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Mac mini power/speed comparison

Message #1 - Posted 2007/02/20 - Justin C

I put three Mac Minis in the office a while ago, 1.33GHz G4 PPC machines. I've been a little disappointed in their performance; it's not a problem though, they're adequate for their purpose and I don't have to use one. It is now time, however, to replace my aged Windows 98 PC, and, as part of our migration to Mac, it's going to be replaced by a Mac.

My concern is that the machine will be, at least to me, not much less sluggish than the 1.33 G4s I've already use. Has anyone in this newsgroup used both a G4 (as above) and also the new 1.83GHz Intel Mini? What was your opinion on the power of one compared with the other?

If anyone else has any ideas or thoughts on this subject I'd be happy to read them, and will, indeed, welcome them.

To flesh out the above a bit. The Mac Pro, lovely, sexy, dominatrix that it is, is just too expensive (I've more than one to buy too), so I'm trying to decide between Minis with a 23" cinema display or iMacs with a 24" display. A negative I have with the iMac is that if either the screen or the computer fail it's all failed, at least with two separate components I can swap one out more easily. Also, one of these is going to be a new home machine for the boss, he's a luddite, and techno-phobe, and a big machine is going to scare the hell out of him.

WRT migration from Windows to Mac, it's been mostly painless, and I'm happier having machines that require no maintenance, much happier. We do still have to keep one Windows machine, however, because ParcelForce refuse to make their web-site compatible with anything other than XP. When they up there system requirements to be Vista, then we'll be finding another carrier - I'll not have a service provider dictate what computers and operating system I may or may not use.

I do have one other question but I'll put that in another thread to save confusing this one.

Thank you, in advance, for your comments.

Justin.

Justin C, by the sea.

Message #2 - Posted 2007/02/20 - David Sankey

Previously, Justin C wrote:

I put three Mac Minis in the office a while ago, 1.33GHz G4 PPC machines. I've been a little disappointed in their performance; it's not a problem though, they're adequate for their purpose and I don't have to use one. It is now time, however, to replace my aged Windows 98 PC, and, as part of our migration to Mac, it's going to be replaced by a Mac.

My concern is that the machine will be, at least to me, not much less sluggish than the 1.33 G4s I've already use. Has anyone in this newsgroup used both a G4 (as above) and also the new 1.83GHz Intel Mini? What was your opinion on the power of one compared with the other?

If anyone else has any ideas or thoughts on this subject I'd be happy to read them, and will, indeed, welcome them.

The G4 minis had 2.5 inch drives so were a tad sluggish whenever you paged, so certainly benefited from extra RAM (I went for 1 GB in mine). I doubt that they've squeezed a 3.5 inch drive into the Core Duo ones.

On the other hand all iMac models have standard 3.5 inch drives. The iMacs are also Core 2 Duo.

So the iMac has faster disk and wider CPU (and for the model you mention below, come by default with more memory).

I don't have experience of the Core Duo, but do of the Core 2 Duo, where even something running on just one core is twice as fast as my old similar clock speed Pentium IV PC.

So I would conclude that with extra memory the mini might be fast enough, but the iMac will be faster.

To flesh out the above a bit. The Mac Pro, lovely, sexy, dominatrix that it is, is just too expensive (I've more than one to buy too), so I'm trying to decide between Minis with a 23" cinema display or iMacs with a 24" display. A negative I have with the iMac is that if either the screen or the computer fail it's all failed, at least with two separate components I can swap one out more easily. Also, one of these is going to be a new home machine for the boss, he's a luddite, and techno-phobe, and a big machine is going to scare the hell out of him.

Surely this latter point also suggests iMac rather than mini? Look at a real one, not just the photos.

Kind regards,

Dave

Message #3 - Posted 2007/02/20 - Rob E

"David Sankey" <D.P.C.Sankey@rl.ac.uk> wrote in message news:D.P.C.Sankey-B90449.17243020022007@no-reverse-defined.ja.net...

Previously, Justin C wrote:

I put three Mac Minis in the office a while ago, 1.33GHz G4 PPC machines. I've been a little disappointed in their performance; it's not a problem though, they're adequate for their purpose and I don't have to use one. It is now time, however, to replace my aged Windows 98 PC, and, as part of our migration to Mac, it's going to be replaced by a Mac.

My concern is that the machine will be, at least to me, not much less sluggish than the 1.33 G4s I've already use. Has anyone in this newsgroup used both a G4 (as above) and also the new 1.83GHz Intel Mini? What was your opinion on the power of one compared with the other?

If anyone else has any ideas or thoughts on this subject I'd be happy to read them, and will, indeed, welcome them.

The G4 minis had 2.5 inch drives so were a tad sluggish whenever you paged, so certainly benefited from extra RAM (I went for 1 GB in mine). I doubt that they've squeezed a 3.5 inch drive into the Core Duo ones.

On the other hand all iMac models have standard 3.5 inch drives. The iMacs are also Core 2 Duo.

So the iMac has faster disk and wider CPU (and for the model you mention below, come by default with more memory).

