Review: Apple's aluminum Mac mini and Mac mini Server (2010)

245

Comments

  • cory bauercory bauer Posts: 1,286member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    Yes. It would be impossible to put any of those chips into a Mac Mini because of heat and energy issues.



    I find that highly unlikely, knowing that 1.) the MacBook Pro's contain these things without issue, and 2.) if what you say is true, then Apple would have created a design that can never see a product refresh.
  • jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post


    I find that highly unlikely, knowing that 1.) the MacBook Pro's contain these things without issue, and 2.) if what you say is true, then Apple would have created a design that can never see a product refresh.



    1. Think what you want. Now, educate yourself. The Mini has completely different design constraints.



    2. That's nonsense - unless you think Intel is done reducing the power consumption in its chips.
  • asciiascii Posts: 5,363member
    I found the HDMI connector works very well. I didn't get the initial overscan problem mentioned by the reviewer - it somehow automatically negotiated a size that fit. I did have a similar audio experience though - I tried playing some audio and it came out the Mini's speaker, but going to System Preferences there was a new audio out option called "TOSHIBA-TV." Selected this and it worked great. HDMI cables sure are expensive though (the ones with both audio and video).



    Also one thing that was not mentioned is that the new Mini (unlike the previous) can run K64 which is important to some people.



    Another point (since the article mentioned eventual hard drive replacement) is that I found it is very easy to damage the motherboard relative to the previous gen white Mini.



    With my white Mini I opened it up 3 or 4 times and was like a ham-fisted elephant in there, and nothing ever broke, but with this new one the thermal sensors, power and SATA motherboard connectors are all extremely delicate. I think they are the same model connector, just not as firmly attached to the motherboard as before. So when pulling cables out, be as delicate as you can!
  • anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 16,758member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    The price I have to pay for good British beer is higher than you pay, too. The difference is that I'm not running around whining about it.



    There's good British beer!?



    (OK, OK, I'll duck....)
  • gctwnlgctwnl Posts: 268member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    Yes. It would be impossible to put any of those chips into a Mac Mini because of heat and energy issues.



    Fine. Cube, then. Something headless and reasonably priced (hah!) between Mini and Pro would make my day.
  • aep528aep528 Posts: 12member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by djsherly View Post


    While noting the useful SD slot, you failed to mention its stinky location.



    Yes, not really sure how the slot in the back of the box can be described in any way as "handy." If I bought one of these it would be stuck in a cabinet, making the slot inaccessible.
  • gctwnlgctwnl Posts: 268member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    There's good British beer!?



    (OK, OK, I'll duck....)



    They have real beer? I thought they only had that watery, lukewarm "ale" stuff. But they have beer? I thought most of the beer in the UK was Australian...
  • anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 16,758member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    It could be any number of things:



    Shipping (distance is not the sole determinant of shipping costs)

    Costs of doing business (UK is a very expensive place to do business)

    Costs of complying with local regulations (UK and Europe have some very strict regulations that must be complied with)

    Volume

    Or simply market pricing - the correct price is that which maximizes profits



    You can add to it: (i) Hedging against exchange rate volatility (the UK£ has depreciated against the US$ by about 20% during the past year); (ii) Higher retailing (distribution + storage) costs; (iii) Covering end-of-life disposal costs (although that is implicit in your 'cost of complying with regulation', I wanted to highlight it).
  • cory bauercory bauer Posts: 1,286member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    1. Think what you want. Now, educate yourself. The Mini has completely different design constraints.



    2. That's nonsense - unless you think Intel is done reducing the power consumption in its chips.



    The i5 and i7 consume less power than the Core 2 Duo, no?
  • razorpitrazorpit Posts: 807member
    Nice write-up. I've been considering a Mini server for a while while going back and forth between it and an iMac. We need a new computer in the house and it seems like this is the best option at the moment. I think it offers the best $/performance at the moment* without getting in to the iMac territory. While I have zero information to back this up I think we a re due for a major change in OS/iMac design. Given what Apple has learned over the last 4 years working on the touch interface I don't think investing the money in an iMac is a smart move right now.



