PDA

View Full Version : New CoreDuo Mac Mini


JDex
02-28-2006, 06:35 PM
Apple releases the intel Mac Mini line... Dual Core, up to 2GB, improved graphics card...

http://www.apple.com/macmini/

fahr
02-28-2006, 06:45 PM
Looks awesome, addressing every issue I had with the original, except one. Up to 2 GB of RAM, 120 GB HD, gigabit ethernet, DUAL CORE, fantastic!! But... Intel integrated graphics???

For any use other than 3d or gaming, I suppose thats fine, but will Apple's drivers allow decent use of this card in an app like Maya or Modo? Radeon cards on the PC have always sucked for Maya but on the mac they were always fine. I wonder if a similar thing is the case here.

JDex
02-28-2006, 06:52 PM
I wouldn't personally consider it for OpenGL heavy apps... but this is a marked iprovement (in specs) over the previous version for just about every thing.

I'm still going to wait for the Quad Desktops, but I did find this interesting... also note Apple's price on RAM upgrade... that's a great price based upon the market price for DDR2 667... better than Crucial by over 15% (at least at the time of posting). Notable deviation from Apples standard RAM markups.

fahr
02-28-2006, 07:09 PM
I agree that a pro 3d artist or heavy gamer (is there such a thing on the mac?) shouldnt be considering a mac mini in the first place, but I do wonder just what these intel graphics chips are capable of? Can they do realtime shaders like normal mapping? Are they open GL 2.0 compliant? How do they perform compared to a low end geforce or radeon card? If the drivers are stable, then 3d work CAN be done with it, since Maya will run even on a lowly g3 with an ATI rage card... but I wouldnt recommend it. ;)
And I would love to know how well it can play Unreal 2k4, Doom 3, World of Warcraft, Halo, etc. It doesnt have to scream at it, it just has to run at decent levels and I'd be happy.

ThomasMahler
02-28-2006, 07:14 PM
Well, it's definitely not meant for 3d applications, but this thing would rock as a media center computer. Great stuff, Apple!

ntmonkey
02-28-2006, 07:23 PM
What about a mini slap-comp editing station? I don't think you need a highend 3D card for that right? Ideas?

-Lu

enygma
02-28-2006, 07:24 PM
Overall, the package is a nice upgrade. Looking at the details though, I am kind of dissapointed.

These were my hopes for the next Mac Mini:

a) Apple got rid of constricting itself to 2.5" hard drives and went with 3.5" hard drives. A bit bigger, but gave much more space per dollar spent. For the price you spend on a 160GB 2.5" drive, you could have gotten yourself a 500GB 3.5" drive.

b) Introduction of built in optical so that it can be a viable replacement of a DVD player on pretty much all levels

c) Better GPU

d) Some kind of built in PVR capabilities

e) faster processor

Here is what happened:

a) they still stuck with 2.5" drive designs.

b) They have optical now which makes me happy

c) Possibly a a worse GPU than the previous Mac Mini, then again, I'm not sure how well OS X handles Intel graphics

d) Didn't happen, and wouldn't want it to happen unless they changed the type of drive they used. The 2.5" just wouldn't have enough space for everything.

e) dual core in a Mac Mini. Gotta love it.

Overall, nice upgrade, but I think I'll wait till revision B of any Intel Mac before looking seriously at it.

almux
02-28-2006, 07:28 PM
Mac Mini is a sweet little tool on a desk. :thumbsup: Best thing to happen for a doctor and a busynessman's office. It will show you movies at home.
I'll keep on waiting for and of year... :love: some multiprocs Apple Workstation will do it! :applause:

tuna
02-28-2006, 07:33 PM
improved graphics card...


That Intel GMA950 graphics processor with shared memory sure is a beast!

JDex
02-28-2006, 09:32 PM
That Intel GMA950 graphics processor with shared memory sure is a beast!

It's not like it had a great card last time... it's a total dog.

Sure this isn't a freakin 7800... but it probably is better than the crap one in the G4 version, shared memory or not.

JMulder
02-28-2006, 10:07 PM
I think what we all forget is that we are not the target audience.


