Aren't we getting a bit obsessed over hardware?

johngwheeler

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 30, 2010
392
43
I come from a land down-under...
I've spent a good few hours over the past couple of days reading various opinions about Apple's new computers - and comparing them in detail to previous benchmarks.

Having read hundreds of posts, I can't help but think that we (the Mac aficionado community) are just a bit too obsessed with hardware and not what we actually do (or could do) with it.

Ultimately, we all know that hardware will evolve, generally in the direction of improvement. Sure, progress has slowed a bit over the last couple of years, but in general computers get a bit faster every few months.

Shouldn't we spend a bit more energy exploring what they can do, rather than agonizing over the relatively minor differences between one generation and another? There's a lot of very "absolutist" thinking going on, and I'm as guilty as the rest of them - maybe a dual-core Mini is slower than a quad-core for some tasks, but for a lot of things, it won't make a bit of difference, and might even be faster.

Let's get some "real-world" benchmarks for actual productive uses, rather than focussing on Geekbench results which only show how well the computer runs Geekbench tests!
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,860
30,383
Boston
Having read hundreds of posts, I can't help but think that we (the Mac aficionado community) are just a bit too obsessed with hardware and not what we actually do (or could do) with it.
I'd say this has been an issue since the APPLE II days, its nothing new and its not particular to the apple fans. PC people are the exact same way.
 

mdgm

macrumors 6502a
Nov 2, 2010
912
26
The removal of a quad core option means this update is a downgrade for many.

Hence a number of us are hoping that this update is just a short term fix with hopefully a quad-core Broadwell Mini coming next year.

I don't think it's unreasonable to expect an update will use at least as good CPUs as the previous generation.
 

fa8362

macrumors 65816
Jul 7, 2008
1,340
54
There's no need to wait for results if you already know what they're going to be.
 

PilotWoo

macrumors regular
Jul 14, 2006
206
356
Finally some sanity.

Complainers should look elsewhere if they want to spec chase. Apple has never worked like that, so after every update we get many threads about how people are deeply offended, because its not the latest graphics card or the iPad doesn't have enough ram. They are appliances to do a job, and they do that job very well. If it doesn't do the job you need it to do, buy something that does.

These people never seem to go elsewhere though.
 

cypriot

macrumors regular
Oct 14, 2011
242
30
Aren't we getting a bit obsessed over hardware?

I could agree with this thread %100 if it was in ipad/iphone ram or other similar topics. However mac mini is choice of many semi-pro people and developers who develop for apple and make them money.

I have been using my unibody macbook since 2008 and i chose wisely back then. I dont see how knowing what you pay for could be being obsessed with hardware.

White macbooks were great deal when i bought mine but i chose better one. I am glad now and i will not give my hard-earned money without questioning. This forum is a great place for just that. I think there are many people in my condition who waited very long and cannot upgrade now.

Edit: and there are others (web developers, students, teachers, musicians, artists and other not-so-rich apple users) who cant spend 3k on computer and are reasonable enough to not throw away their peripherals.
 
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mdgm

macrumors 6502a
Nov 2, 2010
912
26
Some may complain about the new iPad Mini but at least it didn't go backwards.

Whereas the Mac Mini has.

If Apple was to release a new iPad with a significantly slower CPU for the same price I think a lot of users would be upset with that too.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,860
30,383
Boston
If Apple was to release a new iPad with a significantly slower CPU for the same price I think a lot of users would be upset with that too.
I will say it is curious as to why they went from a quad core CPU to a dual core.
 

HereBeMonsters

macrumors 6502
Jul 5, 2012
319
7
Fareham, UK
The thing is, these are not cheap machines - even the "base" model one is a lot of money, in real terms. We want them to last as long as possible, so we'd like them to have as good specs as possible from day 1!
 

xylitol

macrumors 6502
Nov 2, 2013
270
45
Finland
I'll stop complaining when Apple stops egotistically bragging about their lineup. Has something to do with over-promising and under-delivering.
 

Micky Do

macrumors 68000
Aug 31, 2012
1,827
1,361
An island in the Andaman Sea.
Aren't we getting a bit obsessed over hardware?

Sure are…..

It's OS X and apps that make a Mac.

The hardware just runs it, and Apple put effort into making it run efficiently. Years ago Apple computers were usually running lower spec hardware than Windows PCs. They could because the software was less bloated.
 

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,141
14,000
I'll stop complaining when Apple stops egotistically bragging about their lineup. Has something to do with over-promising and under-delivering.
You mean a capitalistic company is engaging in marketing?

