Posts Tagged ‘mac mini’

A few days after having replaced an Intel 320 160GB SSD with a Crucial M500 480 GB into my mac mini (mid 2010), the fan was going to run at maximum speed (that is 5500 rpm) time to time, wihtout any reason (the computer was cold, also reported by sensors). Using free MacFans control the HD termal sensor indeed seemed to work fine (SSD temperature ranges from 27°C to 40 °C), or it may be that the software also uses Smart informations (that is temperature reported from SSD internal sensor).

The SMC reset (unplung the mac mini for 15s, then plug it, wait 5s and finally power it up) didn’t helped. It seemed that playing games under Windows 7 (through Bootcamp) leader to more and more fan overuns. It was the same under Mavericks, then not Yosemite related.

I also noticed that the PSU (power unit) temperature was somewhat high (58 to 65°C) – didn’t remember that before -, however some reported even higher values for other mac models.

I finally ended using MacFan Controls (added to launch items), set to manage fan speed based on CPU temperature sensor, with 65°C as start for speed increase and 85°C for max allowed temperature (that is max fan speed). I may however change these values to 70/90°C as the mac is colder than before with these settings when playing games (I also uses the Windows version of MacFan controls).

Yosemite / mac mini

Posted: October 22, 2014 in Apple
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OSX Yosemite performance on a mid-2010 mac mini (NVidia 320M) reminds first 10.0 version : text rendering is 3 times slower (slow redraw when resizing windows), OpenGL is 2 times slower, and user interface test is 10 times slower ! Also opening windows (files listing) is slower, while the new UI theme shouldn’t require more power (it should be faster as it is simplistic – Googlish / Windowish -, without all previous refinements that ultimately landed into Mavericks, not mentioning still non fixed firewire disks sleep issue and trim issue).

Then Apple may use some new OpenGL 4 only APIs for Quartz, while older macs only support OpenGL 3.3.

The new mac mini have half the CPU cores than previous ones, do not allow adding RAM, and only provide an Iris graphics chipset (Iris Pro would have been at least required). Also new imac’s Nvidia 750M graphics card is old.

We now then have to either buy a retina imac ($2500) or mac pro ($2999), or wait for upcoming Broadwell based hackintosh (that will offer same performance for half power requirements, and then will allow smaller enclosure). Also Intel will release an updated Iris Pro.

We then want Scott Forstall (OS features and design), Jon Rubinstein (hardware leading edge with custom processors – should come with A8x) and Bertrand Serlet (Snow Leopard) back, as new team really isn’t talented (except iPad/iPhone hardware engineering).

Apple may unveil ARM based mac mini running an ARM version of Yosemite this month, as it didn’t release Haswell refresh based mac mini nor would wait next year’s Broadwell processors. The new mac mini may include (many) new PowerVR GX6650 GPU, that is 82x faster than first PowerVR chip in iPhone 3G. It includes 192 FP32 ALU cores with up to 384 FLOPs per cycle, that means up to 250 GFLOPs (384 x 650 000 000) at 650MHz (with 32 bits precision). It is able to process 12 pixels per clock and 12 texels per clock, that is about 8 Gpixels/s and 8 Gtexels/s.

Intel Iris Pro 5200 chipset reachs 832 GFLOPS, 10.4 Gpixels/s and 20.8 Gtexels/s. That is a mac mini fitted with 3 PowerVR GX6650 chips may run as fast, for less than 10W power consumption (about 2-3W per PowerVR GX6650 chip at that frequency), while the Iris Pro requires 47W.

Apple A7 performance reached 75 Gflops at 1.3 Ghz (that is 4W power consumption). The new A8 (also 2 cores hower at 1.4 Ghz) is 25 percent faster and 50 percent more power efficient. As an A7 processor at the same frequency would require 4.3W, the A8 power consumption may be about 2.2W (and that is including a PowerVR GX6450), then an A8 fitted with a PowerVR GX6650 may require 4 to 5W, and reach 94 Gflops.

The new mac mini (or iMac) may finally include 4 A8 chips (that is 8 CPU cores) with a PowerVR GX6650 each, and then reach 376 Gflops for CPU and 1000 Gflops for GPU. It would then be close to a common x86 Intel Corei5 (fitted with HD4400 GPU chipset), that reaches 430 Gflops for CPU (however at 35W power consumption compared to about 18W for a quad A8) and far more less score (about half performance) for GPU. Also the extra GPU resources available on the quad A8 may be used through OpenCL and compensate for the lower base CPU performance.

The new mac enclosure may be a smaller version of new mac pro’s one. It may be priced $500.

Update : since Apple would have to provide some Intel emulation (as with Snow Leopard’s Rosetta for PPC) for existing applications, this would make the switch to ARM useless (Intel cores processors were at least two times faster than PPC processors, while ARM are slower). Apple indeed would have to use twice the A8 processors count than previously stated, that is 8 chips / 16 CPU cores, then exactly the same power usage as Intel’s Core i5.

Mac mini 2013/2014 coming

Posted: December 10, 2013 in Apple
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New Mac Pro was released only few weeks before holidays, as with pro users these timings don’t count. Also the mac mini isn’t what leads Apple (while more and more are buying it on refurb) and wasn’t updated during October’s update.

Then the new mac mini may be released at any time, and one forum user reported some information that may hint at an upcoming release in the following weeks, bringing Haswell and Iris graphics :

I work in an Apple Reseller and like many of you i’m waiting for the mini 2013 refresh.

