A Tale of 2 Mini's...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by LastLine, Jan 26, 2007.

  1. LastLine macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    #1
    So at the minute, I'm looking at getting myself a Mini - I'd love to wait for Leopard, but I really can't so I'm gonna pull the trigger.

    Trouble is - I'm having trouble deciding between the 1.66 and the 1.83. I have no need for the processor difference so that's not an issue here. THe only other difference I can tell is that the higher model has a DVD writer in it instead of a combo drive. Now while this wouldn't normally bother me, however once I'm done using the mini as a student house machine (with my iMac at home, and my Macbook on the move) I plan on hooking it, and my EyeTV up to my HDTV to use as a digital video recorder system. Now this is where I think the DVD writer might come in useful - however - is it £90 useful? Perhaps not. Any opinions anyone?

    And on another note? Does anyone know of a stackable external DVD writer that would fit on top of the mini's case?

    Here's my options as it stands (money IS an issue as I'm eating into an overdraft here already) They all have an 80GB HDD so I can put Windows on)

    Mac Mini - 1.66
    1gb RAM
    80GB HDD
    Combo Drive
    £431

    Mac Mini - 1.66
    2gb RAM
    80GB HDD
    Combo Drive
    £539

    Mac Mini - 1.83
    1gb RAM
    80GB HDD
    Superdrive
    £521


    Now I knøw some people will tell me to get 3rd Party RAM and install it, but i'll be honest and say I'm not comfortable doing that on a Mini so that's not going to happen.

    The work I'll use it for?

    iPhoto
    iMovie (occasional)
    Internet
    Web Programming (if Dreamweaver, in OS X, if Frontpage - in Windows - depends on my course)
    Some photoshop - in Windows until CS3 comes out I guess - hardly a priority
    Some Digital Video Recording in the future.
    MS Office - in both OS X and XP.
     
  2. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #2
    I say get the 1.83 model. 200 MHz may not seem like much of a differnce, but it is, trust me. The DVD burner will be nice to have, should you ever need it, and it comes standerd with 30 more GB's of hard drive space then the 1.66.

    However, you could just do as you said, and save some money by buying the 1.66 and an external burner.

    It's really up to you, but I say get the 1.83 model.

    BTW: LOVE the thread title!
     
  3. poopyhead macrumors 6502a

    poopyhead

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Location:
    in the toe-jam of greatness (Fort Worth)
    #3
    you can fairly easily crack the mini open and replace the optical drive with a super-drive for $89 american check out other world computing. an external drive would cost a good bit more.
     
  4. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #4
    I'd personally go for the Superdrive either directly or by upgrading (as described by poopyhead). Are there refurbs of this particular Mini available yet? That might be a good option.

    Edit -- looks like there's a 1.66 Superdrive model for £419 and a 1.83 Superdrive for £459.
     
  5. LastLine thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    #5
    Well as I say with the RAM - I'd really rather not go in and start fiddling inside the machine itself, I've had bad experiences in the past and would rather not repeat it (especially with the optical drive - and let's be honest? Is the processor difference really that important for the type of workI'll be doing?

    EDIT: Yes, ther'es a few refurbs that float in and out, but with me using my EDU discount? They're hardly competitive.
     
  6. poopyhead macrumors 6502a

    poopyhead

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Location:
    in the toe-jam of greatness (Fort Worth)
    #6
    if you dont want to take it apart go for the 1.83. I've got 2gigs of ram in my mini and rarely (according to activity monitor) use more than one. an external drive would cost probably more than the cost difference between the 2 machines and you would get a slightly faster processor. You might want to eventually look at an external hard drive, I bought a lacia stackable 250 that matches the mini, 80 gigs or in my case 60 simply isnt enough if you have a lot of music or movies.

    in a mini the optical drive is actually easier to replace than the memory (less disassembly)
     
  7. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #7
    From what you are describeing, it sounds like you just need the 1.66, with a superdrive. Which does not exist, as far as I know. (even custom)

    1.83, you'll probably need the extra hertz in a few years.
     
  8. milo macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    #8
    Just make sure you have the right one - I would think an external model would be cheaper (particularly a naked drive plus a cheap enclosure) than a slot-loading drive like the mini has. Isn't it a laptop optical drive?

    Upgrading the ram is kind of a pain but doable.

    Personally, I think the mini is overdue for an update. If it were me I'd tough it out until they switch to Core 2 duo and especially N speed wireless (the current wireless hardware in minis is pretty horrible).
     
  9. LastLine thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    #9
    As would I...normally. However in this case the power (and indeed the N speed) isn't actually necessary for me so it's a case of need now, buy now.

    And given the new front page rumour about the February 1st event? I think I'll wait till Thursday :)
     
  10. California macrumors 68040

    California

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #10
    Cracking open the mini was not that hard. Always get as much power under the hood -- ram hdd cpu -- as feasible.
     
  11. iW00t macrumors 68040

    iW00t

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    Location:
    Defenders of Apple Guild
    #11
    To be honest what I did is install *censored* on a spare PC I have sitting around.

    I stuck around Apple's store during Macworld to see if they have an update, turns out that Apple wants to milk its users a bit more. I decided not to wait. :rolleyes:

    For $100 more than a Mini I got Core 2 and a 7600GT. Faster than an iMac I'd say :D
     
  12. mccldwll macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    #12
    1.66 w/ superdrive


    At the U.S. refurb store:

    Refurbished Mac mini 1.66GHz Intel Core Duo
    512MB memory (667MHz DDR2 SDRAM)
    80GB Serial ATA hard drive
    Double-layer SuperDrive (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    Built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0
    Apple Remote
    Learn More
    • Save 19% off the original price
    Original price: $799.00
    Your price: $649.00
    Estimated Ship:
    Within 24 hours
    Free Shipping

    Could probably find an Apple authorized tech to bump the RAM, even w/ 3rd party.
     
  13. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #13
    If you're not willing to accept suggestions, why do you post threads asking for advice? There's a refurb on that list that's £20 less than anything you listed, with a superdrive..... :rolleyes:™
     
  14. LastLine thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    #14
    Yeah, but not with 1GB of RAM which I've said I want to get preinstalled for personal confidence reasons (or at least there wasn't when I checked)
     

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  15. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #15
    If you're saying that you installed OS X on a generic PC, you really shouldn't be offering that kind of advice on these forums as doing that install is illegal.
     
  16. shu82 macrumors 6502a

    shu82

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Location:
    Rocket City, AL
    #16
    I completely agree with poopyhead, 1gb of ram will be enough for you for now. I wouldn't crack the girl open until the C2D get cheaper and you do a full upgrade. It cost me $80 to upgrade to 1gb at the apple store when I bought it new. BTW I really like typing poopyhead:) poopyhead,poopyhead,poopyhead God I feel 12
     
  17. LastLine thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    #17
    Ok so I'll go with a 1gb, and as for what this machine will ever be used for(Mac Pro in 12 months time all going well) I don't need the extra Mhz, I guess £90 for a DVDRW is overkill. The base model it is :)

    EDIT: Further development. Bought the base model with a gig of ram (£404) and a 250gb iOmega Minimax drive at £90. Bargain combination.
     

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