Always had a PC but now......

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by SR45, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. SR45 macrumors 65832

    SR45

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Location:
    Florida
    #1
    Doing my final homework prior to purchase on the Mac Mini 2011 and have two final questions if anyone could answer them..

    This system would be for Email - Web brousing - Word programs - Very little YouTube - Absolutely no games, no PhotoShop, nor cpu entensive programs either...Might hook up to an HDTV later.

    1. Would the 5,400 rpm Hdd be enough for me over the 7,200 rpm Hdd ? I will be installing 8 GB of ram with the basic system, no need for the dedicated AMD video either if I am correct. Understand from some sites that better 5,400 rpm Hdd some times do better than a 7,200 version if one gets the better kind. Unknown if Apple has that for the Mac Mini or not....

    2. Though one can get the Mac Mini for about $30 less from MacMall and a few other places, has anyone notice Apple giving a small reduction of an Mac Mini from Apples Store....Ever ? Reason why I would lean towards the Apple store over some other E-tailers would be peace of mind if I would ever need assistance with the warrnty and OS Issues.

    Many thanks in advance ;)
     
  2. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    #2
    5400 RPM drives are typically slower, but they consume less power, generate less heat and are more quiet. I don't find them a problem, but if you do, you can always buy a faster external.

    Within reason, it doesn't matter where you get your mini. The same warranty applies, as long as it's a legitimate Apple dealer. Some online retailers will charge sales tax and other won't, depending on if they have a physical presence in your state.
     
  3. boechat macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    #3
    There's is no better combination on Mac mini than 5400RPM 1TB HD + 128GB SSD. Quiet and fast.
     
  4. kaibob, Aug 26, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2011

    kaibob macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Location:
    Prescott, Arizona
    #4
    Like the OP, I am going to purchase the base Mini for email, internet browsing, and the like. I will later add 8-GB memory.

    A few days ago, I was at my local Apple store and a very patient and knowledgeable salesperson answered my many questions. I happened to mention to him that I would probably purchase from Amazon, which would save me about $75 ($30 discount and $45 sales tax). He said that he couldn't do anything about the sales tax but that he could match the $30 discount. He gave me his card and said to let him know if I wanted to go ahead with the puchase. His title was Business Specialist. We aren't talking all that much money here, so I intend to purchase from the Apple store.

    I really know nothing about the impact of the slower hard drive, but I wondered if the extra memory would tend to lessen that impact. My thought was that more stuff would be kept in memory.
     
  5. SR45 thread starter macrumors 65832

    SR45

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Location:
    Florida
    #5
    What I have read thus far on a Mac forum is that the 5400 and 7200 difference is minor and the memory amount would play a bigger role, but what do I know. Guess it depends on the reviewer and what he/she does with the system as a whole. :apple:

    Nice to know if I go to the Apple Store I just might get a small reduction, which is nice and thank you for that bit of information.

    Want to stay away from opening the case and replace a hard drive to an SSD, which is doable, but not my cup of tea. Though I have built a few PC's in my time. Just the memory will be added to this time around for my first Apple system.
     
  6. japtor macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    #6
    Just get the base model and third party 8GB upgrade (cause it's cheap, ~$50), then just use the computer for a while before deciding to upgrade the drive or not. I used mine ($799 model, same HD) for about a week before getting my upgrade parts in and performance seemed better as it went on, I guess cause it has no caches initially and has to build those up with use.
     
  7. willieva macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2010
    #7
    For what you want to do the base mini is fine. Even upgrading to 8 gig is probably overkill. Try it for a while and if it's working fine then there's no reason to upgrade anything.
     
  8. SR45 thread starter macrumors 65832

    SR45

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Location:
    Florida
    #8
    Will do. Have an extra 4 Gb stick and will use that prior to paying for the other 4 GB stick.

    Again, thanks to everyone
     
  9. japtor macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    #9
    Yeah 8 is overkill, it's more of a "why not" thing cause the price. 5GB should be more than enough.
     
  10. steve knight macrumors 68020

    steve knight

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    #10
    5 gigs is fine but 8 keeps you from having to upgrade in a year or two. the machine kind of sucks on the stock 2 gigs. don't worry about the hard drive you would never notice.
     
  11. AVR2 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    #11
    I have a 2009 mini 2.0GHz, 1GB RAM and 5400rpm HD, used as my HTPC. It runs perfectly, playing 1080p video full-screen without a hiccup. I often do video encoding on it as well. Given that you won't be pushing it anywhere near as hard as I do, I'd say that even the lowest-spec current mini would be more than fast enough for what you want.

    I've got a stock 1GB and it doesn't suck at all. I keep toying with the idea of adding more memory but it works fine as it is so I'm not sure if I can be bothered.
     
  12. VeganHipster macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    #12
    I'm sure 1gb of RAM is fine for usage as a HTPC, but normal usage nowadays you will probably need more than 3gb.
     
  13. Yumunum macrumors 65816

    Yumunum

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    Apr 24, 2011
    Location:
    U.S.
    #13
    OP, you don't need 8GB of RAM, nor do you need a faster hard drive. If you're bumping to a SSD or something, then yeah, big difference! But those two HDD speeds don't have a world of a difference. You'll save yourself money too
     
  14. aziatiklover macrumors 68030

    aziatiklover

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    Jul 12, 2011
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    8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4
    #14
    this and 8GB of ram! Make sure u have Lion running on the ssd and other files on the 1TB HDD.
     