Most people don't need high-end graphics. Gamers tend not to skimp on hardware (such as the Mini), but buy the fastest and best, (mostly) regardless of cost.

For an entry-level Mac, it's great...certainly on par with or better than entry-level PC's.

Per-Anders
02-28-2006, 10:13 PM
put it this way, if you're using a cross platform 3d app with network rendering, these little babies might make some pretty ncie render nodes.

ages
02-28-2006, 10:15 PM
For a renderfarm how would these cope?
Dual core 1.67 on a 665bus?
Forget the vram, its not needed for rendering backburner style.

Wonder how they cinebench considering cinema 4d is UB now.

Per-Anders
02-28-2006, 10:18 PM
well i seem to recall that the intel imacs scored a pretty respectable 500-600 rendering. as these are basically the same sans screen i'd think there's a good chance you'll get similar scores (for reference my p4 3.0 scores around 300).

edit - here's the imashination list for the 9.5 cinebench, there are a few core duos on there, currently scoring about 520 http://www.3dfluff.com/mash/cb95/top.php

coldfuse[ofX]
02-28-2006, 10:20 PM
I dont know what it is, i really cant stand Mac's if anything i would rather go Linux But still have a workstation you get get normally. There just so pricey for the look. When to be honest i would love to build a nice comp with a good price. Maybe its just me, i dont know.

JDex
02-28-2006, 10:21 PM
']I dont know what it is, i really cant stand Mac's if anything i would rather go Linux But still have a workstation you get get normally. There just so pricey for the look. When to be honest i would love to build a nice comp with a good price. Maybe its just me, i dont know.

It's not just you... but it's OT. :)

Per-Anders
02-28-2006, 10:24 PM
if you don't know what it is then it's probably just you folllowing a trend and the advice of others with chips on their shoulders. they seem fairly standard pc's all in all to me, i've used em for years as well as pc's, they're fairly good value considering the component and build quality, at the moment that is, in the past they've been overpriced, but then so are BOXX or Alienware and for the same reasons. you can run linux on them if you really don't want to be using real UNIX by the way.

Beamtracer
02-28-2006, 11:03 PM
I don't like the new Mac Mini.

The old PowerPC model was notable because the PowerPC processor ran so cool and was so power efficient. The box had no fan. It ran cool and was completely silent.

This made it perfect for a home server. If you need to leave a computer running all day and all night you don't want to use one that belches out lots of heat because it would be a fire risk if the fans failed.

The old PowerPC Mini didn't have these worries.

There are still not many details on the new Intel Mac Mini, but my guess is that Core Duo processor will produce a lot more heat and require a fan.

*EDIT* Correction: PowerPC Mini did actually have a fan. After using the Mini for some time it was always completely silent. The fan never kicked in, unlike most other computers with fans that run continually.

DevilHacker
03-01-2006, 12:46 AM
There are still not many details on the new Intel Mac Mini, but my guess is that Core Duo processor will produce a lot more heat and require a fan.I dont think it will produce a lot more heat... not enough to danger the system. And as far as the fan, never say never. I have seen an X2 cooled without an fan, so I guess it just depends on the way apple builds its system...

heehee222
03-01-2006, 01:08 AM
I don't like the new Mac Mini.

The old PowerPC model was notable because the PowerPC processor ran so cool and was so power efficient. The box had no fan. It ran cool and was completely silent.

This made it perfect for a home server. If you need to leave a computer running all day and all night you don't want to use one that belches out lots of heat because it would be a fire risk if the fans failed.

The old PowerPC Mini didn't have these worries.

There are still not many details on the new Intel Mac Mini, but my guess is that Core Duo processor will produce a lot more heat and require a fan.

The PowerPc Mini have a fan inside. :thumbsup:

Cronholio
03-01-2006, 01:20 AM
There are still not many details on the new Intel Mac Mini, but my guess is that Core Duo processor will produce a lot more heat and require a fan.

The G4's they used in the Mac Mini actually run quite hot and they do have fans. They have a large heatsink and GeForce 5800 like blower that blows right across the heatsink. They are pretty quiet but you do hear the blower when the Mac mini is under load. The G4 is much cooler than the G5, but I wouldn't exactly call it a cool running chip. My wife's ibook can get pretty damn hot and it's running the same G4 in the last issue of the Mac mini. I'm betting the Core Duo will be cooler. The core duos are supposed to be low wattage and cool even when compared to the Pentium M which is quite a cool chip by today's standards.

tuna
03-01-2006, 01:54 AM
I think what we all forget is that we are not the target audience.


