Resolved Can someone help clear my confusion?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by ardchoille50, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. ardchoille50, Feb 17, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2014

    ardchoille50 macrumors 68020

    Feb 6, 2014
    My confusion is with the higher end Mac mini model compared to the higher end iMac and higher end MBP (see the items in bold text):

    2.3GHz Mac mini Specifications:
    2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
    4GB memory
    1TB hard drive1
    Intel HD Graphics 4000
    OS X Mavericks

    13-inch: 2.6GHz with Retina display Specifications:
    2.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
    Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz
    8GB 1600MHz memory
    512GB PCIe-based flash storage1
    Intel Iris Graphics
    Built-in battery (9 hours)2

    27-inch: 3.4GHz Specifications:
    3.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i5
    Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz
    8GB (two 4GB) memory
    1TB hard drive1
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M with 2GB video memory

    I'm not an expert, so I may be wrong in my assumption, but it appears that the Mac mini is both cheaper and more powerful than the other two listed items. How can this be since the Mac mini is supposed to be an entry-level machine?

    Can someone help educate me about this? I plan to buy a Mac mini, Core i7 model, in April simply because it is the only one I can afford. But it looks like I'll be getting more than I expected.
  2. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    There are a number of reasons, Ill start off with one:

    When intel makes a batch of chips, each is tested for its speed potential. Faster ships sell at a premium and slower chips are discounted. Mini quads get the slowest performers, reducing cost.
  3. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    The i7 used in the Mac mini is a mobile quad core CPU also found in notebooks like the 15" MacBook Pro with Retina Display.
    The i5 found in the 13" MacBook Pro with Retina Display is a mobile dual core CPU, which gets used in that particular model to prevent battery drain and high temperatures.
    The Mac mini is a small desktop computer not bound to a battery, thus it can easily use a quad core mobile CPU, but due to heat a desktop CPU would not be advisable in that small case.
    The iMac uses a desktop quad core CPU, either the i5 with four cores and one thread per core, or the i7 with four cores and two threads per core.

    The i5 in the iMac has a higher clock speed and can achieve to be faster than the i7 used in the Mac mini. That iMac also has a dedicated GPU, the the Mac mini does not have.

    For its price and size, the Mac mini is quite a powerful machine.
  4. TechJohnson macrumors newbie


    Jun 18, 2009
    Tinton Falls, New Jersey
    Not to mention you're always paying for a high resolution display with the iMac.
  5. ardchoille50 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Feb 6, 2014
    Good answers, thank you all so much for your efforts to help educate me. The more I learn about the Mac machines the more I am amazed.. and the more I want one. Heh, this is going to be a slow 1.5 months :(

    Long live Apple!
  6. Yahooligan macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2011
    Let's also consider that the MBP and iMac both come with displays, more memory, some with flash storage, others with dedicated graphics.

    You're simply looking at the CPU and ignoring every other aspect of the machines in your comparison.

    And, based on Geekbench scores (yeah yeah), the Mac Mini in your comparison is faster than the MBP and just barely slower than the iMac.

    But that doesn't mean that the Mac Mini is comparable to the iMac in any other way, they are very different machines.
  7. ardchoille50 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Feb 6, 2014
    Yes, good point, I wasn't thinking about the other internal components. I hope that I will someday be able to afford one of each of the items I listed. The new Mac Pro would be good as well :)
  8. Yahooligan macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2011
    I'm holding out to see what the new Mac Mini provides before I make my choice between the Mini and the Pro. I really don't need everything the Pro provides and I don't need a Mac with a built-in display, I just want something current with better graphics than the current Mini.

    Good luck with your choice and being able to get one someday soon. :)
  9. ardchoille50 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Feb 6, 2014
    Oh I definitely couldn't afford the pro, that would require several years of savings for me. I do, however, like the BYOKDM idea and can afford a mini, though I'll wait until the refresh.

    The specs of the Mac Pro are impressive, to say the least, wish I could afford one.

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