New Mini advice needed, real comparison?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by QuantumLo0p, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a

    QuantumLo0p

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #1
    Hi all,
    I currently use my old PowerMac dual 2.7, which is so long in the tooth it is impaling itself with its once, deadly canines. My fiance just informed me of the PM's current state which doesn't look good and so I may be in the market for a replacement. I have always loved the design of the Mini and have a 23" ACD that should work great with a Mini. I have been apprehensive of buying a Mini because of their processors, always wondering if they are really enough. The iMacs have a bit more power but I really don't care for the iMac's design, plus I have a perfectly fine 23" ACD. I really should pull the trigger soon because more and more of my favorite apps are going Intel only. : (

    I have a couple questions:

    Are the new Mini's 320 graphics much better than the old 6800 in my PowerMac?

    Will the 320 graphics suffice for iPhoto editing?

    Can the Mini run Win7 in bootcamp okay?

    I would especially like to hear from anyone that has owned a PowerPC Mac and a Mini! Thanks in advance for any helpful opinions!
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    Graphics aren't that important in photo editing so 320M is more than sufficient. Windows 7 will run fine too. Just bump the RAM to 4GB and you're fine
     
  3. LeeTom macrumors 68000

    LeeTom

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    #3
    The mac mini will run circles around your powermac in every way, graphics included. Seriously, you're going to ____ your _____ when you turn it on and realize how much has changed.
     
  4. ADent macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    #4
    The biggest bottleneck is the HD speed and size. So if you can budget in a decently fast FW800 drive go ahead. Even w/o that you should be OK.
     
  5. QuantumLo0p thread starter macrumors 6502a

    QuantumLo0p

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #5
    Yikes, the Mini HDD is very slow! FW800 drive suggestions?

    Bought it yesterday evening. I have been playing around with it for a while now and, I agree, the HDD is sloooooow. I suppose it is just a 5400 rpm notebook drive, after all.

    I will use it the way it is for now but I am going to keep my eyes open for upgrades. Sounds like this Mini may be a little tougher to upgrade but still do-able.

    Any suggestions for a fast FW800 drive?
     
  6. thezerox macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2008
    #6
    Could you please run Xbench on your Mac Mini and paste here the benchmark results?

    Thank you.
     
  7. indg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    #7
    here's my xbench results. keep in mind that my hdd is about 1/3 full and i've been using it for a couple days now. so there might be some background processes running. in other words, this isn't an xbench of a newly unboxed mini, but it should give you a general idea. i think i saw someone else here with a total score of 120.


    Results 116.59
    System Info
    Xbench Version 1.3
    System Version 10.6.4 (10F2025)
    Physical RAM 2048 MB
    Model Macmini4,1
    Drive Type TOSHIBA MK3255GSXF
    CPU Test 170.83
    GCD Loop 280.39 14.78 Mops/sec
    Floating Point Basic 138.13 3.28 Gflop/sec
    vecLib FFT 112.47 3.71 Gflop/sec
    Floating Point Library 268.94 46.83 Mops/sec
    Thread Test 264.65
    Computation 470.48 9.53 Mops/sec, 4 threads
    Lock Contention 184.10 7.92 Mlocks/sec, 4 threads
    Memory Test 183.80
    System 197.41
    Allocate 212.18 779.19 Kalloc/sec
    Fill 177.93 8651.27 MB/sec
    Copy 205.62 4247.00 MB/sec
    Stream 171.95
    Copy 159.92 3303.09 MB/sec
    Scale 164.03 3388.74 MB/sec
    Add 180.39 3842.77 MB/sec
    Triad 186.24 3984.06 MB/sec
    Quartz Graphics Test 180.05
    Line 166.55 11.09 Klines/sec [50% alpha]
    Rectangle 197.55 58.98 Krects/sec [50% alpha]
    Circle 165.69 13.51 Kcircles/sec [50% alpha]
    Bezier 198.54 5.01 Kbeziers/sec [50% alpha]
    Text 177.58 11.11 Kchars/sec
    OpenGL Graphics Test 97.03
    Spinning Squares 97.03 123.09 frames/sec
    User Interface Test 237.37
    Elements 237.37 1.09 Krefresh/sec
    Disk Test 40.17
    Sequential 69.52
    Uncached Write 79.25 48.66 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 85.75 48.52 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 43.10 12.61 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 99.38 49.95 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 28.25
    Uncached Write 9.92 1.05 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 71.75 22.97 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 59.96 0.42 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 98.01 18.19 MB/sec [256K blocks]
     
  8. thezerox macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2008
  9. Bhavin macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2010
    #9
    can you run geekbench(32 or 64bit) on it a tell me the score for the new mac mini?
     
