Some Mac Mini Question

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by epmatsw, Aug 9, 2007.

  1. epmatsw macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2007
    So, I think I'm about to finally get my own Mac. The problem is, I'm about to be a junior in high school, and I need a new computer. I need one to last at least until I go to college (hopefully longer) and get a laptop (hopefully a macbook pro) to use there. So, I decided today to spend some of the money I earned this summer on a Mac Mini. However, I have a few questions about them before I actually purchase one.

    1. Which model should I get? High end or low end? I really would like the faster processor, but $125 for .17 ghz:eek:? That seems like a lot to me. Any tips or suggestions?

    2. I think I would like to have 2 gigs of ram, cause I would like to run Vista on it eventually. But is it worth it to pay $150 for an extra gig? Would it be cheaper to buy 2 1 gig ram from somewhere else and just sell the 2 512s:confused:?

    3. I'm not sure I want to pay for the AppleCare Plan. I mean, it will only be my primary computer for 2 years, and 1 year of service is included. Unless they have a high rate of failure between the 1 and 3 year marks, I don't think I really need it. However, I am open to suggestions and probably could be convinced to do this.

    So that's it. I'll probably end up buying my computer sometime in October, so that I can get my hands on Leopard. Thanks ahead of time for any advice!:)


    Edit: Well, I guess I'll go ahead and add another question, though this one is a bit more long term, and not really that important
    4. Once I get my laptop, can I use the screen on that as a screen for the Mac Mini? Does it have a video in port so that I don't have to have a separate monitor for the mini?
  2. furious macrumors 65816


    Aug 7, 2006
    1. Remember for that $125 you are also getting a DVD burner. ;)

    2. If you are comfortable opening up the mini you are better off getting the RAM for a third party.

    3. I never bother with Extended Warranties. Apples failure rate would be close to the industry standard which I believe is less than 10%.
  3. epmatsw thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2007
    After reading an article on upgrading a mini, I'm not sure I want to attempt that myself. Would I cancel out my savings to pay someone to do it? And if it wouldn't, where would I go to get the upgrade?
  4. GreatDrok macrumors 6502a


    May 1, 2006
    New Zealand
    I have had a Mac mini since they first appeared and bought it along with a 20" ACD instead of buying an iMac because at the time I intended to buy a PowerMac but in the end the mini has proven to be a very good little machine. The old PPC processor isn't too hot but I installed 1GB of RAM and run an external firewire 7200rpm drive for the OS which makes it perform very well indeed. With that said......

    The faster speed will be un-noticable. The other features may be more of an issue.

    Upgrading the RAM on a mini is not easy. You have to pry the case open with a knife to get at the RAM slot. If you want 2G I would buy it pre-installed unless you are very comfortable taking fiddly bits of kit apart.

    Don't bother. Not worth it. I now have three Macs and they have all been very reliable and the machines I have admin'd at work have also been very reliable. One iMac had a powersupply failure but all the rest have been trouble free (30+ machines).

    No, you cannot use the Macbook Pro screen with the mini, no video in. I would say you are better off buying a nice big monitor and a MacBook rather than a MacBook Pro and a mini. The MacBook is perfectly able to run Vista with all the Aero effects, you can upgrade the RAM and disc capacity easily whereas RAM on the mini is hard to upgrade and disc on the MacBook Pro is pretty inaccessible.

    Treat yourself to a MacBook plus 20" Apple Cinema Display and buy some aftermarket RAM. Very nice.
  5. iW00t macrumors 68040


    Nov 7, 2006
    Defenders of Apple Guild
    Well this is very twisted:

    1) Put Mini into Target Disk Mode
    2) Connect Mini to MacBook Pro
    3) Boot up MacBook Pro
    4) Hold down Alt/Option
    5) Boot from Mini's hard drive

    Hey you are using your MacBook Pro's screen for the Mini's operating system, it sort of flies :rolleyes:
  6. ankh macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2003

    > Well this is very twisted:

    I wonder if that'll work with my Pismo ....

    No, wait, I still want to use the Mini's _CPU_ .... ya got me.

    Anyone compiled a list of monitors known good with the Mini, anywhere? Or a list of "gotchas" to worry about?
  7. epmatsw thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2007
    That's kind of surprising, but not too important right now. I guess I'll worry about that 2 years from now when I can see the new laptops apple's got then. Who knows, I might be able to get a display cheap (refurb?) some time between now and then.

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