Replacing 2008 iMac with new Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Dr. McKay, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. Dr. McKay macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    Location:
    Belgium, Europe
    #1
    I'm thinking of replacing my iMac (early 2008, 24", 2.8Ghz Core2Duo, 4Gb of RAM, 320Gb HD, ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro/256Mb) with a new Mini (Core i5 with dedicated AMD graphics).
    I intend to upgrade the memory to 8Gb and would like to replace the HD with a 1.5Tb 7200 rpm model.
    The primary reason for fitting a 1.5Tb drive is that I would like to configure it as a triple boot system (OS X, Win7 and Ubuntu/Kubuntu).

    Two questions :
    - can I buy any compatible HD without having to fear cooling problems ?
    - the AMD card in the is certainly faster than the one in my iMac, but is 256Mb enough by today's standards ? I mostly play Wow and older games lik HL2, but I might want to play a newer game from time to time, and I believe that many games nowadays demand 512Mb or more graphics RAM...
     
  2. W123 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2011
    #2
    The 2600 in your iMac wipes the floor with the Mini's.
     
  3. Dr. McKay thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    Location:
    Belgium, Europe
    #3
    I find that hard to believe. So, in essence, no use forking out for the discreet graphics as it's hardly faster than the integrated solution ?
     
  4. Confuzzzed macrumors 68000

    Confuzzzed

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2011
    Location:
    Liverpool, UK
    #4
    Certainly in terms of graphics but there are other considerations like going from a 320GB machine to one that 1.5 TB. Or the fact that the processor itself is an upgrade. Depends what you'll be using the machine for.
     
  5. CtotheP macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    Location:
    Whitefish Bay, WI
    #5
    I'm also interested in this as I'm looking at getting a new Mini and handing down my 2008 24" iMac to the kids for homework, etc. Is there much difference between the Core 2 Duo and the i3/i5?
     
  6. danny_w macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #6
    Same question. I have the 2.4 C2D 24".
     
  7. The-Pro, Nov 22, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011

    The-Pro macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    Location:
    Germany
    #7
    The AMD 6630M is several times quicker than the Intel HD 3000, and has a lot more performance than your "old" HD 2600
    Check it our yourself:
    6630M:
    http://www.notebookcheck.net/AMD-Radeon-HD-6630M.43963.0.html
    HD 2600, (same/similar performance to HD 2600 pro):
    http://www.notebookcheck.net/ATI-Mobility-Radeon-HD-2600.3771.0.html
    Intel HD 3000
    http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-HD-Graphics-3000.37948.0.html

    Watcha mean 1.5TB HDD???? 2x 2.5" 750GB HDD would work. But you cant get a single 1.5TB HDD, at least not in the sub 3.5" HDD section
     
  8. dakhein macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    Location:
    NorCal, USA
    #8

    The 6630 in the Mini is sufficient to play WoW but is by no means a gaming card. At 1920x1200 resolution I have to dumb it down to get smooth fps. I would not have confidence in its ability to play future games very well.
     
  9. warvanov macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2011
    #9
    Are you planning to install two 750GB 2.5" drives? Because as far as I know there are no 1.5TB laptop drives out yet.
     
  10. cphbite macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2011
    #10
    Hi there,

    I bought the Mac Mini Server two months ago - and it has been a crash course in being a server-admin. When I bought it I thought that it would pretty much be only point and click when setting up the new Lion-server... was I wrong, yes:eek:

    Anyway, I have been reading this thread and I would like to use my mini server for a bit of gaming (we use as a server and as a desktop mac with three ordinary user accounts on it). Will I be able to play fx COD on it or the new Battlefield etc etc when using the Mac as an desktop Mac?

    I'm asking as I have noticed that the mini-server only has the Intel graphics card but on the other hand it has the i7 processor with 6mb of ram. Any inputs?

    cphbite
    --------
    2011 2.0ghz i7 Mac Mini (Lion-server)
     
  11. The-Pro, Nov 22, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011

    The-Pro macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    Location:
    Germany
    #11
    Yeh you should have no problems playing some COD on it. Not high settings but in the medium range (COD 4). COD MW3 is really undemanding you should be able to play that on low settings at like a 720p resolution.
    Battlefield 3 you can forget, unless on like 800x600 res and low settings. Maybe someone on these forums have tried battlefield 3 on Intel 3000.
    Games rely on the GPU for the most part. and they are not yet written to run on more than like 2-3 cores (as far as I know) so having a quad core doesn't benefit you to the amount that it like makes up for the lack of GPU performance when gaming.
     
