Refurb or Intel mini?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Demon Hunter, Mar 31, 2006.

  1. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #1
    I'm looking at the Mac mini to keep me going until a newer MBP is released (with Merom/64-bit). I can hold off on "power user" needs until then by using my university's labs. So basically, I would use the mini for essentials like term papers, begging my profs for extensions, etc.

    I want to save as much as possible, but I also have to consider resale value in a year. It's probably going to be very difficult to sell a PowerPC mini, so does that justify the extra cost (and future value) of an Intel mini? Their value is already plummeting. I looked up the prices...

    For $429, this refurb with adequate specs but poor resale:

    1.25GHz PowerPC G4
    512MB DDR333 SDRAM
    ATI Radeon 9200 with 32MB DDR video memory
    40GB Ultra ATA hard drive
    Combo drive (DVD/CD-RW)
    DVI or VGA video output
    Built-in 56K Internal Modem

    For $10 more ($439), likely a much better choice:

    1.42GHz PowerPC G4
    256MB DDR333 SDRAM
    ATI Radeon 9200 with 32MB DDR video memory
    80GB Ultra ATA hard drive
    Combo drive (DVD/CD-RW)
    DVI or VGA video output

    For an unsightly $519:

    1.42GHz PowerPC G4
    512MB DDR333 SDRAM
    ATI Radeon 9200 with 32MB DDR video memory
    80GB Ultra ATA hard drive
    Combo drive (DVD/CD-RW)
    DVI or VGA video output
    Built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth

    And finally, for the hysterical price of $599:

    1.42GHz PowerPC G4
    512MB DDR333 SDRAM
    ATI Radeon 9200 with 32MB DDR video memory
    80GB Ultra ATA hard drive
    SuperDrive (DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    DVI or VGA video output
    Built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth

    With my student discount, I can get a new Intel mini for $579:

    1.5GHz Intel Core Solo processor
    2MB L2 Cache
    667MHz Frontside Bus
    512MB memory (667MHz DDR2 SDRAM)
    60GB Serial ATA hard drive
    Combo drive (DVD-ROM/CD-RW)
    Built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0
    Apple Remote

    Like I said, I don't need SuperDrive, a large HD, etc. APX would be very useful, and maybe Bluetooth. My priorities are in this order: resale value/saving, and speed. An older Mac is a consideration, but again, this is an interim machine. A year is a long time, not to mention the hassle of selling an old, twice-owned computer.

    A portable would be nice, so maybe the MacBook, but that's spending too much. Maybe.

    I think the Intel mini is a no-brainer, but I'm interested in your opinions before I bite. :)
     
  2. douglas macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    #2
    I just picked up a new G4 mini 1.5ghz, 512mb, 64mb video, 80gb 5400 rpm drive, for CAN$499. Works great with my my non universal apps and should be fine for a year or two until rev.b or c Intel minis are available with better specs and pricing. Sure, the resale value won't be great on this machine, but I just cant justify spending nearly twice the price on a new intel mini. Check out Best Buy or other re-sellers for deals, and make sure it's a 1.42ghz model, but with serial no. YM537 or higher to assure that you are getting the speed bumped 1.5GHZ machine.
     
  3. Acehigh macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    #3
    Get the Mini at Costco....

    1.42 G4 (really 1.5) 512/80/ Bluetooth Airport ect...
    Apple Wireless Keyboard and Mouse
    Apple Care
    $699

    Its a great deal.. just need a monitor.
     
  4. Demon Hunter thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #4
    I'm not seeing it on the website. Is it store-only?

    So that's like, 427 US$ (Dashboard is great). :)

    That's a great deal. I need to find some benchmarks since they're both 1.5GHz...
     
  5. itcheroni macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    Location:
    CA
    #5
    If you check out ebay, I'm sure you can get a 1.42 combo mini for around $300. And you can probably get most of your money back on that when you sell it.
     
  6. mlrproducts macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    #6
    Doubtful. I'd say at LEAST $350 plus a little. You can get a 1.25 perhaps for around 3. I've been looking. One lucky SOB got a 1.25 w/512MB for $200!!!
     
  7. itcheroni macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    Location:
    CA
    #7
    Really? I've been trying to sell one of my computers on craigslist but there doesn't seem to be much interest in LA. The best offer I got for a 1.5 ghz g4 with combo drive and a new mighty mouse was $350. :( But then again, it's only been 2 days.
     
  8. queensnyc macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2006
    #8
    Get the Intel Mini. I just bought the Core Duo and love the thing. All Macs seem to retain decent resale value, but getting the Intels will probably buy you more time (literally). I'm converting from a 6-year-old PC, so the Intel Mini flies.

    BUT, also consider the PPC Mini if that's what your budget entails. My brother had a PPC G4 1.42 GHz Mini, 1 GB RAM, 80 GB HD, Superdrive, etc., and it worked very well. He just upgraded to the Intel Duo Mini, but the older Mini worked fine for the pretty intensive tasks he was doing (Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, etc.). It's a solid machine for the money. I'm just the type that likes to buy the most technology I can afford, so I went for the Intel.
     
  9. Demon Hunter thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #9
    Thanks for all the replies! :)

    Yeah, I'm leaning towards the Intel. If I sell in a year, a refurbished G4 (1.42GHz and below) will be worth like $200. Ouch. With any luck, an Intel mini might go for $450, what with the CPU being upgrade-able.
     
  10. w8ing4intelmacs macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2006
    Location:
    East Coast, US
    #10
    The old Mac mini's don't support Core Image, but the Intel minis do. Core Image is what makes all the cool visual effects in Tiger.
     
  11. ipacmm macrumors 65816

    ipacmm

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    #11
    That is a good point. It is amazing to think an entire Mac will be worth less then an iPod...but I would personally get the Intel because it will last you longer and it has some nice new upgrades on it compared to the G4 version.
     

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