I recently bought a new Mac mini 2009 (nvidia chipset) to replace my trusty old Media Centre. My plan was to Bootcamp it and drop Windows 7 onto it and then transfer the handful of save games etc. over. Trouble was, Apple don’t yet support Windows 7. (Bigger problem was doing this one-handed but that is another story).
There are instructions on how to get started but once Windows 7 boots up, the problems start.
Following the first start, wireless networking is good, graphics is vga and most other things are struggling. Ignore Windows update and don’t put in the OSX DVD and try installing drivers. If you do, expect a Blue screen of death (BSOD). Instead, create a restore point and go fishing for the nvidia chipset drivers and the beta 9400M drivers that actually work:
15.35_nforce_win7_32bit_international_whql.exe – install the chipset drivers before you do anything else, set a restore point and restart. If you are lucky your wired networking will now work.
195.55_notebook_winvista_win7_32bit_international.exe – these BETA video drivers will work. Use these instead of the Bootcamp ones or the ones suggested by Windows Update. Again, restore point before restarting.
On the wired networking side, I found performance a bit poor until I turned off priority a vlan in advanced settings as well as dropping ipv6 support. You may not need to or a different approach may get better results but that worked for me.
So how did it all go then? Well it is now a small, quiet, stable Windows 7 machine and I am very happy with it. The onboard graphics set handles the Lego games that my boys play and WMC easily chews up the DVD rips on my NAS as well as being a nice little DVD player complete with optical (mini-TOS) output.
I also recently blew up my trusty nvidia 7600GS and traded up to a GT240 in my main Athlon x2 4200 PC. (My wife fitted it for me.) Which means graphically, Win7 scores it a 6.5 with a CPU of 4.9 whilst it hums away in the full ATX case beside me. So surely the Mac Mini won’t be that good? erm…….