  12. Confuzzzed macrumors 68000

    Confuzzzed

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2011
    Location:
    Liverpool, UK
    #12
    Ok, you are scaring me now! I am buying one currently and was told by others that the Lion server did away with most of the complexity of server admin that was required with Snow Leopard server. The only reason I am buying this particular machine is to get my hands on the quad core i7 with the extra 1T hard drive capacity and don't care much about gaming and discrete GPUs. But I hadn't factored in learning (unwanted not would I have time to truly comprehend) new tricks.

    Do others share the experience of @cphbite?
     
  13. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #13
    Lion server has been simplified and it's pretty easy, in my opinion, but it all depends on your relative starting point.

    What exactly are you hoping to do with the admin tools? You know you can just leave it alone and use the mini "server" as a normal mini (that happens to have a nice quad core CPU)?
     
  14. Confuzzzed macrumors 68000

    Confuzzzed

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2011
    Location:
    Liverpool, UK
    #14
    That's the point! I don't want anything to do with admin tools! Just want to keep them somewhere as unobtrusive as possible and use the machine as a normal mini. With 4 iOS devices and numerous users in our house, the photo stream is starting to push the hard drives of our MBP and MBA to the limit so using it as a 'home' server kind of thing. With the occasional use to do some video and photo editing which would, I hope, benefit from the quad core processor.
     
  15. cphbite macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2011
    #15
    I better have to explain myself in regards to my computer-experience and why I have felt like it was a crash course when I bought the Mac Mini Lion Server.

    I used Mac 12 years ago but the last many years has been pc/windows. I consider myself okay in regards to fixing things myself and have built (put together the components) my last three pc's myself. This summer I decided to change over to Mac again. Mostly due to the iCloud coming, easy integration of everything into each other, the Lion Server aka having a family server, and the fact that a MacBook Air on a living table looks better than a notebook from fx HP (I know thats my subjective opinion).

    I have no server experience what so ever. I had no clue that there was things like port forwarding, vpn-connections etc etc. I thought there would be a manual when I got my Lion-server (nope, there was nothing). Luckily I called Apple Support and they transferred my to Apple Enterprise - Here I made contact with a supporter that over more than 10 hours of phone conversations (over 5 days) helped me set up my server, airport extreme, network, vpn, calendars, contacts, email-server etc etc.

    Could I have done it myself - no (unless I was out of work and had no kids, family etc). Here is an example - take the ip-adresse or your server hostname on the net (fx family-server.com) which needs to be written several different places in both this version 'www.family-server.com' and in this 'www.family-server.family-server.com'... as there was no manual with the server I had no way of figuring this out myself... a simple thing but still tricky. Then if something is not working I find it very 'PC-difficult' to figurer out what is bad and what to do. Anyway, this might give you an idea of my level of server experience.

    As I said before, I'm very pleased with Apple's Enterprise support for Lion Servers all through I have found out that a good experience here has a lot to do with the person that picks up the phone. As I said I found the right person and emailed him when I need help, he then scheduled a call and called me. Twice I tried calling and got two persons which had me delete all my settings and caused the good supporter to express some surprising words when he heard what had been deleted.

    My experience with the Lion Server is that it is still far away from the point where ordinary people can set it up and use it as with an ordinary iMac or MacBook... far far away!

    best, cphbite
     
  16. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #16
    Yes, you don't ever have to look at admin tools or even remember that they exist so you're ok there.

    Using it as a "local storage server" does not require you to do any admin type stuff, unless you want to get fancy. Keep it simple.
     
  17. Confuzzzed macrumors 68000

    Confuzzzed

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2011
    Location:
    Liverpool, UK
    #17
    ok, I don't need to do any of these things (although I have 'some' experience with VPN and could - in theory - get on top of it if needed (although I don't want to)

    ok, I am back to being slightly apprehensive again. Do I *need* to input all these things during set-up if I don't intend on hosting anything at any time or anywhere? Just want to use it as a normal Mac (and I have been using them non-stop since 1996 so feel fairly comfortable around the operating systems although I do not consider myself as hugely tech savvy and ZERO server admin experience).

