Advice on Mac Mini purchase

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Island Dog, Nov 11, 2006.

  1. Island Dog macrumors 6502a

    Island Dog

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Location:
    St. Cloud, FL.
    #1
    Everyone here was a great help when I bought my first Mac a little while back, so I'd like some advice again for my next purchase.

    I'm looking for a second computer for my office desk. Space is a big issue, so naturally the Mac Mini was the first choice. I spent this morning browsing the Apple store trying to make a final decision. I was mostly looking at the base model for $599, although I don't like the fact it only comes with 512mb of RAM and a 60gig HD.

    I saw the Apple Store online has a refurbished one for $519, and I have a $30 off coupon. Has anyone had any problems with refurbished minis? Or perhaps someone can recommend a better deal. I need it to be able to dual-boot XP without problems also.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. levitynyc macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2006
    #2
    Might seriously want to look at a 17" iMac.

    Much better value in my honest opinion.
     
  3. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    #3
    Yeh, at first the Mini seems cheap, until you compare it's specs with the iMac and also take into consideration the cost of a decent display/speakers/keyboard/mouse, which is something the iMac comes with...
     
  4. AvSRoCkCO1067 macrumors 65816

    AvSRoCkCO1067

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2005
    Location:
    CO
    #4
    If you have a display, though, and are looking for a cheap mac just for simple functions (word processing, some photos, some music, web browsing) - the Mini is still a great computer at a decent price :)

    I've heard refurbs are fantastic, and they come with the SAME warranty as brand spankin' new computers - I say go for it :)
     
  5. ChickenSwartz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    #5
    Plus, an iMac takes up almost as much space as an LCD monitor.

    Do you already have a monitor you are going to be using with the Mini?
    If no, go iMac. If yes, further consideration will have to be made...
     
  6. Island Dog thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Island Dog

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Location:
    St. Cloud, FL.
    #6
    Thanks for the responses so far.

    I'm not too worried about monitors because I have some here, so that's not a big issue. I took a long look at the iMacs today and liked what I saw. The 20" looks great, but is too far out of my budget right now. Although the 17" screen was very nice, if I was going to spend the money I'd want as big as possible.

    I have read some positive things about Apple refurbs, so that might be the way to go.
     
  7. JAT macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2001
    Location:
    Mpls, MN
    #7
    My refurb Mini has been perfect. The iMac is a better value, but if you don't have the cash, and do have the monitor and other stuff, the Mini is good.
     
  8. Reflow macrumors 68000

    Reflow

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Location:
    NJ/PHL
    #8
    I personally never had any problems with the two laptops I bought on the Refurbished site and it also carries the same 1 year warrantee. I also would look at the apple store near you as you can pick up a refreshed unit that someone brought back and did like it for some reason on another
     
  9. Flowbee macrumors 68030

    Flowbee

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Alameda, CA
    #9
    In general, you'll have just as good luck buying a refurb as buying new. That's not to say there's no possibility of having problems, just that you rarely read about people being sent bad refurbs. And if you do get a bad refurb, it's covered under the standard Apple warranty. Go for it (but make sure to increase the RAM to at least 1gb).
     
  10. Island Dog thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Island Dog

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Location:
    St. Cloud, FL.
    #10
    Thanks for all the friendly advice. I really appreciate it.
     
  11. reflex macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #11
    Almost as much? :)
     
  12. srf4real macrumors 68030

    srf4real

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Location:
    paradise beach FL
    #12
    One cool thing about a mini is you can have any size display you want, and their prices are falling rapidly. Another thing I like about mine over my old imac is it's so quiet, I mean it might as well be silent because I don't hear it unless I put me ear up to the machine!:D
     
  13. roland.g macrumors 603

    roland.g

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    One mile up and soaring
    #13
    I just got a 1.66 CD Mini Refurb and I love it. Put 2GB RAM in myself and it runs great. Got a Ministack and put my old WD120 in it and I have my whole iTunes and iPhoto library on there as well as some video. I'll replace that with a 320GB later when I need the space. Great little setup. Works great with my 19" LaCie, Bluetooth Mouse and Apple Wireless Keyboard. Got the Mini with a Canon PIXMA MP530 Printer $100 rebate - YES, THE REFURBS QUALIFY for the Promo and hooked that upto my Airport Extreme Base Station for USB router printing.
     
  14. Sweetfeld28 macrumors 65816

    Sweetfeld28

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2003
    Location:
    Buckeye Country, O-H
    #14
    This is precisely why i haven't gotten rid of my G4 Cube, i love how quite it is. I have always like the Mini's but the whole thing about having a laptop hard drive built-in just turns me off.

    I would buy one if i could easily upgrade the HD to a faster [more expensive] 7200 rpm laptop drive.
     
  15. roland.g macrumors 603

    roland.g

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    One mile up and soaring
    #15
    I have a MacMini, and it wasn't that hard to upgrade the RAM. You can definitely put a 7200 drive in it if you don't mind paying for it. I think a 100 7200 for it is $150. However I got a Ministack, which you can get as an empty case or with a drive in it, and those take IDE drives. You can stick a 320, 400, 500, or even 750 with 16MB caches in there for all your data and just run the OS on the internal 5400. Or Run the OS of the external too, anduse the internal for backup.
     
  16. Island Dog thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Island Dog

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Location:
    St. Cloud, FL.
    #16
    I just took a ride to the Apple Store and picked up a Mini. It's just the base model, but I will put some RAM in myself in a few weeks.

    Thanks for reminding me about the ministack, I was looking for something like that.
     
  17. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #17
    It's great that you can show the other people in your office how to run all their
    common XP applications for work only and still have the security and privacy
    of running your Mac OSX partition for all your online activity and personal use.

    You'll definitely need more hard drive space if you are running both operating systems.

    Of course you will also need a copy of either Windows XP Home or XP Pro
    INCLUDING SP2 if you wish to dual boot.
     
  18. Sweetfeld28 macrumors 65816

    Sweetfeld28

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2003
    Location:
    Buckeye Country, O-H
    #18
    Roland,

    I think that would be the first thing i would do if i bought a Mini. You read my mind.
     

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