For someone who does not game that much...

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by VeganHipster, Oct 23, 2011.

  1. VeganHipster macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    #1
    Should they get the discrete GPU model? I am thinking about getting the quad-core model as it will give me better performance, but I am not sure when I will ever use that performance. It would be nice to have though and the computer would last me a long time. Then again, it seems kind of ridiculous to downgrade to the Dual Core for AMD GPU's power when the GPU is not even that much better than the Intel HD 3000. Can someone clarify that it is actually a lot better than Intel HD 3000? I play these games:

    The Sims 3
    Starcraft II
    The Old Republic
    Knights of the Old Republic

    Not too picky about what settings it is on, but I don't want to be running on low.

    I intend on getting the mac to replace my core 2 duo dell and start recording stuff in my room. So maybe I don't need the quad since I am still a 'scrub'. So, please, help me!
     
  2. VeganHipster thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 18, 2011
  3. monokitty macrumors regular

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    Sep 16, 2011
    #3
    A quad-core processor will not help in games - such games like the ones you listed are more graphics dependent than processor dependent; the AMD 6630M is significantly better than the HD3000 graphics as not only is it discrete, but the GDDR5 dedicated VRAM is far faster than shared memory that the HD3000 relies on. It will also be more 'future-proof' for future games you may want to play.

    I have the 2.7 i7 dual-core model with AMD graphics and it's plenty fast for just about anything I throw at it (though admittedly, I don't do any recording with it).
     
  4. redscull macrumors 6502a

    redscull

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #4
    What video card is in your Dell? If it's a tower with a "real" video card, even a couple years old, chances are good that even the discrete graphics mini is going to be a worse gaming machine than the Dell you currently own.

    You say you don't game that much. I'd say that if you game whatsoever, and it doesn't just mean web-based Flash games, and you have otherwise decided on getting a mini for some reason, you can't not get the discrete graphics option.
     
  5. VeganHipster thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 18, 2011
    #5
    I have a 9600 GT in my Dell tower. Thanks for the input guys. Such hard decisions... Hopefully when Ivy Bridge comes out we will see Quad-Core Mac Minis across the board with dedicated GPUs!
     
  6. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #6
    I have a related question...

    Mrs. DewGuy1999 has a HP PC with an Nvidia GeForce 6200 (AGP) w/256MB RAM and she'd like to get the Mini with the AMD Radeon HD 6630M to replace it. She primarily plays The Sims (both 2 and 3) and is wondering how The Sims 3 running on OS X would fare compared to her current setup? Also, in general how the AMD Radeon HD 6630M compares to her Nvidia GeForce 6200? TIA.
     
  7. redscull macrumors 6502a

    redscull

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #7
    From: http://www.videocardbenchmark.net

    Note that these are just relative video card performance values. They don't offer concrete evidence of anything in particular excep to help you compare one card to another in overall performance.

    The Radeon HD 6630M scores 575.
    The 9600 GT scores 929.
    The Geforce 6200 scores 57.

    I can't find a scrore for the Intel HD 3000 on the charts now (maybe the naming scheme for Intel integrated cards was reworked), but I swear I used to be able to locate it. And if I recall, I think it was like half the score of the discrete option in the 2011 mini.

    So for Mrs. DewGuy, the mini would almost certainly be a nice upgrade in gaming power. For VeganHipster, it's quite likely that even the best 2011 mini is going to be a downgrade in framerates for 3D gaming (though probably a solid upgrade in every other computing task).

    You also have to factor in that most games on identical hardware perform a little poorer in OSX vs Windows.
     
  8. Adamantoise macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 1, 2011
    #8
    Get the Base mini and then get a PC for when you decide to game.

    I love Apple computers, but no one is going to convince me that they're decent gaming machines, they're not.
     
  9. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    dolphin842

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    #9
    Waiting seems like a good plan. In the meantime, a cheap SSD for your Dell will likely give a much more noticeable everyday performance boost than upgrading to a mini (unless you encode videos regularly, in which case a quad-core Sandy Bridge chip presents a night-and-day difference vs a Core 2)
     
  10. VeganHipster thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 18, 2011
    #10
    If I end up doing that I might as well have just bought an iMac. The reason I am considering the Mini is because of price, and the price doesn't seem to attractive if I am getting recommended to buy two computers.
     
  11. tears2040 macrumors 6502

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    Aug 27, 2010
  12. VeganHipster thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 18, 2011
    #12
    I saw that and thought it was very cool! There is a lot more information on their face book page. They said that they are opening pre-orders soon and sending beta-testing units out at the end of december.

    That would be fine and dandy if The Old Republic came out after that came out :( They also said it would cost around $400, or $250 if a lot of people pre-order, but I don't want to pre order only to find out only 5 other people pre ordered so now I am going to have to pay $400. Hopefully there is more info soon.

    EDIT: I suppose hackintosh is another option, but it doesn't sound too fun messing around with the software and putting a computer together (i have never before). The whole thing about Macs is that it 'just works'. I guess Apple does not really have computer that matches my needs and budget so maybe that is the only way...
     
  13. tears2040 macrumors 6502

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    Aug 27, 2010
    #13

    IM more than sure that the HD 3000 will be able to run all of those games, no need to worry. You should easily be able to run everything at medium settings.
     
  14. Adamantoise macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    #14
    Well it simply doesn't meet your needs if you're a serious gamer. It has laptop parts for crying out loud.

    Just get the iMac (also has laptop GPU but at least it's more powerful) or get a Windows machine.
     
  15. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000

    MultiFinder17

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    #15
    I'm not sure where the other games fall in, as I'm not a terribly avid gamer, but my 2009 mini with the Nvidia 9400M plays the Sims 3 like a champ on decent settings @ 1680x1050, so I'm sure that the current minis could handle it with no problem whatsoever :)
     
  16. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #16
    I believe the current mini's Intel HD3000 is on par with the Nvidia 9400M so a mini with the AMD Radeon HD 6630M would/should be considerably better.
     
  17. reluttr macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    #17
    Here is the website I used when picking out my iMac.

    http://www.graphicscardbenchmarks.com/gaming_performance_tool.cfm

    With them you can specify the two cards you want to compare and it will bring up detailed information for both of them including overall performance value.

    It also nicely highlights the cards on the large chart. You can also check a box so that it only shows the two cards you are comparing.


    Anyways, from what I can tell. If you go with the 6630 mac mini you will see a slight drop in performance. But I do not think you will notice it while gaming.
     

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