Mac Mini, is it for me?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by jdminpdx, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. jdminpdx macrumors 6502

    Sep 28, 2010
    Hi everyone! Great site. I have been a lurker for many years and finally decided to register and gain some helpful insight.

    Sadly, this morning, my PowerMac G5 Dual 2.0 died this morning. I LOVED this machine and it is going to be missed. I took it into Apple today and they looked at it. There is a small chance it could be the graphics card but the genius said it is more than likely one of the 3 900+ parts. :(

    Anyway, while he was working on it and troubleshooting I thought that it might be a good time to take a look at a replcement. Unfortunately I cannot afford a new Mac Pro (thanks a lot head gaskets!) and I dont want to go the iMac route since I have a beautiful cinema display that I absolutely love.

    So I came across the Mac mini, something that I usually flicked my nose at. I got to messing around with one and I was VERY suprised at how speedy it was. In fact when the genius was done with my Powermac he came and found me and said "that there mini will perform better and faster than your G5 if your looking to replace it." I was suprised at this, but it did feel that way.

    So I expect a call tomorrow with the news, video card or not. If it is not then I am seriously looking at buying a Mac mini. My question for you guys is, is this a suitable replacement for my G5? I am a student (again) and do a lot of word stuff. I photoshop a lot (CS3), something that my G5 did flawlessly. I browse, youtube, hulu, and all that jazz. I dont do any movie editing or anything like that. I have a large itunes music collection and I always have music runing in my apartment.

    Yay, nay? I wish I had to money for a new Mac Pro but I just dont. However this Mac mini seems like it might just be the ticket. So what do you think?
  2. btbrossard macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    I think performance wise you would be quite pleased going from the G5 to the mini.

    The only thing you might want to get if you go with the mini is some more ram, but the mini would be perfectly usable with it's stock 2 gb.

    What sort of cinema display do you have? One of the newer aluminum ones or the older plastic ones? The older plastic cinema displays used the "Apple Display Connector (ACD)" that isn't going to work with the mini (without the very hard to find $100+ adapter).
  3. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    The mini would be perfect for that, and the mac pro would be beyond overkill. What the apple tech said is right, the new minis are quite a bit faster than your G5, for a number of reasons. So it would definitely be a suitable replacement, it would just need to be upgraded to 4GB ram (8 would be better, but it's expensive)
  4. jdminpdx thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 28, 2010
    with regards to the cinema display, it is the aluminum one. Has the external power block (which is giving me trouble too but I am told that I just need to replace the block. Anyway, so far so good. I am liking what I am reading. Boy am I am going to miss having that big CPU. The space will almost feel empty.:p
  5. jdminpdx thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 28, 2010
    You are right, it would be overkill. I just loved that machine so much. My G5 was a grad present. I still remember that day, I just graduated and we were off to dinner with the entire family. They made a stop at the mall and said go pick out whatever you want. I chose the G5. Ah memories.
  6. CaoCao macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2010
    The PowerMac case is perfect for a hackintosh

    the Mini is better in just about everything
    I'm surprised your G5 didn't die from wetting itself
  7. BigDukeSix macrumors 6502a


    Sep 22, 2010
    34.6700N 118.1590W
    I am glad to see this thread, as I also have been considering replacing my 1.6Power Mac G5 with a Mini. Costs less than an IMac, I already have a monitor and keyboard and am looking primarily for more performance and capability. I will also miss that nice big aluminium case, but my desk will sure have a lot more room. Thanks for the info all.
  8. jdminpdx thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 28, 2010
    Glad I could contribute. It's nice to see another in my boat. I just bought my magic mouse and wireless keyboard last week and like you, having a monitor and those accessories are one of the reasons why I'm not going the iMac route. I also like having separate pieces (CPU and monitor).

    Regarding the guy who said I could use the case as a hackintosh. What kind of mod could I do with the thing...
  9. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2006
    I made the jump : )

    When my dual 2.7 LC PowerMac's memory slots started malfunctioning I made the jump to a Mini. I just don't need the power of a MacPro, I really don't care for the iMac design and I had a 23" ACD available.

