How is the Mac mini value wise?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Bogie, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. Bogie macrumors regular

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    Apr 4, 2007
    #1
    I have a 24" monitor (the MM can push 1920x1200 right?) and I'm considering a MM as a short term alternative to my PC. Eventually I'd like a macbook pro, but that can wait another year or two at least. Right now I just want to use OSX again. So, how is the current low end mini value wise?
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #2
    I'd get a refurbished one from Apple to save some more money and 1 GB is passable for basic OS X usage.

    It's 64-bit, runs Office, iLife, and plays 1080p trailers. There's not much else you can ask from this little package.
     
  3. Bogie thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 4, 2007
    #3
    I'm pretty handy inside a computer (built my PC). Is it easy to get inside a mini for memory upgrades?
     
  4. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #4
    It just takes a thin flexible putty knife, tweezers, and a magnetized tip Phillips #0. I have the original service manuals as well but guides can be found online.
     
  5. Bogie thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    Seems simple enough. I qualify for the education dicount for another few months, which admitedly isn't much, but how much are refurb mini's typically? they don't have any listed right now.
     
  6. CJRhoades macrumors 6502

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    Lafayette, IN
    #6
    The mini case is usually pretty easy to get into for upgrading the HD, optical drive, etc. When it comes to value, the mini exceeds its worth compared to other desktop computers in the same price range. For $600 US you get 1.83 GHz c2d processor, 1GB of RAM, 80 Gig HD, decent graphics card, and 10.5. With a windows computer for the same price you get similar stats. Except your stuck with windows (eek!!!!!) But, if you get a Mac, you get OS X and windows (yay!!!!!).
     
  7. Bogie thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    Yeah, my current PC is beastly. I built it for 3D animation. but really, animation wasn't my thing and I don't need this power. I intend to eventually get back into filmmaking (which is when I'll get the MBP) but for now, all I want to do is import my music library into itunes and write. I even have the slim apple wireless keyboard already!
     
  8. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Indianapolis
    #8
    Anything against just using iTunes on Windows? You can easily export the iTunes Library back to OS X. My iTunes Library has been hopping back and forth since iTunes 4.7. :rolleyes:

    I believe the Mac mini hits $529-549 refurbished on the low end. It's quite the hackable, expandable beast with some technical know how and patience.
     
  9. Bogie thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 4, 2007
    #9
    Well I am using itunes on my PC but my problem with it is more so on the aesthetic side. Like I said, I built a beast and it's loud. Even after replacing the case fans with sony scythes and the CPU fan, it's still the noisiest computer I've ever owned. Speaking of which, does the mini run quietly?
     
  10. CJRhoades macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Quietly? Hmm.. it can. That is, until the fans come on full blast from using it a long time. As long as you don't run the processor at 100% for 3 hours I think it will be fine. Just prop it up on something or get some fans for it to sit on if the fans become too annoying.
     
  11. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Indianapolis
    #11
    I had my Mac mini folding for 24/7 several weeks. The fans aren't noticeable until you hit around 3000 RPM and it's hard to hit that without using smcFanControl.

    You'll enjoy a near whisper quiet operation at 1800 RPM nearly all the time.
     
  12. Bogie thread starter macrumors regular

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  13. gotzero macrumors 68040

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    #13
    I think it is a great value. Changing the RAM is a 10 minute job. :)
     
  14. Bogie thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 4, 2007
    #14
    Two more questions.

    1. Does it use standard desktop RAM or does it use notebook RAM?

    2. Will it work with 800Mhz sticks?
     
  15. brop52 macrumors 68000

    brop52

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    Feb 26, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan
    #15
    I'd recommend against buying a mini right now. Honestly it is not really a bargain at all. If it is updated soon, then perhaps it will be. Now the components are slightly dated and not worth the cost of the computer.

    Apple uses the same RAM for all of the Intel Macs except the Mac Pro. So it is all laptop RAM. I'm not sure, but I think they all have to be 667 MHz sticks.

    OWC 3 GB kit
     
  16. ADent macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 9, 2007
    #16
    Right. Don't use that 24" monitor you have, go buy a 24" iMac for $1799 because at $499 to $799 you are getting ripped off. :rolleyes:

    Seriously - wait for 12 hours and see if the Mac mini gets updated or replaced (Mac nano?) then buy what you want. Memory for the mini is real cheap these days from anybody but Apple.
     
  17. brop52 macrumors 68000

    brop52

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    #17
    The $1799 24" iMac is a bit on the expensive side over the $1499 model as the only difference is 4" on the monitor for $300.

    Anyway, the mini is right for certain people (like the OP) but still not the best value right now. I do hope it is updated and I would highly recommend it to those that have a monitor. I don't have any LCD monitors I could use for a desktop. The Mini is a bit underpowered for what I wanted and to future proof a bit. I bought from the education store so I saved quite a bit on my 2.4/20" iMac. I got it during the iPod and Printer promotion over the summer so that's another bit saved as my iPod died around that time. Plus, I wanted the wireless Mouse so I only had to pay $20 to get it with the iMac. The point is that I wasn't bashing what the mini is. It is a great machine, however the value is not the best. You have to buy at the right time and have a need for it.
     
  18. hempcamp macrumors member

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    Dec 22, 2007
    Location:
    DC/VA
    #18
    You're not thinking it out far enough.

    In my case, I already have a like-new Dell 2407WFP. I can get a refurb 2.0 mini for it, max out the RAM, and have a decent setup for almost $800.

    OR, I can sell the monitor (about $400) and get a $1049 refurbished 20" iMac, max out the RAM, which is a net cost of about $750 ($1150-$400).

    The iMac, while less screen real estate, gives me FireWire 800 (uber-fast Time Machining), a full-sized 7200RPM hard drive more than twice the size, dedicated video, a sweet new keyboard (and mouse that I wouldn't use), 4GB of RAM, ability to add second monitor later, faster FSB...

    So in my case, which is similar to the OP's, the mini is definitely NOT a good value at its current price point/configuration.

    --Chris

    PS - That said, if nothing new comes out today I might get a 1.83 mini just to tide me over until I have more options. Still not the best value, but a simple solution.
     
  19. JBaustian macrumors newbie

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    Jan 13, 2008
    #19
    Not everyone needs state-of-the-art, nor does everyone need to upgrade every year or two.

    I offered to get my mom a plasma or LCD TV for Christmas -- she said she'd rather have a new computer. So now she has a Mac Mini to replace her old 400 mHz G4, and a $22" Samsung LCD monitor, and some Klipsch speakers, all for about $1050 plus tax. A better deal than the iMac, I think, and good enough to last her another five years. Her only complaint is that Classic went away, taking her favorite games. Why did they do that?
     
  20. brop52 macrumors 68000

    brop52

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    Feb 26, 2007
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    Michigan
    #20
    I understand what you are saying. It is two different strategies. I certainly don't need a new computer every 2 years. I would like to get at least 4 out of this iMac. However, the mini right now is already almost two years of dated components at the price they were worth that long ago. It's about value and the amount of time you can keep a computer useable in the future. With a nice monitor that can be used for at least 4 years and 2 mac minis it is a tougher choice, but still Apple needs to do something about this computer whether it is a price drop or upgrade.
     

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