Mac mini Impressions?

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
I am thinking about getting a Mac mini within the next 6 months. It'll be my daily use system alongside my beloved Linux box. The mini will be used for the daily tasks plus photography work (RAW processing, but nothing too heavy) and music management (iTunes). Would this be a good system for it?



For those of you with the mini, what is your impression of the system? What do you like, what would you want changed?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    imacfanimacfan Posts: 444member
    The mini should do all that fine, but you must remember that it is essentially a laptop without a screen, which means a fair few comprimises: slower, smaller laptop HD, and integrated graphics. Also, get the core Duo - it'll seem miles faster.



    David
  • Reply 2 of 13
    a_greera_greer Posts: 4,594member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kbreit


    I am thinking about getting a Mac mini within the next 6 months. It'll be my daily use system alongside my beloved Linux box. The mini will be used for the daily tasks plus photography work (RAW processing, but nothing too heavy) and music management (iTunes). Would this be a good system for it?



    For those of you with the mini, what is your impression of the system? What do you like, what would you want changed?



    The only draw back to the mini is its lack of upgradeability: you should be aware before you purchase it that it uses laptop HDDs, which is the biggest beef I have with them: this limits you to a ~120 Gig internal drive.

    Never under-estemate the utility of a 250 GB internal HDD. I just wish that if they must use laptop HDDs, they would include an exernal SATA port.
  • Reply 3 of 13
    Does Aperture run on a Mini?
  • Reply 4 of 13
    i went from mini G4 1.2 half gig Ram to a mini intel 1.66 duo 1 gig Ram, had the g4 for a year.



    !BOOM!



    throw anything at it, its a great little machine for daiily use and for bigger tasks i let them run over dinner of over night, it rarely slows down (unless i have 6/7 heavey apps running with much proc. usage) and im very happy with it.



    new imacs and mac pros are looking nice though
  • Reply 5 of 13
    a_greera_greer Posts: 4,594member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gregmightdothat


    Does Aperture run on a Mini?



    Sure, in much the same way that a Ford Pinto can tow a boat...but if you are serious about Appature, you need something with a better GPU than the current intel setup; the next rev of the mini should have the new GPU that has about as much power as a lot of the ATI chips, I would say that if a MacPro is out of the question, wait for the next Mini.
  • Reply 6 of 13
    kishankishan Posts: 732member
    How about HD video... now that the MacMini is sort of the "iHome" lite, can it decode HD video smoothly? My iBook G4 chokes on it.
  • Reply 7 of 13
    a_greera_greer Posts: 4,594member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kishan


    How about HD video... now that the MacMini is sort of the "iHome" lite, can it decode HD video smoothly? My iBook G4 chokes on it.



    Given the core duo and at least 1GB ram, the h.264 HD playback is smooth from everything that I have heard.



    I recomend a field trip to an Apple store or retailer to play with this stuff and see what will work for you speedwise.



    there is a store in Wauwatosa, take a road trip.



    http://www.apple.com/retail/mayfair/week/20060813.html
  • Reply 8 of 13
    I personally wouldn't use Aperture as my workflow tool, as Bibble is my choice. So I'm sure it'll run it well enough. I don't demand lots of speed as photography is a hobby for me. If it takes longer, I'll be fine.



    I'm probably going to wait for the next revision where they hopefully upgrade the video card. When they do that, I'll bite.
  • Reply 9 of 13
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,209moderator
    As you can see here, I wasn't too impressed with it:



    http://forums.appleinsider.com/showthread.php?t=65363



    It only had 512MB Ram but that shouldn't be an excuse. I run a powerbook with 512MB and it runs just fine.



    So I can only say that in order to avoid a bad experience, get 1GB at least of Ram and a Core Duo. The Core Solo + 512MB doesn't cut it, which I can only assume is why they're not bothering using them in the macbooks.



    I suppose it makes sense since if you take off 64MB for video, 256MB for the OS then with the stock 512, you are left with 192MB for running apps. For basic things, that's ok but most apps especially Rosetta ones will eat that up in no time.



    I think I will wait until Apple decide to use dedicated video again and have the minimum Core Duo in the Mini before getting an Intel Mini. I want the speed of the processor but the GPU lets it down and some hardware accelerated apps are still having problems running on it. I know people say that the Radeon 9200 in the old Mini is worse than the GMA but I rarely get the dock animation jittering on my G4 Mini and I experienced it quite often on the Intel Mini. Extra Ram may well sort this out but the fact is that the more Ram you have to buy to make up for the poor GPU then the less value for money you get.



    As people have said, as long as you go for the Core Duo and 1GB Ram at least, it should be quite a nice machine.
  • Reply 10 of 13
    I've hammered a mini at the Apple Store with h.264 HD video and it didn't choke. Considering it's pretty much the same spec as my MacBook, I think the Mini is a great machine. My MacBook is feels faster than my Dual 1.8 G5 for most things, except 3D games, and even then it'll run World of Warcraft acceptably well.



    Nah - and Mini is a great machine. Just make sure you max out the RAM - this cannot be overstated. You need 2 Gig in there.
  • Reply 11 of 13
    Well, I got the core duo model, and it is ON FIRE!! (figuratively)

    My only problem is the RAM: The GMA 950 takes up 64 megabytes for graphics, so my ram is always loaded, and the mini slows down when lots of apps are running.

    But I use iMovie and movie compression is fine
  • Reply 12 of 13
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,209moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gee4orce


    Nah - and Mini is a great machine. Just make sure you max out the RAM - this cannot be overstated. You need 2 Gig in there.



    I would agree but consider that if you get a Mini with 2GB Ram and the keyboard & mouse, it comes to £793. If you get the imac with 1GB Ram (which you can get away with because of the dedicated video) then it costs £949.



    Add in that you need a display for your Mini, which will be £150-200 for a half decent one and you are equalling or even exceeding the cost of the imac. And you still get a 128MB dedicated video card in the imac.



    When you look at it like that, the Mini is not very good value at all. The solution is simple - put dedicated video into the Mini again. Then you will be able to run your machine quite adequately with 1GB Ram.
  • Reply 13 of 13
    i LOVE my mac mini dearly...it's like my baby
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