T2 chip apprehension?

fxbeta

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Original poster
Sep 23, 2014
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In a few threads I've noticed some people were disliking the fact the new Mini has the T2 chip. What's the story? Honest question... I really don't know much about it and am just curious why some people see it as a negative.
 
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SoCalReviews

macrumors 6502a
Dec 31, 2012
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In a few threads I've noticed some people were disliking the fact the new Mini has the T2 chip. What's the story? Honest question... I really don't know much about it and am just curious why some people see it as a negative.
My guess is that it probably provides iPhone like security capabilities for the Mini like facial recognition and encryption as an example. It might also have anti-theft security features. We'll see how it's implemented regarding privacy but hopefully you will be able to turn most of these features on or off. No one wants to see any mandatory built in corporate spy like features on their desktop computer especially after the recent scare regarding those "grain of rice" sized micro spy chips that have reportedly been found in devices.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208862
 
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ralphdonghut

macrumors newbie
Oct 30, 2018
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There have been reports of computer crashes related to the T2 chip for quite some time. I'm not up to speed with where things are today but I did see a few posts in Sept and Oct of this year where people who have bought other Apple computers reporting having repeated crashes after having replaced their Apple computers due to crashes. As best I can tell it appears there is not yet a fix for this issue. I'm not any type of computer expert so if anyone can correct me here I'd appreciate it. Really need a new computer.
 

Fishrrman

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Feb 20, 2009
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I, too, am wary of the t2 chip.

I DO NOT WANT an internal drive that is "encrypted by default". Not sure if there is any way to disable this "feature".

I DO NOT WANT a Mac that can't easily be booted from another [external] drive.
(I believe this can be turned off with the t2, but not sure how many other aspects of its operation can be disabled by the user)

My speculation only, but the t2 seems to be "part of Apple's plan" to force Mac users into "the walled garden" that iOS users already must live within. And eventually, the t2 will become part of "the melding" of the MacOS into iOS -- eventually resulting in one, "unified" OS.

I don't really want to be part of that, either.

That's why I intend to buy one of the last 32-bit Macs before OS 10.15 comes out.
So I can keep running "the old style" OS into the near future.
Kind of like the "OS 9 forever" folks back around 2001 (I was one)... ;)

But... that's just me.
OK... rant mode off.
 

maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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I, too, am wary of the t2 chip.
Many people with the MBP and iMac Pro have had issues, and I'm not sure if Apple has solved the KPs

I DO NOT WANT an internal drive that is "encrypted by default". Not sure if there is any way to disable this "feature".
That will the case, there is no way to not use encryption, even if FV is not enabled, the drive is encrypted. Basically, Apple's way or the highway.

I DO NOT WANT a Mac that can't easily be booted from another [external] drive.
(I believe this can be turned off with the t2, but not sure how many other aspects of its operation can be disabled by the user)
Supposedly that can be changed but people in the MBP had issues with their MBP turning that off, I've not tried it myself, so I cannot say one way or another.
 

ItWasNotMe

macrumors 6502
Dec 1, 2012
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I DO NOT WANT an internal drive that is "encrypted by default". Not sure if there is any way to disable this "feature".
Pretty common 'feature' thats totally pointless - whats someone going to do, open the mac and remove the soldered down disk?

Similarly, for many years Western Digital did this for their external drives, even if you didn't set a password it would encrypt the disk, and if it offered raid would tie the disk to the enclosure that contained the drives, so if the enclosure failed you'd loose everything. May still do it.
 

Fishrrman

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Feb 20, 2009
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maflynn wrote:
"That will the case, there is no way to not use encryption, even if FV is not enabled, the drive is encrypted. Basically, Apple's way or the highway."

That's why I may consider buying a 2017 iMac (when they're discontinued), because it's going to be "the last desktop Mac" WITHOUT a t2 chip inside.

I may get a 2018 Mini (to replace my 2012 Mini i7), but if I do, I will not keep any data that's important to me on the internal drive (subject to the t2).

Instead, I'll keep that data on EXTERNAL drives that I retain "full control" over...
 
