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2012 Mac Mini Wish List? - Page 6

post #201 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Haswell could go a very long way to correcting the Mini but I still see it as a failed design that needs to be completely rethought. It needs to be turned into a desktop that no one feels embarrassed to own as their primary machine. Technology wise we are very close to being able to put a respectable computer into a Mini sized box. I just hope that Apple can get over its need to make sure the Mini is the worst performer in their entire lineup of Mac systems.

 

My mini is my primary desktop machine.  In what way is it embarrassing to own?  

 

Are you compensating for something?

post #202 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


the Mini simply doesn't meet the requirements of common desktop users thus the struggling sales.
 

Where do you get this???

 

The Mini is one of the best selling desktops not just right now, but in the history of computing.  The reason the Mini sells so very well is because it does meet the requirements of common desktop users.

Mac user since August 1983.
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Mac user since August 1983.
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post #203 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

My mini is my primary desktop machine.  In what way is it embarrassing to own?  
It is far too expensive for the performance you get out of it. Think about it, the Mini has never been a performance power house. This is no surprise for the entry level model but as you go up in performance the Mini actually becomes a worst value. This compared to Apples own laptops, looking towards more conventional desktops the value equation that is the Mini just gets worst.

In any event it is embarrassing to own because of what you pay for what you get.
Quote:
Are you compensating for something?
Well no, I'm pointing out the obvious. The fact that you defend apple here is not all that becoming.

I have no problem with one variant of the Mini being an entry level model as Apple needs that. What I have a problem with is that the Mini doesn't even come close to the performance of a Mac Book Pro which should be an easy design point to make. Mind you that is still a Mini made with laptop parts.
post #204 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

Where do you get this???
From Apple? Do you not pay attention to Apples quarterly reports where they show declining desktop sales for the desktop line up except for the iMac?
Quote:
The Mini is one of the best selling desktops not just right now, but in the history of computing.
Baloney
Quote:
 The reason the Mini sells so very well is because it does meet the requirements of common desktop users.
Actually the Mini sells far better into special applications where it's limitations are not a problem. Not many desktop users are buying the Mini.
post #205 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

What I have a problem with is that the Mini doesn't even come close to the performance of a Mac Book Pro which should be an easy design point to make.

The 15" I'm guessing? Because the 2011 base model mini has the same processor and graphics as the early 2011 MBP, right?
post #206 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

Maybe I'm being overly optimistic here but I think that is possible under a Tim Cook reign.
What would that be? I'm not sure what you are referring to here, possibly the idea of building a Mini that doesn't suck. As to Tim Cook I suspect that things could get worst under his leadership as he is too much of a bean counter.
Quote:
I see Cook as being just a tad bit open minded to new ideas and not someone who would have a seizure because the iMac is the wrong color blue.
Interesting because my impression is the opposite. It think it will be much tougher getting new ideas dy him than it was with Steve. Tim will want far more evidence that something new will be successful.
Quote:
Edit: I'm not embarrassed to own my mini. I love it.
The last time I went out to buy a Mac it was 2008, at that time I bought a MBP as I just couldn't stomach what was being offered up in the Mini. Maybe that was me being me, but I think it was a good move. That MBP is showing its age but it is still viable as a computer.

If I had bought a Mini back then I would have walked out of the store with poor performance right off the bat and likely would have had to replace that Mini already.

Frankly the new Minis are looking better but I'm still of the opinion that Apple castrates the machines on purpose and limits the performance of the machine significantly to allow up sell to iMacs and laptops. At this stage there is no reason for the Mini to exist with out a quad core with discrete GPU option. A quad core is really a basic desktop system these days.
Quote:
Could it use a bit more juice? Sure. Absolutely, no question.
That is my whole point it could easily be designed to support at least state of the art laptop performance. This would still keep the machine Mini sized or there abouts and allow Apple to avoid desktop parts.

