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#21 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 12:46 PM

View Postmacdude22, on 23 December 2015 - 12:41 PM, said:

The top end dual core i7 is approximately half as fast as the top end quad core i7 available in 2012. i.e. If I walk into a store right now, 3 years later, I cannot buy a mac mini that is as fast as my 3 year old 2012. The current dual core i7 are mere percentage points faster than the i5s. Like within margin of error from test to test. That's pretty trash for a 200 dollar upgrade.

The current dual core i5s are moderately faster than the 2012 equivalents, and are reasonably fast.

So I wouldn't go so far as to say the mid range mini CPUs are trash but the top end is a terrible value compared to what Apple offered 3 years ago.

Wouldn't the new i7 be significantly faster in applications that don't use more then 2 cores? It has an extra 1 GHz as well as the slight performance-per-clock improvements of Haswell vs Sandy Bridge (which aren't much, but probably around 10% faster performance per clock)
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#22 macdude22

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 12:53 PM

I have not looked at all the permutations on GeekBench scores across the current and previous CPUS but if I look up the top mini available vs. the mini I am on right now the gains are not impressive.

Actual test from my i7 2012 mini
Single-Core Score 3122 Multi-Core Score 11947

2014 i7 mini

Single-Core Score 3176 Multi-Core Score 6591

Since I can only vouch for my test having no running applications there's a bit of salt to be taken with the other test but that was one of the fastest I could find in the database. Single core is neck and neck and the multi core performance is expectedly poorer having 2 less cores.

For the average user the upgrades to the current i5 mini's are significant, pcie SSDs, newer generation dual core chips. The mid range 2014 mini is a better machine than the mid range 2012 mini.

The beef I have is they gutted the prosumer top end mini and charge the same price.
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#23 mattw

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 01:05 PM

In the early days of the "core" naming it used to be easy i3, i5, i7 was dual core, quad core, and hyper threaded quad (8 logical cores) when they decided to use the i5 for dual core chips it went all over the place so you do really have to find out the exact chip and compare it to your own.

Given they are no longer pushing for more cores (on consumer chips) and it is all about power saving and improved integrated graphics it takes a bit of checking into the actual software you use to know if you will see any real benefit from something purchased in say 2012...
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#24 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 01:18 PM

View Postmattw, on 23 December 2015 - 01:05 PM, said:

In the early days of the "core" naming it used to be easy i3, i5, i7 was dual core, quad core, and hyper threaded quad (8 logical cores) when they decided to use the i5 for dual core chips it went all over the place so you do really have to find out the exact chip and compare it to your own.

Given they are no longer pushing for more cores (on consumer chips) and it is all about power saving and improved integrated graphics it takes a bit of checking into the actual software you use to know if you will see any real benefit from something purchased in say 2012...

The naming convention of i3 = dual core with hyperthreading, i5 = quad core, and i7 = quad core with hyperthreading is adhered with the desktop chips. It's the mobile chips the really mess things up.

View Postmacdude22, on 23 December 2015 - 12:53 PM, said:

I have not looked at all the permutations on GeekBench scores across the current and previous CPUS but if I look up the top mini available vs. the mini I am on right now the gains are not impressive.

Actual test from my i7 2012 mini
Single-Core Score 3122 Multi-Core Score 11947

2014 i7 mini

Single-Core Score 3176 Multi-Core Score 6591

Since I can only vouch for my test having no running applications there's a bit of salt to be taken with the other test but that was one of the fastest I could find in the database. Single core is neck and neck and the multi core performance is expectedly poorer having 2 less cores.

For the average user the upgrades to the current i5 mini's are significant, pcie SSDs, newer generation dual core chips. The mid range 2014 mini is a better machine than the mid range 2012 mini.

The beef I have is they gutted the prosumer top end mini and charge the same price.

Huh, I would not expect that 2012 CPU to perform that well in single threaded. It must turbo like a boss
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#25 macdude22

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 02:22 PM

Oh man I got it to squeak out even more after a fresh reboot.

Single-Core Score 3227 Multi-Core Score 12487

mattw hit it on the nose. It is no longer as cut and dry as it was in the past. For me, macintosh system administrator that runs a lot of apps, services, VMs, etc...., My fusion drive i7 2012 mini is a far better workhorse than any currently available mini. I could not use a dual core system for what I do, 75% of my packaging, testing, etc... is in VMs, I need merh cores.