  10. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #10
  11. indg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    #11
    64-bit geekbench score of 3722:

    Platform: Mac OS X x86 (64-bit)
    Compiler: GCC 4.0.1 (Apple Inc. build 5493)
    Operating System: Mac OS X 10.6.4 (Build 10F2025)
    Model: Macmini4,1
    Motherboard: Apple Inc. Mac-F2208EC8
    Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU P8600 @ 2.40GHz
    Processor ID: GenuineIntel Family 6 Model 23 Stepping 10
    Logical Processors: 2
    Physical Processors: 1
    Processor Frequency: 2.40 GHz
    L1 Instruction Cache: 32.0 KB
    L1 Data Cache: 32.0 KB
    L2 Cache: 3.00 MB
    L3 Cache: 0.00 B
    Bus Frequency: 1.06 GHz
    Memory: 2.00 GB
    Memory Type: 1067 MHz DDR3
    SIMD: 1
    BIOS: Apple Inc. MM41.88Z.0042.B00.1004221740
    Processor Model: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU P8600 @ 2.40GHz
    Processor Cores: 2

    Integer (Score: 3355)
    Blowfish single-threaded scalar -- 1559, , 68.5 MB/sec
    Blowfish multi-threaded scalar -- 3242, , 132.9 MB/sec
    Text Compress single-threaded scalar -- 2165, , 6.93 MB/sec
    Text Compress multi-threaded scalar -- 4049, , 13.3 MB/sec
    Text Decompress single-threaded scalar -- 1870, , 7.68 MB/sec
    Text Decompress multi-threaded scalar -- 3731, , 14.9 MB/sec
    Image Compress single-threaded scalar -- 2059, , 17.0 Mpixels/sec
    Image Compress multi-threaded scalar -- 3953, , 33.3 Mpixels/sec
    Image Decompress single-threaded scalar -- 2088, , 35.1 Mpixels/sec
    Image Decompress multi-threaded scalar -- 3972, , 64.8 Mpixels/sec
    Lua single-threaded scalar -- 3973, , 1.53 Mnodes/sec
    Lua multi-threaded scalar -- 7603, , 2.92 Mnodes/sec

    Floating Point (Score: 5169)
    Mandelbrot single-threaded scalar -- 1785, , 1.19 Gflops
    Mandelbrot multi-threaded scalar -- 3541, , 2.32 Gflops
    Dot Product single-threaded scalar -- 3234, , 1.56 Gflops
    Dot Product multi-threaded scalar -- 6660, , 3.04 Gflops
    Dot Product single-threaded vector -- 2511, , 3.01 Gflops
    Dot Product multi-threaded vector -- 5738, , 5.97 Gflops
    LU Decomposition single-threaded scalar -- 1380, , 1.23 Gflops
    LU Decomposition multi-threaded scalar -- 2579, , 2.26 Gflops
    Primality Test single-threaded scalar -- 4686, , 699.9 Mflops
    Primality Test multi-threaded scalar -- 7029, , 1.30 Gflops
    Sharpen Image single-threaded scalar -- 5038, , 11.8 Mpixels/sec
    Sharpen Image multi-threaded scalar -- 9760, , 22.5 Mpixels/sec
    Blur Image single-threaded scalar -- 6241, , 4.94 Mpixels/sec
    Blur Image multi-threaded scalar -- 12187, , 9.58 Mpixels/sec

    Memory (Score: 2734)
    Read Sequential single-threaded scalar -- 3460, , 4.24 GB/sec
    Write Sequential single-threaded scalar -- 2879, , 1.97 GB/sec
    Stdlib Allocate single-threaded scalar -- 2378, , 8.88 Mallocs/sec
    Stdlib Write single-threaded scalar -- 2454, , 5.08 GB/sec
    Stdlib Copy single-threaded scalar -- 2500, , 2.58 GB/sec

