Why is the Mac mini so expensive?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by matt3839, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. matt3839 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    #1
    So, I'm a young man accustomed to Windows and Linux, and was considering delving into the world of OS X and real Unix, but I only wanted the machine since I already have my own peripherals and monitor, so I took a look at their cheapest model, the Mac mini...

    What on Earth? Seven hundred dollars for a Core 2 Duo processor?!! And a 320GB hard drive?? I know Apple is known for overpricing but that is simply outrageous! And don't tell me Apple's hardware is superior or anything, even if it was there's absolutely no reason to charge so much for laptop graphics and an outdated processor (yay, TF2 on low). I find this especially sad since their higher-end computers have a much better price-to-performance ratio!

    If it was cheaper than this I could more than justify the purchase, but for the price of a Mac mini I can make a Hackintosh computer that will blow the mini's specs out of the water. I would love to have a Mac PC, but for these prices, it seems like you're just paying for the brand. Why Apple hasn't released a budget computer is beyond me. :/
     
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
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    Location:
    On the fence
    #2
    I'm not sure why the new one is so much. The previous models were a better deal, and you could probably pick one of those up (with similar specs) for a lot cheaper. You would get a far better deal if you just went for one of the iMacs, all of which have a better performance/cost ratio.
     
  3. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #3
    Apple's sales are strong, and they make a great margin on how they have things priced. I think you'll see a budget computer when their sales of expensive computers start to weaken.
     
  4. philipma1957, Jan 10, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2011

    philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #4
    the 2009 mac mini model with a 2.66ghz cpu in it comes up on apple refurb as 719 with a one year warranty. it is equal in ram speed and cpu speed to the new 2010 mini. right now the high cost of a new 2010 mini is due to the new form not the function.

    this mini on this link below comes up every once in a while


    http://store.apple.com/us/product/FC239LL/A?mco=MTU5MTc1NjM


    it is the 2009 model it lists for 589. this is the best buy for a mac mini available. It still needs some money put into it.


    you could put the hdd below;


    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...92&cm_re=scorpio_black-_-22-136-692-_-Product
    and this one stick of 4gb


    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...cm_re=ddr3_1066_laptop-_-20-233-080-_-Product

    you are now at 700 to 750 for a 6gb mini with a 500gb hdd.

    it would bury the 2010 2.4 mini that costs 599 as a refurb or the same 700 to 750 if you can put the hdd in without breaking the wires.

    buying a 2010 mini is kind of a waste of money unless you like the pretty shell. when the 2009 came out it was a good deal and even now it is a good deal as a refurb.
     
  5. kgeier82 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    #5
    simply put. Its because people will buy them at that price. The mac mini has taken off in the past years, thus the higher price. If people stopped buying them (which wont happen), then the price would come down.

    If I were apple, Id do the exact thing they are with the price. They are a profit based company. Good for them.
     
  6. dejo Moderator

    dejo

    Staff Member

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    Sep 2, 2004
    Location:
    The Centennial State
    #6
    And how small of a case would you have? ;) And quite often a DIY can be had for cheaper than store-bought. What's the issue here? :confused: If you're just gonna be a spec-whore, you're ignoring qualitative factors that also affect your experience.
     
  7. matt3839 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    #7
    ....what
    The specifications are what WILL affect my experience. I'm going for price because I want the OS and features like FireWire and EFI, and not additional features like peripherals and a monitor, if I had a ton of cash to burn I would just but the Mac Pro. And I have more than enough room for a big case; honestly, the gaudy brushed metal design is what I dislike about most Macs anyway.
    I suppose what everybody said is true though. Thanks everyone :D.
     
  8. dejo Moderator

    dejo

    Staff Member

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    #8
    If you think that specs are the only thing that affects your experience, I feel sorry for you. Good luck though.
     
  9. anomie Suspended

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    #9
    I highly doubt the TE was about to buy a mac at all. This thread was about nothing but flaming.
    He definitely is what is commonly known as a spec-whore. He did not even relate to the case size or any other things but the hardware specs which he (what a genius kid!) is able to reach cheaper by going DIY.
     
  10. SmilesLots macrumors regular

    SmilesLots

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    Location:
    SW Virginia
    #10
    Simply another perspective: if you were a multi-billionaire, and the Mac platform was your preference, that cost would be nothing. How many hours would it take to get all the parts and build a hackintosh. I could also build my own car, house, etc. But I value my time. And I prefer the Mac platform.

    Get a used G4 mini if all you want is to play with it. I do agree with you about the prices being high. As a result Apple seems to have maintained a cash surplus for a long time.
     
  11. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #11
    My favorite qualitative factor from the Macs. Quiet. Even the Mac Pros I had on my desk for a while at work were just beautifully quiet. Building a nearly silent PC is definitely possible, but not at bargain basement prices.

    Had a Dell laptop from work that on paper should have smoked my MBP i5 vs. Core2Duo, etc... Not only did the MBP still beat it handily on several real-life benchmarks, but the stupid thing was loud, hot and had lousy battery life.

    B
     
  12. acribb macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    #12
    I'm using my 2010 Mac mini as a HTPC. It's awesome. It's a completely silent machine that does everything I need it to. I stream everything to it from a networked PC.

