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keymoo
May 24, 2005, 03:30 PM
I've gone and ordered myself a mini. After much mental mastication, I decided to try out Tiger and see if it can give my XP machines a run for their money. I have ordered a 1.42Ghz, 80Gb HD, 256MB RAM model and ordered a 1Gb memory chip from crucial.

Can I fit the memory module myself, or do I have to take it to an Apple store?

jsw
May 24, 2005, 03:36 PM
It's a pretty easy process to add the RAM, as long as you have two putty knives around (although apparently one will do the trick as well). If you can't find the video on the web showing you how to upgrade, post back, and I'm sure we can find it for you.

The mini's a great way to try out OS X (good idea to bump the RAM, btw) - and, really, the only eye candy you lose out on is the "splash" effect new Dashboard items have when you insert them... in other words, you're not missing out on much!

jsw
May 24, 2005, 03:40 PM
Just one, likely obvious, thing: the mini is just a 1.42 MHz G4 running with a 4200 RPM hard drive and an old GPU. It's a great little machine - fantastic for the price and size - but it won't "feel" as fast as a newer mid-to-high-end XP machine. The money buys you a lot of included software, though, and Tiger. If you really like the OS, Apple has a few more expensive models with more power. ;)

keymoo
May 24, 2005, 03:42 PM
Thanks for your reply.
It's a pretty easy process to add the RAM, as long as you have two putty knives around (although apparently one will do the trick as well). If you can't find the video on the web showing you how to upgrade, post back, and I'm sure we can find it for you.
I would certainly appreciate a link! Thanks!
...the only eye candy you lose out on is the "splash" effect new Dashboard items have when you insert them... in other words, you're not missing out on much!
Why is that? Surely the splash effect is an OS feature not linked to hardware? I'm curious to know the reason.

pinto32
May 24, 2005, 03:43 PM
http://www.macworld.com/weblogs/editors/2005/01/macminiinside/index.php

Here's a quick guide to upgrading the mini's memory. If it doesn't fit your tastes, there are many more out there on the web.

Also, good choice with the upgrade, and welcome to the wonderful world of the Mac!

~Switcher, December 2003

keymoo
May 24, 2005, 03:44 PM
Just one, likely obvious, thing: the mini is just a 1.42 MHz G4 running with a 4200 RPM hard drive and an old GPU. It's a great little machine - fantastic for the price and size - but it won't "feel" as fast as a newer mid-to-high-end XP machine. The money buys you a lot of included software, though, and Tiger. If you really like the OS, Apple has a few more expensive models with more power. ;)
I'm not likely going to need the GPU anyway, I'm not going to be playing games with it, although I will be using it for manipulating and printing digital photos, and I may even have a go at transferring my analog video footage...

jsw
May 24, 2005, 03:46 PM
Why is that? Surely the splash effect is an OS feature not linked to hardware? I'm curious to know the reason.It's linked to the GPU, and Tiger (Core Image, specifically) requires a 64MB card to do the effect.

Not to say that the GPU in the mini couldn't do it, but Tiger scales down the eye candy when it's on a lower-end GPU.

But - seriously - it's not worth losing sleep over. It's a ripple when you add an item in Dashboard. No big deal.

screensaver400
May 24, 2005, 03:47 PM
The "splash" effect is accelerated by the graphics card via a new feature called CoreImage. The graphics card in the mini isn't powerful enough, so it just doesn't work. Its the same reason Doom 3 won't work on "Intel Extreme Graphics" and such.

(I'm certain someone will post a link now saying they've gotten Doom 3 to work on such a graphics board... but my point is still made.)

Anyway, its just eye candy at this point. No functionality is lost, except maybe some CoreImage effects in future programs. See the CoreImage threads here for more details on that.

EDIT: Haha, you beat me!

pinto32
May 24, 2005, 03:51 PM
Why is that? Surely the splash effect is an OS feature not linked to hardware? I'm curious to know the reason.

With Tiger, Apple switched most of the graphics processing over to the graphics chip, rather than the old method of having the main CPU handle much of the graphics (like in all Mac OS's up to 10.3 as well as all versions of Windows).

If you are still curious, look up Core Image, Core Video, and Core Audio.

yellow
May 24, 2005, 03:52 PM
Congrats. Enjoy!

baummer
May 24, 2005, 03:52 PM
Why is that? Surely the splash effect is an OS feature not linked to hardware? I'm curious to know the reason.

You are correct that is a feature of the OS, however, it is a feature that is dependent upon certain hardware requirements of which the Mac mini does not meet.

The Mac mini is equipped with a modest (but more than enough for the Mac mini's target audience) graphics card, the ATI Radeon 9200 with 32MB of DDR video memory. The splash effect is a function of OS X Tiger's Core Imaging, which works best with the ATI Radeon 9600 or higher equivalent.

Basically, the Mac mini's graphics card is too weak to take advantage of core imaging. Rumors speculate that the next revision of the mini will offer a better graphics card that will easily handle core imaging functions.

keymoo
May 24, 2005, 03:52 PM
Thanks guys. I really am not that bothered about the splash effect, although I quite liked it when I saw it in the apple store, but I'm sure the novelty wears off after 10 minutes, if not before.

If I like OSX and get on well with it, but if I find it slow, I will upgrade it to a G5. I've bought the mini as a test machine to see if it really is worth switching from Windows.

dmw007
May 26, 2005, 08:03 AM
Keymoo,

Welcome to Mac! You will not regret your decision. I just recently purchased a new PowerMac G5 (waiting for it to arrive :D ) and have been using Macs for over a year. During my short experience with apple computers and Mac OS I have fell head over heels. You will love your mini. Congrats on your switch!!!

Yvan256
May 26, 2005, 09:28 AM
It's linked to the GPU, and Tiger (Core Image, specifically) requires a 64MB card to do the effect.

Not to say that the GPU in the mini couldn't do it, but Tiger scales down the eye candy when it's on a lower-end GPU.

But - seriously - it's not worth losing sleep over. It's a ripple when you add an item in Dashboard. No big deal.

Apple never said anything about "requiring a 64MB card". This page (http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/coreimage/) only talks about requiring a programmable GPU. A Radeon 9200 with 256MB wouldn't be able to do it, but a Radeon 9600/32MB would (at least, I don't see anything about 32/64MB VRAM requirements on this page).

Platform
May 26, 2005, 09:32 AM
Apple never said anything about "requiring a 64MB card". This page (http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/coreimage/) only talks about requiring a programmable GPU. A Radeon 9200 with 256MB wouldn't be able to do it, but a Radeon 9600/32MB would (at least, I don't see anything about 32/64MB VRAM requirements on this page).

Correct........it is the Shaders etc. that count ;) "Level"

Yvan256
May 26, 2005, 09:34 AM
I've gone and ordered myself a mini. After much mental mastication, I decided to try out Tiger and see if it can give my XP machines a run for their money. I have ordered a 1.42Ghz, 80Gb HD, 256MB RAM model and ordered a 1Gb memory chip from crucial.

Can I fit the memory module myself, or do I have to take it to an Apple store?

I switched via a Mac mini (1.42GHz/80GB/512MB), and I dropped my Athlon XP 2400+, 512MB, 80GB, Windows XP Pro box after only 3 days.

Sure, the Mac mini sucks at recent games (though I still play World of Warcraft on it, but at the lowest settings and resolution) but it's still pretty decent in "old" games (UT2004 for exemple) if you keep it in 1024x768 with medium quality settings.

Good call on the 1GB choice, BTW. I'm looking to replace my 512MB with 1GB myself. I wish the Mac mini had TWO memory slots, or at least 256/512MB soldered on-board (and one free slot).