Mac Mini - nervousness

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by kurdt_the_goat, May 22, 2005.

  1. kurdt_the_goat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 22, 2005
    #1
    Hey all

    I dont have the money to splurge on something really fancy - So i'm looking at getting a mac mini.

    So i just want to get some opinions on the current hardware - i'd be looking at the faster processor and upgrading the ram of course..

    Does it really pack much power into the box?
    Admittedly, i'll be keeping the heavy duty work i do on my pc - i foresee mac mini being used for mainly music, movies, learning a new OS, trying out software with no equivalent on windows.. etc

    Mainly i'd be doing web-development work, so i'm eager to try out some text editors like subethaedit, skedit and bbedit. I realise these wont exactly hurt a 32mb graphics card, but - 32mb really is very y2k of them isnt it? How does it handle tiger in general?

    Anyway, im' just looking for opinions so shout it out :) Thanks in advance
     
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #2
    You're right in that the mini is hardly the current pinnacle of modern technology but nonetheless, it'll meet your needs quite easily IMO. But as you said, grab as much RAM as possible. The first thing to learn about OSX is how RAM-hungry it can be. Otherwise, just sit back and enjoy the experience. :)
     
  3. brap macrumors 68000

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    May 10, 2004
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    Nottingham
    #3
    Typing this on a 1.33GHz Powerbook (last year's model).

    I don't plan in replacing it for years, and if you look aroud the forums you'll see many similair stories of people with G4s, and lots of RAM perfectly happy for a long time.

    Of course, if you're a computer nut -- you'll always want more. A lower-end Mac makes for a good gateway drug.
     
  4. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

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    Oxford/London
    #4
    I wouldn't call it "RAM hungry" but more RAM will make it go a lot faster.
     
  5. Yvan256 macrumors 601

    Yvan256

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    #5
    Aside from the games, the Mac mini (with at least 512MB) will work just fine. In fact, mine's replacing an Athlon 2600+ with 512MB, Radon 9600XT/128MB (only part I'm missing), 80GB, Windows XP.

    And yes, I'm still playing World of Warcraft... on the Mac mini (granted, in 800x600, with all details off/lowest) but aside from the HD loading/really needs 1GB RAM problems (in cities/areas with lots of players) the game runs just fine (from 16 to 35 FPS, average near 20-25).
     
  6. feakbeak macrumors 6502a

    feakbeak

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    Oct 16, 2003
    Location:
    Michigan
    #6
    The Mac mini will easily handle all of these tasks with the exception of the movies - at least if you are talking about video editing. If you're just going to be doing playback that will obviously be fine. I haven't used iMovie much but the couple of times I tried playing with it the app was sluggish on the mini. It was usable but noticably straining the hardware.

    Everything else you mentioned, including the web development the mini should be able to handle well for several years. I also highly recommend 1 GB of RAM.
     
  7. shadowmoses macrumors 68000

    shadowmoses

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    #7
    The mac mini is by no means slow it will rival and probably surpass most P4's if it has enought ram installed, so dont buy it expecting a slow dog as it will probably end up replacing your windows PC :D
     
  8. Maxiseller macrumors 6502a

    Maxiseller

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    Jan 11, 2005
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    Little grey, chilly island.
    #8
    Well, you mention you can't do video editing, but I have to disagree.

    I have an eMac which is reasonably in line with the Mini, with 1G of Ram, and it runs Final Cut and iMovie like a Champ! There aren't any noticable slowdowns, spinning beachballs or anything. You may consider an external drive, superdrive and lots of ram a little later, but the motto is that as a system, it can take you where you need to go.
     
  9. tsk macrumors 6502a

    tsk

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    Jan 14, 2004
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    Wisconsin
    #9
    I don't know about surpassing most P4's. Maybe one with 128MB, but that's not really a fair comparison is it now?
     
  10. shadowmoses macrumors 68000

    shadowmoses

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    Mar 6, 2005
    #10
    I wasnt talking about the new 64-bit P4's i am talking about a standard 2.0ghz or so P4 you would get in a budget PC these days, i am quite confident a 1.25 G4 would be on par or above these
     
  11. iHateWindows macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    #11

    I'm a graphic designer using the 1.42 GHz Mac Mini with 512 Megabytes right now. I have Adobe Photoshop CS2, iTunes, Mail, iPhoto, and Microsoft Excel open. I just did Exposé and it is FlAWLESS. Not choppy at all, runs just like a PowerMac G5. I completely reccomend this computer.
     
