Mac mini questions

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Soultosoul, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. Soultosoul macrumors member

    Nov 4, 2011
    I've slowly been replacing all Windows products with apple. My pc tower just died and good news/bad news, I'm now in the market for a desktop. Good news is I get to get rid of the POS and get an apple product. So tired of fighting with a pc to get everything to work. I was standing in Best Buy seeing what was available and it hit me, why the hell am I even looking at them. Bad news, pc was paid for.

    For my needs (itunes storage, browsing, light gaming, etc) the mini seems like the best choice. I also have an ipad2 that I do the majority of my surfing on. Some used mini models can be had for ~$300. These are 2009ish or earlier.

    My question is, at what point would you not want to go past? What I mean is my friend's nano (3rd gen?) doesn't have video, mine does (4th gen?). Same with my iphone 4. 4S had Siri, not a big deal to me so I didn't upgrade (but it was a tech advance) , same with iphone 5. At what point did the mini make this "leap"?

    I'm sure the earlier models are more than enough for me right now. Wondering about in the future and whether to get an earlier model and upgrade later on down the road or bite the bullet now and get the new version.

    I've seen where the new ones run Mountain Lion and earlier versions cannot. Is this due to memory, processor, etc.? And if so, is this a point where all future upgrades are past a point of no return? One thing I have always liked about apple is how they send out updates on a regular basis, but at some point the older models aren't capable of taking advantage of the newer technology.

    Thanks for your help
  2. poloponies Suspended

    May 3, 2010
    You need a minimum of a Core 2 Duo processor to run any OS past 10.6.8.
  3. Dduval macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2012
    If funds are tight, look at the mid 2011 mini's on eBay. I got a 2011 2.3 core duo with 120 gig SSD, 500 Gig external usb drive and the external DVD superdrive all for $550.00 I added an apple keyboard an mouse and have a very nice fast machine on the cheap.

    Upgraded it to the latest mountain lion and I really love it. It runs faster than my 2.6 quad core windows PC for sure. Just my 2 cents...:D
  4. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    If you can get the 2011 model. It is twice as fast as the 2010 one. Only the graphics on the 2010 might be a little better. 320M might beat HD3000. I would skip the 2009, the built in powerbrick is worth the 2010 model alone.
  5. oldtime macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2007
    Yeah, go with 2010 at least.

    I have similar needs to yours and my 2011 base Mini is more than capable and should continue to be for several years at least.
  6. Soultosoul thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 4, 2011
    Thanks, everyone. This is just the kind of info I needed. Guess I'll shoot for a 2010 or later.
  7. Dduval macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2012
  8. QWERTYMac7, Nov 21, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012

    QWERTYMac7 macrumors regular

    Nov 20, 2012
    FWIW: B & H Photo have new 2011 Mini Macs in stock

    The 2.3 i5 is $529.00

    If you purchase AppleCare with the new Mac Mini it's $52.00 (1/2 of their $104.00 discounted price).

    Also, through the end of the month they also are giving a free copy of Parallels 8 or Filemaker Pro.

    $581.00 for a new Mac Mini with three years of AppleCare is a pretty good deal, and if you don't want the software I'm sure you can net $30.00 for it on Ebay - gives you a net of $550.00 =/-.

    I just picked up the 2011 2.5 i5 MM (ordered it yesterday) as it has dedicated AMD graphics and should handle HDMI without a hitch (I'm a dedicated dual monitor type).

    Good luck to you.
  9. Soultosoul thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 4, 2011
    Wow, that is a good deal.

    Started looking for 2010 or later models and most of them are $500+ and a new one is $600 at apple site, and now $529 at B&H?? Am I missing something? :)

    Most of the 2007 versions are $300. I know apple products hold their value, but the difference in price isn't really that much. Like I said, the newer ones are more than I really need, but might be too good to pass up.
  10. QWERTYMac7 macrumors regular

    Nov 20, 2012
    I really don't think you are missing anything at all, unless it's a reasonably good deal.

    B & H Photo is an Authroized Apple Outlet. You can only return a defective Mac to them, there is no return window as ther is at the Apple Store - but you were looking for used on Ebay...

    A new Mac Mini with a three year warranty from Apple for less than $600.00 is a very good deal, indeed.

    It might just be the correct solution for your needs.
  11. ramram55 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2012
    yes, the B&H deal is good, it is a matter of upgrading to 16gb or 8gb ram, then
    you are in business. If you want more speed use ssd drive, then you will fly.
  12. mwhities macrumors 6502a

    Jul 13, 2011
    I've been on a tight budget and after 6-7 months of looking, even after the 201s were released, I scored a 2010 mac mini. The guy had it on craigslist for 500 OBO. I was able to get it for 400. I'm also going to backup all of his current data and transfer it to his MBP...

    So if you aren't in a rush, keep looking around, you will find good deals.

    The B&H sounds like the next deal I want to get, I'll gladly get a 2011 for that.

    Good luck.
  13. Soultosoul thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 4, 2011
    Thought I'd stop back in and thank everyone again for the advice. I went with the 2012 i5 dual core, 500g HDD and stock 4g RAM - probably upgrade in the near future. Opted for this mostly for the USB3.0. Limited selection for 3.0 peripherals at this time but was also looking toward the future. The dedicated graphics seems to be something a lot on here had concerns with, but didn't think it would be an issue for me.

    I've been in the Apple ecosystem for quite awhile, since an ipod classic - my gateway drug :), on to a nano, iphone, and ipad, but am new to OSX so trying to learn and set it up. Getting there. Sure I'll have a few annoying questions coming up.

    Overall, I'm thrilled with the mini. Had to also get an optical drive and no problems. Recognized right away. Test burned a cd and will try to rip a DVD later tonight. Itunes was a mess, but that's user error with my backup. Importing library itself was a snap, but the backup had 2 and in some cases 3 copies of several cd's. Still not sure how that happened. Now backed up to a TC using TM. Can't believe how easy all of this has been. So different coming from a PC.

    Using an older VGA through the thunderbolt, so screen blacking out not an issue.
    Lack of USB ports is an issue. Still using my old keyboard and mouse so that's 2 of the 4. Printer is another and the optical drive and I'm out :) Guess I need to get wireless keyboard and mouse - didn't really care for the trackpad but only used it briefly.

    One curious thing. The light on the front of the mini has not come on. I'm guessing it's supposed to be green, like the TC, but has not lit up at all. Strange.
  14. mwhities macrumors 6502a

    Jul 13, 2011
    Add the printer the the TC... one extra USB port. :)
  15. stuffradio macrumors 65816

    Mar 17, 2009
    New monitors, new webcam, new SSD... :D

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