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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > mac mini software performance

mac mini software performance
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mak_attack
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Feb 17, 2005, 07:43 PM
 
hi,

how good is the mac mini for:

Photoshop
Illustrator
Macromedia Dreamweaver
Macromedia Flash
Macromedia Director
iMovie
iDvd
iPhoto
iDvd
Garageband


Also these at an amateur/may be once a week(mainy creating then rendering over night etc):

Final Cut Pro
Soundtrack
Studio Pro

thanks,
     
artsea
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Feb 17, 2005, 10:16 PM
 
What are you running that list of software on now?

Doesn't make any difference if that software is running on a Mac mini or a G5, they should have 1GB of ram. Some may say 512mb is OK and I'll agree for the iApps, but just OK. I use all of that software, except Director, on an iMac G5 (2gb) and a PM G5 dual (4GB), so just for fun I tried them on my Mac mini (1.42ghz 1gb ram). Every app ran just fine and better than they did on my previous iMac G4 (1ghz 1gb), which I used for 2 years with no complaints. Compressor was slow, but it's slow on anything but a dual.
The gottcha is the 80gb 4200rpm hard drive. The issue is scratch file swapping. I've ordered an Hitachi 60gb 7200rpm. Could be a risk if it's warmer than the Toshiba HD, but the fan doesn't run much now, we'll see. Boggles my mind that you pay $100 more for the processor and HD upgrade and end up with less. IMHO. Mac mini 1.25ghz comes with 40gb 5400rpm HD, (what is that!). The 1.25ghz is faster than my iMac G4 on paper, but I have only compared that software on the 1.42ghz Mac mini, iMac G4, and iMac G5. The PM G5 is something else.
I have my Mac mini connected to a Panasonic plasma and use it for surfing when the G5s are busy. It's a little hard to read from 10 feet back, but the font enlarger on the toolbar in Safari helps.

So, if you're serious about that list of software, get 1GB of ram. It's up to you if you want to MOD the HD. I don't think you would need to mod with the 5400rpm, but you might want the 1.42ghz. YMMV With that, the price is rising!

[Edit] 1.67 to 1.42 Sorry for senior moment.
( Last edited by artsea; Feb 18, 2005 at 02:20 PM. )
     
iREZ
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Feb 18, 2005, 01:45 AM
 
1.67 or 1.42? Also, is it a fact that the 1.25's are indeed shipping with the 5400RPM HD? If so maybe I'll cash and get one right now. Regardless, I use the majority of the apps you mentioned on my 1ghz PB and it runs fine. I can't see how either mini would run them any slower seeing how they have faster bus speeds and processor speeds (and if your lucky HD speed too). I'd say if your going to keep the machine for a year then this would totally be a machine to seriously consider. Think about it, in a year you could ship it off for half the cost's and get yourself, hopefully, a G5 mini.
NOW YOU SEE ME! 2.4 MBP and 2.0 MBP (running ubuntu)
     
WoD
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Feb 18, 2005, 07:14 AM
 
So many people seem to overlook the possibility of using an external firewire hard-disk as a photoshop scratch disc and general place for storing files - rather than cracking open their macs and installing another hard disk, voiding their warrantee and potentially causing heat problems.

I think I would rather have 250gb of blisteringly fast, external, and highly portable storage on my firewire port which would otherwise be used for nothing - than waste money on a trivial 60gb of non-portable, fitted laptop hard disk.

Suffice to say, 250gb external firewire drive and 1gb (possibly 2gb) or RAM are planned future upgrades to my mini. I will also be using it to run Macromedia Studio, Photoshop Creative Suite and Cinema 4d (as well as store/play mp3s, movies and CD Images) - so these things are a must.
     
iREZ
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Feb 18, 2005, 12:34 PM
 
I think people will start looking at that optiono once somebody releases an external HD that is the same size as the mini that the mini could sit on.
NOW YOU SEE ME! 2.4 MBP and 2.0 MBP (running ubuntu)
     
mak_attack  (op)
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Feb 20, 2005, 07:40 AM
 
any other mac mini users can help?

do you use any of the above s'ware?

how do you find it performs?

thanks,
     
bitjumper
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Feb 20, 2005, 05:29 PM
 
I use

Photoshop
Macromedia Dreamweaver
iPhoto
Garageband

I was a little frustrated with the sluggishness of my 1.42 Gz 512M 4200 RPM Mac Mini -- especially knowing it could be better. So I upgraded to 1 GB and a 7200 RPM. I love it now. Very snappy. Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and iPhoto work nicer than I've ever experienced. Much nicer than my year old 1 Gz 1.25 GB PowerBook.

