MacMini with nvidia 9400 running 30"ACD?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by ejosepha, Apr 4, 2010.

  1. ejosepha macrumors 6502

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    Jan 12, 2009
    #1
    I have a 30" Apple Cinema Display. I would like to hear firsthand experiences running full resolution 2560X1600 off the new Mac Mini? How stable and what are the limits? Does the higher end MacMini running 2.53ghz with 4gbRam run any better than the base model? I know about purchasing the dual link adaptor, but I would like to know how things will run in the real world with this configuration?
    thanks
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #2
    Unless you're gonna do gaming and such stuff at 2560x1600, Mini has no problems with it
     
  3. ejosepha thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Some doubts:

    I was at a friends and he had a Mac Mini base model, that is with the 2.26ghz, with 2gbRam attached to a 30" ACD. It was ok, but when he tried to play video files on full resolution, there was some stuttering. Or when he had too many windows open, moving them around seemed to be not very smooth across the screen. Other times it seemed to work well,. It could have been other stuff he had going on his computer but it created doubts for me. I don't know that buying the higher end Mac Mini would add much. Any other observations would be appreciated....firsthand.
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #4
    Both, low-end and high-end have the same GPU, 9400M so basically there shouldn't be any difference.. Anyway, if you feel is lagging, you can always sell the 30" and get e.g. dual 24"s.
     
  5. ejosepha thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    More firsthand observations, if possible?

    Don't want to sell my screen, I just want opinions from those that have both the Mac Mini in question running the 30" ACD.
    Thanks
     
  6. MacBird macrumors 6502

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    #6
    I'm not sure if this really helps you, but I have a MacBook Pro with 2.53GHz processor, 4GB RAM and a 256MB 9400 video card that I can switch to 512MB 9600. When I attach the computer to a 24'' ACD, it runs noticeably smoother with the 9600 GPU enabled.
     
  7. ejosepha thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Thank you

    That is helpful. Would like to hear from users of the Mac Mini with 30" ACD, but what you say makes sense.
     
  8. kasakka macrumors 68000

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    Oct 25, 2008
    #8
    I have a 30" 2560x1600 Dell 3008WFP connected to my 2.26 GHz Macbook Pro (9400M). It does run slightly worse than with a 1920x1200 res display. You'll only notice this in the stacks and Exposet animations, they're not totally smooth at 2560x1600. 10.6.3 improved them a bit though.

    Video plays fine, especially if it's GPU accelerated (using Quicktime X). Even without it works, but different players may give different results with some videos.

    Overall it works just fine though.
     
  9. Kallel00 macrumors member

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  10. ejosepha thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Response:

    I will mainly be doing the mundane web surfing, and Office applications, but I do download films and then Expand them with Rar Expander, and then will watch some large file films at times. Perhaps some video editing, but not heavy duty. The problem is that when my friend attached his base Mac Mini to a 30 ACD and ran video at the max resolution of 2560X1600, it sometimes stuttered just in viewing videos. We brought down the resolution and the lagging decreased and stopped, except when we started watching a large video file, 8gb. We did notice that when on maximum resolution the cpu usage was extremely high, between 70 and 80%.
    I'm currently on an Imac from mid-2007, with 2.4 ghz and ATI radeon 2600hd graphic card, 256 dedicated VRAM. I love the new 30"ACD but can't connect to the Imac and get more than half the maximum resolution, that being 1260X800, which is ok for video watching but terrible for text and writing. We thought that perhaps the mac Mini might be the best solution with the dual link adaptor. Also looking into an earlier model macpro with 2 2.66intel duo processors and nvidia 7300gt graphic card.
    I just don't want to waste time and effort if in the absolute running a large display like this off of the 9400nvidia card is just pushing it to the point where it's best to go another route. Wish there was a work around for attaching the display to my current Imac.
     
  11. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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    #11
    How about selling your current iMac and upgrading to a newer 21" one?

