Mac mini 2018 Review: Apple's mightiest mini yet

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  • Reply 101 of 151
    Was this connected to a Thunderbolt display via the apple thunderbolt 3 to thunderbolt 2 adapter?
  • Reply 102 of 151
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,607administrator
    ntwrkd said:
    Was this connected to a Thunderbolt display via the apple thunderbolt 3 to thunderbolt 2 adapter?
    Yes.
  • Reply 103 of 151
    "As a downside, the storage is soldered into place, so replacing that yourself is a not possible."
    Thank you for answering this most fundamental, discretionary and seemingly crippling limitation of this hardware design....
    Management 'claimed' to acknowledge the pro cylinder upgradability limitations, and then we get this ?  Really ?
    gpu.userbenchmark.com/SpeedTest/356797/IntelR-UHD-Graphics-630
    Is how these design decisions actually meaningfully serve customers better a most obvious question?

    edited November 6
  • Reply 104 of 151
    So if I want to add a 1TB SSD to this machine for casual desktop use, what's the most sensible option? Will a SATA drive + USB-C adapter give me good performance for the lowest price? Is it worth it to move up to an NVMe drive + USB 3.1 Gen 2 adapter, even though this is faster than the USB port's 10G/s capability? Or is Thunderbolt 3 performance enough of a difference that it's worth it to get NVMe + TB3, even though the TB3 adapter is more than $200?

    It still looks like NVMe is less expensive than SATA, even though NVMe is also faster - is this correct?
    edited November 6
  • Reply 105 of 151
    kharvel said:
    That particular config, the box is included, and it is not cheap. The drive as pictured is $1300, with the enclosure if you want it separately for $199.
    Twice the price of basic Mac Mini, (almost, @ $1300). Apple’s 1 TB internal SSD upgrade is $800...
    Twice the price NOW.  6 months down the road, it will probably drop to $800.  1 year down the road, probably gonna cost you $400.  2 years?  Do the math.  Meanwhile, the Apple internal NVME remains. . . .wait for it .. . . THE SAME!
    So wait for 6 months and buy Intel Optane @ $800, what’s your point? This is Intel, not Samsung, you cannot buy it @ $800 even in two years...

    My point is NVME prices and external TB3 prices will go down substantially in the short term to the extent that the $800 Apple upgrade price for 1TB will look very expensive by comparison.
  • Reply 106 of 151
    analogjackanalogjack Posts: 1,058member
    Our base model came with 8GB of RAM, though it can go all the way up to... wait for it... 64GB. That was a disappointment I thought you were going to say 11GB
  • Reply 107 of 151
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,343member
    vulpine said:
    So if I want to add a 1TB SSD to this machine for casual desktop use, what's the most sensible option? Will a SATA drive + USB-C adapter give me good performance for the lowest price? Is it worth it to move up to an NVMe drive + USB 3.1 Gen 2 adapter, even though this is faster than the USB port's 10G/s capability? Or is Thunderbolt 3 performance enough of a difference that it's worth it to get NVMe + TB3, even though the TB3 adapter is more than $200?

    It still looks like NVMe is less expensive than SATA, even though NVMe is also faster - is this correct?
    Anything with a SATA connection will not get better than about 0.5 Gbps or so regardless of port in the back of the mini. Still, it would be heaps faster than a HDD and you could use the internal SSD as the boot drive anyway, and the external for storage.
    NVMe through USB3.1/USB-C will get to 10 Gbps
    NVMe through TB3 up to 40 Gbps.

    10 Gbps would be plenty fast enough, especially for a Mac Mini.  However as Apple has left such a massive amount of price room to compete with, why not go for TB3 and still feel justified?


    edited November 7
  • Reply 108 of 151
    hentaiboy said:
    Mike Wuerthele said:
    We'll be torturing the TB3 subsystem a bit later in the week and next week, but so far, we're not seeing any issues with the high-speed SSD in the red enclosure you see in the pic which can shove data very nearly at 40gbit/sec, in conjunction with the Apple Thunderbolt display. We'll push it to the max with multiple displays and drives.
    Also can you test how much performance boost the T2 chip gives to video encoding vs the old i7 Mac Mini without? Cheers. 
    Can already say right now that between QuickSync and the T2, the answer is "a lot." Better data to come.
    Help me out with this, please. Even among a group of video experts we can't seem to get a consistent answer to how and when hardware acceleration does any good.

    Let's take two really common workflows:

    1. Finished ProRes file imported into Compressor (stand-alone Compressor with a finished file, NOT having FCPX invite Compressor to come in and handle the output), transcoding to h.264.

    2. Handbrake transcoding something like an mpeg MKV file to h.264.

    Do you know for sure whether or not either Handbrake or Compressor actually take advantage of on-chip hardware acceleration? Would either of those tasks benefit from the T2 chip? Do some apps use hardware acceleration for transcoding while others don't, or is it part of the macOS architecture?