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archer75

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I'm fine with it. I like the added security. If I was going to have it repaired i'd just take it to apple anyways. Most of the other repair shops out there are run by idiots anyways.
I'm very much a DIY kind of person but so much of the mini is soldered on the board that you really need to take it in to have it worked on.
 

oneMadRssn

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For what it's worth, despite the stories recently to the contrary, I've never felt ripped off by Apple Geniuses when I've come in for an out of warranty repair. I think it's similar to auto mechanics (which admittedly is a very negative analogy), where if they sense you're more than a layman, they won't BS you.

Also, it's not really an issue yet:
The site swapped out displays, a Touch Bar unit and even logic boards with zero side affects. The machines booted normally even after updating to macOS Mojave.
Above all, even with this T2 "ticking time bomb" stuff, Apple still has better repairability than pretty much any other OEM when it comes to actually being able to repair old stuff. I'm not talking about ease of repair, I'm talking about feasibility of finding old parts. At least Apple is popular enough where you can find a used screen or trackpad on ebay for an old Macbook. Evern try finding an old keyboard for some random decade-old Acer or Toshiba? Good luck. T2 or not, I am more confident that the geek community will work harder to preserve, sell, and repair old Apple hardware than any other OEMs hardware long-term.
 
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DomKud

macrumors member
Nov 19, 2018
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I'm fine with it. I like the added security. If I was going to have it repaired i'd just take it to apple anyways. Most of the other repair shops out there are run by idiots anyways.
I'm very much a DIY kind of person but so much of the mini is soldered on the board that you really need to take it in to have it worked on.
I don't know how i feel about that. Makes me reconsider PC again. I have been with Apple for a few years now and as much as I dread going back to PC, the switch might be coming sooner than later. i am hearing about too many problems with the new mac mini.
[doublepost=1542670530][/doublepost]
For what it's worth, despite the stories recently to the contrary, I've never felt ripped off by Apple Geniuses when I've come in for an out of warranty repair. I think it's similar to auto mechanics (which admittedly is a very negative analogy), where if they sense you're more than a layman, they won't BS you.

Also, it's not really an issue yet:


Above all, even with this T2 "ticking time bomb" stuff, Apple still has better repairability than pretty much any other OEM when it comes to actually being able to repair old stuff. I'm not talking about ease of repair, I'm talking about feasibility of finding old parts. At least Apple is popular enough where you can find a used screen or trackpad on ebay for an old Macbook. Evern try finding an old keyboard for some random decade-old Acer or Toshiba? Good luck. T2 or not, I am more confident that the geek community will work harder to preserve, sell, and repair old Apple hardware than any other OEMs hardware long-term.
Did you click on the link above? Go watch the video.
 

oneMadRssn

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Really?
Just name a few desktops that have non-replaceable storage and we are good?
This thread isn't limited to just desktops, but we haven't seen a teardown of the Surface Studio 2 yet...

Regardless, when is the last time you had an SSD fail due to an actual flash memory chip failing? I've had SSDs fail, but each time it was the controller that kicked the bucket or caused some kind of corruption. Apple has notoriously good and reliable (and custom in-house designed) controllers. And flash memory chips themselves rarely fail after passing initial QC tests.

Did you ignore the sentence I wrote after the one you quoted? When I said "repairability" I mean feasibility of finding old parts. Meaning, the kind of stuff that is always custom and always wears out, like trackpads, keyboards, screens, casings, batteries, etc. The kind of stuff that needs to be replaced in nearly every 7+ year old laptop.

Go through a pile of old laptops wherever (college IT departments tend to have big closets of old stuff). You'll find way more laptops with broken keyboards or screens than broken drives. Good luck finding a replacement part that

Sure, it would be great if Macs supported the M2 standard, but I've had way more keyboards or trackpads needing replacement than I have SSDs. When it comes to long term support (meaning, 7+ years), it is that kind of stuff that needs to be fixed.
[doublepost=1542678995][/doublepost]
Did you click on the link above? Go watch the video.
Yes, and I've seen most of Louis Rossman's videos. There are deff instances of Apple Genius people doing shady stuff - no doubt. But it's never been my personal experience. Maybe it's because those folks are unlucky or I am lucky, or maybe because I usually don't accept whatever they say when I know it's wrong and I tell them that. Who knows? It's not ok what they do to those folks on Rossman's videos. All I'm saying is it's never happened to me.
 

