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Old Dec 2, 2012, 01:38 PM   #1
phxcoop
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Mac Mini 2011 vs 2012

I have recently bought the i7 2.3Hz Quad-Core using the Intel HD 4000 (2012). I have not upgraded anything on it yet. But I do have the screen issues. After the screen blacks out and comes back, it will have a flicker to it and the image gets degraded. Outside of that, I have some questions. I know from using windows 7 that the Intel HD anything has been very bad both in 2D and 3D. I currently have 2 other computers that use the Intel HD product and I never thought the text and screen transitions where all that great. I know that the i7 2.3Hz is very fast computer with a very slow graphics processor. Which I do not really game but I like the screen that I am looking at to look good and easy to read.

I noticed that the 2011 model has the Radeon HD 6630M with the i5 2.5Hz Sandy Bridge. I know this is a better gpu in both 2d and 3d. My question is how much slower in real world is the 2011 vs the 2012 either the base i5 or the i7?

At Best Buy they had the base i5 2012 with the HD 4000 and it seemed rather fast.

Which one would be better to get?

Thanks.
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 03:27 PM   #2
fa8362
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Why not keep what you have and stop using the HDMI out until the HDMI fix is available?
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 03:56 PM   #3
majkom
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Why not keep what you have and stop using the HDMI out until the HDMI fix is available?
Why using defective product?
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 05:47 PM   #4
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Why using defective product?
Because what he's thinking of getting is worse than the i7.
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 06:33 PM   #5
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Because what he's thinking of getting is worse than the i7.
Of course, raw processor power is higher in 2012, bud gpu power in 2011.. if he needs less power (dual core is sufficient for most of users) he can get better gpu and NON DEFECTIVE unit
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 06:44 PM   #6
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I'm not sure what you mean by 2d and 3d. You should probably explain that. If you're referring to paint and modeling or animation programs, both suck and they aren't worth comparing for that kind of thing (although 2d paint programs can run fine without help from the gpu). Games might be a little faster on the 6630m, and it lacks the bugs of the HD4000. Don't plan on leveraging OpenCL application features with either.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 12:57 PM   #7
calvol
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I had the 2012 quad-core Mini 2.6 for about 10 days and returned it due to "blinking/snow" screen issues, and bought a refurb 2011 dual-core Mini 2.5/Radeon. Actually, the 2011 has a higher Cinebench CL score of 23.75 vs 23.25 for the 2012, but of course the Geekbench is much lower for the 2011, about 6700 vs 12000 for the 2012. Also, I noticed transitions from a full-screen 1080p movie to expose were choppy with the 2012, but smooth with the 2011. Enough for me to stick with the 2011/Radeon, which was incidentally a little over half the price. This machine will eventually be a HTPC, so I also thought it's a little overkill to have an expensive quad-core sitting next to the TV. With the money I saved, I bought an iPad4, and trying it out. Too bad Apple stuck with that crappy HD4000 in a beautiful quad-core machine.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 02:10 PM   #8
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I had the 2012 quad-core Mini 2.6 for about 10 days and returned it due to "blinking/snow" screen issues, and bought a refurb 2011 dual-core Mini 2.5/Radeon. Actually, the 2011 has a higher Cinebench CL score of 23.75 vs 23.25 for the 2012, but of course the Geekbench is much lower for the 2011, about 6700 vs 12000 for the 2012. Also, I noticed transitions from a full-screen 1080p movie to expose were choppy with the 2012, but smooth with the 2011. Enough for me to stick with the 2011/Radeon, which was incidentally a little over half the price. This machine will eventually be a HTPC, so I also thought it's a little overkill to have an expensive quad-core sitting next to the TV. With the money I saved, I bought an iPad4, and trying it out. Too bad Apple stuck with that crappy HD4000 in a beautiful quad-core machine.
Hi, what display do you use.. i plan to buy 2011 ATI mini and 27 cinema display or dell equivalent.. isnt ATI 256 MB to weak for such a resolution? are animations smooth or not? thx for answer
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 07:58 PM   #9
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Hi, what display do you use.. i plan to buy 2011 ATI mini and 27 cinema display or dell equivalent.. isnt ATI 256 MB to weak for such a resolution? are animations smooth or not? thx for answer
I use an Apple TB Display with the 2011/ATI, no problem with transitions or animations at all with 2500x1600 resolution; whereas actually were choppy with the 2012/HD4000. Haven't tried dual monitors though.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:25 PM   #10
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I had the 2012 quad-core Mini 2.6 for about 10 days and returned it due to "blinking/snow" screen issues, and bought a refurb 2011 dual-core Mini 2.5/Radeon. Actually, the 2011 has a higher Cinebench CL score of 23.75 vs 23.25 for the 2012, but of course the Geekbench is much lower for the 2011, about 6700 vs 12000 for the 2012. Also, I noticed transitions from a full-screen 1080p movie to expose were choppy with the 2012, but smooth with the 2011. Enough for me to stick with the 2011/Radeon, which was incidentally a little over half the price. This machine will eventually be a HTPC, so I also thought it's a little overkill to have an expensive quad-core sitting next to the TV. With the money I saved, I bought an iPad4, and trying it out. Too bad Apple stuck with that crappy HD4000 in a beautiful quad-core machine.
calvol: How is the real world speed between the 2 mac mini's the 2011 vs the 2012? Is there a slower feeling to the 2011 with the processor? We already know there is a slower feeling to the graphics of the 2012 based on what others have said.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 11:36 PM   #11
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calvol: How is the real world speed between the 2 mac mini's the 2011 vs the 2012? Is there a slower feeling to the 2011 with the processor? We already know there is a slower feeling to the graphics of the 2012 based on what others have said.
My daily driver is a 2010 13 MBA with C2D/320M. So, compared to that, the 2011 i5 2.5/ATI feels fast, and the 2012 quad i7 2.6 felt blistering fast, which correlates to my Cinebench CPU scores of 2.6 vs 6.0, and Geekbench of 6700 vs 12000, respectively. These were both stock 4GB-RAM/5400rpmHD configs.

