Mac mini Server Pricing with SSD

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by servido, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. servido macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #1
    If you buy a Mac Mini regular dual core at $799 starting price and replace the HD with a 256GB SSD it costs an additional $600 and the total comes to $1399.

    However, if you choose the $999 server with a quad core i7 and add the 256GB SSD it only costs $400 and brings the price to $1399.

    Why in the world would anyone not choose the later option? What am I missing here? You basically get the "2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5" for the same price as the "2.0GHz quad-core Intel Core i7"? You even get to choose the server OS if you want.

    Am I missing something here? I own a first generation Macbook Air 11.6" and have become a slave to the SSD drive. I love it. However, I need a beefier machine for work since I'm a Java developer and want to learn more Objective-C / iOS development. My air CPU is starting to chug using X-Code so want a quad core to help with all the compiling. I don't require a ton of space as when I watch videos I typically delete them when done and the rare videos I do keep I can just store on an external drive. I am a PS3 gamer so don't really game on PCs. So the SSD is the way to go for me. Hell I have not filled up my 128GB SSD in almost 1 year of daily use. I just download/watch/delete most shows or stream Netflix to the PS3.

    In terms of memory, I plan to upgrade on my own. I have built many a PC so I can't imagine it being that difficult to open up the mini and update the RAM. I read some helpful guides in these forums.

    So Back to my original question, why would anyone including myself choose a the normal mini with the weaker CPU? I have to be missing a key fact right?

    Thanks for reading my first post :)
     
  2. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #2
    You are missing quite a bit:

    1. The 799 model has the dedicated AMD GPU. For gaming and HTPC use it is preferred.

    2. The Mac Mini server has 2 hard drives, if you go with just the 256GB SSD, you are actually giving up BOTH drives. So basically Apple gives you a $200 dollar discount because it doesn't give you one of the standard drives and (I would assume) they don't include any of the cables/hardware to mount a second drive if you later want to add one.
     
  3. penguy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Location:
    CA
    #3
    I couldn't find anything on the apple site to say one way or the other about the second drive...though, given in all other cases it is a 2 drive unit, I would be surprised, not to mention unhappy to not find the cables/hardware for the second one.

    But given the OPs needs...the processor grunt of the server would far outweigh the advantage of the better GPU...wouldn't it?
     
  4. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #4
    Apple is very specific in it's hard drive options:

    1. 2x500 GB Drives
    2. 2x750 GB Drives
    3. 256GB SSD*
    4. 256GB SSD + 750GB
    5 2x256GB SSD

    * Notice that on the other options it mentions 2 drives, but in this one it does not. While yes, nothing specifically says it doesn't include a second drive, they were very explicit in the other 4 options to mention exactly what the second drive would be.

    I think based on the above, that yes the 256GB option includes only one drive.

    As for what the OP needs, the question of his wasn't "what do I need", but rather questioning what Apple is charging for an SSD is it not? I am explaining the costs since the OP apparently did miss some very important pieces to the puzzle.
     
  5. servido thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #5
    Thanks so much for the responses. I can't believe I missed the glaring GPU differences. That makes my decision a lot more difficult because I was planning on using the mini as a part time HTPC. Decisions...
     
  6. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #6
    Just as clarification, the reason the AMD GPU is perferred is that apparently the Intel integrated video has a difficult time with 29.97 fps which is common in videos. I haven't done a lot of research into this issue, but I'm sure a quick google search will explain.....
     
  7. servido thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #7
    Thanks, Paul. Yea I'm hammering Google as we type. I am pretty sure the i7 dual core will suffice for my needs but I'm going to try and get some feedback from some fellow Java / C programmers. I'm not in a huge rush, I have to wait for my next trip to the USA to buy it anyway. Shipping / customs to Peru is outrageous so I either have to have a friend bring it or I have to get it myself. These forums are great, I hope I can offer some feedback and help some others out once I get it.
     
  8. elliotn macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2011
    #8
    I'm searching all over to find out what brand/type of SSD Apple install in their minis. Anyone have an idea?
     
  9. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #9
    toshiba or samsung
     
  10. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    #10
    +1

    They are slower than current 6G drives, but have native trim. Personally, as everyone here probably knows I prefer Sandforce 2200 series SSDs.

    For clarification, the AMD 6630M is no better at 29.97 frame rate than the Intel HD 3000. Intel drops a frame every 40 seconds or so, where as the AMD doubles a frame every 40 seconds or so. Depends on what the viewer is more sensitive to. The BIG difference is 29/59 frame rate issue. The AMD 6630M is much smoother, but not perfect for content with the 29/59 frame rate bug. The Intel HD 3000 is barely watchable and sometimes not watchable. For 24/7 usage the Mac Mini Server is the better choice at a lower constant temperature and less watts. In another thread I outlined all this in great detail. My ultimate recommendation was use the Mac Mini as a headless HTPC recording / media server with extenders.
     

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