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Old Dec 22, 2012, 02:42 PM   #1
Ice Dragon
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Hypothetical: What could feasibly fit as a discrete card in the Mac mini?

I was discussing this with a friend of mine. 640M LE? 640M? 650M? Probably with 1 GB of VRAM?
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Old Dec 22, 2012, 03:12 PM   #2
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the 640 m which would be nice.
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Old Dec 22, 2012, 07:23 PM   #3
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I was discussing this with a friend of mine. 640M LE? 640M? 650M? Probably with 1 GB of VRAM?

Built in power supply and fan take up significant room. Add in whether you want a fusion drive or 2 SSD and I'm not sure there is much room left over.






If Apple dropped the built in power supply than maybe?
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Old Dec 22, 2012, 07:32 PM   #4
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Built in power supply and fan take up significant room. Add in whether you want a fusion drive or 2 SSD and I'm not sure there is much room left over.
They did it last year. This year they dropped the configuration, which probably means they think integrated will be good enough going forward. If they didn't improve it this year and Haswell's happens to outpace discrete graphics options in terms of percentage improvements, it's unlikely that they'd go back on this. Just my thoughts anyway...
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Old Dec 22, 2012, 07:40 PM   #5
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They did it last year. This year they dropped the configuration, which probably means they think integrated will be good enough going forward. If they didn't improve it this year and Haswell's happens to outpace discrete graphics options in terms of percentage improvements, it's unlikely that they'd go back on this. Just my thoughts anyway...
That is right. Totally forgot about that.

My parents had a 2010 mini and I am thinking about getting one when upgraded to Haswell. So never looked or have experience with last years model.

So you are probably right, either because Apple thinks integrated are good enough or it is a way for Apple to cut costs?
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Old Dec 22, 2012, 08:04 PM   #6
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So you are probably right, either because Apple thinks integrated are good enough or it is a way for Apple to cut costs?
It could be a combination of factors. I've noticed that Apple doesn't mind flat or slightly regressive steps if they think they'll only be an issue for a limited amount of time. The quad cpus are 45W. They're used in 2 out of 3 here. The discrete mini had a 35W cpu. Haswell tdp looks marginally higher. They're claiming OpenGL 4 and OpenCL 1.2 support from launch. If the hardware is expected to be there by that point, Apple could just figure good enough. I'd say the same thing about the 13" rMBP. Right now it looks like a very expensive notebook for a 13" with integrated graphics. Apple may be counting on this not being a big deal going forward. Otherwise they wouldn't omit such a thing from a new design.

I don't see the Mini as being a huge deal for Apple. They probably make significantly more off imacs, which would explain why they almost never refresh the Minis first. This year represented an exception. They could have released the Mini even earlier, but they waited until the new imacs were unveiled. It is conjecture, but I think they initially intended to put both on sale simultaneously around September. This would have given the notebooks some lead time, which they usually do, yet they still would have been in closer alignment with the cpu releases. The Mini was obviously read right after the event.
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 05:56 AM   #7
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The Radeon 7750 would be the best option. It is the smallest 28nm GPU available with very low TDP and faster than the Nvidia's with similar TDP (650M), it is similar in speed to the GTX660M. It would produce slightly more heat than a Radeon 6630, yet it is more than 3 times as fast, and you could still put a dual core Ivy 3Ghz i7 or 2.3 quad with HT next to it and stay under the TDP of the previous 2.5 i5.
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 08:07 AM   #8
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The Radeon 7750 would be the best option. It is the smallest 28nm GPU available with very low TDP and faster than the Nvidia's with similar TDP (650M), it is similar in speed to the GTX660M. It would produce slightly more heat than a Radeon 6630, yet it is more than 3 times as fast, and you could still put a dual core Ivy 3Ghz i7 or 2.3 quad with HT next to it and stay under the TDP of the previous 2.5 i5.
Seriously man. Do you just make stuff up or what? This whole post is a big bag of fail. First, let's do a little recap from last year's Mid-Mini. It was a 35 watt TDP processor with the 6630M GPU believed to have a 19watt TDP. That's a combined total of 54.

Second, there is no Dual Ivy 3.0ghz Mobile processor. There is a 2.9 (with a 35Watt TDP), but no 3.0ghz.

Third, the 2.3ghz Quad Core has a 45watt TDP which means you would only have 9 watts of TDP before you hit the 54watt TDP of last years Mid-Mini.

Lastly, and here's the real kicker, the 7750M has a TDP of 28Watts! That means you would only have roughly 26watts TDP for the processor to equal last year's Mid-Mini and only the low speed dual cores used in the Macbook Air's would fit in the 26 or less category....

Let me enlighten you:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compari...D_7xxxM_Series
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivy_Bri...rchitecture%29

These are forums to help people, not spread false information....
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 09:10 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by paulrbeers View Post
Seriously man. Do you just make stuff up or what?
Before you attack others, read the title of the thread:
“Hypothetical:...”

