Leopard or Snow Leopard on old Mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by shoebobs, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. shoebobs macrumors regular

    Jul 5, 2008
    My friend is selling me his old 1st Gen intel mini basically for free. It's not very powerful: 1.5GHZ core solo, 1GB Ram.

    I am planning on putting an SSD in it and ugprading it to 2GB Ram. I'm not going to upgrade the processor to core duo unless I can find one for real cheap, such as from a laptop that someone is throwing away due to faulty display/logic board/whatever.

    So, after the upgrades it will have a 1.5GHZ Core Solo, 2GB Ram and an SSD. Should I put Leopard or Snow Leopard on it? I know the focus of Snow Leopard was to make the OS run better, but are those performance gains going to be only seen on multi-core processor systems? Would this system see any significant performance loss if Snow Leopard was on it?

    I am just going to be using this for basic internet browsing and perhaps iTunes. Let me know what you think.

  2. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    For "basic internet browsing and perhaps iTunes" I wouldn't put any additional money into it. The hard disk it already has, the 1GB of RAM, and probably the OS X Tiger that came with it will be fine. If you must buy an OS, Snow Leopard will at least have a smaller disk footprint.
  3. shoebobs thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 5, 2008
    I should have clarified that I have a spare SSD and 2GB Ram laying around that I am going to use. I also have retail discs of both Leopard and Snow Leopard so I am not putting any extra money into it.

    I didn't think of the smaller footprint for Snow Leopard, but that may be the deciding factor unless anybody else knows of any performance issues I may see. The SSD I plan on using is only 40GB so I will want to save as much space as possible.
  4. DannySmurf macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2005
    Snow Leopard is also just generally a better OS than Leopard is. Better performance in most cases, a bit more polish, fewer bugs.
  5. 4JNA macrumors 68000


    Feb 8, 2006
    looking for trash files
    no performance issues, and smaller footprint. i'd also vote for SL.

    lurk on ebay for the cpu, i've seen several T2400/T2600 chips for $25 or less and would make a hell of a difference over the solo chip. best of luck.
  6. Bkxmnr macrumors regular


    Feb 9, 2009
    Wichita, KS
    Is the first gen intel mini PATA or SATA? I would check that out before trying to swap hard drives.
  7. 4JNA macrumors 68000


    Feb 8, 2006
    looking for trash files
    all the intel mini systems are SATA for the hard drive.

    the actual 'first gen' g4 minis had a PATA/IDE drive.

    hope that helps.
  8. seattle macrumors 6502

    May 15, 2007
    I have a core solo mini with Snow Leopard and I am happy with the performance. I have 2GB ram as well and an upgraded HD.
  9. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    A Core Duo will make a tremendous improvement for very little extra. Well worth the upgrade. My old CD 1.66 mini with 2GB ran Snow Leopard very well for light duty tasks.
  10. MrZebra macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2008
  11. Thermonuclear macrumors 6502

    May 23, 2009
    Snow Leopard is the way to go as it's better supported.

    However, I wouldn't advise putting much money or effort into a single core, 32 bit machine. It might be better to sell it while you can still get some cash for it and get a new 2010 Mini or a refurbished 2009 unit.

    My hunch is that Mac OS/X 10.7 is going to be Intel 64 bit, multiple core only and likely to come with a 4 GM RAM minimum requirement for decent performance. Apple is your friend only if your hardware is less than three years old. They can be an acquaintance if it's less than seven years old. More than that, tough luck.
  12. Giuly macrumors 68040


    I'd rather replace the CPU and put a Momentus XT instead of a SSD in there. And put Snow Leopard on it, what ever way you decide to go.

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