Refurb mid tier 2014 mac mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Totally, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. Totally macrumors 6502a

    Totally

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2012
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    West Coast = Best Coast
    #1
    Hey!

    Kind of a quick question for you all.

    I've been looking at getting an average desktop computer for a while, and it seems like a mid tier 2014 mac mini meets my qualifications. The $699 retail one.

    If one had the opportunity to pick up said mid tier mac mini for ~$520 in refurb condition from someone who isn't apple, is that a decent price? I see them going for $500+ on eBay with the better condition ones approaching or exceeding $600. So that says this is a fair price. Just wanted to get your guy's opinions, cause you know, you're the experts. Not me.

    I have a fair enough feeling that a mid tier 2014 mac mini is future proof enough for the next few years and that a mid tier 2014 mac mini will probably be able to keep up with a lower tier mac mini if a new one is ever released. I don't feel like playing the wait and see game with apple though.
     
  2. tibas92013, Sep 28, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2015

    tibas92013 macrumors 6502

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    Costa Rica
    #2
    Last June I bought my second Refurbished i5 Mac Mini(MM)Late 2014, 2.8GHz,8GB Ram, 256SSD with AppleCare(AC) from the Apple Store and it is one sweet machine.

    My first is a Refurbished MM(Late 2012),2.5 GHZ, 4GB Ram, 500GB HD with AC from the Apple Store and which "pails" in comparison on speed in starting-up and opening Apps. Last January I upgraded the Ram to 16GB and will install a SSD in the very near future. I now will not buy any Mac/PC without an SSD.
     
  3. Totally thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Totally

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    Feb 22, 2012
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    #3
    Nice ^

    I decided to go ahead and order it since I need a middle of the road desktop right now. I picked up a Best Buy refurb 2014 mid tier Mac Mini for $494 + tax. I had a 10% moving coupon that expires like tomorrow that I used. I checked on ebay and they are going for like $550-600
     
  4. Thunderboltedge macrumors regular

    Thunderboltedge

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    Milan
    #4
    I cannot encourage someone buying an HDD in 2015 believing to have a future proof device.

    I hope for you that you never get the chance to use an actual ssd, you could never be back using that mac mini, IMHO.
     
  5. Totally thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Totally

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    #5
    My main computer is a retina 15" mbp with an SSD in it... it gets all the heavy actual computing.

    This mac mini is is basically an internet browser attached to my tv screen that can also play movies/music/etc. Maybe I'll run some light matlab or simulations on it. I would rather have the storage space over the speed of the storage in this machine. Not gonna drop $1k+ to have a mediocre size SSD in it.
     
  6. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #6
    My advice is:

    Don't buy ANY 2014 Mini UNLESS it has either a fusion drive or an SSD.

    You aren't going to be happy with the performance you get from a platter-based HDD.

    Also, buying a Mini with the fusion or SSD installed from the factory means you are getting a PCI-e based SSD, rather than a SATA-based drive. This will yield a significant increase in performance.
     
  7. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

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    Northeast
    #7
    So true. They should be removed from the shelves. SSD. Period.
     
  8. Micky Do, Sep 30, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2015

    Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

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    Aug 31, 2012
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    #8
    How do you know that no one is going to be happy with a computer with a HDD? Why do you keep on harping on about this?

    My Mac Mini has a HDD that is over six years old now, and I remain happy with it. Lots of people are happy with HDD in a desktop…….. Why so?

    Sure a computer with an SSD boots faster, but how often do folks boot a Mac Mini? Mine is usually on 24/7, and it wakes from sleep in an instant.

    Most apps I use frequently are always open, so the extra speed advantage is negated there too. For apps I don't use frequently, I'm ok with a few bounces before they open. For most things I do there is not a lot of swapping between the HDD and RAM involved, so that's not a biggie. Sure there is a little time involved in writing some things when saving or closing a document or app, but it is seldom enough to be an issue.

    For a laptop computer, which is being moved often, booted frequently, and may be used on the move, the light weight, energy efficiency, robustness and speed of an SSD makes it the only sensible way to go.

    For many folks with a desktop, cost effective storage is more of a requirement. The HDD remains a reliable winner on that count, and is likely to remain so for a while. As long as a computer has enough RAM, lack of speed in opening and saving documents and apps is only going to be a big deal for a restive few.

    Sure, SSD and the Fusion Drive compromise do have their desirable advantages. For some uses they are the definitely desirable option. For others they may be a "nice to have" option for those who have have funds to squander, but not essential. To suggest otherwise is disingenuous and narrow-minded.
     
