Overall Mac Mini experiences?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Westside guy, Mar 27, 2005.

  1. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    Hey all,

    I am trying to get a feel for the overall satisfaction level of the folks who've bought the Mac Mini. My primary concern is reliability, what with it being a Rev. A product and all. Are there any widespread issues people are aware of, such as I experienced first-hand with the Rev. A 15" Al Powerbook and it's dreaded white spots?

    The reason I'm asking is this: My sis is about to buy a new computer and is leaning towards the Mini, which would be her first Mac. I realize nothing is guaranteed in this life, but if there are significant known issues I might see if I can convince her to hold off a few months. Basically I don't want a switcher's first experience with Mac hardware to be a bad one, if I can help it. :D

  2. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada

    Got the Mini, Pried it open and put in 1 Gb RAM, Installed Filemaker Server, has been running without a reboot since end of January. Dunno what else I can say ;)
  3. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2004
    Overall I think it's one of the "safest" Apple products right now... after all, you have to remember that this hardware has been used for a long time, in similar setups and older machines... so yeah, it is Rev. A, but the technology is like Rev. K. ;)

    Just be careful with heat, like don't stack 3 Minis on top of each other.
  4. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    Oh my god!

    I mean... OH MY GOD! When I opened that box (which was OH MY GOD as well - the niftiness level of the thing was OH MY GOD!) and lifted up the layers of OH MY GOD syrofoam... I came upon the Mac mini, my preciousss! And I picked it up. This thing ain't plastic, no sir! It's heavy, cold, solid metal hunk of OH MY GODness! I even had to go to the bathroom for a little "private time" after beholding it!

    And I booted it up.

    My preciousss...
  5. MacNut macrumors Core


    Jan 4, 2002
    I hope it didn't go into the bathroom with you. :rolleyes:
  6. Etrain macrumors 6502


    Feb 26, 2005
    Land of Cleve
    Hmmm...sounds odly like Buffalo Bill from the Silence of the Lambs. ;)
  7. Phat_Pat macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2004
    I Live Where I Live
    ** does everything possible to try and not make a joke about slot loading drive.....**
  8. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    i haven't heard any problems from the few people i know that have gotten em

    they seem to be rather stable, unlike the problems with the iMac G5 and the original 15' powerbooks

    the hardware isnt new, just the design layout, and it seems to be simple enough that there are no large issues at this time, of course apple care is always a good idea if you want to be cautious
  9. panphage macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2003
    Make sure to buy the 512 ram upgrade or get a gig stick somewhere (newegg) and pop it in there. I heard one guy complaining that it was a slow machine and then he put in 512MB of ram and said it was zippy.
  10. Solafaa macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2004
    Daddy said not to talk to strangers
    I know co-worker who got a mac, he liked it very much but was complaining it was a bit slow. After a 512mb RAM was installed he does not have any problems.
  11. redeye be macrumors 65816

    redeye be

    Jan 27, 2005
    It works absolutely fine for me.
    I will be upgrading to 1 gig in the near future i think, i sometimes get a beachball when safari, mail, ical, adium, photoshop, illustrator and imageready are open (simultaniously :rolleyes: ).
    I also do feel the slower HD (i got the 80 Gb @ 4200 rpm) is holding back the mini sometimes.
    No *real* problems.

    I'm very happy with this computer, not in a way that i need some 'private time' after or while using it ;), but i like it.
  12. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    Mini seems very reliable,no problems. Imac is the problem maker for Apple these days. If i was to do it again i would wait for Apple to get off their arses and spend the $5 more for the Fx5200,and Tiger then buy it. Now that would make a very Solid machine. the 9200 is crippling it in my view, Nanosuar looks bad on the weak graphics compared to my 4y/o 64mb Geforce3 using about the same G4. Mini is very sweet dont get me wrong it just needs a modern GPU and 9200 is like 2mx performance maybe. Its the achilles heal of the machine.
  13. Winstonp macrumors 6502a


    Jan 2, 2005

    I had a mini until this friday. It's great for what it is...but you are getting what you paid for.

    The graphics card was so underpowered, and it make simple expose actions jagged and weak. Forget gaming...trust me.

    The hard drives are too slow as well.

    With this powermac i have now instead...I notice a HUGE difference.
  14. BillHarrison macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2003
    Got mine In January. Ram is a bit limiting, but other than that, I have seen no issues. ONLY real issue I have heard of in web surfing has been Weak Analog VGA output, causing dim screens on some Analog monitors. I personally use the analog out with an older LCD that does not have DVI, and its fine.

