Mac mini i7 2.3 ghz vs 2.6ghz i7?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Roadking714, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. Roadking714 macrumors regular

    Mar 7, 2014
    Thinking about returning my new Mac mini late 2012 2.3 ghz For the refurbished 2.6ghz. My question is if I keep my 2.3 ghz mac mini and install 16gb of ram and a 256gb ssd will their be much difference as if I installed that in the 2.6 ghz? And if you had a chance to return it would you for a refurbished one? Sorry people needing a little help here trying to make up my mind
  2. bax2003 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 25, 2011
    Mac min i2.6 Quad i7 - too hot. Keep your 2.3.
  3. willgreene99 macrumors regular


    Dec 16, 2010
    Go to and compare both of those mini's and determine for yourself if there is enough of a difference to warrant a replacement.

    For me, I couldn't see that much of a difference but each of us have different views and needs.
  4. =E= macrumors regular


    Nov 8, 2013
    Ive got the 2.6 and it aint hot?
  5. Noetics macrumors member


    Nov 8, 2013
    My 2.6 only turns hot when I am playing graphics intensive games, and even then it isnt worryingly hot. The mini can handle the heat.
  6. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    2.6 maths out to only 13%. Not much advantage relative to the cost. If you don't have SSD now, that will yield more speed per $.
  7. shaunp macrumors 68000

    Nov 5, 2010
    I've got the 2.6 and it doesn't run hot, unless I'm pushing it to 100% CPU for long periods of time and even then it's not that bad.

    I wouldn't bother returning the 2.3 just to get the 2.6, as you probably won't notice the difference in day to day tasks and if the 2.3 isn't quick enough, then you might want to consider a different machine altogether. You will notice the difference if you add an SSD though. Samsung now make a 1TB SSD which is very good. Not as quick as their 'Pro' models, but I have both and the only time I notice a difference is in benchmarks.
  8. asiga macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2012
    You can claim that 2.6 isn't a huge increase over 2.3, but take in mind that you're actually wishing a 3.5GHz i7 (or higher) on your Mini, so you should see it this way: 2.3 is farther than 2.6 from 3.5.

    I'd wish Apple exchanged the iMac<>Mini specs. But doing so would hurt MacPro sales, so I believe my next purchase will be a MacPro even if what I need is an iMac without the display.

    Back to the point: get a max-Mini: 2.6, 256GB SSD and 16GB RAM. Then it becomes pretty close to being a serious computer. Too bad the lack of proper GPU and faster CPU, but then Apple wants you to buy a MacPro as I said.
  9. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    It's literally 10% faster on geekbench. I was trying to decide as well back when I bought my 2012 about a year ago. I ended up going with the 2.3ghz because I got it on Amazon for less than $800 (and I'm in a non-taxed state for Amazon.... I know about tax evasion yada yada), and the 2.6ghz only sometimes show up on the refurb section (and are gone VERY quickly). Frankly most people wouldn't notice the 10% difference because it is ONLY going to be beneficial when you are doing "stuff" that maxes the CPU. Any other time it will be of no benefit.

    Now, if you paid full price to Apple for the 2.3ghz and can get the refurb I say go for it since it is the same price (actually slightly cheaper), but you will need to be quick on the trigger (there is no 2.6ghz Mini unless you want to buy it with other upgrades right now in the store)....
  10. Roadking714 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 7, 2014
    Thanks guys I appreciate the feedback. I'm leaning more to what I got and maxing it out with the ssd and ram. I notice the 2.6 refurbs sell fast but if I'm not gonna notice much of a difference between the two then I should just rest on it. Thanks again guys!
  11. itsOver9000 macrumors 6502


    Mar 29, 2013
    B.F., KS
    There was a post I read on here back before I decided on the 2.3GHz mini instead of the 2.6GHz mini that pointed out going from the i5 dual core to the i7 quad mini (basically 50% more performance) was $200 whereas the bump from 2.3GHz to 2.6GHz (roughly 10% more performance) was $100. When put in those terms the 2.6GHz doesn't seem worth it.
  12. COrocket macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2012
    I think it is closer to a 100% increase going for the quad core(double the speed and a larger HDD) for $200 and going from 2.3 to 2.6 was another 10% increase for $100. But the point still remains...There is diminishing returns when upgrading from the 2.3 to the 2.6, which is why i went with the 2.3 as well.
  13. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    10% in benchmarks is essentially useless. I think it's just the same cpu clocked different ways as recommended pricing from intel is identical whether it's 2.3 or 2.6. Essentially they're the same thing. As for ram and/or ssd, you don't provide a lot of context with any of this. It helps a lot more if you mention the types of use or if you experience sluggish behavior during specific tasks. In the case of any machine upgrade, you are trying to alleviate a bottleneck somewhere, and without knowing where it may be, it's not possible to say as much. Even then the 2.3 to 2.6 is garbage and not worth additional money.
  14. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    only a crazy person would buy the 2.6 today

    why because we are close to a real update

    so get the 2.3

    sell the 2.3 when the update comes

    now to all of those that have a 2.6 and feel insulted please do not.

    unless you just purchased a 2.6.

    by just jan 2014 on.

