OTEE thoughts on the new Mac mini for development purposes?

I like the price and idea of the newly announced high-end Mac mini with the 1.67 Core Duo Intel chip, but what about that ugly graphics card? 64MB shared memory, integrated GMA950. Assuming that a universal binary build will happen in Unity’s future soon and that it will blaze on a dual core chip, can we expect to be able to work effectively with this card to develop stuff? David? Joe? Freyr?

[Edited by DaveyJJ to correct my mis-typing. That’s what I meant, Kevin.]

I think you mean the new mac mini, and not the new iMac.

But from what I have heard, that the Intel Integrated 950 Chipset is not all that bad. Hell, I used the one before it and Max Payne 2 was playable on my PC. I then read the reviews of the 950 Chipset and thought "shoot, I should have waited for this". Didn't matter, as I soon got ahold of a 9600 XT, but hey.

Intel GMA950 Integrated Graphics Core Benchmark

:/, the gameplay test are really bad. 30fps in UT2004.

I suposse it's the same card at the mac mini...
We can install another card in the mini?

Nooooooooooooooooooooo... Not an Intel graphics card.

Apple sure is drinking the cool aid.

If you look at performance benchmarks of the 950 against the lowest low of ATI and Nvidia, you'll find that the Intel has about 50% performance.

On the PC side, it can JUST run Halflife 2 at 20 FPS, all lowest.

This is also made worse by the fact that it has no hardware T&L. This means you suddenly have to be careful with your polies. I dare not think about driver stability. Intel has take ages in Windows-world to get anywhere NEAR not crashing on major AAA titles. On the mac, this is just gonna be pain. I can see a pile of if (BROKEN_INTEL_OSX_DRIVER) workarounds popping up in the Unity source...

/rant

I hope you took the low-end graphics support seriously. ;-)

No hardware T&L? Crap that’s going to be a pain in 3D apps, too. I’m really disappointed in this, especially since the Intel card has no support for vertex shaders, either.

I think what I was trying to say was that it was a lot better then the previous integrated chipset, but somehow that isn't how it came out...

Hi Nicholas,

This is also made worse by the fact that it has no hardware T&L. This means you suddenly have to be careful with your polies. I dare not think about driver stability. Intel has take ages in Windows-world to get anywhere NEAR not crashing on major AAA titles. On the mac, this is just gonna be pain. I can see a pile of if (BROKEN_INTEL_OSX_DRIVER) workarounds popping up in the Unity source... <<<

I would like to say that almost no one who plays 3d-games has a Intel-graphics card on windows...

These are for integrated low-cost system which you use for office work or playing a game really occasionally.

Personally i'm wondering more about why they built this miniMAc. It's much more expensive, doesn't follow the idea of the iMac "same price for the Intel-Version" and beside of the Line-In and the Intel CPU hasn't very much to offer. Who cares about the larger hd? Looks like they wanted the people more to buy an iMac.

I always said pc is the nicer platform as you're not controlled by only one vendor... ;O)

Greetings,

taumel

I’ll underscore Taumel’s point that virtually no one who plays 3D games on the Windows side does so on a system with an Intel card, or any embedded graphics subsystem for that matter.

The use of a “real” GPU and dedicated graphics RAM in the first Mac Minis was so smart of Apple. I guess this new configuration is largely a concession made by Apple in order to the make their (surprisingly) rapid move to Intel iron.

In light of this development, I wonder if the Unitoids would consider posting (and regaulraly updating) a grid that shows what features work (well) in what Macs. Or maybe by graphics subsystem? Or maybe even something generalized. I just think that it would be nice to know what toys in the Unity toybox are going to break and when. I think such a grid might be even more valuable as we all start to look more seriously at deploying our Unity goods as Windows-based deliverables, given the range of graphics cards available over there.

Great, I’m virtual now?

Hmmm …

Maybe I should have said “practically” instead of “virtually” - that would make you “practical”! :wink:

i wish i was virtual! but then again i'm too practical... :smile:

Over on the iDG forums they are discussing the new Mac Mini and it's graphics capabilities. I won't try to paraphrase here but it's not all bad news. It's got a better fill rate than the old Mini, for instance...

http://www.idevgames.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11669

Not impressed with the video capabilities of the mac mini. Were they cutting corners or smooching up to Intel? Maybe both?


Also less then impressed with the ipod wifi, what were they thinking? Also a $99 leather case? What? Anyone else notice there isn't a streaming version available off Apples web site?

With corporate culture dollars always speak louder than words and I think they laid a rotten egg. That's why I give Tuesdays press release one steaming mac mini...out of five (watching too much x-play).

Dam you x play!

Apple iPod Hi-Fi... might be the worst Apple product ever. Let's all hope they still make computers in 2 years and not just consumer electronics.

And as far as the mac mini, what is the big surprise here? It's supposed to be the "switch" computer that gets all those Lowest Common Denominator wintel people over to the mac... it's the lowest end ALL-IN-ONE mac solution and it makes sense that once they switched to intel chips they were going to aim for the absolute cheapest intel mac they could produce to grab the switchers.

Apple needs to wake up to the gaming community though or we'll always be playing 2 year old windows game ports. Crappy integrated GPUs don't help one bit.

Honestly i would have expected a x1300 derivate...

The mac mini is a grandparent computer. Not many grandparents that I know of know that 3D rendering or even computer games even exist. They just want to send an email without paying much $$$$. I think it would have been better for apple to lower the bar for the mac mini and offer it for like $250 or $300........

Exactly.

Apple originally sold the Mini as an “inexpensive as a low-end Dell” gateway Mac with specs that would make that same low-end Dell blush with embarassment. But now, the Mini is arguably nearly as lame as that low-end Dell, and yet way, way more expensive.

It was nice being able to tell all of my Windows buddies that they could buy a Mac Mini for $600 and a copy of Unity for $250 and start doing some sweet, sweet game-making. But now, they’d at least have to get one of the new iMacs, at over twice the cost, to do the same.

Oh well, at least we got a nice headless boombox out of Apple this time around. :wink:

Well, 500€ was a magical border and i expected to get some fundamental needs statisfied. And as time passed by and technology improved i feel it's quite logic to expect some enhancements also on the gfx side. Even if you take into account that you'll have to pay a higher price. So i don't get it. And as for the grandpas: I don't think than grandpas do need this perfomanceboost on the cpu side as well...

taumel looks at his miniMac and tries to figure out how old he is...

hours later

Why am i staring at this little box? Who placed this thing here? What was it supposed to do?

hours later

taumel is scratching his head for the last time, sighs and falls asleep surrounded by little sweet farts...

Greetings,

taumel