I had to reinstall Snow Leopard. Using Migration Assistant to downgrade applications from my other partition is a big no-no.
But once I got SL back up and running, I was able to run Benchmarks on the Lion and SL partitions on my Mini i7 / 2.7 GHz / 750 Gb / 8Gb. Here are the results:
Lion: Score 6642
Processor integer performance 4994
Processor floating point performance 9185
Memory performance 5832
Memory bandwidth performance 5137
Snow Leopard: Score 3218
Processor integer performance 2616
Processor floating point performance 4669
Memory performance 2452
Memory bandwidth performance 1780
MathGeekRob, it's interesting that your SL score is almost double that of mine and John Fair's - I wonder if that's due to your having double the RAM? Well, it's a mute point for me now as I have returned my Mini as unusable as a replacement my aging G5. Although the native apps ran tolerably well in SL, some of my old PPC programs such as Adobe GoLive CS were very unstable. Instead, I've just ordered a refurb 13" MBP which still ships with SL. I'll partition and add Lion so that it can serve as my bridge to the future and as a backup to my G5 should it keel over. I'll install a larger & faster HDD and put the original one in an OWC Express enclosure for portable backup. I've never been able to justify a laptop in the past but this solution will give me some all round flexibility. Maybe when third party software catches up with Lion, and the latter gets refined, I'll try the Mini route again!
Add me to the list of "successful" SL installations that are running slow as molasses. Oh, and my second display does nothing while hooked up to the Thunderbolt port...
2011 Mac Mini Server in stock trim:
Geekbench 64 bit = 9509
Same machine after upgrading to 8 gigs of RAM & swapping the boot drive w/ an OWC SSD:
Geekbench 64 bit = 3069
1/3 the speed & lack of TB port is not worth running SL. I will be reinstalling Lion tonight, I guess... Maybe there will be hope with 10.6.9 if it comes out? I truly just do not like Lion at all.
So, just to take the other side, here...
Yes, I'm certainly retaining Lion on a partition on my new Mini (i7 dual with 8 GB Ram and the Radeon), and with a few updates I'm sure that I'll gain some satisfaction with improved Lion reliability, etc.
On the other partition, I'm quite content to live with Snow Leopard getting scores similar to what MathGeekRob is getting -- for the things that I need to run under SL. Point being, it's slow as **** compared to the Lion partition, but it's tolerable compared to scores on the last-generation Mini or on many of the older machines from, say, a couple of years ago (excepting a well-fitted-out Mac Pro, obviously!).
On balance, it's what it is: it's a crutch, and crutches are just to get you places that you have to be. I can still use some software I otherwise would have lost the use of, and it runs less well than I would have liked, but it's tolerable (and better than I would have had not many years back!). I can live with that, even if I'm disappointed. Plus, we may be able to find hacks, soon, that will make SL run better.
I'm glad we still have a crutch, and many thanks to John Fair for showing us how to find the crutches and unlimber them. And my thanks to all of you -- to everyone for their contributions that got us here!
Like several of you have reported I too have problem with low performance on the MM Server i7 with 10.6.8 installed.
Everything works, but it seems like I just get a quarter of the CPU performance when I run Xbench. The same for PHP apps being executed. Could it be that only one core is being used?
There seems not to be a simple solution, but one of my thoughts about this is to use some of the techniques that are being used by the osx86 community. There seems to circulate modyfied kernel extensions that adds support for sandy bridge equipped systems. More at tonymacx86. I haven't tried any of these yet, but I plan to if not someone else does it before me.
The disturbing thing is that I get full speed when I run the same OS on my MBP i7, but not on the mini. So there must be som small difference between the two processors that the OS does not handle.
Any suggestions for a solution is greatly appreciated.
Great posting, Karl!
What you've summarized is exactly what many of us are exploring:
we know that the system should work under Snow Leopard, and in fact it does, but at a fractional speed;
the speed is fast enough to allow some useful work to be done in SL, but it certainly could be much better;
it seems clear that Apple has not implanted a "poison pill" totally killing off Snow -- I accidentally typed "Slow" ;-) -- Leopard in the 2011 Mini;
and so, it's likely that there are some kernel patches or other "fixes" that will dramatically speed up SL on the 2011 Mini(s) and allow us to run SL-dependent software, including Rosetta.
