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A little historical perspective on that...
Don't forget that these were more about the [solder] "bumps" of the GPU design (with nVidia) to the logic board and thermally separating. (Reflowing of the solder bumps would generally fix the issue... noted with replacement logicboards with visual signs of heat/reflow).

And with AMD Radeon cards in Mac Pros, it also was the GPU issue. Even further back, there were capacitor issues on the GPU cards on a number of logic boards, power supplies, and even in CRTs... oh, and even in satellites!
 


Also note that modern computers (Macs and PCs alike) implement thermal throttling. A chip is not going to run so hot that it burns up and fails. Before it gets to that point, internal sensors will force it to slow down. In other words, a thermal problem will manifest as a performance problem, not as a system completely dying.
Perhaps not initially. But you have to wonder about the longevity of a device constantly bumping up against the thermal limits, much as Ric points out in regards to previous generations of MacBook Pros. And when you are purchasing pallets full of these for your employees, it is not something you want to see.
 


In my case, there's no question but that Photoshop is faster under the “slow GPU, fast CPU” Mac Mini than under the “slow CPU, fast GPU” Mac Pro (even with the six-core Xeon update).
Photoshop, as sophisticated and powerful as it purports to be, is not very well multi-threaded, nor does it take much advantage of the GPU. It's very dependent on workflow and the specific commands and filters that are put to use. Sharpen may only be single-threaded, while pointillize may be multi-threaded, and emboss could be GPU-accelerated. Rasterizing vector PDFs may be single-threaded, but converting color spaces multi-threaded, etc., etc., etc. Yes, I'm making this all up, but that's the spirit of the situation.

It does seem that, for the most part, Photoshop is CPU-bound, and for larger images memory-bound. Maybe Adobe would innovate more if they actually had to sell people on upgrading their software, but under a subscription model they have little incentive to take advantage of new processing abilities and performance optimizations.
 


I don't think you should be scared of the Mac Mini having inherent thermal problems. While I was testing the high-end version, it worked just fine and handled the heat without a problem and very quietly. That said, if you get one with defective thermal paste, like SnazzyLabs did, that's a different story - a quality problem, rather than a design problem. And if you're going to be transcoding video all day every day, then, no, it's probably not a good option. But for regular work, it should be very nice.

Regarding the use of multiple cores, this is growing every day and already in widespread use, including macOS/Finder and other Apple software. My experience with the 6-core i7 Mini was very good, better than with my 4-core i7 systems - more "fluid", and I'm actually missing that a bit.

Activity Monitor works well to display both CPU/core usage and GPU usage (in Mojave). Graphics software (e.g. digital photo editors) should make full use of a real GPU - as it did with the eGPU I set up. Text editors? Probably not. Video? Certainly.

I didn't see any impact on Mac Mini temps from accessories/peripherals, including external high-speed SSDs or the eGPU or Thunderbolt Target Disk Mode.
My experience mirrors yours. (I had been using smcFanControl.app, but a recent Apple change messed up the menu bar display, so I switched to Macs Fan Control.)
 


I was (and still am, somewhat) interested in the 2018 Mini, not for myself, but for my son-in-law, who was freelancing as a pro photographer and videographer before recently accepting a position using a different part of his skillset. He's currently using the quad-core i7 15" MacBook Pro with discrete graphics I gave him after quickly finding I really didn't enjoy editing raw images, and the camera's JPEG output was usually better than my laborious edits. The 2018 Mini would be a significant upgrade from that now-aging (but still very capable) MacBook Pro. But not so much if the Mini is hobbled by continuous throttling and requires an external eGPU to help Final Cut.

The i5 or i7 Mini, 32 GB RAM, 1TB SSD, and an eGPU is really expensive. The advantage the Mini has over the iMac line is the possibility of external cooling and of changing/upgrading displays

Earlier, I also mentioned finding one FLIR image of an i3 Mini being benchmarked. I should have posted the link in this thread, but as my attempts to read the Italian site depended more on Google Translate than my Romance languages, I just referenced it. Here's the link:
apple.hdblog.it said:
Recensione Apple Mac mini 2018: un elogio al silenzio
(Per Google Translate:) The processor and the video card can turn at their maximum frequency in Quad Core for as long as necessary (I did a 60-minute stress test) without bending or collapsing. The temperature on the CPU does not exceed 90 ° C and the management of the TDP is constant and linear

(In text overlaid on the FLIR image of the Mini under load)
  • Media 33,6 °C
  • Max. 35.7 °C
  • Min. 32.8 °C
At 90 °C the Mini is reporting 194 °F. Max case temperature in the FLIR image is 95.25°F.
So, here's the question: Is a computer's CPU that's spending a lot of time at or near 194°F at greater risk of failure than one running a lot cooler?

I ran the same two YouTube videos simultaneously that raised temps on the mid-2010 Mini to 68.3°C in Ubuntu on My Hades Canyon NUC. One of four cores briefly spiked to (should have written it down) about 70°C as I started the videos running in the two browsers, but the NUC settled down at about 45°C until I grew tired of waiting for changes.

