2014 Mac Minis starting at $349 at Best Buy with student discount

Andres Cantu

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Original poster
May 31, 2015
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Rio Grande Valley in South Texas
Hey guys, I read online that the $100 off coupon from Best Buy can also be used on top of the already discounted Mac Minis. This means that you can get one today only starting at $349. I really wanted to wait until a redesigned model, but I can't skip on this offer. I have a 2011 basic HP laptop, so even this machine will be a much better experience. I only use my computer for web browsing, so I don't really need any extra features. Plus any performance improvements on OS X El Capitan can only be helpful.

I was also thinking about the mid-level model, but since the price of the entry-level is so low, I can wait for a redesigned model and get that one if I like what it has.
 
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Celerondon

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Oct 17, 2013
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That is a great deal Andres but your comment about OS X El Capitan prompts two questions. How much would that basic mid-level model be with your discounts? Also, does Best Buy offer the Fusion Drive or SSD version of the mid-level model?

I ask those questions because of the elephant in the room (4Gb RAM). Although the SSD speed frenzy influences many conversations on this forum, a few of us still believe that the critical limitation of the entry-level mini is the non-upgradeable 4Gb of RAM. You can always install an SSD to eliminate the HDD and mask the memory problem but 4Gb is a bit short for Yosemite and totally inadequate for some applications or usage patterns. There is a reason that these entry level machines with 4Gb of soldered RAM are often heavily discounted.

If El Capitan is a (relative) resource hog or the next mini update is delayed (or a dog), you could get stuck with a 4Gb wonder.

SSD speed will make you smile though...
 

Andres Cantu

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May 31, 2015
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Rio Grande Valley in South Texas
I just bought the entry-level Mac Mini for $349. I am fully aware of both the lack of SSD and 4GB of RAM, but like I mentioned, the only thing I will do with it is web browsing. Even this basic machine will outperform my old and slow HP laptop. I've also heard of some people using an external bootable SSD with USB 3.0, so I might go that route eventually if things slow down.
 

msk12

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Mar 15, 2011
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they also have the 8GB Memory - 1TB Hard Drive Model: MGEN2LL/A for $529 after the coupon. I'm planning to grab this one and drop in a SSD myself.
 
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yjchua95

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Apr 23, 2011
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Hey guys, I read online that the $100 off coupon from Best Buy can also be used on top of the already discounted Mac Minis. This means that you can get one today only starting at $349. I really wanted to wait until a redesigned model, but I can't skip on this offer. I have a 2011 basic HP laptop, so even this machine will be a much better experience. I only use my computer for web browsing, so I don't really need any extra features. Plus any performance improvements on OS X El Capitan can only be helpful.

I was also thinking about the mid-level model, but since the price of the entry-level is so low, I can wait for a redesigned model and get that one if I like what it has.
Go get it, but make sure you get an external SSD for it. This thing is absolutely horrible with just a spinning HDD inside. It's a disgrace that Apple is still selling Macs without at least a Fusion Drive option, regardless of the base price.
 

Andres Cantu

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May 31, 2015
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Rio Grande Valley in South Texas
Go get it, but make sure you get an external SSD for it. This thing is absolutely horrible with just a spinning HDD inside. It's a disgrace that Apple is still selling Macs without at least a Fusion Drive option, regardless of the base price.
Already did, and it's working really good! Like I mentioned, I will only use it for web browsing, so I probably won't notice any slowdowns since I'm used to them from my Windows laptop.
 

g33k

macrumors member
May 12, 2015
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The $349 deal is excellent for a HTPC. But i'm going to buy a Late 2007 Mac Mini off of eBay because I need a DVD/CD drive and I adore that nostalgic look.
 

aajeevlin

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Mar 25, 2010
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Got the mid-range one for $571 (after tax), the machine is sitting at Best Buy right now. I'm still trying to figure out if I want to pick it up. My biggest issue is that I'm not sure how future proof this machine is going to be, giving that there is nothing much you can do after putting in that SSD. My 2009 Mac Mini is in it's six years now, works well but slow at times. I do coding, and run engineering type of simulation on it (for personal research). I don't personally like the new Mimi all that much, partly due to my annoyance toward what Apple did to the machine. But I'm not sure if I have other choice if i want to stay with OS X (not interested in iMac, and Mac Pro is too expensive).
 

Andres Cantu

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Original poster
May 31, 2015
2,902
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Rio Grande Valley in South Texas
Got the mid-range one for $571 (after tax), the machine is sitting at Best Buy right now. I'm still trying to figure out if I want to pick it up. My biggest issue is that I'm not sure how future proof this machine is going to be, giving that there is nothing much you can do after putting in that SSD. My 2009 Mac Mini is in it's six years now, works well but slow at times. I do coding, and run engineering type of simulation on it (for personal research). I don't personally like the new Mimi all that much, partly due to my annoyance toward what Apple did to the machine. But I'm not sure if I have other choice if i want to stay with OS X (not interested in iMac, and Mac Pro is too expensive).
It's your choice, but if you decide to keep it, at least you'll know you got a killer deal.
 

RoastingPig

macrumors 68000
Jul 23, 2012
1,605
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SoCal
i tried to use it on an open box and it didnt let me. also the mini went up to $479 and hopefully is goes back down to $450. i also don't think you can stack student discount with a %10 off movers coupon but i hope so. $450 minus $100 plus %10 is a smashing deal. im an going to try to push that when i go to the store today.
 

JoePa2624

macrumors regular
Oct 12, 2014
231
92
AZ
That's a great deal on a solid machine. I would absolutely recommend upgrading the processor if you can swing it and get 8gb of RAM. A Mac Mini with a 256gb SSD, 8gb RAM and Core i5 might be the perfect desktop for the majority of people.
 

JoePa2624

macrumors regular
Oct 12, 2014
231
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AZ
That configuration is $900. Terrible value. Most people are not using $900 desktops.
Value is in the eye of the beholder. Is it a lot of money, sure. But I would also argue that someone paying $2,500 for a 5K iMac is a terrible value when a $900 Mac Mini with a $400 4K monitor will more than handle what they need it to.
 

Andres Cantu

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Original poster
May 31, 2015
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Rio Grande Valley in South Texas
Value is in the eye of the beholder. Is it a lot of money, sure. But I would also argue that someone paying $2,500 for a 5K iMac is a terrible value when a $900 Mac Mini with a $400 4K monitor will more than handle what they need it to.
It sure is. I paid $349 for my Mac Mini, which is the same amount I paid for my laptop four years ago. I paid basically half of what I would have paid for a 2012 Mac Mini one year ago.
 

JoePa2624

macrumors regular
Oct 12, 2014
231
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AZ
It sure is. I paid $349 for my Mac Mini, which is the same amount I paid for my laptop four years ago. I paid basically half of what I would have paid for a 2012 Mac Mini one year ago.
Which is a good deal. Rather than buy a new Mac Mini, I bought a 2011 Mac Mini used and added 16gb RAM and 256gb SSD and it is blazingly fast. The entire setup including the Mac Mini cost me $300 and does exactly what I want it to do.