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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > First mini experience

First mini experience
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Andrew Stephens
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Nov 24, 2006, 01:24 PM
 
Well my trusty Powerbook G4 1.33 went in for repairs and could be away for two weeks so needing some emergency cover I popped £400 on a core duo mini 1.66.

Now I know that this is NOT a high end machine but I thought it shouldn't be too much slower than my PB, which is after all a few years old and hardly cutting edge anymore.

What can I say, the performance of this machine is truely truely appalling. I was expecting it to struggle in photoshop as it only has 512 mb and CS is not UB yet, so I wasn't surprised that it was slow, but I was surprised at how slow.

And not just on apps. just buzzing around the finder I would say that the 300 Mhz G3 IMac I have just set up for my neighbour as a gift leaves the mini for dead.

Switching from mail to safari takes AT LEAST 40 seconds, everytime. The darn thing even struggles to move finder windows around with nothing else going on!!

OK so I need more RAM but I'm reluctant to invest another £100 in this as it's only a stop gap until my powerbook returns.

Will extra RAM wake this machine up, or are they all really this slow?
     
Grrr
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Nov 24, 2006, 01:42 PM
 
Rather a silly post if I may say so.. If you can afford to buy a Mac Mini to use just for 2 weeks(!!?!) while your powerbook is away, then im sure you can afford to pop some ram into the thing. Because this is largely why it performs so badly.
I would say Macs need a minimum of 1gb these days for decent performance. With 1gb plus, it should eat your powerbook alive.
Another 50 quids worth of ram is all it would take to make all the difference.
( Last edited by Grrr; Nov 24, 2006 at 02:01 PM. )
The worst thing about having a failing memory is..... no, it's gone.
     
Andrew Stephens  (op)
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Nov 24, 2006, 02:48 PM
 
well that's good(ish) news. I guess I'll invest in a 1 gig stick and see what happens.

I wasn't planning on using the mini only for the two weeks while my pb is away though (that would be excsessive). The idea was once my PB come back to relagate the mini to the role of "server" replacing my old G4 800 tower, a task it should be well up to.

However I am quite taken by the media centre idea and can quite see it at home replacing the dvd player and hi fi!
     
tooki
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Nov 24, 2006, 05:10 PM
 
Don't get 1GB of RAM, get 2GB. Running applications in Rosetta consumes MASSIVE amounts of RAM, on the order of twice as much as running native. For a RAM-hungry app like Photoshop, that means you need TONS of RAM. Running Photoshop on an Intel Mac with 512MB is like running it on a PPC Mac with just 256MB -- terrible.

tooki
     
Pierre B.
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Nov 25, 2006, 04:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by Andrew Stephens View Post
And not just on apps. just buzzing around the finder I would say that the 300 Mhz G3 IMac I have just set up for my neighbour as a gift leaves the mini for dead.

Switching from mail to safari takes AT LEAST 40 seconds, everytime. The darn thing even struggles to move finder windows around with nothing else going on!!
From these\ symptoms I would say that something may be wrong with the OS X installation. Did it come with Mac OS X "pre-installed"? Or it was you that did the installation? The other possibility is that Spotlight hogs the computer resources to create its database. Do you see anything unusual in activity monitor taking up too much CPU time?
     
Judge_Fire
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Nov 25, 2006, 06:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by Andrew Stephens View Post
witching from mail to safari takes AT LEAST 40 seconds, everytime. The darn thing even struggles to move finder windows around with nothing else going on!!
Something's wrong, I agree. Even 4 seconds would be way too long with your setup. It should be pretty snappy with Safari/Mail.
     
CheesePuff
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Nov 25, 2006, 08:25 PM
 
Ok first off if it truly takes 40 seconds to switch from one open application to another (and more specifically Safari and Mail) then something is very wrong with the machine or you are here to make things up about how you hate the mini.
     
Tomchu
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Nov 25, 2006, 08:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by CheesePuff View Post
Ok first off if it truly takes 40 seconds to switch from one open application to another (and more specifically Safari and Mail) then something is very wrong with the machine or you are here to make things up about how you hate the mini.
Agreed.

I've used Core Duo Minis with 512 MB of RAM, and they're snappy, and more than enough for the average user (you know, the one the Mini is aimed at). Photoshop has special requirements because it's a PPC application -- not Apple's fault.
     
Andrew Stephens  (op)
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Nov 26, 2006, 01:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by CheesePuff View Post
Ok first off if it truly takes 40 seconds to switch from one open application to another (and more specifically Safari and Mail) then something is very wrong with the machine or you are here to make things up about how you hate the mini.
I've never hated any mac, except maybe my old performa 6200 - boy that stank!

However my mini now has 1.25 GB ram (I know but the store only had 1 gig stick in stock, another is on order.

Plus I've installed the OS from scratch and it's like a new machine (well it IS a new machine but you know what I mean)

It's only a stop gap machine and I'm expecting my home insurance to swap my old 1.3 AiBook for a new core duo (yah new for old policies!!) but I'm happy for now.

Thanks for the heads up on Rosetta RAM issues Tooki

Andrew
     
ecking01
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Nov 27, 2006, 02:09 AM
 
So they're gonna give you a new machines instead of repair it? That's great, macbook or macbook pro?
     
Andrew Stephens  (op)
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Nov 27, 2006, 05:35 AM
 
Our home policy specifies tha the replacement machine must match the old machine feature for feature as close as possible, so 15in screen means macbook pro!

can't say I'm unhappy. Standard home laptop accident - running daughter, power cable, flying laptop. Sort of thing the new mag safe lead will avoid I guess.

Still at least I get a new mini too.
     
pra9ab0y
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Nov 27, 2006, 11:29 AM
 
I think you were a bit silly to buy a new one without waiting for your old one to come back from repairs. I would have at least waited seen if the problem was any better and then decided.
     
Andrew Stephens  (op)
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Nov 27, 2006, 11:56 AM
 
silly to sit without a mac for 5 days doing no work loosing 400 a day instead of buying a 400 mini and getting on with it?

When my old mac returns (or it's new replacement I stil have a mac mini and can upgrade one of my older macs. So why silly?
     
   
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