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Shame about the Mini...

2014 Mac Mini

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#1 Tetsuya

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Posted 16 October 2014 - 07:19 PM

the upgrade to the i7 no longer jumps to a true quad-core chip; seriously unfortunate, as ive foud the extra cores in my 2011/2012 "Server" model to be very useful.  And no more Mini Server configuration.  Huh.

That 5K iMac, though.... Entire machine going for what Dell and other vendors are selling just the monitor for.. Not bad.

#2 Smoke_Tetsu

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Posted 16 October 2014 - 08:42 PM

On the one hand the price is good compared to the competition. On the other hand there's no GPU they could have fit in there to drive that display to its fullest potential especially not with gaming. Also, they've skimped out on the VRAM for what it is.. the top end being 4GB VRAM. On the other hand... 4GHz CPU! Finally a CPU that can take full advantage of Dolphin. :cool:

I don't know.. in my opinion the 5k monitor on the new iMac is an idea ahead of it's time. Now, if a Titan equivalent with 8GB of VRAM or better where available for it I might be singing a different tune. But even then if I got a 4k, or 5k monitor I'd want for it to be bigger than 27 inches.

Shoot, halfway through this I realized the original poster is probably not going to see this. I'm posting it anyway so others can see. I can't be the only one who thinks that a 5k monitor is impractical for an iMac. Perhaps that iMac is just the "photo editors" edition.

Personally I would have preferred a 21:9 34" 3440x1440 iMac. The hardware in it would more likely be able to drive games at that native resolution than the 5k resolution on the Retina iMac.
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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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#3 ipickert55

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Posted 16 October 2014 - 09:24 PM

I looked at a couple of benchmarks for the graphics card in the 5k iMac, looks like it has worse performance than the GTX 780m...
Maybe it really is all cocks in the end.

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#4 Frost

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Posted 16 October 2014 - 09:29 PM

Yeah, I can't believe they went back to disabling two of the cores.

As for the iMac, I love it but the dogpopsnizzle GPU really pours cold water on it. When I heard the retina iMac rumor about the same time as Nvidia had customer samples of the 970M and 980M being produced I was sure that's what Apple would be building a retina iMac around.

Instead, it got the M290x? F'ing seriously? That's weaker than the 780M on the 1440p iMac. The M295x option is an upgrade, but it's still hotter, more power hungry, and appreciably slower than the 980M. I don't think gaming in 5K on that thing is going to go over too well.
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Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#5 Smoke_Tetsu

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Posted 16 October 2014 - 09:56 PM

GPU models aside does anyone really think that 5k gaming will go over well with even 4GB of VRAM? With older games perhaps but forget about next gen gaming. There are games that require that much just for 1080p gaming on high or ultra settings.

Also, to be frank in my opinion packing that amount of pixels into a 27 inch frame isn't the best way to take advantage of the increased resolution. I'd rather see that much resolution on a bigger screen.

MSI is making all-in-ones with the 970M and 980M GPUs with 8GB of VRAM but the monitors on them are limited to 1920x1080... and they cost $2,500... :bleedingeyes: They are also pretty damned ugly in my opinion.

http://www.pcgamer.c...-980m-and-970m/
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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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#6 Frost

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Posted 16 October 2014 - 10:52 PM

Yeah, that's another reason I figured 980M for sure. 8GB of VRAM.

Titanfall for example uses 4GB just running in 1080p with textures turned up.
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Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#7 Cougar

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Posted 17 October 2014 - 12:37 AM

Yeah, that iMac is terrible for 4K gaming. Any retina iMac for the next few years will be bad for retina gaming, you really need two desktop-class cards at the moment. Well, at least Phil Schiller didn't brag about how great Civ V looks on it this time.

When the 21" goes retina, it'll be interesting to see what terrible GPU they put in it.

With the Mini, what bothers me more than the cores is that ghastly 5400 RPM drive on the $499 model. I applaud Apple for getting it below $500 again, but...that wasn't the way to do it. They also cheaped out on the RAM.

