Mac Mini Quad-Core question

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by jamesryanbell, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. jamesryanbell macrumors 68020

    jamesryanbell

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    #1
    What do you think about this configuration?

    - Mac Mini Server (2.0 Ghz i7 Quad Core)

    - 8GB of RAM

    - order stock HD config (dual 500GB HD); replace boot drive with this: http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/SSD/OWC/Mercury_Electra_6G/

    Can the Mac Mini support SATA-6, or does it only do SATA-3?

    Just curious to your thoughts in general. No need for an iMac because I already have a 27" ACD (non-Thunderbolt).
     
  2. Jayrcee macrumors regular

    Jayrcee

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    I'm pretty sure it does support SATA-6. That is the exact config i'm looking into getting btw.
     
  3. Nanker/Phelge macrumors regular

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    Dec 6, 2010
  4. ryanide macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    #4
    The OWC SSDs are great and slowly getting cheaper.
    Not sure about Trim on them but OWC site says they have something like that built into them...? Anyone tried the Trim enabler on these?
     
  5. jamesryanbell thread starter macrumors 68020

    jamesryanbell

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    Mar 17, 2009
    #5
    I'd love to know that too.
     
  6. jmcgeejr macrumors 6502

    jmcgeejr

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    Oct 7, 2010
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #6
    Supposedly it works but OWC suggests not to use it as it can cause performance issues.
     
  7. DesertDog macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    #7
    Don't enable trim. OWC says not to, http://blog.macsales.com/11051-to-trim-or-not-to-trim-owc-has-the-answer.

    I have almost this same config. I got the extreme over the electra though for the SSD. So far so good. It just came in last night. So I haven't done much testing yet. Been reinstalling and configuring everything. I decided to not do a migration and set everything up new, so it's taking awhile. :)
     
  8. indg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    #8
    for those wondering what speeds are like with RAID-0 striped 1TB HDD, this is what i get with the i7 mini server:
    [​IMG]

    i'm sure SSD is still 2-3x faster, but raid0 is a good compromise if you don't have the bucks to spend on SSD.
     
  9. jamesryanbell thread starter macrumors 68020

    jamesryanbell

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    #9
    Good info! And yes, it's always nice to have 1TB, esp in RAID 0.
     
  10. jamesryanbell thread starter macrumors 68020

    jamesryanbell

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    #10
    Wonder how the Quad Core i7 2.0Ghz compares with the iMac Quad-Cores?
     
  11. gooberlx, Aug 2, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2011

    gooberlx macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    #11
    According to geekbench scores, it's the third most powerful option if you put all the minis up against all the imacs. Only the imac i7s outperform it for CPU related tasks.

    Geekbench likes lots of cores/threads though. I've read that Lightroom loves cores/threads as well. Some other real world applications, like handbrake, may prefer a different balance of core/threads and clock speed; something the base i5 iMac, for example, may be able to better provide for that singular purpose.

    Regardless, even in the areas where it would be outperformed, the mini's 2.0 i7 is still likely to be competitive for the vast majority of tasks and tests.
     
  12. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #12
    the quad mini smokes all other minis for handbrake it can do a 1080p on big buck bunny in 7 minutes the base 2011 takes 13 to 14 mins the 799 mini does it in 11 or 12 the i7 mini does it in 9 or 10. the server rocks for cpu use like hand brake. my mac pro hex 3.2 does it in 5 min so spend 3k for 5 minutes or 1 k for 7 minutes.. if you do a lot of hand brake the server with 8gb ram is the way to go.
     
  13. gooberlx macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    #13
    No doubt it smokes the other minis.

    Jamesryanbell was wondering about comparison to iMac CPUs though. Someone else here has compared his 2011 mini server to others' base i5 iMac and got something like 30 seconds slower encodes on the bunny/handbrake benchmark. Interestingly, his 15" MBP, with the same 2.0 i7 also encoded slightly faster than the mini server.

    But yeah, I think the mini server is a helluva lotta bang for the buck, in such a small package.
     
  14. Adamantoise macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    #14
    If I was buying a Mini Server, I wouldn't be upgrading a thing but the RAM.

