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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Mac Mini: Powerful enough? And a couple other queries


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Slokunshialgo

 
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I have been considering getting myself a Mac mini as my introduction to the Mac world. I've used macs at school, and have rather enjoyed them over their PC counterpart, so I do have a small bit of experience with them. My main reason for thinking of the mini is the cost, and it'd be easier to still use my PC than with a full-out one.

My concern: I do the occasional bit of video & audio editing, and I know that it comes with iMovie and Garageband (Or so I've been told), which both seem to be pretty good programs. But, my question is, would the mini (Cheaper model, 1.66 gHz dual-core) be powerful enough to allow me to do this quickly, easily, and smoothly? (ie: No major hang-ups during editing, not having to wait awhile for various effects to be used)

Another concern: Since I already have Premier for Windows, as wlel as a basic editor for Linux (Same PC box), I can use Audacity on either, and I can use the PC for gaming and such, is there any practical reason for me to purchase a mac in addition to keeping my current computer?
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mr g5

 
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at the very least you would want to upgrade to 1 gb of RAM. Ideally you would want the 1.83 ghz

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sluzniak

 
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One more thing to consider. With the intel macs you can also run windows XP with apple's Boot camp. It would be the same as dual booting, (IE you would have to reboot the mac and boot it into XP) but you can then play your games, and your other video editing software. But one thing to keep in mind, the mac mini has the intel 950 video card, which isn't the greatest. IMHO you would have a much better mac experiece if you saved some more, and purchased a 17" iMac for 1199.00 I know its twice as much, but it comes with 1GB of ram, a DVD burner, the better video card, bigger HD and of course a 17" LCD screen. Now with that system you wouldn't need to really keep your PC around anymore. Just install windows on boot camp.
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mr g5

 
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it would be nice if apple used pci-e or agp cards so you could change them yourself. that would be a great system.

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sluzniak

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr g5
it would be nice if apple used pci-e or agp cards so you could change them yourself. that would be a great system.
You mean without having to spend 2500 on a mac pro?

Well elegant sleekness comes at a cost. maybe someday apple with come out with upgradable video chips on the logic board.
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mr g5

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sluzniak
You mean without having to spend 2500 on a mac pro?

Well elegant sleekness comes at a cost. maybe someday apple with come out with upgradable video chips on the logic board.
yea on like the mini.

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Slokunshialgo

 
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Well, the Ram I admit would probably be a bit of a problem without an upgrade. About the processor, however, wouldn't that matter primarily--especially with the small difference in power--when it comes to rendering/compiling the video? EDIT: I ask this simply because if this would be the main concern, then it's not much of one for me: I can easily leave it sitting for a bit working away.

And either way, with the release of Leopard, and the probable upgrade of the current models for newer & better ones, is it worth it just waiting a few months to get one?
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sluzniak

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slokunshialgo
Well, the Ram I admit would probably be a bit of a problem without an upgrade. About the processor, however, wouldn't that matter primarily--especially with the small difference in power--when it comes to rendering/compiling the video? EDIT: I ask this simply because if this would be the main concern, then it's not much of one for me: I can easily leave it sitting for a bit working away.

And either way, with the release of Leopard, and the probable upgrade of the current models for newer & better ones, is it worth it just waiting a few months to get one?
Well with the better processor you will be able to see more effects and filters in fcp without having to render out the file first. definatly makes a difference. As far as Leopard goes, Leopard is supposed to take more advantage of the 64 bit abilities of the Core2Duo processors in the iMac, and mac pros. So when you upgrade from Tiger to Leopard you would see a significant speed increase in the OS. The mini's CoreDuo processor would be fine, it just wouldn't take advantage of the 64 bit support.

I think the real thing you should think of is what you want to do with it once you are done with school. If you are going to be doing more and more video editing and multimedia applications in the long run I definatly think its better to save a bit more and go for an imac. If you look on apple's refurbished site you can find the 17" Core2Duo's for 1099.00 with 1gb of ram.
http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPL....8.25.7.11.2.3

You just need to check back there often if you don't see it.. I think it gets updated like twice a week.
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mr g5

 
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well soon the minis are going to get the core2duo, and thats faster.

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sluzniak

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr g5
well soon the minis are going to get the core2duo, and thats faster.

Yes the core2duo would help out.. maybe they would update the video chip on them.. LOL that was a good one.. but like I said the core2duo would help out a lot when Leopard comes along.
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Alexis

 
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You'd see very little difference with the 170Mhz between the 1.66 and 1.83Ghz processors.

The architecture is far more important, hence why in the PC world, a 2Ghz Sempron processor would be far outperformed by a 2GHz Athlon 64.

Clock speeds are much more important as a marketing tool than to give an accurate representation of speed.

If you can wait 2 or 3 months for the Core 2 Duo to appear, you might see a bigger benefit for when Leopard does more with the 64 bit side of things next spring.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexis
You'd see very little difference with the 170Mhz between the 1.66 and 1.83Ghz processors.

The architecture is far more important, hence why in the PC world, a 2Ghz Sempron processor would be far outperformed by a 2GHz Athlon 64.

Clock speeds are much more important as a marketing tool than to give an accurate representation of speed.

If you can wait 2 or 3 months for the Core 2 Duo to appear, you might see a bigger benefit for when Leopard does more with the 64 bit side of things next spring.
i've herad that the new core2duo will be quad core. So a mini will keep up with a current mac pro.

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dohidied

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr g5
i've herad that the new core2duo will be quad core. So a mini will keep up with a current mac pro.
No, the Core 2 Quadro will be quad core. And I guarantee it will be a long time, if ever, before the Mini gets a quad core processor. The Mini is the bottom of the barrel for Apple, and they certainly aren't going to toss a Quadro in there right when it comes out.
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Hulk_SMASH
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Originally Posted by dohidied
they certainly aren't going to toss a Quadro in there right when it comes out.

No, but YOU CAN put the core2duo processor into the mini NOW and a Core2Quad when it comes out. You just buy one of the core2s with the T in front of it instead of the E ie: T7600 not E6600 and it'll drop right into the cpu slot. The core2Quadro will be the same way (confirmed by intel). The Core2 T processors are a bit pricey right now, so if you bought a $599 CoreDuo mini then paid another $300 for the Core2, then paid another $200 for a 17" Widescreen monitor then you're at the same amount of $$$ as the imac. This is what I did because I'm not a fan of integrated monitors and needed to sare the monitor between 2 machines via a switch, plus I liked the design of the mini. The only difference between the mini and the low-end imac is the coreduo vs the core2 and the integrated monitor, step up to the next level 17" imac and you get an ATI x1600 vid-chip, step up to the 19" and you get a ATI x1900 vid-chip. The vid-chip doesn't really amount to a hill of beans though if you don't plan on doing any Windows gaming.
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