Mac Mini Performance - up for gaming?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jjjason11, Apr 20, 2006.

  1. jjjason11 macrumors newbie

    Apr 20, 2006
    Hi guys. I've gotta be your classic case at the moment. I've got a 1.33 12" powerboox which is a joy to use, but need my decktop PC for Uni ect. Anyway, nows the time for me to make the switch, I was thinking of getting the new mac mini Duo 1.66 with 1gig of RAM. I just had one concearn...

    I'm not a hardcore gamer at all, and if I want to play a game i'll do it on my ps2, but, when it comes to FPSs, I do prefer the ol' mouse/keyboard combo, so I wouldn't mind playing a couple of year/two year old FPSs like Half Life 2, Doom3 etc in Windows on the mac.

    I've been hearing bad things about Intel's integrated graphics chip. Would it be up to the job of running these games? I don't mind turning a few of the options off in the graphics settings. Cheers, Jason.
  2. student_trap macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2005
    'Ol Smokey, UK
    OK, well its true that the intergrated graphics on the mini aren't going to help at all with newer games, but im sure that you could play games that are a little older fine. Problem is though, that you'd want to play them with boot camp, as otherwise you'll be playing them under rosetta, which would doubtless slow your gaming experience down a fair bit.

    The other point it that, it also depends on what you want from the games. if you really want high frame rates etc then you'll probably run into problems, whereas if you want to have a casual game or two where the emphasis is on having a laugh rather than the best graphics, then you'll doubtless be happy

    I'm sure that someone with more gaming centric knowledge will be able to get a little more technical here though
  3. jjjason11 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 20, 2006
    Yeah, sorry I meant that I'd be using the windows version of the games through boot camp. I'd definately call myself a casual gamer, and feel a bit stupid worrying about this for what is only gonna be a brief flutter every now and then. I'm not bothered about blistering frame rates, but obviously I want the game to look half decent.
  4. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    Sad fact is that Mini uses the cheapist lowest performing gpu Apple could find, they couldnt go lower and Intel gives them away with their cpus for near nothing,If you like gaming Mini cant cut it with its Integrated graphics.
  5. FireArse macrumors 6502a

    Oct 29, 2004
    mini me

    Can I beg to differ?

    My bro had the Core Duo mini and we ran Unreal Tournament 2004 on it. With the settings at the lowest (except the resolution set to 1280x1024) the game played fine! He only lagged on the big space levels.

    I do think the mini is playable - but only expect to be able to play games that are Universal. Lets not forget that although the Intel 950 is poor by today's standards, it is a great deal better than the PPC mini's.
    Anyone have WoW FPS?
    I know for a fact that Unreal 2k4 was over 28FPS in chambers with bots.

  6. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    The man states Doom3 & HL2 in the same sentence and you are going to argue for Integrated graphics?:D
  7. jjjason11 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 20, 2006
    So they really wouldn't run at all usably? Maybe I should just learn to like a joypad and stick with consoles for games.
  8. milo macrumors 604

    Sep 23, 2003
    There are many people spouting off on this issue who have never even used a mini. I wouldn't listen to anyone who hasn't used the box and actually tried running games on it.

    Doom 3 is one of the latest games (and game engines). It runs at low settings (and looks damn good) but with games like D3, Quake4, and Unreal 2004 you're looking at a game that has very high system requirements and needs pretty high end hardware and video card (both mac and PC) to max it out. I've only checked out D3 and U2k4 a bit, they've been fine so far but probably drop in frame rates when the action really gets crazy.

    For older games, you should be fine. WOW is playable, even a game like Warcraft 3 runs pretty well even though it's under rosetta. I've seen movies online running HL2 using boot camp and it looked pretty smooth.

    Anybody tried Sims 2 on a mini duo?

    Bottom line, if you want hardcore games or need the highest settings and framerates you need a different mac. For the occasional game with lighter system requirements, a mini duo works just fine.
  9. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    Keeping in mind that the mini's main claim to fame is, well, being mini, I don't think we need to rehash the whole why-did-they-use-such-crappy-graphics argument. Better graphics will come later on when they can cram them in. You're paying for the small size. If you buy a 17" iMac, you'll be fine. Not stellar, but fine.

    As far as the mini goes, my 2 cents is that I regularly use it to play WCIII, set at full settings, emulated via Rosetta, and it plays well. I haven't (yet) tried running Windows, so I don't know how those games would fare, but I can say that it most assuredy does not suck even though it's not a graphics powerhouse.

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