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Golden age. Mac Minis ~$100 & cheaply upgradeable
Posted by: Mini 9
Date: April 05, 2014 07:01AM
I am loving ebay right now. Keep a sharp eye out and (I did) get Mac Minis for ~$100 or even less (Saw two go for $50) that can have a C2D (T7200 or T7600) dropped in for $20-$70 that will run fairly decently. I am typing on my $84 Mac Mini; three weeks old.

I've CPU-upgraded two Mac Minis now. Very easy for those that are meticulous and not ham-@#$%&. FI-ST-ED gets scrambled???

ifixit.com has great resource for this sort of stuff. [www.ifixit.com]

Plus, I feel that the online/tech community owes a debt of gratitude to ifixit founder, Kyle Wiens, who also builds and offers the architecture ifixit is built upon to others wishing to do the same. [www.google.com] Seen him on TWIT network. Great mind. Great guy.

[www.youtube.com]

So, need a media player, headless server, etc? Mac Minis are the best bargain ever in Macdom; and I've been using since 1985.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/05/2014 07:11AM by Mini 9.
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Re: Golden age. Mac Minis ~$100 & cheaply upgradeable
Posted by: p8712
Date: April 05, 2014 07:52AM
I was never able to get one of these successfully upgraded to a c2d, darn cpu pins! Plus, no matter how hard I scour ebay, I can never find these great deals.

Intel NUCs run $150-250 (plus ram, msata), have i3's, are 1/5 the size of the mini, and easily run 10.9. Speedwise, they blow these old minis out of the water. Just food for thought
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Re: Golden age. Mac Minis ~$100 & cheaply upgradeable
Posted by: Black
Date: April 05, 2014 11:16AM
I think it will soon be clear that pre-USB 3 status cripples the value of an older mac almost as much as being stuck on PowerPC code did previously.
Mini 9, what are you doing with all these old Minis... flipping them?




New forum user map 8/2015: [www.zeemaps.com]
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Re: Golden age. Mac Minis ~$100 & cheaply upgradeable
Posted by: Carm
Date: April 05, 2014 11:30AM
Intel NUCs? Are you referring to the compatible intel CPUs? If yes, I would agree, they go for over $50 (crazy prices for OLD a s s processors)
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Re: Golden age. Mac Minis ~$100 & cheaply upgradeable
Posted by: Mini 9
Date: April 05, 2014 11:43AM
5 people in house. Many uses for Macs. Can dedicate one to this or that as well. I like them better than AppleTV/Roku for media players. I am not HD smug... 720 or so is fine with my old eyes.
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Re: Golden age. Mac Minis ~$100 & cheaply upgradeable
Posted by: Mini 9
Date: April 05, 2014 11:44AM
Quote
p8712
I was never able to get one of these successfully upgraded to a c2d, darn cpu pins! Plus, no matter how hard I scour ebay, I can never find these great deals.

Intel NUCs run $150-250 (plus ram, msata), have i3's, are 1/5 the size of the mini, and easily run 10.9. Speedwise, they blow these old minis out of the water. Just food for thought

I just love the Mac minis. I don't tax the cpu/memory/etc.
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Re: Golden age. Mac Minis ~$100 & cheaply upgradeable
Posted by: AllGold
Date: April 05, 2014 12:35PM
Quote
p8712
Intel NUCs run $150-250 (plus ram, msata), have i3's, are 1/5 the size of the mini, and easily run 10.9. Speedwise, they blow these old minis out of the water. Just food for thought

More detail, please.



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Re: Golden age. Mac Minis ~$100 & cheaply upgradeable
Posted by: p8712
Date: April 05, 2014 01:01PM
Quote
AllGold
Quote
p8712
Intel NUCs run $150-250 (plus ram, msata), have i3's, are 1/5 the size of the mini, and easily run 10.9. Speedwise, they blow these old minis out of the water. Just food for thought

More detail, please.

It's a hackintosh, not everyone's cup of tea, but...

Install instructions

I've seen NUCs run from $150 for new old stock older models all the way to $500, it just depends on the cpu/usb/TB/ethernet port configuration. If you've got ddr3 ram and a small msata ssd, they can blow away an ancient mini for around the same price.

