A few questions about Mac Minis

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by agenkin, Feb 28, 2007.

  1. agenkin macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2007
    I'm thinking of buying a Mac Mini for a birthday present for my wife (her 700MHz PIII-based PC is well due for an upgrade, and she craves the mini). Her birthday is in the first week of March, and I need to make a decision in the next couple of days. I hope you can answer a few of my questions, since I don't know much about the Apple products.

    The Buyer's Guide suggests *not* buying a Mac Mini now, as an update is likely to be coming. Have there been any rumors about a forth-coming update? I read the news about the new Intel mobile platform (Santa Rosa); how likely is that Apple will skip updating the Minis to the Core Duo 2, going for a more substantial update in the summer?

    Are there any known kinks with the current Core Duo versions of Mac Minis?

    Is buying a refurbished Mac Mini a good idea?

    Do the Mac Mini take any generic (i.e. non-Apple) hardware upgrades, e.g. the RAM, CPU, optical drive?

    Many thanks in advance for any input!
  2. dllavaneras macrumors 68000


    Feb 12, 2005
    Caracas, Venezuela
    I can imagine the mac minis being updated with the release of Leopard in the spring. I doubt they'll wait until summer, since WWDC is normally for pro-related announcements (I could be wrong on this though).

    And yes, they accept third party RAM and hard drives :)
  3. OwlsAndApples macrumors 6502a


    Oct 4, 2006
    They can be upgraded, I think it's just difficult...
    Note that buying a refurb will mean sacrificing getting the newest processor if that's the reason you're holding off :)

    I also crave Mac minis :p
  4. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    I have a 1.66 Mini with Superdrive (what was the high end model before the Sept speed bump). I got a refurb with a printer, as the refurb qualified for the promo. It was $649. It is a great little computer. I ordered 2GB RAM from OWC and installed it myself, all I needed was a couple $2 putty knives. I followed the video on the OWC site. Could have replaced the hard drive but the prices aren't worth it. I also got a newertech miniStack v2 from OWC $75 that acts as a hub, extra ports are great, and I put my own 500GB Seagate drive in it. You can also get the stack with 160, 250, 320, 500, & 750GB drives but I got a great deal on the drive separately. As far as the upgrade, sure the new tech will be better when it comes out, but it may not be till May or June, and will use Core 2 Duo. It still uses the Merom chip, as Penryn won't be out till late 2007/early 2008.

    You need to ask yourself:

    1. What am I/will she be using it for?

    2. Do I mind waiting a while longer for the upgrade?

    3. Refurbs are great, but you won't see refurbs of the upgrades for another 4-6 weeks after they are out. Though when you order new at that point you can get it with all the RAM you want and sidestep the minor upgrade process of opening the Mini.

    My 2 cents. Get it now. She'll love it. It doesn't sound like she needs the latest and greatest or needs to wait for Leopard or any of that stuff.

    1.66 refurb Mini Superdrive $649
    1.83 refurb Mini Superdrive $699
    OWC 2GB RAM $183
    Ministack $75 empty $249 500GB drive

    1.83 new Mini Superdrive w 2GB RAM $1,049
    vs. do it yourself $882 or $832 for the 1.66
    Refurbs are essentially new, with extra quality control. Just have to decide if you want to install the RAM.

    Also if you get the bluetooth mouse & keyboard set with the new Mini it is $99. If you buy a refurb you are looking at separately paying $128.

    Whatever you do, I would get 2GB RAM it is worth it. And go with the wireless mouse and keyboard.
  5. agenkin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2007
    Thanks for the replies!

    Does opening a Mac Mini for a do-it-yourself memory upgrade void the manufacturer's warranty?
  6. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    I've heard it does, so I kept the original RAM, should I need to send it in, I will swap the RAM back before taking it to Apple.
  7. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    Putting in RAM doesn't void the warranty unless you break something doing it. However, as roland points out, Apple can give you a hard time on repairs if you have cheap RAM installed. That is why keeping the old RAM is wise.

    The mini is a fine little machine but if you upgrade too much it fast becomes a better deal to buy an iMac. Price out what you intend to do before you do it. Best wishes.
  8. CEAbiscuit macrumors 6502a


    Jun 28, 2006
    The Kitchen
    you may want to check out macmini123.com for some more detailed info. Great info from basic users to people who trick out their mini's like Hondas.
  9. iW00t macrumors 68040


    Nov 7, 2006
    Defenders of Apple Guild
    Unless you are pretty brave it is best not to crack the Mini open. Quite easy to break something if you are not careful.
  10. Nukemkb macrumors 6502a


    Mar 12, 2006
    Columbia, SC
    maybe try 123macmini.com vice the other place...
  11. SkyBell macrumors 604


    Sep 7, 2006
    Texas, unfortunately.
    Get one now.

    Just because a new version is coming out, doesn't mean it isn't an awesome computer!

    The Mini will do her fine for 5 years easy, maybe 10 if not more.

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