Intel Mini Performance - WoW, MATLAB, Pro/E

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Angrist, Oct 27, 2006.

  1. Angrist macrumors 6502

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    Mar 11, 2005
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    MI or NJ
    #1
    So I've come to the conclusion that I need a 4th computer.

    I need to be able to run MATLAB and Pro/Engineer at home, so I need a Windows compatible box. I can put together a very capable system from newegg for ~$1000, but that is a little risky and evolves a bunch of work.

    So being an Apple fan for a long time, I've been eyeing a Mini instead. Has anyone had any experience running Pro/E or another CAD package on a Core Duo Mini? I'd expect the graphics card to be VERY underpowered.

    Also, I'm using a 1.33GHz G4 Powerbook to play WoW, and while it runs OK it is VERY hot and the framerates are only in the 10-28 fps range. Any personal experience on a Core Duo?
     
  2. mleary macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2006
    #2
    Matlab should run great, esp. if you have the multithreaded version to take advantage of both cores. The mini uses Intel 950 intergrated graphics which is pretty bad. I don't know anything about Pro/E but if it needs a decent GPU I would no reccomened getting a mini.

    I've played WoW on the mini and it is playable but not great.
     
  3. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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  4. Angrist thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Mar 11, 2005
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    MI or NJ
    #4
    Thought about it.
    I've already got a 17" iMac G4 (Which I love) and I don't want another All-in-One. The plan was to share a monitor and keyboard with my PowerMac.

    The big appeal of the mini over building an AMD box is the cost, a 1.66 Core Duo can be had ~$600.

    I don't need storage space, DVD burning or a camera. Just an Intel machine with some graphics horsepower.
     
  5. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #5
    That's why the mid-range iMac is a better choice than the Mini or another integrated graphics Mac (low end iMac/iBook). Even though the X1600 GPU is no speed demon, it's better than the GMA950. Plus the 3.5" HDD is significantly faster and you get a bunch more goodies (iSight, ...).

    The iMac (even the 17") would run circles around your other Macs, so you could even consider selling one of them and using Rosetta for any legacy PPC apps.

    B
     
  6. wPod macrumors 68000

    wPod

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    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #6
    matlab will run great! ive used it before and it does well on the mac mini, along with mathmatica (which i prefer of the 2) and both being the mac versions. i have also used AutoCAD under windows and it works well. As fast or faster than a similarly speced windows machine with a P4 chip and seperate video card. i really wish i could get Pro-e working, but the site lisensing my company uses wont work on my mini at home (and they wont buy me a stand alone copy to bring home, but thats ok, i dont want to do work at home anyway!!)

    but the mini should do well for everything you want. and possibly mediocre in the game playing dept. but for hard core gaming, you just have to go with a windows machine.
     
  7. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    UK
    #7
    My Macbook runs circles around my iMac G5, just think what a Core processor would do over a G4.
     
  8. mduser63 macrumors 68040

    mduser63

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    Nov 9, 2004
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #8
    Might be worth noting that Matlab won't run under OS X on an Intel Mac yet, although there is an Intel-compatible beta available (supposedly, I haven't received mine yet). I realize that you were talking about running it under Windows, but it seems like a better option to run it under OS X when that becomes supported.
     
  9. menziep macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 21, 2006
    #9
    Yeah the Core Cpu is Better Than the IBM PowerG4 :eek:
     
  10. ChickenSwartz macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 27, 2006
    #10
    Haven't gotten mine either. Are they ever coming?
     
  11. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

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    Mar 30, 2004
    #11
    Don't expect much better from the Core Duo. The dual-core architecture does little when integrated graphics are involved. My brother has a 1.42 GHz Mac mini (G4) and it runs WoW the same, if not better, than my 1.83 GHz MacBook (Intel). If you must get a Mac mini, upgrade the RAM to 2GB.
     
  12. mduser63 macrumors 68040

    mduser63

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    #12
    There's another thread about this. No one has said that they've received their copy.
     
  13. jeffy.dee-lux macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    montreal
    #13
    Well... its not a mini, but I just installed SolidWorks on my iMac and it runs super smooth.
     
  14. Angrist thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Mar 11, 2005
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    MI or NJ
    #14
    Hmmmm .... Thanks for all the feedback.

    It's going to be a tough call to make, but at least now I've got more info.
     
  15. 2ms macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2002
    #15
    I'm an engineer and work all day in Pro/E on a 20" iMac. It's great. However, the mac mini has integrated graphics. That said, I worked on a laptop with integrated graphics for about 6 months -- no issues at all.

    Basically it depends on the scale of the work you are doing. If you are designing things with like 3,000,000 part assemblies - a Boeing 747 with every bolt, rivet and wire + tire treads and texture on the seat cussions hah, then you need FireGL or Quadra graphics. However, you can work on pretty big things with just integrated graphics. This little X1600 is plenty for me.

    Matlab obviously will scream on a C2D.
     
  16. ChickenSwartz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    #16
    Haven't gotten mine either. Grrr...I was hoping that this beta would be good enough to hold me over until the release a retail copy and I would buy. I need to get Matlab, I might have to buy Windows and the Windows Matlab.....Grrr.
     
  17. rogermhsu macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 23, 2003
    Location:
    Palo Alto, CA
    #17
    I also work all day in Pro/E and am thinking of getting a new Intel Mac so I can do some work from home. Are you running Pro/E via Boot Camp or Parallels? I would really like to run Pro/E through Parallels so that I can access my Mac apps without having to reboot. I'm hoping to find some people who are successfully running Pro/E through Parallels.
     
  18. Gurutech macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    #18
    I run Matlab and Mathematica on my mini CD 1.66 Ghz with no problem. (however, I run those stuff in Windows XP)

    This is stocked version which has 512 Mb Ram. So you get the idea.
    I don't really know that much about Pro/E however.
    What i really like about this mini is that it's virtually silent and small.
     
  19. 2ms macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2002
    #19
    I am just using BootCamp for now because I have huge deadline coming quick, just got iMac couple weeks ago, and felt it unwise to take chances of having problems with Parallels. If you look at Parallels compatibility confirmation records listed on their site AutoCAD gets a very high rating but no input on Pro/E yet. If you've got time go ahead and do Parallels it will probably work great I just am happy with dual-booting right now and didnt feel like looking into Parallels until after deadline.

    ps - remember that os X is able to access, read, write to, from Windows partition though you cant run Apple apps in Windows
     
  20. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

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    Jun 14, 2006
    #20
    Remember that the entry level 17" iMac also has the GMA 950 chip, so that wouldn't really offer any advantages over the MacMini. You'd want to go for the one with the X1600 built in...
     

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