Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Opinions on new Mini please

Opinions on new Mini please
Thread Tools
gemigene
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2006
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 11, 2007, 01:36 PM
 
Hi,

I have an iMac 17 and quite happy with it (except for that darn Mighty Mouse) but I would like to buy a second Mac and the "new and improved" Mini looks like an interesting buy.

I dislike notebooks with a passion, travel a lot to third-world countries, always take my computer along and I'm always afraid that my iMac will eventually get damaged (baggage handlers are a little on the rough side, especially in Central and South America). The mini would fit nicely in my carry on bag and a used monitor can be bought for cheap anywhere I go.

According to the specs, it seems to have everything that the iMac has but without the screen, keyboard and mouse.

Any opinions?
Gene
     
fisherKing
Professional Poster
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: brooklyn ny
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 11, 2007, 01:48 PM
 
why do you dislike laptops so much? just curious...

i have ALWAYS used powerbooks, but wanted to add a desktop to my setup; i waited for the rumored imac update, but when it came out...decided i was not okay with the glossy screen. disappointed, i checked out the minis (i have an LG monitor i really like), and got the new mini 2 weeks ago (maxed out ram, 2g processor, 160g hd).

i am REALLY happy with this, speed, design, everything.

this is the first mini i would have considered, and think it is well worth it.
"At first, there was Nothing. Then Nothing inverted itself and became Something.
And that is what you all are: inverted Nothings...with potential" (Sun Ra)
     
kuchiki
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Sep 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 11, 2007, 01:50 PM
 
Since you really dislike portable laptops I guess the mini might be the solution for your problem. However, instead of buying a new (used) monitor everytime isn't it cheaper to just buy the Macbook instead? If that does not matter I think the mini just might be perfect for your need.
As you might notice I am a big Macbook fanboy
kuchiki
My newly created blog about the Macbook and home of iMountIt
News, Reviews, Tutorials, Giveaways and more.
Visit: Days of our Macbooks
     
gemigene  (op)
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2006
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 11, 2007, 02:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by fisherKing View Post
why do you dislike laptops so much? just curious...
Had 2 (Toshiba and a Dell) and find them cumbersome, also dislike the keyboards.

i checked out the minis (i have an LG monitor i really like), and got the new mini 2 weeks ago (maxed out ram, 2g processor, 160g hd).

i am REALLY happy with this, speed, design, everything.

this is the first mini i would have considered, and think it is well worth it.
Thanks for the recommendation,
Gene
     
gemigene  (op)
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2006
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 11, 2007, 02:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by kuchiki View Post
Since you really dislike portable laptops I guess the mini might be the solution for your problem. However, instead of buying a new (used) monitor everytime isn't it cheaper to just buy the Macbook instead? If that does not matter I think the mini just might be perfect for your need.
Thanks for the feedback and I think I'll go for the souped-up mini. Most of my travels are to Costa Rica and Panama where I can buy an old CRT monitor for $10-15. Also have friends that I could probably borrow one from.

Cheers,
Gene
     
mkral
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Nov 2000
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 11, 2007, 06:04 PM
 
provided you don't need top of the line performance, the mini is a fantastic computer.
For the majority of users today, all of the relatively new macs work great. If portability is your concern & the laptops don't appeal to you, the mini is a great alternative.
     
Hannard
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Sep 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 11, 2007, 07:30 PM
 
Should be fine, as long as you're not looking to play games. I'm hoping that at some point they do a Mac Mini with a graphics card better than the intel GMA.
     
Big Mac
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Los Angeles
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 11, 2007, 07:42 PM
 
Never going to happen. Apple's low end desktop and laptop will now always have "int-degraded" graphics (and no other other option) due to the Intel defection.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
gemigene  (op)
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2006
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 11, 2007, 08:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by Hannard View Post
Should be fine, as long as you're not looking to play games. I'm hoping that at some point they do a Mac Mini with a graphics card better than the intel GMA.
I'm not into games (don't even have a single one on my computer) and just as long as the integrated graphics card renders photos and videos well (as good as my iMac), I'll be happy because I do a lot of photo and video editing, multimedia presentations, web design and desktop publishing.

Thanks,
Gene
     
gemigene  (op)
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2006
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 11, 2007, 08:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Never going to happen. Apple's low end desktop and laptop will now always have "int-degraded" graphics (and no other other option) due to the Intel defection.
LOL!, Don't seem to be too happy about the Intel defection...

Cheers,
Gene
     
CheesePuff
Professional Poster
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Rochester, NY
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 11, 2007, 09:27 PM
 
I use a stock 2.0 GHz Mac mini as my main desktop computer (already had a 22" widescreen and keyboard/mouse setup.)

