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Old Feb 22, 2013, 10:20 AM   #1
vondo
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Benchmarks of iMac vs. new minis

Can someone help me understand this? According to this compilation of Geekbench benchmarks http://www.primatelabs.com/blog/2012...december-2012/ the top end 2012 Mac Mini is basically within 10% of the speed of the top 27" iMac despite the fact that the Mini is using a processor that is about 2/3" the speed and a mobile processor to boot.

Can someone comment on real world performance of these two machines? What I'm really after is a fast machine for photo processing, but if a Mini with 1 TB fusion drive is really so close in performance for that application to an iMac, I'm hard pressed to see why I should go with the iMac.

Thanks!
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 11:04 AM   #2
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Geekbench doesn't measure graphics or disk drive performance which should be much better on the iMac (discrete graphics processor and 3.5" hard drive).
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 11:16 AM   #3
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True... Graphics I doubt really matters for my application (Lightroom). And I figure that a Fusion drive in either (which I've decided on) will mostly wash out the difference between 5400 and 7200 RPM for most of what I do.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 12:01 PM   #4
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Yes, it won't for Lightroom but would if you used Aperture. You would also see a difference if/when you start doing video.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 06:28 PM   #5
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Yes, it won't for Lightroom but would if you used Aperture. You would also see a difference if/when you start doing video.
Why would it matter for Aperture but not Lightroom?

----------

FWIW I bought the maxed out MacMini and it screamed! Was using it with the TB Display. Used it for a couple weeks and then the Fusion Drive broke so I returned it and ended up getting the maxed out iMac. It also screams! I swear though, the MacMini rendered previews much faster in LR4. I have no proof of this but it sure felt that way. Maybe I was just floored by the speed and frame of reference was skewed because I had been using a 2007 MBP before that. Maybe I just got used to the blazing speed...

Both machines are legit. My iMac benchmarked at 13,154. Didn't bench the MacMini.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 06:43 PM   #6
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Aperture uses the GPU for image processing, so the more power it has the better.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 07:03 PM   #7
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Aperture uses the GPU for image processing, so the more power it has the better.
Huh, didn't know that. Adobe does some weird things. Sure wish they would allow Catalogs to work over a network! Does Aperture allow that?
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 07:42 PM   #8
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Interesting I'm guess the advantage is just the 27 inch screen and discrete graphics?
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 08:14 PM   #9
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Interesting I'm guess the advantage is just the 27 inch screen and discrete graphics?
holds more RAM, 32GB
2GB RAM on Video Card
Comes with Keyboard and Mouse
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 08:23 PM   #10
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holds more RAM, 32GB
2GB RAM on Video Card
Comes with Keyboard and Mouse
thats it? i just need 16GB ram, and i dont play games.. might go for this route.. man i was just about to order the iMac :0
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 08:45 PM   #11
LCD
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Originally Posted by vondo View Post
Can someone help me understand this? According to this compilation of Geekbench benchmarks http://www.primatelabs.com/blog/2012...december-2012/ the top end 2012 Mac Mini is basically within 10% of the speed of the top 27" iMac despite the fact that the Mini is using a processor that is about 2/3" the speed and a mobile processor to boot.

Can someone comment on real world performance of these two machines? What I'm really after is a fast machine for photo processing, but if a Mini with 1 TB fusion drive is really so close in performance for that application to an iMac, I'm hard pressed to see why I should go with the iMac.

Thanks!
2012 iMac vs. 2012 Mini backup and boot up times

In December I tried two 2012 21.5” iMacs with 2.9GHz i5 processor, 1TB Fusion drive and 16GB RAM. A month ago I returned the replacement iMac for a 2012 Mini with 2.6GHz i7 processor, 256GB SSD and 4GB RAM which I replaced with 16GB from Micron.