    Stream (Score: 1920)
    Stream Copy single-threaded scalar -- 1755, , 2.40 GB/sec
    Stream Copy single-threaded vector -- 1970, , 2.56 GB/sec
    Stream Scale single-threaded scalar -- 1923, , 2.50 GB/sec
    Stream Scale single-threaded vector -- 1871, , 2.53 GB/sec
    Stream Add single-threaded scalar -- 1967, , 2.97 GB/sec
    Stream Add single-threaded vector -- 2241, , 3.12 GB/sec
    Stream Triad single-threaded scalar -- 2047, , 2.83 GB/sec
    Stream Triad single-threaded vector -- 1586, , 2.97 GB/sec


    32-bit geekbench score of 3397:

    Platform: Mac OS X x86 (32-bit)
    Compiler: GCC 4.0.1 (Apple Inc. build 5493)
    Operating System: Mac OS X 10.6.4 (Build 10F2025)
    Model: Macmini4,1
    Motherboard: Apple Inc. Mac-F2208EC8
    Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU P8600 @ 2.40GHz
    Processor ID: GenuineIntel Family 6 Model 23 Stepping 10
    Logical Processors: 2
    Physical Processors: 1
    Processor Frequency: 2.40 GHz
    L1 Instruction Cache: 32.0 KB
    L1 Data Cache: 32.0 KB
    L2 Cache: 3.00 MB
    L3 Cache: 0.00 B
    Bus Frequency: 1.06 GHz
    Memory: 2.00 GB
    Memory Type: 1067 MHz DDR3
    SIMD: 1
    BIOS: Apple Inc. MM41.88Z.0042.B00.1004221740
    Processor Model: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU P8600 @ 2.40GHz
    Processor Cores: 2

    Integer (Score: 2746)
    Blowfish single-threaded scalar -- 1680, , 73.8 MB/sec
    Blowfish multi-threaded scalar -- 3488, , 143.0 MB/sec
    Text Compress single-threaded scalar -- 1873, , 5.99 MB/sec
    Text Compress multi-threaded scalar -- 3474, , 11.4 MB/sec
    Text Decompress single-threaded scalar -- 1670, , 6.86 MB/sec
    Text Decompress multi-threaded scalar -- 3346, , 13.3 MB/sec
    Image Compress single-threaded scalar -- 1712, , 14.1 Mpixels/sec
    Image Compress multi-threaded scalar -- 3283, , 27.6 Mpixels/sec
    Image Decompress single-threaded scalar -- 1486, , 25.0 Mpixels/sec
    Image Decompress multi-threaded scalar -- 2884, , 47.1 Mpixels/sec
    Lua single-threaded scalar -- 2708, , 1.04 Mnodes/sec
    Lua multi-threaded scalar -- 5348, , 2.06 Mnodes/sec

    Floating Point (Score: 4921)
    Mandelbrot single-threaded scalar -- 1783, , 1.19 Gflops
    Mandelbrot multi-threaded scalar -- 3519, , 2.30 Gflops
    Dot Product single-threaded scalar -- 3270, , 1.58 Gflops
    Dot Product multi-threaded scalar -- 6728, , 3.07 Gflops
    Dot Product single-threaded vector -- 2612, , 3.13 Gflops
    Dot Product multi-threaded vector -- 5855, , 6.09 Gflops
    LU Decomposition single-threaded scalar -- 685, , 610.2 Mflops
    LU Decomposition multi-threaded scalar -- 1382, , 1.21 Gflops
    Primality Test single-threaded scalar -- 3937, , 588.1 Mflops
    Primality Test multi-threaded scalar -- 5947, , 1.10 Gflops
    Sharpen Image single-threaded scalar -- 4961, , 11.6 Mpixels/sec
    Sharpen Image multi-threaded scalar -- 9786, , 22.6 Mpixels/sec
    Blur Image single-threaded scalar -- 6296, , 4.98 Mpixels/sec
    Blur Image multi-threaded scalar -- 12142, , 9.55 Mpixels/sec

