Looking for opinions on this Mac Mini purchase I made..

ZachSpringman

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 25, 2013
56
3
Albany, NY
After sitting back and seeing all the analyzing of the old Mini's vs. the new ones I went ahead and purchased a Mini 2012 (October). I'm not a big power user, but I might upgrade the RAM in the future. I'm mainly just looking to create a home desktop I miss having one and I just sold my old MBA so compensate for this new Mini, and by the iPad Air.

Here's the listing: http://www.ebay.com/itm/171507652661

Good deal?
 

opeter

macrumors 68000
Aug 5, 2007
1,562
485
Slovenia, EU
If you have the money, than buy an SSD (min. 128 GB) and an additional 8 GB RAM. So you will have 2+8 GB = 10 GB or you can also buy 16 GB (2x8 GB) if you need it.

Maybe you could buy an flex cable to mount the SSD inside the case, so that the HDD inside the case stays intact.
 

oneMadRssn

macrumors 601
Sep 8, 2011
4,738
11,030
New England
You paid the same price as a refurb 2012 quad-core, but you're getting a 'brand new' 2012 dual-core. The same model was in the refurb store last week for $419. I say 'brand new' in quotes because the warranty began to run when it was purchased from Apple or an authorized reseller, even though it's still in shrink wrap. So if it sat on someones shelf for a year, it may have no more warranty.
 

ZachSpringman

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 25, 2013
56
3
Albany, NY
You paid the same price as a refurb 2012 quad-core, but you're getting a 'brand new' 2012 dual-core. The same model was in the refurb store last week for $419. I say 'brand new' in quotes because the warranty began to run when it was purchased from Apple or an authorized reseller, even though it's still in shrink wrap. So if it sat on someones shelf for a year, it may have no more warranty.
I tried to catch the refurb model but I wasn't quick enough, there were other factors as well (selling another MBA to get money for this, etc.) but are you saying this is a BAD deal, or just not the best one I could have gotten?
 

oneMadRssn

macrumors 601
Sep 8, 2011
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11,030
New England
I tried to catch the refurb model but I wasn't quick enough, there were other factors as well (selling another MBA to get money for this, etc.) but are you saying this is a BAD deal, or just not the best one I could have gotten?
No, it's not a bad deal. It's tough to compare. You got retail packaging. You also got the convenience of not having to use time out of your day to track the refurb store. On the flip side, with more effort it was possible to pay less. After a year of use, the price difference will be totally forgotten anyway.
 

ZachSpringman

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 25, 2013
56
3
Albany, NY
No, it's not a bad deal. It's tough to compare. You got retail packaging. You also got the convenience of not having to use time out of your day to track the refurb store. On the flip side, with more effort it was possible to pay less. After a year of use, the price difference will be totally forgotten anyway.
Now this is reaching because I've asked so many questions but, do you have any recommendations on a good monitor to buy? I already have the apple keyboard and trackpad.
 

oneMadRssn

macrumors 601
Sep 8, 2011
4,738
11,030
New England
Hah, funny you should ask, I was just researching it this weekend (because I also just purchased a 2012 mini), and I have no answer :p

Chances are our requirements are different. I'm looking for something at least 23", two digital inputs (don't care if they're DVI, DP, HDMI, etc.), 1080p or more, and under $150.

That last requirement is the tough one...

If you find something good, let me know.
 

ZachSpringman

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 25, 2013
56
3
Albany, NY
Hah, funny you should ask, I was just researching it this weekend (because I also just purchased a 2012 mini), and I have no answer :p

Chances are our requirements are different. I'm looking for something at least 23", two digital inputs (don't care if they're DVI, DP, HDMI, etc.), 1080p or more, and under $150.

That last requirement is the tough one...

