Another Quad vs Dual-Core i7 Mini .. Help Needed.

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by replac, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. replac macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2011
    i cant decide between quad or dual core i7 minis. I am using Ps cs5 & Ai Cs5 generally. Listen music. Web surfing. Playing Light games.

    I will play torchlight . Starcraft 2. Also the second version of torchlight is coming . İ want to play this game on my new mac mini.

    At the otherside. I am a freelancer designer . i am working on photoshop and working with ps files up to 1-2 gb and 200+ layers.

    i am thinking quad server but the hd intel graphic gpu is annoying me.

    Help me to decide which way should i go.

    Quad server stock version OR

    Dual-Core i7 8gb Ram. SSD+7200 HDD combo ( diy upgrade)

  2. ess5 macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2011
    (mini-bump, I'm planning the *exact* same DC i7 spec)

    The eternal question is: is the i5 ~> i7 upgrade worth the hundred bucks?
    Will we see a tangible improvement in day-to-day use? (browsing/pages/whatever)
    Managing or playing back media content? (XBMC/Plex/etc., very light encoding)
    While gaming? (same stuff, SC2/Torchlight/Portal/etc.)
  3. japtor macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2010
    Unless you're constantly pushing it you probably won't notice a difference...and even if you are it probably won't be huge. From most tests I've seen it seems to be about what you'd expect from the clock speed, around 10%. Most people wouldn't notice that.

    That said, looking at the comparison here (from VanDyke's post), there appear to be particular things that can provide a bigger boost, so it'll depend on what the CPU is working on. If you have specific computational needs and know you can take advantage of that (or just need the general extra 10%), then it might be worth it.

    For the OP I'd say either is probably viable. I'm probably going with the higher end dual i5 or i7 and using other money on fast storage (SSD and whatever other drives).
  4. replac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2011
    i am now thinking to buy the i7 over the server . Hd 3000 will not satisfy me.
  5. moxxey macrumors regular

    Feb 27, 2011
    I own both models. I can assure you the quad core Mini seems far faster, for day-to-day use and when pushed. I use CS5 apps, run Windows on VMware Fusion 2011 (beta) and multiple apps perform far better on the quad core Mini than the i7 dual core.

    Frankly I struggle to use the i7 dual core after using the quad core. Anything that uses moderate CPU load performs better on the quad and lags on the dual core Mini.

    Remember that the CPUs do most of the OS work. They are far more important than the graphics chipset. You'd be surprised.
  6. indg macrumors 6502

    Feb 7, 2007
    for photoshop cs5, my mini server (i7, 8gb ram, 1tb RAID0) finished the clubofone speedtest in 17.5 seconds. (site appears to be down at the moment. here's a mirror)

    re gaming:

    Recommended Starcraft 2 System Requirements for Mac:
    Intel Core 2 Duo processor
    4 GB system RAM
    NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT or ATI Radeon HD 4670 or better

    if a macbook air with a dual-core i5/i7 with intel hd 3000 can handle modern warfare 2, i'm guessing a quad-core i7 mini can:
  7. replac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2011
    i am really confused now :S ...

    How is the workflow in quad server . i mean do you see any glitches in the photoshop any lag ? and did u enable the opengl.

    in other applications did u feel a lag gpu related?

  8. japtor macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2010
    Are you using the same drive configurations for both computers?
  9. indg macrumors 6502

    Feb 7, 2007
    i'm not sure what gpu related lag would look like in photoshop. "lag" is somewhat a subject term; what one might consider snappy, another might consider sluggish. that said, overall everything feels smooth/snappy to me.

    openGL was enabled in photoshop.
  10. replac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2011
    Really thanks for your help. i will be using my mini usually photoshop + illustrator. So the performance is important for me.

    Did you played any game on your mini server ?
  11. indg macrumors 6502

    Feb 7, 2007
    here's a 17sec clip of me messing around in portal on steam. set to 1280x800 resolution on a 24" 1920x1200 monitor. video quality isn't that great since it's a cam recording of my monitor, but you get the idea. there is a little graphics "tearing" when moving around fast, but it's definitely playable. hd3000 probably performs better in windows7 with bootcamp.
  12. replac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2011

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