Apple's Mac mini receives long-awaited update with 4th-gen Intel CPUs, price cut to $499

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  • Reply 161 of 169
    chiachia Posts: 713member
    Originally Posted by hmm View Post

    Ghz != performance. It refers to the length of a clock cycle when the cpu is operating at its base clock rate. It does not describe the amount of work accomplished during a cycle, only its duration.

     

    This was what I was trying to allude to with my analogy using the Abrams tank and the electric car: two vehicles of similar speed yet the tank capable of so much more at that speed.

  • Reply 162 of 169
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ChiA View Post

     

     

    The point is that if you're shopping for a Mac Mini or indeed, the cheapest new Apple OS X computer, you're looking at Mac Minis, not Chromebooks.

    There are those who have posted in this thread their doubts as to whether the current Mac Mini range can meet their OS X computing needs.

    As the Acer 720 Chromebook:


    1. doesn't run OS X

    2. uses a processor less than half the speed of the i5 in the current base model Mac Mini.

    3. has a inferior integrated graphics card

    4. only has less than a tenth of the Mac Mini's storage capacity built in.

     

    then the Acer 720 Chromebook is even less likely to meet their needs.


    It depends what the user wants to do, the person who buys a Mac Mini is most likely not going to use it for anything other than basic computing, emails, surfing, documents, spreadsheets, home accounting, etc. Something a ChromeBook or ChromeBox is more than capable of handling, I know the term, just a web-browser gets thrown around a lot when someone here refers to a Chrome OS device but their actually much more than that. Web apps have become mature enough now to actually replace traditional desktop apps. Though it's not as much fun then to simply call these devices garbage and leave it at that but as someone who has owned one since the very first CR-48 was released, watched the platform grow into what it is now, I can without a doubt say it's a viable option. Especially for those who don't need use professional desktop applications but even then, things like the Adobe Media Suite, including Photoshop are no available for Chrome OS, and work fairly well. As far as graphics and CPU performance is concerned their are ChromeBox's with the same HD 5000 graphics card found in the new Mac Mini with support for 4K monitors, as well models that contain an i3, i5 and i7. Their are also ChromeBooks that use Nvidia's K1 CPU and GPU that also supports 4K and i3 with i5 models coming soon. In fact the amount of new models popping up every month is becoming a little overwhelming now that Chrome OS devices have started to see some success in the market place, actually their one of the fastest growing segments in a world where most everything else is declining.

     

    Now this is in no way a ploy to anyone here to give these machines a chance as most of you are set in you ways and especially for those who want to use OSX. Which is fine but you can't really say that all of these devices have half the speed of a Mac Mini when there are actually models that are faster. It's just a different approach to computing that some actually like using, I personally think that they make the perfect TV entertainment companion, much better than an Apple TV, Chrome or Android set box and both of my children really enjoy using their ChromeBooks for school.

  • Reply 163 of 169
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,350moderator
    nht wrote: »
    Where are you getting your geekbench results with the new mini? Here's the estimates since there aren't any actuals yet:

    The Core i5-4278U mini is estimated to score 5852.
    The Core i7-4578U mini is estimated to score 6458.

    So if the target score is 6600 then you need to get the Core i7 version of the mini. Unless you think you can estimate Geekbench scores better than John Poole anyway.

    Those same chips are used in the 2014 13" MBP:

    http://browser.primatelabs.com/mac-benchmarks

    The i5 gets 6629, the i7 gets 7190. They are averages though so there will be a range of results depending on how the test is run.
    nht wrote: »
    It is clear that the old mini with a geekbench score of 11319 was a great value...much better than the new mini.  Which is a remarkably poor value in comparison to other SFF machines at every price point.  

    I agree, I would have liked to see a quad-i7 with Iris Pro but like I say, Apple knows their buyers. The target audience for the Mac mini is the low-end PC market that has an ASP of ~$500. A quad-i7 would require a different socket so they'd have a motherboard just for the high-end model. They decided to make low cost the priority for this model over high performance. They tend to experiment more with lower-end devices, they did it with the iPod line too. The Nano and Shuffle had all sorts of different setups but nothing has revived the sales and they will be culled in time. The high performance mini and server config have been tried and they have clearly failed to gain traction so they are going with lower cost units. If that fails to catch on, I can see the mini being culled too.
  • Reply 164 of 169
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post





    Those same chips are used in the 2014 13" MBP:



    http://browser.primatelabs.com/mac-benchmarks



    The i5 gets 6629, the i7 gets 7190. They are averages though so there will be a range of results depending on how the test is run.

