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Mac mini gains Ivy Bridge CPU, up to 16GB of RAM with Apple's latest update - Page 2

post #41 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by jb510 View Post

I'm waiting for an ifixit and Anandtech teardown to see if maybe there isn't space for a GPU and the issue is just the GPU Apple wanted to use wasn't available yet?

The Mini doesn't have expansion slots for a GPU. The old ones had a separate on-board chip:

http://www.techrepublic.com/photos/cracking-open-the-apple-mac-mini-2011/6265433?seq=50&tag=thumbnail-view-selector;get-photo-roto

This means Apple has more work to do when it comes to cooling.

For gaming, people will typically be doing it in Windows so there is the option of a GPU over Thunderbolt:



It would end up a fairly expensive option but it's an option and if Apple would allow using GPUs over TB it could even be a decent setup. I'd rather AMD/NVidia made small mobile GPU boxes. They could have a GTX 680M with a 150W PSU around the size of the XBox power brick, maybe $299-399. If they developed their own drivers, even better.
post #42 of 59
I want to be able to game on the Mac mini at least a little bit although I do a lot on emulation which the Intel HD 3000 on last year's model does just fine on. I wanted to play Diablo III but it did not run well on the integrated graphics. The Radeon HD 6630M apparently ran it okay but the game has been marred by bugs and glitches.

I miss the old days when I could play Diablo and Diablo II offline and by myself. I think only Duke Nukem Forever was a bigger disappointment than D3.

I like the IB Mini though I do think Haswell will most likely be quite a bit better. I hope we don't have to wait over a year for it though.
post #43 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter 
I like the IB Mini though I do think Haswell will most likely be quite a bit better. I hope we don't have to wait over a year for it though.

Haswell is supposed to arrive in March-June. Ivy Bridge was delayed. The CPU should be 10% faster and most of the improvement coming to the GPU.

Ivy Bridge has 16EUs, Haswell GT3 has 40 and each will be faster at the same clock speed. The bad news is they are going to lower the clock speeds from 1.2GHz to 800MHz:

http://semiaccurate.com/2012/09/07/haswell-gt3-uses-shaders-to-save-power/

But say Ivy Bridge ran at 800MHz, you'd be at 67% performance. Then up the number of units from 16 to 40 and you are at 167% of the original and then assume Ivy Bridge runs 10% faster at the same clock speed, you get 83% faster than the HD 4000.

This is around the 9600GT desktop card:



By then, AMD/NVidia will have moved further again but for an entry-level desktop, that would be good enough performance. It's a bit short of the 5770 in the entry Mac Pro but that difference will be made up in 2014. If they could up the graphics power 80% every year, it would rival the current high-end in just 3 years.
post #44 of 59
Haswell is supposed to arrive in March-June. Ivy Bridge was delayed. The CPU should be 10% faster and most of the improvement coming to the GPU.

- I would love March but I wouldn't expect it so soon. I would expect it closer to the summer.

Ivy Bridge has 16EUs, Haswell GT3 has 40 and each will be faster at the same clock speed. The bad news is they are going to lower the clock speeds from 1.2GHz to 800MHz:
http://semiaccurate.com/2012/09/07/haswell-gt3-uses-shaders-to-save-power/

D: A 400 MHz drop. Eh maybe they bring back a discrete mini but I wouldn't bet on it.

But say Ivy Bridge ran at 800MHz, you'd be at 67% performance. Then up the number of units from 16 to 40 and you are at 167% of the original and then assume Ivy Bridge runs 10% faster at the same clock speed, you get 83% faster than the HD 4000.
This is around the 9600GT desktop card: (removed video link in quote)


Interesting. I will show this to my friend to discuss.

By then, AMD/NVidia will have moved further again but for an entry-level desktop, that would be good enough performance. It's a bit short of the 5770 in the entry Mac Pro but that difference will be made up in 2014. If they could up the graphics power 80% every year, it would rival the current high-end in just 3 years.

