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Apple references unannounced 'mid-2014' Mac mini in Support Pages document - Page 4

post #121 of 142
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
its clear the Mini was slated for a ‘mid-2014 redesign


Why?

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post #122 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

Except it's not faster than m.2 and SATA Express.

Can you prove that PCIe isn't faster than M.2 and SATA Express?

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post #123 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post
 
It also mean you are stick with the specific monitor that comes with the all in one. I think one point people miss when it comes to the desire to see the Mini contimue is that size does matter and you don't always want an iMac sized screen. There are plenty of use cases where a small monitor makes sense. Conversely a giant screen can also make lots of sense for specific uses. The IMac is simply a poor choice for many uses.

 

BIN-freakin-GO! I don't care HOW good people claim the display on the iMac is. At six-to-eight feet away, which is where the computer displays are situated in any audio suite that includes a console, an iMac is NOT gonna work!

 

Yes, one could run the big displays off an iMac, but then one is stuck with trying to find a place for a giant computer with a big, useless piece of glass across the front, instead of just slipping a little computer into the rack or behind the displays or on a shelf or on top of the meter bridge or...

 

Not to mention the poor economy of paying for a big fancy display one isn't going to use.

Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

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V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

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post #124 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
 

it's clear the Mini was slated for a 'mid-2014' redesign with the Broadwell chip and possibly a shrunken, fanless design.

 

Is Broadwell really so much cooler that a mini could be run without a fan? My 2011 mini fan doesn't spin up when performing simple tasks, but that's not what I use it for. It's essentially a render/transcoding/compression station, and you better believe the fan ramps up in a serious way doing that kind of stuff! I'd be afraid of a fanless design cooking itself to death when asked to run flat out for 72 hours at a time like the current one does.

Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

Audio Engineer

V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

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post #125 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

Except it's not faster than m.2 and SATA Express.
Maybe, it depends upon the implementation. As to SATA Express you are still implementing excess logic that impacts latency, power usage and die space. I can see the day when no SATA logic at all is included in Intels chip sets and I truly doubt we will ever see it in Apples "A" series no matter how it evolves.
Quote:

The M.2 SATA Express SSDs are no slower...especially given that the Samsung XP941 seen in the 2013 MBP can be purchased as a 512GB M.2 PCIe SSD.
It isn't just the chip set. You need for the SSD to implement fast flash which few M.2 SSD do. Beyond that I'm not seeing a lot of hardware out there implementing M.2. If they are they are awfully quite about it or are selling hardware I have no interest in.
Quote:
It is a shame that the MBP isn't using the M.2 standard.  It would be a little bigger but probably not much.
It is a shame that Apple doesn't use some sort of standardized interface that is for sure.
Quote:

There's no significant advantage for the desktop market for soldered RAM and several downsides.  The stacked in-package RAM is different and separate from DRAM.

There is a huge advantage in performance with the coming new standards. Even then there are other "performance" advantages such as lower power operation. It is no surprise that cell phone processors often stack ram in the package to avoid going off chip. it isn't just about saving space.

At the high end we have this coming from Intel: http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/185007-intels-next-gen-xeon-phi-will-be-3x-faster-include-next-gen-hybrid-memory-cube-tech. The high performance RAM stacks will be integrated right into the package. WE also have DDR4 coming which in its highest speed forms will require that the RAM be soldered in to maintain timing requirements.

It should be noted that with the coming end of easy Moore's law type improvements to CPU's, the easiest way to continue to make strides in performance is to seep up access to RAM which in some systems incurs massive delays compared to operating out of cache. Manufactures will have to work far harder on RAM interfacing to keep the performance of their machines moving forward.

Even today we are running into roadblocks where putting more cores on chip doesn't lead to the performance increases we would like to see. In many cases (certainly not al) that is directly related to problems with interfacing to RAM, the bandwidth to RAM actually.
post #126 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

It's frustrating but expected from Apple.  The only way they will let the mini outperform the base iMac is by making it the same price.  Even then it's iffy.

A policy I will never understand as all it does is keep potential customers from buying new hardware. I have zero interest in buying an iMac as I don't buy into the all in one mentality but more so I don't need a big screened machine for where I'm likely to use a Mini.

