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New Mac Mini, integrated video?


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#21 bobbob

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 12:03 AM

View PostSmoke_Tetsu, on February 28th 2006, 11:45 PM, said:

I'm sure that it's not like such a configuration is not meant to be sold.......

Huh? Of course it's not meant to be sold. It's meant to push you towards an iMac.

#22 Arenzera

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 12:11 AM

View Postbobbob, on March 1st 2006, 03:48 PM, said:

Yeah, those damnable low-end unupgradeable PCs.

Quote

Macworld’s own Peter Cohen tells me that, at least on paper, the GMA950 is “considerably faster and more capable” than the ATI Radeon 9200 card included on the previous Mac mini. However, there is one trouble spot: unlike other video cards, which have special memory dedicated specifically for them, this video processor uses the Mac mini’s main memory.
.

Linkage. After all the Mac mini is a low end personal computer.

#23 Smoke_Tetsu

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 12:44 AM

View Postbobbob, on February 28th 2006, 11:03 PM, said:

Huh? Of course it's not meant to be sold. It's meant to push you towards an iMac.

Then they shouldn't offer those options at all then.  :angry: What if i don't want an integrated monitor, isight, etc. and actually WANT the small size of the Mac Mini and like everything about it except the video card. If they offered a video upgrade as an option I'd gladly pay for it. If the top end mac mini isn't meant to be sold they would tell you if you tried to order it sorry you must get an iMac. But they allow you to order it so I guess it must be a good thing to rip people off if it isn't sufficient incentive to push them towards a completely different model. The main draw for someone like me is the size\look and the BYOKDM factor and that is a big reason why I liked the Mac Mini and why I still like the one I have.

BTW I have seen indication that in the real world (rather than on paper) the GMA950 isn't as capable as they say it is.
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Alex Delarg, A Clockwork Orange said:

It's funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen.

the Battle Cat said:

Slower and faster? I'm sorry to hear such good news?

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#24 bobbob

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 01:14 AM

View PostArenzera, on March 1st 2006, 12:11 AM, said:

Linkage. After all the Mac mini is a low end personal computer.

It's still interesting that Apple would say all that about the chipset it picked for a replacement Mini. "Those things suck, buy them from us instead!".

#25 RandyWang

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 01:55 AM

View PostBrad Oliver, on March 1st 2006, 08:03 AM, said:

I guess that depends on your perspective. The 9200 could at least offload vertex programs to the GPU - the 950 runs it on your CPU. Worse, the 950 shares RAM with the system, so it's eating into that too. I suppose if you got a new Mini with a Core Duo and lots of RAM, you could compensate for most of the 950's shortcomings relative to the PowerPC Mini.

The 9200 did not, however, support CoreGraphics - which, from a user's perspective, is quite handy. Of course, I'm not sure how much use this would find in gaming for the Mac, but it's still worth noting. Similarly, the Radeon 9200's performance was poor enough that even current Intel acceleration can more or less equal it, even when it can't offload vertex programs elsewhere. Dualcore processors are handy for when you need to multitask like that - the performance hit the Core Duo machines take is alleviated by the two CPU cores.

In terms of actual performance, these two machines are very likely on par with each other. However, when you take into account the additional features of the GMA950 (CoreImage, hooray!), the PowerPC Mini pretty much loses outright.
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#26 Batcat

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 05:05 AM

Looking forward to a Barefeats benchmark rundown.

One of the previous links seems broken, so:

Macworld: Mac mini's second act

#27 DaveyJJ

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 05:45 AM

One of the OTEE developers (Nicholas) has posted in the Unity forums that without T&L support and 50% of the realworld performance of the lowest end ATI or nVidia card (as well as ages of driver issues on the PC/Intel side to get this card not to crash many games) this is not a good move.

Yes, I am aware that people don't buy minis to play Doom 3 on a 30" monitor, but all the same. Mac games with an audience that perceives that their kids should be able to play common/popular family type games like Sims 2, the upcoming Trainz, Enigmo 2 etc are going to be mighty disappointed I suspect.

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#28 RandyWang

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 05:51 AM

Quote

Yes, I am aware that people don't buy minis to play Doom 3 on a 30" monitor, but all the same

Just as well, really, considering they don't ship with dual-link DVI. ;)

Quote

50% of the realworld performance of the lowest end ATI or nVidia card

Out of interest, what's that based on? Can you point me to a benchmark, or something?
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#29 Mercury

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 12:08 PM

Even worse, rumors say that the (low-end) iBook/MacBook might have integrated graphics as well :(.
They'd better release a 13" MacBook Pro in that case!
Coming soon!

