Which Mini should I buy?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by HE15MAN, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. HE15MAN macrumors 6502a

    HE15MAN

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    Location:
    Florida's Treasure Coast
    #1
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=8439500&posted=1#post8439500

    As a college student, money is an issue, but quality is king to me. Does it matter which Mac Mini I buy to setup as a HTPC? I know many people have said to buy refurb ones from Apple.

    I mainly want to use it to rip all my movies and cd's to so I dont need to keep so many hard copies around, then be able to also record tv shows onto it as a DVR and playing some emulators.

    Thanks again for the help for which I am grateful!
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    I recommend refurb too. You save money and get the same.
     
  3. HE15MAN thread starter macrumors 6502a

    HE15MAN

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
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    Florida's Treasure Coast
    #3
    Does the video card inside matter enough to justify buying the more expensive mini? I am comfortable upgrading the ram and HD if need be
     
  4. dubhe macrumors 65816

    dubhe

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Location:
    Norwich, UK
    #4
    there is only one video card, when you increase the memory to 2GB the video card will take 256 instead of 128

    Buy refurb for value for money, its the same machine, same warranty, just someone else has turned it on a couple of times :)
     
  5. optophobia macrumors 6502a

    optophobia

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Location:
    Hudson MA
    #5
    ...Yet you have a Macbook pro, an iMac, AND are looking at buying a mac mini too.... ?:confused:

    Anyway, as posters above have noted, I would also suggest the refurb mini. Saves you over $100, and still comes with the full warranty. I bought mine refurbed and its running great. You have to be pretty vigilent about getting a refurb mini though, since they are not always available. Keep checking back daily, and they will pop up in the online store.
     
  6. HE15MAN thread starter macrumors 6502a

    HE15MAN

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    Location:
    Florida's Treasure Coast
    #6
    Ahh I see that now looking at the specs, so the extra $ is really just for Ram and HD size. Hmm I wonder if its easier just to buy a refurb one for now and if I feel the need, upgrade it later since I will be using externals for storage mainly

    And FYI, those are the computers me and my girlfriend share :D The only one that is mine is the 24" iMac and one of the iPhones. :p

    Also, what is the fastest processor speed these come in? I see people talking about 2.26 but the site only shows 2.0.
     
  7. ymarker macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    #7
    I'm a college student as well and went with the least expensive mac mini. Cost $499 for the refurb (edu price is ~$549), discover was giving 5% cashback as well. Upgraded the ram from newegg from about $60 and got 4gb DDR3 memory. Bought intel ssd x25m gen 2 for about $225 with cashback was about $200. The ssd is good if you're wanting to run photoshop or other heavy apps. In retrospect, the stock 5400rpm is plenty fast for the efficient mac apps. Perhaps if you are doing virtual pc(parallels/vmware/bootcamp with windows 7), the ssd is a better option then. Keep in mind the new ssd supports trim which windows 7 supports (in non-raid format) but mac osx 10.6 doesn't currently fully support.

    So get the mini refurb $499 + 3rd party ram 4gb ($60). Should be enough for now. I also got the mac wireless keyboard and am using an old logitech G7 mouse. I didn't like mighty mouse.

    EDIT: the mac mini is driving a dell 2408 wfp @ 1920x1200, though now I'm yearning for another display
     
  8. HE15MAN thread starter macrumors 6502a

    HE15MAN

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    Sep 3, 2009
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    Florida's Treasure Coast
  9. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000

    MacMini2009

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
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    California
    #9
    You have the option to pick a 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor for $150 when customizing. I recommend just getting the 2.0GHz $499 Refurbished Mac Mini as the speed difference is unnoticeable.
     
  10. libertyforall macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2006
    #10
    Keep in mind 2.0 GHz is the MINIMUM for iTunes HD video playback! Might be good to go higher for a little buffer...

    http://www.apple.com/itunes/download/

    "2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo or faster processor is required to play HD video, an iTunes LP, or iTunes Extras from the iTunes Store"

     
  11. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2004
    #11
    Nah...the minimum specs already include a buffer. HD video playback works perfectly on my 5-year-old G5.

    --Eric
     
  12. HE15MAN thread starter macrumors 6502a

    HE15MAN

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    Location:
    Florida's Treasure Coast
    #12
    Thank you very much. I was getting confused :D
     

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