Mind you I'm talking about the higher end models, I have no problem with an entry level model. I don't think it is unreasonable when paying close to a thousand buck that one would get significantly better hardware relative to the $600 machine.
Quote:
Possibly even the 3720QM for example as a starter model? I don't know. It all lies on Intel.
That is the big problem it isn't all Intels fault. Intel has had quad core chips for laptops for some time now. Yeah using such may require an upgrade to the power supply to drive both the quad core and a discrete GPU but so what at least your customers don't end up feeling screwed over. The cost does play a part but I'd rather pay $1100 for a respectable Mini upgrade than to pay the current price and get little value for the up charge.

In case anybody is wondering yes there is value in quad cores, run just about any IDE and a compiler and you see immediate benefit. Beyond that Mountain Lion should make it pretty obvious the importance of a GPU as Apple has steadily increased the use of the GPU in each Mac OS release. Haswell sort of promises here to make the need for a discrete GPU obsolete, I will take a wait and see with that. Today though the user does benefit from the extra performance of a GPU, thus even with a quad core I'd like to see a discrete GPU. Instead of cheaping out all the time with Mini Apple needs to do what is required to make it happen. I don't care if that means a bigger power supply, faster fan or whatever, just stop selling that joke of a mid range Mini model where your extra hundreds get you very little.

Fixed quoting
Edited by wizard69 - 8/11/12 at 12:56pm
post #207 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

The 15" I'm guessing?
Yep, that is what I went with?
Quote:
Because the 2011 base model mini has the same processor and graphics as the early 2011 MBP, right?

Err no, not if you are talking 15" MBP. Every MBP that I know of came with a discrete GPU. Admittedly I haven't paid attention to the MBP market in the last year. My iPad actually attracts much of my attention now, the MBP gets used these days for more involved work and or play.

This may be part of my problem with the current Mini, the iPad's a far cheaper solution for basic computing tasks. So when looking for a new Mac I have a stronger need for it not to run like crap when tasked with more demanding uses. After all if iPad handles the easy stuff of E-Mail, net surfing and other minor tasks then the performance of a Mac here is not even worth the discussion.
post #208 of 391
My mistake. I meant the base model Mini having the same as the early 13" MBP.
post #209 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post
 Possibly even the 3720QM for example as a starter model? I don't know. It all lies on Intel.

A big issue is actually the cost of notebook components if you're trying to make a machine that appeals to a cost conscious market.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


That is my whole point it could easily be designed to support at least state of the art laptop performance. This would still keep the machine Mini sized or there abouts and allow Apple to avoid desktop parts.
Mind you I'm talking about the higher end models, I have no problem with an entry level model. I don't think it is unreasonable when paying close to a thousand buck that one would get significantly better hardware relative to the $600 machine.
That is the big problem it isn't all Intels fault. Intel has had quad core chips for laptops for some time now. Yeah using such may require an upgrade to the power supply to drive both the quad core and a discrete GPU but so what at least your customers don't end up feeling screwed over. The cost does play a part but I'd rather pay $1100 for a respectable Mini upgrade than to pay the current price and get little value for the up charge.
In case anybody is wondering yes there is value in quad cores, run just about any IDE and a compiler and you see immediate benefit. Beyond that Mountain Lion should make it pretty obvious the importance of a GPU as Apple has steadily increased the use of the GPU in each Mac OS release. Haswell sort of promises here to make the need for a discrete GPU obsolete, I will take a wait and see with that. Today though the user does benefit from the extra performance of a GPU, thus even with a quad core I'd like to see a discrete GPU. Instead of cheaping out all the time with Mini Apple needs to do what is required to make it happen. I don't care if that means a bigger power supply, faster fan or whatever, just stop selling that joke of a mid range Mini model where your extra hundreds get you very little.
Fixed quoting

I could use a good OSX based IDE. I've considered trying XCode. Regarding GPU solutions, that was one criteria for making the jump to Mountain Lion. In the future I expect a minimum version of OpenCL compliance will be the cutoff for the new OS. If they're trending toward an annual cycle, I'd expect the 2011 to lose current OS support in 2014. It could go longer given that some of those are still being sold past mid 2012, but I'd definitely expect OpenCL to become a hard requirement. The HD4000 is supposed to support this, but I don't know if it actually does under Mountain Lion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

My iPad actually attracts much of my attention now, the MBP gets used these days for more involved work and or play.
This may be part of my problem with the current Mini, the iPad's a far cheaper solution for basic computing tasks. So when looking for a new Mac I have a stronger need for it not to run like crap when tasked with more demanding uses. After all if iPad handles the easy stuff of E-Mail, net surfing and other minor tasks then the performance of a Mac here is not even worth the discussion.

