123Macmini.com
FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   GalleryPhoto Gallery   RegisterRegister   ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Warning Against Mac Mini from MacWorld Forum
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    123Macmini.com - Forums Forum Index -> New Users and Switchers
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Kashchei
New Member
New Member


Joined: 21 Dec 2006
Posts: 2
Location: Atlanta, GA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 2:06 am    Post subject: Warning Against Mac Mini from MacWorld Forum Reply with quote

I have been a Mac user since 1984 and I am considering purchasing a mini soon (I have an Apple Cinema Display and a recently deceased PowerMac G4). I have been looking for buying advice when I ran across a thread on the MacWorld forum ("buying advice" if anyone is interested). To make a long story short, I was advised that mac minis were not good machines for "Power Apps" or anyone that uses multiple apps simultaneously. I was also told that a 2GB limit for RAM would be too limiting. Does this advise make sense to any of you who actually own and work with these machines?

Thanks in advance for help with this, my first post here!
_________________
"Since the dawn of time man has dreamed of destroying the sun."
C. Montgomery Burns
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
BigLee
Member
Member


Joined: 09 Nov 2006
Posts: 222
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi & welcome to the forums.

I guess it all depends on what you want from the system. If you consider yourself a power user then i would suggest that the mini might not be best for you. I have only ever owned a mini so couldn't comment on any of the other models in the range but i would say that the mini is a "budget model" with budget limitations I.E very limited upgrade potential.

I must say that the Mini does VERY well as a HTPC but i wouldn't use it as my main machine!
_________________
Mac Mini Intel Core duo 1.66ghz / 512mb / 60 GB HDD / 32" Philips Ambilight 2 LCD / Sony Home cinema 5.1 surround sound / Sky HD / Harmony 555 Universal Remote / 250gb Lacie HDD.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
xmen65
Veteran Member
Veteran Member


Joined: 05 Feb 2005
Posts: 622

PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BigLee wrote:
I.E very limited upgrade potential.


With the exception of the Mac Pro, that can be said for every Mac.

This is all you can do.

Mac mini and iMac:
RAM
Processor
Hard drive

MacBook and MacBook Pro:
RAM
Hard drive

So how is the Mac mini any different?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
nukemm
Junior Member
Junior Member


Joined: 16 Dec 2006
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

xmen65 wrote:
BigLee wrote:
I.E very limited upgrade potential.


With the exception of the Mac Pro, that can be said for every Mac.

This is all you can do.

Mac mini and iMac:
RAM
Processor
Hard drive

MacBook and MacBook Pro:
RAM
Hard drive

So how is the Mac mini any different?


The difference is the bar you start out at is lower, and after purchase CPU upgrades aren't supported by Apple, so you would be completely on your own if you chose to upgrade. That being said, after upgrading to a 2.0+GHZ Core2Duo and 2GB RAM, you will be sitting pretty, although your video processing power will still be a bit weak.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
jbstingray
Veteran Member
Veteran Member


Joined: 02 Mar 2006
Posts: 677
Location: In a Mac.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 3:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I would say that as a computer, some of you (BigLee in particular) make the Mac mini out to be nothing more than a budget PC that is almost on the verge of being a piece of crap. On the contrary, let's consider the facts:

The low end model of the Mac mini line with 1.66Ghz Intel Core Duo processor is equivalent to the speed of a 4.0Ghz Intel Pentium 4 processor. That could get some serious work done in the PC world, and even more in the Mac world these days.

The Mac is expandable up to 2GB of RAM. Not that great, but respectable, considering 1GB of RAM these days is enough to run pretty much any program under the sun with the exception of Final Cut Studio, etc.

The Mac mini has a 5400rpm drive, just like any laptop. Laptops are not considered crap because of their drives. The MacBook Pro is a for professionals, yet still has a 5400rpm drive (thanks xmen).

The Mac mini also has the option for a SuperDrive - dual layer burning built right into Finder Very Happy

Finally, the Mac mini runs OS X - beautifully, I might add. The Mac mini is just as fast as an old PowerMac G5, so it is pretty oomphy. All the core graphics are enabled, and everything is smooth and quick.

