Apple's Mac mini now inexcusably getting trounced by cheap Intel hardware

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  • Reply 101 of 188
    JasatenJasaten Posts: 1member
    I rely on my Mac 2012 mini as my home networked media computer and AirPlay music box, connected to my primary OLED TV via a Yamaha Aventage receiver. In addition, I have never had cable, but use the mini to record the occasional over-air broadcast via EyeTV.
    With a Thunderbolt external raid drive for extra space, the system is great for this use!
    That said, I am more than ready now for a update, and hope Apple will provide one soon!
    An iMac simply won't work for me for this setup, and a MacPro is overkill in performance and price.
    Future-Proof
  • Reply 102 of 188
    christopher126christopher126 Posts: 3,920member
    Whatever the future of computing is, it will be closer to the iPad than the iMac.
  • Reply 103 of 188
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,151member
    marksund said:
    I run a design and advertising studio and we love Mac Minis - we did, that is, until Apple starting neglecting them. Now we're frustrated. The Mini is (was?) a versatile computer because it isn't attached to a monitor (we love iMacs too, just sayin'). So it can be repurposed every few years - when it no longer cuts it as a design station (with the quad-core i7s and a SSD), it can become an office computer, a file server, a conference room computer / display station, etc. It makes them easy to buy 'cuz you know they'll continue to be useful. Not having a monitor attached, and configuring it with an SSD which is essential, gives it that flexibility. But no one at Apple will commit to either killing it or reviving it, so we're frustrated.
    I'm not sure Apple really gets this. I think in their mind(s), why wouldn't anyone want a really great screen with the computer 'hidden' in it? If you're 100% within the Apple eco-system and use nothing but, I suppose that kind of makes sense. But, if you also use PCs, or want to plug in a game console, or other types of devices... or heaven forbid, use some other monitors, it's a pain. I'm not sure what possessed Apple to pull additional inputs from iMacs.

    Jasaten said:
    An iMac simply won't work for me for this setup, and a MacPro is overkill in performance and price.
    Exactly! Apple simply has nothing to fill this hole in the lineup. I'm likely going to have to to Mac Pro and spend way more than I should have to for old technology. I just don't know what my other choice would be, besides a Hackintosh (which comes with its own downsides).

    Whatever the future of computing is, it will be closer to the iPad than the iMac.
    Maybe, but currently the software, UI, and workflow just aren't up to the task. And, that's for lower-power needs. An iPad can't render out Toy Story XXII.
    elijahg
  • Reply 104 of 188
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,007member
    I would call it a YUC: the Mac is designed 100 times better, has style and is minimalistic at the same time, kudos for Apple.
    Internal power conversion is a big plus and makes Mac mini an even better product.
    The mini could become the best computer overall if it blended with the puck; intels very very expensive i7 would be blown away by a $20 A12.
     
  • Reply 105 of 188
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,007member
    Whatever the future of computing is, it will be closer to the iPad than the iMac.
    Maybe, but currently the software, UI, and workflow just aren't up to the task. And, that's for lower-power needs. An iPad can't render out Toy Story XXII.
    Of course it can.
  • Reply 106 of 188
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,151member
    knowitall said:
    I would call it a YUC: the Mac is designed 100 times better, has style and is minimalistic at the same time, kudos for Apple.
    Internal power conversion is a big plus and makes Mac mini an even better product.
    The mini could become the best computer overall if it blended with the puck; intels very very expensive i7 would be blown away by a $20 A12.
    No, actually it would not unless they build a desktop version of the A12. They certainly could use the A-series architecture, but no, just putting an iPhone/iPad chip into a Mac won't make it compete with desktop/workstation/server processors (aside from a few instantaneous tests on a benchmark, maybe). Also, you're assuming, I think, continued growth in performance of the A-series and complete stagnation of Intel. Apple is going to hit the same physics walls Intel did eventually, too. The main thing holding Intel back is backward compatibility... and physics.
    cornchipelijahg
  • Reply 107 of 188
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,151member
    knowitall said:
    Whatever the future of computing is, it will be closer to the iPad than the iMac.
    Maybe, but currently the software, UI, and workflow just aren't up to the task. And, that's for lower-power needs. An iPad can't render out Toy Story XXII.
    Of course it can.
    Ok, mr knowitall (sorry, couldn't resist), yes, it could do it. But it would need the right software and a ton more time.
    cornchip
  • Reply 108 of 188
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,007member
    cgWerks said:
    knowitall said:
    I would call it a YUC: the Mac is designed 100 times better, has style and is minimalistic at the same time, kudos for Apple.
    Internal power conversion is a big plus and makes Mac mini an even better product.
    The mini could become the best computer overall if it blended with the puck; intels very very expensive i7 would be blown away by a $20 A12.
    No, actually it would not unless they build a desktop version of the A12. They certainly could use the A-series architecture, but no, just putting an iPhone/iPad chip into a Mac won't make it compete with desktop/workstation/server processors (aside from a few instantaneous tests on a benchmark, maybe). Also, you're assuming, I think, continued growth in performance of the A-series and complete stagnation of Intel. Apple is going to hit the same physics walls Intel did eventually, too. The main thing holding Intel back is backward compatibility... and physics.
    Your words, not mine: “putting an iPhone/iPad chip into a Mac”. There is noting special about a desktop chip, it might be easier to build than a low power embedded chip.
    A chips will beat Intel processors because they do not need a hardware risc emulation layer and need much less chip real-estate because they don’t have to support depricated instruction sets.