ElectronGuru

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Sep 5, 2013
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This isn’t an article for people to decide whether to buy Apple products. This is an article for people to decide whether to buy Apple stock. They want readers to thank them for protecting them from a potential scandle.

If Apple wanted to put independent shops out of business, there are easier ways than spending millions designing and implementing new security sub systems.

They want the fbi to take someone’s MacBook and not be able to get into it. They want the Mac line to be perceived as secure as the iPhone. They want Apple to be the choice of privacy guardians, regardless of platform.

We just have to decide (each of us) if we share this goal and are willing to put up with the side effects- restrictions these new features place on us - to get it.
 

toke lahti

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Apr 23, 2007
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This thread isn't limited to just desktops, but we haven't seen a teardown of the Surface Studio 2 yet...

Regardless, when is the last time you had an SSD fail due to an actual flash memory chip failing? I've had SSDs fail, but each time it was the controller that kicked the bucket or caused some kind of corruption. Apple has notoriously good and reliable (and custom in-house designed) controllers. And flash memory chips themselves rarely fail after passing initial QC tests.

Did you ignore the sentence I wrote after the one you quoted? When I said "repairability" I mean feasibility of finding old parts. Meaning, the kind of stuff that is always custom and always wears out, like trackpads, keyboards, screens, casings, batteries, etc. The kind of stuff that needs to be replaced in nearly every 7+ year old laptop.

Go through a pile of old laptops wherever (college IT departments tend to have big closets of old stuff). You'll find way more laptops with broken keyboards or screens than broken drives. Good luck finding a replacement part that

Sure, it would be great if Macs supported the M2 standard, but I've had way more keyboards or trackpads needing replacement than I have SSDs. When it comes to long term support (meaning, 7+ years), it is that kind of stuff that needs to be fixed.
[doublepost=1542678995][/doublepost]

Yes, and I've seen most of Louis Rossman's videos. There are deff instances of Apple Genius people doing shady stuff - no doubt. But it's never been my personal experience. Maybe it's because those folks are unlucky or I am lucky, or maybe because I usually don't accept whatever they say when I know it's wrong and I tell them that. Who knows? It's not ok what they do to those folks on Rossman's videos. All I'm saying is it's never happened to me.
I’ve had one broken ssd, probably controller fault, since the size of the disk was suddenly 16kB.
You are right about laptops and keyboards.
That doesn’t justify Apple to solder ssd on motherboard in desktops.
And not limiting this thread to desktops does not justify that either.
Controller quality doesn’t solve anything.
If 5 out 1000 average controllers die every year and 2 out of 1000 with Apple’s controllers, thats still thousands of computers turning to waste every year. And it doesn’t help you when your precious mac dies after 1 year warranty and you can’t afford to buy a new one. (Or you’d like to double the storage after few years of usage.)
 
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oneMadRssn

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If 5 out 1000 average controllers die every year and 2 out of 1000 with Apple’s controllers, thats still thousands of computers turning to waste every year. And it doesn’t help you when your precious mac dies after 1 year warranty and you can’t afford to buy a new one. (Or you’d like to double the storage after few years of usage.)
I'm not going to defend Apple soldering SSD on desktops - I agree that it is crappy. But I don't think your points are so dire.

Computers with faulty flash controllers don't have to become waste, they should become spare parts for others.

If someone bought a computer, regardless of OEM (Apple, Dell, whatever), that they rely on for their livelihood but cannot replace in the event of an emergency, then that is very bad financial planning on their part. Apple's are expensive, the term "Apple tax" has existed for decades. Everyone knows you can get a comparable computer for less. Buying a Mac should never totally exhaust someone's funds. That's crazy. I don't feel bad for people that deliberately spend outside of their means and choose not to get the extended warranty, third party insurance, or just plan for emergencies. That's on them, not on Apple, and they would likely be just as screwed with any other product.

Regarding upgrades - I agree it seems inconvenient but external storage is a better way to go for all uses though. Who really needs expandable storage on tiny form-factor desktop but cannot tolerate external drives? If portability is important, why get a desktop? I just can't picture that kind of scenario. Between Thunderbolt3 and 10G Ethernet, there are lots of options. Personally, I love Synology for storage and if I had a 10G-capable Mac, I would probably get a 10G-capable Synology NAS. Thunderbolt3 is super fast for those that need the speeds for their storage, such as Drobo.
 
