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Recommendation for fast Mac for databases or way to make Mac faster?

832 Views 19 Replies Latest reply: Mar 22, 2013 8:45 AM by Schionatulander RSS
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Schionatulander Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Mar 13, 2013 7:39 AM

I've currently got a Mac mini 1.83 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 1 GB RAM running OS 10.6.8. I'm on a quest to either make my current Mac faster or find the ideal mac for databases. I upgraded recently from 10.5.8 to 10.6.8 in the hopes of making my computer more stable and faster, but things are running slower. No wonder, Activity Monitor hardly shows any green memory. Apple doesn't seem to sell memory for this Mac anymore. So I'm wondering whether it's time to just get a new Mac.


What Mac would you recommend for someone not using videos, music, images on a regular basis? Would you consider any of them to be overkill for mostly running database programs? Or would any particular one be insufficient?



Mac mini, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • RRFS Level 5 Level 5 (4,425 points)

    I have an older (2008) iMac that I put a SSD in and it flies. You should be able to find memory and a SSD at OWC ( they have install videos and the like. Probably doable at less than $250 with maxed out memory.

  • woodmeister50 Level 4 Level 4 (3,690 points)

    The first question in your decision is are the database apps

    you are running Intel format or PowerPC format?  If they

    are PowerPC format, they will be rendered useless with the

    new Macs and OSX 10.8 as PowerPC support has been dropped

    from OSX.  In the same vein, if they are Intel format, are they

    capable of running on OSX 10.8?  So, buying a new Mac

    could mean additional cost of upgrading software.  If none of

    this is an issue, for your purposes, probably even the base

    Mini would suffice.


    As mentioned, you could spend the bucks to just add memory

    and perhaps a bigger, faster hard drive (not necessarily SSD).

    Check out OWC and cost out your upgrade options.

  • MlchaelLAX Level 4 Level 4 (1,530 points)

    Isn't the first question: which database do you want to run on your Mac?

  • Doninhoustontx Calculating status...

    About putting an SSD in your early iMac, can you tell us what you put in?  SATA2 or SATA3 and how many gigs?

  • MlchaelLAX Level 4 Level 4 (1,530 points)

    Depending on how much the increase in speed is worth for spending money:


    Option 1: 


    You have the MacMini2,1.  Max out its RAM at 3GB and stay with Snow Leopard and FileMaker Pro 8 and consider a SSD.


    Option 2:


    I'd get the 2.3GHz i7 Mac Mini and max out the RAM and possibly consider replacing the hard drive with a SSD and upgrade to FileMaker Pro 12. 


    Check out RAM upgrades & SSD's at OWC


    Just for curiousity:


    Here is how I run FileMaker 7 in Snow Leopard Server installed into Parallels to run in Lion (or Mt. Lion):


    FileMaker Pro in vSL.png

                                  [click on image to enlarge]


    I do not use it often enough to pay for the upgrade.

  • David Cun Level 4 Level 4 (1,380 points)

    Back to your original post, "...for someone not using videos, music, images on a regular basis..."  and your main program is FMP.  Your Mac Mini is perfectly suited already.  Sure, it'd be nice to max out the memory; and I do recommend that you do so, or at least add some.  As suggested, OWC is a reputable outfit and they have how-to videos.  If you're not "tech savy" the process is fairly difficult on the early Minis.  Check out their video for yourself.


    Back again to your original post.  I think you have issues with apps, plist, cache, etc  Have you run 'repair disk' from you OS Install disk?  Have you reset the SMP?  Have you reset PRAM?  Have you been thru your apps to find outdated, unwanted ones?  Do you have any disk utilities like Cocktail or Onyx?  Have you checked to see if maybe you have too many apps in 'start up'?  I just think for you, the average home user, your Mini is quite capable; and maybe just needs a little TLC and maintenance.  But, I do agree with adding memory.

  • MlchaelLAX Level 4 Level 4 (1,530 points)

    Schionatulander wrote:


    ...Is there any way to tell whether the next new computer is just around the corner?

    That's always the tough issue; they keep these things pretty close to the vest.


    You can google some "rumor" sites to see what may be brewing, but quite honestly even these sites can be way off.


    At the end of the day, the day you need a new computer, is the day to buy. I always buy as much hardware power as I can afford and put the money into software updates later.


    I lived with my iMac G5 desktop until August 2011 (when I purchased my 2.3 GHz i5 Mac Mini) and my Powerbook G4 12" until the first 13" MacBook Pro came out in 2009. And those are what I live with now (with the addition of two Snow Leopard Mac Minis used for Home entertainment and other purposes).

  • woodmeister50 Level 4 Level 4 (3,690 points)

    Schionatulander wrote:



    I do want to start backing up the files I'm currently working on on an hourly/weekly basis, if not the whole HD. I've been lazy about that. Since that will involve buying an external HD, I've been putting it off .........

    If you are using a computer for business it is MUST to maintain

    as many backups as possible.  Personally,  I do daily backups

    of data for client projects on USB memory sticks and incremental

    backups of all data to external USB hard drives.  I also do weekly

    clones of my boot drive.  In addition, since a lot of my work requires

    the use Windows apps and I use Parallels virtual machines, I back

    them up on a weekly basis as well. 


    Regardles of what you ultimately decide, cloning is always a could idea

    if you are in business.  If some how the internal drive gets corrupted or

    otherwise gets unusable, you can reboot to a clone and immediately get

    back up and running and sort out the internal drive issues at a later time.


    Also in my case, I also have a Macbook Pro as often I need to take my

    work on the road to customer sites. This also gives me an additional level of

    functional back up as I keep it "mirrored" as much as possible to my Mini,

    so should the Mini die catastrophically, I can get immediately back up and



    If you depend on your computer for your paycheck, there is no such

    thing as too many backups and is a cost of doing business in the computer


  • MlchaelLAX Level 4 Level 4 (1,530 points)

    Add an offsite "Cloud" backup solution (I use Dropbox) because no matter how many memory sticks and external drives you use, g-forbid a theft or a fire occurs, you can lose them all at once!

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