Mac Mini For The Casual Surfer?

HuskerHarley

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 28, 2017
246
164
Lincoln
I've only owned Window computers (Wang's, Gateway's, Dell's, etc)...Been using iPhones for over a decade...We also have several iPads around the house.

BUT-->I still like to sit at a desk with a large monitor to surf the web, shop, frequent forums of interest, check email, store music & pictures.

I want a new desktop & a big Monitor to replace the POS Snail that is always needing some kind of attention to get working...I've been using it for about 9-10 years!

Went to the Apple website & built a system (Mini) by the time I was done I had built the Bugatti Divo Hypercar Version, Yike$!

Obviously, I don't know what I'm doing (Senior Citizen) I selected the available upgrades because that's what was the thing to do (Futureproof) in the days of order the available options with a computer to try and keep up with the next version.

So, for my needs, what should I be looking at in the Apple line of computers?

head-scratch.jpg
 

Duncan68

macrumors regular
Sep 22, 2018
208
156
My Mac mini is for home use and I chose the i5/8/256 version because I felt 128GB of storage was too little.

Honestly, the i3 in the base unit is more than enough for casual use. The question is, how much storage do you want on the system drive?

For my use 8GB of RAM is enough, but might not be for others. Fortunately, if you go with 8GB you can have it upgraded later.
 

chrfr

macrumors G3
Jul 11, 2009
8,304
2,594
I've only owned Window computers (Wang's, Gateway's, Dell's, etc)...Been using iPhones for over a decade...We also have several iPads around the house.

BUT-->I still like to sit at a desk with a large monitor to surf the web, shop, frequent forums of interest, check email, store music & pictures.

I want a new desktop & a big Monitor to replace the POS Snail that is always needing some kind of attention to get working...I've been using it for about 9-10 years!

Went to the Apple website & built a system (Mini) by the time I was done I had built the Bugatti Divo Hypercar Version, Yike$!

Obviously, I don't know what I'm doing (Senior Citizen) I selected the available upgrades because that's what was the thing to do (Futureproof) in the days of order the available options with a computer to try and keep up with the next version.

So, for my needs, what should I be looking at in the Apple line of computers?

View attachment 819856
For most people, an iMac is probably the better value.
 

harriska2

macrumors 65816
Mar 16, 2011
1,115
572
Oregon
I went with the i5/8/1tb for $1500 because I am a hard drive pig. Turns out I really didn't need 1tb SSD, probably more like 256 or 512 at most. I then have 2 external drives for the videos, pictures, and files dating back 25+ years (I'm a digital hoarder). For me, the extra cost of a mini over just upgrading my 8 year old PC was well worth it. I won't use an operating system (Windows 10) that forces upgrades and my Windows 7 machine has serious memory leaks, even just to run Firefox or Chrome. What pigs - they also slow the hole machine to a crawl. Also hate antivirus software. With the Mac I don't use antivirus and the apps seem to use 8 gb of memory quite well, even Final Cut Pro. And I simply use mail, calendar, and contacts instead of MS Office/Outlook, which I really hate.

Like you, we already have iPhones and iPads. We share calendars. I put all my contacts into Apple contacts from Outlook.

Now with the Mac I can answer phone calls and messages. My bookmarks are all synced with iCloud. It just works nicely.

Getting rid of the PC is the best thing I've done in a loooooong time. And I've been a Windows fan since 2.0 ...

I chose the Mac mini over the iMac because we have 2 iMacs and they are both horribly designed. You are stuck with a difficult to upgrade system with built in monitor. Yes the LG monitor is very nice - when it works. When it breaks (and ours did), you can't replace it out of warranty because it costs more than the whole machine is worth - and that is if you are doing the work yourself! My husband is an engineer of sorts and this stuff is pretty easy for him. He just replaced his iMac at work with a Mac mini. Yes it costs more. Yes the monitor (Dell 27" 4k) isn't as nice as the iMac. Yes, it doesn't come with an isight camera and built in microphone or keyboard/mouse. But dang, it is upgradeable and if the monitor fails you simply get another one. We hang onto our stuff for 5+ years but neither of the iMacs actually lasted much over 3.

BTW, my hubby got the i5/16/512 for work. I think it will suit him fine as long as he watches what USB and bluetooth devices he uses as there are issues. He has been using Mac devices for 25 or 30 years, this is my very first Mac desktop. That said, I learned a bit on his iMac over the past 15 years. I caught up in 2 months so I'm not convinced Mac is all that difficult to learn. Hubby's parents have our 2010 iMac (actually a good machine, easy as sin to upgrade) and they are almost 90. They learned the Mac way without a whole lotta issues but both mum and dad are pretty smart and daring ;)
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,456
5,671
My recommendations:
- i5
- 16gb RAM (from the factory, 16gb isn't badly overpriced. It's worth having out-of-the-box)
- 256gb SSD (if you need more, plug in an EXTERNAL USB3 SSD)

You can use the keyboard and mouse you use right now (assuming you already have a desktop, and the keyboard and mouse use USB to connect).

