Save $100, Get The "Older" Mac Mini?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by blairh, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. blairh macrumors 68030

    blairh

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2007
    #1
    $100 cheaper for the now discontinued base model Mac Mini. Worth saving the money and going that route? I'd be using the Mini for the most basic tasks (web, email, word).
     
  2. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    Feb 9, 2008
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    NYC
    #2
    The machine is about 2 years old, so I wouldn't; but that's me.
     
  3. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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  4. blairh thread starter macrumors 68030

    blairh

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    Dec 11, 2007
    #4
    what makes you say that though? given i need to do the most basic tasks on it. (using a cable modem so N network is irrelevant).
     
  5. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Mar 23, 2005
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    Indianapolis
    #5
    The new Mac mini is light years beyond what was offered for the past two years. It's pointless to try to save the $100 on an older model.
     
  6. blairh thread starter macrumors 68030

    blairh

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    Dec 11, 2007
    #6
    I need some specific reasons rather than a statement like that. Given what I want to do, I don't see why the newer model is better.
     
  7. macjay macrumors 6502

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    Oct 3, 2003
    #7
    I say "yes."

    If the older machine does everything you need, why pay more for superfluous performance?
     
  8. ZachsMacDaddy macrumors 6502

    ZachsMacDaddy

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Location:
    Maryland
    #8
    Let's see. For $100 less you get:

    Slower CPU
    Older GPU
    Combo Drive instead of a SuperDrive (Plus superdrive is SATA now, in case you want to mod it to use 2 HD instead)
    Smaller hard drive
    Less external video connection options
    Firewire 400 instead of the faster FW800
    1 less USB port

    If it were me, I'd go for the new Mini. Way too many sacrifices for just $100.
     
  9. blairh thread starter macrumors 68030

    blairh

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2007
    #9
    I'm skipping the Mac Mini altogether and will just use my MBP connected to an external. In case anyone is contemplating the old mini vs the new, I would have gone with the older one in the end only because it satisfied my needs. $500 for a new Mac is quite a deal.
     
  10. mgridgaway macrumors 6502

    mgridgaway

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    #10
    But for $100 dollars more you're getting something much better. There's more value in the new mac mini. I mean, I spend $100 on going out to dinner in a month... just cut back if it's a money problem. The older mini can't even take 4GB of ram, and has the worst graphics you'll ever find on an intel mac.

    Sure, you'll save $100, and you can talk about "good for my needs", but you could get away with a G4 mini that'd be good for your needs, but it wouldn't mean you're getting a good value for your money.

    Not that it matters since you're not getting one anyway.
     
  11. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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  12. blairh thread starter macrumors 68030

    blairh

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    Dec 11, 2007
    #12
    Like you said, it doesn't matter because I'm not getting it, but as someone who would not have upgraded the RAM or used the graphics card very strongly, it would have been a waste of money. It really wasn't about not affording it but instead saving the money because I didn't need the superdrive, better graphics card, etc.
     
  13. sn00pie macrumors 6502a

    sn00pie

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    #13
    I would buy the old iMac for a discount, but I wouldn't purchase a older Mac Mini unless there was like a 50% price cut :p
     
  14. Gunga Din macrumors 6502

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    Old Trafford
    #14
    Bottom line, its a waste of money to buy a 2 yr old mini at $400 or $500 with those components. It may be worth $250-300 but no more.
     
  15. heesey1010 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2006
    #15
    I'd say if you had the money to afford the lower-end new Mini then go for it. It's always better to be a little bit more future-proof and the old Mini just doesn't cut it really anymore in a day where DVDs reign supreme and CDs are either coasters or hanging on a thread only to appease people with CD players in their cars IMO.
     
  16. relativist macrumors regular

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    Jan 13, 2009
    #16
    no not for $100 less. Since it's been so long since an update the difference between them is very large.
     
  17. elprime macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    #17
    Variation on the original question:

    For $649, buy the old high-end mini.

    OR

    Do $729 for the new low-end mini.

    Differences seem to be NVIDIA, and some cleaner power management. Plus maybe the ability to upgrade to higher RAM? Does the software package change?

