So, should I get a Mac Mini now?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by shaki29, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. shaki29 macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2012

    So, like many of you I was waiting for the Mac Mini refresh this month but it didn't happen. I never had a Mac before and I want to make the move because I want to start developing to the iOS.

    What would you recommend me to do, should I get a Mac Mini today? I was thinking about the 2.5ghz with Radeon model with an upgrade to 8/16GB of ram (and maybe later on a SSD drive, but not now).

    Beside the XCode developing, I'm also going to use Photoshop (website / interface designing, not for print or heavier design tasks) and the regular stuff: movies, surfing the web, etc).

    Do you thing that such a configuration will be good enough for (at least) the next 3 years? (I'd say this is the average time I'm replacing my computer). Should I go and order?

    And another tiny question, if I'm running Windows on parallel, can I run games on it? (not heavy ones, but ones that are not out for OSX)

  2. Bunyak macrumors member

    Aug 15, 2011
    I'm debating the same idea to replace a Windows desktop. To me, the positives of this idea are:
    • you can easily sell the Mini if you really want the next generation;
    • this may be your final desktop - will tablets do everything three years from now?
    • my 2010 Mini is still running fine two years later - a 2011 Mini should be fine now and for a few more years
    And the negatives are:
    • no USB3 - will Thunderbolt remain a marginal technology?
    • why not wait a few months for better tech?
  3. shaki29 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2012

    To be honest, the life cycle is the thing I'm least worried about. I currently own a 3.5 years old C2D P8600 Sony Vaio laptop that does superb work for all my needed tasks (developing, Photoshop, movies, gaming, surfing).

    My main reason for moving to Mac is the ability to develop native iOS apps. I don't think the world will move to tablets in 3 years, I can't think of a way to design (photoshop) and develop on them, it requires too much persistence you can only achieve with a mouse (and a big screen).

    I must also say that USB3 is not on my top priorities. Sure, it's nice but not really needed. My external HD is only for backups and I don't mind waiting a little longer.

    Are the ivy bridge processors are that much powerful than the ones found in the Mac Mini (2011)? This is actually the only thing I can think of that bother me. And it pain in the ass waiting for these Apple hardware updates, if any at all.
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    "What would you recommend me to do, should I get a Mac Mini today?"

    Buy the 2011 version today, and you may end up quite unhappy in a few more months...
  5. Elven macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2008
    All you must ask yourself is the following.

    . Will it perform the tasks I require?

    . Can I be happy if I bought it and say in October a new one comes out?

    . Following from above, can I wait till then and perhaps buy a second hand machine in mean time?

    Those three with some thought should help you come to mind on what to do, I am about to pull trigger on a base Mini for my father to get him online, and do his duties. And I do so happy that it will do what he requires, and we are happy even if a new one comes out with our Mini.
  6. shaki29 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2012
    But who promise you a new one will come out in October? There aren't even any rumors about it (only on the iMac).
  7. comatory macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2012
    If you cant wait until the end of the year I would buy the base Mac Mini,refurbished or used.
    It will allow you to do the work you need to get done,running Xcode and Photoshop will be fine on that machine,I do the same on MBAIr with basically the same specs. Just get another 2gb stick in it which is super cheap.

    Believe me you dont want to spend money on a machine thats already a year old,try to get it cheap so you can do some work. Macs have a high resale value so when the new mini comes out you wont be paying full price.

    I would do the same the only thing is I need server version with lot of ram for video production and the cost is just too high to justify spending the money for 2011 tech, if base was all I need (and it sounds you dont need more,if gaming is t priority - you can keep your win machine for that until the new mini), I would go with it because it is affordable and you can sell it for 60% of the price later, even more with ram upgrade.
  8. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey

    windows will let you run some games okay fusion parallels or bootcamp best choice is bootcamp.

    there will be an update this year simple reason is the mini is the lowest cost desktop entry to mountain lion. like it or not there will always be a need for a low cost desktop setup.

    minis have good value for resale. you can buy today and sell in oct. or you can wait. either way is an okay choice. will the 2012 mini be 50% better then the 2011 mini for some yes for most no.
  9. smellalot macrumors 6502

    Dec 6, 2011
    If you buy now, buy it used. If you buy a new one now to sell it in a few month, you will loose a lot of money. Mac's don't have a good resale value. Sorry, but that's a myth.

    If you want to buy a new one that lasts you a few years, wait for the next generation. Maybe you're not missing USB 3 now, but I am sure you will in a few years.
    The CPU speed is neglectible IMO. SSD and RAM is what really counts.
  10. Mike Valmike macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2012
    Chandler, Arizona
    It's safe to buy the Mini now because it's such an inexpensive Mac overall that even if a refresh comes in soon, you won't take too huge of a haircut if you decide to upgrade again and resell the one you used to tide you over. I ordinarily recommend holding off on buying a Mac if you think there may plausibly be a refresh within 2-3 months, but for the Mac Mini I would only make that time about a month, and I don't think anyone expects a Mini refresh between now and Labor Day. Plus, your area Fry's Electronics may still have Minis tagged 15% under MSRP, and you have the options of Apple refurb or Amazon Factory Refurb to save a few dollars. Or there are new stock available in the ~10% off range on eBay. Lots of good options.

    Go ahead and buy, and enjoy your 2011 Mini. Whenever the 2012 model arrives, you won't be in that rough of shape if you have to make the double jump.


