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New or updated iMac? MacPro? MacbookPro? Mini? - Page 2

post #41 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

You have some interesting comments below but seem to equate the Mini with some sort of bleeding edge computer. It isn't thus some of your points don't matter.

First off I have to call BS on this one. AMD has hardware that could easily compete with what is in the Mini. Mainly because the Mini is Apples slowest computer going. Since the Mini isn't marketed as a performance machine all we really need is an AMD implementation that offers up better performance.

True but this year should turn that around significantly.

The Mac Mini draws less than 10 watts at idle. What does AMD have right now that can offer the level of performance the Penryn Core 2 Duo with comparably low energy consumption?

And if they did have anything, how much cheaper would it be?

We'll see about Fusion, and we'll see how well it competes with Intels offerings then... you know, in the future. If you can predict that, you're probably rich enough on stocks not to be spending your time prognosticating on apple forums

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Tell me who just recalled all of their chipsets for Sandy Bridge? Come on spit it out!

Of all the arguements used to dismiss AMD this is possible the most bogus if them all. Considering all the issues with Sandy Bridge this has to be an attempt at a bad joke on your part, either that or plain stupidity.

First, it's uncharacteristic of Intel. Second, they are (at the estimated cost of $700 million) going to replace faulty hardware which has already been shipped. Thats pretty do-able for a $120 billion company, they can afford to do that. AMD has a market cap of $5.7 billion. It would be quite a blow to them.

I'm sure a lot of factors go into Apples decision to have an ongoing partnership with Intel. I just don't see them breaking that up to save a couple bucks by making a second rate product. It's just not Apples style, thank god. Thats why I use Apple - it's quality and you have to pay for it. I'm fine with that. In fact, I like it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Yes! Why; because Ethernet is the best way to connect to an external storage device!

How much is a NAS/SAN device that can match the performance of a $40 firewire enclosure? My "budget" $600 QNap TS-419P can't do that. Now what is the target market of the Mac Mini? People who spend $1000+ on a NAS device? I don't think so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

There are actually a couple of sound reasons.
1. Ethernet can provide for a dedicated link to an external storage device and do so in a way that is far better than FireWire or USB. At least for the current implementations of those interfaces.
2. A second Ethernet port is very very usable in automation systems. Be it a vision system or PLC interface a dedicated Ethernet connection is often the prefered interfacing method. One port goes to the device the other to the network.

Talk about niche markets! Please... Firewire is far more useful to consumers. If you haven't bothered to spend the money on a nice Oxford powered FW800 enclosure, I recommend you do so. It's far, far faster than USB 2.0. And not all that much more in the scheme of things. Not cheap - but a good value

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

This is pretty consistent with what I've seen over the last couple of years. Like all products sales vary but the Mini does consistently well. Obviously only Apple knows for sure what the numbers are but I see no justification for the point of view that sales are terrible.

The Mini isn't a bad machine at all! I'm bothered a bit about the relatively low CPU performance and a few other things but beyond that. As to value that is up to the buyer. That is; does a low wattage modest performance machine do it for you? If so buy a Mini.

I have a soft spot for Mac Minis, my first new Mac was a G4 Mini, and I have a last-gen 2.53gHz Mini running Plex powering for my home theater. They are great systems and I think well worth the money. Depends on your needs, of course. Apple has tweaked and tuned the Mini over the years, and found a very successful sweet spot of price, performance and features. It's a successful product.

A few months ago, a co-worker was razzing me about how overpriced Minis are, so I challenged him to come up with a comparable small footprint system - high quality enclosure, comparable cpu power and power consumption, comparable feature set (gigabit, dual band 802.11n, bluetooth 2.1, IR receiver, digital audio i/o, dual digital video output, firewire, decent graphics). he couldn't find anything close to it, best he could do was cobble together an AMD based system with a much larger sheet metal enclosure, much higher power consumption and some usb dongles hanging off to add functionality that every base model mini ships with. And even with all that, home-built and everything, he had to struggle to get it below the Mini in cost.

Cheap and good value shouldn't be confused. The Mac Mini is a good value. Apple gear is a good value. It's not cheap though.

Rob
post #42 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

If you don't try to match the spec, the Mini is a better deal. The typing pool doesn't need 4GB RAM and a 500GB HDD, nor do they need IPS displays or wireless keyboards or touch-mice. Take the base Mini, add $150 of peripherals and you undercut the iMac by $350.

4GB/500Gb really isn't high performance anymore. In fact, I think it's pretty much bog-standard on any sub $500 PC you can find.

I guess you could buy some sort of monitor/keyboard/mouse for $150, if you go with PC-peripherals.


