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First look at the next generation ARM based Mac mini
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: January 15, 2015 01:51PM
Will the ARM based Mac mini run iOS or OS X?
Xiaomi 2 GHz Cortex A9 Amlogic S802 Quad Core with 4K 30Hz support. [amazon.com]

There is supposed to be a version with 2GB RAM to match the iPad Air 2, but I couldn't find one that was configured for use in the US or reliable jailbreak instructions. This is just a little behind the integrated smart TV functions in the new 4K sets announced last week at CES. The next generation might be more powerful than the current low end Mac mini.

I, for one, welcome our Chinese language streaming TV overlords.



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Re: First look at the next generation ARM based Mac mini
Posted by: richorlin
Date: January 15, 2015 04:04PM
It only streams Chinese TV. What good is it in the US?



richorlin

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[www.dudeism.com]
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Re: First look at the next generation ARM based Mac mini
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: January 15, 2015 04:39PM
As configured from the factory, which is why I was looking for info on jailbreaking it. Did you know that Chinese is second behind Spanish in the most spoken language at home in the US, and almost twice as prevalent as third place? Granted, it is 0.2% of the population of the Chinese home market, but people here should have more disposable income and access to faster internet.



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Re: First look at the next generation ARM based Mac mini
Posted by: sekker
Date: January 15, 2015 04:48PM
I can see a time where Apple sells one product that covers both the Mac mini and Apple TV demographics.

At least, as Apple thinks of their products...
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Re: First look at the next generation ARM based Mac mini
Posted by: Onamuji
Date: January 15, 2015 06:23PM
Quote
Filliam H. Muffman
Will the ARM based Mac mini run iOS or OS X?

I doubt there's going to be an ARM based Mini.

Perhaps you're confusing it with the Apple TV.

With the latest chips, Apple has the opportunity to make much more powerful Apple TVs and as they're the center of Apple's HomeKit initiative, there's plenty of motivation for them to do so. Such a device would run a version of the iOS.



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Re: First look at the next generation ARM based Mac mini
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: January 15, 2015 06:50PM
Quote
Onamuji
Quote
Filliam H. Muffman
Will the ARM based Mac mini run iOS or OS X?

I doubt there's going to be an ARM based Mini.

Rumor: Apple once again said to be strongly considering ARM-based Macs [appleinsider.com]

I made a prediction that the most recent Mac Pro would be the last significant revision of that Intel based product line.



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Re: First look at the next generation ARM based Mac mini
Posted by: Onamuji
Date: January 15, 2015 07:22PM
Quote
Filliam H. Muffman
Quote
Onamuji
Quote
Filliam H. Muffman
Will the ARM based Mac mini run iOS or OS X?

I doubt there's going to be an ARM based Mini.

Rumor: Apple once again said to be strongly considering ARM-based Macs [appleinsider.com]

I made a prediction that the most recent Mac Pro would be the last significant revision of that Intel based product line.

Here's the thing: ARM is simply not a good architecture for workstations.

ARM is getting faster, but it cannot compete head-to-head against Intel for speed, especially in parallel processing. And ARM development is slower than Intel.

By the time you scale it up enough to match a mid-range dual-core Intel chip with integrated GPU, your little ARM chip has grown so big with so many cores that it's four times the price and power-consumption than the Intel.

Meanwhile in the time you took to develop that monster, Intel will have added 30% to their speed and dropped power-consumption by 50%.

I'm sure that Apple plays with ARM an AMD chips and other chips all the time. Concept-devices should not be confused with pre-production machines.



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Re: First look at the next generation ARM based Mac mini
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: January 15, 2015 07:48PM
ARM development has been 50% faster than Intel for about the last 6 years, they started way behind, but they have done very well while keeping the power use very low. The iPhone 6s is supposed to have 2 GB of new RAM that almost doubles memory throughput, and iOS devices are approaching 3 years of being 64-bit. There are Android devices that can play 4K videos, a milestone the new mini just reached last October.

I expect an ARM based mini in two years and a "Pro" version in four. People blew off Apple migrating to Intel too.



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Re: First look at the next generation ARM based Mac mini
Posted by: Onamuji
Date: January 15, 2015 08:10PM
Quote
Filliam H. Muffman
ARM development has been 50% faster than Intel for about the last 6 years.

