Jump to content

Mac mini: My little power-package.


  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1
Urbz

Urbz

    La cr�me de la cr�me...(?)

  • Retired Developers
  • 837 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Montreal, QC, Canada
Hello,

Pretty long post: just read the bold if you're lazy!

I'm getting a Mac mini. I'm holding out for the next revision (hopefully that'll come before January!) but otherwise am not too concerned with getting the current gen.

Basically, i wanted a little Mac tower. Considered the Powermac G5 now that prices are going down, but i have decided to go with Intel and because the benchmarks are impressive over the G5, and i wouldn't buy a top-of-the-line G5 anyways. So i started thinking about the tower, and was gonna try building a Mac Pro. Stupid idea!
I considered waiting for a mid-range mac tower (if that ever comes out) but don't want that either.

I want a Mac mini.
I have an Apple Wireless Keyboard and Wireless Mighty Mouse, a brand new Acer display (which i positively LOVE!) with some great speakers. I love the tiny form factor and front row and the fact that i can move it easily and relocate my whole computer on a whim.

I am, however, slightly concerned with upgradeability.

Here's the plan:

I'm going to buy a low end (Core Solo) Mac mini and upgrade it a bit.
First, i'll probably just get a core duo. The prices are gonna go down now that the core 2 duos are out, and it's a simple upgrade. I might also wait it out and just get a core 2 duo when leopard comes out for the 64-bit. I figure this doesn't matter much cuz the processor's still better than my hp's 1.73ghz pentium m (mainly due to sse3 speeding up work with imovie, etc). So there's the processor. Eventually, i'll be getting the most powerful merom available, and that'll keep me happy for quite a while. So processor is taken care of.
Next on the list: superdrive. I already have a spare pioneer k06 (the iMac superdrive's a k05) that's a slimline and reads all optical discs. It burns at 8x and i'm rly happy with it. It's slot loading.
Also, my laptop has a 100gig drive that i'll replace the 60gig with, and i'll be borrowing 512mg sodimm at 533mhz (little performance hit there) but at least i'll have 1 gb of ram.

Question one: Is the max ram for the Mac mini and iMac stuck at 2 GB because there are no 2GB so-dimms as of yet? I sure hope so... I haven't found any 2 gig sticks out there.

Moving along, at this point i'll have a nice little system set up. The thing that concerns me, though, is the hard drive. External 3.5" drives hooked up by firewire 800 that go under the mini so as to only increase it's height are plentiful.

Question two: How fast would an external SATA disk set up with firewire as mentioned be in comparison to my internal drive? Would it be fast enough to use as my boot drive?

Finally, there are a few TV recording things out there for macs by elgatto.

Question three: Is there any that you could recommend in particular, and would this be OK for someone looking to record normal tv or hd-tv nicely and with ease?

I should mention that the gma950 doesn't bother me as i won't be playing games and the elgatto solutions do most of their work at the product, not the computer.

I'm hoping to have myself a great little system which should handle everything i throw at it, save intense 3d games at their highest detail levels. After upgrades, would this be a good overall solution based on what I have? I spent a lot of time thinking this over and would love to hear what you guys would do in my situation, as well as and suggestions, improvements, or even downgrades you would make in my place. Or even things you would do in the long run.
Do you think i should wait for the next revision of the mini to see if i could get a little more out of it, or perhaps a lower price?

All comments would be highly appreciated!

Thanks for reading, and for having the patience to answer my questions,

-Urby

#2
glassJAw

glassJAw

    InsanelyMac Sage

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 465 posts
Hey, that sounds like a great plan. I was thinking about getting a Mac Mini as well. Mostly to replace my current pc thats about 4 years old. I have a laptop thats a little better than it anyways.

Since you already have componets you look like your set. I would def. do what you are doing. I was under the impression that Mac Minis only have one ddr2 slot though.


This is a off topic to your post, but do you know if the old G4 Mac Mini has support for CI and QE?