    $1300 or so will get you into the ATI 4670 model

    If you can sell your iMac for $750 or so... only $500 or so to get one...
     
  12. rickvanr macrumors 68040

    rickvanr

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    #12
    Have you already bought the 30?

    FYI, a 27inch iMac, with roughly the same resolution, is cheaper, and would be much quicker then a mini.
     
  13. ejosepha thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Using VLC to usually play videos.

    I bought a 27" Imac, but didn't love the screen and decided to buy a used ACD 30", which I really like for color and ease on my eyes. Don't want to buy a smaller Imac just to run the 30" display. I don't need two displays on my desk, but in the absolute you are right that for a few hundred more dollars get a lot more machine than a simple mini mac.
    I have been looking into buying a used Mac PRo, the one with two 2.66 dual core processors, with Nvidia 7300gt and built in dual link. machine supposed to be very quiet and surely sufficient for my needs, though used is a risk.
    I am curious why with the MacMini running at a high resolution that the cpu usage is so severe.
    The reality is that most of my downloaded films I run on my tv, so usually I'll be just writing, surfing, and downloading some files and expanding them on the mac mini.
    Thanks for any further suggestions.
     
  14. ejosepha thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Is there any work around?

    Is there any possible way of running the 30"ACD from my current Imac? With a normal dvi adaptor the ACD runs at only half its max. resolution but the Imac can in principle mirror or display at 1900X1200.
     
  15. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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    #15
    7300 is a super crappy card... but at least its better than a 9400M for some things.

    I could never live without 2 screens. =)
     
  16. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

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    Northeastern Ohio
    #16
    You mentioned buying "used" was a risk and you bought a used 30" display. Did your 27" iMac have the screen issues? It only has a smaller resolution(tall) since Apple switched to 16x9 displays unlike the 16x10 of the 30". I do know there are a lot more users on here with that same configuration. Give them some time to reply.

    I'd recommend finding a used first gen Mac Pro but get a better video card for it. You'll get 10x the performance but for only twice the price as a new Mini would cost you.
     
  17. ejosepha thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Tried the Imac 27 twice, but no luck.

    I wasn't happy with the 27" Imac screens, and there were HD issues as well. This 30" display seems flawless, without discoloration, though I am used to the glass from my 24" Imac now. I didn't know until after I got the ACD that it could not do better than half the max resolution with the dvi adaptor. That is that is runs at 1230X800 maximum from my Imac. This isn't longterm usable for text, reading, etc., for me. I started looking into alternatives, from the Mac Mini and so forth.
    I have seen the macmini working on the 30" ACD with the 9400M graphic card, but it might be pushing it, though the geekbench scores for the higher end macmini are better than my Imac 2.4ghz with the ati radeon 2600hd card, though I think the dedicated card on the Imac is probably still more powerful and stable than a shared memory card.
    But I'm no expert.
     
  18. srexy macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    Many of the playback issues you experience will be due to software rather than hardware limitations. Plex handles HD much better than any native Apple app. You might want to ask your friend to try downloading Plex and trying playback with that rather than Quicktime.
     
  19. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

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    Northeastern Ohio
    #19
    I'd hold off on the Mac Minis if you want to get one. I think Apple might release a new one with better graphics card and a new core processor. When is just a matter of time since they still haven't released the new MBP/MPs yet.
     
  20. ejosepha thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #20
    Friend was using VLC.

    The issues were occurring with VLC, since quicktime doesn't handle these video files. On large movie files the playback was less than smooth and we noticed that vlc was using 110% of CPU usage. So maybe it was a function of that. Mainly I watch video files through my WD Media player on TV, but I download and expand files on my computer. I just want to be certain that this MacMini will work correctly with the larger resolution display of 30". That I can watch videos and do light video editing when necessary without overtaxing the system.
    Thanks for the input.
     
  21. ADent macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 9, 2007
    #21
    Plex and other XBMC relatives play back the best.

    Which iMac do you have? I think you need the latest with the miniDP to run a 30" monitor at full resolution.
     

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