Journal, Technology

Quicksilver meets the Mac mini

At the COBA meeting last night, Harold brought his Mac mini to help with the monitor profiling presentation. Similarly, I transported my Quicksilver PowerMac and my 17″ Studio Display.

A quick glance might lead one to think that the PowerMac is the more powerful of the two computers, but nothing could be further from the truth. The Mac mini is faster at 1.4GHz and more powerful than my computer running at 867MHz. Though the mini’s hard drive is a 4200/5400rpm 80GB hard drive, the memory and disk subsystems probably make it faster than my 60GB 7200rpm drive. Best of all, no doubt, is the size of the mini. It’s tiny compared to the Quicksilver!

Sometime in the next few months, I’m going to upgrade my Mac setup. I’ve thought about all the systems available, and I still can’t decide — mini, iMac, PowerMac, or another PowerBook? I’ll wait until Apple releases upgraded desktop computers before I make my decision. Perhaps Tiger will offer performance boosts tailored for G5 computers to make my choice easier.

There are a couple of reasons why I want to upgrade. First is obviously the performance issue. The Quicksilver will be 4 years old, in May and despite still being plenty fast for routine day-to-day tasks, it’s too slow for my image processing needs. The second reason is that it’s really loud. It’s probably not as bad as the windtunnel G4 PowerMacs, but it’s pretty close. The PowerMac G5’s seem to be much quieter, though the iMac G5 and the mini are said to be nearly silent. Silence is good when it comes to computers!

I’ll likely pick up a new monitor to go along with the computer. Looks like I’ll be doing some more monitor profiling and calibration in the future!

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10 thoughts on “Quicksilver meets the Mac mini

  1. I just picked up a 1.2Ghz Mini. Its a terrific little system. Dead quiet. I haven’t had an Apple since the days of the IIe. Thats quite awhile ago.

    The biggest limitation is obviously the expansion capabilities. For my needs all it requires is some extra memory. I may fit a bigger disk later on. Its certainly a neat little UNIX workstation.

    However if more grunt is what your after than a G5 of some sort may be the answer. Perhaps the mythical G5 Powerbook ?

    I really should have waited until Tiger came out. But I couldn’t resist.

  2. Before you dump the Quicksilver, you may want to investigate changing your existing hard drive. I’ve just swapped the old IBM drive in my Quicksilver 933 for a Seagate Barracuda, and the difference in noise levels is astounding. That old IBM drive really howled! I also replaced the 120mm stock fan with one made by Pabst, which made a small difference. It’s not a silent computer like my Cube, but it now hums quietly which is a lot better than the headache inducing whine it used to make!

  3. Ken says:

    I’d say that if you’re getting a new display, you may as well shoot for a 20″ iMac G5. If you’re headed towards an Apple display, or another other quality 20″ LCD, the price difference between the Mini + LCD and the iMac G5 is not nearly enough to make up for the performance increases you’ll see with the iMac (G5/FSB, HD speed, graphics, etc.), not to mention the expansion possibilities. The PowerMacs are nice, of course, but they haven’t been updated in awhile and they really are quite costly — if your needs are met by an iMac, it’s a good value.

  4. I’ve read good reports about the Dell 20″ monitors. They are significantly cheaper than Apple’s Cinema Displays. Dell is coming out with a 24″ LCD monitor which I’ll be looking into as well. For me, I think it’s time to go dual-processor. The amount of time I’m spending in Photoshop, Final Cut, and other processor intensive apps might be worth it. When I bought the Quicksilver, I agonized over getting the single processor 867 or the Dual 800. For the extra $500, I think I should have gone for the duals. Hindsight!

  5. Edwin says:

    I finally got my first Mac. A mini mac 1.4Ghz. It works well with my 23″ Cinema Display. Be careful with the monitor choice, as when I tested it with a HP 17′ LCD monitor, it keeps flicking and I heard it was due to the lower power of the DVI port of the mini mac.

  6. As of today, 5 out of 7 of my co-workers have received their free mini mac as well! Don’t be afraid to drink the kool-aid, it’s legit!

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