I just ordered a 2 GB RAM upgrade for $75 shipped and Hitachi 200 GB 7200 RPM 16 MB cache HDD for $211 shipped, will be here tomorrow and I'll post info on the upgrade and before/after Xbench scores.

But even stock I'm impressed with the speed. I heavily use Safari 3.0.3, Mail, REALbasic 2007 R4, Xcode, Photoshop CS3 and all up to par on my needs speed wise.
     
davedecay
Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: May 2007
Location: PA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 12, 2007, 12:18 PM
 
I'm considering a mini to replace my aging G4 digital audio with maxed RAM (1.5 GB), single 1.0 GHz G4 from Sonnet, 128 MB GeForce Ti, and multiple internal drives (400 GB, 320 GB, 160 GB). Obviously I'll need some external enclosures for the hard drives, and very likely a MiniStack for port expansion & hard drive.

Any of you booting from a MiniStack or similar external FireWire device? Is it faster like I've read?

I will miss the ability to have dual displays, so a large LCD will be a mandatory purchase... probably a 22" widescreen.
     
AppleCore_LLC
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Denver, CO
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 21, 2007, 10:22 AM
 
Originally Posted by davedecay View Post
I'm considering a mini to replace my aging G4 digital audio with maxed RAM (1.5 GB), single 1.0 GHz G4 from Sonnet, 128 MB GeForce Ti, and multiple internal drives (400 GB, 320 GB, 160 GB). Obviously I'll need some external enclosures for the hard drives, and very likely a MiniStack for port expansion & hard drive.

Any of you booting from a MiniStack or similar external FireWire device? Is it faster like I've read?

I will miss the ability to have dual displays, so a large LCD will be a mandatory purchase... probably a 22" widescreen.
If you choose to boot from an external firewire or USB 2.0 drive, you will notice a significant drop in speed. USB 2.0 transfers at 480 Mbps, and the internal SATA drive transfers at 1200 Mbps.
Apple Core, LLC
-Supercharge your Mac - processors, ram, hard drives and more.
http://www.applecorellc.com
     
mduell
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Houston, TX
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 22, 2007, 12:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by AppleCore_LLC View Post
If you choose to boot from an external firewire or USB 2.0 drive, you will notice a significant drop in speed. USB 2.0 transfers at 480 Mbps, and the internal SATA drive transfers at 1200 Mbps.
There's a couple things to consider there.
The practical throughput of USB is about 25MBps, compared to SATA at 100MBps+. But the 2.5" drive inside the Mac mini means you won't be saturating that SATA bus any time soon. The 3.5" drive in a USB enclosure is fast enough that the USB bus becomes the limiting factor.

A 3.5" drive on USB may well be faster than a 2.5" drive on SATA. It depends what you do, how full they are, etc.
     
Simon
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: in front of my Mac
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 23, 2007, 04:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by AppleCore_LLC View Post
If you choose to boot from an external firewire or USB 2.0 drive, you will notice a significant drop in speed. USB 2.0 transfers at 480 Mbps, and the internal SATA drive transfers at 1200 Mbps.
Basically everybody that's attached a decent 3.5" HDD externally to the mini has noticed a significant speed improvement. The internal mini HDD is a small 2.5" notebook drive running at 5400 RPM. It is slow compared to a 3.5" high-capacity 7200 RPM disk running on a FW bus.
     
P
Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 25, 2007, 04:39 AM
 
It's latency - seek time - rather than bandwidth that is important to the perceived speed. Adding a USB or Firewire bridge adds latency, but 3.5" drives are faster to begin with, so might still end up with a plus. Depends on the exact drive.
     
mduell
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Houston, TX
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 25, 2007, 11:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
It's latency - seek time - rather than bandwidth that is important to the perceived speed. Adding a USB or Firewire bridge adds latency, but 3.5" drives are faster to begin with, so might still end up with a plus. Depends on the exact drive.
3.5" vs 2.5" has nothing to do with latency; latency is inversely proportional to rpm.
     
Simon
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: in front of my Mac
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 26, 2007, 02:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
3.5" vs 2.5" has nothing to do with latency; latency is inversely proportional to rpm.
You missed P's point.

The additional bridge chip that you have in an external disk enclosure (S/PATA->USB/FW) adds to the latency. That doesn't mean the external drive will be slower than an internal one (and in the case of the mini it's often not), but it is a fact that the bridge chip increases latency.
     
mduell
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Houston, TX
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 26, 2007, 06:34 PM
 
I'm aware that the controller adds some delay, but an external 3.5" drive @ 7200RPM (or even 10k) is going to be lower latency than an internal 2.5" drive @ 4200RPM (or 5400). The physical size of the drive has no impact on latency; spindle speed is what matters.
     