#3
slipstream

slipstream

    InsanelyMac Geek

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 135 posts
2 x's 1 gig sticks making it 2 gigs max

I think u can use an external drive on the firewire port to boot

the Elgato stuff is definitly the way to go a few models but read around the web and youll see

I have a mini myself the core duo 1.66 with 1.25g's of ram and 80gig the thing flies along.. they are in no way slow and the 5400rpm drives that come standard are only a tiny bit slower than a 7200 and most people wont notice it, it is more important to get the ram to 1 gig or above but 1 gig seems to be the sweet spot. I have a 2.4ghz dell optiplex hackintosh and the mini beats it no worries and is so much nicer as the dell has always had a few quirks with OS X so I am very happy.
I bought mine brand new from a guy on ebay unopned and full apple warrenty etc for $650 USD and he even threw in free fedex to New Zealand for me.. pretty cool
You can throw in a merom or faster yonah chip easy enough but I have no need of the extra speed at the moment Live 5 flies along and when Live six comes out I'll be even happier as it will use both cores so go even faster

#4
EPDM

EPDM

    InsanelyMac Geek

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 200 posts

Hey, that sounds like a great plan. I was thinking about getting a Mac Mini as well. Mostly to replace my current pc thats about 4 years old. I have a laptop thats a little better than it anyways.

Since you already have componets you look like your set. I would def. do what you are doing. I was under the impression that Mac Minis only have one ddr2 slot though.
This is a off topic to your post, but do you know if the old G4 Mac Mini has support for CI and QE?


Present Mac mini's use SO-DIMM sockets. They have just like real laptops 2 sockets of which one is occupied standard. Keep in mind that SO-DIMM's are bit more expensive than standard DIMM-socket RAM.

The older Mac Mini has NO support for CI and QE AFAIK. Partly because it hasn't got enough videoram. I've read that minimum 64MB VRAM is needed while the older Mac Mini only has non-upgradable 32MB VRAM.

#5
dturano547

dturano547

    InsanelyMac Protégé

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 7 posts
Wow I didnt know it was that easy to upgrade the chip in a mac mini. If I was to buy a mac mini solo core I could upgrade it down the road to a dual core? Or if I were to buy the Core duo I can upgrade to core duo 2 down the road?

If that is the case I hope they come out with the core 2 and just lower the price on the current offerings. Im a newbie to mac so I can get my feet wet and if I need the extra speed down the road for leapord or something I can upgrade as needed.

What do you think?

#6
slipstream

slipstream

    InsanelyMac Geek

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 135 posts

Wow I didnt know it was that easy to upgrade the chip in a mac mini. If I was to buy a mac mini solo core I could upgrade it down the road to a dual core? Or if I were to buy the Core duo I can upgrade to core duo 2 down the road?

If that is the case I hope they come out with the core 2 and just lower the price on the current offerings. Im a newbie to mac so I can get my feet wet and if I need the extra speed down the road for leapord or something I can upgrade as needed.

What do you think?


i expect the new mini to be out sometime this month maybe announced on 12th Septemeber at the Apple event. Who really knows. Yes the chip is swappable easy enough .. well it isn't really easy to get at initially but i popped mine open and put 1 gig of ram in and I could see the cpu heatsink so i could off popped that out in another 10 minutes .. check this link out for a video on it.. it is way easy to open the case than what it ;ools here though.. took me all of 20 seconds with a slim cheese cutter! I couldnt find my slim putty knife

here is a video http://eshop.macsale...o/mini/med.html
here is a detailed page for cpu removal u may need to choose english.
http://hdtv.o0o.it/mini/

#7
sandmanfvrga

sandmanfvrga

    InsanelyMac Legend

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,091 posts
http://www.apple.com...mini/specs.html

Those are the new specs. The thing comes with a sata drive in it, I don't see your need for an external. I had an older mac mini (second revision, last of the PowerPC's) and it was fast in access. Now they are even faster. Just don't mess with a solo, get s duo and put 1 gig or more ram, boost the hard drive size and you are golden.

#8
Xenctuary

Xenctuary

    InsanelyMac Protégé

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 70 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:United Kingdom
All Macs now come with Core Duo as standard, so that shouldn't be a problem anymore.

#9
bwhsh8r

bwhsh8r

    InsanelyMac Deity

  • Gurus
  • 2,085 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Machine

Hello,

Pretty long post: just read the bold if you're lazy!

I'm getting a Mac mini. I'm holding out for the next revision (hopefully that'll come before January!) but otherwise am not too concerned with getting the current gen.