However the average home user, a 2015 mini with fusion or SSD is going to see a lot of gains, especially with the PCIe SSD.

Top end of the tests it does look like there is small single core performance boost on the i7-4578U.

http://browser.prima...multicore_score

S 3527 M 7454
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#26 Frost

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 05:13 PM

View Postmacdude22, on 23 December 2015 - 12:53 PM, said:

I have not looked at all the permutations on GeekBench scores across the current and previous CPUS but if I look up the top mini available vs. the mini I am on right now the gains are not impressive.

Actual test from my i7 2012 mini
Single-Core Score 3122 Multi-Core Score 11947

2014 i7 mini

Single-Core Score 3176 Multi-Core Score 6591

It's that popsnizzletastic lack of cores. "The all-new and improved 2014 Mac mini, now with half the CPU disabled!"

Still don't know what genius thought that was a good idea. That and soldering the RAM to the motherboard so you can never upgrade it and have to chuck the whole system in order replace a bad $20 RAM module.

The 2010, 2011, and 2012 Mac minis were the best damn modular micro-Macintosh ever. The 2014 one... eeeehhhh.

My main theory is either:
  • The decision-makers are idiots who don't comprehend that some people actually do work on Mac minis

  • The decision-makers wanted to artificially expand the Mac Pro's market by intentionally crippling the Mac mini's top-end
The only really good thing is the PCIe SSD, but I don't see why they felt the need to use a proprietary design that offers no space or throughput advantages over just using the M.2 standard. Probably because they don't want some enterprising Mac user to throw a 950 Pro in their mini when they could pay twice as much for half the speed on a BTO option.
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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.

#27 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 06:34 PM

View PostFrost, on 23 December 2015 - 05:13 PM, said:

It's that popsnizzletastic lack of cores. "The all-new and improved 2014 Mac mini, now with half the CPU disabled!"

Still don't know what genius thought that was a good idea. That and soldering the RAM to the motherboard so you can never upgrade it and have to chuck the whole system in order replace a bad $20 RAM module.

The 2010, 2011, and 2012 Mac minis were the best damn modular micro-Macintosh ever. The 2014 one... eeeehhhh.

My main theory is either:
  • The decision-makers are idiots who don't comprehend that some people actually do work on Mac minis

  • The decision-makers wanted to artificially expand the Mac Pro's market by intentionally crippling the Mac mini's top-end
The only really good thing is the PCIe SSD, but I don't see why they felt the need to use a proprietary design that offers no space or throughput advantages over just using the M.2 standard. Probably because they don't want some enterprising Mac user to throw a 950 Pro in their mini when they could pay twice as much for half the speed on a BTO option.


I think it's the iMac that they are pushing people towards - not the Mac Pro. The Mac Pro redesign is over 2 years old now. Granted CPU's haven't really gotten much better in 2 years, but GPU's have made huge advances (although I'm not sure if the workstation cards see updates nearly as quickly. I know nothing about workstation GPU's).

The iMac sees regular updates from Apple, whereas most other product lines outside of iPhone/iPad do not.
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#28 Tetsuya

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 10:22 PM

Problem is i dont need to pay for a disposable monitor.  I already have a very nice monitor, thank you very much.

Buying an iMac is simply never going to be in my future.  

Its extremely likely (unless i find a 2012 i7 quad core for cheap) that my next Mac is going to be a Hackintosh, because Apple doesnt make a machine i can use anymore.

#29 Frost

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 01:11 AM

View PostTetsuya, on 23 December 2015 - 10:22 PM, said:

Problem is i dont need to pay for a disposable monitor.  I already have a very nice monitor, thank you very much.

Buying an iMac is simply never going to be in my future.  

Its extremely likely (unless i find a 2012 i7 quad core for cheap) that my next Mac is going to be a Hackintosh, because Apple doesnt make a machine i can use anymore.
Sadly this is kinda the case for me too. Except 2012-era Mac hardware will still do everything I want and has more than enough CPU oomph, so my plan is to upgrade as prices come down more. Already grabbed the top-end 2012 non-retina MBP, and probably sometime in another couple years I'll see if I can get a really good condition dual processor 2012 Mac Pro to replace my PowerMac G5.
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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.

