Barefeats Compares Quad-Core Mini, iMac and MacPro

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Mojo1, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2011
    Machines tested:

    Pro 2.93 = 2009 Mac Pro Quad-Core 2.93GHz CPU and Radeon HD 5770 GPU
    iMac 3.4 = 2011 iMac Quad-Core i7 3.4GHz CPU with Radeon HD 6970M GPU
    Mini 2.3 = 2012 Mac mini Quad-Core i7 2.3GHz CPU with Intel HD 4000 GPU.

    Barefeats Summary:

    The 2012 Quad-Core i7 Mac mini is a real contender when it comes to CPU power compared to our examples of a Quad-Core Mac Pro and Quad-Core iMac. We plan to add some other examples of Quad-Core desktop Macs (including a faster Mac mini) to these graphs in the days ahead but the point is made.

    However, the GPU in the 2012 Quad-Core i7 Mac mini is weak in comparison to the Mac Pro (and iMac) as you can see from the "Heaven" graph. That's going to affect its ability to handle advanced Pro Apps that make use of the GPU for certain types of effect rendering. These apps include Apple's Final Cut Pro and Motion as well as Adobe's Photoshop, Premiere Pro, and After Effects. It will also hamstring hard-core gamers.
  2. hugodrax macrumors 6502a

    Jul 15, 2007
    Does Photoshop use the GPU?

    Even Aperture was fine on an 1900XT Macpro 1,1

    The HD4000 should be fine for general use except gaming of course.
  3. k.alexander macrumors regular


    Jul 14, 2010
    Yes, yes, yes, please someone answer the question whether an Aperture/PS user needs a dedicated graphics card such as say last year's iMac 6750M or will be ok with the HD4000.

    Can't decide b/w

    2011 iMac: Quad Core i5-2400S@2.50GHz, AMD 6750HD 512VRam, 500GB 7200Rpm HD, 4GB Ram. Refurb $979


    2012 Mini (mid): QuadCore i7@2.30GHz, Intel 4000HD, 1TB 5400Rpm, 4GB Ram. $917 (including KB/Touchpad which I need)
  4. Carl Spackler macrumors 6502

    Carl Spackler

    Apr 12, 2005
    Outer Space

  5. propower macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2010
    What I always wonder (not games, just apps like FCPx, CS6, etc..) with these graphics card statements is....

    A) HD4000 will not work... as in you try and use this feature of the program and it will not work...


    B) It is slower than the same task when using a dedicated graphics solution

    If (B) then how much slower are we talking? 2X the time to add a blur? 10X, 100X??

    Clearly if you make a living doing this stuff and time=money get a workstation and be done with it... but help educate me... what are we talking about??
  6. fig macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2012
    Austin, TX
    For most Photoshop work a mini should be just fine. I do a lot of design work on a 3+ year old 13" Macbook Aluminum and unless I get into tons of layers in a very high res file it works just fine.
  7. bobsaget macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2005
    I won't speak to Photoshop CS6, but I know for certain, the only major advantage a Cuda enabled GPU gives you is for 'ray-tracing' 3d objects... which I never do. I'm a professional motion graphics designer, and I'll be switching from a 2011 macbook pro 17" to the top end mini soon!
  8. shinji macrumors 65816


    Mar 18, 2007
    These are the Photoshop features that make use of GPU acceleration

    I've been considering a switch from my Mac Pro 1,1 with Nvidia 8800 GT to the new Mini, but the Intel HD 4000 is what's holding me back. The last thing I want is Photoshop to run slower. I just don't know if that's really going to be the case when I do use some of those the features mentioned by Adobe, or if it's a barely noticeable difference.
  9. k.alexander macrumors regular


    Jul 14, 2010
    Well after going back and forth I just picked up a 2012 mini mid-range model. I guess I'll be the guinepig here.
  10. fig macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2012
    Austin, TX
    I'm really curious to hear how the mini does in AE. I do primarily web dev and some identity work along with some Maya animation (mostly character animation and not much rendering), and I'm seriously looking at a mini as well.
  11. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    It's just a matter of what frameworks are being leveraged now. With the 1,1 era, Aperture either didn't bother with the gpu or did very little. OpenCL wasn't even discussed on these boards at the time.

    It comes down to whether Intel and Apple have OpenCL worked out on Mountain Lion for the HD 4000. It wasn't even just blur in PS. It was a specific blur filter and a few other things. They're quite specific. The OpenGL drawing will work either way, and it works fine. Just max ram to 16 or at least go with 8 + a large ssd for faster scratch space.

    Only After Effects and Premiere use CUDA. It's not used in the other Creative Suite applications at all. People get mixed up at times due to the discrepancy and the way Adobe consistently brands it as their mercury engine regardless of what is leveraged.
  12. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Aug 25, 2010
    To put their tests in perspective here is what I currently get from Cinebench;

    Late 2009 mini 2.66GHz C2D, 8GB RAM, WD Scorpio Black 750GB 7.2K HDD.
    Mountain Lion 8.2 - Open GL = 5.89, CPU = 1.54 !!!

    2010 Mac Pro 3.2GHz quad, 24GB RAM, WD HDD, HD 5870 GPU;
    Snow Leopard 6.8 - Open GL 32.22, CPU 5.75
    Lion 7.4 - Open GL 38.32, CPU 5.77
    Mountain Lion 8.2 - Open GL 35.63, CPU 5.71
    Windows 7 Pro - Open GL 61.72, CPU 5.64
    Windows 8 Pro - Open GL 63.35, CPU 5.64

    From my point of view a new mini 2.6GHz, 16GB RAM and SSD or 72K drive would be spectacular for anything other than sustained video production or advanced graphics work.
  13. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    yes this machine has a lot of power. next years haswell will get a huge gpu boost. making tiny powerhouses truly amazing. not knocking this years as I own one and really like it.

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