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SkiHound2

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Jul 15, 2018
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Seems to me that Apple has increasingly been closing the system and the T2 is just one more piece of technology aimed at that end. I'm actually very surprised they included so dimms on the mini. Even if it had been socketed and not soldered the T2 may well make it impossible for users to have replaced the ssd. Of course if it's out of warranty and the ssd goes, that essentially means you need a whole new main board including cpu. At that point you might as well scrap it and buy new. And I kind of think that's one of Apple's objectives. Provide good support during the warranty period and folks are pretty much at the mercy of Apple if it breaks out of warranty. In this day and age I think the idea of having the T2 chip automatically encode the drive is sane. But when it comes to the point where no one can work on the products unless they have the authorized Apple security software, then it becomes very intrusive, IMO. I don't think Apple has flipped the switch yet, but they increasingly seem headed to a completely closed system. If they move to ARM technology in laptops and desktops it will be just one more step in the direction of completely closed systems. It's interesting that several states have introduced right to repair laws and Apple is fighting those laws in at least some states. I'm purely speculating but I think this is the kind of case that could well make to the Supreme Court. In the long run I'm not sure we have many options other than to move back to Windows or perhaps Linux and use Android for mobile devices. Now, it's not like google has a great history of looking out for customers either. I moved to Apple circa 2008. At that time Windows was just a mess. I've toyed with the idea of moving back but I don't think that's a panacea either.
 

toke lahti

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Apr 23, 2007
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I'm not going to defend Apple soldering SSD on desktops - I agree that it is crappy. But I don't think your points are so dire.

Computers with faulty flash controllers don't have to become waste, they should become spare parts for others.

If someone bought a computer, regardless of OEM (Apple, Dell, whatever), that they rely on for their livelihood but cannot replace in the event of an emergency, then that is very bad financial planning on their part. Apple's are expensive, the term "Apple tax" has existed for decades. Everyone knows you can get a comparable computer for less. Buying a Mac should never totally exhaust someone's funds. That's crazy. I don't feel bad for people that deliberately spend outside of their means and choose not to get the extended warranty, third party insurance, or just plan for emergencies. That's on them, not on Apple, and they would likely be just as screwed with any other product.

Regarding upgrades - I agree it seems inconvenient but external storage is a better way to go for all uses though. Who really needs expandable storage on tiny form-factor desktop but cannot tolerate external drives? If portability is important, why get a desktop? I just can't picture that kind of scenario. Between Thunderbolt3 and 10G Ethernet, there are lots of options. Personally, I love Synology for storage and if I had a 10G-capable Mac, I would probably get a 10G-capable Synology NAS. Thunderbolt3 is super fast for those that need the speeds for their storage, such as Drobo.
By cutting out 2nd internal storage, Apple is closing door on Fusion drive ie. no more affordable AND fast large storage. Now user needs to pay more or use slow storage. I enjoy using Fusion in all my macs, in all my macs, including 17” mbp, which has few other things that are missing from Apple’s product line: big screen in laptop and especially matte screen. It actually has a 3rd internal storage: ec-slot.
Do they actually still make Drobos? Those were pretty slow and unreliable back in the day...
 

oneMadRssn

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By cutting out 2nd internal storage, Apple is closing door on Fusion drive ie. no more affordable AND fast large storage. Now user needs to pay more or use slow storage. I enjoy using Fusion in all my macs, in all my macs, including 17” mbp, which has few other things that are missing from Apple’s product line: big screen in laptop and especially matte screen. It actually has a 3rd internal storage: ec-slot.
Do they actually still make Drobos? Those were pretty slow and unreliable back in the day...
1. Fusion drive was cool, but it was a temporary stop-gap until SSD prices came down. Apple is clearly moving on. Fusion drive support for APFS came a year late. Apple sells only one computer, low-end iMac, with Fusion drive still. SSD prices are down, there is no more need for Fusion. I bet whenever Apple updated the iMac lineup, there won't be any more Fusion.

