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Ask HN: What Mac Mini Configuration Would You Buy?
5 points by maguay 2335 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 8 comments
I'm wanting to buy a new Mac Mini, and am trying to decide which one's the best value for price. Any thoughts? Currently, I'm thinking of just doing the mid-line Mini with the Core i5, ATI graphics, and 4Gb ram. In your opinion, is the Core i7 worth the extra cost? Or the larger/faster hard drive? (the SSD option on the Mini is too expensive for now for me to justify...)

I'm curious what HN's opinion of the Mac Mini server is. $999, quad-core i7 and unlimited users.


Go for best CPU, best graphics, everything else can be changed later. AFAIK with CPUs go for the best you can afford and cool, cooling isn't a problem with minis.

The problem is the current lineup forces you to pick one or the other. For hardware accelerated video encoding and playback, I want both.

The Apple prices on RAM and HDD are ridiculous. Buy the cheapest variant and upgrade using regular priced parts?

I'd agree with this for the RAM, but the HDD on the Mini is incredibly hard to access for upgrading. Check out the teardown from iFixit for the last model.

Check out the teardown from iFixit for the last model.

I just did, and there are only four steps:

1. Twist the plastic base, and it comes off: no screws.

2. Remove the fan: three screws.

3. Remove the Wi-Fi antenna plate: four T8 Torx screws.

4. Remove the hard drive: two screws.

Are we looking at the same guide? http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Mac-Mini-Mid-2011-Teardown/61...

What will you be using it for? I'm considering one as a media center, so personally I'd go with the $799 model, 7200rpm HDD, Wireless Keyboard & Magic Trackpad.. the SSD is tempting, but $450 extra would make it pretty expensive.

Just FYI, I went with the top range standard (non-server) Mini, with a 2.5Ghz Core i5, 4Gb Ram, and dedicated ATI graphics. Plus I threw in a Magic Trackpad. Should be good ;)

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