  • Reply 109 of 188
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,041member
    cgWerks said:
    knowitall said:
    I would call it a YUC: the Mac is designed 100 times better, has style and is minimalistic at the same time, kudos for Apple.
    Internal power conversion is a big plus and makes Mac mini an even better product.
    The mini could become the best computer overall if it blended with the puck; intels very very expensive i7 would be blown away by a $20 A12.
    No, actually it would not unless they build a desktop version of the A12. They certainly could use the A-series architecture, but no, just putting an iPhone/iPad chip into a Mac won't make it compete with desktop/workstation/server processors (aside from a few instantaneous tests on a benchmark, maybe). Also, you're assuming, I think, continued growth in performance of the A-series and complete stagnation of Intel. Apple is going to hit the same physics walls Intel did eventually, too. The main thing holding Intel back is backward compatibility... and physics.
    I don't understand this type of thinking. Why would it be "just putting"? Did they just put an iPhone chip in the iPads? Did they just put an iPhone chip in the Apple Watch? Did they just put an Apple Watch chip in the Touch Bar? No, no, and no.

    They designed a chip with specific features for a specific device. Some are more congruent than others, like the A-series chips being used in the iPhone and iPad and others are considerably more diverse, like the M-series, T-series, and S-series chips, SoCs, and PoPs, not to mention all the other silicon they design.

    So why assume that a Mac running ARM would be using the A-series chip out of the an iPhone? Why assume that it wouldn't be able to compete with Intel when Apple's A-series chips which are designed for much lower TDPs and smaller batteries in mobile devices are already trouncing Intel chips in Macs. Do you think all the independent, comparative testing of the 12" MacBook and Mac mini are a lie?
    fastasleepcornchip
  • Reply 110 of 188
    stevenozstevenoz Posts: 188member
      
    I've got two Mac Minis... (actually three, one is a cloned backup of the Mac Mini server)... and I will want to upgrade at some point soon.

    I've got a bunch of computers (10) that all have a purpose. The Minis are great for their niche.

    What is it with Apple... that doesn't keep up? Irritating, both as a consumer and stock holder.

    Tim... look at me... you must support the Mac base. Really. Understand?

      
    elijahgFuture-Proof
  • Reply 111 of 188
    wandersowanderso Posts: 35member
    sflocal said:
    I've been wanting to purchased a Mac mini for some time now for an office, but kept waiting for a refresh.  I hope Apple does something sooner or later, or if anything, put a fire-sale on the current Mac to reflect the real price depreciation of the unit and I'll snap one up.

    What a shame.  I think Apple is dropping the ball here.
    Our video card died on our beloved iMac a while back. After so many years of buying iMacs, it scared me off on the newest models as I have a beautiful machine that only has used parts as an option on EBay. Newer iMacs are much harder to upgrade. Thus, I bought a used Mac Mini (yep, the less friendly to upgrade new model) and connected it to a nice external monitor we already had.  I swapped out the slow internal hard drive for a nice internal SSD. This made a big difference in usability. I'm holding out for a refresh as mine is exactly the same as a new one and I paid $200 less.  Until then, it works for me, even editing in Final Cut X.   
    cornchip
  • Reply 112 of 188
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,151member
    knowitall said:
    Your words, not mine: “putting an iPhone/iPad chip into a Mac”. There is noting special about a desktop chip, it might be easier to build than a low power embedded chip.
    A chips will beat Intel processors because they do not need a hardware risc emulation layer and need much less chip real-estate because they don’t have to support depricated instruction sets.
    True, but this requires a re-committment to the Mac platform. My point is that they aren't going to just put the same chip from an iPhone into a Mac case, and done (like they've done with the iPad, AppleTV, etc.). They will have to develop a custom version of the A-series chip made for more power consumption, more cooling, more cores, etc. so that it can actually do more robust things for longer periods of time.
    elijahg
  • Reply 113 of 188
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,151member

    Soli said:
    ... So why assume that a Mac running ARM would be using the A-series chip out of the an iPhone? Why assume that it wouldn't be able to compete with Intel when Apple's A-series chips which are designed for much lower TDPs and smaller batteries in mobile devices are already trouncing Intel chips in Macs. Do you think all the independent, comparative testing of the 12" MacBook and Mac mini are a lie?
    I'm not assuming that, just stating it won't be the case (i.e.: same chip). This means putting some substantial resources into the Mac, when they haven't even been able to pull off something simple like updating the chips in already designed models.