#30 mattw

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 06:45 AM

View PostSneaky Snake, on 23 December 2015 - 06:34 PM, said:

GPU's have made huge advances

Although CPUs have plateaued the most GPU's for computers (as apposed to phones & tablets) have also drastically slowed the rate of progress we enjoyed in the past too see:

http://www.rockpaper...graphics-cards/

We may finally see this change later in 2016...
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#31 Camper-Hunter

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 11:28 AM

View PostTetsuya, on 23 December 2015 - 10:22 PM, said:

Its extremely likely (unless i find a 2012 i7 quad core for cheap) that my next Mac is going to be a Hackintosh, because Apple doesnt make a machine i can use anymore.
Ditto. But I recently came to the conclusion that I'll go one step further: virtualization of OS X (VMware love). A hackintosh has its numerous drawbacks:
- must carefully choose components for maximum compatibility, which aren't the latest (no Skylake CPUs and DDR4 RAM for instance).
- at the mercy of software updates
- stuff that can be problematic (sleep, etc.)

Virtualisation has two drawbacks too: OS X VMs not officially supported on Windows, so must hack VMware (easy job compared to the hackintosh). And no 3D (not much of an issue when one plays games on Windows anyways).

#32 Frost

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 06:14 PM

View PostSneaky Snake, on 23 December 2015 - 06:34 PM, said:

I think it's the iMac that they are pushing people towards - not the Mac Pro. The Mac Pro redesign is over 2 years old now. Granted CPU's haven't really gotten much better in 2 years, but GPU's have made huge advances (although I'm not sure if the workstation cards see updates nearly as quickly. I know nothing about workstation GPU's).

They generally don't see upgrades as quickly, but the past couple years workstation cards have been keeping pace with consumer cards. The Mac Pro's D700s are old and creaky at this point compared to the state of the art.

View Postmattw, on 24 December 2015 - 06:45 AM, said:

Although CPUs have plateaued the most GPU's for computers (as apposed to phones & tablets) have also drastically slowed the rate of progress we enjoyed in the past too see:

http://www.rockpaper...graphics-cards/

We may finally see this change later in 2016...

I dunno man. I swapped my Titan that I got in 2013 for a Titan X this March and it came just shy of doubling my framerates in some games, while also getting double the RAM (not that it was needed), pulling less power, and not getting as hot. I think that's pretty amazing for two years of GPU development. Although granted they had to rip the FP64 units out of it in order to get the room since TSMC frakked up on 20nm.

That said, 2016 does look like it's going to be nuts in the GPU department.
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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.

#33 Jan

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Posted 28 December 2015 - 09:48 AM

I have benchmarked the i5/M395 iMac vs. the Mac Pro with a GTX 970 in my signature in Tomb Raider (2013) on OS X. The results are staggering: Feral automatically detect high settings for both systems (no ultra textures seem to be recommended). The AMD iMac has a minimum framerate of 38, which is quite playable and a maximum fps of 61 -- it averages around 51 fps. The 2008 Mac Pro with a desktop GTX 970 reaches only 21 fps minimum, 61 max and an average around 50 fps. So much for Nvidia's web driver under OS X ...

As soon as I get back from my holidays, I'm going to test drive Shadow of Mordor, which is the most demanding game on OS X right now. But I fear the results will be similar. If you mainly game on OS X -- the new AMD iMacs are not the worst of solutions.
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#34 macdude22

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Posted 28 December 2015 - 01:43 PM

Our 2008 Mac Pro's are hampered by low single core performance by 2015 standards. My windows box with AMD 750k cpu has significantly better single core performance than my 2008 Mac Pro. CPU heavy like World of Warships (under windows) will drop to sub 20FPS in the heat of battle on the Mac Pro but stick above 40 on the windows box. With the exact same GTX 680 transferred between them. Between the single core performance and the DDR2 the 2008 Mac Pro is no longer a gaming tour de force. But it's still an ultra solid box all around. Multi-ithreaded and general use performance is still screaming on it.
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#35 AussieMacGamer

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 07:18 PM

So the iMac came, the old one went - pretty quickly, giving me not much time to compare gaming on the two - after an initial Fusion Drive nightmare caused by the boot camp partitioning, in which i had to take down the logical storage group in internet recovery mode and then rebuild it, in order to reset Fusion Drive (and then re-install Mac OS). I managed to get Windows 10 running, with a little time to compare the two side by side.

