Mac Mini's poor value argument...

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by GBNova, Jan 19, 2015.

  1. GBNova macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
    #1
    I’ve been considering a Mac Mini for a bit now but have been put off by all the “negative press” from Mac users about how poor value the Mac Mini represents with its closed off upgradability. One of the bigger head scratchers for me is all the suggestions (especially on YouTube) that your are better off buying a MacBook Air than a mini?? I mean, really? You get the same lack of upgradability, a much slower CPU, slower integrated graphics, fewer drive options, etc. all for a much higher price point. Looking at it from that standpoint I fail to see how the Mac Mini represents poor value. Seems to me the real overpriced units are the Mac Book Airs, not the Minis.
     
  2. MartinAppleGuy, Jan 19, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015

    MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020

    MartinAppleGuy

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    #2
    The MacBook Air is a better option as its 'slow hardware with fast storage' over 'slow hardware and slow storage'. My iMac with a HDD is amazingly fast for me, and still opens the likes of Photoshop in under 2 seconds but when I try the like of a HDD Mac Mini, they are very sluggish. Having a shot of a MacBook Air give nice performace due to the SSD compensating the low end hardware.

    If you already own a monitor, and an Apple keyboard and mouse then the Mac Mini is something defiantly considering with a low budget. The entry model should only really be bought for basic tasks (the norm, but there is no reasons to why it can't edit photo and video, just it won't be as fast as other Macs) but the mid teir model is surprisingly good. Double the RAM, double the backing storage, higher end CPU (that actually performs pretty well considering it's dual core, with it having around the 13" retina Pros in terms of performance), and a better GPU.

    If Apple really wanted to appeal to PC desktop users though, they should have made a Mac Mini with easy to upgrade RAM and HDD as well as Intel Iris Pro and Quad Core options. Maybe the excusion of an aluminium enclosure as that would really bring the price down. Having an Apple TV like box made out of white or black plastic, would really lower the price.

    This is what I would want to see:

    Mac Mini Entry model

    Dual Core i5 (rMBP 13" level of perfromace)
    4GB of RAM (user upgradable to 16GB)
    Intel Iris GPU
    mini Fusion Drive (64GB non PCIe SSD and a 500GB HDD)
    Plastic enclosure

    Price: £449

    Mac Mini High Config. model

    Quad Core i5 (upgradable to a quad core i7)
    8GB of RAM (user upgradable to 16GB)
    Intel Iris Pro
    1TB mini Fusion Drive (64GB non PCIe SSD and a 1TB HDD)
    Plastic enclosure

    Price: £649
     
  3. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #3
    Value totally depends on what you are using it for, and comparing Airs and minis are like comparing apples and oranges -- they are not interchangeable. I own 5 minis and am using 4 of them. For none of them would using a MBA make sense (two entertainment centers, a "headless" server, and a dual monitor workstation). My wife has a MBA which she uses for portability. A mini would make no sense.
     
  4. giggles macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2012
    #4
    So in one thread you hit 2 birds with 1 stone and

    1) astroturfed once again the Mini 2014 hate
    2) stated the Airs are bad value, as a cherry on the cake

    Good job Apple_competitor-employee number 9789 to open this kind of thread since the new minis are out.
     
  5. Ray Brady macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    #5
    I've got three MacBook Minis in active use right now, each of which I paid more than $500 for. If any of these were to fail, I could replace it with a new generation Mini on the refurb store for just $419. Sounds like a good value to me, especially since there's no other computer on the market that suits my needs.
     
  6. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #6
    All depends on how much you want to pay for expansion right now.

    If I bought the 27" iMac for $1799, I likely wouldn't be able to replace it as quickly and with as little regret as I can a $699 Mini.

    I'm unlikely to need the expansion on the 2014 Mini within my expected upgrade cycle anyhow.

    And it should still be fine in the near future as the Mini finds duty doing something else in the house, when it finally does get replaced.

    However, if my upgrade cycle get interrupted due to a lag in the future releases, I'd likely consider a bump in speed with an external SDD. Though right now, it isn't a big issue, since I'd rather have the space on the drive.
     
