Core Duo? or Core Solo?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by JD92, Mar 28, 2006.

  1. JD92 macrumors 6502a

    JD92

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    #1
    Hey guys, currently I got a 400mhz G3 iMac. Yeh, slow!
    Anyway, I'm wanting to upgrade, coz this thing really is beginnin to get too slow for me, so I was wondering if I should go for a Core Solo or Duo, coz I want a Mac Mini.
    I'm currently in highschool, so it's kinda hard to get £449 together for the Core Solo version! I was just wondering, how big is the performance difference between Duo and Solo? Do you think I should upgrade to 1gb of RAM or stick with 512, considering 1gb would cost an extra £70?

    Thanks alot
    Jackster
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #2
    Do you do any processor intensive work? RAM is the most important upgrade to 1 GB is worth it. The extra core is nice but you'd only benefit the most if you're going to do some power hungry work. The Solo is fine for web browsing and office work.
     
  3. JD92 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    JD92

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    #3
    hmmm, I'd probably mainly be using Firefox, iTunes and Adium. To be honest, i'd like to be able to do so much more, so far I've not really seen what Macs can do because of this slow CPU.
    I'd probably use a little bit of Garage Band, doubt I'll use iPhoto or iMovie much. I'd be playing a few DVDs too. Probably the thing I'd do which is most power hungry is convert some DVDs to mp4 for my iPod, but I'd be prepared to wait a while for that to finish.

    So, basically I have three choices, Mac Mini Core Duo 512mb RAM, Mac Mini Core Solo 1gb RAM, or Mac Mini Core Solo 512mb RAM. THink i'd be able to manage with the Solo 512mb? Or is it really important that I upgrade to 1gb for what I want to do? Could I upgrade the RAM later?

    Thanks,
    Jackster
     
  4. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Location:
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    #4
    OS X Tiger really demands 1 GB of RAM. Unless you're going to run PowerPC applications through Rosetta, the Universal iLife applications will run just fine.

    Upgrading later means you'd nearly have to tear the machine apart. It's much more difficult than it was on the G4 Mini's.
     
  5. JD92 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    JD92

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    #5
    So best to go for the Core Solo 1gb?
    Woudl it be possible to take it to an Apple retailer and get it upgraded to 1gb ram later?
     
  6. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #6
    You should be able to but they're charge you in addition to the RAM itself.
     
  7. JD92 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    JD92

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    Apr 14, 2005
  8. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

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    Apr 8, 2004
    #8
    If you can get the cash together, go for the Duo. Dual cores don't really speed up most things on the computer since most apps aren't yet written for multiple cores, but you really notice it when doing two or more CPU intensive tasks at the same time.

    For instance, I can import CDs into iTunes (a 100% CPU task) and not affect my Java project compile times at all. Or you can render a movie in iDVD and edit a Word document and build a C++ executable and listen to iTunes without any stuttering or slow downs, even on the Mini.

    Then, in a couple of years, when you upgrade to an 8-core PowerMac and get your high definition 1080p TV, you can move the Mini to the living room and use it to stream HD movies from the PM to the TV.
     
  9. JD92 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    JD92

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    Apr 14, 2005
    #9
    *drool*
    I wish i had enough money for a Duo.
    Infact I wish I had enough money for even a Solo :(
     
  10. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Mar 23, 2005
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    Indianapolis
    #10
    Yeah, simple clock speed increases are getting hard to get with power and heat limitations. So we get Dual Core CPU's to balance the load and give the appearance of more speed. It's not REALLY faster but you have more CPU time to play with.

    With the Core Duo you'll be able to multitask even while doing intensive CPU usage. It'll be split between the cores instead of all on one. It just depends on if you have the money to spend on that Duo Core Mini and would really need it.
     
  11. corywoolf macrumors 65816

    corywoolf

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2004
    #11
    I would at least go with 1 GB of RAM. My MBP 1.83 Ghz is on its way to my house as we speak, I already purchased 2x 1 GB sticks of RAM for it and have no use for the stock 512 MB stick, so if you are interested in it, I would sell it to you for $60 (USD) shipped. I believe the new Mac Mini's have 2 RAM slots. PM if you are interested. I have sold/traded 3 different items so far on MR and you should talk to amacgenius, moviecutter, or anyone else who has dealt with me. On second thought, it would be a biatch to install it yourself (probably).

    Good luck

    -Cory
     
  12. JD92 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    JD92

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    Apr 14, 2005
    #12
    Heh, sorry, no thanks, I'd probably break it while fitting it :cool:
    I think I'll go for Core Solo 1gb then, thanks guys!

    Jackster
     
  13. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Mar 23, 2005
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    Indianapolis
    #13
    http://www.macworld.com/weblogs/macword/2006/03/minicsi/index.php

    http://nak.journalspace.com/?entryid=420

    Have fun installing that RAM.
     
  14. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #14
    Other posters have covered all the bases, but just chime in:

    The Core Duo is most useful when multitasking - not many apps are written to take advantage of the dual cores but OS X will use both cores to keep things speedy when you are running multiple apps.

    I think it's worth the extra money for the Duo but at the same time I wouldn't feel bad with the Core Solo - it has very good performance.

    Upgrade to 1GB RAM as soon as you can afford it.
     
  15. ryan macrumors 6502

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    May 17, 2002
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #15
    One of the nice things about the new mini's is that the processor is upgradable. So, if you buy the Core Solo version now, and come into some extra money down the line you can upgrade all the way to 2.13GHz Core Duo.
     
  16. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #16
    This is true. It might really extend the useful life of the Mini.

    Socketed CPUs with off-the shelf upgrades = a good thing for the consumer, and a new experience for Mac users. Previously CPU upgrades have only been available from specialist vendors and are not particularly cheap.
     
  17. Caitlyn macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 30, 2005
    #17
    I think a Core Solo will do you just fine. :) But you might want to buy the RAM from Apple. 1GB. Most of the time, I don't reccomend this. I tell people to up it themselves. But from what I've seen and heard, the Mini is a pain to open up.
     
  18. zami macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2003
    Location:
    South London
    #18
    Deliver time is very long in the UK for BTO at the moment. I ordered on 15/03/06 and they are now quoting 14/04/06, they have put back twice the last time by 18 days.
     

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