I get it. You want a device that better complements the ipad. I'll agree that many people buy these things to be portable then almost never move them  from one spot.

post #210 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

A big issue is actually the cost of notebook components if you're trying to make a machine that appeals to a cost conscious market.

Fair enough. I'm just trying to crack wizard's code (I don't have a lot going on with my life right now so you have to cut me some slack).

Let's not go crazy for a second and let's hone in on the current design right now.

What would YOU do (and this goes out to anyone and not just wizard) for the cost in terms of specs?
post #211 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

Fair enough. I'm just trying to crack wizard's code (I don't have a lot going on with my life right now so you have to cut me some slack).
Let's not go crazy for a second and let's hone in on the current design right now.
What would YOU do (and this goes out to anyone and not just wizard) for the cost in terms of specs?

This is really an interesting discussion as process shrinks are really blurring the lines between what is a desktop processor and what is a laptop. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Mini move to a "desktop" processor in the future. Mainly because processors like Haswell will offer up most of the functionality of the Mini in a single low power chip. Low power is relative but a 45 to 55 watt SoC is likely very doable in the Mini.

While it doesn't make a lot of sense "desktop" chips are marketed at a far lower cost. If such chips can be fitted into a Mini without compromise then costs can be controlled on the device. This is why I'm frustrated by the lack of an Ivy Bridge Mini as IB is a step in the right direction as far as increasing performance goes but it looks like Apple will still be stuck with laptop parts.

I'm not sure what you mean by cracking my code. My biggest problem with the Mini is that no matter what happens in the future the size of the Mini significantly limits its capability. Sure tech shrinks means that the Mini becomes more capable each year but that also means that the performance end just gets faster too.
post #212 of 391
"Cracking your code" as in what exactly do you want from the mini with regards to specs, cost, and how Apple can implement that.
post #213 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


This is really an interesting discussion as process shrinks are really blurring the lines between what is a desktop processor and what is a laptop. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Mini move to a "desktop" processor in the future. Mainly because processors like Haswell will offer up most of the functionality of the Mini in a single low power chip. Low power is relative but a 45 to 55 watt SoC is likely very doable in the Mini.
While it doesn't make a lot of sense "desktop" chips are marketed at a far lower cost. If such chips can be fitted into a Mini without compromise then costs can be controlled on the device. This is why I'm frustrated by the lack of an Ivy Bridge Mini as IB is a step in the right direction as far as increasing performance goes but it looks like Apple will still be stuck with laptop parts.
I'm not sure what you mean by cracking my code. My biggest problem with the Mini is that no matter what happens in the future the size of the Mini significantly limits its capability. Sure tech shrinks means that the Mini becomes more capable each year but that also means that the performance end just gets faster too.


You could see something based on mini ATX with low power desktop chips in the next couple years. The typically lower cost for chips with a desktop classification should alleviate some of the cost constraints in building such a machine.  I don't expect computers to taper off so much. A big issue right now is a lack of true n-core scaling, which is less of an issue outside of Xeon based machines where extra transistors seem to be allocated to the integrated gpus. You may be looking at a pretty solid/well rounded mini next year. This is often the issue with lower end machines. Sometimes one aspect is sufficient, but they lack in overall balance.

post #214 of 391
I don't want to quote wizard's entire post though with regards to the Rev. C mini (released in August 2007 thus the current one at the time when he bought his MacBook Pro) was abhorrent. The Rev. D one released in March 2009 wasn't much better although at least it had the GeForce 9400M instead of the Intel GMA 950.

Fast forward to 2010 and the unibody mini is released. We're getting better with easily changeable RAM (now up to 8 GB) though we still have a C2D processor and integrated graphics that offer only 256 MB of video RAM.

