Mid 2010 Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by jperry92102, Jul 7, 2015.

  1. jperry92102 macrumors newbie

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    Jul 7, 2015
    #1
    I am new to the Mac world and am growing accustomed to my new Macbook Pro. So far I love it. I would like to expand into the desktop world but am unsure which route to take. I really love the idea of hooking up a Mac Mini to my HDTV, but I also love the beauty and power of the 27" iMac. I don't need a super processor as I don't plan on doing much more than surfing the web, listening to music, and watching movies on the desk top. This is what mainly has me leaning toward the Mini. With all of that said, I have a friend selling his mid 2010 Mac Mini. It has 2.66 gb memory, (2) 500 gb storage, comes with magic mouse and keyboard, and he is also willing to put photoshop and lighthouse back on it after he resets it back to factory settings. He is asking $500 for it, which sounds like a pretty good deal, but I'm just skeptical of the the age. Looking for some good guidance here. Thanks.
     
  2. Celerondon, Jul 7, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2015

    Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

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    #2
    Your friend has a nice computer but you should not buy that 5-year-old mini! I think that you are right to be skeptical of the age for that price. Look at these two Best Buy deals I just found:
    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/searchpage.jsp?id=pcat17071&type=page&qp=brand_facet=Brand~Apple^currentprice_facet=Price~$500 - $749.99^currentoffers_facet=Current Offers~Outlet Items^category_facet=Desktop & All-in-One Computers~abcat0501000^soldby_facet=Sold By~Best Buy^currentprice_facet=Price~$250 - $499.99&list=y&nrp=15&sc=Global&sp=&st=pcmcat142300050026_categoryid$abcat0500000&gf=y&sName=Best Buy Outlet - Computers and Laptops&cp=1&seeAll=

    The 4Gb RAM/500Gb storage base-model is $399 and the 8Gb RAM/1Tb mid-model is only $549. With either deal you get a refurbished 2014 mini and a warranty. Although the less expensive model would fit your needs, I would choose the more expensive version because of the "future proofing" offered by the 8Gb of RAM. For $549 you could have a system with the power that you need today and the flexibility (with an SSD upgrade) to perform at a high level if you choose.

    Mice and keyboards are not expensive. Depending on the OS X version, Macs come with features like the iLife software suite and Photos. If you really need Photoshop and Lightroom you can purchase them. Otherwise Apple's included applications and the software provided by camera manufacturers should be adequate.
     
  3. Andres Cantu macrumors 68030

    Andres Cantu

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    #3
    This is just a suggestion, but what I would buy is an entry-level Mac Mini at a sale price (either refurbished from Apple or online for around $400 if you can find it) and a cheaper mouse and keyboard than Apple's. I was able to get mine at $349 when Best Buy had a student discount sale, and I use it only for web browsing. I don't have any problems with it and am very satisfied with the speed. It's not slow at opening programs at all and definitely more than suits my needs.

    I don't mind the lack of expandability, as I don't need an SSD nor 8GB of RAM. Future-proofing is nice, but once you start spending so much money on one machine to future-proof it if you don't really need it today, you might wish you would have saved that money and spent it on a newer model. For example, I could have gotten the mid-level Mac Mini for $579, but I don't need the extra storage, RAM, processor speed, nor better graphics. Since I did not spend too much money on my Mac Mini, I would be willing to wait, say, three to six years and just buy the entry-level machine then, which would probably come with an SSD, 8GB of RAM, and a much better processor and graphics (not to mention a new design). Plus, a theoretical 2018 or 2020 Mac Mini is much more likely to be supported than a mid-level 2014 Mac Mini. The same thing might apply to the 2010 Mac Mini: since the 2011 Mac Mini received the most significant bump in processing power due to Intel's Sandy Bridge, I can see Apple dropping the 2009 and 2010 Mac Minis soon, especially if they have less than 4GB of RAM.

    Anyways, hope this helps :)
     
  4. grcar, Jul 7, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2015

    grcar Suspended

    grcar

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    Sep 28, 2014
    #4
    Your friend is actually offering a fair price (ignoring the mouse, keyboard and software). The machine is the rare, high-end 2011 "server" model (macmini5,3 MC936LL/A). This is the only 2011 model that has the coveted quad-core i7 cpu. Most people have to buy the 2012 mid-range model to get this cpu. You can see prices for other minis at my post "Fair prices for 2011 and 2012 minis".

    That said, it is not clear this machine is right for you. You probably do not care about quad-core i7s. The standard 4GB memory is barely adequate; an 8GB upgrade costs $60. Also, the double 0.5TB HDDs are a curiosity and a nuisance. Most people find the HDD seek delay time intolerable after using an SSD. If you replace the HDDs by a 0.25TB SSD then you have a really nice machine, but that would cost $125 (or $225 for 0.5TB) plus about $80 installation (do not install drives at home). So the total cost to you is about $760 with the smaller SSD.

    The best machine for you would be the mid-range 2014 with the option for a 0.25TB SSD. It will cost $900 or $150 more than the machine from your friend. But it will be brand new and you can get Apple Care.
     
  5. jpietrzak8 macrumors 6502a

    jpietrzak8

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    #5
    No, actually, he's really talking about the 2010 mac mini, not the 2011 model. It has a 2.66 GHz Core 2 Duo processor, just as the original poster says. In fact, I am typing this on just such a 2010 model.

    Personally, I love the 2010 model; but yeah, I have to admit he might be able to do better for the $500. In fact, Other World Computing is selling used versions of this exact model for $409 right now...

