Review: Mac mini 1.66 GHz Core Duo: Some early numbers - Macenstein

Review: Mac mini 1.66 GHz Core Duo: Some early numbers

Posted by Lab Rat

Well, we just got out new Intel Mac mini duo yesterday, and will be posting our review later this week. But since we know all people care about are benchmark scores, we figured we throw up a quick couple numbers. We ran Xbench and Cinebench on the mini and 3 other computers (these are just raw numbers, we’ll get pretty graphs up later).

We compared (perhaps unfairly):

• 1.6 core duo mini with 1 GB of RAM
• Dual 2GHz G5 with 1.5 GB RAM
• Quad G5 2.5 GHz with 1.5 GB RAM
• an old 450 MHz PowerMac G4 with a 1.2GHz processor upgrade card, Radeon 8500 graphics card, and 1.2GB of RAM (I threw this one in just for the hell of it. We don’t have the old G4 mini to compare the new one to, but I plan to use the new mini as a replacement for this beast. I have been using this as my home computer for the past 5 years or so, and it actually feels quite snappy for iPhoto, web surfing and Word, which is what I plan to use the duo for).

Here’s what we found


1.66 GHz Core Duo mini with 1 GB of RAM
Rendering (Single CPU): 257 CB-CPU
Rendering (Multiple CPU): 475 CB-CPU
Multiprocessor Speedup: 1.84
Shading (CINEMA 4D): 300 CB-GFX
Shading (OpenGL Software Lighting) : 1089 CB-GFX
Shading (OpenGL Hardware Lighting): 550 CB-GFX
OpenGL Speedup: 3.63

Dual 2GHz G5 with 1.5 GB of RAM
Rendering (Single CPU): 292 CB-CPU
Rendering (Multiple CPU): 466 CB-CPU
Multiprocessor Speedup: 1.59
Shading (CINEMA 4D): 293 CB-GFX
Shading (OpenGL Software Lighting) : 847 CB-GFX
Shading (OpenGL Hardware Lighting) : 1613 CB-GFX
OpenGL Speedup: 5.50

Quad G5 2.5 GHz with 1.5 GB of RAM
Rendering (Single CPU): 386 CB-CPU
Rendering (Multiple CPU): 1186 CB-CPU
Multiprocessor Speedup: 3.07
Shading (CINEMA 4D): 387 CB-GFX
Shading (OpenGL Software Lighting) : 1229 CB-GFX
Shading (OpenGL Hardware Lighting) : 2199 CB-GFX
OpenGL Speedup: 5.68

Bastard 1.2 GHz G4 with 1.2 GB of RAM
Rendering (Single CPU): 119 CB-CPU
Rendering (Multiple CPU): — CB-CPU
Shading (CINEMA 4D) : 125 CB-GFX
Shading (OpenGL Software Lighting) : 353 CB-GFX
Shading (OpenGL Hardware Lighting) : 436 CB-GFX
OpenGL Speedup: 3.50


1.66 GHz Core Duo mini with 1 GB of RAM
Results 73.49
CPU Test: 63.09
Thread Test: 163.36
Memory Test: 98.03
Quartz Graphics Test: 67.05
OpenGL Graphics Test: 184.62
User Interface Test: 63.22
Disk Test: 37.13

Dual 2GHz G5 with 1.5 GB of RAM
Results: 84.54
CPU Test: 101.17
Thread Test: 95.94
Memory Test: 94.94
Quartz Graphics Test: 96.61
OpenGL Graphics Test: 122.54
User Interface Test: 81.93
Disk Test: 47.08

Quad G5 2.5 GHz with 1.5 GB of RAM
Results: 123.13
CPU Test: 125.75
Thread Test: 246.49
Memory Test: 129.79
Quartz Graphics Test: 138.90
OpenGL Graphics Test: 136.82
User Interface Test: 160.76
Disk Test: 60.94

Bastard 1.2 GHz G4 with 1.2 GB of RAM
Results: 36.02
CPU Test: 48.78
Thread Test: 53.09
Memory Test: 16.86
Quartz Graphics Test: 48.21
OpenGL Graphics Test: 66.80
User Interface Test: 31.35
Disk Test: 35.61

We were very surprised to see the new mini beat the dual 2GHz G5 in some tests, and compare favorably in others. It even handily beat the Quad G5 in the XBench OpenGL Graphics Test (although not the Cinebench). It certainly blows away my current “Frankenstein� PowerMac G4 system I have built, and I am looking forward to using it to handle my daily computing needs. A more in depth review to follow. Stay tuned.

4 Responses to “Review: Mac mini 1.66 GHz Core Duo: Some early numbers”
  1. Jeff says:


    Will the new Mac Mini run the Intel version of Aperture at all? Aperture prohbits install on machines with certain graphic cards.

  2. Thomas G. says:

    My curiosity is whether or not the new intel mac mini’s optical output will output a 5.1 signal (dolby digital, DTS, etc) while playing a DVD or a compressed movie in such a way that my high-end 5.1 theater system in the living room can understand. That’s the HUGE detail I need to know because this thing would make a sweet rig coupled to a firewire drive or wirelessly networked to a storage system that could store one’s entire library of movies – accessed through Front Row 2 – and fully capable of audio output in AC3 or PCM or whatever is required to get full digital, clear, audio out to all my speakers.

  3. Will says:

    Don’t trust the XBench OpenGL benchmark – it’s very basic, and doesn’t exercise modern cards. A 2.1GHz iMac G5 with ATi X600 scores the same as a dual 2.5GHz G5 with NVidia 7800. In practice the 7800 is obviously significantly faster than the X600.

  4. Susan Semenick says:

    I purchased a mac mini duo in March 22, 2006. I have had nothing but trouble. The thing has needed…. count em….. THREE new logic boards. As soon as a logic board is put in, it blows. I am not happy at all with this machine. I still love macs and have used them for years, but this one is sure a LEMON!!!!

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