    *This is not meant to troll or start an argument. This is just a gut feel I have.
  • philotechphilotech Posts: 100member
    Once more on pricing:



    To avoid any US / Europe differences accounting for different prices in the first place, I'd just point out that the price increase over the previous Mac mini (which wasn't cheap to begin with, but was ok) is EUR 250 or USD 315 or 45 %!



    This is totally crazy, and my only explanation is the USD - EUR exchange rate, ie even the price of the old Mac mini would have been increased by some USD 200 by now just to account for the weak EUR. On the other hand, what I do not understand, is, why all other computers from other companies remain the same, price-wise, more or less at least.



    EDIT:

    Right now, the mini just doesn't make any sense here in Germany because for just EUR 300 = USD 380 you get an additional:

    - 2 GB RAM

    - much faster CPU

    - 180 GB of Harddisk space

    - wireless keyboard

    - wireless magic mouse

    - AND a full great 21.5" screen!



    What I'm missing though would be the faster graphics (nVidea 320 on the mini vs. 9400M on the iMac). To get most of the above would cost me EUR 410 = USD 510, and I still wouldn't have the screen!



    So if I were shopping for the iMac I would get it NOW because obviously there will be a huge price increase coming along with the next revision, just to restore the pricing order again!
  • peterrrrrrrpeterrrrrrr Posts: 13member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post


    Since it's being discussed, just what ARE the factors that determine a higher pricing for the Mini in the UK? Is it purely a matter of currency exchange rates, or does Apple just decide to charge more? It can't be shipping--China is about equidistant from the UK and the US. Inquiring minds want to know.



    Like everything else, price is 100% determined by what people will pay. If Brits won't pay what Apple is asking, then Apple will either lower the price or discontinue selling. Simple market economics.
  • 1337_5l4xx0r1337_5l4xx0r Posts: 1,558member
    Yes, the i3, i5 etc have lower power envelopes.



    British beer is awesome. I'm a micro-brew kinda guy; I love ales. Hint: 'good' beer doesn't come in a can.



    The Mac mini does not have different design constraints from a MacBook... it IS a MB, minus display, trackpad, keyboard. The similarities are obvious in terms of SODIMMs, CPU, Logic board etc. The fact that the specs are the same is another clue. The 'difference' is the Mini has HDMI, something Apple has been removing/excluding from GPUs, not something they added. All ATI and NVidia cards have supported/included HDMI for ages.
  • alfiejralfiejr Posts: 1,524member
    the new Mini has several welcome improvements, like the easy access to its RAM for cheap upgrading. but HDMI is a mixed blessing, since it brings with it HDCP DRM limits on what you can display via it (which alternatively a simple DVI to HDMI output cable avoids). most frustrating is it still is stuck with a low performance 5400 rpm hard drive with no upgrade option to a 7200 rpm drive, even though the server version has one. (this may be why its gaming performance is still limited?). so ... if you need an HTPC for video editing, processing, etc. wait for next year's model.



    but by then an overhauled AppleTV may make this unnecessary for many. if ATV 3 or whatever they call it includes or allows attaching a hard drive to become a central iTunes media server, many won't need a desktop mac/pc anymore at all. especially if you could activate/sync/backup your iPhone/iPad via the ATV too.
  • chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,517member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post


    HDBaseT is a standard for sending HDMI over Ethernet, so you have networking, digital video and audio and control over one cable.



    Actually, you don't send HDMI anywhere. It is an interface. You send the signals used in HDMI (audio/video) over ethernet.
  • polymniapolymnia Posts: 331member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 1337_5L4Xx0R View Post


    Yes, the i3, i5 etc have lower power envelopes.



    British beer is awesome. I'm a micro-brew kinda guy; I love ales. Hint: 'good' beer doesn't come in a can.