ARM development peaked nearly two years ago. There has been close to zero innovation in ARM since then and what little innovation there has been has come at great expense with a lot of the money coming from increased royalties and higher chip-prices. Intel bore some substantial losses in their mobile-chip development over the last 4 years to push the bleeding edge on Atom and now has speedy mature Atom chips to compete in the mobile market with much faster speeds than ARM, full 64-bit processing power and lower power-consumption for the speed.

Apple has a big investment in ARM and they've got some good chips for the present, but Intel offers conspicuous advantages over the long haul and Intel is a close partner with a willingness to customize their chips on-demand. If anything, Apple is eying an iOS jump to Atom by 2017.



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Re: First look at the next generation ARM based Mac mini
Posted by: sekker
Date: January 15, 2015 10:49PM
I'm not convinced that Intel is going to compete with ARM long-term without a major growth in hardware sales.

Intel is basically competing with everyone else - Apple, ARM, Samsung, Nvidea.
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Re: First look at the next generation ARM based Mac mini
Posted by: Onamuji
Date: January 15, 2015 11:38PM
Quote
sekker
I'm not convinced that Intel is going to compete with ARM long-term without a major growth in hardware sales.

You're missing the convergence-factor.

At this point, there's little practical difference between a low-end laptop and a decent tablet except for graphics and the ability to multi-task. Intel chips can handle lots of threads while being faster and using less power for the same activities and more. Intel chips can handle running lots of apps at the same time with good performance and decent graphics at high resolutions without draining the batteries where ARM cannot. If Apple wants to keep up with everyone else (or exceed them), Apple has to either come up with something not part of the ARM spec or they're going to ditch it for something better.

This is not a matter of growing hardware sales driving adoption of Intel. Hardware sales could remain at current levels and Intel will still dominate in a few short years. It's a simple matter of progress driving adoption of Intel.

Look at the minor speed bumps the iPad Air got in its latest iteration. ARM is not getting much faster.

Intel doesn't even have to play catch-up at this point. Their speed bumps are coming faster than ARM could ever hope to match.

Quote
sekker
Intel is basically competing with everyone else - Apple, ARM, Samsung, Nvidea.

No, technically Intel isn't even competing with ARM. ARM isn't a chip-manufacturer.

They're not competing with Apple. They're courting Apple. Microsoft and Google are already moving away from ARM. Apple's going to have to jump ship for the same reasons. Tim Cook is not going to waste money on expensive, obsolete tech.

Just about everyone not using Intel is using ARM technology that's licensed from ARM Holdings and for which they owe big royalties per unit. Nobody wants to pay those royalties on chips that they still have to manufacture themselves (or pay a third party to manufacture), and they don't want to be embarrassed by other companies' gadgets out-performing their gadgets when they're blowing that kind of money.

ARM stock is way down. Their marketshare is already dipping at Intel's first forays into the market. In 5 years, it'll be little more than a patent-portfolio and some interesting niche products in PVRs, server appliances and Chinese knockoff laptops.



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Onamuji . . .
Posted by: WHiiP
Date: January 16, 2015 06:02AM
Since you are a relatively new poster on this forum, perhaps you could provide some of your background and experience to enlighten this group on the validity of your comments. I'm not asking for your CV, just wanting to find out how much weight to give your responses.

Perhaps I missed this info on an earlier post of yours?

Thank you for your consideration.



Bill
Flagler Beach, FL 32136

Carpe Vino!

Fermentation may have been a greater discovery than fire.
— David Rains Wallace
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Re: Onamuji . . .
Posted by: Onamuji
Date: January 16, 2015 06:44AM
Quote
WHiiP
Since you are a relatively new poster on this forum, perhaps you could provide some of your background and experience to enlighten this group on the validity of your comments. I'm not asking for your CV, just wanting to find out how much weight to give your responses.

Perhaps I missed this info on an earlier post of yours?

What? You missed that post where we all gave our names and professions?

RollingEyesSmiley5



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Re: First look at the next generation ARM based Mac mini
Posted by: sekker
Date: January 16, 2015 07:08AM
Intel is losing a ton of $$ on developing low power chips that no one is using. They need a market the size of the iPad to get any sort of ROI. Without someone major adopting their new low power chips and selling big, they will not be able to keep losing money in this space. That's my point.

