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Anything new on Mac Mini Horizon??? (Page 2)
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Jul 22, 2011, 07:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
I'm somewhat surprised that OC would recommend quad core over dedicated graphics. I thought the prevailing wisdom up to this point was that dual core was enough for regular users, especially so unless the apps being used were optimized for more cores.
Quad cores can effectively turn off two cores and run the remaining cores at higher speed. Hence, dual cores clocked at higher speeds will beat quad cores in very few benchmarks. Since Apple is actively pushing technologies that allow programmers to take advantage of additional cores, I think the average user will benefit more from having extra CPU rather than GPU horsepower.
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Is the dedicated GPU option not good enough to strongly outshine the Intel IGP and therefore be a bigger performance factor that the additional cores?
In the past (I'm thinking of the graphics core of the GMA 950 chipset in particular), integrated graphics chips were rather slow and there were limitations as to the maximum display size and such. AMD and Intel are trying very hard now to incorporate rather beefy GPU cores into their processors. Obviously, AMD has an edge in the GPU department since they can take the proven designs by their graphics chip business formerly know as ATI. Intel hasn't been twiddling its thumbs either, Sandy Bridge's built-in GPU is a lot more potent than every integrated Intel graphics chip that came before. This trend will continue and Ivy Bridge's GPU is rumored to be a significant improvement over Sandy Bridge.

Now, the built-in GPUs are roughly on par with the cheapest entry-level discrete cards for desktops, which is quite a feat if you think about all the restrictions (TDP, memory bandwidth). Now, P is right in pointing out that if you spend the equivalent of two or three Frappucinos on top of that, you'll get an entry-level card which is superior, but for the average user, the integrated graphics core will be plenty.

BTW, this development will have a nice side effect for all of us: Intel and AMD are trying hard to give programmers access to the power of the GPU and to use it for computations.
Originally Posted by P View Post
I agree, and I'd like to point out just how far the bar has moved. This is a recommendation of graphics cards at various price points. The main article isn't all that relevant here, but look at the context: The $65 card, the cheapest they recommend, has "great" performance at 1680*1050. That's a pretty decent resolution, IMO.
You're right, thanks for the link. My point is that Intel's IGP is in the same performance region as entry-level discrete GPUs and they're as far as I can tell killing this market segment.
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Jul 22, 2011, 08:43 AM
 
Can the processor on the new mini be replaced or is it fixed to the board? I can't tell from looking at the iFixit pictures.

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Jul 22, 2011, 10:57 AM
 
Soldered.
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Jul 22, 2011, 02:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
The Radeon 2600 XT (#154) is slightly faster than the HD 5450 (#169), but not by much (about 10 % by most benchmarks). The GPU built into Intel's Sandy Bridge processors can be faster (#129, #143) than the HD 2600 XT, but its speed depends on the type of the cpu.
Of course new scores are improving when compared to old scores. However rather than compare to old versions I think we should compare among new versions, in which case the performance of dedicated graphics (1500-2000 range scores on Futuremark) are less than half as strong as dedicated 2011 graphics (3000-5000 range mobile scores).


Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Hence my claim that integrated gpus are quite good nowadays and are plenty fast for most users. They don't compare to dedicated high-performance GPUs, but that's beside the point.
We agree that integrated graphics are quite good nowadays and are plenty fast for most users. Take a lowest end Mac of any flavor and it will run the apps of "most users."

Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Nowadays, most people only need a powerful GPU for gaming. There are a few other apps (3d apps, video encoding) that benefits from a faster GPU, but integrated GPUs are plenty powerful for most people. Certainly you won't notice any difference in apps such as Photoshop. If you have these special needs, I doubt you'll opt for a Mac mini.
Here is where we disagree, because I think that "most people" although true becomes too general. More and more folks are getting into digital image capture management and using heavy graphics apps. Apps like Aperture, Capture One, etc. That is in addition to gamers and in addition to 3D and in addition to video. Therefore I do not agree with broad-brush generalizations proclaiming how speedy integrated graphics are. The fact is that in the comparative world of 2011 Macs integrated graphics can be quite inferior even though they are faster than legacy choices.

Relative to the Mini, for instance, I expect that the far superior graphics of the dedicated 6630M will apply to a substantial improvement in Aperture performance as compared to the Minis with IGP. And yes we have folks proposing SSD Minis for Aperture. Not my recommendation, because the cost of (IMO essential) SSDs is so high in Minis and iMacs, but a 2.7 GHz Mini with SSD, 8 GB RAM and 6630M will probably run Aperture pretty well.

