Just couldn't pull the trigger

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by mantan, Dec 1, 2015.

  1. mantan macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2009
    Location:
    DFW
    #1
    I'd waited for this day for quite awhile. I have a Dell desktop that has been the daily grinder in my study for over 8 years. Not as fast as it used to be -but extremely reliable.

    During that time I started using Apple products. Started with an iPhone 3 I inherited when my dad passed. I upgraded to the 4GS then 4. My wife and teenage kids soon found themselves with iPhones as well as my mom. Everybody in the house has their own iPad.

    When my wife's laptop died, I was all set to buy a MacBook Air and got her an ASUS instead. The keyboard was terrible. She hates it. Pretty much lives on the iPad.

    The oldest goes to college this year and there is a 100% chance I'll get her the MacBook Air she has her eye on. Mom may get on too.

    I had been holding out for a Mini for 3 years now. But the specs just suck. No way about it. I would either spend 60% for a Mini or almost over double the price for an iMac. For specs that are a bit watered down (5400 rpm drives, tiny SSD fushion drives.) I've had half of our iPads and iPhones have issues - so I'd have to plunk down another $170 for AppleCare.

    I may eventually get my own Apple computer - but I gotta feel like I"m getting some bang for my buck...
     
  2. davekro macrumors regular

    davekro

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    No. Calif.
    #2
    I am parting with my late 2006 iMac 'as friends'. It had some wiggy behaviour that scared me and got me researching/shopping for a new Mac. I just could not warm up to buying non upgradeable hardware in an iMac or Mini. And I was not about to pay the overprice of buying max RAM and SSD from Apple. I settled on shopping Craig's list for a loaded late 2012 i7 Mac Mini. Allowing me to buy two Dell 24" (U2415) UltraSharp monitors. A 2.6 i7 Mini popped up maxed out on RAM AND w/ a 512 SSD for $1,000. That package was the best possible used spec for me and I got it. Ordered the two monitors on Amazon for $260 ea + tax. So for $1,570 out the door, I have a system that will keep me happy for many years I believe. Oh, and the Mini cane w/ a SuperDrivve, Apple wireless KB & mouse and 20 key keypad. Glad I pulled the trigger and finished setting it all up today!

    Mantan, good luck in your tech journey. It's a jungle out there... ;)
     
  3. Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2012
    Location:
    An island in the Andaman Sea.
    #3
    On to my second Mac Mini in over 10 years, and will not hesitate about buying another in a couple or three years. Doing more photography now, I would be inclined to go for a mid level model with 8 GB RAM and fusion drive in the current line up. What I get depends on what is available when the time comes.

    The first was the base model original, which had no significant issues till the HDD and power supply packed a sad after about 4 years. Probably a victim of an appalling mains power supply as much as anything. A huge power surge That cut power to about half the south of Thailand blew the UPC. An upgraded mains supply to the neighbourhood, installing an earth and three pin plugs, and a better UPC has sorted the mains power supply since then.

    The computer went bad not long after that. Replacement with an early 2009 seemed more cost effective than repair, and came with significant hardware, OS and apps improvements. The only issues have been sorted with a clean out after thee and six years, adding 4 GB RAM to the original 1 GB, and OS X upgrades.

    I have neither an iPhone nor an iPad, and am well pleased with the reliability of the Mac Minis. A new mid range model would set me back about the same as both the 2009 and the original. Productivity software (Office for Mac on the 2005, and iWork on the 2009) were extra cost items, that are now preloaded, ready to use at no extra cost. Seems like more bang for the buck to me.
     
  4. EmlynDewar macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Location:
    Chengdu, China
    #4
    You sort of have to ignore the entry level, as it's not a fast machine, and I can't see how it can be sold as a gateway into Mac ownership. That hard-drive, and the 4gb of ram kill any prospect of it being a joyous experience.
    The mid level needs to have an SSD as standard, or at least an SSHD...

    It is not price competitive with Intel NUCs of better spec.
     
  5. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

    Joined:
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    Southern Cal
    #5
    Yes, that is what frustrates some people on these forums. They fixate on the entry level mini and miss the decent deals available in the mid-range. As far as that goes, most of us should ignore the high-end Mac minis as well. The cost for options like 16GB of RAM, dual core i7 CPU, or 0.2 GHz is exorbitant. I think that all of the complaining confuses the issue. There are some good machines available from Apple.

