Thinking of getting a Mac Mini soon but....

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mrploddy, Dec 23, 2006.

  1. mrploddy macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2006
    Ok heres the deal,

    My macbook needs another mac to keep it company and i'm almost convinced I want to get it sooner rather than later.

    REASON - Apart from my 2.0Ghz macbook needing a friend i want a desktop machine that I can take to Japan next year with me and just buy a keyboard and monitor in Japan but don't want to mess around with lugging a mac pro or an imac through airports.


    1) My macbook is a 2.0Ghz CD Macbook maxed out with 2GB ram. This is my main work horse but for some things I like having a bigger screen. I've got a Philips 80GB travel hard drive for installing games and dumping stuff along with a smaller 20GB firefly for data. I also have a 250GB Maxtor NAS drive for sharing between the 2 machines.

    2) My current PC box is a Athlon Sempron 2800 but virtually now none of the machine I paid for myself. Ive spent very little money and when an odd component has failed I've had it paid for so I have no real attachment to it in terms of money invested in it.

    BUT - I do have a 200GB WD hard drive I can take out for use in a Mini enclosure.

    The box will get converted to a backup machine for my parents while I'm in Japan if one of their other computers fail.

    3) I've seen a display model Core Solo for £335 which I could play good samaritan and rescue from the purgatory that is PC World but is it good value for money?. (current range mini's are 399)

    4) I want 1GB RAM in it, how much of a hassle is a Mini DIY upgrade or is it more worth my while to buy it with 1GB preinstalled and save the hassle. (This is because I'll be running parallels on it).

    5) I'm not bothered about a superdrive as my Macbook has it.

    6) I am a 2nd year university student so I do have Apple HE discount available to me which brings low end current range mini to 359 which does make me wonder if the Core Solo deal is worth it.

    7) Any recommendations on the best Mini HDD enclosure to use?

    Any thoughts about which route I should head down?.

    I'm thinking low end Mini upped to 1GB RAM at time of purchase instore direct from Apple with HE discount is the way to go but I'm open to suggestions.


  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    What's your timing, and when are you going to Japan?

    It sounds like you've thought everything through well. If you're not in an immediate hurry, it might be worth it to see if that low-end HE Mini gets C2D as one of the minor upgrades announced at MacWorld in two weeks.
  3. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    By when do you "need" to buy? There's a decent chance the minis will go to Core 2 Duo "soon", but, as it's not a huge deal, it shouldn't cause you to wait unless you really don't need anything soon (in fact, if you can wait a bit longer, you'll get a system with Leopard and iLife '07 installed).

    I think the duos are a much better deal than the solo and seem like they wouldn't cost much more. I heard that RAM upgrades are a bit dicey on the Intel minis, and I'm hesitant to do so, even though I'm pretty calm about computer upgrades in general.

    As far as enclosures go, I'm not sure what you have available there, but I strongly recommend Firewire-based ones. For the mini, I own one of these, which works well for me (if your 200GB drive is compatible).
  4. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Oh, another maybe semi-obvious question... why don't you take the Macbook to Japan and get a kb/mouse/monitor for it there?
  5. Max Payne macrumors 6502a

    Oct 27, 2006
    Brisbane, Australia
    You can always connect a bigger screen to your MB. The MB is better speced than the Mac mini.

    My 2 pence...
  6. mrploddy thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2006
    I go to Japan in September but I'd rather not have to mess around 2 weeks before hand trying to configure the Mini.

    I'm not to fussed about Ilife 07 cos I've not used that at all since I got my macbook. Leopard doesnt seem likely in January if all the reports I'm reading are right, it's still very unfinished.

    As for Core2Duo, I've read the reports of Macbook CD vs Macbook C2D and you're not exactly gaining THAT much.

    The main purpose of the machine is basically to sit on IRC all day which I'd rather not do with a laptop and waste the battery and also for video work / general internet email. I prefer to keep my macbook purely for WORK and not clutter it up with lots of downloads/emails etc.

  7. siurpeeman macrumors 603


    Dec 2, 2006
    the OC
    if you've alredy got a macbook, what's the harm in waiting until the next revision? isn't that supposed to happen soon?
  8. heehee macrumors 68020


    Jul 31, 2006
    Same country as Santa Claus
    Translation: I prefer to keep porn out of my mackbook. :D

    There is nothing wrong with leaving your laptop on 24/7 as long as you feed power to it, it won't waste your battery if you have plugged in.
  9. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    You could always create an "Angel" account and a "Devil" account. :D That way you can FUS to your porn. :)
  10. flir67 macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2005
    I suggest get the cheapest coro solo you can find. go to newegg and get a t7400 core2duo and drop it in. that way you will have 2 core 2 duo computers... :D

    of course get at leat 1gig ram. you will be set

    running mine on a 27"lcd and its crystal clear with digital opt sound.

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