We agree that (except for RAM needs) basic Photoshop is a non-demanding app on all 2011 Macs. The ability to apply substantial RAM however is crucial . No one considering a heavy app of any flavor should purchase a significantly RAM-limited box. Also I do not know the demands of advanced Photoshop 3D.

-Allen
( Last edited by SierraDragon; Jul 22, 2011 at 03:28 PM. )
     
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Jul 22, 2011, 03:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
More and more folks are getting into digital image capture management and using heavy graphics apps. Apps like Aperture, Capture One, etc. That is in addition to gamers and in addition to 3D and in addition to video.
Long time ago, people used to think that Photoshop taxes their machines. Now it doesn't. That's because machines have continuously gotten faster and the system requirements for certain tasks have not grown as fast. The same is true for GPU performance: people fear that their new MacBook Pro/MacBook Air will have substantially worse graphics performance than their current Mac with dedicated graphics (including graphics cards that were sold for Mac Pros). In many cases, benchmarks tell us that these fears are unfounded.

Now you claim that `heavy graphics apps' benefit from a discrete GPU. My claim is that the application benchmarks people usually scrounge up (especially barefeats) do not support your claim one way or the other. It would be very simple conjure a comparison to do just that: use a machine which has both, an integrated GPU and a dedicated GPU (say, a 15" or 17" MacBook Pro) and run the test once on either GPU. A comparison of the results will then tell you how much or if at all an application such as Motion benefits from the presence of a discrete GPU. This also gives you an idea whether differences in speeds are mostly due to the presence of a dedicated GPU or additional cores, for instance (I'm thinking of the 2011 15" MacBook Pros).

And even if an app benefits from a discrete GPU, other factor may still sway the overall results in favor of the machine with an integrated GPU (I'm thinking of the fast SSD that comes in the Air which is substantially faster than any platter-based hard drive).

So I'm not painting with a broad brush, exclaiming people no longer need discrete GPUs. I'm saying (1) the benchmarks I'm aware of are not suitable to decide whether `heavy graphics app' benefit from discrete GPUs and (2) that the integrated GPU of today's slowest Mac, the Air, is on par with the entry-level graphics card of a 3-year old Mac Pro.

I would be very interested to see suitable benchmarks myself, I'm an avid Aperture user and I'd like to know whether a dedicated GPU is worth it. (In my case, it's not a question of money, it's a question of weight + size vs. performance.)
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Jul 22, 2011, 03:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
...Quad cores can effectively turn off two cores and run the remaining cores at higher speed. Hence, dual cores clocked at higher speeds will beat quad cores in very few benchmarks. Since Apple is actively pushing technologies that allow programmers to take advantage of additional cores, I think the average user will benefit more from having extra CPU rather than GPU horsepower.
Probably true for the average user. However Apple is also pushing tech to utilize the GPU. Aperture (I harp on Aperture because in my world it is the app to build hardware to) I suspect will benefit more from the 6630M GPU. What average apps do is moot IMO, because one builds a box for the most demanding app in the quiver.

It would be interesting to real-world compare two 8 GB RAM, SSD Minis running Aperture: 2.0 GHz 4-core IGP versus 2.7 GHz 2-core with 6630M. Based on how essential advanced GPUs have been to achieving good Aperture performance in the past I would bet on the 6630M version, but everything is new in 2011 so who knows?

-Allen
( Last edited by SierraDragon; Jul 22, 2011 at 03:59 PM. )
     
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Jul 22, 2011, 06:11 PM
 
Damn it, I was going to get a new Mini until I saw they did away with the CD drive. BIG mistake Apple. I'll stick with this G4 PPC for now I guess. I am not happy.
     
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Jul 22, 2011, 06:24 PM
 
SuperDrive is $80.
     
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Jul 22, 2011, 06:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
SuperDrive is $80.


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Jul 22, 2011, 06:41 PM
 
Thats if you buy the Apple one. I forget the minimum requirements but you could probably use the G4 superdrive wirelessly.

Optical media is dead. Far too slow.
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Jul 22, 2011, 10:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Optical media is dead. Far too slow.
Yup.
     
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Jul 23, 2011, 02:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Thats if you buy the Apple one. I forget the minimum requirements but you could probably use the G4 superdrive wirelessly.

Optical media is dead. Far too slow.
Optical media is not dead. In echoing that Steve Jobs call is you are only feathering his pocket book at your expense. Yes... there are faster ways of transferring files, but for lasting data archives there is nothing else out there that is more reliable or for the price. I don't see movie companies rushing to sell you the latest "Star Wars" trilogy on a hard drive or a jump drive, yet they can do it on an optical drive for pennies.

