Mac Pro / Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Whiteapple, Sep 3, 2006.

  1. Whiteapple macrumors regular

    Whiteapple

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Location:
    Haute Savoie,France
    #1
    Helo all!

    I am in the market for a new mac, and very quickly.

    I already have a 23" Cinema HD I bought last month, when they updated them.
    I now need a computer to fit that screen.

    What I am going to do with this system:

    - Heavy iPhoto use, like very heavy (2000 pictures, and more to come...)
    - Web publication of galleries
    - Watch 1080p as soon as possible
    - Rip DVDs, stocked either on 4.7GB media or FW HDD.

    Now, I have a restricted budget (duhhh...)

    For me:

    Mac Mini:

    + Size
    + Silence of operation
    + Does not heat up your room (it will be in my bedroom)
    + Front Row: great for watching movies from your bed.

    - Horsepower: Intel Graphics to display on 1920*1200, sounds sluggish. I need something very **snappy**
    - Expandability

    mac pro

    + Horsepower. Nothing to comment on this I suppose... (+ Graphics)
    + Expandability, it has and I suppose it will last me 4/5 years.

    - Size/Heat/Noise : Here is where you come in to tell me more. I know the mini is SILENT but the Mac Pro, I don't know at all.
    - Absence of Front Row & Apple Remote
    - Price

    Now, my mom will be paying for this, I already worked all summer for the dislpay. The point in buying this is also to get rid of the gaming PC which uses too much of my time, wihtout me being able to control it.
    I used to have a Macbook Pro (2.0 - 256VRAM), and it suited my needs perfectly, but I eventually installed Bootcamp and Far Cry. Finished the game within the week...

    I gave the macbook pro away.


    Help me to choose, please.

    Thanks!

    PS: I could upgrade the mini myself with a T7400 Merom 2.16Ghz chip from the Core Solo model, replace the HDD by a 7200 rpm, but then there's still the graphics, and for 1920*1200 iPhotos and HD content, not sure if it's enough:rolleyes:

    :)
     
  2. brandon6684 Guest

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    #2
    Too bad you already have the display, because you need something in between, and an iMac sounds perfect.
     
  3. Origin macrumors regular

    Origin

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    Nantes, France
    #3
    Concerning the "-" points :

    - Noise : The MacPro is nearly SILENT, even in full charge (100% of the 4 cores) ... it's awesome !
    - Heat : depending on what you really mean by "heat", but, the Mac Pro is not "so" heat
    - Size : yes, the Mac Pro is big, like a classic "tower" Computer, but still very nice (depends on your opinion, in fact :D)
     
  4. Whiteapple thread starter macrumors regular

    Whiteapple

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Location:
    Haute Savoie,France
    #4
    :( Yes. But the point in having this display is to choose the computer and use it longer than the computer (if this makes sense).
     
  5. kered22 macrumors 6502

    kered22

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Location:
    Torrance, CA
    #5
    I like how you typed out all the pros and cons, very thorough. :)

    I have a 1.6 Ghz Mini that I'm using right now and it is a very nice system. You can do all those things on a Mini and it should be adequate, I was encoding some DVDs earlier and it did slow things down a bit. And for the external hard drive for FrontRow movies.. tha's the big conundrum until my MacPro gets here. I have 4 external hard drives strewn about my desk right now. Due to Mini limited internal had drive, I have one 250 GB for downloads and internet shows. And a spare 500GB for FrontRow movies, but tha is being filled up pretty fast. So if the budget is very very limited, go for that.

    But if possible, I'd say to go for the MacPro. Based on the reports I've read, it is VERY silent. The barefeats.com site ran a CPU basher as they call it (pushes the CPU, RAM and hard drives) for an hour an the fans did NOT increase in speed at all. So I don't believe noise will be of any concern, most reports I've read say that hard drives (exteral or internal) are louder than the MacPros. Heat shoud only be a factor if you get the 3.0Ghz MacPro, it uses more power so puts out more heat. As for FrontRow, I'm sure a hack will come along to let you run it and for a remote, Keyspan makes a really nice RF remote. I have one and it's a great little device.
     
  6. Whiteapple thread starter macrumors regular

    Whiteapple

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Location:
    Haute Savoie,France
    #6
    Oh, well that's nice to hear ! Do you think you can sleep while leaving the computer on? I can do this with my noisy PC, but it's very painful.
    How about these SATA problems, are they sufficient to prevent me from gaming under XP?
     
  7. macenforcer macrumors 65816

    macenforcer

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Location:
    Colorado
    #7
    SORRY but you are going to have to go into detail on the "I gave it away" comment. That doesn't make a lick of sense.
     
