Mac Mini Options

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Z6128, Jul 5, 2005.

  1. Z6128 macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2005
    New Jersey
    i was looking at the mac minis earlier today and was wondering how well they performed. i will most likely be doing internet, iLife apps and maybe iWork or Office for Mac as well as some light video editing (with iMovie/iDVD). if i got the mac mini with 512mb of RAM would that be enough to keep the computer running smoothly and still have a few apps open at the same time. also, how well are the graphics being that it only has 32mb of vram. btw, i'm planning on buying the 20in ACD along with the mac mini if i decide to get it. is there a lot of lag time (i.e. start up/ shut down - opening programs, etc) with the mini? and one more thing, how easy is it to add more ram at a later time and is there 1 or 2 dimms for ram in the mini. thanks for any help.
  2. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    The Mini has one (and only one) RAM socket, Personally, I would just go to 1 Gb right away. 512 Mb is enough for Tiger and one or two programs (just) -- but you'd have to remove the 512 in a month or two when you decided that you really should have gotten 1 Gb. Ultimately, you woun't be happy longterm with 512.

    You can get 1 Gb RAM at a decent price third party, so you may elect to get the Mini with 256 from Apple. Opening the Mini involves gently prying open the case with putty knives -- a technician can do it for you for $30 or so if you're not confident.

    The Mini is quick to boot (esp. compared to my Windows machines) and the 32 Mb VRAM is by far enough for any office, Internet or 2-D graphics.
    I wouldn't attempt the hottest and heaviest 3-D shooter games on it.
  3. CubaTBird macrumors 68020

    Apr 18, 2004
    well my ibook has similar specs to the current mac mini.. and i must say.. my ibook is pretty fast.. for my needs anyway... in terms of boot time and shut down time, its fast enough.... in terms of ilife apps.. they all work fine too.. though iphoto does take some initial time to cache all your photos the first time.. but other than that its more than good enough for what you are doing im sure.. go for it! :)
  4. Z6128 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2005
    New Jersey
    thanks for the replies. i'm beginning to think that the Mac mini and 20in ACD are the cheapest way to go (~$1800USD :eek: ) if i wanted to open up the mac mini case to add more ram does it void the warranty and is it easy to break the casing by prying (sp?) it open?
  5. skubish macrumors 68030


    Feb 2, 2005
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    Honestly if you are going to buy a mini + ACD 20" + 512MB RAM you might as well by a iMac G5 for basically the same price.

    $500 mini + $800 (20" ACD) + $50 (512MB) = $1350
    the 1.8 GHz iMac is $1300 and the 2.0GHz iMac is $1500.
    It is a lot better computer IMHO.
  6. Militar macrumors member


    Jul 4, 2005
    The Mac surely much "prettier" than PC on all fronts. The hardware design is very slick, minimalistic, and efficient. I just love the small form factor and clean lines of the Mini platform. It looks like a piece of modern art on my desktop. Even the Mac keyboard design is slick. Following the minimalist design- it looks like it belongs on the dashboard of that computer from the "Matrix". With it's clean, pure white keys, to the clear plastic bezel surrounding it. I know it sounds ridiculous going on about a piece of hardware as simple as a keyboard but it just goes to show Mac puts a lot of thought into design and ergonomics. The buil-in USB ports on they front edge of the keyboard are great!
  7. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Just look around, you can find deals. I did.

    mini + keyboard - $350 ... here

    Dell 20" 2005FPW - $426

    Crucial 1GB - $130

    my total = $906

    I supplied my own mouse ;)
  8. nospleen macrumors 68020


    Dec 8, 2002
    I just sold my 20" rev B imac for the mini and Apple display. I paid around 1297 for both. (already had wireless kb and mouse.) The imac was too damn loud. I really did not need the speed, but I added a gig of ram for 81.50 at 18004memory, this little sucker is not too bad. I am very happy with my QUIET mac. Plus, the damn thing is just so cute. :eek:
  9. Z6128 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2005
    New Jersey
    did you put the ram in yourself. is it hard to open the casing of the mini. is it easy to break anything in the process?

    i heard about the iMacs being loud which is why i'm looking at the mini's (that and i like the aluminum look of the mini and the ACD). i just need a mac to do the basics until the intel macs come out and have all the bugs worked out of them.
  10. deebster macrumors 6502

    Oct 21, 2004
    Olde Englande
    The mini case is tough, but you shouldn't be in danger of breaking it when you open it if you go carefully. Opening it does not void the warranty and neither does installing RAM, but any damage caused while it is open will.