If it wasn't for my hate of the constant tinkering to keep a Linux based system running I'd go that route again. Frankly it has been six years since I dropped Linux for a Mac and in that time linux has actually gotten a lot better. Maybe it is time to purchase a new "PC" machine and send the sales receipt to Cook and company expressing my displeasure. Yeah I know it will be a royal pain in the butt to run Linux but it isn't a hug problem with the lack of apps like many would have to deal with.
post #127 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post

BIN-freakin-GO! I don't care HOW good people claim the display on the iMac is. At six-to-eight feet away, which is where the computer displays are situated in any audio suite that includes a console, an iMac is NOT gonna work!
This is so simple to understand that I frankly don't see why people are so defensive of the iMac. It is great if it fills you personal needs but otherwise crap.
Quote:

Yes, one could run the big displays off an iMac, but then one is stuck with trying to find a place for a giant computer with a big, useless piece of glass across the front, instead of just slipping a little computer into the rack or behind the displays or on a shelf or on top of the meter bridge or...
I've seen this suggesting of just using an iMac and hiding someplace mentioned several times and just have to laugh my ass off when I see such posted. People have no idea how much of a problem it is to waste space to support a computer you don't need. i don't work in the audio industry but in the industry I do work in there can be several computers sitting at a work station that might be 6 feet long if that. Stuff gets in the way and frankly that isn't cool at all.
Quote:
Not to mention the poor economy of paying for a big fancy display one isn't going to use.

A good point. I'm in the habit of replacing monitors at work far more often then we do PC hardware. It would be a compete waste of money to change out the whole computer overtime a monitor frys itself or gets "damaged".
post #128 of 142
It is hard to say what Apples intentions are here. It seems to be pretty obvious that something went wrong with the product line and Intel could be the culprit.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post

Is Broadwell really so much cooler that a mini could be run without a fan?
Some version of Broadwell will run cool enough for a fanless design. However those chips are not fast enough to go into a Mini. Even with the low power Broadwell chips you would need careful thermal design to get them to run all out the way you would want fan less.

Those low power chis are due to ship soon in table hardware to give you an idea of the performance levels. Intel purposely targeted 14 nm for its mobile chips to try to grab some of the market from ARM. The side effect is that they let everything else slip. Intel could very well become the new AMD.
Quote:
My 2011 mini fan doesn't spin up when performing simple tasks, but that's not what I use it for. It's essentially a render/transcoding/compression station, and you better believe the fan ramps up in a serious way doing that kind of stuff! I'd be afraid of a fanless design cooking itself to death when asked to run flat out for 72 hours at a time like the current one does.

The thing that Broadwell could bring to the Mini is substantially better performance at the same power levels This would mean a quad core with reasonably high clock rates. It might have been worth waiting for if the original ship dates where kept. Obviously that didn't happen. Apple should have done something when the first indications came out of Intel that they had issues.
post #129 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Apple should have done something when the first indications came out of Intel that they had issues.

 

Except that I don't think even Apple expected the delays would be as serious as we now realize. The mini *is* a lower-priority device for Apple, so they can be excused for not jumping into to contingency mode the moment it became clear that Plan A was being disrupted.

 

Still, while one can perhaps understand why Apple didn't respond immediately, there has been more-than-ample opportunity for them to do something EVENTUALLY. Fer cryin' out loud, how long does a delay have to BE before Apple does something else? It's not like Broadwell is the only reasonable upgrade path. I'd even settle for a spec bump with current chips except that there's just no way in HELL I'm gonna buy a computer with Intel 4000 graphics. It's like buying a car with a 500 hp engine and a three-speed transmission!

Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

Audio Engineer

V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

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post #130 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Can you prove that PCIe isn't faster than M.2 and SATA Express?

You can google it yourself. In fact it's on Wikipedia.

That you wouldn't take 2 seconds on your own to read that SATA Express (in both regular and the M.2 form factor for laptops) directly implements PCIe as an option makes me very disinclined to re-find and link benchmarks as "proof". Again, the PCIe Samsung SSD in the MBP and MP is available in the standard M.2 form factor. And there are faster benching PCIe SSDs in the M.2 format coming.

Here's a nice diagram on Tom's explaining M.2 that would have taken almost 5 seconds to find.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/a110-m.2-ssd,3594-2.html
post #131 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

As to SATA Express you are still implementing excess logic that impacts latency, power usage and die space.

It doesn't impact latency. The legacy SATA paths are not used. Power impact is likely minimal. The trade off is you can use legacy drives if you want. Like large HDDs.
Quote:
It isn't just the chip set. You need for the SSD to implement fast flash which few M.2 SSD do.

Minimal googling would show it does.
post #132 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

It doesn't impact latency. The legacy SATA paths are not used. Power impact is likely minimal. The trade off is you can use legacy drives if you want. Like large HDDs.
Minimal googling would show it does.

1) SATA certainly does add latency.