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/Apple-Systems/Used/Mac-mini
     
  6. chrfr macrumors 603

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    Jul 11, 2009
    #6
    The 2010 mini is functional, but $500 is too much for it at this point. You can buy a refurbished 2014 Mini for not much more, which will be significantly faster. http://store.apple.com/us/product/FGEN2LL/A/Refurbished-Mac-Mini-26GHz-Dual-core-Intel-Core-i5 is an example.
     
  7. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    #7
    In order to expand on some of the posts here, I wanted to assure you that the Mini is a good step into the desktop realm of OS X. It's a very simple, well functioning small form factor desktop with lots of connectivity for all of your external devices and peripherals. In my opinion, it makes the perfect starting machine for both windows fence sitters and others in situations similar to yours.

    I'd like to reiterate too - $500 is a bit much for that model, even with the software and peripherals. You're much better off surfing used models on the web or trying to locate a solid refurb from Apple. In all honesty as well, with the usage that you've listed, you can get away with the current $500 base model rather than paying the same amount for a much older machine.
     
  8. grcar Suspended

    grcar

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    #8
    Oops! My mistake. The 2010 for $500 is definitely not worth it.
     
  9. jperry92102 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 7, 2015
    #9
    Thank you all for the good info. Really leaning toward the newest model, mid grade mini as I currently have a mid 2014 15 inch MBP, which is an awesome machine and I don't want to get frustrated with a slower machine. I will inevitably be comparing them and don't want to end up with buyers remorse. Thanks again all.
     
  10. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #10
    If you're used to the speeds of your 15" rMBP, you're definitely going to hate a Mini without an SSD element inside it.

    If you want the same responsiveness you get in your 15" rMBP, any Mini with a Fusion Drive or a pure SSD will do the job.
     
  11. Andres Cantu macrumors 68030

    Andres Cantu

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    #11
    The OP did mention that the Mac Mini would only be used for surfing the web, listening to music, and watching movies. The mid-level Mac Mini with a fusion drive would end-up being almost as expensive as the $999 model with a fusion drive standard, but the OP mentioned a $500 budget (more or less), and now we're talking about a machine that's almost twice as expensive.

    In my opinion, it would be spending too much on a machine that will be used only for those three things. That's why the entry-level Mac Mini seems like the best deal for what it would be used for. 8GB of RAM and a slightly faster processor won't change the experience that much (if used only for those things).
     
  12. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

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    Southern Cal
    #12
    In my opinion this thread has addressed the OP’s question thoroughly. Dark Void, chrfr, and the others all provided great input. If jperry92102 rereads the discussion a couple more times, I predict that the urge to choose the mid-model mini will progress to the purchase point and we will have another mini user in our midst.


    I regret using the term future proofing even with quotation marks because like Andres Cantu, I am skeptical of the concept for the reasons that AC mentioned. Instead I should have used flexibility, potential, or OS X suitability as factors in favor of >4Gb of RAM on a new mini purchase. That said, I think that Andres Cantu is right about the entry-level base mini. At less than $400, that mini can be a bargain for a user with minimal requirements.


    Despite my respect for AC’s reasoning, I remain in the group of mid-level mini supporters. Although this fascination with speed compels most of us to urge jperry92102 toward the $900 abyss in search of PCIe (SSD) speed, that mid-level SATA (HDD) 2014 mini will perform well for a little more than the asking price of the 2010 mini.
     
  13. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    Oct 17, 2014
    #13
    For the OP's usage, downgrading to a 5400 RPM HDD will have the biggest impact on speed over anything else. When it comes to RAM, Yosemite will run reasonably well on the 2 GB in my 2008 MacBook Air.
     
  14. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    #14
    The idea of future proofing is elaborated on in the 2014 models unfortunately. Before, you just had to figure what type of processing power you needed and while you didn't have a choice in the GPU, just had to figure if it was enough for you in the long term. You now have to make the choice on the RAM, and mostly on the internal drive as well. I use the term 'mostly' because it is still serviceable, but not in a favorable circumstance. If you have a previous model, you can just grab a base configuration based on a CPU and be on your way with no problems - upgrading the RAM/internal drive later on if your usage changes. It saddens me, which is noted as I more than likely sound like a broken record on this sub-forum.
     
  15. Andres Cantu macrumors 68030

    Andres Cantu

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    #15
    I agree with everything you mentioned. It's true that, for $549, the mid-level Mac Mini has a great price/performance ratio. In my opinion, the OP can't go wrong with buying a new Mac Mini, as long as it's not at full price (either $499 or $699). I've always wanted an affordable Mac Mini, so for me, buying a Mac Mini at $349 was a dream, as even a year ago a new one would have cost $599.
     
  16. spatlese44 macrumors 6502

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    Milwaukee
    #16
    I really like having the Apple wireless keyboard and trackpad. This could be a preference thing, but I had a 2009 Mini hooked up to a keyboard and mouse I had. It was nice, but when I upgraded, I bought the Apple versions.

    As to choice of machines, I just bought a 2011 iMac as a second desktop and have to say I like it a lot more than I thought I would. I'm a big Mini fan, but the iMac is a nice package and you could get a similar machine for about $600, which generally includes a wireless keyboard and mouse/trackpad in the deal.
     
  17. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

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    #17
    Yep, the Apple wireless keyboard is great. Mine has been durable and well suited for typing. I cannot praise the Magic Trackpad enough. OS X really springs to life when you have all of those gestures at your fingertips. Perhaps it is as you say, a "preference thing" because some folks don't care for either device.
     
  18. California macrumors 68040

    California

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    #18
     
  19. California macrumors 68040

    California

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    #19
    The 2010 is a great machine. Just offer him 300 bucks instead. I put 16gbs of ram in mine.
     
  20. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #20
    I have been very pleased with my 2011 Mac Mini (now with 16GB RAM and a 3rd party SSD). It does a great job acting as my home "remote" machine, and HTPC.
     

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