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CNET reviews 1.66GHz Mac mini
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 4:20 am    Post subject: CNET reviews 1.66GHz Mac mini Reply with quote

CNET reviews 1.66GHz Mac mini
Wednesday, October 11, 2006

CNET has posted a review of the recently updated 1.66GHz Mac mini. According to the CNET editors, "Given its price, Apple's most basic Mac Mini config (recently updated to a dual-core 1.66GHz Intel Core Duo CPU) belongs squarely in the budget category, but Apple's entry-level desktop is far from your typical budget PC. For comparison, we've included the Cyberpower Back to School 2006, and the eMachines T5212 on our performance charts since both PCs are in the same price ballpark. The problem is that those are midtower desktops, and the Mac Mini is, well, the Mac Mini; it's the only PC in its price class that's small and attractive enough to fit anywhere in your home. It's also the only budget PC that can send or receive data wirelessly right out of the box. These advantages, combined with iLife, Front Row, and the Apple remote, make the Mac Mini an outstanding desktop for sending media files to your living room. Other PCs have better specs and more room to grow, so the 1.66GHz Mac Mini is not the best traditional desktop around, but for what it does, its value and utility can't be beat." The 1.66GHz Mac mini earned a score of 7.7 (Very good) out of 10.



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TheUaRT
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 7:57 am    Post subject: ... Reply with quote

...

Last edited by TheUaRT on Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:34 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheUaRT wrote:
Quote:
That means you're stuck with the integrated Intel 950 GMA graphics chip, so 3D gaming is obviously out, and you shouldn't expect outstanding video quality either, although video is certainly watchable.


World of Warcraft is a 3D game and it runs quicker on the mac mini 1.66 than it does on my Intel winblows GeForce4 system.


While I don't disagree with you, you can't argue that your brand new mini runs better than your 4 year old video card, of course it does.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MacWaffler wrote:
While I don't disagree with you, you can't argue that your brand new mini runs better than your 4 year old video card, of course it does.


I think he meant that CNET are out of line when stating that "with the integrated Intel 950 GMA graphics chip, [...] 3D gaming is obviously out". It may not be the latest ATI or nVidia chip, but it's capable of running 3D games just fine (just not at the highest settings).
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yvan256 wrote:
MacWaffler wrote:
While I don't disagree with you, you can't argue that your brand new mini runs better than your 4 year old video card, of course it does.


I think he meant that CNET are out of line when stating that "with the integrated Intel 950 GMA graphics chip, [...] 3D gaming is obviously out". It may not be the latest ATI or nVidia chip, but it's capable of running 3D games just fine (just not at the highest settings).


I don't think that is entirely out of line on their part, from my perspective having to turn everything down and hoping for 30fps is not my idea of fun gaming. I know some people can tolerate it, but for me (and others I have come across in forums) constantly choppy framerates give me a headache.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MacWaffler wrote:
I don't think that is entirely out of line on their part, from my perspective having to turn everything down and hoping for 30fps is not my idea of fun gaming. I know some people can tolerate it, but for me (and others I have come across in forums) constantly choppy framerates give me a headache.


It all depends on the game. Running WoW at 25 FPS isn't bad to the point you can't play the game at all, which is what CNET seemed to be implying by saying "3D gaming is obviously out".

The Radeon 9200/32MB in my G4 Mac mini is a dedicated GPU with dedicated VRAM, but the GMA950 with 64MB shared memory can outperform it in some tasks.

In any case, I'm wondering if Apple will upgrade the GPU to either a better intel integrated chip or a laptop GPU for the next upgrade. And how soon before they do it (I'm thinking Core 2 Duo update).
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yvan256 wrote:
MacWaffler wrote:
I don't think that is entirely out of line on their part, from my perspective having to turn everything down and hoping for 30fps is not my idea of fun gaming. I know some people can tolerate it, but for me (and others I have come across in forums) constantly choppy framerates give me a headache.


It all depends on the game. Running WoW at 25 FPS isn't bad to the point you can't play the game at all, which is what CNET seemed to be implying by saying "3D gaming is obviously out".

The Radeon 9200/32MB in my G4 Mac mini is a dedicated GPU with dedicated VRAM, but the GMA950 with 64MB shared memory can outperform it in some tasks.

In any case, I'm wondering if Apple will upgrade the GPU to either a better intel integrated chip or a laptop GPU for the next upgrade. And how soon before they do it (I'm thinking Core 2 Duo update).


I would expect the next serious mini upgrade to be when the Santa Rosa chipset ships (early next year last I heard) which supports Intel's X3000 series inegrated GPU. The big difference, hardware Vertex Shaders, which should be a big help.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MacWaffler wrote:
I would expect the next serious mini upgrade to be when the Santa Rosa chipset ships (early next year last I heard) which supports Intel's X3000 series inegrated GPU.


With a name like "Intel X3000", you know it's gonna be good. At least for marketing. GMA950 just doesn't sound cool. Wink
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only thing I dislike about CNET comparisons, the machines are never as comparable as they should be. Sure the other PCs might come stock 1GB... but shouldn't there be 1GB across the board for just a little better comparison? I mean the PCs are running 1GB, but all the Macs are running with 512 and with the GMA950 sucking from the memory.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SOCOMRAIDER wrote:
The only thing I dislike about CNET comparisons, the machines are never as comparable as they should be. Sure the other PCs might come stock 1GB... but shouldn't there be 1GB across the board for just a little better comparison? I mean the PCs are running 1GB, but all the Macs are running with 512 and with the GMA950 sucking from the memory.


And anyone who has upgraded their Mini from the stock 512 to 1GB will tell you that the difference in performance is huge.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Key words are "gma950 sucking" Wink
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TonyMontana wrote:
Key words are "gma950 sucking" Wink


Your point being ?
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not my favorite graphics processor . It would be better if it wasn't capped at 64mb.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 6:33 am    Post subject: ... Reply with quote

...

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

K.C. wrote:
And anyone who has upgraded their Mini from the stock 512 to 1GB will tell you that the difference in performance is huge.


And anyone who has upgraded their mini from 512MB to 2GB (myself included) will tell you the difference is insanely better.
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