or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mac Hardware › Future Apple Hardware › Next Mini - which Sandy Bridge CPU?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Next Mini - which Sandy Bridge CPU? - Page 4

post #121 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTac View Post

I have only bought Macs but I find nothing below the Mac Pro I really want to purchase. I certainly don't need a Mac Pro but I want more than what the Mini offers. And all in ones just don't trip my trigger but that is the only mid range choice Apple is willing to offer me.

I'd gladly pay $1499 for iMac parts in a mid size case big enough for two hard drives and an optical drive that is easy to open and easy to swap drives and memory. And please put some easy to reach jacks on the front like the Mac Pro.

I'll pay a premium not to get stuck with Apple's choice of monitor and to have an easy to open case. Apple would make sales and make extra money because they would be savings the cost of buying the monitor but I would still be paying for at least half that monitor at $1499.

Lack of a mid range headless machine is what is making me after 18 years of using Macs to walk away. I can probably get by the rest of the year with my old PowerMac G4. I bought it because it was easy to open not because of its size. I don't want an even bigger and heavier Mac Pro as a replacement but the Mac Pro is the only Mac where function triumphs over form. the only Mac that thinks of the needs of the end user.

You do know that you can easily add HDDs via either the USB or FireWire ports on the mini, right? Not to mention the probability of the Sandy bridge refresh bringing Thunderbolt to the miniAnd the RAM is an easy swap with the access door on the bottom of the mini As for graphics & CPU speed, whatever the Sandy Bridge refresh brings will be light years ahead of your aged PowerMac G4 Plus, you still get to use Mac OS X, as opposed to Windows sludge!
Late 2009 Unibody MacBook (modified)
2.26GHz Core 2 Duo CPU/8GB RAM/60GB SSD/500GB HDD
SuperDrive delete
Reply
Late 2009 Unibody MacBook (modified)
2.26GHz Core 2 Duo CPU/8GB RAM/60GB SSD/500GB HDD
SuperDrive delete
Reply
post #122 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

What's most curious about the Mini is that no one really asked for an ultra-compact desktop. While there are situations in which compactness matters most of us simply don't need for our computers to be so small. It's as if being as Jobs values compactness, the rest of us must as well.
On the other hand many of us have long clamoured for a desktop that slots in below the Mac Pro and above the Mini. Odd that something so many want is simply not being made available.

I wanted to come back to this point. After you get past the beauty of the form factor, you're left with its limitations. That means you get the costs of a laptop (premium component costs, limited expandability and heat issues) without the benefit of portability.

What to do? Simply reuse the iMac engineering and shove it into an 7.7" x 7.7" x 5.6" box (the size of four stacked minis) that's large enough to accommodate 1) a 3.5" hard-drive and 2) a PCIe x8 slot for a dedicated GPU.

- The increase size allows greater thermal mass and airflow for superior cooling. As a result Apple can use desktop rather than mobile CPUs. Move from 35W CPUs to 45 or 65W CPUs, and you save money AND gain performance.
- Likewise, 3.5 inch drives save money while allowing dramatically increased performance.

With a 2.5 GHz Sandy-Bridge i3, a 3.5" 500 GB (5400 RPM) HD, dual Thunderbolt and an empty GPU slot... You'd have a machine that could significantly outperform the current Mini while slicing a $100 from the base price by avoiding mobile components.

That same machine could be configured with 2.8GHz quad core Sandy-Bridge i7, an SSD and nice, dedicated GPU in the PCIe x8. One design, scalable from $499 to $2999.

For the "Pro" increase the chassis size (7.7" x 7.7" x 7.7"?) sufficient to accommodate and cool the 135W Core i7 extreme, two 3.5" Hard-Drives and (for example) the ATI Radeon HD 5870. Start the "Pro" at $899 with 2.5 GHz Sandy-Bridge i5, a 3.5" 500 GB (5400 RPM) HD, Thunderbolt and an empty GPU slot. Again... one design scalable from modest to ridiculous as needed.