    Apostrophe abuse aside, yes they absolutely do. I resell Macs all the time because I run a business that requires multiple boxes and there is often a need to bring in a change of hardware. But don't take my word for it: Just look at completed auctions on eBay. Current versions of any Mac tend to resell for about 90% of full value if complete; previous generations 75%-80%, before that it scales down accordingly. FAR, far better than the resale value of a PC, which is practically nonexistent.
  11. magbarn macrumors 68000

    Oct 25, 2008
    Your theory applies for desktops and base models. My highly upgraded MBP 15 sold for 50% loss in one year. Which is still better than the 75% loss with Dell/HP, but higher-end MacBooks do not keep their value that well.
  12. bf2008 macrumors member

    May 28, 2008
    For me lack of USB3 in a 2012 computer is a deal breaker. I wouldn't buy any computer today without USB3.
  13. davidb367 macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2007
    Current Versions OK for development

    The current version of Minis will be fine for iOS development. I develop all my apps on a MacPro 1,1 and a MacBookPro 5,1. My youngest Mac is 4 years old.

    Time machine backups over USB 2.0 work fine. Firewire 800 based external hard drives are less common and more expensive than USB 3.0 drives, but are quite fast.
  14. calvol macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2011
    +1 on buying a refurb/used Mini at this point.

    I'm in the same boat, need a 2011/12 Mac because I got a good deal on a TB Display, and my 2010 MBA doesn't have TB.

    I'm instead thinking of buying a 2012 13" MBP, saw a $999 deal recently on a base model.
  15. Mike Valmike macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2012
    Chandler, Arizona
    Yeah, Fry's Electronics was offering this up until at least yesterday. I bit. I couldn't say no to a $200 discount on an Ivy Bridge unit.
  16. comatory macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2012
    Well than you accepted a crappy deal. I resold both PC and Mac laptops and I can honestly say that I always got at leastn60-70% on original price and that was 2 old generations model!

    OP, dont listen to this guy, Macs resell for way higher than most of the PCs,especially if you take care of the computer and include original packaging/install disk (nowadays without installation media it's fair to do clean install and provide your MAS apps for additional value)
  17. smellalot macrumors 6502

    Dec 6, 2011
    Thanks for the heads up, not a native English speaker here ;)

    My experience is a lot different:
    I bought a MacBook Air 2011 i5 1.6Ghz 128GB 4GB RAM in October with 12% student discount for €1012. Sold it in June for €700. That's a 30% loss in 9 month plus the student discount. I don't consider this holding good value.
    This might be specific to the MacBook Air but I'm not sure. Might be different here in Germany also. I bought my Mac mini used for €600 in April, which I think is good for the RRP of €800.
    (Especially considering I wanted to build my own hackintosh mini. I found out it wouldn't really be that much cheaper.)
  18. magbarn macrumors 68000

    Oct 25, 2008
    Put down the kool aid. I've attached a nice clip of ebay listings that sold for the 2011 MBA Ultimate which was $1699 new. looks like 48% loss to me, it's really over 50% if you factor in paypal/ebay fees. Some do sell for more that have applecare, but at the extra $200 of applecare needs to be factored in. The problem is most buyers either don't know about or don't care enough to pay a premium for the higher end mba. The lower spec MBA only sell for $100-$200 less, much less than the initial price difference when new.

    Attached Files:

  19. Poki macrumors 65816


    Mar 21, 2012
    Compared to a PC, they still hold value pretty well. Recently sold a 2 year old 24" Cinema Display, which cost me 800 on a special deal new - just as much as a Dell Ultrasharp 24" at that time. Well, I got 530 (-45 ebay fees) for this display - the dell equivalent now sells for less than 200 (280 new) ... Okay, it's not a computer, but considering the fast changes in the tech world, Macs hold their value still better than most PCs.
  20. magbarn macrumors 68000

    Oct 25, 2008
    I never said they're worse, in fact it's much better than PCs. But I'm just responding to the posters on this board who claim only a 25% depreciation in 1 year. This was fact when Apple used powerpc cpu's as motorola took several years to come out with a new architecture as well as the core duo generations. Now that Intel comes out with a 'new' chip every year, the depreciation has gotten much worse. The only way to get awesome resales now is to find sucker buyers who are willing to pay more than fair market value or you're bundling bootleg software to unsuspecting buyers.
  21. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    mac minis hold value. you are correct that mac book airs don't do as well. Since I am the one that said a 2011 mini would hold value. I will stand by that . Mac book airs do not count
  22. comatory macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2012
    Sorry I re-read your original post and agree that custom/hi end dont go for that much either. But on the other hand I see lot of people just taking out the extra RAM/SSDs and putting it into new machine (if its possible).
  23. Jazper macrumors 6502a

    Jun 16, 2012
    It's likely there is going to be a new Mac Mini, as Apple have refreshed them every year in the past, and it's seems logical that Apple will refresh them this year adding ivy bridge processors, intel 4000 and USB3.

    However, Mac Mini's are pretty cheap right now, I can buy the 2.5ghz model for £575 instead of £699 (which is what Apple are selling them for) on ebay.. so if you don't need the extra features I listed above go for it. The Mac Mini is still powerful and a good machine.

    I was thinking about buying one but I went with the Macbook Pro due to it's portability.
  24. theRAMman macrumors regular

    May 6, 2012
    The Moon.
    and if you do buy a mini now, you could always resell it when the new one comes out. Mini's tend to hold their value well so you wont loose much in terms of money.

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