need a new mac but hesitant to buy C2D

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Paulywauly, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a

    Paulywauly

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Location:
    Durham, UK
    #1
    Hi Guys,

    I'm in the market for a new mac, my late 2006 iMac has a broken HD and its booting from USB at the minute. While this does work its really not ideal as i use it as backup/media server and its usually ripping DVDs or downloading stuff 24/7. As its all happening through usb2 it all happens so slowly.

    i'm interested in the latest 2.53Ghz mac Mini as its relatively cheap to buy and run 24/7 plus i already own a screen, keyboard and mouse. Also means i can put money towards an iPad and Drobo to complete my setup :) The thing that worries me is that it has a Core 2 Duo CPU and they are in the middle of being phased out. in an ideal world i'd like an Core i processor but Apples cheapest offering is more than twice as much as the Mini at the moment and my budget doesnt quite stretch that far :(

    I'd mainly be using it as a server to stream to PS3 and iPad/iPhone (via Airvideo), remote access from work via logmein, downloading, ALOT of video encoding as well as the usual stuff like listening to music, watching videos, photos,surfing, emailing etc.

    Question is, would you recommend persisting with the slow USB boot option until the Mac mini is refreshed? (most likely to an i3?) or just splurge on the current Mac Mini? I'd be happy if i got 2 years of solid use out of the thing.

    Any thoughts welcome :)

    Peace and Love dudes :apple:
     
  2. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000

    MacMini2009

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Location:
    California
    #2
    Well if your current iMac is enough for your current needs, the Mac Mini will just make it even better. I say buy the Mac Mini now. There is no definite date on when the Mac Minis will be updated. Core 2 Duo is plenty enough.
     
  3. js81 macrumors 65816

    js81

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #3
    I, too, have a problem with Apple's lack of Core iWhatever processors (nearly) across the line. I just recently sold my 17" iMac and bought a used 24" off eBay; it had a problem and had to be returned. Having been burnt by used, I wanted to buy new and I was having a major problem paying $1099 (best price I could find) for a new iMac with a Core2Duo processor.

    It pains me to admit it (lol), but I bought a new PC instead. Now don't flame me - I'm still not 100% sure I made the right decision; that's the reason I bought it at Wal-Mart - I can return it for 15 days! Anyway, for $698 I got an HP G62-149wm with 15.6" screen, Core i5 processor, 4GB DDR3 RAM, 7200rpm hard drive, etc. So far I love it, but I'm afraid I'll miss having my Mac. I have two weeks to decide...

    Could you use a PC for what you're wanting? Windows 7 is quite nice, and you would get A LOT more bang for your buck than the Mini.
     
  4. Paulywauly thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Paulywauly

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Location:
    Durham, UK
    #4
    Youve both made good points. i'll admit that in moments of weakness in search of a solution i too have pondered going back to a windows machine. The Dell XPS Studio range in particular really caught my eye as you can get a core i7 with 2tb of HD and bluray for about the same as a base model iMac (or a fully kitted out Mini).

    To answer your question i probably could use a PC for what i want, whether i trust Windows to provide the same relatively pain free experience ive had with Mac OS (dead hard disc aside) is another question all together ;)

    Good luck with your PC, hope you've made the right choice for yourself, reply back when you know what you are going to do with it
     
  5. js81 macrumors 65816

    js81

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #5
    I understand completely. But I can say this - I actually bought another PC laptop back in November (an Acer with an AMD Neo processor, purely to use as a Web-surfing machine - it cost less than $400, after all); Windows 7 is a TREMENDOUS improvement over any other version of Windows. In almost 6 months, I've had no viruses, no spyware (only running AVG Free, Firefox, and being careful, BTW - no special treatment, just keeping everything up-to-date), and no BSOD's. However, it is still Windows - one issue I had was where it would wake from sleep but nothing would respond, but you could move the mouse all around. However, I haven't seen that in a while, so apparently an update fixed it.

    You know my single biggest problem with Windows 7? When it is ready to install updates, it gives you the option to postpone. Say you sleep your computer after that, before the postpone time passes. Later you wake it up (after the 4 hours or whatever have passed) and it IMMEDIATELY reboots to install updates. VERY ANNOYING when all I want to do is check my email!
     
  6. waloshin macrumors 68040

    waloshin

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    #6
    How about a refurb Macbook you get the power of the Mac Mini plus a screen keyboard, portability of a laptop, plus a battery for when the power goes out.
     
