Add me to the "success" list thanks to John Fair's original instructions and lots of excellent reading in this thread. My Mini arrived two weeks ago. It is an i7 with 8 Gigs of RAM. Thanks to this forum I made a Super Duper copy of the Mini as it was out of the box after user configuration as a backup just in case. I used an early 2011 MBP as my base machine. I had already upgraded it to Lion from the App Store so I had to wipe and retreat to SL 10.6.8 in order use this workaround for bringing the new Mini back to SL. My SL base disk was ordered as a SL "Family Pack" as soon as SL was released, so it holds SL 10.6.0. My MBP's "Recovery Disk" is 10.6.4 because it is fairly new.
On my first try I got lazy in the final stages of configuring the re-provisioned Mini and used a Time Machine backup to import "settings" from an older (circa mid-2010) Mini that I was replacing with the new factory Lionized Mini. After the Time Machine settings restore the new Mini (trying to now run SL) just hung when booting. So I wiped the drive and started over. The second time I typed in all the new config info and so far all seems to be going well with the new Mini now happily running SL 10.6.8. I haven't had time to use it enough to encounter any problems such as some discussed here or notice a dramatic decrease in response time. I'll post again after some use and experience.
One question though...I also bought a new i7 MacBook Air about a month ago and would love to get it back to SL, but with no ability to use FW and Target Disc Mode, I guess I'm stuck unless I can manage a similar downgrading process using Super Duper. I also captured it's drive in its brand new System 7 state that I can boot from., so at worst I can create an SL bootable partition on an external drive and just boot the Air to it if I want to run it on SL. But it would be nice to have SL on its Flash Drive native. Any insight would be appreciated.
Things seem to be running OK. The only problem I have encountered so far is that the external USB DVD Superdrive purchased from Apple along with the MacBook Air which had worked in the new Mini running Lion before rebuilding with SL now does not work. It seems to get power and try to read the DVD as I can hear it navigating the disc but it does not "mount" and show on the desktop and hence I have lost acess to easy install of DVD-based siftware. I can, however, still boot the Mini from the MBP in TDM and copy over the install disc image to install, so not an insurmountable problem. I tried looking at the SL System Preferences on the Mini for CD's and DVD's and it does not show a config choice for "open with Finder"...only "Ignore" or specific apps or scripts. But on the MBP running the same 10.6.8, this option for "open with Finder" is still available in the preferences pane for CD's and DVD's
It's funny, the downgraded new Mini does have no problem powering up and mounting (via USB or FW) external mini-drives, it just won't mount the Apple USB superdrive. I have an older USB/FW Pioneer external drive in a box somewhere that I used to use on an older Mini that had a Matshita internal drive which sucked. I'll dig it out and give it a try and report back. In the meantime, maybe some expert here will point me to a solution. Thanks!
BTW, it is great to have Front Row back as I used my older Mini as a media center for iTunes and EyeTV program playback and now the new Mini running SL can do the same...even better, in fact as it has an HDMI out port for the Sony HD TV and the older Mini needed a Mini Display Port to HDMI adapter.
Can you please run a Geekbench score and compare to what it was/is in Lion ? You can find results of your Mini on the Geekbench website.
I still hope that there is some software/hardware combo which works without the 60% performance penalty.
Most likely discs from a Snow Leopard MBP that has the same cpu and the same graphics as the Mini ?
@Pisalek...O.K. I will download Geekbench and run it and post results as you requested. The results will be for the now downgraded new Mini running SL. I am confused though about the comparison you would like? Get the already known Geekbench results for a MBP which has the same hardware and graphics profile as the new Mini? I'm not sure that will end up being an apples to apples comparison since the new Mini is an i7 Core Duo with 8 MB of RAM and I don't think there is a MBP with that profile unless there was a new MBP introduced along with the new Air's and Mini's.
Karl, the miracles are mostly hidden in the leeetle magic Apple chips and code that tell your Mini how to use your i7. The problem is the missing code in Snow Leopard that your Mini needs to access all of the chips and peripherals and software that you want to use. The magic isn't in the obvious specs about RAM and CPU, it is (was!) in the little phrases that are missing from the new OS and from those other "enabler" chips that direct commands to the right places -- places that Apple doesn't think that we need to go, anymore, for our own future good and for the future improvement of the Universe.
In this case, maybe it's more like an old bridge along a comfortable road that we're used to driving with our Macs; we need to get to the old places, while Apple wants us to use the new "improved" bridge and the new wider roads -- all of which are potentially faster, go to cool new places, and are there for a purpose, to allow our "improved" Macs to do new things with crisper, faster code and with somewhat altered hardware, without needing to accommodate old code and "old actions" and the old turns in the road that Snow Leopard enabled. We'll probably see the point and learn to like the new scenery, eventually. Right now, some of us still have to get to the old places (I want FCP Studio 3 to run smoothly on my Mini!) even if the old road and bridge been partly disassembled.
So much for stretched metaphors, but there's some truth in it. The new road from Apple ain't fully paved yet. A few code patches, well-written, will get us over the gaps in the old road and bridge, then we get to choose, and even take BOTH paths. For a while.
