Intel Mini Performance - WoW, MATLAB, Pro/E

Angrist

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 11, 2005
335
0
MI or NJ
So I've come to the conclusion that I need a 4th computer.

I need to be able to run MATLAB and Pro/Engineer at home, so I need a Windows compatible box. I can put together a very capable system from newegg for ~$1000, but that is a little risky and evolves a bunch of work.

So being an Apple fan for a long time, I've been eyeing a Mini instead. Has anyone had any experience running Pro/E or another CAD package on a Core Duo Mini? I'd expect the graphics card to be VERY underpowered.

Also, I'm using a 1.33GHz G4 Powerbook to play WoW, and while it runs OK it is VERY hot and the framerates are only in the 10-28 fps range. Any personal experience on a Core Duo?
 

mleary

macrumors regular
Sep 13, 2006
145
0
Angrist said:
So I've come to the conclusion that I need a 4th computer.

I need to be able to run MATLAB and Pro/Engineer at home, so I need a Windows compatible box. I can put together a very capable system from newegg for ~$1000, but that is a little risky and evolves a bunch of work.

So being an Apple fan for a long time, I've been eyeing a Mini instead. Has anyone had any experience running Pro/E or another CAD package on a Core Duo Mini? I'd expect the graphics card to be VERY underpowered.

Also, I'm using a 1.33GHz G4 Powerbook to play WoW, and while it runs OK it is VERY hot and the framerates are only in the 10-28 fps range. Any personal experience on a Core Duo?
Matlab should run great, esp. if you have the multithreaded version to take advantage of both cores. The mini uses Intel 950 intergrated graphics which is pretty bad. I don't know anything about Pro/E but if it needs a decent GPU I would no reccomened getting a mini.

I've played WoW on the mini and it is playable but not great.
 

Angrist

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 11, 2005
335
0
MI or NJ
Eraserhead said:
why not get an iMac 17" for about $1200?
Thought about it.
I've already got a 17" iMac G4 (Which I love) and I don't want another All-in-One. The plan was to share a monitor and keyboard with my PowerMac.

The big appeal of the mini over building an AMD box is the cost, a 1.66 Core Duo can be had ~$600.

I don't need storage space, DVD burning or a camera. Just an Intel machine with some graphics horsepower.
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,366
978
New England
Angrist said:
Just an Intel machine with some graphics horsepower.
That's why the mid-range iMac is a better choice than the Mini or another integrated graphics Mac (low end iMac/iBook). Even though the X1600 GPU is no speed demon, it's better than the GMA950. Plus the 3.5" HDD is significantly faster and you get a bunch more goodies (iSight, ...).

The iMac (even the 17") would run circles around your other Macs, so you could even consider selling one of them and using Rosetta for any legacy PPC apps.

B
 

wPod

macrumors 68000
Aug 19, 2003
1,654
0
Denver, CO
matlab will run great! ive used it before and it does well on the mac mini, along with mathmatica (which i prefer of the 2) and both being the mac versions. i have also used AutoCAD under windows and it works well. As fast or faster than a similarly speced windows machine with a P4 chip and seperate video card. i really wish i could get Pro-e working, but the site lisensing my company uses wont work on my mini at home (and they wont buy me a stand alone copy to bring home, but thats ok, i dont want to do work at home anyway!!)

but the mini should do well for everything you want. and possibly mediocre in the game playing dept. but for hard core gaming, you just have to go with a windows machine.
 

Eraserhead

macrumors G4
Nov 3, 2005
10,409
11,357
UK
balamw said:
The iMac (even the 17") would run circles around your other Macs, so you could even consider selling one of them and using Rosetta for any legacy PPC apps.

B
My Macbook runs circles around my iMac G5, just think what a Core processor would do over a G4.
 

mduser63

macrumors 68040
Nov 9, 2004
3,039
30
Salt Lake City, UT
Might be worth noting that Matlab won't run under OS X on an Intel Mac yet, although there is an Intel-compatible beta available (supposedly, I haven't received mine yet). I realize that you were talking about running it under Windows, but it seems like a better option to run it under OS X when that becomes supported.
 

menziep

macrumors 6502a
Jan 21, 2006
527
1
Eraserhead said:
My Macbook runs circles around my iMac G5, just think what a Core processor would do over a G4.
Yeah the Core Cpu is Better Than the IBM PowerG4 :eek:
 

ChickenSwartz

macrumors 6502a
Jul 27, 2006
903
0
mduser63 said:
Might be worth noting that Matlab won't run under OS X on an Intel Mac yet, although there is an Intel-compatible beta available (supposedly, I haven't received mine yet). I realize that you were talking about running it under Windows, but it seems like a better option to run it under OS X when that becomes supported.
Haven't gotten mine either. Are they ever coming?
 

