Just How Fast Is The Mac mini?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by R.Youden, Apr 7, 2006.

  1. R.Youden macrumors 68020

    R.Youden

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    #1
    I currently have a PowerMac G4 1.42GHz DP which I think is a great machine. But now with the release of the Intel macs I am tempted to upgrade. I have a Dell 20" monitor so I am not bothered about an internal monitor. I suppose my question is how will the mac mini compare to my PowerMac? I imagine I would be able to get a bit more money for my Power Mac than the cost of a new mini. Any idea of what i would get for my Power Mac?
     
  2. mjstew33 macrumors 601

    mjstew33

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    #2
    I'd stay with the PowerMac for about a year, just to let all software transition over.
     
  3. R.Youden thread starter macrumors 68020

    R.Youden

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    Apr 1, 2005
    #3
    Yeah, a year or so is what I was think I suppose.
     
  4. milo macrumors 604

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    Sep 23, 2003
    #4
    Depends what apps you're using. If you'll be stuck with rosetta for most, might as well stay put. If you're using apps that are native, you'll see a pretty huge increase in performance.
     
  5. StealthRider macrumors 65816

    StealthRider

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    #5
    I would recommend you wait for a "Mac Pro" PowerMac replacement, if that's the kind of machine you're used to. The video system on the Intel Mac mini isn't even close to being on the same level as what your PowerMac can handle.
     
  6. MacHarne macrumors 6502

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    Mar 3, 2005
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    Virginia, U.S.A.
    #6
    Not fast enough to get rid of your MDD. It will be a different story once Adobe releases a universal binary (assuming that is a software need for yourself, as it is for me). But, until then (and even after), the MDDs will live to their golden years.
     
  7. tjwett macrumors 68000

    tjwett

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    May 6, 2002
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NYC
    #7
    well i'll say this. i recently sold my dual 1.8 G5 so that i could get rid of it while it was still worth something and the fact that it was a bit too noisy and hot for my office room. so i replaced it with a Core Duo mini with a gig of ram. i was worried that it would feel sluggish after the power mac but after a few weeks of full time use i can honestly say that this mini feels as fast as (at times faster than) my dual G5. and i'm not saying that to justify my purchase or anything. it was intended to be an affordable, temporary machine until the next Intel Power Macs (or whatever they'll call them) come out but this thing feels powerful to be a main machine. i am using it for some fairly involved audio work (Logic Pro, SoundTrack Pro, Ableton Live, Reason) and it's happily handling anything i throw at it. eventually i will still purchase a workstation because i often like to use 2 Cinema Displays at once and it's also just not possible to put a lot of hard drive in a mini. i think the biggest 7200 RPM drive you can get for it is 100GB. i got the stock 80GB 5400 RPM in mine and i filled it in the first day just with my audio files. actually had to offload my entire iTunes library onto an external drive just to free up some space. these Intels are fast little processors, the Duo especially. i would easily recommend these to anyone. snappy, silent and small. it's not workstation material but based on the performance i'm getting it could be damn close, only limited by its storage and lack of expandability. i'd say it will easily smoke your MDD Power Mac. the real question should be with your software. do you need PPC-only apps like Photoshop, etc? i use it under Rosetta on the mini and it's not that bad when working with web resolution (72dpi) images. you can wait to sell yours but it will be worth even less next year whereas right now you could easily fetch $1000 for it, probably more if you load it up with software or something. my plan is to keep the mini as my main machine until the next power macs and then the mini will end up in the living room, where it will be even cooler. :)
     
  8. generik macrumors 601

    generik

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    #8
    Quite a fair bit of life still for the dual G4 machine I suppose.

    Rosetta really stinks for PPC applications, even with the Duo.
     
  9. oingoboingo macrumors 6502a

    oingoboingo

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    Jul 31, 2003
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    Sydney, Australia
    #9
    Based on my limited experience with the dual core Mac mini, I have to agree. I messed around with a friend's 1.67GHz model for a few hours, and based on my subjective impressions of how fast it felt, I would say it is at least as fast as my 1.6GHz G5 PowerMac. I was only using Universal Binaries to test out, so my impressions are not tainted by any PowerPC native software running through Rosetta.

    So yeah...if the apps you run are available as Universal Binaries, and are not heavily dependent on graphics muscle, then the dual core Mac mini might be a worthwhile upgrade. If you're primarily using things like Photoshop which aren't UB yet, then wait. PowerMacs tend to keep their value quite well, due to the expandability and (with the G4 PowerMacs at least) the possibility of upgrading the CPU to faster G4 models. A really quick search of eBay Australia reveals dual 1GHz and dual 1.25GHz MDD PowerMac G4s going in the range of AU $800 - AU $1500, depending on configuration (I couldn't find anyone who sold a 1.42GHz model recently). So at the upper end, that's enough cash to swap straight over to a dual core mini (AU $1299).
     