From monday the two major Apple suppliers in Italy are suddenly and completely out of stock of minis. I know that this happen from time to time, but the timing is no coincidence.

Trust me, a new mini is coming next week, or at least we have solid evidence to believe it.

New imac / mac mini

Posted: October 23, 2012 in Apple
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Apple presented new mac mini and imac. The mac mini now features an Intel HD4000 chispet (two times faster than Nvidia 320M or Intel HD3000), while the entry-level iMac’s Nvidia GT 640M (512 MB dedicated GDDR5) is 3 to 6 times faster than 320M/HD3000 (and 2 to 3 times faster than HD4000).

The new iMac also uses a new display (75 percent less reflective, 40 percent less volume, down to 5 mm at edges, 5.68 kg for 21.5 inch model)  and new headphones.

A new fusion drive option (automatic management of data stored either on SSD part – if used frequently – or on a 1 TB or 3 TB hard disk part) is also provided (or a full 256 GB SSD).

New mac mini / 2010 model

Posted: July 21, 2011 in Apple
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The new mac mini is provided without superdrive (external USB model priced 79 $), a thunderbolt port, a Core i5 processor (2,3 Ghz or 2,5 Ghz) or Core i7 2,7 Ghz (as an option, 100$ only), dual core however with TurboBoost and HyperThreading, an Intel HD3000 chipset or a Radeon HD 6630M (256 Mb of dedicated GDDR5), and 2 or 4 Gb of DDR3 at 1333 Mhz. A 256Gb SSD option is available for 600$.

The server model (priced 999$) brings a quad Core i7 at 2Ghz, and the 256Gb SSD only option is available for 400$ more (550$ with both the SSD and a 750 Gb 7200 rpm hard disk). However it only features the Intel HD 3000 chipset.
The base memory is 4Gb (2Gb on the entry level model), however we still have to replace both modules to reach 8Gb (required to achieve max performance and for audio applications).

The Core i5 processor at 2,5 Ghz is up to twice as fast as previous Core2 Duo 2,4 Ghz one (also thanks to the faster memory bus), and the server model is up to three times faster. The Radeon HD 6630M dedicated graphics card is also up to two times faster than the Nvidia 320M chipset (see here and there).

A step by step video about replacing mac mini 2010’s hard disk is available. We can also find a comparative review of most recent SSD.

Apple did not state performance improvement with new Intel HD3000 chipset (found on entry-level new MacBook Pro models) over the previous NVidia 320M, and only stated that performance is up to 3 times higher with the new ATI Radeon HD 6750M dedicated card (found in the high-end model – 1 Gb of DDR5 -, the Radeon HD 6490M with 256 Mb of DDR3 found in middle model not being as fast) compared with previous Nvidia GeForce GT 330M dedicated card found on older middle and high-end MacBook Pro. Moreover the new middle and high-end models use a quad core processor (Core i7 at 2,2 Ghz) instead of the dual core i5 processor (2,53 Ghz or 2,66 Ghz) found on the olders Macbook Pro.

The new entry-level MacBook Pro isn’t then faster for gaming than the previous one (Intel HD3000 chipset ranks 154th and Nvidia GeForce 320M 129th) or the June 2010 mac mini. However the new Core i5 based entry-level Macbook Pro (2,3 Ghz) brings Turbo Boost 2.0 and Hyper threading (compared with previous 2,4 Ghz Core2 Duo).
It may then be faster with single threaded applications (the single activated core speeds up to 3,4 Ghz) or with applications that use at least 4 threads (performance will be similar with two-threaded applications). Result will then rely on Grand Central enhancements in MacOSX Lion.

By discovering Wifi networks listed in Snow Leopard’s menubar, and after verifying on Apple’s site, it is confirmed that the mac mini includes an Airport card. Then the mac mini’s Ethernet based internet can be shared with an iPhone using Wifi : in Sharing preferences, select Internet Sharing, then choose connection from Ethernet, to computers through Airport, and check the box.

The site pcmag provides a review od the new mac mini. It features the lowest power consumption (6W while displaying a web page without Flash) and best 3D performance for a chipset : 21 fps in Crysis (under Windows), while a Dell mini (Inspiron Zino HD), 2,5 times taller, only reaches 5 fps.

New mac mini ?

Posted: June 4, 2010 in Apple
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An update to mac mini might bring HDMI support and 320M chipset, as found on the entry level MacBook Pro. Such model fitted with 4 Gb of memory, if priced 699$, could be interesting against the new MacBook Pro 13′ (1199$).

Mac mini : power and heat / idle mode

Posted: April 22, 2009 in Apple
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Apple provides guides about macs environmental performances. We learn that the new Mac mini uses 45 percent less power (only 13W) when idle (that isn’t sleep – that uses only 1,5W – but fully awake machine without any active application other than system daemon tasks). The previous version required 23W in idle mode, and the original version with 1,25Ghz G4 used 32W in that mode. The max power is 110W (was the same in older CoreDuo versions, and 85W on the single G4 with Radeon 9200), for a 2 Ghz Core2 Duo and Nvidia 9400M. Heat dissipation in idle mode is also down (2,5 times less than with the first G4 model, and close to 2 times less than with the previous CoreDuo model). However max heat dissipation in full charge is the same (was a bit higher when switching from a single G4 to a CoreDuo).

New MacPro also made progress in idle mode, however they can require up to 300W in full charge (that is in fact considering 8 cores, many fans and a high end graphic card).