Apple's cooling designs haven't been so great. The recent i9 MacBook Pro kerfuffle was "fixed" by firmware that should have been in the system as it passed through QA. Yet:
BlueSauger said:
Comparing the 2.6GHz i7 versus the 2.9GHz i7 Vega 20 MacBook Pro
As a result, when the i9 chip is placed in a thin and light notebook like the 2018 MacBook Pro, the thermal limitations inhibit the chip's ability to turbo boost and maintain anything close to the maximum speed that the chip allows, and it ends up performing at very similar speeds to the less expensive i7.
The BlueSauger review above references not just benchmarks, but Lightroom and Final Cut Pro X.

Stepping back in time:
512 Pixels said:
The 2013 Mac Pro, Five Years Later
The internals were built around what Schiller called a “unified thermal core.” It was all cooled by one large fan at the top. By being so large, Apple could spin it more slowly than the smaller fans found in other Macs, helping keep the machine quiet, even under load.

Anand Lal Shimpi wrote more about how that was possible:
The Mac Pro’s thermal core makes a lot of sense from an area efficiency standpoint as the chances that you have all three processors in the system (Xeon CPU + dual AMD FirePro GPUs) running at max speed at the same time is highly unlikely. By having all three players share one large heatsink Apple can optimize for the most likely usage scenarios where at most one processor is running at close to max TDP.
Unfortunately, that thermal balance is what would ultimately do this design in
Apple could do better cooling designs. Minis used to offer at least laptop versions of discrete GPUs. Hackintoshers regularly assemble very powerful computers using readily available cases and components. That the Mini with its Intel quad and hexacore CPUs is so attractive when compared to Apple's other more full-featured, but not as up-to-date, desktops is frustrating. I've seen B&H offering the new Mini for $100 off - not a huge discount on a computer that can be optioned up to $4,200 but a hopeful sign, if it's a message Apple takes as seriously as declining iPhone sales.
 


Do you have benchmarks (e.g. Geekbench "Compute") results to compare the two GPUs? With the rapid improvements in integrated GPUs in recent years, the Mac Mini's isn't slow by old standards.

And what Photoshop operations are you talking about, exactly, that are faster on the Mac Mini vs. the Mac Pro?

Also, I can't remember if you're running Mojave, but if you are, can you check GPU (and CPU core) usage in Activity Monitor?
1) Around 22,000 for Compute on the Mini, around 80,000 on the Mac Pro 5,1 with an updated graphics card.

2) Most loading and general manipulation of high-res files. I will admit that is not the best comparison case; in real life I do use filters but not as much as simple color, brightness, contrast, and cropping tools. Those do seem to be CPU-bound. Also, {cough} I am not using a subscription version, so it is o.l.d. and probably not a good comparison for people using Creative Cloud.

3) Mojave, and I can check GPU and CPU core usage. GPU does get maximized on the Mini but probably, for slower-bus reasons, rarely got maximized on the Pro. I found even in video conversion that the Pro tended to end up with around 1/3 GPU use. Geekbench tests don't seem as strenuous as the graphics tests from... that other program...

I probably should have just gotten an NVMe adapter for the Mac Pro and taken another year with it in case the Mac Pro came out at a price under $4,000, but do we really expect that to happen?
 


And with AMD Radeon cards in Mac Pros, it also was the GPU issue. Even further back, there were capacitor issues on the GPU cards on a number of logic boards, power supplies, and even in CRTs... oh, and even in satellites!
At the risk of going off topic, I had an electrolytic capacitor in a Sony Trinitron CRT fail about 20 years ago - notable for the smell, smoke and noise (BANG!).
 


I, too, am interested in the 2018 Mini, but have questions about its ability to run 100% over an extended period of time without throttling.

The intended use is building models using R and R Studio. I have one project that took over 20 hours to run on my MacBook Pro, so I need a faster machine. Ideally, I want something that can run headless, so I don't want an iMac Pro, with its additional expense, heat, non-upgradability, and screen with text-too-small-to-read at native resolution problems.

Another option: a used Mac Pro, but even used ones with lots of cores are still expensive (and clocked slow). I am definitely not interested in paying Apple 2019 prices for a [current] one with its 5+ year old design.

I should probably look into building a dual-Xeon box and running Linux.

Incidentally, I have stumbled across an issue with my 2011 MacBook Pro 17" (2.5 GHz, 16 GB RAM, 1TB Samsung 850 Pro SSD), which to some extent has prompted my search. This has been my main machine for years. I've since offloaded my more intensive modeling tasks to a newer 2015 MacBook Pro 15" (2.8 GHz, 16 GB RAM, 1TB Apple SSD).

The single core vs. multi-core performance on the 2011 machine is odd. I have one model that takes roughly 20 minutes to build when using 1 core, compared to about 13 minutes using 4 cores (only about a 35% improvement). The same task improves from about 11 minutes to 4 minutes on the 2015 machine (almost 3x faster).

Geekbench 4 on the 2011 reports benchmarks about what they should be (single core: low 3000, multicore about 10000). The 2015 benchmarks are single core: low 4000, multicore about 14000). So, according to the benchmarks, the 2015 is only marginally faster than the 2011. My models run about 3x faster on the 2015 though. It makes me wonder if there is a problem with the 2011, although I do have a bunch of apps open (but idle) all of the time.
 


Apple could design a cooling system for the 2018 Mini which allows all six i7 or i5 cores to run at their full Turbo speeds at, say, 80°C. That's a simple engineering task, but of course that would result in a much larger case to house the much larger cooling unit. Apple is under no obligation to do that, much like Dell is under no obligation to do the same in their tiny Optiplex 7060 USFF units. The 7060 USFF is also very small with a 6-core chip, which gets hot if you run all cores at 100%.