Basically, i wanted a little Mac tower. Considered the Powermac G5 now that prices are going down, but i have decided to go with Intel and because the benchmarks are impressive over the G5, and i wouldn't buy a top-of-the-line G5 anyways. So i started thinking about the tower, and was gonna try building a Mac Pro. Stupid idea!
I considered waiting for a mid-range mac tower (if that ever comes out) but don't want that either.

I want a Mac mini.
I have an Apple Wireless Keyboard and Wireless Mighty Mouse, a brand new Acer display (which i positively LOVE!) with some great speakers. I love the tiny form factor and front row and the fact that i can move it easily and relocate my whole computer on a whim.

I am, however, slightly concerned with upgradeability.

Here's the plan:

I'm going to buy a low end (Core Solo) Mac mini and upgrade it a bit.
First, i'll probably just get a core duo. The prices are gonna go down now that the core 2 duos are out, and it's a simple upgrade. I might also wait it out and just get a core 2 duo when leopard comes out for the 64-bit. I figure this doesn't matter much cuz the processor's still better than my hp's 1.73ghz pentium m (mainly due to sse3 speeding up work with imovie, etc). So there's the processor. Eventually, i'll be getting the most powerful merom available, and that'll keep me happy for quite a while. So processor is taken care of.
Next on the list: superdrive. I already have a spare pioneer k06 (the iMac superdrive's a k05) that's a slimline and reads all optical discs. It burns at 8x and i'm rly happy with it. It's slot loading.
Also, my laptop has a 100gig drive that i'll replace the 60gig with, and i'll be borrowing 512mg sodimm at 533mhz (little performance hit there) but at least i'll have 1 gb of ram.

Question one: Is the max ram for the Mac mini and iMac stuck at 2 GB because there are no 2GB so-dimms as of yet? I sure hope so... I haven't found any 2 gig sticks out there.

Moving along, at this point i'll have a nice little system set up. The thing that concerns me, though, is the hard drive. External 3.5" drives hooked up by firewire 800 that go under the mini so as to only increase it's height are plentiful.

Question two: How fast would an external SATA disk set up with firewire as mentioned be in comparison to my internal drive? Would it be fast enough to use as my boot drive?

Finally, there are a few TV recording things out there for macs by elgatto.

Question three: Is there any that you could recommend in particular, and would this be OK for someone looking to record normal tv or hd-tv nicely and with ease?

I should mention that the gma950 doesn't bother me as i won't be playing games and the elgatto solutions do most of their work at the product, not the computer.

I'm hoping to have myself a great little system which should handle everything i throw at it, save intense 3d games at their highest detail levels. After upgrades, would this be a good overall solution based on what I have? I spent a lot of time thinking this over and would love to hear what you guys would do in my situation, as well as and suggestions, improvements, or even downgrades you would make in my place. Or even things you would do in the long run.
Do you think i should wait for the next revision of the mini to see if i could get a little more out of it, or perhaps a lower price?

All comments would be highly appreciated!

Thanks for reading, and for having the patience to answer my questions,

-Urby



well, i think thats a pritty good idea... although the apple+new ram=very picky, and i mean verrry picky... but other than that sounds good :P


max

#10
Urbz

Urbz

    La cr�me de la cr�me...(?)

  • Retired Developers
  • 837 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Montreal, QC, Canada
Thanks for all the replies. I'll probably be getting the mini next week now that the "new" (refreshed?) model is out.
It remains to be seen, however, what the chipset is in the new mini. I suspect they either didn't change it at all, or went with a 965.
I hope we'll be able to get 64-bit though. No one is sure if the mini with a core 2 duo can perform 64-bit tasks. Other than that, I have no concerns.

-Urby

PS I'll be picking it up at the new Laval QC Apple Store! Hooray!

#11
Xenctuary

Xenctuary

    InsanelyMac Protégé

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 70 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:United Kingdom
I'm not too sure whether new mini's are capable of carrying out 64 bit tasks, but happy shopping all the same! :P

#12
bwhsh8r

bwhsh8r

    InsanelyMac Deity

  • Gurus
  • 2,085 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Machine
the cpu is capable, but other than that idk...


max





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

© 2014 InsanelyMac  |   News  |   Forum  |   Downloads  |   OSx86 Wiki  |   Mac Netbook  |   PHP hosting by CatN  |   Designed by Ed Gain  |   Logo by irfan  |   Privacy Policy