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Originally Posted by paulrbeers View Post
Second, there is no Dual Ivy 3.0ghz Mobile processor. There is a 2.9 (with a 35Watt TDP), but no 3.0ghz.
Yeah, 0.1 GHz difference is really important, especially in the christmas season! It is good to know, that people have no other problems.
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 09:51 AM   #10
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Before you attack others, read the title of the thread:
“Hypothetical:...”


Yeah, 0.1 GHz difference is really important, especially in the christmas season! It is good to know, that people have no other problems.
Yeah but hypothetical and impossible are two entirely different things! Hypothetical implies possible and not defying the laws of physics does it not? And sure .1 doesn't really make a whole lot of difference but it shows how little research and understanding he has done. Look back at many of his posts and they are full of inaccurate information. How about you comment in any of my other points?
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 11:41 AM   #11
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Yeah sorry if I didn't make myself clear. I meant of the current specs available, would you be able to slide out the Intel HD Graphics 4000 for a discrete card and if so, which card would be possible?

Would you have to go down to a dual core and what would you add?

I am going to make this a bit more difficult and say you can only use nVidia being that it is about consistency.
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 11:54 AM   #12
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Speaking of iGPU's If intel will just add an additional GPU core to the chip (there should be room) it would boost speed a great deal. But, then there is the heat issue, so idk.

But if discrete GPU is ever an option I would love to see Lucid MVP added to Mac Minis. If anyone hasnt heard of it, its software/hardware written for some motherboards with the Lucid MVP chipset option to use the iGPU from Intels CPU in an SLI(ish) fashion with your discrete GPU to boost performance. Its not as great as two video cards but its a heavy performance boost non the less. But the mobo must support it and Lucid has to write their proprietary drivers for it. But still, it would be awesome.

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Yeah sorry if I didn't make myself clear. I meant of the current specs available, would you be able to slide out the Intel HD Graphics 4000 for a discrete card and if so, which card would be possible?

Would you have to go down to a dual core and what would you add?

I am going to make this a bit more difficult and say you can only use nVidia being that it is about consistency.
The HD4000 is a iGPU (integrated GPU) as in it resides on the CPUs on chip die. Thus its not going anywhere unless you remove the CPU..
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 12:15 PM   #13
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Yeah sorry if I didn't make myself clear. I meant of the current specs available, would you be able to slide out the Intel HD Graphics 4000 for a discrete card and if so, which card would be possible?

Would you have to go down to a dual core and what would you add?

I am going to make this a bit more difficult and say you can only use nVidia being that it is about consistency.
Impossible. Even if you could separate the iGPU from the CPU (you can't) we would have no way of knowing how much heat that would save to even begin to guess as what GPU we "could" put in the Mini.
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 12:33 PM   #14
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How did they do it last year then? Did they separate it or just add the Radeon 6630M?
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 01:07 PM   #15
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How did they do it last year then? Did they separate it or just add the Radeon 6630M?
they had the discrete built into the board along with the cpu. I think the os just ignored the hd 3000.


this is the ram from the 2011 discrete mini

http://www.techrepublic.com/photos/c...-view-selector

the cpu

http://www.techrepublic.com/photos/c...-view-selector

the gpu

http://www.techrepublic.com/photos/c...-view-selector


the full mobo


http://www.techrepublic.com/photos/c...-view-selector

upper right is the gpu ram location

center right is the gpu with a plate on it

dead center is the cpu.


no question that they could put a discrete in the mini but the trade off is the cpu



this dual works

http://ark.intel.com/products/64893/...up-to-3_60-GHz



with a 640m

Last edited by philipma1957; Dec 23, 2012 at 01:17 PM.
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 01:30 PM   #16
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Ah yes the i7-3520M. I expected that in there because that was what was in the higher tier 13" MBP along with the 640M LE with 512 MB. Having the 640M with a full 1 GB would be ideal.

Although having said all that and I mentioned this before, I am not completely unhappy with the decision of a quad-core processor and integrated graphics. I am happy with an update to begin with.

I was almost beginning to think they would wait until 2013.
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 01:34 PM   #17
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Ah yes the i7-3520M. I expected that in there because that was what was in the higher tier 13" MBP along with the 640M LE with 512 MB. Having the 640M with a full 1 GB would be ideal.13.
Umm what? 13" MacBook Pros haven't had a discrete GPU in years (if ever?). Even the Retina MacBook Pro relies solely on the Intel HD4000....
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 02:25 PM   #18
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Umm what? 13" MacBook Pros haven't had a discrete GPU in years (if ever?). Even the Retina MacBook Pro relies solely on the Intel HD4000....
I mistyped. I meant that because of last year's Mini, I expected the same processor as the higher end 13" MBP and 512 MB of the 640M LE. My apologies for any confusion.
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Old Dec 24, 2012, 04:46 AM   #19
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Last years mini only had a discrete graphics with the dual core cpu. Once you went to a Quad which was the Server only then you had no discrete gpu.

