Mac Mini: Really Worth It?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Cormier6083, May 20, 2007.

  1. Cormier6083 macrumors regular

    Cormier6083

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    Louisiana
    #1
    I am looking to buy a new Mac before OS X.V comes out (because OS X.IV is my favorite) but I concluded that the iMac is too expensive so I was thinking of buying a Mac Mini.... But what really concerns me is that the Mac mini just looks like a trap to reel PC users in... I already have a monitor and etc. but its specs just look real low. Can any shed light on this issue? Is the mac mini a good buy?
     
  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #2
    I would say that at this point, no, the mini is not a good buy. I would either wait for a refresh/redesign (long overdue) or get a refurbished iMac 17".
     
  3. briansolomon macrumors 6502

    briansolomon

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    #3
    It's a great buy for basic Mac functions. It's basically a Macbook in desktop form though.

    What are you going to be using it for?

    How do you know 10.5 won't be your favorite when it comes out? Unlike Windows, the Mac OS gets better with age and not more frustrating.

    Edit: Agree with guy posting above. It's been a while since they've had a refresh and would wait on one.
     
  4. Cormier6083 thread starter macrumors regular

    Cormier6083

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    #4
    True.... WWDC is just around the corner...

    Hopefully by that time, the iMac will better suit my price range... what ever that is. :rolleyes:
     
  5. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

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    #5
    You need to get at least the $1199 17" iMac or better (basically a Core 2 Duo machine with the X1600) to get a machine that will be fast into the future.

    Not only does the mac mini only have the Intel integrated graphics, but its still a Core Duo.
     
  6. Since '76 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2007
    #6
    No, considering 10.5 and iLife updates will be over 1/3 of the price of a low end model (and no SuperDrive!), the current mini is only a option for someone who is new to macs and needs a low end computer today.
     
  7. TyPod macrumors 68000

    TyPod

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    #7
    Though I have the most recent Mac mini, I don't think it's a good buy. The Mac mini's haven't been updated in quite some time, and the waiting game really sucks. I would spring more for an iMac instead of a Mac mini. I was going to go with this option also, but the Mac mini was great at the time I had the option.
     
  8. blackscooby macrumors 6502

    blackscooby

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    #8
    Really does depend on how urgently you want it. I recently bought a Mini to be soley used for a Media Centre connected to my LCD TV. It was a case of I want one now and any updates really don't bother me as it's not as if it's going to be used for anything other than playing movies, and browsing.

    Admittedly more RAM as stock would be nice, as would larger internal disk, faster CPU etc, but for me these would only be nice and nothing more.

    Given the fact that I bought it about a month ago, would I still be waiting.... erm no.

    Techonology always moves forward, no matter what you'll be behind the game rather than infront.

    Saying all this I am waiting for the updated MacBook Pro to come out :apple:
     
  9. Evangelion macrumors 68040

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    #9
    I bought the cheapest Mac Mini money could buy back in the day: The 1.25GHz G4. Well, I had them double the RAM to 512MB as BTO-option, and I later upgraded to full 1GB on my own). I think the Mini is one of the finest machines Apple has ever made. Granted, my experience with other Macs is limited, but it's still a very nice machine. And if I hadn't started shooting uber-big RAW-pictures since I got the Mini, I could use it for years to come. But since I have doing just that, I'm looking to upgrade, propably to MacBook Pro.

    Now, if I were thinking of buying one right now.... I would wait. While the current machine is quite capable indeed for it's intended tasks, it IS due for a refresh any day now. My quesstimate is that we will see 1.83GHz and 2.0GHz Core 2 Duo's along with larger hard-drives. They might even reduce the price a bit.

    Quite a few people will propably say that the Mini is "not worth it". But if you look at equivalent PC's, you would see that the price is very competetive indeed, and the design is sublime.

    I could easily recommend Mac Mini to just about anyone, assuming that the users needs meet the capabilities of the Mini. Keep in mind: it IS a low-end machine, so don't expect high framerates or anything like that. But even though it is the cheapest machine Apple sells, it does not feel cheap. Far, far from it. And for it's intended uses, it's a beautiful machine. I have used mine for over two years now with zero problems. The current (including the version it's going to be upgraded to) Mini with dual-core CPU's offer quite a bit of longevity for the amount of money you would be investing. You could have 2GB of RAM in it down the road, giving you quite a bit of room to breathe. Forget gaming and Aperture but for everything else it would be great.

    For 600 bucks you would be getting quite a bit of computer. But bottom line is that you should wait until they upgrade it. And that shouldn't be that long. WWDC at the latest.
     
  10. Vidd macrumors 6502a

    Vidd

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    #10
    Does that still stand? I really doubt that now.
    The Mini is still not a bad computer, really, but the GMA (which also plagues the Macbook) and the fact that its Apple's last 32-Bit computer might put you off a bit.
    For 2D tasks on a small scale it's alright but anything beyond that is asking a bit too much of the Mini.
     
  11. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #11
    It really depends on what your plans for the computer are. I have a 24" iMac C2D in my office and it's a great machine. But at home I have two Minis - a core solo running my home theater and a core duo for my day to day things. I already had an LCD DVI display and an old Apple keyboard and 3-button scroll mouse. The most intensive apps I routinely run are photoshop and aperture, and the mini performs quite well for these 2D tasks. The mini's footprint is really nice because it uses notebook components. If I were buying today, I'd go with the iMac - but there's likely to be a refresh of the mini in the coming weeks. If you get a mini, you can pretty much bet on buying an external hard drive to go with it, such as the ministack.
     