  8. Whiteapple thread starter macrumors regular

    Whiteapple

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Location:
    Haute Savoie,France
    #8
    HAHA! No I have been stupid with my father and at a time (last year) I've only been meeting him for his money, which is a bad thing I decided to stop. I therefore gave away the MacBook Pro to my half/brother who uses it to replace his dual 2.0 G5 for mounting. Given his situation, it was more of a "donation", but the fact is I didnt want to keep stuff acquired "badly". Same thing goes for my 125cc competition Kart, worth 2 highest end 17" MacBook Pros...


    Please, can someone contact admin to merge the two identical threads I accidentally created, or tell me how to fix the problem, thanks:)
     
  9. freebooter macrumors 65816

    freebooter

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Location:
    Daegu, South Korea
    #9
    I'd get a mini, if I were you. The MacPro is way overkill.
    My ppc 1.42 mini (with ext. firewire drive) is fine for everything except a bit slow with CS2 (iphoto a bit pokey but less so) and an underpowered video card. The Intel version--especially the coming upgrade--is much faster and so you won't have a problem, particularly if you want to break your gaming habit. Or get an iMac and go dual screen--that's where I'm headed! :p
     
  10. macenforcer macrumors 65816

    macenforcer

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Location:
    Colorado
    #10


    I have said it before and I will say it again... You can NEVER have enough speed!
     
  11. Whiteapple thread starter macrumors regular

    Whiteapple

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Location:
    Haute Savoie,France
    #11
    Right, then could someone please actually TELL me how well a 1.66CoreDuo performs in a let's say 1000 pictures iPhoto gallery in browsing, editing, at 1920*1200 resolution (people using 640*480 also are welcome:) )

    I can tell you my mom's iBook 1.33GHZ/512/9200 feels sluggish, I can tell you this, even at 1024*768, with iLife'06.

    I need a real "real world" testimony. Thanks :)
     
  12. MacPhil5 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2006
    Location:
    New York
    #12
    I got both a mac pro and a mac mini (core solo, not duo, but with 2 Gb of RAM) and, even if the mac pro is the machine I use to handle photos (with Aperture, hence I cannot test my library with the mini), I'm quite impressed by the performances delivered by the mini.

    Of course, there is no mesure of how faster the mac pro is in pro apps and when handling large quantities of data, but in daily use, you don't really feel the difference. I also own a 1,33 Ghz iBook, and you can tell the difference with the mac pro. This being said, I suspect the problem with the iBook is not so much the processor than the 4200 rpm hard drive.

    I just tested the mini with my 23" CD, and it run dashboard and exposé quite smoothly (with dozens of windows). If you want me to perform some other "tests", just tell me. Anyway, my guess is that the mini will handle your iPhoto library quite well, especially with a lot of RAM and a faster hard drive. Of course, as it has already been said, this means, in the end, some external drives. Photoshop is quite a different story, at least as long as it is not a UB. On the Core Solo, I couldn't run any task properly, even with the maximum amount of RAM.
     
  13. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Russia
    #13
    1000 pictures is actually a very small library. I have slightly over 3000 images (around 2/3 of those are 8 MP photos) in my Aperture library and its still very small. A lot of ppl have over 10000 of photos :eek:

    Your mom's iBook feels slow because it has a slow HD and only 512 MB of RAM, not because it has a lsow video card.

    I think you're a little confused: resolution your screen is set to doesnt really matter in OS, its not like 3D gaming. If the grapgics card supports 1920x1200, it will NOT slow down just because this resolution is high. Mac mini's Intel GMA support resolutions up to 1920x1200, so it will not slow down.

    Get Mac mini, isnt more than enough for what you'll be doing with your computer. And besides, you will not be able to give up gaming on a Mac Pro. 4 processor cores are an overkill for such light computer stuff you've mentioned in ur original post.

    Just dont get a Core Solo mini hoping you'll replace it with Merom. It wont be worth to pay for 2 CPUs, especially since Merom is only ~20$ faster then Core Duo. If you want more power, wait a couple of weeks for the rev. B mini.
     
  14. Josias macrumors 68000

    Josias

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    #14
    I have 950 1600x1200 photos in my iPhoto library, and my 2 GHz CD w. 1 GB RAM performs excellent. Takes 2-3 seconds fully launch iPhoto.

