Why is the 2009 Mini refurb so popular?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Bob Coxner, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. Bob Coxner macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 24, 2011
    #1
    Is it just the $499 price? I get instant email alerts when Mini refurbs are available in the Apple Store. The $499 model doesn't appear often and they usually sell out within 10 minutes. The $589 2009 model (C2D 2.53GHz) seems to last longer, but is not a common sight. The really rare one seems to be the C2D 2GHz at $429. There were a few available a couple of days ago but they sold out almost instantly.

    The 2010 at $599 appears often and stays available for hours.

    I'm new to Minis so I don't know why one is more popular than another. I'm tempted to get a 2009 but I don't want to tackle a RAM upgrade and I keep hoping there will be a SB refresh this year.

    Any particular advice on the 2009's? My needs are minimal and I'm looking for a relatively inexpensive way to play around with a new (to me) OS. Would Lion run on the base 2009's?
     
  2. Tulpa macrumors regular

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    May 11, 2011
    #2
    The 2010 upgrade was relatively minor, and of course people like to save money. I don't know if Lion's sysreqs have been released yet...probably know more after WWDC. Rumor has it that Lion is going to be a somewhat iPad-ified version of OS X, which to me is a disgusting prospect.
     
  3. MacMadHatter macrumors newbie

    MacMadHatter

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    #3
    I suspect that after WWDC we'll start hearing Mac Mini Refresh Rumors.
     
  4. Tulpa macrumors regular

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    May 11, 2011
    #4
    Haven't we been hearing those since February when the avg time between updates was surpassed?
     
  5. Power Mac macrumors newbie

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    Jun 4, 2011
    #5
    Besides a complete redesign....
     
  6. mikeylikesit macrumors member

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    Mar 19, 2011
    #6
    It probably because the 2009 model is easier to upgrade the hdd. I've heard the 2010 model is much more difficult.
     
  7. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #7
    Having purchased 100 or maybe 85 2009 mac minis including 2 of the 2ghz ones that came up on monday and wed last week.. they mod better.


    the hdd is easy to remove you can make double esata hacks..

    They are equal in many ways to the 2010 model.

    The top of the line in both is the 2.66GHz cpu they use the same ram.
    The gpu is a small improvement in the 2010..
    The 2010 is inferior for hdd replacement.
    the 2010 has a lessor power supply
    the 2010 cost more
    the 2010 does not stack
    the 2010 has one less usb



    the 2009 2.53GHz is better then the 2010 2.4 in every way except the gpu.


    If I were you unless you really want to game I would buy a 2009 2.26ghz.
     
  8. fungus macrumors regular

    fungus

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    #8
    I would add that the 2010 has HDMI out with integrated audio, which makes for a simpler connect to your HDTV/home theater in a HTPC setup - if the OP is interested in using his that way. The 2009 requires a mini-DVI/MDP to HDMI cable, and a separate 3.5mm to whatever-your-TV-or-receiver-accepts cable.

    Other than that the 2010 is smaller and has an SD card slot conveniently located on the back :rolleyes:

    I chose to snag a 2.53 2009 refurb last December knowing the above audio limitation and finding a workaround for my setup. Works like a champ.
     
  9. Undo Redo macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Most likely, because the 2009s are older, there are fewer of them so they go faster.
     
  10. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #10
    I am puzzled by the good resale value of this machine. If the trend for this is popular, it will only be so until WWDC. Look to $399, if that, for the same machine.

    I hope Apple gets a Core i Mac mini out there in a few days.
     
  11. mdgm macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 2, 2010
    #11
    I guess at this stage it would make sense for the 2011 refresh of the Mini to come with Lion pre-installed.

    I'm guessing Lion will require 2GB RAM and that 4GB will be recommended, but we'll have to wait and see what Apple reveals. Already with Snow Leopard it's best to have at least 2GB RAM.

    Both my 09 Minis have 4GB RAM (I opted to get Apple to upgrade my 2.0Ghz Mini from 1GB to 4GB RAM when I purchased it).
     
  12. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    #12
    The machine will not go as low as 399. the stack-ability factor is important to many mac mini owners. It sells for a lot of buyers. If they make the 2011 stackable maybe it will kill off the mini's value some.

    the external power supply brick is a 110 watt supply that replaces instantly. if you want you can buy a spare in advance. the 2010 power supply is 85 watts. takes hours to replace.
     
  13. Minicube macrumors regular

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    Jun 5, 2011
    #13
    The "updated" 2010 2.4 Ghz Mini has a Geekbench score of 3336; the top 2009 model (which now sells for less and is much easier to replace the hard drives in) has a Geekbench of 3534. Even the top end 2.66 2010 Mini has a score of 3650, not a noticeable improvement over the 2009 model. The 2010 model was a slick repackaging; not really an upgrade, IMO.
     
  14. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #14
    If the value remains that high, what stops people from buying new Macs, which are only slightly more expensive. I am of the belief technology moves forward and it's the best policy to buy the newest, most powerful machine one can afford (within reason for one's needs).