Most people don't need high-end graphics. Gamers tend not to skimp on hardware (such as the Mini), but buy the fastest and best, (mostly) regardless of cost.


It's not like it had a great card last time... it's a total dog.

Sure this isn't a freakin 7800... but it probably is better than the crap one in the G4 version, shared memory or not.

Apple would certainly never market this towards GAMERS! Or DOWNGRADE their graphics cards!

http://web.archive.org/web/20050305044151/www.apple.com/macmini/graphics.html

Go ahead, just try to play Halo on a budget PC. Most say they’re good for 2D games only. That’s because an “integrated Intel graphics” chip steals power from the CPU and siphons off memory from system-level RAM. You’d have to buy an extra card to get the graphics performance of Mac mini, and some cheaper PCs don’t even have an open slot to let you add one.

maX_Andrews
03-01-2006, 04:02 AM
Graphics chip is a bummer because of the shared vram...i was hoping for a 64mb radeon mobility or geforce go or somthing like that. Integrated blows.

But this is a hell of a machine for the price. The great thing is it can be whatever you want it to be. It's apple's DIY machine. You get the basic system, then if you want to edit videos get a widescreen monitor and an external firewire hard drive. If you want to use it as a media center it comes with its own remote and frontrow installed.

One thing also released today but not brought up yet is the wireless networking capabilities newly added to frontrow. Let's say you have a G5 with lots of recorded HD shows. Now put a mac mini in your AV rack and it will wirelessly stream content from your G5 from WITHIN front row. It's like a media center "node."

THis is also huge for distributed computing. For the price you'd pay for a rackmount dual 2.0Ghz 1U render node you can get four duo 1.66Ghz minis. That's over 12Ghz folks. And they would take up less space. WIth built in gigabit ethernet it's ready to roll. Too bad apple doesn't offer the duo version with no optical drive, no wireless, and a small HD for the same price as the core single model.

Here were my entries into a contest to make a mockup for the product released today. I was close, but no hdmi ports and no solid aluminum case. I nailed the intel and the optical audio tho...:-P
Mockups done in wings 3D, bryce, and photoshop:

http://www.3dfightclub.com/~madmax/uploads/macminioverallsm.jpg

http://www.3dfightclub.com/~madmax/uploads/macminibacksm.jpg

enygma
03-01-2006, 04:57 PM
I don't like the new Mac Mini.

The old PowerPC model was notable because the PowerPC processor ran so cool and was so power efficient. The box had no fan. It ran cool and was completely silent.

This made it perfect for a home server. If you need to leave a computer running all day and all night you don't want to use one that belches out lots of heat because it would be a fire risk if the fans failed.

The old PowerPC Mini didn't have these worries.

There are still not many details on the new Intel Mac Mini, but my guess is that Core Duo processor will produce a lot more heat and require a fan.
FYI, the Core Duo chips they are running in there are pushing 15W of heat dissipation. The Freescale chip from what I can find that Apple would have used in the Mac Mini, dissipated 10W at 1.4GHz.

In other words, Apple increased their operating clock speed per core by going with Core Duo, Core Duo runs more efficiently than the PowerPC component, and the Core Duo is of course... dual core. Not bad for only 15W of dissipation.

Now, I know that Core Duo runs up to 31W, however, note that they have a low power version of the chip. This comes in 2 clock speeds, and who here is surprised at what speeds those are?

1.50GHz and 1.66GHz, the speed of the chips inside the new Mac Mini. The chip models are referred to as the L2300 and the L2400.

almux
03-01-2006, 06:47 PM
put it this way, if you're using a cross platform 3d app with network rendering, these little babies might make some pretty ncie render nodes.

