Mini Not as Fast as Expected

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by ugadawgs311, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. ugadawgs311 macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2012
    I recently purchased a new quad-core Mini to upgrade from my 2008 MacBook. My old MacBook only had 2 GB ram and a much slower processor than a quad-core, so I figured I would be blown away by the new Mini. In all reality, I haven't noticed that much of an increase in speed.

    Has anyone else experienced slow speeds? I used Migration Assistant to transfer over my account from my MacBook along with most of the files on the MacBook (i.e. pictures, songs, videos, documents, etc.). My settings were also transferred. Could it be possible that my old MacBook settings are somehow slowing down the new Mini? Would I be better off just starting fresh on the Mini (i.e. not transferring my account to the new Mini)?
  2. Whackman macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2012
    Depends on what you use it for i guess. What exactly did you expect to be faster?
  3. Omnius macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2012
    number of cores does not = faster unless the process you're using can utilize more than 1 core.

    How much ram is in your mini, how much ram was in the laptop?
    What were the clock speeds on the cpus of both?
  4. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    it won't surf the net any faster then your machine does.

    also if your machine had an ssd it would seem faster for all easy tasks then the new mini with a stock hdd. you only see the speed gains of you use cpu intensive programs such as handbrake where it would take you an 2-3 hours to encode a 2 hour movie the new mini would do it in under 35-40 minutes.
  5. ugadawgs311 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2012
    I don't do any heavy work with the Mini. It's mainly for minor picture editing, email, web-browsing, watching videos, music, etc. Nothing major. I just expected small tasks like loading web pages to be lightning fast (that could be my internet connection though). Chrome takes a little bit to start up. I thought it would be click the icon, and boom within a second or less the browser is loaded and ready.

    The new Mini has 4GB ram, the old MacBook has 2GB.

    I promise I'm not trying to complain. All in all, the Mini is fast, it is not slow by any means.
  6. Littleodie914 macrumors 68000


    Jun 9, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    Did your Mini come with a standard platter hard drive, or a new SSD?

    This will, by leaps and bounds, be the deciding factor in how "fast" your machine feels. :)
  7. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    No, my new 2.3 quad blazes and I have a 2008 MacBook and late 2009 Mini for comparison.

    I've never used Migration Assistant and never would. I always start fresh and do everything manually.

    Go over to primate labs and geekbench your "slow" Mini and post the results.


    Do you have cable internet? Are you connecting wirelessly?
  8. Old Muley macrumors 6502a

    Old Muley

    Jan 6, 2009
    Titletown USA
    Oh, for that reason alone I'd love to upgrade to a current machine. Processing my MST3K collection literally took days and days on my 2009 iMac.
  9. ugadawgs311 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2012
    Yes, cable internet and connecting wirelessly.
  10. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    Try an ethernet connection. Also go over to primate labs and geek bench your mini. Mine scores a 10992 at 32 bits, which is on the slightly high side of average for the model.

    I don't know whether using migration has adversely affected your Mini. I've never used and wouldn't ever use it on principle. Starting fresh and doing things manually, a step at a time has always served me well in the past, with the bonus of knowing that if something does go wrong, I'll know which change is responsible.

    BTW, I also have 16GB of RAM in my Mini. I never used it with the stock RAM.
  11. ugadawgs311 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2012
    Ok thanks for the advice. I will try primate labs when I get back home.

    When you say "doing things manually" do you just copy over files that you want via a flash drive or other disk?
  12. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    Yes, I just use an external to move things over slowly. I suspect you'll find that you need very little immediately.

    Here's a link to download the geekbench software:
  13. ugadawgs311 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2012
    Ok, thanks for that. Related to transferring files, when I transferred everything over, it created a second account on the Mini. So now there is the new account (with no files in it), and my old account from the Macbook, which contains all my music, pictures, documents, etc. If I delete the Macbook account, will the completely remove the account and its settings and files? Basically, how can I get back to a "fresh" new start again?
  14. LaunchpadBS macrumors 6502a

    Nov 11, 2008
    I've seen a huge difference with handbrake encoding times and iPhoto as well as games, had late 2008 MBP before with 8GB ram and a hybrid drive, the mini is a big step up, I can now run XCode and Handbrake at the same time without lag.
  15. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
  16. Omnius macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2012
    Is one using a solid sate drive and the other not?
  17. Hessel macrumors member

    Nov 24, 2011
    dude, for the things your using it for you didn't actually upgrade.

    if you don't have an SSD you are running the same technology as your 2008 Macbook Pro.

    get an SSD if you want faster loading times.
  18. Mojo1, Nov 1, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012

    Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2011
    I think that the decision to use Migration Assistant depends on the condition of the old Mac.