#8 Frost

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Posted 17 October 2014 - 12:50 AM

Well, let's wait until we see a tear down before judging it for that. RAM and drives have been extremely easy to swap out on the unibody minis thus far. If they didn't radically change the internals, that may still be the case.

EDIT: Getting back to the iMac... I looked at the M295x's specs. It's so power hungry that a desktop GTX 970 would only pull 20 more watts. While simultaneously being able to game at 4K. Ouch. Stupid decision.
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Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#9 Janichsan

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Posted 17 October 2014 - 01:46 AM

So that's the "best Apple product line-up in years"? Minuscule upgraded MacBook Pros and Airs, a Mac mini that has been barely brought up to date after an more than two-year hiatus, an iMac with an impressive display but underpowered GPU, small evolutionarily updated iPads, oversized iPhones and a clunky Watch that no-one I asked is actually interested in and that actually will be released next year?

Well, okay… :mellow:

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#10 DaveyJJ

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Posted 17 October 2014 - 04:44 AM

Apple putting an "underpowered GPU" into one of their machines?

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#11 macdude22

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Posted 17 October 2014 - 06:34 AM

View PostTetsuya, on 16 October 2014 - 07:19 PM, said:

the upgrade to the i7 no longer jumps to a true quad-core chip; seriously unfortunate, as ive foud the extra cores in my 2011/2012 "Server" model to be very useful.  And no more Mini Server configuration.  Huh.

That 5K iMac, though.... Entire machine going for what Dell and other vendors are selling just the monitor for.. Not bad.

The mini. Wow. Like two steps forward take two steps back. Upgraded connectivity. Check. Lower price model. Check. Top CPU that is half the speed of the Top CPU in my work mini bought over a year ago. Check. 5K iMac with GPU still worse than 2 year old GTX680 in Mac Pro. Check.

We use mini's running windows for a ton of our display boards across the hospital. Cheap, way better than dell build quality, etc. Hundred bucks less for one based on the ULV Air platform, GREAT! We've been testing the new optiplex 9020 ultra micro from dell. Twice the cost, power brick, really bad build quality. As long as we can kerjigger the SCCM keys to unattend minis we will probably do that. So great Apple made us a cheaper mini to use as display boards and pretty much hosed the rest of the line. Color me not impressed. I am happy the mid and high end mini's have Iris Pro Graphics, at least that's something.

I would still like a BTO discrete GPU option and better BTO CPU options. With a lineup of 8 iPads now it's clear they don't care about SKU complexity like Steve. So don't make such hamfisted decisions on the computer lineup. I'm sure glad Gigabyte makes a drop in replacement for my Mac Pro when I finally have to upgrade.
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#12 Janichsan

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Posted 17 October 2014 - 07:14 AM

View PostDaveyJJ, on 17 October 2014 - 04:44 AM, said:

Apple putting an "underpowered GPU" into one of their machines?
Well, more than usual…

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#13 MichalM.Mac

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Posted 17 October 2014 - 07:33 AM

View Postmacdude22, on 17 October 2014 - 06:34 AM, said:

I am happy the mid and high end mini's have Iris Pro Graphics, at least that's something.

Correction. It's Intel Iris Graphics. So only Iris 5100. Nonetheless better than HD5000 for sure.

#14 macdude22

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Posted 17 October 2014 - 08:17 AM

View PostMichalM.Mac, on 17 October 2014 - 07:33 AM, said:

Correction. It's Intel Iris Graphics. So only Iris 5100. Nonetheless better than HD5000 for sure.

I guess my brain wanted it to be better than it was. Thanks Battle Cat. It's clearly his fault.
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#15 the Battle Cat

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Posted 17 October 2014 - 08:49 AM

::tBC switches off his Acme Brain Confabulator with a disdainful snap of his wrist as he plummets to the distant valley floor into a tiny puff of dust::  This thing was supposed to be undetectable... how the hell did he know?
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#16 macdude22

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Posted 17 October 2014 - 09:03 AM

View Postthe Battle Cat, on 17 October 2014 - 08:49 AM, said:

::tBC switches off his Acme Brain Confabulator with a disdainful snap of his wrist as he plummets to the distant valley floor into a tiny puff of dust::  This thing was supposed to be undetectable... how the hell did he know?


