3.06Ghz Dual-core MBP (2009) - How much of an improvement will a new Mac Mini be?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by phased, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. phased, Jan 27, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013

    phased macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    #1
    Hi all,

    I'm running a MacBook Pro (17-inch, Mid 2009) Intel Core 2 Duo T9900 3.06 GHz (2 cores) with 8GB of RAM (max.) and a 7200rpm HDD, but about to upgrade to an SSD. She's well looked after, in almost perfect condition, and for the most part, meets my needs - although large vector file lags in Illustrator are becoming a little frustrating. I appreciate the Core 2 Duo is quite outdated but I'm struggling to grasp just how much of an improvement a quad-core i7 will be.

    Beyond the usuals, I'm a pretty heavy user of Illustrator and some basic modeling programs (Sketchup, Rhino), with some Photoshop and InDesign usage.

    So, before I pop in an SSD (will this help with aforementioned lags, btw?), I did happen to notice the new Mac Minis. Basically I've got my design thesis to undertake this semester which has made my a little apprehensive over my 2009 MBP. Portability, for the moment, is no issue.

    If I were to walk the Mac Mini route, I'd be looking at the 2.6GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, and I'd boost the RAM to 16GB and install a 256GB SSD myself - running me a little over $1250AUD down here. I'm not entirely sure of the market value of my current MBP (I paid over $4000AUD for it when back when, ha), but I'm sure it would sell.

    Am I going to see significant performance improvement with the Mac Mini? Bare in mind I have to compare this with the performance on my MBP with an SSD. I understand the SSD will help greatly with start-up, reading, writing times - but does is significantly improve processing times in Ps, Ai, etc.? I've got a feeling the processor is more responsible for this but that's simply an educated guess.

    Anyway, advice is appreciated. I guess even if I required portability one day after thesis, I imagine the Mac Mini will hold it's value pretty well over the first year or so, right?


    Cheers,
    Thom.
     
  2. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #2
    the quad 2.3 is silly fast. you don't need the quad 2.6. your cpu is a bicycle speed wise. the 2.3 quad is a corvette the 2.6 quad is a porsche. your speed jump will be huge. 16gb ram and a 256 gb ssd will make a great machine. In the usa mac minis hold value well better then macbook pros.


    this is the spec list for your MBP

    http://support.apple.com/kb/SP546

    what GPU do you have the

    NVIDIA GeForce 9400M

    NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT
     
  3. phased thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    #3
    thanks for your response, philipma1957. i checked my system information and it actually lists both GPU's there, so i'm unsure. my displays are listed after the 9400M so perhaps that's the one? i take it i don't have both..

    as aforementioned, my main qualm with my current set up with lag times on large vector drawings (pdf, Ai, etc.) and also occasional lags when modeling large files. what part of the computer is largely responsible for this 'agility' (for lack of a better word)?
     
  4. donlab macrumors 6502

    donlab

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2004
    Location:
    USA
    #4
    try ssd

    Why not try the SSD in MBP first and if it doesn't seem to help then get a mini and add the SSD to mini.
     
  5. phased thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    #5
    hi don, yes, that's likely what i'll do. just trying to figure out if the SSD is responsible for what i'm trying to improve, exactly. i guess my spiel was a little longwinded but that's the crux of it.
     
  6. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #6
    donlab's idea is good.

    I did some checking on the hd4000 vs the 9400 and the 9600.

    the hd4000 is close to the 9400. a little short of the 9600.

    the quad 2.3 in the mini really crushes the c2d in the MBP.

    I am not too familiar with gpu usage and vector drawings.


    Getting the ssd and trying it out with your current machine is not a bad idea. If it gives improvement. You could hold out for the 2013 mini with the new graphics. Early reports on the HASWELL cpu and its graphics are a big improvement over the hd4000.
     
  7. phased, Jan 28, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013

    phased thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    #7
    ahhh, it seems i've completely discounted the importance of graphics. even if the mac mini has faster processor, more RAM, etc. - the graphics card could be a bit of a bottleneck, right? and if the current mac mini graphics capability doesn't even match my 2009 MBP, i'd have to say that's a deal breaker.

    i actually dug a little deeper and found that i do have both NVIDIA GeForce 9400M 256MB (integrated) and 9600M GT 512MB (dedicated).. and i'd only EVER been using the 9400M on my MBP. a little frustrating to say the least. i just didn't know any better!

    anyway, i've switched to the 9600M GT, i'll get around to adding the SSD in the coming weeks and see how that fares. may very well get me through the semester then i can begin looking at the haswell mac minis / rMPBs!
     
  8. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #8
    well that is what these sites are for. I am glad that we could help.
     
  9. CausticPuppy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 1, 2012
    #9
    My testing has shown that the older HD3000 is only slightly slower than the 9600m gt. Considerably faster than the 9400m. So the HD4000 easily trounces the 9600.
     
  10. phased, Jan 30, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013

    phased thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    #10
    even though the 9600M GT has 1GB dedicated?

    edit: that would be 512 MB.
     
  11. CausticPuppy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 1, 2012
    #11
    More video memory doesn't always mean faster. It's only faster when running a game or app that needs that much memory. For just about anything except games, you'll be using a fraction of your video RAM.
     
  12. Nate392 macrumors member

    Nate392

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    #12

    The mini with 16 GB of RAM has 768 MB of VRAM. If that makes a difference.
     

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