Mac mini 2011 for $400?

note235

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 29, 2007
564
5
Does this seem like a good deal?

base config but ram upgraded to 8gb.

Planning on using it for xcode and sketch 3.
Won't be gaming or doing media as I have my pc for that.
 

Altis

macrumors 68030
Sep 10, 2013
2,987
4,421
Doesn't sound like very big savings seeing as the base model new doesn't cost much more, has many improvements, a warranty, and will hold its resale value.
 

Negritude

macrumors 6502
Jul 14, 2011
297
189
That's an average used price for a mid-2011 machine in good condition with 8GB of RAM. I've seen them sell for as much as $500 in like new condition and boxed.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,179
5,536
I don't know how pressed for cash you are, but I'd prefer one of the new mid-range Minis to that.

About $680 new if you buy from the right sources...
 

Gjwilly

macrumors 68030
May 1, 2011
2,872
511
SF Bay Area
I paid less for a 2012.
If you haven't, you should probably post a WTB in the Marketplace and see what kind of deal you can get there.
 

ixxx69

macrumors 65816
Jul 31, 2009
1,119
634
United States
Does this seem like a good deal?

base config but ram upgraded to 8gb.

Planning on using it for xcode and sketch 3.
Won't be gaming or doing media as I have my pc for that.
Are you sure you need 8GB?

The US Apple refurb store has the 2014 base w/ 4GB for $419 - all the newest bells & whistles and a 1 year warranty. But you have to be okay with 4GB obviously.
 

Altis

macrumors 68030
Sep 10, 2013
2,987
4,421
That's what the old one is doing, holding it's resale value. It wouldn't make sense to think the new one would hold its resale value if the old one didn't.
Things that hold their value well advantage the seller/owner, not the buyer/next owner.

Hence, if the 4 year old base model is $400 and the new base model is $500, $100 for a 4 year newer computer with warranty and that will still be worth $400ish after another 4 years is the way to go, no question.

I suspect the 2011 will be worth very little in 4 years.
 

Altis

macrumors 68030
Sep 10, 2013
2,987
4,421
You were espousing the "resale value" to the buyer of this model. Regardless, a good resale value can "advantage" the next owner if the next owner chooses to sell the computer while the resale value is still good.
That's assuming you don't overpay for it in the first place. ixxx69 showed that for $20 more you can buy a brand new base mini (4 years newer for $20!) on the refurb store. Also, computers tend to reach an age, typically around 6-10 years where the value plummets to very little.


If the buyer doesn't have the extra $100, and his needs are met by the 2011 model, then that makes sense. What if next year the owner needs 8GB or 16GB RAM? Was that extra $100 that useful when he can only sell his new machine for $400 (a refurb from Apple is already only $419) to buy a new one with more RAM, or on an older machine he can upgrade to 16GB for $120? Can you not see any other possibilities outside of your own personal situation?
Are you just trying to pick a fight? I never brought up my "own personal situation". OP gave a desired purpose for a Mac Mini, and asked if that one is good value. OP said that it isn't for gaming/media (intensive stuff) but just Xcode and Sketch 3. You don't need 8GB and certainly not 16GB of RAM for what OP is trying to do with it. We aren't analyzing every possible scenario for a '11 MM, just trying to help one persons' case.


You're clearly looking at selling the computer and the money that would be returned by selling it, and I guess that money would be used to replace the system with a new one. If you don't sell the computer, then the resale value is irrelevant. Example, I've several Macs that are 2008-2010 and are still in production use. They might be worth very little if they were sold, but they do a job and do it well, and that's worth way more to me than spending a bunch of time reconfiguring new computers that might not do the job any better. So while that is my personal situation, I'm able to look at it from other people's points of view. Are you?
I'll make this as simple as I can for you. OP is asking if $400 for a 4 year old Mac Mini base with 8GB RAM upgraded into it is good value.

What makes it good value is how much you spend vs how much it's worth (which is based on things like remaining useful life, warranty, etc). The resale value is part of the equation simply of determining if something is a good value; you needn't sell it for that to be relevant. If something holds its value really well in resale, it advantages the first owner and in this case, the seller. So from the buyers perspective (OP), it isn't exactly a hot deal.

Even spending $20 to get a new warranty would be worth it. Getting a computer that's roughly 4 years newer makes it a no brainer.

This does not mean that the '11 is in any way bad. It just makes it not a wise buy at $400, especially considering OP's intended use. I would suspect that '11 minis, even the base model, have plenty of life and use left in them. I just would rather spend that $20 for even just the peace of mind of having a warranty so no out of pocket expenses or major loss of productivity due to problems.

I haven't been able to afford or justify a new laptop (most of my work is at my desktop), so I'm using a free hand-me-down (read: abandonned) '07 or '08 Dell Inspiron 1525. It isn't great, the battery is shot, but it has no problem doing programming and web or office based tasks. It's still plenty useful to me, despite being effectively worthless at this point.


Bottom line: OP, given your intended uses (looks like development), I'd recommend trying to get a refurb current Mac Mini base model for $419. For the extra $20 you are getting some improvements (though a loss of RAM, which isn't too likely to affect you unless you decide to do other things with it), a warranty, and a new computer.

If the money is a stretch for you, perhaps see if you can get the price down. If it's a private sale, it should help to point out the new refurbs at $419 that aren't 4 years old. The '11 is still a decent machine that will handle your listed tasks no sweat.
 

Mcdevidr

macrumors 6502a
Nov 27, 2013
607
145
Micro center had the base model 2014 on sale for $399 this weekend. I'd get a new one as well. I bought a 2012 new from best buy for $349 after tax and shipping using a movers coupon, it was an open box but still new and with warranty.