And no, I don't mean their latest CPUs for laptops. That market is still Intel's - but it could become ARM soon.

I'm not confusing profits here. When I mean ARM, I mean all of the big winners including Apple and Qualcomm.

If you think the latest iPad air revision was a Munro update, you are missing a major change. I know the main bump was graphics, but the specs of the CPU are now in the tangenof the C2D CPUs. My iPad air 2 is truly a laptop in a tablet - and it can do things none of my Macs can do.

If you want to see the Intel competition; go to the CES announcements. Intel is being his from all sides. X11 processor is a great example of the next big jump for an ARM computer.

I am beginning to think that an ARM Mac mini would be great. Could be half the price of the current machines. Think iPod touch form factor that can runs desktop programs like iWork.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/16/2015 07:09AM by sekker.
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Re: Onamuji . . .
Posted by: WHiiP
Date: January 16, 2015 07:47AM
So, no answer, eh?

Post a link, if you are not trying to slide by . . .



Bill
Flagler Beach, FL 32136

Carpe Vino!

Fermentation may have been a greater discovery than fire.
— David Rains Wallace
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Re: Onamuji . . .
Posted by: sekker
Date: January 16, 2015 07:52AM
Here's a link to an ARM-based chip that is years ahead of Intel's mobile offerings:

[www.nvidia.com]

An updated 'Apple TV' with the Apple version of this chip running the latest iOS versions of Pages, Keynote, etc would serve the role that many use for a Mac Mini. You just need to add an external monitor (the X1 runs 4k monitors great), BYO storage as an external drive. This box could be $100.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/16/2015 07:53AM by sekker.
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Re: First look at the next generation ARM based Mac mini
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: January 16, 2015 09:14AM
Quote
Onamuji
Here's the thing: ARM is simply not a good architecture for workstations.
The Atom line has crippled functionality WRT being a workstation. It only sneaks by as a mobile chip by having a special section to handle a few FPU functions, downclocking when it's not busy, and the majority of the mobile chips are limited to 1.6 GHz. With the exception of specially binned chips, like Apple uses in the new iMac, their entire desktop line has been stuck under 3.5 GHz for the last eight years.
- The Mac Pro 8 core clock speed in 2008: 3.2 GHz.
- The Mac Pro 8 core clock speed in 2015: 3.0 GHz.



In tha 360. MRF User Map



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/16/2015 09:15AM by Filliam H. Muffman.
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Re: Onamuji . . .
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: January 16, 2015 09:19AM
Quote
WHiiP
Since you are a relatively new poster on this forum, perhaps you could provide some of your background and experience to enlighten this group on the validity of your comments. I'm not asking for your CV, just wanting to find out how much weight to give your responses.

Perhaps I missed this info on an earlier post of yours?

Thank you for your consideration.

'Onamuji' is a new name, but not a new member. . .

/Mr Lynn



"Hillbilly at Harvard"
Honky-tonk Country and Bluegrass
Founded in 1948 by Pappy Ben Minnich
Saturdays 9am - 1pm Eastern
WHRB-FM, Cambridge, MA
Streaming at [www.WHRB.org]
Be there!

The HAH weblog: [hillbillyatharvard.wordpress.com]

Topical weblog: [walkingcreekworld.wordpress.com]

On the river in Saxonville.
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Re: First look at the next generation ARM based Mac mini
Posted by: mattkime
Date: January 16, 2015 10:11AM
I'm just glad that there's competition. I don't know enough to pick a winner but i'm glad they're fighting it out.

back in the early pentium days intel seemed like it was slipping behind but it made its way out of that. they're a big, smart company that can mount a counter offensive even when they're a few steps behind.



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Re: First look at the next generation ARM based Mac mini
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: January 16, 2015 11:26AM
Why would Intel not sell their Atom chips to these markets, as the other poster notes?

Quote
sekker
Intel is losing a ton of $$ on developing low power chips that no one is using. They need a market the size of the iPad to get any sort of ROI. Without someone major adopting their new low power chips and selling big, they will not be able to keep losing money in this space. That's my point.

