Choosing a Mini, Need Advice!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by forcefieldkid, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. forcefieldkid macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2010
    Hey guys,
    I currently have a late 2004 Power Mac G5, and its (only just!) starting to give me problems. A couple of repairs already, and though its running fairly smoothly right now, definitely feeling like i could do with a backup and/or something smaller to take the lighter uses away from it, non-work related stuff like chat, internet and music etc.

    I have about £450 to spend on this thing, but I'm looking at hopefully getting the best deal not just simply what i can get for £450!

    There's 3 options I have marked on eBay and Amazon and if you would be so kind as to give me your thoughts on which one will give the best performance for the cash, bearing in mind what I need it for....

    First, for around £350 there's the 1.5GHz Intel Core Solo/512MB/60GB model. Now, I'm used to a dual core and I'm wondering what kind of speed and performance issues I'd see with a single core machine compared to a double? I'm far from an expert on these things and if someone could fill me in on the difference then I'd most appreciate it!

    Second, for around £400 there's the 1.83GHz Intel Core 2 Duo/2GB/80GB model. This also ships with Snow Leopard and the seller includes Windows XP (though that doesnt really affect me) and the registration codes for Quicktime Pro (which I already have, but seems a nice little extra).

    Last, is the Core 2 Duo 2.0GHz/1GB/120GB model. Also ships with Snow Leopard, and comes in at around £450.

    All of these are quite low hard drive capacity, since I'll be using the G5 for storage anyway, and for running the more processor demanding programs I need for work. The main decision really when buying this would be speed balanced with the price. I'm leaning currently towards the second option, but as I say I'm no real expert on tech and simply assuming that a single core would be alot slower than what I've been used to. Interesting to read some other thoughts...

    Thanks :)
  2. depulse macrumors member

    Aug 28, 2008
    Since you can buy a new Mini for 510 pounds, I don't see any great advantage of buying a secondhand one for just a slightly lower price. Newer technology, warranty and a little more harddisk space.
  3. forcefieldkid thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2010
    I simply don't have a further £60 to spend on this machine. Might seem strange to you, but such is life.
  4. sparky76 macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2003
    I would go for option 2 - OS X does like the extra memory.

    Also, the processor-intensive programs you use may well run faster on the mini than on the G5 (especially if there are universal binary updates to them), so you may not need to use the G5 for them.

    The PowerMac G5 I had was a real electricity hog and it may be much cheaper (and quieter) to take out the drive(s) from the G5 and house them in a cheap external enclosure.

    Finally, do remember that the G5 could be set up to use its drives in raid 1 so you may have some security for your data. You may need another solution for the mini.

    Good luck
  5. Bennieboy© macrumors 65816


    Jan 15, 2009
    go for the C2D model, for 50 quid more your getting more then 50 quids worth of hardware then the core solo mini ;)
  6. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    Option #2 is probably the best deal - good balance of price and performance. I would stay away from the core solo model (just because of the slower, single core processor).
  7. Denarius macrumors 6502a


    Feb 5, 2008
    Gironde, France
    What about option 3 and swap the hard drive with 1 from the G5?

    Edit: sorry, forgot they have 2.5 inch drives internally. Got any notebook externals you can swap with?
  8. forcefieldkid thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2010
    Thanks for the thoughts. The seller for option 2 has offered to up the 80gb to 160 for an extra £30 so I think that's definitely the one I'm gonna go with!
  9. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Do you have access to the Apple online refurbished store there? If you are diligent about checking several times a day you should be able to pick up an "as good as new" Mini in your price range.

    From your description you still have time, so you can afford to wait for a good deal to pop-up. Word of warning though, good deals don't last long. When you see the one you want buy it immediately. I recently picked up a mini at 42% off in the North American refurb store.

    Good Luck
  10. opera57 macrumors 6502

    Feb 15, 2009
    Yep definitely option 2 or 3, with the 160gb in option 2 along with the 2gb ram that is probably the best to go for. I would keep away from the Core solo models. [​IMG]
  11. theLimit macrumors 6502a


    Jan 30, 2007
    up tha holler, acrost tha crick
    If the 2.0 GHz option is the nVidia 9400m model, go for it. Otherwise go for option 2, as more RAM will have a greater impact on usage than the CPU speed bump.
  12. forcefieldkid thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2010
    Thanks for all the input :)

    Money down on option 2 with 160gb for £410, great deal I think. Looking forward to seeing what this tinyyyy machine can do :cool:
  13. sparkie1984 macrumors 68020

    Dec 20, 2009
    a small village near London
    anymore of these option 2's left mate??

    im in the uk too and am looking for a mini to act as a HTPC!
  14. drummerlondonw3 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 10, 2008
    i would also be keen to know how the reseller is

    glad you bought well
  15. sparkie1984 macrumors 68020

    Dec 20, 2009
    a small village near London
    might get a discount if a few of us want them :p

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