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Apple Mac mini MB464LL/A Desktop

Apple Mac mini MB464LL/A Desktop

We are interested in Apple Mac mini MB464LL/A Desktop Yes, I think that interesting .

BuZZ from Customer Shopping

Mac Mini low end model. A much better buy!5
So I got one of these little bad boys (the cheaper model) from the apple store the day after they came out. With a student discount it came out to be just under $600 after tax, so I figured why wait for it to be available on amazon for the same price.

I just ordered 4GB of ram for around $65 after tax and shipping. Just read on a few forums that once you put another gig of ram into the new lower end mac mini, the NVIDIA 9400M graphics card automatically allocates another 128MB of VRAM, making it have a total of 256MB VRAM (instead of 128MB in which it is originally configured with)!

For another $90 or so you can plop a 320GB 7200RPM hard drive into it. A faster drive then the higher end model comes with.

This makes it virtually pointless to pay another $200 for the $800 model, when you can pay a total of $760 for a model that is better:

- 4GBs of ram vs 2GB
- 320GB 7200RPM hard drive vs 320GB 5400RPM hard drive
- with the same NVIDIA 9400M 256VRAM

So whats the only draw back? You have to pop the baby open and install the ram and hard drive yourself.

Is that so bad? Not at all for me, but it may be for some. However there are already forums that contain detailed instructions with pictures and videos for doing so, and as long as you can follow instructions it should not be too difficult at all. It is also somewhat less difficult to deal with than previous models, in terms of installing ram and hard drive.

Oh, I forgot to mention that you can (at the moment, 3/9/09) also get a $6 rebate for sending the 1GB ram chip from your stock mac mini to OWC if you are planning to buy the 2x2GB modular set from them. Another good buy is a $30 USB2 sata enclosure to plop that extra 120GB hard drive into for a little extra storage.

Hope this helps in you purchasing decision.

Oh forgot to mention the computer itself. I upgraded from a 1.42 DP Powermac G4 (FW800) to give you a perspective. First off it is much, much quieter and runs very cool. I have now left it on for 3 days straight and it is still cool. Leaving it on all night while processing video and other processes no longer keeps me up due to the absence of loud oscillating fans. I also like the idea that it uses very low power for a desktop, since I'll keep it on most of the time.

The main reasons for jumping to the mac mini bandwagon for me was because of its FW800 and better video card (two things you will never be able to upgrade on a mac mini without swapping out the entire logic board, which is basically a new computer anyway).

Although it has FW800, I was a little leery to make the upgrade from my Powermac G4 because I have an external 16x DVD burner that uses FW400, an external hard drive with FW400, and a RAID drive with FW800. All of which I wanted to use with my mac mini.

Due to its only 1 FW800 port, I was left to speculate whether daisy chaining all of my external drives together via one FW800 port would actually work properly and efficiently. (FW400 HD to FW400 DVD-R to FW800 RAID HD to one Mac mini FW800 port?).

Seems like a stretch, but all the drives have their own power source, and I am not going to use the FW400 HD much, so I figured what the heck, if it didn't work, I'd have to shell out the extra cash to update my external drives to USB 2 if I wanted to keep the same configuration I'd been using for years.

Anyway to get to the point... It works! I can burn a DVD at 16x from the external burner with media from the RAID drive while watching video, editing photos, and swapping files all from the RAID drive in which the burner is daisy chained to with no hiccups. (Don't know that my old G4 would have been happy with this set up, but it had 2 FW400 ports along with a FW800, so I needn't try.)

For those of you I have lost... this means that the new mac mini is a solid performer and although it has less expandability than my previous mac (less ports, no PCI expansion slots, no upgradeable video cards and processors), it still gets the job done at a faster rate and at a lesser price than upgrades.

So far it has saved me processing time, space, and the utter sound of a power hungry loud fanned G4 buzzing in my ear!

One more thing. I use "PC only" software for work, so having a mac that can boot up in windows was a definite plus for me, and another large factor in my upgrading/buying decision.

Yet another great addition is dual display support for those of you who want to hook up a couple displays at once. And to comment on another review, the mac mini does support a VGA monitor (or 2!), you just have to pay an additional $20 for the adapter from apple (as it only comes with a Mini-DVI to DVI Adapter in the box). And although the quality is going to be better with a DVI monitor, you may want to hold onto your VGA until it poops out (especially if you are low on cash like me) because by that time DVI monitors will be even cheaper and better in quality. Just a thought! (Not to mention the difficulty and expense to recycle those old VGA's).


Update - April 12, 2009

Mac Mini is still great, I am just updating this review due to an important issue that was brought up by another reviewer in regards to upgrading Mac Minis.

