Mini Mac Performance with 1 Gig of RAM

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Ringo Langly, Feb 10, 2005.

  1. Ringo Langly

    Ringo Langly Guest

    Hi all,

    My current machine is a PowerMac G4 dual-867 with 768 megs/RAM... and
    I'm looking at getting a Mini Mac 1.25 and uping the ram to 1 Gig
    (memory from Crucial, not Apple).

    My question is what performance am I looking at with the Mini Mac
    compared to my current PowerMac G4? Though the processor is the same
    and it'll have more RAM in the Mini, the Mini will only have the 2.5"
    4200 RPM HD while my PowerMac has a 7200 RPM drive. Will this ping
    performance any? I checked NewEgg, and either I was searching wrong or
    they don't have any 2.5" drives other then a couple of high-performance
    ones for $400 and $800. If I did find a 7200 RPM drive or 5400 RPM
    even, would this help the performance on the Mini?

    This computer will be used for work, so Photoshop, BBEdit, MS Office,
    Entourage, etc. Many of these apps will be running concurrently. I
    don't however need high-end video for gaming or video editing -- my
    forte is graphics editing and web design.

    Thanks .. just curious to see what this little $850 investment will
    handle :)

    Ringo Langly, Feb 10, 2005
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  2. Ringo Langly

    o-chan Guest

    My current machine is a PowerMac G4 dual-867 with 768 megs/RAM... and
    The performance will be similar I would guess. Yeah, the drive is 4200,
    and it does make a difference, but not that often. Boot time will be
    slower for example.
    They DO have 2.5" drives. Go into hardware - "see all categories" - and
    then "notebook drives".

    There are 7200 rpm 2.5" drives but they're not as big as the biggest
    5400 rpm drives you can get. I think you'll get a noticeable
    performance increase with the 5400 rpm drive but probably not much of
    one with the 7200 rpm drive. Remember you've only got an ATA66 bus
    connecting the drive.

    Other World Computing also sells drives for the mini but I think Newegg
    might be a little cheaper. Both have a Seagate 100 GB 5400 rpm drive
    listed, the biggest I've found so far.
    Your current computer doesn't sound so bad for those tasks. I think
    you'll only see a small performance gain in the mini. Although, getting
    rid of a bigger desktop model might be enough of a bonus to upgrade.

    Good luck.
    o-chan, Feb 10, 2005
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  3. Ringo Langly

    Ringo Langly Guest

    Hi o-chan,

    I did find the 7200 RPM drives, and I might look at moving to one of
    these soon - though they're not cheap. Also thanks for the thing on
    NewEgg, I'm not sure why they don't come-up with a standard HD search.

    A 40 Gig 7200RPM drive is $113 and 60 Gig is $148. I think this will
    drastically improve the speed of the Mini Mac, so this might be worth

    So at this point, here's my Mini Mac specs:

    · 256MB DDR333 SDRAM - 1 DIMM
    · 40GB Ultra ATA drive
    · Combo Drive
    · Internal Bluetooth + AirPort Extreme Card
    · 56K v.92 Modem
    · Mac OS X - U.S. English
    · 1.25GHz PowerPC G4
    Subtotal $568.00 (with my Student discount)

    I'll spend another $219 at for 1 Gig of RAM and down the
    road spend the $150 or so for a 7200 RPM drive. This makes this little
    system about $937 after it's all said and done... but other then video
    it'll be a screamer :) I already have several external Firewire IDE
    drivebays, which I'll either stick the original 40Gig in or just pop
    for a 200+ Gig HD for extra storage. With these drivebays you can swap
    HD's like floppy or zip disks :)

    Thanks for the feedback, and take care.

    Ringo Langly, Feb 10, 2005
  4. Ringo Langly

    Oxford Guest

    you can always get an external 3.5, 7200rpm drive and use it as your
    main boot, app, file drive... that's cheaper than getting a slower 2.5
    drive. the max size for a 2.5 is 100GB and is 5400. the fastest 2.5 is
    7200 but is only 60GB. i suspect we'll see a boom in building 2.5 drives
    that are higher capacity, higher speed, the huge demand for the mini
    will make it so... but until then, using an external is the way to go if
    you want max speed...


    Oxford, Feb 10, 2005
  5. Ringo Langly


    It might also overheat it.
    , Feb 10, 2005
  6. Ringo Langly

    Steve Jankly Guest

    I upgraded my IBM Thinkpad X31 laptop to 1GB RAM & 60GB 7200RPM. There
    was no heating or noise issues with the new drive. It doesn't product
    any more heat than the old 4200rpm drive that was in it.
    Steve Jankly, Feb 10, 2005
  7. Ringo Langly

    Steve Jankly Guest

    Or you can get a 200-250GB 7200RPM drive w/8MB cache, and put it in a
    firewire enclosure and use that as the primary drive. It would be close
    to the same price as the hitachi 60GB 7200rpm 2.5". But that won't add
    to the sleekness of the Mini. Luxury comes at a cost, pretty much. It's
    up to you. From my experience, I benchmarked the hitachi 7200rpm drive
    on my ibm laptop, and it went 30MB/sec. I think theoretically, the
    firewire port can handle a maximum of 50MB/sec (400Mbit/sec / 8). So a
    250GB drive will probably go 40MB/sec, and you might saturate the port
    if you use other firewire peripherals.

    Steve Jankly, Feb 10, 2005
  8. Ringo Langly

    Ringo Langly Guest

    Hi Steve and everyone else who replied...

