Anyone Chose the $599 Mini Over the $799? Why?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by hexonxonx, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. hexonxonx macrumors 601

    Jul 4, 2007
    Denver Colorado
    I am very close to buying a Mini and I am wondering what others are buying and why?

    M uses are mostly internet and iTunes. I buy and watch allot of HD Tv shows and movies in iTunes. Occasionally I use a video ripping app to copy videos and that may be the biggest strain on the system.

    I hate the idea that FR is not included with Lion anymore and yes, I know there is a hack that enables it once again.

    I have also been looking into the idea of buying a used one on CL or maybe here in the forums so that I can have FR running natively.

    Disc size doesn't matter because I use external drives on all my machines.

    Thanks for any ideas.
  2. SR45 macrumors 65832


    Aug 17, 2011
    Went back and forth between both Mini's and finally decided on the $599.00 version and upgraded the ram to 8 GB. I use my system for Internet browsing, Word application, iTunes, some simple games, Youtube viewing, and very little photoshop, so the integrated video (Intel) was selected along with the 5400 rpm hdd. Some reviews and hands on users, stated that the 7200 rpm hdd was not all that faster, and the integrated gpu was just fine for my needs.....

    Once the system arrived, I put it through the programs I use, and held my breath that it would work. It did just fine and glad that I saved some $$ over a system I would not need. I have a Lenovo DVD recorder but do miss an integrated DVD player, but that is a none issue now.

    Took my open air home built pc and put it away, and I still cannot get over the small size of the Mac Mini in that I can put it just about anywhere to save space.

    Good luck with your decision.... ;)
  3. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    my brother got the base version as it's all he needs and is still a nice upgrade from a older mb
  4. brownn macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2011
    I went for the base purely because I already had a clarkdale based htpc and a 13" MBP with the same spec, so i knew that the sandy bridge integrated gpu would suit my needs fine (1080p movies, the odd game of angry birds!!)

    Upgraded the ram in my mbp to 8 gigs then put the left over 4 gigs in my mac mini - works a treat.

    Don't regret getting the base model, I had no need for the and gpu. I will eventually upgrade the hard drive to ssd when my bank funds allow for it.
  5. Adamantoise macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2011
    Well it's cheaper, if that isn't enticing enough, I don't know what is.
  6. Surely Guest


    Oct 27, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    I bought the base Mini (but I bought it from Amazon, as their price is $568) almost one month ago. I upgraded the RAM myself to 8GB, and I will be swapping out the 500GB 5400rpm HDD for a 500GB 7200rpm HDD that I used in my MBP (I just haven't gotten around to it).

    I didn't see the need to spend the extra $200 for features that I won't notice.

    It's a great machine, and I definitely notice a speed upgrade from the 13" mid-2009 2.26 GHz C2D MBP that I was using before I got it.

    For your purposes, I think that the base Mini will more than suit your needs.
  7. lilsoccakid74 macrumors 6502

    Apr 13, 2010
    I chose the 799 model, because the graphics card difference between the two means the amd model will have a much long life cycle before its outdated IMO.
  8. GoKyu, Sep 19, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011

    GoKyu macrumors 65816


    Feb 15, 2007
    New Orleans
    I bought a $599 mini to replace my dad's 5 year old laptop. He mostly does eBay, web surfing and email. A server machine is really going overboard...
  9. saulinpa macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2008
    Run one 24x7 so will get less heat from the $599 version. And no gaming on it. Fine for Home Theater.
  10. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    buy the base mini on amazon for 568.

    buy 8gb ram on newegg for 45 bucks

    cost of 613 good gear and a good deal. BTW there or discounts on amazon and newegg so it can be a bit lower then 613 for the 2.
  11. dlimes13 macrumors 6502a


    May 3, 2011
    Perrysburg, OH
    Amazon = Usually ships in within 1-2 months, not a good idea to buy there right now.

    However, the higher end (AMD video card) is in stock now. Great price.
  12. BrianUDLaw macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2006
    I bought the base version from Amazon and used the money I saved to buy a OWC 6G SSD. After the SSD and 8GB of RAM, this thing flies.
  13. Dewaine macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2011
    A base version user ($549 for a Best Buy "open box") and added 8gig ram ($44 from Newegg) and love it. I do music creation (Cubase), web (Chrome), blog (myWPEdit), some gaming, Pages & Numbers, some iMovie and iPhoto stuff, and other odds and ends. Actually do most blogging from the iPad, but still it's nice to have a decent app to do it on the desktop. May do a podcast later, and will set up the iPad and Mini for that as well.

    The mini, with the ram upgrade, is perfect for me. Without the memory upgrade in was sluggish, and presented me with the beach ball often. Now it feels crisp and quick.

