mac miniA few days ago, Apple finally introduced an update to the Mac mini computer which had not been updated for a while. However interestingly enough Apple had decided to go with a dual-core setup versus the quad-core setup from before, although in all fairness the new Mac mini computers will feature Intel’s Haswell chipset, versus the Ivy Bridge processors from the 2012 model.

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That being said, how does the new Mac mini fare compared to its predecessor? Well according to recently released GeekBench benchmark results (via MacRumors), there are some upsides and downsides to the dual-core system. In terms of single core performance, the new Mac mini is showing signs of improvements over its predecessor.

However when it comes to multi-core performance, it seems that the Mac mini is not faring as well as its predecessor which is two-years old. According to John Poole of Primate Labs, “Unlike single-core performance multi-core performance has decreased significantly. The “Good” model (which has a dual-core processor in both lineups) is down 7%. The other models (which have a dual-core processor in the “Late 2014” lineup but a quad-core processor in the “Late 2012” lineup) is down from 70% to 80%.”

So why did Apple choose dual-core Haswell processors when there were quad-core options available? Poole speculates that it could be due to a socket issue in which Apple would have had to build two separate logic boards. He also speculated that there could be an issue of cost where the quad-core Haswells would not have allowed Apple to offer the Mac mini at the $499 price point.

While these are some numbers to take into consideration, we should note that at the end of the day it really depends on what you’re planning to get out of the Mac mini. If you’re thinking about getting it as a relatively inexpensive computer for simple activities, we reckon it should be more than capable of getting the job done, but if you’re after a more powerful setup, then perhaps you should start exploring more options.

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