Originally Posted by hmm
Iris is still significantly slower than the Iris pro in the quad chips.
Somewhat slower but a considerable step forward from previous years.
I'm curious what they'll do, as they moved to more costly cpu options in the macbook pros.
The smart move would be to wait for Intel chips that support DDR 4 RAM. If Haswell refresh brings us DDR4 RAM that would make for a nice Mini. The sad reality of all of these chips with integrated GPUs is that they are bandwidth limited, significantly faster RAM makes for better utilization of the hardware in the processor SoC.
For the last couple generations the mini has tracked the cpu choices of the 13 and 15" macbook pros fairly closely. It probably means less hardware to validate. I suspect that for their lower cost machines, they like to reuse engineering work wherever possible.
I suspect they where tired of customers complaining about the Minis high price an low performance. Unfortunately the Mini earned itself a bad reputation and many don't understand that it is a much better machine with the latest processors.
I could be wrong but I still think it is the end of the line for the Mini as we know it. Desktop sales in general have really tanked and the Mini has suffered along. I can see them offering an AppleTV like machine as an alternative for home users. That is a machine similar in concept to the Apple TV as we know it, that is a low cost platform, but with the ability to run apps along with a mix of Mini and AppleTV like functionality. I could see Apple offering a machine with 8GB of RAM, a high performance A8 and say 128GB of flash for $250.
Impossible you say. Well maybe not, if the machine is tied to ITunes and the App Store like ATV Apple can break even on the hardware and generate income from movies, apps and games. Frankly it would suck for those of us accustomed to unfettered access to their machines but for a generation of iPad users they might go all in. Hardware wise it is becoming very clear that Apples A7 is fully capable of driving such a machine and it only can be improved with A8. Imagine either chip running at say 2.5GHz instead of the current 1.6 GHz.
Of course in doing so Apple would turn the home computer market upside down. Income wouldn't be tied to hardware but rather software and services. Low end PC hardware wouldn't be able to compete.
In any event it is just an idea that floats through my head. I can see Apple possibly moving in many different directions, this is just one possibility. It is also a very home focused approach and shouldn't be confused with how they approach the professional markets.