2012 Mac Mini Gaming Performance & other oxymorons
I just picked up a mid level($799) 2012 Mac Mini & installed windows 7 through boot camp to test it's gaming performance. No mods yet, still at 4gb ram & 1tb hard drive.
3dmark11 1280x720 performance benchmark score of 791. I believe the last gen mini with AMD 6630 graphics was in the mid 900 range.
I was able to run Borderlands 2 @ 1280x720 & get 30 fps. Settings were mostly @ medium with Ambient Occlusion off, vsync off, FXaa off & Anisotropic 2x. Not ideal, but playable with no major fps drops in battle.
I don't expect 16gb of ram & a SSD to bump performance significantly but it may bring performance closer to 6630m levels. Anyone buying a 2011 mac mini right now is making a mistake. Even if the 2011 gaming performance is 20% higher than the 2012, it's still a bad experience. The performance difference sounds minimal when both benchmarks are this low. Bottom line is expect to game @ 720p, if at all.
Now comparing these numbers to the 2012 iMac's graphics is a another story.