Black Macbook or Mac Mini?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Arlawson93, May 5, 2009.

  1. Arlawson93 macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2009
    Hey all, first post on this wonderful place.
    My query is pretty simple really; a friend of mine has offered to buy my macbook for what I feel is a fair price. Now with his money and a little extra I have saved I can afford a 2009 mac mini with the max processor and a self upgraded 7200 RPM drive and 4GBs of RAM with a 19" screen. My question is- is this a good upgrade from what I have now.

    My current setup is a mid 2007 black macbook 2,1 with a Intel Core 2 Duo processor clocked at 2.16Ghz and 4GBs of RAM of which 3.3GBs is read. I use this machine for a lot of Final Cut Pro work (surprisingly I know) and I would just like something a little faster that is capable of basic motion and after effects work, something my macbook struggles with. Would you say this upgrade it worth the time, effort and money?
  2. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    To be honest, I doubt you'll see much of an increase; the specs are nearly identical. I would stick with the MacBook for now.

    Maybe, if you save up a bit more you could get a refurbished MacBook Pro?
  3. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."

    Not by a long-shot. That Black MacBook has the whimpy GMA950 and the new Mini has nVidia graphics, not to mention DDR3 memory.

    If you are using it for video editing, definitely get the Mini...
  4. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    You're right, I had forgotten about the mini's most recent update.

    However, I maintain that for Final Cut Pro work, the MacBook Pro would be a huge advantage, and if bought refurbished, might be only a few hundred more than the Arlawson93's macmini setup. ...Or, for virtually the same price an iMac is another worthwhile option.
  5. trevpimp macrumors regular


    Apr 16, 2009
    Inside A Mac Box
    if youre going to get the mac mini you really don't need to spend the extra money for the 2.26

    Just stick with the 2.0 ;)
  6. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    Agreed. If you're comfortable doing so yourself, a 4 gig ram upgrade and a 7200 rpm hard drive on a base mini would yield the biggest bang for the buck.
  7. Arlawson93 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2009
    Thanks for the help everyone. I was cautious to get the 2.0Ghz because of the lower clock speed than the processor I have now. I know that processor is better spec'd in other respects, I just want to make sure my new mini will be considerably faster than this one.
  8. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    I think the new Mac mini is a nice little Mac. Don't let the clock speed scare you. Computers like the MacBook Pro have been running similar clock speeds for years.

    First, the new Mac mini has a Penryn CPU which is faster than same clock speed of older CPUs. The new Mac mini has an incredibly superior graphics chip. It is at least five times faster/better and maybe more. The new Mac mini has 1066 MHz front side BUS and RAM which is better.

    If I were you, I would consider exactly where the greatest speed will come from. I would skip the $150 upgrade for 2.26 CPU. I would use that money along with the money you planned for a 7200 rpm drive, and BUY an SSD. Don't know how much space you need, but SSDs will make up substantially for lower clock speeds and is like ten times faster than a 7200 rpm HDD.

    What would really rock is that Mac mini with 2 GHz CPU, 4 GB RAM ($48 for Crucial at, and a 128 GB SSD (do some research and look for controller that is better about $250). For common tasks like booting, starting apps, opening large files, and using lots of apps like email and etc the SSD will make that little Mac mini feel like a Mac Pro.

    Now, for CPU intensive stuff, obviously it will not be as fast as a Mac Pro, but it will still be a nice little Mac.

    Add a 22" or 24" display and you have a nice computer with a heck of a lot more screen real estate than a MB.

    Good luck!
  9. Arlawson93 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2009
    Thanks for the help. I will do that then, but I think I will wait and buy the 7200RPM HDD and then purchase SSD when it becomes cheaper and less of a niche later down the line.
  10. WorldTravel26 macrumors newbie


    May 6, 2009
    To answer your question, yes, a Mac Mini or a new Macbook would be a good upgrade from what you have now.

    While both the new Mac Mini and Macbook have basically the same specs (check apple's website), the Mac Mini is anywhere from $400 to $800 cheaper than the Macbook, depending on what model you buy. I guess you pay a lot for the privilege of having a "mobile" computer!

    The biggest advantage to upgrading from your current setup is the better graphics card. Not sure if you have the Intel GMA 950 or the Intel GMA X3100 currently, but the new NVIDIA GeForce 9400M which is in both new Mac Minis and Macbooks are definitely superior (especially if you are using FCP)!

    I would for sure pass on the SSD until they have been developed a bit more. Take the money you'd save and max out your RAM and HDD.
  11. SecondDealer macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2009
    I would be careful in monetary transactions with friends, they are risky and can cause problems between you two.
  12. Ejg94 macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2009
    Up North in UK
    Well I would go with the money if you could, it would last you better, but if you are the on the go kinda guy get the macbook, on performance, i wouldn't see much difference
  13. jnc macrumors 68020


    Jan 7, 2007
    Nunya, Business TX
    Find new friends.
  14. patrickdunn macrumors 6502a


    Apr 16, 2009
    St. Louis, MO
    I would go for the Mini for the new graphics chip. Newer is better in most cases.
  15. Arlawson93 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2009
    Once again, thanks everyone.

    At the moment, there is a slight change of plan- I have found a place where I can buy a previous generation iMac (the one with 800Mhz RAM) for a very descent price that would actually work out to be less than the mini with all specs and a monitor. So I am going to go for that and whack four gigs in there. I have always liked the iMac and I think this would be quite a nice upgrade.



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