Apple and Dell need to provide a cooling solution for the rated wattage of the chip (usually 35-65W in these small cases), which both have done. This ensures the chips run at their rated non-turbo speeds ad infinitum and can run above those speeds for shorter periods of time - sometimes well above those speeds and close to the turbo max for very lengthy periods, depending on the cooling and ambient temperature. This design spec has not changed in the past decade of Intel chips with a Turbo option.

An example: my 2012 2.6GHz Quad i7 Mini has an all-core turbo of 3.4 GHz but in a 72°F room can only manage about 3.2 GHz running a 20-hour Handbrake 1080p h.265 encode at 795% (4 cores + 4 hyperthreads). In a cooler 68°F room, it will run this job at the full 3.4GHz turbo. In a hotter 90°F room, it will run this job at about 2.8 GHz.

Apple only needed this to run at 2.6GHz in a reasonably cool room, so this is certainly a good enough cooling system. As for heat, the tjunction for this chip is rated at 105°C max, and all these jobs run the CPU at 102-104°C - yes, very hot but within spec. One way to keep this chip cooler is to run it at its rated non-turbo speed of 2.6 GHz using TurboBoostSwitcher and also use MacsFanControl to set the fans to run about 4200 RPM. This keeps the chip at ~82°C in a 75°F room (sorry for mixing units) on the same job.

The same will work for the 2018 Mini. But nobody should be running 20+ hour, 100% CPU, max Turbo jobs on a laptop CPU or tiny chassis and expect excellent thermals along with the tiny size. For instance, I now do those Handbrake jobs on a PC with a 6-core i5-8400 with an overkill cooler, which runs at ~53°C all cores max turbo (3.8 GHz on this machine). But, this actually uses more than the 65W that the i5-8400 is rated for (this job tops out at 72W) and will thus throttle back to ~3.6 GHz to reach 65W. I changed the allowed wattage to 75W in BIOS (plus other tweaks to reduce wattage) to enable the full 3.8GHz, but this is important to note because Intel seems to have thrown out their book on how the rated wattage in chips is handled in many PC motherboards, and also in Macs. Long story short:

6-core laptop chips are rated at 45W but will actually draw over 80W for short time periods and above 55W for sustained ones in most motherboards.

8-core desktop chips are rated at 95W but will actually draw over 200W for short time periods and above 140W for sustained ones in most motherboards.

There are examples with many other Intel CPUs at all rated vs actual wattages, but this is the reason we are seeing these high thermals. This is a recent design choice by Intel to allow their chips to perform at higher levels, at the expense of thermals. Motherboard makers can force adherence to the CPU's rated wattage, but many do not, in order to unlock more performance. My PC mentioned above does enforce this, but I overrode it as my cooler and motherboard can easily handle the extra <10W of my modest CPU.

However, the current MacBook Pros and Mac Minis definitely allow the Intel CPUs to run at the max performance allowed by the cooling system, including running above their rated wattage. This is a recent change, as I've tested a number of 2018 15" MacBook Pros which use 55-65W sustained, even though the chips are rated for 45W (13" models use over 40W despite being rated 28W).

This is a definite change as my 2014 MacBook Pro and the aforementioned 2012 Mini both run right at their max rated 47W and 45W, respectively, in sustained tests. Apple could choose to enforce the rated wattages with a firmware update but then would be giving away performance to similar models that don't enforce this.

In my opinion, the takeaway here is that recent Intel design changes have enabled significantly higher maximum clock speeds when in Turbo mode and also allow more power usage than the CPU is rated for. While you will see those benefits in shorter-term jobs, you will not see nearly as much with longer jobs in the typical smaller chassis computers, which are in vogue nowadays. Performance running at stock non-turbo speeds is unaffected by this and continues to work as advertised.
 


Apple could design a cooling system for the 2018 Mini which allows all six i7 or i5 cores to run at their full Turbo speeds at, say, 80°C. That's a simple engineering task, but of course that would result in a much larger case to house the much larger cooling unit. Apple is under no obligation to do that . . .
The Mini is 7.7 x 7.7 x 1.4"
Tom's Hardware said:
Compulab Releases Airtop2 Fanless Mini-PC With i7-7700 And GTX 1060
Compulab released the Airtop2 mini-PC. Configurable with an i7-7700, GTX 1060, four hard drives, and two PCI-e SSDs, it exceeds expectations for a fanless computer. The apparently custom design is how Compulab managed to make the Airtop2 so small--it measures just 12 x 10 x 4 (inches H x D x W)

The highest-end, or at least the most heat-producing, configuration for the Airtop2 would have Xeon E3-1275 v6 (73W TDP vs the i7-7700’s 65W TDP), four 16GB DIMMs for memory, four 2.5” drives, two NVMe SSDs, and a GTX 1060 (120W TDP vs the GTX 1050’s 75W TDP)
The fanless Airtop2 is larger than the Mini, but since it is tall instead of flat, would take up less desk space (though the Mini can be set on its side, stand advised).

Apple could have designed the Mini and the recent high-end laptops to perform better under thermal load. Apple could sell a version of the the Mini in its current size, which we're told was kept so it could be fitted into those racks Apple wasn't much mentioning until "exact same dimensions" became a marketing feature. (Aside of interest: Do an image search on Mac Pro Colo to see how massed numbers of "Trash Cans" and "Cheesegraters" are set up in data centers.)

