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refubished mac's.....

I have been told (by several people now) that buying a refurbished mac is a wonderful idea for someone on a budget that is willing to sacrifice some of the newer features (retina display, haswell processors, thunderbolt 2.0...ect) for the sake of cost. I (think) im one of these people. I am giving serious thought to buying a refubished mid-2012/ 2.56GHz i5 Macbook pro with 4g of ram and a 500gb HDD. For $70 less you can get the 1.3GHz 13 inch Macbook air, which is a mid 2013 model with a 128GB SSD and a better graphics card and slightly better resolution. As for use, I dont plan on gaming (much, maybe alittle on steam) or doing anything else graphics-intensive. Mostly for browsing the web and some amateur audio prodction with a program like Reason or FL Studio.

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another contender.....

is the i7 macmini.......i think its a 2011 model, and honestly the least attractive to me (no disc drive on the mini or the music library consists of a lot of cd's, and the obvious lack of a display, mouse and keyboard)......The price, however is the cheapest, which i like. So, if you were in my shoes which would you choose? I almost posted the link to the apple refubished section for you to make your own comparisons, but i wasnt sure if that was allowed..

Thanks in advance for your time,

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I'd go with the mini

Which comes with OS X Server edition and two hard drives.

Be aware, the there is NO optical drive on this version.

BYO monitor, keyboard and mouse


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there lies my problem....

The lack of a disc drive is a con (for me, at least.) to the macbook air or mac mini. May i ask why you chose it as the "best" of the 3? is it the i7? either way, if i did go that route i would need to purchase a new keyboard, CD drive, mouse and display, as the ones i have are around 10 years old and have seen better days. With the added cost of all that, This setup will cost me about $900-1100, which is as much as the non retina macbook pro.

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Then your decision is made,

but a keyboard and mouse are really cheap and a decent monitor can be had for $150 or less.

As for the optical drive, an extern USB Optical drive are also very cheap.

I went with the faster processor and the increased storage space


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makes sense....

i thought my decision was made up with the 2012 MBP, but i have been recently urged by a family member and apple fanatic to go for the 2013 air, with the main reasons being newer components, better resolution, and the lightning-quick SSD. The air has considerably less storage than the 2012 pro, but my main space-eater as far as storage will only really be a big i-tunes library. So at this pont, im on the fence between the 2 laptops. If i get the air, i will need to buy an external cd drive (btw, are there any known cons to an external disc drive as opposed to internal?). And probably an external harddrive at some point.

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External vs Internal Optical drive

Yes, the external is MUCH easier to replace if it fails!

You WILL be purchasing an external HD as soon as you get the MBP or MBA.

You do believe in backups, I presume?


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I have owned probably 5-6 desktops/laptops in my life and i havent backed-up a single one.(i did manage to salvage my i-tunes from the last one onto a flash drive, but everything else is gone.)

I admittedly dont know much about computers, just basic troubleshooting. I got the pc itunes on a flash drive and i have no idea how to put it on a different computer haha......shows how much i know.

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If you saved the actual music,

and not the iTunes application itself, all you need to do when you get your new mac, is to put the flash drive into the Mac and import the music tracks into the version of iTunes that will come on the Mac.


Hard drives do not last as long as they used to and it is not a question of IF your hard drive will fail, but WHEN.


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sweet, thanks!

I guess that would have been my first guess haha. What you said about the hard drives failing, is that true even with the new SSd's in some computers now? I was told they were less prone to failure and data loss. And as far as backing everything else up besides itunes, is it similar or is there some program you run or something?

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It's true that SSD's have a better survival rate,

but all SSD's have a limited life span which is measured in the number of times you can Write to the device. That number is very high, should take years to get there, but it does exist.
There is no limit to the number of times you can Read from it.

As for Backup, OS X comes with an app called Time Machine which will automatically backup your machine once an hour to a hard drive which is not the one you booted from.

It has save my butt a number of times.

More details here:


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thanks for all the info.....Since you seem to know a lot

Do you have any idea why there are no HDMI ports on the new Macbooks? It seems to be a pretty widely used cable type these days... I know there is an adapter you can buy, but having a Macbook air and a seperate CD drive,Hard drive, and Thunderbolt to HDMI adapter seems like a lot of extra stuff i "have"to buy in order to enjoy some of the features that other laptops at the $1000 mark consider standard.

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