  12. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    Aug 24, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    emacs are pretty sweet at the moment and with a easy to use hack you can screen span with a second moniter, and if your brave you can overclock the things to some mad speeds.

    if i were in the budget market right now an emac would be my no. 1 choice behind a refurb ibook just because i love the portability.
     
  13. Willy S macrumors 6502

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    May 8, 2005
    #13
    I´m sorry for being such a newbie, but what is a screen span? :confused:
     
  14. ChemicalGeoff macrumors member

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    May 20, 2005
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    #14
    Screenspan is where you connect a secondary monitor up to your laptop (or desktop for that matter) and have two different things on both screens i.e. you can "drag" windows from one screen to the other, rather than having an identical image on both. This creates, in effect, a giant screen.

    Hope that makes sense.
     
  15. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #15
    if you have two monitors and you use both in a way which you use the second as added work space, to combine two small screens into one large wide screen with a gap in the middle, i do it with my ibook to my TV so i have an effective work space of 2304x768
     
  16. Lancetx macrumors 68000

    Lancetx

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2003
    Location:
    Texas
    #16
    For most anyone that doesn't use any pro apps (i.e. Final Cut Studio, etc), the Mac mini will do just fine. With at least 512MB it'll handle Tiger and all of the iLife apps quite nicely. I've certainly had no complaints with mine during the 3 weeks since I got it.
     
  17. Greg421 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 18, 2005
    #17
    Mac Mini and video

    Can the Mac Mini be used with devices that transfer VHS to DVD? If not, is a PM the only choice, or will an iMac do the job?

    Greg
     
  18. kurdt_the_goat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 22, 2005
    #18
    just out of curiosity, what kinds of things do you do in photoshop (to those who say photoshop is fine on the mini)

    doing web, i'm only using 72dpi, but my work P4 3ghz with 2gb ram still crumbles once i have illustrator, photoshop (with more than 20 files usuallly, a few with more than 100 layers.. i have a bad habit of not closing files that i save for web)

    would an imac be considerably better? it is another option but obviousl more costly - and id be wasting a spare monitor i have... plus buying into a screen that will become obsolete down the track...

    also for reference, my home machine (where i'll use the mini) is currently a p4 2.4 with 512mb ram (but its a clean machine so it's not bogged down by virii or removal programs and stuff).. its still fairly nippy.
     
  19. joecool85 macrumors 65816

    joecool85

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    Mar 9, 2005
    Location:
    Maine
    #19
    It's not OS X, its just Mac in general I think. In my own experience comparing a similar PC to a similar Mac, doubling the ram in both, the bigger difference is in the Mac...not to say it doesn't help the PC.
     
  20. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #20

    Well, since OSX and Mac go hand-in-hand, it's difficult to differentiate but I'd bet it was software related as opposed to hardware related. OSX uses more RAM but only because it has the ability to do so. It multitasks much better than anything else I've used. Just think about how many apps you usually run on your Mac at any one time. I wouldn't dream of doing the same on my PC.

    In other words, RAM in a Mac will make it faster, RAM in a PC will reduce the chances of a RAM-related crash. ;)
     
  21. sweet cynic macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    #21
    So, Mini fans:

    I'm thinking of getting a mini, but I'm not sure how much extra RAM to stuff in it. I'm a freelance writer and I really only use my machine for lots of Web research and Office. That said, I am very impatient and like my computer to run quickly and smoothly (who doesn't?)

    Do I need any more than 512MB? Should I get the 1.4GHz processor or will I be fine with the 1.25?
     
  22. feakbeak macrumors 6502a

    feakbeak

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Location:
    Michigan
    #22
    You don't need more than 512 MB for what you'll be doing - it should be responsive with that amount of RAM. One thing to consider is that the mini only has one RAM slot so if you do ever want to upgrade to 1GB you'll have to remove the 512 stick. Plus, Mac/OS X likes RAM. These two factors prompted me to simply go for 1GB - Crucial RAM purchased from newegg.com and self-installed.

    I'd also get the 1.42 GHz processor as you get the bigger hard drive too, all for just $100.
     
  23. Moxiemike macrumors 68020

    Moxiemike

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    Jan 1, 2002
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #23

    how do you do design with only photoshop?

    m
     

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