Simon
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: in front of my Mac
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 27, 2007, 03:04 AM
 


You're arguing against a point nobody ever brought up. Nobody here claimed latency had anything to do with spindle speed. I think you should go read P's post again.

Oh and BTW, the 4200 rpm point is moot too since no Mac comes with such a drive anymore. Not even the mini (which this thread is actually about).
     
MyMac8MyPC
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Sep 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 27, 2007, 01:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by gemigene View Post
I think I'll go for the souped-up mini.
You'll love it. We just bought a new mini and plan on buying another one as soon as Leopard comes out (provided a mid sized desktop isn't introduced). I think the key is what kind of memory you add. Some brands seem to be working better than others. BTW you can get a case for the mini if you're worried about scratching it up (the top scratches VERY easily).


Originally Posted by davedecay View Post
Any of you booting from a MiniStack or similar external FireWire device? Is it faster like I've read?
Depends on which version you get. Version one and two work OK, but obviously version 3 (which is what we've upgraded to) works much better. We're running a Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 with Perpendicular recording technology via Firewire and it runs incredibly well We're using the mini's drive as the backup drive.
     
mduell
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Houston, TX
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 27, 2007, 02:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
It's latency - seek time - rather than bandwidth that is important to the perceived speed. Adding a USB or Firewire bridge adds latency, but 3.5" drives are faster to begin with, so might still end up with a plus. Depends on the exact drive.
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
You're arguing against a point nobody ever brought up. Nobody here claimed latency had anything to do with spindle speed. I think you should go read P's post again.
P said that latency is important for speed, and that 3.5" drives are faster. That implies he's saying 3.5" drives have lower latency, which they do not inherently have. Drives with higher spindle speeds have lower latency, and thus improved 'perceived speed' per P's claim.

Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Oh and BTW, the 4200 rpm point is moot too since no Mac comes with such a drive anymore. Not even the mini (which this thread is actually about).
And many people with older Macs with 4200RPM drives are looking for an upgrade.
     
Simon
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: in front of my Mac
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 27, 2007, 03:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
P said that latency is important for speed, and that 3.5" drives are faster. That implies he's saying 3.5" drives have lower latency, which they do not inherently have.
No! Are you deliberately trying to misunderstand him? He said:

Originally Posted by P
Adding a USB or Firewire bridge adds latency
which is absolutely correct. Nowhere did he say 3.5" drives have lower latency. You're making that up and it's obviously wrong. What he did says though was:

Originally Posted by P
but 3.5" drives are faster to begin with
which is also correct.

Everything in his post is right. I have no idea why you're trying to nitpick. Your implications are simply wrong, but they're yours, not his. Nowhere did he connect latency with drive size. His post makes an absolutely valid point.
     
mduell
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Houston, TX
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 27, 2007, 05:20 PM
 
Do I really have to break things out for you like this?

Originally Posted by P View Post
It's latency - seek time - rather than bandwidth that is important to the perceived speed.
Originally Posted by P View Post
3.5" drives are faster to begin with
Using his measure of perceived speed (latency), 3.5" drives are not necessarily 'faster to begin with'.
     
iREZ
Professional Poster
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Los Angeles of the East
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 28, 2007, 02:17 AM
 
now now you guys...
NOW YOU SEE ME! 2.4 MBP and 2.0 MBP (running ubuntu)
     
Simon
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: in front of my Mac
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 28, 2007, 03:20 AM
 
I give up. If you really want to misunderstand his post, I guess you can.
     
P
Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 29, 2007, 08:02 AM
 
Sorry about being MIA there for a few days - had to go to Italy for work. What I meant was this:

3.5" drives are 7200 rpm (or even faster) these days - I checked just now at my local web store, and they have no 3.5" 5400 drives available. Newegg has one that is 5400-7200 rpm (wierd, I know) and nothing slower. 2.5" drives are usually 5400 or even slower, even though there are 7200 drives, and specifically the one in the Mac mini is a 5400 one. For this reason, 3.5" drives are inherently faster than the one in the Mac mini. A 5400 rpm 3.5" drive wouldn't be, but you can't buy one anymore.

It's a bit like saying that going by car is faster than walking or running. I'm sure you can find an old car that you can outrun, but I think that most people would still agree with the statement that cars are faster.

I'm sorry that my sloppily worded post caused all this discussion - I'll try to be clearer.
     
   
Thread Tools
 
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:07 PM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2017 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.,