Mac mini 2018 Review: Apple's mightiest mini yet

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Comments

  • Reply 141 of 155
    nhtnht Posts: 4,331member
    sirozha said:
    I believe that the quad-core i3 CPU in this Mac Mini has only four threads instead of eight threads; that is there’s only one thread per core. Please confirm that.

    If this is the case, the multi-threading performance of this i3 CPU should be inferior to the multithreading performance of the 2012 Mac Mini’s quad-core i7, which has eight threads (two threads per core).  
    This is wrong.  The strong single core performance of the i3 Mac mini means the 4 single threaded cores out performed the 4 hyper-threaded cores of the 2012 Core i7.  On single core performance the i7 mini is #2 on geek bench and the i3 outperformance many recent model Core i7 MBPs.

    The Core i3 mini (13773) is faster than the Core i5-7500 21.5" 2017 iMac (13700) and only a little behind the Late 2016 MBP with the i7-6820HQ (13829).

    The top Core i7 Mac Mini its #6 on the Mac Geekbench at 23762 ahead of the every Mac except for the 4 iMac Pro models and the 12 core Mac Pro.

    Folks claiming that the Mac mini is "overpriced" are on crack.  These little machines are fantastic for CPU oriented tasks.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 142 of 155
    nhtnht Posts: 4,331member
    With 2 TB3 controllers the new mini is a beast and wins the bang for the buck category for MacOS users.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 143 of 155
    nht said:
    With 2 TB3 controllers the new mini is a beast and wins the bang for the buck category for MacOS users.
    Earlier reports were ONE controller with two busses. Were they wrong? Do you have new information?
  • Reply 144 of 155
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,872administrator
    nht said:
    With 2 TB3 controllers the new mini is a beast and wins the bang for the buck category for MacOS users.
    Earlier reports were ONE controller with two busses. Were they wrong? Do you have new information?
    We do, yes. There are two TB3 controllers, and that makes the fourth piece of bad information Apple gave us on the demo floor at the event.
    vulpine
  • Reply 145 of 155
    nht said:
    With 2 TB3 controllers the new mini is a beast and wins the bang for the buck category for MacOS users.
    Earlier reports were ONE controller with two busses. Were they wrong? Do you have new information?
    We do, yes. There are two TB3 controllers, and that makes the fourth piece of bad information Apple gave us on the demo floor at the event.
    "Dear Apple: Thanks a lot. Sincerely, Appleinsider." LOL!

    I wonder if there's a way to determine which ports are tied to which buss? Then one could choose which ports to use to balance bandwidth requirements between devices that are demanding, like an eGPU, and those that can stand to share, like a RAID.
  • Reply 146 of 155
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,872administrator
    nht said:
    With 2 TB3 controllers the new mini is a beast and wins the bang for the buck category for MacOS users.
    Earlier reports were ONE controller with two busses. Were they wrong? Do you have new information?
    We do, yes. There are two TB3 controllers, and that makes the fourth piece of bad information Apple gave us on the demo floor at the event.
    "Dear Apple: Thanks a lot. Sincerely, Appleinsider." LOL!

    I wonder if there's a way to determine which ports are tied to which buss? Then one could choose which ports to use to balance bandwidth requirements between devices that are demanding, like an eGPU, and those that can stand to share, like a RAID.
    I can answer that question for you when mine arrives later today.
  • Reply 147 of 155
    nht said:
    With 2 TB3 controllers the new mini is a beast and wins the bang for the buck category for MacOS users.
    Earlier reports were ONE controller with two busses. Were they wrong? Do you have new information?
    We do, yes. There are two TB3 controllers, and that makes the fourth piece of bad information Apple gave us on the demo floor at the event.
    "Dear Apple: Thanks a lot. Sincerely, Appleinsider." LOL!

    I wonder if there's a way to determine which ports are tied to which buss? Then one could choose which ports to use to balance bandwidth requirements between devices that are demanding, like an eGPU, and those that can stand to share, like a RAID.
    I can answer that question for you when mine arrives later today.
    So Mike, what is the answer?
  • Reply 148 of 155
    Sure, the new Mini's better than the old one, but "worth the wait" is a bit too much. Apple could have done it years earlier, and could have equipped it much better. So, yeah, thanks, Apple, for this new Mini, but why didn't you give it to us earlier and better?