Anyway, my point is not that the MM can't be had for less money, just that it does NOT compare well to the entry-level iMac. It is way overpriced and not good value for money at all.
post #43 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by robzr View Post

It's showing #1 in the desktop category now (via the link you referenced) and look whats #1 in the server category:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers...ef=pd_ts_e_nav

Of course Amazons public sales rankings aren't a very good indicator of true marketshare, they are showing Apples have 3 out of the top 4 slots in Desktop sales, when true desktop marketshare is somewhere around 10% for Apple. And it's got to be under 1% for server marketshare.

Rob

No, it's not. It's probably only useful as an indicator of which Macs sell more relative to each other.

That the mini is #1 or #2 indicates it's not selling poorly unless you really believe that Amazon sales are significantly skewed. if the Mac Pro was showing as #1 I could believe that it's borked. The cheapest Mac option selling near the top of the list seems intuitive.
post #44 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

First off I have to call BS on this one. AMD has hardware that could easily compete with what is in the Mini. Mainly because the Mini is Apples slowest computer going. Since the Mini isn't marketed as a performance machine all we really need is an AMD implementation that offers up better performance.
...
As to what AMD gas to offer, that is simple, it's Fusion road map. This new initiative from AMD would provide Apple with a low cost high performance platform that would allow for innovation on the Mini chassis. It would allow for an OpenCL supporting SoC to power the mini this year instead of a year and a half down the road. Apple also gets to send Intel a message with respect to their crap GPUs.
...
Ethernet is the best way to connect to an external storage device!
Ethernet can provide for a dedicated link to an external storage device and do so in a way that is far better than FireWire or USB. At least for the current implementations of those interfaces.

So which it is?
AMD HAS hardware that could easily compete with what is in the Mini... or AMD HAS a Fusion roadmap?
- the CURRENT harware (Danube platform) is not that great: low clocked cpus (overall barely on par with C2D) and an "old" chipset design (north+south bridge) with igpu of the 42xx family, it may be cheaper than C2D/320M (yet you'd have to provide a price list), but it takes more room and overall TDP is higher.
- we'll evaluate the Fusion parts (LLano) when they are released (summer 2011, at best), right now, it just looks like Phenon II cores + a better igpu than Zacate, until we have real specs and the apus are benchmarks, we have no way to tell if they would be a good fit for the MM, whatever the price will be.

Sometimes you're hard to follow, a few posts back you were saying that "I actually see the Mini as a prime machine for SB" and now you're dismissing Intel cpus, and praising AMD solutions for the same MM...?
---

IMO, Firewire (800) offers a pretty good implementation for external storage devices, self-power, daisy chaining of different types of devices from a single port on the computer. Ethernet may be theorically slightly faster, but that's all. Most RAID enclosure have FW, eSATA, USB or Enet ports. I also believe that FW is more versatile: storage, scanning, audio/video, DSP. I really don't see how Ethernet connects to a storage device in a "far better way" than FW (except for longer distances, maybe that's what you meant by "far").

And please don't put FW and USB (2) in the same basket, it's a lack of respect.
post #45 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeph View Post

4GB/500Gb really isn't high performance anymore. In fact, I think it's pretty much bog-standard on any sub $500 PC you can find.

I guess you could buy some sort of monitor/keyboard/mouse for $150, if you go with PC-peripherals.

Anyway, my point is not that the MM can't be had for less money, just that it does NOT compare well to the entry-level iMac. It is way overpriced and not good value for money at all.

The Mac Mini has the same spec as the 13" Macbook Pro and Macbooks. You have to think of it like a laptop without a screen.

PC desktop parts are cheaper as are the iMac parts but when you go to desktop parts, you bump up the power consumption considerably. You go from 20-30W to over 130W. You need bigger motherboards, fans, PSU etc.

Intel has made it so you either get a big machine or a small one, there's no in-between. The Mac Mini appeal is the small size and for the price, it's no worse than the laptops.
post #46 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjteix View Post

So which it is?
AMD HAS hardware that could easily compete with what is in the Mini... or AMD HAS a Fusion roadmap?

Much like Intel has a road map for Sandy Bridge? At the rate things are going AMDs hardware will be on the market around the same time as Intels.
Quote:
- the CURRENT harware (Danube platform) is not that great: low clocked cpus (overall barely on par with C2D) and an "old" chipset design (north+south bridge) with igpu of the 42xx family, it may be cheaper than C2D/320M (yet you'd have to provide a price list), but it takes more room and overall TDP is higher.

All you need is better performance than the current design. Since the Mini is already a low clock rate machine better performance current AMD hardware is possible. Yes at the expense of more power.
Quote:
- we'll evaluate the Fusion parts (LLano) when they are released (summer 2011, at best), right now, it just looks like Phenon II cores + a better igpu than Zacate, until we have real specs and the apus are benchmarks, we have no way to tell if they would be a good fit for the MM, whatever the price will be.