Many of us are in "dual boot" situation, now -- SL on one partition, Lion on another.
This is now in the court for coders who are a lot better at parsing instructions than I am. If we can get this in front of some really insightful people, my best guess is that we're only days away from a solution that would please a lot of users and add big pile of new 2011 Mini buyers to Apple's lists. I've helped solve a similar problem, previously, but I don't know the instructions that call i5/i7 cores into use and drive effective multithreading, or how to add them into SL, so I'm in over my head and treading water. And, optimistic!
How to get an answer? -- well, the hero will be whoever posts some pointers to this problem in enough places that it finally gets someone's attention -- someone who can and will parse the OS code and find a way forward. They're working on it in other forums -- such as MacRumors.com, 123MacMini.com, and elsewhere.
I'm a little confused. The RETAIL disc I have for Snow Leopard is 10.6.3. Would I still have to go about the same process through TDM with a hsot computer? Or Would I skip switching out the disks?
I have attempted to boot from the disc and the mini install just hangs at the Apple splash screen. Nothing spinning whatsoever.
I bought a MM for my partner. He is very visual in his organization. He groups related items together in a folder in icon view. Lion has been rearranging these with a random consistency. We have done lots of suggestions and the problem persists. It is a bug. Here's the thread: https://discussions.apple.com/message/15761294#15761294
We downgraded so that his workflow is not impacted by the operating system.
To follow up on my previous postings: I returned my Mini as unusable running SL and ordered a refurbished early-2011 13" MBP / 2.7GHz / i7 / 4GB instead. Although advertised as loaded with SL it actually came with Lion. Went ahead and partitioned the HDD, successfully installed SL. GeekBench scores (32-bit): SL=6912, Lion=6886. My old PPC and Universal apps run perfectly. FWIW this seems to confirm that the new Mini definitely has some unique architecture which hobbles SL and which was not present in the early-2011 MBP - the latter designed to run SL but upgradable to Lion.
William Donelson wrote:
Which capabilities are missing for you? What other capabilities are missing for others?
William, I won't go into great detail on this reply, since it's detailed at various points in the hundred or so previous posts from other users, but --
My personal "wish list" for things that could someday run better in Lion (but for now, for me, need Snow Leopard) begins with my "used daily" software such as Final Cut Studio 3 and continues all the way back to having Rosetta available for the very few legacy apps that we neanderthals have some money (and working files) invested in. I appreciate Lion and am using it daily on two of my machines, but I use my Mini for serious work in a highly-mobile situation (otherwise I'd tote my big i7 Pro along) where a MBP won't help me; I've installed two big fast drives in my i7 Mini and taken it up to 8 GB (and soon to 16 GB) of RAM plus some other upgrades, and Snow Leopard as an option would be very handy in some frequently-encountered circumstances.
Also, as outlined in the last few postings directly above, there are still come common stability and interface issues that need, for now, to be sorted out in Lion. I'm not rejecting Lion, certainly -- just needing some of the capabilities of Snow Leopard and trying to get SL to function, for now, on the Mini at an acceptable speed. We "AngloTexians" are apparently all a backward people who can't deal well with the future... ;-)
SJ / Houston / Atlanta / Boston
And an appeal for help from super-experts like Niel (who posted on a related thread):
I hope that you'll get involved in the main thread here (Snow Leopard on the 2011 Mac Mini), and contribute from time to time. Progress on that issue (getting SL running at an acceptable speed on the Mini) is very possible if the most knowledgeable contributors in the Support Community can point some great coders and lurkers toward the topic. And, it's not a minor thing: Lion still has various problems handling some of our most important software (in my case, FCP Studio 3), and the latest high-end Minis offer some tantilizing potential solutions to the price/portability/power dilemma that many of us face in the current slowed-down economy.
Why I'm aiming this at Niel: the level of his contributions in Support Community / Discussions is astounding (over 150,000 points and rising) and the time and knowledge that Neil and others like him contribute, here, makes a huge difference! Getting a few folks like him involved with us in finding answers can move this SL / new Mini situation forward. And, remember, there are ongoing discussions and efforts in other venues (MacRumors, 123MacMini, etc.) aimed at getting some code patches together that will allow the 2011 Minis to run Snow Leopard at non-Snow-Snail speeds.
Yes we can can!