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Leaked document reveals Intel 'Haswell' chips potentially bound for 2013 iMacs - Page 3

post #81 of 92
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Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


This may very well be the case, Minis as server have gotten a lot of press in the past. My only point here is that there is nothing really special about the Mini "server" relative to other Minis. It really is a case of marketing.

That's what I was saying before. The name there allows them to push it as a server to those who haven't already considered the possibility. It also allows them to maintain a product in the brick and mortar shops with a server OS. It's not bad for a lighter duty server. You don't have options like traffic shaping, but the bandwidth isn't there anyway. Some smaller businesses may not regularly saturate such a thing, even if use it as something like an ftp server. I've known plenty of shops of under 10 people including the owners that lacked T1 lines.

 

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That is sort of the point, you can't go much lower performance wise for a server.

I would say there are valid use cases where it's a reasonable fit both in price and functionality, especially for people that are scared of Linux. Ironically Linux can in some cases be more expensive to implement in spite of being Open Source.

 

 

 

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Hopefully Intel will fix their driver issues. I agree a second TB port could be useful on the Mini but honestly you can't give up the USB ports. So Apple would need to find a way to squeeze everything into the back.

 

I'm not sure if you read about the HDMI problems with the HD 4000. I'm not sure if OpenCL is supported yet under OSX. It wasn't initially, and the chipset can only support 1.1.

 

 

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As for TB I wish I had the resources as there are a few ideas floating around in my head that could really leverage TB.

 

Thunderbolt may take some time to really catch on. The talks of future speed increases and newer chips don't entirely benefit its potential adoption rates, as oems obviously want to recoup development costs before they have to start over. It has to leverage something to really push adoption rates. Certification of devices seems to be a big hurdle. The chips impose higher costs and specific design requirements. I was really puzzled when people would post thunderbolt being semi-exclusive to Apple as a positive thing. Wide adoption is the only way its use will expand beyond the high cost areas. I'm curious what you think would really benefit. I thought it would be excellent as a cheaper alternative to SAS, but as it stands it's not that much cheaper. Areca had a thunderbolt version of one of their SAS units. It's still on their site, but newegg has it marked as discontinued.

post #82 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

That's what I was saying before. The name there allows them to push it as a server to those who haven't already considered the possibility. It also allows them to maintain a product in the brick and mortar shops with a server OS. It's not bad for a lighter duty server. You don't have options like traffic shaping, but the bandwidth isn't there anyway. Some smaller businesses may not regularly saturate such a thing, even if use it as something like an ftp server. I've known plenty of shops of under 10 people including the owners that lacked T1 lines.

I would say there are valid use cases where it's a reasonable fit both in price and functionality, especially for people that are scared of Linux. Ironically Linux can in some cases be more expensive to implement in spite of being Open Source.

When one thinks about it a server can be a lot of things to different people. I'm not concerned that the Mini Server can do some jobs, I just see it as confused marketing as any Mini can function as a server.
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I'm not sure if you read about the HDMI problems with the HD 4000. I'm not sure if OpenCL is supported yet under OSX. It wasn't initially, and the chipset can only support 1.1.
Yep, that was what I meant about Intel and their drivers. It isn't just Mac OS that has had Intel driver problems from what I hear HD 4000 has issues on Windows too. Personally immature bit disgusted with Apple and their reliance upon Intel integrated graphics, the best Intel has to offer barely matches AMDs old solutions and the AMD solution are know to work well. The problem is especially acute with the Mini as that is a machine whee people would really like to see good GPU performance.