    Memory (Score: 2645)
    Read Sequential single-threaded scalar -- 3320, , 4.07 GB/sec
    Write Sequential single-threaded scalar -- 2845, , 1.95 GB/sec
    Stdlib Allocate single-threaded scalar -- 2146, , 8.01 Mallocs/sec
    Stdlib Write single-threaded scalar -- 2418, , 5.00 GB/sec
    Stdlib Copy single-threaded scalar -- 2496, , 2.57 GB/sec

    Stream (Score: 1852)
    Stream Copy single-threaded scalar -- 1759, , 2.41 GB/sec
    Stream Copy single-threaded vector -- 2017, , 2.62 GB/sec
    Stream Scale single-threaded scalar -- 1951, , 2.53 GB/sec
    Stream Scale single-threaded vector -- 1928, , 2.60 GB/sec
    Stream Add single-threaded scalar -- 1696, , 2.56 GB/sec
    Stream Add single-threaded vector -- 2089, , 2.91 GB/sec
    Stream Triad single-threaded scalar -- 1773, , 2.45 GB/sec
    Stream Triad single-threaded vector -- 1603, , 3.00 GB/sec
     
  12. QuantumLo0p thread starter macrumors 6502a

    QuantumLo0p

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #12
    G5 Powermac vs. Mini

    The crunching power may be more than my old PowerMac but, seriously, the Mini's slow hard drive is the little guy's Achille's heel. In fairness to the Mini, please keep in mind I was using a raid0 setup in my Powermac so it would be unfair to compare the two. I will definitely have to upgrade it as soon as I can.

    As far as the graphics are concerned, they are a little better than my old Nvidia 6800, but not by much.

    Still, overall I am satisfied with my Mini. It has a very small foot print, is almost silent, uses a lot less energy than my old PowerMac and is running Snow Leopard. I plan to get 4GB ram and eventually replace the hdd. I also plan to get a decent FW800 drive for additional working space and a usb drive for doing backups.

    So far it's still thumbs up! Thanks for the input and info.
     
  13. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Location:
    Boon Docks USA
    #13
    Stick a SSD drive in it to make it fly. Wish apple would have put an i3 processor in it instead of a dual core chip. I'll pass on the mini this round.
     
  14. ahankinson macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2010
    #14
    I have a 2009 Mini with an 80G Intel SSD as the internal drive. It's quite possibly the most responsive computer I have ever used.

    Here's my XBench Score:
    Code:
    Results	197.55	
    	System Info		
    		Xbench Version		1.3
    		System Version		10.6.3 (10D573)
    		Physical RAM		4096 MB
    		Model		Macmini3,1
    		Drive Type		INTEL SSDSA2M080G2GC
    	CPU Test	178.85	
    		GCD Loop	297.16	15.66 Mops/sec
    		Floating Point Basic	143.52	3.41 Gflop/sec
    		vecLib FFT	117.75	3.88 Gflop/sec
    		Floating Point Library	282.56	49.20 Mops/sec
    	Thread Test	247.97	
    		Computation	357.02	7.23 Mops/sec, 4 threads
    		Lock Contention	189.95	8.17 Mlocks/sec, 4 threads
    	Memory Test	187.14	
    		System	234.74	
    			Allocate	393.95	1.45 Malloc/sec
    			Fill	183.57	8925.80 MB/sec
    			Copy	208.59	4308.25 MB/sec
    		Stream	155.59	
    			Copy	148.63	3069.87 MB/sec
    			Scale	148.09	3059.51 MB/sec
    			Add	164.25	3498.78 MB/sec
    			Triad	162.90	3484.85 MB/sec
    	Quartz Graphics Test	195.75	
    		Line	171.28	11.40 Klines/sec [50% alpha]
    		Rectangle	219.11	65.42 Krects/sec [50% alpha]
    		Circle	191.35	15.60 Kcircles/sec [50% alpha]
    		Bezier	200.69	5.06 Kbeziers/sec [50% alpha]
    		Text	202.75	12.68 Kchars/sec
    	OpenGL Graphics Test	152.20	
    		Spinning Squares	152.20	193.08 frames/sec
    	User Interface Test	278.58	
    		Elements	278.58	1.28 Krefresh/sec
    	Disk Test	192.38	
    		Sequential	149.70	
    			Uncached Write	134.71	82.71 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    			Uncached Write	108.13	61.18 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    			Uncached Read	131.59	38.51 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    			Uncached Read	408.39	205.26 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    		Random	269.10	
    			Uncached Write	150.39	15.92 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    			Uncached Write	155.16	49.67 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    			Uncached Read	1369.64	9.71 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    			Uncached Read	961.67	178.44 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    
    Take out your internal drive, put a small SSD in, and then move any of your big things (movies, music, etc.) to a FW800 or NAS box. You'll wonder how you ever lived without it. ;)
     