    Performance wise, is very acceptable. I have the 1.25ghz model, and processor speed has not held me back yet. Ram has however, so I highly recommend atleast 512mb.

    As others have stated, this is basically a repackaging of older tried and true technology, so there really have been few Rev A issues. I would not hesitate to jump on one.

    Actually, I did


  15. redeye be macrumors 65816

    redeye be

    Jan 27, 2005
  16. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    Is this not what got MJ in trouble with the law? :D
  17. twoodcc macrumors P6


    Feb 3, 2005
    Right side of wrong
    got my mini a few weeks ago, and i love it so far. it was my first mac, and now i've got an ipod shuffle :) . i do need to upgrade the ram on the mini, but other than the ram, no problems at all.
  18. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    May be moving in to a different place in a few months, and the Mac mini seems to fit the smaller space that will result. Glad to hear of the positives on the Mac mini so far.
  19. Tuned MP5T macrumors regular

    Nov 6, 2004
    New York City
    The Mac mini is my first Mac and it's been enjoyable thus far. Just make sure that you uprgrade the ram to at least 512.
  20. Yvan256 macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2004
    I've had my Mac mini for one week and it's amazing. Gaming aside, this little box can kick any PC. Why? The PC doesn't have OS X and iLife.

    The only thing I've heard about the Mac mini is about some people having static noise from their audio-out connector. But mine's free from such defect.

    The only things I don't like about the Mac mini are:
    1. weak GPU, low VRAM (but then again, the computer didn't cost that much)
    2. not enough USB ports (a regular PC switcher will need at least 3, maybe 4 ports: keyboard, mouse, printer, other such as scanner or webcam, etc).
    3. only one memory slot (which makes upgrading a hassle - I wish Apple would solder 256MB or 512MB on-board and keep the single memory slot open for upgrading).

    The USB ports problem can easily be solved by a USB hub if needed.

    In my opinion, tell her to get the 1.42GHz/80GB model, it's worth the price if only for the extra 40GB of HD space. Or at least upgrade the 1.25GHz to 80GB (but at that price, you're really close to getting the 1.42GHz).
  21. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020


    The processor upgrade feel from my 450mHz G4 tower is felt, but the slower disk speed hurts with all the graphics apps I keep open.

    I had my first kernal panic in years with this machine waking up from sleep.

    Disk drive is loud as hell. (actually optical! ) :D

    I miss the audio in.

    I still like the machine. - j
  22. AstroManLuca macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2005
    For clarification, the "disk drive is loud as hell" comment is almost certainly referring to the optical drive, not the hard drive. The hard drive is almost silent, but the optical is extremely loud. I don't have to use it much though, and besides, it's a slot loader so I can forgive it because of its coolness ;).

    No kernel panics or reliability issues with mine, even after installing some generic RAM from NewEgg (1 GB Geil PC3200). The only problem at all is that the DVI-VGA adapter has one screw that won't turn. I don't need it, though, because I have a DVI flat panel.
  23. Yvan256 macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2004
    I guess it also depends on your settings. I'm using my Mac mini on a 15" CRT @ 1024x768, and Exposé just couldn't be smoother (and my first complain is always choppy/low FPS problems).

    As for gaming, I guess old games such as Unreal Tournament 2003/2004 should be able to run fine in 800x600 or 1024x768 with moderate settings. In fact, I've been playing WoW on my Mac mini for a week! Sure, I play in 800x600, all settings "off" or "lowest", there's no terrain shading (looks awful) and I'm getting 1 FPS in IronForge at peak times with dozens of people on the screen. But most of the time, when in the open with few monsters, I'm getting from 15 to 30 FPS (average 20-22).

    As far as the hard drives being too slow, I don't know what to say, feels fast enough for me.

    And comparing the Mac mini to the PowerMac, well, I call unfair comparison. :D

    Edit: I have no problems with the analog VGA output and my 15" CRT, also tried it with my brother's CRT, no problems there either. And the TV output is fine too (bought the optional adapter).
  24. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    My brother's had his Mini since january; it hasn't crashed yet, and nothing has broken...

    He spends most of his time playing Warcraft 3, watching DVDs, recording his guitar into Garageband or chatting/surfing. For these things the Mini is a champ, and except for the optical drive the machine is silent.
  25. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    Given the one RAM slot, I would say just go to 1gb if you can afford it.

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