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Assembling the worlds fastest Mac Mini DualCore i7 2011/2012
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AT0MAC
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:10 am    Post subject: Assembling the worlds fastest Mac Mini DualCore i7 2011/2012 Reply with quote

Inspired by a guy known to the Internets as MKBHD I have started to build the worlds apparently fastest Mac Mini computer.

This is my 3rd Mac Mini I'm upgrading to the max so am no novice in that department.

If interested to see what "the opponent" have done, check out his videos:
Worlds Fastest Mac Mini Part1

What he have done to now claim to have the fastest Mac Mini is to get the build-to-order Intel Core i7 2.7GHz Mac Mini 2011, upgrade it with 2x8 GB OWC DDR1333 RAM and throwing in a OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS Edition SSD drive.

Is that enough? Not if you ask me....


SPOILER ALERT:
There will not be any modding or actual building, but more like a step by step plan to chose the right components and how it goes after assembling the thing. Sprinkled with a bunch of benchmarks.


Last edited by AT0MAC on Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:01 am; edited 3 times in total
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AT0MAC
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will benchmark it and compare to both my former Mac but also compare it to the bench MKBHD have put on his Google+ and YouTube.


The machine I'm upgrading from is a Mac Mini 2010 server unibody (model ID 4.1) with specs as follow:

2.66 GHz Intel Core2Duo
nVidia GeForce 320M 256MB graphics
2x 4 GB Corsair DDR1066 RAM
2x Seagata Momentus XT 7.200RPM 500GB HDD / 4GB SSD in RAID0
OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Server

The opponent have:

Mac Mini 5.2 2011
2.7 GHz Intel DualCore i7
AMD Radeon HD6630m 256MB graphics
2x 8 GB OWC DDR1333 RAM
OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS Edition SSD (I think it's 240GB)
OS X 10.7 Lion

I have just received the new Mac Mini, in standart it is:

Mac Mini 5.2 2011
2.7 GHz Intel DualCore i7
AMD Radeon HD6630m 256MB graphics
2x 2 GB DDR1333 RAM
5.400 RPM 500GB HDD
OS X 10.7 Lion

But the main event is the build:

Mac Mini 5.2 2011
2.7 GHz Intel DualCore i7
AMD Radeon HD6630m 256MB graphics
2x 8 GB Corsair Vengeance DDR1600 auto-overclocking RAM
2x Intel Series 520 240 GB SSD in RAID0
OS X 10.7 Lion
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AT0MAC
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:30 am    Post subject: List of references for research: Reply with quote

2011 Mac Mini 8GB or 16GB RAM?

SSDs in RAID0 - what disc to choose?

Screw Types /Screwdirvers needed for a MacMini 2011

Thermal paste upgrade any difference?

Selling my Mac Mini


Also run this whole thread @Bit-Tech link
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AT0MAC
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:01 am    Post subject: Mac Mini 4.1 Server / Snow Leopard Server OS Reply with quote

Info:


Geekbench:


DiskSpeed:


NovaBench:


XBench:


CineBench OpenGL:


CineBench CPU:
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philiparcario
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

your 2010 machine is not that fast. I have geekbench scores over 4000 in 64 bit.


http://browse.geekbench.ca/geekbench2/267724



this is one of the fastest 2009 mac mini 2.66 c2d scores in the world and it beats most any 2010 mac mini geekbench score since the ram and the cpu are the same. the 2010 mini has better graphics, but still lacking.

I am hoping the 2012 mini has good graphics the graphics are just so so in the 2011.
_________________
2010 Mm 2.4 C2D oem 320gb hdd 8gb ram
2012Mm base 2.5 with 16gb ram diy fusion drive
2012Mm quad with 8gb ram oem 1tb hdd

promise pegasus r6 3x 3tb + 3x 4tb =21tb hdds
lacie little big disk 2x 512gb ssds
synology 2tb disk station
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Smithcraft
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like it's off to a good start!

SC
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Grumpy old man of computing.

[Desktop] Intel mini - 2.16Ghz 2GB 60GB HDD - Newer miniStack v2 500GB - 10.5.8

[Media System] Intel i5 mini - 2.33Ghz 8GB 500GB HDD - 4 x Hitachi 2TB HDD in a qBOX-SF - 10.7.5 (Thanks Phil!)

Make sure it has pins!
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AT0MAC
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

philiparcario wrote:
your 2010 machine is not that fast. I have geekbench scores over 4000 in 64 bit.


http://browse.geekbench.ca/geekbench2/267724



It's probably because I tested it in Snow Leopard Server and only testet the 32bit edition of GeekBench.