Mac Minis have no user-serviceable parts inside according to apple, so upgrading it yourself may void the warranty. I did a little research on apple forums before I opened mine and found that the general consensus is if you break something, you void your warranty. If you don't break anything, it should not void your warranty, but ultimately depends on the apple authorized retailer's decision. If they can find that the defect was possibly caused from you opening it up, they may not uphold your warranty. For me the risk was worth it, as I have been working on macs for years, but definitely take this into consideration when installing yourself. I still recommend buying the low-end model as you can always upgrade it later if/when you want. If you are uneasy about upgrading yourself, you can always buy a larger hard drive and/or ram from OWC or another third party and have an authorized apple retailer install it for you. This will still save you a considerable amount of money and protect your warranty, as a money saving hassle free solution.

I would not like to be responsible in any way for people accidentally screwing up while installing their own ram/hard drive and possibly voiding their warranty. Sorry for not mentioning this issue previously in my review.

Awesome home system5
Just purchased am already very happy with the decision. This was a replacement system that I purchased for my wife - I am the home tech support resource and I was tired of constantly having to keep her system patched, updated and rebuilt (from XP to Vista SP1) in order to fight off ad/malware that was constantly infecting it.

Even though the hardware spec's for the Mini are lighter than the Vista system that it replaced, it is much snappier in browsing and using the included applications as compared to the Vista equivalents. One correction to the displayed specs on Amazon - the included adapter is a mini-DVI to full DVI adapter, not a DVI/VGA adapter as listed. If your old monitor does not support DVI, you will need to get a new monitor that supports it. Considering the graphics focus of Mac systems, this is a worthwhile investment in any case if you have an old VGA only monitor - the graphics will really "pop" when you convert to DVI.

Update will follow in a few weeks once I have the wife fully converted over to the new system.

A Powerful Machine For Many Things5
This Mac mini builds on the success of the last one. The biggest upgrade to the machine is the new graphics. With this change, movies and games perform much better.

Items of clarification: Currently the description on Amazon lists 4 USB ports, but there are actually five.

Also, the Mac mini no longer comes with an Apple Remote so if you're looking to use it as a media server, you may want to pick one of those up.

Our favorite upgrade in this new machine is the ability to handle more RAM. It can now address 4GB of RAM, and it is also DDR3 RAM so it performs much better.

Also, the upgrade to Firewire 800 allows for some very fast external drives if you're looking for increased storage.

We have a few hundred Mac minis performing as servers at macminicolo. According to our early benchmarks, this machine will be even better at for a server. No doubt this is due mainly to the faster, increased RAM.

About Apple Mac mini MB464LL/A Desktop detail

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #250 in Personal Computers
  • Brand: Apple
  • Model: MB464LL/A
  • Dimensions: 10.00" h x 9.00" w x 7.00" l, 6.00 pounds

Features

  • Elegant, energy-efficient, compact desktop Mac measures 6.5 inches square, 2 inches tall--just add keyboard, mouse, and monitor
  • 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 320 GB hard drive, 2 GB RAM (4 GB max), 8x SuperDrive with dual-layer support
  • Draft-N Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n); Gigabit Ethernet; Bluetooth 2.1; NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics with 256 MB of shared memory
  • Five USB 2.0 ports; one FireWire 800 port; Mini-DVI and Mini DisplayPort video output
  • Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard, iLife '09, and Front Row software included

Apple Mac mini MB464LL/A Desktop Description

The Mac Mini features the powerful 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor. It has two cores, so it's like having two 2.0GHz processors in one! Another great feature is the suite of applications in iLife '09. Full-featured collections of programs that are designed to let you easily take control of your creative projects. iPhoto organizes your Digital pics, and has a cool feature that groups them by event. iWeb makes it easy to create your own website. iMovie & iDVD lets you Edit your videos and make your own DVD movies. GarageBand gives you the tools to make your own music, and even start your own virtual band! All of this and more are made from sleek, anodized aluminum with refined, rounded corners and a pearly white cover that can fit anywhere! NVIDIA GeForce 9400M with 256MB DDR3 Shared Video Memory Slot-loading 8x SuperDrive (DVD+-RW DL/CD-RW) AirPort Extreme (802.11a/b/g/n) Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR 10/100/1000BASE-T (Gigabit) Ports - 5 x USB 2.0, FireWire 800, Optical Digital Audio Output/Headphone out, Optical Digital Audio input/audio line in, Mini DisplayPort with support for DVI, and VGA, connections via Optional Adapter, RJ-45 (LAN) Approximate Unit Dimensions - 2 (H) x 6.5 (W) x 6.5 (D) Approximate Unit Weight - 2.9 Pounds


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