Now some say that the Mac mini is not good for multi-tasking. This is true at this point in time, specifically because of the 512MB of RAM that is standard. If you try to run one Rosetta App (i.e. Microsoft Word, Adobe Photoshop CS2) and some other apps, the system will really suffer. 1GB is basically the minimum if you plan on running an Adobe Creative Suite products. Now that the Adobe Photoshop CS3 Beta is out, the true power of the Intel Core Duo can shine - it starts up in under 5 seconds and uses an average of 60-100MB of RAM - doable for a baseline model. Once all apps are Universal like the new Adobe Photoshop CS3 Beta, the Mac mini will be much better for multi-tasking. Universal apps are a different story, I have had upwards of seven or eight and the system is still fine (iPhoto, iTunes, iMovie, Safari, Mail, iChat, and Photoshop CS3 are basically always open on my system).

Now, one thing that users can complain about is the lack of VRAM - specifically how it uses up the RAM available to the system as well as processing power available for programs. I can agree that this can get frustrating at times, but the MacBook suffers from this as well, and no one considers the MacBook to be useless for only a HTPC. Things like 3D rendering and heavy graphical games are not possible on a Mac mini, and are really left for higher end systems.

Now I use my Mac mini, PowerMac G5 Quad, and a PowerMac G4. Let me tell you that out of all of them, the mini is a close second for the fastest with the new Ps CS3 Beta, if not the fastest - it is pretty neck-in-neck with the Quad . The Quad murders it on things like gaming and Ps CS2, but that's to be expected. Overall, the Mac mini is a system that will last a while and will excel beyond the older PPC systems with the new Universal apps, and has not yet really had its chance to shine.

Hope this helps!

-jb
_________________
Mac mini 1.66Ghz, 1GB RAM, Bose Companion 5 Speakers, Sony XBRITE 19"; iMac Indigo Slot-Loading, 500Mhz G3, 512MB
iPod Nano 8GB x2, iPod 5G 30GB, iPod Photo 20GB, iPod mini x2, Apple iPhone 8GB


Last edited by jbstingray on Thu Dec 21, 2006 4:10 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address MSN Messenger
xmen65
Veteran Member
Veteran Member


Joined: 05 Feb 2005
Posts: 622

PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jbstingray wrote:
The Mac mini has a 5400rpm drive, just like any laptop. Laptops are not considered crap because of their drives.


I often wonder why people don't say that about the MacBook Pro.

jbstingray wrote:
The Mac is expandable up to 2GB of RAM. Not that great, but respectable, considering 1GB of RAM these days is enough to run pretty much any program under the sun with the exception of Final Cut Studio, etc.


I agree. I think 2GB of RAM is more than enough for 80% of the stuff out there. That also includes being able to multi-task with them open.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
BigLee
Member
Member


Joined: 09 Nov 2006
Posts: 222
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jbstingray wrote:
Well, I would say that as a computer, some of you (BigLee in particular) make the Mac mini out to be nothing more than a budget PC that is almost on the verge of being a piece of crap. On the contrary, let's consider the facts:

The low end model of the Mac mini line with 1.66Ghz Intel Core Duo processor is equivalent to the speed of a 4.0Ghz Intel Pentium 4 processor. That could get some serious work done in the PC world, and even more in the Mac world these days.

The Mac is expandable up to 2GB of RAM. Not that great, but respectable, considering 1GB of RAM these days is enough to run pretty much any program under the sun with the exception of Final Cut Studio, etc.

The Mac mini has a 5400rpm drive, just like any laptop. Laptops are not considered crap because of their drives. The MacBook Pro is a for professionals, yet still has a 5400rpm drive (thanks xmen).

The Mac mini also has the option for a SuperDrive - dual layer burning built right into Finder Very Happy

Finally, the Mac mini runs OS X - beautifully, I might add. The Mac mini is just as fast as an old PowerMac G5, so it is pretty oomphy. All the core graphics are enabled, and everything is smooth and quick.