Apple could also sell a Mini Plus that's more heat-tolerant, easily upgraded by users, and has slots not just for more RAM, but industry-standard NVMe SSDs and an internal graphics card. Would the Airtop2's 12 x 10 x 4 dimensions limit sales?
 



Or, even more economically, purchase a refurbished system. I’ve used HP Elite 8x00 desktops with good success - multiple SATA ports and space for at least two drives in a small form factor (SFF) case. I’ve seen an 8200 or 8300 around $100 from NewEgg. I purchased a refurbished 8000 that I then ran for almost 8 years until, presumably, the power supply died. Not too bad for ~$100 machine.
Yeah, I'm typing this on my HP 8300 SFF (i5 3570, 20 GB RAM, 2x 500GB SSD, dual monitor w/Nvidia GT 710 2GB) system I've cobbled together over the last 2+ years. I'm guessing I've spent somewhere between $500 and $1000 altogether. I installed Mojave when I got it, and have since updated to Sierra and High Sierra (and will upgrade to Mojave eventually). TonyMacX86 has some excellent tutorials.

A few notes: The 6300/8300 series was the first to have USB 3, which is nice. The SFF is not in any way small in the way the Mac Mini is (about 4" x 13" x 15"). Even the USFF form factor is much larger.
 


I, too, am interested in the 2018 Mini, but have questions about its ability to run 100% over an extended period of time without throttling. The intended use is building models using R and R Studio. I have one project that took over 20 hours to run on my MacBook Pro, so I need a faster machine. Ideally, I want something that can run headless, so I don't want an iMac Pro, with its additional expense, heat, non-upgradability, and screen with text-too-small-to-read at native resolution problems.
...
The single core vs. multi-core performance on the 2011 machine is odd. I have one model that takes roughly 20 minutes to build when using 1 core, compared to about 13 minutes using 4 cores (only about a 35% improvement). The same task improves from about 11 minutes to 4 minutes on the 2015 machine (almost 3x faster).

Geekbench 4 on the 2011 reports benchmarks about what they should be (single core: low 3000, multicore about 10000). The 2015 benchmarks are single core: low 4000, multicore about 14000). So, according to the benchmarks, the 2015 is only marginally faster than the 2011. My models run about 3x faster on the 2015 though. It makes me wonder if there is a problem with the 2011, although I do have a bunch of apps open (but idle) all of the time.
Based on some extended testing I've done, the cooling system works fine over time - and I've gotten faster results once the fan has gotten ramped up to speed than it was cool (because as you start to run something cool, it heats up, but it takes a while for the fan to ramp up, so the performance temporarily drops until the fan is running fast).

As for the 2011 vs. 2015 MacBook Pros, the 2015 also has much faster storage than even a SATA SSD, which can make a big difference on tasks involving read/writing to files - this could make up some of the differences between the 40% faster CPU and the observed overall 3x faster result.
 


Based on some extended testing I've done, the cooling system works fine over time - and I've gotten faster results once the fan has gotten ramped up to speed than it was cool (because as you start to run something cool, it heats up, but it takes a while for the fan to ramp up, so the performance temporarily drops until the fan is running fast). As for the 2011 vs. 2015 MacBook Pros, the 2015 also has much faster storage than even a SATA SSD, which can make a big difference on tasks involving read/writing to files - this could make up some of the differences between the 40% faster CPU and the observed overall 3x faster result.
My modeling tasks are CPU bound - almost no disk activity at all. My suspicion is that the 2011 MacBook Pro is being throttled due to heat - it gets much hotter than the 2015 MacBook Pro.

I'm leaning toward building a dual-Xeon Linux box. I've seen 8-core, Sandybridge-era Xeons selling for < $200 each. My concern there is being stuck with old Thunderbolt 1 ports (or possibly none), depending on the motherboard. A compatible motherboard may have significant problems interacting with newer devices.
 


So after reading enough good things about the 2018 Mini I upgraded my 2012 Mini (which I bought right after the disappointing 2014 models came out), even sprang for the pricey 1 TB to get the full SSD speed advantage. A few things I did not expect were:
  1. no more start-up chime
  2. no more pulsating sleep indicator light
  3. very slow wake up from sleep (like 16 seconds!)
  4. slow boot (26 sec. after the apple appears)
  5. macOS cannot change brightness and volume on the Thunderbolt 3-connected LG 34WK95U-W
Re 1. Apparently the start-up chime has been killed a couple years ago. I missed that.

Re 2. Why? I really prefer to see if the computer is sleeping or just the screen.
This was such a nice touch. I wonder if Steve would have let go of it...

Re 3. I found many people with the issue but none of the common cures helped (NVRAM,
SMC). Same 16 sec. even during Safe Boot session with wired keyboard and mouse.
What else to try short of a clean re-install? (I did use Migration Assistant)
What wake up times do others see? My 2012 Mini took 1.6 seconds, 1/10!

Re 4. I don't reboot often, so I do not care much, but my son's 2015 15" MacBook Pro cold-boots in 6 sec. with an SSD that is maybe 1/5 the speed of the Mini's.

Re 5. Have not spent much time looking into this, but I assumed Apple's preferred monitor
brand would be better integrated (contradicted by the 2018 MacBook Pro incompatibilities).
 


