Mac Mini Core Solo vs Duo

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Mac Hammer Fan, Apr 30, 2006.

  1. Mac Hammer Fan macrumors 6502

    Mac Hammer Fan

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Location:
    Belgium
    #1
    Which Mac Mini 1 GB RAM would be a better choice? Core Solo 1.5 or Core Duo 1.66

    The Mac Mini would be used for:
    - Converting LPs to CD.
    - Office 2004 especially Word (large documents with illustrations and formulas)
    - Surfing the internet
    - Making a website with Freeway Pro
    - AppleWorks, Pages, Keynote, Graphic Converter, MathType
    (no need of Photoshop and no games)

    and would replace an older G3 beige with G4 ZIF 533 (768 MB RAM, Ultra ATA 66 7200 PRM hard disk and 64 MB VRAM Ati Radeon)
    Hopefully I will notice a speed increase vs my old G4 Beige with Word 2004, because there this application is really slow.

    And perhaps, another question: can we expect an update of the Mac mini in july (e.g. Solo 1,66 and Duo 1.83) or is this too soon?

    TIA for any advice.
     
  2. kbonnel macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    Location:
    In a nice place..
    #2
    The singe core should be more than enough. I base this off my experiences with my PowerBook G4 1.5Ghz. It seems to be able to do a lot, and I only start to kill it when doing video work and doing other things (photoshop, etc).

    If you are worried that you will wish you got the Duo, then I would suggest waiting a bit, and saving for the duo. You don't want to kick yourself even if the solo is going to meet your needs.

    Kimo
     
  3. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #3
    Core Duo, no question. The extra processor helps make up the gap in performance for Office:mac and with the type of documents you'll be working with you'd do well to get the fastest one you can.

    I don't know how well AppleWorks will run (if at all) under Rosetta, it doesn't come with new Macs now and I think Apple are trying to kill it off.

    Safari is much, much faster on the Intel machines.

    Basically spend the extra $$ and get the best machine - you won't regret it.

    Oh, and the Core Duo handles 1080p HD movies just fine whereas the Core Solo slows right down. Not that you need HD movie playback but it demonstrates the extra grunt in the Core Duo.
     
  4. w8ing4intelmacs macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2006
    Location:
    East Coast, US
    #4
    I'm sure you don't want to hear this, but you may be better off with a G4 mac mini.

    I'm assuming that this isn't a long term computer for you. MS Office won't be universal until at least mid-2007 if not later, according to MS (remember that MS also said that the new version of Windows would come out in 2003 (not a typo)). AppleWorks will probably never be made universal. Why pay current retail price for a computer that will run your programs slower when you can probably get a good deal on a G4 mac mini (maybe $300-$400 on eBay).
     
  5. Mac Hammer Fan thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mac Hammer Fan

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Location:
    Belgium
    #5
    I am using a G4 500 Beige now. Even if Office is 10% slower under Rosetta than on a real G4 1.42 Ghz, I can live with that. Or is it that bad?

    And an older Mac Mini doesn't have audio in, and doesn't have a dual layer DVD burner... And I assume that with Boot Camp, I can at least install a faster and more compatible Linux distro...
    I live in Belgium, and I notice that the second hand Mac Mini G4's are still expensive here. It's useless for us to buy a Mac in the States because of the extremely high import duties in our country.
    And as a teacher, I get 8% discount from the Apple Store...

    I think that Rosetta at least will benefit from 1 GB RAM. I was not going to buy a Mac with only 512 MB RAM. (which is only 432 MB available RAM in case of the Intel Mac Mini)
     
  6. AP_piano295 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    #6
    I would go with the duo it's only 200 dollars more and your getting alot of extra bang for your buck. but if you are really strapped for cash i would go witht the core solo.
     
  7. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #7
    Latest universal version of freeway has some serious problems. pretty much most of the time it doesnt support dragging stuff directly from photoshop anymore.

    You go to preview and a lot of time it will crash

    You go to upload to .mac and it will hang

    It quites unexpectantly a hell of a lot now?

    I had to go back to the previos revison under Rosetta and it works so so much better? What the hell did softpress do to destroy my favourite web programme on intel?

    Just be aware.
     
  8. combatcolin macrumors 68020

    combatcolin

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2004
    Location:
    Northants, UK
    #8
    Core Duo.

    well worth the extra money.

    Don't worry about early version of Universal apps, bound to be teething problems along the way.
     
  9. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #9
    i'd say Core Duo as well, as it'll be a good boost over your current setup, even though it'll cost a bit more upfront, in the long run i think it'll work out better, and compared to your current setup, the programs running under Rosetta should be equal at the very least, if not faster than they currently run at.
     
