Mini performance vs. my old Dell

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by msa6, Mar 25, 2008.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    #1
    Wondering how performance in a refurb Mini I'm considering would stack up against a several year old Dell. Sorry for the very basic nature of the question.

    The Mini (at $479, by the way) is a 1.83 GHz duo with a GMA 950 graphics card. Comes with minimal (512k) ram, but we'll up that to 2gb. The Dell is an old 8250, with a 2.4 GHz Pentium IV. It has a Radeon 8200 graphics card and minimal ram as well (512k).

    How will they compare? How about Win programs running on the Mac (parallels/boot camp)?

    Thanks. We've seen the light on Macs, and now find the Win computers to be seriously unpleasant to deal with. Under $500 seems to me to be a low enough price to get into a Mac, while also being able to run Win, etc.
     
  2. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago/London/Sydney
    #2
    The Mini's processor will smoke the Dell's, though I'm not sure how the graphics will compare.
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    JG271

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    The mini will blow away the Dell.
    Some limitations may be the hard drive, but external drives are cheap enough - or if you want to upgrade it yourself.
    GMA950 is fine for day to day use, and the Ram increase is worth it too.
     
  4. macrumors 68020

    pilotError

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Location:
    Long Island
    #4
    I just replaced my Dell 8200 with the exact same refurb deal. The Mini is faster and is fine for most things. I find it very slow on internet video (youTube, etc.). There's a lot of artifacting which was never a problem on my Dell or my iMac. Strange, because it plays normal video (mp4, avi, etc.) just fine.

    I have a core2duo that's going in my iMac and I'm going to take the 2.0Ghz core duo from that and put it in the Mini. I'm just waiting for a new hard drive for the Mini to arrive. Hopefully that will resolve any issues with the video.

    Overall I'm pretty happy with it. I'm one step closer to eliminating PC's from the house!
     
  5. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    #5
    How about Win programs on the Mini? My kids don't do any heavy gaming, but would like to have some sense for basic stuff. Yesterday, for example, my daughter played something called Zoo Tycoon. Thanks again.
     
  6. macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #6
    I don't know about the requirements of the game you're talking about. But, you've got a couple or three options. If your mini has os x 10.5 leopard, you can boot into windows and use all the hardware capabilities of the mini.

    Or, you can get VM software like parallels or vmware fusion and run windows at almost full speed. One downside is that they need ram: I use parallels 3.0, and my imac needs 2 gig to run parallels, 3 if i want to do something with osx on the other screen. Another is that with the vm software, you can't use all of the capabilities of the video card, so some games won't run on them.

    Any of the three beat the crap out of virtual pc, which is how we used to run windows programs on power pc based macs 'in the old days'.
     
  7. PNW
    macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    #7
    Our 1.83 CD mini with 2gb RAM runs XP in VM Fusion (giving the VM 1GB of RAM) a little better than it ran natively on a box with specs similar to your old Dell. My wife uses it for M$ Money and logging into her office, which requires IE. The one caveat is that it will get sluggish if we're running the VM while we have lots of other OS X apps up. Windows running virtually or natively on a Mac is no different than Windows running on a Dell. You'll still need anti-virus software, and your daughter's apps will run fine.
     
  8. macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #8
    Have you tried the new version of Safari (3.1)? It's supposed to be faster. Myself, I can't tell much of a difference...
     

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