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eicca

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Oct 23, 2014
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The cMP 5,1 with dual X5680s posts Geekbench 5 scores of ~640 single- and ~6500 multi-core.

The new MacBook Air with the M1 chip scores 1600 and 7400.

Assuming that the M1 in the Mac Mini will be able to handle sustained workloads without thermal throttling, I'd strongly consider shelling out $1300 for 1TB of flash storage and 16GB of RAM if my cMP kicks the bucket for some reason. Logic Pro X is my primary concern—I run lots of plugins and sampler instruments, and so far I haven't even gotten the cMP to break a sweat, and it doesn't even have X5680s. I'm still rocking the E5620s.

My only concern is that the divide between the performance cores and efficiency cores translates into fewer available threads overall for stuff like Logic. How is that likely to balance out? Can the four performance cores compete with dual Xeons?

Obvious compatibility issues aside, it looks like technology really has progressed so far that a 150-watt kleenex box is just as powerful as this 960-watt gargantuan thing parked under my desk.

But, the one thing that my Mac Pro can do that a Mini certainly can't is keep my room warm during the winter.......
 
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casperes1996

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Jan 26, 2014
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The Mac Pro can be expanded with Add-in cards and much more I/O. You may be limited on I/O devices, but if that’s not an issue for you, yes I believe the Mini will run Logic very very nicely.

According to Appley, the 4 efficiency cores equate to roughly a dual core Intel while the performance cores of course outperform Intel. But all that is comparing against modern day Intel, so comparing to those ancient Xeon it should all be good, really. If the 16GB RAM is enough, if you don’t need more I/O than it offers and you don’t need GPU performance - The Mac mini seems to be quite a beast

But I’m sure we’ll get actual Logic tests and more in a week
 
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bsbeamer

macrumors 601
Sep 19, 2012
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The Intel Mac Mini is more of a replacement for MP5,1 than the new one. The 16GB RAM limit is concerning, especially for Pro based work. I’m sure it will “work” but what are the trade offs?

The memory 64GB memory bump on MBP16,1 is what made that intriguing for desktop replacement at the time. It’s a great machine and gets work done, but it’s not a desktop. iMac 27” with i9 and 128GB RAM is truly an MP5,1 replacement IF you can utilize the TB expansion properly.
 

yurc

macrumors 6502a
Aug 12, 2016
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I think the more 5,1 replacement are more towards to 2018/2020 Intel non M1 minis. Some of fellow 5,1 friends has ventured this way without losing significant amount of RAM, still have superb eGPU support, and of course, it's headless, because most of 5,1 users must have already their primary working display setup.
 
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eicca

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Oct 23, 2014
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How do the Intel ones do with sustained workload? Any thermal issues?
 

ssgbryan

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No, it isn't.

No ability to upgrade.
No ability to do any work that is ram hungry (like every single task I used to use my 4,1 for).
No Thunderbolt 4 - questionable if eGPUs are usable (we heard both yes and no yesterday).
16gb of ram for both the CPU & GPU. (Which is how much Vram my next video card will have)
Very little native software.

At the reveal, they compared the M1 to an 8th generation (coffee lake - 2 generations back), 4c/4t Intel based macbook.

We saw no quantifiable data using real world applications.

It is a clean break from from the Intel based systems, and designed for people that use a computer for light tasks and media consumption.

The replacement for the Mac Pro is 2 years out - Apple still has to try and flog a dead 7,1 series.
 
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MarkC426

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May 14, 2008
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Very strange that the Air scores better in multi core than the Pro.... ?
All in all, it makes my ‘mac pro’ seem like an antique ? with those scores.

Looking forward to mac pro mini specs.
Based on these first gen scores, hopefully the mMP should be a rocket if it’s another 12-18 months off.
 

deconstruct60

macrumors G4
Mar 10, 2009
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....

Assuming that the M1 in the Mac Mini will be able to handle sustained workloads without thermal throttling, I'd strongly consider shelling out $1300 for 1TB of flash storage and 16GB of RAM if my cMP kicks the bucket for some reason. Logic Pro X is my primary concern—I run lots of plugins and sampler instruments, and so far I haven't even gotten the cMP to break a sweat, and it doesn't even have X5680s. I'm still rocking the E5620s.

My only concern is that the divide between the performance cores and efficiency cores translates into fewer available threads overall for stuff like Logic. How is that likely to balance out? Can the four performance cores compete with dual Xeons?

The Apple Silicon implementations (like the M1 and A-series) have a built in performance controller that dynamically allocates work to the Performance (P) and Energy Effecient (E) cores. You shouldn't spend lots of time getting lots in the weeds of core allocations. Generally the circuits in the SoC are going to do a better job than any "back seat driving" end users are going to do.

Audio code that is just using basic math ( add subtract multiply ..... ) computations can be allocated to whatever is appropriate. If look at DAW hardware cards you don't see giant heatsinks and loud blowers to keep the card cool. For substantive numbers of workloads the E cores can be used. There are some corner cases where audio code might do heavy invocation of SIMD/Vector calls which is where they'd be restricted to just the P cores. If see warnings about how your audio software won't work with Rosetta 2 because it only leverages AVX calls on Intel ( x86-64) then there are "limited P core " issues.