One last point... Sell the xMac and the xMac Pro only through Apple's online store. That keeps costs down while avoiding confusion and clutter in the retail stores.
Apple's I've owned: AppleTV2; Ipad2; Iphone4; Iphone3; 13" 2010 MBP; 13" CoreDuo MB; 14" iBook (1 Ghz g4); Powerbase 240; PB 5300; Newton; PB 800; Mac LC; Mac plus; Mac 512; Apple II+.
Reply
Apple's I've owned: AppleTV2; Ipad2; Iphone4; Iphone3; 13" 2010 MBP; 13" CoreDuo MB; 14" iBook (1 Ghz g4); Powerbase 240; PB 5300; Newton; PB 800; Mac LC; Mac plus; Mac 512; Apple II+.
Reply
post #123 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ompus View Post

I wanted to come back to this point. After you get past the beauty of the form factor, you're left with its limitations. That means you get the costs of a laptop (premium component costs, limited expandability and heat issues) without the benefit of portability.

What to do? Simply reuse the iMac engineering and shove it into an 7.7" x 7.7" x 5.6" box (the size of four stacked minis) that's large enough to accommodate 1) a 3.5" hard-drive and 2) a PCIe x8 slot for a dedicated GPU.

- The increase size allows greater thermal mass and airflow for superior cooling. As a result Apple can use desktop rather than mobile CPUs. Move from 35W CPUs to 45 or 65W CPUs, and you save money AND gain performance.
- Likewise, 3.5 inch drives save money while allowing dramatically increased performance.

With a 2.5 GHz Sandy-Bridge i3, a 3.5" 500 GB (5400 RPM) HD, dual Thunderbolt and an empty GPU slot... You'd have a machine that could significantly outperform the current Mini while slicing a $100 from the base price by avoiding mobile components.

That same machine could be configured with 2.8GHz quad core Sandy-Bridge i7, an SSD and nice, dedicated GPU in the PCIe x8. One design, scalable from $499 to $2999.

For the "Pro" increase the chassis size (7.7" x 7.7" x 7.7"?) sufficient to accommodate and cool the 135W Core i7 extreme, two 3.5" Hard-Drives and (for example) the ATI Radeon HD 5870. Start the "Pro" at $899 with 2.5 GHz Sandy-Bridge i5, a 3.5" 500 GB (5400 RPM) HD, Thunderbolt and an empty GPU slot. Again... one design scalable from modest to ridiculous as needed.

One last point... Sell the xMac and the xMac Pro only through Apple's online store. That keeps costs down while avoiding confusion and clutter in the retail stores.

I would want 7200 rpm drives but other than that I like your style. Apple just seems clueless that some of us want some internal space without having to drop $2499 for a Mac Pro.
I had an idea for a taller Mini (or xMac or whatever) that had room for two hard drives, optical drive, jacks and slots on the front for ease of use, easy open case, and a couple of iPhone or iPod docks on the top for charging your portable Apple devices when you come home. I would even include built in speakers that could be powered even when the computer is off. You can save energy by listening through your docked iPod instead of running your computer just for music. Believe it or not there are some things people like to do that doesn't involve a computer.

And I think it would be great to have fewer cords laying around and know where you put your phone in the house if you simply docked it on top of your Apple computer for charging.

Putting all that in a case and it wouldn't have to more than 12 inches tall if even that much. Sure beats the size of the Mac Pro.

If Apple built it I would pay $1500 for it with one hard drive and the optical drive. I'll buy the second drive myself. Just give me internal room for it! If Apple computers had charging docks on top I might even get interested in the iPod and iPhone.
post #124 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTac View Post

Lack of a mid range headless machine is what is making me after 18 years of using Macs to walk away. I can probably get by the rest of the year with my old PowerMac G4. I bought it because it was easy to open not because of its size.

I have a quicksilver G4. So tell me...what do you have in your G4 that I don't have with my 2009 mini? What do you actually want to stick in it and how often do/did you actually change the config?

I have 4GB RAM and a 2TB of disk (2 TB 7200 RPM caviar green RAID 1) via Firewire 800. I'm getting 77MB/sec uncached sequential read via xbench and 61MB/sec uncached sequential writes via Firewire.

That's actually not that different from what I'm getting from the 7200 caviar black inside the mini.

Want to bet the crappy 9400M outperforms whatever GPU you have in the G4?
post #125 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

So tell me...what do you have in your G4 that I don't have with my 2009 mini?

Two hard drives and an optical drive.

If the Mini was taller and had room for three devices it would be perfect for my needs.
Sure I could use external drives but no one makes an external case that matches the 2010 Mini. But honestly I prefer internal for things I will use often. Cleaner, neater and doesn't mess up the looks that Apple spent a lot of time perfecting. I guess Apple wants people to hide its nice looking products with non matching third party external devices.
post #126 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTac View Post

Two hard drives and an optical drive.

