Is the current dual core Mac Mini as fast as a 09 MBP?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Errk!, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. Errk! macrumors 6502

    Mar 6, 2006
    Just trying to figure out my best options here so help is appreciated.

    I have a 2009 Macbook Pro with a 2.66 Intel Core 2 Duo processor. It is ready to be replaced.

    I am considering replacing it with a Mac Mini for the short term, until the new line of MBPs come out.

    But I was surprised to see that the $599 Mac Mini model has a dual core processor (i5). Is this going to give me any better performance than the Core 2 Duo I have in my current MBP? I'm not up to speed on these processors.

  2. tejota1911, Jan 4, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013

    tejota1911 macrumors 6502

    Nov 10, 2006

    The 2012 Mac Mini is faster.

    2009 MBP 2.66Ghz Dual-Core C2D 32-Bit GeekBench = 3623
    2012 Mac Mini 2.5Ghz Dual-Core i5 32-Bit GeekBench = 6631

    16GB 1600Mhz DDR3 RAM for the Mac Mini is only ~$70 too!
  3. Errk! thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 6, 2006
    Thanks for the response.

    Any idea how much faster? If it's just slightly so I might not want to bother.
  4. 53x12 macrumors 68000


    Feb 16, 2009

    83% faster per the geek bench numbers provided above.
  5. tejota1911 macrumors 6502

    Nov 10, 2006
  6. Errk! thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 6, 2006
    Thanks. The post was edited after I replied so I didn't see the numbers.

    Appreciate the info.
  7. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2011
    It has a better GPU too... With a caveat:

    If one reason you want an MBP is the discrete GPU and you need the extra power because of the software you use, you may want to do some further research into the Intel HD4000 before buying a Mac Mini. It may wind up being a better use of your time and money to wait until you can upgrade to an MBP.
  8. jvette macrumors 6502


    Dec 29, 2007
    I have a 2009 2.0 core 2 duo with 4gb of ram and a 2012 2.5 I5 16gb or ram running side by side. I can tell you for mail, surfing and light duty stuff you can't tell any difference. If you do something processor intensive like photo shop there is a noticeable difference but I have to say the 2009 was never a problem to get the job done.
  9. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Aug 25, 2010
    You're right about the "mail, surfing and light duty stuff". My main computer is a Mac Pro 3.2GHz quad with 24GB RAM, 7200 RPM HDDs and an HD 5870 GPU. My DVR is a late 2009 Mac mini C2D 2.66GHz with 8GB RAM, a 7200 RPM WD Scorpio Black HDD and of course the good old integrated NVIDIA GeForce 9400M.

    Like jvette said, for mail, surfing and light duty stuff they feel essentially the same. Of course when working in Aperture 3, PS CS6, EyeTV or Handbrake the Mac Pro is definitely faster. Oddly enough they each beachball about the same amount when opening multiple apps or working with large data base apps while the machines are copying files to external drives.
  10. Errk! thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 6, 2006
    I do a lot of graphic work and video conversion but if the reports of the retina display coming to all MBPs this summer I think I'll wait.

    Thanks for the info.
  11. ybz90 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 10, 2009
    At the OP, how short term is "short term"? If it's only a few months, and your MBP is sufficient for your tasks, I'd just not buy the Mac Mini at all and wait until the next revision of the MBP to upgrade, which will likely feature more configurations and maybe a price drop.

    Also, the entry-level Mac Mini is really a pretty bad value proposition compared to the middle-tier. For a relatively small price bump, the quad-core easily doubles the performance of the dual-core i5 mini. Of course, since you do graphics work, your programs may be GPU-accelerated and would benefit from a dedicated GPU (though the next-gen Haswell iGPUs are supposed to pack a punch). It's probably not worth buying if you're just using it as a stop-gap solution.
  12. fig macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2012
    Austin, TX
    Not much of Photoshop and graphics apps are affected significantly by the GPU, those operations are primarily CPU driven.

    You may see more of an effect in video editing apps, but not much in design and graphics programs.
  13. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    get a 2011 mbp

    this will kill crush destroy smash bury your mbp.

    drop in an ssd more ram and you are good to go.
  14. Errk! thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 6, 2006
    Short term is basically when the new MBPs come out. And yeah, it would be a stop-gap solution.

    My current (2009) MBP is out of warranty so I've been afraid that something will break or wear out and a) cost a small fortune to fix and b) leave me with nothing to sell to put toward a new MBP. I've had no troubles with it and it has been incredibly reliable, but Murphy's law and all that. So the idea was to get rid of it and get a few bucks for it while I can, stick with the Mini for a few months, then turn around and sell that.
  15. ybz90 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 10, 2009
    I see; selling is a good idea as Macs have tremendous resale value. That said, I don't personally believe your model will depreciate significantly between now and when the new models come out.

    Is there a specific reason you feel your system might fail soon, or just a general fear? Besides the logic board and screen, there aren't any super expensive components in a laptop that need repair and neither of those are any more prone to failure than something like RAM or a hard drive. Knock on wood, but chances are you'll be fine, and won't have to worry about then reselling the Mac Mini for a loss. The thing with most Mac resales is that the depreciation curve is like a hump; there is an immediate several hundred dollar hit on MSRP used/older model, followed by a several years of little to no depreciation, and then a huge dropoff in value after that.

    Unless of course, you plan to keep the Mac Mini. Then by all means go ahead and get one, but get the quad-core, not the dual-core.
  16. Errk! thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 6, 2006
    Just general fear, plus I think it will probably take a hit in value when the new ones come out as it will become another generation older.

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