Mac Mini and DIII - Dedicated GPU worth it?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by OrangeSVTguy, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Northeastern Ohio
    #1
    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.
     
  2. marcelmfa macrumors member

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    Fortaleza, Brazil
    #2
  3. will waters macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Location:
    Great Britain
    #3
    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...
     
  4. kobyh15 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2011
    #4
    Server model only has integrated GPU. Could probably pick up a refurbished i7 with the dedicated GPU...or wait for the refresh.
     
  5. aarond12 macrumors 65816

    aarond12

    Joined:
    May 20, 2002
    Location:
    Dallas, TX USA
    #5
    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
     
  6. marcelmfa macrumors member

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    Jun 1, 2012
    Location:
    Fortaleza, Brazil
    #6
    When apple launch it in brazil apple store, i'll pre-order it... ;)
     
  7. WilliamG macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #7
    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!
     
  8. patrick.olson86 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2012
    #8
    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.
     
  9. marcelmfa macrumors member

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    Jun 1, 2012
    Location:
    Fortaleza, Brazil
    #9
    Probably, Apple will keep models like they are now, with integrated Intel Graphics 4000 (new model for Ivy Bridge) and any Radeon HD as dedicated GPU.
     
  10. patrick.olson86 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2012
    #10
    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.
     
  11. Lance-AR macrumors 6502

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  12. smallnshort247 macrumors 6502a

    smallnshort247

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    Oct 23, 2010
    #12
    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.
     
  13. OrangeSVTguy thread starter macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

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    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Northeastern Ohio
    #13
    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.

    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
     
  14. lilsoccakid74 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #14
    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:)
     
  15. Poki macrumors 6502a

    Poki

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    #15
    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
     
  16. OrangeSVTguy thread starter macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

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    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Northeastern Ohio
    #16
    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.
     
  17. Poki macrumors 6502a

    Poki

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    #17
    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. ;)
     
  18. OrangeSVTguy, Jun 4, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2012

    OrangeSVTguy thread starter macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Northeastern Ohio
    #18
    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?
     
  19. keysersoze macrumors 68000

    keysersoze

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    NH
    #19
    Quick question - Are you running on OS X, or via Windows bootcamp?
     
  20. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #20
    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.
     
  21. Poki macrumors 6502a

    Poki

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    #21
    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. -.-
     
  22. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    May 28, 2005
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    Pa
    #22
    1gb. I was also running on 1366x768.
     
  23. OrangeSVTguy thread starter macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

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    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Northeastern Ohio
    #23
    Yeah it's OrangeSVTguy#1199. Level 42 now :)
     
  24. bogatyr macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2012
    #24
    27" iMac + dual 23" ACDs... that would rock.
     
  25. OrangeSVTguy thread starter macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Northeastern Ohio
    #25
    Nah. I'd rather rock dual 27" thunderbolt displays on my mini :p. don't think the intel 3000 would be up for the challenge tho lol
     

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