Here's one fused with an imac g4.

I like this model. Has thunderbolt, never versions have usb 3.0.
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Re: Golden age. Mac Minis ~$100 & cheaply upgradeable
Posted by: Forrest
Date: April 05, 2014 01:35PM
The i5 NUC mentioned above costs $400 without memory, hard drive or wireless.

TonyMacX86 says "Unfortunately, there are drawbacks to these little systems. In addition to the obvious lack of ports and expandability, they simply aren't as compatible as our standard CustoMac recommendations when running OS X. Therefore we don't recommend these systems for beginners." More info here link
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Re: Golden age. Mac Minis ~$100 & cheaply upgradeable
Posted by: p8712
Date: April 05, 2014 01:49PM
Quote
Forrest
The i5 NUC mentioned above costs $400 without memory, hard drive or wireless.

TonyMacX86 says "Unfortunately, there are drawbacks to these little systems. In addition to the obvious lack of ports and expandability, they simply aren't as compatible as our standard CustoMac recommendations when running OS X. Therefore we don't recommend these systems for beginners." More info here link

The i3 nuc at the end of my post runs $200, unconfigged. Pretty much every nuc runs osx. I'm also not a beginner.

Don't get me wrong, I'd pick up a mini for $50 or $100, but I'm just not that lucky.
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Re: Golden age. Mac Minis ~$100 & cheaply upgradeable
Posted by: Mini 9
Date: April 05, 2014 02:34PM
$100 A1176 Mac Mini.
I would even look for/at "or best offer"; that's what I did. They took less.
[www.ebay.com]

So, you can/should be able to find C2D CPU for $20 up to $70 or so. Memory and HD or SSD of your choice.

Power supplies are the tricky part right now, for me. Luckily I had some.

But, this is just low-hanging fruit. (no pun) You should be able to find cheaper, too.

My C2D upgrades have been used FOR YEARS! and going strong.

These SOLD listings have some $50 ones.. just keep an eye out. [www.ebay.com]
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Re: Golden age. Mac Minis ~$100 & cheaply upgradeable
Posted by: p8712
Date: April 05, 2014 02:40PM
Quote
Mini 9
$100 A1176 Mac Mini.
I would even look for/at "or best offer"; that's what I did. They took less.
[www.ebay.com]

So, you can/should be able to find C2D CPU for $20 up to $70 or so. Memory and HD or SSD of your choice.

Power supplies are the tricky part right now, for me. Luckily I had some.

But, this is just low-hanging fruit. (no pun) You should be able to find cheaper, too.

My C2D upgrades have been used FOR YEARS! and going strong.

These SOLD listings have some $50 ones.. just keep an eye out. [www.ebay.com]

Thanks, I'll keep an eye out.
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Re: Golden age. Mac Minis ~$100 & cheaply upgradeable
Posted by: Mini 9
Date: April 05, 2014 02:45PM
one strategy/trick is to find those past ebay/sellers, and routinely search THEIR listings.
If they had one/some in the past, they might have more again.
And, early searching helps. in the 3-5 am realm (Eastern) can sometimes grab some BIN (buy it now) listings that are too low, in your price range.
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Re: Golden age. Mac Minis ~$100 & cheaply upgradeable
Posted by: p8712
Date: April 05, 2014 02:56PM
Quote
Mini 9
one strategy/trick is to find those past ebay/sellers, and routinely search THEIR listings.
If they had one/some in the past, they might have more again.
And, early searching helps. in the 3-5 am realm (Eastern) can sometimes grab some BIN (buy it now) listings that are too low, in your price range.

I've had excellent luck searching new listings around 12-3am EST Sunday mornings, when everyone's still out enjoying Saturday nights.
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Re: Golden age. Mac Minis ~$100 & cheaply upgradeable
Posted by: p8712
Date: April 05, 2014 04:41PM
A cheaper usb 3.0 nuc For those interested.
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Re: Golden age. Mac Minis ~$100 & cheaply upgradeable
Posted by: decay
Date: April 05, 2014 08:31PM
I saw someone selling this:

Intel NUC 3217IYE w/ 4 GB of Crucial RAM
Ready to go; unit works perfectly -- $260 shipped.
Includes the full power cord, not just the brick.


