Buying a used mac mini (mid-2011) w/SSD, what should I look out for?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by yoshimitsu, Jun 28, 2013.

  1. yoshimitsu macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2013
    Just joined the forums, read through a few posts and got some solid pointers on how to set up a HTPC with a mac mini + plex + Synology 212 NAS (which I already own)

    Found a used mac mini (mid-2011) sold here in Dublin (Ireland) where I live, this is what the seller says:

    - Sandy Bridge 2.3GHz Intel Core i5
    - 8GB RAM
    - 128GB Vertex 4 SSD (bought in Jan'13, have receipt)
    - Intel HD Graphics 3000 with 512MB shared memory
    - Mac OS Mountain Lion 10.8.4
    - 25/sec boot time, 350-390MB/s write speed, 450-460MB/s read speed

    He wants €460 for it ($600/£390). may look a bit expensive in dollars but apple products are about 20% more expensive here in Europe. Holds up well against recently closed ebay auctions for similar products

    Dont mind the 128GB size of the SSD as I'll be storing most media on the NAS and only the OS and some apps on the drive. i'm just a bit concerned that the SSD might not have been installed properly, or a lower quality drive which may ultimately result in problems down the line.
    What sorts of things should i be looking at not to get ripped off on this deal? Do the specs look suitable for my needs?
    any help will be greatly appreciated.
  2. opinio macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2013
    The vertex is a quality drive, although the smaller drives are slower. Some people don't like OCZ SSDs but the Vertex 4 and Vector are exceptionally fast.

    It has an integrated graphics card which is not the best option for 2011 minis but it is still fine for a HTPC. I ran the same GPU in a 2011 server for a year or so and it was excellent for 30GB plus mkvs etc. As the RAM is 8GB it gets 512MB ram on the GPU where as it is lower on 4GB of ram (384 I think). Anyway the GPU is ok/good for HTPC, but not for gaming.

    Read and write speeds are good for a small drive.

    Price? Not sure as I am not familiar with the second hand market. You probably know best. Even though the entry level current mini price is probably close, you get an SSD and 8GB Ram. The rest (GPU/CPU) would be better on a 2012 mini.

    Also you will get USB 2.0. Not the end of the world but the speed is significantly different on the 2011 to the 2012 (USB 2.0 versus 3.0).
  3. yoshimitsu thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2013
    Hey Opinio, thanks for your reply
    I'll ask him for some screenshots of the benchmark tests where he got those read/write speeds to just verify if they're accurate. I've read on some forum that you could get up to 15sec boot time on a mac mini 2011 with SSD but i'm not sure what size it was so i'm not going to get too fixated on that. i plan on leaving it on 24/7 anyways

    thought about getting the new entry-level mini but here in Europe it would've been quite a bit more expensive for a model with SSD so for the moment it'll do. It's my first HTPC so I'm still experimenting and understanding how central a piece of my home entertainment life it'll become before i make a bigger investment. need to check if the girlfriend will be able to figure it out as well!
  4. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    yeah it is a decent choice for htpc. this would be better assuming it works.

    this has the amd gpu a bit better then the hd3000 chip. All in all your buy should be okay assuming it is working gear.
  5. yoshimitsu thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2013
    Thanks for your reply. The seller has posted the following screenshot showing benchmark speed:
    Looks pretty much in line with what he's claiming. Does anything look out of order?

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