  9. garirry macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    Apr 27, 2013
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    Canada is my city
    #9
    I love the Mac Mini, but the 2014 is so un-upgradable (soldered memory, SSD or SATA only depending on what you order, no second SATA port, security Torx screws) that it's pretty much a deal-breaker for me. Unless you don't mind this, I would personally wait until Apple fixes this or redesigns the computer (because, let's be honest, they are being total dicks reducing the upgradability for no reason while keeping the exact same design).
     
  10. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #10
    "How do you know that no one is going to be happy with a computer with a HDD? Why do you keep on harping on about this?"

    Because for most folks, it's going to prove true.

    And also because -- speed wise -- the best option is to order with an SSD "blade drive" factory-installed into the PCIe slot. It's going to yield read times that are 25-40% better than those of ANY current SATA-based SSD installed into the SATA drive slot, or connected via USB3 or firewire.

    Yes, it's possible to add the blade drive SSD later on, BUT -- since nobody sells these as a "new item", the only source is used Apple drives from places like ebay. And by the time one spends the $$$ for the drive, and additional $$$ for the PCIe cable, the price is nearly the same, or more than, it would have cost to buy the drive factory-installed.

    As strange as it seems, Apple is offering us "the better value" by buying the drive from them at "build time".

    I didn't always recommend this.

    I myself carefully ordered my own late-2012 i7 quad core Mini WITHOUT an SSD, and I added one as an external boot drive via USB3. I have posted in this forum MANY times about the advantages of running a late-2012 Mini that way, rather than opening it up to do an install, and then running into problems (there have been many postings in this forum from folks who thought they could do that job, then opened the Mini and.... broke something inside).

    But Apple has changed things by introducing the PCIe drive in the 2014 Mini.
    They're offering us "the best setup" right out-of-the-box.

    It's better to spend extra up front and be set with a Mac that's going to be good for 5-6 years, than to "cheap out" and buy something that's hobbled.

    I wouldn't be surprised if the next-generation Mini comes with a PCIe drive that will deliver read speeds approaching 1,000mbps, as do that latest MacBook Pros.
     
  11. xylitol macrumors regular

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    Nov 2, 2013
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    Finland
    #11
    Micky Do, IIRC you're still on Mountain Lion. SSDs are very much recommended for the latest OS X releases. I literally had to install an SSD in my late 2009 Mac Mini after upgrading to Mavericks. The Mini actually became surprisingly fast even with SATA II speeds and my parents are still using it as their main computer (on Yosemite now).

    Nowadays SSDs are really no-brainers, or would be if it weren't for the ridiculous 2014 Mac Mini lineup.
     
  12. Osamede macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    #12
    Unfortunately this is true. Apple has invested big in repairs as a service. And they are locking the devices in order to generate business. You buying a mac mini 2014, you had best either pay through the nose to max the hard drive and memory specs it comes with, or dont buy it. This is the sad state of affairs in 2014.
     
  13. Totally thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Totally

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    #13
    Well I didn't mean for this thread to turn into a debate between HDD and SSD, cause I really don't care. So if the mods could close this, that would be great.

    The SSD is a small selling point for me. I'd rather have a slower 1TB than a fast 128GB. I have a laptop with an SSD that does most of my stuff.

    Thanks for the opinions. But the hard drive isn't going to change my mind.
     
  14. xylitol, Oct 3, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2015

    xylitol macrumors regular

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    Nov 2, 2013
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    Finland
    #14
    Of course your preference makes perfect sense per se, but then why on earth wouldn't a mid-tier Mac Mini be future-proof for you? (The last paragraph of your original post seems to be a red herring, if you don't care about the most blatant thing that makes the said Mini non-future-proof for others.)
     
  15. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #15
    OP wrote above:
    "The SSD is a small selling point for me. I'd rather have a slower 1TB than a fast 128GB. I have a laptop with an SSD that does most of my stuff."

    Then why not get the 1tb fusion drive option?

    Because that has BOTH a 128gb SSD -and- a 1tb HDD.

    If you don't care for the "fusion concept", then "split apart" the fusion drive into a standalone SSD and a standalone HDD. This isn't hard to do, and it will actually allow the PCIe SSD to run at full speed.

    You'll then enjoy 730mbps read speeds of the SSD along with the 1tb of additional storage space on the HDD.

    It makes little sense to buy a 2014 Mini with an HDD in the SATA slot, and then replace it with an SSD -- only to have the HDD "in your hand".

    Yes, you can buy an external USB3 enclosure and use it that way, but...
    ... why not buy the factory-equipped PCIe SSD instead?
    It's considerably faster than ANY SATA SSD you can put in there...
     

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