I think it's this unit:
[www.amazon.com]



---
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Re: Golden age. Mac Minis ~$100 & cheaply upgradeable
Posted by: sekker
Date: April 06, 2014 10:36AM
I just want to add that with these much cheaper SSDs, you can get or make a fine CPU machine for under $500 if you want to spend the time to either upgrade a Mac mini or make a hackintish (NUC or box).
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Re: Golden age. Mac Minis ~$100 & cheaply upgradeable
Posted by: silvarios
Date: April 06, 2014 11:49AM
I would definitely go NUC over upgraded Mac mini. Assuming you can get one for $250 or less, you can get a NUC built for about $375. A Mac mini with Core 2 Duo upgrade would be around $200-$250. Faster, smaller, more power efficient for less than twice the price. Unless I was severely budget constrained, hard for me to go back to an older mini.
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Re: Golden age. Mac Minis ~$100 & cheaply upgradeable
Posted by: Mini 9
Date: April 06, 2014 11:57AM
I like Macs. Apple Macs. smiling smiley
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Re: Golden age. Mac Minis ~$100 & cheaply upgradeable
Posted by: AllGold
Date: April 06, 2014 01:54PM
Maybe this is obvious (and maybe I'm wrong) but it seems like you could do better price-wise if your Hackintosh didn't have to be NUC/mini-sized. A larger machine would definitely be less limited.



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Re: Golden age. Mac Minis ~$100 & cheaply upgradeable
Posted by: silvarios
Date: April 06, 2014 02:36PM
Quote
Mini 9
I like Macs. Apple Macs. smiling smiley

Very Low End Mac minded.
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Re: Golden age. Mac Minis ~$100 & cheaply upgradeable
Posted by: silvarios
Date: April 06, 2014 02:36PM
Quote
AllGold
Maybe this is obvious (and maybe I'm wrong) but it seems like you could do better price-wise if your Hackintosh didn't have to be NUC/mini-sized. A larger machine would definitely be less limited.

Probably, but I like the power/space savings. Other users may find the larger hardware to be a worthy tradeoff for more flexible upgrade options and pricing.
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Re: Golden age. Mac Minis ~$100 & cheaply upgradeable
Posted by: Forrest
Date: April 06, 2014 05:13PM
A Hackintosh can be a great deal if you don't mind a larger form factor. I built an 3.4 GHz i5 Ivybridge system with an Nvidia GTX650 about 18 months ago for less than $500. My system is somewhat faster than the late 2012 21 inch iMac which sold for $1100.
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Re: Golden age. Mac Minis ~$100 & cheaply upgradeable
Posted by: Will Collier
Date: April 07, 2014 06:49AM
I didn't even know about NUCs, thanks for the info.

That install procedure is a little ugly compared to a modern TonyMac install on a Gigabyte board, but it's a piece of cake compared to the first Hackintosh I built about nine years ago, when pretty much everything had to be done via the Terminal.

As I noted in a different thread, the original Intel Mac Minis (sans the useless Core Solo versions) are great for HTPC playback heads, especially if you juice up the processor. 720p plays smooth as silk. Snow Leopard + Perian + Front Row and you're good to go (or you can use Plex if you're a masochist)...
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Re: Golden age. Mac Minis ~$100 & cheaply upgradeable
Posted by: silvarios
Date: April 07, 2014 01:30PM
I've never used the Plex PC media front end, but the server component isn't much harder to set up than most other solutions. If you need multi part videos, multi format videos, or the media scraper to correctly label the media, you do need to name the files consistently with the Plex naming rules.

The problem with using an old Mac mini as a direct connected media box is size of device and increased power use when compared to pretty much any small dedicated media player. Those Rokus are even cheaper, much smaller, use far less power, most newer models support 1080p, and are dead simple to use. If you have a model with USB port, you can even direct connect a small drive instead of stream over the network.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/07/2014 01:36PM by silvarios.
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