    I realize maybe 1 in 10 jan 2014 or newer buyers of a 2.6 may need it over the 2.3

    my guess the real number is 1 in 25
  15. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Aug 25, 2010
    For me it was cost. When I bought mine in January from B&H the 2.3 was $160 less expensive than the 2.6. Essentially the 2.6 was, and still is, at MSRP and the 2.3 had a heavy discount.

    At $100 I would have bought a 2.6. Why not? For $160.00 difference was more than enough to cover the cost of 16GB RAM.
  16. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
  17. wnorris macrumors member


    Feb 16, 2008
    SSD will be biggest benefit

    This thread went downhill extremely fast.

    To the OP, if you currently have the standard HD that came with the Mini then unquestionably you will get the biggest bang for you buck from a SSD.

    Have you ever take a look at Activity Monitor to see how much of your CPU you are using at any one time???? I'd imagine you are using less than 20% at any one time. I may be wrong as you did not list what you use your system for, but most people do not understand that adding a faster processor will often do nothing to improve perceived speeds.

    Good luck. I just got the 2.4 i5 mini and am waiting on my SSD from OWC. I am amazed at how awful this system is with the standard HD and 4GB of RAM. A SSD, if you have not used one, will likely be the best upgrade you ever do.
  18. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Downhill? What thread are you reading? Have you read many threads on Macrumors? There was no name calling, civilized discussion, etc. now the thread is about to go downhill...
  19. Roadking714 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 7, 2014
    I will do many things with my i7, Adobe photoshop , video editing, making music, pro logic, eye tv, and many other things on a daily basis and not only that I would want to be ready for any future things I will get into and also be prepared, there fore I asked not only for today use but also future usage of this computer. Thank you for all who replied much appreciated
  20. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    [[ I will do many things with my i7, Adobe photoshop , video editing, making music, pro logic, eye tv, and many other things on a daily basis and not only that I would want to be ready for any future things I will get into and also be prepared, there fore I asked not only for today use but also future usage of this computer. Thank you for all who replied much appreciated ]]

    I have the 2.6ghz i7 version of the Mini.

    I would NOT buy a new one in this configuration if I needed to buy another NOW.

    Instead, I would keep a very close eye on the Apple-refurbished Mini's, and try to pick up the 2.3ghz i7 instead. It would probably save me $200+.

    Otherwise, if I could afford to "hold out" a while longer, I'd wait for the release of the 2014 Mini. That's hoping that there -IS- going to be a 2014 release...
  21. neander, Jan 14, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2015

    neander macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2014
    Just found this post.. just thought it was ironic.
    (old thread)

    I am looking for a 2,6 now (here in Europe), wish I bought it before the "upgrade"...

    It runs hot, some do, some dont.. is there really a noticeable difference with the 2.3 Quads..? It should be able too handle a lot of stuff before it heats up marginally better also due to its slightly more powerful cpu.
  22. Celerondon macrumors 6502a


    Oct 17, 2013
    Southern Cal
    Ironic Indeed!

    That is what I want to know. I asked a question similar to yours in another recent thread. I have a 2.3 Quad but I never thought that it was very different in any significant way from the 2.6 Quad.

    My i7 only heats up when it is doing "heavy lifting". I never hear the fan unless the machine is hot. Do 2.6 Quads really react differently to a little extra work? If this is a real problem, where are all of the threads where people wail about their scorching 2.6 Quads?

    You want to experience heat? Visit the iMac forums and just scan the top page for busy threads. Don't bother searching and ignore anything with less than 50 replies.

    Oh my! Can you feel that heat? Apparently the new Retina 5K iMacs are amazing computers but... combining the Radeon R9 M295X with other high performance components in that slim housing taxes the laws of physics. On the other hand, the high-end iMac users who opt for the penultimate M290X video card over the M295X have few if any heat complaints. Even though plenty of users are satisfied with the top-of-the-line configuration you can tell that there is a serious heat problem with many of those computers. :confused:
  23. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    I stand by that post the 2.3 is close enough to the 2.6 so that in the real world usage won't be much different.

    I know examples can be said that prove the 2.6 is faster. If you run 10 hours of handbrake every day then you need the 2.6 over the 2.3.

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22 March 13, 2014