  7. plastictoy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2014
    #7
    If you have a monitor and accessories like keyboard and mouse, the Mac Mini is the desktop equivalent (component wise sans storage) of the Air. Not going to be a problem for most tasks and will run professional apps in novice and intermediate hands just fine. For $500 retail, it's a good machine to drop in quickly and not have a horrendous Chromebox type of experience.

    But adding up accessories and monitor for a new setup, it isn't as great of a deal in my view for and one might as well consider that low-end iMac or for a mobile demand, the Air. Doesn't make sense to compare desktops to laptops if you need a mobile machine or prefer working on a stationary surface.
     
  8. mojolicious macrumors 68000

    mojolicious

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2014
    Location:
    Sarf London
    #8
    Tell us more about these MacBook Minis!
     
  9. G4er? macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Location:
    Temple, TX
    #9
    This. It sits on a desk for Christ's sake. It doesn't need to have a case that will outlast the usefulness of the inside components by 20 years.
     
  10. George Dawes macrumors 6502a

    George Dawes

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    Jul 17, 2014
    Location:
    =VH=
    #10
    I'd never buy a laptop again as my last one had a keyboard problem and the whole thing was knackered. So much for 100% integration.

    At least with a mini , it being modular , you have a chance / choice of buying new stuff as and when you need it , keyboards , monitors etc

    I've got iPad's for portability , they're amazing , totally reliable and overall amazing.

    I would never buy a portable normal computer again , not even a mac ! :)

    The new mac mini is PERFECT for normal stuff ( non handbrake dvd ripping ( who uses dvd's with iTunes ??? ) ) really superb

    I'm buying another one next week ( bought one for xmas and was VERY impressed )

    Just make sure you get the fusion drive !!!!! :)
     
  11. mojolicious macrumors 68000

    mojolicious

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2014
    Location:
    Sarf London
    #11
    [​IMG]

    (For septics, that's 83¢ a pound)
     
  12. G4er? macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 6, 2009
    Location:
    Temple, TX
    #12
    What are the machining costs?
     
  13. mojolicious macrumors 68000

    mojolicious

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2014
    Location:
    Sarf London
    #13
    I couldn't find a graph for that :-(

    But... I'd be amazed if returning to a plastic casing would chisel more than $2 off the manufacturing cost of each mini.
     
  14. johnnyturbouk macrumors 68000

    johnnyturbouk

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Location:
    on the yellow [oled] brick road to tech nirvana.
    #14
    This is exactly what i thought:

    Although a mac-mini pro line would be intriguing, at £1099
    Quad Core i5 (user upgradable i7)
    8GB of RAM (user upgradable to 16GB)
    Intel Iris Pro
    dGPU, nvidia 970 (although the 980 would be very sexy)
    1-3 TB mini Fusion Drive / 256 PCIe SSD
    USB3.1, HDMI, TB2
    Plastic enclosure

    i guess this may be a possibility with skylake, but dont think apple would ever implement such a system, as it may potentially be a competitor for the imac.
     
  15. mafaky macrumors regular

    mafaky

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2014
    Location:
    Istanbul, Turkey
    #15
    Personally (every individual may have his/her own preferences...) I would never ever buy a Mac Mini in a plastic case, something with bigger footprint than the AppleTV. It's that aluminium case that gives it (the Mac Mini) a very special style, no not only the style but that nobleness...

    My Mac Mini looked great when it was sitting on my desk; almost as a piece of art!... Alas, now due to space restrictions, it's now hidden in a yet another aluminium casing made by Twelve South (the one actually made for rising the iMacs...) but the bonus is that I can also conceal the Superdrive in the same casing using a spare shelf...).

    Pls. don't ever think Mac Mini in plastics, it's going to be big injustice whether or not the inside stuff will ever see 20 years or even much less like 5-6 years.:(
     
  16. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #16
    How quickly people forget that the Mac mini used to come in a plastic case and did so for many years.

    Cost impact? The base aluminum 2010 mini was $699, $100 more than the base 2009 (plastic) mini. However the 2011 minis were the same prices as the 2009s.
     