So after reading enough good things about the 2018 Mini I upgraded my 2012 Mini (which I bought right after the disappointing 2014 models came out), even sprang for the pricey 1 TB to get the full SSD speed advantage. A few things I did not expect were:
  1. no more start-up chime
  2. no more pulsating sleep indicator light
  3. very slow wake up from sleep (like 16 seconds!)
  4. slow boot (26 sec. after the apple appears)
  5. macOS cannot change brightness and volume on the Thunderbolt 3-connected LG 34WK95U-W
Re 1. Not a fan of that myself either, but it's just the way it is now.

Re 2. This bothers me a lot more. It's akin to more recent iOS systems where the screen goes black (but not off) after you "slide to power off." You can't actually tell when the phone's or iPad's shutdown has completed and the unit has actually powered off, unless you're in a very dark room and scan see when the backlight finally goes out. There used to be a spinning icon or at least the screen didn't go dark so you could see when it actually blinked off. Similarly, there's been a few times when my iMac Pro has crashed when asleep but it was still running. The only way I could tell though was by looking at my UPS' wattage reading since the screen wouldn't light up. The lack of any power indicator light is just mindless simplification.

Re 3. I haven't had any other issues with wake from sleep, so I can't comment. It's been pretty fast for me.

Re 4. Booting is another story. My iMac Pro boots slower than my 2008 Mac Pro running El Capitan. From everything I've read, I think it's a combination of Sierra/High Sierra (haven't upgraded to Mojave yet), some T2-related authentication, and probably additional drive encryption and checks that are increasing boot times. I haven't seen the "pauses" many people mention, which are probably encryption-related, but the progress bar still doesn't move fast. I think in my case it's Sierra/High Sierra that is the main culprit.
 


So after reading enough good things about the 2018 Mini I upgraded my 2012 Mini (which I bought right after the disappointing 2014 models came out), even sprang for the pricey 1 TB to get the full SSD speed advantage. A few things I did not expect were:
  1. no more start-up chime
  2. no more pulsating sleep indicator light
  3. very slow wake up from sleep (like 16 seconds!)
  4. slow boot (26 sec. after the apple appears)
  5. macOS cannot change brightness and volume on the Thunderbolt 3-connected LG 34WK95U-W
#5. As far as I can tell, LG has issues with the graphics card used in the Mini. I've posted on the LG support site, as others have. So far there is no word on that. I can change brightness and volume via OnScreen Control, which does not recognize the monitor for the purpose of software updates. The LG Screen Manager does not recognize the monitor at all. I also have to remember, before shutting down, to set my old Sceptre as the primary monitor so it will work when I start the computer again - that's how bad the LG monitor I have is (32UD59-B, and I should not have the model number of my monitor memorized!, but LG's support site is pretty bad.)

#1 and #2 - The cheapness of New Apple knows no bounds, and it's incredibly frustrating.

#3 - Mine starts in around ten seconds, not sure what's going on there.

#4 - There is a definite pause when the progress indicator is nearly finished. I think 26 seconds sounds about right. I recall that on MacInTouch some talked about Little Snitch being the culprit, but I haven't tried a safe boot.
 



I have two Dell UltraSharps. The older one could not handle the signal on the USB-C to DVI adapter, so I switched to HDMI to DVI. That monitor starts up almost instantly. The other sees the delay.
FWIW, I've tried HDMI (both direct and through an adapter from Thunderbolt 3) and DisplayPort, using the company's own cables. So far, the only solution is defaulting to my old Sceptre... which is OK as long as I always remember to set it as the primary when I shut down. Still, not really satisfactory. I tried to bring support in, but they only have one option (return the monitor) and their form doesn't work.
 


So after reading enough good things about the 2018 Mini I upgraded my 2012 Mini (which I bought right after the disappointing 2014 models came out), even sprang for the pricey 1 TB to get the full SSD speed advantage. A few things I did not expect were:
...
2. no more pulsating sleep indicator light
3. very slow wake up from sleep (like 16 seconds!)
...
Re 2. Why? I really prefer to see if the computer is sleeping or just the screen.
This was such a nice touch. I wonder if Steve would have let go of it...

Re 3. I found many people with the issue but none of the common cures helped (NVRAM,
SMC). Same 16 sec. even during Safe Boot session with wired keyboard and mouse.
What else to try short of a clean re-install? (I did use Migration Assistant)
What wake up times do others see? My 2012 Mini took 1.6 seconds, 1/10! ...
Re 2: I also miss the sleep/wake light. Now, the only way to tell display sleep vs. true sleep (without waking it up) is to touch the top and see if it is warm or cold.

Re 3: I also see very long wake times. This is a user account migrated from a Mac that had many OS updates over the years, and the wake times are easily 15-30 seconds. I was used to a few seconds at the most prior to this machine and install. A cursory search on Apple Discussions site didn’t produce anything useful.
 


2. no more pulsating sleep indicator light
I also purchased a 2018 Mini and greatly miss the pulsating sleep light indicator. The 2018 Mini replaces a 2009 Mini, serving as a media-centre PC. The pulsating indicator was of great utility over many years and assisted me in diagnosing various sleep problems (Mini not sleeping or Mini not waking on schedule).