    Those NUCs are like tiny digital unicorns. The so called mini beater or mini killer NUCs are often plagued with overheating problems and are seldom (never) feature competitive with the Mac mini. Lets ignore the fact that they can't run OS X. While NUC vendors boast of their tiny dimensions, they never have all of the features that the base model mini has. I remember one last year that could have WiFi or GB Ethernet but not both. One recent mini beater NUC described in a recent advertisement as having "Brilliant 4K Resolution" had the same 30Hz display limitation that the 2014 mini has. :apple:
     
  6. Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

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    #6
    But does the NUC come OS X and preloaded productivity apps that make it ready to use more or less straight out of the box?
     
  7. EmlynDewar macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Location:
    Chengdu, China
    #7
    Well we all know the answer to that.
    Easy enough for some to take a few minutes slotting things together, with Windows 10 going on in 15/20 minutes.

    My experience on the entry level Mac Mini was not pleasant, I'm assuming all mechanical drive related, but it'd be launched out the window, if I had to use it for "productivity" :p :D.

    Edit: And for what it's worth, I was/am a big fan of all the previous Minis. Aside from price, the top end Mini, with SSD would definitely suit me down to the ground.
     
  8. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

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    Northeast
    #8
    The entry level mini should not exist. It is a sad pathetic little machine. It is doing Apple harm rather than good.
     
  9. davekro macrumors regular

    davekro

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    No. Calif.
    #9
    I think Apple feels they need to offer the 'entry level Mini' just to advertise a low price point. Though it may be akin to Toyota offering a stripped down de-optioned Yaris w/o A/C, a half sized gas tank and only the driver window rolls (crank) down. IMHO, it is a clear bate and switch strategy to sell the overpriced RAM and SSD's. Making post 2012 models not user upgradeable fits this scenario.Sad though that to justify (read hide) this strategy, they must claim the entry level is a super choice. :confused:

    But I am very happy with my just purchased 2012 maxed out Mini with extras incl.a 512 SSD! :D
    My 2¢
     
  10. dogslobber macrumors 68020

    dogslobber

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    Oct 19, 2014
    Location:
    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    #10
    There were a bunch of 2012 Minis in the refurb store yesterday. If I was after one, I'd have grabbed one of those and upgraded the memory and added an SSD for about 200 bucks. It's a quality machine with a little finessing, the 2012 Mini, and will last many years.
     
  11. dogslobber macrumors 68020

    dogslobber

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    #11
    Would love to know the breakdown of their sales for the 2014 Minis. At least a 2012 base Mini is useful for upgrading.
     
  12. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

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    Northeast
    #12
    Or, a report of RETURNS on the entry level mini :)
     
  13. davekro macrumors regular

    davekro

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    No. Calif.
    #13
    In the reason for return comment section simply: WTF?!
     
  14. Micky Do, Dec 2, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2015

    Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2012
    Location:
    An island in the Andaman Sea.
    #14
    A basic computer that exists for folks who want to use OS X for basic needs….. despised by sad pathetic little geeks with an over inflated opinion of their own opinion

    Both my Minis have been base level, and have been adequate for my needs (though doing more photography now, my next might be a step up in the range). Some who have bought the base level 2014 Mini, and who have posted here on MacRumors, have found it adequate for their basic needs.

    Those whose needs / desires would challenge the base model have a range of off the shelf and custom options available.
     
  15. EnesM macrumors 6502

    EnesM

    Joined:
    May 7, 2015
    #15
    The base model can serve as an HTPC perfectly well I guess.
     
  16. davekro macrumors regular

    davekro

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    No. Calif.
    #16
    Mickey,
    Ok I can be sad, pathetic on occasion, but geek I can only aspire to! ;)
    I fully admit to wanting more computer capability than I need AND not really comprehending (until reading here after buying my maxed 2012) that the over spec I just bought... I will likely never tax. But since I keep my computer's until they slow to a crawl from the last OS X ugrade allowed, I felt compelled to future proof myself. Way too much on this Mini, but it still gives this (less than fully tech clued ;) ) person a warm fuzzy feeling. Granted my old late 2006 iMac (owned 8 yrs) was maxed out at 3 GB of RAM, which was likely it's most limiting factor (for my use).

