Marvin CPU performance isn't a justification for a desktop computer these days. No body denys that the Mini is a good performer for a machine it's size, just that it can't take on the duties of a desktop machine. In fact I'd go so far as to say that in business at least desktops these days are bought for their expansion (PCI-Express slots) and secondary storage slots, otherwise laptops are purchased.
Originally Posted by Marvin
If you bought a 2009 entry Mac Pro, you'd consider it passable yet even the entry Mac Minis have similar CPU performance. They support up to 16GB RAM, you can put in SSDs that do over 400MB/s read/write. The GPU is capable of running pretty high-end games at playable frame-rates:
One can't deny that the Mini will just become more powerful with each generation of chips from Intel or AMD for that matter. But that doesn't make the machine a desktop in the general sense but rather just a more powerful special purpose computers.
Beyond all of that the Pro is a multiprocessor machine that is advantaged in suitable workloads. Comparing it to an iMac is silly because you wouldn't buy it for simple apps and workloads. You can't realistically say that the iMac is more powerful than the Pro, in many cases it doesn't even come close.
It can run dual-displays, it can run all the Thunderbolt products out there and the entry price is just $600.
Thunderbolt means nothing in this case. I just don't ever see it as a solution to the use of expansions slots in a commercial environment.
One day it will be small enough that it will be the only Apple computer than can be exported through customs rectally to avoid paying Apple's international tax rates.
I thought that was the iPhone.
Say what you like about the Mac Pro but the Mini is more than passable as a desktop. With Ivy Bridge and the latest GPU upgrades, it is going to be an even more awesome little desktop computer and is one of the best designed machines Apple has made.
Sorry but I disagree. You are excessively focused performance as a measure of a desktops suitability. Now a days the only reason to buy a desktop is to get the flexibility and serviceability slots and storage expansion provides. It is easy to confuse good design with utility.
Great things come in small packages. A Mac Pro is more powerful but it's not great because people expect power in a big package.
Look at the release cycle (in reverse order):
By the time we get to March, that could come close to 600 days since the last one - I see a trend there. The Mini only had 500 days before people were saying it was dead and gone and that was just a blip, this is a trend.
Much of that delay is Intel related. However I don't believe that Mac Pro sales are that good that Apple really sees reason to focus on its development. Between the two I really think the Pro is the "deader" of the two. The Mini has an impressive following for the type of computer it is.
And, if it just has a speed jump using some of the following CPUs (some are still quad-cores):
who's even going to notice it happened? Nah, it's a redesign or GTFO.
A common fault in these threads is the equating of an XMac to a computer with a powerful CPU. That is a mistake in my mind as that is what you commonly think of the Pro as being. Instead it is a package to deliver flexibility to the user. Flexibility is expansion slots, storage configurability and the like, something the Mini doesn't currently provide.