Performance difference between 2.3 & 2.6 for new Quad ?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by mjoshi123, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    #1
    I've got i7 2.3Ghz Quad from Bestbuy and was just wondering if it is worth going for 2.6Ghz Quad ? Will I see any marginal performance difference with regards to what I do i.e Photoshop, Lightroom, iMovie ? The price difference between two is like $100 and if I get from Apple education store than it is just $70 more.
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    dasx

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Location:
    Barcelona
    #2
    If you can afford it and you won't need those $70 for food I'd do it. 0.3GHz more won't hurt.

    Of course I assume you're gonna be doing intensive CPU tasks. Otherwise you would've been fine with just he DC i5.
     
  3. macrumors regular

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    Apr 15, 2012
    #3
    I would pay the extra its not much but least you can keep the machine longer and will help with intensive work load i.e. movies etc :)
     
  4. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #4
    Terrible advice. If you need the extra 10-15% of processing power (because you do things like encode videos and what not) then go for it, but thinking that some how 10-15% more CPU speed will gain you any additional use of your machine is hogwash. I use the example that 3 years ago this was like getting a Core2duo with 2.26ghz or 2.53ghz in 2009, guess what? 3 years later anyone with either machine is most likely looking to upgrade because neither of those are modern processors by today's standards (both are fine internet/music/etc, but won't do any grunt work by today's standards). They won't hold a candle to today's processors, the 2.26 cores around 3200 and then 2.53 scores around 3700 in geekbench.
     
  5. macrumors 68000

    azentropy

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    Surprise
    #5
    Yeah, won't see too much difference - maybe 10%. IMO money towards RAM and SSD (or fusion) are better spent. While a SSD doesn't help with the raw processing that those apps do, it makes the system overall much more snappy (boot, application launching, loading/saving your files etc.).
     
  6. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2011
    #6
    Forget the small speed bump. Take that $70 and use it to buy 16GB of RAM. Way more important.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    #7
    thanks guys movies related work are done only once in a while whereas most of my work is around CS6 + Lightroom 4
     
  8. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2012
    #8
    I used my 1.8 Air for over a year without any problems for movies and photoshop work so I dont know what your on about terrible advice coming from a 1.8 to a 2.6 quad! I was going by the OP using for movies.
    If hes got the money go for the higher spec machine, saving 30 dollars put that towards ram which doesnt cost the earth now anyway.
     
  9. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #9
    The terrible advice isn't that the OP should upgrade or not, it's stating that by upgrading the Mac Mini will be relevant longer. When the 2.3 quad core is no longer decent, the 2.6 won't be decent either. That's the part I was stating is inaccurate and bad advice. Telling someone they can/should upgrade because they have the money is done, but it is utter hogwash to think the mini will be usable longer because of the upgrade. This was the point you made In your previous post.
     
  10. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #10
    There are SOOOOooooo many people on MacRumors who give the advice of "if you have the money, buy the upgrade."

    Haven't you guys ever heard of saving money and/or not buying things you don't need?
     
  11. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #11
    Nope. If you can afford it, buy the upgrade and help the economy...
     
  12. macrumors 68020

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    Sep 14, 2012
    #12
    If that's your argument, then why not save the $100 and spend it on something that's made completely in the US (or whatever you're from), or use it to support the local economy, e.g., take your wife or girlfriend out for a nice steak dinner at a local restaurant?

    It pains me to see people recommending the 2.3->2.6 upgrade "just because" when it gives you a 10% performance increase at best. In a blind survey, 99.99% of people wouldn't be able to tell if they're using the 2.3 model or the 2.6.
     
  13. macrumors 68000

    azentropy

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
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    #13
    Don't know if you were trying to be funny, but thanks for that. ;)

    Depends again on what you are doing. If it is a task that takes 1 second, then yeah taking .9 seconds instead doesn't make much difference. But if it is a task that takes 10 minutes, then saving a minute is nice. If it is a task that takes an hour, then saving 6 minutes is great... and so on...
     
  14. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #14
    Heh, by blind survey I obviously meant a survey where you don't tell the user which model he's using, but I suppose it's pretty funny to think of blindfolded people holding different Minis and being asked to guess which ones they are. :)

    I think it's pretty uncommon in this day and age for people to frequently do stuff with a computer that takes a solid hour of compute time, or even 10 minutes. And for the people who ARE doing things for that long, they are likely taking breaks or doing something else while the computation is occurring and that extra minute of time probably doesn't make much difference to them.

    Personally I frequently run a program that takes about 40 minutes. A lot of times I start the program and go do something else and come back after it's done, or I start doing something else with the computer as it's computing and it makes very little difference to me if it finishes in 38 minutes or 42 since I'm in the middle of something else. Many times I don't even notice it's done until a few minutes after it finishes anyway. So I will be buying the i7 Mini later this week since it DOES make a difference to me if it finishes in 40 minutes or 80 minutes, but the 2.3->2.6 upgrade is irrelevant to me unless maybe it cost $20 instead of $100.
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    iAppl3Fan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    #15
    Of course it marginally faster, that's why it's more expensive. If it bothers you then upgrade if not then stay where you're at with 2.3.
     
  16. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #16
    I was being a little tongue-in-cheek ;)

    I think this come down to how much an individual values the $100. If I go back a decade, then $100 would have been a lot for me and I'd look more into whether I really needed it or not.

    Today $100 isn't really much money for me so I'm not going to spend the time making sure I need it. It's worth it for me to have it in case I might need it in the future, for the few percentage points it may or may not give me now and the peace of mind that comes with buying the fully spec'd model.

