Which New Mini? Seems obvious...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by TheDPR, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. TheDPR macrumors member

    Mar 31, 2005
    I've got one of the last generation Minis and have been waiting for an update.

    Now that I look at the difference between the two new Minis, it seems to me that for someone who uses a big external hard drive, it is MUCH more practical to get the $599 mini with the $50 memory upgrade than to spend $200 more for the same memory increase and bigger internal drive on the $799 version.

    Is there any other difference between the two that I'm missing?

    EDIT: Better yet, why not order the cheaper Mini and get a memory upgrade from OWC or somewhere else?
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    That's the only difference. If you start with the base model and bump it to 2GB RAM and a 320GB HDD, you come up with the same box for $752... so they give you a $3 discount for buying the higher model. (Oh, and double the graphics SDRAM) Wow!
  3. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    No longer logging into MR
    The video memory is also doubled on the $799 version (256MB vs 128MB). For me, that may well be worth it for X-Plane. However, it appears by increasing the RAM to 2GB, the video memory is increased to 256MB.
  4. TheDPR thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 31, 2005
    Are we sure about the video memory?

    In one of the threads someone mentioned that video memory is scaled to the amount of physical memory in the unit. So that 128 would go with 1G RAM and 256 with 2G. Presumably 512 with 4G?

    Can anyone confirm or deny this?
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Correction (I read too fast): that's not confirmed. It has to do with which model you order. It doesn't say it has to do with how much RAM you choose:

    Picture 11.jpg

    It doesn't say that if you bump your RAM to 4GB, that you'll get 512GB SDRAM. It does say:
  6. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    No longer logging into MR
    I stated that above. According to Apple's spec page:

    it scales the video memory based on how much RAM you have. There is no dedicated memory to the video controller.
  7. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    No longer logging into MR
  8. opera57 macrumors 6502

    Feb 15, 2009
    Yea, surely if the memory is shared from the RAM it will adjust according to the amount of ram you have? [​IMG]
  9. penguy macrumors 6502

    Feb 20, 2007
    I was told the same thing on another post. The video RAM usage adjusts according to the amount of RAM installed. The only configurations discussed state 128 for 1gb and 256 for 2gb. No mention of 4 gb.

    I'm going for the $599 version and buying aftermarket ram and 7200 rpm 320 gb hard drive for about $140 plus shipping. Still more than $50 under the 'high end' model and better specs. Plus I'll have an extra 120 gb HD and 1gb stick.
  10. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    ^^^ nVidia's specs/website would clarify how much RAM is used in the 4 Gig config.

    Integrated Graphics Chips will scale it's memory depending on how much RAM the computer has.

    You can also "special order" a Mini and get it with 2 Gigs.

    Interestingly, the Educator's prices are better. So, a Mini is now $549, and an extra 1 Gigs RAM is $49, bringing back to $599... :)
  11. urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    I sold my Mac Mini during a mini-rumor storm and that was over a year ago. So considering the specs they gave us then the new Mac Mini is a serious disappointment for me because I was hoping to switch my Mom to Mac but this system (after the REQUIRED updates) is out of my range. So the better bargain may be an older Mini on refurb/closeout.

    Memory: 1GB DDR3 vs 1GB DDR2
    1GB DDR3 is a confusing joke. It's DDR3 so it's high end memory, but it's 1GB so you won't be running high end apps. Sure, it's enough for email/web but if you plan to run iLife then you have to upgrade. And DDR3 isn't cheap. 2GB DDR3 will cost you much more than 4GB DDR2.

    As a MBP owner then I've already spent $90 on 3 dongles (VGA/DVI/FW400). Obviously the new Mac Mini will come with a dongle, but how many and for which port? And while FW800 is neat, once again this is a high end spec on an entry-level machine.

    Hard Drive: 120GB vs 80GB
    This just drives me nuts. What year is this??? And where does Apple even find these small outdated drives nowadays? If you're going to shortchange us on HDD space then at least make it easy to upgrade (Like on the Macbooks).

    Price: $599 in 2006 vs $599 in 2009
    $599 in 06 was a low end system, but in 09 then that's mid range pricing. And without the proper memory/HDD upgrades (about $200+ for Mom's iMovie/iPhoto suite) then this isn't a mid-range system.

    I'm not saying that the new Mini sucks or anything. I'm just saying that if the system seems underspec'd in early 2009 then think about how it will seem in mid 2010 when people start wondering when the Mini will finally get updated.
  12. aaquib macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2007
    Toronto, Canada
    1 Mini-DVI to DVI adapter included.
  13. TheDPR thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 31, 2005
    So we're certain? More RAM overall = Move Video Memory in the new Mini.

    So the low-end Mini is the far better value for a person who already has a large external drive.
  14. j5045096 Guest

    Oct 27, 2007
    I don't disagree, but as I said in another post, the Mac Mini has to be considered a novelty item and the novelty is built into the price. It's like when they used to sell the iPod mini (which compared to today's Nano Chromatic doesn't seem all that mini!!) for $250 for a 4gb and then for $300 you could get the 20 gb iPod (which was a lot of storage space at the time) -- but people paid for the novelty of the mini just like they do with the Mac Mini. I don't own one; I wouldn't own one, but it is pretty cool and I've been tempted before to buy one for the house because it seems to be a cheap way of adding a nice computer, but it really isn't - but it'd be a whole lot cooler to own than a PC with similar specs and that's why Apple sells it for the price they sell it.

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