We get to do that -- if we can find the way. No trolls, just old roads that aren't on the new maps anymore. Ah, progress...!
If you look at my previous posting you can see that I understand fully what is happening with the hardware.
But my respons was to khorning about his doubts of there being any MBP with similar specs to the new mini.
We are still searching for a solution to get the mini i7 att 100% speed. As I've mentioned before, the hackintosh community might have something we can use.
We all know what this is about.
It's about converting iPad and iPhone users into Mac buyers. And doing that in cheaper systems (to build) with higher profit margins, too.
Unfortunately, Apple is alienating its existing base of customers in doing so. This is a common corporate mistake, chasing a new market at the expense of an existing market of loyal repeat-buyers. This rarely produces a better bottom line.
This also creates a significant new burden for 3rd party developers and suppliers, which can generate extra revenues, but at a cost. Perhaps they will just wait to see if Apple caves in and restores the functionality we all want and expect. If so, everyone loses.
Here are the post new Mini OS step-back Geekbench results as promised...not sure about how it compares to others. Sorry about the edits and formatting...I tried to enter an "image" of the Geekbench results, but I have no place or way to upload it to the web for a link reference, so this is edited plain text.
Most of this stuff is waaayyyy over my head but I am learning a lot!
Geekbench 2.1.13 for Mac OS X x86 (32-bit)
Geekbench Overall Score = 1875
Integer Processor integer performance score 1291
Floating Point Processor floating point performance score 2397
Memory Memory performance score 1897
Stream Memory bandwidth performance score 2053
Operating System: Mac OS X 10.6.8 (Build 10K549)
Motherboard: Apple Inc. Mac-4BC72D62AD45599E Macmini5,2
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2620M CPU @ 2.70GHz
Processor ID: GenuineIntel Family 6 Model 42 Stepping 7
Processors: 1 Threads: 4 Cores: 2
Memory: 8.00 GB 1333 MHz DDR3
Processor Frequency:2.70 GHz
Bus Frequency: 100.0 MHz
L1 Instruction Cache: 32.0 KB
L1 Data Cache: 32.0 KB
L2 Cache: 256 KB
L3 Cache: 4.00 MB
BIOS: Apple Inc. MM51.88Z.0075.B00.1106271442
Message was edited by: khorning
Message was edited by: khorning
GULP...if I read the summaries on the Geekbench website correctly, my new Mini out of the box (if I had tested it) would have scored in this ballpark...quite a loss so I do hope ultimately there is a way to gain some of the hardware's potential back in Snow Leopard.
Mac mini (Mid 2011)
Intel Core i7-2620M 2.7 GHz (2 cores) = 6980
Actually, great work on that posting! That's what we needed to see.
And, unfortunately, as expected -- there's a big performance hit from the drop-back to Snow Leopard.
It looks to me -- at first glance -- like your Geekbench scores are, in general, 40% or less of the speeds you'd expect to get if you were running your i7 Mini under OS 10.7 Lion -- and presumably just about that far below the scores you'd expect if it were possible to do run your i7 Mini under a fully-activated, full-speed Snow Leopard setup.
Not yet... not yet... but coming soon ...on this Channel (we hope!)
Karl, I did realize that you fully understand the situation. And, if you're looking from time to time at the "viewers" numbers for this thread, you already realize that there are many hundreds or thousands of other folks looking in on this conversation to find out if it's possible to get SL up and running on their 2011 Minis.
We have had 8,193 views, so far, as of right now... (just checked).
From time to time, a little summary of "what's up and where it might be headed" on this thread is a good idea, to keep them from giving up and going away. There will be a solution, and it will come from someone who views this thread, or someone who's on another forum in another venue or is in the Hackintosh community and just gets interested. We need to know about that solution and help promulgate it when it's worked out.
I have NO doubt whatsoever that it's possible to run SL at high speed on a 2011 Mini, It's just a question of knowledge, input and some effort from some folks who understand the challenges and who know the "back roads" to the OS. My detour into metaphor wasn't aimed at you. Thanks for your patience.
Yes we can can! FREE THE SNOW LEOPARD 10,000 ! etc etc etc.
I have now noticed a couple of anomalies. My Apple wired mouse (one generation earlier than the newer Apple Might Mouse) behaves oddly. Clicking an icon on the desktop, say a disc image file, exhibits an erratic "blinking" of both the cursor and the icon for the image and clicking on the image sometimes does not open the file...it takes a Control "O" on the wired keyboard to open it.
I'm still working with the Mini on the dining room table until I finish cloning it in SL state to an external drive with some Utilities (DiscWarior and Onyx) so I haven't put it back in place in its media center home across the living room under the Sony. I'm hoping a wireless Mighty Mouse and keyboard will not behave in a similar manner.
And in the DUH department, I just figured out what that whole Mac configuration is for "Sharing CD's and DVD's" so I can load disc-based software to the Mini or Air over the network from the MBP rather than the Firewired TDM that I though I was stuck with when the Air's USB Superdrive quit workng on the downgraded Mini...guess I didn't even need to buy it....live and learn!