The 2011 base model is at least respectable in my opinion for an entry level Mac of its price. Might it be better if it was $100 less? Sure.

As you jump higher, I agree they should add more. For example for the mid-range model, they probably should have made the dual-core i7 the default instead of increasing the clock 200 MHz for the $799 price tag.

I'll take a wait and see approach.
post #215 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post


You could see something based on mini ATX with low power desktop chips in the next couple years. The typically lower cost for chips with a desktop classification should alleviate some of the cost constraints in building such a machine.
The move to lower power chips could result in a far more interesting and cheaper Mini. At least cheap relative to the performance you get. - lets say a better value. Ivy Bridge is a step in that direction and is one reason I'm frustrated with Apples drawn out release schedule.
Quote:
  I don't expect computers to taper off so much. A big issue right now is a lack of true n-core scaling, which is less of an issue outside of Xeon based machines where extra transistors seem to be allocated to the integrated gpus.
That so called lack of n-core scaling is baloney. Apps that can't be highly parallelized will never see huge benefits from multiprocessors. Mean while there are numerous apps that are steadily improving in that regard. However highly parallel apps are hardly a reason to want four or more cores in a machine, rather the benefit comes from being able to run multiple processes without a significant impact to performance.
Quote:
You may be looking at a pretty solid/well rounded mini next year. This is often the issue with lower end machines. Sometimes one aspect is sufficient, but they lack in overall balance.
This is very true. It is in fact why I'm trying to milk my old MBP until death. Right now the Mini has a certain appeal to me but that is because they offer nothing else that is suitable performance wise as a desktop machine. The current Mini though just isn't a good buy, with no USB3 and it's relatively poor performance / value I really need to see what they offer up as a replacement.

To be honest I really don't know how Apple can manage to sell any desktop machines! The lack of USB 3 across the board has go to be killing them at least with informed buyers.
post #216 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

I don't want to quote wizard's entire post though with regards to the Rev. C mini (released in August 2007 thus the current one at the time when he bought his MacBook Pro) was abhorrent. The Rev. D one released in March 2009 wasn't much better although at least it had the GeForce 9400M instead of the Intel GMA 950.
Fast forward to 2010 and the unibody mini is released. We're getting better with easily changeable RAM (now up to 8 GB) though we still have a C2D processor and integrated graphics that offer only 256 MB of video RAM.
The 2011 base model is at least respectable in my opinion for an entry level Mac of its price. Might it be better if it was $100 less? Sure.
I really don't have a problem with the idea of an entry level machine. However the lack of USB 3 still means it is hard to reccomend any of the Minis.
Quote:
As you jump higher, I agree they should add more. For example for the mid-range model, they probably should have made the dual-core i7 the default instead of increasing the clock 200 MHz for the $799 price tag.
This is what sucks in my opinion. If you are going to offer a midrange model at least make it worthwhile and remove the impression that the machine is a rip off. Also make damn sure that such an upscale machine is suitably configured for the software it will potentially run. The lack of suitable video RAM to cover the reccomendations of popular software packages is just appalling as the whole point for many buyers of that midrange machine is to use it to leverage the discrete GPU. The fiasco with the GPU RAM is without a doubt a very frustrating aspect of the current Mini, I'm surprised Apple is so stupid as to not to grasp why people would want the midrange machine in the first place. As you say 200MHz is nothing really.
Quote:
I'll take a wait and see approach.

Yeah, one long wait if you ask me!
post #217 of 391
I don't know where to continue this debate so let's put up a hypothetical situation (the key word is hypothetical now) for the next mini or a new entry level machine (preferably a headless desktop).

I want to know piece by piece what you, wizard, put in this thing and price it at? Do you make one model with a lot of BTO options or more than one model with fewer options?
post #218 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

I don't know where to continue this debate so let's put up a hypothetical situation (the key word is hypothetical now) for the next mini or a new entry level machine (preferably a headless desktop).
Speculation and wishful thinking is all we got right now.
Quote:
I want to know piece by piece what you, wizard, put in this thing and price it at? Do you make one model with a lot of BTO options or more than one model with fewer options?
Well if you are thinking entry level and as a Mini replacement this is what I would do:

For the entry level model I'd switch over to a desktop chip, either Intel or AMD, with integrated GPUs. Doing so would allow them to bump up performance a bit, allow for cheaper RAM and more RAM sockets. In the end they should be able to save a couple of hundred over the price of an equivalent machine based on laptop parts. The money saved could go to better storage options, lower price or whatever. I'm thinking a chip in the 35 to 45 watt range.

