1. Macarole's Avatar
    Which of the following should I buy?

    --New Mac Mini ($699 model with 2.6GHz dual-core i5 Haswell processors with 3MB on-chip shared L3 cache; 1 TB hard drive; 8 GB of 1600MHz LPDDR3 memory)
    --2012 Mac Mini ($699-new; with 2.3GHz quad-core i7 Ivy Bridge processors with 6MB L3 cache; 1 TB hard drive; 4 GB of 1600MHz DDR3 memory)
    --2012 Mac Mini (special deal: $360-new; 2.5GHz dual-core i5 processors with 3MB L3 cache; 500 GB hard drive; 4 GB of 1600MHz DDR3 memory)

    The only potentially CPU-intensive activity might be occasional video editing.
    10-22-2014 09:46 PM
  2. Just_Me_D's Avatar
    Based on what you've mentioned, the $360 Mac Mini is arguably your best choice, in my opinion...
    10-23-2014 02:41 PM
  3. jbibbs5's Avatar
    The 2.5 for $380 seems like an unbeatable deal. Do you mind sharing where you're buying? I would like to get one myself at that price.
    10-23-2014 06:55 PM
  4. Not Quite Right's Avatar
    Definitely get the 2012 ...
    There's a reason they glazed over the "New Mac Mini" in 2 mins, because they really didn't change much ...
    10-24-2014 11:29 AM
  5. pkcable's Avatar
    I kinda want the special deal too!
    Not Quite Right likes this.
    10-24-2014 11:41 AM
  6. mactracker1138's Avatar
    Crazy that the better deal is still the 2 year old machine but it's really looking like that at the moment. I've been reading up on it and everyone now seems to be after the 2012 quad core i7 Mac Mini. The expansion capabilities are great and the new ones only seem to beat it based on the graphics capabilities. But some argue that the improvement in that department is marginal in real world use.
    10-24-2014 12:48 PM
  7. Macarole's Avatar
    To jbibbs 5 and pkcable:

    Unfortunately, it was a one-day only deal on the 2012 Mac Mini with the i5 processor, and the sale is no longer on. But, the price definitely made me think seriously about it.

    The quad-core i7 Mac Mini has me intrigued. I just wish I had a performance comparison between the 2012 quad-core i7 and the new $699 dual-core Haswell.

    In what scenarios might the quad-core help me out vs. the dual-core Haswell?

    Also, can anyone explain to me the difference between 3 MB "on-chip" shared L3 cache (on the new Mac Mini) and regular old 6MB L3 cache (on the 2012 model)? Is there much significance to "on-chip?"

    10-24-2014 08:05 PM
  8. Trees's Avatar
    Quad-core can help with multi-threaded applications and processes. So, in general, more active threads can be processed rather than the kernel and CPU having to context switch more in the dual-core CPU case. More context switches mean it can take longer to get work done because the CPU and kernel are working more to swap in/out threads and processes that all want a slice of the CPU's compute time.

    As for the shared L3 cache sizes, there are usually L1-3 caches for CPUs. Each is typically increasingly larger in size. CPUs look to on-chip cache to see if frequently accessed instructions/data/memory addresses are present. If they are, then its much faster to retrieve stuff from on-chip cache than having to leave the CPU and retrieve data/memory addresses from the relatively slower system RAM. Thus with larger L3 cache, fewer accesses to system RAM are required. Databases, mail servers, and other apps that can store working sets in RAM can benefit from larger L3 caches.

    At a glance, the 2014 and 2012 FSB (Front Side Bus) and system RAM are operating at 1600 MhZ. I'm not up to speed on the LPDDR3 and DDR3 RAM, so LP type could have lower latency and other benefits. Not sure how much of a noticeable benefit LP vs non-LP RAM provides.

    I've generalized much, and am going from memory (rusty in this subject area), so apologies if I missed any of the finer nuances.
    pkcable likes this.
    10-24-2014 10:50 PM

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