Let's look at the cost of archiving that family video you took this summer. You do want to show it to your future grandkids some day, right. Well... without optical you can just store it on your hard drive right? That would be nice. So now you have it on your hard drive and of course you need to be secure... so you need a backup hard drive incase your drive fails... and if you really want it to be secure you should be rotating at least two backup drives so if you have an event where directories or sectors are corrupted during one backup you can always fall back to the previous backup. Or... you can store it on a remote server. Surely they will safeguard you data. Let's see how many customers lost data when Microsofts Side Kick server died. Course you end up paying for server storage if choose to go that route. I could go on but that would be boring. So I'll just ask this one question. Where can I buy 25 gigs of storage that will not be susceptible to power failure, mechanical failure or accidental erasure for less than one dollar ($1). The disc was good enough for Dr. Spock. It's good enough for me.
     
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Jul 23, 2011, 05:22 AM
 
Originally Posted by Brad Bradley View Post
Optical media is not dead. In echoing that Steve Jobs call is you are only feathering his pocket book at your expense. Yes... there are faster ways of transferring files, but for lasting data archives there is nothing else out there that is more reliable or for the price. I don't see movie companies rushing to sell you the latest "Star Wars" trilogy on a hard drive or a jump drive, yet they can do it on an optical drive for pennies.
Whatever you may think, that particular argument is a massive fail.

The content industry is MORE than happy to sell you a new copy every few years.
     
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Jul 23, 2011, 06:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by Brad Bradley View Post
Optical media is not dead. In echoing that Steve Jobs call is you are only feathering his pocket book at your expense. Yes... there are faster ways of transferring files, but for lasting data archives there is nothing else out there that is more reliable or for the price. I don't see movie companies rushing to sell you the latest "Star Wars" trilogy on a hard drive or a jump drive, yet they can do it on an optical drive for pennies.
Apple's idea is to sell (or rent) you movies digitally. This is not a reason (for them).

Originally Posted by Brad Bradley View Post
Let's look at the cost of archiving that family video you took this summer. You do want to show it to your future grandkids some day, right.
Do NOT use optical media that you burned yourself for archival purposes. They last for about 5 years if you store them dark and cool - after that, they'e unreadable. Yes, you can get lucky, but the average disc will last about that long.

Note that this sort of data corruption is not easily detectable. We're talking softflips of individual bits here. Most of your images will look good, but you will have lost some, and you'll never know which.

Originally Posted by Brad Bradley View Post
Well... without optical you can just store it on your hard drive right? That would be nice. So now you have it on your hard drive and of course you need to be secure... so you need a backup hard drive incase your drive fails... and if you really want it to be secure you should be rotating at least two backup drives so if you have an event where directories or sectors are corrupted during one backup you can always fall back to the previous backup.
Seems excessive to me, but take a look at what a new 2 TB drive costs and how may discs you can fit on it. Also, did you plan to burn all optical discs three times?
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Jul 23, 2011, 07:54 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Do NOT use optical media that you burned yourself for archival purposes. They last for about 5 years if you store them dark and cool - after that, they'e unreadable. Yes, you can get lucky, but the average disc will last about that long.

Note that this sort of data corruption is not easily detectable. We're talking softflips of individual bits here. Most of your images will look good, but you will have lost some, and you'll never know which.
Paging voodoo - voodoo to the optical media thread, please.

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Jul 23, 2011, 12:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Apple's idea is to sell (or rent) you movies digitally. This is not a reason (for them).



Do NOT use optical media that you burned yourself for archival purposes. They last for about 5 years if you store them dark and cool - after that, they'e unreadable. Yes, you can get lucky, but the average disc will last about that long.

Note that this sort of data corruption is not easily detectable. We're talking softflips of individual bits here. Most of your images will look good, but you will have lost some, and you'll never know which.



Seems excessive to me, but take a look at what a new 2 TB drive costs and how may discs you can fit on it. Also, did you plan to burn all optical discs three times?
You need to check your facts. (Optical media longevity) I'm a video producer and I would not send media to a customer that I knew would consistently fail in the lifetime of my business as that would mean my business would fail also. The disks I use for DVD have a guarantee from the manufacturer of 100 years if taken care of properly. I give the client 3 DVD's (media cost of about 75¢). One disc to for normal play and the daily wear that any disc gets during playback. The other two discs are for archival storage. The reason being that if the disc they are using gets scratched they can make a backup from on of the achieves and they are rolling again. The third disc is a safety net in case one of the two backups should fail. The odds of both failing at the same time are very remote. I know that a hard drive is not going to last 100 years. Ok... I might concede that it would if you put it in a totally atmospheric free vacuum storage. In normal storage the spindle will probably seize to the case do to oxidation. I have had this happen to me with hard drives that were used for backup and placed on a shelf for a couple of years. A drive with less than a hundred hours of use. If you want to see how reliable hard drives are, do a google search for "archivable media" and see how many times "hard drive" comes up.

