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2014 Mac mini Wishlist - Page 30

post #1161 of 1452
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

In what way did Intel screw up the Xeon in the Mac Pro. Of course there's a server focus because it's a server chip and the vast majority of Xeons will go into servers and not workstations with far less need for extra PCIe lanes.
There is an article someplace on the net where an Intel engineer / manager was talking to reporters at launch where the question of PCI Express lanes came up. She acknowledged that several customers had expressed disappointment with the number of PCI Express lanes. With the shift to high speed SSD storage those PCI Express lanes are becoming very important even in server class machines. In effect they screwed up and customers have let them know this.
Quote:
And since when was it late? Did intel promise a launch date before?
It was suppose to come at the end of summer into the fall of last year.
Quote:
"In October of last year we reported on new Xeon E7-2800 v2, E7-4800 v2 and E7-8800 v2 CPUs, expected to launch this quarter. The processors will utilize Ivy Bridge architecture, and will have 50% more cores and 25% more cache than the first generation of Xeon E7 products, that were built on Nehalem architecture. In total, there will be 21 different models. Using multiple sources, like this one (PD file), we were able to come up with specifications for most of these processors."

http://www.cpu-world.com/news_2014/2014020201_Specifications_of_Xeon_E7_v2_processors.html

No mention of them being months late but rather appearing as expected.

Maybe plans have changed but there was an expectation of an earlier launch.

It should be noted that Intel has high expectations for this processor and a correspondingly high price to go with it. What would be interesting to see, by the fall of this year for a Mac Pro refresh is a variant that brings back the PCI express lanes yet leaves all of the improvements in place. There is potential here as the 15 core chip has 5 core complexes so a ten core machine is doable.
post #1162 of 1452

Intel sees the writing on the wall. 

 

Lenovo buys IBM's server biz for 2.3 Billion

 

The market for lower end server CPU is rapidly dwindling.   Virtualization has won.   You're only going to make money selling the big iron stuff if you're Intel.  Expect the scale of low to mid level chips to be reduced in the next few years. 

 

Even Mobile CPU will face a challenge.   Tablets make for an already nice compromise.  How much R&D is Intel going to put in their mobile lineup when the fat of the market becomes tablet class architectures? 

 

Barring a stumble I expect Apple to continue to hone their skills developing the Ax series processors.  Eventually they'll make a go of a desktop class ARM architecture SoC.   The advantages are clear. 

 

1.  They decide when to rollout new hardware rather than be tied to Intel's release cycle. 

2.  They design the processor to meet their software needs 

3.  Cost -  ARM is going to remain the cheaper option for now. 

 

Cons 

 

No Thunderbolt, PCI-Express, virtualization 

 

More low level OS X stuff needs to be supported on ARM. 

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post #1163 of 1452
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post
 

OS X on ARM is really close. Most API run on both ARM (iOS) & OS X and Xcode targets them just fine. Rosetta is dead

 

OSX on ARM works just fine today somewhere on Apple's campus but you still need to recompile.  And then we'll end up with fat binaries again.  And it'll be dog slow given the A7 is equivalent to a Core 2 Duo or a 2.5W Bay Trail Atom.

 

There's zero advantage in running OSX on ARM vs Intel on the desktop.  Not even on price given the Bay Trails are supposed to go into relatively inexpensive tablets.

post #1164 of 1452
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


Apple can address the no software issue with a simple deadline. In XCode a simple recompile would take care of that. Frankly I think most developers would be happy to support Apple with this sort of initiative.

 

As long as those developers are still actively working on that software.  Or thinks compiling for just the mini, retesting and handling another SKU worth the effort.

 

And no, Apple won't simply issue an ultimatum.  Time and time again we see that Apple is very patient with developers and provides great support for transitions.

 

Quote:
As to performance iPad Air already performs to the level of a 2010 computer. Up the clock rate a bit and Apple can be very closer to today's best chips and a lot better than many of the discount computers selling in that price range. At this point they might as well wait for A8 too.

 

No, it performs at the level of a 2008 computer.  And that's fine for light tasks but not for desktop use.

 

Quote:
Obviously success here depends upon how far Apple can up the clock rate of the current A7 and future A8. That ability depends a bit upon how much they are restricting clock rate simply to manage power usage. There is enough evidence, based on 64 bit hardware announced by AMD, that ARMs 64 bit architecture can be clocked much higher and give respectable performance.

 

And none of those compare favorably with the Core i5 much less the Core i7 in the current minis.  You're talking about neutering Apple's best bang for the buck computer.

post #1165 of 1452
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

There is an article someplace on the net where an Intel engineer / manager was talking to reporters at launch where the question of PCI Express lanes came up. She acknowledged that several customers had expressed disappointment with the number of PCI Express lanes. With the shift to high speed SSD storage those PCI Express lanes are becoming very important even in server class machines. In effect they screwed up and customers have let them know this.

 

When you find this article let me know.  There are 40 PCIe 3.0 lanes in comparison to 16+4 lanes in a Core i7.  And given that it is socket compatible with Sandy Bridge Xeons there's no way to get more lanes anyway so how the hell anyone is disappointed is beyond me.

 

And that's 40 lanes per socket with dual QPI links between CPUs so if Apple REALLY felt like there wasn't enough PCIe lanes they'd have gone with a dual CPU configuration and 80 PCIe 3.0 lanes.

 

And there's a limit to how many PCIe SSDs can be deployed on one server currently anyway.  Even the new servers designed with PCIe SSDs in mind have limited PCIe SSD capabilities.  For example one of the new Dells has 4 front panel PCIe SSD slots + 7 more internal PCIe slots.  You could do some kind of dense pack like IBM but with 40 lanes of PCIe 3.0 you can support up to 20 PCIe SSDs minus whatever you are using for the GPUs.  This is done by using 8 lanes of PCIe 3.0 into a PCIe bridge to generate a x4 PCIe 2.0 channel for each of four PCIe SSD controllers.

 

A little short of 2GB/s but on the Mac Pro the SSD uses 4 PCI 2.0 lanes off the C600 PCH for 2GB/s but the PCH is talking to the CPU via a 2GB/s DMI.  Meaning in the Mac Pro that SSD is competing with ethernet/wireless and USB 3.0 throughput on the 2GB/s DMI link.  So splitting 7.8GB/s into 1.95 GB/s for each SSD controller should be okay.

 

Quote:
It should be noted that Intel has high expectations for this processor and a correspondingly high price to go with it. What would be interesting to see, by the fall of this year for a Mac Pro refresh is a variant that brings back the PCI express lanes yet leaves all of the improvements in place. There is potential here as the 15 core chip has 5 core complexes so a ten core machine is doable.

 

"Brings back the PCI express lanes" from where?  The E7 parts added more QPI lanes but still only have 40 lanes of PCIe per socket.  Of course if you go 4 way then you have up to 160 lanes available + 16 DMI lanes.

post #1166 of 1452
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post
 

Intel sees the writing on the wall. 

 

Lenovo buys IBM's server biz for 2.3 Billion

 

The market for lower end server CPU is rapidly dwindling.   Virtualization has won.   You're only going to make money selling the big iron stuff if you're Intel.  Expect the scale of low to mid level chips to be reduced in the next few years. 

 

Why?  Because they are going to use ARM or something?  Low end servers aren't necessarily dwindling, they're moving from the IT shops and into cloud providers.  And obviously Lenovo thinks there's a market there.

 

Brawny cores still beat wimpy cores, most of the time 

 

Urs Hölzle 
Google 

 

Slower but energy efficient “wimpy” cores only win for general workloads if their single-core speed is reasonably close to that of mid-range “brawny” cores. 