I used the same external hard drive and FireWire 800 cable with all the backups. The only difference was I needed an Apple Thunderbolt to FireWire adapter with the iMacs. All other factors Mike Bombich of Carbon Copy Cloner list that could affect the speed of a clone or backup were the same. He wrote…

”The speed at which CCC transfers data from one volume to another depends on numerous factors such as:
1 The interface through which those hard drives are connected to the computer
2 The speed of the source and destination hard drives (RPMs, seek time)
3 The method used to transfer data from one volume to another (file-level copy, block-level copy, backup to a disk image)
4 The chipset in an external hard drive enclosure
5 Fragmentation of data and how close the source volume is to full capacity
6 The size distribution of files on the source volume
7 The health of the source and destination hard drives
8 The quality of cables that connect the source and destination volumes to your computer
9 The architecture and speed of the computer's processor(s) and any CPU or disk-based activity that the backup task must compete with.”

It took 3 to 4 minutes to copy the same amount of data with the iMacs that it does in 6-7 minutes with the Mini.

The iMacs booted up in about 5 seconds. The Mini takes almost 10 seconds.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 09:39 PM   #12
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thats it? i just need 16GB ram, and i dont play games.. might go for this route.. man i was just about to order the iMac :0
If you value bang for the bucks, why bother with Mac? The similar cost for mini would get you a machine more powerful in pc or custom builds. And mini cost doesn't count 1000$ Thunderbolt Display which is standard on imac 27 inch. I am sorry but if you really want bang for your buck type of machine, stop shopping mac and go pc. If you try Mac mini vs imac build on apple store with Thunderbolt Display attached, you will see Mac mini will cost you more for the same specs with less powerful processor and no discrete graphics card. I can totally understand you shopping for the best, but man, this is ridiculous.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 09:52 PM   #13
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If you value bang for the bucks, why bother with Mac? The similar cost for mini would get you a machine more powerful in pc or custom builds. And mini cost doesn't count 1000$ Thunderbolt Display which is standard on imac 27 inch. I am sorry but if you really want bang for your buck type of machine, stop shopping mac and go pc. If you try Mac mini vs imac build on apple store with Thunderbolt Display attached, you will see Mac mini will cost you more for the same specs with less powerful processor and no discrete graphics card. I can totally understand you shopping for the best, but man, this is ridiculous.
Been there done that. I've build my own PC well for my brother but then he gave it to me so yeah. I Want to stay on the Mac side. Thanks for looking out we've had this discussion before and I just want to get some insights from others. Thanks though
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 10:57 PM   #14
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The iMac is of course significantly faster. Geekbench is a synthetic benchmark, it does not tell you all the truth. For light loads, there will be not much difference between the desktop and the mobile CPUs, but the situation changes under load. The desktop CPU will be able to maintain higher clocks longer, resulting in better performance. If you want to know the real difference, you have to look at application/video encoding etc. benchmarks. For example this one: http://www.techspot.com/review/535-i...0qm/page5.html

As you can see, in synthetic benchmarks the mobile CPU (3720QM) is within 10% of the desktop 3770. But in actual applications like Photoshop the mobile CPU can be up to 50% slower. For video encoding, it is 25% slower.

In the end, the 3720QM is a very capable CPU and it is 'fast enough' for most applications. Is it fast enough for you? Well, only you can decide that
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Old Feb 23, 2013, 10:41 AM   #15
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Huh, didn't know that. Adobe does some weird things. Sure wish they would allow Catalogs to work over a network! Does Aperture allow that?
Yes.
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Old Feb 25, 2013, 09:23 AM   #16
vondo
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The iMac is of course significantly faster. Geekbench is a synthetic benchmark, it does not tell you all the truth. For light loads, there will be not much difference between the desktop and the mobile CPUs, but the situation changes under load. The desktop CPU will be able to maintain higher clocks longer, resulting in better performance. If you want to know the real difference, you have to look at application/video encoding etc. benchmarks. For example this one: http://www.techspot.com/review/535-i...0qm/page5.html

As you can see, in synthetic benchmarks the mobile CPU (3720QM) is within 10% of the desktop 3770. But in actual applications like Photoshop the mobile CPU can be up to 50% slower. For video encoding, it is 25% slower.

In the end, the 3720QM is a very capable CPU and it is 'fast enough' for most applications. Is it fast enough for you? Well, only you can decide that
Thanks, this is the kind of info I was looking for. I spend my time waiting for preview generation and exporting in Lightroom, so whatever speeds those up is a benefit.
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