As to Intel OpenCL support I'm not sure at all where we stand there. Even if the support comes the GPU simply isn't that impressive. The only good thing is that being integrated you do recover some performance there do to being on chip. All of these issue together highlight why many of us are extremely frustrated with Apple and their ignorant handling of the Mini line up. Removal of the GPU in the upscale Mini was a significant regression, especially considering that it is taking ages to resolve driver issues. At the rate we are going Apple will have a new model out that replaces the IVy Bridge Minis.
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Thunderbolt may take some time to really catch on. The talks of future speed increases and newer chips don't entirely benefit its potential adoption rates, as oems obviously want to recoup development costs before they have to start over.
I don't think that has anything to do with it. The problem with TB is that far to many people see it as a replacement for USB, I don't ever see that happening. It is a high performance solution that can only be justified for certain uses.
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It has to leverage something to really push adoption rates.
I suspect Apple has gotten everything they wanted out of it. That is TB is their docking solution for laptops. Every use beyond that is just gravy for them.
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Certification of devices seems to be a big hurdle. The chips impose higher costs and specific design requirements.
Matrox I think it was indicated that drivers where a big issue. This is to be expected with new technology. Frankly I have to wonder why people expected a flood of hardware one day after Apples release. Even now I can see another year before you see much of anything new in the way of TB devices. That is devices that weren't announced months and months ago.
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I was really puzzled when people would post thunderbolt being semi-exclusive to Apple as a positive thing. Wide adoption is the only way its use will expand beyond the high cost areas.
I don't think Intel nor Apple have any intention of pushing hard for the low cost market. That isn't the point of today's TB and certainly won't be the point of tomorrow's. if they double TBs speed and require fiber connections any thoughts of a cheap interface go out the door. The whole infrastructure of the TB interconnect implies a long time before anything cheap is available.
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I'm curious what you think would really benefit. I thought it would be excellent as a cheaper alternative to SAS, but as it stands it's not that much cheaper. Areca had a thunderbolt version of one of their SAS units. It's still on their site, but newegg has it marked as discontinued.

Fast interfacing to the outside world free of the overhead of USB. One neat possibility would be a TB interface on a CNC controller board. Interfacing to instrumentation such as oscilloscopes and the like would be very interesting. In a nut shell USB sucks for demanding realtime interfacing.
post #83 of 92
How much of an improvement will the 4600 be over the 3000?
post #84 of 92
The whole problem with Intel is that they seldom deliver on promises when it comes to their GPUs. Just look at the current Ivy Bridge integrated GPU as a continuing example of Intels inability to get it right. The GPU in Ivy Bridge sucks, there is no way around that description as noted performance doesn't even beat AMDs old GPU implementation in their first APUs. It isn't just raw performance that is an issue though as Intel has issues with its drivers on all platforms. With respect to drivers they seem to have gotten worst instead of better. They very long delay to correct issues such as HDMI output highlight slippage in the quality of their drivers - things are getting worst instead of better. The long delay also makes you wonder if there are hardware problems to be worked around as Intel has had notable issues with hardware in the past.

So do we take Intels word as to how good their GPUs will be? I'm not so forgiving and in this case, that is the Mini, I'm extremely disappointed with Apple and their choice to delete the GPU offering. I was actually hoping that they would correctly engineer a modern GPU solution for the Mini, indeed I was waiting for a GPU with suitable dedicated RAM. Instead we get the watered down line that is the Ivy Bridge Mini. So an improvement on paper at this point means very little, if Intel doesn't get its game together and actually deliver a respectable piece of hardware and software for their GPUs, paper performance is only useful for a wipe.

One of the reasons I've promoted the idea of AMD APUs in the Mini is that much of our GPU issues would disappear. Right at this moment performance would be as much as 50% better, OpenCL would work, and we wouldn't have the glaring issues with hardware ports simply not working right. Yeah you give up some CPU performance but you also have 4 of them so that is a wash. For many uses of the Mini though it is the better choice if Apple is hell bent on discrete GPU free Minis.

I actually have had a couple of ideas in mind for the Mini, right now the Ivy Bridge Mini is out of the question because it doesn't work as advertised! I'm actually surprised that this hasn't generated another law suit. Think about it, if you bought a Mini, based on advertising, and found up that HDMI basically sucks balls on the Mini would you be a happy camper? Not everyone benefits from reading forums and tech blogs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

How much of an improvement will the 4600 be over the 3000?
post #85 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I'm actually surprised that this hasn't generated another law suit. Think about it, if you bought a Mini, based on advertising, and found up that HDMI basically sucks balls on the Mini would you be a happy camper? Not everyone benefits from reading forums and tech blogs.

Oh yeah definitely. It probably wouldn't make sour on Apple (no pun intended) but it would mean I'd have to get a more expensive machine which I really wouldn't want to do. I am glad I have my mini now instead of waiting a year.

