Mac Mini and DIII - Dedicated GPU worth it?

OrangeSVTguy

macrumors 601
Original poster
Sep 16, 2007
4,114
57
Northeastern Ohio
Been playing Diablo on my 2.3ghz i5 mini stock intel 3000 and was wondering if the dedicated 6650 and 2.5 i5 would make it any better? I currently have a 256gb M3 SSD and 16gb of memory. I currently run the game at 1920x1200 on my 23" ACD with no choppiness with settings on med and shadows and AA off.

Would it be worth the upgrade to the i7 or possibly server model? I'd like to possibly run everything on high(if that's even possible?) on the mini.
 

will waters

macrumors regular
Jul 19, 2011
155
0
Great Britain
The i7 model will be good because it is dedicated, you should be able to run everything at full...

The server mini will be no better then what you have got though...
 

kobyh15

macrumors 6502a
Jan 29, 2011
616
0
Server model only has integrated GPU. Could probably pick up a refurbished i7 with the dedicated GPU...or wait for the refresh.
 

aarond12

macrumors 65816
May 20, 2002
1,099
49
Dallas, TX USA
To answer OP's question directly: Yes, it would. If you're just using your Mini as a game machine, dedicated graphics will almost always trump integrated graphics.

That being said, follow the Buyer's Guide on this site and don't purchase anything yet. Give it a few weeks and we'll likely see an updated Mini. That's what I'm waiting for! :D
 

WilliamG

macrumors G3
Mar 29, 2008
9,063
2,530
Seattle
OrangeSVTguy how many frames per second are you getting right now? Load up the game and press CTRL+R. The fps will show up in the top left of the screen.

I'm curious since you say it runs without choppiness. I think our tolerances are different here. Interested to see how that frame rate holds up in groups of baddies.

Thanks!
 

patrick.olson86

macrumors newbie
Jun 1, 2012
3
0
I've been thinking about buying a mini and was planning on playing D3. Inf act, I bought it last weekend but found out my 2008 macbook's graphics don't handle it very well,.... wah, wah wah... Anyway, do you guys think I should wait to buy a new mini? Has anyone heard rumors of what they're offering? Dedicated GPU's on all models?

Mainly I use music software (Ableton Live), but would like to play a few games here and there.
 

patrick.olson86

macrumors newbie
Jun 1, 2012
3
0
So, let me make sure I'm understanding this correctly - the Intel Onboard graphics ARE NOT dedicated, but the Radeon's are? So the current mid-tier mini (i5 2.5ghz) HAS dedicated GPU? So, that model, priced at $799/$699 refurb would be the best model to choose for gaming? I say that because I see the only i7 available now is the server version... didn't they used to offer another?

I really don't worry about audio software as my buddy's old 2009 mini runs his protools setup flawlessly, so my thinking is that anything new should be more than fine. I just want to make sure I can play DIII sometime this summer.
 

smallnshort247

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2010
530
8
I've had my 2.7 i7 Mini since December. It's a great machine and handles gaming pretty well. I've just gone from 8GB to 16, and just bought an 240GB SSD for it the other day. The mini will be my main machine for the next 3-4 years in terms of desktops.
 

OrangeSVTguy

macrumors 601
Original poster
Sep 16, 2007
4,114
57
Northeastern Ohio
OrangeSVTguy how many frames per second are you getting right now? Load up the game and press CTRL+R. The fps will show up in the top left of the screen.

I'm curious since you say it runs without choppiness. I think our tolerances are different here. Interested to see how that frame rate holds up in groups of baddies.

Thanks!
Thanks for the command. I get around 15-25 which is sufficient for me but would like more. I don't feel like building another PC machine just for gaming to get crazy FPS.

I've had my 2.7 i7 Mini since December. It's a great machine and handles gaming pretty well. I've just gone from 8GB to 16, and just bought an 240GB SSD for it the other day. The mini will be my main machine for the next 3-4 years in terms of desktops.
What do you get with the i7 mini FPS wise? I want a 27" iMac but I like the minis as their easier to upgrade, especially when a newer model comes out. I also prefer to use my dual 16:10 23" ACDs :p
 

lilsoccakid74

macrumors 6502
Apr 13, 2010
282
0
I believe for people like me, who aren't dedicated pc gamers, but want to play a few games with decent settings, the amd6630 is a big enough boost in graphics to justify $200 extra. Prior to the 2011 models, no option was available to help prevent such a steep bottleneck in the graphics area. I would go for it:)
 

Poki

macrumors 65816
Mar 21, 2012
1,317
903
Well, I have a 2009 MacBook Pro with the NVidia 9400M and 9600M GT, both with 256 MB VRAM. I tried Diablo with both chips, and honestly, I'd say one of the biggest bottlenecks is the video RAM in this case. It runs sufficiently on both, of course better on the 9600M GT, but not by as much as it should.