    However, the group of people who I see buy a machine and regularly keep it for five years, almost never dreaming of a new machine are the Mac users. I was both an Apple and PC warranty tech and the PC users, happy or not, usually replaced their machines within 3 years on the thousands of machines I worked on. The only Mac people I saw with Macs on a frequent basis were very enthusiastic hobbyists who loved to collect anything and everything related to Apple. You can find some of those people on this site. ;)
     
  15. DisMyMac macrumors 65816

    DisMyMac

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    Sep 30, 2009
    #15
    I start dreaming at 3 years, and then have to wait another 1-3 years before Apple releases something I'm willing to buy. I've owned 4 macs since the mid-90s... I'd probably have bought 6 or 8 if Steve wasn't the ruthless ****** he is, trying to squeeze every penny out of us while segmenting (crippling) the mac line.
     
  16. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #16
    I think two things are at work with Apple. Yes, this is greed at work but if I wanted to point a finger to a company, Microsoft, HP, and Oracle are far more mentionable in that ripoff department and just plain hardball tactics.

    For many years, think pre-iPod/iTunes/iPhone, Apple was too small to have the cash for R&D and had around 10,000 employees. They didn't have it in them to both create innovative features in a nicely designed machine yet give us the cutting edge processors and video cards at the same time.

    Apple got caught up in Motorola dragging their feet as well as the video card makers not supplying product for the Apple side for many months. But since Apple has generated what seems to be three quarters of their worth from devices and a much larger footprint on the market, they have now been able to have the money and manpower to make most of their machines get up to speed in terms of processors, video cards, number of ports, and the rest. As for the bleeding edge processors, Apple does fall behind the curve compared to the best PCs out there, but those PCs with the best cost more than any Mac. I saw the first quad laptops out there for PCs and wondered why Apple didn't have such a machine then I realized I didn't have four grand to blow on an otherwise overweight, battery sucking gaming machine that always had to be near a plug!!

    Greed is not the first thing to mind when I think of Steve Jobs. Jerk, ego-maniac, liar (or most severe bender of the truth), and things like that, sure, but not greed. Is it he who wanted to be able to charge a penny per e-mail worldwide or generate an operating system monopoly? ;)
     
  17. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Howell, New Jersey
    #17
    A 2009 2.53ghz goes for 589 at apple refurb. 4gb ram 320gb hdd
    a 2010 2.4ghz goes for 599 at apple refrub 2gb ram 320gb hdd.

    I pay 10 bucks less get 4gb ram. For ht I buy a cable mini display to hdmi and I buy an optical cable. final cost is about 610 1 year warranty. I can stack it on a mini stack. you can't beat this with a 2.4 refurb. if the 2010 2.4 refurb has the power supply die it is off to the shop.
     
  18. Bob Coxner thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 24, 2011
    #18
    I really appreciate all the info. I'm not looking for HTPC ability (I love my Roku for that), so the HDMI is a non-factor. I do like as many USBs as possible. My hesitation on the 2009 was the RAM upgrade. I watched the YouTube videos and they were a bit intimidating. 2010 RAM upgrade looks like a snap. I suppose I could live with 2gb or else man up and learn to do the 2009 upgrade. :) [Or, buy the 4gb version to start] An HD upgrade capability would be nice as SSD prices continue to drop.

    Again, many thanks for such detailed advice.
     
  19. mdgm, Jun 5, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2011

    mdgm macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 2, 2010
    #19
    You can have up to 8GB (2x4GB) RAM in both the 2009 and 2010 Minis. If you buy an early 09 Mini you just have to check that a necessary firmware update has been installed first.

    Edit: If you only want to install 4GB (2x2GB) RAM, then no firmware update is required for the early 09 Mini.
     
  20. Samh6 macrumors newbie

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    Oct 2, 2010
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    Bournemouth, UK
    #20
    Cheap, powerful, plenty of support, having just brought an early 2009 mac mini lastweek for 300 I have been pleasantly surprised, all I had to do was chuck 4 GB worth of ram which didn't cost the earth to make it work as well as my 2010 MBA + looking at the possible specifications of lion it looks like it will be supported.
     
  21. Minicube macrumors regular

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    Jun 5, 2011
    #21
    You can get a cheap cord to connect to HDMI, if you ever need that.

    As for the RAM upgrade, I did it recently (with 57 year old eyes). With all the great videos and photo step-by-step instructions, it's not that bad. (Do not live with 2gb RAM; it's no way to live). I added an extra 4 gig to mine (total of 5 now), and the machine is much more responsive. And once you have it apart to put in the extra RAM, the HD is exposed, daring you to swap it out also.
     
  22. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Apr 13, 2010
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    Howell, New Jersey
    #22
    yeah and the hdd is easy the connection is rock solid compared to the thin 2010 cable. so drop ing a 4gb ram stick and a 500gb scorpio black about 35 and 65 or 100. and you have a good mini.
    the 2.26 or the 2.53 even a 2.0 2009 will all be good for netflix and eyetv
     
  23. mdgm macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 2, 2010
    #23
  24. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Howell, New Jersey
    #24
    4gb ram is good for just about all users.
    2gb is short for most users.

    5gb 6gb or 8gb are better for some users. Anyone with a large set of photos a large itunes will notice some pick up with 5gb or more.
     
  25. Jeegan macrumors newbie

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    Jan 17, 2005
    #25
    My question is for setting up a Mac Mini Server. With Lion Server coming out at $50, is it better to just get the 2010 2.4 base model and up the ram, get the 2009 2.53 server model and up the ram or wait until July to see if there is a new Mac Mini that will be released and get that base model. I can get an 09 2.53 server for $638 after tax. Any thoughts?
     

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