    It cost me $599 shipped to my door from pcconnectionexpress.com (an authorized Apple retailer).

    Zero hassle in setting it up. Everything just worked. In fact, I find myself a little bored that I didn't have to do any futzing to get it to work. It just worked. Right out of the box.

    It probably cost me about $200 more than a comparably spec'd, in AMD terms, Dell Zino. But the form factor of the Mac mini, the solid Intel/NVIDIA performance, the quietness, and the hassle-free experience led me to gladly spend the extra $200 bucks.
     
  13. jhvander macrumors newbie

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    Apr 7, 2006
  14. Drago89 macrumors member

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    Mar 22, 2009
    #14
    comparing pc to mac is just impossible.one run windows, the other mac os - the reason why people pay more for the mac.I bought refurb mac mini 2009 with the 2.53 cpu and 4gigs of ram for a total of about 600$ + tax.With that money you'll probably manage to build some AMD build with midrange gpu and windows 7 which will be still slower in most tasks.Ohh and the other reason - the mini is dead silent.I don't know about other people but i rly hate the noise which comes from most pcs.
     
  15. Jasoco macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    #15
    They were $500 when they came out in 2005 with G4 processors.

    When they went to Intel in 2006 they went up to $600.

    Then when they redesigned them last year they went up again to $700.

    I just want them to go back down to $500 again. So stupid. It started as "The most affordable Mac ever!" now it's just slightly less than the second most affordable Mac, the MacBook.
     
  16. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

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    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #16
    And the Mac OS is especially suited to some tasks - Im considering purchasing a Mac Mini Server just for Final Cut Server (heck, I only got my Mac Pro for Video Editing - Final Cut Pro... - Couldnt do that even on a 8-core Windows Rig... Could do it on a Mini)
     
  17. Photics macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    #17
    I'm very happy with my Mac Mini. That's because I got a late 2009 model. I recently upgraded the RAM and it runs great. I'm surprised that the newer model is so expensive. I don't even think the new one is that great looking. I don't like the redesign.

    I liked the Mac Mini so much, I switched it as my main desktop computer. I save about $30 a month on electricity, compared to my Windows PC.

    It's unfortunate that I was unable to run CUDA based Folding@home on it... and there are some Windows programs (Halo, CS4) that didn't make the switch, but overall it's been great.

    If I had to replace my Mac Mini with a new computer today, it wouldn't be with the current model. I think it's a ripoff. That makes me feel good now, as I don't feel like my Mac is obsolete.
     
  18. Jasoco macrumors 6502

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    May 28, 2006
    #18
    I have money saved up. When the new mini's come out, I am buying one that day. I hate having to spend the $700, but I'll do it.
     
  19. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

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    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #19
    You won't have as a good experience on a budget high spec DIY hakintosh than a Mac Mini :rolleyes:
     
  20. Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

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    Mar 18, 2008
    Location:
    California, United States
    #20
    One thing to keep in mind before you make any hasty calls is that the Mac Mini is also nearing the end of it's refresh cycle, so in a couple of months, the $699 price tag (though I still agree is priced high), will definitely be more justified.

    Also, given the recent news of Nvidia and Intel's settlment, I'm hoping we'll see at the very least, a core i3 with an Nvidia GPU. Someone correct me if I might be off with this prediction though.
     
  21. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    New England
    #21
    Maybe by the 2012 or 2013 refresh. The integration of nvidia GPUs into Intel parts allowed by the settlement will take time, and as you say the settlement was just arrived at.

    Sandy Bridge is far more likely for 2011, but will be a different compromise.

    B
     
  22. elfxmilhouse macrumors 6502

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    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    Northeast USA
    #22
    if you think you can get the same experience from a hackintosh then by all means build one.


    fyi i was in the same boat as you, built a really nice computer and installed OS X on it. since then the hackintosh was sold and now I own a mac mini, mbp and an mba. its really not the same.



     
  23. G4er? macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 6, 2009
    Location:
    Temple, TX
    #23
    Could Apple's constant quest to make things smaller and smaller be a factor in the high cost of the mini? Designing, manufacturing and assembling a computer where everything fits extremely close together could account for some of the price increase.
    Then there is what one could call the "Apple form factor tax". Apple is so proud of its ability to create ever smaller products that it feels justified in charging extra for the "wow" factor.

    I'm willing to pay a little extra for a good looking computer that works well. But I don't like for any usability to be sacrificed for looks or a smaller package.
     
  24. BigDukeSix macrumors 6502a

    BigDukeSix

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    #24
    The same reason all of their stuff is expensvice: Because its an Apple.

    That being said, I will never own another PC. I love Mac's due to their design, efficiency and reliablity! You do get what you pay for.
     
  25. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    New England
    #25
    For some applications (e.g. HTPC) small and quiet is usability. Form factor is a real selling point for the mini.

    While many of us would love Apple to deliver the xMac, they never will unless it fits with their vision of their product line.

    Frankly, with the discontinuation of the Xserve, I'm not even sure their heart is in the Mac Pro line. :(

    B
     

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