New Mini: wait for Snow Leopard? Also FSB

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by garethrl, Mar 8, 2009.

  1. garethrl macrumors newbie

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    Mar 8, 2009
    #1
    Hello all,
    Newbie here, long time lurker who's been following the slow progress of the new Mini, and just registered following its release. I've read many/most of the threads and don't think my specific questions have been addressed yet, but apologies if they have.

    I'm all primed and set to go for the new low-end Mini and upgrade the RAM myself, but there's a little voice at the back of my head saying "Wait for Snow Leopard", and I'm a serial procrastinator anyway. I know plenty of folks will say "Just do it, you won't regret it" and as I'm using a 1st gen. TiBook with 400MHz G4 and 1GB of RAM (running Tiger) than it's clear as day that I'll see a huge increase in performance. I'm more interested interested in what people think about the likely advantages that SL will offer to a 'typical Mini user'. As I'll be mainly using it for browsing, Skype, photos/music/movies (maybe appletv If I go for it) also digitizing a large vinyl collection, some Office/Adobe stuff for work ... pretty standard domestic stuff really. I would (perhaps naively) expect the anticipated benefits from Snow Leopard to be marginal for me than if I were a pro user with eg a mac pro. So, I don't think it's worth the wait and I should go for it asap - or are there more subtle factors I'm overlooking.

    Also, in amongst the "it's great/it's rubbish" debate over the new Mini, I don't think I've noticed any reference to the increase in the FSB speed from 667 to 1066Mhz, which is nearly 60%. Granted it was overdue and probably a prerequisite for using DDR3 RAM, but surely it will boost regular performance pretty significantly, especially by comparison with the fairly modest boost in processor speed? I'd expect the new low end Mini to outperform the old high end one (both 2GHz, both with same RAM installed) by a good margin for this reason alone - or is that too simplistic.

    Thanks, Gareth.
     
  2. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #2
    I'm waiting for SL before buying a new Mini. I want to see if OpenCL is the real deal or just hype.
     
  3. marbles macrumors 68000

    marbles

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    EU mostly
    #3
    I'd get one now and when SL comes out buy it retail and then if you don't like it or whatever you can sell it on for close to price paid, that way you don't miss out on using the machine now while waiting for SL to be released, it'll probably only cost you literally a few $£$ in loss if you choose to sell SL .

    I was going to wait for SL but thought exactly what I've just written so I'm doing that, unless anyone's got a better idea.
     
  4. angemon89 macrumors 68000

    angemon89

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    #4
    I would wait unless your TiBook literally explodes. You've made it this far without upgrading might as well just wait because SL shouldn't be too far away.
     
  5. iMeat macrumors member

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    Jul 10, 2008
  6. ks-man macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    #6
    I think Snow Leopard is expected to be shown at the WWDC the end of June. Do people think it will be released then or just demoed and a release date announced?

    If it starts shipping 6/29 it might be more tolerable than if they announce a release date of 8/10 which gets pushed back once or twice.
     
  7. Mariusz1977 macrumors member

    Mariusz1977

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    #7
    I am WAITING! Why?

    Cost of mini NOW: $599
    Cost of Snow Leopard later: $125
    Total: $724


    3 months from now:
    Cost of mini REFURB @applestore: $549
    Drop-in disc of Snow Leopard $FREE
    Total: $549

    $175 savings for 3 months of waiting. $60/Month to wait.
    (equivalent monthly return of having $28,800 in cash savings @2.5%/year)
     
  8. nerdish macrumors regular

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    Jan 28, 2009
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    Manchester, UK
    #8
    I gotta agree with you, if you dont need to upgrade right now, you might as well wait and save yourself some money!
     
  9. marbles macrumors 68000

    marbles

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    #9
    It's all down to if you can wait to find out if the rumoured release of SL in June comes true ....I need a machine now so am buying now and I'll pick up SL when it comes out , if no good I'll sell it and stick with Leopard, ie no computing time lost. I can't wait that long, if you can.....
     
  10. tom53092 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    #10
    I would have thought so also, but it appears that any speedup due to FSF is negligible.
    http://www.appleinsider.com/article...macs_mac_minis_show_negligible_speed_ups.html

    I would think that the increase would, however, help with video, since the video uses system RAM. Just a hunch, though.
     
  11. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Location:
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    #11
    I understand that SL will run better in smaller RAM, like 512 Meg.

    Hence, maybe that's one of the reasons why the base Mini is still only 1 Gig.
     
  12. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #12
    I would wait for SL as some think it may come out earlier with some rumors pointing to March 17th. If nothing happens then or soon thereafter, then it's fine to jump onto what they have. Apple often surprises us and overall, they have done better than I expected with versions of OS X.
     
  13. marbles macrumors 68000

    marbles

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    #13
    I was thinking it night be released on the 24th March, only because of the recent rumour for a Apple event that day and all the machines are now updated ...
    Do you have any Links for 17th ?.

