Mini instead of Mac Pro: How quiet is a Mini? How slow? Real RAM maximum?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by netdog, Oct 31, 2007.

  1. netdog macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006
    I'll be doing some HD rendering. I'll be Photoshopping from time to time. I'll be running Aperture. Mostly, I'll be running Pages, Mail and Safari, no doubt with plenty of crappy Flash applets.

    I am currently using my MacBook Pro to do all of this on an ACD 30", and have been waiting for a new Mac Pro, but I am starting to think that I may just get a 2.0 Mini and get on with it, even with the reduced resolution on my monitor.

    The MBP fans are revved high way too frequently under these conditions and if I get a Mini, I want to return to the sort of peace and quiet that my iMac afforded.

    Doing some of the above, how noisy will a Mini be?

    Also, with RAM maxed, will I be beachballing all the time or will it carry on pretty well? Can it actually take 3GB?
  2. nikiski macrumors regular

    Oct 30, 2007
    Hong Kong, or Surrey, BC, Canada
    My Mac Mini's fan sits at about 3500 RPM when I'm encoding video with HandBrake. I think the fan is capable of higher speeds though. It's quiet. Very quiet. I can have it on all night and not notice it unless I look at the white light. For casual rendering I would think the Mac Mini best suits your needs. Unless you're doing a lot of rendering, then the more cores in Mac Pros will start to give you some benefits.

    My Mac Mini is still very responsive when I'm rendering, so I don't think it's a problem. Max out the RAM will be a great idea to keep in mind. :)
  3. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    The new Core 2 Duo model does take 3 GB of RAM. (2 GB + 1 GB)

    The fan goes up to 11... 5500 RPM.

    I've never had it over 3000 RPM for weeks of folding@home.
  4. Czechmac macrumors regular

    Oct 22, 2007
    London, UK
    I sleep a yard away from my mac mini (see the signature for detail specs). It is a very quiet machine, never even new it had a fan! Mac mini is great for everything you do, unless you need some serious 3D acceleration and if you are happy with what it offers, as expandability (PCI cards and stuff) is one thing that mac mini lags behind. If you want to save money, Mac Mini is the way to go. If its raw processing power you need, go for the mac pro. Not sure how the performance of Mac Mini compares to Macbook pro, but I think it could be a bit slower, as it hasn't seen an update in quiet some time.

    P.S.: Am I the only one waiting for mac that would fill the gap between mac pro and mac mini, eg. Mac pro mini ;)
  5. Maxime macrumors regular

    Sep 23, 2007
  6. ~J~ macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2007
    3rd Rock from the sun
    There is a BIIIIIG difference between a MP & a Mini...

    The mini is extremely quiet... but I would certainly not recommend it for HD video editing... just doesnt have the HP for it - its not designed for that sort of thing. I do HD editing on my 2.33 MBP just fine... and my fans dont even get that spun up when rendering for 20 min.

    For all the other stuff, a mini is fine. Pages, safari, mail... all that runs fine in either Tiger or Leopard. I even do encoding w/handbrake (DVD -> MP4), but thats just because I can let it do a DVD all night - and I have 2GB RAM in mine. Doesnt take all night to encode a DVD, but I wouldnt do much more than that with it. Just my $0.02
  7. tuc macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2003
    I've never tried it, but I'm having trouble understanding how one could be happy driving an 30" ACD at reduced resolution.

    If you get one of the current Core 2 Duo macMinis I believe you can even put 4GB of RAM into it, though only 3.3GB of it will be recognized.

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