2) I asked because everything legitimate shows that PCIe speeds are faster that SATA.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #133 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post
 

 

Is Broadwell really so much cooler that a mini could be run without a fan? My 2011 mini fan doesn't spin up when performing simple tasks, but that's not what I use it for. It's essentially a render/transcoding/compression station, and you better believe the fan ramps up in a serious way doing that kind of stuff! I'd be afraid of a fanless design cooking itself to death when asked to run flat out for 72 hours at a time like the current one does.

 

Just going by what I've read. Core M seems to be targeted at the Windows tablet/laptop hybrid market.

 

The chips that are to power the Intel desktop NUC (which is smaller than the Mini) are supposed to come in 2015.

 

While I don't expect Apple to mirror the NUC form factor, I think that if they see a chance to make the thing slimmer and fanless, they'll do it.

 

Making something thinner and internally locked down for no good reason has Apple written all over it.

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post #134 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

1) SATA certainly does add latency.

2) I asked because everything legitimate shows that PCIe speeds are faster that SATA.

 

Lead a horse to water but you can't make him click a link.

 

SATAExpress implements both SATA and PCIe.  Which you would know if you took 1 second to click on a link.

 

SATAExpress PCIe SSDs (in either desktop or M.2 physical formats) do not use the legacy SATA chain but connect to one of two types of PCIe controllers (AHCI or NVMe) and has access to one to four PCI Express lanes worth of bandwidth.  Which you would know if you took 1 second to click on a link.  

 

Therefore SATAExpress and M.2 is PCIe and no proof is required.  Which you would know if you too 1 second to click on a link.

 

You asked because you couldn't google SATAExpress or M.2 and find the wiki page to do 10 seconds worth of research.  

post #135 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

Lead a horse to water but you can't make him click a link.

SATAExpress implements both SATA and PCIe.  Which you would know if you took 1 second to click on a link.

SATAExpress PCIe SSDs (in either desktop or M.2 physical formats) do not use the legacy SATA chain but connect to one of two types of PCIe controllers (AHCI or NVMe) and has access to one to four PCI Express lanes worth of bandwidth.  Which you would know if you took 1 second to click on a link.  

Therefore SATAExpress is PCIe and no proof is required.  Which you would know if you too 1 second to click on a link.

You asked because you couldn't google SATAExpress or M.2 and find the wiki page to do 10 seconds worth of research.  

I'll spell it for you this time.

  • SATA Express - up to 16 Gibit/s
  • PCIe - up to 256 Gibit/s
  • M.2 is simply a interface standard that replaces the shitty mSATA interface for something that uses the Mini PCIe physical layout but is not Mini PCIe.


So, again, where do you see that SATA is faster than PCIe? if you can't prove your statement they simply stop asserting it as fact.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #136 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I'll spell it for you this time.
 
So, again, where do you see that SATA is faster than PCIe? if you can't prove your statement they simply stop asserting it as fact.

 

SATAExpress is PCIe.  Read the link:

 

"The SATA Express connector used on the host side is backward compatible with the standard 3.5-inch SATA data connector,[2] while it also provides multiple PCI Express lanes as a pure PCI Express connection to the storage device."

 

PCIe is not currently up to 256 Gibit/s. The PCIe 4 spec isn't final until late 2015.  

 

PCIe is 7.877 Gbit/s per lane in the v3 spec.  SATAExpress offers up to 4 PCIe lanes for a total of 31.5 Gibit/s.  Not 16.  The M.2 also offers 4 PCIe lanes:

 

"The M.2 specification provides four PCI Express lanes and one SATA 3.0 6 Gbit/s port, exposed through the same connector, allowing use of both PCI Express and SATA storage devices in form of M.2 cards."  

 

You are asking if PCIe is faster than PCIe.  The answer is not at the same spec level.  If you think that Apple is dedicating more than 4 PCIe lanes per SSD slot you are amusingly uninformed (HINT:  The MacPro and MBPr 15 uses 4 lanes and the MBPr 13 and MBA uses only 2 lanes).

 

In any case, my statement is correct and your poor reading comprehension is not my problem.  I never said it was faster.  I said that PCIe is NOT faster than SATAExpress or M.2.  Why?  Because I already knew it was the same thing.  There is no real "SATA latency" that you claimed (unless you want to claim AHCI since there aren't many NVMe implementations).

 

Apple could have used the M.2 form factor with no speed impact (and probably minimal size impact) and we could have upgraded our Macs with faster or larger SSDs when they entered the market. 

 

Quote:
  • M.2 is simply a interface standard that replaces the shitty mSATA interface for something that uses the Mini PCIe physical layout but is not Mini PCIe.

 

No it's not and it is wonderful it's not Mini PCIe spec because that the Mini PCIe spec only 1x.  It is up to 4 times faster.


