Go with Refurb Mac Mini or ???

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

  1. treynolds macrumors regular

    treynolds

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Location:
    Seattle
    #1
    I have been a long time PC user but am looking into a Mac. I wanted to get a Macbook Pro, but have requested a Macbook Pro from my employer to replace the aging Dell M90 Precision I use, so I'd probably end up with two Macbooks.

    I have considered the iMac, as the cost and performance per dollar is better than the Macbooks, but I already have a nearly-new Asus 25.5" 1920x1200 display that I use with my HP DV8000 (which will go on the block soon).

    I have been following the prices for the Apple Store refurbs and they just recently added Minis to the mix. I am considering the 2.26GHz unit for $499, and here is why:

    I have a Hitachi Travelstar 500GB 2.5" drive that I bought for the HP. It will fit the Mini. I can upgrade the RAM to 8GB for $379 from OWC. That would give me a screaming Mini for $878. I'm not counting the cost of the drive as it's been paid for for months, sitting on my desk. $120 more for the Magic mouse and extended keyboard. $998 total, $1000 less than the iMac.

    They also have (had, they've sold out) a refurb'd 2.66GHz Mini with 4GB RAM for $799. That unit has a 320GB HD. So for less than $100 more, I could have a better Mini, except for a slightly reduced processor speed. I'be been around long enough to know the speed of the processor is only part of the equation.

    I also plan on getting an iPad with 32GB or memory and 3G.

    I would do general surfing, photos, emails and some consulting using AutoCAD 2009 Lite running under XP and Parallels. No serious rendering, no video production. Some Photoshop and Illustrator, but nothing major.

    So, assuming a new (or recent) Macbook Pro from work and a new iPad for my mobile use, would the Mini be a good compromise, considering I already have the screen?

    The nearest iMac build to what I'm proposing with the Mini would be $1699 with a GT card and 256MB VRAM and a bigger HD. An extra $200 gets 8GB of RAM to match the Mini. Processor on the iMac is modestly faster and the screen resolution is higher. The iMac includes the mouse and keyboard, which would be extra for the Mini.

    Thoughts?

    Tony
     
  2. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000

    MacMini2009

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Location:
    California
    #2
    Since you already have a nice monitor, get the Mac Mini and save money! It will suit your needs perfectly since you will upgrading it.
     
  3. treynolds thread starter macrumors regular

    treynolds

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Location:
    Seattle
    #3
    All the Refurb'd Minis are Gone

    from the Apple Store online, except for the server model. Oh well, I'm sure they'll post more as the weeks go by... :eek:
     
  4. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000

    MacMini2009

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Location:
    California
    #4
    They go away fast. Just check daily. Once you see them, buy immediately!
     
  5. techound1 macrumors 68000

    techound1

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    #5
  6. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #6
    Like the other have stated, refurb minis dont last, up at 10:30, gone by 1.

    I dont get how the nearest iMac to the mini you are considering is $1700?

    The base 21" iMac is $1099 ($999 refurb) with the same 9400M video but a 3.06 C2D and 500 gig drive. And a wireless keyboard/mouse. Adding 4 gigs of ram to that is $120. That gives you 8 gigs. So $1225 total.

    Hook it up to your Asus screen and use it as the main monitor in a 2 monitor setup.

    http://www.macconnection.com/IPA/Shop/Product/Detail.htm?sku=10682017&cac=FeaturedHome

    For $1700 I could get the 3.06 27" iMac, 1TB drive, 8 gigs ram and ATI 4670.

    http://www.macconnection.com/IPA/Shop/Product/Detail.htm?sku=10682041&cac=Result
     
  7. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #7
    www.refurb.me show you when the minis were last up and will notify you next time so you will have a fighting chance.
     
  8. treynolds thread starter macrumors regular

    treynolds

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Location:
    Seattle
    #8
    In Case Anyone Cares...

    I ended up going with the 27" iMac Core 2 Duo 3.06.

    I felt that the discount for the refurb'd machine was worth the risk, as was the inclusion of 256MB of dedicated VRAM, which was missing from any of the Mac Mini builds. The extra screen real estate is welcome for my AutoCAD work. The ability to upgrade the machine to 16GB of RAM and inclusion of a 1TB HD were definite pluses in its favor.

    At this point, I'm looking at supplementing the iMac with the mid-level 3G iPad for my portable system component.

    Loaded up with Parallels 5.0, Wndows XP Pro, AutoCAD LT 2010 and MS Office 2008 Mac as well as iWork, this is one fast, killer machine. CS4 Standard goes on next. Execution feels FAST!

    CDs and DVDs play well and speakers sound decent. No yellow screen.

    It just works...

    Tony
     

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