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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

mini - Mac Mini surprise

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Member Since: Aug 03, 2007
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homenetman is on a distinguished road

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My wife's PowerMac (g4; 1 ghz) just died and we decided to replace it with a Mac mini since she isn't a "heavy" user (no video editing, etc; just mostly word processing; e-mail and a little bit of page design).

Surprisingly, she found the Mac Mini to be slower than her five-year-old Power Mac. My guess is that this is the combination of too little memory (the mini has 512mb vs the 768mb in the G4) and slow hard drive (5400 rpm v. 7200 rpm).

I know adding more memory to the mini would help but I'm guessing that would only get her to "par" with the old G4 and am considering upgrading to the MacPro. The real decision point is that she wants to modify some old Pagemaker files (she was using Pagemaker in classic mode on the g4) and will need to upgrade to inDesign. I'm guessing that will be crawling on the mini and we need the MacPro.

Any thoughts?

I also wanted to post to help others considering a mini. Lots of good reasons to get one, but performance obviously won't blow you away - we were surprised it couldn't keep up with a five-year-old Powermac on 'simple' aps.
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My Xbench scores went up from 80 to 91 with simply adding a 7200.2 Seagate Momentus 160GB HDD. The Mini feels overall faster, less beachballs, etc. A friend reminded me that most UNIX/Linux based sytems use paging space in addition to RAM, and that they use it quite liberally for even the most basic tasks. Basically, this upgrade made the virtual memory "faster" so to speak. This seems to make sense as even with app's that didn't seem very read/write intensive on the system were faster. A quick check with iStat revealed that there was still alot of paging going on which was behind the scenes.
Anyhow, toss in 2GB or RAM for $100 (OWC) and throw in a 160GB/7200 for another $120 ( I bet your system runs pretty zippy after that. You can always toss in a Core 2 Duo if you feel the need, but that's kind of overkill until you try everything else. Just one man's opinin. Anyone else have a good nugget of wisdom to add?

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