Mac mini is blazing fast

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by BWhaler, Jan 21, 2005.

  1. macrumors 68000

    BWhaler

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    #1
    Had to share this story since it was pretty incredible.

    There has been a lot of heat on Apple due to some of the specs of the mini, including folks here.

    But as the Mac veterans understand, because Apple owns the whole experience, it can optimize every component and Apple piece of software for speed.

    So the story...

    Today my buddy got his mini (1.25ghz with 512mb of memory.) He hooked it up to his 50" plasma screen.

    This "crippled" Mac:

    Drove a 50" screen
    Drove an iSight chat
    Installed iLife
    Played music with the visualizer on
    Surfed the web

    All without any--any--latency.

    My buddy who owns a ton of Mac hardware was blown away.

    The iSight's processing alone is pretty intense. And yet it was one of several tasks the Mac was doing at the same time.

    Now don't get me wrong, this is not a Mac to do intense video editing or professional photoshop work.

    But for a 500 dollar Mac, it was simply off-the -charts.

    Once again, Apple has knocked the cover off the ball.

    And I dare say, all the pundits, including some Mac folks, who get featuritis or don't understand that a computer is more than just its spec sheet, are dead wrong about the power of this machine. (And please, I know you can't run a game server on it. No kidding.)
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    sjpetry

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2004
    Location:
    Tamarindo, Costa Rica
    #2
    I had doubts in the Mini but not anymore. :)

    Thanks for sharing. :)
     
  3. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    #3
    Great to hear! If it doesn't snow too much tomorrow, I'll be down at Christiana Mall, DE buying mine. I really didn't expect it to be too slow, aside from disk performance. I mean it's pretty close in specs to the G4 PowerBooks and the previous-generation G4 iMac. Neither of those machines are slow at all in my experience.

    My upgrades/accessories:

    -1GB DDR stick, use the 256MB leftover for parents' PC
    -21" Apple Studio Display/USB hub (the Trinitron one that came with the G4s)
    -IBM Model M keyboard and USB->PS/2 adapter (best keyboard, ever, accept no substitutes)
    -Logitech USB scroll mouse

    Maybe when 7200RPM 2.5" drive prices drop I will buy one. I could also just get a FW400 enclosure and a 3.5" drive. We'll see. :)

    -Andrew
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    #4
    How loud is it? Does it have a fan and does it run often?
     
  5. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #5
    I can't friggin' wait for mine to get here! But my ship date is on or before Feb 18!!! Oh well, I just got the shipping confirmation for the 20" Cinema display I ordered with it!!! I don't know which I am more excited about getting, the computer or the display...
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 68000

    BWhaler

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    #6
    Dead quiet as far as I can tell. It's also surprisingly cool.

    As we continue to play around with this mini, it just gets more and more amazing. It's beautiful, fast, and all Apple.

    Color me impressed. No, color me amazed.
     
  7. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #7
    Color me Badd.
     
  8. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    #8
    That's just wrong :D
     
  9. macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Yahooville S.C.
    #9
    Fast when you compare it to what? Come on guys i know its new and all but lets not spin stuff into something bigger then it is. Its a G4 with a very outdated videocard and a slow drive with a memory slot. Fast compared to what my imac 333? I agree its clean and apple but fast? Fast when your clicking on the net? Fast when you turn it on? Fast when you go from itunes to email? Just wanted to make a point. Doom3 will be the deal maker when deciding fast and i dont think anyone will describe mini & doom3 in the same breath as fast. Dual G5 2.5= Fast.
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Hodapp

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Location:
    New York, NY
    #10
    LOL, I was going to post the same thing.

    This entire thread is rampant Apple fanboyism at its finest.

    Driving a 50" screen... OooOoo... 1280x720 is lower resolution than the smallest Apple Cinema Display.

    It ran iSight chat? ...Err... My grandfather's graphite iMac can do that without skipping a beat.

    Installed iLife? You can do that with a G3 if you'd like.

    Playing music with the visualizer on and surfing the web... ... ...?

    THIS makes a "blazing fast" computer?

    Bahahahahahaha.

    Not to say I don't appreciate the Mac Mini for what it is, and anxiously await receiving the ones I ordered, but good god... 1.25-1.42Ghz G4 combined with an ancient graphics card and a 4200RPM hard drive is not something I'd describe as anywhere near "blazing fast."
     
  11. macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #11
    Did anyone catch the rotational speed of the drives in the Mini? 4500, 5400 or 7200 RPM? (I doubt it's the last one, but ether of the others is a real possibility.)

    And as for the video memory, I will agree that it is a crine for Apple to be shipping any products with only 32MB of VRAM since Apple is doing a lot to offload various processing to the video board. This is why I opted for the 128MB VRAM on my Powerbook - It was definitely not needed for the LCD and the external display I sometimes hook up.

    Let's see Quartz Extreme? Core Imaiagng? Come on Apple wake up and get real specs for VRAM.

    I'm also doubting the wisdom of having both default configurations having only 256MB of RAM.

    I might get a Mini Rev 2, but that depends on if I still have need for a small box when it comes out and what the specs and cost are.
     
  12. Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #12
    Yeah, my thoughts too I'm afraid.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not out to bash the Mac Mini, but announcing it as "blazing fast" for carrying out basic tasks is very fan-boy indeed.