I'd say wait for the next model with possibly a GeForce GT 640M (AMD/ATI doesn't offer anything similar right now) with 512MB - 1GB GDDR5 VRAM. This should double the graphic power of the current 2,5GHz Mini! (In fact, the 640M has about 40% more power than the 6630M, but the VRAM should do the rest. 256MB just isn't enough in 2012).

And: How do you like Diablo 3? What do you play? I'm a level 57 wizard right now, failing in act 2 hell, so currently back to farming Maghda. :D
 

OrangeSVTguy

macrumors 601
Original poster
Sep 16, 2007
4,114
57
Northeastern Ohio
Well, I have a 2009 MacBook Pro with the NVidia 9400M and 9600M GT, both with 256 MB VRAM. I tried Diablo with both chips, and honestly, I'd say one of the biggest bottlenecks is the video RAM in this case. It runs sufficiently on both, of course better on the 9600M GT, but not by as much as it should.

I'd say wait for the next model with possibly a GeForce GT 640M (AMD/ATI doesn't offer anything similar right now) with 512MB - 1GB GDDR5 VRAM. This should double the graphic power of the current 2,5GHz Mini! (In fact, the 640M has about 40% more power than the 6630M, but the VRAM should do the rest. 256MB just isn't enough in 2012).

And: How do you like Diablo 3? What do you play? I'm a level 57 wizard right now, failing in act 2 hell, so currently back to farming Maghda. :D
I'm going to wait for the new minis or I thought about the idea of getting a 1,1 Mac Pro and just keep Lion on it.

Nice another fellow wizard. I'm only level 22 or so. Just started playing a few days ago and just like the orignal, it's very addicting :D

I use the same user name as here if you ever want to play.
 

Poki

macrumors 65816
Mar 21, 2012
1,317
903
I'm going to wait for the new minis or I thought about the idea of getting a 1,1 Mac Pro and just keep Lion on it.

Nice another fellow wizard. I'm only level 22 or so. Just started playing a few days ago and just like the orignal, it's very addicting :D

I use the same user name as here if you ever want to play.
Nice! Yeah, would be great to play a round or two with you, but I'd also need your BattleTag (the four numbers) to be able to add you. ;)
 

OrangeSVTguy

macrumors 601
Original poster
Sep 16, 2007
4,114
57
Northeastern Ohio
Nice! Yeah, would be great to play a round or two with you, but I'd also need your BattleTag (the four numbers) to be able to add you. ;)
Thinking it was #1199 but I'm not 100% sure?

Anyways for those interested in numbers. I changed to 1280x800 and put all settings on low with AA and I hover around the 25fps.

So anyone play D3 with the middle-range Mac mini, what are you getting?
 
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Poki

macrumors 65816
Mar 21, 2012
1,317
903
I get between 30-40FPS on my Dell, which has an i5 and 6630m. All of my settings are on high, except for one which is on medium I believe.
How much VRAM do you have?

And also, the drivers for Win are still better regarding graphic cards, so we have to expect something lower.

@OrangeSVTguy: I'll try to add you. Just have to restart my MacBook - the mouse driver crashed. Again. -.-
 

thejadedmonkey

macrumors G3
May 28, 2005
8,070
817
Pennsylvania
How much VRAM do you have?

And also, the drivers for Win are still better regarding graphic cards, so we have to expect something lower.

@OrangeSVTguy: I'll try to add you. Just have to restart my MacBook - the mouse driver crashed. Again. -.-
1gb. I was also running on 1366x768.
 

OrangeSVTguy

macrumors 601
Original poster
Sep 16, 2007
4,114
57
Northeastern Ohio
How much VRAM do you have?

And also, the drivers for Win are still better regarding graphic cards, so we have to expect something lower.

@OrangeSVTguy: I'll try to add you. Just have to restart my MacBook - the mouse driver crashed. Again. -.-
Yeah it's OrangeSVTguy#1199. Level 42 now :)
 

bogatyr

macrumors 65816
Mar 13, 2012
1,127
1
What do you get with the i7 mini FPS wise? I want a 27" iMac but I like the minis as their easier to upgrade, especially when a newer model comes out. I also prefer to use my dual 16:10 23" ACDs :p
27" iMac + dual 23" ACDs... that would rock.
 
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