Closing the book on Apple's Mac mini

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  • Reply 421 of 575
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,232member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PB View Post


    Curiously enough, he forgot to utter "But soon all will be 64-bit"...



    There could have been a reason for that.



    They certainly could have bolstered their claim of 64 bit compatibility if they had upgraded the Mini for the WWDC. That would have fit into the presentation.



    It's possible that they will either discontinue the machine, as has already been suggested, or will simply not upgrade it to 64 bits anytime soon.
  • Reply 422 of 575
    pbpb Posts: 4,238member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    There could have been a reason for that.



    I was of course half-joking, so I did not really expect him to say that.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    ...or will simply not upgrade it to 64 bits anytime soon.



    Which hardly makes sense after the bold statements about 64-bit and the graphic with all the Macs except the Mac mini. One would logically think that at least after Leopard's release, all the machines sold by Apple will be 64-bit and the 32-bit compatibility is there for the older models.



    But yes, Apple has proved in the past that it is capable to do the unthinkable, so to leave the Mac mini with 32-bit CPU for a long time to come is certainly a possibility.
  • Reply 423 of 575
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,605member
    Eventually, won't all chips be 64 bit or will Windows Vista (can you run 32 bit windows on a 64 bit chip) keep that from happening for some time to come?
  • Reply 424 of 575
    aegisdesignaegisdesign Posts: 2,914member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aplnub View Post


    Eventually, won't all chips be 64 bit or will Windows Vista (can you run 32 bit windows on a 64 bit chip) keep that from happening for some time to come?



    All of the 64bit Intel and AMD chips can run either 64bit or 32bit code. The problem is that there are two versions of Windows, one for 32bit and one for 64bit. 32bit can't run any 64bit apps. 64bit can only run some 32bit apps and there's very few drivers so even if you've a 64bit copy of Word, if your printer driver is 32bit you're stuffed, it won't talk to it. For that reason, there's a tiny fraction of Windows 64 bit users and no incentive for developers to write 64bit Windows applications or drivers.



    Apple doesn't have that problem. There's every incentive to write 64bit code.



    However, if the developer is writing cross platform applications (I'm looking at you Adobe) then they'll almost certainly stick to 32bit and so development will be dragged down to the lowest common denominator - Windows 32bit.
  • Reply 425 of 575
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post


    However, if the developer is writing cross platform applications (I'm looking at you Adobe) then they'll almost certainly stick to 32bit and so development will be dragged down to the lowest common denominator - Windows 32bit.



    Hmm.... I wonder why Steve used a photo manipulation exercise to demonstrate the power of 64 bit computing.
  • Reply 426 of 575
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,730moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    Hmm.... I wonder why Steve used a photo manipulation exercise to demonstrate the power of 64 bit computing.



    64-bit's biggest advantage is allowing you to drastically increase your memory address space so if you have enough Ram, you can use all of it for any given process. Photos are good because they give you clear visual feedback about what's going on so they're good for a demonstration.
  • Reply 427 of 575
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    64-bit's biggest advantage is allowing you to drastically increase your memory address space so if you have enough Ram, you can use all of it for any given process. Photos are good because they give you clear visual feedback about what's going on so they're good for a demonstration.



    SJ wouldn't be prodding Adobe to make PS 64 bit would he? He wouldn't do anything like that.
  • Reply 428 of 575
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,232member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    64-bit's biggest advantage is allowing you to drastically increase your memory address space so if you have enough Ram, you can use all of it for any given process. Photos are good because they give you clear visual feedback about what's going on so they're good for a demonstration.



    On x86, going 64 bit, runs most programs faster. This is unlike the PPC platform, where 64 bit runs programs no faster, or sometimes, even slightly slower.
  • Reply 429 of 575
    gregalexandergregalexander Posts: 1,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    On x86, going 64 bit, runs most programs faster. This is unlike the PPC platform, where 64 bit runs programs no faster, or sometimes, even slightly slower.



    What makes you think this?
  • Reply 430 of 575
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,824member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GregAlexander View Post


    What makes you think this?



    Not sure where Melgross got the "slightly slower on PPC" thing from, but on the x86 front: if the programs are specially compiled for 64 bit, they have the potential to execute faster (even if they don't need any fixed-point 64 bit maths) because 64 bit x86 has twice as many registers as x86 32 bit.
  • Reply 431 of 575
    aegisdesignaegisdesign Posts: 2,914member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post


    Not sure where Melgross got the "slightly slower on PPC" thing from, but on the x86 front: if the programs are specially compiled for 64 bit, they have the potential to execute faster (even if they don't need any fixed-point 64 bit maths) because 64 bit x86 has twice as many registers as x86 32 bit.