:bounce: Do you mean this could be used, piled, as a very small and performing home cluster?

maX_Andrews
03-02-2006, 12:15 AM
yeah apple's xgrid allows you to distrubute computing over a network. And the mini's have gigabit ethernet now...
You could get 12.8Ghz of processing power for around $3000

John-S
03-02-2006, 12:54 AM
I know nothing on this subject really, but would that be better then buying a Powermac Quad and if comparing a macmini for within a thousand dollars of the same price? Rendering wise, if you have a farm of mini's with the same proccessing specs as 1 powermac quad for around the same price....will the farm render faster? Wouldn't a Powermac be alot handier. This is a true question I have no knowledge on this matter. (odviously)

amfantasy
03-02-2006, 12:57 AM
mac is slowly winning me over. they support my linux, if only they had a nvidia card.

John-S
03-02-2006, 01:07 AM
Don't know anything about the linux thing...really? I would definatly suggest you run both OS's if you can. Their OS will really push you over the edge. I'm sure you'll still enjoy your choice OS though. What do you mean they don't have nvidia cards? The powermacs do.

Beamtracer
03-02-2006, 01:26 AM
FYI, the Core Duo chips they are running in there are pushing 15W of heat dissipation. The Freescale chip from what I can find that Apple would have used in the Mac Mini, dissipated 10W at 1.4GHz.
Hang on, let me get this right....

PowerPC Mac Mini --- 1.42GHz --- 10w power consumption

Intel Solo Mac Mini --- 1.5GHz speed --- 15w power consumption

So doesn't that mean that the clock speed of the Core Solo increases by 0.08 GHz (hardly any clockspeed increase), yet there's a massive 50% increase in power consumption (compared to PowerPC)? Did I get that wrong?

beaker
03-02-2006, 03:58 AM
yeah apple's xgrid allows you to distrubute computing over a network. And the mini's have gigabit ethernet now...
You could get 12.8Ghz of processing power for around $3000Well, grid processing doesn't exactly scale linear like that. Its just like dual processors. 2 x 2ghz does not equal 4 ghz (4 ghz box is going to easily kick its ass by 1.5-2x).

maX_Andrews
03-02-2006, 07:08 AM
it's fairly close though. 4 dual 1.66 ghz is 13.3, so I already attempted to take the slowdown into account. Grid processing takes a data set via a network and crunches the numbers, so It's pretty much the exact equivalent of four dual core processors. You lose a bit of throughput speed over ethernet, and as you said, multiprcessor speedup isn't 100%. But in rendering cluster apps, generally the speedup is around 180% out of 200%, making four dual core mac minis just about 12Ghz out of a theoretical 13.3Ghz :). Of course, it depends on the software you are using as well.

But the problem with the minis for clustering is simply that they are not built for that purpose. You pay for a large hard drive, optical drive, and wireless that you don't need in a clsuter. So in effect you are wasting about $150 or so on each mac mini on components you will not be using. But compared to apple's dedicated 1U xserve dual 2.3Ghz cluster node, which is $3000 and the exact same specs besides processor as the duo mac mini (80GB drive, 512MB RAM), you'd have to buy two of them just to reach the theoretical maximum of 9.2Ghz (4x2.3Ghz), which would be closer to 8Ghz after the multiproc slowdown factor. So you have 9.2Ghz theoretical at $6000 for the xserve cluster units and 13.3Ghz theoretical at $3200 for four duo mac minis. For $6400 you would have a theoretical output of 26.6 Ghz, about three times the price/performance of the xserve, even with the vestigal components adding to the price.

As for the quad G5 comparison, the quad is a beast of a machine, but it's more expensive and not built to make it conducive for cluster computing. The quad by itself would most likely be a bit faster than four clustered mac mini's at about the same price (moreso now due to non-native intel apps than in the future), but the quad is a workstation and would be inefficient to use as a cluster node. I'd say they break even, but the mini cluster has its own benefits including space saving, temperature control, and dedicated cluster readiness. With OSX server, or remote desktop, you could stash a whole bunch of minis all around the house and provided they were plugged into a common router, launch the cluster render software remotely and start rendering away. But then when you are done, they serve as media centers, jukeboxes, fridge computers, and anything else you can imagine in your oh-so CG friendly super-wired house of tomorrow :)

almux
03-02-2006, 03:38 PM
:thumbsup: This grooves me up completely! I dream of a little home cluster for years... i just can't grab it gets so easy at once!
Geee!
Have to get my son building me one of these... It will help screw down enough frames to carry on my project! :bounce: i have to cool down! And be a bit patient... no frenesy... no.. no... cool thinking and no hassle! ;)
One other issue is: with few monney get only the first 2 or 3 tinies... than while after while, add one after another!
On a commercial level, it sounds pretty good to sneak a little: "well your 3D adbvertising is just rendering on my cluster right now. Come have a look this afternoon! It'll be ready for a gaze!"
wow!