Obvious compatibility issues aside, it looks like technology really has progressed so far that a 150-watt kleenex box is just as powerful as this 960-watt gargantuan thing parked under my desk.0

That isn't a particularly new phenomena. Same thing basically happened in the 9 year gap between 2000 and 2009 . Higher end laptop of 2009 was computationally superior in most aspects than some mid range desktop of 2000 . Transistor density doubles about every 1.5-2 years (Moore's Law). 9 years is about 4.5-6 iterations. If CPU vendor can't do better in a smaller system with that kind of transistor budget increase then should just quit the business.

But, the one thing that my Mac Pro can do that a Mini certainly can't is keep my room warm during the winter.......

If want a better "heater" than perhaps should wait. The M1 Mini only replaced the i3 powered Intel version. It also slid backwards on port count ( lost 2 TB ports ) . RAM capacity ( blackslide from 64GB down to 16GB ). There is a pretty decent chance ( not guarantee) that when an " M1X " shows up to power the upper MBP models replacements that the Mini will get a shot at those too.
That Apple will extent the Mini line up into the > $1K range for the "best" standard configuration.
Something in the rage of 6-8 P cores would be my guess. ( there were rurmors of a 8+4 "Mac" SoC model that hasn't shown up yet).

6-8 P cores would be more than capable of keeping up with your 8 cores from effectively a decade ago. ( those 8 cores are AVX less anyway ... so honestly outclassed a while ago on Intel even) . The clock and memory improvements , cache size increases , etc would likely make up anything the lack of threading (SMT).

This all really boils down to you not particularly needed the PCI-e and HDD bays in the Mac Pro. If those don't contribute a critical different then really don't need to be in Mac Pro class anymore. Even if Apple hadn't switched to ARM. The stuff that both AMD and Intel will have rolled on in mainstream desktop by early 2021 ( a couple of months ) would be better. (AMD stuff is already lined up for sale).


P.S. Apple's latest E cores do have SIMD/vector capability. ( they don't have the proprietary Apple Matrix stuff (AMX) ). But if put a heavy SIMD workload on them that performance allocation system will move it off if not a "short burst" kind of workload. And if there is "too much " work to allocate then will labor on the E cores the best it can.

If using Apple accelerate libraries for FFT stuff it is capped to the P cores with AMX , but AMX is so monstrously faster than what cores could do in that narrow subset computational area from 5-10 years ago it doesn't really matter there are half of them. Most "home grown" audio code probably doesn't use it, but stuff that is deeply optimized there is a huge gap where can use instructions that didn't even exist 5-10 years ago.
 
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eicca

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Oct 23, 2014
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Good info there ^^

I'm definitely not unsatisfied with my cMP, I'll tell you that. Best $500 I ever spent. But replacement options are always on my mind since it is such old hardware and who knows when something might break, and fortunately it does seem like the new Mini will do the job just fine.
 
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deconstruct60

macrumors G4
Mar 10, 2009
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Very strange that the Air scores better in multi core than the Pro.... ?
All in all, it makes my ‘mac pro’ seem like an antique ? with those scores.

Depends upon what the other stuff users are running. Some folks have 10 'bugs" running in menu bar and others have nothing extra. Throw a more complicated dynamic process juggling job at the performance controller/allocator versus a simpiler one ... it probably does a better job with the cleaner, simpler one.

There is also likely some variability with how large of a screen is hooked up also. Somewhat of a dual edge sword when the CPU and GPU share major resources.


Looking forward to mac pro mini specs.
Based on these first gen scores, hopefully the mMP should be a rocket if it’s another 12-18 months off.
A few of Apple's gains here are due to what they have left out as much as what they put in. Whether this set up scales to much larger number of cores without having to make some trade offs remains to be seen. But it shouldn't go into uncompetitive zone.

Apple is going to pull more users out of Mac Pro systems ( not all the users but more who have been sitting on those 2013 or earlier systems .) and move them more "downstream" in the Mac product line up. ( more Mini's , MBP , and various flavor iMacs).
 
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MarkC426

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You would hope Apple would use ’power’ high performance CPU’s in the desktop macs.
There is no reason for high efficiency cores in a desktop (mini doesn’t need them either).
 
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Perana

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Mar 11, 2007
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For me no, not any more than the Intel Mac Mini was, I still have more GPU power and the ability to boot Windows for gaming, as well as expandability.

However that doesn't take away the fact that the performance for what it is seems to be fantastic, and if it wasn't for those use cases I wouldn't hesitate to buy one. The iMac and more 'Pro' or higher end focused devices will be way more interesting for me.
 

deconstruct60

macrumors G4
Mar 10, 2009
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You would hope Apple would use ’power’ high performance CPU’s in the desktop macs.
There is no reason for high efficiency cores in a desktop (mini doesn’t need them either).

Safari , Chrome , Outlook need high performance cores? Nope.
TextEdit ? Nope.

Fire up activity monitor while posting a reply to Macrumors and look at all the processes running and do even 10% of the them need a high performance core? Probably not.

