Apple has been so aggressive about removing useful ports I was worried we'd see a box with nothing but a pair of USB-C inputs. Unfortunately, shared controllers mean those Thunderbolt ports can only support two displays but add in the HDMI and you can run three 4K monitors from the Mini or one 5K and one 4K display. Compared to previous Minis, you do lose the analog microphone input, but considering USB-based digital-analog converters are plentiful and effective, that's not a huge loss.
Unlike the Mini, you can upgrade the RAM in the new model yourself, though it's challenging enough that Apple recommends you have the work done at a service center. If you don't want to pay Apple's price for RAM frequently two to three times market rate you can do it yourself, but it'll take a set of Torx drivers and you can kiss your warranty goodbye.
Previous Mac Minis were positioned as low-cost computers for the home or office, and the new model excels at those tasks. Its i3 chip is more than up to handling word processing, multiple browser tabs, video streaming and music playback. Unlike earlier models, though, Apple is clearly positioning the new Mini as a machine for designers and other professionals. The company's website describes it as a "workhorse" and lists advanced rendering software like Autodesk Maya and Luxion Keyshot among the apps that should see improved performance.
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So the real question is: How does this computer perform compared to Apple's other "pro" machines? The answer there is a little tricky. In multicore testing, though, the lack of hyperthreading was obvious, as the Mini fell 20 percent behind the MacBook Pro, and was only one third as fast as the iMac Pro. Geekbench 4 single-core results were more encouraging, with the Mini's i3 outperforming the MacBook Pro by a hair, and approaching the iMac Pro. In multicore, the Mac Mini was also only about 5 percent slower than the MacBook Pro, though it still fell more than 50 percent behind the iMac.
In fairness, the Mini costs less than a third of either of these systems, and its i3 processor is more powerful than I would have expected, but while the CPU might have given a strong performance, with graphics the Mini struggled. Geekbench painted a similarly disappointing picture. Benchmarks are only part of the picture, though. I'm not a programmer or a 3D designer, but I am a video editor, and to provide a real-world test I edited an episode of Engadget Today on the Mini using Premiere Pro.
The Mini performed better than I expected. Cutting footage, moving it around the timeline and basic playback were all smooth. It even played back 4K footage from my Sony FS5 with barely a hitch. The limitations of the machine become particularly apparent when I began adding titles and color-correction. Premiere Pro and most editing software relies heavily on the GPU to render real-time previews once you've started modifying the footage with color and effects.
That proved to be a real challenge for the Mini, and the preview playback became increasingly choppy as I added even basic effects.
Reducing the playback resolution helped a bit, but at a certain point, the footage just became challenging to work with. On one test of 4K footage using color, correction, a blur and a title, the Mini managed to display only 10 percent of the frames during a second playback.
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And forget about working at double speed which many editors do to save time ; once effects were added, the audio wouldn't even play if I tried to preview faster than real-time. Even using proxies low-res temporary files in a format that should be easier for the program to read barely helped the situation.
New Mac minis deliver serious performance | Macworld
When exporting the footage, a task that generally doesn't rely heavily on the GPU, the Mini performed better. Despite the effects and color correction, Engadget Today came out with no glitches, though it took nearly three times as long as it does on the iMac Pro. The lack of a dedicated graphics processor really seems to be the weak point here, and unfortunately, there's no easy way to rectify that.
There are only three processors available for the Mini, and no option to add a discrete GPU.
That's probably enough speed to leave the MacBook Pro in the dust, and should give the Mini some serious CPU processing power, but it won't improve the graphics performance at all. For a sense of how poor the graphics performance is, I tried one more test, Unigine's Valley benchmark. This is the most recent test available for macOS, and while Unigine's benchmarks are intended as extreme stress tests for gaming graphics performance, Valley is from , so it's not exactly cutting-edge.
Even so, on the lowest "basic" settings, at 1, x resolution, the Mini could only manage 20 frames per second. Switching to "Extreme" at x, that dropped to a pitiful four.
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Four frames per second. This is definitely not a system for gaming. Beyond the processor, there are a few other components you can upgrade. What it does have is one of Intel's new Kaby Lake G chips.
They pack a remarkable amount of performance into a small SoC, and it's frankly odd this chip isn't an option in the Mac Mini, considering AMD graphics are already used in the higher-end iMac and MacBook Pros. If you're in the market for a new system and are committed to macOS, the Mini does have a few selling points. Aside from 3D modeling and video editing, Apple mentions XCode and Music production on their website, and these actually seem like compelling use-cases for the Mini.
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CPU-dependent tasks like coding and audio engineering make sense for this system and wouldn't be held back by its specs. When Apple unveiled the Mini, it floated the idea of chaining multiple Minis together into a "Mini" server, and for serious CPU-based number crunching, that's actually an intriguing idea. You would need a pretty specific workload to take advantage of a setup like this office server? Code compiler? Render farm? Apple's own marketing materials refer to the new mini as "part racehorse, all workhorse," and though they didn't go as far as branding this the "Mac Mini Pro" Apple is clearly positioning it as a high-performance computer.
This makes the lack of a reasonable GPU all the more confounding. These types of GPU-driven number crunching are increasingly useful for scientific computing and data analysis tasks like encryption, image recognition, optimization and machine learning. For music producers and people writing apps in Xcode, maybe the new Mini makes sense, but I don't imagine most other "pro" users will be happy with this level of performance.
I can't help but shake my head at Apple's charts and graphics showing off how much faster the new Mini is than the model. Upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Pro. Click on the Go to Store button. The Windows Store app will launch and take you to the appropriate page. To find the fan for your model, choose your model from the drop down …. Please refine your selection. The maximum number of products that can be compared is 4. Uppgradera grafikkortet eller andra komponenter senare. An aging early Mac Pro with two Quad-Core 2. Great laptop. Both get the job done but I ….
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