    On PowerPC 64bit you don't get the increase in registers so no increase there. The decrease comes from having to operate with 64bit data instead of 32bit so you've essentially halved the amount of data you can hold in the cache and you're operating with 64bit pointers for no reason.
  • Reply 432 of 575
    gregalexandergregalexander Posts: 1,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post


    On PowerPC 64bit you don't get the increase in registers so no increase there. The decrease comes from having to operate with 64bit data instead of 32bit so you've essentially halved the amount of data you can hold in the cache and you're operating with 64bit pointers for no reason.



    So you are both saying that being 64bit itself doesn't make these chips faster, but the design of the chip is faster (due to increase in registers).



    I assume then that those registers are only available when accessed via 64 bit instructions?



    (I've just always read that 64bit is slightly slower - except on exceptionally large data files. Of course, if our general memory requirements double every year or 2, then we NEED 64 bit or we'd be forced shortly to install less memory than optimum and hence run more slowly on 32bit.)
  • Reply 433 of 575
    aegisdesignaegisdesign Posts: 2,914member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GregAlexander View Post


    So you are both saying that being 64bit itself doesn't make these chips faster, but the design of the chip is faster (due to increase in registers).



    I assume then that those registers are only available when accessed via 64 bit instructions?



    Yes.



    The fastest operations are those which can be held in the CPU's registers. Think of them as extremely fast local storage on the CPU itself. The problem is the 32bit Intel platform only has 8 registers. 64bit Intel/AMD increases this to 16. PowerPC has always had 16 registers.



    Compilers optimise code by using registers as much as they possibly can because they're really fast. The more they've got to play with, the more efficient the code generated. In theory, if the code can use only registers then the need to get data from the system memory is avoided and you get a massive increase in speed. In reality though, most of the register issues can be solved by clever compiler tricks and larger on chip caches at the expense of power consumption and rarely are computer algorithms just acting on small sets of data in registers and not accessing system RAM.
  • Reply 434 of 575
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,232member
    This is great!



    I get back late, and don't even have to answer the question, because you guys did it for me.
  • Reply 435 of 575
    aquamacaquamac Posts: 585member
    This thread is way off topic now. the 64/32 bit issue should be its own thread.



    BTW The mini ain't dead yet. :P
  • Reply 436 of 575
    easyceasyc Posts: 69member
    Sorry Posted twice.
  • Reply 437 of 575
    easyceasyc Posts: 69member
    I just feel left out for not posting in this thread. I say the mini stays! Come Jan 2008 it will get an upgrade and Gates will let Steve announce to the world that he is finally getting that sex change !
  • Reply 438 of 575
    jowie74jowie74 Posts: 540member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ekivemark View Post


    I want features in iTunes and iPhoto that allow me to seamlessly break my library in to multiple locations. ie. Have a core of music on my laptop, have a mush larger family library on a shared machine and be able to sync them both seamlessly to my iPod. This is doable now with some behind the scenes file sharing but Apple could do a much better job if they set their minds to the challenge.



    Hear hear, an Apple central media server. That would rule absolutely.



    I still want a Mac Mini, I have since they were introduced. The more I think about how useful it would be sat under my TV as a server/media player, the more I salivate at the idea. And hopefully with these rumours regarding a Mac Nano, well, you just never know.



    Forget media speculation, long live the Mini!
  • Reply 439 of 575
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by philbutler View Post


    I think the 'mini is a cute machine. But I won't buy one - due to it being a bit under powered. On the other hand, I won't buy a Mac tower due to it's size and noise factor. I had a MDD dual 1Ghz G4 tower and it was loud as everything. I have heard that the newer machines are quieter, but I want whisper quiet. I have a iMac 24" now and it's perfect.



    What about a Mac-midi that has a full-size (replaceable) hard drive and has the speed capability of a iMac. Basically a headless iMac. If something like this were in the $1000 range or so, I WOULD be interested.



    The Mac Mini got a reprieve and a Core Duo option which is great. I still believe that the Mini is a great central server for many families. After all the AppleTV is basically a mains-powered iPod with a hi def video interface. To get the most out of the AppleTV you want a media server and the mini with an add-on disk does a great job.



    Now what I am waiting for is for Leopard to provide an iTunes update that allows me to partition my music library. I want a subset on my laptop and the rest shared on a home media server so all my family can share our music.
  • Reply 440 of 575
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Sorry if this has already been discussed but this thread is really long and I didn't read it all.



    Does anyone have any advice on using the mini with Leopard server. Is the max ram really 2 gigs? can one disable the video shared ram? Is firewire 400 fast enough for external storage? Etc.



    Thanks in advance



    m
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