Mac mini doesn't suck, but it does struggle with ACDs

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Mr. DG, Jun 15, 2006.

  1. Mr. DG macrumors regular

    Mr. DG

    Jan 16, 2006
    In view of the other similarly titled thread here, I'd like to defend my mac mini core solo (stock, 512MB RAM, 60GB drive). It's a great machine, way way quicker and more elegant than my old Samsung A10 1ghz PC laptop. It runs my music software of choice, Ableton Live, really well (though i wish there were more vsts and AUs available as universal binaries) and handles Audacity in Rosetta fairly well.

    What i will say, however, is that i was having no troubles borrowing my friend's 19" CRT in 1280x1024, then he took that back so i i used an old 15" CRT in 1024x768. How did people get by with those things? So tiny! So i bought myself a second hand 20" ACD. It's beautiful. But i can tell that it's a strain on my integrated graphics. I have absolutely no problems running one app at a time, but if i have a few open and press F9 to use expose or F12 to use dashboard, the beach ball appears when previously it didn't. 5 or 6 firefox windows open, and expose stutters when scaling the windows.

    So 512MB of RAM was all good with lower resolutions, but my next upgrade will be a 1GB stick.

    If you have an undemanding resolution, the stock mac mini is a really good buy (esp. now the price has dropped in the UK). If you plan on getting an ACD, I'd grab some more RAM though.
  2. SuperSnake2012 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 11, 2005
    I'm pretty confident in saying that your ACD issues will go away when you give your Mini some RAM :)
  3. x86 macrumors regular


    May 25, 2006
    Dearborn, MI
    I'll second that. I have a MacBook with the same graphics chip (I think...) and it powers my 20' monitor just fine. But then again, I have two GB of RAM. :)
  4. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Based on what Apple is saying, you'd do better, technically, to make that either 2 512MB sticks or just go all the way to 2 1GB sticks; since the Mini is using the main RAM for graphics, apparently using matched pairs (and hence enabling dual-channel) is of measureable benefit. That's likely why Apple only offers the Mini and MacBook (both of which use the GMA 950) with paired RAM, while the MBP and iMac can be configured with one slot empty, if you so desire.
  5. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    Yes, but performance gains from matched pairs is so tiny, that I decided to have 1.5 GB of RAM, instead of 1 GB matched in my iMac :)

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