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New Mac Minis gain Intel Iris, lose quad-core


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Although the just announced Mac minis don't seem to be out in the wild yet, the geekbench developers have written an interesting article estimating it's likely performance:




Although single-core performance is slightly improved over the 2012 model, as many predicted multi-core performance takes a massive hit owing to the lack of a quad-core configuration in the new lineup.


There's no discussion of what difference Intel Iris (in the mid and top level 2014 model) will have over the 2012 model's Intel HD 4000 though. 


So which matters more to video editors, multi-core, or better graphics performance? (or, something else, like super fast storage, a thunderbolt RAID 0 or something?)


Anyone have any thoughts on how say, the mid-tier 2014 Mac mini with Intel Iris would compare to a second-hand or refurbed quad-core model from 2012 (which would only have Intel HD 4000), for running FCPX? 


I'm talking about short, single-cam personal projects in FCPX (ie no deadlines, I can make a cup of tea while it renders), 1080p AVCHD and Prores 422, occasional processor-intensive effects like Neat Video NR or Optical Flow, I'm not needing or expecting anything screaming fast.

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Haha, typical Apple bullshit, Mac Mini was becoming too popular as a low/mid-range Mac system so they decided to can it. I was considering buying it few months back and watched this guy's FCPX-centric youtube reviews ( 

), - anyway his conclusion is it's a good system for HD editing if you get the quad-core version, good luck hunting it down, don't think it will last on the market very long.
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Me too - I've had a couple of Mac Minis and was waiting for the update to get a new one.  Have been left a bit undecided as to what to go for next - Windows 8 has almost killed my enthusiasm for PCs and I don't need any more screens so a Mac Pro looks like a pretty big jump up.


My only issue with getting an 'old' quad core mini is that at some point Apple will drop it from OSX updates and presumably that will happen before it happens for the 2014 mac minis.  It might not be an issue for FCPX but I also do development so not having the latest OSX can mean that you can't upload apps to the app store or run the latest XCode, so the lifecycle is quite important.

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As an experiment I decided to have a go at upgrading my dual core 2012 mac mini to see if adding 16gb of memory and a 512gb SSD would make a significant difference.  (Obviously) it does - it is now officially smokin!  Seems to handle photoshop and premiere really smoothly.


Seriously considering not getting a new model mac and buying a 2012 quad core instead and doing the same upgrade to get an even bigger boost - there do seem to be a few of the quad cores still hanging about in UK resellers at least.


(Upgrading the HD was a bit tricky for me so it definitely isn't for the faint hearted.  At one point I was resigned to living without wireless as I couldn't get the 2mm plug back into the 2.5mm socket but after 20 minutes and a couple of toothpicks I finally managed it.)

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