I had a real great response typed up on my iPad and then Safari crashed. That happens a lot on AppleInsider for some reason. Hopefully Huddler and Apple are working this out as I've done well on most other sites with y iPad.
In any event I will try to repeat things again as I'm at my Mac. My point with the Mini is that its value has been significantly impacted due to the lack of a Haswell solution in the machine. Not for the CPU improvements which are minor and at times regressions but rather because of the GPU. Depending upon which Haswell you get, the GPU is improved significantly and this makes the current Mini a poor value compared to what it could be.
GeekBench has its place but I'm not convinced it is of much use for modern software. For example anything OpenCL accelerated on Haswell is showing very good results. Further Haswells vastly improved 3D performance means that applications like 3D CAD are far more serviceable on Haswell than prior Intel solutions.
Combine this with the fact that has well has been out in various forms for months now and you can see why I question the machines value. This especially in the high end configurations which could be vastly improved via a Haswell upgrade.
Granted that a Haswell mini would be an even more exceptional value but that's probably why it doesn't exist. While the quad i7 iMac is much faster it also weighs in at $1699. $700 is a lot to pay for a GPU.
Actually $1699 is a lot to pay for an iMac if you really don't want an all in one.
It's a shame that Intel has killed external GPU thunderbolt solutions by not certifying any.
Actually I have just the opposite opinion. By not certifying any solutions Intel frees the market from idiots complaining about poor performance over TB. Of course the performance results would be highly variable but you would have a hard time explaining that to some midnight gamer who believes he is a technical hotshot.
Beyond that, everything I know about electronics and computers says to me the the GPU will only get closer to the CPU. Future performance increases in low cost machines will come from highly integrated chips feed with real fast RAM arrays. The GPU will need to be not only physically close to the CPU it needs to be logically close. We are already seeing significant payoffs in this regard and we have yet to see the Heterogeneous systems that the likes of AMD have been harping about for years now. Apple with its Intel Haswell based systems is probably the closest any manufacture has come to extensive use of an "APU" in a heterogeneous type system yet has a ways to go. It won't take much in the way of future enhancements to discount the need for a discreet GPU for many users. So if Intel has been a little over bearing with regards to TB and GPU's I think they are on the right path. In a year or two the demand won't be there and in the mean time they eliminate the negativity that would most certainly come with under performing GPU over TB solutions.
By the way, the Mini could use TB2 also. For server uses that would make for a nice upgrade to the platform.
This drag on the arrival of a Haswell bumped Mini has me believing that we will see a new platform early in 2014. Everything I've seen indicates terrible sales so Apple might try to breath new life into the machine with a new chassis and other technologies.Edited by wizard69 - 12/26/13 at 12:22pm