Mac Mini Core Duo Performance

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by blasto333, May 4, 2006.

  1. blasto333 macrumors regular

    Jan 3, 2004

    I am trying to convert my family to macs (so I don't have to fix her stupid dell all the time), so I got a mac mini for my mom for her birthday. I got the high end mac mini, but did not upgrade the ram.

    I currently have an intel imac with 1gb of ram, which runs really really good.

    Will the performance of the mac mini be pretty good for using common applications such as Safari, Mail, Office, iCal...ect? I would really like to hear from people that have the mac mini core duo.

    My mom tends to leave 2 to 3 applications running on here windows computer and I would expect her to do the same on the mac.

    I could always upgrade the ram in the future. (I know that you have to buy the sticks in pairs, which kind of stinks, but oh well).

  2. Mord macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
  3. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

    Nov 17, 2004
    The Msp
    I have a Solo which runs all those things great, so you should have no problems with a Duo. If you're on a budget, save your money and get the Solo with extra RAM. You're gonna need that RAM either way.
  4. blasto333 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 3, 2004
    I really want to hear feedback from people that have the mac mini with 512mb of ram. I realize the extra benefit of the ram, but I want to know the performance without it.


    Chris Muench
  5. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    Remember the Intel Minis have no video card, so they have to steal RAM to use as video RAM, which further degrades their performace with only 512MB of RAM.
  6. StoneWolf macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2006
    A coworker of mine just got issued a Core Solo mini with 512 MB of ram. She often complains that her computer really starts to slow down while running more than one MS Office app at a time, due to the extra CPU and RAM strain of Rosetta.

    I would say it would be worht springing for the Core Duo with 1 GB of ram. In anything that isn't video card intensive it will feel as fast as an iMac.
  7. blasto333 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 3, 2004
    I get the point, the computer needs more ram.

    Does anyone know where I can get 2gb of ram for less than $200?

  8. dwd3885 macrumors 68020

    Dec 10, 2004
  9. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    I have a mini core duo with 1GB of RAM. While I now wish it had 2GB, just because more RAM is always better ;), but you should know that the mini runs fine on 1GB. For example, I was able to run Skype (emulated) while playing WarCraftIII (emulated) with some other apps up and it worked pretty well.

    1.5GB or 2GB would be better, but, honestly, either buy two half-gig sticks or just one 1 GB stick. Paired RAM offers some performance benefits, but it's not all that much.

    I also have an iMac and MacBook Pro. The MBP has always had 2GB (it's from work) and works well. The iMac came with 512MB. I first bumped it to 1.5GB and then to 2GB. Honestly, 1.5GB was as good and as fast - as far as I could tell - as 2GB 99% of the time.

    Edit: OWC has 1GB sticks for $113. I love OWC - bought lots of RAM there, never a problem.
  10. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

    Nov 17, 2004
    The Msp
    #10 is good. is good too, but check the reviews of each stick to see if people have successfully used it in Macs.
  11. punkmac macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2004
    Mini w/2 Gigs of Ram...

    I purchased 2 gigs right from the start. OWC had a sale for about $212. With all the emulating and shared video Ram I wanted the best performance. I just have to say this little mini rocks! My friend just purchased his and also very happy.
  12. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    In case money is tight, and Core Duo 1GB is too expensive, you need to study the Apple pricelist carefully. In the UK, you save £70 by taking Core Solo, £40 by taking 60GB instead of 80 GB harddisk, and £40 by taking Combidrive instead of Superdrive (no DVD recording); you pay £70 extra for 1GB instead of 512MB RAM, and £140 for 2GB instead of 1GB. You cannot buy Core Duo with smaller harddisk and Combidrive.

    I would recommend Core Solo 1GB rather than Core Duo 512MB; it will usually perform better, except for some applications like Handbrake that can use all the CPU power you have and then some more, and doesn't need any memory at all. But especially if you use several apps at the same time, more memory will be more useful than more raw power. On the other hand, I would prefer Core Duo 1GB to Core Solo 2GB, especially since the Core Solo 2GB would be more expensive.
  13. dr_lha macrumors 68000

    Oct 8, 2003
    They "steal" about 16Mb in my experience of regular usage, so not a big deal. Any Mac needs more than 512Mb though sadly.

    I agree with the other poster if money is tight, get a Core Solo with upgraded RAM. The Core Solo is a seriously kick ass machine, which has been overshadowed by its more kick ass Core Duo brother and generally poo-pooed on this forum for its "Solo"-ness.
  14. gekko513 macrumors 603


    Oct 16, 2003
    I'd rather use a Core Solo with 1GB RAM than a Core Duo with 512MB RAM. I know that RAM may be upgraded, but if it's going to be used for a long time with just 512MB, I think the Core Solo is a better option.
  15. blasto333 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 3, 2004
    Since 512 was not enough and 2gb seemed to be overkill, I went with 1gb from OWC for $100. (Which is a pretty good price).

    So the final system is a mac mini core duo 1gb of ram.

    Thanks everyone for their advice.

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