For the first time I am disappointed in Apple Hardware

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by iDM, Apr 16, 2006.

  1. iDM macrumors 6502a


    Jul 6, 2005
    The Commonwealth of PA/The First State-DE
    My bro just got an Intel Mac Mini and it's honestly been nothing but a disappointment. I warned him that some programs may run slow but for the most part there should not be that big of a difference. Well I was very wrong. I am very very very underwhelmed by the speed(or lack there of) of this machine. He got the Core Duo but still the thing is extremely slow and constantly beach balls. I promised my brother he wouldn't regret the switch to Mac from his piece of crap pc and I genuinely thought I'd be proven right again(my parents are thrilled with there iMac). He was a die-hard pc fan and thought of Macs as inferior machines and with this release(they must have really really rushed this out the door) he probably regrets his decision(even though he says he doesn't mind).

    So anyway to the problems. I understand that the thing has got to emulate how it runs certain programs but out of the box the computer is slow running things as simple as the ilife programs(which I thought were universal). My computer is 1.25ghz, while his is 1.66 duo and I would never admit it to him, but my computer BLOWS his out of the water in every single program he uses. I am shocked at how often his machine beach balls. I figured he would be safe to go with the Intel after the OS is universal and the majority of the programs themselves were Universal.

    I have noticed numerous bugs such as resizing of the dock and the magnification slider not working what so ever. Front Row is slow to respond to remote clicks, safari takes forever to load in addition to itunes, His apps constantly bounce until they open and in a few cases continue to bounce until force quit. He's forced to use Force Quit(which I rarely and in fact can not remember the last time I used it) to close many of his apps.

    The most recent problem that he just called me in for and that I could not remedy is his optical drive. He said he was going through some data cd's to determine if anything useful was on any of them when all of a sudden one that he put in caused the beach ball to happen. I put the comp to sleep with the beach ball going and when I woke it from sleep the beach ball was still spinning. I tried ejecting it from the keyboard.......beach ball.....tried dragging and dropping it in the trash and you guessed it beach ball.

    This computer is a mess if any of you have an idea as to what we can do software wise I'm all ears. Otherwise this machine has got to be a lemon that needs to be returned. I was so naive to think that this computer was going to run fine no problem little did I know it was going to be a nightmare. I have not had this much trouble since I use to use pc's and now I remember the feeling of spending(wasting) time to get a computer to function normally. I don't know if I have a short temper because I haven't had to deal with it in so long or if I'm just generally mad I convinced my brother to jump ship and now his first exposure to the mac world has been a POS. Guidance, suggestions? Thanks in advance.
  2. asencif macrumors 6502

    Dec 21, 2005
    Ok...Here are some general questions and some answers to help you out...

    1. How much RAM do you have and did you/he install any?
    If so then take out the extra memory and see how it runs.

    2. I know it was his first mac, but did you import/transfer any data from a PPC during the initial mac setup wizard?
    If so this has caused problems for many as a lot of PPC only Library items and preferences have copied over and not done well.

    3. Have you noticed any missing items in the Utilities folder under Applications?
    If so then this is a known corrupt image that have shipped with some macs and you should do a re-install.

    I suggest doing a complete erase and install if none of these things work for you. If that still dosen't fix the problem then run the Apple Hardware Test. That may detect a problem for you and also you can probably determine if there is a logic board problem.
  3. MacAficionado macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2002
    An awesome place
    You have to look at the possibility that there is something wrong with it. Do a re install of the OS and run the Apple Hardware Test, Disk Utility and all that good stuff. That machine will blow yours out of the water.
  4. sabor macrumors regular


    Mar 17, 2006
    512 MB of RAM on the MacMini is nothing, get at least a gig, and good luck with the upgrade it's a PITA. :(
  5. iDM thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 6, 2005
    The Commonwealth of PA/The First State-DE
    I understand what you guys are saying about the ram but even when turning on the computer for the very first time with zilch installed it incurred a few beach balls.