And no, I don't mean their latest CPUs for laptops. That market is still Intel's - but it could become ARM soon.

I'm not confusing profits here. When I mean ARM, I mean all of the big winners including Apple and Qualcomm.

If you think the latest iPad air revision was a Munro update, you are missing a major change. I know the main bump was graphics, but the specs of the CPU are now in the tangenof the C2D CPUs. My iPad air 2 is truly a laptop in a tablet - and it can do things none of my Macs can do.

If you want to see the Intel competition; go to the CES announcements. Intel is being his from all sides. X11 processor is a great example of the next big jump for an ARM computer.

I am beginning to think that an ARM Mac mini would be great. Could be half the price of the current machines. Think iPod touch form factor that can runs desktop programs like iWork.
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Re: First look at the next generation ARM based Mac mini
Posted by: sekker
Date: January 16, 2015 11:33AM
Quote
Bill in NC
Why would Intel not sell their Atom chips to these markets, as the other poster notes?

Quote
sekker
Intel is losing a ton of $$ on developing low power chips that no one is using. They need a market the size of the iPad to get any sort of ROI. Without someone major adopting their new low power chips and selling big, they will not be able to keep losing money in this space. That's my point.

And no, I don't mean their latest CPUs for laptops. That market is still Intel's - but it could become ARM soon.

I'm not confusing profits here. When I mean ARM, I mean all of the big winners including Apple and Qualcomm.

If you think the latest iPad air revision was a Munro update, you are missing a major change. I know the main bump was graphics, but the specs of the CPU are now in the tangenof the C2D CPUs. My iPad air 2 is truly a laptop in a tablet - and it can do things none of my Macs can do.

If you want to see the Intel competition; go to the CES announcements. Intel is being his from all sides. X11 processor is a great example of the next big jump for an ARM computer.

I am beginning to think that an ARM Mac mini would be great. Could be half the price of the current machines. Think iPod touch form factor that can runs desktop programs like iWork.

Intel would sure LIKE to sell these new chips. My whole point - which I seem to not be clear on - is that Intel is NOT selling their new chips to these huge market manufacturers.

Why not?
1) You have to recompile all of the code. Intel themselves paid to make the Android OS that works on Intel architecture.
2) I am not convinced Intel has a real advantage at this time over ARM. So any argument they make is for future hardware advantages. So moving to Intel from ARM for, say, LG might be an option - but not a compelling argument at this time.
3) The BIG players - Apple, Samsung - have a vested interest in ARM silicone. Why would they switch to Intel on their iPhones or Galaxy phones at this time?

Rumor has it that Intel will be making the processor in the first consumer Google Glass. That's one way for Intel to start building a market for their mobile products.
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Re: First look at the next generation ARM based Mac mini
Posted by: Onamuji
Date: January 16, 2015 05:36PM
Quote
sekker
Why not?
1) You have to recompile all of the code. Intel themselves paid to make the Android OS that works on Intel architecture.
2) I am not convinced Intel has a real advantage at this time over ARM. So any argument they make is for future hardware advantages. So moving to Intel from ARM for, say, LG might be an option - but not a compelling argument at this time.
3) The BIG players - Apple, Samsung - have a vested interest in ARM silicone. Why would they switch to Intel on their iPhones or Galaxy phones at this time?

You realize, of course, that those same arguments apply as to why Apple would not adopt ARM chips in a desktop computer.



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Re: First look at the next generation ARM based Mac mini
Posted by: sekker
Date: January 16, 2015 06:30PM
Quote
Onamuji
Quote
sekker
Why not?
1) You have to recompile all of the code. Intel themselves paid to make the Android OS that works on Intel architecture.
2) I am not convinced Intel has a real advantage at this time over ARM. So any argument they make is for future hardware advantages. So moving to Intel from ARM for, say, LG might be an option - but not a compelling argument at this time.
3) The BIG players - Apple, Samsung - have a vested interest in ARM silicone. Why would they switch to Intel on their iPhones or Galaxy phones at this time?

You realize, of course, that those same arguments apply as to why Apple would not adopt ARM chips in a desktop computer.

The Mac mini is a derived product. Typically, it's been some form of laptop motherboard stripped of display and keyboard and stuffed into a small case. It's a viable product because most of the engineering costs came from hardware that sold a lot of units.