    Is the new architecture/graphics setup worth the $80? I'm no expert on these things, but other than that, there seems to be little appreciable difference.

    Use for machine: Adobe suite occasionally (highest demand use), word-processing, web surfing. No gaming, no video/graphics creation/editing.
     
  18. mwpeters8182 macrumors 6502

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    Apr 16, 2003
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #18
    You'll get your $80 worth, and then some. The machine will be faster, even without taking into account the difference in graphics card, which will make the machine seem more fluid on top of that. The 950 is a pretty pathetic chipset, even compared to other integrated GPUs.
     
  19. Turmoil macrumors regular

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    Jul 2, 2008
    #19
    For $100, the newer one. Just glance at the specs.
     
  20. macrumorsMaster macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #20
    I agree

    I agree. Don't be penny wise, but pound foolish.
    You may save some money now, but will be paying for it in LONGER processing times for programs as well as HIGHER electricity bills(the new mini is supposedly MUCH more energy efficient than the old one). Don't forget you also get NEWER graphics and a rewritable DVD drive.

    If it was around $200 for the old one than it might be a different story, but for such little difference, it seems to be a no brainer. If you don't have the extra $80 or $100, then maybe you should wait a bit before you buy it :)
     
  21. elprime macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    #21
    The cash isn't a huge issue, just thought it might be a little $80 boon I wasn't expecting, since the new processor speed is listed as the same as the old high-end model (2.0). Just hadn't done a ton of reading on the actual end-result differences between the old chipset and the new one. Wanted to make sure I wasn't just getting essentially the same box for $80 extra (old high-end to new low-end).
     
  22. macrumorsMaster macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #22
    Oh okay...forgot to mention the faster FSB as well. Also, like I said in my previous reply, unless you get all your utilities paid, you may save a lot of electricity with the new mini thank with the old.

    Have fun w/ your new mini :)
     
  23. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #23
    Older one is just really old; with computer these days, 2 years is a long time which practically means half the performance of the newer models.

    If this was a Dell or Compaq would you still have even considered a 2 year old machine for only $100 less? If so, then I guess the older Mac mini is the right one for you.

    Even for basic web browsing and watching movies, the new one is a lot better; don't forget the 9400M has the PureVideo HD decoder for all your movie watching needs, it's ready for Open CL and Snow Leopard. Want to use Adobe CS4? 9400M is ready for that. Resell value will also be a lot higher when you want to upgrade—even if you Late 2007 Mac min was bought new today, if you try to sell it tomorrow, everyone will still see it as a 2 year old computer.

    The newer computer is a bit faster, which mean less power is used for the same tasks relative to the previous model—less power means less heat and less noise. You get the added advantage of a slightly lower electric bill.

    Both computer are okay for casual use, but saving only $100 for what is obsolete technology is unreasonable.
     
  24. WilliamG macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #24
    I just upgraded my 1.83Ghz C2D Mac Mini for the new 2.0Ghz Mac Mini. While there may be justifications to get the new one, the electricity savings argument is just stupid. The outgoing model is still VERY efficient. Apple says the new one consumes, what, 11 watts at idle, 50% less than the old one! Wow, so that means the old used, what, 16-17 watts at idle? Are you seriously going to notice 5 watts? Uh, no.

    Anyway, you can pick up the 2.0Ghz old model with the DVD burner for $544 at Amazon right now. I'd still go for the new one at $599, and do a quick RAM upgrade. When Snow Leopard comes out, the GPU in the new models will prove quite useful, so they say...
     
  25. sandman42 macrumors 6502a

    sandman42

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #25
    I see this, or something like it, the biggest reason to spend the extra $100 -- futureproofing. It's not for how the computer performs today, but tomorrow, when OS improvements or other software comes along that old hardware can't take advantage of. Like when h.264 wouldn't run on G3 or lower, or when Quartz Extreme came out. Being a 'last adopter' of a technology is probably worth avoiding if you can do it for $100. In a year or two you won't know where the $100 went but you'll be wishing your computer could run things it won't.
     

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