Yeah can't wait for the discrete successors next year.
post #45 of 59
Originally Posted by Winter View Post
Haswell is supposed to arrive in March-June.
- I would love March but I wouldn't expect it so soon. I would expect it closer to the summer.

 

I think they mean March for desktop, June for laptop. The release of the line spread out across multiple months, like all their chips.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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post #46 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by sabuga View Post

At the risk of repeating the above posters, I'm annoyed about the GPU... I haven't watched the keynote yet (I usually wait for the podcast, as the streaming one has buffering issues here in NZ), does anyone know if the RAM is still user replaceable? Or is it soldered?
 

 

user replacable...

 

Where abouts in NZ are you, as the streaming live worked flawlessly here in PNC, on slingshot unlimited.

Household: MacBook, iPad 16gb wifi, iPad 64gb wifi, iPad Mini 32gb, coming iPhone 5S, iPhone 4S 32gb, iPhone 32gb, iPod Touch 4th gen x1, iPod nano 16gb gen 5 x2, iPod nano gen 3 8gb, iPod classic...
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Household: MacBook, iPad 16gb wifi, iPad 64gb wifi, iPad Mini 32gb, coming iPhone 5S, iPhone 4S 32gb, iPhone 32gb, iPod Touch 4th gen x1, iPod nano 16gb gen 5 x2, iPod nano gen 3 8gb, iPod classic...
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post #47 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I think they mean March for desktop, June for laptop. The release of the line spread out across multiple months, like all their chips.

Got it. That would make total sense.
post #48 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by WelshDog View Post

My personal answer is never.

What I meant to say was that for me personally I would never use one for gaming, not that no one would.  I am surprised however, that Apple puts gaming specs on the Mini page if in fact the HD 4000 is so wretched.

post #49 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

It would end up a fairly expensive option but it's an option and if Apple would allow using GPUs over TB it could even be a decent setup. I'd rather AMD/NVidia made small mobile GPU boxes. They could have a GTX 680M with a 150W PSU around the size of the XBox power brick, maybe $299-399. If they developed their own drivers, even better.

 

LOL at the idea of a $300 external video card for a Mac Mini.  If you're thinking along those lines, the Mini isn't for you.  

 

Apple will always cripple the mini to force serious buyers to the high margin iMac.  The mini isn't designed to be a desktop computer solution, it's simply a marketing gimmick to lure Windows users to try OS X.  For those who decide to make a full switch to OS X, the idea is to junk the mini and buy an iMac at the earliest opportunity.  

 

About the only other use for the mini is as a HTPC, for which it is not bad but obviously still gimped by the lack of a BD player.  In answer to the Apple fanboys saying optical discs are old tech, remember that many Americans do not have broadband internet capable of streaming 1080p video, and many movie enthusiasts have large BD disc collections, as they're more practical than building a freakin' server farm to store all of one's movies.  

 

Anyways, the integrated graphics are not a mistake, Apple purposely did not included discreet graphics because the processing power of the mini (quad cores) is now sufficient for pretty much any app available for OS X.  Apple is terrified that users will buy a mini to use with their existing monitor, they want you to trash that nice monitor you have and buy an iMac.  Or take out a mortgage on your house to buy a Mac Pro, lol.   In any case, the mini is intentionally NOT iMac sans display.  It's nothing to do with cost, and everything to do with Apple's deeply flawed desktop lineup.

post #50 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg 
LOL at the idea of a $300 external video card for a Mac Mini.  If you're thinking along those lines, the Mini isn't for you.

I don't see why, you'd have a small desktop with a quad i7 and a fast GPU for $1099. That beats every other Mac desktop for value. As Ultrabooks become more popular, there's no reason why display manufacturers can't put dedicated GPUs into displays to make them more profitable.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg 
Apple will always cripple the mini to force serious buyers to the high margin iMac.  The mini isn't designed to be a desktop computer solution, it's simply a marketing gimmick to lure Windows users to try OS X.