    Altogether, the shine's been fading on Apple in recent years. They used to stand for cutting-edge technology, products that could help ordinary people to do amazing things easily. Lately, they seem to be more interested in bells and whistles (Mojave's highly-touted dark mode, cool emojis - all a bit underwhelming).
    williamlondon
  • Reply 149 of 155
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,872administrator
    larz2112 said:
    nht said:
    With 2 TB3 controllers the new mini is a beast and wins the bang for the buck category for MacOS users.
    Earlier reports were ONE controller with two busses. Were they wrong? Do you have new information?
    We do, yes. There are two TB3 controllers, and that makes the fourth piece of bad information Apple gave us on the demo floor at the event.
    "Dear Apple: Thanks a lot. Sincerely, Appleinsider." LOL!

    I wonder if there's a way to determine which ports are tied to which buss? Then one could choose which ports to use to balance bandwidth requirements between devices that are demanding, like an eGPU, and those that can stand to share, like a RAID.
    I can answer that question for you when mine arrives later today.
    So Mike, what is the answer?
    Sorry! Yeah, looking at the back of the machine, the left two ports are on one controller, and the right two are on the other.
    larz2112
  • Reply 150 of 155
    dewme said:
    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. 
    That ship sailed quite some time ago. It remains interesting how techie boyz think that the higher ups at this company (or any other) just sit around and decide out of pure spite to raise the prices on their products. They didn't research anything, they didn't look at the market trends. They didn't see that the point of entry into the Apple ecosystem is not a Mac mini but the iPhone. They certainly don't want your first Mac to be an iMac rather than a Mac mini. Nope, they lit a $100 bill for their cigars and raised the price out of fiat.

    Techie boyz like to consider themselves as super geniuses at *everything* but their analyses and comments often amount to a great deal of spoon-clanging and bib-dribbling over what *they* prefer, and deliberately mistake that for the market in general. The original raison d'être (that means "reason for being") of the Mac mini was to get people to switch to their platform. That angle isn't compelling anymore. If you see people stacking these devices to create render farms or whatever, why would you cling to the previous model of marketing the Mac mini? And why would you stick to the same price point of over 4 years ago? 

    This is what you get when you have a company that exists on the high end. Make your financial choices that fit your finances, but stop pretending any company needs to conform to your personal situation.

    That's capitalism, dood. 
  • Reply 151 of 155
    gbdoc said:
    Sure, the new Mini's better than the old one, but "worth the wait" is a bit too much. Apple could have done it years earlier, and could have equipped it much better. So, yeah, thanks, Apple, for this new Mini, but why didn't you give it to us earlier and better?

    Altogether, the shine's been fading on Apple in recent years. They used to stand for cutting-edge technology, products that could help ordinary people to do amazing things easily. Lately, they seem to be more interested in bells and whistles (Mojave's highly-touted dark mode, cool emojis - all a bit underwhelming).
    "They used to stand for cutting-edge technology, products that could help ordinary people to do amazing things easily"

    Their products still help ordinary people to do amazing things easily. That hasn't changed.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 152 of 155

    As a dual Mac Os and Windows 10 user, check it out. That’s my advice. 

    I purchased the $1099 in-stock i5 6-core / 8GB / 256GB model at my nearby Apple store. It includes Apple's standard 14-day return policy (for any reason) for a full refund. I would suggest doing the same if you are interested in evaluating how well software you typically use on other hardware actually performs on the new Mac Mini. 

    You see the key thing here, which seems to be left out of many YouTube reviews and even a few of the online reviews, is that individual software programs make use of individual hardware components to varying degrees. Some hardware components may be used relatively infrequently. In fact, some well-known professional-standard software programs with 3D components rely almost entirely on CPU rendering. Such programs aren't written to heavily utilize a GPU for manipulating 3D objects. 

