Application and Futuremark Performance

Of the enterprise systems we've tested so far, out of the gate the HP Compaq 8200 Elite Ultra-Slim (whew, that's a mouthful) is equipped with the "slowest" processor. The Intel Core i5-2500S is a quad-core with a nominal clock speed of 2.7GHz, andit  doesn't support Hyper-Threading. However, under single-threaded loads it should be as fast as a Core i5-2500/2500K, and honestly it ought to be more than enough for any user this desktop is geared towards.

In the PCMarks, the Z210 benefits substantially from being equipped with an SSD. The i5-2500S does take a hit from its weaker GPU core than the i5-2500K (6 EUs instead of 12), but for general use they're both sufficient. For basic office work, performance is still excellent on all of these systems.

Cinebench R10 at least shows off the i5-2500S's (and by extension, Sandy Bridge's) acumen at single-threaded tasks. The instant extra cores are taken into account, though, it loses a bit of traction due to its reduced clock speed compared to a full 95-watt i5-2500. The more expensive i7-2600S build would certainly help close the gap if you need more multi-threaded processing power.

Since the 8200 uses just the integrated graphics core on the i5-2500S, graphics performance is comparatively quite slow. This isn't a major issue: the 8200 isn't meant to be playing Crysis, it's meant for managing spreadsheets and writing memos. It can handle most video as and photo work as well, but it will do most of its number crunching on the CPU.

Overall, performance may be a touch behind the other configurations we've tested, but the HP Compaq 8200 Elite Ultra-Slim is also the least expensive desktop we've tested out of the entire lot. It's also about a third the size of even the diminutive Z210 and weighs less than half as much, and as you'll see on the next page, it also has another ace up its sleeve.

Introducing the HP Compaq 8200 Elite Ultra-Slim Build, Noise, Heat, and Power Consumption
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  • pandemicide - Thursday, September 29, 2011 - link

    You are also forgetting a lot of businesses use Windows. Adding the cost of a windows licence to the mac mini plus the complications of setting up a OSX/Windows environment and getting techs that know both.
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, September 29, 2011 - link

    Nihility, it's not a $917 configuration, unless you're going to just go straight to HP and give them whatever they ask. The exact same system configuration is available elsewhere for $770:

    So twice the processing power, more USB ports, twice the RAM, and three times the warranty (with onsite service). The best price I can find for the base Mac Mini is around $570 online. You can get an upgraded unit with 6630M graphics and a faster (but still dual-core) CPU, with 4GB RAM for $760. Still one-year warranty, though.

    And let's not forget serviceability. Anyone here ever tried opening a Mac Mini for servicing? It's not a trivial affair, and once inside the layout isn't ideal either. Long-term, I'd also be a lot more skeptical of the Mac Mini's ability to stay cool if you're running a more intense load, which leads to component failures and downtime.

    Given the choice, I'd say anyone going with Mac Mini in a large deployment instead of something like this HP 8200 Ultra-Slim is worried to much about looking cool and being "hip" than they are with reliability, service, and support.
  • bgnoz - Thursday, September 29, 2011 - link

    As a Mac mini user for years, I'd venture to say you haven't used one. The latest versions put this HP kludge to shame... they're wonderfully designed, fast, cool, low-power, and not at all difficult to service. Stupid simple for RAM, and not that bad for drives for anyone with build experience.

    I'm not hip or cool... the latest i7 mini is a great machine, and has replaced my towers (Mac, PC, and Hackintosh) for all but the heaviest video work. I'd love to see how they stack up against this HP parts bin machine.
  • JarredWalton - Friday, September 30, 2011 - link

    How exactly does a Mac Mini "put this to shame"? It's a bit smaller, perhaps, but what else does it do better? Sure, the 6630M is an okay GPU, but most businesses don't care one way or the other because HD 2000 or HD 3000 is more than sufficient. Heck, I worked at a large company that had thousands of PCs across dozens of locations (I supported about 200 at my particular location), and they would have been happy to stick with older IGP hardware just to reduce the potential gaming capability -- people were periodically caught playing 6+ year old games, because even GMA 900 was fast enough to run stuff like Half-Life!

    So again, what does Mac Mini do better? It doesn't support higher spec CPUs like quad-core offerings. It doesn't come with an onsite 3-year warranty. It runs slower for the same price (because of a slower CPU and less RAM). HDD performance is probably a wash. Oh, and you need to either run OS X (95% or more of businesses don't), or you have to do Bootcamp. Either way, you're generally stuck going through Apple for Windows drivers, right? None of that would be good for a business PC.
  • ciparis - Friday, September 30, 2011 - link

    Playing devil's advocate here...

    The one they call a server model is $999, and comes with a quad-core CPU, if the workload demands it. Business discounts are available.

    Also, even if you're going to discount the GPU for whatever reason (which is becoming more and more relevant in day to day use) you have to recognize there is a desirable balance between GPU and CPU performance in a SFF design; the mini isn't a gamer, either, but it's a well-balanced design even with a dual core CPU, giving you very good general desktop performance with current OS's.

    Re: Boot Camp: these are standard PC components, and while you can get a driver bundle from Apple (just like with HP) you can also source your drivers however you like (preferably from the component manufacturer).

    Anyway, you probably wouldn't have had people kvetching about it if you'd at least mentioned the mini in passing, since it's such a similar concept, except much smaller and generally extremely well-executed (look at Anand's review, for example).
  • JarredWalton - Friday, September 30, 2011 - link

    For a home user, the GPU in the Mac Mini is a definite plus (assuming you get the model that includes the GPU). For a business, like I said it really doesn't matter to 99% of the business owners -- unless you want your employees playing more games? HD 2000 is already "too fast" in terms of power for a lot of businesses to be happy, so now they have to worry about locking the PCs down tighter. It's not a big issue for large companies with IT departments, but for the smaller outfits I'd be curious to see how much time gets wasted playing games. Then again, Solitaire, Minesweeper, Flash games, etc. are all sucking down productivity.

    Since you mention the $999 server version, that actually doesn't have the GPU, though it does have HD 3000 graphics. As a home user, I'd say the middle-of-the-road model is the best option, providing a decent balance. For a business, again, I don't see any (good) reason someone would go for the Mac Mini over a business class ultra-slim desktop. Okay, that's not entirely true: two things the Mac Mini has that this doesn't are native HDMI, and ThunderBolt, and the built-in power supply might also be preferable in some circles. Not sure if the Mac PSU is as energy efficient, though.
  • owan - Thursday, September 29, 2011 - link

    In what usage case that this PC targets is a mac mini going to be better? If you tried to suggest deploying mac minis in an enterprise setting you'd get laughed out of the building. "far higher build quality" isn't really true either. its got a shiny outer case, but this HP is a well designed piece of enterprise hardware.
  • LoneWolf15 - Thursday, September 29, 2011 - link

    I agree.

    It's not even the question of being laughed out of the building. It's that Apple, in the past decade, made modest inroads into enterprise markets --and then in the past 24 months, has deliberately burned every bridge they built.

    With that kind of behavior, I wouldn't touch them in the enterprise. They're fine one-off machines that are miserable in large-scale environments.
  • Pessimism - Friday, September 30, 2011 - link

    Apple Troll is trolling.

    Provide one shred of proof of your claim of "far higher build quality". They probably both came out of the same plant at Foxconn.
  • Peroxyde - Thursday, September 29, 2011 - link

    I notice that modern computers use less and less the DVD player. In business scenarios, the system admin can always arrange so that people can get around without a DVD drive.

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