  10. dextertangocci macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    #10
    I installed it on a 2Ghz MPB with 2GB RAM, and it runs perfectly. I love Appleworks, even though Apple have for a long time given up updating it. If I need a more powerful word processor, I use Pages. I hate MS Office (just like I hate anything else spawn out of microsoft..).
     
  11. TheMasin9 macrumors 6502a

    TheMasin9

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    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Huber Heights, OH
    #11
     
  12. Macitis macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    #12
    Solo vs Duo

    I would suggest that you buy what you NEED when you NEED it, which sounds to me like it's the Duo.
    Don't worry about updates. If you keep waiting on the NEXT update, you'll wait forever, because there will always be another update.
    Buy the DUO, MAX out the RAM and be HAPPY !:) :D :) :)
     
  13. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #13
    I'm going to suggest the Duo as well. Mine is an absolute workhorse and I believe it to be worth every penny. There are a couple of things you mention for which the extra processing power, not to mention the whole concept of having two processors, will help a lot.
     
  14. Mac Hammer Fan thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mac Hammer Fan

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Location:
    Belgium
    #14
    I have decided to wait another two months before buying.
    I read that Word starts in 20 seconds under Rosetta on a Mac Mini Duo with 2 GB RAM and that there are still a lot of problems with the current universal version of Freeway Pro.

    It also seems that 2 GB RAM will be necessary for Rosetta and more applications running together (Word, MathType, Canvas)
    I also expect a firmwire update or a Rosetta update that will improve the speed of applications which are not universal yet.

    If I am lucky, a revision 2 upgrade with a faster processor comes out in july. However, I can't wait more than 10 weeks...

    I wish to thank everyone for all the advice. I am convinced that the Core Duo will be the best choice for me now.
     
  15. timswim78 macrumors 6502a

    timswim78

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    #15
    I'd say go for the Core Solo and spend the extra money to bump up the RAM. If you ever decide that you need a duo processor, you can always buy one and pop it in.
     
  16. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

    Joined:
    May 26, 2005
    Location:
    Working for MI-6
    #16
    Within two months, the new Conroe/Merom/Woodcrest processors should be out, so hopefully there will be updated iMacs, Mac Minis, and MBPs by then. Not to mention the yet to be released intel based Macs. :)
     
  17. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #17
    Four seconds on mine. I wrote 2,000 words in Word under Rosetta tonight and honestly can't fault it.
     
  18. Mac Hammer Fan thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mac Hammer Fan

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Location:
    Belgium
    #18
    4 seconds. Was this with the first launch of Word? (after starting up your Mac)
    It seems that once you have launched an application it loads faster the next time because it is in the cache.
    Perhaps the person who told that in a review/forum had other applications open. Do you have 1GB or 2 GB RAM?

    Text docs are a always a lot faster than large docs with illustrations and formulas.
     
  19. combatcolin macrumors 68020

    combatcolin

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2004
    Location:
    Northants, UK
    #19
    Certian types of emulation get better the more you use them.

    The Emulator (EG Rosetta) gets to know the emulated program better, and therefore you get better perfromance.

    I don't know if Rosetta works this way however.
     
  20. Mac Hammer Fan thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mac Hammer Fan

    Joined:
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    #20
    PS:
    I have found a scrolling test of a 500 pages Word doc on an Imac
    G5 Imac : approx 1 min
    Intel Imac Rosetta: approx 2 min
    (my G4 Beige 5 min (text only) 5 min)

    Microsoft Word Scroll: Scroll
    dual core 2 Ghz 1:58
    dual core 2:05
    Imac G5 2.1 Ghz 0:57

    Although it's not from a Mac Mini, it gives us an idea how much Rosetta slows down...
     
  21. aquajet macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    VA
    #21
    But still a lot faster than your beige G4. ;)
     
  22. jamesi macrumors 6502a

    jamesi

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2005
    Location:
    Davis CA
    #22
    ignore the two options gives you for processors. you can buy the cheaper single core which will last you fine for a while. in a few years tho, you might want a boost so go and buy a core duo chip off of newegg.com. you can get a 2.16 dual core chip and replace that 1.5 no problem
     
  23. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #23
    Oh yes, and Apple will put all these new chips in the MacMini. Conroe and Woodcrest won't work because they produce too much heat, and I am sure that Apple marketing will be very happy if people buy MacMinis instead of dual processor towers.
     
  24. aswitcher macrumors 603

    aswitcher

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    Oct 8, 2003
    Location:
    Canberra OZ
    #24
    Duo is really important for H264 decoding of HD material - and the future suggests lots of that. So go Duo.
     
  25. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
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    #25
    Core Duo!

    If you're going to update your system make it worth the upgrade.

    It won't be long before single processors are completely out of date.
     

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