    This point is entirely relevant to any discussion of the Mac Mini. 

    And yet, many people aren't being made aware of this key consideration. The YouTube reviews I have seen often leave it out, instead focusing almost exclusively on performance of Gaming and 4K Video Editing software. And that's a shame. More people would try out the new Mac Mini if there were greater awareness of the differences in software design. 

    To help illustrate this point, I will share my experience: 

    On my first day with the Mini, I ran the usual native Mac OS home and home office productivity software programs without any issues. As you would expect. Very nice.

    Since I will also use my new Mini for professional CAD work, photometric calculations, and photometric renderings, I then spent some time installing Windows 10 Pro on a 128GB partition using Boot Camp. During the installation, I used the free twocanoes ISO converter to avoid hang-ups caused by installation errors.

    With Windows 10 Pro installed, I than spent two days stress testing the Mini's hardware capabilities. 

    I created and edited large 3D models in AutoCAD 2019 and AGI 32 photometric software (both running under Windows). I was very pleased with the Mini's performance using each program. The Mini's 6-core Intel CPU did all of the heavy lifting. Meanwhile, the Intel integrated graphics rested comfortably off to the side, occasionally called upon for a few minor tasks.

    The AGI 32 software made use of all 6 processor cores to perform photometric calculations in full radiosity mode. The i5's Turbo Boost feature was a big help here, raising the 3.0GHz base processor speed up to 3.9GHz (according to Windows 10's Task Manger). Impressively, Apple's new internal layout and fan design allowed the i5 processor to maintain the boosted 3.9GHz processor speed over the 35-minute duration required for the largest calculation file. No thermal throttling of the processor speed occurred - over a 35-minute operation utilizing all 6 cores. Very nice hardware, indeed.

    Next, I exported the AGI 32 photometric calculation file, comprised of a 25,000 square foot building containing (12) individual 2,000 square foot office spaces and 1,600 light fixtures, into an AutoCAD format 3D drawing. Opening and editing the newly created 3D CAD drawing in AutoCAD 2019 posed no problems for the Mac Mini in the stock i5 6-core / 8GB / 256GB configuration. As in the AGI 32 software, the AutoCAD 2019 software relied on the i5 CPU for most of the task work. The Intel Integrated Graphics performed the role of an assistant to the CPU, hoovering nearby, waiting to be called on for some relatively light work. 

    Justifiably impressed thus far with the Mac Mini's performance running AutoCAD 2019 and AGI 32 under Boot Camp and Windows 10 Pro, I will next evaluate it using 3DS Max 2019 modeling software. The goal being to create far more polished photometric renderings than (the largely technical) AGI 32 software is intended for. 

    At this point, I am pleasantly optimistic, as 3DS Max 2019 includes the Arnold rendering engine which, just like AutoCAD 2019 and AGI 32, is written to rely heavily on the CPU, and not the graphics processor, making it another potentially good match with the new Mac Mini 2018.
    edited November 2018 shamino
  • Reply 153 of 155
    Yah, but not for $999 Canadian. That's TWICE the price of what the mini should be.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 154 of 155
    Yah, but not for $999 Canadian. That's TWICE the price of what the mini should be.
    Which is proof that Apple just can't please everybody. I wanted something with enough power to at least compete with a MacBook Pro or modest iMac, and was prepared to pay more to get that.

    This time I got what I wished for but you didn't. That's one of the frustrations of wanting to use Apple products; the hardware offerings are not as broad and varied as what's available to Windows users.

    I'm happy with the direction Apple took with the mini, but I feel your pain.
  • Reply 155 of 155
    It is still way too overpriced as an entry level Mac. Apple could easily afford to make a new Mac mini a loss-leading computer to bring Wintel/Amdow users into the Apple family. Had Apple pitched this new mini at $450 it would easily have become the number one computer in the western world (possibly the far-east also). As an Apple user since inception and shareholder thereafter, I would far rather take a small reduction or loss of dividends in return for much greater Mac OS penetration. As a socialist I believe Apple can well afford to embrace the less well off.
    williamlondon
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