I have that. The enclosure is nice but black.

Quote:
Sure I could use external drives but no one makes an external case that matches the 2010 Mini. But honestly I prefer internal for things I will use often. Cleaner, neater and doesn't mess up the looks that Apple spent a lot of time perfecting. I guess Apple wants people to hide its nice looking products with non matching third party external devices.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIl3Dg1VmTk_NWe-tAb

new ministack shown a couple mins in

Ministacks never worked all that great. I leave the mini out so i can use the ir more easiky but the enclosure is tucked away in the entertainment center. No need to hide the mini itself.

A wireless NAS works too but slower than a FireWire or Thunderbolt connection. An updated raid1 time capsule with thunderbolt and matches the mini looks would be more useful to me.
post #127 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRonin View Post

You do know that you can easily add HDDs via either the USB or FireWire ports on the mini, right?

So? I see this non sense constantly, that is people express a desire for a box that supports internal expansion of storage and then some joker comes around and suggests USB. This might be to difficult for some to digest but such an arraingement is unacceptable for many uses.
Quote:
Not to mention the probability of the Sandy bridge refresh bringing Thunderbolt to the mini

So you want to tie up your one high speed port for secondary storage? Especially when you consider that most COU chip sets come with plenty of SATA ports.
Quote:
And the RAM is an easy swap with the access door on the bottom of the mini As for graphics & CPU speed, whatever the Sandy Bridge refresh brings will be light years ahead of your aged PowerMac G4

While this is very true, the Sandy Bridge GPU leaves a lot to be desired relative to what is possible today. To put it bluntly buying into hardware that doesn't support OpenCL and strong 3D is not wise in my mind. At least not in the context of most users.
Quote:
Plus, you still get to use Mac OS X, as opposed to Windows sludge!

Windows isn't perfect but neither is Mac OS. The Mac is hurt though due to the limited hardware available from Apple. For example a Mini with only the Sandy Bridge GPU isn't a bad thing for a limited class of users. It is however a significant problem for more mainstream users. The reality is that these days the GPU can be used to accelerate apps like Safari and others that might not heavily advertised. So to put it bluntly aMini without OpenCL support on the GPU is a bad buy for most users. That is in the context of today's tech and reflect Apples interest in heterogeneous computing.
post #128 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ompus View Post

I wanted to come back to this point. After you get past the beauty of the form factor, you're left with its limitations. That means you get the costs of a laptop (premium component costs, limited expandability and heat issues) without the benefit of portability.

Actually the laptop parts in the Mini result in a big power usage benefit. In any event we shouldn't discount the Mini simply because it doesn't meet our needs. Other than being a bit outdated the current Mini isn't that bad and could see a considerable bump with the next round of updates.

The need or desire for an XMac really has noyhing to do with the Mini as the Mini has it's niche.
Quote:

What to do? Simply reuse the iMac engineering and shove it into an 7.7" x 7.7" x 5.6" box (the size of four stacked minis) that's large enough to accommodate 1) a 3.5" hard-drive and 2) a PCIe x8 slot for a dedicated GPU.

I see the days of a dedicated GPU going away for midrange devices. Further the XMac needs "slots" for several storage modules. For me that is really the whole point bin the XMac, that is the ability to add several storage devices internal to the box. I really don't care if they are laptop sized drives or slots for solid state modules. The idea is to be able to grow the machine.
Quote:
- The increase size allows greater thermal mass and airflow for superior cooling. As a result Apple can use desktop rather than mobile CPUs. Move from 35W CPUs to 45 or 65W CPUs, and you save money AND gain performance.

yep CPU performance is a factor here though I might mention that 45 watt laptop chips exist.
Quote:
- Likewise, 3.5 inch drives save money while allowing dramatically increased performance.

They also waste a lot of space. This is especially ugly when the internal parts are laptop sized.
Quote:
With a 2.5 GHz Sandy-Bridge i3, a 3.5" 500 GB (5400 RPM) HD, dual Thunderbolt and an empty GPU slot... You'd have a machine that could significantly outperform the current Mini while slicing a $100 from the base price by avoiding mobile components.

