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Wednesday, October 24, 2012, 01:51 pm PT (04:51 pm ET)

Apple's speedy new Mac mini torn down and benchmarked

A pair of Mac colocation companies performed teardowns and benchmark tests of Apple's newly released Mac mini, finding that the small format desktop's performance is approaching that of legacy Xserves and 2010's Mac Pro.

Mac mini Teardown

Source: Mac mini Vault


Announced on Tuesday at a special event, the new Mac mini is largely seen as an incremental update from last year's model as it doesn't feature a new design like the super thin iMac, however the internal upgrades are substantial enough to significantly boost the tiny computer's performance.

Mac mini colocation service Macminicolo noted in a blog post that the most substantial additions to the new machine are Intel's Ivy Bridge processors and the option to configure up to 16GB of 1600MHz RAM straight from Apple. The entry-level offering now comes with 4GB of memory, which was found to be a major improvement as the previous 2GB standard configuration was just barely enough to run OS X Mountain Lion.

Also of note is Apple's new Fusion Drive, a hybrid device that uses a solid state drive to maximize read/write times and an HDD to maintain high storage capacity. As Fusion is only offered on the mid-tier Mac mini, Macminicolo believes the $799 model will be the most popular out of the lineup.

The firm performed a Geekbench benchmark test of the new unit, and found its score to be expectedly superior to previous models.

Mac mini Benchmark

Source: Macminicolo


As for the unit's build, colocation services company Mac mini Vault performed a quick teardown of the new model, finding that not much has changed besides a different fan design, the move to Hitachi HDDs, and updated antenna connections.

The company also performed an identical Geekbench test, and found that its out-of-the box unit running OS X 10.8.1 (Build 12B2080) scored 7433, compared to a 2011 Mac mini updated to OS X 10.8.2, which scored 6583.

Apple's new Mac mini is already for sale and starts with a standard $599 configuration powered by an Intel 2.5GHz dual-core i5 chip, 4GB of RAM, a 500GB HDD and integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics. The most expensive Mac mini comes with OS X Mountain Lion Server, a 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, 4GB of memory, Two 1TB HDDs and Intel HD 4000 graphics.