 

http://static.googleusercontent.com/external_content/untrusted_dlcp/research.google.com/en/us/pubs/archive/36448.pdf

 

And VMWare seems to think the same:

 

"We are skeptical that chips [from] outside of Intel and Advanced Micro Devices’ x86 [architecture] will find much uptake outside of niche use cases. Even if you could drop the power consumption of x86 by 25%, it would not make that much of a difference. Chip architectures don’t change because of 25% power improvements. You have got to have 10x power improvements to make that happen,” said Pat Gelsinger at EMC and VMware strategic forum for institutional investors."

 

http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/other/display/20130313235700_Chief_Exec_of_VMware_ARM_Chips_Will_Play_a_Niche_Role_on_Server_Market.html

 

/shrug

 

I think that server CPUs at all levels have a place in these cloud compute farms and ISP colos.

post #1167 of 1452
Thread Starter 
With Intel delaying Broadwell, what does this mean for the future?
post #1168 of 1452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

With Intel delaying Broadwell, what does this mean for the future?

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said Next-gen Broadwell chip: The company expects Broadwell -- the successor to the current Haswell used in PCs -- production to start later in the first quarter. Broadwell's release: "still second half of 2014. Squarely on target.".  

 

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-57617372-92/intel-ceo-talks-delayed-factory-broadwell-production-start/

 

I'm not sure what's going on these days.  We haven't gotten much out of Apple.  I'm stuck with Lion until they manage to get out new hardware.  I've never been two OS's behind before.  It's so uncomfortable hitting that wall.  There's absolutely no way I can buy a current version Mac Mini now after it's received absolutely no attention from the Engineers at Apple for over a year.  They ought to be ashamed to sell something as "new" when they know full well it's outdated.  I think the most upsetting thing about the Mac Mini is that it's the bastard red-headed step-child that Johnny Ive kicks in the corner every chance he gets while making sure to never provide people the equivalent of an iMac in a headless configuration.  Might as well throw in a 600MHz G3 processor in there with 2GB of RAM.  He certainly doesn't care about the Mac Mini.  None of them there do.  It's flagrantly obvious when they bring out a new machine that doesn't deserve to be considered "current".  I'm proud of him and his team for the Mac Pro, but they need to realize that we're not all frickin' rich.  We don't want all-in-one's either.  We want a computer we can be proud of, not one we want to hide away so that no one sees that we're running something that was sluggish the day it was released.  What ever happened to raising the bar, rather than letting it hit your feet Ive?  Going to the Apple Store and seeing it offered as "new" is a slap in the face to everyone.  

It's time the Knight get off his butt and provide a Mac Mini that doesn't suck.  And the talk above about Mac's switching to ARM processors is designed to make people vomit right?  That's just the underpowered crap I'm talking about.  I'd love there to be a company out there that takes iMac's and guts them.  Puts them in a nice small case (and no I don't care if there's a fan or not), and sells them.  I'd buy one right away.  I don't want an all-in-one.  I don't want an underpowered piece of crap from the Knight.  You might think there'd be some Mac lovers that still work at Apple.  They certainly aren't around when the Mini is being created.  I've waited far too long for this to continue being kind about this issue.  It genuinely pisses me off that the people at Apple don't care unless it's the biggest seller.    

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post #1169 of 1452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Green View Post

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said Next-gen Broadwell chip:
 The company expects Broadwell -- the successor to the current Haswell used in PCs -- production to start later in the first quarter. Broadwell's release: "still second half of 2014. Squarely on target.".  

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-57617372-92/intel-ceo-talks-delayed-factory-broadwell-production-start/

The following article suggests later 2014:

http://semiaccurate.com/2014/02/19/sky-falling-intels-14nm-broadwell/

There's a Haswell refresh coming first:

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/132295-Rumor-Intel-Moves-Haswell-CPU-Refresh-From-May-to-April

They might be better off waiting until April.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Green View Post

There's absolutely no way I can buy a current version Mac Mini now after it's received absolutely no attention from the Engineers at Apple for over a year.

It's because hardly anyone buys them even when they update them. I reckon they should try ditching the entry model and just build one with the entry 15" MBP chip with Iris Pro. This pushes up the average selling price at least.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Green View Post

And the talk above about Mac's switching to ARM processors is designed to make people vomit right That's just the underpowered crap I'm talking about.

That's a misconception with ARM, they wouldn't use 2W chips in a machine designed to handle 45W. They could use 4x A7s and it would rival a 2011 MBP quad-i7 with a much lower TDP and likely cost over $200 less, although they'd have to add a laptop GPU on top.

It would be incompatible with a lot of software but they could do binary translation like they did with PPC and it wouldn't be near as noticeable a performance hit. No VMWare or native Windows (except maybe RT) but it would be a very low power server and run cooler.

They can perhaps just make the server model have the ARM chip and make the desktop one use the i7 with the server one at $599. The server one would even get away with using a PowerVR GPU.
post #1170 of 1452
Thread Starter 
I need a new mini at some point so a Haswell refresh will work for me but I thought that was only for desktops not mobile. Is there a new roadmap? I'll have to look that up.
post #1171 of 1452

Marvin, I appreciate your comments, though I see things from a different perspective.  The Engineering team handicapped the Mac Mini from the very beginning.  No rational observer of this can then say that no one is buying them even with updates.  They are grossly underpowered, not given nearly enough GPU performance, and only given bare minimum requirements in Ram and storage.  This is not the work of someone who wants a product to succeed.  The engineers at Apple need to provide a machine that people actually want, and it's not a gutless wonder like they have now.  Anyone with an IQ of above my birthweight knows that.

 

The ARM argument you offered further proves my point.  You said, "They could use 4x A7s and it would rival a 2011 MBP quad-i7 with a much lower TDP and likely cost over $200 less, although they'd have to add a laptop GPU on top."

 

​So let me get this straight, you're basically saying you're cool with a computer powered to 2011 levels being sold in 2014?  Three years old performance.  And just remember, you'll own that computer for at least five years, unless you get pissed off with its molasses-like speed and use it for target practice before then.  It's just this sort of thing that I'm wholly against.  We don't need to put out products that are old tech the very minute they are packaged.  We need something that can stand on it's own.  That's why I'm so pissed at the engineers at Apple.  They aren't even trying.  Every time Johnny Ive gets up and waxes poetic about his latest and greatest designs, I'd love to go up, stop his performance and hand him a Mac Mini.  Right in front of everyone.  And tell him to talk about his worst work.  There's absolutely no way that he can feel proud of the Mac Mini.  He's not even making an attempt at a current product.  I don't want 2011 tech.  I want 2014 tech.  At this point I'd even be willing to have them supply the motherboard to the iMac.  It's not that big.  Put the thing in a housing with a fan, and sell it to us.  At least then we'd have a decent computer that could run circles around a Mac Mini.  This lowest-level laptop configuration is just an insult.  The worst thing about it is that we don't have any choice unless we go hackintosh, and that's not something I'm willing to do.  

 

I want the engineers at Apple to make a Mac Mini that doesn't underperform.  Hasn't happened yet.

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post #1172 of 1452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Green View Post

They are grossly underpowered, not given nearly enough GPU performance, and [/COLOR]only given bare minimum requirements in Ram and storage.

That's because of the profit margins. If they give up the margins like PC manufacturers, it's not worth doing. I partly agree on the GPU, which is why I think they should use Iris Pro this time in the higher model but I don't think it's going to change the demand for the Mini.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Green View Post

The ARM argument you offered further proves my point, you're basically saying you're cool with a computer powered to 2011 levels being sold in 2014?  Three years old performance.

Those weren't equivalent options. The i7 is a 45W chip, 4x A7 is still well below that. ARM is ahead in performance-per-watt (Intel has fabricated benchmarks to prove otherwise though). Pick a Wattage and ARM will be faster and cheaper.

