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

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  • Reply 221 of 240
    Last week I bought a 1TB SSD and Mac Mini tools, watched the YouTube video, and replaced the hard drive.   What a difference it made!!!!   Things that took 10 to 30 seconds to open are up within 3 to 5 seconds.  Its super fast compared to what it was.  It’s like having a whole new machine.   Whatever Apple makes to replace it, I hope they just put an SSD in it.  FYI, the process to replace the drive is not hard but you do have to tear down most of the machine CAREFULLY which would be entirely unnecessary if you could just open the top cover!   
    ravnorodomcgWerks
  • Reply 222 of 240
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,860member
    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).
    Well considering that Intel has a variety of chips that are slight variants of each other there is no reason why Apple couldn’t do the same.   You mis the important point here though, Apples A12 could go into a a Mini today and outperform the current Mini’s.  That is as a passively cooled device.  

    Im pretty put out about the lack of Mac updates myself.  This is why I’m hoping for a move to ARM.   Because in the end they would have to engineer a chip suitable for higher end Minis and the laptops.  Four years to engineer such a chip is a long time though.  

    As for benchmarks I don’t think you understand them.    You don’t expect a processor to win every little part of a bench mark.   What a benchmark will do is to tell you that f a processor is capable of running your apps.  As a ch the little bit of benchmarking we have seen so far, indicates that A12 could in fact power a Mini and actually beat current models in performance.  Even soi wouldn’t expect to see A12 (probably A12X) in anything other than a low power (performance) Mini or Mac Book with a performance chip for higher end machines.  For Apple that performance could come more CPU cores or specialized hardware.    Apple would have no more difficulty with such chip upgrades then Intel or AMD.  This expecially considering all the chip engineers they hired recently.  

    In any event I have no idea why Apple is so screwed up of late.   All I want to do here is point out what might be possible.    To look at it another way you have Linux running on chips that aren’t even half as fast as Apples chips and Linux runs there fine.  The performance is there.   
  • Reply 223 of 240
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,860member
    mattinoz said:
    Yes power bricks are bad unless they use a standardized port on both ends.
    When they do though they are very good.  A well designed power port with a properly sized connector set (something easy to get, install and is reliable) would be ideal in a Mini.   Make sure the port can accept a wide input voltage range too.   Then you have a machine that can be easily powered anywhere, boat, home, RV, solar powered emergency systems, the wall outlet and anything else that pops up.  

    What this might describe isa split system with some power condition to keep the voltages at a reasonable level with the rest of the regulation and power management done internally.  In case people haven’t grasped from my comments I want a run anywhere, do anything, Mini.  
  • Reply 224 of 240
    Apple is either lazy or unconcerned about the Mac Mini. Likely not profitable enough for Apple. My 2012 quad-core i7 Mac Mini is a great little machine and still serves me well. I'm not going to try to figure out what Apple is thinking but I'd think there would be more demand for the Mac Mini if it were kept updated every couple of years. Just my insignificant personal opinion. It's likely Apple knows better about its products than I do. For a company flush with cash, I really just don't get why they've taken so long to update the Mac Mini with new hardware.
    edited October 2018
  • Reply 225 of 240
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,860member
    evilution said:
    The Mac mini is really old, of course new small computers are blowing it away. However, they still run Windows so I know which one I'd choose.
    If you want a small and powerful computer running Mac OS, make a Hackintosh.
    I would suggest a solid Linux district would be a better choice.  I left the Linux world (at least as my daily driver) in 2008 when I got a MBP.   It was the right decision back then!   Today I’m running an HP ENVY and ugh an AMD Ryzen professor.  While not perfect it is certainly as usable as my 2017 MBP was before it came up missing.  Notably performance is much better even with theFedora 29 beta which is a good 100 times better than the Windows installation that came with the machine.  

