PC User dipping a toe - what Mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by FrankSchwab, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. FrankSchwab macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2012
    OK, after way too many years in the Microsoft ecosystem, and watching the Windows 8 train wreck unfolding, I'm ready to give a Mac a try. As a point of reference, the last Mac I used had a single 3.5" floppy drive and no hard disk, and the OS didn't have a cool predator name.

    Anyway, I'm expecting the usage to be relatively light - the kids will be doing their homework on it and web browsing/web games, the wife will be doing email and web browsing, I'll screw around with it. I'll still have the quad-core Windows machine that I'll do media transcoding, etc on, at least initially. If it works out and does what we need, I expect to replace the other PC's in the house over the next several years (what? Doesn't everyone have a home file server and multiple computers running all the time? Can't replace then all simultaneously).

    I'm looking at a used i5 mini as an inexpensive way to get started. I've read the rumors about the new ones coming out this week, but frankly I've been underwhelmed by the perceived performance improvements in the PC world over the last several years, so it's just not clear to me that an Ivy Bridge processor is worth too much of a premium over an i5 based system. What would you pay for a used $599 / $799 list mini today? Is discrete graphics worth the price premium?

    Based on my experiences with PCs, I'd expect that the first thing I'd do is bump the RAM on anything I'd purchase up to 8 GB/16 GB (based on current pricing). In the PC world, this solves a lot of performance woes, even helping with slow disks. Is this experience applicable in the Mini world?

    Thanks for any help you can provide,

  2. henchman macrumors 6502a

    Dec 28, 2004
    For home use, Imwoudl think a dual core i5 with dedicated graphics is perfect.
    I'm guessing you should see them easily between $450-600 after the new ones are release.
    I just picked up 16 gigs for my Mac mini for $70
  3. borostef macrumors 6502


    Feb 10, 2012
    Zagreb, Croatia
    I agree... Two cores with Hyper threading, Turbo boost, dedicated graphics which is not great for gaming but it can run most games at medium or low settings, anyway, you wouldn't expect that Mini is made for gaming.
    I have switched to Mac a year ago after many years spent in the Microsoft world, and I haven't looked back... Mini is a great machine, upgraded the RAM to 8 GB, added a 128 GB SSD... It really flies.
  4. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    Get the base Mini. You don't need the more expensive Mini models. Buy your RAM from Crucial.com, not Apple.
  5. FrankSchwab thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2012
    So what should I pay for a used 2.3 GHz I5 mini?
  6. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    go to mac2sell.net to get a rough valuation on the mini
  7. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    Don't you get sales in the US? Here in the EU, the mini's have a lot of sale-sales at 100 bucks less for the 2.3 and 150less for the 2.5. That is less than average second hand sales!
  8. wabbit42 macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2012
    I'm in the UK, so can't comment on fair $ prices, but you should consider an Apple refurbished mini, which are cheaper, as good as new, come with a one year warranty and are more thoroughly tested than those off the production line. You just don't get the fancy box :rolleyes: .

    If interested you can use refurb.me to see when they have stock.

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