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#17 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 17 October 2014 - 10:29 AM

I'm really happy with the iMac upgrade. The GPU isn't amazing, but I'm pretty sure that the reason they choose it is to meet the $2500 price point. Apple clearly has a good relationship with AMD when it comes to GPU's (look at the Mac Pro). The m290x seems to be pretty much identical in performance to the 680MX, so the m295x will probably be around a 780M. For $200 the m295x is really a mandatory upgrade though, the extra 2 GB of VRAM alone will help like crazy in pretty much every game.

There's is not a single GPU on the market that can drive 5K gaming with decent settings in modern games. Even the GTX 980 and Titan will struggle to do much better then a mix of medium/high settings when gaming at 5K. The only real option for those who want to game effectively at 5K is SLI or Crossfire options.

View Postmacdude22, on 17 October 2014 - 06:34 AM, said:

With a lineup of 8 iPads now it's clear they don't care about SKU complexity like Steve.

The iPad naming scheme is horrible. They are selling the iPad Mini 1, 2 and 3 (and remember, the only difference between the 2 and 3 is the Touch ID sensor) alongside the iPad Air 1 and 2...

It's ... just ... so bad.
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#18 Cougar

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Posted 17 October 2014 - 11:03 AM

View PostJanichsan, on 17 October 2014 - 01:46 AM, said:

So that's the "best Apple product line-up in years"? Minuscule upgraded MacBook Pros and Airs, a Mac mini that has been barely brought up to date after an more than two-year hiatus, an iMac with an impressive display but underpowered GPU, small evolutionarily updated iPads, oversized iPhones and a clunky Watch that no-one I asked is actually interested in and that actually will be released next year?

Well, okay… :mellow:

The laptop situation isn't really their fault, intel has delayed Broadwell. The iPad line is maturing, it's going to be evolutionary updates from here on out (that said, the non-updated mini was...odd.)

I love my oversized iPhone. (Well, the hardware, at any rate. Come on, iOS 8.1...)

#19 Tetsuya

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Posted 17 October 2014 - 01:42 PM

The Mini situation irks me.  Since going Gaming PC/Working Mac, i haven't needed anything with serious GPU power on the Mac side, but i multitask a lot so having a lot of CPU is great... being able to upgrade the Mini to a "real" Quad-core machine with an i7 (even if it is a laptop part) was a big plus for me.  Now my options if i want an i7 in a mac are... an expensive upgrade to a machine i do nt need (an iMac, i have a monitor i like, thanks), a Pro (which i DEFINITELY dont need), or an expensive upgrade to a laptop.  

Or... build an mITX hackintosh, i guess, when it comes time to upgrade my Mac.

#20 macdude22

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Posted 17 October 2014 - 03:20 PM

My Apple rep called me today and asked me what I thought about the the mini. Oh boy that was a good time. I mean I was fair about it.

Pros:
PCIe Flash Storage
Multiple Thunderbolt 2 ports
Lower Price Model.

Cons:
Significantly slower top end mini
No Server/Dual Drive model
No user replaceable memory

It was a side grade at best. With some regular joe consumer improvements no question.

I currently use a top end 2012 mini w/i7, 16GB memory, and a Fusion Drive as my workhorse at twerk. I could not use a dual-core system. I typically have a couple VMs going among other things. I have tried to replicate my day to day work on one of my i5 test machines, I would be in a world of pain. Now thats not a direct correlation to a dual core i7 but it's close.

I did mention to the rep that Gigabyte makes a great drop in replacement for old mac grognards like me.

View PostTetsuya, on 17 October 2014 - 01:42 PM, said:


Or... build an mITX hackintosh, i guess, when it comes time to upgrade my Mac.

I think apple is happy to have us grognards build a hackintosh and buy our air's and iPhones to go along side it.
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