    Even so, if you buy a machine and the software is updated it doesn't matter you get vouchers in the packaging that gives you 30 days to get the most recent upgrade free if I remember correctly? , well I'm almost 100% certain thats what it said and i think this was in the last Apple Mac I bought
     
  14. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #14
    No links, just something I saw repeated here on Macrumors sometime back. I think the hardware and software, this time, will be pretty much refreshed within a month of each other.
     
  15. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #15
    Well then, it must be true! ;)
     
  16. marbles macrumors 68000

    marbles

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    #16
    Very interesting, I'll have a dig about later o.

    Within a month, what for all hardware...I certainly think the 'low end' Macbook will see a revision when SL is released but as for the rest, Thats a bit soon , no? I mean I'd be mighty pissed if I bought a machine today and in 30 days it was revised
     
  17. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #17
    Basically I meant a month or so from the latest hardware updates we just had. :)
     
  18. marbles macrumors 68000

    marbles

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    #18
    Yeah so MacMini last week, that'd be sometime beginning of April then ...that would piss a lot of people off for sure
     
  19. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #19
    What I was thinking is that Snow Leopard may have come out earlier and a March release or April release may happen because Apple Inc. ported a lot of their programmers to iLife and iWork for the Macworld Conference.

    I can see people with recently bought hardware wondering why they didn't get SL. When I bought my first gen. iBook, Apple soon made a RAM and hard drive capacity update after some bad reviews knocking the lack of those two.

    The best case scenario for someone wanting a mini is that SL will be on it very soon. Timing is everything.
     
  20. synagence macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    #20
    But how much of Snow Leopards impact will be out-the-box or will it all have to be coded to take advantage of?

    I've always assumed that the OS will be able to make better use of available processors and GFX but that apps will have to also be coded for OpenCL etc

    Therefore even if they release Snow Leopard tomorrow would it actually make THAT much difference until things like Photoshop, Final Cut etc run through a new version
     
  21. fhall1 macrumors 68040

    fhall1

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    Location:
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    #21
    Based on what I've read of the "leaked" progress of SL, June seems like a more realistic date than March or April....we're more likely to see 10.5.7 in March or April.
     
  22. nerdish macrumors regular

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    Manchester, UK
    #22
    If so, why has the iMac been bumped to 4GB and the Pro's 3GB and 6GB.....

    Your argument is invalid! :)
     
  23. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #23
    And this is why I suggested that anyone who's interested in this Mini should wait. After all, it's only marginally better than the gma950 Mini (i.e., 802.11n, 3 gbps SATA, FW800).
     
  24. Winni macrumors 68030

    Winni

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    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    Germany.
    #24
    Except for those who signed an NDA, nobody currently really knows what Snow Leopard will bring and what advantages or disadvantages the new OS will have.

    Leopard required several major updates before it become mature and robust enough to replace Tiger for everyday grunt work. It was released to early and with very low quality - but at the same time was already late to beat Microsoft's Vista launch.

    Now Snow Leopard will, like every new software release these days, suffer from the same "I'm new" problems. Apple will most likely have changed a loot under the hood again, and that will mean tons of compatibility issues with pre-Snow Leopard software. As long as iLife and Safari are the only things that you use, you'll be fine. But in the moment that you begin to use Third Party software, you'll be screwed with your new OS.

    Adobe's Creative Suite is a likely candidate to have major issues with Snow Leopard. Remember that Adobe did not even care to make CS2 Leopard compatible? They clearly said that you need to upgrade to CS3 for supported compatibility. Most of CS2 probably runs on Leopard nevertheless, but officially Adobe didn't care. Something tells me they will say the same about Snow Leopard and CS3 and maybe even CS4.

    Then there are all the indie shareware developers who are not part of Apple's NDA developer program (because they can't afford it, maybe). It'll take them time to update their software as well.

    And we all still don't know what Snow Leopard will really bring. According to Apple, it's a performance update with some Microsoft Exchange Server integration. Now to add performance, you have to dive deep into your code and optimize the crap out of it. Meaning: Change a ton under the hood, usually breaking stability and maybe even compatibility.

    By the time Snow Leopard will be released, Leopard will (still) be a very robust and supported platform. But your Mac Mini will be an even more out-dated computer than it already is today. (Only its power consumption and form factor specs are awesome; other than that, it's a slow computer in comparison to other machines in its price range.)

    Now what would I do if I wanted to buy an Apple computer? I'd probably buy the Mini now and later update to Snow Leopard. Maybe we will all be surprised that it's going to be a free update. After all, it supposedly is 'only' a performance update and therefor it still carries 'Leopard' in its name. So why would they charge for it more than just the handling costs for a new DVD? (Oh, yes, because it's Apple and they always screw their loyal and paying customers.)
     
  25. dwl017 macrumors 6502a

    dwl017

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    #25
    There is no new low end Mini both of the 2009 Mini models are the same! one has more factory installed memory and a larger hard drive thats it.
     

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