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I want to buy a Mac mini for webhosting with MAMP. I'll use Apache with PHP and MySQL.

I have the choice between:

3.6GHz quad‑core 8th‑generation Intel Core i3

and

3.0GHz 6‑core 8th‑generation Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz)

What is the more important, more cores (2 vs. 6) or higher clock (3.6GHz vs. 3.0GHz)?

BTW: Does anybody know what Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz means?

  • What is Turbo Boost? – grg Nov 17 '19 at 18:56
  • @grg This means 3.0GHz 6‑core 8th‑generation Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz) has more cores AND higher clock than 3.6GHz quad‑core 8th‑generation Intel Core i3? So the second one is the best? – David Nov 17 '19 at 18:59
  • Is this for local development? Or are you wanting to make this a public server? – MrWhite Nov 17 '19 at 23:15
  • @MrWhite This will be a public server. – David Nov 18 '19 at 8:07
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Take each CPU and look at it at https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_list.php - provided you are after overall performance rather then to performance in a specific case it will give you a good indication.

All else being equal (and its close, but not quite - i5's are typically slightly more performant the i3" s) for single threaded workloads the CPU frequency is more important. For multi threaded workloads CPU count * clock speed is the more relevant.

In the general case, Apache is multi threaded and can spread the load over multiple cores.

If this site is correct, the CPUs in question would seem to be i3-8100B and i5-8500B. If this is correct, this comparison should answer your question. The short answer is that the i5-8500b will be faster any way you look at it. The per core performance is higher (2466 vs 2173) despite the lower clock speed (which is possible as it may be doing more per clock), and then it has more cores so you get even more performance. Increased performance of the i5 processor will be between 20 and 50% depending on the work load - likely towards the higher end of that range as Apache is multithreaded.

  • Thank you for answering. Yes, you found the right ones. So, it's quite clear, I'll take the i5-8500B because it's the better one. – David Nov 18 '19 at 8:18
  • As I understood, PHP takes one threat/core per request. This means, if I have more cores, the server will be more performant. Am I right? – David Nov 18 '19 at 8:19
  • Yes, provided you have simultaneous requests. – davidgo Nov 18 '19 at 8:29
  • Yes, sure, if the requests aren't simultaneous, it'll use the same core (one one of the cores) over and over again, right? – David Nov 18 '19 at 8:31
  • @David I don't think its possible to be certain, but my guess is usuallty but not neccessarily. Its fairly academic though. – davidgo Nov 18 '19 at 8:34

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