Now some say that the Mac mini is not good for multi-tasking. This is true at this point in time, specifically because of the 512MB of RAM that is standard. If you try to run one Rosetta App (i.e. Microsoft Word, Adobe Photoshop CS2) and some other apps, the system will really suffer. 1GB is basically the minimum if you plan on running an Adobe Creative Suite products. Now that the Adobe Photoshop CS3 Beta is out, the true power of the Intel Core Duo can shine - it starts up in under 5 seconds and uses an average of 60-100MB of RAM - doable for a baseline model. Once all apps are Universal like the new Adobe Photoshop CS3 Beta, the Mac mini will be much better for multi-tasking. Universal apps are a different story, I have had upwards of seven or eight and the system is still fine (iPhoto, iTunes, iMovie, Safari, Mail, iChat, and Photoshop CS3 are basically always open on my system).

Now, one thing that users can complain about is the lack of VRAM - specifically how it uses up the RAM available to the system as well as processing power available for programs. I can agree that this can get frustrating at times, but the MacBook suffers from this as well, and no one considers the MacBook to be useless for only a HTPC. Things like 3D rendering and heavy graphical games are not possible on a Mac mini, and are really left for higher end systems.

Now I use my Mac mini, PowerMac G5 Quad, and a PowerMac G4. Let me tell you that out of all of them, the mini is a close second for the fastest with the new Ps CS3 Beta, if not the fastest - it is pretty neck-in-neck with the Quad . The Quad murders it on things like gaming and Ps CS2, but that's to be expected. Overall, the Mac mini is a system that will last a while and will excel beyond the older PPC systems with the new Universal apps, and has not yet really had its chance to shine.

Hope this helps!

-jb


I'm quite upset that you took from my few lines of advice that i think that the Mini is crap. I certainly do not think this in anyway. In fact since i have owned that Mini i have been extremely impressed and i have been busily recommending the Mini to everyone that will listen. I think the fact that the mini is £399 in the UK would definitely put it in the realms of a "budget" PC. It is not a high PC in anyway shape or form i think most people would agree with me. That is not to say it is not a very capable machine..it is!! As i said i have been very impressed.

As for upgrade capability it is limited on the Mini because most users (aside from the enthusiast) would not want to open a case which is not designed to be opened. Quite limiting i would say.

I am simply saying that a higher end model might suit a power users needs more than the Mini.

So just to clarify, i the undersigned 100% wholeheartedly, highly recommend the Mac Mini to anyone who has £399 to spend on a PC. Very Happy
_________________
Mac Mini Intel Core duo 1.66ghz / 512mb / 60 GB HDD / 32" Philips Ambilight 2 LCD / Sony Home cinema 5.1 surround sound / Sky HD / Harmony 555 Universal Remote / 250gb Lacie HDD.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Macuser9214
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 06 Sep 2006
Posts: 291
Location: Ohio

PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jbstingray wrote:

The low end model of the Mac mini line with 1.66Ghz Intel Core Duo processor is equivalent to the speed of a 4.0Ghz Intel Pentium 4 processor. That could get some serious work done in the PC world, and even more in the Mac world these days.
--I didn't know that.


BigLee wrote:

I think the fact that the mini is £399 in the UK would definitely put it in the realms of a "budget" PC. It is not a high PC in anyway shape or form i think most people would agree with me.


But if my top quote is true, (the one from jbstingray), I think thats what you call a "high PC".....

My mini is a 1.42 PPC mini, and I love it. I can only imagine the quality of the intel ones.
_________________
Old Electronics Discussion:
http://oldelectronics.devnode.org
or irc://irc.devnode.org/oe
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
BigLee
Member
Member


Joined: 09 Nov 2006
Posts: 222
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, as i said I'm not saying that the Mini is slow because it isn't. I'm just saying its not Apples high end PC.
_________________
Mac Mini Intel Core duo 1.66ghz / 512mb / 60 GB HDD / 32" Philips Ambilight 2 LCD / Sony Home cinema 5.1 surround sound / Sky HD / Harmony 555 Universal Remote / 250gb Lacie HDD.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Kashchei
New Member
New Member


Joined: 21 Dec 2006
Posts: 2
Location: Atlanta, GA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BigLee wrote:
Hi & welcome to the forums.

I guess it all depends on what you want from the system. If you consider yourself a power user then i would suggest that the mini might not be best for you.