I'm not saying it's the right thing for Apple to do because the thing about desktops/laptops is they aren't the growth market any more so it doesn't really benefit them to screw around with it. I just think ARM has some advantages. For a server model, who knows it might be a better option. Servers all run custom software anyway.
post #1173 of 1452
Quote:

Originally Posted by Brian Green View Post

I don't want 2011 tech.  I want 2014 tech.  At this point I'd even be willing to have them supply the motherboard to the iMac.  It's not that big.  Put the thing in a housing with a fan, and sell it to us.  At least then we'd have a decent computer that could run circles around a Mac Mini.  This lowest-level laptop configuration is just an insult.  The worst thing about it is that we don't have any choice unless we go hackintosh, and that's not something I'm willing to do.  

 

I want the engineers at Apple to make a Mac Mini that doesn't underperform.  Hasn't happened yet.

 

It's not quite as extreme as that. The cpus for the current models came out mid 2012, not 2011. "2014 tech" may not be available in volume prior to Q3. It will probably make it to the mini much later. I remain unsure what they'll do at the moment given that they used to follow the notebooks, and the notebooks went to more expensive cpu options. Interestingly for a lot of things that do not have to deal with opengl drawing in 3 dimensions, a refreshed mini could be basically on par with other systems for real world use.

post #1174 of 1452

Marvin, in regard to the server option, I'm not going to debate that point because I've never once run a server, nor am I inclined to ever do so.  If that's what server folks want, let them have it.  

 

I'm discussing headless Macs from a user perspective.  The demand for the Mini is something that Apple has to actually work at creating.  The problem is that they don't even do that.  They don't provide an appealing model that has the latest hardware inside, they don't advertise AT ALL, and they don't even display them in the stores half the time.  As for the argument that peripherals cost too much, they aren't actually listening to us.  WE ALREADY HAVE THEM!!!  We just need a new machine.  I'd love nothing more than to ask Tim Cook why I need to buy an iMac when I have an awesome 30" ACD on my desk.  I'd actually love to hear his answer.  I haven't heard it yet, though.

 

And hmm, I understand what you're saying regarding volume of chips, but Apple doesn't sell many Mac Mini's anyway because of their dismally awful advertising and presentation of the headless Mac.  Surely there's enough chips to handle the volume they have.  They simply choose not to do it.  It's like they go into the scrap bin and get all the stuff no one else wants at Apple and uses that to make the Mini.  It's an embarrassment.  and your comment about open GL was right on the money.  If we start making exceptions here, and exceptions there, sure it's just like any other computer, so long that all you ever use it for is Microsoft Word.  Arguments like that infuriate me.  Do these people think that no one buys DSLR's with high megapixel counts?  Ever tried editing high definition footage above 1080p?  This isn't stuff that's complex.  I have a GoPro that records 1440p, and it's just this little waterproof cube.  I guess I fall into the "prosumer" category, but after you put some decent Ram into the Mac Pro, it's easily over $5k.  

 

It's not like Apple's giving us any options here.  We have a gutless wonder Mac Mini, and for the rich, we have the Mac Pro.  What do people like me have?  Um.  Nothing.  Tim Cook ought to address that issue.  And forget the iMac.  I already own the screen I want, I certainly don't want another.

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post #1175 of 1452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Green View Post
 Every time Johnny Ive gets up and waxes poetic about his latest and greatest designs, I'd love to go up, stop his performance and hand him a Mac Mini.  Right in front of everyone.  And tell him to talk about his worst work. 

 

I like the way you think.

post #1176 of 1452

To be fair, Ive's a designer not an engineer.

 

The problem with the current Mini is inside the machine, not the exterior.

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post #1177 of 1452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


The following article suggests later 2014:

http://semiaccurate.com/2014/02/19/sky-falling-intels-14nm-broadwell/

There's a Haswell refresh coming first:

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/132295-Rumor-Intel-Moves-Haswell-CPU-Refresh-From-May-to-April

They might be better off waiting until April.
 

It's unlikely that it would change much if anything. The mid generation bumps are typically .2 ghz on the same chip design if that. The article just talks about where intel was having problems.

 

Quote:

 

It's because hardly anyone buys them even when they update them. I reckon they should try ditching the entry model and just build one with the entry 15" MBP chip with Iris Pro. This pushes up the average selling price at least.

 

That's what they did with the mid range cpu option last year. It ditched discrete graphics and went to a more costly cpu. This time they have nothing to adjust that cost ratio, so I'm unsure what would happen. There's no absolute way of knowing if their current margins are high or low relative to rounding factor. By that I mean they always do it in increments of $100. There is some point where they decide to round up relative to the volume and importance of the product.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Green View Post

 

And hmm, I understand what you're saying regarding volume of chips, but Apple doesn't sell many Mac Mini's anyway because of their dismally awful advertising and presentation of the headless Mac.  Surely there's enough chips to handle the volume they have.  They simply choose not to do it.  It's like they go into the scrap bin and get all the stuff no one else wants at Apple and uses that to make the Mini.  It's an embarrassment.  and your comment about open GL was right on the money.  If we start making exceptions here, and exceptions there, sure it's just like any other computer, so long that all you ever use it for is Microsoft Word.  Arguments like that infuriate me.  Do these people think that no one buys DSLR's with high megapixel counts?  Ever tried editing high definition footage above 1080p?  This isn't stuff that's complex.  I have a GoPro that records 1440p, and it's just this little waterproof cube.  I guess I fall into the "prosumer" category, but after you put some decent Ram into the Mac Pro, it's easily over $5k.  

 

 

I didn't comment on the volume of chips. I said Apple used chips at a different price point with the current generation. Looking at 2011 they had discrete graphics and one chip in the middle version. 2012 they dropped discrete graphics but went with a more expensive cpu. This year the cpu cost went up again due to their choices. I don't anticipate a broadwell mini in the current year if they play their usual games with it. What did you like about the OpenGL comment? I mention OpenGL frequently. There's a board obsession with OpenCL, yet OpenGL is far more widespread. The entire concept of a workstation gpu was built around being tuned OpenGL performance with general computation coming later. Some of the lighter stuff may run quite well on the current generation of intel graphics. I can't guarantee it, but it's certainly possible. When it comes to computation where the gpu itself is better suited in the sense of floating point math performed across millions of elements, it doesn't necessarily have to be the beefiest one available.

 

Aside from all of that, rolling it out months later than everything else is complete garbage. They should have been able to release something by now.

post #1178 of 1452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Green View Post

It's not like Apple's giving us any options here.  We have a gutless wonder Mac Mini, and for the rich, we have the Mac Pro.  What do people like me have?  Um.  Nothing.  Tim Cook ought to address that issue.  And forget the iMac.  I already own the screen I want, I certainly don't want another.

The Macbook Pro is a pretty good option (it has a screen but you can run it closed if you want) and is one of the machines they keep updated regularly. It has the same CPUs as the Mini. It costs more new but the refurbs are ok:

http://store.apple.com/us/product/FD103LL/A
http://store.apple.com/us/product/FE664LL/A
http://store.apple.com/us/product/FE293LL/A/

If you'd have gotten a Mini with core-i7 and dedicated GPU at $999, the 2012 MBP for $1449 isn't that much of a premium. The 2012 model is the one that lets you easily upgrade RAM and HDD. The downside is only having two USB ports but besides that, not much difference and it won't use all that much desk space.
post #1179 of 1452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
 

To be fair, Ive's a designer not an engineer.

 

The problem with the current Mini is inside the machine, not the exterior.

Frank777, I stand corrected, I had always thought that Johnny Ivy was responsible for the Mac Mini because he's the one who talks about the internals during keynotes.  According to Apple's website, Dan Riccio (a man I've never even heard of) is responsible for the engineering of the Macs. It should be him who we bring out on stage and ask him to explain himself for the gutless wonder known as the Mac Mini.  He also is primarily responsible for why an XMac (though I still think they ought to bring back the cube design, just not see through) has never been offered to Mac users because it might just cut into their iMac sales.

https://www.apple.com/pr/bios/dan-riccio.html

 

Tim Cook said that they haven't forgotten about the Mac, but he's given us absolutely nothing to support his statement.  At this point it's no different than NASA saying that they haven't forgotten about the Moon.  The Mac Mini was last updated in October 2012, and it wasn't that great of an update.  Put a fan in the thing and give us some real power for a change.