Of course they are trying to move people to the iMac as the Mini just means a lost sale on a display but the Mini isn't a marketing gimmick. If it was then so is an 8-core 2008 Mac Pro with 16GB RAM - apart from the GPU, the Mini is the same speed. It's a fairly powerful desktop machine. The HD4000 GPU is fast enough for most things but a powerful external GPU would be useful for the handful of apps using OpenCL and for playing games.

If you are browing the web, just shut down the GPU and use under 20W. If you are using CS6 and need the GPU to render content, turn it on, same if you need to play a game for a couple of hours. I don't see a problem with that setup at all.

AMD/NVidia could make a lot of money selling to the 50% of buyers who get lumped with an Intel GPU. The biggest problem is they'd have to support a proprietary connection made by their most hated competitor. AMD I can understand as they sell whole systems but NVidia needs to get over it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg 
About the only other use for the mini is as a HTPC, for which it is not bad but obviously still gimped by the lack of a BD player.

Which you can buy if you want one.
post #51 of 59
What are the best external GPUs or are there any yet?
post #52 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

What are the best external GPUs or are there any yet?

Manufacturers have decided that it's better to build generic PCI boxes so you can fit any PCI card inside:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=143IpdBS4xA

You will be limited to around the 150W range so the best GPU would just be the fastest in that limit.

I think there would be more value in having a proper external GPU solution though. It would just look like a power brick and have a mobile GPU inside like the 680MX (110-120W). You'd have a power cable, a TB cable to connect to the computer and a video output cable from the brick to the display.

Having to buy everything separate is more expensive because you are buying a generic enclosure with a big PSU with profit margins for one company and a GPU with separate profit margins for another company. A special product would be more compact, fully tested and cheaper and I think the marketing would be much stronger.

They can have a handful of models like a $99 50W GPU, a $199 100W GPU and a $299 $150W GPU.
post #53 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

It would end up a fairly expensive option but it's an option and if Apple would allow using GPUs over TB it could even be a decent setup. I'd rather AMD/NVidia made small mobile GPU boxes. They could have a GTX 680M with a 150W PSU around the size of the XBox power brick, maybe $299-399. If they developed their own drivers, even better.

I'm not thinking AMD/NVidia so much as their manufacturing partners. I wouldn't expect them to use mobile variants at all due to higher cost at equivalent ranges. You really need something aggressive in terms of price/performance, and using a 680M won't do this. At that point you might as well build a gaming desktop. Thunderbolt support is still too sparse under Windows. When that changes you may seem some interest. I don't have a prediction on when this will happen. It just needs to be viable at a suitable volume to keep pricing somewhat sane. One of the other thunderbolt gpu boxes was around $750 with a 150W PSU, and you still have to ensure the card will fit. Given the variation in card widths, power consumption, etc. it's kind of a bad match. People willing to research such things in detail are also likely those capable of building and maintaining their own desktops if they're spending that much.

 

If they could use a mid range desktop class card and keep it within $399 as a package, I could see people buying that. This would require a real source of potential buyers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


Manufacturers have decided that it's better to build generic PCI boxes so you can fit any PCI card inside:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=143IpdBS4xA
You will be limited to around the 150W range so the best GPU would just be the fastest in that limit.
I think there would be more value in having a proper external GPU solution though. It would just look like a power brick and have a mobile GPU inside like the 680MX (110-120W). You'd have a power cable, a TB cable to connect to the computer and a video output cable from the brick to the display.

Either you took this idea from me, or it's one of the few times we've agreed on something. I've mentioned before that generic boxes are stupid. The margins aren't that great selling a portion of a solution, and you're highly dependent on available drivers under OSX, unless this is just to add some gaming feasibility. I see this as more of a feature for notebooks. Buying a mini just to run Windows and plug in an external box seems really silly to me.  You can get some decent cards in that wattage range. You can even get workstation cards there. It just locks you out of the top cards in the 200W range.

post #54 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg View Post

 

[...] and everything to do with Apple's deeply flawed desktop lineup.

