Used buying advice

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by PliSsK, Jun 20, 2015.

  1. PliSsK macrumors member

    PliSsK

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Hi there, I current have an early 2008 8,1 24" iMac using SATA2 with 500MB SSD, 6GB RAM and 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor (E8435?) My requirements are basically browsing, email, MS Office, 1P, FTP, HTML Editing and sometimes iTunes. It's much faster since upgrading to the SSD but still Word could be usefully faster in opening large files etc. and running Canon's scan software for document scanning would benefit extra processing power. I don't much care about video and 3D graphics. My preference is for an old fashioned CCFL backlit LCD display, which is why I don't just buy a newer iMac - I have one of the last iMacs with this type of display.

    I am therefore interested in used Mac Pros and Minis. I would want to max out the memory and get as much processing power as I can, although I'd be relatively happy if the machine's processor was 'only' x2-3 faster than my existing machine. I don't really care if it is a Mini or a Pro as space isn't so much the issue, it's really bang for the buck. On the Mini side, my preference would probably be a 2.3 or 2.6GHz i7 Quad Core, possibly a server version as I'd like to install 2 hard drives (I can hack a non-server I realise). On the Mac Pro side, the used prices seem to be much higher, for much older machines, with an older architecture even if the specs are often higher.

    I would like USB3 but realise that would take me to 2013 or 2014 models, which in the case of the Mini, would mean a non-upgradeable machine with i5 processor. So an upgrade would be more for program performance than getting faster external drive/back up speed. There is always the argument that there is only so much to gain from upgrading to a faster USB2 machine, and that waiting for the maxed out USB3 machines to come down in price before buying would be a better option, but I'm not completely convinced.

    Any thoughts or suggestions would be welcomed! Many thanks!
     
  2. jbarley macrumors 68030

    jbarley

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    #2
    If you can find a 2012 mini it'll be fully upgradeable and it comes with USB3.
     
  3. Andres Cantu macrumors 68030

    Andres Cantu

    Joined:
    May 31, 2015
    Location:
    Rio Grande Valley in South Texas
    #3
    Sounds like a 2012 Mac Mini fully maxed-out would be your best bet.
     
  4. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Location:
    Cimmerian End
    #4
    I second this. I have a 2012 model and it's one of the best purchases that I have ever made. Mine is the dual-core, but they do have quad-core CPU models. They have a lot of physical connectivity despite their small form factor and they're extremely expandable.

    Post 2012, soldered Minis started to occur so if you be able to get your hands on one of the quad i7 2012 models that would be ideal. It supports up to 16GB RAM and the HDD is fully serviceable as well. You can even purchase a kit from OWC to install a second HDD directly beneath the primary.

    Small form factor (handles heat well), lots of connectivity, quad-core, expandable as far as two drives and ample RAM. It sounds great for you.
     
  5. PliSsK thread starter macrumors member

    PliSsK

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    Ah yes you are correct, thanks!
     
  6. PliSsK thread starter macrumors member

    PliSsK

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    Thanks for the input!
     
  7. COrocket macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    #7
    2012 mini is probably your best bet, especially the quad core models. great little machines.
     

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