Mini on sale at BB

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by ross7777, Apr 19, 2014.

  1. ross7777 macrumors member

    Apr 19, 2014
    I'm tempted to get a Mini at BB. They have it at $539 plus I'll get $100 credit for my 12 year old Sony laptop.

    Will the base Mini suffice for Aperture, iMovie and iTunes streaming?

    I had a base 13" 2013 MBA and I was satisfied with the performance but I want a retina screen so I sold it.

    My HP desktop is on its last legs and it serves as my iTunes Airplay source so I'd like to replace it with a Mac. I'm torn between waiting for the rMBP refresh or a mini now and a rMBA later. Is a rMBP serviceable as a desktop replacement? We do a lot of iTunes streaming.

    And of course the fact the mini is so old is giving me pause but I know the new model won't be discounted.

    Or should I just wait for June to see what gets refreshed? I'm not in a hurry but all my photos are tied up in Aperture....
  2. COrocket macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2012
    If you were happy with a 2013 MBA, then you will likely be satisfied with the 2012 mini performance. One huge difference is the MBA had an SSD, where the Mini has a hard drive. For music streaming, HDD's are fine in terms of speed and are obviously more economical if you have a large music collection that you need on the machine. Photo/video editing will benefit from an SSD. The mini has 2 SATA slots and can be upgraded by the user if you ever needed to add storage.

    The rMBP would do all the things you mentioned perfectly. IMO it would be overkill considering a $439 (+ possible RAM/SSD upgrades) mini could do the same thing.
  3. ross7777 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 19, 2014
    Thanks for the advice. $439 seems like a pretty good deal but after I buy a keyboard, mouse, ram and SSD maybe not.

    I do like the portability of a MacBook too.

    Decisions, decisions.
  4. SoCalReviews, Apr 19, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2014

    SoCalReviews macrumors 6502

    Dec 31, 2012
    If you are going to use it primarily as a desktop computer the smaller footprint is nice and you can connect it to any size HDTV or monitor that you want. I bought a 13" MBP non-retina upgradeable version a few months ago and I like it for portability but I find myself using my Mini desktops more when I am at home because of they are much easier to view to with the larger panel displays connected to them.

    If you are going to use your Mac mostly at home and you will be sitting in one place then that discounted Mini will be a great deal for a desktop computer. If you want portability and you know you will be using it while you move to different locations around your house then you will want a laptop. I think it's nice to have the option of both a Mini and a MBP. If you get the Mini on special now it is inexpensive enough that you can still wait to get the more expensive rMBP in the future.

    However I think whatever you want you should get. I wouldn't worry as much about the deals and making compromises for what you really want. If you really have your heart set on having a rMBP right now then I would say just go for it... and you could always add a Mini later. :)
  5. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Aug 25, 2010
    It's pretty hard to be a deal like that. Costs not withstanding for Aperture I would get an i7. A3 is pretty good at using multiple cores.

    With either processor Aperture will love 16GB RAM. Apple seemed to design that application with the ability to really use a computer's assets, a much appreciated thing given some pro app's lack of ability at using multiple cores.
  6. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013

    There are three issues that are important to stress with the mac mini. Peripherals, refresh, and hard drive.

    If you have a keyboard/mouse/monitor/webcam, then a mini can be a good solution. If you don't have peripherals, it will cost you at least 200$, assuming you get a cheap monitor, keyboard, and mouse. It can easily hit 1000$.

    The mac mini hasn't had a refresh since 2012, so it is really hard to recommend one new, even if it is on sale, because that is realistically around market price. And, considering 100$ of that price could be spent on any computer from best buy, there may be a better option.

    The spinning platter hard drive is just something I can't recommend to anyone, unless it is a backup to an SSD. It makes the user experience so much better, and I recommend it over any other upgrade for a consumer purchase.

    If this is just a media player device, then go for it, find a 60-80$ 128GB SSD on sale, and it will be great. If you want it to be your main computer, I can't recommend it. In 2-3 years, you will need to start upgrading it, and it will cost you 100-300$ to get it back to a useable experience.