However, as noted before, I saw stuttering with the 2012 playing a 1080p movie from the HD, and when transitioning from full screen movie to launchpad back and forth. Definitely graphic transitions are smoother with the 2011/ATI. The 2011 i5 runs a lot cooler, running Cinebench top temp was 91C, whereas the 2012 was 103C. It was amazing how fast it ramped up to that temp.

Really wanted to keep the quad, but not with the issues outstanding, may buy one next round for a desktop machine, and keep the 2011 for a HTPC.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 06:47 AM   #12
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We already know there is a slower feeling to the graphics of the 2012 based on what others have said.
Do we? My 2012 mini handles CoreAnimation perfectly well -- all the OS X transitions and animations are no problem. OpenGL games work fine with high frame rates, and it is running two monitors.
I don't see evidence that the GPU is "slow".

I've got the Fusion drive, so maybe problems that others see are actually from the 5400rpm disk drive.

It might not be the fastest GPU in the world, but as with CPUs, it's probably good enough for most people's usages.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 10:48 AM   #13
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Do we? My 2012 mini handles CoreAnimation perfectly well -- all the OS X transitions and animations are no problem. OpenGL games work fine with high frame rates, and it is running two monitors.
I don't see evidence that the GPU is "slow".

I've got the Fusion drive, so maybe problems that others see are actually from the 5400rpm disk drive.

It might not be the fastest GPU in the world, but as with CPUs, it's probably good enough for most people's usages.
benwiggy: I am not sure, I am going based on reviews and other's comments. However, do you mind telling me which version of the Mac Mini you have?
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 10:57 AM   #14
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However, as noted before, I saw stuttering with the 2012 playing a 1080p movie from the HD
Mac Minis have been capable of playing 1080p without stuttering since 2009. So the stuttering you observed isn't caused by the graphics hardware. I have a 2012 quad and it hasn't stuttered yet. I've seen stuttering with my late 2009, but it's always caused by software or hardware unrelated to the graphics system.

Last edited by fa8362; Dec 4, 2012 at 11:11 AM.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 11:45 AM   #15
calvol
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Mac Minis have been capable of playing 1080p without stuttering since 2009.
Not with the HD4000, it's only been out since June 2012. To be more specific, I noticed choppy transitions from a full frame 1080p movie to desktop and back, and in the 1080p movie itself, some hiccups in scene transitions. These observations were not noticed with the 2011 Mini/ATI-6630M.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 12:06 PM   #16
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benwiggy: I am not sure, I am going based on reviews and other's comments. However, do you mind telling me which version of the Mac Mini you have?
I got the 2.6 Ghz i7, but if you have the 2.3 GHz i7, it's not going to be much different.
How much RAM do you have? I maxed mine out with 16Gb from Crucial. If you only have 4Gb, then that might affect things.

