Buying a Mac Mini, but I need some help.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ovil200, Mar 21, 2008.

  1. ovil200 macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2008
    New member here. I always lurk the forums, but just decided today to actually register.

    I'm considering buying a used Mac Mini, simply to begin coding for the iPhone. I have an expansive knowledge of Java coding, and would love to try to develop applications just for myself for my iPhone.

    I know it wouldn't take me much processing power to simply use my Mac for coding (which is majority of what I will be doing with my Mac, hence the reason I'm going for a USED Mac Mini. I really don't need anything fancy at all for simple coding).

    My question is; how well would Leopard run on a 1.25GHz PowerPC G4 Mac Mini? I would love to have Leopard on my Mac (I have somewhat of an OCD about keeping my software up to date). But how well would it run on something like a 1.25GHz? Also, how would other simple tasks run on my Mac Mini, such as iChat and Safari? Would I really have any problems as far as latency is concerned? I'm not expecting very much power from a 1.25GHz, and I will be upgrading whatever I buy to at least 1GB RAM, but I would like SOME other use out of it.

    How well will a 1.25GHz PowerPC Mac Mini with 1-2GB RAM perform with tasks like iWork, the iLife suite, etc.?

    I don't know if this is against forum rules, but if someone would like to cut me a deal on a used Mac Mini (under $350), send me a PM.
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
  3. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
  4. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
    I have an original Mac Mini with 512M RAM. It runs Leopard just fine. I use it as a bastion host (a place to ssh in from outside), an iTunes for my home stereo (until I got my Apple TV), and all-around test box.

    It doesn't have the power to play real 1920x1080 HD content, but it can manage lesser resolutions. You seem to have realistic expectations - I don't think you'd be disappointed.

    (no, you can't have mine... :)
  5. ovil200 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2008
    So 1024x768 will do fine? I didn't expect anything HD, not really a standard of mine. Especially when it comes to gaming. Consoles only for me.

    All of my HD video viewing is done through the good ol' PS3.
  6. MrSquibbles macrumors newbie

    Mar 18, 2008
    Good man!
  7. ovil200 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2008
    Well, I saw that HD was a dead format right from the beginning. Makes no sense why Toshiba would attempt to distribute a new format when Blu-Ray has a much larger storage capacity.

    But that's neither here nor there. :p
  8. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
    If you're just running desktop and apps, it's fine. Some of the Exposé transitions might not be buttery-smooth, but one wouldn't expect them to be.

  9. KingYaba macrumors 68040


    Aug 7, 2005
    Up the irons
    I have seen Intel Mac Mini computers selling between $400-$500 on Craiglist. If you want to run Leopard, I would highly suggest the Intel processor. A 1.25ghz PPC machine is slow. "It will run fine" means it will choke on basic tasks. At least seek out the Intel Mac Mini Core Solo route. That way, you can at least upgrade that 1.5 to a 2.1 Core Duo should you need the extra speed boost.
  10. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    The G5 2GHz in my iMac sometimes struggles to play 720p H.264. The 1.25 GHz G4 can handle 480p max.

    It would be fine however to hook it up even to 23-24" monitor, but system effects will be less smooth.

    If OP likes to keep his software up to date, he should avoid PPC Macs as they will soon become unsupported. Leopard could become the last OS version for them.
  11. Decrepit macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2007
    Foothills to the Rocky Mountains
    I have the 1.42 PPC Mini. It has some graphics issues when running at 1920x1200, but only since I moved to Leopard. Tiger worked fine. Since you're looking to run way lower resolution, you should be fine there.

    I would definitely recommend getting an Intel model though, since application support for the G4 models will begin to thin out eventually. They also give you the ability to go over 1GB memory. As I understand it, the PPC maxes out at 1GB.
  12. ovil200 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2008
    Well I was hoping to buy a less powerful machine used to save some money, but it looks like any way I look at it, I'm not really going to come out on top. Performance vs. price, it's just not worth it.

    So I guess I will likely just buy a new Mac Mini, or at least a 1.6x+ GHz, Intel-based. If someone were able to find me a good deal on Ebay (I've checked Craigslist, there isn't a SINGLE Mac AT ALL within 50 miles of where I live), that would be splendid.
  13. Lancetx macrumors 68000


    Aug 11, 2003
    Keep an eye on the refurbished section of Apple's online store. When they're in stock, you can find Intel based Mac minis there for less than $500.
  14. minicoop503 macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2008
    I have a 1.25 ghz G4 eMac with 1.5 gigs of ram and Leopard doesn't run that bad.

    I don't think that I could do much with iMovie, iPhoto, etc, but everything else runs pretty good.

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