Upgrading from Mac Book Pro (Intel Core Duo) to Mac Mini 2011

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by kildjean, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. kildjean macrumors regular

    kildjean

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    Apr 16, 2005
    Location:
    Useless, TX
    #1
    Hi;

    My old but trusty Mac Book Pro (1st Generation using Intel CPU Intel Core Duo) is slowly dying. Its really slow and I can only use it for email and mobile connections but working on it in any capacity its just very slow. So I have decided to upgrade to a new Mac Mini 2011.

    I would like to know everyone's opinion on the performance of this machine on two of its flavors towards what I plan doing with it and if I should wait to April 29 for any new Ivy Bridge announcements on it or not.

    I plan to use my Mac Mini exclusively to do Web Development (Coda, Expresso, etc), Adobe Photoshop and some iLife/iWork features like iPhoto, Keynote and Pages. I'll have probably like 30gb in music and thats about it. I am not going to use it to play games (I have a gaming rig already). I might do some iMovie editing for the seasonal family trip and I will be using XCode as well.

    Should I go for the 2.5Ghz with the Radeon Video Card or should I stick with the 2.3Ghz IG 3000. To either version I am going to add 8GB of DDR3 Ram.

    Or should I wait to April 29 and see if the MacMini will get bumped to Ivy Bridge?

    Amazon has the Mac Mini 2.3 + 8GB Corsair Ram for $608 and the 2.5 for $806. But I am on the fence as to which one to buy. Any output would be phenomenal.

    Thanks!

    Gilbert
     
  2. basesloaded190 macrumors 68030

    basesloaded190

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    #2
    I think if you either wait or buy now you should buy one with a dedicated gpu for what you are using it for.
     
  3. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #3
    Agreed with above poster. The 2011 Minis will be a worlds-over speed improvement over what you currently have. HERE is another retailer to consider..tax-free for most states like Amazon. Plus you get 50% off AppleCare if you buy it with the machine, plus a free software product like Parallels.
     
  4. Panther Al macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2011
    #4
    I made the exact same switch 2 weeks ago from the same Mac Book to the i7 Dual Core mini, and its worth it. Personally, cosidering how long I ran with the MacBook before replacing it, and thinking you are doing more or less the same (Run it till it drops), spending an extra couple of hundred on the better pocessor and the dedicated graphics allows you to eek out another year before its becomes just to darn old.
     
  5. ipsychedelic macrumors 6502a

    ipsychedelic

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    #5
    It depends on whether you, like me, are dying to grab a new mac and basically can only surf the web (I'm using the crappiest Atom-based netbook you can think of, as I sold my high end PC couple months ago), and need it NOW :eek:
    Otherwise, I'd wait.

    But maybe not April, but late June/July, as, IIRC, April will see new quad core mobile CPUs, so those will be used for the server Mini likely (I'm just making this up), as they are quite expensive to be consider for the "desktop" Minis, I think.
    But then in mid-year we'll see the dual core successors to be likely used on the "Desktop" Minis.

    Ivy Bridge, IIRC and generally speaking, shows an improvement of around 15%... so for me that's now a deal killer to make me wait so much.
    What would be a deal killer is the succesor to the Core iX, and if it is a big of a jump as it was with Core 2 Duo... then count me in, but then it will be a couple of years (or maybe 1.5) before that next Tik, or Tok (whatever). :D

    So I'm considering buying this Mini and then upgrading it probably when the "Ivy Bridge" equivalent of the Core iX successor-architecture surfaces.

    As for HD4000 vs HD3000, unless you're going that route (in-the-die graphics solution vs the current discrete 6630M for instance), then I'd totally wait, as HD4000 shows to outperform HD3000 quite well, but won't be on par of the 6630M. Now, talking gibberish form this point on in the reply, makes you wonder what kind of amazing future it will be for CPU-integrated graphics, think 2 or 3 years from now on.

    Take all of this, with a graint of salt, though (except for the never use an Atom based computer as your main computer!!!!) ;)
     
  6. Angelo95210 macrumors 6502a

    Angelo95210

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    Paris, France
    #6
    I think you should reinstall your MBP. I have the same one and with 2GB and a SSD it's working very well as my main daily machine. I do much more than email: web development, photoshop, indesign, ms office and always at least 5 tabs in chrome...
     
  7. fa8362 macrumors 65816

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    Jul 7, 2008
    #7
    Get the cheapest one. You're not doing anything that needs a separate GPU.
     
