Unimpressive Mac Mini performance at CompUSA

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by plinden, Apr 7, 2005.

  1. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #1
    I know this has been discussed to death, but I just had my first chance to play about with a Mac Mini today, at CompUSA.

    I opened Safari (no internet connection, so it was just an empty window), iTunes (no songs in the library, so I couldn't play anything) and iPhoto. iPhoto had some photos, so I went through them. It took about 3-5 seconds to open each one, and I got a beachball each time. I then went to an iMac (17", 1.6GHz, 256 MB RAM), and did the same. The photos displayed instantly.

    They had the Mini locked down so I couldn't view the System Profile, so I'm not sure which one it was.

    I'm guessing it had some problems that should be sorted out, so I'm taking a trip to my nearest Apple store soon to check. But, surely this isn't what I could expect if I switched to a Mac Mini? Everything I've heard and read here suggested that there's not that big a difference between the two.

    Currently, on my laptop, I have Yahoo IM with four conversations open, one Firefox window with seven tabs, Thunderbird, cygwin, 11 gvim windows, three folders, a vnc client to my Solaris machine at work, iTunes, a phone simulator, and the Resin J2EE web container running. This probably qualifies me as a power user. (Admittedly, I have 1.5 GB RAM)

    By the way, I don't know what they're smoking, but they have a "special offer", $499 for the stock 1.25 GHz Mini, $599 for the stock 1.42GHz mini, valid to 9th April ????????
     
  2. auxplage macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    #2
    Well, I have expirienced the same stuff with both an iMac G5 of my friends and my eMac with 256 mb of RAM. The iMac performed better with less RAM. I think it could have something to do with the FSB since the iMac's is obviously faster.
     
  3. crap freakboy macrumors 6502a

    crap freakboy

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    nar in Gainsborough, me duck
    #3
    R A M

    PCWorld here in the UK are even worse, my local beige techno-market is guilty of having-

    Macs with no apps beyound IE and mail installed.
    Macs stuck on password login screen for weeks on end.
    Macs just not plugged in.
    iBook with broken screen/hinge.
     
  4. MacSA macrumors 68000

    MacSA

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    ahhhhhh ...... PC World.

    My local branch had an iBook with 9 keys missing on display.
     
  5. crap freakboy macrumors 6502a

    crap freakboy

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    nar in Gainsborough, me duck
  6. shortyman macrumors member

    shortyman

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2005
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    #6
    My local PC World still had an iMac G4 on display until very recently!

    :)
     
  7. BornAgainMac macrumors 603

    BornAgainMac

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Location:
    Florida Resident
    #7
    I never heard of PC World. They sound worst than CompUSA in the U.S. when it comes to Macs. I wonder if they ever had a Powermac G5 fan come on in the store at full blast. That would get people's attention. Perhaps they should open a Mac World and sell some PCs in a terrible display condition.
     
  8. caveman_uk Guest

    caveman_uk

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    #8
    PC World is the place where people that don't know much about PCs buy PCs thinking that they'll

    a) Get a good deal
    b) Get good advice

    a) is much more likely than b) as the staff at PC World generally know about as much about PCs as I do about landing a space shuttle. PC World is usually cheap but people would get a better deal (I hate to say this) at Dell. The mac area at PC world is usually an embarrasment and what makes it worse is that Apple's own website usually recommends them as a retailer.
     
  9. HiRez macrumors 603

    HiRez

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Western US
    #9
    Hmm, I played around with iMovie on a Mac Mini in the Apple Store, editing HD video, and while I wouldn't describe the performance as "blazing", it was definitely surprisingly useable. I suspect your Mini had a bunch of other apps open, so it had none left for iPhoto (and 256 is not enough to start with, after loading OS X). ChumpUSA is terrible about maintaining their demo machines, I would never trust anything I found there...although unfortunately that will be many people's first and possible only impression.
     
  10. krollster macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #10
    Was it more expensive than a brand new iMac G5?

    When the iMac G5 was released I had to have a quiet talk with some new mac buyers in John Lewis who were a) unaware that the G5 was out, and b) unaware of the significant price reduction that had occured with the update and hadn't been passed on to the older models. Needless to say, they walked away and I'd be suprised if they went back...

    Bring on more Apple Stores in the UK is what I say!
     
  11. shortyman macrumors member

    shortyman

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2005
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    #11
    I second that, the UK is crying out for some more - you think about the amount of inner city redevelopment going on in the UK at the mo, surely its a perfect situation for Apple to get their stores designed exactly as they want them?

    :)
     
  12. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #12
    I would love to see an Apple Store in my hometown, but I guess that's never gonna happen. On the upside, though, we have two specialized Apple Retailers, which is not so bad for a town with a population of 250.000... ;)

    The nearest Apple Store is (and probably will be for all forseeable future) the one in Regent Street... :(
     
  13. krollster macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #13
    Even the large shopping areas/centres outside the inner city would be good. Kingston and Bluewater both come to mind...
     
  14. sparky76 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2003
    #14
    Did I not hear that Bluewater was to get an Apple Store in 2005 or 2006? I thought it and Brum were to follow Regent Street.
     
  15. krollster macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #15
    That sounds like good news about Bluewater, but I'd still happily trade in one of our (many) Carphonewarehouses in Kingston for a nice shiny Apple Store. The public (chav and otherwise) here are just dying to throw their money away here so I can't see even a mini store not doing well.
     