The next best archivable media I have found would be jump drives, but the cost at the current time is prohibitive. To put an HD wedding, play or football game on a jump drive would cost $40 to $50. To put it on optical media... $1. And then if you have multiple order, well you do the math.

Oh... but what about streamed media? Streamed media sucks. No bride is going to play a YouTube video on a 60" screen at her wedding. In short streamed video is ok for thing you don't plan on revisiting later. Like TV shows. You can tolerate the crappy video for that. But if it is something of value (juniors first baby steps) you want the best quality you can get. Anybody that says streamed video is better than BluRay has never watched a BluRay movie.
     
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Jul 23, 2011, 01:16 PM
 
YouTube supports higher resolution than DVD.
     
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Jul 23, 2011, 02:21 PM
 
Printed optical media would struggle to last 100 years, media you burn will NOT last 100 years. If you use the wrong pens to mark it, it won't last 5. It might last 10 if properly stored.

You may argue that blu ray is better than DVD but the point of this argument is that the new Mini comes without optical. NO Mac comes with BD.
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Jul 23, 2011, 03:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by Brad Bradley View Post
You need to check your facts. (Optical media longevity) I'm a video producer and I would not send media to a customer that I knew would consistently fail in the lifetime of my business as that would mean my business would fail also. The disks I use for DVD have a guarantee from the manufacturer of 100 years if taken care of properly.
A hundred-year "guarantee!" Awesome!

Neither you, nor the manufacturer, nor the reading devices, nor either of your businesses will be around in recognizable form 100 years from now.

What an utterly useless marketing gimmick.

I assume you have access to the manufacturer's testing data?
     
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Jul 23, 2011, 03:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by Brad Bradley View Post
Optical media is not dead.
Actually, in the context of this thread it is, because like Waragainst said, optical media is far too slow. Like you I do use optical media for images delivery to clients, and for in-the-field pass-a-temp-backup-to-the-client. But I never use it in a workflow because burning is so slow.

And I certainly do not need it taking up space in a mini sized Mac like a laptop or Mini. I will soon be upgrading my 2011 MBP by replacing the optical drive with a hard drive.

...for lasting data archives there is nothing else out there that is more reliable or for the price.
Not true. Modern digital backup is not about putting something away in cold storage for decades like a can of film. Well-prepared pros have ongoing hard drives-based on and offsite backup routines that plan for hard drive failures. Such routines are typically in operation daily/weekly and have functionally infinite life because they evolve and are upgraded as hardware changes.

Optical media OTOH can be iffy as regards longevity. Optical media, from Wiki:
"Retail recordable/writable optical media contain dyes in/on the optical media to record data, whereas factory-manufactured optical media use physical "pits" created by plastic molds/casts. As a result, data storage on retail optical media does not have the life-span of factory-manufactured optical media. One must therefore be wary of storing family photos and videos (or any other miscellaneous important data) solely on dye-based optical media. MAM-A (Mitsui) claims a life of 300 years on their archival gold CD-R and 100 years for gold DVDs. Good alternatives would be to additionally backup one's media using other media technologies..."

Note too that the "guarantee" provided by a BD vendor is by definition worth exactly the $0.75 that you paid for the disk. Optical media are (sometimes) great as delivery media and/or for temporary image redundancy but are not a good choice for long term backup.

-Allen
( Last edited by SierraDragon; Jul 23, 2011 at 04:07 PM. )
     
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Jul 23, 2011, 04:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by Brad Bradley View Post
Anybody that says streamed video is better than BluRay has never watched a BluRay movie.
That I will agree with 100%. But note that the argument is simply about BD as a delivery mechanism, not for workflow or for backup.

Like vinyl and tape to CDs, the unwashed masses are flocking to streaming video even though the quality currently sucks. IMO lack of agreement on standards doomed BD, but that is irrelevant to this discussion.

P.S. Where does one buy archival-gold BD disks at 3 for $0.75?

P.P.S. Currently I am testing SD cards for temp backup redundancy. A USB reader and 16 GB card together cost about $30.