However, the current sleep light is even stupider than most people realise - let me explain. After initially being puzzled by the lack of a pulsating light after putting the Mini to sleep, I found out that the light always stays on, whether the Mini is sleeping or awake. Sure enough, 12 hours after putting the Mini to sleep, the light was still on. OK, fine.

However, one day I was walking past the Mini and I noticed that the light was off. This would be around 18 hours after it was last put to sleep. What had happened? Did I experience a power failure? According to Apple, the only reason this light would be off was if the Mini was powered off:
Apple said:
Mac mini Essentials
A steady white light indicates that your Mac mini is awake or in sleep; no light indicates that your Mac mini is switched off.
I tentatively switched on the TV, clicked the mouse and... the Mini woke from sleep.

So, there are apparently two sleep modes - indicator light on and indicator light off. Is anything different between these sleep modes, apart from the indicator light turning off? Who knows? Apple doesn't even document this.

Before Apple removed the pulsating indicator light, there was a user interface where I could tell at a glance if my Mini was off, on or sleeping. Now we have this ludicrous situation:

If your indicator light is off:
- your Mini is powered off; or
- your Mini is powered on but sleeping (don't yank that power cord - data loss may ensue!)

If your indicator light is on:
- your Mini is powered on but sleeping; or
- your Mini is powered on and awake

Thanks, Apple. Real useful.
 


I have a ViewSonic 23" monitor (it has a light at the bottom that is blue on, orange when off). Startup depends on whether the Mac Mini was off or restarted. Restart takes about 20-25 seconds. Start from off takes much longer, because the Mini is doing a full checkup, around 45 seconds. Sleeping has been recently an issue because I lose my wireless connection. Since I am replacing my current 2010 Mini with the refurbished 2014 Mini, things may change. I will also be up from Sierra to High Sierra. I will post anything that I find that factors into this discussion.
 


... However, one day I was walking past the Mini and I noticed that the light was off. This would be around 18 hours after it was last put to sleep. What had happened? Did I experience a power failure? According to Apple, the only reason this light would be off was if the Mini was powered off:
I tentatively switched on the TV, clicked the mouse and... the Mini woke from sleep.
So, there are apparently two sleep modes - indicator light on and indicator light off. Is anything different between these sleep modes, apart from the indicator light turning off? Who knows? Apple doesn't even document this.
It sounds like you may have experienced safe sleep mode. All Macs released after 2012 (except for the MacBook, which gains the feature in 2015) support Safe Sleep. This flushes the contents of memory to storage (similar to Windows' "hibernate" mode.) The idea is that if power is lost or if the battery runs out while the computer is asleep, no data will be lost. Instead, the system will restore its memory from the file when it wakes up/powers on.

According to the article, even if there is no power loss, Macs running OS X 10.8.2 Supplemental Update 2 or later will also enter safe sleep mode after four hours of being idle. This may be what happened in your case.

Did you recall seeing a progress bar on the TV when the Mini was waking up? If so, that was it recovering memory from the file, so it was actually powered off, but the full system state was stored and used to recover that state when powered-on.

The interesting question (to me, at least) is how this worked without you pressing the power button on the Mac. Maybe the Mac is able to wake from safe sleep with a click of the mouse. Or maybe turning your TV on sent a power-on/wake-up command to the Mac via HDMI's CEC channel.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
It sounds like you may have experienced safe sleep mode. All Macs released after 2012 (except for the MacBook, which gains the feature in 2015) support Safe Sleep. This flushes the contents of memory to storage (similar to Windows' "hibernate" mode.) The idea is that if power is lost or if the battery runs out while the computer is asleep, no data will be lost. Instead, the system will restore its memory from the file when it wakes up/powers on.
As an SSD optimization, I have disabled Sleep Image using Disk Sensei's Tools options, not so much to save space on the SSD but to reduce wear and wake time:
Disk Sensei said:
Sleep Image [Default On]
During deep sleep (hibernation) ,your Mac stores the RAM data onto an image file on disk. By disabling this feature, you will prevent your Mac from being able to go into deep sleep mode, but at the same time free several gigabytes of disk space.
 


It sounds like you may have experienced safe sleep mode. All Macs released after 2012 (except for the MacBook, which gains the feature in 2015) support Safe Sleep.
Thanks for the reply. It's possible that it was safe sleep mode, but I don't think so. I'm certain that the "sleep with light off" mode starts around 18 hours from when I put the Mini to sleep, so not 4 hours as with safe sleep. I checked again today, and the Mini woke from sleep about 5 seconds after pressing a key on the Bluetooth keyboard. I had the TV on prior to waking the Mini and didn't notice any progress bar. Also, my TV is too old to send CEC commands.