    Fir or what I do Linux is fine and maybe even a better choice than Mac OS.   Would I go back to a Mac. Most certain joy if they start to demonstrate caring about their customers, got pricing under control and actually did hardware updates that make sense.   I simply have no confidence that anybody is at the helm of good ship Mac.  
  • Reply 226 of 240
    macxpress said:
    Oh boy...here we go! Continuous bitching about the Mac mini. I doubt most here are gonna buy one anyways. 
    Ha! Wow, it only took you 30 seconds away from kissing the ring of Apple’s CEO to offer up your totally predictable comment about Apple users being whiners and bitchers for wanting a upgrade on a 4-year old stagnant Mac. Good for you!!
  • Reply 227 of 240
    macxpress said:

    Four and half months - almost 150 days into the year - and all Apple has released is a cutdown iPad. 
    If that is not failure I do not know what is?
    Apple has become a utility company.
    This never happened when Steve was here...NEVER! /s
    Macxpress, thank you for posting something that was well-thought out, on point, and contributed to the discussion! And I’m not being sarcastic. Thank you!
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 228 of 240
    roake said:
    Since Steve Jobs passing, I've slowly left the Apple Ecosystem that I was once pulled into.

    Apple either abandoned software programs or striped them of so many features I've moved on to Third Party software.
    Apple abadnoned monitors so I've moved on to third party monitors.
    Apple abandoned routers so I've moved on to third party routers.
    Apples abadoned the mac mini so I created several hackintoshes to fill the void but those are mostly running windows 10 now full time.

    I've fallen in love with the Microsoft Surface line since they have managed to merge laptop/tablet/desktop well enough that you don't encounter the sever trade offs you get between Mac OS and iOS software and devices.

    Homekit is a joke. Where are the products and, what is there, have sever issues. Follow Googe Nest and make your own line of products Apple. Your no longer a computer company but consumer company so fulfill that role.
    Bye bye
    Oh wow! Is that the best you could do? — a cute clever response to a well-considered criticism of Apple??
  • Reply 229 of 240
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,860member
    ElCapitan said:
    wizard69 said:
    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.
    We are talking Mini here so no one cares about work station processors.  The A12 already out performs the hardware in the Mini and that is without active cooling.   Depending upon how things are measured the A12 could be seen as a big jump in performance when the Neural Engine is included.  Neural Engine by the way is a good example of Apple pulling ahead of Intel and just about everybody else.   It is this ability to add Apple only hardware that makes Apples chips in Mac so interesting.  
    I seriously doubt the A12 outperforms the i7 minis with 8 threads.  Besides you don't seem to grasp how the minis are used. 

    They are used in a slew of server settings in addition to development in non Apple software shops.  To a large extent an A-series processor will make the mini obsolete for these purposes because the open source and in-house developed libraries that are written in other development languages than those currently supported in Xcode probably never will be ported to these processors. In addition it robs these systems of the possibility of the mixed mode of running both macOS with Windows and Linux in virtual machines on the same system, unless you want to return to the sub par experience we had on virtual machines in the PPC days. 

    An A-series mini competing with very low end systems like the Raspberry and other single board computers could be highly successful in such a market and even dominate it, but to ditch the Intel systems for A-series will be shooting itself even more in the foot than they currently have done. 

    Actually we care VERY much about workstation and server class processors. This is also the Bloomberg reported target for a Mini Pro - server and professional users requiring more performance. 
    Wow talk about how people can twist perfectly clear statements to support their world view.  

    Firts off off I never said that the A12 can out perform an 8 thread Intel processor.  I said that it can out perform the current Mini.   You know the one that is shipping.  

    As as far as where they are used that is pretty much ancient history as nobody in their right mind is buying a 4 year old computer that was a poor performer when it was introduced 4 years ago.  The Mini is effectively a  dead product to anybody with a bit of technical knowledge.  So it is pointless to bring up what the Mini was used for historically.  

    As for Linux you do realize that Linux, entire distributions actually, have been ported to ARM for ages.   Used this brought up constantly and I only have to assume the posters are out of touch with the Linux world.  In any event I don’t run software from my 68K Mac days on my Linux box today.  That would be foolish when modern software exists.  Hell I don’t even care about software that ran on my 2008 MBP.   In any event when is the last  time you heard of somebody wanting to run MS code on an iPad or an iPhone?   These old tired arguments just don’t make sense these days.  