The whole point of going to ARM is that such a Mac mini would leverage all of the iOS hardware instead of the relatively small number of Mac laptops. Such a mac mini could be updated yearly (or every other year), and likely not be all that much more expensive due to hardware product cycles from iOS devices.
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Re: First look at the next generation ARM based Mac mini
Posted by: Onamuji
Date: January 16, 2015 06:51PM
Quote
sekker
The whole point of going to ARM is that such a Mac mini would leverage all of the iOS hardware instead of the relatively small number of Mac laptops. Such a mac mini could be updated yearly (or every other year), and likely not be all that much more expensive due to hardware product cycles from iOS devices.

Since you missed the entirety of my last post:

1. YOU'D HAVE TO RECOMPILE ALL OF YOUR CODE. Every current Mac app would have to be ported to the platform or run in some form of emulator or would be abandoned. This is not an equivalent act to the one that brought Apple to Intel from PPC. It would be a weird and arbitrary jump that would alienate developers (and make stock holders question Tim Cook's sanity).

2. ARM cannot do the job now. You're imagining some future when it might be good at more than single-core jobs and could drive a full-size high-resolution display well.

3. Apple has a vested interest in Intel. To the point where the most recent redesign of the Mac Mini took a speed hit to provide a logic board that will be able to take the next generation of Intel's chips due later this year.

Apple is not going to ditch Intel for ARM.

And I don't know why you want them to ditch Intel. As a consumer, I don't want crummy ARM chips in my workstations. You shouldn't want them, either. Great for phones and tablets (for now). Lousy for almost anything else.







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/16/2015 06:52PM by Onamuji.
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Re: First look at the next generation ARM based Mac mini
Posted by: sekker
Date: January 16, 2015 08:42PM
I guarantee you that Apple has a modern version of Mac OSX running fine on arm.

Your statements that arm is not fast enough is ignoring all of my earlier posts and is not based on hard data. My ipad air two is as fast as a C2D MacBook, and it has far better graphics.

I'm not stating that I want an arm Mac. But there are great reasons for Apple to consider it.

But if Apple were to decide to go with a $99 Arm Mac mini, I'm sure you would own one. My point is that there will never be a $99 Intel Mac mini. But Apple could make such a Mac and still make money.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/16/2015 08:43PM by sekker.
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Re: First look at the next generation ARM based Mac mini
Posted by: Onamuji
Date: January 16, 2015 09:35PM
Quote
sekker
I guarantee you that Apple has a modern version of Mac OSX running fine on arm.

Of course they do.

And they've certainly got an AMD version, too.

Which has nothing to do with whether that OS runs well with the same kind of performance that the Mac OS gets on Intel chips and has less than nothing to do with support for third party apps.

Quote
sekker
Your statements that arm is not fast enough is ignoring all of my earlier posts and is not based on hard data. My ipad air two is as fast as a C2D MacBook, and it has far better graphics.

If that were true, it would suggest only that ARM technology is at least 6 years behind Intel's low-end chips.


Quote
sekker
I'm not stating that I want an arm Mac. But there are great reasons for Apple to consider it.

But if Apple were to decide to go with a $99 Arm Mac mini, I'm sure you would own one.

I don't buy cr@p.

Any ARM device with chips stacked high enough to compete on speed with Intel would be more expensive than Intel and burn more power. That's what Qualcomm found out when they tried it, which is why they gave up on the idea of going head-to-head and are marketing their ARM servers as niche datacenter devices.

...

What started all of this ARM BS going this week was a report by a single analyst that Apple's in-house designers could theoretically develop ARM-based chips almost as fast as Intel's current-gen Atom chips in two years or so at which point Apple might be inspired to drop Intel (if Apple were inclined to make Macs that ran way slower and less-efficiently than Broadwell and cost their developers billions for a completely arbitrary change in platform).

Rumors sites then went off with a bunch of stories speculating about it and it caught on with people who don't think or read critically and it bounced all the way to CNBC where they actually asked Intel's CEO about it. (His response was kind and diplomatic.)

Bleh.

I've given this too much of my attention. Good night.







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/16/2015 09:37PM by Onamuji.
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