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post #1180 of 1452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


The Macbook Pro is a pretty good option (it has a screen but you can run it closed if you want) and is one of the machines they keep updated regularly. It has the same CPUs as the Mini. It costs more new but the refurbs are ok:

http://store.apple.com/us/product/FD103LL/A
http://store.apple.com/us/product/FE664LL/A
http://store.apple.com/us/product/FE293LL/A/

If you'd have gotten a Mini with core-i7 and dedicated GPU at $999, the 2012 MBP for $1449 isn't that much of a premium. The 2012 model is the one that lets you easily upgrade RAM and HDD. The downside is only having two USB ports but besides that, not much difference and it won't use all that much desk space.

Marvin, I appreciate what you're saying, but you're missing the point.  People are expecting us to buy a computer that doesn't meet our needs.  We're paying for a screen that we don't want, a keyboard we don't want, etc.  Just take the motherboard out and give us a decent Mac.  They could have done that with the iMac motherboard (it's insanely small) but they choose to handicap headless Mac's that aren't for the rich.  I thought of just buying a top of the line MBP and keeping the thing closed and hiding it under my desk, but it's the point of the matter.  They have this stuff readily available and they are refusing to give us a great Mac that doesn't come with all the stuff we don't want built into it.  

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post #1181 of 1452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Green View Post


Arguments like that infuriate me.  Do these people think that no one buys DSLR's with high megapixel counts?  Ever tried editing high definition footage above 1080p?  This isn't stuff that's complex.  I have a GoPro that records 1440p, and it's just this little waterproof cube.  I guess I fall into the "prosumer" category, but after you put some decent Ram into the Mac Pro, it's easily over $5k.  

The 2012 mini handles high MP raw just fine in aperture with max ram and ssds or raid.

For cs6 some things are slower:

http://barefeats.com/imac12p.html

If you are doing a lot of tilt/blur or liquefy filters you will be moderately unhappy but these should be decent if there is a haswell update.

If you want to edit in 1440p I guess you can. I'd probably drop down to 1080p since that's my target output anyway.

The pro apps test for premiere look about the same as for Photoshop:

http://barefeats.com/imac12p2.html

If you do certain GPU functions a lot then the mini isn't so great. On the other hand if you're just using iMovie it's probably just fine.

/shrug

The 2012 Mac mini was a powerhouse for the price with the core i7. A year and a half later it's just okay but a haswell mini would the a powerhouse again even for most prosumers.

Some pros run CS6 and FCPX on their 13" MBPs and MBAs. Even the 2012 ones with the HD4000 much less the new ones. Granted at their office they have much more powerful machines but on the road that's the trade off they made vs a 15" MBP.
post #1182 of 1452

nht, Haswell has been out since last summer if I remember correctly.  Here we are in February (more than half a year gone by) and what do we have to show for it?  Nothing.  HD4000 graphics isn't anything to be proud of.  I've played with them.  I'm not a gamer, but I have friends who are.  I've gotten to see the frame rates and they leave much to be desired.  

 

The dinosaur I'm on now (MacPro2,1) is being put out to pasture as soon as the new Mac Minis are released.  I no longer need insane power like I did in 2007, but I want something that'll last several years without feeling as laggy as the dinosaur I'm on now.  Waiting this long for a good update to current technology is rough.  The HD4000 was the reason I didn't buy the last version.  I know I'm being picky now, but I'd love a redesign, preferably something that allows easy swapping of memory and hard drives.

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post #1183 of 1452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Green View Post
  I know I'm being picky now, but I'd love a redesign, preferably something that allows easy swapping of memory and hard drives.

You're more likely to retain that without a redesign.

post #1184 of 1452
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post
 

You're more likely to retain that without a redesign.

hmm, I would have thought that too until I saw the new Mac Pro and how easy it is to get at everything.  It truly is an amazing design.  If they put that same wisdom toward the Mac Mini, things will be very good indeed.  It's the delay that's killing me.

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post #1185 of 1452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Green View Post
 

hmm, I would have thought that too until I saw the new Mac Pro and how easy it is to get at everything.  It truly is an amazing design.  If they put that same wisdom toward the Mac Mini, things will be very good indeed.  It's the delay that's killing me.


I wasn't sure they would go full thunderbolt. Even today the peripheral cost can be a significant addition, which must be paid for upfront. A lot of the predictions were complete nonsense from people with little tech knowledge. For example several people predicted soldered memory and cpus, when the chipset and cpus used by the mac pro do not currently support those things. The cpu one was even more laughable, because it implied that it would somehow benefit Apple to do that with low volume $2k+ cpus. The mini is a completely different line, so they could do it. I don't think they would gain anything from it, but they could do it. If you look at a rmbp, the soldered memory takes up significantly more area on the logic board surface. It allowed for a thinner design, and Stephen King got to cash his royalty check from Apple. I don't think they would solder it just to solder it. The issue is that if they redesign the mini, access to its internal components is not likely to be viewed as a design priority.

post #1186 of 1452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Green View Post

you're missing the point.  People are expecting us to buy a computer that doesn't meet our needs. We're paying for a screen that we don't want, a keyboard we don't want, etc.  Just take the motherboard out and give us a decent Mac.  They could have done that with the iMac motherboard (it's insanely small) but they choose to handicap headless Mac's that aren't for the rich.  I thought of just buying a top of the line MBP and keeping the thing closed and hiding it under my desk, but it's the point of the matter. They have this stuff readily available and they are refusing to give us a great Mac that doesn't come with all the stuff we don't want built into it.

The same point has been expressed for close to a decade now, including by me years ago - it hasn't been missed. The point not being gotten is that it clearly doesn't make much difference for Apple.

IDC thinks that 135 million desktops and 180 million laptops were sold in 2013, total 315m. HP and Lenovo are the two biggest around 16%. This gives them around 50 million per year each. Apple sells roughly 20 million Macs (about 6% share), 25% are desktops and dropping.

That means in order to be the biggest PC manufacturer on the merit of their desktops and laptops, Apple just has to grow less than 3x in unit shipments. But, the way they do that is at the low-end. Because they use the same components as other manufacturers, that means cutting the margins. PC manufacturers are falling over themselves trying to boost volumes and making very little profit:

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jan/09/pc-value-trap-windows-chrome-hp-dell-lenovo-asus-acer

"the weighted average selling price (ASP) of a PC has fallen from $614.60 in the first quarter of 2010 to just $544.30 in the third quarter of 2013"

The average PC is cheaper than the cheapest Mac. This means over half the volume has to be below $544 for the entire package.

"by the third quarter of 2013, the weighted average profit had fallen to $14.87"

Apple makes around 25% net margins, 10x the PC counterparts so they could be making at least $150 on a Mini. So the idea that all Apple needs to revamp interest in the desktops is a decent Mini is unfounded. What they do by selling more Minis instead of iMacs is lose margins on display sales and peripherals and lower their average selling price.

They have very little reason to invest in it. Adding a good GPU isn't going to affect volume because it comes in at a higher price. They could drop the whole Mini lineup and it would make negligible difference to their income. It might even be a positive thing because it would push whatever remaining Mac server owners there are to buy Mac Pros and Mini owners to iMacs or laptops at a higher price.

I don't want to see them do that, I'd rather that they stuck with having a decent value desktop but it's negligible to their income and marketshare.

It doesn't really make a lot of sense to update the Mini now either because Haswell refresh is coming in April. If they can launch updated Macbook Airs and Macbook Pros in 2-4 months, why not bring the Mini along too? Haswell refresh isn't a significant CPU upgrade but there's a chance it can come with a GPU improvement.