    Now if it was $500 then I wouldn't do the upgrade (maybe in another decade that won't be much money... :)

    I often see that on these forums where we all give advice from our own perspectives, forgetting that other people's situations and contexts are very different.
     
  17. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #17
    Indeed, from my perspective, I feel no peace of mind from buying a fully-spec'ed model of almost anything since I know that these upgrades are usually a unashamed ripoff from a price/performance point of view.

    Look at the other upgrades for the Mini. Apple charges $300 for $80 of RAM. They charge you $300 for a $170 SSD. They charge you $80 for a $25 external DVD drive. And they charge you $100 for a measly 10% increase in CPU clock speed.

    Apple is simply preying on people who don't know they can get these things elsewhere for far cheaper or they don't know enough about computers to realize that they don't need these trivial upgrades or they want to buy them "just in case."

    I mean, I can't fault Apple for this practice since it's a free market and they are supplying demand at that price. And they certainly aren't the only company that behaves this way. But as an informed consumer I *can* choose to not be ripped off by them.
     
  18. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2012
    #18
    I just bought my mac mini last week and I went with the 2.3 quad processor. I did end up ordering 16 gig memory from crucial and a SSD drive from Newegg. I'm extremely impressed with the speed even using Handbrake.
     
  19. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #19
    I hear you. And I think I understand where you're coming from. But I'm in a different place. And I suspect others (not just the technically naive) are too.

    On the RAM I've gone with 4GB and fully intend to upgrade to 16GB myself because, for me, that makes sense.

    I've chosen for Apple to upgrade the SSD because of the potential warranty issues of changing it myself, chance that I'll damage the internals (as some have on this forum) and potential issues with TRIM support. For me the extra I pay Apple over the raw component cost is worth it to mitigate these risks. When I was a bit younger I happily built PCs and would have enjoyed doing this, but now the cost of time and the potential hassles are just not worth it to me.

    Likewise I've gone for the top processor. Honestly, for my current use, the dual core probably would have been sufficient. But then if we're talking sufficiency (and frugality) I would have bought a cheap PC. I had a budget to spend on a new machine and I've happily spent that. And I can still afford to take my gf out for a nice dinner :)
     
  20. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #20
    I suppose having a budget to spend for a computer is one approach. Personally I just buy what I need.

    Of course if you're financially secure enough that $100 is basically irrelevant to you then more power to you and you might as well buy stuff that you don't need. I'm also happily in the situation where I could spend $100 and likely never notice it was gone. But most people aren't and thus I can't stand reading advice like "if you have the money, you might as well buy it." In most cases that's financially irresponsible.

    BTW -- I will be buying a Mini on Black Friday but instead of going with the Apple SSD I will be connecting an external SSD via USB3. It's cheaper, there should be no appreciable difference in performance, and it almost couldn't be easier. Pop an SSD in an enclosure, connect it via USB cable, and you're done. I understand paying a premium for convenience but in this case it's $150 for something I can do in literally a few minutes.
     
  21. macrumors 65816

    dasx

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Location:
    Barcelona
    #21
    What pisses me off is people getting mad about others' opinions. Man, give yours -if got one- and leave me alone.
     
  22. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #22
    Haha yeah there has been times when I've just bought stuff because I can but I'm not quite so frivolous these days! Been doing a lot of decluttering this year and trying to live a bit more minimally. Luckily the faster processor doesn't take up any more space :)

    The external SSD is a good idea and if my desk space wasn't so limited one I might do too.

    Perhaps we can agree that good advice is to be mindful about spending, making sure you understand what you are and aren't getting for the extra money spent on upgrades and finding the best fit for what you can afford (which is what these forums generally do a great job of)?

    Most importantly, hope you enjoy your mini!
     
  23. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #23
    It seems there are two schools of thought on the subject:

    1) If you can afford it, might as well buy it

    2) If it won't make any real practical difference to you, then save your money

    I assume that if somebody starts a thread on this message board asking if they should buy something, the implied question is really whether or not the difference it makes is worth the cost. If they were of the mindset that they should just buy whatever they can afford, then they would have already bought it and wouldn't be posting the question.
     
  24. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    #24
    Of course I can't speak for everyone, but at least for me personally and a lot of colleague "media freelancers", it's quite common to sit by the computer the whole day and multitask, where a seemingly small performance upgrade of 10% can do a lot over the course of a whole day. If this 10% direct performance boost would result in, say, a modest overall 5% increase in productivity over an 8 hour workday, that would mean you could do the same amount of work in 7.5 hours or get 30-40 minutes more work done in the same time.

    I'm a freelance photographer, and usually need Lightroom (which scales well over many cores/threads, and uses up to 100% cpu) to run in the background, converting/developing jpgs for clients to choose from, while I'm working in Photoshop with a specific image. All the time I'm copying files to/from harddrives/ftps, running mail, twitter, chrome, spotify, ical, word, and some other minor apps. And I also work ~10 hours when I'm at the office, since I'm out actually taking the photographs other days. And I know a lot of people, not just photographers, work like this.

    So, even though it might not be the most common way of using a computer, like you said, I'm just pointing out that there still is a big difference between how people work. And a not insignificant amount of people use it like I do.

    So, again, for me -personally- the $100 upgrade definately is worth it. I would even pay $200, and another $200 for a GPU. But that's probably more just me... ;)

    I more than that wish they would upgrade the MP, but that's another story.
     
  25. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2012
    #25
    Don't do it. Insignificant increase. I'm trying to decide between the Dual core i5 and the i7. Worth $200, probably not, for wife to do email, internet and picture editing. JMHO


    Although, $100 for Quad core and $100 for bigger drive probably worth it.
     

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