    So, point being, I agree that MY opinion as to the base model Mini could be highly questionable. :D

    I do so appreciate all the knowledgeable folk on this forum willing to listen to and try to inform the tech challenenged like myself.

    To all, a very good day.
     
  17. Fdefulvio macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2015
    #17
    Your title "Just couldn't pull the trigger" was my exact feelings towards the purchase of a Retina iMac. I've been saying for years that it was time to make the move from Windows. I "Just couldn't pull the trigger" on spending over $2K on a 27" Retina iMac. The 21.5 inch makes no sense once you upgrade to a SSD. That display is way too small for that price point.

    I just picked up a refurbished mid level 2014 with a 256 SSD, and an Acer 25" 1440 display. For half the price of the 27" iMac, at least I've made the transition. I really love the Retina displays, and could have gotten a Windows machine with a 4K display, with better performance, for about the same price, but I refused to tie myself to Windows for another five plus years. I think my Mac Mini system has plenty of performance for my needs.

    I agree with what others have been saying that the entry level really should not exist. I feel the same way regarding the 21.5" iMac. There is an Apple premium tax on all of their products. Although their entry level products may seem like a bargain, their performance is pathetic. There is no cheap Apple alternative to Windows. Even the Mac Mini requires stepping up to 8GB RAM and an SSD to provide suitable performance. At least for me, an upgraded refurbished Mac Mini tax was a little easier to swallow, then stepping up to some form of iMac.
     
  18. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #18
    Right! Those 4GB base model 2014s are fine for some users and certain tasks. They certainly are not typical high performance Mac computers. Although the 1.4GHz i5/4GB soldered memory/5400rpm HDD Mac mini is useable, it certainly does not scream performance.

    I can see how the base model mini might catch a less informed consumer off guard. What puzzles me is how some sophisticated computer enthusiasts (geeks) purchase sub $500 Mac computers with minimum specs and are then shocked and outraged at the lack of performance. :eek:
     
  19. dogslobber macrumors 68020

    dogslobber

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    Oct 19, 2014
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    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    #19
    The comment about 21.5" iMac with SSD gate crashing the 27" iMac price range is a good one. I've got a Dell 27" screen here lying by my feet as I find it too small to look at for long duration. Likewise, that's my impression of non-retina 27" iMac screen. Maybe that's why I'm non-plussed about the 21.5" iMacs from 2012 onwards; no ability to upgrade memory and pedestrian spinner by default. These systems from 2012 onwards just don't have the same upgrade ability as the 2011 21.5" iMac. So for different reasons I wouldn't consider any iMac nowadays.

    Maybe it's our mentality of recent years that it's our divine right to upgrade memory and storage ourselves. Perhaps in a few years we'll be so used to the appliance view of iMacs that you won't think about it. It'll take a while but will likely come eventually. I mean, all computers need an upgrade after a certain period of time, or maybe not?
     
  20. jpietrzak8 macrumors 65816

    jpietrzak8

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio
    #20
    Certainly, this is how Apple wants you to think of a computer. :)

    For myself, my machines follow this rotation: when I purchase a new computer, it becomes my new desktop workstation. I use it to write code, to browse the web, to play games. It is connected to my best keyboard and my best monitor(s).

    The previous desktop machine becomes my new #2 machine, which is my HTPC. It goes beneath the TV, and manages both my DVD collection (via my external DVD drive) as well as all my streaming media (audio and video).

    The previous HTPC machine becomes my new #3 machine, my router / webserver / email server. This machine will either be plugged into my crappiest monitor or run headless, as I rarely log into it directly.

    The previous router machine gets added to my experimental batch. I use these veterans to test out different distributions of Linux, for long-running compilation tasks, and for various other odd tasks.

    All computers do die eventually, but there are certainly ways to continue to use a general-purpose computing device long after something better has replaced it on the desktop...
     
  21. davekro macrumors regular

    davekro

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    No. Calif.
    #21
    I concur. But the 'certain period of time' varies per user. My last Mac (late 2006 iMac) lasted me 8.5 years. The 3 GB maxed Ram retired it more than the 10.7 limited OS. I envision that my just purchased maxed 2012 i7 2.6 Mini w/ 512 SSD should easily last me as long again. Longer likely as I don't normally mind being several OS versions behind.
     

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