what's your take on this??

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by sbotha, Dec 24, 2011.

  1. sbotha macrumors newbie

    Dec 24, 2011
    I want to buy a mac mini but my biggest obstacle is money (like most people :D) I want to use it as part home theater system and part gaming (world of warcraft and such) so what do you think about the mac mini 2.5Ghz, 4GB ram and AMD Radeon HD 6630M graphics card? would this be a good choice?
    *note im not a diehard gamer but hate struggling with lag and limited gaming/entertainment abilities
    >>and just to know what components are upgradeable in the new 2011 mac mini? for instance can i upgrade my hard drive or will it have to stay the same as the time goes on?
  2. MadDragon1846 macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2011
    I read people saying they can run WoW on high settings no problem, but when I play WoW on my mini (2.7GHz i7 with 6630M) I get rubbish fps. Usually around 20/25fps...

    I dunno what makes it work fine for some people and not for me. Maybe they have a ssd, maybe my 5400rpm hdd affects fps from textures loading slower? I dunno lol. :p

    All I know is it isn't enjoyable playing WoW how it runs... Its strange because when I click on recommended settings, it sets most of the graphics to high. I have tried turning them all down to medium and the fps went up to 60, but as soon as I moved, it went back to like 25fps, and then stayed there even when not moving. :(

    As for upgrading, the ram is very easy to upgrade. The hdd can be upgraded too, but is a bit harder to do. (I am always changing hard drives on PCs, but I haven't summoned up the courage to change my mini's hdd yet. :p)
  3. lilsoccakid74, Dec 24, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2011

    lilsoccakid74 macrumors 6502

    Apr 13, 2010
    I believe the mix in reviews for gaming with the 2.5 mini come from the use of different display resolutions, which plays a huge role on graphics card load. After toying around with my 2.5 mini amd 6630 with 8gb ram, I can play in 1920x1080 with around medium settings. If your monitor is anything lower than 1920x1080, settings on high or above should not be a problem.

    (My definition of playable is 30-35 fps min with no lag in almost any situation, have been using it for wow since the mini came out)
  4. MadDragon1846 macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2011
    Yeah, good point. I was thinking about how much of an affect the screen res would have after my last post. I recently got a 1920x1080 res monitor, upgrade from a 1680x1050. I'm updating WoW atm, after it's finished, I'll turn my res to 1680x1050 and see how much it improves it. (my account ran out btw, so I'll only be in the noob area on my free account, so I can't report about doing raids lol)

    I'll report back after. I have slow internet though, so probably will be some time tomorrow, before it's patched lol. :rolleyes:

    btw, I class a solid 30 fps as playable. Any lower and you can see it's laggy. :p

    Oh yeah, and pretty off-topic, but anyone know of any good free software to monitor fps while gaming? I know you can see the fps in WoW, but I'm interested in fps in other games too. :cool:

    ps. I don't have windows installed.
  5. sbotha thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 24, 2011
    thanks guys i appreciate the response...@maddragon1846 i don't know if i'm allowed to say this but why don't you look into a private server for wow, its free and you get pretty decent uptime and most of the time lag free (except days where they do maintenance haha)
    P.s just to be clear is every part of the mac mini upgradeable? I know some will be more difficult then others but is it manually do able :) because this will influence if i buy it and what model i'm going to buy
  6. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    You can only upgrade the hard drives and memory.
  7. MadDragon1846 macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2011
    Lol, WoW private servers are a bit of a dodgey subject. I think if you own, or play on a public-private server, then thats illegal. If you own a private server, that just you (not have it open for other random people to join)use for "research" like to see how games are created, or something like that, then it's "ok-ish"...

    I think I'll keep out of talking any more about private servers. I don't want to get moaned at lol. :p

    I can only get to level 20, but I'm a bit bored of WoW now anyway (I leveled up tons of characters on my paid for account, and must of done all the quests like 4 times), so I havent even managed to get to 20 yet on the trial. Too boring! (I'm waiting for Diablo 3!) :D

    As for upgrading the mini, it's as I mentioned a few posts up there ^

    Only the ram and hdd can be upgraded. The ram being really easy to upgrade (probably easier than upgrading a PC's RAM, beings you don't even need a screwdriver to get into the mini), and the hdd looks a bit harder than upgrading a PC's hdd, still looks pretty simple. (I havent tried upgrading the hdd yet, just seen some vids).

    If you plan on keeping the mini for a good while (which I guess you are, beings you are talking about upgrades). I'd get the best you can afford. I personally wanted the 6630M for games, so the server was out of the question, so I chose the 2.7GHz upgrade too. :D

    8GB of RAM is only around £29 atm. And apparently sticking in a ssd helps a ton when loading all the textures in places like Dalaran. ;)

    Btw, the 2.7GHz runs rather hot! :eek:
  8. MadDragon1846 macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2011
    Right, sorry I'm a bit late posting back!. The dam patch still has about 1/2 a gig to go, but I decided I'd test wow out anyway. :p

    I turned down the screen res to 1600x900, and the fps increased to reasonable playing conditions. The fps was around 40-45 fps most of the time while running about south of Orgrimmar. (lowest was about 38, and highest was around 60).

    I decided to test it with the recommended settings (apart from I set the screen res to 1600x900, instead of 1920x1080), which you can see below VVV


    Even though the fps was higher, there was just a strange feeling that the fps was a bit low. It didn't seem as smooth as when I play wow on my PC. This of corse might be fixed by turning 1 or 2 settings down, or maybe it was because I haven't downloaded all of the wow patch yet. (as you can see on the screenshot, I'm only on 95%).

    Of corse, the fps might just be lying to me lol. it is saying I have 0ms latency, and 0 bandwidth... :rolleyes:

    *wishes fraps was also for lion*

    My cpu temp was around 80C while running about the area shown in the screenshot. I wasn't even fighting anything lol.

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