Refurb vs New Mini: Will OpenCL Be Worth It?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Nimiety, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. Nimiety macrumors regular

    Sep 6, 2006
    So I'm debating either getting a refurb mini (as low as $499 and really worth it) or a new one to replace my (ahem) hackintosh.

    The question is how much of a benefit will OpenCL potentially have when encoding video with Handbrake / VisualHub?

    If it's big, and I've heard many times faster potentially, the new one is probably worth it.

    If apps have to be written to take advantage of it, as I suspect, the old one is probably the best choice, since it will be months before HB is optimized, VH is dead (and it's successor is likely even further out and in beta, last I heard).

    The mini's just been updated, so we all know there won't be a major update for another 12-18 months (at best) - so now's the time either way.

    Does anyone have an opinion on this either way? Will OpenCL be worth an extra $250?

    Thanks for your input!
  2. ihabime macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2005
    Video encoding is one of the few things that will really benefit from openCL, but the encoding apps will have to be rewritten to take advantage of it.

    There's a lot of misunderstandings about openCL and Grandcentral, they are APIs, libraries to make using multi-threading and video card processing easier for programers, but they don't automatically convert programs to use those resources.

    As to the speed increase it could bring, I found a quick link to a CUDA test comparing the GTX 280 to the Core 2 Extreme QX9770 in encoding h264 video.

    The 280 is about 40% faster at encoding with CUDA, but then again the 9400m isn't nearly as fast as the 280.
  3. Hot Snowboarder macrumors 6502

    Jan 2, 2009
    Behind you...!
    I reckon the next revision of the mini will feature a new enclosure. Perhaps smaller.

    Just a random thought.

    I'm not gonna bother upgrading to a new mac till after snow leopard release. Cause no doubt there will be revisions with "incredible new graphics chips that work harmoniously with snow leopard, delivering breathtaking performance".

    Or some small change that makes you wanna spend money to upgrade.

    You know what i mean.

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