You can use your existing display (if you have one).
If you're thinking about a new display, a list that might be of use:
IPS Monitor List: Best AHVA, PLS & IPS LCD Displays
 

harriska2

macrumors 65816
Mar 16, 2011
1,115
572
Oregon
If you do a lot of copy and paste via keyboard shortcuts- apple can remap your keys so command is ctrl ;)
 

F-Train

macrumors 65816
Apr 22, 2015
1,457
999
NYC & Newfoundland
QUOTE="HuskerHarley, post: 27063710, member: 1102129"]Wang's
[/QUOTE]

:)

Can't remember the last time I saw a reference to Wang computers.

Stephen King with his Wang word processor, 1982...

king-1024x576.jpg
 
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shaunp

macrumors 68000
Nov 5, 2010
1,745
1,313
As someone who has had both PC's and Macs I think you'd be best off with an iMac. It's a simple solution for your needs and better value than a Mac Mini. Just make sure it has a decent sized SSD (at least 256GB) and 16GB RAM and it will last you years.
 

harriska2

macrumors 65816
Mar 16, 2011
1,115
572
Oregon
As someone who has had both PC's and Macs I think you'd be best off with an iMac. It's a simple solution for your needs and better value than a Mac Mini. Just make sure it has a decent sized SSD (at least 256GB) and 16GB RAM and it will last you years.
That depends on the monitor. If he has his own or wants a bigger one than 27”, the mini is a bit more cost but a better option.
 

HuskerHarley

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 28, 2017
246
164
Lincoln
I can order the following Mini for $944.10 Delivered & No Tax.
  • 6-core i5 8th-generation Intel Core processor
  • Intel UHD graphics 630
  • 8GB 2666MHz DDR4
  • Ultrafast SSD storage
  • Four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports, one HDMI 2.0 port, and two USB 3 ports
  • Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • macOS Mojave, inspired by pros but designed for everyone, with Dark Mode, Stacks, easier screenshots, new built-in apps, and more
  • Model: Space Gray MRTT2LL/A
They don't offer adding options...If I need to add Memory do you replace the onboard 8GB Stick with a 16GB Stick or add an 8GB Stick? Is it a complicated or even recommended procedure?

I currently have two Monitors That I'll use for now. They are hooked up Via HDMI. I only see one HDMI on the Mini??
 

F-Train

macrumors 65816
Apr 22, 2015
1,457
999
NYC & Newfoundland
They don't offer adding options...If I need to add Memory do you replace the onboard 8GB Stick with a 16GB Stick or add an 8GB Stick? Is it a complicated or even recommended procedure?
The mini has two slots for RAM and comes with 4GB in each slot. There is nothing in your first post that suggests that you need more than 8GB. That said, if you think that you'll want/need 16GB, it makes sense to order the computer with it already loaded. You won't save a lot by adding 16GB yourself, and you'll avoid the hassle/risk of doing it. This OWC video shows what's involved, and there are a lot of threads here on adding RAM.


If you decide to go with 8GB, and want to add RAM later, you have two options in addition to doing it yourself: have Apple do it or purchase RAM yourself and hire a technician to install it. Nobody seems to have a definitive Apple quote, but some people think that it could be very expensive. One person said that Micro Center quoted him $30 to install RAM that he purchased.
 
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BasicGreatGuy

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
11,884
10,930
In the middle of several books.
I can order the following Mini for $944.10 Delivered & No Tax.
  • 6-core i5 8th-generation Intel Core processor
  • Intel UHD graphics 630
  • 8GB 2666MHz DDR4
  • Ultrafast SSD storage
  • Four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports, one HDMI 2.0 port, and two USB 3 ports
  • Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • macOS Mojave, inspired by pros but designed for everyone, with Dark Mode, Stacks, easier screenshots, new built-in apps, and more
  • Model: Space Gray MRTT2LL/A
They don't offer adding options...If I need to add Memory do you replace the onboard 8GB Stick with a 16GB Stick or add an 8GB Stick? Is it a complicated or even recommended procedure?

I currently have two Monitors That I'll use for now. They are hooked up Via HDMI. I only see one HDMI on the Mini??
For what you described, 8GB of RAM will definitely suit your current needs. If you don't see your computer usage changing, stick with the 8GB. That will least you several years. If you want to spend a few hundred more to get the extra Ram so you don't have to rick messing up the mini upgrading it yourself, buy the new model with 16GB.
 
