HELP with purchase: 2009 SSD vs 2011 Base

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by jmh1028, Apr 8, 2012.

  1. jmh1028, Apr 8, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2012

    jmh1028 macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2011
    I currently have a 11" MB Air and I love its portability but I don't like the small screen. I am currently working at home so the MB Air isn't very practical in terms of screen size. I want a Mac Mini so I can just hook it up to a tv/monitor or anything bigger than 11" and do more with the screen when i'm at home. Anyway, my primary uses are word doc, videos, internet (basically, all school & media entertainment purposes). Also, HD space doesn't matter to me as I store everything on an external hd that I already have.

    Should I purchase:

    a) USED 2009 Mac Mini - 2.26 Core2Duo + 120GB OWC SSD + 4GB RAM for $490?
    -i love the SSD & the upgraded RAM (as it'll basically mirror my MB Air)
    -I like having the option of a cd drive or removing it for a 2nd hard drive
    -i love the price
    -i have a mini-dislayport to hdmi adapter already
    -although an older model, i like how i can still install the latest OSX - Lion


    b) REFURBISHED 2011 Mac Mini Base - 2.3 Core i5 + 500GB + 2GB RAM for $550?
    -i love having the core i5 processor
    -i like how there's no power brick
    -i like how there's a sd card slot
    -i like how there's a separate HDMI port


    c) USED 2010 Mac Mini - 2.66 Core2Duo + 320GB + 8GB RAM for $490


    d) USED 2006 Mac Mini - 1.83 CoreDuo + 80GB + 2GB RAM for $250
    -i love how it's really cheap
    -i don't like how it can't be upgraded to lion but then again, I've read that some people prefer Snow Leopard over Lion.
    -but will this be fine for what i do without getting me frustrated with the lack of speed?


    e) none of these are worth the price

    couple questions:
    -which configuration will be fastest? How would you rank the order?
    -would i be able to install Mountain Lion in the '09 model when it's released?

  2. NightRyder macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2012
    Liverpool, England
    Depends on you're budget. If it was me, I would get a refurbished 2011 mac mini, and just install a 60gb SSD for Lion, which would make it a very good performer.
  3. mdgm macrumors 6502a

    Nov 2, 2010
    Don't go any older than the 2009. The 2009 will run Mountain Lion which should be much better than Lion. Even if you don't want to run Mountain Lion soon, Apple updates for Snow Leopard will likely pretty much cease once Mountain Lion is released.

    The 2010/2011 are harder to upgrade but you can add a Thunderbolt SSD to the 2011 which should almost be as fast as an internal SSD and will be much faster than the stock hard drive.

    If you want to be able to replace the internal drive go with the 2009. If you just want an internal optical drive and are happy to add a FW800 enclosure with a SSD go with the 2010. If you don't need the optical drive go with the 2011 then add a Thunderbolt SSD as a boot disk later when prices have come down a bit and there are more brands to choose from.
  4. Medic278 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 1, 2012
    New York
    Out of all your options I would go with B. The Intel core i5 is a great processor and the performance boost is worth choosing it over the C2D. Option B will also be the most future proof, with thunderbolt. SSD is nice and all but a decent HDD will give you a nice quick product as well. Plus, and I know you said this doesn't matter, but you never know, generally HDD are much larger that an SSD. All in all I recommend option B.
  5. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    2011 why you mention you want lion osx. the 2009 and 2010 are good if you want snow leopard or the dvd player or both. the 2011 is good for speed and lion. easy to add ram

    new 568

    good ram 38 bucks

    total 606 play with it for a month and decide if you want to add an ssd either inside or via the t-bolt port.

    the only other option I can give you is wait til august for an update.

    that is a 4 month wait.

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