  7. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000

    MacMini2009

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Location:
    California
    #7
    He already has a screen, keyboard and mouse. A refurb Mac Mini would be much cheaper.
     
  8. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #8
    If it's just a bad HD there are dozens of online photo tutorials for replacing the HD in Intel Macs. Here is an example of one: 20’’ iMac (late 2006) disk upgrade.
    All you really need is some Torx screws, a well-lit open workspace and an hour or so.

    It would sure as heck beat booting from an external and would be a lot cheaper than a new computer if you think the iMac would still be able to serve your purposes. :)
     
  9. js81 macrumors 65816

    js81

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #9
    ^^ 100% seconded. Its not that hard - I did it to my 17-incher and it was mostly just time consuming.
     
  10. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #10
    And a 3rd.

    Why throw away a perfectly good iMac because it needs a $80 drive?

    I still dunno why some of you even need an i5 chip for just email, surfing, photos, itunes, maybe Office and the occasional foray into iMovie/Garageband/iDVD.

    I run the entire Adobe Creative Suite + Quark 8 on a 2.4 AL iMac w/4 gigs ram and it handles it all without even breaking a sweat. And I'm talking multi hundred meg Photoshop files and 100+ page documents with gigs and gigs of links. Not some crappy little 72 dpi web graphics and a few 3 panel brochures.

    And an overpriced Drobo? Thats no way to save money.

    I wouldnt exactly call a 2.53 $800 mini "relatively cheap" myself.

    Happily my problem with Windows is that my first computer, bought in 1986, was a Macplus and I have never owned a Windows box or had a job where they used Windows. Windows is like a totally foreign language to me.

    If you do decide to buy a mini, I will take that "broken" iMac off your hands for $100 and shipping. Just PM me.
     
  11. thecheda macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2006
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #11
    Overpriced

    800 for a mini is absurd.
     
  12. iMav macrumors 6502

    iMav

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    Location:
    Columbus, WI
    #12
    Mini's have historically been very slow to adopt new architecture. Really, they have only done it twice. Once from G4 to Intel... And this latest redesign (adding MDP, additional USB ports, etc).

    Before this last re-design, I took my first gen intel mini w/ a core solo processor and upgraded it to, basically, a (then) current gen mini by simply replacing the core solo CPU with a core2duo (2.0Ghz one to be exact). That mini is still a workhorse.

    Bottom line, if you are interested in a mini, go for it. Get a low-spec'ed one and upgrade the hdd and ram yourself. You are only going go see speed bumps and base hdd and ram increases until Apple can't get any more C2D's (personal opinion, but does reflect the mini's brief history.

    BTW, I'll pay you $200+ shipping for your old iMac if you choose not to swap out the bad hdd. :)
     
  13. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #13
    $201 + shipping and I will send you back a free can of compressed air.
     
  14. Paulywauly thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Paulywauly

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Location:
    Durham, UK
    #14
    haha sorry to disappoint you guys looking for a bargain but i might just have a go at replacing the hard disc :) It may not be the fastest machine anymore but apart from a dodgy hard disc its never let me down so it may be worth saving.

    Does anybody happen to know if a Late 2006 model white intel imac (20 inch) will take a 2TB hard disc?
     
  15. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #15
    yup. it will take any size SATA drive made.

    With 3 gigs of ram and a fast new 1TB drive, you should see a really nice speedup.

    Later this year, spend another $100 and replace your internal 1TB drive with a 64 or 128 gig SSD, enough to hold your system and apps, all the rest of your storage is external. SSD will make your iMac faster than ever, and last another couple of years.

    best deals are on 1TB drives, about $80 -- thats for fast 7200 RPM ones

    http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name...D103SJ-1TB-SATA2-7200rpm-32MB-Hard-Drive&c=CJ

    http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name...LA332-SATA2-U300-7200rpm-32MB-Hard-Drive&c=CJ

    2TB drives can be found for $120-130 -- but 5900 RPM "green" drives. 7200 RPM ones are another $50 or so...

    http://www.frys.com/product/5975474

    those are just some examples...
     
  16. iMav macrumors 6502

    iMav

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    Location:
    Columbus, WI
    #16
    Glad you came to your senses. :)

    A 2TB hdd should work just fine.
     

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