Oh that is nice, people have been evaluating Sandy Bridge for months now. In any event I look at Fusion as another way to lower the price of the Mini. I do not see better performance as an issue. Better performance is almost a given.
Quote:
Sometimes you're hard to follow, a few posts back you were saying that "I actually see the Mini as a prime machine for SB" and now you're dismissing Intel cpus, and praising AMD solutions for the same MM...?
---

It is called being open minded. Besides I'm not dismissing SB as it could still be a good solution. AMD fusion is just a reasonable alternative, especially considering where Mini sits in Apples line up. It is a reasonable consideration considering issues recently revealed with Sandy Bridges video hardware.

I'm not sure why being objective and considering the possibilities is hard to follow. Either solution is viable and would effectively upgrade the Mini.
Quote:

IMO, Firewire (800) offers a pretty good implementation for external storage devices, self-power, daisy chaining of different types of devices from a single port on the computer. Ethernet may be theorically slightly faster, but that's all. Most RAID enclosure have FW, eSATA, USB or Enet ports. I also believe that FW is more versatile: storage, scanning, audio/video, DSP. I really don't see how Ethernet connects to a storage device in a "far better way" than FW (except for longer distances, maybe that's what you meant by "far").

Frankly I will not buy another FireWire device if I can. To many problems and really bad mechanical connectors.
Quote:
And please don't put FW and USB (2) in the same basket, it's a lack of respect.

Basket never; USB is far more useful for the average user.
post #47 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Much like Intel has a road map for Sandy Bridge? At the rate things are going AMDs hardware will be on the market around the same time as Intels.

All you need is better performance than the current design. Since the Mini is already a low clock rate machine better performance current AMD hardware is possible. Yes at the expense of more power.

Oh that is nice, people have been evaluating Sandy Bridge for months now. In any event I look at Fusion as another way to lower the price of the Mini. I do not see better performance as an issue. Better performance is almost a given.

It is called being open minded. Besides I'm not dismissing SB as it could still be a good solution. AMD fusion is just a reasonable alternative, especially considering where Mini sits in Apples line up. It is a reasonable consideration considering issues recently revealed with Sandy Bridges video hardware.

I'm not sure why being objective and considering the possibilities is hard to follow. Either solution is viable and would effectively upgrade the Mini.

Frankly I will not buy another FireWire device if I can. To many problems and really bad mechanical connectors.


Basket never; USB is far more useful for the average user.

Wow, it would be nice if, one time, you'd really answer the questions, instead of assuming things and using your personal life as the average behavior or universal experience.

- which current AMD harware is a better fit than C2D/320M for the MM? Specs and price?
- which future AMD fusion hardware is/will be/may be a good fit for the MM? Lower cost and improved performance as you are suggesting...
- how Ethernet is the best way to connect to an external storage device? (apart from your individual problems with FW, which are not relevant)

Really, it's not being open-minded, it more like being victim of fashion, sorry. Everything can be an alternative, but we are talking specifically about the MM. So maybe you could be more specific...

And really, I don't care if Apple uses Intel, AMD, NVIDIA, ARM or whatever in any Mac, as long as it run Mac OS X at least as good as the Intel model it replaces, and if there are existing alternatives for a specific model, i'm all ears, but point me to specific cpus, gpus, chipsets, so I can make a mind of my own. I couldn't find any 25W AMD cpu that seems to be better than a 2.40 C2D, and we already know that the 320M is way better than any thing in the 42xx series...

Yes Intel is having a few problems with their new SB cpus, like this never happened before (for them, for AMD, for NVIDIA, for ATI, for Apple, for IBM, for Motorola,...). It's gonna be fixed, and life will go on.
post #48 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjteix View Post

Wow, it would be nice if, one time, you'd really answer the questions, instead of assuming things and using your personal life as the average behavior or universal experience.

- which current AMD harware is a better fit than C2D/320M for the MM? Specs and price?
- which future AMD fusion hardware is/will be/may be a good fit for the MM? Lower cost and improved performance as you are suggesting...
- how Ethernet is the best way to connect to an external storage device? (apart from your individual problems with FW, which are not relevant)

Really, it's not being open-minded, it more like being victim of fashion, sorry. Everything can be an alternative, but we are talking specifically about the MM. So maybe you could be more specific...

And really, I don't care if Apple uses Intel, AMD, NVIDIA, ARM or whatever in any Mac, as long as it run Mac OS X at least as good as the Intel model it replaces, and if there are existing alternatives for a specific model, i'm all ears, but point me to specific cpus, gpus, chipsets, so I can make a mind of my own. I couldn't find any 25W AMD cpu that seems to be better than a 2.40 C2D, and we already know that the 320M is way better than any thing in the 42xx series...

Yes Intel is having a few problems with their new SB cpus, like this never happened before (for them, for AMD, for NVIDIA, for ATI, for Apple, for IBM, for Motorola,...). It's gonna be fixed, and life will go on.

"I want my eSATA!"

Light Peak would not be bad either, but I do not see the Mini as being the device Apple would choose to introduce it. It certainly would make for a clean interface.

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