    I can see some users needing the $799 version, but I am not one of them....
  14. Tilpots macrumors 601


    Apr 19, 2006
    Carolina Beach, NC
    I gotta think you're asking the question because money's an issue. Taking that into account, from what you describe as your intended uses, a late 2009 Mini running Snow Leopard should do you fine. Bump it to 8GB RAM and go nuts. Put the several hundred in savings into your video collection.

    A new Mini would be sweet to have, but it might be overkill for an iTunes box.
  15. selvenz macrumors newbie


    Oct 29, 2010
    I got the basic 2011 unit and dropped 8gb and for my use works great !
    Have a MBA 2011 for work which is usually excell
  16. Iamgort macrumors regular

    Aug 27, 2011
    I bought the 568 mini from amazon 2 weeks ago and it arrived next day.
  17. Surely Guest


    Oct 27, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Yes, but NOW it says 1-2 months.
  18. hexonxonx thread starter macrumors 601

    Jul 4, 2007
    Denver Colorado
    Well money is only an issue because I am saving up for it so I can pay cash and not have a CC bill. I would have the money saved to buy the low end Mini by the end of the month.

    As for the other person who mentioned Amazon, I don't want to wait a month just to get it and spending an extra $50 would be worth it to just go out and buy one in person at a store.

    I still haven't made up my mind in wether to buy a 2009 or a 2011. I'm using my black MB as a desktop connected to a monitor because it's running SL and I can use Front Row on it and use my remote to turn on and off the computer from across the room (this function is available in any Mac I know except the Mac Pro).

    Anyways, thanks for the advice and ideas everyone. I never expected so many replies!
  19. Lara F, Sep 20, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2011

    Lara F macrumors 6502a

    May 5, 2005
    Montreal, Quebec
    Agreed, only thing is I'd probably spring for the 2010 version instead for the sake of the HDMI port, graphics card upgrade and easier accessibility to switch out the RAM. I thought it was overpriced when it was released but should be a better more worthwhile deal now.

    Otherwise, I have a 2009 Mini and it's perfectly fine for what you need. Plus dumping the optical drive on a desktop is ridiculous IMO.
  20. albert2k macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2011
    I choose $599.00 version and upgrade to 8GB because this is enough for what I need. I switch from windows and tough that this will be enough for now.
  21. mr.steevo macrumors 65816


    Jul 21, 2004
    I'm waiting for the 2012 version of the mini primarily for the USB 3 ports, improved Intel graphics, and the potential quad core processors across the line. My iBook still screams... with email and web forums. For me the $599 machine will be more than enough for another 5-8 years.
  22. 3800cruiser macrumors newbie

    Sep 10, 2011
    I didn't find the marginal extra performance worth the money. I'm a console gamer. If I wanted high-performance I might have bought a Mac Pro. I just use this machine for some web development, light database development, a media server, music recording, and day-to-day web-browsing. It handles all that just fine on the 2GB. It is sluggish sometimes when I load it down but 8GBs will be here tomorrow. For the heavy work I just VNC into my Server across town. :)
  23. DustinT macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2011
    $599 here + 8g ram. External storage for the big stuff. Mine is a home server and runs 24\7. Works perfectly. I'm about to start some limited VM's on it for MS Server 2003, Ubuntu and a couple of other things.
  24. Lokheed macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2009
    I bought the base model. Used my student status to get the additional discount ($30).

    Why? Because an additional 200 MHz to the CPU isn't going to do squat. And 4 GB when an 8 GB update ran me $45 is worthless. I'd be now left with a 2x2 GB sticks that maybe I could flip on Craigslist for $10. In either case, having 2 or 4 GB left over after the update (every system should be running with 8 GB now) are equally worthless.

    The only draw was the video card, but after finding out that the integrated card can be pushed upwards to around 512 MB with 8 GB of RAM, and seeing the older integrated card on the base 2011 13" MBP fly through most games and eat up 1080p like it was just ending a hunger strike, I didn't see any need to spend another $200 (or an additional 25%). I can't even see the dual core i7 whopping the i5 (and they are actually asking a pretty modest price of $100 for it) with GeekBench showing just a ~1000 point difference.

    I thought putting that money to the RAM and the extra SATA cable would be a better move (the latter of which I picked up from Powerbook Medic for $35, shipped). I already had an SSD from my old system and used the existing HDD as a secondary drive.

    So for $649 + tax, I have a very capable machine. Ps launches in 2 bounces, same as iTunes. A complete boot takes 16 seconds, and I don't even know what the beachball of doom looks like. Even as a power user, I couldn't be happier.

    If you were a hardcore gamer with thin pockets and a penchant for Macs, I'd say pony up the extra dough, but if you aren't, choose the base.
  25. Adamantoise macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2011
    Lol, just because it's a discrete GPU doesn't mean it is acceptable to 'hardcore gamers'.

    The 6630M is nothing special really.

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