  8. Fishrrman macrumors G4

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #8
    Another reason for holding out -- since Ivy Bridge has on-board support for USB3, we should see USB3 as standard in the upcoming Macs (iMac, Mini, laptops).

    USB3 has the potential to eclipse both firewire 800 -and- thunderbolt (not because T-bolt isn't faster, but because it's so expensive and there's a lack of products for it).

    In my opinion, USB3 will become more important than any speed increases that Ivy Bridge may otherwise offer....
     
  9. ipsychedelic macrumors 6502a

    ipsychedelic

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    #9
    But are we sure USB 3 will be supported by Apple, if ever?
    Seems like they are pushing the thunderbolt bandwagon.
     
  10. jchase2057 macrumors regular

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    Dec 6, 2010
    Location:
    Detroit
    #10
    Thunderbolt will be like firewire, superior to USB in every way, but will never become mainstream enough to eclipse USB. USB will always be the go to I/O. The backwards compatibility alone is a greater selling point than the increased speeds of tb (to most users). Most computer owners dont even know the difference between 1.1 and 2.0. They just stick their devices in and go. They wont notice when 3.0 takes over either. It'll just happen.
     
  11. kildjean thread starter macrumors regular

    kildjean

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
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    Useless, TX
    #11
    My line of Succession went like this: Mac Mini Power PC ---> Power Mac G5 Dual 2.0ghz ---> Mac Book Pro Intel (Gen1)

    I have always learned how to juice out my hardware to take out the maximum out of them. The only reason that I am upgrading this laptop to something newer is because I am tired of apps that I have not running on SL because the CPU is not 64bit. As a developer I have to keep moving forward, not only because of the web, but because I like being able to run anything I have the curiosity to work on, for example, not being able to even test Photoshop CS6... because my CPU was not 64bit, was a pain.

    Granted for other things, while I still want to get an iPad, my macbook pro still works as a mobile device and that is how I want to keep her. But for my "work" computer I need a newer one. I wish I had the kind of dough to get a Mac Pro, because that would solve all my problems. But for now I need to pick a Mini.

    ----------

    I can see myself waiting till the end of April if there was such an upgrade, but July is pushing it and for a 15% increase its not really worth it.

    This is the part that has me confused. For Web Development and/or Xcode, you dont need a hardware accelerated graphic. I am not going to work on extreme video sans the family trip on iMovie. I am not going to -play any games on it (I have a 16gb Windows 7 64bit with two Nvidia 580 in SLI gaming rig that spits out anything you throw at it)

    There are two things I am going to do to that Mini when it gets to my hands: #1, I am swapping the ram from 2gb(or 4gb) to 8gb of ram. #2 I am adding another hdd (either 1 SSD / 1 500gb 7200rpm HDD or just the 500GB HDD) I still dont know why apple ships them with that 5400rpm HDD. But see Im going to put those two pieces, so I wonder if its even worth it to buy the more expensive model, when all im paying for the extras is just the video card.

    But is it really necesary or not... to get the upgraded video just for working on web development, xcode and the occasional imovie movie editing... I think I am going to use photoshop far a lot more than I will ever use iMovie.

    ----------

    Its not so much a hardware problem than a software one my reasons to upgrade is to be able to keep up with some software I have that has been upgraded to 64bit counterparts that my laptop wont run.

    ----------

    The day that apple puts in USB3 on macs is the day that we will see steve walk on water...
     
  12. kildjean thread starter macrumors regular

    kildjean

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    #12
    After much thought and taking into consideration the type of work I will be doing on the Mac Mini, I ordered from Amazon the 2.3Ghz 2Gb i5.

    The amount of extra money the "Radeon" Mini has is not really worth it because I am going to change the ram to 8gb and add a 2nd hard drive to it or substitute the one it has for a faster one.

    The $200 difference is not worth the investment, because the speec increase in the cpu difference is negligible. With 8GB of Ram that computer will fly low, specially if its booting on a SSD and has a 2nd 500 7200RPM HDD.

    Now when the computer arrives does it bring Lion in an "External Source" or I will have to aquire a copy of Lion from one of the Torrent Engines? Since I own the product I am not really going to break any copyright law, but I need a way to make a hard copy so I can install it on the new drive.

    What do you guys recommend on that case?

    Thanks everyone for their input on the hardware choices.

    K.
     
  13. aarond12 macrumors 65816

    aarond12

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    Dallas, TX USA
    #13
    You and I are brothers. I have an Intel 160GB SSD and the full 2GB of RAM in my beast and it works VERY well. Although, at this moment, I only have 4 tabs open in Chrome.