#30 teflon

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 01:05 PM

core image is never implemented in games for one reason alone... Windows doesnt have it, and its too time consuming to use core image.

if the ibook gets integrated graphics, i might shoot something... like a window or something... course id have to get a gun first.

Quote

Considering that Apple had to put the Mini up by $100 dollars anyway, they probably couldn't afford to put in a real graphics card.

SPK, have you seen the profit margins that apple make? its more than $50 on an ipod, and the imac only costs about $700 to make... so the new mini probably costs about $350-400. they make huge margins. Bulk buying of low end ATI/Nvidia cards would eat about $20 dollars into the profit. at most.

there was no reason to use integrated graphics, at least the 9200 was a good card a few years ago. the 950 has never been considered good, and will always suck.
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#31 RandyWang

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 02:26 PM

Quote

the 950 has never been considered good, and will always suck.

Excuse me? The GMA950 chipset was designed specifically for video playback, and excels at it: it supports HD playback of any standard resolution up to 1080p, has hardware accelerated motion compensation, and can happily decode multiple video streams simultaneously. It also natively supports both 16:9 and 16:10 output. That's significantly more than the 9200 could do, when you add in CoreGraphics support.

The only people who should be disappointed with the integrated graphics, are the ones who seriously expected the new Minis to be viable gaming computers to begin with - it was never going to happen, and likely never will. Nobody that knows they're doing buys a Mini to play Doom 3 on, after all.
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#32 atari

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 04:11 PM

View Postteflon, on March 1st 2006, 08:05 PM, said:

core image is never implemented in games for one reason alone... Windows doesnt have it, and its too time consuming to use core image.

if the ibook gets integrated graphics, i might shoot something... like a window or something... course id have to get a gun first.
SPK, have you seen the profit margins that apple make? its more than $50 on an ipod, and the imac only costs about $700 to make... so the new mini probably costs about $350-400. they make huge margins. Bulk buying of low end ATI/Nvidia cards would eat about $20 dollars into the profit. at most.

there was no reason to use integrated graphics, at least the 9200 was a good card a few years ago. the 950 has never been considered good, and will always suck.

Margins != Sales Price-Materials Bill
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#33 teflon

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 06:49 PM

from a multimedia perspective, it does core image (i only found this out a bit earlier, and it suprised me), it handles HD video streams admirably, which is what it was designed to do. So it achieves what it set out to do.

But for a rather slight eat into the profits pie, apple could have given a much better offering of a X300 (even). pretty much a slight (and still cheap) upgrade to the 9200, but handles core image, HD video, but has its own VRAM, and a much better throughput (even with just 32mb of VRAM, and the mobility version can use system RAM too).

many people dont have serious gaming needs, but if they ever feel like dabbling into a few game demos, or they have kids who want to play games, then they will be disappointed if its a recent game, and uses 3D to any extent. And this cant be a good thing, because it reenforces the idea that macs cant be used for gaming, when this is simply not true, and also pretty much excludes anyone that buys this machine as their primary machine from participating in this forum due to their inability to play recent games (though thats obviously not a criteria for joining).

apple would have done much better by me by not contradicting the things they say as often as they do.
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#34 bobbob

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 07:21 PM

View PostRandyWang, on March 1st 2006, 02:26 PM, said:

Excuse me? The GMA950 chipset was designed specifically for video playback, and excels at it

Wow, so it's like, what, 1/2 the speed of a cheap-skate 6150 and supports only some of the video features? What a... bad chip.

#35 Eric5h5

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 09:54 PM

View Postteflon, on March 1st 2006, 02:05 PM, said:

there was no reason to use integrated graphics

Actually, there was a really very good reason: politics.  I was expecting something like this to happen, though when the iMacs and MacBooks didn't suffer this fate, I was thinking maybe I had misjudged things.  Oh well.  

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#36 Abecedaria

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 12:28 AM

View PostEric5h5, on March 1st 2006, 09:54 PM, said:

Actually, there was a really very good reason: politics.  I was expecting something like this to happen, though when the iMacs and MacBooks didn't suffer this fate, I was thinking maybe I had misjudged things.  Oh well.  