    When I purchased a 13" MBP in August 2011 I decided to forgo using MA for the first time in years. My old 2006 iMac is running Snow Leopard and it has had some problems ever since I upgraded from Leopard. It had also accumulated a lot of odds and ends over the years; I wanted to start fresh with the MBP. I only installed the software that I actually use, etc.

    Manually setting up the MBP took some time but I think that it paid-off in the long run. It has been very stable and trouble-free.

    When my Mac Mini (2.3GHz, 16GB RAM, 1TB 5400rpm drive) arrived last week I decided to use Migration Assistant to transfer everything from the MBP. I am glad that I did: set-up took a fraction of the time manually installation would have required. I had to do a little fine-tuning but it required a lot less time than manually configuring everything.

    All things being equal MA works very well and is a significant time-saver. I have used it for years with no significant problems. If the OP's old Mac was in good shape and up-to-date I doubt that using Migration Assistant caused any problems.

    It may make the OP feel a little better to hear that when doing normal things e.g. e-mail, web surfing, word processing, etc. I don't perceive a huge increase in speed. But other things are noticeably faster: Preview opens image files almost instantly, my connection to a VPN server takes a few seconds vs. 20-30 seconds. Like someone else wrote, you will notice a nice speed increase when doing things that take advantage of the newer CPU and GPU and increased RAM. The biggest improvement is due to increasing RAM. When I checked RAM usage before upgrading to 16B most of the stock 4GB was taken up with just the basics (e-mail, Safari, Pages) open but not being used.

    Upgrade your RAM and I think that you will notice a difference, particularly when you have a lot of apps open and are pushing the Mini more than normal.
  19. nuckinfutz macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2002
    Middle Earth
    With a Quad Core you won't notice that advantage unless

    A. An app supports all 4 cores well
    B. You stress your system out doing a DVD rip or long encode in the background while working on something else.
  20. ugadawgs311 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2012
    So the quad-core is only beneficial with really intense apps (i.e. decoding DVD's)? Is RAM the only factor in determining how well the computer will handle having numerous applications/windows open?
  21. nuckinfutz macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2002
    Middle Earth
    Running a bunch of apps is where you'll notice that Quad Core kicking in. The mini won't bog down as much as your Macbook would have.

    You will need to make sure your HDD is up to snuff here. It could be the limiting factor. SSD handle the load much better so you may eventually want to get a SSD or hybrid drive in there if you're hammering this guy at times.
  22. hugodrax macrumors 6502a

    Jul 15, 2007
    If you ping an IP address, the Ping will be just as fast as the 08 computer as the 2012 computer.
  23. Darby67 macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2011
    the corner of Fire and Brimstone
    One item of note, ripping a DVD or BD is not processor intensive. Encoding/Transcoding is another story.
  24. dasx macrumors 65816


    Jun 18, 2012
    The greatest bottleneck you can find in any today computer is the HDD. It's mandatory to put a SSD into it in order to feel the speed.

    A simple example is that same Macbook you had. If you could put even a SATA I SSD into it you'd be "blown away", as you said.
  25. iMas70 macrumors 65816

    Sep 4, 2012
    After reading the replies in this thread, I tested my current PC (have never done that). The results are -

    Dell Inc. Dell DXC061
    Section Description Score Geekbench Score
    Geekbench 2.3.4 Tryout for Windows x86 (32-bit)
    Integer Processor integer performance 3373
    Floating Point Processor floating point performance 3065
    Memory Memory performance 2056
    Stream Memory bandwidth performance 2088

    Geekbench Score - 2873

    So I guess it's safe to say that even the base mini will be like the difference between walking and being in a sports car?

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