paper, each component selected for the "MicroMini Hackintosh" is faster
Mac Mini's counterpart, so it seems obvious that it should
completely outperform the Mac Mini: Time to quantify
this "obvious" conclusion.
For performance testing the following software tools were used:
- Activity Monitor - Part of Mac OS X, used to monitor processes and CPU use.
- Temperature Monitor - Freeware version of a great tool for monitoring, displaying, and exporting data from temperature sensors on your Mac. From Marcel Bresink.
- Chess - Included with Mac
OS X, it's a convenient way to automatically test a CPU.
- Xbench - Free, comprehensive utililty
for benchmarking overall Mac performance.
Version 1.3 was used for the test.
- Geekbench - Software utililty
for benchmarking a computer's CPU & Memory performance.
Version 2.1.11 was used for the test.
- MaxCPU - Two programs designed to find the limits of a Mac's components using software included with OS X, along with a few Terminal commands. Kuods to Chris Hynes for these free utilities.
Initial Benchmarking: Xbench
Xbench is a
comprehensive, well-supported, widely used, and free performance
benchmarking utility for Macs designed to test a computer's major
components. Prior to running the test, the Xbench
database was reviewed for recent test reports on 4th-generation Mac
Mini computers running OS X 10.6 (aka:
Macmini4,1 with 10H574 or 10D2235): The
first five reports found and not listed as "partial results" were
used for the comparisons.
||10.6.5 (10H574)||10.6.3 (10D2235)||10.6.5 (10H574)||10.6.3 (10D2235)||10.6.5 (10H574)|
||Patriot SSD||INTEL SSD||OCZ SSD||Hitachi||TOSHIBA|
Of the configurations listed, Louis Allott's Mac is closest to the MicroMini: All of the others have more memory and/or use solid-state hard drives (SSD). Xbench identified the MicroMini as a MacPro3,1, corresponding to a 2008 Quad Core Mac Pro: I suspect a result of using the tonymacx86 install process. Regardless, Xbench reported an Overall Result 184.75 for the first run, and an average of 181.33 over six (6) subsequent consecutive runs.
Relative to the Mid-2010 Mac Mini (Macmini4,1), the MicroMini achieved an average score 46% higher than two stock computers and -4% versus two using a Solid-State Drive (SSD). (Excluding the "Vognsens" results, see Note below).
GeekbenchGeekbench is a cross-platform performance benchmarking utility from Primate Labs that tests a computer's CPU and memory. The Macintosh version comes in 32-bit, 64-bit, and Rosetta versions: The 32-bit version is free, and the others available for a small fee. As the MicroMini only runs in 32-bit mode, the freeware version was sufficient, and provided this score:
Overall, I'm very pleased with the "out of the box" performance of the MicroMini Hackintosh: It's much faster than the Mac Mini and appears to hold it's own not only against the Mid-2010 Mac Mini Server but also against entry-level Macs using solid-state hard drives (SSDs), while having far more expansion options. From a price standpoint, the $378.16 total price of the MicroMini represents a 48% savings over the $699 entry-level Mac Mini: Almost enough to build another complete MicroMini Hackintosh.
It appears the well-worn claim made by PC supporters during the 1990's that "PCs are much faster than Macs at half the price!" still holds true today...at least for this exercise.
Next: Performance Tweaks