For Those Owning Older Macs: What's Your Mountain Lion Box?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by r0k, Feb 22, 2012.


What Will Your New Mountain Lion Box Look Like?

Poll closed Apr 22, 2012.
  1. $$$ - New primary Mac (please specify)

    3 vote(s)
  2. $$ - New "secondary" Mac (ie a refurb)

    2 vote(s)
  3. $0 - Hack ML onto an older Mac

    2 vote(s)
  4. $0 - I don't need no stinking Mountain Lion

    9 vote(s)
  1. r0k, Feb 22, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012

    r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    All my Macs are older Intel boxes with integrated graphics and are not supported for ML. I decided I needed a new Mac so I started looking for replacements for my main machine, my white Macbook. I found a newer white Macbook on Apple's refurb site for $849 that can run ML but for that kind of money, I really should get a performance boost.

    I started looking at refurb 13 in and 15 in MBP models and came very close to pulling the trigger since a 15 percent discount on those is very attractive. Meanwhile, I had set an alert on refurb me for Mac minis below $500. Last night while I was browsing MBP refurbs I got an email that a mini had showed up for a mere $469. And this time it wasn't some old clunker. It was the 2010 model with graphics that could run ML. I snapped it up. It's not the ideal solution. I'd much rather have a new 15 in or 17 in MBP but now I have a "second machine" I can easily upgrade to 8 GB RAM, which I also ordered last night from Crucial for $45.

    Even the Intel graphics based refurb clunkers at Microcenter cost $500 or more so I think I did alright. One of these days I'll replace my aging whitebook, but for now when I want to test something on ML, I'll be able to do it on my new mini. If I'd spent over $1000 on a new MBP refurb, I'd be looking at a geekbench of over 6,000. For $500 I have a machine that scores 3600 alongside my Macbook which scores 3200 and it has an optical drive so I can use it for transcoding and still get work done on my MB.

    I'm sure there are other ways to solve my ML problem. For instance, if I'd broken down and upgraded any one of our Macs since 2008, I'd be in the clear but this solution seems to be the lowest cost for now and I'm now waiting for my refurb mini to show up at my local Apple store for pickup.

    Edit: There was a bit more incentive for me to pick the mini. I wanted the HDMI output so I could use it as a HTPC.

    So I'm starting this thread to find out what others with Macs that were "voted off the island" are doing about it? Time for a major refresh or a penny pinching solution like mine?
  2. KingJosh macrumors 6502


    Jan 11, 2012
    well i got a mac pro 2008 so it will run ML easy but I think I will choose not to use it until about 10.8.5
  3. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000


    Nov 20, 2007
    I long thought of the Intel graphics as the achilles heel of the Mac range. As such, I e deliberately avoided them, even as far as more recent purchase - the 2011 mini i5 with dedicated graphics.

    Would not be surprised if the Intel HD graphics on the other models will again be the limiting factor in their ability to run future OS upgrades.
  4. iSee macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2004
    My current laptop will run ML no problem but I faced the same problem when Lion came out and went with a new primary machine: 2011 11" MBA with all the trimmings.

    But if I faced the same situation with ML, I think I just wouldn't upgrade to it. I like that it unifies the iDevice and Mac experience -- consistent apps, iCloud docs -- but I don't really want to use those apps across devices. So for me ML doesn't do enough to warrant an upgrade.
  5. r0k thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    Well my refurb mini arrived a whole week early. I picked it up Friday. It's running Snow Leopard. The update to 10.6.8 seemed to take only minutes so now I can turn my attention to making myself a Mountain Lion partition (or usb disk) to play with.

    Will I upgrade to ML on more than my "tinkering" machine? I doubt it. Since my older machines are all "voted off the island", I think I'll be running Lion for quite a while (unless I use some hackery to get ML on my older machines).

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