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Mac mini (2.6GHz Intel Core i7, Late 2012)
This RAM cranks! Late What we were more keen to test out was its stamina when stressed with an Engadget editor's daily workload. On any given day, we keep roughly 10 applications running at all times e. Our jobs depend on this level of multitasking and we're pleased to say that the mini managed that processor strain with a graceful silence. In all instances but one, the unit remained relatively cool to the touch and surprisingly quiet. The only time we ever heard a peep from it was when we added Steam and Blizzard game downloads to the active processes load.
Even then, the sound of the whirring fan barely registered above a whisper. On the gaming front, it should go without saying that Macs aren't necessarily the go-to platform for the latest and greatest studio efforts. Indeed, we've noticed incompatibility with most newer titles thanks to Apple's choice of graphics chip, but for the sake of this review we fired up Diablo III to get a sense of how the Intel HD GPU fares.
With every quality option set to high Texture, Physics, Shadow, etc. Note, we didn't have the time to engage clusters of baddies about 50 to 60 onscreen at a time to truly tap out the system, but with more than a dozen characters onscreen, we observed a frame rate that peaked around 42 fps. Benchmark testing backed up our anecdotal assessment: the machine nearly doubles the model's scores.
As you can see in the table above, it yielded average overall Xbench scores of , with an average CPU score of and an average thread score of 1, In Geekbench, meanwhile, it delivered a result of 10, Don't call it an HTPC.
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Not because we disagree with that moniker, but because Apple vehemently denies its applicability here. And, because it still lacks an optical drive and you know how we feel about that. Yet, regardless of what Apple says, we can't shake the feeling that this little box will inevitably make its way into users' living rooms at some point in its life cycle -- it was born this way, people.
In fact, this editor couldn't resist the urge to take the mini chez lui and hook it up to a palm-sized 3M projector. Using the easily accessible HDMI port, we had no trouble connecting the device to the projector, and mirroring the contents of our external Thunderbolt display. We did, however, encounter Bluetooth audio sync issues with our Jambox, forcing us to depend on the mini's able, but far-from-powerful internal speaker.
Of course, you can always go the more traditional route and attach it to your HDTV, but if you're aching to make use of that vast DVD library sorry, Blu-ray owners , then prepare to spring for a SuperDrive. At that point, though, you may as well just enter the MacBook fray.
Apple's quite pleased with the mini's newest feature, the FusionDrive, even though hybrid storage solutions have been in use for quite some time now.
So, what is it exactly? It works like this: from the moment you take it out of the box and start it up, your Mac mini will boot, run and store files using this volume, lending every action that surface speediness. But as time progresses and your storage begins to spill past the SSD's GB limit, the FusionDrive kicks in, analyzing user-level actions based on algorithms to determine commonly used files and then allocating them accordingly.
Say, for example, you're a photo editor who makes heavy use of Aperture, but rarely bothers with iPhoto. Well, over time, the system will acknowledge this usage pattern and relegate iPhoto to the hard disk's slower volume, so Aperture will continue to launch and run quickly from flash.
What's more, all of this is done behind-the-scenes when the mini is idle, so users won't notice any changes taking place. In fact, there's no real way to monitor or edit how the system arranges the storage -- it's made to appear as one unified volume. It's fair to say the Mac mini occupies a special place on the consumer spectrum.
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Consider it a 3 on our appropriated Kinsey scale of tech-to-consumer affiliations. It's the perfect bridge to all things Apple. Designed, initially, to help make Windows users feel at home within the Mac ecosystem, the mini was offered up as an elegant solution -- a compact desktop that would play nice with people's existing peripherals. Release Year see all. Memory see all. Not Specified. Processor Type see all. Intel Core 2 Duo. Intel Core i5 3rd Gen. Intel Core i5 4th Gen. Intel Core i7 2nd Gen.
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