    I agree, I would have liked to see a quad-i7 with Iris Pro but like I say, Apple knows their buyers. The target audience for the Mac mini is the low-end PC market that has an ASP of ~$500. A quad-i7 would require a different socket so they'd have a motherboard just for the high-end model. They decided to make low cost the priority for this model over high performance. They tend to experiment more with lower-end devices, they did it with the iPod line too. The Nano and Shuffle had all sorts of different setups but nothing has revived the sales and they will be culled in time. The high performance mini and server config have been tried and they have clearly failed to gain traction so they are going with lower cost units. If that fails to catch on, I can see the mini being culled too.

    I wonder just how many of the entry Mac Mini's Apple sold, Dataquest, our main Apple re-seller here in Switzerland, stopped stocking the desktop models in their stores a while back, I guess due to not so overwhelming sales, they only carried the server models. They have a Mac Mini on display in their shops but you still have to order it, only takes 2 days, so not much of an inconvenience. They'll probably carry the new 2014's for a while until even those start to fizzle out. So you're probably right Marvin, why bother carrying a high end Mac Mini which requires a different socket when sales just weren't there to warrant a new one.

  • Reply 165 of 169
    chiachia Posts: 713member
    Originally Posted by Relic View Post

    It depends what the user wants to do, the person who buys a Mac Mini is most likely not going to use it for anything other than basic computing, emails, surfing, documents, spreadsheets, home accounting, etc. Something a ChromeBook or ChromeBox is more than capable of handling





    Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post

    Who needs an i5 to do office work and watch videos streamed via the internet?  The bus speeds are now so quick on the low end chips that HD videos look great. Numerous reports from C720 users say...

     

    You know, these observations aren't even relevant to the thread.

     

    Apple's strategy is to offer the iPad range to those who have basic computing needs and the Mac Mini range to those on a budget who have more demanding needs: e.g. app developers, virtual machines, film or photo editing etc.

     

    The strategy seems to be working well for them judging from the unit sales and money stashed in the bank.

  • Reply 166 of 169
    nhtnht Posts: 4,522member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post



    Those same chips are used in the 2014 13" MBP:



    http://browser.primatelabs.com/mac-benchmarks



    The i5 gets 6629, the i7 gets 7190. They are averages though so there will be a range of results depending on how the test is run.

     

    So, you are of the opinion that you can better estimate the geekbench performance of the new mini better than the founder of primate labs...the company behind geekbench.  Is this why you are still arguing this point?  Despite the fact that he also wrote about the performance of the 2014 13" MBPr in June?

     

    Seriously?  

     

    Quote:

    I agree, I would have liked to see a quad-i7 with Iris Pro but like I say, Apple knows their buyers. The target audience for the Mac mini is the low-end PC market that has an ASP of ~$500. 


     

    If this was a true statement then there would not likely be $2,199 BTO option.  Because the base iMac (dual i5) can only be plussed up to $1,349.  In fact the step up iMac (quad i5) can only be plussed up to $1,999.  There is no real reason to offer an $800 1TB SSD option for the low-end PC market demographic.

     

    Quote:

    A quad-i7 would require a different socket so they'd have a motherboard just for the high-end model. They decided to make low cost the priority for this model over high performance. They tend to experiment more with lower-end devices, they did it with the iPod line too. The Nano and Shuffle had all sorts of different setups but nothing has revived the sales and they will be culled in time. The high performance mini and server config have been tried and they have clearly failed to gain traction so they are going with lower cost units. If that fails to catch on, I can see the mini being culled too.


     

    They could have done quad core across the entire line up but the issue is that if you do that you would impact higher ASP iMac and Mac Pro sales.

     

    Apple will not sell a quad i7 option for less than $1700.  It will also not allow GPUs over Thunderbolt in OSX.

     

    These are the two features that Apple uses for up sell to the more expensive iMacs.

     

    High performance is exactly what they DON'T want in the mini because that would crater their ASPs and Mac profitability even if margins stayed the same. 

  • Reply 167 of 169
    nhtnht Posts: 4,522member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Relic View Post

     

    I wonder just how many of the entry Mac Mini's Apple sold, Dataquest, our main Apple re-seller here in Switzerland, stopped stocking the desktop models in their stores a while back, I guess due to not so overwhelming sales, they only carried the server models. They have a Mac Mini on display in their shops but you still have to order it, only takes 2 days, so not much of an inconvenience. They'll probably carry the new 2014's for a while until even those start to fizzle out. So you're probably right Marvin, why bother carrying a high end Mac Mini which requires a different socket when sales just weren't there to warrant a new one.


     

    I would say that based on this observation that the server model was the best seller for Dataquest... 