    Thanks!
  • Reply 109 of 151
    anome said:
    [...] They announce a new product with a base price at some landmark (US$1000, US$500, whatever) and the pundits all agree that particular model is only there so they can claim a "Starting at..." price tag.
    You're right. So are they.

    anome said:
    And you only have to look above to see the complaints about how much they charge for upgrades.
    Yup. So here's a very simple solution:

    1. Continue to offer gimped configurations that meet a price point. Some people will be happier with saving some money than having a more capable machine.

    2. Set pricing for upgrades to somewhere even close to sane. Stop the egregious gouging.

    There. Everyone's happy!

    Seriously, all joking aside, this is not complicated. The "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation you've described derives from a single issue: Apple charging way, way, WAAAY too much for upgrades. Bring those costs into a reasonable realm and the problem of how to configure a base model goes away.
    entropys
  • Reply 110 of 151

    Rayz2016 said:
    The Apple Mouse has the lightning port on the bottom because a mouse with a hole you can see would look like crap 
    This would qualify as a perfect example of form over function, in my opinion. Unlike you (with respect for your preference), I would rather be able to continue using the mouse while it's charging, like I can with the keyboard. Besides, that would put the port on the side facing away from you so you'd never see it anyway! :)
    entropysdewme
  • Reply 111 of 151
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,343member

    Rayz2016 said:
    The Apple Mouse has the lightning port on the bottom because a mouse with a hole you can see would look like crap 
    This would qualify as a perfect example of form over function, in my opinion. Unlike you (with respect for your preference), I would rather be able to continue using the mouse while it's charging, like I can with the keyboard. Besides, that would put the port on the side facing away from you so you'd never see it anyway! :)
    The mouse could be given a bit of an overbite too to further hide it.
  • Reply 112 of 151
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,607administrator
    hentaiboy said:
    Mike Wuerthele said:
    We'll be torturing the TB3 subsystem a bit later in the week and next week, but so far, we're not seeing any issues with the high-speed SSD in the red enclosure you see in the pic which can shove data very nearly at 40gbit/sec, in conjunction with the Apple Thunderbolt display. We'll push it to the max with multiple displays and drives.
    Also can you test how much performance boost the T2 chip gives to video encoding vs the old i7 Mac Mini without? Cheers. 
    Can already say right now that between QuickSync and the T2, the answer is "a lot." Better data to come.
    Help me out with this, please. Even among a group of video experts we can't seem to get a consistent answer to how and when hardware acceleration does any good.

    Let's take two really common workflows:

    1. Finished ProRes file imported into Compressor (stand-alone Compressor with a finished file, NOT having FCPX invite Compressor to come in and handle the output), transcoding to h.264.

    2. Handbrake transcoding something like an mpeg MKV file to h.264.

    Do you know for sure whether or not either Handbrake or Compressor actually take advantage of on-chip hardware acceleration? Would either of those tasks benefit from the T2 chip? Do some apps use hardware acceleration for transcoding while others don't, or is it part of the macOS architecture?

    Thanks!
    Compressor SHOULD use it now, but most of our video crew doesn't have the new unit yet. FFMpeg should as well, with the “-c:v hevc_videotoolbox” CLI switch, according to our Victor Marks -- so anything based on ffmpeg should be upgradeable to do so. Handbrake will need a software update.
    lorin schultz
  • Reply 113 of 151
    Is Apple using a 'special' version of the i3-8100 because afaik it does not support 2666 ddr4 ?
  • Reply 114 of 151
    blastdoor said:
    dewme said:
    This is a worthy upgrade that predictably builds on Apple's reputation of delivering premium products at a premium price. It is now safe to say the Mini is  not going to be Apple's budget or entry level product that some folks were hoping for. It's one thing for us to say "the ecosystem could use a less expensive one, at a $499 or $599 price-point" but quite another to identify what we're willing to give up on the lowest end configuration to hit that price point. By the way, Apple accepting a lower margin is not a viable answer and is not going to happen. This is still a premium engineered, amazingly industrialized, and thoughtfully sourced product that Apple put a tremendous amount of resources into to preserve what Apple values in a product it is proud to present to customers. They are not simply slapping a bunch of off-the-shelf components into an ugly white box that's stuffed with whatever they can get cheapest this week.

