Mac Mini performance as a downgrade option?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by ndriver182, Dec 2, 2007.

  1. ndriver182 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    #1
    How well does the 2.0 ghz w/ 2 gigs RAM run with Leopard? I've got a mac pro that I actually don't do a lot of intensive work on at all so it's really kid of a waste, but I don't want to go with the iMac because I had problems with the screen (I went through two units with the same problem) and now I already have another monitor, keyboard and mouse. I think a Mac mini would probably be a good fit for me given what I currently do with OSX is mostly casual use.

    I was thinking of building a Windows box *shudder* hooked up to a KVM only to be used for gaming purposes with the rest of the money I'd have left over from selling the Mac pro and buying a mini. I'm thinking of selling the MP before mac world in case there is any refresh in the mini line.

    What do you all think?
     
  2. gotzero macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2007
    Location:
    Mid-Atlantic, US
    #2
    I use a 1.83 C2D Mini with 2GB RAM and a 5400 RPM HDD for my daily desktop use, and I have no complaints.

    I have a more powerful computer that I use for more intensive tasks, but I do not feel this computer lacking for any daily task. However, I had to buy and use one before I was willing to believe this, as I was told by friends and forums that it would not be enough computer, even for daily use...
     
  3. ndriver182 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 26, 2007
    #3
    I've got a 2.16 ghz MBP that I use for pretty much the same things I'm using my current MP for and am not having any significant issues. So I think as long as I got a maxed out Mini I would be satisfied with performance.

    I don't do too much heavy processing. I do run parallels quite a bit (only for a couple of minor XP apps) and every once in a while I encode videos with handbrake. I think the most intensive task I'd do is play some games, which I obviously wouldn't be doing on the Mini or MBP or MP anyway.
     
  4. JAT macrumors 603

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    Dec 31, 2001
    Location:
    Mpls, MN
    #4
    People take little tiny things and make them huge for no apparent reason.

    The differences between your MBP and the Mini are tiny, unless you plan on running FCP or doing serious, serious Aperture work due to the integrated graphics. But then you should just keep the MP.

    You might even find it faster than the MBP for a few things if you boot from a Firewire drive instead of the 2.5" inside.
     
  5. ndriver182 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 26, 2007
    #5
    That's the thing. I don't think I'm going to be doing any Final Cut work or anything with Aperature. I think the most I'd do is a little bit of handbrake encoding now and then. The most hardware intensive thing I'd be doing is playing games now and then. Obviously this is always going to be a problem in a lot of cases with the Mac computers, which is why I'll probably just build a gaming PC only for games and use a Mini for normal use.
     
  6. JAT macrumors 603

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    Dec 31, 2001
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    Mpls, MN
    #6
    And for Handbrake it will be slightly slower than what you have now. Since those tasks are measured in minutes, you can easily see how 7-15% slower would be measurable. (2.16GHz vs 1.83/2.0) But it may not be an issue to you. Esp since you can play with the laptop while the Mini works!

    The only other thing I can think of is if you have a 30" monitor, the Mini's video can't handle it.
     
  7. ndriver182 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 26, 2007
    #7
    I have a 22" Samsung monitor.
     
  8. RemarkabLee macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 14, 2007
    #8
    I've got a recent C2D Mini running Leopard, works great on 10.5.1.

    I'll do you a swop for the MP ;)
     
  9. kermit4161 macrumors regular

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    Dec 18, 2006
    #9
    I just purchased a 2.0 Ghz C2D Mini and love it. I put in 3GB of RAM (3 GB kit from OWC) and use it primarily for a home entertainment computer (iTunes, Internet TV, surfing, etc).

    I've got a PC for gaming, but I was really surprised at how well the Mini will play WoW. I've actually been playing WoW more on the Mini than my PC this last week.

    I'm connected directly to a 37" Samsung LCD TV via a DVI to HDMI cable and run it with a Logitech wireless mouse and Apple Wireless Keyboard. The TV and surround system I have really make WoW interesting... scares the dog out of the living room. :D

    I really don't think you'll be disappointed with the performance.
     
  10. koobcamuk macrumors 68040

    koobcamuk

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    #10
    Ditto. I bought it to replace my MacBook Core Duo and I also bought a 12" PowerBook :)

    The Mac Mini does some things (video encoding) much better than the MacBook ever did (speed, fans, heat) and I feel it's been an excellent purchase. I then have the joys of a 12" PowerBook for the road.
     
  11. ndriver182 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 26, 2007
    #11

    How did you put 3 gigs in the mini? Apple says it maxes out at 2 gigs? If you can do more than 2 gigs that's even better!
     
  12. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    #12
    The C2D machines can really take up to 4...
     
  13. kermit4161 macrumors regular

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    Dec 18, 2006
    #13
    As gkarris said, the C2D machines will take 4 GB, but the system will only recognize 3 GB. That said, if you DO put in 4 GB (2x2GB modules), you will get the 128bit addressing, with 3 GB being recognized.
     
  14. Kashchei macrumors 65816

    Kashchei

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    Apr 26, 2002
    Location:
    Meat Space
    #14
    I had a PowerMac G4 (Gigabit Ethernet) with dual 500 mhz. I recently sold this and bought a 1.83 Ghz mini. The difference is night and day. This may be the lowest Mac, but it was light years ahead of what I had. I haven't had any trouble with the machine's limitations, but than again, I'm not trying to run Aperture, FCP (just Creative Suite 3, iLife 08, etc.)
     
  15. ndriver182 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 26, 2007
    #15
    Is there a reason behind the 128bit addressing? Is it really worth putting 4 gigs in even though it can only recognize 3 just for the 128 bit addressing?
     
  16. kermit4161 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2006
    #16
    Only if you are REALLY interested in eeking out the most performance from the system. It isn't a huge boost in performance... but it is an increase. From the tests I saw, it was approximately a 3% boost in speed through most of the tests.

    The cost factor is under $30 difference to get the 4 GB vs 3 GB (@ $77 vs 105). Had I seen the test results before I purchased my RAM, I'd have gone with the 4 GB over the 3 GB... you never know when they'll make that other 1 GB addressable with a firmware upgrade :D
     

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