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Apple Mac mini quad-core Intel Core i7 2.6GHz, 4GB RAM, 1TB Fusion Drive, Intel HD Graphics 4000, Mac OS X Mavericks
(Mac mini quad-core Intel Core i7 2.6GHz (Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz), 4GB (two 2GB) of 1600MHz DDR3 memory, 1TB Fusion drive, Intel HD Graphics 4000, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI, SDXC card slot, Thunderbolt)
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  Awesome little machine,  2013-04-07
By Renaissance Nerd

I had a first generation Intel iMac for the last six years, mainly because I was holding out for a 27" iMac and wouldn't settle for a Mini. Well this generation of Mac Mini isn't settling, though the monitor I have isn't as good as a 27" Apple monitor. It's bigger though, so that's something.

I have an i5 dual-core laptop provided by work and a home-built AMD 4.2GHz quad-core Win7 machine that are also connected to the same monitor and keyboard, so I have ample time to compare them with each other.

The quad-i7 in the Mini smokes the laptop hands down. The Mini is about twice as fast in general, and even faster on the graphics side of the fence. I haven't played any games on my laptop, so I can't compare it in that regard, but it's a work computer, not meant for games anyway.

The AMD machine is slightly slower in some areas, though it's really just a gaming machine so I don't do much with it day-to-day, but I did some work on it just to compare. It's only barely noticeable, but especially with Photoshop I could tell. The AMD is better for games, though; it's an APU but I already had a pretty good video card which I'm using (Radeon 5570) which while far from top of the line is enough to run Diablo III on high level graphics while the Mini has to go mid-level.

The transfer of data from my old iMac went without a hitch and it hit the ground running. I don't love it as much as I did the iMac when it was as new, but it's close. It's just plain awesome, if you don't mind a little 80s lingo. And having 16GB of RAM is such a relief after living with 3GB for so long.

I highly recommend the Fusion Drive that I got with mine; I have an older Mini with a 5400 RPM drive and that was one reason I didn't switch to a Mini for so long. The iMac is 2.16GHz and the old Mini 2GHz, but the Minis is half the speed at best in many fairly common operations. This Fusion Drive just makes that fear irrelevant. I haven't noticed a single issue with the many large copies and other disk-intensive operations I've done so far, though I daresay the initial copy from the iMac to the Mini would've been much faster with a 7200rpm drive. Still, it works pretty smart, and overall I'm loving it.

The only real problem I've hit is that the Blu-Ray writer I put into an external case to work with my Mini is not Mac compatible. Should've done the research BEFORE buying it, but I swapped it back into my AMD machine so it's not a total waste.

I recommend the new quad-i7 Mini with a Fusion Drive very highly. It is a whole lot of power in a very small package.

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