I wonder if Apple will eventually go back to AMD or use an nVidia discrete card if Intel fails them with their drivers. Then again Apple has issues at times with their drivers so them criticising Intel is a pot calling the kettle black issue.
post #86 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post



Yep, that was what I meant about Intel and their drivers. It isn't just Mac OS that has had Intel driver problems from what I hear HD 4000 has issues on Windows too. Personally immature bit disgusted with Apple and their reliance upon Intel integrated graphics, the best Intel has to offer barely matches AMDs old solutions and the AMD solution are know to work well. The problem is especially acute with the Mini as that is a machine whee people would really like to see good GPU performance.
As to Intel OpenCL support I'm not sure at all where we stand there. Even if the support comes the GPU simply isn't that impressive. The only good thing is that being integrated you do recover some performance there do to being on chip. All of these issue together highlight why many of us are extremely frustrated with Apple and their ignorant handling of the Mini line up. Removal of the GPU in the upscale Mini was a significant regression, especially considering that it is taking ages to resolve driver issues. At the rate we are going Apple will have a new model out that replaces the IVy Bridge Minis.

I haven't done quite such a detailed comparison. With discrete graphics, you are reliant on the memory included in the video card package if you want to use it for calculations. I'm not sure if OpenCL 1.1 even specified any method of swap, or if it's feasible to maintain a performance advantage going that route. The discrete mini was mainly a benefit for those wanting to play games on a mini, but hopefully the intel option will feel like less of a kludge by the next generation. As for intel, they always shout off some crazy numbers when the product is far in the distance. I'm not sure their marketing guys understand the intended use of white papers.

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I don't think that has anything to do with it. The problem with TB is that far to many people see it as a replacement for USB, I don't ever see that happening. It is a high performance solution that can only be justified for certain uses.

 

It would take a long time to really move past usb entirely, even if thunderbolt hit the right price points. The number of usb devices out there is incomparable to the ps2 --> usb transition. You have many generations of peripherals with full backwards compliance. It's extremely cheap. It also has a number of standards for small plug sizes. There's a wireless usb standard. It just aligned quite well with the need for a generic port that minimizes fragmentation.

 

 

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I suspect Apple has gotten everything they wanted out of it. That is TB is their docking solution for laptops. Every use beyond that is just gravy for them.

 

I agree. I've suggested that before. If you look at the placement on their notebook line, a port previously dedicated to mini displayport became thunderbolt. In some of the new designs a second one is there to accommodate adapters such as ethernet or firewire. Intel won't certify devices that aren't plug and play, so the people looking for official eGPUs and things of that sort are really dreaming for the moment. Most of the hope comes from the proof of concepts. Some people get them working, yet you don't see thorough testing. It's usually just a demo of some game with framerates. Most of them probably have to reboot if the connection is dropped, and other bugs may exist.

 

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if they double TBs speed and require fiber connections any thoughts of a cheap interface go out the door. The whole infrastructure of the TB interconnect implies a long time before anything cheap is available.

Intel commented on that directly last year. I'm not going to look for the article, but it was something about how it would come down to if people are really willing to pay for higher bandwidth. Outside of notebooks I see SAS as a very viable solution. If highly demanding storage tasks further infiltrate notebooks, that would be in favor of thunderbolt. Sonnet's mini SAS express 34 card caps out around 400MB/s or so. It might be a little lower, but it's pushing what can be delivered over that standard. It stopped being really viable on OSX long ago. Once the 15" notebooks no longer included express 34 card slots, the oems stopped doing much with OSX drivers. You can't really blame them, as many of these cards are not sold on high margins. Only a couple of them made it to Lion with official support.

 

 

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Fast interfacing to the outside world free of the overhead of USB. One neat possibility would be a TB interface on a CNC controller board. Interfacing to instrumentation such as oscilloscopes and the like would be very interesting. In a nut shell USB sucks for demanding realtime interfacing.

