Haswell graphics and what could go in the mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Ice Dragon, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. Ice Dragon macrumors 6502a

    Ice Dragon

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    #1
  2. COrocket macrumors 6502

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    #2
    I wouldn't rule out a HD5xxx going in the mini's...in the past the mac minis and laptops included the higher end of the integrated graphics options.
     
  3. xShane macrumors 6502a

    xShane

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    #3
    It's a shame Mac Minis still have integrated graphics, otherwise I would have seriously considered buying one.
     
  4. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    #4
    Yes, but the actual low end GPU for this round is actually the HD2600, so the HD4600 is still an upper end GPU.
     
  5. Ice Dragon thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Ice Dragon

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    #5
    HD4600 is GT2 or GT3? This is what I'm still trying to figure out. I'm guessing GT2.
     
  6. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    #6
    GT2. GT3 will be the HD5xxx series.
     
  7. Ice Dragon thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Ice Dragon

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    #7
    And there are no plans to put GT3 in the Mac mini it would seem?
     
  8. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    #8
    No one truly knows what will go into the Mac Mini. Although I doubt Apple will take a step back in the GPU and go with the GT1, so the question is will they have GT2 and GT3 varients? Your guess is as good as mine. I haven't even seen which mobile processors will even be released with the GT3. So far all known future processors only have the GT2 (at least that I have seen, then again I don't care that much so I haven't paid much attention).
     
  9. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

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    #9
    It depends on TDP and price. As noted in one of the user comments on that article:

    " ... I got a chance to see a lot of the Haswell GPU demos. Indeed they were better than Ivy, but definitely not 2x faster. I think that the GT3 was almost as fast as an A10, but unfortunately almost 3x the price. ... "

    The versions that have cache memory stuffed into the CPU package will have a higher TDP (thermal design constraint). CPU+GPU+RAM is just bound to be higher power than more simply CPU+GPU even if weave in some CPU and/or GPU power savings with the transition. There is no big process shrink here. It is also going cost more because have to pay for the somewhat custom RAM. There is a limit to just how high the mini is going to go on both price and power.

    If the mini gets one it is more likely the HD5100 than the HD5200. Just how lower clocked Intel goes remains to be seen. It might be mid point between the performance of a HD5200 and HD4600. It wouldn't be the same GPU used for the gaming demos Intel did back at IDF 2012 in San Francisco.
     
  10. pine88 macrumors member

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    #10
    Mystery why anyone cares about the mini GPU. If you game build a win 7 box. If you do heavy duty photoshop/video encoding, spring for more RAM and CPU, and a SSD, if you can swing it. The GPU in the mini isn't worth considering anymore. It displays an image, can accelerate x264 and MPEG-2 and that's it.
     
  11. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    #11
    Thanks for the ignorant response. Glad more informed users with actual experience with a Mini exist on these forums.
     
  12. pine88 macrumors member

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    #12
    Ignorant how? Go on, explain yourself. You don't game on a Mac generally - how many AAA games can you name that would run well? HD 4000 is more than sufficient which is why Apple dumped the weak laptop GPU, not to mention heat and space constraints.
     
  13. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    #13
    Have you looked on these forums? Every day people are playing games on the Ivy Bridge Mini. And "well" is a subjective term. Sure, with reduced graphics and resolution it works just fine. Frankly, when I got heavy into computer gaming in the late 90's, we did all our gaming at 640 x 480 or if you had a really good graphics card you MIGHT do it at 800 x 600. The HD4000 completely crushes anything like that. I could probably link to a a couple dozen threads where people state they have no problem playing XYZ and ABC. So no, it isn't just for displaying an image and h.264 acceleration. That's absolute hogwash. The HD4000 may not be an Nvidia GTX 680 class GPU, but it certainly can compete with entry level cards by both AMD and NVidia which is good enough for many new or semi-new games and certainly good enough for the masses.
     
  14. Ice Dragon thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Ice Dragon

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    #14
    Well I am aware the the HD4600 will be a welcome upgrade to my HD3000. The wait for the new mini is killing me. D:
     
  15. xShane macrumors 6502a

    xShane

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    #15
    I game quite frequently on my Mac with various AAA titles.

    One can also install Windows to get the best of both worlds and game with many AAA Windows-only titles.
     
  16. pine88 macrumors member

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    #16
    1280x720 with graphics on maximum ugly is not entry level. Its console level. You'd think that if you want to game you'd game on a gaming system not weak iGPU's.
     
  17. Ice Dragon thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Ice Dragon

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    #17
    pine - I'd rather not have any pointless bickering. Besides, no one buys a Mac for gaming. You can build a Windows gaming PC that will last a long time compared to a Mac.

    What I was wondering was how good Haswell's iGPU vs. Sandy Bridge. I opted to skip the Ivy Bridge mini because I just had bought a dual-core i5 mini the year before and did not want even the quad-core IB mini.

    If you want to talk about gaming for the Mac, the only suitable machine is 2 GB 680MX on the ultimate iMac and that's a BTO option only.
     