Lots of people talk that theoretically maybe the 7200 RPM will run too warm. I've never seen any data from these folks. My Mini with the Hitachi 60 GB 7200 RPM has no apparent differences in case temperature or fan operation compared to the stock 4200 RPM drive. In fact, everyone that has done the upgrade says the same thing. The case always feels cool. The fan only speeds up occasionally when the processor is crunching hard. Same as it did with the 4200 RPM.

The speed of drive access over firewire (to a 7200 RPM firewire drive) wasn't apparently any different than accesses to the origianl internal 4200 RPM drive. So I'm definately happy that I did the internal 7200 RPM HD upgrade.

Erik
     
truckweb
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Feb 20, 2005, 07:23 PM
 
External LaCie HD with Firewire and USB2 are almost the same size as the mini.

I have one, 160Gb, the only problem.... it's loud! LaCie use Western Digital HD and they are not wisper quiet....

Also, on my PC, the USB2 connection is way faster than Firewire...?
Truckweb.
Apple Mac mini - 1.42Ghz, 512Mb, SD, AE
     
hudson1
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Feb 20, 2005, 07:53 PM
 
Originally posted by WoD:
So many people seem to overlook the possibility of using an external firewire hard-disk as a photoshop scratch disc and general place for storing files - rather than cracking open their macs and installing another hard disk, voiding their warrantee and potentially causing heat problems.

I think I would rather have 250gb of blisteringly fast, external, and highly portable storage on my firewire port which would otherwise be used for nothing - than waste money on a trivial 60gb of non-portable, fitted laptop hard disk.
It might have been blisteringly fast if they had Firewire 800 on the Mac mini. Check out the Macintouch disk comparisons where they actually test the speed on Firewire read/write versus a stock mini HD and a 7200 rpm Hitachi drive installed in the mini. The Firewire performance is no better than the stock mini HD performance. The Hitachi drive is substantially faster than the other two.

http://macintouch.com/perfpack/comparison.html
     
hudson1
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Feb 20, 2005, 07:57 PM
 
Originally posted by truckweb:
External LaCie HD with Firewire and USB2 are almost the same size as the mini.

I have one, 160Gb, the only problem.... it's loud! LaCie use Western Digital HD and they are not wisper quiet....

Also, on my PC, the USB2 connection is way faster than Firewire...?
I think most tests have shown Fiewire on a Mac is at least as fast as USB2 on a PC. Both Firewire on a PC and USB2 on a Mac are significantly slower. Probably just goes to show where each platform has concentrated its driver development.
     
Spacemanspiff
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Feb 21, 2005, 10:28 AM
 
Is the 1.2 Mhz model really equipped with a 5400 rpm driv and the 1.4 Mhz with a slower drive?
     
WoD
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Feb 21, 2005, 11:37 AM
 
Oh well, I am going for a 250gb Western Digital Media Centre External Firewire/USB 2.0 drive. Even if the Firewire performance on the mini is not that great the simple portability of the thing has won me over. Suffice to say all my media content and design work will be stored on it.

And standing the mini on top of a Firewire hard drive is not nescessarily a good idea due to heat issues- so I doubt an external drive to match will ever support this.

What I want below my mini is a 2 hour battery/UPS, uninteruptable power is something I will miss from my wintel laptop.

Does anyone know if you can boot linux from an external Firewire hard disk?

