Mac mini gains Ivy Bridge CPU, up to 16GB of RAM with Apple's latest update

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 58
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,695member


    Hmm, so now I'm not sure.  Here is how I will use a Mini. It will live headless in my AV cabinet along with the game console, Tivos and the receiver.  I plan to connect it via HDMI to the receiver to view the output on the TV.  The computer will run my home automation software, CrushFTP and maybe eventually a primitive website.  It will also be used to convert TV shows pulled from the Tivos into iPad friendly clips for my wife when she travels.


     


    I looked at the server Mini and was not super jazzed about the dual 5400 rpm drives.  My thought was get the faster regular model with the Fusion drive and max it with aftermarket RAM.  I could always install Server if I found it was really needed.  If I need more storage I'll add an external.


     


    Thoughts?

  • Reply 22 of 58
    eksodos wrote: »
    HD 4000 performs about 50% worse than the discrete graphics in the Mac Mini in benchmarks. This is definitely a significant downgrade given how much emphasis Apple has put in 10.7 and 10.8 taking advantage of GPU. I certainly wouldn't be "upgrading" to this if I owned the previous generation model. :)

    Plus Intel crappy drivers in the same package.
  • Reply 23 of 58
    If they have one with the Nvidia Kepler GPU then I may get one. Apple is getting weaker and weaker with every update minus important parts to keep their costs down while selling for the same price.

    Just bought one off ebay today a last gen Mac Mini with Core i7 CPU and AMD Radeon Graphics before they run out of these. The HD 4000 is barely good enough to play modern games with "medium" settings. That's what Apple fail to show that it's only capable without all the eye candy turned on.

  • Reply 24 of 58
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,494member
    rangerd wrote: »
    What's all this "bitter disappointment" about the iGPU? This is a damn Mac Mini, people. What were you going to do with it, render Toy Story VII? The HD 4000 graphics are very capable, especially when pared withe the raw compute speed of the Ivy Bridge processors.

    This is a fabulous $600 machine.

    Fully agree! Don't tell me these people actually use it as a Mac? I put one underneath the big screen in the living, and it doesn't matter that it's integrated graphics. And if my content of choice is on AppleTV, I'll watch it on that box.
    Intel graphics sucks, are there last generation Minis anywhere on sale?

    Tuurlijk! overal te koop, ook hier in NL. Vanwaar de gabber post?
  • Reply 25 of 58
    v5vv5v Posts: 1,357member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by saintstryfe View Post



    I'm still waiting on the good idea of Thunderbolt break-out boxes with PCI-e to put a graphics card into.


     


    http://www.magma.com/thunderbolt


     


    Of course the box costs more than the computer...

  • Reply 26 of 58
    v5vv5v Posts: 1,357member


    I'm a idjit so I could use some help here. I don't understand the difference between on-board graphics and a dedicated graphics sub-system. Google left me more confused than enlightened.


     


    Right now I have a 2011 dual-core 2.5 with the AMD 6630M. It's fine except I really want USB3. Assuming I got the new mid-range unit (quad 2.3 with HD4000) what differences am I likely to experience? What will be better and what will be worse?


     


    Thanks!

  • Reply 27 of 58
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,591member
    Boo hoo, it lacks a discrete GPU.. Seriously, have you used any Mac running the previous HD3000 GPU? The Macbook Pro 13" flies in Mountain lion and is even faster on the HD4000.

    Can you play games? Yes but you wont be running them at 2560x1440 at high detail, but then again the previous model with the AMD GPU couldn't either.

    The HD4000 is more than capable for all of your desktop needs, christ, this is a bargain now compared to the mini solutions offered by the competition. They ship with HD2000 or HD2500 chipsets with their i5's.
  • Reply 28 of 58
    ecsecs Posts: 307member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post



    Boo hoo, it lacks a discrete GPU.. Seriously, have you used any Mac running the previous HD3000 GPU? The Macbook Pro 13" flies in Mountain lion and is even faster on the HD4000.

    Can you play games? Yes but you wont be running them at 2560x1440 at high detail, but then again the previous model with the AMD GPU couldn't either.

    The HD4000 is more than capable for all of your desktop needs, christ, this is a bargain now compared to the mini solutions offered by the competition. They ship with HD2000 or HD2500 chipsets with their i5's.


     


    HDX000 gpus aren't supported by The Sims 3. All the Intel HDX000 family is listed as "not supported" in the reqs table. And I guess the same can be said for a substantial number of last generation games, for which I expect the HD4000 to be either unsupported or with reduced performance even at 1280x1024.


     


    A bargain compared to the competition? And how much would it cost to add a decent GPU to it? Let's say $100? Surely far less than some of the RAM/CPU/disk options you're allowed to choose when configuring your mini. The truth about this is that the mini is useless for both serious work and serious gaming, and not because of its size nor technology limitations, but just because of marketing strategy (if you put a decent GPU on the new mini, you hurt iMac sales).


     


    On the other hand, I've serious doubts the thermal design of the new iMac will be good suited for playing last generation games for a long time, which means you need either a Mac Pro or a Hackintosh for a task which could be easily done with a mini if they weren't so mistaken in their decisions lately.