The Mini will never be a model that they push because they'd rather sell you an iMac or Macbook Pro. Complaining about it isn't going to change that and hasn't changed it for 10 years. If you want to avoid having a reason to complain about lack of updates, buy a Macbook Pro because they are the biggest selling lineup and Apple will always cater to it. It doesn't matter if you are paying for more than you need (extra screen, battery etc), you are getting more than you need too and will end up using those benefits and it maintains a higher resale value.

I think if every Mac Mini owner switched to a MBP of some kind and used it for 3 years, getting the same quad-i7 CPU and dedicated GPU with regular upgrade options, they'd forget why they even bothered about the Mac Mini.
post #1187 of 1452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Green View Post

nht, Haswell has been out since last summer if I remember correctly.  Here we are in February (more than half a year gone by) and what do we have to show for it?  Nothing.
Actually the Haswell release got split between the mid summer and fall. Your point remains though it has been a very long time. This is why I suspect a major overhaul of the platform.
Quote:
 HD4000 graphics isn't anything to be proud of.  I've played with them.  I'm not a gamer, but I have friends who are.  I've gotten to see the frame rates and they leave much to be desired.  
HD 4000 is Intel just getting there and as you state isn't exactly something to be proud of. This isn't just a gaming issue either. Haswell goes a long ways to correcting this though.
Quote:

The dinosaur I'm on now (MacPro2,1) is being put out to pasture as soon as the new Mac Minis are released.  I no longer need insane power like I did in 2007, but I want something that'll last several years without feeling as laggy as the dinosaur I'm on now.
RAM is a very important feature that enable goo OS/X performance so if that laggy feel is a problem you might want to make sure you factor RAM into any new hardware buy. Haswell itself isn't a huge factor here unless you can leverage the GPU's, the thing is Haswell CPU did not get a significant performance boost. So any improvements are directly related to your ability to leverage the GPU.

On a side note HSA is the wave of the future. It promises a lot but one big issue is the impact RAM has on HSA systems performance. In a nutshell RAM needs to be a lot faster that DDR3 so I expect Apple to switch to either DDR4 or some other technology rather quickly. Faster RAM is the only way to really leverage the new integrated chips. The current Mini is well too mini to pack in quad channel memory, at least with DDR3 it is.

This makes me wonder if the hold up isn't so much Apple or Intel related as it might be other technologies like DDR4.
Quote:
 Waiting this long for a good update to current technology is rough.  The HD4000 was the reason I didn't buy the last version.
Frankly that is a very good reason.
Quote:
 I know I'm being picky now, but I'd love a redesign, preferably something that allows easy swapping of memory and hard drives.

Swapping of memory and hard drives may become a significant problem. I can see Apple soldering in the RAM just like they do on the laptops. As for hard drives I expect Apple to go SSD only in the Mini. In fact I'm expecting so in all machine relatively quickly.

In the end I can only think of two reasons for the delay. One is the model is about to be discontinued for something different. The other is that there is technology out there they are waiting on that simply isn't ready or possibly a little of both. The Mini suffers significantly from the iPads success so I'm thinking major overhaul to try to stimulate sales.
post #1188 of 1452
Thread Starter 
With a Haswell refresh, the same graphics would still be used (4600, 5100 and 5200) even on new processors correct? The i5-4258U would be fine for me but I would prefer the i7-4558U even though both are dual core.
post #1189 of 1452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

The same point has been expressed for close to a decade now, including by me years ago - it hasn't been missed. The point not being gotten is that it clearly doesn't make much difference for Apple.
It is pretty clear Apple doesn't care. I actually think the Mac line, the entire product line, was about to be jettison a few years ago. The problem is Apple has ignored the desktop product line for so long that it is no surprise at all that most of their sales go to laptops. Maybe the Mac Pro is an indictor that Apple has taken a renewed interest in desktops and has a major rework of its desktop product line in the works.

With iTunes, AppleTV and all the other media related stuff they are involved inI have a hard time understanding why they don't have a Mac that is better suited to act as a media server. Today of course it doesn't have to be a Mac per say, it could be an ARM based device for all I care.

In any event there are many missing products in Apples line up. I know they like to focus but I also know that markets and consumer needs change. A desktop lineup with no major changes in years is not a good thing.
Quote:

IDC thinks that 135 million desktops and 180 million laptops were sold in 2013, total 315m. HP and Lenovo are the two biggest around 16%. This gives them around 50 million per year each. Apple sells roughly 20 million Macs (about 6% share), 25% are desktops and dropping.
Dropping desktop sales are a reality, just walk into any store selling computers and this becomes obvious. That is not however justification for keeping a product line static.
Quote:
That means in order to be the biggest PC manufacturer on the merit of their desktops and laptops, Apple just has to grow less than 3x in unit shipments. But, the way they do that is at the low-end. Because they use the same components as other manufacturers, that means cutting the margins. PC manufacturers are falling over themselves trying to boost volumes and making very little profit:
Many of those manufactures will go the way of Kodak and other companies that failed to see where markets are going. The problem with Apple is that their hardware line up literally locks them out of many business because of their desktop line up. I've only recently seen compact form factor acceptance in business at all. Beyond that business still has huge need for machines with lots of ports and other features. Apple has no play here.
Quote:

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jan/09/pc-value-trap-windows-chrome-hp-dell-lenovo-asus-acer

"the weighted average selling price (ASP) of a PC has fallen from $614.60 in the first quarter of 2010 to just $544.30 in the third quarter of 2013"

The average PC is cheaper than the cheapest Mac. This means over half the volume has to be below $544 for the entire package.
More importantly is what are they selling in these machines. Many of these slow cost machines have very very low end processors that a Mini was never intended to compete against. This is one reason why I believe Apple could have significant success with an ARM based low end desktop. With the right chip they will effectively be able to compete on price with the i86 based machines and frankly give the customer better performance.

I know people like to dismiss ARM based chips here but the age of low performance is long gone. AMDs new A1100 clearly demonstrates what is possible with ARM technology, if Apples advancements aren't convincing enough. The thing here is that ARM gives Apple a way to attack its high price image while keeping relatively good margins. As PC prices fall it will become harder and harder to convince the entry level crowd that an Apple computer, that costs many times the cost of a PC is worth buying.

I could see Apple attacking this segment with an ARM based computer that is basically a keyboard with the computer integrated into it. Such a platform would have to be limited to about 10 to 15 watts total.
Quote:
"by the third quarter of 2013, the weighted average profit had fallen to $14.87"

Apple makes around 25% net margins, 10x the PC counterparts so they could be making at least $150 on a Mini. So the idea that all Apple needs to revamp interest in the desktops is a decent Mini is unfounded. What they do by selling more Minis instead of iMacs is lose margins on display sales and peripherals and lower their average selling price.
This argument has never flown with me.
Quote:
They have very little reason to invest in it. Adding a good GPU isn't going to affect volume because it comes in at a higher price. They could drop the whole Mini lineup and it would make negligible difference to their income. It might even be a positive thing because it would push whatever remaining Mac server owners there are to buy Mac Pros and Mini owners to iMacs or laptops at a higher price.
If you honestly believe that a Mini server owner would switch to a Mac Pro if Apple tired to force them to do so you are sadly mistaken. Just like with Xserve these customers will simply switch to another platform. Frankly the same thing applies to consumer owners of the Mini, forcing people to spend thousands when they know a few hundred will do the job is a sure way to loose customers. Apple doesn't need to loose customers they need to gain customers.
Quote:
I don't want to see them do that, I'd rather that they stuck with having a decent value desktop but it's negligible to their income and marketshare.
That is pretty much the case with the majority of PC manufactures these days. The desktop market is well hurting. However you don't abandon customers just because you don't give a damn about their needs.
Quote:
It doesn't really make a lot of sense to update the Mini now either because Haswell refresh is coming in April. If they can launch updated Macbook Airs and Macbook Pros in 2-4 months, why not bring the Mini along too? Haswell refresh isn't a significant CPU upgrade but there's a chance it can come with a GPU improvement.
We don't really know what Haswell redress will bring. intel has actually been a bit confused about what they are doing here. The impression I'm left with is that has well refresh is desktop focused.
Quote:
The Mini will never be a model that they push because they'd rather sell you an iMac or Macbook Pro. Complaining about it isn't going to change that and hasn't changed it for 10 years. If you want to avoid having a reason to complain about lack of updates, buy a Macbook Pro because they are the biggest selling lineup and Apple will always cater to it. It doesn't matter if you are paying for more than you need (extra screen, battery etc), you are getting more than you need too and will end up using those benefits and it maintains a higher resale value.
Some applications simply don't need a MBP. Beyond that I thought the theme of the thread was more or less: where is the new Mini? it is a reasonable question at this point.
Quote:
I think if every Mac Mini owner switched to a MBP of some kind and used it for 3 years, getting the same quad-i7 CPU and dedicated GPU with regular upgrade options, they'd forget why they even bothered about the Mac Mini.