  17. mojolicious macrumors 68000

    mojolicious

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2014
    Location:
    Sarf London
    #17
    So Apple decided to charge a $100 premium for the aluminium case in 2010, and chucked in the CPU speed bump, the doubling of HD size, and the GeForce 320M, for free?
     
  18. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #18
    With the way technology progresses, they could have given the speed bump, doubled the HD size and added the 320M while maintaining the same entry price, like they do most years. Just guessing here, the $100 price bump was for the perceived value for what customers actually see -- that aluminum case. By 2011 the novelty had worn off and the price dropped back to the most common $599, and I'm sure they had covered the investment costs in design and tooling.
     
  19. mafaky macrumors regular

    mafaky

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2014
    Location:
    Istanbul, Turkey
    #19
    Well, I'm a relatively newbee at Apple products, started with iOS devices and later decided to join the OS camp. So, I really had no idea that once the Mac Mini also came in a plastic case. But as you can see from other arguments, the $100 price change is only the perceived increase by the consumer, and looks like it's the difference added for the aluminium casing. well, certainly that isn't the case.

    But I still stick on my words: I'll never ever go for a plastic Mac Mini to-morrow.

    On the other hand, looking from Apple's side (or at the least, giving it a try...), I'm not too much optimistic for a future, re-developed Mac Mini as a small but mighty desktop. It is more profitable for Apple to concentrate on iMac line in the conceivable future. What they have done with the 2014 Mac Mini tweaks, is that they brought them (nearly) to rMBP 13" configs and performance. They'll stop at that point. Later this year, we may see a quad core i7 13" rMBP if and when Broadwells (or maybe even Skylakes) show up but I'm afraid the current (2014) Mac Minis will stay as they are today (with dual core Haswells). Well, if you are only a Mac/OS beginner and want to work at home for pretty basic things (internet surfing, mailing, MS Office stuff and even some torrent downloading...) that much will be enough for you... After all their price tag is not as much frightening as with the rMBP or MBA models (when compared even to the ultrabooks), when you compare their costs with desktop PC in minitower cases from other or even OEM brands. Just buy a cheap but mediocre quality LCD monitor, a BT mouse and keyboard (not necessarily from Apple...), you'll be fine.;)
     
  20. spatlese44 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    Location:
    Milwaukee
    #20
    To me, it's all about the SSD. I wouldn't go without one and the reality is that Apple is going to charge $250 to get one. That's a 50% price increase, which is a little hard to swallow. I think the base level model with a $100, 128GB SSD option would have been a true deal. If it didn't serve your needs for more than a couple of years, I'm sure it would have plenty of resale value.
     
  21. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

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    Nov 16, 2012
    Location:
    Northeast
    #21
    Anything with a spinner sucks. This is 2015. Mini with SSD is awesome and fast.
     
  22. 0x100 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2014
    Location:
    Japan
    #22
    This is obviously not true. Spinners are really great for OS use on desktop PCs. I mean, how many times do you restart your os or do things in it that require SSD speeds? Have a spinner for the OS and get more room on the SSD for your programs.
     
  23. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Location:
    Arizona
    #23
    You are correct. My remaining mini, a 2012 2.3 quad is running Windows 8.1 off the OEM 1TB HDD. It works really well as speeds for opening and working in MS Office or PS CS6 are plenty fast enough to be comfortably useful.
     
  24. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #24

    My experience contradicts yours. I found spinners on any computer, mac or otherwise to be slow to boot or wake from sleep and lacks that snappy feeling. I have to boot my windows PC once or twice a day... its a PC thing. The macs far less often, but waking from sleep is near instantaneous. Regardless, the computing experience for me is so much better (just feels better, snappier, more gratifying) with the OS on a SSD than on a spinner. I dunno what you are doing to screw that up... :). One can certainly live with the OS on the spinner.
     
  25. 0x100 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2014
    Location:
    Japan
    #25
    Well I use linux mostly and I rarely turn my computer off or have some kind of sleep mode on. It's probably bad for the planet so I might start doing that sometime.
     

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