To investigate further, I checked the logs. Here are excerpts of the relevant parts:

I manually put the Mini to sleep just after 10 PM last night:
22:08:45.869624 +0800 powerd [System: DeclUser SRPrevSleep IntPrevDisp kCPU kDisp]
22:08:45.897331 +0800 powerd Entering Sleep state due to 'Software Sleep pid=97':TCPKeepAlive=inactive
The next entry in the log is at 4:21 PM the following day, so just over 18 hours from when I put it to sleep. I wasn't sitting in front of the Mini watching it, but I'm confident this is when the Mini switches from "sleep with indicator light on" to "sleep with indicator light off":
16:21:08.288292 +0800 powerd Next immediate inactivity window start:'2019-01-19 16:15:00 +0800' end:'2019-01-19 18:45:00 +0800'
16:21:08.289058 +0800 powerd [System: PrevIdle DeclUser BGTask SRPrevSleep IntPrevDisp kCPU kDisp]
16:21:08.317403 +0800 powerd [System: PrevIdle DeclUser BGTask IntPrevDisp kDisp]
16:21:08.951242 +0800 powerd DarkWake from Normal Sleep [CDN] due to EC.SleepTimer/SleepTimer:
16:21:08.951331 +0800 powerd hibmode=3 standbydelay=86400
16:21:08.951371 +0800 powerd WakeTime: 1.765 sec
16:21:08.952192 +0800 powerd [System: PrevIdle DeclUser BGTask SRPrevSleep IntPrevDisp kCPU kDisp]
16:21:18.744745 +0800 powerd [System: DeclUser BGTask SRPrevSleep IntPrevDisp kCPU kDisp]
16:21:19.537724 +0800 powerd [System: DeclUser BGTask SRPrevSleep IntPrevDisp kCPU kDisp]
16:21:50.092193 +0800 powerd [System: DeclUser SRPrevSleep IntPrevDisp kCPU kDisp]
16:21:50.123776 +0800 powerd Entering Sleep state due to 'Maintenance Sleep':TCPKeepAlive=inactive
Finally, this is when I manually woke my Mini from sleep (the indicator light was off) by pressing a key on the Bluetooth keyboard:
16:39:22.505952 +0800 powerd [System: DeclUser BGTask SRPrevSleep IntPrevDisp kCPU kDisp]
16:39:22.524830 +0800 powerd Kernel Idle sleep preventers: IODisplayWrangler
16:39:22.526073 +0800 powerd Display is turned on
16:39:23.444027 +0800 powerd Wake from Standby [CDNVA] due to EC.Bluetooth/UserActivity Assertion:
16:39:23.444150 +0800 powerd hibmode=3 standbydelay=86400
16:39:23.444229 +0800 powerd WakeTime: 4.688 sec
If anyone can make sense of whats going on, I would be most appreciative. Are these log entries indicative of "Safe Sleep"? What exactly is happening after 18 hours when the Mini (indicator light on) "wakes" and then goes back to sleep 42 second later (this time with the indicator light off)?

Note that "Power nap" is Off, and "Wake for network access" is Off.
 


I manually put the Mini to sleep just after 10 PM last night. ... The next entry in the log is at 4:21 PM the following day, so just over 18 hours from when I put it to sleep. I wasn't sitting in front of the Mini watching it, but I'm confident this is when the Mini switches from "sleep with indicator light on" to "sleep with indicator light off" ... Finally, this is when I manually woke my Mini from sleep (the indicator light was off) by pressing a key on the Bluetooth keyboard:
Very interesting. From the logs, it appears that at 16:21, it actually woke up, but with the display turned off. Note the "DarkWake from Normal Sleep due to EC.SleepTimer/SleepTimer". There was some internal system timer that woke it up at that point. Unfortunately, the logs don't say what it was doing at that point, because the remaining messages are all from the power daemon.

It finally returns to sleep due to "Maintenance Sleep" (vs. "Software Sleep", when you did it manually). It would be interesting to see what else ran during the 42 seconds it was awake. Probably some miscellaneous background/housekeeping task, but I am curious.

Then when you manually wake it up at 16:39, it's saying "Wake from Standby" instead of "Wake from Normal Sleep", which means it hasn't completely gone to sleep, despite the log message at 16:21:50.

I suspect this is normal housekeeping but with a bug that is turning the light off when it shouldn't. You might want to file a bug report with Apple. Include these logs (maybe attach the complete log file) to help them understand what you're describing. I'm guessing that their fix will be to make sure "Maintenance Sleep" doesn't turn the light off.

Googling for "Maintenance Sleep" reveals people with a variety of sleep issues, but none matching yours. A common solution, however, it to reset the SMC if you haven't already tried it. The SMC controls the system's power mode (among other things) so you might see problems like this if it has gotten into a funny state.
 


I just ran across this article which seems to indicate that "Find My Mac" can cause your Mac to "DarkWake" periodically, presumably to report its presence back to your iCloud account.

Do current versions of macOS allow "Find My Mac" to work when the computer is asleep? If so, that may be the explanation. If so, turning it off should let it sleep without periodically waking up and maybe also working around the "sleep with light off" bug.
 


Okay, my new refurbished [2014] Mac Mini is now up, but there was a wrinkle. The monitor seemed asleep, continuing to migrate. When we woke it up, there was a half-second flash on the screen, then it went dark again. Nothing would wake it. It looked like it was stuck. So we did a cold shut down and restart.

Well, the Restart process seemed to take forever and then, at the last second, it froze before log in. At least we were thinking it was frozen, One thought was that it was still working on something, so we left it overnight.

I woke Sunday morning and nothing had changed. I decided to do a Safe mode restart, but I had forgotten what you hold down to do it. So I called Apple Support. It is the Shift key. Well, it did not go into Safe mode, it finished the migration. That surprised both of us. Somehow, our restart interrupted the migration. There still might have been something going on, but we could not see it. Now everything is up and running. So this is one person's experience.
 