    Can I do a hardware test with the cd still stuck in the drive? It is still stuck in there. The problem is not so much that it is slow its more an issue of programs never opening........and therefore having to be forced quit. I still can not get the disc out. What does PITA stand for btw?
  6. Foxglove9 macrumors 68000


    Jan 14, 2006
    New York City
    I'm not sure I would convince a die-hard pc user to get a mac mini as their first mac. Not that they're bad machines but I'd want to wow them with something more powerful and upgradeable. Plus there are still some bugs to work out on the intel hardware/software side of things. And the video card won't be great for 3-D gaming if he wants to boot Windows to play his games.

    I would take the advice of previous posts in troubleshooting the mac. If all else fails, try exchanging it for another or worse case return it and get credit and hold on to it until the powermac towers come out.
  7. MacAficionado macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2002
    An awesome place
    Shut down the Mini and restart with the mouse button pressed until the disk comes out.

    Then run disk utility from the install disk, something is up with that thing. Take it to the Apple Store if you are withing the 14 days and if there is something wrong with it, they should exchange it.
  8. y0zza macrumors regular

    Mar 10, 2005
    Agreed about the RAM. Make sure you get at least 1GB, preferably 2GB otherwise you will get a lot of beach balling. Running PPC apps with Rosetta could only make it significantly worse.
  9. generik macrumors 601


    Aug 5, 2005
    Try to get more ram, I for one am very impressed with my mini (with 2 gb of ram).

    I generally have 10-15 apps running at a time, including EyeTV which is probably recording one show or another during the evenings, and I never experience beachballs. The only app that takes a significant amount of time to load is probably Adobe Golive for me, but seeing as to how it has to run under emulation it is quite understandable.
  10. dr_lha macrumors 68000

    Oct 8, 2003
    I love my mini, a Core Solo, and find it to be extremely fast computer, but >512Mb is a must. I have 1Gb in mine and it feel tight, I can't imagine what 512Mb is like.
  11. macOSX-tastic macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2005
    At the Airport. UK
    PITA? what does that mean? like bread? :D


  12. dr_lha macrumors 68000

    Oct 8, 2003
    Pain In The Arse (or Ass for Americans).
  13. jadekitty24 macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2005
    The poor section of Connecticut
    Let me just offer a piece of advice. Don't ever highly recommend a computer to someone (esspecially a Mac to a die-hard PC fan) unless you know through experience that it will be a good choice. In other words, have you had any experience with the duo core Mini? Do you know for a fact that it will run mint? That said I would never recommend any product, let alone a costly computer, to anyone unless I have had first hand experience.
    Also, you never did answer the age old much ram does this Mini have? I personally have never met a duo-core Mini that was happy with just 512.
  14. milo macrumors 604

    Sep 23, 2003
    Absolutely agree on the ram, I have 2 gig in mine but 1 should be enough for most things.

    What apps is he running that aren't universal? The universal stuff smokes on a duo mini.
  15. Maxiseller macrumors 6502a


    Jan 11, 2005
    Little grey, chilly island.
    Even though 1Gig is certainly a boon, I really don't think that he should have these problems with the standard 512 - otherwise we're all saying that Apple ships lemons to everybody who orders a Mac Mini - lets face it, "standard buyers" (i'm talking parents and the like) won't be upgrading their ram will they?

    Nevertheless, I would try a complete erase and install, and see how it is. After a few hours use if it's still the same take the damn thing back - it ceases to be your problem at that point.

    In fact, if it's still within its 30 days, I would ring apple and start off this whole process straight away because when you DO ring them, they'll only tell you to go away and try all this stuff we're talking about anyway! At least you'll have it all on record and therefore liable to quick assistance.
  16. andiwm2003 macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    i played with a Mac Mini Intel Core Duo with 1GB Ram at the Apople store for a while. All iLife Apps feel much faster than on my 1.5 GHz G4 Powerbook with 1.25 GB at home. Powerpoint (not universal) runs as fast as it does on my G4 unless you load pictures larger than 1 MB onto a slide.

    Something is wrong with your Mac Mini. It should feel much faster than a G4 machine.

    Do all the usual stuff like repair permission, zap parameter ram, reset PMU, do a hardware test from the install disks. If this doesn't help (most likely it won't but it's not much work, so it can't harm to try) then reinstall OS X from scratch (reformat the HD).

    It should be a fast machine.

