2009 Mac Mini good enough to replace dual core PC?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Lastmboy, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. Lastmboy macrumors regular

    Jan 16, 2012
    My Dad is frustrated with his Athlon dual-core 2.2 ghz Windows pc. As we were trying to fix Windows issues on it today, he remarked "I sure wish I had a desktop computer that works as well as my iPhone". I'm thinking I'll snag a Mac Mini for him and introduce him to a whole new world :D He doesn't do any intense processing... mostly viewing images, email, web browsing, scanning, printing, documents, etc. I'm assuming that an October 2009 2.53 ghz Mac Mini with 4GB RAM would be sufficient to do the trick, and would allow him to use Mavericks. I've got an old 2006 Mac Mini and it's not even all that bad performance wise, but obviously can't run Mountain Lion or Mavericks. However, I don't have any experience with one. Myself, I use a quad I7 iMac and also have a 4-core Mac Pro, so am in a little different league.

    Based on the idea that he doesn't need to do anything too intensive, would the 2009 Mac Mini likely perform well enough to be quite useable? From what I've seen, OS X is a lot more streamlined, efficient, and responsive than Windows, so I'm "guessing" it might be more snappy than his old pc. Any thoughts appreciated.
  2. Schnort macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2013
    You might want to try reinstalling windows and maybe upgrading him ram and moving to chrome as a browser before saying his machine is too slow.

    Windows does rot over time, particularly if you're installing/uninstalling things, and internet explorer is pretty slow compared to chrome. (or at least feels like it to me).
  3. Lastmboy thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 16, 2012
    It's not that it's too slow. He has no problem with the performance. He just hates Windows and all the fun that comes along with it. He loves his iPhone and iPad so much that I figured it must be time to introduce him to a Mac. As an added bonus, I wouldn't have to remote connect to his pc every week to fix it :rolleyes: I just didn't want to get a Mac that would seem way slower than his current pc.
  4. scbond macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2010
    Nottingham, UK
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    Get him an Apple-refurbished i7 2.3ghz "late 2012" Mini, and he'll be happy for a long time...
  6. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    Only thing good to do is swap the HD. Either for a cheap 750GB 7200rpm one or a SSD. The drive is the limiting factor on the 2009 mini's.
  7. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
  8. breiti macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2013
    What is your budget?

    I personally would go for the largest Samsung 840 EVO SSD you can afford for your dad and then buy the most recent mac mini (2011/2012?). Maybe some RAM upgrade to 8 or 16 GB and he will be in heaven. But SSD is a must (remember: more RAM increase the lifespan of the SSD). I personally would go for a 2012 for USB3 alone.

    I think a dual core is more than enough for your dad. And IMHO these things are cheap even if you buy a new one from apple.com.

    Btw. whatever you do - your plan is good and your dad will love it. Iam sure. Next thing is a time capsule ;-)

    P.S.: Don't forget an Apple Keyboard (because the mapping is different (apple key, ctrl, fn, @, (, ), ...) and the hotkeys are working very good). Maybe a Trackpad to.
  9. Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

    Aug 31, 2012
    An island in the Andaman Sea.
    That would be a late 2009 Mini. If you know of one going for a reasonable price, it would be all the computer your father needs, and probably many others too.

    I have an early 2009 Mini base model. I added 4 GB of RAM and updated to Mountain Lion last year. It is fine for my needs, which are probably just slightly above your father's. I use it for work and photography. Next year some time I'll probably pop it in to get a new HDD, or maybe a SSD, and an update to Mavericks (my internet connection at home is too slow to do it myself). I reckon it should do me for a few more years yet.
  10. MacPC macrumors regular

    Sep 25, 2006
  11. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    We've got three late 2009 minis here. Two are base models (2GB RAM!) and the third is a server model. The two base minis do just fine as entertainment servers. Recently they were upgraded from Snow Leopard to Mavericks (skipping the Lions) and 4GB of RAM. One also had a hard drive fail so I replaced that with an SSD.

    I'd just recommend the 4GB + Mavericks as the most cost effective upgrade.
  12. Lastmboy thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 16, 2012
    I'D even be happy with that one :D


    Ya, I was wondering about that. Is there any way to get two drives in it (SSD and 2.5")? I've always found that an SSD system drive along with separate data drive works really well.


    Thanks for the advice. Myself, I would definitely grab a newer one, but he doesn't use a pc real heavily (more of an iPhone/iPad) user, so it's a bit of an "experiment". So far, the experiments having been going well, though... and yes, most definitelyl at least the wireless keyboard and either trackpad or magic mouse. With it having built in wireless, and with wireless keyboard, I believe he could even connect it to his big screen LED TV, could he not?


    You and I know that, but some other people haven't realized it just yet :confused:


    Thanks. Ya, I generally find that more RAM has the biggest performance impact.


  13. dbroncos78087 macrumors regular

    Feb 27, 2013
    Northern Virginia
    I'm curious what your price point is that you're considering a 2009 MM.

    Because you can get a pretty good deal on a MM that is a bit newer than 2009. I got the newest one (at the time) from Best Buy for about $700. You can get an i5 version for cheaper than I got mine.

    The standard MM costs just under $600 from Amazon.

    I will say that at work we are using the Lenovo M93p and it's a great little computer too. Obviously from my signature, I'm a Mac guy, but it's another option to consider.

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