enygma
03-02-2006, 04:18 PM
Hang on, let me get this right....

PowerPC Mac Mini --- 1.42GHz --- 10w power consumption

Intel Solo Mac Mini --- 1.5GHz speed --- 15w power consumption

So doesn't that mean that the clock speed of the Core Solo increases by 0.08 GHz (hardly any clockspeed increase), yet there's a massive 50% increase in power consumption (compared to PowerPC)? Did I get that wrong?
Where do you get this solo stuff from?

I'm talking full 2 cores dissipating 15W.

So, if you payed attention to my previous post...

a) The Core Duo runs more efficient per clock cycle on a single core than the PowerPC

Take Apples benchmarks for example.

SPECint on the 1.42GHz G4 scored 6 while the 1.66GHz Core Duo scored 28.6. Lets pretend that benchmark scaled linear across cores, then devide 28.6 by 2 and you get 14.3. Ok, so a single core is 138% faster than the 1.42GHz G4. Thats right, a single core. Now, the benchmark probably doesn't scale linearly, in which case, single core performance may be slightly higher. That is just on integer performance. Floating point performance, Core Duo is even better.

b) The operating clock speed itself is higher on a single core of the Core Duo chips, making the one core faster and more efficient

Well, just looking at raw numbers, the single core on the Core Duo chip is faster, but look at my previous point to note the efficiency per clock cycle.

c) Dual core damnit. You missed that point by trying to say "Intel Solo".

The processor runs 2 cores at a total of 15W of dissipation. Now, you may think, "Oh, well that is a 50% increase in dissipation". 15 Watts is not a lot and may sill be able to operate in a near passive mode. No loud fans. Whatever was used in the PPC Mac Mini will work in the Intel Mac Mini.

Consider current AMD and Intel desktop dual core processors output over 100 Watts now, and a 31W chip from Intels higher end Core Duo processors will run in a laptop nicely while keeping a very slim form factor. Even slimmer than that of the PPC version.

So I suggest next time before spouting a tad bit of mis-information, do a little research

http://www.intel.com/products/processor/coreduo/specs.htm

JDex
03-02-2006, 04:51 PM
Chris... read the mac mini page... the low end one is a core solo, the higher end one is a core duo... Mac In Touch has already got a Solo, and benchmarked it against the G4 version...

http://www.macintouch.com/index.shtml#tips.2006.03.01

Dissapointing graphics... marked improvement in raw power... higher wattage, and that's on the solo... the duo will have a higher watt rating.

pixelmonk
03-02-2006, 04:52 PM
']I dont know what it is, i really cant stand Mac's if anything i would rather go Linux But still have a workstation you get get normally. There just so pricey for the look. When to be honest i would love to build a nice comp with a good price. Maybe its just me, i dont know.


you can.. build a PC.

pixelmonk
03-02-2006, 04:53 PM
:thumbsup: This grooves me up completely! I dream of a little home cluster for years... i just can't grab it gets so easy at once!
Geee!
Have to get my son building me one of these... It will help screw down enough frames to carry on my project! :bounce: i have to cool down! And be a bit patient... no frenesy... no.. no... cool thinking and no hassle! ;)
One other issue is: with few monney get only the first 2 or 3 tinies... than while after while, add one after another!
On a commercial level, it sounds pretty good to sneak a little: "well your 3D adbvertising is just rendering on my cluster right now. Come have a look this afternoon! It'll be ready for a gaze!"
wow!

?? I'm not sure what you're trying to say.

almux
03-02-2006, 05:32 PM
?? I'm not sure what you're trying to say.