  17. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

    Nov 17, 2004
    The Msp
    Yeah, as a lot of people are saying, there is most likely something wrong with the computer. I ran my Core Solo for about two weeks with the stock 512MB RAM, and it was definitely quicker than my gf's 1.25Ghz G4 Mini with 1GB RAM. Safari opens right away, and most apps gave me no trouble at all (except Photoshop, which had loooong load times until I upped my RAM).

    My first Intel Mac, an iMac, had similar symptoms as what you're describing, and I returned it and got this Mini. The Mini feels faster than the iMac - so you've probably got something fundamentally wrong with your Mini too.
  18. odedia macrumors 65816

    Nov 24, 2005
    I had the 20" iMac 2.0Ghz Core Duo with 512GB RAM. It felt very slow.

    I replaced it with a MBP 1.83Ghz with 1.5GB RAM. It's faster than a speeding bullet.

    the MBP should feel slower with its slower processor and slower HD, but the RAM covers up for that big time.

    Conclusion: OSX is TERRIBLE with low RAM. You really must upgrade the RAM, otherwise the whole thing is pointless.

    Oded S.
  19. macdon401 macrumors 6502


    Jul 9, 2005
    ...Mini nightmare!

    ....everyone seems to be pointing towards RAM, I'm no pro but it sounds like a hard drive failure...or at least starting to fail! A;; pf the symptoms, especially the beach ball going on forever happened to me, the slowness on a wide variety of apps....I think you may need a new drive,,,back up now and run a hardware test....happened to my iMac 2 months in...but Apple gave me a new drive in a couple days!
    Good luck!
  20. iDM thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 6, 2005
    The Commonwealth of PA/The First State-DE
    Thanks for the quick response from everyone. I find it hard to believe that the fault rests with me for recommending the computer. I guess I assumed a dual core processor even with the stock ram could run at least 1 or 2 OS X programs without beach balling and apparently some of you believe that I should have none the cd player was gonna crap out. I totally agree that the 1.25gigs i have in this(Pb G4) have made a huge difference but keep in mind I ran this computer with 512mb for well over two years and just got new ram in december. Meaning I had this computer 1.25ghz with 512mb ram running numerous programs and still rarely experienced beach balls except with iphoto opening initially(I have 10k in photos). I also don't understand how the majority of you are acting as if the ram has anything to do with the disk that has yet to be ejected.

    Thanks for all of the software suggestions everyone has provided. Assuming that I can get the beachball to stop spinning(it continues to spin even when waking from sleep, so i have no cursor) than I'll back up all his stuff and do a fresh install and start with the hardware tests and so forth. Thanks again everyone.
  21. miniConvert macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2006
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    Return it ASAP and buy a new one or get onto AppleCare and get a replacement arranged.

    That's just not right, and as a Mac user you know it isn't right. If it's brand new then don't stand for having to feck about trying to make it work right - for the money I think you'll agree it should be working correctly right out the box.

    While a lot of people have mentioned that you really need 1GB of RAM in that thing, it certainly isn't going to cause problems to the extent yours is having.

    Get rid and get new.
  22. killmoms macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Yeah, it sounds like you have a defective machine. Get that thing replaced ASAP, don't waste time with a fresh install or more RAM or whatnot. It should be blazing and it's clearly not—something is very wrong.
  23. milo macrumors 604

    Sep 23, 2003
    The intel boxes simply need more ram than the PPC's, especially since they have the extra overhead of running rosetta. I know from experience, I have a mini. It ran like crap with 512, it's blazing fast once I added ram.

    Not sure what's up with the CD, you may just have to take it in for repair. What did apple tech support say about the CD issue?
  24. iDM thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 6, 2005
    The Commonwealth of PA/The First State-DE
    I clicked on Disk Utility and the little white/grey pie chart thing just spins and spins and spins saying Gathering Information...........

    I guess according to everyone previously this is a ram issue as well and/or my fault for recommending this machine?

    (No other program is running and I just rebooted the machine)
  25. MacAficionado macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2002
    An awesome place
    The HD is messed up, take it to the Genius Bar, tell them you want it exchanged, show them what is happening. Unless they can fix it without actually replacing the HD.

    That Mini is bad out of the box, it happens.

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