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Mac Mini Core Solo or Duo?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Which Mac Mini 1 GB RAM would be a better choice? Core Solo 1.5 or Core Duo 1.66?

The Mac Mini would be used for:
- Converting LPs to CD.
- Office 2004 especially Word (large documents with illustrations and formulas)
- Surfing the internet
- Making a website with Freeway Pro
- AppleWorks, Pages, Keynote, Graphic Converter, MathType
(no need of Photoshop and no games)

and would replace an older G3 beige with G4 ZIF500

I know OS9 classic doesn't work, but perhaps there exist a OS 7 emulator?

TIA for any advice

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post #2 of 20
I read that the Duo was much better at playing HD video. After all, for apps that take advantage of both cores, it should be about double the speed.

If you're only doing less intensive processing, the Solo might be ok but emulation is a very intense process as well as using Word.

There are very few classic emulators around. I'm not sure why because they emulated OS X with PearPC so they must have got PPC emulation working. Anyway, 68k machines are the only classic emulators around. You can try Basilisk ( http://basilisk.cebix.net/ ). It doesn't have a native OS X Intel port but it has a unix X86 build so it might be possible to compile that for OS Xi.

What you could try is run Windows or Linux under parallels virtualization and run basilisk under that. I don't know how well or even if it would run though. You might want to hang off on the Mini purchase if you want emulation though. I think there is a problem with the Mini in that they turned off some hardware emulation by accident. This isn't the case with the imac and macbook pro.
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
So there would be a speed improvement in Word with the duo.
Thanks for all the info.

Hopefully I will still notice a speed difference compared to my old G4 500

G5 Dual 2.3 Ghz  > MacBook CD 2.2 GHz > MacPro Hex Westmere 3.33 Ghz SSD ATI 5870 16 GB RAM

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G5 Dual 2.3 Ghz  > MacBook CD 2.2 GHz > MacPro Hex Westmere 3.33 Ghz SSD ATI 5870 16 GB RAM

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post #4 of 20
you can emulate up to OS 9.0.4 with sheepshaver...there is an intel alpha build around somewhere...
post #5 of 20
If you can afford the extra $200, the Core Duo is of course the better machine. However I have a Core Solo mini and its great, a very fast machine.

BTW - Parallels works fine on it. The issue that is referred to by the previous poster affects both Core Solos and Duos, and is sporadic. However even if the VT-x support is turned off Parallels still works, just a little slower.

My machine Core Solo is running Ubuntu Linux and Windows XP no problem, with hardware virtualization enabled.

BTW - for emulating System 7 you should try "SheepShaver":

http://sheepshaver.cebix.net/

I think there may be an Intel version knocking around somewhere as well.
post #6 of 20
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally posted by dr_lha
[B]I have a Core Solo mini and its great, a very fast machine.

Yeah, for most things, the Solo will still be a big improvement over a 500MHz G4. Here's a benchmark between the Solo and Duo:

http://www.123macmini.com/news/story/455.html

There seems to be big improvements when using multi-threaded apps in the Duo (sometimes more than double surprisingly).
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
I guess Rosetta and Offce together are multi-processor aware?
Will they benefit from the Duo Core?

G5 Dual 2.3 Ghz  > MacBook CD 2.2 GHz > MacPro Hex Westmere 3.33 Ghz SSD ATI 5870 16 GB RAM

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post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally posted by Mac Hammer Fan
I guess Rosetta and Offce together are multi-processor aware?
Will they benefit from the Duo Core?

In theory, Rosetta can leverage one core to perform code translation and use the other core to execute translated code. In this way, you should see better performance on the Core Duo for non-native non-threaded apps like Office.

I'd also expect that Leopard, the next version of Mac OS X, will leverage multi-processing to the hilt now that most shipping Macs are dual processor machines.

If you want to save money get the solo, but if you get the Duo I doubt you'll be disappointed. For me, the decision to get a Core Duo is a no-brainer.
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post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
I have seen such a PowerMac Mini (Dual Core) working now and the speed of universal applications is impressive.
Cine Bench runs even faster than on my PowerMac G5 Dual 1.8, which I bought in october 2004 for more than 2000 dollars....
Speed Office 2004 was acceptable, but especially scrolling was not so fast, although faster than on my old G3 beige with G4 ZIF. I will buy a Mac Mini in july. Perhaps, if I am lucky, the Dual Core 1.83 will be released then. Or am I too optimistic?