The 4 E cores take up about as much room as 1.5 P cores ( core + associated L2 cache space) . It isn't like loosing space on the die.
M1.png



The Neural Engine is about as big also. The L1 and L2 cache space that the E cores take up doesn't buy enough to make a P core "happy". Not just energy efficient they are space (die floorplan) efficient also.

Do they need more than 4 on a desktop? No. But chopping that in half (down to 2) isn't going to buy you another P core.

Apple is going to make "System on Chip" which means P core aren't going to get overwhelming dominating exclusivity on the die. Lots of stuff is suppose to be on the chip.
 
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Moonjumper

macrumors 68030
Jun 20, 2009
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Performance wise the M1 Mini is likely to beat the MP 5,1 for many use cases, but the flexibility of the Pro will be more important for some. I think the Mini is likely to be an improvement for the original poster, but a future variant of Apple Silicon may be a much better fit. I'm not talking about the next generation (i.e. M2), but the next performance level (M1X, M1-64 core, whatever it is called). It is likely to suit the higher end MacBook Pros and possibly replace the final Intel Mac Mini. If not at that stage, some time in the next two years will be the replacement for the surviving Intel Mac Mini.

As you have a working Mac Pro that suits your needs, I would stay with that and see what the next step or two are.
 
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eicca

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Oct 23, 2014
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Performance wise the M1 Mini is likely to beat the MP 5,1 for many use cases, but the flexibility of the Pro will be more important for some. I think the Mini is likely to be an improvement for the original poster, but a future variant of Apple Silicon may be a much better fit. I'm not talking about the next generation (i.e. M2), but the next performance level (M1X, M1-64 core, whatever it is called). It is likely to suit the higher end MacBook Pros and possibly replace the final Intel Mac Mini. If not at that stage, some time in the next two years will be the replacement for the surviving Intel Mac Mini.

As you have a working Mac Pro that suits your needs, I would stay with that and see what the next step or two are.
Oh totally. Assuming my cMP doesn't crap the bed tonight, I wouldn't even have the budget to upgrade until newer and better chips are available anyway. But it's nice knowing that there's a totally viable option for me now.
 

ssgbryan

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Apple is going to pull more users out of Mac Pro systems ( not all the users but more who have been sitting on those 2013 or earlier systems .) and move them more "downstream" in the Mac product line up. ( more Mini's , MBP , and various flavor iMacs).

Well, the reality is that the components in those antiques are reaching the end of their operational lifespans, so it wouldn't be a surprise if some moved to ASS (Apple Silicone Systems ? ).

I would bet that more move to windows. Faster, Cheaper, More Software. I truly didn't realize how far behind I was until I made the switch to an AMD based system. My biggest regret is not moving in 2017, instead of waiting on Cook to get his act together.

Staying with OSX in 2021 is being chained to one or more pieces of software that is made by Apple.
 

Taylor Walraven

macrumors newbie
Apr 19, 2020
16
4
The Mac Pro is about overkill. Even a 4,1 can run a 3.5 GHz 12-core with 128GB of memory, expand to dozens of TB of storage space, and house a Radeon 5700 XT. The 7,1 eclipses that handily. An Apple Silicon Mac Pro is going to be yesterday’s supercomputer.

If I could go back I wouldn’t have bought a 5,1 seven months ago. But I run triple the RAM and storage space of a maxed out M1 Mac Mini, so I got that going for me, which is nice.
 

ssgbryan

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Jul 18, 2002
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The Mac Pro is about overkill. Even a 4,1 can run a 3.5 GHz 12-core with 128GB of memory, expand to dozens of TB of storage space, and house a Radeon 5700 XT. The 7,1 eclipses that handily. An Apple Silicon Mac Pro is going to be yesterday’s supercomputer.

If I could go back I wouldn’t have bought a 5,1 seven months ago. But I run triple the RAM and storage space of a maxed out M1 Mac Mini, so I got that going for me, which is nice.

By that definition, any AMD $1,200 system is overkill.
 

Taylor Walraven

macrumors newbie
Apr 19, 2020
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4
By that definition, any AMD $1,200 system is overkill.
The 4,1 came out in 2009 though. It’s old now. So is the 6,1. In this decade, last decade’s Mac Pro’s aren’t overkill anymore. The 7,1 can have 28 cores, 1536 GB of system RAM, and 4 Vega II’s with 128 GB of VRAM. That’s overkill. What AMD system are you talking about?
 

eicca

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Oct 23, 2014
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The more I read the more I think an ARM Mini will be my next computer. Yeah, I love the cMP and how overkill it is, but I'm glad I got it cheap because aside from Logic and occasionally Final Cut most of my tasks end up being single core trivial stuff. And in that regard it's actually slower than my 2011 MacBook Pro. The Mini offers a very reasonable price for spec that will surpass my current setup and it's looking more and more like those Apple chips will slaughter the cMP in all of my personal usage cases.

Plus I can easily take my GPU and Windows SSD out of the cMP and build a dedicated Windows gaming machine for not too much dough. Or just relegate the cMP entirely to Windows gaming.
 
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