There really should be only one other model, which should be far away from the entry level machine performance wise. In this regards a discrete GPU with a minimal of 1GB of RAM is required. Ideally this would be a midrange AMD Southern Islands processor soldered right onto the motherboard. Along side that would be a quad core Ivy Bridge processor or AMD equivalent in the 55 watt or greater range. The actually spec would be balanced to allow for a price range in the $900 to $1100 dollar range. Obviously this is only doable with desktop parts, but such parts ought to make the price feasable. This isn't excessively higher in price than the current mid mini or the server. However for that price I'm expecting a considerable jump in performance over the entry level model. I still want to see Apple implement PCI Express based SSD on printed circuit cards, ideally in a new format for internal mounting. Two standard PCI Express slots should be supported for I/O, along with two TB ports. This ends up being very tight on PCI Express lanes. All of this should be crammed into a low profile cube maybe 12" inches square and less that 5 inches tall.

I fully expect such a computer to give solid midrange performance with high end performance still serviced by the Mac Pro. Note that the two machines described above can be built on two completely different chassis with the entry model still in the Mini Box.
post #219 of 391
So you are looking at four RAM slots vs. two and as far as the GPU we are looking at the 7750, 7770, 7850, and 7870 mobile versions right similar to the iMac
post #220 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

So you are looking at four RAM slots vs. two and as far as the GPU we are looking at the 7750, 7770, 7850, and 7870 mobile versions right similar to the iMac

Yes four RAM slots would be ideal.   That way expansion is affordable for those that need it.   

 

As far as the GPU goes I'm not convinced that a "mobile" version is needed though it might make sense.    The idea here is to hit a bit better than the performance maximum considering current GPU technology.    That is take everything offered up as Southern Islands and pick a mid range GPU.   If that means a mobile processor then go that route, if not a desktop chip may be in order.   Power is of course a concern but these modern GPUs have very competitive power profiles when you ignore the high end models.   In general though I don't see mobile GPUS as what is really needed in this model

 

Im still concerned that Apple will just debut new machines with little effort put into moving the hardware foreword.   The interesting part is that the rumors of a retina iMac sort of imply a huge jump in GPU processing capability there.    Frankly That could mean top end mobile chips for the iMac.   So in this scenario the XMac/new Mini could still lag the iMac a bit in performance of the GPU.   What we need to get with such a machine is far better of a delta between the base model Mini and this guy, a solid 4X difference in OpenGL performance would be nice.

post #221 of 391
Ah I thought Southern Islands was a mobile line? It isn't?
post #222 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

Ah I thought Southern Islands was a mobile line? It isn't?

It is a whole new architecture for AMD GPUs. A very interesting one in fact and a very interesting OpenCL platform. I'm still wondering why Apple ditched AMD, the switch back to NVidia seems fishy to me.
post #223 of 391
If I had to venture a guess, I think it's all money. I am willing to bet that nVidia paid Apple a sizable sum for them to use their graphics cards.
post #224 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

If I had to venture a guess, I think it's all money. I am willing to bet that nVidia paid Apple a sizable sum for them to use their graphics cards.

More likely that apple wanted a powerful but efficient chip and nVidia offered it at an extremely competitive rate. Plus it seemed nVidia finally was able to mass produce their 28nm keplers (I know there was manufacturing issues going on there).

post #225 of 391
I think things need to be switched up anyway. I don't want only nVidia to be making chips nor do I just want AMD to make chips. I want whoever makes the best chips for the time.

You make a good point about "competitive rate" though.
post #226 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

I think things need to be switched up anyway. I don't want only nVidia to be making chips nor do I just want AMD to make chips. I want whoever makes the best chips for the time.
You make a good point about "competitive rate" though.

