Mac Mini: 1.6 ghz dually Atom vs. Current Core2Duos?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by $MacUser$, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. $MacUser$ macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I suppose I'm rather fortunate that I bought my Mac mini back in September '07, because it hasn't been updated in almost a year and a half. Probably the best longevity I've ever got in terms of a computer purchase remaining "fresh" for so long.

    That aside, I've heard rumors that the Mini is going to get the new dual-core "system on a chip" Atom 1.6 ghz in March. I've been poking around, doing some reading, and from everything I can tell, the Atom will -- at best -- match the performance of the current machines, and potentially run slower...albeit being markedly more efficient.

    What's the thinking on this one? In terms of raw performance, will the Atom upgrade be a step backwards, or no step at all?

    I currently have the 1.83, and really can't fault it. At some point I'll probably max out the RAM, but it hasn't really slowed down much at all unless I'm editing huge photos, or running poorly coded software. I would consider an upgrade if the Atom will blow it out of the water, but from everything I can see that just doesn't seem like it's going to happen.
     
  2. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #2
    My understanding is that Atoms, in all forms, are slower then C2D in all forms.


    But if Apple was to put in a strong GPU, and support for lots more RAM, it may equal out or pass the current Mini(and if 10.6 wants a strong GPU, even more so)


    But at the end of the day Atom would not be an ideal replacement for the C2D if you want the Mini to be a "real" desktop in a tiny form factor.
     
  3. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

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    #3
    I think the Atom rumours are ill-founded. One of the big draws of those processors is the low power consumption... not really an issue with a desktop (compared at a notebook, at any rate). I can't see any logical reason Apple would opt for an Atom in the Mini... if they really want to shrink the form factor even more, why wouldn't they go with the chip in the MacBook Air?

    But I think it's more likely we'll see more or less the same specs as the unibody MacBooks, and if they go that route, the new Mini will be a real winner imo. :)
     
  4. $MacUser$ thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Apparently, the new 1.6 Atom dually will have an integrated graphics core and memory controller on the die. It's being billed as a computer on a chip or something like that, and marketed squarely at the small form factor desktop market (ie: Mac Mini and similar).

    Either way, I use my Mini primarily for word processing, Internet, email, and some basic iphoto image editing. In other words, nothing mind blowing. I'm sure my 1.83 gHz will last well into the foreseeable future. Even my five year old Powerbook G4 is truckin' along without much of an issue, all things considered -- so I probably don't have much to worry about in the speed department.

    I just found it somewhat interesting that the Atom almost seems like going backwards in performance, as opposed to forward. That said, this new iteration of the Atom has yet to be released and benchmarked, so I could very well be dead wrong.
     
  5. shokunin macrumors regular

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    #5
    There is no new generation of Atom, at least not until 2010. The atom 330 is out and available, I have an Intel D945GCLF2 mini-itx motherboard with the Atom 330 right here running Leopard.

    What is new is the use of Nvidia's 9400M + Atom processor which they are calling the platform Ion. How much performance will the 9400M give the anemic Atom 330, I don't know.

    However, I see no reason why Apple would choose the atom in the new mini over a standard penryn Core 2 Duo. Performance would suck, benchmarks and review sites would trash the new mini. Tim Cook talks about the "user experience" and using the Atom 330 would generate a ton of negative experiences once people start multitasking with the Atom. I can see the Atom in a new Apple TV with expanded multimedia capabilities and possibly a webtv like functions of basic web browsing and email.
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #6
    Atom is for Apple TV not for Mini. Mini will have same specs as Macbooks (2.0 and 2.4GHz, 9400, 2GB DDR3 etc..) Why would they lower the specs and there is only one Atom available so only one Mini then
     
  7. dlewis23 macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Thank you.

    It would be very stupid of them to build a new mini that is quite a bit slower then the old mini.

    If they use Nvidia's new ION (Atom + 9400m) then the Apple TV can do 1080p.
     
  8. coldfusion1313 macrumors newbie

    coldfusion1313

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    #8
    that isn't apple they wont put an atom in the mini but they will put the same nvidia chipset that is in the macbook in the mini.
     
  9. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #9
    Apple wouldn't do it? The same company who took FireWire out of their consumer products?

    The same company that beat out the Mac Pro update drought with the Mac Mini update drought?

    The same company that uses laptop parts in all of their desktop computers except for their best one, and even then limits us to seven graphics cards that pale in comparison to PC cards released at the same time?

    You're right. They wouldn't do it.

