Mini 2.3 vs 2.5 - GPU use in Lion?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by monkeybongo, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. monkeybongo macrumors member

    Sep 13, 2007

    I'm currently moving from an older Mac Mac C2D 2.0Ghz and I'm looking at buying a new mini as a media server/HTPC. I have a 2.3 base model in front of me unopenned but I'm thinking about the mid 2.5 model with GPU. I was wondering how much the GPU is used in everyday tasks (non-gaming) in Lion?

    - Does Lion use the GPU for graphics and windowing that would be noticeable (smoother scrolling, window resizing)?

    - I know Plex has a h.264 acceleration option and Flash should have some GPU acceleration. Would other applications like Quicktime, iTunes, iPhoto have a similar boost in performance?

    - When transcoding movies for on-the-fly streaming to an iOS device, do anyone know if this would be gpu accelerated?

    - Lastly, would the Intel version good enough for all the task above or is the upgrade worth it?
  2. ForI macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2011
  3. madman962 macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2011
    For what you've described, not really worth it to get the upgraded mini in my opinion. Most the stuff you have listed will not see a noticeable increase in performance from the better video card. It sounds like you're just wanting to do general tasks with some very light photo editing, etc and in that case the performance gain from the better video card won't make much difference over the HD3000.

    I'd take the $200 and upgrade the ram and/or put in an SSD yourself (if you're comfortable doing that). SSD will give you the biggest noticeable performance boost for your purposes and the extra ram will also give you a boost as well if you tend to have a lot of applications open at once.
  4. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    if you keep the 2.3 you need to go to 4gb ram at a minimum . It is a fast piece of gear cpu wise. The testing I DID shows 2gb ram won't cut it. That said 4gb of ram is low priced. Even 8gb of ram is low cost. I think I would hold on to that machine and ad some ram to it. If you need to know where to get ram. just ask us I am sure quite a few people can give a link.

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