There are real technical issues to Apples constant swapping of GPU vendors. For one Apples drivers suck! It is pretty pathetic when you realize that some drivers for Linux actually perform better than Apples drivers for Mac OS.

As to the best chips that would likely lead to an extended discussion. However I think it is fair to say that AMD has little to worry about when looking at NVidia's newest hardware. The reality is NVidia just barely caught up to what is now old AMD hardware.
post #227 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

There are real technical issues to Apples constant swapping of GPU vendors. For one Apples drivers suck! It is pretty pathetic when you realize that some drivers for Linux actually perform better than Apples drivers for Mac OS.
As to the best chips that would likely lead to an extended discussion. However I think it is fair to say that AMD has little to worry about when looking at NVidia's newest hardware. The reality is NVidia just barely caught up to what is now old AMD hardware.

Do you think Apple will use AMD in any of their upcoming computers or is it a full nVidia switch for the near future?
post #228 of 391
Originally Posted by Winter View Post
Do you think Apple will use AMD in any of their upcoming computers or is it a full nVidia switch for the near future?

 

Maybe we'll get one of each in the Mac Pro like we did in the past.

Originally Posted by helia

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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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post #229 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post


Do you think Apple will use AMD in any of their upcoming computers or is it a full nVidia switch for the near future?

There's no way to tell. AMD's drivers aren't perfect, but they actually lack some of their known Windows side problems under OSX. Overall the flip flopping does suck, yet whenever Apple changes something people generally blame developers for not supporting it that day.

post #230 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

Do you think Apple will use AMD in any of their upcoming computers or is it a full nVidia switch for the near future?

I don't know. Like I said before this move (to NVidia) is a mystery. I would hope that it isn't across the board. Frankly I'd like to see a Mini built around AMDs Fusion CPUs. As far as discrete GPUs go, I really don't see an advantage with respect to NVidia.

That being said Apple does like the idea of minimizing suppliers. Also what seems to be really interesting is that Apple didn't even bother to upgrade the GPU in the Mac Pro. This seem to indicate a severe falling out with AMD as drivers where on their way.
post #231 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

It is far too expensive for the performance you get out of it. Think about it, the Mini has never been a performance power house. This is no surprise for the entry level model but as you go up in performance the Mini actually becomes a worst value. This compared to Apples own laptops, looking towards more conventional desktops the value equation that is the Mini just gets worst.
In any event it is embarrassing to own because of what you pay for what you get.

 

You'll have to define "performance" but for the moment lets just use the geekbench score since it's easy to compare bang for the buck.

 

http://browser.primatelabs.com/mac-benchmarks

 

$599 Mid 2011 mini 2.3 Ghz i5 = 5841 score = $0.10 per point

Mini + $300 budget for keyboard, mouse and monitor = $0.15 per point

 

For reference:  Apple keyboard and magic mouse bundle on ebay is $95 buy it now:  

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/OEM-Apple-Bluetooth-Wireless-Keyboard-MC184LL-A-and-Magic-Mouse-MB829LL-A-Bundle-/160782069041?pt=Keyboard_Mice_Bundles&hash=item256f5bad31#ht_2586wt_732

 

LG 23" IPS monitor is $199 on NewEgg (not great, not bad)

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824005289&nm_mc=KNC-GoogleAdwords&cm_mmc=KNC-GoogleAdwords-_-pla-_-NA-_-NA

 

$899 Mid 2011 mini 2.7 Ghz i7 = 6725 score = $0.13 per point

i7 mini + $300 = $0.17 per point

 

$999 Mid 2011 mini 2.0 Ghz quad i7 = 8522 score = $0.11 per point

mini server + $300 = $0.15 per point

 

$1999 Early 2011 13" MBP = 6046 score = $0.33 per point

$1199 Mid 2011 iMac 21.5 2.5Ghz i5 = 7217 score = $0.16 per point

$1499 Mid 2011 iMac 21.5 2.7Ghz i5 = 7789 score = $0.19 per point

$1699 Mid 2011 iMac 21.5 2.8Ghz i7 =10093 score = $0.16 per point

 

So the top end mini + keyboard, mouse and monitor is still about as cost effective as the iMac.  And I can easily install a SSD (or 2) in the mini...not so much the iMac.