Say it ain't so Joe!

How can Apple get away with being the ONLY company in the world that tries to distinguish their products by claiming X or Y is better on their platform. The scoundrels!

:rolleyes:
 

torquer

macrumors regular
Oct 16, 2014
144
60
My 2014 Mac Mini arrives on Friday. I've had a 2011 Mac Mini since they launched, with a 2.3GHz Sandy Bridge Core i5, 8gb of RAM (which I upgraded), and a Samsung 840 256GB SSD I installed. This machine exists for only one purpose, and that is to run Windows and allow RDP access. I use it to browse the web unmonitored from work, its where all my email lives, and where all of my IMing occurs. In fact I'm writing this post from it right now, RDP'ed from my workstation at the office.

I, too, was hoping for a quad core 2014 Mac Mini. I was disappointed to see only dual core i7s, but I'm not quite as angry as everyone else. Knowing Apple, I'm not surprised they took this route. I decided ultimately I didn't want to have to tear apart a 2012 to upgrade the drive to an SSD again, so I paid Apple through the nose to go with 8GB of their soldered RAM and a 512GB PCI-E SSD. I also went with the top of the line Core i7. Yes, I know it was expensive and that I could have damn near gotten an iMac for that price, but I need a headless machine. My priorities are a small, low power machine that is essentially noiseless and can be on 24/7 while sucking as little power as possible. The 2011 has been great but its getting a little long in the tooth.

So, I'm willing to compromise and I'm sure the 2014 will work fine for my purposes for another 3 years. I would have liked to have seen 4 cores like everyone else, but I'm happy that I'll get probably a 50% CPU performance increase over my existing Mini and use less power at the same time.

I realize my use case isn't the same as everyone elses so I'm not trying to change anyone's mind here.
 

shaunp

macrumors 68000
Nov 5, 2010
1,736
1,309
I think we get too hung up on benchmarks rather than looking at the more practical stuff like, why don't any of Apple laptops have an ethernet port, an optical drive or a matt screen option. Why is there nothing between the mac mini and the nMP other than an all-in-one with a glossy display. And the list goes on...

Yes Apple are effectively developing appliances that work very well, but we are missing some important choices from these appliances.
 

xylitol

macrumors 6502
Nov 2, 2013
270
45
Finland
You mean a capitalistic company is engaging in marketing?

Say it ain't so Joe!

How can Apple get away with being the ONLY company in the world that tries to distinguish their products by claiming X or Y is better on their platform. The scoundrels!

:rolleyes:
It's not what you do, it's how you do it.
 

fathergll

macrumors 65816
Sep 3, 2014
1,389
781
I've spent a good few hours over the past couple of days reading various opinions about Apple's new computers - and comparing them in detail to previous benchmarks.

Having read hundreds of posts, I can't help but think that we (the Mac aficionado community) are just a bit too obsessed with hardware and not what we actually do (or could do) with it.
Agree to a point but I think in the case of the new Mac Mini the complaints are valid.

It took them 2 years to update the mini. In the computer world that is an eternity and what we were left was a Mini that will actually not perform as well in certain applications as its predecessor. They also took away the option to add your own ram despite the Mini keeping the same design.
 

nilk

macrumors 6502a
Oct 18, 2007
607
118
Multi-core benchmarks of the CPU are pretty useful in telling me how well FCP X is going to perform in render-related tasks. There's probably a similar measure of GPU OpenCL performance that could help me make a prediction on that as well.

There's no obsession over hardware on my end. I just want to know if the 2014 Mac Mini could replace my 2007 Mac Pro for FCP X usage, and be an improvement. It's disappointing that it looks like the 2014 Mac Mini won't outperform a 2007 Mac Pro in CPU performance when a 2012 4-core Mac Mini would.
 

Zellio

macrumors 65816
Feb 7, 2012
1,118
433
I've spent a good few hours over the past couple of days reading various opinions about Apple's new computers - and comparing them in detail to previous benchmarks.

Having read hundreds of posts, I can't help but think that we (the Mac aficionado community) are just a bit too obsessed with hardware and not what we actually do (or could do) with it.

Ultimately, we all know that hardware will evolve, generally in the direction of improvement. Sure, progress has slowed a bit over the last couple of years, but in general computers get a bit faster every few months.