Demon Hunter

macrumors 68020
Mar 30, 2004
2,284
39
Angrist said:
Also, I'm using a 1.33GHz G4 Powerbook to play WoW, and while it runs OK it is VERY hot and the framerates are only in the 10-28 fps range. Any personal experience on a Core Duo?
Don't expect much better from the Core Duo. The dual-core architecture does little when integrated graphics are involved. My brother has a 1.42 GHz Mac mini (G4) and it runs WoW the same, if not better, than my 1.83 GHz MacBook (Intel). If you must get a Mac mini, upgrade the RAM to 2GB.
 

Angrist

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 11, 2005
335
0
MI or NJ
Hmmmm .... Thanks for all the feedback.

It's going to be a tough call to make, but at least now I've got more info.
 

2ms

macrumors 6502
Nov 22, 2002
440
70
I'm an engineer and work all day in Pro/E on a 20" iMac. It's great. However, the mac mini has integrated graphics. That said, I worked on a laptop with integrated graphics for about 6 months -- no issues at all.

Basically it depends on the scale of the work you are doing. If you are designing things with like 3,000,000 part assemblies - a Boeing 747 with every bolt, rivet and wire + tire treads and texture on the seat cussions hah, then you need FireGL or Quadra graphics. However, you can work on pretty big things with just integrated graphics. This little X1600 is plenty for me.

Matlab obviously will scream on a C2D.
 

ChickenSwartz

macrumors 6502a
Jul 27, 2006
903
0
There's another thread about this. No one has said that they've received their copy.
Haven't gotten mine either. Grrr...I was hoping that this beta would be good enough to hold me over until the release a retail copy and I would buy. I need to get Matlab, I might have to buy Windows and the Windows Matlab.....Grrr.
 

rogermhsu

macrumors newbie
May 23, 2003
3
0
Palo Alto, CA
I'm an engineer and work all day in Pro/E on a 20" iMac. It's great. However, the mac mini has integrated graphics. That said, I worked on a laptop with integrated graphics for about 6 months -- no issues at all.
I also work all day in Pro/E and am thinking of getting a new Intel Mac so I can do some work from home. Are you running Pro/E via Boot Camp or Parallels? I would really like to run Pro/E through Parallels so that I can access my Mac apps without having to reboot. I'm hoping to find some people who are successfully running Pro/E through Parallels.
 

Gurutech

macrumors 6502
Jan 22, 2006
268
2
I run Matlab and Mathematica on my mini CD 1.66 Ghz with no problem. (however, I run those stuff in Windows XP)

This is stocked version which has 512 Mb Ram. So you get the idea.
I don't really know that much about Pro/E however.
What i really like about this mini is that it's virtually silent and small.
 

2ms

macrumors 6502
Nov 22, 2002
440
70
I also work all day in Pro/E and am thinking of getting a new Intel Mac so I can do some work from home. Are you running Pro/E via Boot Camp or Parallels? I would really like to run Pro/E through Parallels so that I can access my Mac apps without having to reboot. I'm hoping to find some people who are successfully running Pro/E through Parallels.
I am just using BootCamp for now because I have huge deadline coming quick, just got iMac couple weeks ago, and felt it unwise to take chances of having problems with Parallels. If you look at Parallels compatibility confirmation records listed on their site AutoCAD gets a very high rating but no input on Pro/E yet. If you've got time go ahead and do Parallels it will probably work great I just am happy with dual-booting right now and didnt feel like looking into Parallels until after deadline.

ps - remember that os X is able to access, read, write to, from Windows partition though you cant run Apple apps in Windows
 

Killyp

macrumors 68040
Jun 14, 2006
3,859
5
Remember that the entry level 17" iMac also has the GMA 950 chip, so that wouldn't really offer any advantages over the MacMini. You'd want to go for the one with the X1600 built in...
 
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