Should I Buy A 'Mac mini' Now?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by XcodeCrazy, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. XcodeCrazy macrumors newbie

    XcodeCrazy

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2011
    #1
    Should I buy a Mac mini now (lowest configuration; only one I can currently afford), or should I be patient and wait for the expected release of the refreshed Mac mini lineup? Apple usually announce their MacBook, Mac mini and iMac (which have already been released) refreshes around this time each year. So, should I buy now or should I wait?
     
  2. FrankHahn macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    #2
    Yes, you should wait unless you now need a Mac mini desperately.
     
  3. CalMin macrumors 6502a

    CalMin

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    #3
    The rumor is that new Mini's will be released with Lion in July. Since you've waited this long, you may as well until Lion is released and at least save yourself the $30 upgrade.
     
  4. emaja macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #4
    I thought Apple was giving Lion to all buyers who purchased after the keynote but before the release of Lion.
     
  5. xxmarkc macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    #5
    I vote for wait - unless the "value" you are going to get from buying now is important to you. You can measure value in many ways - you just need to offset in some way the what you loose when you compare what you paid today with what you might pay for old hardware / what you might get in way of a better spec for new hardware when the upgrade happens.

    You can never really win the game that is "what is the right time to buy", but you can work out why you need a mini and what utility value you will get buying now rather than waiting.

    I have been waiting for 6 months or more. I have decided I can wait for ages as desktop wise I am wedded to Bill Gates for now. I am very interested in exploring a switch (well really a return as I used Apple hardware in the early days), and the mini is a interesting way back in - since I have screens mice keyboard coming out of my ears. I concluded any switch I make is best timed with a release cycle.

    Whilst waiting I have brought an apple TV - this are really nicely priced, and a month ago an iPad2. Both of these I could see an immediate benefit from buying so I was not too bothered where I was in the upgrade cycle. Also for both applications: HTPC (which I argue the apple TV is) and tablet I had nothing.
     
  6. ChristianJapan macrumors 601

    ChristianJapan

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Location:
    日本
    #6
    Right now the clear answer is: wait.
    Only few days left if the rumors are right.
     
  7. Michael383 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2011
    #7
    I'd wait unless you really need it. It looks like it's going to be refreshed very soon.
     
  8. bf24 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    #8
    What are the anticipated upgrades for the new version of the mini?

    I would love to see a proper optical (toslink) audio output. That would pretty much seal it for me.

    Maybe they would build in 'Apple TV' also.
     
  9. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #9
    Mac mini has had toslink digital audio in and out for at least five years.

    "Optical audio input is SPDIF format and uses a standard toslink cable with a toslink mini-plug adapter, accepting up to 24-bit stereo and 44.1-96kHz sampling rate."

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3153

    A.
     
  10. bf24 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    #10
    By proper I mean the optical audio connection you find on the current apple tv and all other electronic equipment (receivers, TVs, etc...). I know I can buy an adapter just seems like they should have that built-in since it's in :apple: tv.
     
  11. ViviUO macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2009
    #11
    The current mini is way, WAY over priced for what you get.
     
  12. mattdeezy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    #12
    I ordered a mac mini server with 8 Gig RAM upgrade from the Australian apple store on 29 June 2011 and the order page says;

    Ships: 3 Days
    Delivers: 12/07/2011 (12 July 2011)

    Seems suspicious to me as it matches the backorder dates for Best Buy and Amazon UK.
     
  13. alexreich, Jul 3, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2011

    alexreich macrumors 6502a

    alexreich

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    #13
    Wait if you want re-sale value, buy it now if you're impatient. No losses either way.

    I bought a 2010 Mac Mini about 6 months ago and I love it. First Mac I ever bought. I bought the entry-level 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB RAM, 320GB 5400rpm HD. It ran sufficiently until I really started using multiple things on my Mini every day.

    I upgraded the RAM to 8GB, and there has been no issue since. I recently added a 60GB OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 3G SSD and put it in my machine, and everything is running damn saucy. It almost as if I got a new processor. The SSD is the greatest improvement you can make to the machine, no doubt. It boots in 14-17 seconds with all apps open and running (via startup items), and shuts down in 2.

    Though the 60GB SSD is a small amount of storage, all it has is Mac OS 10.6, and my personal documents. All of my Movies, Music, Podcasts and Mobile Apps (for iPhone and iPad) are on my Server.

    But more importantly, your decision. I would expect a very minimal Mac Mini upgrade this year. Maybe an i3 2.0+ GHz processor, same RAM, and same HD options.

    Personally, I would buy it now, and upgrade all the parts you can. Max out the RAM to 8GB, and replace the HD with an SSD.

    Here are the links:

    8GB RAM Upgrade:
    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other World Computing/8566DDR3S8GP/

    Mercury Extreme Pro 3G SSD:
    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/internal_storage/Mercury_Extreme_SSD_Sandforce/Solid_State_Pro

    I hope my response helps you in your decision. Happy 4th!