Maybe this :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: is a litle exagerated! Yet this MacMini could be a good starting point for an evolutiv cluster.
It took me years to gather "artisanal" rendering each time on my very own desk machine (let's say it's my artistic concept of creating... hum). Now it's possible to get a more efficient way to still work autistically as i'm amiliar to :arteest: therefore, i'm enthousiastic with the believe to do more crazy stuff on my own and yet bewcome a good "funky original" partner for more busyness turned people.

Hum... i see, youi still don't get it! :shrug: ?

enygma
03-02-2006, 08:24 PM
Chris... read the mac mini page... the low end one is a core solo, the higher end one is a core duo... Mac In Touch has already got a Solo, and benchmarked it against the G4 version...

http://www.macintouch.com/index.shtml#tips.2006.03.01

Dissapointing graphics... marked improvement in raw power... higher wattage, and that's on the solo... the duo will have a higher watt rating.
Well this really messes things up because:

a) Intel doesn't advertise a 1.5GHz Core Solo processor on their site. They advertise a 1.66GHz model (T1300)

b) The T1300 runs 27W as oposed to the L2300 and L2400 low voltage components which are dual core and run 15W

So if you look at the way they are pricing the 2 separate units, You are getting a serious shaft with the cheaper model.

What I am curious about now are what the specs on the Core Solo 1.5GHz processor are, and IF they are using L2400 or the T2400 chip in the Mac Mini Core Duo.

mummey
03-02-2006, 08:56 PM
Chris... read the mac mini page... the low end one is a core solo, the higher end one is a core duo... Mac In Touch has already got a Solo, and benchmarked it against the G4 version...

http://www.macintouch.com/index.shtml#tips.2006.03.01

Dissapointing graphics... marked improvement in raw power... higher wattage, and that's on the solo... the duo will have a higher watt rating.

I know that the idea of having an intel graphics chipset sounds bad on paper, but look at the Software OpenGL score from the link.

Also, look at the OpenGL score from XBench in the detailed article:
http://www.macintouch.com/specialreports/perfpack02/

enygma
03-03-2006, 05:11 AM
Just decided to fire this in there.

Just did a little research and found this image:

http://www.reezle.com/imgs/reezle-100001-5411-1280.jpg

It does appear that the Core Duo chip in the Mac Mini is the T2300.

Here is also another interesting link showing the cooling fan inside the intel Mac Mini.

http://flickr.com/photos/jsnell/106961280/in/pool-macintosh/

Also worth noting, here is a picture with the cooling fan inside the PPC Mac Mini:

http://www.macworld.com/2005/01/images/content/miniopen2.jpg

I wouldn't mind seeing if anyone is willing to do a dB comparison to see if the difference in heat dissipation really makes a big difference in the acoustic levels in the fan.

This now goes back to an original argument I had even in regards to say, the iMac.

Now that we know the processor in the Mac Mini is socketed, this means it is upgradable. Since all the T series of Core Duo processors run the same wattage, why not offer processor speed options?

If anything, I sincerely hope they offer these options for their upcoming workstation products.

As a note, I wanted to make sure I get all the facts straight and put together since I will be mentioning the new Mac Minis in my podcast this weekend.

mummey
03-16-2006, 02:40 PM
Apparently there is a winner, and a solution:

http://onmac.net/

enygma
03-16-2006, 04:06 PM
Nice. My Intel Core Solo Mac Mini should be arriving any minute by FedEx. I'll have to see if this will work for me.

pixelmonk
03-16-2006, 04:51 PM
']I dont know what it is, i really cant stand Mac's if anything i would rather go Linux But still have a workstation you get get normally. There just so pricey for the look. When to be honest i would love to build a nice comp with a good price. Maybe its just me, i dont know.

yup.. you can easily build a duo core "PC" running XP or Linux for cheaper, and even get a micro ATX mobo and case if you want that cutesy small look. Actually, any cheaply made micro case would even look better than the mac mini. For a company that prides itself on design.. this thing is boring. The only thing I've been impressed with by Apple over the past few years is the iPod and even that is getting old. How many more "versions" can they come out with in a 6 month time span? :) OSX is ok too, btw.

CGTalk Moderation
03-16-2006, 04:51 PM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.