I don't have experience of the Core Duo, but do of the Core 2 Duo, where even something running on just one core is twice as fast as my old similar clock speed Pentium IV PC.

So I would conclude that with extra memory the mini might be fast enough, but the iMac will be faster.

To flesh out the above a bit. The Mac Pro, lovely, sexy, dominatrix that it is, is just too expensive (I've more than one to buy too), so I'm trying to decide between Minis with a 23" cinema display or iMacs with a 24" display. A negative I have with the iMac is that if either the screen or the computer fail it's all failed, at least with two separate components I can swap one out more easily. Also, one of these is going to be a new home machine for the boss, he's a luddite, and techno-phobe, and a big machine is going to scare the hell out of him.

Surely this latter point also suggests iMac rather than mini? Look at a real one, not just the photos.

Kind regards,

Dave

Hi,
we don't have any speed probs with our Mini's.
We tested the other day and they only ran about 1%
behind the big guys! Not bad.....
Regards,
Rob.E

Message #4 - Posted 2007/02/20 - Rob

Justin C wrote:

I put three Mac Minis in the office a while ago, 1.33GHz G4 PPC machines. I've been a little disappointed in their performance; it's not a problem though, they're adequate for their purpose and I don't have to use one. It is now time, however, to replace my aged Windows 98 PC, and, as part of our migration to Mac, it's going to be replaced by a Mac.

My concern is that the machine will be, at least to me, not much less sluggish than the 1.33 G4s I've already use. Has anyone in this newsgroup used both a G4 (as above) and also the new 1.83GHz Intel Mini? What was your opinion on the power of one compared with the other?

I moved from a G4 IGB RAM Mini to an Intel iMac, 2GB RAM. Running MS Office, there's not much difference, and much the same with any Power PC app. Some things are quicker - scrolling, saving/loading big files, starting apps up. But once they're loaded into memory and sitting in the Dock, I can't say the difference is night and day for most of my uses.

Big differences are in scrolling and editing photos, and video/audio compression/editing using Intel applications.

I've also got an Intel Mini 1GB RAM, used as a music/video server. Again, it's a bit snappier and eats through MP3 encoding, but it's not a speed demon. PowerPC apps are still sluggish, and nothing like as snappy as a mid-range PC.

I have to say a lot of this is down to perception - I haven't actually measured anything (except Entourage - takes a good 20 seconds to load on an iMac from cold). Somehow a Mac trundling and getting on with it is just fine for me, though.

I think the most important variable for most people is RAM - more the better whatever the recent-gen Mac, and budget for 1GB.

Rob

Message #5 - Posted 2007/02/20 - Justin C

On 2007-02-20, David Sankey wrote:

[snip]

On the other hand all iMac models have standard 3.5 inch drives. The iMacs are also Core 2 Duo.

[snip]

I've not been following Intel product releases for some time. Whenever I've seen 'Core' and 'duo' I've always thought it's been the same thing, I've not noticed the '2' in there before.

Thank you for bringing that to my attention. I've just Googled CoreDuo and Core2Duo and educated myself, and I think you're right, I'm leaning much more towards the iMac now.

You suggested I go and look at one, I've seen them several times. I tend to lurk in the Apple store at Bluewater while my wife goes looking at clothes. We'll be there again on Sunday and I'll take another look.

On another thread someone mentioned a possible update to iWork, I bought that for myself when I got my MBP (my first Mac) and now wouldn't be without it. We do need, however, a spreadsheet at work so if one is imminent I shall hold back the purchase a little while.

Thanks for the reply, especially exposing my lack of knowledge which lead to my education!

Justin.

Justin C, by the sea.

Message #6 - Posted 2007/02/21 - Stimpy

On 20/2/07 23:24, "Justin C" wrote:

On another thread someone mentioned a possible update to iWork, I bought that for myself when I got my MBP (my first Mac) and now wouldn't be without it. We do need, however, a spreadsheet at work so if one is imminent I shall hold back the purchase a little while.

Well, this time last year, we were all discussing the likelihood of a spreadsheet appearing in iWork '06.

..and a lot of good that did us :-)

Message #7 - Posted 2007/02/21 - Justin C

On 2007-02-21, Stimpy wrote:

On 20/2/07 23:24, "Justin C" wrote:

On another thread someone mentioned a possible update to iWork, I bought that for myself when I got my MBP (my first Mac) and now wouldn't be without it. We do need, however, a spreadsheet at work so if one is imminent I shall hold back the purchase a little while.

Well, this time last year, we were all discussing the likelihood of a spreadsheet appearing in iWork '06.

..and a lot of good that did us :-)

I've just been Googling this, osnews.com thinks they may be holding back both iWork 07 and iLife 07 until the launch of Leopard because they contain features dependant on it. Hmmm.

How much do I need a new machine now? Ah, that's a toughie. It's going to be tough enough justifying the cost of the hardware as it is, to have to spring for an upgrade so soon afterwards won't go down well at all.

Justin.

Justin C, by the sea.

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