    What is your budget? What are your needs(portability, screen size, computing power)? A mac mini could be the right choice for you, but the baseline 2014 model will most likely be 600$, so 540$ for the 2012 model isn't great.
  7. ross7777 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 19, 2014
    I've got a 24" monitor but no Apple keyboard or mouse. After discount it would be $439 which is really the only reason I'm considering it. I basically leave my HP desktop on 24/7 as an iTunes server so that would be 80% of the mini's duties.

    My budget is around $1800. I also have my eye on the 13" rMBP 8GB/512GB as a replacement for the HP and the MBA I sold. Unfortunately this BB $100 credit offer expires on 5/3/14. It drops to $25 after that.

    I may just wait and see what is refreshed at WWDC. Will they do a small spec bump to the MacBooks at that time?
  8. RoastingPig macrumors 68000


    Jul 23, 2012
  9. MacLC macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2013
    I wouldn't let the extra charge of a keyboard/mouse deter me because a compatible keyboard/mouse combo is not so expensive. Here are 3 examples.

    1) My neighbor recently got a pretty good waterproof keyboard+mouse combo for his mac for $20.

    2) Amazon sells a Mac compatible keyboard w/ 10key for $12 and a mouse for a little more.

    3) On my old PowerBook I had a Dell Ultrasharp display w/ SD card reader and USB hub. I connected a $9 windows mouse and $15 generic windows keyboard to the Dell monitor's USB hub (that Dell said would not work on a mac) with zero problems.

    Regarding memory and SSD, on a Mini you can upgrade either fairly easily after you purchase it. You may feel it runs smoothly enough without it.

    The Mini's i5 is a 35W part and the i7 is a 45W part. Both will operate at full speed much more frequently than the MBA will with its 15W CPU. Loading apps may be faster on the MBA, but running them should be faster on the Mini.

    Personally I would hold out a little longer, even if it means losing $75 on the trade in rebate. If/when Broadwell-based Minis and MBAs come out, the current models will lose at least $75 of value anyway and the Minis are way overdue.
  10. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
    If you decide to get a 13" rMBP, you can get an 8GB/256GB for 1269$ refurbished, or 8GB/512GB for 1529$. If you need the extra processing power of a quad core, you can get a used 2012 15" rMBP 8GB/512GB on ebay for about 1600$. For the money, the 2012 models have much better value than the 2013 models.

    If you don't care about portability, and want some extra power, you can get a refurbished 2012 iMac for 2000$. Quad-core i7, 1 TB Fusion, gtx 680mx, 8GB RAM.

    Note: Broadwell computers will not be released until fall, or even winter. The rMBP will not get a major update until then. The only reason the MBA, or any computer, will get an update at WWDC is if Apple announces it then releases it later, keeps haswell, or shifts to an ARM architecture.
  11. ross7777 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 19, 2014
    I appreciate all the advice. I don't think I can wait until fall or winter with no Mac.

    I think I'm out on the Mini. It's just too old.

    I'll either get a rMBP now with the $100 off or wait until a June refresh. Not sure how much difference it will make.
  12. Che Castro macrumors 603

    May 21, 2009
    I bought my Mac mini last year at b&h for $534 plus free apple care both new
  13. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    ross7777 wrote above:
    [[ I've got a 24" monitor but no Apple keyboard or mouse ]]

    You don't NEED an "Apple-brand" keyboard or mouse to work with the Mini.

    ANY USB mouse and keyboard will work -- and may work BETTER for you than the Apple products.

    In fact, I would recommend that you DON'T BUY an Apple keyboard or mouse -- buy 3rd party instead, or use what you currently have.

    I use Logitech mice on both my table-top Macs, and will never use an Apple mouse or keyboard again. Apple seems to design its mice and keyboards for "style" and not for user ergonomics.

    My opinion only.
  14. waveboreale macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2012
    I am so going to the US when the new mini is released :D
  15. ross7777 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 19, 2014
    I agree but I only have a Windows keyboard.
    The price at Best Buy went up today so I'm not getting the current gen Mini.
  16. Che Castro macrumors 603

    May 21, 2009
    Also I got a free program called parallel , that came with the deal
  17. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    [[ I agree but I only have a Windows keyboard. ]]

    If it's USB, the Windows keyboard should still work, although some of the keys might need to be "re-mapped".

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