As a MBP owner I'm pretty certain that is garbage. A MBP is a very nice laptop no doubt about that, but it is not a desktop machine and can not be slotted into some uses like a Mini can.
post #1190 of 1452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

With a Haswell refresh, the same graphics would still be used (4600, 5100 and 5200) even on new processors correct? The i5-4258U would be fine for me but I would prefer the i7-4558U even though both are dual core.

if these guys : http://www.cpu-world.com/news_2014/2014021801_Some_details_of_Haswell_Refresh_desktop_CPUs.html, are right there are only a few refreshes worth the effort. Those would be the ones going from dual to quad core. I believe these are all desktop chips but in the context of the Mini, it is hard to say for sure that Apple will stay with laptop processors. This report: is rather firm when it comes to Broadwell: http://www.cpu-world.com/news_2014/2014021701_Intel_mobile_CPU_roadmap_for_2014.html

Of course I don't know who to believe when if comes to what Intel will deliver this year. As far as desktop processors go it looks to be a bleak as this winter. Maybe Intel will deliver Broadwell earlier than some of these reports but I wouldn't bet on this as a sure thing. At the rate Intel is going Apple could have a 14 nm A series chip on the market before Intel delivers 14 nm Broadwell.

All that being said I would imagine Apple is pushing Intel really really hard to have something to update the Mac Book Airs with before mid summer. This platform is huge with students and as such they need to roll out a product before the back to school buying season. Broadwell and the Air would be like peanut butter and jelly, they just compliment each other.
post #1191 of 1452
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

On a side note HSA is the wave of the future. It promises a lot but one big issue is the impact RAM has on HSA systems performance. In a nutshell RAM needs to be a lot faster that DDR3 so I expect Apple to switch to either DDR4 or some other technology rather quickly. Faster RAM is the only way to really leverage the new integrated chips. The current Mini is well too mini to pack in quad channel memory, at least with DDR3 it is.

 

The jury is out whether HSA (as defined by AMD) is the future or not.

 

"It’s impossible to evaluate the long-term potential of HSA at this point; we’ve seen three feature-specific demonstrations of a capability that Intel hasn’t necessarily been able to optimize for. If these early figures are any indication, HSA can dramatically accelerate certain operations, but the amount of improvement varies a great deal from application to application. If HSA-enabled applications can offer the same kind of acceleration we see in LibreCalc, then the long-term value proposition of AMD’s APUs is excellent. If, on the other hand, the performance improvement looks more like what we see from Corel After Shot Pro, then the long-term opportunity is very different."

 

http://www.extremetech.com/computing/174632-amd-kaveri-a10-7850k-and-a8-7600-review-was-it-worth-the-wait-for-the-first-true-heterogeneous-chip/6

 

Given that Haswell runs fine with DDR3 there's no need for the Mini to go DDR4 this cycle...especially since the only product that will support DDR4 is Haswell-E which is an 8 core product not likely to be in the Mini.

 

To me "not in 2014" equates to "not quickly".

Quote:

Swapping of memory and hard drives may become a significant problem. I can see Apple soldering in the RAM just like they do on the laptops. As for hard drives I expect Apple to go SSD only in the Mini. In fact I'm expecting so in all machine relatively quickly.

 

There is little advantage in Apple soldering in RAM on the mini.  For one thing it would greatly increase the board footprint for the RAM  The mini is small but tall (relatively speaking) while laptops are big but thin in terms of board space. Soldering makes sense if you want to make something as thin as possible and you have surface area to trade in return.

 

Given that Apple has chosen to equip the base model iMacs with HDDs the probability that the mini will go SSD is iffy this go around.  Possible, but iffy.

 

In any case, it is likely you'll be able to buy 3rd party SSDs at some point for them.

 

Quote:
In the end I can only think of two reasons for the delay. One is the model is about to be discontinued for something different. The other is that there is technology out there they are waiting on that simply isn't ready or possibly a little of both. The Mini suffers significantly from the iPads success so I'm thinking major overhaul to try to stimulate sales.

 

Or simply that they see a haswell mini too close in performance to the iMac and wish to delay the haswell upgrade until later this year.  iPad sales probably have little impact on Mini sales.  Mini use cases are not well suited for replacement by an iPad.  MBAs might be impacted by iPads.

 

As Marvin states, losing Mini sales and gaining an iMac sales is great for Apple.  Losing an iMac sale in favor of a mini sale is bad for Apple.

post #1192 of 1452
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

It is pretty clear Apple doesn't care. I actually think the Mac line, the entire product line, was about to be jettison a few years ago. The problem is Apple has ignored the desktop product line for so long that it is no surprise at all that most of their sales go to laptops. Maybe the Mac Pro is an indictor that Apple has taken a renewed interest in desktops and has a major rework of its desktop product line in the works.

 

Christ, there was a desktop refresh EVERY year since 2006 (intel transition) including a redesign in 2007 (Aluminum), 2009 (Unibody) and 2012 (Unibody Slim) for the iMac, 2010 for the Mini and 2013 for the Mac Pro.  At which point did Apple "ignored the desktop product line for so long"? 

 

Quote:
With iTunes, AppleTV and all the other media related stuff they are involved inI have a hard time understanding why they don't have a Mac that is better suited to act as a media server. Today of course it doesn't have to be a Mac per say, it could be an ARM based device for all I care.

 

In what way is a Mini poorly suited to act as a media server?

 

Quote:
In any event there are many missing products in Apples line up. I know they like to focus but I also know that markets and consumer needs change. A desktop lineup with no major changes in years is not a good thing.

 

No major changes except in 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013.

 

Quote:
Many of those manufactures will go the way of Kodak and other companies that failed to see where markets are going. The problem with Apple is that their hardware line up literally locks them out of many business because of their desktop line up. I've only recently seen compact form factor acceptance in business at all. Beyond that business still has huge need for machines with lots of ports and other features. Apple has no play here.

 

What huge need?  Most office machines need a few USB ports for a keyboard, mouse and a USB stick or drive at most.  What locks Apple out of many businesses is that it's not running Windows.  

 

Quote:
More importantly is what are they selling in these machines. Many of these slow cost machines have very very low end processors that a Mini was never intended to compete against. This is one reason why I believe Apple could have significant success with an ARM based low end desktop. With the right chip they will effectively be able to compete on price with the i86 based machines and frankly give the customer better performance.

 

Apple has never competed on hardware price.  Not in ipods, smartphones, tablets, computers, etc.  Even the inexpensive ipods were double the price of the cheap equivalents.

