New Mac Mini vs Windows desktop for processing power

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Submerged06, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. Submerged06 macrumors newbie

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    May 28, 2010
    #1
    Hello,

    I love my Macbook Pro (the OS, etc.), and I love the portability of the Mac Mini, but I'm wondering about a comparison with a DIY Windows desktop (though I don't like Windows or the lack of portability - I'll have to ship it around twice in the next few months, which is annoying).

    Anyhow, I was looking at the newest mid-line Mac Mini (sitting at a current early benchmark of about 11,000 (http://www.iclarified.com/25322/early-benchmarks-of-the-updated-mac-mini-chart) or a DIY Windows desktop basically consisting of a shell around the Intel Xeon E3-1240 V2 @ 3.40GHz (sits at 9,819 at http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html).

    The windows one would be a hundred or two cheaper, but that's not a huge deal. I'm more wondering about their total processing power -- not for games or anything graphic, but pure data processing (intensive PHP scripts for the most part). As far as I know (though I don't), those two numbers above are not directly comparable, so I'm not sure where they really are in relation to one another.

    Can anyone who knows more than I (read: most people :p) give me an approximation of computing power between those options? I much prefer the Mac OS and the Mini's size, but I also just need brute power.

    Thanks so much!
    - Alex
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Indianapolis
    #2
  3. Submerged06 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 28, 2010
    #3
    That's the problem . . . I can figure out the DIY part of the Windows desktop, I just don't know which one to actually buy in the first place. And I have no idea how the two different benchmarks relate, but I was hoping someone here would have an approximation or some other method of comparison entirely :).
     
  4. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #4
    The quad core looks like the 6 month old Core i7 3610QM with the option for the 3720QM. Both are on PassMark but you could get a Dell XPS with the Core i7 3770 for less. Unless you really need that Xeon.
     
  5. Submerged06 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    I'm terribly ignorant of hardware, so I didn't understand all of that. But I looked up the Dell XPS with Core i7 2770 and the first link was $946 (http://www.amazon.com/Dell-XPS-8500-Desktop-i7-3770/dp/B008AWGRAC). My brother (whose good at putting Windows desktops together but ignorant of Macs) said he could put together a shell of a computer around the Xeon for around $550 or so (the pc needs literally nothing but a bit of RAM and a big CPU, plus basic power and whatnot. Nothing but a server, no games or anything).

    The Core i7 2770 (just from the cpubenchmark.net link) seems to cost more ($30 or something) and run less powerful (about 3%) than the Xeon -- in terms of a fully self-built machine, is there any benefit to it?
     
  6. Submerged06 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 28, 2010
    #7
    That was a pretty good deal, but if I strip out all the non-essentials I can still build it cheaper. Ultimately, I'm really just wondering how the two processors compare; the actual computers behind them I can deal with myself :).
     
  7. scottsjack macrumors 68000

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    Aug 25, 2010
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    Arizona
    #8
    There are some tough comparisons out there. Look at

    http://www.microsoftstore.com/store...goryID.44066900/categoryID.50787300/list.true

    What a spectacular PC for a thousand bucks. Depending on what software you need to run the HP is a better buy than a one thousand dollar mini.

    Obviously for Mac people the mini is way cooler, and runs Mac OS but a really fast laptop in a cool little box is no match for the flexibility, storage capacity and ability to upgrade that the HP offers.

    Just sayin'. . .
     
  8. Submerged06 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 28, 2010
    #9
    True, that is a nice computer (for far more than just processor). I'd get the mid-level mini, so it would be $800 I think, but it's not so much the cost. I'm hoping to avoid the bulk of the desktop pc because I move back and forth between two places twice a year via plane and I'd like to avoid the shipping hassles with the PC.

    Are you saying that the HP's processor is significantly better than the Mac Mini? That's really what I'm trying to learn :).
     
  9. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #10
    Just settle for a Mini-ITX board and a Silverstone case. You can have fun with the PSU and GPU options.
     
  10. milkmandan macrumors member

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    Oct 3, 2012
    #11
    +1 to this.

    I recently build a windows server, from a m-itx board, lian li case w/ psu, with 8GB RAM, ivy i5-3450, 64 GB ssd. Aside from the case, cost me about $350-360 total.

    The case i got is tiny, no optical, no expansion slot, but its full aluminum. Def not as small as a mac mini, but it's in no way large and could easily hold it in one hand.
     
  11. Submerged06 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    Interesting, I've never even heard of those sorts of builds (I'm a hobbyist web designer, not a hardware guy :). Are they relatively easy to make? And could it handle the Xeon or Intel Core i7 posted above? Are they sturdy enough to handle being in a suitcase of clothes for an airplane ride?
     
  12. milkmandan macrumors member

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    Oct 3, 2012
    #13
    I should clarify. It is small, but it is not Mac mini small. you're still looking at a box that is 19.9cm x 16cm x 29cm. while the mac mini is 19.7cm x 19.7cm x 3.6cm.

    They are easy enough to make for long time PC DIY builders. It is no different that building a normal PC, just much smaller scale. They can handle core i7 easily. I am not sure if there are m-itx boards that support Xeon though.

    For my build, that would be a no, on the airplane ride. I wouldn't wanna carry that small shoebox in my suitcase.
     
  13. Submerged06 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 28, 2010
    #14
    Ah, I'm in need of the airport run (or else I'd probably just go with a full PC and ship it). Ultimately, I'd really just like a rough percentage difference between the processor in the Mac Mini vs the Xeon or Intel Core i7 processor -- ya know, something like "The Mac Mini has the processing power [benchmark] of 50% (or 75%, or whatever) of a pc with the Intel i7."

    Didn't think that would be a hard thing to find online, but, obviously, I sure as heck don't know either :p.
     
  14. mystic man, Oct 24, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2012

    mystic man macrumors member

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    Athens, Greece
    #15
    DIY computers will always be a better choice in raw processing power, because you can built them with the exact pieces you need and no compromises. Computer manufacturers such as Dell, Apple, Hp, will always try to satisfy the mainstream user, tending to nurse the needs of the low and high user. Though I must admit I m pretty astounded with the new high end iMac, the 675MX is probably the fastest mobile gpu available right now, something Apple hadnt used us of doing in previous years. (2011 excluded).

    You might eventually pay more for a DIY computer if you put inside all high end technology and brands but the the amount you paid with the value you get back is a lot higher

    But you have to have in mind several things. Such us, in case something breaks you have to send the specific part to the specific company. So greater time in downtime, and surely no replacement pc till its fixed

    The tech support for the computer will be you. So every new driver that comes out you ll have to test it and see if it fulfills your needs.

    Though I have experimented a lot with DIY computers I now prefer ready made solutions for mu every day needs, browsing, watching films, listening music, basic photo editing, basic video editing

    Only case I would build a DIY computer would be if I wanted to build a gaming rig.

    P.S. building a DIY computer does not limit you to windows OS. There are other OS choises including MacOSX

    P.S.2 another thing I forgot to mention. Building a DIY computer does not mean you lose the mobility of mac minis. You can choose a case such as shuttle and have a pretty beast computer
     

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