"Switched" to a mini

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by keymoo, May 24, 2005.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2005
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, UK
    #1
    I've gone and ordered myself a mini. After much mental mastication, I decided to try out Tiger and see if it can give my XP machines a run for their money. I have ordered a 1.42Ghz, 80Gb HD, 256MB RAM model and ordered a 1Gb memory chip from crucial.

    Can I fit the memory module myself, or do I have to take it to an Apple store?
     
  2. jsw
    Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #2
    It's a pretty easy process to add the RAM, as long as you have two putty knives around (although apparently one will do the trick as well). If you can't find the video on the web showing you how to upgrade, post back, and I'm sure we can find it for you.

    The mini's a great way to try out OS X (good idea to bump the RAM, btw) - and, really, the only eye candy you lose out on is the "splash" effect new Dashboard items have when you insert them... in other words, you're not missing out on much!
     
  3. jsw
    Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #3
    Just one, likely obvious, thing: the mini is just a 1.42 MHz G4 running with a 4200 RPM hard drive and an old GPU. It's a great little machine - fantastic for the price and size - but it won't "feel" as fast as a newer mid-to-high-end XP machine. The money buys you a lot of included software, though, and Tiger. If you really like the OS, Apple has a few more expensive models with more power. ;)
     
  4. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2005
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, UK
    #4
    Thanks for your reply.
    I would certainly appreciate a link! Thanks!
    Why is that? Surely the splash effect is an OS feature not linked to hardware? I'm curious to know the reason.
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2003
    Location:
    PA
    #5
  6. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2005
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, UK
    #6
    I'm not likely going to need the GPU anyway, I'm not going to be playing games with it, although I will be using it for manipulating and printing digital photos, and I may even have a go at transferring my analog video footage...
     
  7. jsw
    Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #7
    It's linked to the GPU, and Tiger (Core Image, specifically) requires a 64MB card to do the effect.

    Not to say that the GPU in the mini couldn't do it, but Tiger scales down the eye candy when it's on a lower-end GPU.

    But - seriously - it's not worth losing sleep over. It's a ripple when you add an item in Dashboard. No big deal.
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    #8
    The "splash" effect is accelerated by the graphics card via a new feature called CoreImage. The graphics card in the mini isn't powerful enough, so it just doesn't work. Its the same reason Doom 3 won't work on "Intel Extreme Graphics" and such.

    (I'm certain someone will post a link now saying they've gotten Doom 3 to work on such a graphics board... but my point is still made.)

    Anyway, its just eye candy at this point. No functionality is lost, except maybe some CoreImage effects in future programs. See the CoreImage threads here for more details on that.

    EDIT: Haha, you beat me!
     
  9. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2003
    Location:
    PA
    #9
    With Tiger, Apple switched most of the graphics processing over to the graphics chip, rather than the old method of having the main CPU handle much of the graphics (like in all Mac OS's up to 10.3 as well as all versions of Windows).

    If you are still curious, look up Core Image, Core Video, and Core Audio.
     
  10. Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Southern California
    #11
    You are correct that is a feature of the OS, however, it is a feature that is dependent upon certain hardware requirements of which the Mac mini does not meet.

    The Mac mini is equipped with a modest (but more than enough for the Mac mini's target audience) graphics card, the ATI Radeon 9200 with 32MB of DDR video memory. The splash effect is a function of OS X Tiger's Core Imaging, which works best with the ATI Radeon 9600 or higher equivalent.

    Basically, the Mac mini's graphics card is too weak to take advantage of core imaging. Rumors speculate that the next revision of the mini will offer a better graphics card that will easily handle core imaging functions.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2005
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, UK
    #12
    Thanks guys. I really am not that bothered about the splash effect, although I quite liked it when I saw it in the apple store, but I'm sure the novelty wears off after 10 minutes, if not before.

    If I like OSX and get on well with it, but if I find it slow, I will upgrade it to a G5. I've bought the mini as a test machine to see if it really is worth switching from Windows.
     
  13. macrumors G4

    dmw007

    Joined:
    May 26, 2005
    Location:
    Working for MI-6
    #13
    Keymoo,

    Welcome to Mac! You will not regret your decision. I just recently purchased a new PowerMac G5 (waiting for it to arrive :D ) and have been using Macs for over a year. During my short experience with apple computers and Mac OS I have fell head over heels. You will love your mini. Congrats on your switch!!!
     
  14. macrumors 601

    Yvan256

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    #14
    Apple never said anything about "requiring a 64MB card". This page only talks about requiring a programmable GPU. A Radeon 9200 with 256MB wouldn't be able to do it, but a Radeon 9600/32MB would (at least, I don't see anything about 32/64MB VRAM requirements on this page).
     
  15. macrumors 68030

    Platform

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2004
    #15
    Correct........it is the Shaders etc. that count ;) "Level"
     
  16. macrumors 601

    Yvan256

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    #16
    I switched via a Mac mini (1.42GHz/80GB/512MB), and I dropped my Athlon XP 2400+, 512MB, 80GB, Windows XP Pro box after only 3 days.

    Sure, the Mac mini sucks at recent games (though I still play World of Warcraft on it, but at the lowest settings and resolution) but it's still pretty decent in "old" games (UT2004 for exemple) if you keep it in 1024x768 with medium quality settings.

    Good call on the 1GB choice, BTW. I'm looking to replace my 512MB with 1GB myself. I wish the Mac mini had TWO memory slots, or at least 256/512MB soldered on-board (and one free slot).
     

Share This Page