    I'm still hopeful that Apple can find a way to justify delivering a true entry level machine. To do this they will need to approach the problem from a different angle. For example, if Apple decided to significantly ramp up its investment in keeping newbie programmers on the professional development path they could consider something like a Mac "Coding Machine" that consisted of a what is basically a scaled down and spec'd down Mac Mini, perhaps in a poly-carbonate case, that is priced say at $299. Perhaps it only has i3 and fewer ports. I'm thinking something that is in the same sphere of focus as the Raspberry Pi but a full Mac OS machine (with XCode) that is more akin to what professional programmers are using compared to an iPad with Swift Playgrounds, which I as more like Lego Mindstorm for early exposure to programming. Apple needs to create an easy and natural path from Playgrounds to XCode, so having an educational focus coupled with an entry level product relieves Apple from having to have the "premium" wick turned up quite so high as what we see with the new Mini. Apple can do it, but needs to redefine the rationale that's driving their engineering and product development machine to make it happen. Education, STEM, robotics, and "everyone can code" may be exactly the rationale they need.

    Of course an entry level Mini won't please the current crowd here at AI, but Apple can't please everyone all of the time and they still have a business to run. We CAN pay for premium, even though we like to complain about it from our thousand dollar phones.

    The "easy" path to an entry level Mac at a lower price point is to dump Intel. Intel's gross margins are over 60%; TSMC's gross margins are just under 50%. Every time Apple ships a product with a processor fabbed by Intel rather than TSMC they are paying an "Intel tax" of sorts. An A12-based Mini would be a very strong entry level machine at a lower price point. An A12X could be offered as a BTO option for higher performance. 
    easy for whom...  a move to Aseries 'burns the ships' for Mac OS and app development on Intel. You will need to take 100M Mac users and tell them they are running on obsolete hardware.    There better be a serious performance envelope increase to make any Intel laptop look like it's weak sauce compared to the A Series alternative (and it's gotta start at the Pro levels and iMac levels, and that requires a WinTel emulation package built in). That's a serious undertaking, and will require a skunkworks effort to avoid Osborning the current Mac line and orphaning a 100Million Mac Users. 

     I see it 3 years out a new chip variant (BSeries?) that has less power constraints, and is designed for true multi-user/Multi-process management (A-Series are designed to support 1-3 active apps).  The performance is gonna have to be 2X+ faster than the fasted Intel chips on the horizon before most people are going to accept that risk of abandoning/emulating 100s of niche applications compiled for Intel.

    I repeat, easy for whom?




  • Reply 115 of 151
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,607administrator
    blastdoor said:
    dewme said:
    This is a worthy upgrade that predictably builds on Apple's reputation of delivering premium products at a premium price. It is now safe to say the Mini is  not going to be Apple's budget or entry level product that some folks were hoping for. It's one thing for us to say "the ecosystem could use a less expensive one, at a $499 or $599 price-point" but quite another to identify what we're willing to give up on the lowest end configuration to hit that price point. By the way, Apple accepting a lower margin is not a viable answer and is not going to happen. This is still a premium engineered, amazingly industrialized, and thoughtfully sourced product that Apple put a tremendous amount of resources into to preserve what Apple values in a product it is proud to present to customers. They are not simply slapping a bunch of off-the-shelf components into an ugly white box that's stuffed with whatever they can get cheapest this week.

    I'm still hopeful that Apple can find a way to justify delivering a true entry level machine. To do this they will need to approach the problem from a different angle. For example, if Apple decided to significantly ramp up its investment in keeping newbie programmers on the professional development path they could consider something like a Mac "Coding Machine" that consisted of a what is basically a scaled down and spec'd down Mac Mini, perhaps in a poly-carbonate case, that is priced say at $299. Perhaps it only has i3 and fewer ports. I'm thinking something that is in the same sphere of focus as the Raspberry Pi but a full Mac OS machine (with XCode) that is more akin to what professional programmers are using compared to an iPad with Swift Playgrounds, which I as more like Lego Mindstorm for early exposure to programming. Apple needs to create an easy and natural path from Playgrounds to XCode, so having an educational focus coupled with an entry level product relieves Apple from having to have the "premium" wick turned up quite so high as what we see with the new Mini. Apple can do it, but needs to redefine the rationale that's driving their engineering and product development machine to make it happen. Education, STEM, robotics, and "everyone can code" may be exactly the rationale they need.

    Of course an entry level Mini won't please the current crowd here at AI, but Apple can't please everyone all of the time and they still have a business to run. We CAN pay for premium, even though we like to complain about it from our thousand dollar phones.

    The "easy" path to an entry level Mac at a lower price point is to dump Intel. Intel's gross margins are over 60%; TSMC's gross margins are just under 50%. Every time Apple ships a product with a processor fabbed by Intel rather than TSMC they are paying an "Intel tax" of sorts. An A12-based Mini would be a very strong entry level machine at a lower price point. An A12X could be offered as a BTO option for higher performance. 
    easy for whom...  a move to Aseries 'burns the ships' for Mac OS and app development on Intel. You will need to take 100M Mac users and tell them they are running on obsolete hardware.    There better be a serious performance envelope increase to make any Intel laptop look like it's weak sauce compared to the A Series alternative (and it's gotta start at the Pro levels and iMac levels, and that requires a WinTel emulation package built in). That's a serious undertaking, and will require a skunkworks effort to avoid Osborning the current Mac line and orphaning a 100Million Mac Users. 