-Allen
( Last edited by SierraDragon; Jul 23, 2011 at 04:33 PM. )
     
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Jul 23, 2011, 04:35 PM
 
Also from wikipedia:

Issues which affect data longevity of nominally archival-grade discs include the following: dye failure (discs with premium organic and pthalocyanine-based long-life dyes are more suitable); bonding failure (premium bonding agents and edge-to-edge coverage improve longevity); scratches,minimised by careful handling and a scratch-resistant coating; production quality (some factories have better quality control standards, and discs from a batch known to be good may be more reliable than another batch).[4] Testing is required since conditions vary from machine to machine and from disc to disc; environmental control is required to prevent damaging conditions. When these conditions are met it is believed that the life of an archival-quality CD-R or DVD-R can be as long as 100 years, compared to the typical five to ten years for non-archival quality optical discs. The ISO 9660 standard specifies a stable room temperature of 18 - 23 °C with relative humidity of 30% to 50%.[5] Keeping multiple copies of discs is necessary for added protection. “One Master, stored under optimal conditions, one Working copy to be used for access purposes or copying, and one Safety copy to be stored at a different location.”[6] According to the Institute of Conservation the container most suitable for storage is a rigid high-quality case made from inert polyester placed vertically.
Thats where they got 100 years from then.
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Jul 23, 2011, 09:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
That I will agree with 100%. But note that the argument is simply about BD as a delivery mechanism, not for workflow or for backup.

Like vinyl and tape to CDs, the unwashed masses are flocking to streaming video even though the quality currently sucks. IMO lack of agreement on standards doomed BD, but that is irrelevant to this discussion.

P.S. Where does one buy archival-gold BD disks at 3 for $0.75?

P.P.S. Currently I am testing SD cards for temp backup redundancy. A USB reader and 16 GB card together cost about $30.

-Allen
Sorry about the quote of 75¢. I was not being clear. The cost of materials for a DVD production of 3 discs would be 75¢. For BluRay production the cost of 3 disc would be $3.

As has been stated here optical for workflow is not what I am preaching. Optical is as stated too slow for that. But as a presentation media and an archival media I don't see it going away, except for Steve Job's ideal world. If I put a video production on a DVD I can walk into most any house in America and play it. If I put that on a jump drive then I have to be specific. Media format must match there digital player. Some won't play Apple TV, or mp4 or mov or whatever extender. If you think BluRay has standards problem, start matching video to digital players. BluRay will eventually reach this type of penetration in the market. Players have reached the magic $100 price point and less where the sales are picking up. Just visit any electronics store and look at the ratio of BluRay to DVD players on the shelf.

I think it's funny that Steve Jobs says he can't make BluRay work when all of my Windows 7 friends are playing BluRay on there machines. Is Microsoft really that much smarter than Apple?

And I'll still stand by the longevity of optical media. I have audio files that I use for production that were written on a Mac 9600 in the '80s that I still use for production. I have a client that is my test-bed. She has a wedding video that I made for here almost 15 years ago. She plays it on a regular basis as a baby setting tool it has survived all of the play time plus "child abuse" and plays on. While nothing is infallible the percentages are in optical's favor. There are many production houses out there using dye-based reproduction when the cost is not justified for stamped disc and I have not hear any ground swell backlash against any of them for bad copies.

And as to to leaving optical out of laptops... I would give an option to the client for leaving them in. I have done several wedding where we have shot at one site and produced the video while driving to the reception center at another site. Our business model is for same day production and delivery and so far the default choice of wedding centers that we have visited are DVD or BluRay. I doubt that will change anytime soon.
     
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Jul 24, 2011, 02:06 AM
 
Another question regarding the new Mac mini. The monitor I would attach it to is the Aluminum 23" Cinema which comes with biult-in FireWire 400 ports. In order to be able to use those, would this Moshi adapter from Apple Store work.?

     
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Jul 24, 2011, 03:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
A hundred-year "guarantee!" Awesome!

Neither you, nor the manufacturer, nor the reading devices, nor either of your businesses will be around in recognizable form 100 years from now.

What an utterly useless marketing gimmick.

I assume you have access to the manufacturer's testing data?
I might not be around in 100 years, but i the time I am around I want to be successful. If the media out lasts me, then I don't have to worry about what happens after that. The fact that the media is digital speaks to it's longevity. If something else comes along there will be conversion utilities to move that data to the new format. I will stand by my business model because it is working for me and my clients. If and when complaints come back then I will have to deal or adjust the model. Until that time we are happy.

As for it being a utterly useless marketing gimmick? I don't really think so. I don't see Kodak trailing there ad with, "...our pictures only last half as long as our competitors." or Epson stating, "...our photo inkjet pictures will fade before you die." or the Keebler elves bragging, "...our cookies have fewer chocolate chips than our competitors." If you can confidently stand by your claim I think it's a pretty good gimmick.
     