    As for watching 1080i content, a rev. B Mini with 2 GB RAM would be perfect for you.;)
     
  15. Whiteapple thread starter macrumors regular

    Whiteapple

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Location:
    Haute Savoie,France
    #15
    Indeed, i may have been mistaken by the performances of my PC when I hooked up the ACD 23" to it. First of all, this same PC couldnt use it alone, I had to hook up the old CRT, and then manually set the resolution and main display for the 23", and it worked at 1920*1200. All that to say that I did see true slow downs when displaying full screen pictures with the windows picture viewer, but that may be due to the fact that the screen wasnt fully supported by my card, which is said to reach 1600*1200 via DVI. (Geforce FX 5700 Ultra). This was the only reason for my inquiries:)
     
  16. Whiteapple thread starter macrumors regular

    Whiteapple

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Location:
    Haute Savoie,France
    #16
    Can anyone with a MacBook or Mini (GMA950) and a 23" confirm it plays 720p, 1080i, or 1080p (Apple Trailers) smootly, and indicate CPU usage? Thank you very much, you are saving me some precious $$$$$ that I would have spent on a Mac Pro.
     
  17. Chone macrumors 65816

    Chone

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    #17
    Well my PC (P4 3.2, 1GB, 9600SE) plays high definition videos very smoothly, I can even multitask while doing it. Now the Intel Core Solo is a MUCH better processor than the P4, yes even the solo, I'm sure the GMA 950 will live up to the task, just make sure you get at least 1GB or 2GB.

    Honestly, I would get the Mac Pro, but thats just me, I also wouldn't buy a low end (mini) or mid range (imac) mac but from the look of things, it looks the like the Mac mini will do just fine for you, especially if you chuck 1GB+ of RAM there and a 7200rpm drive like you said you could.
     
  18. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #18
    I have the Core Duo mini with 2GB RAM on ACD 23". 1080 wont be as smooth as you desire.

    Get a Mac Pro. But don't put XP on it (the SATA problem will cramp your style, but only for now), sounds like you have a serious gaming downfall.
     
  19. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #19
    The 1.5GHz Core Solo does not handle 1080p HD video well at all (Macworld said it was un-watchable). The 1.66GHz Core Duo does OK with 1GB+ of RAM. The MacBook's slightly faster Core Duo processors give it enough oomph to run 1080p video at full frame rate - with a 23" screen plugged into a MacBook you should be fine, your best bet would be to run it with the lid closed and the full 64MB of video memory dedicated to the external screen.
     
  20. MacPhil5 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2006
    Location:
    New York
    #20
    I tested some HD videos from Apple's QT website on my mini Core Solo with 23" ACD. It couldn't play 1080p videos - or at least you cannot call that playing… But it went smoothly through some 720p videos, just above 30 fps. My guess is that the Core Duo with its second core and its higher frequency can actually play 1080p videos. I read so somewhere, but I can't remember my source.
     
  21. generik macrumors 601

    generik

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    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Minitrue
    #21
    Is iPhoto even multithreaded?
     
  22. Chone macrumors 65816

    Chone

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    #22
    Well I hadn't tried 1080p video... just 720p.
     
  23. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #23
    Well, 720p should be fine, even my iBook can chug through a 720p video at around half the frame rate, 1080p videos are like slideshows though.

    The faster Core Duo procs (1.83GHz and up) handle 1080p just fine from what I've heard reported. 1.66GHz chokes a little though.
     
  24. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #24
    If you can afford it I'd go for the Mac Pro. I've had a Core Duo Mini for a while now and it seemed just a little bit slow at times. IPhoto isn't as much hampered by the CPU speed as it is the hard drive imo. The 5400rpm drive in there is considerably slower than a desktop variant. Even if you put in a 7200rpm drive you still will not be at the same level of speed as a 7200rpm desktop drive. Sure you could put in a 7200rpm drive, attatch a firewire external hard disk, max out the ram at 2GB and upgrade the CPU with a Merom part at some point and you'll have a good machine. Don't expect any gaming miracles though and once you've done those upgrades there's nowhere to go from there. Besides which, the cost of those upgrades probably = the amount needed to go Mac Pro.

    As far as FrontRow goes, well its not too hard to 'find' a copy of it, especially if you have a FrontRow enabled machine lying around and then you can get bluetooth remotes specifically for FrontRow. The remote won't look as pretty as the Apple one but it''ll work through walls!
     
  25. steamboat26 macrumors 65816

    steamboat26

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Location:
    Arlington VA
    #25
    I have a core duo mini with a gig of RAM, and an iphoto library of 1100 pictures. iphoto is pretty good, with a little slow down when you scroll really fast, and it takes a couple of seconds to load the pictures. Its not slow, but it isn't instantaneous
     

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