    -Alex :apple:
     
  14. cocacolakid macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    #14
    Alex, how difficult did you find it to swap out the HD for the SSD? I've watched a video on Youtube and it looked like a fair amount of work.
     
  15. alexreich macrumors 6502a

    alexreich

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    #15
    I'm employed at a school district that runs on Macs. :)

    I had our Apple hardware specialist do it all for me, for $10. She said it wasn't difficult but rather tedious in comparison to the 2009 Mac Mini. You practically have to take the machine apart to access the hard drive.

    I actually wouldn't do it myself if I was you, I'd have a specialist, or a knowledgable techie do it for me. I'm not good with hardware myself, I've only but in 8GB RAM in my Mini, and a PCI graphics card into a Hackintosh during my old hacker days. It seems very difficult. I think OWC has a service where you can ship it to them and they do it for you, but I'm not sure.

    (When I say OWC, I mean macsales.com)

    -Alex :apple:
     
  16. cocacolakid macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    #16
    I just watched OWC's instruction video, it's pretty clear forward, you do have to have the right tools, but it seems like it's easy to do for a techie, just have to follow everything and it does take 30 mins or more. I might do it when I have a few $$ to afford an SSD.
     
  17. AppleDApp macrumors 68020

    AppleDApp

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
    #17

    Yes the HDD is under the logic board have a look at this tear down.
     
  18. cocacolakid macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
  19. alexreich macrumors 6502a

    alexreich

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    #19
    Exactly.

    It seems rather simple with instructions, but I didn't wanna fool with it myself :p

    I can tell you, it's definitely worth the money spent. A SSD is the greatest performance enhancer in any machine other than a CPU upgrade, which is impossible with the 2010 Mac Mini, CPU is soldered to the board :(

    -Alex :apple:
     
  20. AppleDApp macrumors 68020

    AppleDApp

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
    #20
  21. cocacolakid macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    #21
    Well if I had an Apple tech who would install it for $10 I would jump on it. :D

    I've built computers before, so I'm not a total non-tech guy, should be fine. Just a matter of keeping the different screws in order, I watched another video and there are several different types/sizes of screws in a 2010 mini. And if I order the tool kit from OWC it should be very easy to do. I was worried about all the little connectors, but with the OWC tools it looks ok.

    Now my dilemma is, OWC SSD's are on sale through end of day today, do I pull the trigger now when money is tight? :) Can I justify buying now to save the $30 or whatever it is? Hmmmm.

    Maybe I'll sleep on it and decide in the morning.
     
  22. AppleDApp macrumors 68020

    AppleDApp

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
    #22
    Do it jump the gun now and save money :rolleyes:
     
  23. alexreich macrumors 6502a

    alexreich

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    #23
    All you need is Torx T6 and T8, I believe.

    The day I got home from having the specialist put the SSD in, I noticed that my fan speed was 000rpm and my machine CPU was 174F. After quite a bit of confusion and hardware tests, I concluded that the fan must've not been connected. I bought a Torx T6 screwdriver, removed the fan, and saw that it wasn't connected. I plugged it in, reset the smc on my Mac Mini (unplug power, hold power button for 5 seconds, plug back in, boot) and all was well.
    She forgot to plug the fan in. :D

    That part was easy :)
     
  24. cocacolakid macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    #24
    I'd demand my $10 back! :D

    I'm debating about this, might put it off for now. The 115gb SSD isn't on sale, so there's no rush if that's the one I want. I'd actually prefer a larger one but the prices jump up quickly. I was just looking at my mini's HD, I have 180gb on it now. I can move about 90-100 off it very easily but that wouldn't leave me much room with a 115gb HD, plus after formatting it's not 115gb. Not sure it makes any sense to move up to a faster drive and have virtually no room left on it.
     
  25. alexreich, Jul 4, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2011

    alexreich macrumors 6502a

    alexreich

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    #25
    Put all your media on this!

    BEFORE having my SSD installed, I purchased a 1TB Mercury Elite AL Pro Quad-Interface (from OWC) to put my media on. Now I've got/I'm getting a server for media. More SSD's headed toward my future Macs for less money!

    When I say "More SSD's headed toward my future Macs for less money!", I mean all my media is backed up twice via RAID 1 (RAID 1 is an exact copy of one drive to another, that way if one fails, you lose nothing. You just replace the failed drive BEFORE the other fails, and the data is re-loaded onto the new drive) on a server. I only need to get SSD's big enough to load OS on (in SSD's that's about $90-120) and I can access all my media remotely.

    While most would say, why don't you have your iTunes library on your Mac, so if you're not at home, you can listen to music? I have a 16GB iPhone, and an iPad for Movies. Haha. :D

    I win in the end. :D

    -Alex :apple:
     

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