    Read around at and have a look at some of the upgrade guides posted around the net.

    As for getting a cinema display, um, why? OK it looks nice, but the damn thing costs more than the Mac that you will be attaching it to.

    I'd say get a cheaper LCD (Dell get good reviews), or even a CRT monitor and see how you go with that.

    The point of a mini is OS X on the cheap. If you are gonna be spending over $1000 then there are better choices in my opinion.
  11. nospleen macrumors 68020


    Dec 8, 2002
    It was very easy, it took me about 4 minutes in and out. There was a video on the web that showed how to do it. Maybe someone has the link? I saw it when the minis were first announced.
  12. shadowmoses macrumors 68000


    Mar 6, 2005
    Don't worry about adding RAM to the mini it is very easy and would take an idiot to mess up..

    ShadOW :D
  13. kgarner macrumors 68000


    Jan 28, 2004
    RAM was easy to install, but opening the case was nerve wracking at first. Now that I have done i would feel fine doing it again, but that first time was intense. Go straight for the 1 GB also. 512 is fine, but since you only get one slot you may as well go ahead and fill it up and only waste one module (the original 256) instead of two.

    Also, I would just get the Dell 20". I will be when I get some cash to blow. I love the Apple ones as much as anybody, but I can't really justify the added cost. The Mini is a great machine and I really love mine. Good luck with yours.
  14. alexeismertin macrumors regular


    Jun 2, 2005
    Bristol, UK
    Mini + ACD

    The Mini is a great stop gap for those wanting perhaps to upgrade to intel in next year or so.

    If you add a fast internal hard drive (or run via Firewire) then the performance is close to that of the G5 iMac running in Auto mode (sure there are FSB / Graphics differences), but on the whole for 2D/Office you won't notice. I can comfortably run Adobe CS & Macromedia Studio MX 2004 with a 7200rpm HD & 1GB of ram.

    The mini hardly makes a sound compared with the imac that revs up its fans too quickly, and because the imac sits at ear level it just sounds louder.

    The 20" Apple Cinema Display is excellent - better than the imac 20" (many will say they are the same, but I have have them side by side and they are NOT the same). The ACD is has balanced backlighting & is sharper.

    It is more cost effective to buy separates than an all in one, in a year or so, sell your mini on ebay with minimal loss & buy a faster intel mini, powermac or any new machine Apple may bring out. Your screen will go on for many years.

    My advice get a 1.42 + 1Gb ram + 7200 rpm drive (installation is a doddle)
  15. Big_Baby_D macrumors member

    Jan 6, 2005
  16. Graeme A macrumors 6502

    Graeme A

    Aug 6, 2003
    Melbourne, Australia
    Can the mac mini be used with OS X Server? I want to start learning the server product and think that a mini might be the way to go. Does anyone have experience (1st or 2nd hand) of this config being used?

    As I mentioned, this is more of a learning system as opposed to anything major, and I do not fancy shelling out for a new desktop for learning.

    I was thinking as a shopping list...

    Mac mini 1.42Ghz (stock system)
    1Gb RAM (crucial)
    OSX Server (10 user)
    ARD (10 user)

    Any thoughts?
  17. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    I second that. The imac is better in a lot of ways.
  18. alexeismertin macrumors regular


    Jun 2, 2005
    Bristol, UK
    eggs in one basket

    Which ways?

    limited upgradeability, more expensive, need to replace both monitor & computer, higher failure rate (, noiser, inferior display compared with 20" ACD.

    The fact is both G4 & G5 will be obsolete in the near future so why plough money into something that is going to be more expensive to replace. Sure buy a Dual G5 if you're a business and need a machine immediately, but for the layman it doesn't make sense to start splashing the cash.

    Its the uncertainty of what is coming in terms of Apple hardware in less than 11 months that should dissuade someone buying an all in one. The ACD will work with PPC/intel/windows/whatever - this is a safe bet, the computer isn't. I say err on the side of caution - don't put all your eggs in one basket.

    So for now you can enjoy the 20" + good performance from the mini with minimal risk.

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