  15. indg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    #15
    i noticed the OpenGL score was unusually low when i ran xbench (posted above) on my mini a little over a week ago. just ran it again and got this:

    OpenGL Graphics Test 167.39
    Spinning Squares 167.39 212.34 frames/sec

    this seems to be more in line with what was expected of the 320m. not sure what caused the low score before.
     
  16. Heilage macrumors 68030

    Heilage

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    #16
    Cheap laptop drives (like the ones you will find stock in the Mini) are slow, it's a well known fact. However, invest in an Intel X-25M Gen2-drive and the Mini will go like a rocket. :)
     
  17. Mr.T macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    #17
    I wish people understood that if an i3 had been put in the current mini's that you'd also have an intel gpu as intel has banned nvidia from creating integrated graphics chips for their new technology.

    Personally I'm much happier with a nvidia gpu and c2d rather than an i3 and intel gpu!
     
  18. ADent macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    #18
    I have a full size 3.5" 1TB drive hooked to my 2008 mini via SATA and it seems to be much snappier than the wifes mini (with stock drive). So stock drives stink.

    SSD would be the way to go, but I think a good 7200 rpm internal or FW800 would be good too.
     
  19. analogkid macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    Location:
    Savannah
    #19
    A choice, though I understand if it doesn't appeal to all, for those who want fast internal drive speeds but don't want to hassle with a tricky install, is to get the Server version, which has dual 7200 drives, and raid them into a single fast internal 1tb drive. That's not a bad way to go as long as you back up like you should anyways.
     
  20. ljonesj macrumors 6502a

    ljonesj

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Location:
    Kingsport TN
    #20
    the intel core i3 is actualy a dual core not a quad core but it is built on the i7 tech so it would be faster than the core 2 tech but i still think the intel gpu's hurt the chips wish intel would get off themselves and let ati and nvidia make the chipsets for them
     
  21. QuantumLo0p thread starter macrumors 6502a

    QuantumLo0p

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #21
    I agree with you all about the drives but what about trim support?

    How about a 7200 rpm drive? Is the speed increase worth the time and money?
     
  22. mlyon macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    #22
    I've got an OWC SSD in a 2010 mini server and it rips. Replaced my old Dual 2 GHz G5 with it and it runs circles around it. I run Adobe CS4 & 5 and it seems to be just as fast as my friends PowerMac. Upgrade that 5400 RPM drive to at least a 7200 or an SSD and get a Firewire drive for you files. You won't be sorry.
     
  23. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #23
    I recently wrote a program to test disk drive performance reading large files. I found that my i7 iMac is about 20% faster than my Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server, even with the drives in the mini configured RAID 0. There is obviously a big hit for having 5200 RPM notebook drives. At least the new Mini server has faster drives. OTOH, the internals are much faster than external FW800 (or FW400 or USB2). These systems should all have ESATA.

    Note that when random accessing files, especially small files, that the buffering done by Mac OS tends to mask the performance differences. This tends to mean "in real life" that starting a program takes longer with these small drives but running the program is hardly different.
     
  24. archipellago macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    #24
    so you're saying that Apple mis-specced it..?

    for the price of a Mini and SSD you could get an i5 system with a 7200 drive
     
  25. Heilage macrumors 68030

    Heilage

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    #25
    Yes, but you don't get the design blah blah blah. I don't care about people's reasons for choosing or not choosing a product. This guy has a Mini, so I suggested a way to get better disk performance out of it. Even if he spends $20 000 on that damn Mini, it's not really relevant for anything at all. :)
     

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