 

Quote:
I know people like to dismiss ARM based chips here but the age of low performance is long gone. AMDs new A1100 clearly demonstrates what is possible with ARM technology, if Apples advancements aren't convincing enough. 

 

The A1100, which is sampling next month and expecting real machines only in Q4, shows what exactly?  They've released exactly one spec (SPECint_rate of 80 for the 25W TDP part) and these are lower scores than the 20W C2750 Atom at 106.

 

These things will be good for webhosting and not a whole lot else.  And no, don't complain that it's only one benchmark because that's all they have provided.  You said these "clearly demonstrate".  In what way do they clearly demonstrate that ARM isn't still low performance relative to the chips that ship in the Mini?

 

Quote:
The thing here is that ARM gives Apple a way to attack its high price image while keeping relatively good margins. As PC prices fall it will become harder and harder to convince the entry level crowd that an Apple computer, that costs many times the cost of a PC is worth buying.

 

The entry level crowd will move to iPads.

 

Quote:
This argument has never flown with me.

 

Because margins are only half the story (sometimes less than half the story) as ASPs are equally if not more important.

 
Quote:
We don't really know what Haswell redress will bring. intel has actually been a bit confused about what they are doing here. The impression I'm left with is that haswell refresh is desktop focused.

 

There's no confusion.  No one is applying any pressure so Intel can do Haswell-E at 22nm instead of Broadwell at 14nm with little impact to desktop sales and have more bandwidth to concentrate on their mobile offerings.  For desktop users they get more cores, DDR4 and 40 PCIe lanes in 2014.  A reasonable spec bump.

post #1193 of 1452
Thread Starter 
But shouldn't Apple continue to use mobile processors in the mini and not use desktop or would that be wrong?
post #1194 of 1452
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I actually think the Mac line, the entire product line, was about to be jettison a few years ago.

That's their entire business. You can only develop for iOS with a Mac. The desktop line could be gotten rid of but not laptops and now isn't the time as long as it's profitable.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I know people like to dismiss ARM based chips here but the age of low performance is long gone. AMDs new A1100 clearly demonstrates what is possible with ARM technology

That's a good example:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7724/it-begins-amd-announces-its-first-arm-based-server-soc-64bit8core-opteron-a1100

64-bit, PCIe 3, DDR3/DDR4, 8-core 2GHz+, 25W, estimated $100.

Estimated performance doesn't look too good though:

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/01/29/dont-buy-amds-arm-server-hype.aspx

The price would be good but performance would have to be significantly better to be worth any switch to ARM. The stats AMD uses are a little strange too: 8 billion ARM CPUs shipped in 2013 vs 36 million x86 server CPUs. They are clearly including mobile devices but excluding the 300 million+ PCs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The desktop market is well hurting. However you don't abandon customers just because you don't give a damn about their needs.

People always say 'needs'. It's preferences. A 17" laptop isn't a need, it's a preference. A cheap headless desktop for desktop use isn't a need, it's a preference to an all-in-one. Apple chooses not to cater to every preference in equal measure.

Every company promotes their most profitable machines ahead of every other. For Apple, this is their laptop line, then it's the iMac. The Mac Mini is their least profitable Mac by a long way.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

A MBP is a very nice laptop no doubt about that, but it is not a desktop machine and can not be slotted into some uses like a Mini can.

Not every use case but most of them, certainly every case where it's used as a main working machine. The special use cases like a media center or server are fringe cases.

The MBP can support 95W of components, the Mini 45W. It's everything people request from the Mini. It has the same quad-core i7 and a dedicated GPU. It just happens to bundle a display and a battery, which is actually pretty useful as the machine can't shut off in a power cut. It would help if it was cheaper of course. Maybe a 13" $1599 core-i7 with Iris Pro.
post #1195 of 1452
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

 

 

The entry level crowd will move to iPads.

 

There's also the possibility that a portion of them will just use their phones if storage is not an issue.
 

Quote:

 

 

There's no confusion.  No one is applying any pressure so Intel can do Haswell-E at 22nm instead of Broadwell at 14nm with little impact to desktop sales and have more bandwidth to concentrate on their mobile offerings.  For desktop users they get more cores, DDR4 and 40 PCIe lanes in 2014.  A reasonable spec bump.

 

I wasn't aware of DDR4 in Haswell-E. Haswel-E is rumored to start at 6 cores, so the may also see a 50% core count increase in the entry model. I'm not sure about the higher end ones. Ivy was initially rumored to go to 10 cores rather than 12. I don't know whether that number will change.

post #1196 of 1452
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

Ivy was initially rumored to go to 10 cores rather than 12. I don't know whether that number will change.

Haswell-EP is supposed to go to 14-cores this year then 18-cores in 2015:

http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/cpu/display/20131220211018_Intel_Readies_18_Core_Xeon_Broadwell_EP_Microprocessors_for_Launch_in_2015_Report.html

With DDR4, the next Mac Pro either late 2014 or early 2015 will support up to 128GB RAM and should have 14-core at the top-end. A 6-core entry model makes sense to distinguish it from consumer processors - maybe Broadwell can bring a mainstream rather than enthusiast 6-core i7 but I doubt Haswell refresh will.
post #1197 of 1452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


Haswell-EP is supposed to go to 14-cores this year then 18-cores in 2015:

I guess that isn't surprising. They have been fairly consistent on increasing cores each generation, and they may not have other logic that is low enough in wattage at this point to be moved onto the die.
 

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With DDR4, the next Mac Pro either late 2014 or early 2015 will support up to 128GB RAM and should have 14-core at the top-end. A 6-core entry model makes sense to distinguish it from consumer processors - maybe Broadwell can bring a mainstream rather than enthusiast 6-core i7 but I doubt Haswell refresh will.

 

I think they'll give the mac pro at least a 12 month cycle on this one. It will require a new logic board, which is something that won't be needed for Haswell EP --> Broadwell EP. Typically intel's mid cycle refreshes merely involve a bump in base clock, not a redesigned chip. I don't see any scenario where they would go to 6 cores standard there. I don't know about Broadwell. I've been paying more attention to the idevices lately. I was hoping Apple would support OpenCL on them, due to something I want to write that would otherwise be very difficult. I find it a little strange that Apple went the route of allowing the use of the OpenGL ES framework for general computation rather than implementing OpenCL there.

post #1198 of 1452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

That's because of the profit margins. If they give up the margins like PC manufacturers, it's not worth doing. I partly agree on the GPU, which is why I think they should use Iris Pro this time in the higher model but I don't think it's going to change the demand for the Mini.
Priced right I might buy a Mini with an Iris Pro. The GPU is the one piece of the pie that has underwhelmed for some time.
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Those weren't equivalent options. The i7 is a 45W chip, 4x A7 is still well below that. ARM is ahead in performance-per-watt (Intel has fabricated benchmarks to prove otherwise though). Pick a Wattage and ARM will be faster and cheaper.
This is highly debatable, the Haswell CPU is very power effcient. We are dealing with moving target here though. I think what people mis when dissing the performance of ARM processors is that Apples current A7 is a low clocked processor. It does amazingly well considering it is Apples (the industries) first ARM 64 bit machine. It wouldn't take much at all for Apple to boost clock rate and enhance the processor a bit for the A8 variant. We talk of four cores but really six is easily doable. All one has to do is look at the micro photos to see more cores are no problem with a die shrink. For many users more cores are more useful than other enhancements and iOS and Mac OS readily support those cores.
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I'm not saying it's the right thing for Apple to do because the thing about desktops/laptops is they aren't the growth market any more so it doesn't really benefit them to screw around with it. I just think ARM has some advantages. For a server model, who knows it might be a better option. Servers all run custom software anyway.

Growth or not Apple can't ignore these markets. Frankly with the collapse of the Windows world, laptops and desktops currently are growth markets for Apple.