    Yes, it's true it won't run 64-bit software (or Mac OS X Lion), but it's far from being ready for the trash heap.

    To OP: Definitely get the discrete video card, especially with Photoshop. It can use OpenCL for filter acceleration which the built-in video just can't do (or do as well).
     
  14. kildjean thread starter macrumors regular

    kildjean

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    #14
    [​IMG]

    I have a 500GB 7200 RPM Seagate and it flies. I have always loved this laptop because of the way it was built. I actually had an accident with it once. The zipper on my laptop backpack opened and it fell into the ground and hit the concrete curb of the street on the back edge. Everybody cringed in horror... but I picked it up and aside from the nasty dent (which I later took a soldering flame and fixed, it looks almost brand new) it was working great.

    I have been debating if I should put the SSD drive on the Mac Book and just use the 2 500GB Hard Drives on the Mini. The 7200RPM to boot and the other one to keep music in it... But havent decided yet. The original plan was to boot from the SSD and put the 7200 RPM to store work.

    It does have a nasty problem with the internal Fans. I know they ball bearing is dead because I actually took it apart two weeks ago to clean them and they are already sounding bad again... But other than that, Its going to be my new iPad... =) until I can afford an iPad... :p

    Oh I would never throw it away. At the most it will keep company to my PPC G5 in the Closet... Jajaja. I don't want to retire the laptop. I want to keep it as my bedside computer or use it for client presentations. But as far using it to code its kind of sluggish for me.

    I thought of that, but I still got the cheaper option. I had the opportunity to go to a friend's house that has the 2.3Ghz and he uses it for photoshop and with 8GB of Ram that computer screams.
     
  15. Angelo95210 macrumors 6502a

    Angelo95210

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    Paris, France
    #15
    Yep brothers haha. The good thing with this laptop being 32 bits is that it uses less memory. 2GB are enough for me most of the time whereas on my 64 bits imac I need 3GB for the same usage.

    I really encourage you to install a cheap SSD. It is a real pleasure to use and it makes this computer even more robust to shocks etc.
     
  16. surroundfan macrumors 6502

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    Melbourne, Australia
    #16
    Shouldn't the RAM be the 667MHz variety? Is it paired? If not, there's scope for a small performance boost there too...
     
  17. kildjean thread starter macrumors regular

    kildjean

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    #17
    The Ram I ordered is:

    Crucial 8GB Kit (4GBx2), 204-pin SODIMM, DDR3 PC3-10600 Memory Module (CT2CP51264BC1339)

    ----------

    What I did was I put my 128GB SSD into the Mac Book Pro and did a clean install of OSX Snow Leopard.

    I am then going to use the 500GB HDD 7200RPM on the Mac Mini.

    Now, another question I got is, since Lion doesnt ship on a Media anymore, how can I install the OS on the new drive? Do I need to download a torrent for it or does it come with a 1-time burning file... how does it work?
     
  18. Angelo95210 macrumors 6502a

    Angelo95210

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    #18
    Sorry I don't have Lion, but I know this question has been asked on these forums less than a week ago. Have a look at this thread.
     
  19. surroundfan macrumors 6502

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  20. kildjean thread starter macrumors regular

    kildjean

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    #20
    on the MBP I have regular 1gbx2 ddr2 or ddr dimms
     
  21. surroundfan macrumors 6502

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    #21
    But they both should be 667MHz, not 533MHz. If one is 533MHz, the MBP may not be operating at full speed on that score...
     
  22. kildjean thread starter macrumors regular

    kildjean

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    #22
    The ram is 667Mhz on both of them.
     
  23. surroundfan macrumors 6502

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    #23
    Yet 'About this Mac' is reporting 533MHz in the image above... curious...
     
  24. kildjean thread starter macrumors regular

    kildjean

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    #24
    Ok you made me look :p

    Yep one of the sticks is 533Mhz. Well I will need to find another... as the memory will run at the lowest speed ram. Still that is not going to be a HUGE drop of performance.
     
  25. Aries326 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    #25
    I just made the jump myself from a MBP late 2009 to a MacMini Server. It's on the way now. I hate having my laptop double as the desktop computer, media server, etc... I've got all these cables hanging out of it to connect it to 2 RAID drives, external monitor, etc... My hackintosh just died so it was time to look for a desktop/server replacement and use my MBP solely for mobile use.

    If I were you, just upgrade the HD to a SSD and add some more ram if possible. That's what I did with mine and it still runs fine.
     

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