    As for ditching Intel it is the smart thing to do to move Mac OS and its suite of apps forward.  For one Intel compatibility isn’t a big thing in the Apple world anymore.   I saying this as a person that bought a 2008 MBP because I thought it would be important.   It wasn’t and as the platform matured and Windows went south I had no need at all for the capability.  In any event you, like many, seem to discount the value in Apple being able to engineer in their own features into a SoC.  Things like  rural Engine and even the JavaScript acceleration built into ARM are very valuable.  JavaScript acceleration supports the old way of doing things while Neural Engine ne and its follow through is lay the basis for a new world of software.   While it might not happen this year I don’t think Apple has too many choices here.  They either continue to broaden the A series line up or they partner with Intel or AMD for custome SoC’s.  While we can expect to see more ARM cores in future Apple chips even the CPU will become less of a focus, which is exactly what we are seeing in A12.  

    As for servers and workstations they they really are not part of this thread but it is fair to say that that industry has even less of a tie to i86 code.  In fact if a scripting language is the primary coding language for a server solution there is no tie at all.  Follow ARM developments in this area and you can see I tel coming under significant pressure in the next few years.   Given Apples core designs they could easily fabricate a leading edge server / workstation chip today if they wanted.  
  • Reply 230 of 240
    claire1claire1 Posts: 510unconfirmed, member
    Wow only took 4 years for the competition to catch up.

    Apple is doomed!
  • Reply 231 of 240
    Apple Apple Apple. Hackintosh soon. Crying shame
  • Reply 232 of 240
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,255member
    They look like ugly plastic routers. How’s the heat dissipation? I know they won’t be handled as much as a laptop, but plastic cases just seem so cheap.
  • Reply 233 of 240
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,347member
    eightzero said:
    MacPro said:
    The only explanation I can see for not doing a redesign this year (2018) is that it is on hold for the new display — if you look at the manuals and other materials for it, the Mac mini has always been pictured with an Apple display.

    In short: no Apple display = no Mac mini.

    I’d bet Apple has data supporting this equation — the mini doesn’t make them worthwhile money unless a percentage of buyers are also buying an Apple display, or already own one...
    I've never used any display with a Mac mini, always used them headlessly.
    I have an old MacMini I could find a use for, but never deployed one "headlessly." I've pondered looking into it, but I think I saw Mojave dropped the back to my mac support. How do you configure them headlessly? Don;t you need to boot it up with some monitor first?
    On the same LAN, you don't need back to Mac.  I am running Windows 10 Pro on my Mac mini so I use Microsoft Remote Desktop for macOS.  Yes, I hooked it up to a monitor to set it up but never used it again as I set it to boot to Boot Camp on restart.  If it were running macOS I'd just use either Apple DTR or screen sharing, same setup.
    edited October 2018
  • Reply 234 of 240
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,347member
    MacPro said:
    The only explanation I can see for not doing a redesign this year (2018) is that it is on hold for the new display — if you look at the manuals and other materials for it, the Mac mini has always been pictured with an Apple display.

    In short: no Apple display = no Mac mini.

    I’d bet Apple has data supporting this equation — the mini doesn’t make them worthwhile money unless a percentage of buyers are also buying an Apple display, or already own one...
    I've never used any display with a Mac mini, always used them headlessly.
    So then you’re not part of that percentage of buyers who do purchase displays for them. Doesn’t change my point that Apple does not seem to want to market a Mac mini without an Apple display to go with it.

    The decision not to refresh the 2014 mini must have been made around the same time as the decision to not revise the Thunderbolt Display, which Apple stopped selling in 2016. It’s not crazy to think they are connected, and thus we’ll get a new Mac mini when we get a new Apple display or displays, but not before then.

    Again, it seems possible that Apple’s sales data tells it that a mini just for the headless and lower-end display markets doesn’t cut it, while additional sales of Apple displays does make it worthwhile.
    I don't follow your logic.  Apple has always marketed the Mac mini with 'you just use any monitor, keyboard, and mouse', I don't recall it ever being marketed with a monitor as such
  • Reply 235 of 240
    wizard69 said:
    ElCapitan said:
    wizard69 said:
    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.
    We are talking Mini here so no one cares about work station processors.  The A12 already out performs the hardware in the Mini and that is without active cooling.   Depending upon how things are measured the A12 could be seen as a big jump in performance when the Neural Engine is included.  Neural Engine by the way is a good example of Apple pulling ahead of Intel and just about everybody else.   It is this ability to add Apple only hardware that makes Apples chips in Mac so interesting.  
    I seriously doubt the A12 outperforms the i7 minis with 8 threads.  Besides you don't seem to grasp how the minis are used. 