I did however for a while run the machine with Lion and got some pretty amazing results:

4612 points 64bit
and
4316 points 32bit

To compare the new build to the machine I now sold is not the biggest deal, more to see how much the upgrading in this machine change.
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AT0MAC
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:54 am    Post subject: Mac Mini 5.2 2.7 i7 stock / Lion OS Reply with quote

This is the stock version build-to-order DualCore i7 2.7GHz with the slow 5.400RPM drive and silly 4GB RAM.

Info:


Geekbench 32bit:


Geekbench 64bit:


DiskSpeed:


NovaBench:


XBench:

Something strange happened, I waited forever but could not get it to make the Thread test, so here it is without and were it got stuck.





CineBench will probably not change so much before/after upgrading, but am testing it anyway.

CineBench OpenGL:


CineBench CPU:


Last edited by AT0MAC on Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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AT0MAC
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smithcraft wrote:
Looks like it's off to a good start!

SC



I know there are some tradeoffs in doing what I do, but I think it's immensely cool to have a snappy fast machine, silent and cool to the touch - in the awesome form factor/design the mini have.

So I carry on....
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AT0MAC
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today when I saw that my preferred SSDs had gone a few $ up in price I decided to order them.

My guess is that because of the newly released iPad there will be a bit higher demand for good NAND the next few weeks/month and therefor prices atm will not fall as much as they used to.


2 pcs. Intel 520 Series 240GB top-of-the-line SSDs on the way to me




Cool

Link to test
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philiparcario
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah I have an intel 180gb it is very nice ssd same series as yours close in specs.

here is a very good ssd


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226226


very quick ssd is faster then the intel but may not be more reliable. sells out over and over due to speed and price. comes back in stock on march 19th.



those scores on the 2010 with lion are nice.

the thread tests do not work on xbench if you have a sandy bridge cpu.

so you did right by skipping the thread tests.

if you really want to push your machine to the max. use this ram.




http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820104257

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820104259


the new mini will run with this ram and will run faster. here is a link


http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1337305

look at posts 20 to 26
_________________
2010 Mm 2.4 C2D oem 320gb hdd 8gb ram
2012Mm base 2.5 with 16gb ram diy fusion drive
2012Mm quad with 8gb ram oem 1tb hdd

promise pegasus r6 3x 3tb + 3x 4tb =21tb hdds
lacie little big disk 2x 512gb ssds
synology 2tb disk station
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AT0MAC
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

philiparcario wrote:

those scores on the 2010 with lion are nice.

the thread tests do not work on xbench if you have a sandy bridge cpu.

so you did right by skipping the thread tests.

if you really want to push your machine to the max. use this ram.




http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820104257

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820104259


Nice inputs, but I already ordered my SSDs Wink

Was not aware that Sandy Bridge Macs can't do Thread test, now I know, thanks

The RAM you link to only come in 8GB set, I want 16GB and the Corsairs I ordered also run 1600 so should work fine.

About the 2010 Lion score, thank you, I really miss my RAID setup, this little 5.400RPM drive is sooooo slow Sad
Thats what made the bigest performance difference when I upgraded that machine.
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AT0MAC
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

philiparcario wrote:
here is a link

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1337305

look at posts 20 to 26


There is a guy there with the most evil mini I have yet seen, shortcut3d, he have a 2011 Mac mini server
2.0GHz Quad-Core Intel i7
8GB 1866MHz Kingston Hyper X
Dual (2) 240GB OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS!!!

That gives him a staggering 9730 points in GeekBench!

I think he have the score to beat...
The Server mini have slower graphics but a Quad-Core i7 instead (wich in raw MHz terms is also slower), he have faster RAM, but only half the size as me... Hmm wondering if I can beat that...


Just re-posted my posts on MacRumors too, just to see what input people can give me there.

Latest update is that I received my bad-ass looking RAM today, Corsair Vengeance, but should I test now with the new RAM or should I wait till the whole thing is assembled, SSD and all?
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AT0MAC
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wondering if I should invest in a pair of "spare" 8GB 1866MHz Kingston Hyper X PnP RAM, just to see were my mini would get the best scores?

They cost less than half of the Corsairs here in Denmark, so might be fun to try them out also...

Just received my SSDs today, the boxes them self are a whole lot smaller than I thought they would be. Will not plug them in until I get Easter holiday.



Awesome to find fellow geeks/builders/modders like the people I have found here on MacRumors, 123macmini and Bit-Tech - thanks for the posts, keep it coming!

I'm learning a LOT from this project Cool
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AT0MAC
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Decided to just order the Kingston DDR1866 before going to bed, in hope of that I can have them before the weekend were I have some time for benching them up against the Corsairs.

For short:



vs.

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