2. TB3 is plenty fast: 40 Gbit/s. The blazing fast SSDs in the 2018 Macbook Pros, which are some of the fastest SSDs available, are half that speed at best. (Your lovely ec-slot is 2.5 Gbit/s at most - most flash cards for it are much slower). We're past the days when external storage is necessarily slower than internal storage. So no, user can pay more for internal storage or get external storage later - nothing slow about it.

3. They still make Drobos. I'm sure there are better multi-drive TB3 enclosures, but it was the first one that came to mind.
 
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toke lahti

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1. Fusion drive was cool, but it was a temporary stop-gap until SSD prices came down. Apple is clearly moving on. Fusion drive support for APFS came a year late. Apple sells only one computer, low-end iMac, with Fusion drive still. SSD prices are down, there is no more need for Fusion. I bet whenever Apple updated the iMac lineup, there won't be any more Fusion.
Did support for fusion with apfs really came already?
Sadly, I think you are right with next imacs.
Not because there’s something wrong with fusion, but because Apple will make more profits without fusion.
Fusion is still far ahead of pure ssd in price-performance ratio.
I guess money doesn’t matter to you, but I’d use mine for something else than ssd’s apple tax. I’ve used to use 1TB fusion drives with my macs in recent years.
For the new mini I’d have to pay $800 extra for 1TB ssd and practically get no benefit over fusion. I could afford it, but I won’t. Because that’s stupid.

I can’t really understand thinking that users gain something from ever speeding storages. How many seconds worktime you save from using 40Gb/s-tb3 over some ancient 2.5Gb/s ec-slot? How much average mac user gains?
 

tom29786

macrumors member
I, too, am wary of the t2 chip.

I DO NOT WANT an internal drive that is "encrypted by default". Not sure if there is any way to disable this "feature".

I DO NOT WANT a Mac that can't easily be booted from another [external] drive.
(I believe this can be turned off with the t2, but not sure how many other aspects of its operation can be disabled by the user)

My speculation only, but the t2 seems to be "part of Apple's plan" to force Mac users into "the walled garden" that iOS users already must live within. And eventually, the t2 will become part of "the melding" of the MacOS into iOS -- eventually resulting in one, "unified" OS.

I don't really want to be part of that, either.

That's why I intend to buy one of the last 32-bit Macs before OS 10.15 comes out.
So I can keep running "the old style" OS into the near future.
Kind of like the "OS 9 forever" folks back around 2001 (I was one)... ;)

But... that's just me.
OK... rant mode off.
Fisherman I just got the base mini yesterday and for me it is all the mini I need. When I booted the mini for setup you can opt out of file vault and encryption. You can boot from an external, which I tried to do and failed. So I posted on here and found out how to do it, you just need to jump through a few hoops, but it can be done. Have never run Mojave until yesterday so that was new to me also, however when you uninstall things some are protected but there is box that comes up and helps you uninstall much like App Cleaner. I found this out when I uninstalled Garage Band. Also I am using a Inateck that you recommend for the 2014 mini with a 500GB WD ssd. it is not as fast as the Apple Ssd in the mini. I see that you are now suggesting a different external case would that be faster than the Inateck? Tom
 

strawbale

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Mar 25, 2011
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Did support for fusion with apfs really came already?
Sadly, I think you are right with next imacs.
Not because there’s something wrong with fusion, but because Apple will make more profits without fusion.
Fusion is still far ahead of pure ssd in price-performance ratio.
I guess money doesn’t matter to you, but I’d use mine for something else than ssd’s apple tax. I’ve used to use 1TB fusion drives with my macs in recent years.
For the new mini I’d have to pay $800 extra for 1TB ssd and practically get no benefit over fusion. I could afford it, but I won’t. Because that’s stupid.

I can’t really understand thinking that users gain something from ever speeding storages. How many seconds worktime you save from using 40Gb/s-tb3 over some ancient 2.5Gb/s ec-slot? How much average mac user gains?
So you'd prefer a slower MM 2014 1TB fusion over a MM 2018 256GB+1TB ext SSD for the same money*?
*) 2014 i7 8GB/1TB fusion = $1199. 2018 i3 8GB/256GB + 1TB Samsung T5 = $999 + $200
 
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