If you find something good, let me know.
I just need one monitor - looking for either 23"-25" 1080p and possibly built-in speakers so less space is occupied. I figured I'll be using the DVI to HDMI converter included with the Mac Mini because I heard there are problems by just going straight HDMI to HDMI - unless the problem was fixed or I heard wrong.
 

schopaia

macrumors member
Apr 14, 2010
71
6
After sitting back and seeing all the analyzing of the old Mini's vs. the new ones I went ahead and purchased a Mini 2012 (October). I'm not a big power user, but I might upgrade the RAM in the future. I'm mainly just looking to create a home desktop I miss having one and I just sold my old MBA so compensate for this new Mini, and by the iPad Air.

Here's the listing: http://www.ebay.com/itm/171507652661

Good deal?
For your needs that seems like a really bad choice. You say you're not a power user, and it's only very specific tasks that make a quad core relevant. In normal usage scenarios, the 2014 with an ssd is going to suit most people much better. Ssd, wifi and graphics capabilities are roughly doubled on the 2014, and the "advice" you've gotten from the forums here the last few days has been mostly from people who, for whatever reason, need to convert video files they torrented really quickly. If that's your criteria, then the 2012 is better. But by nearly every other metric, the 2014 will be quite a bit more capable.

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I just need one monitor - looking for either 23"-25" 1080p and possibly built-in speakers so less space is occupied. I figured I'll be using the DVI to HDMI converter included with the Mac Mini because I heard there are problems by just going straight HDMI to HDMI - unless the problem was fixed or I heard wrong.
Try to get a 1920 x 1200 @ 24". The extra vertical space makes a bigger difference than you might imagine.
 

Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
5,455
4,265
This is a very nice little desktop!
I have the same model and it has served me very well for the last two years.
At some point you can consider adding an ssd. Enjoy :)
 

ZachSpringman

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 25, 2013
56
3
Albany, NY
Looking for opinions on this Mac Mini purchase I made..

Maybe I'm missing something, but you could have bought the exact same model NIB (AppleCare-Ready) on Amazon for $594.00 w/ Free Shipping even.

We'll looks like I screwed up. Oh well, I'm sure I'm not going to break it.

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For your needs that seems like a really bad choice. You say you're not a power user, and it's only very specific tasks that make a quad core relevant. In normal usage scenarios, the 2014 with an ssd is going to suit most people much better. Ssd, wifi and graphics capabilities are roughly doubled on the 2014, and the "advice" you've gotten from the forums here the last few days has been mostly from people who, for whatever reason, need to convert video files they torrented really quickly. If that's your criteria, then the 2012 is better. But by nearly every other metric, the 2014 will be quite a bit more capable.

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Try to get a 1920 x 1200 @ 24". The extra vertical space makes a bigger difference than you might imagine.


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For your needs that seems like a really bad choice. You say you're not a power user, and it's only very specific tasks that make a quad core relevant. In normal usage scenarios, the 2014 with an ssd is going to suit most people much better. Ssd, wifi and graphics capabilities are roughly doubled on the 2014, and the "advice" you've gotten from the forums here the last few days has been mostly from people who, for whatever reason, need to convert video files they torrented really quickly. If that's your criteria, then the 2012 is better. But by nearly every other metric, the 2014 will be quite a bit more capable.

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Try to get a 1920 x 1200 @ 24". The extra vertical space makes a bigger difference than you might imagine.

We'll I guess I'll see how it works and if it was a bad investment then lesson learned. As far as a monitor goes I went with this: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/samsung-23-6-led-hd-monitor-black/3923007.p?id=1219094474333&skuId=3923007&st=Samsung monitor&cp=1&lp=4
 

Celerondon

macrumors 6502a
Oct 17, 2013
679
123
Southern Cal
A Bad Choice?

For your needs that seems like a really bad choice. You say you're not a power user, and it's only very specific tasks that make a quad core relevant. In normal usage scenarios, the 2014 with an ssd is going to suit most people much better. Ssd, wifi and graphics capabilities are roughly doubled on the 2014, and the "advice" you've gotten from the forums here the last few days has been mostly from people who, for whatever reason, need to convert video files they torrented really quickly. If that's your criteria, then the 2012 is better. But by nearly every other metric, the 2014 will be quite a bit more capable.

