Mac mini Server Pricing with SSD

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

  1. servido macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    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

    Dec 17, 2009
    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

    Feb 20, 2007
    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

    Dec 17, 2009
    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

    Nov 25, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    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

    Dec 17, 2009
    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

    Nov 25, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    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

    Sep 5, 2011
    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


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    toshiba or samsung
  10. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2011

    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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