G5 Dual 2.3 Ghz  > MacBook CD 2.2 GHz > MacPro Hex Westmere 3.33 Ghz SSD ATI 5870 16 GB RAM

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post #11 of 20
with the upcoming price cuts for core duo chips, that's not inconceivable...either that or perhaps a price cut on current models..
Apple hopefully realizes they need more frequent model updates and price cuts if they're gonna remain competitive in the intel marketplace
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally posted by Marvin
There seems to be big improvements when using multi-threaded apps in the Duo (sometimes more than double surprisingly).

Adjustment: not surprising.

Having multiple cores means it does multithreading. Intel may not have integrated "hyperthreading" (multithreading on a single core) into this single core proc.

Therefore, if you have 4 threads that each need half a processor, on a single core (w/o HT), only 1 will run at a time, whereas on a dual core all 4 will run. On a single core with HT, 2 will run at a time.

NOTE: POST STUPIFIED FOR SIMPLICITY'S SAKE
Mac user since before you were born.
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Mac user since before you were born.
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post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
I still have one question.
Is the Rosetta technology faster and more stable with 2 GB RAM than with 1 GB RAM (for the use of Office, not Photoshop)?

G5 Dual 2.3 Ghz  > MacBook CD 2.2 GHz > MacPro Hex Westmere 3.33 Ghz SSD ATI 5870 16 GB RAM

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post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally posted by Mac Hammer Fan
I still have one question.
Is the Rosetta technology faster and more stable with 2 GB RAM than with 1 GB RAM (for the use of Office, not Photoshop)?

While I speak not from personal experience, the general consensus is that Rosetta eats RAM for breakfast and that you should get as much of it as you can possibly afford. Besides, more RAM *always* comes in handy further down the road...
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally posted by slughead
NOTE: POST STUPIFIED FOR SIMPLICITY'S SAKE

Note: Post may now be simple but it's also false.
Core cpu do not have HT.
Single, dual, Yonah, Merom, Conroe or Woodcrest: None of them has HT.


Quote:
Originally posted by Mac Hammer Fan
Perhaps, if I am lucky, the Dual Core 1.83 will be released then

You can update the Mac Mini later. It will take any Yonah or even Merom!
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally posted by smalM
Note: Post may now be simple but it's also false.
Core cpu do not have HT.
Single, dual, Yonah, Merom, Conroe or Woodcrest: None of them has HT.

You misread my post. Thanks for verifying I was right though (I said "IF no HT, THEN that's why").. you verified that there's no HT, therefore multiple cores, doing some operations, are more than twice as fast.. Thank you.
Mac user since before you were born.
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post #17 of 20
HT was a joke anyway. I am glad Intel finally ridded the world of this frankenchip technology.
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally posted by slughead
You misread my post.

Sorry, it seems it was still not simple enough for me!
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally posted by smalM
Sorry, it seems it was still not simple enough for me!

In a nutshell, here is what HT does:

In a non-HT processor, when the OS stops one process and starts another every 10 ms (preemptive multitasking), it has to save the state of the process that was stopped - this means saving the address of the next instruction to be executed, the contents of all of the registers and flags, and the contents of the stack. Then the same data for the process to be executed next has to be restored from where it was when IT was last interrupted. All this data moving is part of what is known as a context switch.

HT circuitry makes it possible for the processor to just switch to using a second set of registers, stack, and flags, making the context switch transparent. There is only one set of execution units, but there are 2 complete sets of context switching circuitry. So the processor behaves as if there were 2 separate processors, or at least it APPEARS that way to the operating system, since the OS does not have to move all the data around every time a new process is resumed.

So HT really doesn't allow 2 processes to run simultaneously; it just makes it very fast to switch from process A to process B, and it makes the OS think that there are 2 cores, when in fact there is only one computational unit - just circuitry to hold context information for 2 threads at once.
--Johnny
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--Johnny
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post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 
I still have to questions:
1) Are the fans of the duo noisier than these of the solo?
2) How is the audio-in port of the Mac Mini? (signal/noise-ratio?)

TIA

G5 Dual 2.3 Ghz  > MacBook CD 2.2 GHz > MacPro Hex Westmere 3.33 Ghz SSD ATI 5870 16 GB RAM

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G5 Dual 2.3 Ghz  > MacBook CD 2.2 GHz > MacPro Hex Westmere 3.33 Ghz SSD ATI 5870 16 GB RAM

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