Playing back a 1080p video is a trivial GPU problem, even for the "Oh Noes" 4000. If you've got a problem, it's something else.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 12:20 PM   #17
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I got the 2.6 Ghz i7, but if you have the 2.3 GHz i7, it's not going to be much different.
How much RAM do you have? I maxed mine out with 16Gb from Crucial. If you only have 4Gb, then that might affect things.

Playing back a 1080p video is a trivial GPU problem, even for the "Oh Noes" 4000. If you've got a problem, it's something else.
He said that transition between 1080p video and other window/desktop was sluggish, not the playback itself...
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 12:21 PM   #18
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Not with the HD4000, it's only been out since June 2012. To be more specific, I noticed choppy transitions from a full frame 1080p movie to desktop and back, and in the 1080p movie itself, some hiccups in scene transitions. These observations were not noticed with the 2011 Mini/ATI-6630M.
I have a 2012 and watch 1080p videos EVERY DAY without issue.
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Old Jan 19, 2013, 11:58 PM   #19
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I have a 16:10 (1900x1200) IPS monitor that I am hoping to drive with a Mac Mini. I have a Gaming PC that is about the equiv of 22 Mac Minis on the other monitor, so gaming is not needed with the Mini.

Do y'all think I should still go with the 2011 if the processor is the same (i5), RAM the same (4GB, except the 2011 is a lower BUS speed), and everything else is the same. I'm not sure if the older model with the way better GPU is worth it, but it actually is 15 dollars less. Although refurbed.

Any advice would be appreciated!
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 01:18 AM   #20
calvol
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I have a 16:10 (1900x1200) IPS monitor that I am hoping to drive with a Mac Mini. I have a Gaming PC that is about the equiv of 22 Mac Minis on the other monitor, so gaming is not needed with the Mini.

Do y'all think I should still go with the 2011 if the processor is the same (i5), RAM the same (4GB, except the 2011 is a lower BUS speed), and everything else is the same. I'm not sure if the older model with the way better GPU is worth it, but it actually is 15 dollars less. Although refurbed.

Any advice would be appreciated!
I returned my 2012 2.6 and bought a refurb 2011/6630M for about $450, about half the price. Just like the discrete ATI GPU better with DDR5 memory, which operates way faster than the higher bus speed of the 2012.
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 04:11 AM   #21
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I returned my 2012 2.6 and bought a refurb 2011/6630M for about $450, about half the price. Just like the discrete ATI GPU better with DDR5 memory, which operates way faster than the higher bus speed of the 2012.
Hrm... So you are saying that the 2011 is faster even though the RAM bus speed is slower?

Also, is the 2012 processor faster? I know they are both i5s but I assume it is a newer gen right?
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 05:30 AM   #22
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Hrm... So you are saying that the 2011 is faster even though the RAM bus speed is slower?

Also, is the 2012 processor faster? I know they are both i5s but I assume it is a newer gen right?
As to the CPU - if they are same just generation difference, there would be like 10 percent difference... not sure it is worth the GPU difference...
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 02:14 PM   #23
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As to the CPU - if they are same just generation difference, there would be like 10 percent difference... not sure it is worth the GPU difference...
In know others have asked but it seems subjective so I'll ask you, do you think the GPU is really worth it for non-gaming. Like will the difference be noticeable for 1080p flash/YouTube videos?
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 02:43 PM   #24
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In know others have asked but it seems subjective so I'll ask you, do you think the GPU is really worth it for non-gaming. Like will the difference be noticeable for 1080p flash/YouTube videos?
there are people reporting that hd4000 is not capable of smooth system animations with TBD... and I am keen to believe, I have tested it in store and some animations with new air connected to TBD were not smooths - this is not the case with ati 6330m... it is pitty that quad core with ati like gpu does not exist.. why, only apple knows
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 02:54 PM   #25
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I have a 3000HD from a 2011 MBA connected to 27" Apple Display. Animations and switching are fine. Smooth with no choppiness. Considering the 4000HD is even better, you can expect that it will be more than capable.
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