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Jul 24, 2011, 03:47 AM
 
A guarantee just means you'll get reimbursed in case of failure.

Paying you those 25 cents in five years' won't hurt the manufacturer. It doesn't make your data safer, either.

Also Apple implements BluRay burning as part of FCS.

Licensing for playback is, according to Jobs, "a bag of hurt". They don't want to invest money and effort to make a transitional technology mainstream.
     
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Jul 24, 2011, 05:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by Brad Bradley View Post
As for it being a utterly useless marketing gimmick? I don't really think so. I don't see Kodak trailing there ad with, "...our pictures only last half as long as our competitors." or Epson stating, "...our photo inkjet pictures will fade before you die." or the Keebler elves bragging, "...our cookies have fewer chocolate chips than our competitors." If you can confidently stand by your claim I think it's a pretty good gimmick.
The point is that under normal circumstances, burnt DVDs won't even last 5, let alone 10 years. Trusting DVDs to archive business-critical files is just crazy to me.
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Jul 24, 2011, 05:58 AM
 
A, but they *can*!

And since the manufacturer is backing that with a warranty, how can I lose?
     
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Jul 24, 2011, 11:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
The point is that under normal circumstances, burnt DVDs won't even last 5, let alone 10 years. Trusting DVDs to archive business-critical files is just crazy to me.
I don't know where you are getting this from. I would be glad to post video of disc I have that have been stored on a spindle at normal room temperature that are over 10 years old and playing fine.
     
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Jul 24, 2011, 11:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
A, but they *can*!

And since the manufacturer is backing that with a warranty, how can I lose?
So let's see... If Kodak says they can do it that is the manufacturer saying they can do it and that's fine. But if Taiyo-yuden (now JVC) the manufacuturer says they can do it... umm... they are lying? What???
     
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Jul 24, 2011, 11:40 AM
 
We all have discs that old that still work but then we all have discs that fail a good deal earlier.

DVDs can fail for a number of reasons. Most common is scratching and people writing on them with the wrong pens where the ink corrodes the disc.
When they start to age, you get additional problems where the layers can being to separate. The reflective layer is the most susceptible to this as it can peel or scratch off the top of the disc. A very small hole in this layer can kill the whole disc irretrievably. Temperature and humidity makes a difference how long this process takes but it will happen sooner or later.
As has already been mentioned, it is also possible to lose some data without realising it due to corruption of individual bits.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Jul 24, 2011, 02:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
We all have discs that old that still work but then we all have discs that fail a good deal earlier.

DVDs can fail for a number of reasons. Most common is scratching and people writing on them with the wrong pens where the ink corrodes the disc.
When they start to age, you get additional problems where the layers can being to separate. The reflective layer is the most susceptible to this as it can peel or scratch off the top of the disc. A very small hole in this layer can kill the whole disc irretrievably. Temperature and humidity makes a difference how long this process takes but it will happen sooner or later.
As has already been mentioned, it is also possible to lose some data without realising it due to corruption of individual bits.
I you are using discs that are that poorly constructed you get what you get. In this day and age it is pretty hard to find a disk like that. All are lacker sealed. I can't think of anybody who leaves the dye layer open to be corrupted any more. A disk like that would make it impossible to print on for instance. And if you read my previous post. The backups are for storage only. Put them in a safety deposit box, the closet... somewhere out of harms way. Then you always have them to make another copy with. Use "water shield" discs. This protects the printing from running when somebody slops on them. All of the worries and woes people are presenting here are about old technology. Use the new stuff for heaven's sake.
     
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Jul 24, 2011, 03:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post

Licensing for playback is, according to Jobs, "a bag of hurt". They don't want to invest money and effort to make a transitional technology mainstream.
Licensing is only a "bag of hurt" to Steve Jobs business model. Let me translate "bag of hurt" to normal language. It means: BluRay interferes with my business model. I want people to pay me to get movies off my server. In fact I want people to put their one family movies on my servers and then pay me to watch their own movies. I want everybody to pay me to watch movies.

Microsoft has licensed to play BluRay. All of the companies the make BluRay players, Sony, Samsung, Hitachi, etc., are playing BluRay. Apple paid for mpeg2, why can't they give them the dollar (actually your dollar) for BluRay... Simple. It screws up me make a whole bunch of money off of you instead of a one-time charge.

