2012 Mac mini Reviews, Benchmarks

Comparable to the last Xserve and 2010 Mac Pros, testers say

Apple’s new Mac mini is now powerful enough to justify Apple’s discontinuation of the Xserve, reviewers report. Specialists who tore down and benchmarked the systems say Apple has done an impressive job, and that customers will be very pleased.

According to Macminicolo, the $799 Mac mini is going to be very popular thanks to the quad-core i7 Ivy Bridge processors and the ability to load up to 16 gigs of RAM inside.

“The machines now come with 1600MHz DDR3 Memory. Seriously, 16GB of 1600MHz RAM in such a small machine. It’s really quite amazing,” the reviewers said.

Also worth noting is that the Fusion Drive feature is only available for the middle ($799) Mac mini.

The blog’s author also points out that the $999 / €770 selling point of the Server Mac mini is seriously underestimated, saying “I’ve confirmed over and over that Mac minis are a big selling point for bringing a small business or school to iPads and iPhones. It’s the perfect iOS management server, and that’s important for SMB and education.”

According to the benchmarks results, the new Mac minis are now comparable to the last generation of Xserve computers that Apple discontinued a while back, much to the dismay of several businesses. They’re also close to parity with some 2010 Mac Pros.

According to macminivault.com, an out-of-the-box 2012 Mac mini loaded with OS X 10.8.1 (Build 12B2080) scored 7433 on Geekbench. For comparison, a 2011 version updated to OS X 10.8.2 scored 6583 on the same benchmark.

Inside, the new-generation Mac mini is relatively identical to the previous-generation model.

“Under the hood only minor differences are visible. Most notable are the fan design, Hitachi hard drive, and connections for the antennas,” according to the aforementioned source.

Mac mini sells for $599 / €460 in its standard configuration model, with 2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, 4GB of memory, a 500GB hard drive, Intel HD Graphics 4000, and OS X Mountain Lion.

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