Edited by nht - 8/20/14 at 4:27pm
post #137 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

SATAExpress is PCIe.  Read the link:

"The SATA Express connector used on the host side is backward compatible
 with the standard 3.5-inch SATA data connector
,[2]
 while it also provides multiple PCI Express lanes
 as a pure PCI Express connection to the storage device."

PCIe is not currently up to 256 Gibit/s. The PCIe 4 spec isn't final until late 2015.  

PCIe is 7.877 Gbit/s per lane in the v3 spec.  SATAExpress offers up to 4 PCIe lanes for a total of 31.5 Gibit/s.  Not 16.  The M.2 also offers 4 PCIe lanes:

"The M.2 specification provides four PCI Express lanes and one SATA 3.0
 6 Gbit/s port, exposed through the same connector, allowing use of both PCI Express and SATA storage devices in form of M.2 cards."  

You are asking if PCIe is faster than PCIe.  The answer is not at the same spec level.  If you think that Apple is dedicating more than 4 PCIe lanes per SSD slot you are amusingly uninformed (HINT:  The MacPro and MBPr 15 uses 4 lanes and the MBPr 13 and MBA uses only 2 lanes).

In any case, my statement is correct and your poor reading comprehension is not my problem.  I never said it was faster.  I said that PCIe is NOT faster than SATAExpress or M.2.  Why?  Because I already knew it was the same thing.  There is no real "SATA latency" that you claimed (unless you want to claim AHCI since there aren't many NVMe implementations).

Apple could have used the M.2 form factor with no speed impact (and probably minimal size impact) and we could have upgraded our Macs with faster or larger SSDs when they entered the market. 

1) Even by your admission PCIe is faster. You're only now saying that the spec available for isn't yet out so it doesn't count. You made no qualification for a shipping product, hence my reply to your, "Except [PCIe is] not faster than m.2 and SATA Express."

2) You said there was no latency. NVMe reduces latency considerably over ACHI but there is still latency with the protocol.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #138 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

1) Even by your admission PCIe is faster. You're only now saying that the spec available for isn't yet out so it doesn't count. You made no qualification for a shipping product, hence my reply to your, "Except [PCIe is] not faster than m.2 and SATA Express."

2) You said there was no latency. NVMe reduces latency considerably over ACHI but there is still latency with the protocol.

 

Lol...grasping at straws are we?  You didn't know SATAExpress was PCIe, too arrogant to check and too silly to concede gracefully.  

 

Did you ever consider that there are PCIe 2.0 SATA Express implementations and there are PCIe 3.0 SATA Express implementations and therefore there shall be PCIe 4.0 SATA Express implementations?  The spec covers future PCIe versions for both M.2 and SATA Express when they appear.

 

Them straws sure are slippery.  Hard to grasp no matter how hard you try...

 

All consumer PCIe SSDs are currently dependent on AHCI including Apple which uses AHCI v1.3 (easily checked if you have a MBPr).  It's not SATA latency as you thought of it (i.e. legacy SATA signaling latency).  In any case NVMe is also part of the SATA spec so it's again the same thing.  It's all PCIe and it's all SATA.  It's not a competing spec.  It's the same just Apple has a proprietary hardware form factor/pin layout.

 

So still no, "PCIe" is not faster because it's the still same thing.

 

Twist and turn all you like but there is no escaping.

post #139 of 142

This is for the MBA but my MBPr shows the same: ACHI 1.30.  

post #140 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

So still no, "PCIe" is not faster because it's the still same thing.

So you're saying that SATA Express is the exact same thing as PCIe?

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #141 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
 

I think by now, as we skate toward September, that it's clear the Mini was slated for a 'mid-2014' redesign with the Broadwell chip and possibly a shrunken, fanless design. That is now out the window.

 

The chip delay has meant that the redesign will probably clock in around October instead.

 

 

The problem this year was that the chips used in the rmbp were not suitable in price for the mini. Typically the mini tracks those used in the 13" and 15". The base 13" chip is way more expensive than the one previously used in the $600 mini. This isn't one of those cases where it's a debate of whether they could absorb it. It's a very big price increase, which I think made them hesitate on refreshing that line. Intel's schedule and Apple's tendency to refresh the minis several months after the macbook pros mean that your first chance of a Broadwell mini is at least Q2 2015.

post #142 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

So you're saying that SATA Express is the exact same thing as PCIe?

If you read you would realize that SATA includes PCIe as part of the spec. SATA Express and M.2 both have options to support legacy SATA and therefore isn't "exactly the same thing" but is a superset of both.

But for PCIe M.2 SSDs, yes they are the same.
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