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This is an i5 6,1 Mac mini correct? The OP purchased the MD387LL/A not the i7 MD388LL/A.
 

VTECaddict

macrumors 6502
Sep 15, 2008
373
23
It's an OK choice. You could have gotten a better deal on it, but that's moot now.

I'd say it's still a better buy than the 2014, even though you lose out on better graphics, because you have the option to upgrade RAM and hard drive in the future. You really should consider getting an SSD for it right away though. Since your old MBA had an SSD, it will feel really slow going back to a spinning drive.
 

ZachSpringman

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 25, 2013
56
3
Albany, NY
It's an OK choice. You could have gotten a better deal on it, but that's moot now.



I'd say it's still a better buy than the 2014, even though you lose out on better graphics, because you have the option to upgrade RAM and hard drive in the future. You really should consider getting an SSD for it right away though. Since your old MBA had an SSD, it will feel really slow going back to a spinning drive.

How much - and where would you recommend buying a SSD? I'm new to this being able to customize a computer thing so I don't know how it would conflict with the 500 GB internal already installed etc.
 

VTECaddict

macrumors 6502
Sep 15, 2008
373
23
You can buy one from any reputable electronics retailer. A ~128gb SSD should be well under $100 and ~256gb should be well under $200. The closer you get to $0.50/gb the better. Samsung SSDs seem to be the most popular. 128gb should be enough, as you only need to install the OS and applications to it to get the performance benefit. Personal media files, iTunes library, documents, etc should be put on the regular hard drive.

You will need the OWC data doubler kit to install a second drive. It's quite involved to install the second drive, so if you're not used to DIY computer upgrades then maybe ask a friend to help.
 

ZachSpringman

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 25, 2013
56
3
Albany, NY
You can buy one from any reputable electronics retailer. A 128gb SSD should be under $100 and 256gb should be under $200. The closer you get to $0.50/gb the better. 128gb should be enough, as you only need to install the OS and applications to it to get the performance benefit. Personal media files, iTunes library, documents, etc should be put on the regular hard drive.



You will need the OWC data doubler kit to install a second drive. It's quite involved to install the second drive, so if you're not used to DIY computer upgrades then maybe ask a friend to help.

And one more question - how much would the kit cost?
 

Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
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4,265
Well I have a 128Gb flash drive but I'd like to keep the 500 GB internal storage somehow
Order the owc data doubler for mac mini 2012 on amazon. watch youtube videos to see how to install it. be carefull not to damage anything(like wires)!

I dont think this was a bad investment just because you couldve saved a few bucks. the 2012 mini has a lot of advantages and is well proven to be a reliable machine.
 

ZachSpringman

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 25, 2013
56
3
Albany, NY
Order the owc data doubler for mac mini 2012 on amazon. watch youtube videos to see how to install it. be carefull not to damage anything(like wires)!



I dont think this was a bad investment just because you couldve saved a few bucks. the 2012 mini has a lot of advantages and is well proven to be a reliable machine.

I'm all for learning something new so I'll probably buy the kit, install the 128GB SSD and have the OS and all my Apps installed on there like you said. Just so I don't miss out on that speed. It can't be THAT hard to do.
 

ZachSpringman

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 25, 2013
56
3
Albany, NY
You can buy one from any reputable electronics retailer. A ~128gb SSD should be well under $100 and ~256gb should be well under $200. The closer you get to $0.50/gb the better. Samsung SSDs seem to be the most popular. 128gb should be enough, as you only need to install the OS and applications to it to get the performance benefit. Personal media files, iTunes library, documents, etc should be put on the regular hard drive.

You will need the OWC data doubler kit to install a second drive. It's quite involved to install the second drive, so if you're not used to DIY computer upgrades then maybe ask a friend to help.
How about this SSD? http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-MX100-adapter-Internal-CT128MX100SSD1/dp/B00KFAGD88/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1413897909&sr=8-3&keywords=128+GB+ssd