Thank you for the welcome and thank you for all the wonderful help. I'm glad to hear that the advice I received was incorrect; I couldn't imagine a Mac not being able to have only one app open at once!

Here's one final question: I'm a bit confused about the term "power user." If there is general agreement that the mini should not be the main machine for a power user, could you let me know if I fall into this category (I've never considered myself as one)? I use the standard apps on a daily basis (Office Suite, Safari, iLife, VueScan) as well as Finale and Sibelius. I also occasionally use the Adobe Suite, Final Cut Express and Digital Performer. With this user profile and the fact that I'm looking for a main machine, should I consider a mini?
_________________
"Since the dawn of time man has dreamed of destroying the sun."
C. Montgomery Burns
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
247 Photography
Veteran Member
Veteran Member


Joined: 30 Jan 2006
Posts: 875
Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 1:36 pm    Post subject: Power User? Reply with quote

Kashchei wrote:
Here's one final question: I'm a bit confused about the term "power user."


This is a useless term, so don't worry about it. If you use a program which won't run well on a 2 GB machine, then a Mini won't do. Or if you want to run multiple things concurrently for which 2 GB is inadequate, then you need something else. Also, if you have high data throughput requirements for which a single internal disk and one FireWire port won't do, then you need something else.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
BigLee
Member
Member


Joined: 09 Nov 2006
Posts: 222
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't think for one minute my post would be so controversial.

Note to self....I must learn to keep my mouth shut. Sad
_________________
Mac Mini Intel Core duo 1.66ghz / 512mb / 60 GB HDD / 32" Philips Ambilight 2 LCD / Sony Home cinema 5.1 surround sound / Sky HD / Harmony 555 Universal Remote / 250gb Lacie HDD.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Pleiades
Veteran Member
Veteran Member


Joined: 14 Oct 2006
Posts: 3237
Location: California

PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've found that the biggest weak points for the Mac Mini are the integrated graphics, and the 2.5" hard drive. Beyond that, it's a surprisingly capable little machine.
_________________
MacBook Pro 1.83GHz Core Duo, 2GB RAM, 250GB HD, Dell 802.11n card, 1.4TB external
MacBook 1.83GHz Core Duo, 2GB RAM, 60GB HD
iMac 1.83GHz Core Duo, 2GB RAM, 160GB HD, 1TB external, EyeTV Hybrid
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
jbstingray
Veteran Member
Veteran Member


Joined: 02 Mar 2006
Posts: 677
Location: In a Mac.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BigLee wrote:
I didn't think for one minute my post would be so controversial.

Note to self....I must learn to keep my mouth shut. Sad


Oh, don't take it personally, I just want him to know the true facts and you made it seem that it was only worth being a HTPC, which it is a lot more capable than that. Hate to have him waste his money on an iMac if he has a display and a mini is adequate!

I didn't say you thought it was crap, I said it sounded like it was on the verge of being crap. No Apple product could be crap, however Very Happy

All in good fun-
-jb
_________________
Mac mini 1.66Ghz, 1GB RAM, Bose Companion 5 Speakers, Sony XBRITE 19"; iMac Indigo Slot-Loading, 500Mhz G3, 512MB
iPod Nano 8GB x2, iPod 5G 30GB, iPod Photo 20GB, iPod mini x2, Apple iPhone 8GB
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address MSN Messenger
SOCOMRAIDER
Veteran Member
Veteran Member


Joined: 26 Oct 2005
Posts: 2869
Location: Minneapolis

PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jbstingray wrote:
No Apple product could be crap, however Very Happy
I don't think you could have that sentence near a sentence containing Apple mice. (at least in my personal opinion)
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    123Macmini.com - Forums Forum Index -> New Users and Switchers All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum



      

Shop:  Apple Store  |  Refurbished Macs  |  Refurbished iPads  |  MacConnection  |  Mac Mini Vault  |  Other World Computing

MK 1 Studio Mac mini Racks  |  Crucial Mac Memory  |  Top Free Mac Apps  |  Top Paid Mac Apps



123Macmini.com is an independent publication and has not been authorized, sponsored, or approved by Apple Computer, Inc.
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owners.
Copyright © 2011 123Macmini.com. All Rights Reserved.