Mac Mini Late 2012 i7 2.3GHz -> New and ready to Upgrade -> Benchmarks

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by dbasco, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. dbasco macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2010

    I just bought a brand new Mac Mini Late 2012 i7 2.3Ghz 1TB HDD 4GB RAM.

    Besides the unopened box I also have:

    -2 Kingston 240GB SSD HYPERX (The blue ones)
    -16GB RAM Upgrade kit Corsair Vengeance
    -Dual Disk upgrade kit by OWC

    I will be playing with it for a while before actually putting it into production, and will be doing some testing/benchmarking.

    I will gladly include any of your suggestions: sequence, what to test, etc...

    In mind I have the following testing sequence:

    1- As-is configuration
    2- As-is + 16GB RAM
    3- As-is + 1 SSD
    4- As-is + 1 SSD + 16GB RAM
    5- As-is + 1SSD + 1HDD
    6- As-is + 1SSD + 1HDD + 16GB RAM
    7- As-is + 1SSD + 1SSD
    8- As-is + 1SSD + 1SSD + 16GB RAM
    9- As-is + 1SSD + 1SSD (RAID 0)
    10- As-is + 1SSD + 1SSD (RAID 0) + 16GB RAM

    Any petitions or suggestions?
  2. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    You know, you could just pull up all of the benchmarks that everyone else has previously done and save yourself a lot of time. I mean if you want to do all those benchmarks, go ahead. But the Mini has been out now for 6 months and has been thoroughly tested over and over again. About the only test I could say I am even remotely interested is the RAID 0 benchmarks. I don't believe in RAID 0 and believe that with SATA 6 SSD's, the advantage of RAID 0 is almost nill so it would be interesting to see that proven or disproven.
  3. dbasco thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2010
    Common sense is common sense. You are totally right. I already have everything and at the end my ultimate decision would be RAID 0 or not...

    Will post some results later in the weekend...
  4. dbasco thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2010
    Here are the tests:

    As-is Setup

    SSD + SSD

  5. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    What I am really curious about are boot times, large application load times, etc. Yes we all know that synthetic benchmarks RAID 0 wins, but in real life the few times I have tried RAID 0 nothing "felt" faster. OS didn't boot any faster and none of my Apps really booted any faster. Basically the risk/reward of RAID 0 just wasn't there. Doubling my failure rate to get virtually no gain in real world experience wasn't there. Basically I would love to see a stop watch of when you hit power to OS fully booted if that makes any difference in RAID 0 vs single SSD.
  6. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    Are higher numbers better? In which case, RAID 0 is not as good as two separate SSDs.

    The only reason I can see for RAID 0 is just to create a larger continuous volume.

    What do you plan to do with your Mini? I guess your usage may be a factor in how to configure it.
  7. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    The CPU / Memory / Etc. numbers would be unaffected by the RAID 0. The differences are anecdotal. Most review sites run their benchmarks multiple times because there can be minor differences in numbers due to unexpected OS processes. Really those numbers are a push. Where the RAID 0 shows, is in the Disk Tests. However, synthetic benchmarks always show how "great" RAID 0 is, but rarely in real life experience do these numbers actually equate to any real gain.
  8. dbasco thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2010
    Well we tested this and put side to side to identical systems one with 2 SSDs inRAID 0 and one with a single SSD. Identical results. Basically as soon as the Apple dissapears we get the login screen. No wait time in between. From the point of view they are identical.


    I think that the day to day tasks are practically the same. I think It is nice to have a continuous drive... As for reliability I am not to worried as all my data is backed up in the cloud and with Time Machine...

    The only process intensive tasks I will perform are some FULL HD video rendering (1-3 minute videos).... And will do some testing in this aspect in the next days.

    I come from Windows and will continue to have my main system on my Windows machine until I finaly decide how I will setup my Mac Mini and then make the Mac Mini my main machine. So will continue to test and try stuff in the next days.
  9. MagnusVonMagnum, Apr 2, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2013

    MagnusVonMagnum macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2007
    Obviously comparing RAID 0 on conventional hard drives to SSDs is largely apples to oranges. The same size SSD is going to cost a fortune, though and so the comparisons get strange. But if you already have the hardware, RAID 0 makes sense, especially with conventional drives (and I guarantee you they are very REAL gains with a conventional drive; my boot time is less than 1/2 now and the tests show 2.5x gain).

    I got the dual 1TB conventional server Mini and it did about 92MB-100MB/sec in Xbench on the drives. I was copying one to the other for the moment. I just bought an external 2TB USB 3.0 drive and CCC'd the internal 1TB drive to the external and then rebooted and used RAID 0 on the two internal drives and just copied back the external and rebooted (easy as can be). I now get 251MB/sec in XBench and it booted in about 42 seconds from a cold start "bong" and 12 seconds from the grey screen (i.e not bad for conventional 5400RPM 1TB drives) and I have the full bootable backup on the external USB 3.0 TB that I can store in a fire safe so even if a drive goes bad, it's simple to restore. The external drive is a tiny Passport drive and cost around $130, a fraction of what 2TB SSD would cost you IF you could even buy one. Yes, it's half the speed of SSD still, but you're talking $600 for each 1TB SSD drive so that's $1200 versus $380 when starting from scratch (obviously Apple charges too much for its drives with the machines)

    So basically, you've got 1/2 the speed of a single SSD at maybe 1/3 to 1/4 the cost (better speeds yet if the drives are 7200 RPM models instead) not counting what you're paying for when you buy a Mini (they all have to come with something that you're going to either work with or throw out/sell). So I suppose it's all about priorities. I'm pretty happy with 251MB/sec for daily stuff.
  10. netman49 macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2013
    How to install RAID?

    Hi all.

    I just bought a Mac Mini Server with 2 x 1TB disks.
    Because the machine is not delivered with RAID, I need to install it myself.
    What is the best way to do that?

    Everything (OS X Mountain Lion / OS X Server) is already installed and configured on one of the drives.


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