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Intel Hades Canyon NUC?

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So, now that the new Mac Mini is out, where does the Hades Canyon stand in terms of performance and value? Comparing the results on Geekbench for the i7-8809G and the 6 core i7 in the Mac mini shows the single core is higher on the Hades Canyon but multicore is higher on the Mac Mini. Assuming the only option you select when configuring the Mac Mini is the i7 and that you will have secondary storage in addition to the base hard drive and will be buying your own RAM to upgrade post-purchase, these two options seem really similar in price. Plus now that the mobile vega support is being incorporated into Mojave this Hades Canyon looks like a potentially better option. Thoughts? Would anyone place any hope in the Hades Canyon or recommend the newly updated mini instead?
It all hinges on the ability to get Hades to accelerate. Nobody has had success with either the IGPU or Vega graphics being 100% enabled. If you are going to use a eGPU then a less expensive NUC or the Mac Mini is probably a better solution.
 
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So, now that the new Mac Mini is out, where does the Hades Canyon stand in terms of performance and value? Comparing the results on Geekbench for the i7-8809G and the 6 core i7 in the Mac mini shows the single core is higher on the Hades Canyon but multicore is higher on the Mac Mini. Assuming the only option you select when configuring the Mac Mini is the i7 and that you will have secondary storage in addition to the base hard drive and will be buying your own RAM to upgrade post-purchase, these two options seem really similar in price. Plus now that the mobile vega support is being incorporated into Mojave this Hades Canyon looks like a potentially better option. Thoughts? Would anyone place any hope in the Hades Canyon or recommend the newly updated mini instead?
If you don't mind disassembling the whole Mac mini – i.e. disconnecting cables, extracting power supply, fan and motherboard from the chassis – to upgrade its RAM (base 8GB), the new Apple computer has two main drawbacks:
  1. Soldered SSD (base 128GB) meaning you have to either add a permanent external USB3 SSD enclosure next to the computer (or add even more $$$ for a bigger CTO SSD) vs two M.2 slots in the Hades Canyon, a killer feature. Remember that when the SSD is outdated or corrupted, you can then simply change and upgrade it, or add another one in the 2nd slot! When the SSD of the Mac mini gets corrupted, you have to replace the whole motherboard and get the exact same old (ridiculous in the future) capacity (indeed, no upgrade possible with Apple, never) at a ridiculous price point, meaning that even with a costly AppleCare Protection Plan, in case of any little HW failure after 3 years, you can trash your beautiful Mac.
  2. GPU in the Mac mini is only an awful IGP (Intel UHD Graphics 630) vs a high end AMD Radeon RX Vega M (a hybrid of Polaris and VEGA architectures) in the Hades Canyon. A very fast GPU, almost as powerful as an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (for the 1st model) and a GTX 1060 (for the 2nd model).
As for the CPU and GPU… quick summary: the Mac mini CPU is newer and better (but not by much) ; while the Hades Canyon GPU is much, much better.

More detailed explanation: it is true that :
  • the Core i7 CPU in the high-end Mac mini is a newer Coffee Lake desktop processor : 6 cores, 3.2 GHz + turbo 4.6 GHz (so 300-400 Mz more turbo boost), 12 MB L3 cache, 2× more PCIe lanes)
  • the two i7s in the Intel Hades Canyon NUC are Kaby Lake-G mobile processors (4 cores, 3.1 GHz + turbo 4.1 or 4.2 GHz, 8 MB L3 cache).
But as you said also, in practice the high-end Mac mini i7 is only a bit faster in multithread while the high-end Hades Canyon i7 stays a bit faster for single-thread programs. The fact is that besides 3D rendering (not modeling) or video encoding from iMovie/FCP/Compressor/Handbrake/etc. (or playing recent games smoothly at high FPS), the vast majority of apps are single-threaded, period. And for the rare multithreaded pro apps out there, there's a lot of chance there is also heavy OpenCL/CUDA GP-GPU support included as well, and then, the Mac mini gets completely toasted :/ BTW, architecture differences between the two processors families are even so small that both are marketed as "8th generation" CPUs by Intel.

Talking about power consumption (and associated heat, thus fan noise, which is really too often omitted):
A side by side comparison of the three CPUs: https://ark.intel.com/compare/126686,130411,130409
The i7+Vega CPUs are actually newer in the development cycle. I find extremely interesting that Intel managed to contain the TDP of the whole package to 65W and 100W respectively, that is to say including the i7 CPU, the Vega GPU and the HBM2 memory! The additional power consumption of 35W on the high-end i7 model does not come from the +100 MHz turbo boost (both CPUs are exactly the same actually), but the better GPU: faster Radeon RX Vega M GH over the Radeon RX Vega M GL (24 vs 20 compute units; 1063 vs 931 MHz base frequency; 1190 vs 1011 MHz turbo, 204.8 vs 179.2 GB/s memory bandwidth). So about the two NUCs: you pay a hundred bucks more for the second more powerful GPU and a bit more heat to dissipate, everything else is the same.

Obviously, you already know that the Intel NUC is a barebone, i.e. it is sold without any RAM module nor SSD… meaning you can put the model you want in it.

Therefore, IMHO, if the GPU driver issue is finally resolved with the upcoming introduction of the Vega-based MacBook Pro 15" next month, the Intel Hades Canyon NUC wins all the way. Without HW acceleration however, it is pointless as a high-end Hackintosh.

Yes, the Intel NUC is ugly as hell. But it is so small you can always stick it in under your desk…
 
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Have they confirmed the exact CPU/Vega spec for the updated Macbook Pro yet ?
Vega 12 and Vega 20 but believed to be dedicated graphics card and not the intel G models. The 10000controllerkext has a Vega 12 section in info.plist bit no V20 yet.
 
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So the standard AMD Radeon Pro 560X in the MacBook Pro 15" is based on the mobile Polaris 21 chip.

The two new CTO GPUs in this laptop, as of November 2018, are:
  • AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16
  • AMD Radeon Pro Vega 20
What are the differences between AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL or GH (Intel Hades Canyon NUC) and AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16 or 20 (Apple MacBook Pro 15" Late 2018)? Can we expect the same driver? I fear not.
 
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So the standard AMD Radeon Pro 560X in the MacBook Pro 15" is based on the mobile Polaris 21 chip.

The two new CTO GPUs in this laptop, as of November 2018, are:
  • AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16
  • AMD Radeon Pro Vega 20
What are the differences between AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL or GH (Intel Hades Canyon NUC) and AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16 or 20 (Apple MacBook Pro 15" Late 2018)? Can we expect the same driver? I fear not.
Another question is the new Vega 12 in the AMD10000controllerkext info.plist?
 
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Hey @Gigamaxx, I have a Hades Canyon HVK with Mojave installed. I can test it. Please tell me the instructions.
 
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