Do current versions of macOS allow "Find My Mac" to work when the computer is asleep? If so, that may be the explanation. If so, turning it off should let it sleep without periodically waking up and maybe also working around the "sleep with light off" bug.
I'm not signed into iCloud on this Mini, so I doubt that is what's causing the ominous sounding "DarkWake". This is a Media Centre Mac, so I'm deliberately not signed into iCloud to keep it simple and not have the Mini constantly pinging whatever iCloud pings these days.
 


I woke Sunday morning and nothing had changed. I decided to do a Safe mode restart, but I had forgotten what you hold down to do it. So I called Apple Support. It is the Shift key. Well, it did not go into Safe mode, it finished the migration. That surprised both of us. Somehow, our restart interrupted the migration. There still might have been something going on, but we could not see it. Now everything is up and running. So this is one person's experience.
My experience with the Mac Mini 8,1 in Mojave is... it won't do a safe boot. At least, I haven't been able to get it going. Recovery, yes; verbose, sometimes; but never safe. Maybe it's the third party keyboard?
 


My experience with the Mac Mini 8,1 in Mojave is... it won't do a safe boot. At least, I haven't been able to get it going. Recovery, yes; verbose, sometimes; but never safe. Maybe it's the third party keyboard?
I am using an Apple keyboard, so I guess Safe mode has gone the way of the dodo bird.
 


I am using an Apple keyboard, so I guess Safe mode has gone the way of the dodo bird.
I am unable to turn up anything online that says Apple has deprecated safe mode. (Unfortunately all that proves is I can't find it, not that it hasn't happened.) This Apple Support article, published 8/17/2017, seems current. The first computer with the T2 chip is the iMac Pro released 12/14/17. Mojave released 9/14/18.
Apple said:
Use safe mode to isolate issues with your Mac
What is safe mode?
Safe mode (sometimes called safe boot) is a way to start up your Mac so that it performs certain checks and prevents some software from automatically loading or opening. Starting your Mac in safe mode does the following:
  • Verifies your startup disk and attempts to repair directory issues, if needed
  • Loads only required kernel extensions
  • Prevents startup items and login items from opening automatically
  • Disables user-installed fonts
  • Deletes font caches, kernel cache, and other system cache files
Given the list of what Safe Mode does, I can envision incompatibilities with how the T2 "security chip" works and manages the boot drive, and with APFS.

The Apple Support article linked above provides instructions on how to invoke Safe Mode at the next boot through Terminal commands to facilitate diagnosing headless Macs. I'd only try that if I really needed to use Safe Mode, as invoking it on a T2 Mac, or even a pre-T2 with APFS, might result in unfortunate consequences, such as a fatal boot loop?

It is possible the man pages for macOS Mojave might have something. I don't have Mojave, and don't have Xcode, which may be necessary to access the deepest levels....
Apple said:
Reading UNIX Manual Pages
The UNIX online manual, known as the man pages, documents low-level UNIX command-line tools, APIs, and file formats.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
It is possible the man pages for MacOS Mojave might have something.
The easiest way I've found to read man pages is with the help of this neat utility, which renders in much more flexible browser windows, where you can do a Find, scroll, etc.
Bruji said:
Bwana
Download Bwana and drop it into your applications folder. Then, without even running it, you can start viewing Unix manual pages using your browser. Just type "man:" followed by the man page you're looking for into your browser's URL field. Hit enter and let Bwana do the rest.
 


Given the list of what Safe Mode does, I can envision incompatibilities with how the T2 "security chip" works and manages the boot drive, and with APFS.
I've booted my iMac Pro into safe mode, so it's not an APFS/T2 thing. That doesn't mean the Mini isn't different though.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Given the list of what Safe Mode does, I can envision incompatibilities with how the T2 "security chip" works and manages the boot drive, and with APFS.
I just booted a 2018 MacBook Pro in Safe Mode. I entered the FileVault password and hit the Shift key immediately after. When it reached the login dialog, Safe Boot appeared in the menubar in red.
 


I just received the new Mac Mini and have been loading my stuff back onto it with fresh installs. I have two monitors using USB-C to DVI adapters. Does anyone else have a problem with, after startups or restarts, the system not remembering display settings? A bit frustrating.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
While you can lease Windows and Linux computing resources from many cloud providers on many platforms, macOS cloud resources require the provider to buy Mac hardware from Apple:
MacWeb said:
[PR] Mac mini Open Compute Cloud (OC2)
MacWeb.com introduces Mac mini Open Compute Cloud (OC2), an Internet cloud service renting on-demand compute capacity using dedicated 2018 Apple Mac mini computers. MacWeb.com’s Open Compute Cloud combines the hardware and software advantages of a dedicated Mac mini server with the low cost and instant deployment of cloud computing. With provisioning of a new 2018 Apple Mac mini on demand iOS, macOS, web, and database developers now have a dedicated solution for cloud computing that does NOT share hardware resources or use virtualization.

All Mac mini OC2 instances feature Intel eighth-generation i5 or i7 6-core processors, fast 2666MHz DDR4 memory, and blazing-fast all-flash storage starting at only $100 per month. The new, re-engineered 2018 Mac mini is a fast, reliable, and cost effective little powerhouse. Compile iOS or macOS apps remotely with Xcode, run web applications, publish databases, or share files easily. With a Mac mini OC2 instance there is no hardware to purchase, no hardware to ship, no lead time, and no commitment. Replace an aging Mac mini Internet server today with a new Mac mini OC2 instance from MacWeb.com.
 





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