This is what you would be charged for BluRay in your computer. You would pay $9.50 for a Blu-ray player. If you want a drive that will burn discs you pay $14 for a Blu-ray recorder. When you buy a BluRay disc 11¢ for a read-only is part of the cost of the disc, 12¢ for a recordable disc, and 15¢ (who knows why, given the reliability of RW's) for a rewritable disc. So would you rather have the ability to play BluRay in your computer any time you wanted to for $14 (that includes the burner) you would you rather pay a fee every time you want to watch a movie? Do the math... you'll see why Jobs doesn't like BluRay.
     
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Jul 24, 2011, 07:06 PM
 
If I tried to recommend DVDs as a professional backup for a business customer I'd be laughed at.

It seems your real problem is that you wanted Apple to add Blu-Ray to Macs but I think its pretty obvious that they would have done this by now if they were ever going to.
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Jul 24, 2011, 10:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
If I tried to recommend DVDs as a professional backup for a business customer I'd be laughed at.

It seems your real problem is that you wanted Apple to add Blu-Ray to Macs but I think its pretty obvious that they would have done this by now if they were ever going to.
Daily system backups are not for optical. That is the duty of redundant RAIDS. But there is some files that you want to retain and not cluttering your drive and that you will want to play in other places. Video, music, pictures or some sensitive data. Optical is a great choice for that.

And yes I am ticked that Apple crippled the mini. I use my current one as a media hub to demo video productions for clients and to play movies. As a videographer the shoots, produces and delivers content I can tell you that my customers are requesting BluRay more and more... and Apple can't deliver or play that content without 3rd party support. It's is a pity that as a "leader" in computing they can't provide this option. What good is the current Macmini other than a server. My next Macmini will be a Hackintosh... with USB 3.0 and BluRay. I'm afraid I'm not the only one that agrees (Dear Steve Jobs: The Mac mini Is Crap - dealmac.com). Apple sales will tell if I'm right or wrong.
     
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Jul 24, 2011, 11:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by Brad Bradley View Post
I'm afraid I'm not the only one that agrees (Dear Steve Jobs: The Mac mini Is Crap - dealmac.com). Apple sales will tell if I'm right or wrong.
Lame. The first argument especially. He'd dismiss the iMacs as viable computers as well.

FACT: 99.9% of Apple customers don't care about replacing the GPU or CPU.

-t
     
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Jul 25, 2011, 02:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by Brad Bradley View Post
Microsoft has licensed to play BluRay.
Really?

They've licensed BluRay playback HARDWARE?

Does XBox play back BluRay?
     
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Jul 25, 2011, 03:56 AM
 
Dear Steve Jobs: The Mac mini Is Crap - dealmac.com
To me, glossy displays are crap. That alone is reason enough to get the Mac mini instead of an iMac. Whether Jeff like it or not.

I am getting the Mac mini Server and the external SuperDrive; pretty much like I had bought an Imation SuperDisk with the B&W Power Mac G3, which, after copying some files from some old floppies, went straight to my legacy room storage. Several years later I bought a 2003 MDD which, unlike the Yosemite G3, didn't came with a Zip drive; same old, I bought an archos fireZIP, once I had copied the files from the zip disks, it became useless to me. So if DVDs are next, let be it so.

Also, I have an external Blu-ray burner attached to a Mac Pro I could use with the Mac mini should the need arise. I don't even have a internet connection fast enough that let's me update to Lion, but that's my problem, not Apple's. I am not going to make a drama out of it nor blame Apple for it. Never forget that only dead fish swim with the current.
     
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Jul 25, 2011, 06:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by Brad Bradley View Post
Apple sales will tell if I'm right or wrong.
You (and some journalist) against the second biggest company in the world? I know where my money is.
( Last edited by OreoCookie; Jul 25, 2011 at 07:46 AM. )
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Jul 25, 2011, 07:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by Brad Bradley View Post
I think it's funny that Steve Jobs says he can't make BluRay work when all of my Windows 7 friends are playing BluRay on there machines. Is Microsoft really that much smarter than Apple?
He didn't say that. He said that the licensing was "a bag of hurt". I'm pretty sure they have a version of OS X that supports Bluray running somewhere in in a basement in Cupertino, just in case they see the need to do it.

And no, it's not a bag of hurt to the business model, it's a bag of hurt to basic OS design. Part of the requirements for Bluray are that you have to periodically check at the OS level what software is loaded to verify that noone is recording the decoded stream. That IS a bag of hurt to any sane person trying to write an OS. It degrades performance, it introduces bugs in unrelated parts of the OS, and doesn't really work anyway. The day that the Bluray lawyers see sense and remove that requirement is the day that bag of hurt goes away.