  10. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

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    #10
    I find it amazing that Mac mini's are so powerful given how tiny they are! I mean, I know we're comparing them to 'older' towers here, but the footprint and style of the Mac mini would make it desirable at half the power. Add in the 'reasonable' price, Front Row and iLife '06 and the Core Duo really is an awesome package. I'm over the moon with mine :)
     
  11. punkmac macrumors regular

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    Jan 27, 2004
    #11
    faster than a mini?


    I love mine SO much. It rocks! Why not give it a Handbrake test, try encoding H.264 and see what you get. I'm encoding at 24-30 FPS. That's sometimes faster than real time. I think it's definitely on par with year old Powermacs as far as speed(not storage and expansion).

    I.
     
  12. oingoboingo macrumors 6502a

    oingoboingo

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    Sydney, Australia
    #12
    Yeah, if you're not worried about playing games, doing heavy 3D work, or running a huge Oracle database, then the new Intel minis are pretty damned amazing general purpose computers. I did spend a few hours contemplating selling up my 1.6GHz G5 and swapping over to a dual-core mini, but in the end the lure of being able dual-boot Windows and get back into some gaming convinced me to save my pennies for an Intel Mac with a stronger graphics chip.

    That said, my friend who bought the mini is a software developer (mostly Java), and he's similarly over the moon with the speed improvement for what he uses it for.
     
  13. generik macrumors 601

    generik

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    #13
    Just to add, I'm really pleased I didn't give in and buy that dual core 2.0Ghz G5 PowerMac last year.

    Sure, I'd appreciate the upgradability and stuff, but a fully decked out Mini Duo comes in only around AU$1500, which in contrast to a base line G5 DC 2.0 at AU$2999 is *extremely* good value for money.

    I appreciate the extra core too, since I have actually got quite addicted to multi processing a couple years back and since then have been shelling good money for dual socket motherboards and ECC memory modules.. with the mini, never more :D

    Either way I expect the pricing of the Mini to drop during that next Apple even sometime in May or June where they will supposedly unveil the iBook replacement (if not then Apple is ripping us off, because Intel has just cut their costs for manufacturing the Mini). What I expect to see then would probably be the current Core Duo 1.67Ghz Mini dropped to the current Core Solo Mini pricing, and an introduction of a new 1.83Ghz model, and with similar speed bumps for the iMacs and MBP as well.

    That's my guess, no insider sources :D

    Of course Apple may really prove to be gay and just pocket the extra cash as pure gravy, who's to say? :mad:

    Ultimately depends on your needs, but unless something really really revolutionary comes out in Leopard, even the current Mini Duo at 1.67Ghz has a *lot* of life in it and will definitely meet most needs for the next few years, IMO.
     
  14. dr_lha macrumors 68000

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    Oct 8, 2003
    #14
    Don't hold your breath for a price drop. Intel hasn't cut the price of the CPUs that go in the mini, just the price of the higher end Core chips. I'd fully expect a CPU speed bump, not a price drop.

    For the record, I went for the mini Core Solo because I just wanted a transition machine to try out Intel Macs before my work moves to them wholesale in November, I didn't expect to much, but I've been amazed how great the thing runs. The Core Duos must perform brilliantly!
     
  15. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

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    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #15
    That's interesting, I'm glad your Core Solo works well - there seems to be an unspoken consensus that the Core Solo can't possibly be powerful enough for general computing, but it sounds like yours is coping just fine.

    I know the integrated graphics have been a let-down for some, but cor-blimey it's an insane package.
     
  16. dr_lha macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2003
    #16
    I've been doing more than general computing on it. I've been analysing data from the satellite I work on using it, and using it as a platform to put several large software projects over to Intel Mac, in preparation for the arrival of the Intel versions of PowerMacs in the Fall. One of the things that surprised me the most as a development machine was just how quickly things compile on it, and how the large packages apparenly work just as well on it as they do on my current PowerMac.

    The 1.5GHz core solo in terms of computing I would say definitely holds its own against my 1.8Ghz Dual G5 in this kind of work. Yes, its slower, but I also only spend $700 (inc tax) on the thing!

    Have no mistake, compared to the G4 before it, the 1.5Ghz Core Solo is a fast machine. The Mini itself is a powerhouse, especially the Duo. This point has been lost in between all the bleating about the integrated GFX card.
     

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