 

I agree, because I feel like the Mac Pro is the only desktop from the new line that fits my needs, and that's a nonsense, because I don't want a Xeon, I just want a good 4-core i7, with 1GB discrete GPU, with 256GB SSD, with 16GB RAM, and without a monitor (yes, please, without a monitor, I wouldn't survive with yet another monitor in my room).

 

Such system should be a small box... perhaps not as small as the Mac Mini, but much smaller than the Mac Pro. 

 

Why is it so difficult for Apple to release such a system?

post #55 of 59
Quote:

I just want a good 4-core i7, with 1GB discrete GPU, with 256GB SSD, with 16GB RAM, and without a monitor (yes, please, without a monitor, I wouldn't survive with yet another monitor in my room).

 

Such system should be a small box... perhaps not as small as the Mac Mini, but much smaller than the Mac Pro. 

 

Why is it so difficult for Apple to release such a system?

 

 

Because then you could directly compare the computer to Windows PCs with the same specs, and it would become obvious that there is a big price premium for the Apple hardware.    

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Is this really so difficult?
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post #56 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_steve 
Because then you could directly compare the computer to Windows PCs with the same specs, and it would become obvious that there is a big price premium for the Apple hardware.    

You can already compare them pretty closely:

15" i7-3610QM 650M $939
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834152339
15" i7-3615QM 650M $1799
http://store.apple.com/us/configure/MD103LL/A?

A GPU wouldn't add more than $200 to the price of each Mini so they could make a quad-i7 + 640M for $999. They've decided on an 85W power budget though and the space is very tight so they'd probably have to design an entirely new machine. They'd then question why they were making a new machine in that price range with the intention that people buy a display from someone else instead of persuading them to buy an iMac where they make their profit margin on the display too.
post #57 of 59
I think there is a big empty hole in the lineup where a Mac Mini Pro should go... It'd be a low volume product, but not so low as to be pointless.
post #58 of 59
Originally Posted by jb510 View Post
It'd be a low volume product, but not so low as to be pointless.

 

I'm sort of thinking the opposite, given the Mac Pro and Mac Mini's sales.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #59 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by jb510 View Post

I think there is a big empty hole in the lineup where a Mac Mini Pro should go... It'd be a low volume product, but not so low as to be pointless.

 

I'm somewhat undecided on that. I like the concept personally, but Windows is probably a better place for such a machine. You're basically referring to the elusive headless imac. In my opinion they would price it too high to maintain certain margins at lower volume levels. The starting hardware of the mac pro isn't anything terribly insane. You just think it is because the price starts high. You can buy something similar from other brands for $1000 less without sacrificing overall quality. The mac pro uses really thick aluminum. You probably won't find that, but it doesn't matter. Toward the higher configurations, these things taper together. Other brands in some cases charge a lot more for things like cpu upgrades on their workstation lines. The base pricing starts off low though. The thing is that the price gap is much more significant than the market gap. For such a thing to be successful, it would have to heavily leverage customers of the single package mac pro. You'd need to grab some of those workloads, and it would need to at least match top imac performance across the board at a lower price. The biggest things you could offer would be storage bays like you have in the mac pro and strong gpus at a lower price point. Even then you wouldn't leverage enough of the gaming market, as most of the people who game on Macs tend to use bootcamp. It's just the biggest titles that have mac ports.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


You can already compare them pretty closely:
15" i7-3610QM 650M $939
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834152339
15" i7-3615QM 650M $1799
http://store.apple.com/us/configure/MD103LL/A?
A GPU wouldn't add more than $200 to the price of each Mini so they could make a quad-i7 + 640M for $999. They've decided on an 85W power budget though and the space is very tight so they'd probably have to design an entirely new machine. They'd then question why they were making a new machine in that price range with the intention that people buy a display from someone else instead of persuading them to buy an iMac where they make their profit margin on the display too.

It shouldn't even add that much given that we're talking about a sort of lower end budget option like the 640m. This is why I mention Apple's desired margins at times. Regardless of views on their pricing, they're set on how much they want to make per unit leveraged to a degree against demand.

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