    They would, however, exchange the Crofton processor in the Apple TV for an Atom/Ion combo so that we could have 1080p video...
     
  10. coldfusion1313 macrumors newbie

    coldfusion1313

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    #10
    they only did that because they ran out of space on the motherboard that is also why the moved to the mini display port
     
  11. Fuchal macrumors 68020

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    #11
    I think this is certainly the most likely target for the Atom. Makes perfect sense and would be a welcome improvement both to the AppleTV devs and to the users.
     
  12. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #12
    They only removed FireWire because they ran out of space? I don't think so. They removed FireWire and replaced it with nothing. Mini DisplayPort is even smaller than Mini DVI. They didn't run out of room.

    They removed FireWire 400 and DVI from the MacBook Pro and replaced it with Mini DisplayPort, which takes even less space than a FireWire 400 port. They didn't run out of room.
     
  13. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #13
    Atom is pathetic even compared to Sempron and Celeron processors.
     
  14. coldfusion1313 macrumors newbie

    coldfusion1313

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    #14
    they did run out of room on the mobo and they have the funky display ports so the can get another 30 bucks out of you.
     
  15. $MacUser$ thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    That's my thinking, but here's the article that pretty much confirms Apple is using the Ion platform for the next Mini:

    Tom's Hardware: Mac Mini + Ion

    You can also check the Buyer's Guide right here on Mac Rumors. Hell, I'm glad I have a 1.83 ghz Mini now...it'll probably run circles around the "updated" version.
     
  16. TrapOx macrumors 6502

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    #16
    It will be a step back over the cliff behind you. Celeron processors walk all over the Atom. A 2.0GHz C2D is many times faster than even the fastest dual core Atom.

    The only place in Apple's lineup that it would have is the :apple:TV. Seeing as the current model uses a 1ghz Pentium M, a 1.6ghz Atom would actually be a slight step up in performance, a big reduction in size and a lower heat load. Cost would be a wash since they are probably getting those ancient Pentium M's for pennies.

    The Mini is already an embarrassment to Apple's product line, using an Atom would kill their reputation with the low-end switcher market.
     
  17. synagence macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    I really hope they don't switch the Mini to an Atom...

    AppleTV is perfect for Atom ... allowing 1080p, small form-factor, lower power consumption and heat ... makes complete sense.

    I'd always considered the MacMini to basically be a Macbook without keyboard/mouse/monitor

    Would much prefer c2d/9400m combo, 4gb ram support ... would make it actually a viable desktop lite

    What i would really like to see if a decent C2Q iMac
     
  18. Haemorrage macrumors member

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    #18
    From what people are saying on here, it looks like the Atom powered mini would be slower in the number crunching department when it comes to raw power compared to the Core 2 Duo but what it would lack there, it can make up for with a better GPU. Surely Nvidia's 9400M would outperform Intel's GMA 950. As for Apple choosing the Atom, my guess is that it produces less heat and in a small box like the mini's which would reduce the chance of it overheating.
     
  19. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

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    #19
    That rumor sounded like the dumbest piece of info I have ever seen. Apple is NOT going to wait 2 years to update the Mac Mini and then throw a slower CPU in it at the same price. The Apple TV theory is much more likely, especially as hot as that thing runs.

    The most hilarious thing about the rumor was the news thread about it. Half the posters treated it like a news release, not an unsubstantiated rumor.
     
  20. gamer2502 macrumors regular

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    #20
    if apple uses the atom in the mini it is officially not considered a switchers computer because it will be to slow even compared to pc's:apple:
     
  21. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #21
    Yea atom is way too slow. Atom will be used in Apple TV not in Mini.

    Mini will be Macbook without screen, keyboard and mouse. That's my guess
     
  22. econoline06 macrumors 6502

    econoline06

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    #22
    We've got a mini 1.66GHz Core Duo and it chugs right along with 10.5, pretty speedy actually. I was very impressed. I currently use a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo iMac with 4GB of RAM.
     
  23. econoline06 macrumors 6502

    econoline06

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    #23
    Welcome to MacRumors.
     
  24. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    #24
    Hopefully, like in the past, we can take the base MacBook as the example for the Mini...
     
  25. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

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    #25
    GPU doesn't help for CPU-intensive tasks, though, so the performance advantage there is moot. Even if Snow Leopard does contain something that makes massive use of the GPU, Apple would still have a tough sell convincing people that the new Mini was faster than the old one... people are quick to recognize that 1.83 > 1.6... it's a lot tougher to explain that 1.6 + 9400M > 1.83 + X3100.
     

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