Considering that these are the two newest desktops that Apple sells, and the Mac mini has obvious Pro overtures, I thought it would make for an interesting comparison. The Geekbench 4 scores denote an 8, point difference between the two machines in multi-core, which is substantial, and will only rise as you configure the iMac Pro with higher core counts. And as expected, single core performs slightly better on the Core i7 inside the Mac mini, besting the Xeon by about points. Thankfully, the Mac mini is equipped with Thunderbolt 3, which allows you to bolt on a much more capable eGPU.
There is an obvious difference between the two machines when looking at SSD performance. Higher storage configurations will likely provide noticeable speed improvements. That said, any Mac mini SSD configuration is more than fast enough for most workflows, and will handle 4K video editing without breaking much of a sweat. One of the things that I most appreciate about my iMac Pro is its virtual silence under load.
At time, the fans are audible, but most of the time the iMac Pro is as quiet as a mouse. The hardware features a rethought cooling system with a bigger fan and expanded vents. I opted for with the most powerful GPU that Apple recommends: The performance of the Radeon Pro WX, as you can see from the graph above, runs circles around the integrated graphics, and turns the Mac mini into a legitimate gaming and graphics-intensive workflow option.
As noted above, larger SSD build-to-order configurations cost a lot more, but yield noticeably better write performance metrics. I'm not doing quite as much work with this now, so I usually don't need more than four VMs open at once. Fortunately, running Parallels, I can cut and paste between both environments, which saves a ton of time.
Mac Mini vs iMac - Apple Community
With a lot of my bigger projects, I've been craving a wider screen. When the ultrawide monitors started appearing a few years ago , I was bummed to discover that my iMac wouldn't support them. Then, when I started doing multicam video either with four talking heads or lots of camera angles shot simultaneously it became clear the iMac had met its match. For me, the best fit was a Mac rather than a Windows machine.
The Mac would run Windows, and since I need to run applications on both, I couldn't just run out and buy or build any old Windows machine. That put me in wait-and-see mode for new Macs. As I discussed a few weeks ago, there were four scenarios for a new machine to meet my workload.
Yes, I bought a 2018 Mac mini (and here's how I spec'd it out)
A Hackintosh could have done it, but I just didn't want to go that route if I could help it. While I'm not uncomfortable with the technical hacks to set one up, I am uncomfortable with the ongoing fiddling required for maintaining them, especially during upgrades. When I have an assignment to work on, it's sometimes very time-sensitive and I need a machine I can rely on.
Since I wanted an ultrawide monitor, the screens that come with an iMac or a MacBook Pro would have been more pain than gain. The MacBook Pro screen is too small for desktop use, and the iMac screen is unwieldy and heavy for most standard monitor stands. I really wanted a headless computer, and since the Mac Pro is missing in action, that meant a Mac mini -- if Apple ever upgraded it.
To almost everyone's surprise, they did. And I bought one last week. It'll arrive on Wednesday. That's just silly. To be honest, I would have liked an even higher performing processor, but this will still be a huge boost. Early Geekbench scores put the Mac mini at for single core and for multi-core. In terms of single-core performance, that puts the Mac mini at just below the 4. In single-core performance, that's about 25 percent faster than my old iMac.
Here's why Apple doesn't really care about the Mac or iPad. In multicore performance, it still lags a bit behind the old Mac Pro 8-core Xeon processor, but not by much.
The new Mac mini also lags behind the 8-core Xeon iMac Pro, but that's five grand, just to start. Beyond the two hugely expensive pro machines, the new Mac mini with the processor I chose appears to be faster in multicore performance than all the other Macs. In single core performance, only one machine bests it. Next up is memory. I haven't pushed past about 24GB in any of my recent workloads.
- $799 Mac mini review: Impressive multi-core performance from Apple’s most affordable Mac!
- Mac Mini vs. iMac | Spec Comparison | Digital Trends.
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So, given a choice, I'd rather not spend on 64GB. My preference is usually to buy gear when my workload needs it.
Fortunately, the new Mac mini allows for RAM upgrades. While we don't consider the memory directly end-user accessible, service providers can access the internals of the Mac mini to upgrade the memory. I'm honestly not entirely sure what I'll encounter when the Mac arrives, but I'm sure it'll be interesting. Next is storage. Apple charges way too much on storage, but it's not internally upgradeable. Apple's internal storage is also seriously fast, since it relies on flash memory. Here, I needed to balance performance against price.
I use an external direct-attached RAID array for my video production and assets, so I don't need a huge amount of on-system storage. I also have a very large NAS with most of my other resources. I checked my various machines and, as might be expected, the main workhorse iMac used the most. Even so, it was under GB. That machine was equipped with 1TB and I found that quite workable. Finally, there was another big decision. This time, though, it was not about price, but about reliability. The new Mac mini comes with either a 1Gb Ethernet port or, for an extra hundred bucks, a 10Gb Ethernet port.
I am not running 10Gb Ethernet here, mostly because none of my computers support it.
I spent the extra hundred bucks and configured the Mac mini with 10Gb. My only concern is that since Apple only has such a port on the iMac Pro and now the Mac mini, will it work properly? Apple just doesn't have that much experience with this new port. It certainly may discourage upgrading the machines in enterprise environments. But this is the new reality: Whether you should upgrade from the previous Mac mini is a no-brainer: Do it.
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- Yes, I bought a Mac mini (and here's how I spec'd it out) | ZDNet.
- Mac mini review: Apple's most versatile new Mac [Video] - 9to5Mac.
Closed captioning available on our YouTube channel. Here's the new Mac mini in just 2 minutes Here's the new Mac mini in just New MacBook Pro laptops, Apple product rumors: Macworld Ep. The new Mac mini is here, and we take the wraps off of it and give it a quick look before putting it through a series of tests. Mac mini: Apple inch 2. A laptop that pro app users will love. At a Glance. Apple Mac mini 3. Table of Contents Who is the Mac mini for?
Inside the Mac mini: Who is the Mac mini for? How fast is the Mac mini?