Question about Gaming on Server Model

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Shadylane315, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. Shadylane315 macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2006
    I have read multiple forums but I still have a few questions for my personal setup.

    I'm hoping to buy the server model of the Mac Mini with an Apple Thunderbolt display. I will be using the following programs and games.

    Photoshop (lightly)
    STEAM <----- big one.
    Final Cut Pro 7 and/or X

    How will these apps run on a Mac Mini. Also, when I buy my 15'' Macbook Pro Air. Will I be able to easily migrate all my folder structures and settings to the Mac without corrupting anything?
  2. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    Steam is not a game, and you don't specify what games you intend to play.

    Regardless, however, as the server model has the Intel HD3000, it will be substantially worse than the "regular" mini with the discrete graphics, which itself will be woefully subpar for running anything 3D at your 27" display's native resolution. Fortunately, it seems 1280x720 is a perfect 1/2 linear resolution of 2560x1440, so I think running games in 1280x720 would produce minimal interpolation artifacts. This should at least give the 6630M a fighting chance at running modern games decently with detailed turned down.

    To sum up, if gaming is at all a priority for you, probably best to look past the mini for other options.

  3. MacBookPr0 macrumors regular

    Feb 5, 2011

    i have the server model and if you upgrade it to 8 gb of ram you get 512 shared video ram and it has run any and every game or program ive thrown at it beautifully at highest or close to highest settings. Also the 4 core will help you with all of the video encoding. BTW i have an ssd in mine if that makes a difference
  4. Shadylane315 thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2006
    Thanks guys! Where would you recommend I buy an SSD and what type? Also, are there great instructions on how to install one?
  5. Mr.C macrumors 601

    Apr 3, 2011
    London, UK.
    I'm not sure what games you're running but they must either be really basic and simple games or you're happy with games running at 5 FPS. Most of the current graphic intensive main stream games and any in the future will not run on the server model at anything but low settings in order for even a half decent frame rate. This means they won't look good and/or will have a poor frame rate. Not to mention having 512 MB of shared RAM is nowhere near the same as having 256 MB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM.
  6. Shadylane315 thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2006
    I'm looking to play the old star wars republic game that is on the Mac App Store
  7. MacBookPr0 macrumors regular

    Feb 5, 2011
    Well from what I've seen itll run at above 720p with smooth frame rates(of course not as smooth as a high end graphics card but very well this include portal and other games


    Also I just haw apple 256 ssd and the 750 hard drive config and I absolutely love it. I was worried about the graphics at first but I haven't looked back to my old 17 inch MacBook pro with the nvidia 330m because the grapics almost seem better on this comp. AlsO are you sure you want the apple display, other great and similar but not as good looking displays can be had for much less
  8. indg macrumors 6502

    Feb 7, 2007
    some reviewers on the app store say they've played it on macbooks with nvidia 9400m and 320m, which are about on par with the hd3000. but while they're using a c2d, you'd have a much faster cpu with the quad i7 that might offset any gpu advantage.

    considering it's a 7-8 year old game, and min sys requirements lists the ati x1600 (which is like a 5 year old mobile gpu) with 128mb of vram, i would guess the hd3000 would be able to play it ok (maybe at med settings?).

    and if it doesn't work on mac, you can always try the windows version with boot camp.

    sidenote: i ran the cinebench v11.5 test after updating to 10.7.1, and it looks like apple may have updated the openGL driver for the hd3000. my cinebench openGL score went from 11.80 in 10.7.0 to 12.14 fps in 10.7.1. not a huge difference, and overall still only half as fast as the 6630m, but a little improvement is better than nothing. you can see the apple driver version change from 7.4.6 to 7.6.9 below:


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