  • Reply 29 of 58
    haarhaar Posts: 563member
    glass half empty... glass half full...

    this is a great entry level upgrade, because hd4000 is about 2x better than the hd2000. on a Hd4000 their is "some" hope of gaming on it, but the hd2000 desktop only. IMO.
    thus the "high" end unit has a "weaker" gpu.

    so the bottom end unit received a bump in "gaming" specs, whereas the top end unit received a reduction in "gaming" specs...
    "gaming" meaning in the most basic sense.
  • Reply 30 of 58


    I could have sworn I read that the 4000 was faster than the 6630M… 

  • Reply 31 of 58
    v5vv5v Posts: 1,357member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    I could have sworn I read that the 4000 was faster than the 6630M… 



     


    Not in the handful of comparisons I found while trying to figure out if I'm better off with a 2011 or 2012 unit. One site (don't remember which one) scored the 6630 at 570 benchmark points compared to 522 for the 4000. Considering that "real" graphics cards scored 4000-5000, the whole comparison started to seem really silly so I let it go.

  • Reply 32 of 58

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ecs View Post


     


    The truth about this is that the mini is useless for both serious work and serious gaming...



     


    What is it lacking that makes it "useless for serious work?" I'm interested in examples of jobs that require a discrete GPU. Trying to educate myself here... Thanks!

  • Reply 33 of 58


    Want to test one...

  • Reply 34 of 58

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    I could have sworn I read that the 4000 was faster than the 6630M… 



     


    According to this site and the 2 benchmarks below:


     


    Intel HD4000 - http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-HD-Graphics-4000.69168.0.html


    Radeon 6630M - http://www.notebookcheck.net/AMD-Radeon-HD-6630M.43963.0.html


     


    Just some random benchmarks for the 2 GPUs:


     


    World of Warcraft: High Settings:


     


    Radeon 6630m - 43.4fps


    HD4000 - 20fps


     


    Skyrim - High Settings:


     


    6630m - 20fps


    HD4000 - ~10fps


     


    Battlefield 3 - High Settings:


    6630m - ~20fps


    HD4000 - ~13fps


     


    Starcraft 2 - High Settings:


    6630m - 34fps


    HD4000 - 22fps


     


    In most conditions, it's safe to say the Radeon is more than 50% faster in just about every game tested and the test isn't really fair since the 6630m was probably tested with older CPU while the HD4000 is only featured on the latest gen Intel CPU offering.

  • Reply 35 of 58
    nhtnht Posts: 4,496member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by saintstryfe View Post



    exactly rangerd.

    I sell lots of 600 desktop PCs - none of them have discrete graphics. Internal all the way.


     


    It's not $600.  It was $800 for the model that had a GPU.


     


    The loss of the GPU means I'm not buying this generation of mini.  If I find one cheap enough I'll get the prior version.  The lack of USB3 is the only real downer.

  • Reply 36 of 58


    Was really looking forward to the new MacMinis, but this removal of a discrete dedicated GPU is a real downer. As can be seen in comparisons the new HD4000 offers in games nearly only half the fps the GPU could achieve in the former mac-mini.


     


    That is inexcusable, and it means that the new Macmini is only interesting for people that don't want to game on it.

  • Reply 37 of 58
    aizmovaizmov Posts: 989member
    Next year with Haswell it should be a great little Mac.
  • Reply 38 of 58
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,695member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Nightcrawler View Post


    Was really looking forward to the new MacMinis, but this removal of a discrete dedicated GPU is a real downer. As can be seen in comparisons the new HD4000 offers in games nearly only half the fps the GPU could achieve in the former mac-mini.


     


    That is inexcusable, and it means that the new Macmini is only interesting for people that don't want to game on it.





    I guess a good question would be:  Of the potential and likely buyers of the Mac Mini, how many of them would ever game on it?  My personal answer is never.

  • Reply 39 of 58
    jb510jb510 Posts: 124member
    welshdog wrote: »

    I guess a good question would be:  Of the potential and likely buyers of the Mac Mini, how many of them would ever game on it?  My personal answer is never.

    I'd disagree with that. While I don't game myself, I know a few people that would very much like to game on a Mac and bring thier own exiting monitor.

    I think I understand where apple is positioning this hardware, it's intended for SMB server use and employees that don't need a laptop, but there is a significant portion of the market out there that would love this to have a GPU to do heavy 3d/video processing without stepping I to a Mac pro...

    I'm waiting for an ifixit and Anandtech teardown to see if maybe there isn't space for a GPU and the issue is just the GPU Apple wanted to use wasn't available yet?
  • Reply 40 of 58
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,230moderator
    jb510 wrote: »
    I'm waiting for an ifixit and Anandtech teardown to see if maybe there isn't space for a GPU and the issue is just the GPU Apple wanted to use wasn't available yet?

    The Mini doesn't have expansion slots for a GPU. The old ones had a separate on-board chip:

    http://www.techrepublic.com/photos/cracking-open-the-apple-mac-mini-2011/6265433?seq=50&tag=thumbnail-view-selector;get-photo-roto

    This means Apple has more work to do when it comes to cooling.

    For gaming, people will typically be doing it in Windows so there is the option of a GPU over Thunderbolt:


    [VIDEO]


    It would end up a fairly expensive option but it's an option and if Apple would allow using GPUs over TB it could even be a decent setup. I'd rather AMD/NVidia made small mobile GPU boxes. They could have a GTX 680M with a 150W PSU around the size of the XBox power brick, maybe $299-399. If they developed their own drivers, even better.
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