    The Mac mini does not have different design constraints from a MacBook... it IS a MB, minus display, trackpad, keyboard. The similarities are obvious in terms of SODIMMs, CPU, Logic board etc. The fact that the specs are the same is another clue. The 'difference' is the Mini has HDMI, something Apple has been removing/excluding from GPUs, not something they added. All ATI and NVidia cards have supported/included HDMI for ages.



    Good beer DOES SO come in a can!



    http://www.surlybrewing.com/



    Everyone here is ALWAYS such an expert....



    You know the MacBook doesn't have a transformer built in to the case. You ever touch one of those things while the MB is charging? Yeah, they get pretty hot.
  • bregaladbregalad Posts: 811member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    HDMI cables sure are expensive though (the ones with both audio and video).



    All HDMI cables support audio and video. I've never paid more than $10 for an HDMI cable.
  • carmissimocarmissimo Posts: 837member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post


    Great little machine, but I'm very disappointed that there's virtually no option in Apple's desktop line for a monitor-free computer between $799 or $2,499. No, I'm not asking for a $1,199 Mac Pro; I just want the option to buy a Mac Mini with a 3.06Ghz Core 2 Duo, or a Core i5 and 330M graphics. Is that so unreasonable?



    It does seem as though there's a gap between the mini and the Mac Pro tower but each new version of the Mini is more powerful which means it moves closer to being powerful enough for most uses.



    I know that doesn't help right now but two, three, four years from now the Mini will have stepped up in performance significantly. That will render the mid-range tower meaningless and so there's no point introducing such a machine at this time.
  • cory bauercory bauer Posts: 1,286member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 1337_5L4Xx0R View Post


    Yes, the i3, i5 etc have lower power envelopes.



    British beer is awesome. I'm a micro-brew kinda guy; I love ales. Hint: 'good' beer doesn't come in a can.



    The Mac mini does not have different design constraints from a MacBook... it IS a MB, minus display, trackpad, keyboard. The similarities are obvious in terms of SODIMMs, CPU, Logic board etc. The fact that the specs are the same is another clue. The 'difference' is the Mini has HDMI, something Apple has been removing/excluding from GPUs, not something they added. All ATI and NVidia cards have supported/included HDMI for ages.



    Makes sense to me.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post


    It does seem as though there's a gap between the mini and the Mac Pro tower but each new version of the Mini is more powerful which means it moves closer to being powerful enough for most uses.



    I know that doesn't help right now but two, three, four years from now the Mini will have stepped up in performance significantly. That will render the mid-range tower meaningless and so there's no point introducing such a machine at this time.



    There's definitely a gap. The Mac Mini is the perfect form factor for me now, but the current specs are identical to my 20 month old MacBook Pro; if I could get one with an i5 and 330M, it'd actually be an upgrade.
  • wizard69wizard69 Posts: 11,471member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by saarek View Post


    This is a lovely machine, as a server you can't really get much better value than this which is why I have decided to buy one, but as a home pc option it's an absolute rip off, especially outside of the US wich is such a shame as these machines deserve to sell like hot cakes and I am sure the price will put off many!



    Before anyone decides to point out that the UK has Vat included in the price etc I account for that, on current exchange rates inclusive of UK Vat we spend an additional £153.50 ($232.15) on the server version and £106.15 ($160.53) on the standard version and I don't care where you are from that is a blatant over price on an arguably already over priced machine.



    Seriously almost everything imported into the UK has an inflated price tag on it. Where do you think the term ripoff Britain comes from. So please don't sit in this forum blaming Apple for a problem with your country.



    By the way I'm not in disagreement over pricing issues in the UK. It is not however a problem unique to Apple. I'm not sure how it is with the current exchange rates but people I knew would come over here to go shopping in some of the most expensive districts going and chatter at length about how cheap everything is in the US. Mind you they where paying top dollar for the goods they where getting at the time.



    The point is it simply isn't a problem unique to Apple. If you really want the issue fixed you have to find out what is wrong in the UK. We can't help you here.







    Dave
Sign In or Register to comment.