2012 quad or 2014 dual?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by bobbydaz, Oct 16, 2014.

  1. bobbydaz macrumors regular

    Jan 24, 2009
    Been holding out for a mini for months but now it's decision time. My mac supplier still has stock of 2012 2.6 quads so do I grab one of these before they disappear or go for new 3.0 dual? I will be using for graphic design so a lot of photoshop work. If I plump for the 2012 I'm happy to upgrade the ram myself and drop in the ssd from my current 2010 mbp so that's something else to consider.
  2. marclondon macrumors 6502

    Aug 14, 2009
    I would go for the new one. I'm in the same position - having survived perfectly well with a 2009 Mini doing design and layout work the latest model will no doubt be excellent.

  3. mmomega macrumors demi-god


    Dec 30, 2009
    DFW, TX
    Just like with anything else.

    Buy the one you NEED.

    If you NEED the power of a Quad Core then buy a late 2012 i7.
    If you don't then save some cash and get the new 2014 model.

    Or just do what my wife does... if you want it and have the cash then buy it.
    If I get an i7 then she feels she needs one as well, the extent of her CPU crunching is browsing Facebook and running Quickbooks.... that's about it.
    Do I care.... not even the slightest, nor do I care what anybody else buys but if someone asks my opinion, then I'd say well IF one has priorities and worrying about performance/cash. Then base your decision on what you feel is the best bang for your buck.


    throw all of that out the window and just buy the computer you want regardless of price, it doesn't affect me at all.
  4. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Aug 25, 2010
    I am comforted that our buying decisions don't effect you at all. I was worried there for a minute.
  5. bse5150 macrumors 6502


    Jan 12, 2014
  6. syan48306 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 15, 2010
    I just purchased a used mac mini with a ivy quad. My main use is for a plex driver and I need the capability of being able to transcode on the fly. My retina macbook pro has a 2.6Ghz CPU and is exactly the same as mac mini's 2.3 and 2.6 ivy quad and my tests have shown I use anywhere from 60% to 95% of the CPU when transcoding on the fly.

    The dual core will not cut it for my needs even though it's a "server" style computer just pulling data from a NAS.

    I agree with the advice, buy what you need. If you need transcoding, get the quad. If you need general browsing, then get the new one.
  7. grandM macrumors 65816


    Oct 14, 2013
    I'm no hardware expert but I think you need a quad core. Remaining question is if the late mini 2012 gpu is good enough for your needs. If so, go for the quad core.


    lol so you are really the man in house !
  8. clevins macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2014
    Also, don't assume quad core is better for everything. it depends on whether the software you use will take advantage of the extra cores or not. Also, if you got 2014 model you will have a much better GPU. Does that matter? Got me, depends on your software.
  9. grandM macrumors 65816


    Oct 14, 2013
    this link may help too: http://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/optimize-performance-photoshop-cs4-cs5.html
  10. bobbydaz thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 24, 2009
    Just to confirm I have no interest in gaming, this mini will purely be for graphic design so performance is my main concern. Will max out the ram whichever model I go for plus SSD. Mainly Photoshop and InDesign plus I ussually have few apps open at once. Will the quad be better for this i.e Will photoshop run noticeably better under i7 quad??
  11. life27 macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2014
    They say:
    the newest mini sucks
  12. fisheye macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2014
    what about video / animation?

    What do people think about this question in relation to using it for video editing / motion graphics (FCP X, After Effects, Apple Motion)? More cores or faster gpu?
  13. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    If the software is heavily reliant on the GPU, it might make a difference when rendering. But keep in mind that the IRIS is not really much of an improvement. Those 60% faster or even 100% faster claims do NOT mean that your After Effects renders are going to be 60% faster or 100% faster. And you need to factor in that the cpu performance is significantly worse.
  14. fisheye macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2014
    So you are saying that the speed of the gpu is much less important to video editing / motion graphics (FCPX, AE, Motion) than the speed or number of cpu cores?
  15. reco2011 macrumors 6502a

    May 25, 2014
    There is no one sized fits all answer. You need to evaluate the requirements of the software you use and buy appropriately. My recommendation is to research your softwares capabilities, select appropriate systems to meet those capabilities, and benchmark the different system. Or wait until benchmarks are released for the particular systems / software combinations you're interested in.
  16. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    No, I am not saying that at all. I said it depends. Adobe Premiere is not Final Cut Pro X, which isn't Adobe After Effects...and I don't know if the non Apple software will even take advantage of the GPU in the new Minis.

    Basically, if you want to see how fast a particular computer is with specific software, you have to use the combination, or wait for benchmarks...and hope that they reflect your situation.

    Most people just guess or try to get a recommendation from others. But these machines are new, so no one knows. In my earlier post, I was only pointing out that these video enhancements that Apple is promoting might not amount to much in use, or certainly less than some people seem to think.
  17. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    Buy both and return the slower one in under 2 weeks as apple lets you return a pc in under 2 weeks.

    Or wait to see if someone gives real examples that apply to your software.

    But if you need to run graphic design and photoshop work for a living you need a mac that will do your work.

    Ie you may find you need an iMac as neither the 2012 quad or the new dual will work well enough for your tasks.
  18. fisheye macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2014
    Thanks. Another factor is price. I just found an open box 2012 quad at a store in my area for $675, so I might just jump on that.
  19. fisheye macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2014
    Processor architecture

    Nother question just occurred to me in regards to the processor architecture - one of the features being touted in the new 2014 minis is the move to "4th generation Haswell processors". I know next to nothing about processor architectures and I don't know what was being used in the 2012 minis, but how significant is this when comparing the quad 2012s with the dual 2014s? I.E., forgetting about the gpu speed difference for the moment, what is faster (assuming one is using software that takes advantage of multithreading): quad / old architecture or dual / new architecture?
  20. Count Blah macrumors 68040

    Count Blah

    Jan 6, 2004
    US of A
    There are many threads floating around with links to CPU comparisons between the old quad and new dual. The numbes are not good for the dual, provided your software takes advantage of the quad core - which is essentially the advice everyone is giving - know your planned software usage 1st.

    I wish I had the link but if you search for comparison, performance, etc... You should find the link eventually. I know its in the big 30+ page thread on the home page here.
  21. bobbydaz thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 24, 2009
    okay decision made. Just ordered a 2012 i7 Quad 2.6 4gb/1tb. I will upgrade the ram and hd to ssd myself but think i will be happy with this mini. There are still 2012 available in the UK if anyone is interested.
  22. Skibba macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2014
    Where'd you get yours from and how much did you pay?

    I'm UK based. Local Apple store has the 2.3 quad core but if I can get the 2.6 I'd rather have that.
  23. life27 macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2014
    I've made this same decision.
    Apple encouraged people to fast clean their warehouses :)
  24. BJonson macrumors 6502a


    Aug 26, 2010
    Boy oh boy the replies here. OP, the quad is better for Photoshop. You made the right decision.
  25. zshguru macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2014
    I made the same choice. I picked up a 2.3 quad on the way home from work and plan to upgrade to a ssd and upgrade the ram.

    FWIW I use the same setup (2.3 quad, 16gb ram, ssd) at work for iOS development and it frickin' SCREAMS.

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