  12. Shadow macrumors 68000

    Shadow

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    #12
    Why? I expect my MacBook Core Duo to be able to run at least the next 5 OS revisions. Look at the iMac G3 DV...came with OS 9, running Tiger just fine.
     
  13. Vidd macrumors 6502a

    Vidd

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2006
    #13
    Does the G3 run Tiger with everything turned on? Regardless, I still see that it's impressive for such an old machine.
    The integrated graphics and 32-Bit processor may become more detrimental than they are now; since we don't know what the next few OS updates require, we can't really make such assumptions about how future-proof these machines are.
    That said G4 and G5 support will be dropped long before Core Duo and as long as the OS features remain simple 2D operations, the GMA shouldn't be too much of a problem.
     
  14. Evangelion macrumors 68040

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    #14
    yes, i think it still applies. competing mini-pc's had celerons and the like while mini had core solo and duo. and i dont think that has changed drastically. and let's not even discuss design....
     
  15. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #15
    And don't forget that the mini has a socketed CPU. You could always plop in a 2.33GHz C2D in a couple of years and that would give you some extended lifespan. The integrated graphics are not as big an issue as people make out especially for sundry daily computing chores.
     
  16. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

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    #16
    I don't think I would want it as a main computer but I'm still thinking of getting a refurb Mac Mini as a media center. A big requirement for us is that it be quiet since our family room is next to the kids' bedroom and we watch TV with the sound low at night. We have a SDTV so the AppleTV is out, and a Mini would support that and a high definition TV when we get one in the future.

    Worried that I would be overspending with the $520 or more this would cost from Apple's store I just specced an Aopen Mini (about the same size, integrated graphics, up to Core 2 Duo support - like I said, it must be quiet and a normal PC is just too loud) and I gave up at $700 without having even completed the spec - $300 for the case, $120 for 1.66GHz Core Duo, $50 for the RAM, $100 for the hard drive, $30 for the optical drive, $110 for Windows XP MCE OEM etc - I could save some by shopping around, and another $110 by going with Linux and hacking together free software, but this has to be used by my wife. I'm not sure what I would do about controlling it remotely.

    So, yes, you can get a faster PC, with monitor, keyboard and mouse included, but you can't get an equivalent PC for even the same price.

    I agree, this is some ammunition for the "release a real headless Mac" crowd, and this is only a niche use, but it's still a valid use for the Mini.
     
  17. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #17
    My advice would be to wait a few weeks until after WWDC to see if the iMacs get updated or not. Remember you can always run your existing screen alongside an iMac for dual screen mode. As it stands right now, if you don't care about the Superdrive (i.e. you don't plan on burning any DVDs anytime soon) then the bottom end 17" iMac is only $200 extra which gets you a built in iSight, a nice Screen, mouse, keyboard and double the hard drive space. Ok so you lose the Superdrive but how many times do you burn DVDs anyway?
    If you can, however, I'd try to stretch for the slightly higher up 17" model. It's $200 again over the low end 17" but gets you a faster processor, a RAM upgrade (that you *really* want) and a half decent graphics chip.
    But like I said, wait until after WWDC which is in three weeks time to see what products they renew. The iMac or the Mac Mini could become much better buys after then, or the refurb prices will come down.
     
  18. JAT macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2001
    Location:
    Mpls, MN
    #18
    Ah, yes. The MacRumors requisite "guy who wants a $3000 machine in a Mini and therefore hates the Mini". There's at least one in every Mini thread. Gets rather tiring, really.

    Everything? Like....the monitor? And the optical drive? And the CPU? Yeah, the computer "runs" when it is turned on. Dude, you make some really bizarre posts. Do you just hate all computers that weren't designed next week?


    Anyway, if you think it will be updated next month, this is not a good time to buy anything. That's sorta the Apple way since they are the only company selling Apples. But anyone who wants a media center shouldn't bother waiting. The current Mini is perfect for this. As long as you plan on adding some HDD space, but I assume that's necessary with any computer for this use.
     
  19. iW00t macrumors 68040

    iW00t

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    #19
    Fixed that for you. Even $1000 machines play 3D games better than a $3000 Mac.
     
  20. anti-microsoft macrumors 68000

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    Dec 15, 2006
    Location:
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    #20
    Hahahaha LOL! I agree!

    I shouldn't laugh because it's the total truth but it's just ironic. (Microsoft's allways been like that though)
     
  21. Vidd macrumors 6502a

    Vidd

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    Mar 7, 2006
    #21
    Why are you being so nasty about this? All I said was that anything beyond 2D was too taxing on it such as games. I'm not asking it to run FCP or anything.

    By everything on I meant every feature as more demanding processes can be turned off, iirc. I wasn't being sarcastic, I genuinely wanted to know.

    I really like the Mini actually, so don't be so quick to make accusations like that. :)
     
  22. Evangelion macrumors 68040

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    #22
    You can play games with the Mini. Even 3D-games. Yes, GMA is quite slow, but gaming is doable with it.
     
  23. Vidd macrumors 6502a

    Vidd

    Joined:
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    #23
    Oh yeah, it's much better than people give it credit for but as you admit, it is quite slow. It's perfect for most of the people who the Mini is aimed at.
     
  24. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    #24
    My $399 XBox 360 plays better than both - squirt that!!!
     
  25. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #25
    See that thing way back behind you?? That's called 'the point'... and you missed it.
     

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