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Zebulunite
2005-10-24, 15:28
Some questions on refurbished Mac Minis (and minis in general)

1. What are the chances that I'll wind up with a model with better specs than what is listed? I've heard from a few sources that it isn't all that uncommon for someone buying a refurbished mac off of Apple's site to receive one that is better than what was listed. I wouldn't be counting on it, of course, but I sure wouldn't mind getting one with internal wireless or one of the updated models. At any rate, I would assume that I would have a better chance of getting an upgraded model if I went for the 1.42GHz mini instead of the 1.25GHz.

2. Assuming that I didn't luck out with a free Airport Extreme Card, could I purchase one and install it in a wireless less mini? I am pretty sure you can, but not certain, since I didn't see anything specifically saying you can do that (though that may be to encourage mini owners to have professionals do the upgrade).

3. What are the chances of getting a 1.25GHz mini with a 5400RPM hard drive? Numerous reviews I have read of the mini have said that the 40GB Hard drive in the 1.25GHz mini they received was 5400RPM, while the 80GB Hard drive was 4200RPM. Do most 1.25GHz minis have 5400RPM hard drives, or were those just a few flukes?

4. Should I wait until the new minis are officially announced or not? I wouldn't think that the refurbished prices would go much lower.

kretara
2005-10-24, 16:03
Some questions on refurbished Mac Minis (and minis in general)

1. What are the chances that I'll wind up with a model with better specs than what is listed? I've heard from a few sources that it isn't all that uncommon for someone buying a refurbished mac off of Apple's site to receive one that is better than what was listed. I wouldn't be counting on it, of course, but I sure wouldn't mind getting one with internal wireless or one of the updated models. At any rate, I would assume that I would have a better chance of getting an upgraded model if I went for the 1.42GHz mini instead of the 1.25GHz.

Practically zero.

2. Assuming that I didn't luck out with a free Airport Extreme Card, could I purchase one and install it in a wireless less mini? I am pretty sure you can, but not certain, since I didn't see anything specifically saying you can do that (though that may be to encourage mini owners to have professionals do the upgrade).

Nope. The Mini can not take a regular card. It has to have a small module. You are better off buying one with the airport card installed (if you really need wireless). Definately ask youself if you need wireless for a desktop. I never have. I believe that your local Apple store can add the wireless card later, but you should verify this first.

3. What are the chances of getting a 1.25GHz mini with a 5400RPM hard drive? Numerous reviews I have read of the mini have said that the 40GB Hard drive in the 1.25GHz mini they received was 5400RPM, while the 80GB Hard drive was 4200RPM. Do most 1.25GHz minis have 5400RPM hard drives, or were those just a few flukes?

IMHO, you are more likely to get a 1.25 with a 5400 40gb drive than a 5400 80gb drive in a 1.42. Upgrading the HD is rather easy (OWC (http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/mac-mini/) has some very detailed videos about upgrading the Mini.

4. Should I wait until the new minis are officially announced or not? I wouldn't think that the refurbished prices would go much lower.

Go ahead and get the refurb 1.25 (Apple has them starting at $379), swap out the 256mb RAM for a 1GB stick from OWC (http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/mac-mini/memory/) or your favorite vendor, swap out the HD if you need more space or get an external firewire HD case, and enjoy the bliss that is OS X.

Zebulunite
2005-10-24, 16:33
Practically zero.

Yeah, I didn't think the chances were too high.

Nope. The Mini can not take a regular card. It has to have a small module. You are better off buying one with the airport card installed (if you really need wireless). Definately ask youself if you need wireless for a desktop. I never have. I believe that your local Apple store can add the wireless card later, but you should verify this first.

My main reason to want it would be for convenience (not needed to setup something else). If I didn't get a mini with wireless built in I would use an old linksys 802.11b linksys adapter (or ethernet).

IMHO, you are more likely to get a 1.25 with a 5400 40gb drive than a 5400 80gb drive in a 1.42. Upgrading the HD is rather easy (OWC (http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/mac-mini/) has some very detailed videos about upgrading the Mini.

That is what I assumed. I'm not sure than whether I would go with the 1.25GHz mini verses the 1.42GHz. A faster G4 and more hard drive space would be nice, but the CPU speed increase would be meaningless in most applications compared to the 1.25GHz mini because of the slower hard drive.

Go ahead and get the refurb 1.25 (Apple has them starting at $379), swap out the 256mb RAM for a 1GB stick from OWC (http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/mac-mini/memory/) or your favorite vendor, swap out the HD if you need more space or get an external firewire HD case, and enjoy the bliss that is OS X.

That was my plan. Getting a 1.25 mini for $380 and 1GB Ram that I saw on Newegg for about $100 is pretty good compared to a new mini.

Prior to the 19th, I was planning on buying an updated 12. Since there was no update, I'm holding off on the 12 Powerbook until (hopefully) Apple gives it a real upgrade. After seeing that a refurbished mini was only $380, I decided that I should get one to try out OSX, and see if I would want to eventually spend over $1000 on an Apple laptop.