I will be back to this thread to report performance of Creative Suite, Macromedia Studio and Cinema 4d when my mini arrives - was shipped on th e 19th so not long now. Ordering Firewire HDD today, and will check the performance with that also.
     
mak_attack  (op)
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Feb 21, 2005, 12:40 PM
 
hi,

thanks for some great posts

how much difference is there between the two models

1.25 / 40 hdd (faster ?) / 1 GIG Ram vs 1.42 / 80 hdd (slower ?) / 1 GIG Ram.

with the 40gb drive being faster wouldn't it fill up quicker and thus leave you with no performance gain?

in terms of using this machine for the above stated programs which config is better?

thanks,
     
mak_attack  (op)
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Feb 21, 2005, 02:50 PM
 
to add to my comment above:

http://www.ipodlounge.com/articles_m...d=6240_0_8_0_M seems to show the 1.25 being faster than the 1.42

these are all tests. how are these machines performing in real life scenarios?

thanks.
     
liquidtrance123
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Feb 21, 2005, 04:10 PM
 
So has anyone proved that the 1.25GHz mini's come with a 5400rpm drive or is this solely a rumor or luck of the draw?
(Powermac) 2x 2.0Ghz / 2560MB DDR400 / Radeon x800xt / 2x 36GB Raptors (Raid 0)
20" Apple Cinema Display
     
power142
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Feb 21, 2005, 08:43 PM
 
Some people have posted the model number of their drives both here and in the Apple support discussion forum. Many seem to indicate a 5400rpm drive with 2MB cache. Many report the 1.42GHz 80GB drive as being 4200rpm with 8MB cache. The 80GB drive feels much more responsive than the drive in my Powerbook, with almost a 50% increase in sequential read and write speeds - though I haven't figured out how this is so with the same spindle speed. Maybe it's because of a higher data density on the 80GB compared with my Powerbook drive.
     
truckweb
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Feb 21, 2005, 09:08 PM
 
80Gig - 4200 - 8Mb Cache
40Gig - 5400 - 2Mb Cache

So mabe the cache helps the 80Gig to not feel THAT slow....

Anyway, I was playing with a mini with the 80Gig and loading iTune or Safari did not seem so bad. And it had 256Mb of ram....!

Faster than WinXP + iTune on my IBM laptop (512Mb) anyway...
Truckweb.
Apple Mac mini - 1.42Ghz, 512Mb, SD, AE
     
RussS
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Feb 21, 2005, 09:22 PM
 
Originally posted by mak_attack:
to add to my comment above:

http://www.ipodlounge.com/articles_m...d=6240_0_8_0_M seems to show the 1.25 being faster than the 1.42

these are all tests. how are these machines performing in real life scenarios?

thanks.
I don't know what the guys over at iPodlounge are smoking because those scores are not time in seconds. In Xbench the higher the score the better. Those scores clearly show that the 1.42 is faster than the 1.25.
( Last edited by RussS; Feb 21, 2005 at 09:31 PM. )
     
RussS
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Feb 21, 2005, 09:43 PM
 
This will give you an idea how well the Mac mini performs in Photoshop. These are the results of running ps7bench in PS7. Higher is better.

Code:
2666 P4 (DDR 333) 269 2x 1000 G4 DDR 10.2 267 1420 G4 Mac Mini 512 MB RAM 266 2400+ Athlon XP (2Ghz) 262 2x 1000 G4 OS9 260
     
WoD
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Feb 22, 2005, 08:06 AM
 
Ha, RussS I see exactly what you mean about the time in seconds, confusing! If only the other lot got the Firewire performance horribly wrong and it actually runs twice as fast - one can only dream (bloody FW400).

Those Photoshop numbers look promising, not tha I can really tell what on earth those figures are saying - but the fact all the results for different systems are near enough the same is good enough for me.

I am not sure whether or not I expect Photoshop on the mini to run better than Photoshop on my 2.8ghz VAIO, just as good is good enough for me.

Well, I may not have my "blisteringly fast", but still got the portability, size, and a "measurable speed increase" - Good enough for me, getting into all this "performance" malarky is a bad habit. I think I prefer space over speed.
     
mak_attack  (op)
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Feb 22, 2005, 02:27 PM
 
WoD have you got your mac mini?

once you use it can you tell me how it performs

thanks,
     
   
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