The big advantage for Apple is the ability to tailor the design for a specific purpose. In this regard they can deliver a laptop or Mini that has hardy performance at very low cost. As to servers it isn't a question of custom software so much, as server software is generally very portable. With the release of AMDs new server chip based around the ARM architecture we should start to see some interesting low cost machines by the end if the year. So even if an app isn't especially portable, porting to ARM will likely happen anyways.

In any event would I buy an ARM based Mini? It could happen if the iOS is Mac OS and not some closed derivative like iOS. They would have to deliver very good GPU performance but that isn't far away either. I'd be even more likely to buy if it is an ARM based laptop, again the performance needs to be there but there is a lot of potential for future iterations of the Imagination GPUs, combined with all those engineers Apple has hired away from AMD, I don't think we will see Apples ARM based chips lacking GPU performance for long.

The only other gating factor is TB2, I can see where I really would want this in the future. In this regards I can't imagine that Apple went all in with TB2 without a licensing deal with Intel to use the technology in its own products. It would have been very short sighted of them to go without a license. The reality is that in a very short time, with the help of TB2, your iPhone / iPad will be able to transform into a desktop machine simply by plugging into a TB2 based monitor / dock.
Edited by wizard69 - 2/22/14 at 6:35pm
post #1199 of 1452
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Originally Posted by nht View Post

The jury is out whether HSA (as defined by AMD) is the future or not.

"It’s impossible to evaluate the long-term potential of HSA at this point; we’ve seen three feature-specific demonstrations of a capability that Intel hasn’t necessarily been able to optimize for. If these early figures are any indication, HSA can dramatically accelerate certain operations, but the amount of improvement varies a great deal from application to application. If HSA-enabled applications can offer the same kind of acceleration we see in LibreCalc, then the long-term value proposition of AMD’s APUs is excellent. If, on the other hand, the performance improvement looks more like what we see from Corel After Shot Pro, then the long-term opportunity is very different."



 



http://www.extremetech.com/computing/174632-amd-kaveri-a10-7850k-and-a8-7600-review-was-it-worth-the-wait-for-the-first-true-heterogeneous-chip/6
This is meaningless commentary on a product that hasn't even had time for software to achieve normal optimization. Not to mention that you need operating system support to fully leverage the capability. In a nut shell it is far too early to pass judgement on HSA via app testing. It will likely take a couple of years for everything to develop properly.

The point here though is that the reasoning behind HSA is very sound and the architecture melds well with Apples directions in operating system and library design. Even then I would never expect GPU acceleration to work for everything. GPU acceleration is about leveraging the strengths of the GPU when you can.
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Given that Haswell runs fine with DDR3 there's no need for the Mini to go DDR4 this cycle...especially since the only product that will support DDR4 is Haswell-E which is an 8 core product not likely to be in the Mini.
The fact that Haswell implements a huge cache chip for Iris Pro is evidence that there is a bandwidth problem. Every bit of rational benchmarking on the net indicates clearly that more bandwidth is need for both Intel and AMDs processors.
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To me "not in 2014" equates to "not quickly".

There is little advantage in Apple soldering in RAM on the mini.  For one thing it would greatly increase the board footprint for the RAM  The mini is small but tall (relatively speaking) while laptops are big but thin in terms of board space. Soldering makes sense if you want to make something as thin as possible and you have surface area to trade in return.
Maybe a Mini built into a keyboard! Even in a more conventional design I can see Apple going this route. Each generation of Intel processors leads to a reduction in motherboard components and with Broadwell Intel is talking about what amounts to System on Chips with the high integration similar to Apples A series. Admittedly board space has been an issue in past machines but we are talking about future machines here. Sadly this is a list about a 2013 Mini and we have already run into 2014, so I don't know what is going on with the Mini. Maybe the designers at Apple had their eyes on the perfect Broadwell chip and Intel screwed up their plans.
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Given that Apple has chosen to equip the base model iMacs with HDDs the probability that the mini will go SSD is iffy this go around.  Possible, but iffy.
To me it boils down to how radical Apple wants to get with the design. On the flip side I see the iMac as targeting more demanding users so the Mini can easily be configured with lower capacity SSDs. An iMac wouldn't be salable with a drive less than 500 GB in my opinion.
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In any case, it is likely you'll be able to buy 3rd party SSDs at some point for them.


Or simply that they see a haswell mini too close in performance to the iMac and wish to delay the haswell upgrade until later this year.  iPad sales probably have little impact on Mini sales.  Mini use cases are not well suited for replacement by an iPad.  MBAs might be impacted by iPads.
I disagree, the Mini in my mind is the machine most exposed to suffer from the success of the iPad.
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As Marvin states, losing Mini sales and gaining an iMac sales is great for Apple.  Losing an iMac sale in favor of a mini sale is bad for Apple.

I hear this all the time and frankly I see it as total BS. The Mini brings many customers into the fold that might not otherwise consider a Mac. Each Mini sale is a potential future iMac, Mac Pro or laptop sale. Using this sort of logic the Mac book AIRs wouldn't even exist yet the AIRs have been Apples hottest selling notebooks at times. It doesn't matter if you are selling baseball bats, cars, condoms or anything else, one size does not fit all. Apple realizes this just like any other manufacture even though at times they are a little hard headed about it.
Edited by wizard69 - 2/22/14 at 7:03pm
post #1200 of 1452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

That's their entire business. You can only develop for iOS with a Mac. The desktop line could be gotten rid of but not laptops and now isn't the time as long as it's profitable.
I realize that but at the same time I think that was the direction Apple was heading. Sometime around 2011 or 2012 they seemed to have a change of heart.
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That's a good example:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7724/it-begins-amd-announces-its-first-arm-based-server-soc-64bit8core-opteron-a1100

64-bit, PCIe 3, DDR3/DDR4, 8-core 2GHz+, 25W, estimated $100.

Estimated performance doesn't look too good though:

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/01/29/dont-buy-amds-arm-server-hype.aspx
Actually I see that as damn good performance. Taken as a whole the chip offers a lot of features that will make it very compelling. Beyond that it is cores that makes or breaks servers not so much performance per core.
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The price would be good but performance would have to be significantly better to be worth any switch to ARM.
Not in the markets it will be competing in, which is the same markets Intel is trying to corner with the C2750.
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The stats AMD uses are a little strange too: 8 billion ARM CPUs shipped in 2013 vs 36 million x86 server CPUs. They are clearly including mobile devices but excluding the 300 million+ PCs.
People always say 'needs'. It's preferences. A 17" laptop isn't a need, it's a preference. A cheap headless desktop for desktop use isn't a need, it's a preference to an all-in-one. Apple chooses not to cater to every preference in equal measure.
It was to long ago that Apple had the master of using misleading specs at the helm.

As for the 17" it isn't a preference if you need it and frankly a lot of people needed it for the larger screen. I never bought one because realistically I never had a need. I could see Apple bringing back the large laptop simply to support a 4 k screen but let's be honest the demand is minimal.
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Every company promotes their most profitable machines ahead of every other. For Apple, this is their laptop line, then it's the iMac. The Mac Mini is their least profitable Mac by a long way.
I'm not buying that one either.
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Not every use case but most of them, certainly every case where it's used as a main working machine. The special use cases like a media center or server are fringe cases.
I own a MBP and frankly the reason I bought it all those years ago was that it had features the Mini didn't have.
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The MBP can support 95W of components, the Mini 45W. It's everything people request from the Mini. It has the same quad-core i7 and a dedicated GPU. It just happens to bundle a display and a battery, which is actually pretty useful as the machine can't shut off in a power cut. It would help if it was cheaper of course. Maybe a 13" $1599 core-i7 with Iris Pro.

Cheaper or not it still isn't an alternative to a Mini. You can fabricate any contrived justification you want but if some one doesn't want a laptop ( an all in one) the Mini is the only reasonably priced choice from Apple.
Edited by wizard69 - 2/22/14 at 7:44pm
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