Originally Posted by Brad Bradley View Post
And I'll still stand by the longevity of optical media. I have audio files that I use for production that were written on a Mac 9600 in the '80s that I still use for production.
The first Powermac 9600 was launched in 1997. While there was a standard for burnable discs in the late eighties, I'm not sure anyone made actual consumer burners until the early nineties. It is very hard to trust the rest of what you're saying when you write things like that.

Originally Posted by Brad Bradley View Post
I have a client that is my test-bed. She has a wedding video that I made for here almost 15 years ago. She plays it on a regular basis as a baby setting tool it has survived all of the play time plus "child abuse" and plays on. While nothing is infallible the percentages are in optical's favor. There are many production houses out there using dye-based reproduction when the cost is not justified for stamped disc and I have not hear any ground swell backlash against any of them for bad copies.
No, you wouldn't, because the defects are not such that the disc breaks completely. Some flips here and there mean decoding defects, which mean degraded quality but probably still possible to correct. Over time, the discs will be completely dead. Also, 15 years is very far from a century.

Originally Posted by Brad Bradley View Post
And as to to leaving optical out of laptops... I would give an option to the client for leaving them in. I have done several wedding where we have shot at one site and produced the video while driving to the reception center at another site. Our business model is for same day production and delivery and so far the default choice of wedding centers that we have visited are DVD or BluRay. I doubt that will change anytime soon.
You have an option for leaving them in - it's called an MBP. If you leave space for an optical inside the case, that puts a minimum thickness on the case - which hurts everyone who doesn't want one. Your reasoning here is the same as that used when Apple (or anyone, really) removed the internal modem, the floppy drive, obsolete ports etc. You can't work that way, or a cutting edge laptop would look like this.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Jul 25, 2011, 07:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Really?

They've licensed BluRay playback HARDWARE?

Does XBox play back BluRay?
No. It plays HD-DVD with an external drive. MS does not make a similar Bluray player, nor does it make a software player for Windows AFAIK.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Jul 25, 2011, 08:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by Brad Bradley View Post
Apple sales will tell if I'm right or wrong.
The MacBook Air is a big financial success for Apple, it has made the MacBook (non-Pro) obsolete. Apple could have kept it in its line-up, but sales plummeted after the release of the last MacBook Air.

Customers vote with their wallet. The last time I needed my optical drive was when I needed to install Aperture (I bought it before it became available through the App Store). I would gladly give up my optical drive in exchange for either a larger battery or less weight.

Why is an external DVD drive such a deal breaker for you?
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Jul 26, 2011, 06:17 AM
 
OWC announces RAM upgrades for new Mac minis

Up to $229 savings on 8GB upgrades.

Other World Computing (OWC) has announced that 4GB and 8GB kits of DDR3 1333MHz RAM, specifically for the new "Mid 2011" Mac minis, are now available. The RAM kits work with all speeds and chip models of the new Mac mini, and can be up to $229 less expensive than similar upgrade offers direct from the Apple online store. OWC also offers a small discount on the RAM kits when users trade-in their factory RAM modules when ordering.

The 4GB kit consists of two 2GB matched memory sticks, and sell for $38 (or $35 with original 2 x 1GB factory RAM trade-in) and represents a savings of $65 over the same option from Apple (for a 2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5). The 8GB kit offers two 4GB modules for $85 (or as low as $71 with 2 x 2GB factory RAM trade-in), a savings of $229 over factory 8GB options from Apple.

The company also offers 12GB (one 4GB module and one 8GB one) and 16GB (2 x 8GB) kits, with prices of $760 for the former and $1,420 for the latter.

The 4GB and 8GB kits, as well as a selection of RAM modules suitable for most other Mac models, are available for order now. Details on the memory trade-in program can be found here.


I think I have to reconsider getting the Mac mini with just 2 GB RAM.
     
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Aug 6, 2011, 01:36 AM
 
Barefeats tests the Mac mini 2011. CPU-wise, server model is king, GPU-wise, it's not.
     
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Aug 6, 2011, 07:56 AM
 
I notice they used a 2.7GHz MacBook Pro and claimed it was equivalent to the 2.7 Mac Mini but it isn't since the Mac Mini only has the 2.7GHz option with the 6630M GPU
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Aug 6, 2011, 10:21 AM
 
a mini with a faster dedicated gpu would really give an imac a run for its money.
     
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Aug 6, 2011, 10:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by gangster View Post
a mini with a faster dedicated gpu would really give an imac a run for its money.
No it wouldn't - the 2.5" HDD is a lot slower than the 3.5" HDD in the iMac. Add an SSD and suddenly we're talking, but and SSD is a quite pricey addition for such a cheap computer.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
 
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