Buying Advice- USED or Refurb Mac Mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by nmbr36, Aug 23, 2013.

  1. nmbr36 macrumors newbie

    Aug 23, 2013
    Wondering if I should purchase a refurb Mac Mini from Apple, or pick up this one I found locally on craigslist. Is there much difference between the Mid-2011 Mini and the 2012 model?

    craigslsit- for $500

    Mid 2011 Apple Mac Mini 2.3GHz Core i5 4GB ram 500GB HDD
    Includes MacBook Air external SuperDrive, Wireless Magic Mouse, Full Size Wired Apple Keyboard, and Matching Logitech Z4 2.1 Speaker System.

    OR refurb $509

    Refurbished Mac mini 2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
    Originally released October 2012
    4GB memory

    500GB hard drive

    Thunderbolt port (up to 10 Gbps)
    HDMI port supports multichannel audio output
    Intel HD Graphics 4000

    Or, I could spend a little more and get the refurb above with 1TB HDD and the i7 Core for $679.

    Wondering how theses machines compare performance-wise... seems like craigslist is the best deal, but the Mini is older and has no warranty.
  2. nmbr36 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 23, 2013
    forgot to mention...

    I forgot to mention what I'll be using the Mac Mini for...

    My main uses will be internet browsing, storing and editing photos, possibly media hub for my HDTV.
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    Apple refurb is the better deal, by far.

    First -- you get a full 1-year warranty from Apple.

    Second -- you get USB3, the most important addition to Macs in the last few years.

    I'd recommend that you get a Logitech wireless mouse (instead of Apple's), and a WIRED USB keyboard of your choice...
  4. corvus32 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2009
    The main differences are the 2012 model has USB 3.0, HD4000 graphics, and uses faster 1600MHz RAM.

    IMO, 2012 model runs cooler and quieter than its predecessor.

    It doesn't sound like you would benefit greatly from the i7 model. I'd go with the refurbished i5 unit.

    Compared to the one on CL, you get better faster tech and a one year factory warranty.

    I wouldn't let the Magic Mouse and wired Apple keyboard sway me - most any USB version will do (I prefer Apple's wireless keyboard and trackpad). The same goes for the Superdrive, and there are other speakers than the Z4's.
  5. tibas92013 macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2013
    Costa Rica
    A few weeks ago I bought the basic Refurbished MAC Mini from the Apple Store for $509 plus $150 for the Applecare. I did not pay a tax because the State of Florida was having a Tax Free weekend.
  6. fig macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2012
    Austin, TX
    I wouldn't buy anything used unless it were from a reputable eBay seller with flawless feedback.

    I've owned a few refurb Macs and would have no problem buying another one.
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Comparing an Apple refurbished product to a used product is comparing apples to oranges. Apple refurbished is a much better option, even though it may cost a bit more.

    Apple refurbished products are considered by most to be a very good deal, as they're pretty much like buying a new Mac, except for the box.
    Click the link in that quote for more details on the refurbishment process.
    • Apple Certified Refurbished Products are available online from the Apple Refurb Store and are not sold in local Apple stores
    • Educational discounts do not apply to refurb products.
    • Refurb products come with the same warranty as new products, and qualify for AppleCare
    • Refurb products have a changed serial number that identifies them as refurbished
    • Refurb products come with whatever OS version and software they originally shipped with as new
    • Refurb products come with the same items in the box as new products, only the box is a plain one, not the new box.
    • A refurb product could have some cosmetic signs of prior use, but rarely do
    • A refurb Mac may have some cycles on the battery, but not a significant enough amount to affect usable life
    • The refurb store inventory changes frequently, sometimes several times a day, and doesn't have any direct relation to upcoming product releases. What's available in the refurb store is determined by what has been returned to Apple.
    • If you're looking for a particular item, can alert you when it becomes available.
  8. kevan79 macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2011
    Buy a refurb directly from Apple. This is a no brainer as far as I'm concerned.
  9. appleford macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2011
    Buy the refurb from apple, buy wireless keyboard and mouse, trackpad if you want, purchase applecare at the same time and everything will be covered for 3 years under applecare, not the 1 year standard. I believe you can also buy a superdrive at the same time, and that would be covered also. Just make sure it is all bought together. And the I 5 is fine, plenty fast.
  10. tibas92013 macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2013
    Costa Rica
    Also, if you buy an Airport Express which I did a couple of Days later after I bought my MM with Applecare, the Router is covered for the duration of my Applecare.

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