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 Post subject: Next computer?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:42 pm 
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Given that nothing Apple is producing these days looks attractive I am kind of wondering if I should be shopping for my next computer a bit early while the last of the ones they made that were any good are still on the used market before they are totally obsolete. I'm okay for the moment but I am concerned that 2 years down the road when I need a bit more computer all I will find that is also affordable will be 2012 MacBook Airs with 4 GB soldered in RAM and 128 GB SDDs (I just came up with something off the top of my head but you get what I mean).

Desktop is perfectly fine for me and fits my usage much better than notebook. Right now I am using a late 2008 MacBook in clamshell mode but it isn't really build for this kind of use. I don't really like iMacs too much since they are to many eggs in one basket. Mac Pros are out of my price bracket. That leaves Minis.

I don't game. Modest video processing. I am not interested in Apple's latest and greatest OSX but realize at some stage I have to upgrade if I want a functional web browser (my main reason for changing from a G3 to a G4 back in 2006). So probably something that can run whatever is current at the time of purchase but I can ignore it until I need it 4 years down the line.

I am guessing given these parameters probably something along the lines of a 2010-2014 Mini? Any sweet spots in that range? I am in no hurry other than wanting to get one before all that's left out there are things that are useless to anybody. I've been idly perusing Craigslist. For example, I just came across this one:

Quote:
Mac Mini 2010
8gb ddr3 ram
1tb 7200 rpm hard drive
Dedicated nvidia video card 320m
Airport
Bluetooth
Wifi airport n
Built in Optical dvdrw

20 inch monitor Cinema Display Apple
Keyboard and mouse

$240 cash takes!


I guess I could consider hackintosh but I haven't touched a PC since DOS 5.0 days and really would be starting near ground level.


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 Post subject: Re: Next computer?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 2:15 pm 
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$240 ???

Srrms too cheap for just the Mini itself…

Code:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-Mac-mini-mid-2010-2-4GHz-2-GB-320GB-HDD-/201628350862?hash=item2ef1fc798e:g:fFwAAOSwM4xXcEdg


Or stolen?


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 Post subject: Re: Next computer?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 2:17 pm 
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I have a 2010, with the RAM maxed it's not a bad system. The 320m isn't a dedicated GPU, it's integrated into the northbridge, but it beats the pants off of all but the latest couple Intel integrated GPUs (at least the ones used in Minis and MacBook Pros). Even includes that most hated of all Apple accessories - an optical drive. (gasp)

It's still supported by Apple, although the Core2 CPU doesn't support QuickSync, etc. so who knows how long it'll be before Apple decides to make newer CPU instructions a requirement for their typically nonsensical reasons.


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 Post subject: Re: Next computer?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 8:00 pm 
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Do not go with anything later than the 2011 Mini if you must have a Mini. None have a discrete GPU and all use dual core CPUs, no longer giving even the option to CTO a quad core CPU.

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 Post subject: Re: Next computer?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 5:10 am 
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Current offerings are either very poor or very expensive (or both) with nothing to make us optimistic for positve change.

I just hope that people wake up, get real and refuse to buy. The same goes for iPhones.

While Mr. Ive is running things I just can't see any improvement in the areas that matter.

It is a sad state of affairs.

Expect more glue, thinness and 'pure lines'. :x

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 Post subject: Re: Next computer?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:44 pm 
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Squishy Tia wrote:
Do not go with anything later than the 2011 Mini if you must have a Mini. None have a discrete GPU and all use dual core CPUs, no longer giving even the option to CTO a quad core CPU.
Dual core i5? Dual core i7?

See, this is why I absolutely loathe Intel's model nomenclature. i3 should be dual, i5 should be quad, and i7 should be quad (or more) with hyperthreading. Simple. Understandable. A clean differentiation between model families.

But no, manufacturers want to mislabel their stuff by having an i5 or i7 inside even though they're all just i3s, and Intel bends over backwards to help them confuse customers.

