Mac mini 2012 i5 vs i7

So what's the difference between a Core i5 and a Core i7? Well, thanks to Intel, the answer isn't simple. The iMacs use desktop-class processors rather than the mobile processors used by the MacBook Pros and Mac Minis, which makes things a bit easier: a Core i7 upgrade will get you more processor cache, more clock speed, and Hyper-threading.

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There is no Core i5 desktop processor with Hyper-threading and there is only one seldom-seen Core i5 desktop chip with only two cores the low power iT , which draws a mostly clear line between the Core i5 and Core i7 product lines—on the desktop, dual-core CPUs are a market segment left to the Core i3, Pentium, and Celeron chips.

There are some oddities and variations within these product families, but in general it's easy enough figure out what's what. It would be all too easy if Intel's mobile lineup followed the same rules as the desktop chips, but they don't: Mobile Core i5 processors are all dual-core parts with Hyper-threading, rather than quad-core parts. Core i3, Pentium, and Celeron processors in both desktops and laptops lack this feature, but all of the i5s and i7s have it. The answer to that question varies depending on what kind of Core i7 processor we're talking about.

If you're jumping from two cores to four as you do in the Mac Mini , you'll probably be happy if you spend the cash. Apple doesn't list Intel's CPU model numbers, but if you're buying from another manufacturer you can usually tell the difference by seeing whether the processor has a Q for quad-core in its name i. If you're simply getting a slight clock-speed bump and maybe Hyper-threading out of the deal, as is the case in the new iMacs and the 13" Retina MacBook Pro, your money is going to be best spent elsewhere unless you regularly do very CPU-heavy tasks like video editing and transcoding or very heavy Photoshop work, and the minutes and seconds you'll save with a marginally faster CPU are important to you.


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For most general-use workloads—browsing the Web, word processing, checking e-mail, infrequent or light Photoshop or Premiere usage, and even gaming —most applications simply don't use more power than is afforded by a modern Ivy Bridge CPU most of the time, especially if we're talking about the quad-core models already shipping with every iMac. In the new iMacs, the 21" models now come with slow-spinning RPM mechanical hard drives, which is actually a downgrade from the RPM desktop hard drives in the models—there, your upgrade cash would be better spent on a performance-enhancing SSD or Fusion Drive.

Things are even better on the PC side, where prices for SSDs have fallen under a dollar per gigabyte and clearance sales can get you nice, fast, high-capacity drives for even less. It's not that CPU upgrades are totally without merit, or that there aren't people who would benefit from upgrades to either of these new Macs. However, if your upgrade money is limited, CPU upgrades simply don't provide the best bang for your buck.

I can totally understand why a small minority of people are disappointed with the new Mac Minis. But for the vast majority of people this machine is targeted at, a Mac Mini will be the most powerful and functional computer ever purchased. Apple's Beats brand in April unveiled the Powerbeats Pro, a redesigned wire-free version of its popular fitness-oriented Powerbeats earbuds.

MacRumors attracts a broad audience of both consumers and professionals interested in the latest technologies and products. We also boast an active community focused on purchasing decisions and technical aspects of the iPhone, iPod, iPad, and Mac platforms. Got a tip for us? Let us know a. Send us an email b. Anonymous form close x. Whenever Apple talks about the Mac mini —like at the October event in Cupertino —the company always mentions how the Mac mini is a favorite with first-time Mac users.

While that may be true, the Mac mini isn't just a computer for newbies. Its combination of affordability, compactness, and performance makes the Mac mini an ideal computer for new and experienced users alike.

Apple offers three models of the Mac mini. When shopping the Apple Store, it helps to understand the differences of all three models in the Mac mini line and how they compare to Apple's other Mac offerings, and to know what you're getting for your money. In this guide, we'll go over the key decisions you'll need to make when shopping for a Mac mini. Why a Mac mini? The main reason why you would consider a Mac mini is its price. Another reason to consider about the Mac mini is its size. Measuring 7. However, the small size and the low prices come with compromises in performance and your ability to upgrade the computer in a couple of years.

All the Mac mini models have dual-core processors. The Mac mini isn't among the fastest Macs Apple offers, but it has enough power for people who use consumer-level software everyday. However, if you're using high-end professional-level software that uses more than one processing core, the new Mac mini takes a big performance hit.

Mac mini i5 or i7 ?

The reason why is simple: It doesn't have as many processing cores as before. If you work in professional-grade apps that can take advantage of multiple processing cores—video editors, audio editors, 3D animation, Mathematica, for example—skip the Mac mini and get a quad-core iMac or make the investment into a Mac Pro.

The two Mac mini standard configurations also had a dual-core processor in the low-end models, but a quad-core processor in the high end Core i7 model. With the new Mac mini, Apple decided to use dual-core processors in all three models. The Mac mini, however, uses a standard hard drive, while the MacBook Air has speedy flash memory.

This could help the MacBook Air outperform the Mac mini. Upgrades With the new Mac mini, Apple continues the trend of limiting the user's ability to perform do-it-yourself upgrades. When iFixIt did a teardown of the new Mac mini , the site found that the RAM is soldered to the motherboard, preventing the user from adding more. You could potentially upgrade the hard drive with a new 2.

Conclusion

Most Mac mini users, however, aren't interested in upgrading the computer as it gets older. It's quite possible that the standard configurations offer the performance you need three or four years later—and by then, you can simply buy a new Mac mini when you need more speed. So the ability to do your own upgrades isn't an issue for you. But it's worth considering the options Apple has available when you buy a Mac mini.

Look at Apple's Mac mini specifications , and you'll notice that the processor, storage, and RAM say that they are "Configurable" to a higher specification than the standard for each price point. The future is now—if you think you'll want to upgrade a component in a year or two, consider buying that upgrade now by customizing your order. The upgrades will increase the price of your order, but you save yourself some hassle down the road.

For the 1. You're better off paying a little more money for a Mac mini with both a Fusion Drive and a faster processor.


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Other cost considerations The Mac mini doesn't come with a display. If you already have one, or if you decide to buy a non-Apple display, you'll connect it to one of the Mac mini's Thunderbolt 2 ports, which can accept mini DisplayPort video connectors. The Mac mini also doesn't include a keyboard or an input device such as a mouse or trackpad.

Which Mac mini?


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It's also good for students who need an affordable desktop computer. As for owners of the older Mac mini that was released in October , the only reasons for you to upgrade to the new Mac mini are the two Thunderbolt 2 ports and The new Mac mini doesn't offer a boost in the apps that you use everyday, and you'll actually see a performance slowdown with high-end software.

Mac mini, i5 vs i7? - Desktops & Laptops - Plex Forum

Owners of the Mac mini released before will benefit from a new Mac mini, which offers a good speed boost. Related Roundup: Mac mini. Buyer's Guide: Mac Mini Neutral.

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Top Rated Comments View all. For someone who needs CPU performance and has multithreaded apps, the best mac mini to buy is a mac mini. I think the best answer here is "none of the above. I hope we see a redesigned Mini next year