    They are used in a slew of server settings in addition to development in non Apple software shops.  To a large extent an A-series processor will make the mini obsolete for these purposes because the open source and in-house developed libraries that are written in other development languages than those currently supported in Xcode probably never will be ported to these processors. In addition it robs these systems of the possibility of the mixed mode of running both macOS with Windows and Linux in virtual machines on the same system, unless you want to return to the sub par experience we had on virtual machines in the PPC days. 

    An A-series mini competing with very low end systems like the Raspberry and other single board computers could be highly successful in such a market and even dominate it, but to ditch the Intel systems for A-series will be shooting itself even more in the foot than they currently have done. 

    Actually we care VERY much about workstation and server class processors. This is also the Bloomberg reported target for a Mini Pro - server and professional users requiring more performance. 

    Firts off off I never said that the A12 can out perform an 8 thread Intel processor.  I said that it can out perform the current Mini.   

    And there lies the entire problem with your analysis.

    The fact is there is a large number of 6-8 year old i7 8-thread Minis out there where the users desperately need to have them replaced, or they have to leave the platform. Apple is not able to, or willing to offer any upgrade path. In that situation these users are likely to both change their servers and clients to another operating system, never to look back. These are often full product range owners, with anything from Airports, iPhones, iPads, screens, portables to Pros in use. If they switch, the full range is most likely dropped too. 

    Some Linux distros are ported to ARM, as were some ported to PPC. It does not mean that the distros people would use for professional deployment are available (including support), and it certainly don't mean the libraries needed to keep applications running, being maintained, updated or developed are available. 
  • Reply 236 of 240
    I believe Mm won't see much love from Apple anymore. It's entry level price serves as a paradigm of Macs affordability overall. Think you can get a Mac "as low as..", but considering the specs, a customer will think whether to get a mini or an iMac, and will go for iMac.. rather then Mac or something else. This is the new purpose of mini.. the lure.
  • Reply 237 of 240
  • Reply 238 of 240
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,273member
    The only explanation I can see for not doing a redesign this year (2018) is that it is on hold for the new display — if you look at the manuals and other materials for it, the Mac mini has always been pictured with an Apple display.

    In short: no Apple display = no Mac mini.

    I’d bet Apple has data supporting this equation — the mini doesn’t make them worthwhile money unless a percentage of buyers are also buying an Apple display, or already own one...
    Finally, an actual sane possible reason they haven't released it yet. :)
    (Not a good reason, but from an Apple thinking kind of way, a possible one.)

    wizard69 said:
    What many are missing here is that small form factor PC’s are big in business right now!    I know that is what gets implemented at work for most desktop use cases.  More importantly most of these small form factor machines aren’t afraid of technology.   SSD’s, ports galore (some front facing 😜) and external power supplies are common.  The days of the big office towers is basically gone.  
    Unfortunately, I think Apple would just think you'd get an iMac for those situations.

    wizard69 said:
    In simple terms Apple always does the wrong thing when a product experiences bad sales.
    They often create self-fulfilling prophecies. I just wonder if they do that on purpose to back-justify their direction, or if it is incompetence.

    wizard69 said:
    In a nut shell Apple needs an embeddable low cost engine that can take on all sorts of duties which is the point of a $250 Mini.   It won’t compete directly with an ODroid but extra RAM and storage means that it is a more powerful machine.  Frankly such a machine would have good potential in education.   
    I sort of like where you were going, but then it would need to be an other thing in addition to the 'pro' concept of the Mini, or some kind of multi-point product line as you were creating, or just makes a bigger hole in the lineup. Apple really needs a kind of mid-tier, prosumer 'desktop' system. Of course, one can argue they also need a lower end, but that would be an area Apple hasn't historically covered.

    hammeroftruth said:
    I just hope Apple realizes the Mac is still
    important. 

    Maybe DED can write an article about how many Macs are sold, how many people have switched to the dark side for computers and what it would look like if Apple decided to stop making the Mac. Kind of a wake up call to Tim and Phil and the others. 
    A smart company would be moving on both fronts. Apple's Mac success only pales in comparison to their iOS success. It isn't some kind of dying business division they need to be thinking about whether they should keep around at a loss (which is the impression you'd get if you listen to some of the voices around here). If the Mac were a separate company or division, it would be wildly successful and they would be pouring resources in like crazy.