I for one would rather see the PSU move outside of the case and on the floor where hidden with the other plugs and cabling and provide more heat dispersion capability so that could have a Quad and discrete gnu.

You still have to take a power cable off the back of the mini to the power socket so not as if any extra cables in view when doing this.

With the heat output provided could provide a quad and a gnu, or a better gpu then otherwise could fit.

Can't see happening though as would start to compete with the iMac's which are probably more profitable for Apple
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Old Dec 24, 2012, 08:17 AM   #20
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Seriously man. Do you just make stuff up or what? This whole post is a big bag of fail.
Seriously man, what a hairsplitting on something totally hypothetical. Calm down.
If Apple wants dual core Ivys at 3 Ghz, Intel makes them (I'm not going to look up every fact sheet on Intel to see which 0.1 ghz versions exist).
If Apple wants to dissipate 70 watt from a Mini, they will find a way to do so (in fact, they did before in the white ones).
And TDP's are most of the time not equal to power usage. Remember the TDP of a E8400 C2D (65)? Well, it used just 35 watts max. Apple wil search the limit, and ignore TDP numbers put on chips by Nvidia or Intel. The Radeon 7750 is still one of the most capable and still small 28nm GPU's. It has the best performance/watt. You can also underclock them a little if they use too much heat, that does not alter the fact that it is a damn fine GPU design.
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 12:33 PM   #21
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Seriously man, what a hairsplitting on something totally hypothetical. Calm down.
If Apple wants dual core Ivys at 3 Ghz, Intel makes them (I'm not going to look up every fact sheet on Intel to see which 0.1 ghz versions exist).
If Apple wants to dissipate 70 watt from a Mini, they will find a way to do so (in fact, they did before in the white ones).
And TDP's are most of the time not equal to power usage. Remember the TDP of a E8400 C2D (65)? Well, it used just 35 watts max. Apple wil search the limit, and ignore TDP numbers put on chips by Nvidia or Intel. The Radeon 7750 is still one of the most capable and still small 28nm GPU's. It has the best performance/watt. You can also underclock them a little if they use too much heat, that does not alter the fact that it is a damn fine GPU design.
Well great! Then let's just throw a Desktop CPU and GPU in it? Why not an Ivy Bridge 3770 and an Nvidia 680 while we are at it? Because under your rationale, "Apple will find a way"....

Further, you'll need to point me to a review site that can measure TDP? I've never seen a website that can measure TDP only measure power usage (which is NOT TDP) and/or the temperature of a processor (which again is not TDP) under idle and/or load conditions.
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 01:29 PM   #22
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I like the fire paul though you are spewing it in the wrong direction. I want to see the passion into what you would personally like based on the options available.

Personally I think Apple can probably find a way though let's say without changing anything of what they have now, it would seem philip is right with the 640M. 1 GB seems to be the most appropriate with the max memory being 2 GB.
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 02:16 PM   #23
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Umm what? 13" MacBook Pros haven't had a discrete GPU in years (if ever?). Even the Retina MacBook Pro relies solely on the Intel HD4000....
I still shudder when I remember the day Apple started to sell the MacBook "Pro" with integrated graphics.
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 02:23 PM   #24
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I like the fire paul though you are spewing it in the wrong direction. I want to see the passion into what you would personally like based on the options available.

Personally I think Apple can probably find a way though let's say without changing anything of what they have now, it would seem philip is right with the 640M. 1 GB seems to be the most appropriate with the max memory being 2 GB.
Yeah, but this was already previously discussed what would have been the best spec'd Mac Mini. The consensus was that Apple COULD have put the nvidia 640M and paired it with the "low power" 2.1Ghz Ivy Bridge Quad Core and had a really killer 2012 Mid-Mini.

Doing a quick search here, came up with several threads, but here's probably the most definitive that previously discussed what "could be possible" in the 2012 Mac Mini....

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthre...ridge+mac+mini

Edit: Looks like you even participated in the above thread?!?!

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I still shudder when I remember the day Apple started to sell the MacBook "Pro" with integrated graphics.
It is sad that the 13" Macbook "Pro" is considered a "Pro" model. I even owned a 13" Macbook "Pro" from 2009. Really it was virtually nothing more than the Macbook with an aluminum case, a slight CPU bump (I believe it was 2.0ghz vs 2.26), and firewire (I believe the plastic Macbooks at the time did not have firewire, but I could be wrong).
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 04:12 PM   #25
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I did participate and I agree with you. I just don't want you to get stressed out over nothing : P

It is a shame they didn't use that 35W quad-core though that is corporate for you.

Better luck in 2013 I suppose.
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