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Yep, I think Apple and Intel have pretty much handed us the jar of Vaseline with this move. Intel Integrated Graphics????.........Fuggetuboutit

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#37 RandyWang

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 01:30 AM

View Postbobbob, on March 2nd 2006, 12:21 PM, said:

Wow, so it's like, what, 1/2 the speed of a cheap-skate 6150 and supports only some of the video features? What a... bad chip.

Try fitting a 6150 in the Mini's case, along with a Core Duo, without having to raise the price even beyond what it was raised to. It'd add to the parts cost by a minimum of US$60-80, not including the hell it would be to add yet another component to that tiny enclosure.

I'm not sure where your panning of its speed is coming from, either, given that neither of them have (as far as I can tell) been benchmarked together.

It'd also be mighty hard to get a 6150 working with a Core Duo, given that it's designed for the Athlon and Sempron...
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#38 teflon

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 02:11 AM

it would not add anywhere near as much as that. the 9200 cost apple about $25 I believe due to bulk buying, not to mention less VRAM than the retail card. That card was about 2 years old. The 6200 (for compatibility purposes) would have cost about that much at todays prices, and have been a better card for gaming (on the PC side its meant to be twice the speed of the 5200). and wasnt the whole point about the core duo that it gives off less heat??

now onto analysing the system price (including guestimates on bulk buying prices):
core uno 1.5- $180
Motherboard(custom size and includes integrated graphics, "airport")-$70
512mb RAM-$35
DVD/CDRW-$15
HDD-$70

total-$370 (400 on the outside)

so thats $230 before tax... thats over a third profit, and your saying that adding a graphics card and juggling some things about a bit to get better cooling would raise the price further? even if it was $50 a card, then it would be $180 profit.

its more than politics, apple saw the popularity of the previous mac mini and obviously analysed the sales of each model. They probably saw that more people were buying the higher priced one so thought "yeah we can capitalise on this". Its only because of their deal with Intel, they can get anything from Intel with pretty hefty discounts, so their margins go up, and they can give a better financial year (unless the system fails, and then its not as much of a problem, because it costs less). So from my point of view, politics and greed... the bane of cheap mac gaming (of a certain standard).
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#39 bobbob

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 03:05 AM

View PostRandyWang, on March 2nd 2006, 01:30 AM, said:

Try fitting a 6150 in the Mini's case, along with a Core Duo, without having to raise the price even beyond what it was raised to. It'd add to the parts cost by a minimum of US$60-80, not including the hell it would be to add yet another component to that tiny enclosure.

It's integrated pretty well, so it's $30-40 including TC memory. I know it's not for Intel, but I'm not lowering the bar to accomodate a POS integrated solution when there are much better ones. Apple should have gone ATI if they couldn't get anything respectable from Intel.

#40 atari

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 03:21 AM

View Postteflon, on March 2nd 2006, 09:11 AM, said:

it would not add anywhere .. the bane of cheap mac gaming (of a certain standard).

I believe your calculations are a bit off, not because of the numbers you are quoting (anybody´s guess is good enough), but because you are only taking the components into account.
There is -) cost of manufacturing and distribution -) R&D for the units -) cost of OS X development which has to be distributed across all product lines -) various fixed and variable costs like manpower ,leases ,marketing ,etc.. which also have to be factored in.
So,when all is said and done, I believe margins on the formerly 500 Euros and now 600 Euros model are comparable,maybe slightly worse. The 800 Euros version is definitely more profitable,of course.

There is light at the end of the tunnel,friends!
Apple now has (partly) migrated 3 of their product lines to Intel and they all share the same CPUs and chipsets. It´s safe to say that the rest of the notebook line will follow  relatively soon and will also feature comparable specs. and use the same components.
Why is this good news?
It brings down R&D considerably and should also decrease the prices for components slightly. So, in the medium term, I am optimistic regarding a further beefed up Mini and possibly even a new product line.

I am probably not overjoyed by Apple´s decision to go with intergrated graphics, BUT overall the Mini has been improved siginficantly and is now actually usable for a wide range of tasks (native software required for the Core Solo model).
Even the crappy integrated GPU is superior to the Radeon 9200, though I feel for the poor Mac gaming porters, who -as we speak- try to figure out how to make the Sims 2 or Zoo Tycoon 2 run on the Mini.
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