Coming from the world of PPC Mac, need help with Mac Mini 2007!

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by AtaruBarreau, Aug 6, 2019.

  1. AtaruBarreau macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2019
    Hi guys! For the past two years, I've been pretty much converting all my daily driver as PPC Mac.
    I watch shows on my iBook G3 running OS 9, and use my MDD G4 1,42 everyday for watching Youtube, videos using the PPC Media Center, record music using Reaper, ect...
    I must say, using Low-End-Mac doesn't frighten me.

    For roughly 50€ I've bought myself on Ebay auction a Mac Mini 2007, with an already upgraded 2,0Ghz C2D, 4 Gigs of RAM & 500Go HDD. I already plan on upgrading the Mac with a SDD instead of the optical driver, but where I'm skeptical is on the software side of things.

    As I've been active (in a way) in the PPC community, I've learnt that even with old hardware you can do wonders if using the right tool (Coreplayer being able to play HD content on my MDD for example), but I'm bit worried about several things;

    1. The Intel GMA 950 is bad, I know; but was the biggest drawbacks and bottleneck you guys hit when using this integrated GPU?
    2. What are the real world performances like of the unsupported OSes; 10.8 seems reasonable in some accounts I read here, but is there a real reason to switch to it from Lion?
    3. Are aftermarket modifications to the cooling of the system a good idea to improve performances?
    4. For webbrowser, I know there is Firefox ESR, Palemoon, Articfox, iCab; but what's the best option on a C2D?

    Thank you for your time replying to me.

  2. saulinpa macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2008
    If you have PPC software then stay with 10.6
    Cooling isn't an issue with normal use. Blow out the dust once in a while.
  3. AtaruBarreau thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2019
    No, when it comes to PPC software I still use my MDD which works great for most things, so I guess I'll try the most stable OS the Mini can get.

    OK I see; but maybe I'll try pushing this mac to its limit so I'll be cautious about cooling.
  4. weckart macrumors 601

    Nov 7, 2004
    The worst bottleneck is how badly this GPU handles anything Flash based. There are still plenty of websites (hello BBC iPlayer), that haven't moved onto HTML5 or anything better and those really put the GMA950 under enormous strain. The Mac Mini will start heating up almost instantly and the fan will squeal in terror. Not good. My Mac Mini finally had enough and committed suicide rather than endure any more.

    As the other poster suggested, stick with Snow Leopard. You lose functionality with unsupported OSes going forward. 10.8 is possibly tolerable with the GMA950's close sibling the X3100 but not so much with what you have in the Mac Mini. It really isn't fit for any purpose. I would honestly have spent very little more and gone with the A1283 (2009) with the GeForce9400M. That is a much better GPU and it shipped with 10.5.6, so that you still have a possible tie-in with your PPC Macs, should that be of any interest to you. If not, it will upgrade all the way to El Capitan and with a little coaxing, run Mojave quite happily.
  5. AtaruBarreau thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2019
    I might update the Mini at one point for sure, but for the moment I'll stick with the 2007. As for Flash, I haven't used it since 2012 or something (my online TV app is HTML5 ; ) ).
    But, could a replaced fan be an option ? I'm quite worry about using way too heavy GPU load at one point or another, and keeping in mind that the optical drive will be removed, will the og fan be enough?

    Ah and is bootcamp alright on this Mac Mini? I'm definitely going to use it, but I still wonder either to use Win XP, or a ultra light version of Win 7.
  6. weckart macrumors 601

    Nov 7, 2004
    Depending on your workload, use MacsFanControl or something similar to ramp up the fan to keep temps down. Can't remember using Bootcamp on my MacMini as I have enough PCs not to need to do that. As a rule, stick with the version of Windows supported by your hardware. Apple only wrote the necessary Window drivers for those. You can get later Windows to run but there may be performance sacrifices.
  7. AtaruBarreau, Aug 12, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019

    AtaruBarreau thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2019
    Yeah MacsFanControl is something I won't forget to download. Yeah so basically, with my Core 2 Duo I can boot Win 7 64bit relatively easily since it's so close to Vista. But I may use XP since it runs Steam & most of my fav games without any flaws even today in 2019.

    (And if someone wonder, the reason I paid 50€ for this under-powered Intel Mac, it isn't in bad shape cosmetically, is in its og box, comes with already upgraded ram & cpu, and even with a remote control)

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6 August 6, 2019