New better Intel 965 chipset versus 950 (used in Mac Mini). at DVinfo.net

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Old April 25th, 2006, 10:49 AM   #1
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New better Intel 965 chipset versus 950 (used in Mac Mini).

http://www.hkepc.com/bbs/news.php?ti...dtime=0&page=3

I have found this information on the coming G965 chipset that supports hardware acceleration of many features, including H264 and DirectX 10 (though I don't know how good it is, as most chipset graphics are weak).

http://www.hkepc.com/bbs/attachments...LQbpsUkQOf.jpg

People might be aware of the woeful performance of Mac Mini, this is based on GMA950. The 950, if you look at the graphic, lacks many acceleration features for H264 playback. The G965 is the sort of chip I was hoping was int eh Mac Mini or Ibook replacement. For those disappointed with the present Mac Mini, if you see Apple products with 965 in future, it might be different (but probably not as good as a Mac with a dedicated graphics card).
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Old April 25th, 2006, 12:31 PM   #2
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The Mac mini with Intel processors seem to be marginally faster, much faster or slower vs. the PowerPC G4 Mac minis:

http://www.macworld.com/2006/03/revi...mini/index.php

It all depends on the Core Duo or Solo chip plus if the apps are native or not. Technically speaking, the Mac mini isn't supposed to be a fast computer, just another affordable alternative for PC switchers. Speed? Mac Book Pro and Power Mac G5s. www.apple.com

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Old April 25th, 2006, 02:13 PM   #3
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It was supposed to be based on the Viiv platform and playback h264 well, it didn't. If you look at those tests you realise the big factor there is how graphic chip related they are. The previous box used a low end ATI graphics chip, this box uses a even lower end integrated solution. So when graphics mattered and the extra processing power cannot make up the difference, the new box slips behind the old one. The 965 would hopefully reverse this shortfall, but I don't know if any Mac will use it this year (maybe there will be a new Mac Min, Maybe the Macbook). I haven't mentioned the possibility of the Direct X 10 GPU further speeding things up, because MB chipset GPU's have been major under-performers in times past, so I am not banking on it being a help.
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Old April 25th, 2006, 02:55 PM   #4
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Wayne,

In the tests with native apps, it did much better than the PowerPC Mac mini with the Core Duo and a little better with the Solo.

Read this:

"About graphics
The new Mac minis take a different approach to graphics than their predecessors. Last year, Apple trumpeted the ATI Radeon 9200 graphics chip with 32MB of dedicated DDR memory instead of a graphics structure that borrowed its memory from the system. But in the new minis, that’s exactly what Apple uses. The mini’s integrated graphics feature is a mixed bag, though, since it adds to and subtracts from the previous graphics features.

The Intel mini’s GMA950 graphics chip has 64MB of RAM dedicated to it from the main memory. That’s twice as much RAM as the Radeon 9200 had, and it’s faster system RAM than ordinary video RAM. But after you figure in an additional 16MB reserved for general system setup, a standard 512MB Mac mini is left with only 432MB of operating RAM once the 64MB is diverted to the graphics system.

On the plus side, these minis are the first minis that support Tiger’s Core Image technology, which gives you more special effects capabilities. For example, you can now see the ripple effect as you add a widget to Dashboard. We also found that resizing QuickTime and DVD Player windows was much smoother than on the G4 Mac minis.

The GMA950 chip also supports H.264 HD video playback. In our test of an HD movie trailer for IMAX’s Deep Sea 3D (H.264 encoding at 1,440 by 1,080 pixels), the Core Duo model played the video back smoothly. The Core Solo model, however, dropped frames, leading to distracting, stuttering video—even after we upgraded it to 1GB of RAM.

When it comes to graphics-intensive 3-D games, our tests of the Intel-native version of Unreal Tournament showed disappointing frame rates of 12.2 per second for the Core Duo and 10.4 per second for the Core Solo—compared with 14.5 and 13.9 for the 1.42GHz G4 mini and the 1.25GHz G4 mini, respectively. But during casual game play, when we used the lower settings that are more suited for the mini, we got decent performance from the game.

When we tested the Universal version of Nanosaur II, which takes advantage of the fast Intel processors, we found frame rates increased by roughly 33 percent over the previous Mac minis. And the suite of bundled board games—with 3-D game pieces and reflections—play perfectly on both systems. However, if you’re looking for a super high-quality gaming experience, you’ll get much better performance from the latest iMacs."

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Old April 25th, 2006, 02:57 PM   #5
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The price for the more advanced Intel chip may have made the Mac mini unattractive. It did go up in price, though.

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Old April 25th, 2006, 02:58 PM   #6
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My mac mini ICD hauls ass.

on native software there is very few application that will be faster. In fact the mini ICD is faster than if Apple had plugged in a dual G5 (in integer performance)

I'm not a big gamer so the integrated graphics don't bother me. I hear the procs are socketed so once merom hits I'll be able to upgrade in the future but just slapping it in.

I'll probably bump the hardrive to 7200rpm as well.

The mini is one hell of a deal. Quiet...powerful with Gigabit networking I can see owning a few that I can toss into a network render in the future.
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Old April 26th, 2006, 01:53 AM   #7
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Heath I've seen tests, because I have been waiting to buy either this or, more likely, the Macbook pro. Don't trust their PR, when you use main memory, unless you are using physically separate memory banks and path ways, you are putting another contender for main memory and that does reek havoc with performance at times (though a better solution can still perform better). You see all the stuff done in software on the 950, on the chart, that is even more inefficient. If the Radeon 9200 was on there most tasks would probably be quicker that they are now, even this new chipset. Apple probably wanted the integrated solution as part of the deal sweetener. reducing costs, but I am not sure this was the chipset they wanted.

The new chipset, which I think might be the one intended for the Mini in the first place (remember, certain chips were delayed and so they went with what was available instead). I would not be surprised if this was the chipset they wanted to use. You will notice that the chart lists mpeg2 hardware decoding and h264 software decoding for the present chip, the new chipset has hardware for all. I don't know the working of the h264 codec, but it might be getting a boost from the mpeg2 decoder. Understanding this now, I take back my negative comments about Intel integrated performance, with a reserved wait and see.

In tests I saw, I think the playback of 1440*1080 was not perfect, and the playback on the solo was as described, this does not go into true 1080p resolution though. But as long as I can watch it smoothly, even with long encode times, it will seem tolerable. If only they had hardware encode assist.

It's all about minimums, work wise (gaming would only be an extra) and 950 is too minimal for me. Of course I am interested in better codecs then HDV fro various projects.

I doubt that it will get to the Ibook replacement, but Intel has brought ahead new processors that are 25% faster and 64bit, so hopefully they might make it, but then again maybe not. That is the sort of specs I am looking for, as a low end person wanting something still affordable. The fact that MacBook Pro might be able to handle video formats twice as demanding, four times when the graphics are updated, still makes it too expensive for my present needs.

Anyway, the news is that there is something better out there for more demanding processing, and worth checking out when it comes out.

Unrelated--------------------------------------------
Just in case anybody wants to know, the recent comparisons of Mac and WinXP application performance under boot camp, is not very valid. Boot camp is not complete, optimisations for Intel PC's with Intel chip sets are not uncommon for good programs, which Apple will lack presently, and the graphics cards in the Imacs are under clocked. This should improve in time, and once Mac Intel binary versions are fully optimised, we might be able to tell which OS is better.


Thanks

Wayne.
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