  18. gregorsamsa, Mar 9, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2013

    gregorsamsa macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    Don't you think it's a bit pointless jumping into a thread intended to discuss possibilities for the future Mini's graphics &, in turn, its gaming potential, with a reductionist dismissal tantamount to: don't bother, just get a PC! :rolleyes:

    I see your argument in favour of 2 dedicated systems if doing serious work in OS X, yet gaming is a priority. I've gone that route even though gaming isn't a priority (due to limits on my free time). :) However, for many Mac users, whilst far from a priority, gaming is still an enjoyable interest.

    Yes, they could buy consoles. But many games either just don't work too well on consoles, or aren't even available, for eg., RTS games like Total War.

    Thankfully, gaming on recent Minis is more than viable. My 2011 Mini with HD 6630M discrete video is no slouch, despite being hindered by Apple's stingy 256 VRAM. The weaker HD4000 in the 2012 Mini, whilst not discrete, can optimize up to 768 VRAM (if you've 8GB RAM) & plays many modern games acceptably at medium settings & higher.

    Haswell chipsets are stated as having up to 3 times the graphical power of Ivy Bridge. I'm not convinced that's what will end up inside the next generation of Minis, instead of something compromised. But if I'm wrong, IMO, that'll be an impressive leap forward in the Mini's graphical capability.

    No-one expects a Mini to compete with current, dedicated gaming machines. However, for those who need OS X, find that the Mini is powerful enough for all their serious work & don't want a PC, then gaming either in OS X or in Windows via Bootcamp (& often getting better FPS) seems a reasonable option, be it with inevitable compromises. :)
     
  19. mslide macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    Have you even tried gaming on an HD4000? iGPUs are at the point where they are good enough for casual gamers and they are only getting a lot better. No, they will not play the latest games on high settings but that's not what the people here are trying to do. They are looking for a cheap Mac that's good enough for them to play a not so demanding game once in a while.

    Not everybody who wants to play a computer game needs a full blown gaming PC to have an enjoyable experience. Personally, I do have a Windows gaming PC but I've tried lesser demanding games on my 13" MBP at 1650 x 1080. It plays games like Team Fortress 2 just fine. No, that's not a demanding game at all but it's certainly good enough to get a gaming fix once in a while.
     
  20. xheathen macrumors 6502

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    #20
    I'm still betting on IGP's going forward. By far the biggest problem for the vast majority of users is Intel's ****** driver support. They are a total train wreck in Windows also. I spent at least 10 hours on my last IGP build just trying to get it to play nice with everyone.

    But that's definitely the way everything is going. For what MOST users need, a quad core with HD4000 is more than enough. I mean my 2011 Mini dual core has enough power to keep 20 browsers open, run Outlook, Word, Excel, Photoshop, Illustrator and iTunes. So in terms of just getting basic stuff done for a relatively competitive price, the Mini is "fine" for too many users. If anything, Fushion drive or pure SSD will become the standard. Apple would get a lot more bang for their buck to keep the IGPs and save money on the R&D to include a discrete card and just throw in SSD performance.

    Obviously we can all agree that a discrete Geforce mobile GPU is optimal. But at this point I would be shocked that they would add one as an option versus just going with IGP's. But I think arguing for powerful graphics isn't realistic based on the platform.

    But I personally I'm not prepared to say anything for sure until the new Mac Pro rollout looks like. Assuming everything stays the same and the Mini remains the entry level and the Pro maintains the upper echelon, then the Mini will probably just continue to roll out with each processor upgrade and just get smaller.
     
  21. Ice Dragon thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Ice Dragon

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    #21
    The important thing also is that if it does have discrete graphics, it has enough memory as well. Even with the iMac, 512 MB doesn't cut it.
     
  22. xheathen macrumors 6502

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    #22
    I totally agree with this. It's the main reason I just ended up going with the mini in the end and prefer the ecosystem. I think I'd need to drop too much money going that deep into the iMac line to get something that really broke away performance-wise. And like many people, games are the only thing that really demands that much power. I can build a gaming windows box and a Mini for business for far less than the iMac I'd ultimately want.

    The discrete graphics in the 2011, while nice, still on many levels is a rat race with the IGP performance. I just don't see the possibility of a future mini housing what I would call a respectable trio: high performance processor as well as a discrete card and ALSO give it enough power to compete. The only way this is going to happen is with the natural evolution of IGPs.

    I've just felt like the people complaining about it don't have a realistic expectation about what the mini actually is or what audience it's going to serve.

    ----------

    I've been tempted to get the IVB 2012 model but I'm in the group that's waiting. The boost isn't so significant that I'm dying to have it. Even if it's the HD4600 that's a pretty worthy upgrade IMO. As long as they keep the price down :)
     
  23. RoastingPig macrumors 68000

    RoastingPig

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    #23
    mac mini with 680mx and ill throw my imac in the trash
     
  24. Ice Dragon thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Ice Dragon

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    #24
    I would love to see it happen though they would never do it. Also it would probably be the same cost of an iMac and you'd need a monitor.
     
  25. Count Blah macrumors 68030

    Count Blah

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    #25
    And thank you for stating exactly why we will not see a mini with a "good/non-gimped" discrete/integrated GPU.
     

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