OS X Has anyone compared gaming on base mini versus mid range 2012?

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by madeirabhoy, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. madeirabhoy macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2012
    like a lot of people trying to decide if spending more money on my mini is worth it.

    2.5ghz i5 base mini is 660 euros and will be a good bit faster than my 2009 2ghz core2dueo.

    the next model is 200 euro more. i can write off 100 euro of that in terms of having a 1tb drive in it. so really the cost is 100 euro, which i can afford i guess.

    but its 2.3 ghz. it is quad core i7, in terms of gaming, and separately in terms of normal use, how much faster will it be? is it possible it might actually be slower in some things?

    now i know i could pay another 100 euro, and get 2.6 ghz iz, but by this stage we are nearly 50% more than the cost of the base unit.

    has anyone compared the two from a gaming perspective?
  2. edddeduck macrumors 68020


    Mar 26, 2004
    The jump is from an i5 dual core to a i7 quad core. The performance difference between the two models is huge. In games both mini's will be fairly low spec settings as they both have a HD4000 graphics card which is low power as far as modern games go. The quad core will be faster but the limitation is the low power gfx card. HD4000 is not a gaming card.

    However having double the cores to run the game will improve the game's performance. Adding some third party RAM so you have at least 8GB will also help as it will mean you have more RAM for the system and graphics card to use.

  3. madeirabhoy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2012
    much appreciate your answer Edwin, i know the graphics card is a bit crap, but that made me a bit confused as to whether it was a case that

    a) the GPU was so crap that there was no point in having a quad processor

    or b) the quad processor would help mitigate how crap the GPU is.

    i'd love an imac but its just too much cash.

    what are the most demanding Feral games and would they work? i see deus ex human revolution doesnt support HD4000. would it run at all on either machine?

    how would mafia II run?
  4. Wardenski macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2012
    Why anyone would buy a Mac Mini for gaming is beyond me.
  5. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    A) A quad core won't help the hd4000 much.
  6. blesscheese macrumors 6502a


    Apr 3, 2010
    Central CA
    What games do you want to run?

    It will all depend on the games you want to play. If you want to play the "latest and greatest," I think you won't be happy.

    If you want to play some 2-3 year old games, or old GOG games, you should be fine.

    For example, I can play Skyrim on my 2009 MBA (NVidia 9400m), albeit at about 13-17 frames per second. My 2010 Mac Mini, with a NVidia 320m will play Skyrim at about 30 fps.

    I think we are at the point where the current Intel graphics (HD 4000?) are at least as good or better than the the old 320m, so with a faster processor, I'm sure you could get better graphics performance, but not necessarily high or ultra-high settings.

    Have you posted specifically about the games you want to play, and asked if anyone is running a Mac Mini to play them?
  7. madeirabhoy, Dec 1, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2012

    madeirabhoy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2012
    i know what you mean but, basically i always have a mac, an imac is too expensive and im not a hardcore gamer. i tend to play football manager and civ , although my 2009 mini cant handle civ5. and i have no problem with toning down graphics.

    im thinking about things like skyrim, deus ex hr, borderlands, la noire, endless space, ANNO 2070 mostly in bootcamp therefore.

    id like to play deus ex hr in os x if i can, but if not, bootcamp is fine. same with mafia 2.

    im guessing borderlands 2, max payne 3, far cry 3 are probably out of reach. what about the assassins creed games?
  8. edddeduck macrumors 68020


    Mar 26, 2004
    Sorry about that, the quad core will make the Mac quicker and a better experience overall, however both mini's are not great for games as their weakest link is the HD4000. The Quad does speed things up slightly as it has more cores so the game will not wait on CPU as often. However the boost is not huge in games.

    The HD4000 will run almost all games released right now but on lower settings. Deus Ex is not supported due to a bug in the HD4000 drivers once that's fixed by Apple/Intel it will run Deus Ex as well.

  9. madeirabhoy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2012
    so really, for the 200 euro price difference im as well to take the cheaper machine which will work (almost) as well, and the cash saving is a third of the way towards its replacement in 2 or 3 years
  10. 76ShovelHead, Dec 6, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012

    76ShovelHead macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2010
    Excuse me if it it's against any forum rules to post about hackintoshes, and mod please delete if so.


    Perhaps you'd be better off building a Hackintosh. There are many boards that seem to be plug and play, and a vast community out there. Plus many graphics cards are plug and play as well under OS X Snow Leopard and later (for instance my HD4670 and brothers HD5770 ran under SL, Lion, and ML). This way you can get the best performance for little cash and still be able to run OS X.
  11. edddeduck, Dec 6, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012

    edddeduck macrumors 68020


    Mar 26, 2004
    It's worth mentioning as an option but there are cons as well as pros to that route.

    I have been down the hackintosh route and unless you are a PC builder / modder kind of person I would not recommend it. If you are tech savvy and enjoy messing about it can be a great bit of fun but if you want something to always just work without checking forums when an OS update comes out for hacked drivers etc then I would not recommend a hackintosh.

    It is an option (and can save you a few bucks) but it depends what you want from your computer.

  12. Plutonius macrumors 604


    Feb 22, 2003
    New Hampshire, USA
    The old saying "Time is Money" is true but for some reason people don't calculate the time they have to spend on a project like this into the final cost of a hackintosh.

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