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Summary:

Ordered your Mac Mini yet? I have, but I’ve got the same problem I always have with Apple computers, only this time with no alternative. See, the Mac Mini comes with just 256MB RAM, that really isn’t a lot for OS X and most people are […]

Ordered your Mac Mini yet?

I have, but I’ve got the same problem I always have with Apple computers, only this time with no alternative.

See, the Mac Mini comes with just 256MB RAM, that really isn’t a lot for OS X and most people are going to want to upgrade that to at least 512MB and quite possibly 1GB. Apple let you do this through the normal BTO system, but as always, the prices on the RAM they fit are so inflated that it’s just not economical to do so.

For example, here in the UK, a BTO option of 512MB costs an extra £50. That’s actually not bad when you consider that a 512MB DIMM will cost you about £50. But if you want to upgrade to 1GB, the BTO cost is a whopping £290 (or $425 in the US).

I can buy a 1GB DIMM for £113 ($222) and that’s retail (and probably not the cheapest); Apple can probably get them a lot cheaper than that. I can’t imagine that the actual time to install will cost much more than the money they save on those 256MB DIMMs. That means, even just considering the difference in retail, Apple is making over £170 ($200) each time you select a 1GB BTO option.

Of course in any other piece of Apple hardware we could fit it ourselves, but Apple have made it clear that this is an Apple Authorised job only. Even so, you’ll probably still save money buying a 1GB DIMM somewhere else and getting it fitted after purchase than including it as BTO.

Don’t get stiffed on the RAM; that £170 ($200) can go towards another Mac Mini ;)

PS: Note as well the usual horrendous over-charging here in the UK which makes the difference and costs even worse (the high-end Mini-Mac costs us $750, compared to your $599, even before we add extra RAM).

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  1. I feel bad about the price difference for you guys. But, hey think of it as being the price you pay for not having Bush.

  2. No, it’s the price we pay for having Blair :(

    Feel more sorry for those people who buy the extra 1GB in the US and don’t realize that Apple are making at least $200 pure profit on the transaction ;)

  3. I think you’ll find we’ve had VAT at 17.5% for a lot longer than the current government. It was raised to that when Maggie abandoned the poll tax.

    And remember also, there are sales taxes in the US, they just aren’t talked about up front like VAT is in the UK and Europe.

    The fair comparison is US retail price vs UK ex vat retail price to see if Apple are stiffing people. On that. There’s a $40 difference, but thats within the margin of error for an exchange rate buffer.

  4. Except that state tax comparisons have nothing to do with Apple over-charging for their RAM prices.

  5. Threadwatch.org Wednesday, January 12, 2005

    The Mac Mini – $500 Mini Mac – Web Round Up

    It’s finally here, after weeks of Speculation,

  6. You guys are goons. The RAM is that expensive because it is NOTEBOOK MEMORY. Why don’t you head over to Crucial or anywhere and look up how much a 1GB stick of notebook memory goes for? The price for the 1GB of RAM upgrade is inline with industry prices the moment. Do your homework before slamming them….

  7. Even if it *was* notebook RAM, (and by that, you mean an SODIMM), you are still being overcharged. I can buy a 1GB DDR333 SODIMM for £175+VAT (Link), and I doubt they are the cheapest.
    Apple still want to charge me £290+VAT.
    I can’t find any info about whether it’s a standard 184 pin DIMM or a 200-pin SODIMM that the Mini-Mac uses, but either way, Apple are still overcharging.

  8. Has anyone actually played with the device to see how performance is?

  9. The wow factor is less so given the closed form – but only because Apple charge for RAM like some street corner hustler. The mini is still awesome, it suits my ready-to-switch-as-soon-mac-is-cheaper Mum, but my son – who I was going to get an eMac for – could do with more RAM along with Airport Extreme and a Superdrive. The price creeps up, and add the ram and BLAM! it’s not quite as “cheap” as it first looks. I still love it and want one, but iWork, iLife 05 and FCE are first on the list!

  10. The sales tax issue is not important if you buy it on Amazon (assuming it will be available there like all the other apple gear), or if you live in or close to a tax-free state (like Delaware…).

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