Shouldn't we spend a bit more energy exploring what they can do, rather than agonizing over the relatively minor differences between one generation and another? There's a lot of very "absolutist" thinking going on, and I'm as guilty as the rest of them - maybe a dual-core Mini is slower than a quad-core for some tasks, but for a lot of things, it won't make a bit of difference, and might even be faster.

Let's get some "real-world" benchmarks for actual productive uses, rather than focussing on Geekbench results which only show how well the computer runs Geekbench tests!
$500+ isn't exactly something a wise man just throws away at crappy hardware. Esp. when you get more bang for your buck with a NUC, or eBay 2012 mac mini.
 

weaverra

macrumors 6502
Sep 27, 2006
250
2
The removal of a quad core option means this update is a downgrade for many.

Hence a number of us are hoping that this update is just a short term fix with hopefully a quad-core Broadwell Mini coming next year.

I don't think it's unreasonable to expect an update will use at least as good CPUs as the previous generation.
I just don't understand the urge to upgrade every two years. Maybe every 4 to 5 years. For the most part the new minis will be an upgrade to everyone. Only those people who apparently MAX out all four cores of their 2.3 GHz Quad core i7's will see the downgrade. Honestly if your maxing out that quad core it's probably time to upgrade to an 8-core. It wasn't until 2012 did we even see the quad core option.
 

jafingi

macrumors 65816
Apr 3, 2009
1,468
154
Denmark
I am not a huge hardware-freak (having the rMBP with 2GHz, Iris Pro and 16GB RAM), and I think many Mac users are fine with an upgrade like this, that on paper is weaker than the previous generation (dual core vs. quad core). But that is because newer hardware with lower specs on paper usually perform better.

The problem in this case is that they BOTH downgrade specs on paper AND in real world max performance.

Sure; it won't be a huge issue, since Mac mini users are not hardcore gamers, rendering 4K video or modelling huge 3D models. The new mini is still great (maybe even better with it's increased single core performance) for the tasks the average users will do: browsing, email, documents, image editing, listening to music. It will even do fine with light music editing in e.g. Logic and more "semi-pro" apps.
 

weaverra

macrumors 6502
Sep 27, 2006
250
2
Multi-core benchmarks of the CPU are pretty useful in telling me how well FCP X is going to perform in render-related tasks. There's probably a similar measure of GPU OpenCL performance that could help me make a prediction on that as well.

There's no obsession over hardware on my end. I just want to know if the 2014 Mac Mini could replace my 2007 Mac Pro for FCP X usage, and be an improvement. It's disappointing that it looks like the 2014 Mac Mini won't outperform a 2007 Mac Pro in CPU performance when a 2012 4-core Mac Mini would.
A new mini will blow your 2007 away especially on the single processing. The RAM and the whole bus system is way faster than your 2007 Mac Pro.
 

weaverra

macrumors 6502
Sep 27, 2006
250
2
I am not a huge hardware-freak (having the rMBP with 2GHz, Iris Pro and 16GB RAM), and I think many Mac users are fine with an upgrade like this, that on paper is weaker than the previous generation (dual core vs. quad core). But that is because newer hardware with lower specs on paper usually perform better.

The problem in this case is that they BOTH downgrade specs on paper AND in real world max performance.

Sure; it won't be a huge issue, since Mac mini users are not hardcore gamers, rendering 4K video or modelling huge 3D models. The new mini is still great (maybe even better with it's increased single core performance) for the tasks the average users will do: browsing, email, documents, image editing, listening to music. It will even do fine with light music editing in e.g. Logic and more "semi-pro" apps.
When you compare the dual core of the previous generation to the dual core of the current generation there is an improvement. I can tell you that you can never have enough hardware for huge 3d models. I have a 12 core HP Z820 clocking in at 2.5 GHz per core with 64 GB of ram and a K5000 Nvidia graphics card. It still churns on larger models.
 

reco2011

macrumors 6502a
May 25, 2014
531
0
My 2014 Mac Mini arrives on Friday. I've had a 2011 Mac Mini since they launched, with a 2.3GHz Sandy Bridge Core i5, 8gb of RAM (which I upgraded), and a Samsung 840 256GB SSD I installed. This machine exists for only one purpose, and that is to run Windows and allow RDP access. I use it to browse the web unmonitored from work, its where all my email lives, and where all of my IMing occurs. In fact I'm writing this post from it right now, RDP'ed from my workstation at the office.
Why would you think a new Mini will perform this task better than your 2011 Mini? Unless the system is beginning to fail I would cancel the new Mini.