 

Obviously if you need more CPU/GPU than the mini can offer then the mini wont work for you but I think these numbers show that the mini is not expensive for the (CPU/Memory) performance you get out of it in comparison to the rest of the Mac lineup.

post #232 of 391
Thinking about the iPad mini and looking at the Ivy Bridge line... would it be a wise move on Apple's part to make a $300-$350 Mini with a ULV processor?
post #233 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter 
Thinking about the iPad mini and looking at the Ivy Bridge line... would it be a wise move on Apple's part to make a $300-$350 Mini with a ULV processor?

The entry Mini CPU will cost around $200. For the Mini to go to $299 down from $599 would require a $300 drop, which they probably couldn't do with a CPU change.

Some people used the old $299 Apple TVs as computers and they were used in servers:

http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1034624/hackers-apple-tv

They had 1GHz Pentium chips with NVidia 7300 graphics. Intel do sell Pentium/Celeron chips for about $40 that would serve as a basic desktop CPU and Apple could probably build a Mini styled like the current one for $399 but it would be pretty slow.

It might boost sales but it certainly wouldn't offer a good experience and they still wouldn't make much profit on it.

I think the price points they have right now are ok but it would be good if the quad model had a dedicated GPU. They'd have to start pulling more parts out to get the prices any lower, which I'd rather they didn't do.

The 3770T + 640M would make a really nice Mini for $999 but I expect another mobile chip with HD 4000 graphics. I'm actually looking forward to the next iMac more than the Mini because I think the changes will fix a lot of the complaints about it.

rMBP shipping times are still 5-7 days though so the wait goes on.
post #234 of 391
Plus knowing Apple, even if they did have the 3770T they'd put only 256 MB VRAM with the 640M I bet.
post #235 of 391

From the other thread but more relevant here.

 

My wish list for the Mac Mini Server 2012:

 

2.5Ghz Quad Xeon E3-1265L w/Intel 2500HD
2 slots for ECC RAM (4GB standard)
2 slots for SSD sticks  (128GB SSD stick standard)
1x USB 3
3x USB 2
2x TB
1x 10GBase-T
1x HDMI
SDXC card slot
Audio In/Out
1x HDMI
 
In the $1499 price range (anywhere from $1299-$1699)
 
Fills the low end server and workstation niche.  
 
For the light workstation users you do 10GbE to SAN, 1 TB dedicated to external GPU, 1 TB for external processing cards (rocket, tesla, xeon phi, etc).  If no SAN then USB3 or TB to local RAID.
 
For the "micro-server" user you could do redundant 10GbE (using one of the TB ports and a 10GbE adapter) and connect the 2nd TB to a RAID array.  What you lack would be redundant power supplies.
 
For the non-server models pretty much the same except with the Ivy Bridge i5/i7 and a decent GPU in the current price ranges. Maybe drop the 10GbE for the current GigE.

Edited by nht - 8/20/12 at 7:37am
post #236 of 391
Why the 2500? Isn't that worse than the 3000?
post #237 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

Why the 2500? Isn't that worse than the 3000?

 

Yes, but that's what fits within 45W TDP.  Good enough for a server tho'

post #238 of 391
Very interesting configuration. I don't think it will happen for various reasons.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

From the other thread but more relevant here.

My wish list for the Mac Mini Server 2012:

2.5Ghz Quad Xeon E3-1265L w/Intel 2500HD
The 2500HD is likely to be the biggest reasons such a machine would fail. For one even though Apple sells the model as a "server" I don't think many are actually using it that way. It is Apples lowest cost quad core machine with many buying it simp,y because of the quad cores. It is an excellent development platform in that regard, especially when coupled with lots of RAM and SSDs.
Quote:
2 slots for ECC RAM (4GB standard)
There is little reason not to go to 8GB these days, RAM is so cheap it is pathetic.
Quote:
2 slots for SSD sticks  (128GB SSD stick standard)
Yes this is huge, Apple needs to become far more agressive when it comes to putting advanced tech on the desktop.
Quote:
1x USB 3
3x USB 2
Assuming you can find a Xeon chipset with USB3 support why bother with USB2?
Quote:
2x TB
1x 10GBase-T
1x HDMI
SDXC card slot
Audio In/Out
1x HDMI
 