With those kind of brainiacs running the ship, no wonder they keep cutting staff from their PC CPU division. :evil:


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 Post subject: Re: Next computer?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:39 pm 
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MonkeyBoy wrote:
Squishy Tia wrote:
Do not go with anything later than the 2011 Mini if you must have a Mini. None have a discrete GPU and all use dual core CPUs, no longer giving even the option to CTO a quad core CPU.
Dual core i5? Dual core i7?

See, this is why I absolutely loathe Intel's model nomenclature. i3 should be dual, i5 should be quad, and i7 should be quad (or more) with hyperthreading. Simple. Understandable. A clean differentiation between model families.

But no, manufacturers want to mislabel their stuff by having an i5 or i7 inside even though they're all just i3s, and Intel bends over backwards to help them confuse customers.

With those kind of brainiacs running the ship, no wonder they keep cutting staff from their PC CPU division. :evil:


They still ain't got nothin' on AMD's nomeclature...

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 Post subject: Re: Next computer?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 4:57 pm 
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Intel has AMD beat by a country mile. They have at least 100 times the CPU models, with VT-d and other features omitted in an amazing patchwork that has to make sense to somebody somewhere but seems nonsensical and arbitrary to me.

Sometimes they even implement the feature(s) in silicon because some vendor wanted a SKU with some features disabled and Intel didn't want to actually engineer a whole new CPU for them. In those cases either they turn them off in microcode or they're going through the trouble of cutting traces. I think.

I get an absolute headache whenever I start looking for a CPU that's not absolute top end but still needs to have a full feature set, then start looking for OEM models that use that CPU, get discouraged because they're EOL'd or are out of stock, then start all over again digging through the CPU lines. I swear Intel could cut costs and increase profits by simply cutting their number of CPUs in half (if not more).


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 Post subject: Re: Next computer?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 5:41 pm 
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The problems I have been experiencing with the Mac Minis (it’s the “top of the line” Mac available to everyone at my place of employment :confused: ) is the 5400RPM hard drive speed is slowing everything down to a crawl. My 2008 Mac Pro does 600MPH (and 67MPG) donuts around the Mac Mini I use at work due to this spinning mass issue. If you go the Mac Mini route, I would highly recommend an SSD (if the bus speed on the “microboard” can handle it), otherwise you will be disappointed. I can only guess (out of ignorance) than an external booting Thunderbolt HD enclosure with an SSD in it would make the Mac Mini seem worthwhile.

-he who stacks pork

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 Post subject: Re: Next computer?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:43 am 
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MonkeyBoy wrote:
Intel has AMD beat by a country mile. They have at least 100 times the CPU models, with VT-d and other features omitted in an amazing patchwork that has to make sense to somebody somewhere but seems nonsensical and arbitrary to me.

Sometimes they even implement the feature(s) in silicon because some vendor wanted a SKU with some features disabled and Intel didn't want to actually engineer a whole new CPU for them. In those cases either they turn them off in microcode or they're going through the trouble of cutting traces. I think.

I get an absolute headache whenever I start looking for a CPU that's not absolute top end but still needs to have a full feature set, then start looking for OEM models that use that CPU, get discouraged because they're EOL'd or are out of stock, then start all over again digging through the CPU lines. I swear Intel could cut costs and increase profits by simply cutting their number of CPUs in half (if not more).


Again, AMD is just as bad if not worse. Especially when you mix in their platform codenames and APU/GPU nomenclatures. At least I can get relatively easy to find information on Intel's lineup. About the only thing confusing about Intel's nomenclature really are the laptop CPUs. The rest generally follow a fairly established set pattern.

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 Post subject: Re: Next computer?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 2:24 pm 
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I dunno, comparing Wikipedia page to Wikipedia page, Intel certainly seems to have AMD beat in terms of processor count.

Part of what makes Intel extra-confusing is the Broadwell gap, which requires you to pay attention to Haswell since that's where most of their current lineup still is. Skylake will, hopefully, eventually scratch into Haswell's market but for now the OEM and server market is still mostly Haswell because the Skylake OEM and server CPUs are low end.


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