Couldn't wait, bought refurb Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by u6crash, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. u6crash macrumors member


    Jan 29, 2007
    DeKalb, IL
    My parents are still using my old G4 as their only computer. Every computer they've had since our first PC (IBM Aptiva 60Mhz Pentium) has been a hand me down from me. So I just ordered the base model Mac Mini w/ 2Gb ram and the integrated graphics. I'm sure most of this will be perfectly fine for my parents. I do have a couple questions though.

    I've seen a lot of people recommend more RAM right off the bat. Both Crucial and OWC have some pretty good prices, but I don't understand why they offer upgrades up to 16Gb when Apple says it only supports up to 8Gb. Not that I would spring for the 16Gb upgrade...but what gives?

    Second, I'm going to spring for an LCD monitor (currently leaning towards the ASUS VH236H). Can I benefit from an HDMI cable, or does the DVI to HDMI adapter give the same image quality?
  2. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    Apple has a history of underrating how much RAM their computers will accept. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable than I will have an explanation as to why, but it's nothing new.
  3. Pheo macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2011
    Your parents will be fine with 8GB, and once installed system should speed along. for ultimate speed boost you could add an SSD, but for them, I wouldn't bother, and would buy yourself one instead :)
  4. righteye, Apr 6, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2012

    righteye macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2011
    OWC sell 8Gb sticks and Apple do not.
    If they did it would probably cost you your right arm!
    I believe that Mountain Lion needs quite a lot of RAM just to run so upgrading to 8Gb is a good idea for any user.( Still using Snow Leopard myself though)
  5. Poki macrumors 65816


    Mar 21, 2012
    Mountain Lion won't need that much more RAM than Lion. After all, with 4 GB you should be fine, with 8 GB the Mini should be fast.
  6. iPhil, Apr 6, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2012

    iPhil macrumors 68040



    Apple does sell Ram- just like OWC / Newegg / Amazon etc ..

    Apple Mac mini Ram link

    The rest of Mac family Ram links ( computer -wise )

    But always buy 3rd party ram 2 save piles of Ca$h... And always keep your OEM (Apple) Ram until the warranty year runs out or 3 yr applecare .. Since 3rd party Ram ain't covered by apple care etc ...
  7. u6crash, Apr 6, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2012

    u6crash thread starter macrumors member


    Jan 29, 2007
    DeKalb, IL
    I splurged on 8Gb of Kingston RAM from NewEgg. They have a ten dollar rebate going until April 9th bringing it down to $38. I'm sure it's way more than my folks will need. After realizing that HDMI would carry sound to the built in monitor speakers I picked up one of those too. It will cut down that much more on cable clutter.

    I'm going to let them buy an external CD/DVD burner if they feel they need one as well either MS Office or iWork. This wasn't exactly in my budget this month :p

    The cost breakdown for anyone who is interested:

    Mac Mini 2.3Ghz Intel Core Duo i5 Refurb after tax: $551.44
    Kingston 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR 1333: $47.99
    ASUS VH236H Black 23" Full HD LCD Monitor w/Speakers: $169.99
    Kaybles 6' HDMI Cable: $4.99

    Total $774.41

    Less ASUS Monitor Rebate -$20.00
    Less Kingston/Newegg Memory Rebate -$10.00

    Grand Total $744.41

    (Which, without the decimal point, is a prime number.)

    I was starting to regret going the Mini route when I started adding everything up thinking I should have gone the iMac route. However, the most affordable refurb iMac in the store right now is a 21.5" 3.06Ghz i3 with 4GB memory at $929. After tax that would be $987.07. Sure, it would gain an iSight (which I don't see my parents using), a SuperDrive (which they can add if necessary, but aren't using now), and a slightly better graphics card, but I'm saving almost $250, have double the memory, and a bigger (though not better) monitor. When it comes time to replace this Mini, who knows, we might all be using Apple tablets twice as powerful as the current iPad. Hopefully the monitor will still be good for something. :D
  8. Roman2K~ macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2011
    That refurb iMac is a first-gen Core i3. In your price range, the Mini + monitor was the right choice, IMO ;).
  9. namelessme macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2012
    I think you made the right choice with the mini. Something that I think most people don't care about, but to me, a 21.5" monitor at 1920x1080 is just too small. Keep in mind it's also about the same vertical space as an old 17" CRT... which is rather dinky.

    I think mini or 27" iMac are the two best options. But of course the 27"er is quite expensive.

    If your parents end up wanting a DVD player/burner, forget the superdrive, just pick one up from Newegg. I got an Asus external burner from NewEgg several years ago (for my netbook), works great with the mini and cost me about $30. Pretty sure they are around that same price now too.
  10. righteye macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2011
    You are correct!
    I could be wrong again but i thought that OWC had the 8gb sticks for sale before Apple but maybe it was just the shocking Apple price the made me look elsewhere.

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