In the $1499 price range (anywhere from $1299-$1699)
 
Fills the low end server and workstation niche.  
Server yes, workstation no. The big problem with the Mini as a workstation has always been the lack of good GPU support on the machine. Now granted Apple is trying to have it both ways with the Mini server but when the bulk of your sales really aren't to "server" users you have to pay attention to the GPU that would mean the best possible integrated GPU possible on a machine like this.
Quote:
 
For the light workstation users you do 10GbE to SAN, 1 TB dedicated to external GPU,
You can stop right there, external GPUs over TB are a joke that is to silly to play here.
Quote:
1 TB for external processing cards (rocket, tesla, xeon phi, etc).  If no SAN then USB3 or TB to local RAID.
 
External processing cards are a different story all together. Frankly it would be interesting to see a Mini with either more TB ports or an Infiniband port. Intel is going Infiniband big time and such an implementation into a Mini like machine would make for a more interesting clustering and compute box solution.
Quote:
For the "micro-server" user you could do redundant 10GbE (using one of the TB ports and a 10GbE adapter) and connect the 2nd TB to a RAID array.  What you lack would be redundant power supplies.
 
Are redundant power supplies really required? The answer is yes in a high density high power solution such as a large server, but does the Mini (as it currently is) have a high failure rate power supply? I don't really know the answer to that, it is just that I don't see a lot of power supply failures happening for laptops.
Quote:
For the non-server models pretty much the same except with the Ivy Bridge i5/i7 and a decent GPU in the current price ranges. Maybe drop the 10GbE for the current GigE.
Why not just stay with Ivy Bridge across the platform. You do give up ECC (last I knew) but that isn't a great lost considering the Mini servers intended usage.
post #239 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

Yes, but that's what fits within 45W TDP.  Good enough for a server tho'

Yes it is good enough for a server, it is just that Apple has a more mixed customer base for that machine today. The Mini server is a good low cost platform for users that need quad cores. Anybody doing development work for one. However giving up GPU performance can be an issue even for developers.

It is also interesting that the bias against servers with capable GPUs is slowly dying. That depends upons the servers usage of course. The other thing is that small server installations that the like of the Mini targeting might as well have a decent GPU as the are often not headless. Small office servers often have keyboard and screen attached for administrator access. People often think of racks of equipment, special rooms and the like when thinking of servers where it is far more likely in a small business installation to see a server sitting on a desk in a corner.

Take all these points together and frankly I think it would be foolish of Apple to sell a server model Mini with anything less than the best available integrated GPU they can get at the time. The Mini server is just a far more widely deployed machine than it's name implies.
post #240 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Very interesting configuration. I don't think it will happen for various reasons.

Why not just stay with Ivy Bridge across the platform. You do give up ECC (last I knew) but that isn't a great lost considering the Mini servers intended usage.

 

It ain't gonna happen, it's just a wish.  I could wish for a pony too but like I said earlier in this thread I'd be happy if the new mini just showed up.

 

As far as why Xeon + ECC vs just Core i7 i5 is that the primary difference between consumer/office desktop and workstations/servers is data integrity.  A flipped bit in a game is no big deal.  A flipped bit on a financial program or engineering program might be a big deal.

 

As far as TB GPUs go...if all you run is the GPU then it's running at x4 speeds.  Which isn't great but not too bad if what you want is a quadro vs a gaming GPU for the better driver/firmware.  On the mac the drivers aren't crippled but I think the firmwares still differ between pro and consumer GPUs.  The firmware in the quadro wont skip any rendering steps so will render each frame more accurately even though the hardware is largely the same.

 

Likewise if I need say 2GB of VRAM to run something then running a TB GPU with 2GB at x4 speeds is better than not running at all.

 

Would I want to run a gaming rig that way?  No.

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