Switcher considering a Mac mini

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Brian W, Oct 19, 2006.

  1. Brian W macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2006
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #1
    Okay, I'm switching from Windows to Mac. :D Now, can anyone tell me whether or not a "loaded" (1.83GHz CPU + 2GB RAM) mini will perform well enough to meet these needs?

    1. Java development using Eclipse and other tools
    2. Digital Video editing & DVD production
    3. Photo editing
    4. MIDI & audio production
    5. Web site development

    I should also mention that I'm leaning towards the mini rather than an iMac because:

    1. I already have a beautiful 24-inch widescreen LCD @ 1920x1200
    2. I like the small footprint
    3. I like the relatively low price

    I'm currently using a 1.3GHz Pentium M Notebook with 1GB RAM and a Mobility M7 display adapter on XP Pro. So, by comparison, wouldn't the mini be a major upgrade for me? Or, is power lost in the PC-to-Mac conversion?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts and advice...
     
  2. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #2
    Hmmm... will you gain performance?

    HELL YEAH. The Mac mini will absolutely scream compared to your old laptop, real night-and-day stuff. If anything, power is gained moving to the Mac in terms of boosted productivity, increased stability and the security is second to none.

    The Mac mini will do everything you want it to do, the iMac will do it even quicker and you can use your big screen as a second display hooked up to the iMac and have some massive screen real estate to play with. It also gives you more storage, better graphics and much better performance although the small form factor of the mini is nice.
     
  3. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #3
    The major benefit of the iMac is much larger and faster storage for your A/V applications along with much improved dedicated VRAM, not to mention much improved processing with the Core 2 Duo chips.

    Since you're doing audio video editing, you'll find that connecting your current
    display to the iMac's DVI out will help you greatly increase your view and workflow
    across several control surfaces.

    The mini might be ok to help you get your feet wet with MacOSX, but if you are
    doing heavy work on any regular basis, you'll be looking to upgrade again rather
    quickly due to the limited VRAM and storage.
     
  4. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

    Joined:
    May 26, 2005
    Location:
    Working for MI-6
    #4
    The 1.83GHz Mac Mini will be much faster than your current setup Brian W. :)
     
  5. Brian W thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2006
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #5
    Thanks for the replies. Your comments are really helpful. I understand the size of the internal HDD is important, but I also have 750GB of external SATA storage. :) Sounds like the main bottleneck for me will be the VRAM, but it also sounds like OS X performance on this mini should be better than what I experience today on my notebook. Only one way to find out for sure, right? ;)
     
  6. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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

    That is right, click on the BUY button! :D :)
     
  7. lmalave macrumors 68000

    lmalave

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Location:
    Chinatown NYC
    #7
    1) Should be fine here. Eclipse and Java in general run well on OSX. The mini should be great running Tomcat as well, if you're doing server-side stuff.
    2) Don't know since I don't do any video stuff
    3) Should be fine here
    4) Don't know
    5) Should be great for web site development. Again, with the amount of RAM you have, you should be able to run any servers you need (e.g. Apache, MySQL)

    Sounds like you have a great setup for your needs. The only thing that the Mac mini isn't great for is 3D gaming since it has integrated, non-upgradeable graphics. But for what you listed, the mini should be superb.
     
  8. ziwi macrumors 65816

    ziwi

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Right back where I started...
    #8
    just a note on the video editing - you may want an external drive for the video stuff - to use as a scratch drive so the main drive with the OS does not get all the extra reads and writes on it...
     
  9. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #9
    Yup, sounds like it'll do the job nicely, especially if you plan to use external storage.

    I love my Mac mini, and if it were down to me everyone on the planet would own one. Granted, I only use mine as a plaything really, but it's clear that the 2.66GHz Core Duo with 2GB RAM (previous top end) could competently handle much, much more. I use mine with the 23" ACD at full resolution.
     
  10. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #10
    It seems to me that in your case you might benefit from some extra processor power. It's up to you if you want to spend the money for it, but I think the performance difference would be significant.
     
  11. lmalave macrumors 68000

    lmalave

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Location:
    Chinatown NYC
    #11
    He already mentioned he has a 750 GB drive...
     
  12. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #12
    the G4 mini was sufficient to do some basic DVD/video editing stuff.

    I imagine an intel proc would scream. Having said that, if you're looking to do video editing stuff a lot, I would get an iMac and use two screens.
     
  13. Brian W thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2006
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #13
    That's good to hear...

    I have considered this option, especially with the respective prices of the loaded Mini and 17-Inch iMac being so close, but I hesitate to get the iMac because...

    1. I need to reduce the size of my workspace
    2. I already have a virtual graveyard of 17-Inch to 19-Inch monitors
    3. I can always drop a Core 2 Duo into the Mini when they become dirt-cheap
    4. The Mini is semi-portable

    Once again, thanks for the feedback from everyone. These forums are really a fantastic resource. After repeatedly trying (and failing) to switch from Windows to Linux (my roots are in Unix) I am really looking forward to becoming a part of the Mac community. :)
     
  14. MacsAttack macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland
    #14
    I bought the G4 Mini when they came out and have since switched over completly to OS X.

    Performance-wise i think you will find your selected system to be a very nice update.

    You said you have SATA external storage. Is that SATA drives in USB2 or Firewire enclosures? None of the Macs have an external SATA connector to the best of my knowledge...
     
  15. Brian W thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2006
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #15
    My SATA drives currently live in a RAID file server, but I'm shopping for a SATA enclosure with Gigabit or Firewire so I can eliminate the (windows) server.

    Correct. :(
     

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