    [​IMG]

    :D :p
     
  13. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #13
    OTOH, what this tells you is that the folks who are not Apple types, for whom this is their first Mac, will probably be happy. These folks are generally not power users or intense gamers. They are web surfers who will be impressed by the mini's speed. That is the only crowd whose oppinion matters. If they are pleased, it just won't matter how many G5 owners call it slow.
     
  14. Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #14
    Oh yeah, I'm really glad to hear that for the normal day to day stuff it seems to be doing fine, as I said, not knocking it. "Blazing fast" is just a *slight* over-statement.
     
  15. macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Yahooville S.C.
    #15
    We do seem to have a bunch of new folks here dont we? perhaps the mini is doing just what apple wanted. Bring in those new folks. Hate to say this edesignuk but i just saw the mini xbenches and they are right on top of the imacs G5. interesting indeed how that old G4 at 1.25/1.42 never goes away. Its like the energizer bunny it just keeps going and going. who would have thought we would still be talking about G4s years later at the same clocks. I really feel like i did the right thing years ago buying that 733. :)
     
  16. macrumors 601

    Yvan256

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    #16
    My keyboard's an IBM KB-8926... and it can eat your Model M for breakfast!

    And my Logitech USB scroll mouse can beat your... oh wait, never mind. :D
     
  17. Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #17
    I wouldn't imagine there's *that* much speed difference between CPU's, but, I'd have thought the BUS speed, HDD speed, and video would have made a difference. I suppose I just depends what you're doing. We all know xbench is s*** anyway :D
     
  18. macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Yahooville S.C.
    #18
    It would be nice to have a universal test to show the strength of all cpu's but i guess the best thing to do is take your favorite app and go look for its benches. Lets see i guess that would have to be something like Doom3 :D Oh wait that doesnt count as a real app ;) It does make you feel like you were ahead of the rest of the world using macs when you start hearing its praises everyday. its like where have you been?
     
  19. macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #19
    A G4 and a G5 at the same CPU speed will have about the same perodmance unless the application does things that requires the faste front side bus on the G5/ In fact depending on how the code was written and compiled the G4 can wind up being faster for some things than a G5. The video "card" in the Mini isn't that bad really, it just depends on what you are doing with it.

    The main reason for people to upgrade to a G5 is the much faster CPUs available (2.5GHz currently) and the ability to support a lot more RAM. Going from say a 1.42GHz MacMini to an iMace G5 1.6 GHz doesn't make a lot of sense for most people since it's only a minor CPU speed improvement.
     
  20. macrumors 6502a

    Hodapp

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Location:
    New York, NY
    #20
    The achilles heel of the Mac Mini is going to be the GPU and slow HDD. More so when Tiger is released with Core Image and most of the effects either need to be rendered by the CPU, or disabled. With only 256MB of RAM standard, the Mini is going to be using a lot of disk swap space. This would be OK, except the HDD is a 4200RPM laptop drive, MEGA slow.

    So while the 1.42Ghz G4 may bench almost on par with the G5's, in every day use in switching tasks, and using core image in the future, I'm not too confident of the Mini's abilities in regards to speed.
     
  21. macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Yahooville S.C.
    #21
    This is exactly why apple is using its slow Gpu's for product distinction because there isnt much distinction in the cpu's performance unless doing like Bear said, driving the Bus. So this is a better way to seperate model lines and also by using those 2 cpu's. This could all change, newer cpu's coming with cell & 980s dual cores etc etc. it should be a interesting year.
     
  22. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    #22
    The 20in display is incredible. I ordered mine a few months ago, and came back from gym to find the box sitting on the centre of my kitchen floor. Was SO excited opening it! I had one dead pixel though :( But it looks great hooked up to my Powerbook 12in (and my PC for that matter, HL2 looks so much better in 20in widescreen).

    Enjoy it mate!

    andy.
     
  23. Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #23
    Saw/Played with one this evening.

    Pretty nice.

    Good performance and in a such a small package.

    While not a scientific test in the least, I played around just doing normal type tasks in the Finder, with Safari, and some other apps. My impression is that it seemed faster than my G4/933. (Note, my PB15 with a 1.25 G4 seems much slower.)

    Of course with rendering apps, I am sure that may not hold true.

    Overall, came away very impressed. Plan on getting one when Tiger is released.

    BTW, looks great with a 20 inch Cinema Display.

    On a side note, while the iMac G5 is really nice, I wonder how thin it would be if they used a G4 like in the Mac mini?

    Sushi
     
  24. macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #24
    Re: iMac G5 thickness

    I doubt the iMac would be any thinner really. If you look at component placement, you would see what I mean.
     
  25. Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #25
    I have, and that is why I suggested it.

    Not saying they would have to use the same components either. They could use a 2.5 inch HD vice the 3.5. The memory could be socketed differently. Cooling fans, power supply, etc., could all be different.

    Anyhow, just thinking out loud and a bit outside the box. Heck, just a couple of weeks ago, Apple didn't have a Mac mini, nor a flash based iPod for that matter.

    What got me to thinking this, was looking at the iMac G5 20 inch vice the Mac mini with 20 inch screen. At the store I was at, they had a display where they were side by side. Interestiing comparison. In many ways, the Mac mini with 20 inch screen looked better. Plus it would be easier/cheaper to upgrade the CPU in the future.

    Sushi
     

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