I don't know enough about that one to give you a good response. Firewire caught on for some moderate bandwidth needs where usb was too spiky. Many of those could go to thunderbolt once cable length becomes less of a restriction.

post #87 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

Oh yeah definitely. It probably wouldn't make sour on Apple (no pun intended) but it would mean I'd have to get a more expensive machine which I really wouldn't want to do. I am glad I have my mini now instead of waiting a year.
Maybe in a year we will get an entirely new Mini.
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I wonder if Apple will eventually go back to AMD or use an nVidia discrete card if Intel fails them with their drivers.
Good question. AMD is in really bad shape right now, frankly I'm not sure if they will be concentrating on APU development the way they should. As for AMD discrete GPU solutions I still consider them to be the best all around solution for most users.
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Then again Apple has issues at times with their drivers so them criticising Intel is a pot calling the kettle black issue.

Most of those Drivers are supported by the chip vendors so it isn't always Apples fault. What is bothersome is that Intel is taking so long to resolve a rather significant flaw in their drivers. I still see Intel GPUs as third string solutions and it that regard Apple needs to face up to this reality. An intel GPU is great for an introductory machine but at Apples prices the upper end models really should have better GPUs.
post #88 of 92
I agree with the latter two above points. The new mini we'll see.
post #89 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

I agree with the latter two above points. The new mini we'll see.

As noted in the other thread it is pretty obvious that the market for desktop machines is going down the tubes. I'm not sure if it is becoming a Kodak moment or not, but it really looks like the market is shrinking much faster than projected. If Apple does try to spur Mini sales, with a revised model, they likely will need far more than a Haswell update to spur people interests. I'm not really sure what would do the job here, things like built in iOS device docking might help. The other option they have is to say screw it and let the model slowly die off. I could see Apple come out with a single platform to sell alongside the iMac, this platform replacing both the Mini and the Mac Pro.

I've seen a bunch of different figures with regards to PC sales, with some indicating as much as a 20% decrease in sales. If that is true; sooner or later this slackening will catch up with Apple and their desktops. If Apple doesn't innovate in the desktop space I can see both the Mac Pro and the Mini dying off just like the 17" MBP.
post #90 of 92
Hmm... so does this mean to remain in pace with Apple, am I going to have to own a notebook? I am curious what I am going to be doing.

Is Apple bold enough (dare I say dumb enough) under the Tim Cook era to abandon a budget machine?

I don't have an argument to the contrary as to what they replace it with but what do you figure they even do? Air? MBP? iMac?

Maybe I'm being hopelessly optimistic but I see the mini as a perfect form factor machine. The MP I am unsure of but I can't see Intel mobile processors only going into laptops you know.

It's hard for to me say you know.
post #91 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

Hmm... so does this mean to remain in pace with Apple, am I going to have to own a notebook? I am curious what I am going to be doing.
I'm actually seeing a future where desktops, even Dells, become far more expensive due to slacking sales. At this point they have tried to stimulate sales to the point that there is zero profit in consumer machines so that marketing approach is likely dead.

As to owning a notebook that is an interesting problem. Right at this very moment Apples notebooks represent the best values in their lineups. At 80% of sales today, going to 90 or even 95% is possible in a year or two. If that happens what do you think will happen to the Mini & Pro? They might hang around but they won't get a lot of attention.
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Is Apple bold enough (dare I say dumb enough) under the Tim Cook era to abandon a budget machine?
I don't have an argument to the contrary as to what they replace it with but what do you figure they even do? Air? MBP? iMac?
AIR is the budget machine these days. Think about this one a bit, which offers the best value if you have nothing at home. It certainly isn't the Mini!!!
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Maybe I'm being hopelessly optimistic but I see the mini as a perfect form factor machine. The MP I am unsure of but I can't see Intel mobile processors only going into laptops you know.
It's hard for to me say you know.

When you use the word "perfect" I have to cringe. In some embodiments the Mini is a nice machine, but it can also be seen as a ripoff. Apples pricing structure and artificial constraints on the low end model, make for a difficult recommendation at times.

In the case of both the Mini and the Mac Pro Apple needs something new to stimulate sales. If they can't come up with a compelling technology that people want, sales of these desktops will go the same way as the rest of the industry. Apple really needs to innovate and hopefully do so on both machines within a year, otherwise I think your worst fears will come true.
post #92 of 92
My apologies for making you cringe : P

I mean it's the perfect size and weight as I see now, although that will still probably make you cringe. I just like that I can have it in the corner of my desk plugged into my HDTV. Certainly it could offer more for less absolutely.
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