Which one to choose?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Hackster, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. Hackster macrumors member


    Aug 3, 2010

    What would you choose between the i5 2.5ghz/6630m and the 2.0 i7 server/HD 3000??

    They are both 2011.
    Same price.
  2. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    What are you going to use it for?

    What's your budget?

    Do you need a server or a desktop?

    Do you need one right away or can you wait?

    Is buying new out of the question?

    Some details would help.
  3. Hackster thread starter macrumors member


    Aug 3, 2010
    I'm going to use it for daily tasks like browsing, watching movies, audacity etc.

    Occasional gaming(? not a big priority)

    My budget is what these machines cost 2nd hand in my country.

    I need a desktop computer but isn't the "server" model just considered a more powerful unit?

    I need one right away and buying new is out of the question
  4. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    The server (quad) is faster on multi-core capable stuff. The i5 Radeon on stuff that uses dual core at most and the GPU is more than twice as fast.
    For your use, I tend to prefer the Radeon.
    The fact that the Radeon is same price as server, accounts well for the great value-keeping of the Radeon version!
  5. opinio macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2013
    I have both of these. I would definately get the server if you are not too concerned about the need for gaming.

    The quad is a huge increase on CPU performance over the i5 if you are doing video coding etc.

    Also if it is a stock server it will have two HDDs so you will have sata points etc so you can easily add an SSD with no extras needed.
  6. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    The extra needed is a 20$ Ebay kit, and the HD3000 is pretty lousy compared to the Radeon. So really look at your use. Even for a HTPC you can stay away from the video conversion thingy (you should!).
  7. opinio macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2013
    Like I said, I have both and there is no discernible difference with practical use between the HD3000 and Radeon GPUs.

    The difference between HDDs is also the HDDs themselves, not just the $20 sata ribbon and screws. You get two 500GB 7200rpm WD Scorpio Blacks and not the single 5400rpm stock OEM in the i5. Although the OP's potential minis may have been modified.

    I have also found some 1600MHz RAM will not work on the i5 but will work ok on the server.

    Anyway, I don't want to get into tit-for-tat, but clearly the i7 server is better. It cost a few hundred more dollars than the i5. From memory it was about 300USD difference in Aust. He now has the options of getting either at the same price. Either the i5 is overpriced or the i7 is underpriced.
  8. blanka, Feb 20, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2014

    blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    I think the price says something for the desirability of the Radeon version. It will be even more expensive than the server in a few years. The price-lines cross. It may be not very objective, but it is fact.

    I cannot say the GPU's are similar. The Radeon plays a recent game pretty decent, the HD3000 far from it. And it can run 2 TB displays and a TV, no other mac except the Mac Pro does that.
  9. opinio macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2013
    Very true.

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