Mac mini 2009 worth it for $250?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by vistadude, Jul 12, 2013.

  1. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    #1
    There's a late 2009 mac mini for $250 locally. Do you think it's a good deal? It only has a 160 gb hard drive, but I have plenty of external drives sitting around. I'm going to use this for browsing the web, checking email, and eventually hooking it up to a tv to watch movies.

    Can this mac mini have apple tv-like capabitilies?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    #2
    It can do all that but 250 is a bit on the high end for it. How much ram does it have?
     
  3. macrumors G5

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #3
    Looks like an excellent deal to me, as long as it is in good working order.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    #4
    The deal is dead, but some had 1 gb and others have 2 gb. Since my macbook 2009 has 8 gb ram but feels no faster then when it had 2 gb, i was thinking to take out a 4 gb stick from the notebook and put it in the mini.

    I'm looking for more deals, but they're going for $300-450 on ebay :(

    I think 2009 may be good, since it can handle mountain lion, and maybe mavericks.
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    #5
    i have a 2009 mini, 2 ghz machine, mine came with 320gig internal drive.

    it works fine for everything, except gaming. i keep trying to persuade myself to buy a new machine but realistically i'd be better buying a ps3. outside of gaming i dont think i would notice much of a difference between this and a new machine. however it does some gaming, with bootcamp i played stuff like fallout 3 and fallout new vegas perfectly fine, and in os x i played a lot of civ 4, civ 5 was jerky in os x but better in windows.

    i use it for internet, football manager, basic indesign/photoshop, plex, itunes and whatnot.

    only 2 things id say. firstly, the hard drive space wont bother you unless you use bootcamp, if so, 160gb is going to be a pain.

    secondly, bump the ram up to 8gb. i noticed a difference when i did, and then after a year i was getting errors which i traced back to a failed memory chip, having taken it out i can notice the difference when im doing a lot of things.

    im happily running 10.8 on it.
     
  6. macrumors 68020

    barkmonster

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2001
    Location:
    Lancashire
    #6
    I have mine running off an SSD with a full quota of 8Gb and it's a perfectly good system. I'm running dual screens and if I was starting from scratch with a base model like yours, I'd definitely invest in an SSD and 8Gb from the outset. If it's any help with the pricing. My 2.53Ghz system was £340 on eBay this time last year, in as-new condition and already had the 8Gb fitted by the previous owner.
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    #7
    Video Card Issue

    ______________________________________________________________
    I had a 2009 mac mini...there was an inherent problem with the video card, apple store said it was unrepairable and gave me a new unit. I would not buy this based on my personal experiences.
     
  8. macrumors 68020

    barkmonster

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2001
    Location:
    Lancashire
    #8
    No problems here, just because you've had a bad experience doesn't mean everyone else will. Much of the system is integrated so if you had a faulty GPU, that's the whole motherboard that needs replacing. Could happen to a laptop, other brands of system, anything without a GPU on a card.
     
  9. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #9
    DON'T put Mountain Lion on an 09. Well, that's my opinion. :) I did... and regretted it. Finally downgraded to Snow Leopard and it is MUCH faster. :D

    As for the price, $250 is awesome IMO.
     
  10. macrumors regular

    ResPublica

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2011
    #10
    I've had only positive experiences with ML on a Late-2009 Mac mini...
     
  11. macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #11
    I've got THREE (late) 2009 Mac minis. Two of them base models (2GB RAM) and the third a Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server. The two base models are used as entertainment centers while the server is a server.

    Last month I upgraded both of the base minis to 4GB of RAM. One of them also got a 120GB SSD as the original HD failed. It was upgraded to Mountain Lion. It works great. The second was upgraded to Mavericks.

    Just last weekend I upgraded the server to 8GB of RAM and Mountain Lion Server. It has been working fantastically -- I can now use disk encryption for security.

    I wouldn't hesitate to buy these models for anything but heavy processing. Upgrade RAM, hard drive, and operating system as far as you want. They are good boxes. The non-server models have the advantage of still having a DVD drive.

    And I sure would have snapped up that $250 model even as a "spare" computer. That was a real bargain.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    #12
    If I'm going to get a used mini and upgrade the RAM and a SSD, that's getting close to a $400-$450 range. At that price, I might as well buy a brand new one? On the other hand, the new ones are much bigger and uglier imo... So many decisions.
     
  13. macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #13
    However a new one starts at $600, and if you want one with the SSD that will run $1100. Of course you could DIY the upgrade.
     
  14. macrumors 65816

    marzer

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado
    #14
    I've got a 2009 mac mini server that I upgraded to 8 GB memory ($42 with BB rewards) and a Fusion drive ($70 Samsung 128GB SSD + $70 Seagate 1TB HDD). Compared to my 2012 i5 base mini, its no slouch. If you find the parts at the right price, you can put together quite an impressive machine on the cheap using an older mini.
     

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