  15. AVR2 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    #15
    Well, what's "normal usage"? I'm playing full HD video, downloading, web browsing, streaming video, using Word and Excel and doing the odd bit of video encoding (again HD). I suspect that's pretty normal usage for most people. I'm not saying that my mini wouldn't benefit from more RAM, but it's running just fine on 1GB.

    I was mainly taking exception to Steve's implication that even with 2GB a mini is somehow objectively underpowered, which clearly isn't the case.
     
  16. QuantumLo0p, Aug 27, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2011

    QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a

    QuantumLo0p

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #16
    On my 2010 Mini there are many users and I find 8GB to be used quite effectively. Lots of things stay in ram so when any user logs in, any app they normally use starts instantly. Currently in my Mini, Activity Monitor is reporting 7.04GB used, only a paltry 835KB (<1MB) of page outs and zero swap. Typical user usage is Safari, iTunes, iPhoto and Mail plus a bit of gaming.

    The ram debate seems to be centered around whether you can put 8GB to use verses spending fifty dollars. I would buy the Mini and keep watch of what Activity Monitor is telling you. If you are using all or most of your ram, there are a lot of page outs or any swap used, then I absolutely recommend more ram. At that point the only decision you have to make is whether to buy 8GB of ram (really cheap) or just one 4GB stick of ram (even cheaper).

    Upgrading the ram is a very easy task on the 2010 and 2011 Minis. Don't be afraid to order a Mini with base amount of ram then adding more later.
     
  17. SR45 thread starter macrumors 65832

    SR45

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Location:
    Florida
    #17
    Than with 4 GB I already have, and the 5400 hdd and integrated Intel chip will be the one to get...

    Many thanks to those that replied, and nice to know even 2 GB w/5400rpm hdd will handle what I do (Word-YouTube-Email-Heavy Internet) and not having to waste any more bucks that woud not make a difference.

    :)
     
  18. AVR2 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    #18
    I'm genuinely interested to know why you might have been concerned that it *wouldn't* have been able to handle it. What you're doing won't make any modern computer even begin to break a sweat. Hell, I know people with 10-year-old PCs running Windows 98 who do what you do and who aren't interested in upgrading because their computers cope just fine.

    3D gaming, or high-end video work - sure, stuff like *that* needs more horsepower, but then you probably wouldn't be considering a mini anyway if you wanted to do those sorts of things.
     
  19. SR45 thread starter macrumors 65832

    SR45

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Location:
    Florida
    #19

    I have had only PC's for ever, and this new apple is a question mark until I get to know it better. With a Lenovo X220 notebook with the Intel 3000 gpu chip and 4 GB of memory there was no concern, but a brand new Mac and I needed a little hand holding.

    Thanks everyone
     
  20. kaibob macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Location:
    Prescott, Arizona
    #20
    SR45,

    Due to some other commitments, I won't be purchasing for a few weeks. I spent some time with a base Mini in the Apple store, and that helps, but it's not the same as using one at home. If you get the Mac Mini and have a minute, would you post how things turned out. My situation is identical to yours, and it would be helpful to know how the Mini worked out for you.

    kaibob
     
  21. SR45 thread starter macrumors 65832

    SR45

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Location:
    Florida
    #21
    Absolutely kaibob...

    Should be here Monday late or some time Tuesday, and I will play around with it, install some more memory (Will use the 2GB first to see how fast or slow it is for my needs) and see how things improve. I do believe I will have a big learning curve with Lion OS, but will click on everything to get the lay of the land and report back.

    :eek:
     
  22. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #22
    I highly doubt that 2gb is enough for you. Changing to more ram is easy. You have a stick of 4gb so just go to 5gb.
     
  23. SR45 thread starter macrumors 65832

    SR45

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Location:
    Florida
    #23
    Correct, but just to test it out for a review using the Mini for none entensive work, than I will add the 4 Gb.

    One more question, the memory I have on hand is from G-Skill and unknown what memory is in the mini. Will it be OK to mix a different manufacture memory ?
     
  24. SR45 thread starter macrumors 65832

    SR45

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Location:
    Florida
    #24
    For kaibob

    Mini arrived and noticed first off that my bluetooth mac keyboard would not
    pair, which I already new from other members. Used my Microsoft USB keyboard, than got the Mac wireless keyboard paired without issue.

    Connected my Dell 2407 monitor using the included HDMI / DVI adapter without a hitch.

    Using the Dell sound bar hooked up to the Mac Mini headset input and that to went well.

    Using just 2 Gb of memory with Internet/web browsing/email/ and a few Youtube videos, I have not noticed any slow downs. Will install the 4 GB memory later.

    Using a Microsoft USB mouse for the time being and noticed that the scroll wheel did not function by scrolling it down on this forum, but laughed soon after when the scroll wheel did function when I just reversed my scrolling upwards (to scroll down) instead on downwards (to scroll up) as I was used to with a PC. :roll eyes:

    Waiting for a Lion OS how to book to arrive Tuesday since this is going to be a learning process for me, but thus far, all is well at boot up.
     
  25. Mr.C macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2011
    Location:
    London, UK.
    #25
    You can actually reverse that in the mouse options in system preferences.
     

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