    Dual 7200rpm HDDs are fast enough for almost any task. It will seem SSDs will only ounce them in tasks that involve frequently moving or reading/writing large amounts of data.

    Plus SSDs are expensive.
     
  15. indg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    #15
    in terms of cpu power, the mini i7 with hyperthreading is faster than the imac i5 without HT. but the i7 in the high end imac is still fastest.

    in terms of raw processing power per $, here's a good breakdown:
    http://developingperspective.tumblr.com/post/8093168321/mac-value-analysis

    handbrake 0.9.5 on appletv2 preset to encode big_Buck_Bunny_1080p_surround_FrostWire.com.avi :
    6m 35s - all 4 cores and 8 threads utilized
     
  16. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #16
    Have to agree. leave the server alone except for 8gb ram. the money saved could be used with a promise t-bolt or a lacie t-bolt.
     
  17. jamesryanbell thread starter macrumors 68020

    jamesryanbell

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    #17
    Isn't reliability a factor too though with SSDs?
     
  18. ConnorTurnbull, Aug 2, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2011

    ConnorTurnbull macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #18
    indg, thanks for sharing your disk speed test. I'm definitely going with a raid0 configuration when I get my Mini in about 8 or 9 days!

    Especially considering my MacBook Air with Toshiba SSD reaches 190 write and 209 read.
     
  19. srf4real macrumors 68030

    srf4real

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Location:
    paradise beach FL
    #19
    I opted for the 256GB ssd + 7200rpm 750Gb in my mini server, upgraded to 8GB ram myself. Mostly because day in and day out I can be flipping 16 or 20GB of files on and off the main drive. It takes seconds instead of minutes. Trying to quit smoking, and that 10 minute wait would kill me lol.

    Plus, ssd to thunderbolt>hdd to thunderbolt in the future. As far as performance, my geekbench is top mini score I have seen, 9640 in 64 bit. Vast difference between single thread and multi threaded performance there. Xbench is higher than average but some other 2011 server minis reportedly even top mine. I am sooo glad that I'm not viewing things on a 27" glossy display with risk of yellow tint issues.

    I'll be bumping ram to 16Gb in the future and probably get six or seven years of service from this Mac. If you are confident and competent to replace the hdd with ssd, I say go for it, especially if you can save a few (hundred) bucks!:)
     
  20. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #20
    some ssd's have been good. intel were good although the new ones may need a firmware update. samsungs are reliable along with toshiba. I would not mind owc's elite pro mini with t-bolt and a pair of samsungs sitting on my new mini. with my esata hack they were impressive. owc's has a single esata so the raid0 goes to 250MB/s or so these are nice cases. sonnet tech has a very similar model for t-bolt due in sept. these would stack nice on a new mini or behind an iMac
     

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  21. jamesryanbell thread starter macrumors 68020

    jamesryanbell

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    #21
    I'll have to check out that sonnet tech thing. Haven't heard of that one before.
     
  22. j46g629h macrumors newbie

    j46g629h

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Location:
    Brisbane, Au
    #22

    Hey indg,

    Can you create a bootcamp partition on raid 0 striped configuration?

    Many thanks.
     
  23. indg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    #23
    simple answer: no boot camp if you do raid 0. at least using apple's tools you can't.

    if you know how to hack the efi partition, it's probably not impossible to set up a windows partition on one of the drives. as far as i can tell, the raid slices don't have to be identical in size. so if you had 2x500GB drives, you could theoretically do something like 100GB windows partition on one of the drives, and 400GB + 500GB raid striped for 900GB (less any space for EFI and boot partitions). but all of this is way over my head.
     
  24. j46g629h macrumors newbie

    j46g629h

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Location:
    Brisbane, Au
    #24

    Thanks fort the quick reply:). That helps a lot.
    If I boot it from recovery HD and use Disk Utility, do you think it is possible to remove 2011 mini server raid 0 configuration to two separated disks?
     
  25. naabi0 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #25
    Will an external Thunderbolt drive like the Little Big Disk actually have more bandwidth then the internal drives?
     

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