    So, yes, the current state of the Mac is either do to incompetence, or they must have some kind of plan to do away with it (and maybe have recently reconsidered that, or at least the timeline for doing so). I can't really think of a 3rd option to explain it.

    wizard69 said:
    So in a sense Apple created a machine for a group of users that didn’t have a need for it.  On top of that there was no variant that could rationally be sold to customers outside of that group.
    Exactly! For example, if it had current ports, the trashcan Mac Pro would be quite attractive to someone like me... but not at their price-point. And, the real pros don't mind spending even more, but they need a machine that meets their needs. Apple hit neither target market.

    ElCapitan said:
    Granted, in the process Apple have absolutely gutted macOS server so even there the only real alternative is migrate to Linux or Windows given your applications will run there.  If you move your server apps, you might as well move your clients too to reduce complexity.
    Yep. OS X Server was once a pretty awesome product. They really nerf'd it big-time. It was so bad, that I think they purposely did it to kill it off and help people move away from the Xserve.

    wizard69 said:
    We are talking Mini here so no one cares about work station processors.  The A12 already out performs the hardware in the Mini and that is without active cooling.   Depending upon how things are measured the A12 could be seen as a big jump in performance when the Neural Engine is included.  Neural Engine by the way is a good example of Apple pulling ahead of Intel and just about everybody else.   It is this ability to add Apple only hardware that makes Apples chips in Mac so interesting.  
    Well, not workstation, but it needs to be like the 1012 quad-core at least (if not for all variants, at least for one). Maybe you're right, but I have a hard time believing the A12 is going to outperform the Intel chips in real-world stuff using THAT much less power. Something just doesn't seem right about that.

    ElCapitan said:
    I seriously doubt the A12 outperforms the i7 minis with 8 threads.  Besides you don't seem to grasp how the minis are used. 

    They are used in a slew of server settings in addition to development in non Apple software shops.  To a large extent an A-series processor will make the mini obsolete for these purposes because the open source and in-house developed libraries that are written in other development languages than those currently supported in Xcode probably never will be ported to these processors. In addition it robs these systems of the possibility of the mixed mode of running both macOS with Windows and Linux in virtual machines on the same system, unless you want to return to the sub par experience we had on virtual machines in the PPC days. 

    An A-series mini competing with very low end systems like the Raspberry and other single board computers could be highly successful in such a market and even dominate it, but to ditch the Intel systems for A-series will be shooting itself even more in the foot than they currently have done. 

    Actually we care VERY much about workstation and server class processors. This is also the Bloomberg reported target for a Mini Pro - server and professional users requiring more performance. 
    Yes, I think what wizard69 is talking about is a completely different market. Not that this means Apple shouldn't build a couple machines that hit both!
  • Reply 239 of 240
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,273member
    wizard69 said:
    I simply have no confidence that anybody is at the helm of good ship Mac.  
    Someone is at the helm, but with what seems like a totally different set of priorities than what we once grew used to seeing with Apple.

    wizard69 said:
    ... Used this brought up constantly and I only have to assume the posters are out of touch with the Linux world.  In any event I don’t run software from my 68K Mac days on my Linux box today.  That would be foolish when modern software exists.  Hell I don’t even care about software that ran on my 2008 MBP.   In any event when is the last  time you heard of somebody wanting to run MS code on an iPad or an iPhone?   These old tired arguments just don’t make sense these days.  

    As for ditching Intel it is the smart thing to do to move Mac OS and its suite of apps forward.  For one Intel compatibility isn’t a big thing in the Apple world anymore.   I saying this as a person that bought a 2008 MBP because I thought it would be important.
    I don't know if it has changed that much in recent years, but a lot of people run VMs with all sorts of OSs for doing development and testing work.  That would be hard to do with non-Intel CPUs.
  • Reply 240 of 240
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,273member

    Hopefully... but it could also end up being (if recent trends indicate anything):
    30 minutes - how great Apple is doing
    30 minutes - iPad Pro
    10 minutes - new Apple Pencil
    20 minutes - Jony on the reinvention of the bagel emoji
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