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BARE FEATS LAB - real world Mac speed tests

October 23rd, 2012, Apple Products

Originally posted Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012, by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist
8:53PM same day corrections and additons were made

Fourth Generation iPad

  • With the dual-core A6X processor and quad-core graphics, it is twice as fast as the 3rd Gen iPad (March 2012) with the A5X processor.
  • Improved 4G LTE and faster WiFi.
  • Front facing camera upgraded from VGA to 720p.
  • The 30-pin connector is replaced with the 8-pin Lightning connector but adapters are available for USB, SD, HDMI, and VGA adapters.

iPad mini

  • A more affordable, smaller iPad but with an A5 processor -- the same processor as the 2nd gen iPad.
  • The resolution is 1024x768 which instantly makes all "iPad only" apps compatible, but at 163 ppi it lacks "Retina" rating of the 3rd and 4th gen 9.7" iPad (264 ppi).
  • However, it does have the same 4G LTE and faster WiFi like the 4th gen iPad.

13-inch Retina MacBook Pro
A great addition to the 13" form factor MacBook Pro line but . . .

  • The 13" RMBP comes only with a Dual-Core i5 or i7 while the 15" Retina MacBook Pro comes with a Quad-Core i7.
  • The 13" is limited to an integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 GPU with "borrowed" memory while the 15" comes with a discrete NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with dedicated memory.
  • In other words, unless you need a smaller laptop, for $500 (or 29%) more you can have a Retina MacBook Pro with two more cores, a bigger screen, and a "real" GPU.
  • Oh and one more thing: the 13" RMBP is limited a max of 8G of RAM. The 15" can be ordered with up to 16G.

'late 2012' iMac

  • Sandy Bridge main processor in the 2011 iMac is replaced with Ivy Bridge -- the best being Quad-Core i7 3.4GHz (3.9GHz with Turbo Boost).
  • The AMD Radeon GPUs are replaced with NVIDIA Kepler GPUs, the top option being an NVIDIA GTX 680MX with 2GB of GDDR5.
  • Memory speed jumps from 1333MHz to 1600MHz DDR3 (four user serviceable slots in the 27" model but not in the 21" model).
  • A new drive option is the Fusion Drive with 128G of NAND flash combined with either 1TB or 3TB of hard disk storage. You can still get a regular HDD or SSD but the wording on the specs page appears to say you can only have one drive. The 2011 model offered two drives -- one HDD and one SSD.
  • The four USB 2.0 ports are replaced with four USB 3.0 ports.
  • A single microphone is replaced with dual microphones.

There are "downgrades" as well. The FireWire 800 port disappears but a ThunderBolt to FireWire 800 converter cable is available to plug into a Thunderbolt port. It loses the audio line in and line out ports for one audio line out.

'late 2012' Mac mini

  • The 2011 Mac mini could only be had with a Quad-Core i7 if you bought the Server model -- running at 2.0GHz. The 2012 "non-server" Mac mini can be ordered with a Quad-Core i7 running at 2.6GHz (Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz).
  • On the other hand, the top GPU (AMD Radeon HD 6630M) has been dropped for the integrated Intel HD 4000 in all models.
  • Memory speed increases from 1333MHz to 1600MHz. Memory max of 8GB rises to 16GB.
  • Drive options change. You can have one HDD or one SSD, or one Fusion drive. Only the Server version gets two drives.
  • The FireWire 800 port remains, but the four USB 2.0 ports become four USB 3.0 ports.

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copyright 2012 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"