After a little under a week with it, my impressions are that the performance of this GPU is all over the place. Battlefield 4 feels like it runs worse (it doesn't, it runs marginally better), Rocket league doesn't run as well, Made the mistake of purchasing Wolfenstein: the New Order despite owning an AMD GPU (BIG MISTAKE BLESS BE STEAM REFUND), however the Witcher 3 is like night and day, I feel practically double the performance of the old setup. I haven't tried GTA V because I can't get it to work and dont want to have to re-download it (however i understand it leverages i7 quite well, I wouldn't be surprised if there is a drop).

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#36 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 10:46 PM

View PostAussieMacGamer, on 05 January 2016 - 07:18 PM, said:

So the iMac came, the old one went - pretty quickly, giving me not much time to compare gaming on the two - after an initial Fusion Drive nightmare caused by the boot camp partitioning, in which i had to take down the logical storage group in internet recovery mode and then rebuild it, in order to reset Fusion Drive (and then re-install Mac OS). I managed to get Windows 10 running, with a little time to compare the two side by side.

After a little under a week with it, my impressions are that the performance of this GPU is all over the place. Battlefield 4 feels like it runs worse (it doesn't, it runs marginally better), Rocket league doesn't run as well, Made the mistake of purchasing Wolfenstein: the New Order despite owning an AMD GPU (BIG MISTAKE BLESS BE STEAM REFUND), however the Witcher 3 is like night and day, I feel practically double the performance of the old setup. I haven't tried GTA V because I can't get it to work and dont want to have to re-download it (however i understand it leverages i7 quite well, I wouldn't be surprised if there is a drop).

Are you running the latest drivers from AMD? Seems like most of those games should run no prob, unless you are trying to game at 5K or something and the resolution is fraking with stuff?
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#37 the Battle Cat

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 10:22 AM

Yikes.  I have an AMD Saphire GPU and I was thinking of getting Wolfenstein: the New Order for my Mac Pro.  Bad idea?
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#38 Tetsuya

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 03:41 PM

View Postthe Battle Cat, on 06 January 2016 - 10:22 AM, said:

Yikes.  I have an AMD Saphire GPU and I was thinking of getting Wolfenstein: the New Order for my Mac Pro.  Bad idea?

Runs fine on my wifes Radeon 7850 (at reasonable settings for that older GPU) with the current drivers.

#39 AussieMacGamer

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 06:37 PM

View PostSneaky Snake, on 05 January 2016 - 10:46 PM, said:

Are you running the latest drivers from AMD? Seems like most of those games should run no prob, unless you are trying to game at 5K or something and the resolution is fraking with stuff?

View Postthe Battle Cat, on 06 January 2016 - 10:22 AM, said:

Yikes.  I have an AMD Saphire GPU and I was thinking of getting Wolfenstein: the New Order for my Mac Pro.  Bad idea?

View PostTetsuya, on 06 January 2016 - 03:41 PM, said:

Runs fine on my wifes Radeon 7850 (at reasonable settings for that older GPU) with the current drivers.

Steam refund be your savior. It was running at 5k. The game didn't even show me the graphics dialog, it just ceased to exist. Couldn't even find the .config file, that also ceased to exist. Pursuit of any mention of a similar issue on the internet was fruitless. There were so many different conversations all over the internet about nightmares with this game that I couldn't be bothered wasting my time with it. Unfortunate I really wanted to play it.

MGSV btw looks incredible and is well optimised. I've also purchased Resident evil 4 and KOTOR2 (does anyone have advice on content restoration mods? what do i need to install?)

From a technical standpoint the computer is quite amazing. There are some teething pains but nothing like I imagined. Windows 10 has native PPi switching now and it works quite well. Windows 10 on that note is quite a nice OS, it finally has smooth fonts like OS X and a minimal amount of metro bullpopsnizzle.

Boot camp can now install all in one process too, no CD/DVD/USB Stick needed. You just load your ISO and... provided the partitioning doesn't cook your entire hard drive, It installs the OS, and then reboots and installs the drivers. Easy!






On the topic of hardware, this looks like the sort of product we'll be able to buy in two years time. It also looks like something Intel will once again gouge the crap out of and make financially un-viable to most consumers. Staying positive though.

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