Should I keep my Mini?

MickeyVee

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 28, 2009
81
24
Canada
I'm in a bit of a conundrum.. I purchased a Mini yesterday: 2.53 Core Duo2, 4GB Ram, 320GB HD.

After spending most of the evening migrating my files over from my 2006 Black MacBook (2.0GHz, 2GB Ram, 320 HD), I noticed that the MacBook booted up faster than the Mini, significantly (no measurements). I believe that they're both 5400 rpm drives.

So I ran xBench for giggles and the MackBook scored 123 and the Mini 96.
I haven't really run any applications hard yet but did start up Lightroom & Photoshop Elements 8, Bridge CS4 to peruse some pictures to ensure everything was OK.

They were Ok but I really thought that the Mini would significantly outperform the MacBook.. maybe a little snappier within the app but not a huge difference. I'm really surprised.

What I like about the Mini is that it is pretty much dead silent. When the MacBook fans kicks in, it's pretty noisy. I pretty much used the MacBook fully as a desktop with a Samsung monitor, Apple wireless keyboard and the new magic mouse. I have an MBA for a portable machine.

So, in the end, is it work keeping the Mini? i already have a potential buyer for the BlackBook.
 

No ice please

macrumors 6502
Nov 21, 2009
388
0
I'd do A clean install of SL on the mini and see if its any better. If not take it to an apple store and see if it can be replaced.
 
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fa8362

macrumors 65816
Jul 7, 2008
1,343
58
That shouldn't have happened. You should look at understanding why and trying to correct it. As the previous poster states, investigate a clean install.
 
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Serif

macrumors regular
Jul 10, 2008
139
17
UK
Shouldn't a new Mac Mini arrive with a clean install of Snow Leopard? I'd have thought the most you would need to do is a software update to apply any recent fixes.

Also, I'm confused about the difference in performance. The Mini has a faster processor from a newer processor family with improved performance. The memory is faster and there's more of it. Something odd is going on here.

I have a white 2GHz Macbook with 2GB of memory which is probably on a par with the original poster's Macbook. I also have one of the new Mac Mini Servers clocked at the same speed as the OP's new Mini. My new Mini server noticeably outperforms the Macbook in any comparison I've made. Boot time is largely dependent on disk performance. The 500GB seems at least a match for the disk in my Macbook. Are you sure you're measuring actual boot times, like for like? Even if boot time were slower it shouldn't matter that much since these are desk top machines that draw very little power in standby mode and which tend to be left on all the time.
 
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synth3tik

macrumors 68040
Oct 11, 2006
3,955
2
Minneapolis, MN
Shouldn't a new Mac Mini arrive with a clean install of Snow Leopard? I'd have thought the most you would need to do is a software update to apply any recent fixes.
The machine does come with a "clean" install, however it has everything installed. Chances are people don't need everything. Mainly printer drives and languages. Doing a clean install will ensure you know exactly what's running on the machine. I always do a clean install on new machines.

Also to the OP, I have a feeling that spotlight was indexing which is why you noticed it was slower and your test score was low. Indexing can take a good amount of time. Once the indexing is done, your computer should run like a champ.
 
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Undo Redo

macrumors 6502
Jan 22, 2009
277
0
Colorado, USA
...I noticed that the MacBook booted up faster than the Mini, significantly (no measurements). I believe that they're both 5400 rpm drives.

So I ran xBench for giggles and the MackBook scored 123 and the Mini 96.
I haven't really run any applications hard yet but did start up Lightroom & Photoshop Elements 8, Bridge CS4 to peruse some pictures to ensure everything was OK.

They were Ok but I really thought that the Mini would significantly outperform the MacBook.. maybe a little snappier within the app but not a huge difference. I'm really surprised.
You say you think they're both 5400 rpm drives? If the MacBook drive is the original, they probably both are. Hard drive speed is going to be the big factor in boot time.

Run Disk Utility to get the model number of both drives and Google them. Perhaps the MacBook just has a better drive than the mini so it seems faster. 5400 rpm drives are not all created equal.

Some video rendering, i.e. compressing a recorded TV show, or converting a bunch of AAC music files to MP3 would demonstrate the difference in processor speed, which should be 25% or so. Really only enough to notice if you time it.
 
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MickeyVee

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 28, 2009
81
24
Canada
Thanks all. Yes, it definitely is the hard drive.

Did a clean install on both machines and reran Xbench. Numbers are a lot closer now..
Overall: new Mini: 118.72 with disk at 38.54 & BlackBook: 125.82 with disk at 52.00
I replaced the original BlackBook disk with a 320GB Fujitsu, the mini has a 320GB Hitachi

The mini is definitely slower on boot and starting applications but when an app is up and running, it is clearly snappier.

So, keeping the Mini, selling the BlackBook. I'll probably upgrade the hard drive in the new year.
 
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darrellishere

macrumors 6502
Jul 13, 2007
337
0
Im not being funny but you should think about upgrading to an SSD. They are very cheap now and you can use the other drive for storage.
The performance differences that you are concerned about become irrelevant with an ssd. Start up and shut downs are in seconds. Shut downs in 3 secs.
Applications are instant no performance drags across the system. Worth the money especially on the Mini which can seem very slow with a normal hard drive.
 
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Undo Redo

macrumors 6502
Jan 22, 2009
277
0
Colorado, USA
Im not being funny but you should think about upgrading to an SSD. They are very cheap now...
Not being sure what you mean by very cheap, I'd have to disagree. IMO, a reasonably priced SSD is only going to be about 64 GB. Depending on the kind of things you do, many of your files will still be on an external drive. Even using Firewire 800, the external drive will slow down your activities when compared to a fast 7200 rpm internal SATA drive.

If all of your files will fit on a reasonably priced SSD, then by all means, go for it! It will be lots faster.

I've never considered boot time or application launch time to be very important. If you use an application for 10 or 15 minutes, who cares if it takes 10 seconds to launch? Most people sleep their computers rather than shutting down. But for those who do shut down, what's a minute or so to start it up? About the time it takes to pour a cup of coffee?
 
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ljonesj

macrumors 6502a
Oct 20, 2009
944
63
Kingsport TN
My thoughts exactly my friend. On newegg they have 128 gig ssd for between 340-550 dollars were as you can get right now at best buy a 500 gig hd for 109 and its a 7200 rpm so what do you think is more economical advisible.
 
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Demosthenes X

macrumors 68000
Oct 21, 2008
1,954
4
I'm very surprised your Mini performs poorly vs. the BlackBook. I've got the same BlackBook as you, and I recently bought a 2.26GHz MBP, and it's night and day going from one to the other. The new computer was lightning fast in comparison when I took it out of the box (it seems to have slowed down a bit since I migrated all my files, but it's still faster than the BlackBook).
 
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MickeyVee

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 28, 2009
81
24
Canada
I really neeed the space on the Mini so I'll do a 500GB 7200 RPM drive. Mostly Photography/Lightroom & music streaming. I have an external 1TB Lacie.
On my MacBook Air rev A, I'll do a Runcore 128GB SSD.
 
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