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richmlow

macrumors regular
Jul 17, 2002
126
39
Hello HuskerHarley,


The system that you mentioned (see below quote) is more than adequate for your needs. The price of $944.10, delivered and no tax, is excellent and I would go for it.


richmlow


I can order the following Mini for $944.10 Delivered & No Tax.
  • 6-core i5 8th-generation Intel Core processor
  • Intel UHD graphics 630
  • 8GB 2666MHz DDR4
  • Ultrafast SSD storage
  • Four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports, one HDMI 2.0 port, and two USB 3 ports
  • Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • macOS Mojave, inspired by pros but designed for everyone, with Dark Mode, Stacks, easier screenshots, new built-in apps, and more
  • Model: Space Gray MRTT2LL/A
They don't offer adding options...If I need to add Memory do you replace the onboard 8GB Stick with a 16GB Stick or add an 8GB Stick? Is it a complicated or even recommended procedure?

I currently have two Monitors That I'll use for now. They are hooked up Via HDMI. I only see one HDMI on the Mini??
 
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littlepooch21

macrumors regular
Sep 26, 2010
144
8
I can order the following Mini for $944.10 Delivered & No Tax.
  • 6-core i5 8th-generation Intel Core processor
  • Intel UHD graphics 630
  • 8GB 2666MHz DDR4
  • Ultrafast SSD storage
  • Four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports, one HDMI 2.0 port, and two USB 3 ports
  • Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • macOS Mojave, inspired by pros but designed for everyone, with Dark Mode, Stacks, easier screenshots, new built-in apps, and more
  • Model: Space Gray MRTT2LL/A
They don't offer adding options...If I need to add Memory do you replace the onboard 8GB Stick with a 16GB Stick or add an 8GB Stick? Is it a complicated or even recommended procedure?

I currently have two Monitors That I'll use for now. They are hooked up Via HDMI. I only see one HDMI on the Mini??
Where can you get it for that price?
 
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Easttime

macrumors 6502a
Jun 17, 2015
570
384
I can order the following Mini for $944.10 Delivered & No Tax.
  • 6-core i5 8th-generation Intel Core processor
  • Intel UHD graphics 630
  • 8GB 2666MHz DDR4
  • Ultrafast SSD storage
  • Four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports, one HDMI 2.0 port, and two USB 3 ports
  • Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • macOS Mojave, inspired by pros but designed for everyone, with Dark Mode, Stacks, easier screenshots, new built-in apps, and more
  • Model: Space Gray MRTT2LL/A
They don't offer adding options...If I need to add Memory do you replace the onboard 8GB Stick with a 16GB Stick or add an 8GB Stick? Is it a complicated or even recommended procedure?

I currently have two Monitors That I'll use for now. They are hooked up Via HDMI. I only see one HDMI on the Mini??
You can get a USB-C to HDMI adapter. I use one on my 2018 mini.
 
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HuskerHarley

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 28, 2017
246
164
Lincoln
Where can you get it for that price?
https://www.shopmyexchange.com/apple-mac-mini-intel-6-core-i5-3ghz-8gb-ram-256gb/1726948

Military Exchange. Any Active Duty or Veteran can sign up and shop the site. Also, if you apply for a military star Credit Card yer 1st purchase with the card on anything gets you an additional 10% off, even if it's on sale. I've had the card for almost a year and was saving using it for a large type purchase.


$1,089.00
$1,049.00 Sale Price
10% discount $104.90
Free delivery
No tax
Total $944.10
 
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chrfr

macrumors G3
Jul 11, 2009
8,304
2,594
https://www.shopmyexchange.com/apple-mac-mini-intel-6-core-i5-3ghz-8gb-ram-256gb/1726948

Military Exchange. Any Active Duty or Veteran can sign up and shop the site. Also, if you apply for a military star Credit Card yer 1st purchase with the card on anything gets you an additional 10% off, even if it's on sale. I've had the card for almost a year and was saving using it for a large type purchase.


$1,089.00
$1,049.00 Sale Price
10% discount $104.90
Free delivery
No tax
Total $944.10
Make sure that the internal 256GB of storage will be adequate for you. It's not possible to upgrade the internal storage so any additional storage will have to be external.
 

HuskerHarley

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 28, 2017
246
164
Lincoln
Make sure that the internal 256GB of storage will be adequate for you. It's not possible to upgrade the internal storage so any additional storage will have to be external.
I might just wait and keep an eye on what they (Military Exchange) put up for sale each week (New adds every Friday). They seem to be like Costco/Sam's ya never know what they will have for sale. I called and asked if possible to add memory or storage and was told NO, they only offer what Apple sends them to sell.
 

littlepooch21

macrumors regular
Sep 26, 2010
144
8
https://www.shopmyexchange.com/apple-mac-mini-intel-6-core-i5-3ghz-8gb-ram-256gb/1726948

Military Exchange. Any Active Duty or Veteran can sign up and shop the site. Also, if you apply for a military star Credit Card yer 1st purchase with the card on anything gets you an additional 10% off, even if it's on sale. I've had the card for almost a year and was saving using it for a large type purchase.


$1,089.00
$1,049.00 Sale Price
10% discount $104.90
Free delivery
No tax
Total $944.10
Thanks HuskerHarley. To bad I cannot get something there to save a bit of money. I ended up grabbing the i5 model last night locally. What an upgrade from last model i5!
 
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