     

    Interestingly enough the #6 desktop seller in Amazon today is the quad i7 2.3Ghz Mac Mini.

     

    I suspect that sales of the 2.3 Ghz quad were very good in comparison to the rest of the mini line up with the server and 2.6 Ghz models following them. 

  • Reply 168 of 169
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,350moderator
    relic wrote: »
    I wonder just how many of the entry Mac Mini's Apple sold, Dataquest, our main Apple re-seller here in Switzerland, stopped stocking the desktop models in their stores a while back, I guess due to not so overwhelming sales, they only carried the server models. They have a Mac Mini on display in their shops but you still have to order it, only takes 2 days, so not much of an inconvenience. They'll probably carry the new 2014's for a while until even those start to fizzle out. So you're probably right Marvin, why bother carrying a high end Mac Mini which requires a different socket when sales just weren't there to warrant a new one.

    We tried to estimate it in the past from Apple's average desktop prices - Apple split the numbers out a couple of years ago. It's tricky that way as you have to guess the ASP of all the other models.

    One of the most revealing stats was when Tim said the iMac was responsible for a 700k unit shortfall out of an expected 4.8m units:

    http://arstechnica.com/apple/2013/01/tim-cook-on-the-imac-cannibalization-is-a-huge-opportunity-for-us/

    We know from the split numbers years ago that laptops make up over 75% and Apple has always reported the trend has increased. So desktops are around 1.2m per quarter of which the iMac is at least 700k. That leaves 500k between the mini and Pro. This could be 100k for the Pro and 400k for the mini but it's difficult to get it exact. I actually suspect the iMac is higher because the 700k shortfall wasn't the full quarter.

    Not only are the mini units lower for Apple but due to the lower price, the profit is lower too. I would say that they make 3-4x the profit from the iMac line as the mini line (1.5-2x the units, 2x the profit per unit).

    If they got 25-50% of mini buyers to migrate to iMacs, they could drop the mini line and make the same profit. However, that could be at the risk of losing 200-300k customers.

    If they could make an iMac around $799-899, I don't think the mini would exist. ARM might let them do that but I'd expect they already get cheap prices for the i5 in the entry iMac so $1099 is probably as low as they're willing to go. They did it before by switching the display panels for lower quality ones but that's not a good way to go.
    nht wrote:
    So, you are of the opinion that you can better estimate the geekbench performance of the new mini better than the founder of primate labs...the company behind geekbench. Is this why you are still arguing this point? Despite the fact that he also wrote about the performance of the 2014 13" MBPr in June?

    Seriously?

    I don't see why he'd set the mini lower than the MBP with the exact same processors in it. The lowest end mini has actually been tested:

    http://www.gizmobic.com/imac-151-mac-mini-71-visits-geekbench-got/

    5420

    The iMac with the same CPU scored 5350 so he got that wrong first of all as he said 4762. Not that it discredits John Poole, he's just estimating it the same way I am:

    "I estimated the new Mac minis' scores by using data from other systems with the same processor"
    nht wrote:
    There is no real reason to offer an $800 1TB SSD option for the low-end PC market demographic.

    I agree but it's one of those things that doesn't take any effort. It's a drop-in that they already stock for higher-end machines so why not?
    nht wrote:
    High performance is exactly what they DON'T want in the mini because that would crater their ASPs and Mac profitability even if margins stayed the same.

    It would have some effect on the desktop side but I think minimal and not overall Macs. It wouldn't affect notebooks. I still don't think buyers as a whole are really aware of what a mini is. I've seen this effect on the PC side where computer illiterate people have owned towers for years and I've shown them a tiny box and tried to explain that it's actually faster than what they've been using and they don't believe it. Mac Pro fans have been the same way. There was a guy on the forum didn't believe you could fit a more powerful Mac Pro into something the size of a G4 Cube:

    http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/154628/os-x-10-8-3-beta-supports-amd-radeon-7000-drivers-hinting-at-apples-new-mac-pro/80#post_2243498

    There would need to be a marketing campaign to let people know that the towers can be replaced with the small boxes that are about 1/20th the size. It might be worth the effort but who knows. The whole PC market just seems disinterested in upgrades because there's no immediate payoff. There's nothing new to experience.
  • Reply 169 of 169

    follow me, they've gutted this line of computers. I never totally understood why Apple had the Mac Mini in their lineup; it seemed like a way for folks to bypass the more expensive solutions they sold. And now this. I was absolutely waiting on this announcement before buying. The price of the last generation higher end Mac Mini and server Mac Mini's will be at a premium for a while. Too bad, it was all about the bottom line, just like retaining the 16GB iPhone.

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