    I already use several Macally Firewire IDE bays on my Powermac G4 now,
    and I was planning on using the same setup on the Mac Mini -- but I
    didn't know you could boot from a Firewire drive. All that asside, I'd
    like to keep the boot drive internal mainly because this Mac will be
    going betweek work and home, kinda like a laptop, but I'll connect it
    to a KVM switch at each.

    For me, I carry lots of work between work and home, and having a
    computer I can move between the two is a major plus and one main reason
    to get a Mini Mac. I could get a laptop, but I want to use a full
    keyboard and mouse at both ends, so the mini is perfect for me :)

    At home though, I'll have my firewire drive with all my goodies while
    at work I'll have another firewire drive with lots of other
    work-related projects I don't need to carry home. It's a win-win
    situation. Plus It'll be VERY nice to move off Windows as my primary
    box at work. I'll still have it here for MS SQL Management Console and
    the Windows-only apps we use up here, but not for web production, image
    editing, email, and the other tasks.

    Thanks again for all the great replies and suggestions, and at this
    point I guess I'm still eyeing a 7200 RPM drive down the road.

    Take care,

    Ringo Langly, Feb 10, 2005
  9. I don't think he means an internal drive, but if he does, your point is
    well taken.
    George Graves, Feb 10, 2005
  10. Ringo Langly

    Mike Guest

    The performance will be similar I would guess. Yeah, the drive is 4200,
    and it does make a difference, but not that often. Boot time will be
    slower for example.[/QUOTE]

    I would say that his current machine would easily beat the mini,
    especially if it already has 7200 rpm drives. That and the dual CPUs
    and (probably) better video.

    If you're looking for a replacement machine, then the mini will likely
    disappoint you. If you're just looking for a cheap second machine,
    then it might be OK, although for the same amount of money a better used
    Mac can be had on eBay. Unless space is a consideration, then the mini
    comes out ahead.

    Ah, choices!

    Mike, Feb 10, 2005
  11. Ringo Langly


    I'm pretty sure he does, as he keeps talking about
    pricing out high-speed 2.5" drives.

    I'm also pretty sure it's a bad idea. Not positive, but
    a strong suspicion.
    , Feb 10, 2005
  12. Ringo Langly

    Oxford Guest

    what? overheat it??? nah, it has a fan if needed, heat issues have been
    engineered out of the design, any 2.5 drive will be fine...
    Oxford, Feb 11, 2005
  13. Ringo Langly


    Your current computer doesn't sound so bad for those tasks.

    #1 rule of upgrading, don't upgrade until you have to...

    Keep the money in the bank and wait for a machine that is 2x the
    performance of your current rig.

    That's what I do.
    , Feb 11, 2005
  14. Ringo Langly

    Ringo Langly Guest

    Hello everyone,

    I'm not really upgrading per say -- my PowerMac G4 will continue to be
    my primary machine at home with the Mini being a second unit when doing
    work. But _at_ work the Mini will become my primary machine replacing
    a 1.4 Ghz Win 2K box. The Win 2K box will still be there, but mainly
    for Exchange Administrator, MS SQl Console Manager, and a few other
    tools which won't run on Mac.

    Ringo Langly, Feb 11, 2005
  15. I have replaced my 4200 rpm in my mac mini with the 7200 rpm travelstar
    and my temp is lower than the 4200 unit (using temp monitor lite). It
    is much faster than the original 4200 rpm, but expensive. Luckily, I
    had a buyer for my 80 gig 4200 unit and I didn't need that much space,
    so it only wound up costing me $50 total.
    Scott Micciche, Feb 15, 2005
  16. Ringo Langly

    TRB Guest

    I have reduced my carrying needs even further, I just carry a portable firewire
    harddrive with the data.
    Hook it up to the computer at work, or the labtop at home...
    No need to carry a computer anymore.
    TRB, Feb 16, 2005
  17. Ringo Langly

    clvrmnky Guest

    It depends. Larger, faster drives make more heat. Somewhere in the
    neighbourhood of 5-7degC more, depending on the manufacturer.


    You'd have to be sure that the fan on the mini moves enough air to keep
    the case temperature below a critical point. One could accept the
    operating temperature peaking as high as 40-45degC under load, but this
    might also depend on other factors. Either way, that is a lot of power
    to dissipate as heat.

    The mini is made of plastic, right? I understand the chassis is some
    kind of alloy. Wasn't there a problem with early generating PowerBooks
    deforming as a result of CPU and HD heat? The other bits and pieces in
    that little case have their own temperature ratings, as well.

    I'd make sure that the idle temperature did not exceed much more than
    whatever it is with the slower HD installed. I'd be concerned if case
    temp exceeded 35degC under load. This assumes "normal" room
    temperature, of course. Kilometreage will vary.

    -- cm
    clvrmnky, Feb 16, 2005
  18. Ringo Langly


    had a buyer for my 80 gig 4200 unit and I didn't need that much space,
    hmmm. I could do the same... put a travelstar in the mini and pop the
    80GB and put it in my PBG4 (40GB). Not a bad plan...
    , Feb 17, 2005
  19. Ringo Langly

    TravelinMan Guest

    Yes, it will normally work fine for a Mac.

    It will be a significant problem for Windows.

    For Linux, it's going to be problematic, as well, because of all the
    different distributions. You'd almost have to keep the source code on
    the hard drive and compile it for each version.
    TravelinMan, Feb 22, 2005
  20. Ringo Langly

    Edwin Guest

    So you're saying that Linux applications must be recompiled for every

    I cross posted this to Linux Advocacy so the guys who actually know
    something about Linux can have some laughs at your expense, Joe.
    Edwin, Feb 22, 2005
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