    Can they do it? Of course. Do they have the will? I don't know. That's my point.
    re: benchmarks - not apples to apples (pardon the pun).
    elijahgmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 114 of 188
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 158member
    Intel eats an Apple for lunch, NYUC NYUC NYUC! Apologies to the three stooges.
    cornchip
  • Reply 115 of 188
    duervoduervo Posts: 61member
    My mid 2011 Mac mini is still chugging along, 24x7. It’ll die eventually. When it does, if Apple doesn’t have anything worthwhile at the time, my eyes will be on one of those Intel NUCs. In fact, part of me is sort of “hoping” the mini dies this year, so that I have more of an excuse to get one of those Hades Canyon NUCs (https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/products/boards-kits/nuc/kits/nuc8i7hvk.html).

    My Synology NAS deals with Time Machine backups quite nicely. In fact, my mini’s only purpose at this point is as an iTunes server. Something which a PC (iTunes on Windows) can handle just as well.
    edited May 12
  • Reply 116 of 188
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,041member
    cgWerks said:
    Soli said:
    ... So why assume that a Mac running ARM would be using the A-series chip out of the an iPhone? Why assume that it wouldn't be able to compete with Intel when Apple's A-series chips which are designed for much lower TDPs and smaller batteries in mobile devices are already trouncing Intel chips in Macs. Do you think all the independent, comparative testing of the 12" MacBook and Mac mini are a lie?
    I'm not assuming that, just stating it won't be the case (i.e.: same chip). This means putting some substantial resources into the Mac, when they haven't even been able to pull off something simple like updating the chips in already designed models.

    Can they do it? Of course. Do they have the will? I don't know. That's my point.
    re: benchmarks - not apples to apples (pardon the pun).
    What do you mean they don't put substantial resources into the Mac? Apple puts a great deal of R&D and plans ahead for years for the Mac. You may not like the Touch Bar, Touch ID, Apple Pay, or the T1 chip that runs it all, but that took considerable resources to do. macOS had to be rewritten so that it could support that very unique resolution OLED display, all the other tie ins for the other HW to the OS, and APIs and frameworks just for that feature to be work. Out of the gate developers could modify their apps to work with it, and a surprising number did just that, including typical holdouts like Adobe and MS, because of the efforts Apple put into making it easy for 3rd-party app developers to adopt. But, hey, you keep telling yourself that Apple doesn't care about the Mac.
    edited May 12 cornchipfastasleepelijahgFuture-Proof
  • Reply 117 of 188
    smalmsmalm Posts: 641member
    foregoneconclusion said:

    I think people are forgetting what the point of the Mac mini was for Apple. 
    People are forgetting what the point of the Mac mini was for Apple because Apple forgot the Mac mini...
  • Reply 118 of 188
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,036member
    smalm said:
    foregoneconclusion said:

    I think people are forgetting what the point of the Mac mini was for Apple. 
    People are forgetting what the point of the Mac mini was for Apple because Apple forgot the Mac mini...
    Same way they forgot about Mac Pro?
  • Reply 119 of 188
    grifmxgrifmx Posts: 24member
    my kids have inherited two older minis and mainly use it for internet, homework, but also FCPX learning, and they're getting good. sadly, the machines are too old to update to latest systems and even latest FCPX. for sure I'm not buying my kid's iMacs and the minis were still a great cheapest option to be introduced to Mac OS, so I hope they do an update sometime. but the latest trend to not give access to drives or memory is very frustrating and I switched to PCs for building quick sample slave machines for music. those NUCs are what the Mini should be. fast, upgradeable, and for introducing people to Mac OS, FCPX, and iWork. use iMac as main machine but most people have monitors or TVs lying around and the Mini is still useful, as are NUCs. Just because the profit margins are smaller doesn't mean they should abandon it!
  • Reply 120 of 188
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,068member
    Apple’s unwillingness to either maintain or just kill off certain products is just baffling. Why the neglect for this little computer? Do something with it to at least maintain parity or end it already.
    elijahg
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