  16. shortyman macrumors member

    shortyman

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2005
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    #16
    Bristol would be great for an Apple store (my home town)
    When i'm at uni I live in Leamington Spa, thats got to be a perfect location looks wise, nice tidy and old parade, they could get the shop looking just like the Regents Street one! In my dreams i think.... :(

    :)
     
  17. crap freakboy macrumors 6502a

    crap freakboy

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    nar in Gainsborough, me duck
    #17
    John Lewis next to the Bentall Centre as improved dramatically over the last few years in regards to their Apple 'section'. Last I knew thay now have a dedicated Mac salesman, granted he aint a 'genius' but better than a poke in the eye. Plus dont they have a 2 year standard warranty on all computers...although I wouldn't like to test the quality of their service by buying a lemon G5. Then again, I think I would buy from them, way better than dealing with Apple UK. Any problems and I'd just stand my ground with my ultrahyper 3 year old next to the cash register. Wonder who'd break first?
     
  18. AndyC macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #18
  19. JeDiBoYTJ macrumors 6502a

    JeDiBoYTJ

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    #19
    I think my CompUSA still has the 3G iPod on display... right next to the 17in iMac G4 :eek:
     
  20. Savage Henry macrumors 65816

    Savage Henry

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Location:
    in a one horse, two house, three pub town.
    #20
    That's my local Mac retail shrine and it really has come on in leaps in the last couple o' years. But since regent street opened, man, me and the missus just love it ... but it now makes the JL Kingston efforts seem rather quaint and provincial.

    PC World just blows cold chunks. I just walk occasionally round their stores to feel smug.
    That was my 'laugh out-loud' post of the day ... I tend to allow myself one, and that was it.
     
  21. plinden thread starter macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #21
    Well the account they had it running on wasn't an admin account so I was denied access to any of the system utilities (Activity Monitor, System Profile and I couldn't open Terminal to run top). But the only apps on the dock were Safari, iTunes and iPhoto.

    I want to play around with a Mini in a real Apple store - luckily there's one just 5 miles from me (CompUSA is within walking distance). I felt like telling someone to put a 512 MB stick into the Mini, if they wanted to sell any of them, but there were no staff around.

    I was impressed by the performance of the 1.6GHz iMac, that had only 256MB RAM. It was snappy and looked good too. So I'm leaning towards getting the next iMac revision, maybe there'll be a speed bump and price drop for the midrange one (2GHz, 17", 512MB RAM for $1600 maybe?)

    I played around with them for about an hour, and easily got used to the one button mouse. After I learned some of the shortcuts I didn't need to Ctrl-click at all.
     
  22. Deepdale macrumors 68000

    Deepdale

    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    Location:
    New York
    #22
    When I last visited CompUSA on Friday, there was finally internet access available on 3 computers, but most had only a few songs in iTunes and a limited amount of pictures in iPhoto. I also saw iBooks with a number of missing keys. Nothing screams out, "Buy me, buy me" like systems that resemble trash.

    At J&R Computer World in lower Manhattan, PC salespeople on the main level can routinely be seen resting their arms on top of the iMac located there. Do you suppose it's time a floor manager reminded them that it is not a toy? Such treatment also makes the offenders look like amateur hacks in search of a real job.
     
  23. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020

    Horrortaxi

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #23
    CompUSA does a terrible job of displaying their computers--especially the Macs. Their Mac section is like a junkyard where people scavenge parts--missing keys or feet for their laptops, etc. I saw a PowerBook that had its screen wrapped around the metal bar that went across the keyboard to keep it in place--somebody tried to close the lid and turned it into an upside down V. They left it like that for weeks! The software is never up to date and the desktops are so messed up you'd think a 3 year old played around in System Preferences. I always try to fix the damage, but oddly enough System Preferences is always locked down tight. How did the computer get so messed up then?

    Unfortunately you can't get a good sense of how a Mac will perform for you from the demo machines at CompUSA.

    My wife has a Mini and it's fine for almost everybody's computing needs. I would advise getting 512MB though.
     
  24. BornAgainMac macrumors 603

    BornAgainMac

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Location:
    Florida Resident
    #24
    Bad CompUSA

    I went to get a Tiger book at CompUSA a few days after Tiger's release. They still were selling Panther and had a few books on "Jag-wire". The Macs looked bad but I felt that it was done on purpose. I wonder if the salesmen in the store don't want Macs to do well. The PC section looks nice.

    I did see the Mac version of Doom in the PC game section. It doesn't have the PC verson on the DVD so I assume a Windows user will buy it by accident and they won't be able to return it because the packaging is open.

    It is very common to find good Mac software mixed in with Windows software in that store. They make sure the Mac section just has a few titles like Tomb Raider, a card game, Sims, and Logo Design. It is really sad.

    I would have purchased my first Mac about 5 years earlier if the CompUSA section was better maintained. I stubbled on a Steve Jobs MacWorld on the web by accident and was sold and bought online.
     
  25. Archmagination macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2004
    #25
    I would actually be thrilled to have any type of mac store near my area the last one we had closed down 3 years ago. It was one of those small specialty stores.. it never had anything real new, but had a small used mac section. They mainly specialized in repairing pc's and macs. The University of Iowa Surplus is the only other place to get mac stuff(usually g3's with occasional g4's) The closest store that sells NEW mac stuff is over a 100 miles away!!(its also in the next state!!!)
     

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