Mac Mini With Graphics Card??

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Drew Davis, Jun 12, 2014.

  1. Drew Davis macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2014

    I'm going to be buying a new computer soon, and I was wondering if the soon to be released 2014 mac mini might have a graphics card? If not I'm going to opt for a macbook pro.

  2. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    It might.

    (Nobody here knows Apple internal info like release schedules or details about unannounced hardware.)
  3. sonicrobby macrumors 68020


    Apr 24, 2013
    New Orleans
    That would be cool if Apple could include a dGPU in the next mini; if there is a next mini... So tired of waiting D:
  4. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000


    Nov 20, 2007
    Unlikely. There has been once... when the Intel integrated graphics just weren't up to chop.

    Don't get me wrong, I'd love one. But it ain't gonna happen! [I think.]

  5. fhall1 macrumors 68040


    Dec 18, 2007
    (Central) NY State of mind
    I doubt it....I can see the next gen Mini being almost NUC-sized (if Apple can figure out how to cool it quietly) room for discrete graphics.
  6. davenport4, Jun 13, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2014

    davenport4 macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2014
    Fanless Core Processors coming this fall.

    fhall1, Intel says that the next mobile Core line of CPUs will be able to run fanless. Should be out sometime this fall.

    I have heard some rumors that it will be the same basic design as the Mac Pro only much smaller. I don't see why they couldn't squeeze in a discreet graphics but it is unlikely since Intel's Iris is a pretty good graphics solution.
  7. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    As already stated, the only Mac Mini released that had a dGPU was the 2011 Mid-Mini. That was when Apple switched from Nvidia chipsets (since Nvidia couldn't make chipsets for Intel processors with integrated memory controllers) to Intel and the HD3000 was such a step back. Remember, that many Macbook Pros now come with ONLY Integrated GPU. In fact, if I am not mistaken the only Macbook Pro to come with a dGPU is the High End 15", the rest all come with Intel Iris or Iris Pro which really are pretty darn good for all but high end gaming, but again they are not dGPU's.
  8. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
    No. Mac Minis have always been targetted as media storage/server computers. They are essentially headless notebooks. I wouldn't be surprised if the Mac Mini was one of the first Apple computers to shift to ARM. Mac Minis have never been graphical powerhouses, and that is unlikely to change anytime soon.

  9. crsh1976 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2011
    Given the past discreet GPUs used in the mini (Geforce 320M and Radeon 6630M), I think Intel has gotten to the point where integrated graphics do about the same job, if not a better one.

    I had the 2010 mini with the 320M, man it wasn't exactly stellar, but the GPU wasn't integrated in the CPU at that time and a 320M was better than Intel's previous line (the GMA X4500 or whatever it was).
  10. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    The 320m was not a discrete GPU. It was part of Nvidiad chipset for core2duos. It was not a separate GPU. The only dGPU in the mini in the intel era was the 2011.

    Edit: here's an article talking about the iGPU that was the 320m,10200.html
  11. westrock2000 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2013
    Well I suppose if you wanted you could use the thunderbolt port to connect an external PCI-E GPU.
  12. Drew Davis thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2014
    Would the performance be as good as the fully upgraded retina matchbook pro 15in? It seems to have the same specs expect the graphics card. Also, do you have a link to one?

  13. haravikk macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    I doubt the Mac Mini will ever see dedicated graphics ever again; it's just not aimed at high end GPU use.

    That said though, in the mobile/compact space integrated graphics are getting very competitive; chances are the high end Mac Minis will be getting Iris Pro graphics either as standard or as an option, and the 128mb Crystalwell cache does a good job of closing the gap in memory performance vs a dedicated chunk of GDDR memory, the actual GPU is good too, and set to get better with Broadwell which are probably what the Mac Minis are waiting for right now.

    So I guess it depends how much GPU power you really need; I'm currently on a NVidia 8800GT on my 2008 Mac Pro, but the Iris Pro GPU will outperform it on most real-world tasks thanks to more powerful shader support, more modern features etc. The dedicated card in that case only really wins if I need maximum memory transfer speeds. While newer dedicated GPUs are of course miles ahead of my 8800GT, if you're not into high end gaming or heavy video processing, then the Iris Pro should be plenty IMO.

    On the other hand, if GPU performance is a big concern for you, then is it for gaming? If so, then you may be better off sticking with the cheaper Mac Mini with graphics that are good enough for desktop use, and investing the money you save by not getting a Macbook Pro, and spending that on an actual gaming machine, as you can easily build one that will outperform the Macbook Pro (it is a laptop after all).
  14. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    The laptop line has moved on to using the iGPU, I don't see apple changing course and adding one to the Mini.

    The current crop of integrated GPUs from intel are quite stout and are only getting better once Broadwell is released. Its within Apple's ability to put an Iris Pro into a Haswell based Mini so if they want to they could provide something that some pep to it
  15. crsh1976 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2011
    Good call, I got mixed up between the 320M (used in the 2010 mini) and the GT 320M which was a low-end discreet GPU for laptops.
  16. brand macrumors 601


    Oct 3, 2006
    That is actually not true. The Mac Mini has always been tarted as a less expensive computer to get users into the Apple ecosystem. The Mac Mini server was not even released until 2009.
  17. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
    My point was that it is not for heavy graphics work. I would still argue that the Mac Mini has always been most useful for media storage and as a server, just because it is small form factor with upgradable RAM and very little graphics power. To each his own.

  18. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    Video processing aside.
    I would just want something where video doesn't share system bandwidth for RAM. :mad:

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