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View Full Version : Time to get a new(er) mini?




nhcowboy1
Feb 21, 2008, 08:13 PM
I have a 1.5 GHz G4 mini with 1.0 GB ram.

The three apps I usually have open on it are safari, word and eudora (for email). It seems like things aren't going quite as quickly as they're supposed to. Switching between the open apps, I'm starting to notice that the mini really seems to be slowing down. It hasn't gotten to the point of crashing, but it does have moments when it just . . . takes . . . forever . . . to do something simple like return to a previous browser page or open an email. Rebooting doesn't seem to improve things.

It seemed so zippy when I first got it - but that was compared to the G3 that I had before!

Is it time to get a newer one? And, if so, how new to I have to go before I'll see a noticeable difference? I'm not doing music or graphics or even anything that requires a huge amount of space - it's just basically those three programs. If I upgrade to a 1.66 CD, will that be enough of a change to be worth doing? Or should I be looking at a 1.83 instead? Obviously, cost is an issue - but I'm also not doing anything that warrants getting a really powerful machine.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!



dbam987
Feb 21, 2008, 08:39 PM
What version of Mac OSX are you running? One idea you could try is to erase the hard drive and reinstall Mac OSX and your applications. If you choose that route, save your documents to a CD/DVD, or USB thumb stick before you choose that route. Often times this speeds up things dramatically as your computer becomes "de-cluttered".

One thing I like about Mac OSX is how easy it is to even perform a clean install on a Mac machine.

nhcowboy1
Feb 21, 2008, 09:00 PM
What version of Mac OSX are you running?

Oh, right, forgot to mention that, didn't I? OS X 10.4.11.

One idea you could try is to erase the hard drive and reinstall Mac OSX and your applications.

Okay . . . . hadn't thought of that. Makes sense. Uhhh . . . how do I do it? And what folders do I need to save to keep my preferences and such intact? Thanks!

nhcowboy1
Feb 21, 2008, 10:29 PM
But about getting a newer machine . . . would it be worth it to upgrade to a 1.66? Would there be a noticeable difference in performance?

dukeblue91
Feb 21, 2008, 10:40 PM
But about getting a newer machine . . . would it be worth it to upgrade to a 1.66? Would there be a noticeable difference in performance?

Yes there would be a huge difference in speed.
I also would recommend to max out the ram on what ever Mini you get.

dowser
Feb 22, 2008, 05:21 AM
Yes there would be a huge difference in speed.
I also would recommend to max out the ram on what ever Mini you get.

Yes RAM is the issue, far more than CPU speed, according to my experience. My ”old” mac mini (Intel 1,83MHz double CPU+512 RAM ) was giving me the ”spinning beachball” every now and then even though the CPU activity monitoring (Menumeters) was showing a very light use of both processors.
The virtual memory was jumping up to 1,5 GB after the launch and use of a few basic apps (iTunes+Mail+Firefox+iCal) and i had to quit them all or re-log to get back to 512 of VM. Painful…

Now i upgraded to a 2,0GHz but with 2GB of RAM, and the difference is just amazing.

netdog
Feb 22, 2008, 05:25 AM
Wait for Santa Rosa...


Up to 4GB of RAM
x3100 Graphics

dbam987
Feb 22, 2008, 12:44 PM
Wait for Santa Rosa...


Up to 4GB of RAM
x3100 Graphics


The wait for that is agonizing. I don't think we'll ever see it. :(

Ugg
Feb 22, 2008, 01:40 PM
If your hard drive is full, that might be part of the problem. I found that with my 1.5 ghz PB, I needed at least 10 gigs free. Anything less than that would slow it down noticeably.

dowser
Feb 22, 2008, 03:14 PM
If your hard drive is full, that might be part of the problem. I found that with my 1.5 ghz PB, I needed at least 10 gigs free. Anything less than that would slow it down noticeably.

Well, I have no clue whether my opinion can stand in front of a developper who knows probably better about geek topics, but i believe you can run any mac without noticeable slow down with a couple of GBís, but only if you never EVER filled up your disk. Filling up and then getting back space by deleting only some of the files (even if itís the bigger ones unless they were bigger than 1/2 GB) will result in a disk where the virtual memory gets fragmented as soon as it tries to get 512MB slices of the cake (usually it increases 1st from 64 to 128 then to 256 and 512 and straight to 1GB, 1,5GB, then i believe there would be another 512MB leap to 2GB (i personnally have never seen this happening), then probably swallows another full GB in one bite, if you keep launching apps or using some of the more greedy ones.

Donít believe what is shown in the Activity Monitor about VM, it does not make sense to me, right now it says VM=56.74GB when my HD is just 56.56, and only about 30 are free!

The memory menu of MenuMeters lets you see how fast the apps and system are eating up your free space with VM. Itís donationware.

dj420118
Feb 22, 2008, 04:19 PM
I have a 1.5 GHz G4 mini with 1.0 GB ram.

The three apps I usually have open on it are safari, word and eudora (for email). It seems like things aren't going quite as quickly as they're supposed to. Switching between the open apps, I'm starting to notice that the mini really seems to be slowing down. It hasn't gotten to the point of crashing, but it does have moments when it just . . . takes . . . forever . . . to do something simple like return to a previous browser page or open an email. Rebooting doesn't seem to improve things.

It seemed so zippy when I first got it - but that was compared to the G3 that I had before!

Is it time to get a newer one? And, if so, how new to I have to go before I'll see a noticeable difference? I'm not doing music or graphics or even anything that requires a huge amount of space - it's just basically those three programs. If I upgrade to a 1.66 CD, will that be enough of a change to be worth doing? Or should I be looking at a 1.83 instead? Obviously, cost is an issue - but I'm also not doing anything that warrants getting a really powerful machine.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!

I don't know what price range you are looking at but the new Mini's are very very inexpensive compared to all of Apple's other computers. But a refurbished one would probably be best for you.

nhcowboy1
Feb 22, 2008, 04:36 PM
If your hard drive is full, that might be part of the problem.

Well, I've got 67+ gb free (of 80 gb), so I'm guessing that's not the problem.

But I was surprised when I upgraded the ram from 512 mg to 1.0 gb - I didn't notice any difference in speed at all. That seemed strange to me . . . I would have thought there'd be a noticeable difference.

I guess erasing the hard drive is an option. I've now done it with a laptop I have, so I know how to do it. (And I've learned such a helpful lesson: Do NOT erase the hard drive on an older machine unless you can find the install discs for the OS that you want it to be running! Going from OSX 10.3 to OS 9.2 with the push of a button is SOOOOO discouraging!)

Anyway, I can work on this one and see if I can improve its performance at all, but I've seen 1.66 CD machines selling for the same price that I paid for this one a few months back - so I'm thinking I should just trade up. Or maybe I should just wait a few more months and get the 1.83 at that price . . . .