     I see it 3 years out a new chip variant (BSeries?) that has less power constraints, and is designed for true multi-user/Multi-process management (A-Series are designed to support 1-3 active apps).  The performance is gonna have to be 2X+ faster than the fasted Intel chips on the horizon before most people are going to accept that risk of abandoning/emulating 100s of niche applications compiled for Intel.

    I repeat, easy for whom?




    It does nothing of the sort. That's what Xcode is for, which means that this transition should be even easier than the last two with a pile of third-party compliers and IDEs.

    I understand that it isn't a simple one-button push to do this, but 68K development continued for two years, and PPC continued for at least three the last two times we've done this.
  • Reply 116 of 151
    It’s extremely overpriced that it. No one wants 8gb internal memory and i3 for $799 so now they severely overcharge you with any upgrade (unless you buy your own memory but that’s about what you can do).
    And whatever you pick, the onboard graphics remain extremely slow.
    Is this the “pro” focus Apple was referring to? 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 117 of 151
    entropys said:
    Anything with a SATA connection will not get better than about 0.5 Gbps or so regardless of port in the back of the mini.
    Why is that, with a SATA III 6Gb/s SSD?


  • Reply 118 of 151
    YP101YP101 Posts: 39member
    vulpine said:
    YP101 said:
    NVME speed is good but compare to 2.5' SSD, The price is too much for now. The SSD speed is concern then I rather buy dual bay with raid 0 as 2 1TB 2.5' SSD.
    Would you please explain? I'm looking at Amazon and it seems that an NVMe SSD is less expensive (and faster) than a SATA SSD right now.

    Samsung 850 EVO 1TB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD: $308
    Samsung 970 EVO 1TB - NVMe PCIe M.2 2280 SSD: $228

    Even when you add the cost of an enclosure, the NVMe SSD seems like the clear winner.
    I don't know when you search that in Amazon, so far I am looking at following link today

    860 EVO 1TB is $162 and 970 EVO NVME is $227.
    Far as I know NVME SSD price never lower than 2,5' SSD. I bought 2 years ago on black friday 860 EVO 2.5 1TB was $170 from Samsung and newegg and they gave me free game with it(another $50 worth) 

    I don't think NVME 1TB will not go less than $180 even on 2018 black Friday. There was rumor SSD price will drop much as 30% end of 2018 or so. But time to tell.
    I expect 2.5' SSD 1TB should be around $120 for 860 EVO on black Friday or cyber Monday. Other Micron and cheaper brand should be around $99 mark.
    I am look into 2TB for $180-190 hopefully..
    vulpine
  • Reply 119 of 151
    vulpine said:
    So if I want to add a 1TB SSD to this machine for casual desktop use, what's the most sensible option? Will a SATA drive + USB-C adapter give me good performance for the lowest price? Is it worth it to move up to an NVMe drive + USB 3.1 Gen 2 adapter, even though this is faster than the USB port's 10G/s capability? Or is Thunderbolt 3 performance enough of a difference that it's worth it to get NVMe + TB3, even though the TB3 adapter is more than $200?

    It still looks like NVMe is less expensive than SATA, even though NVMe is also faster - is this correct?
    There is a reason Intel sells 960 GB Optane at $1200. There are a lot of cheap and attractive Amazon listings but since Thunderbolt 3 in the PC world is so rare, I couldn’t find any true benchmark on these NVMe SSDs performance in a TB3 enclosure. All seem to come mostly in M.2 form factor, thus essentially internal. So I’d suggest the tried and tested way: buy an USB 3.0 SATA Drive, the cheapest.
    vulpine
  • Reply 120 of 151
    YP101YP101 Posts: 39member
    If Apple ditch Intel CPU to own A cpu then it will be only consumer product line. Not "PRO" line up.
    So the developer will not effect on this. Or any consumer need more power then they can buy "PRO" products.

    Since new mini goes under some what "PRO" line, I would say Apple TV will be new consumer level mini.
    New Apple TV will have 2 different model that one has cheaper A10X and other is A12X with keyboard and mouse support.

    The most of consumer not need current intel high power CPU. Unless you are student, when was last time did you open office type of app from home?(not doing work.)

    Most consumer wants simply install apps from app store and either play lite game or consume media. I wonder why do you need more than A12X at this point? with 6-8GB RAM and 128GB SSD. Same goes to Macbook.(not air).

    Storage and back up can be solved by iCloud or 2 bay NAS at home.
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