    1) The Mini's steaming-turd-notebook-hard-drive is waaay slower than my PowerMac's raid 0 setup. Upgrading the drive to at least a Momentus XT (I ordered one last night, $109 at Newegg, 20 bucks off yesterday!) or a SSD would be even better. I'd love to try out SSD raid 0 but obviously that will never happen without an eSata port. Hello, Apple??? If you need a ton of external storage you have to be content with FW800.

    2) Overall the graphics are a little better than my old hardware but gaming lag can be very bad at times. A few times I had sustained lag, about a 20-30 second full freeze up, and a couple times I needed to restart the game. I suspect this may be a lack of ample ram and switching between multiple apps really choked it down. When I had my favorite app running I checked on memory usage and it did indeed turn out I was using up most of the standard 2GB of ram. So, this weekend I plan to order some ram. I am trying to decide between 4 or 8GB but I am thinking that 4 GB with an XT drive will hold me over until the next Mini refresh.
  10. Retrostarscream macrumors member


    Sep 13, 2010
    Miami FL
    The Mini should suit your needs just fine. I myself am trying to get rid of my current G5 in favor for a mini. If that fails, I am researching into the possibility of a Hackintosh as a viable alternative.
  11. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2006
    Update on my ram situation. Well, it looks as if the stock 2GB of ram was causing all my woes. The common momentary lag has totally gone away after installing 8GB. Obviously re-starting apps is fast but now there is plenty of ram to cache everything I had opened as well as keep the 320m graphics happy.

    When many people were saying the 320m graphics were way better than any G5 graphics, I didn't totally believe that. They seemed a little better than my old Powermac's 6800 graphics but after upgrading the ram they definitely pulled ahead. I wish people had told me the 320m graphics were dependent on ram usage and that the standard 2GB ram is woefully inadequate. I was under the assumption the graphics portion of shared memory was dedicated but apparently not and as such it suffers greatly when running a big app or multiple apps.

    Whew! What a relief this upgrade has brought. My Momentus XT will be here Monday and I can't wait to see what performance changes that will make.
  12. DonCarlos macrumors regular


    Dec 14, 2009
    Las Vegas
    I have had my mini for several years now, and it has never missed a beat. The newer ones are much faster and have a better graphic card than what I have. But, I do not anticipate ever replacing this unless it flat out fried. And if it did, the replacement too would be a mini, for this reason.

    1) Flexibility- all around when it comes to monitors.

    -I have a separate VGA or DVI cable and an audio cable, attached to each of the things I use as a monitor at all times, my Bravia 32" LCD TV in the bedroom, my living room Samsung Plasma TV, and my Dell LCD monitor in my recording studio.

    Depending on what I am doing, it is just a matter of unplugging, and taking the mini and it's power cord to whichever location. Under a minute, tops. And you end up with a very nice large monitor in a comfortable location. Like right now typing all this on the plasma screen, from across the room in my easy chair with a small wireless mac keyboard and the magic mouse. The mini tucked out of sight behind the TV. Makes it nice for watching shows on line that you missed on TV, and nice for switching between TV and computer stuff.

    More power in an MBP but it sure is funny everytime my daughter or nephew come over (both MBP owners) each remark "I got to get one of these mini's someday".
  13. Irishman macrumors 68030

    Nov 2, 2006
  14. dh2005 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010

    Firstly, I'm sorry to hear of the passing of your G5. I bet it was a beauty.

    The Mini is fine, but I wouldn't be surprised if the basic Mini gets levelled-up slightly before the end of the year. Perhaps 4GB of RAM will come as standard, or something like that. With an i3 CPU and an NVidia GT 330M (a girl can dream...!).

    But if you need a replacement right now, yeah, I think the Mini will do it.
  15. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Yep, a Mini would work fine for your purposes. In a year or two, add more RAM and an SSD and it will feel like new again.

    Don't discount the iMac though, if you can afford it. Having two displays is perfectly acceptable. :)

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