core Duo 1.83ghz
1gb RAM
100gb HDD
SD
x3000
AE, BT

I think these would be a good value, and compare well to the iMacs in terms of price to performance. Keep the lower clocked CD (not C2D) chips to control prices, bump the RAM on higher end models (makes them better buys in store with no CTO), use the new integrated GPU which shouldn't add any/much cost but will add some performance and therefor value. Strip out features on the low end JUST to get the cheapest Mac ever. Put something between the high and low end too, the $200 spread between them now is just a bit much, especially when the low end starts at $600.

I'm still holding out that Apple will put the 17" WS LCD from the iMac into a iPod styled case, take out the FW/USB hub and ideally add an iPod dock - $249. I'd like to see some bundling from Apple as well. Put a keyboard, mouse, 17" LCD in a single box for $279 and offer it in stores. Give away a shuffle if you buy a mini+LCD/keyb/mouse in the same purchase. That's a full system, with iPod, for <$700-1000, which makes it compete with the iMac, but not so much that you wouldn't look at the iMac for the 'real' GPU, faster HDD, bigger screens, faster C2D CPU.

OK, enough time wasted thinking about this. :P

I love everything you just said.

TonySwartz
Nov 2, 2006, 10:58 PM
The Mac mini gets people in Apple's door that wouldn't otherwise. The mindset that the general computer population (read: not you and I) has when looking between iMac and Mac mini is completely different:

iMac: new computer, new monitor, new keyboard, new everything
Mac mini: new computer, keep your old everything else

I'd say for some (general email users and news site browsers), the mini makes switching a lot less daunting of a task. Of course you and I know otherwise, but... :D

JAT
Nov 3, 2006, 01:14 PM
Is there a reason you had to be rude about disagreeing with a perfectly valid hardware comparison? :rolleyes:

I don't think I can roll my eyes far enough to answer this appropriately. Major semantics problem, here.

roland.g
Nov 3, 2006, 05:28 PM
The Mac Mini is Apple's answer to how to get the lowest priced computer in their line for switchers. It is a great, come on over enticement. Honestly most what have you got for fairly cheap buyers are better off with a 17" iMac because it really completes the Apple experience, for performance and look.

The Mac Mini is not Apple's here you go longtime user/modder/tinkerer, here's something you can build a system out of. It will work for that if you are really willing to open it up to change out RAM, HDDs, opticals, and even CPUs, but they designed it for that.

I just replaced the RAM in my new 1.66 and it wasn't that hard, but it wasn't that easy either. Took patience and a certain level of comfort in messing with it, which is not the typical target market for the Mac Mini from Apple's perspective.

MacSA
Nov 3, 2006, 05:48 PM
The SuperDrive can always be an upgrade.

No, Apple took that option away with the most recent update.

Jeonat
Nov 4, 2006, 01:31 AM
I really like the Mini form factor and lower price point, and indeed, I used to to have a 1.25Ghz Mini which I used for basic tasks and iTunes, but I finally had to consider upgrading when iTunes 7 came out and it was taking about 3 minutes to load my music library.

So the dilemma - given that I already have the existing panel, keyboard and mouse - do I get another Mini or a C2D iMac?

529 for a Core Duo Mini with 80Gb/512Mb or 679 for a C2D iMac with 160Gb/512Mb. The only downside to getting the iMac would be the lack of Superdrive which was OK because I have an external.

I went for the iMac. I thought spending the extra 150 was a good deal for an all-in-one computer with a decent display etc. And add an extra 70 or so to bump the RAM up to 1Gb.

So I love the Mini's but they are too overpriced, they need a bit of a price drop because the iMac isn't far away and a much better deal IMO.

bousozoku
Nov 4, 2006, 01:58 AM
No, Apple took that option away with the most recent update.

OtherWorld Computing will sell you one. ;)

You don't have to get everything directly from Apple anymore.

steelfist
Nov 4, 2006, 04:50 AM
the problem, is that the mac mini's specs are quite close to the imac. because of this the price is dangerously close, thus causing competition apple against apple, which is going to reduce sales for apple, it's like a ven diagram where two circles are very overlapped.

what apple should do is to use the budget market computer parts, and reduce the price. it's simaler to the 8gb ipod nano vs 30 gb ipod video. the sales aren't great for the 8 gb nano now.

daneoni
Nov 20, 2006, 05:11 AM
the problem, is that the mac mini's specs are quite close to the imac. because of this the price is dangerously close, thus causing competition apple against apple, which is going to reduce sales for apple, it's like a ven diagram where two circles are very overlapped.

what apple should do is to use the budget market computer parts, and reduce the price. it's simaler to the 8gb ipod nano vs 30 gb ipod video. the sales aren't great for the 8 gb nano now.

I wouldn't buy a 8GB Nano, someone has to buy it for me. Why would i buy it when i can get something with 30GB for the same price. Sorry but the Nano isn't that special. Worst of all it only comes in black?!?.

a new Mini isn't worth it, a refurb however might be....might.