i5 Mac Mini - Performance Questions

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by testudoaubreii, May 28, 2015.

  1. testudoaubreii macrumors regular

    Apr 14, 2014

    I feel bad because I posted about performance concerns when working with Logic Pro/Garageband, but these questions are concerning other programs. I thought I would make a new thread. If I should have posted it in that tread, I apologize.

    Anyhow, apart from running the two programs stated above, I am going to need the Mac Mini to run Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, multiple browsers and browser tabs all at the same time. I am a web/graphic designer and I dabble in video editing (not big video files, though).

    Will the Mac Mini - 2.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5/8GB memory/500GB/Intel Iris Graphics/OS X Yosemite, enough to run those programs simultaneously? Should I be looking at a quad-core rMBP?

    Thank you in advance for your help!
  2. marclondon macrumors 6502

    Aug 14, 2009
    Yes it will but you must get an SSD version and 16GB memory will also give you headroom.

    At present on my 2012 i7 (which is a quad but probably about the same as the newer i5) I have at present open:

    Parallels running Windows XP and 8.1
    Three browsers with lots of tabs
    plus a lot of other things with no issues, but I do have an SSD and 16GB ram.

  3. testudoaubreii thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 14, 2014
    Thank you for your reply!

    The quad-core i7 version of the Mac Mini is the equivalent of the new Mac Mini i5's? Even though it is a dual core?
  4. xsquid macrumors regular


    May 27, 2015
    The base 2012 i5 is the equivalent of the base 2014 i5. I have the base 2012 with an evo 850 256 in it and the memory is upgradable. It's fast with the ssd, I would take it any day over the new base model since it's upgradable (memory and ssd).

    The new base model is 1% in single core increase, but over 5% decrease dual core from the base 2012. Not a lot so I say about the same. Graphics is 15-18% better in the new model so there is the difference. It depends on your needs, but my 2012 converts video fast and I consider the upgradability to be the bigger plus.


    The mid range models have an increase in single core, but obviously a big decrease in multi core. The quad core i7 2012 is not the equivalent of the base 2014, the base 2012 is. If someone offered me their base 2014 straight across trade I would refuse.
  5. Monicab macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2012
    dual-core Intel Core i5/8GB memory/500GB is what I have now...

    I have photoshop cs3, illustrator cs6, some other stuff...but I have to say...I'm not sure...This machine is not as fast as I thought and I see the beach ball a lot....

    It hangs on safari so on. When I have a lot of things open something gets slow...

    I bevelieve the i5 is not enough. Maybe if I had the faster SSD hard disk would be much better...
  6. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    In your case an SSD upgrade should make quite a difference.
  7. th0masp macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2015
    dual-core i5 2012 mini here as well (with 16 GB's and SSD). i bought it recently due to lack of upgrade possibilities on the new mini. as a bonus it came with mavericks preinstalled. easier on the eyes than 10.10. :)
    so, if you can still find 'em, might want to consider that over the current one.

    running the programs you mentioned - i see no problem with that. the graphics handle large monitors, photoshop hardware acceleration and even 3d apps like maya surprisingly well. no complaints. obviously it's no high end workstation built for lots of heavy multiprocessing but a silent, speedy little desktop machine that for me is hell of lot less noisy than my i7 macbook pro. completely silent so far.
    photoshop, illustrator and so on are not really taxing a multicore machine proper anyway. in video editing, rendering the output might benefit from that though.

    regarding Monicab's frequent beach ball: if that machine has the default 500 GB hard drive installed then there's your reason. that thing would have been considered slow 10 years ago. not sure it's good for more than to serve as a paper weight really.
    if you cannot justify the outlay for an SSD, you might at least want to consider a fast laptop drive like the seagate SSHD or similar. a far cry from a true SSD but no slouch as far as spinning rust is concerned. ;)
  8. xsquid macrumors regular


    May 27, 2015
    +1. I had constant beach balls, apps taking forever and random crashes/reboots. 850 evo and no more beach balls, no more crashes/reboots plus most apps opening after 1-2 bounces of the icons. I will go out on a limb and say it's exactly your problem.
  9. BrettApple macrumors 65816


    Apr 3, 2010
    Heart of the midwest
    Grab an SSD for it and you'll be just fine.

    I've got the MacBook equivalent of the mid spec Mini. 13" rMBP with the 2.4 GHz i5, 8GB, 256GB SSD, and Intel Iris 5100 GPU. It runs everything I throw at it quite reasonably coming from a Core 2 Duo system.

    I've run Logic Pro X, Final Cut Pro X, Adobe CS5 and CC 2014, Aperture, and the regular iTunes, Office, etc. It has no issues with any of these and I can drive three displays off of it. Quite impressed how far mobile integrated GPUs have come since my 9400m!

    I've also got a 2012 quad i7 mini at work, and a new base model 2014 mini (1.4/4GB/500GB/HD5000). The 2014 Mac Mini is upgradable when it comes to the hard drive. You can swap it out with any standard 2.5" SSD like a Samsung 850 EVO or a Crucial MX200 no problem, but you need a TR6 screwdriver. Still cheaper than Apple's offering but they will use a faster PCIe drive vs a SATA 3 drive. Keep in mind the DIY method may make more sense because you can change it out later if you need more space and such. Or if the drive dies out of warranty.

    In the end the mid model Mini is a pretty decent budget machine.
  10. marclondon macrumors 6502

    Aug 14, 2009
    We've been through all this before - the new dual core machines have better graphics and are better at single core work; only when there are multicore apps do the older quad models do better. I think the consensus is that most apps are fine in the later dual core machines.

    See http://barefeats.com/macmin14.html

  11. xsquid, May 28, 2015
    Last edited: May 28, 2015

    xsquid macrumors regular


    May 27, 2015
    Yes, both models cal run most apps just fine (with an ssd) Tbut your comment about better single core work excludes the base models. They are about the same single core and the 2012 5% ahead in multi core (both dual core) so the processor is a step back. Only the graphics are 15-18% better in the newer, but you also lose upgradability and upgrading to max out the memory from apple is 300.00., 200.00 on the mid and upper You can max out the 2012 yourself for about 100.00 and sell what it came with.

    Like I really said it really depends on if you need the better graphics, 15-18%, or quad core for the mid and upper models, or like the cheaper and easier upgrades. Like I have said before I would not take a new bas model in trade for my 2012 base at all, if I actually needed that 15-18% graphics increase I might. Then again if I needed better graphics I would probably have something with discreet graphics.
  12. th0masp macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2015
    i'd like to think that a 15% or thereabouts speed increase for GPU or CPU is not going to be noticeable unless you have both machines sitting right next to one another to compare.
    getting the upgrade might be crucial however if it offered something like twice the video RAM or particular software compatibility and if that was a deal breaker for using some application.
  13. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    If you're doing audio production as a job, you should be getting a quad core system. Even a 2011 quad core cMBP outperforms the current 3.1GHz dual-core i7 in the 13" rMBP by a significant margin.

    You also look like you need a decent GPU, so I'd recommend a baseline mid-2014 15" rMBP at the very least (refurb).

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