    ----------

    Are you some kind of IT whiz kid which makes what's normal to you, in fact very difficult for the average user (although as I said above, I am not afraid of getting my hands dirty and know my way around the mac OS reasonably well BUT I am not a techie guy really)?
     
  18. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #18
    :)

    I am not a kid unfortunately - I am 32 years old, but I have a Computer Science degree and have been coding since I was 10. So I suppose what is normal to me may not be normal to others.
     
  19. cphbite macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2011
    #19
    Confuzzzed - you don't have to input all those things I mentioned if you don't want to use the mini server as a server and/or access it from outside your local network (home wiifii).
     
  20. Confuzzzed, Nov 23, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011

    Confuzzzed macrumors 68000

    Confuzzzed

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2011
    Location:
    Liverpool, UK
    #20
    [/COLOR]
    Have to say, just completed the setting up and can concur that it's relatively easy although there's a couple of tricky steps which I managed to overcome using some of the excellent advice offered above by other users as well as that especially of @cphbite. Thank you. The main tricky bit for those trying to set this up having had previous experience of macs and 'Setup' assistant. Well that isnt really available until the machine has been set up first. The other tricky part was trying to set up with BT keyboard. Had 3 children in the room so couldn't 'persevere' in the end had to raid the cupboards for an old USB keyboard to set up. Once set up, can pair BT keyboard and trackpad in Prefs. 6/10 for difficulty. In retrospect probably should have bought the i7 dual core mac mini. Or waited until the refresh and go max retail version
     
  21. Confuzzzed macrumors 68000

    Confuzzzed

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2011
    Location:
    Liverpool, UK
    #21
    If you inadvertently activate Lion Server and want to get rid of it, here's what you have to do...http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4827?viewlocale=en_US
     
  22. Confuzzzed macrumors 68000

    Confuzzzed

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2011
    Location:
    Liverpool, UK
    #22
    I thought I’d share my experience of setting up a Mac Mini Server which I have no intention of using as a server.

    In the main, setting up is relatively easy BUT there's a couple of tricky steps which I managed to overcome using some of the excellent advice offered on these boards by other users as well as that especially of @cphbite (with thanks).

    The first tricky step for those with wireless keyboards and touchpads/mouse, there is no simple way to get the machine to pair up before set up. Catch 22 situation although some people have found unpairing the keyboards (if they had previously been paired with iPads) and several re-boots eventually worked. In the real world (with kids and other calls on your time), I borrowed a USB keyboard and mouse and completed the set up with those.

    Another stumbling block for those familiar with good old 'Setup' assistant if you have it before setting up other non-server Macs. Well this doesn’t work on Lion Server, because it searches for other ‘servers’ that you may want migrating first. So you have to set up the machine first (and the option given to you is setting up a new ‘Server’). Don’t let that bother you. Click continue and you can migrate your user data after you set up.

    So the final and main tricky bit. You are asked to name the Server (easy, just the name you want to give to your machine in any configuration of letters and/or numerals) and also give a Server host name (well, you do need to know what you are doing here and Apple Care will not immediately give you the right answer on this step because they don’t know themselves. And you probably have to be put through a couple of people until you reach enterprise team). In fact, I was told by the retail team Apple care representative that I probably should have taken the Mac Mini retail instead of server. A momentary weakness there made me think that perhaps I had bitten more than I can chew! But then I remembered another member’s advice setting up and I tried out inputting his suggested root of for example (home-vault.com). It may well be that you have to use www.home-vault.home-vault.com at another place but I didn’t have to use that.

    Finally once you are set up you can then pair your wireless keyboard and trackpad in System Preferences (press the Apple sign on the top left).

    There was another place where IP address needed to be inputted, I didn’t have to deal with that because the machine populated those inputs. There was a place where I had to push through and get to where you set up connections (so that I could join my wireless network) and then push back in the process to get me to other inputs.

    So overall, I would say it’s certainly not straightforward if you don’t like ‘trial and error’ and winging it a bit during set up. I would say 6/10 for difficulty. In retrospect probably should have bought the 2.7GHz dual core i7 Mac mini. But to get that and boost the Hard drive to 7200rpm, the price would have been more expensive than what I bought and still would be 250GB short of the server version. Or waited until the Ivy bridge processor refresh and buy the max retail version.
     

Share This Page