That same machine could be configured with 2.8GHz quad core Sandy-Bridge i7, an SSD and nice, dedicated GPU in the PCIe x8. One design, scalable from $499 to $2999.

For the "Pro" increase the chassis size (7.7" x 7.7" x 7.7"?) sufficient to accommodate and cool the 135W Core i7 extreme, two 3.5" Hard-Drives and (for example) the ATI Radeon HD 5870. Start the "Pro" at $899 with 2.5 GHz Sandy-Bridge i5, a 3.5" 500 GB (5400 RPM) HD, Thunderbolt and an empty GPU slot. Again... one design scalable from modest to ridiculous as needed.

One last point... Sell the xMac and the xMac Pro only through Apple's online store. That keeps costs down while avoiding confusion and clutter in the retail stores.

Well that last idea I disagree with 100%. Apple needs to promote it's hardware better, especially the desktop line up.
post #129 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

So? I see this non sense constantly, that is people express a desire for a box that supports internal expansion of storage and then some joker comes around and suggests USB. This might be to difficult for some to digest but such an arraingement is unacceptable for many uses.

So you want to tie up your one high speed port for secondary storage? Especially when you consider that most COU chip sets come with plenty of SATA ports.

While this is very true, the Sandy Bridge GPU leaves a lot to be desired relative to what is possible today. To put it bluntly buying into hardware that doesn't support OpenCL and strong 3D is not wise in my mind. At least not in the context of most users.


Windows isn't perfect but neither is Mac OS. The Mac is hurt though due to the limited hardware available from Apple. For example a Mini with only the Sandy Bridge GPU isn't a bad thing for a limited class of users. It is however a significant problem for more mainstream users. The reality is that these days the GPU can be used to accelerate apps like Safari and others that might not heavily advertised. So to put it bluntly aMini without OpenCL support on the GPU is a bad buy for most users. That is in the context of today's tech and reflect Apples interest in heterogeneous computing.

Aside from USB, I also mentioned FireWire

As for tying up the Thunderbolt port, is it not capable of daisy-chaining together up to six peripherals?!? From Apple's website, regarding Thunderbolt:

Quote:
Thunderbolt I/O technology gives you two channels on the same connector with 10 Gbps of throughput in both directions. That makes Thunderbolt ultrafast and ultraflexible. You can move data to and from peripherals up to 20 times faster than with USB 2.0 and up to 12 times faster than with FireWire 800. You also have more than enough bandwidth to daisy-chain multiple high-speed devices without using a hub or switch. For example, you can connect several high-performance external disks, a video capture device, and even a Mini DisplayPort display to a single Thunderbolt chain while maintaining maximum throughput.

I would agree on the GPU & OpenCL support issue; I did not take that into consideration

But I would also think that external GPUs connected via Thunderbolt might be a future consideration I only mention such a solution to keep the post in the context of a non-AIO Mac that is also NOT a Mac Pro

Who knows though, maybe the forthcoming redesigned (knocking on wood here) Mac Pro will also bring more configuration flexibility and a lower entry point price-wise?!?
Late 2009 Unibody MacBook (modified)
2.26GHz Core 2 Duo CPU/8GB RAM/60GB SSD/500GB HDD
SuperDrive delete
Reply
Late 2009 Unibody MacBook (modified)
2.26GHz Core 2 Duo CPU/8GB RAM/60GB SSD/500GB HDD
SuperDrive delete
Reply
post #130 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRonin View Post

Aside from USB, I also mentioned FireWire

It really makes no difference, the problem isn't the interface cable, it is rather that the devices are external to your main box.
Quote:
As for tying up the Thunderbolt port, is it not capable of daisy-chaining together up to six peripherals?!? From Apple's website, regarding Thunderbolt:

Which dramatically impacts your overall available bandwidth. People seem to think a TB port gas infinite bandwidth, it doesn't. In any event you still need to realize that internal drives operating off SATA chip set ports offer up a different channel for data movement. Sometimes anyways as we are already seeing Apple implementing TB in different ways on different machines.

By this I mean some of Apples TB implementations rely upon the chipsets PCI Express ports that go through the chiPsets DMI bus to the processor and others hook up to the processors built in PCI Express ports. This impacts performance especially if certain uses result in a lot of traffic through the chipset. The whole point here is that you can't be sure of what sort of bandwidth you will see and that bandwidth will depend upon the actuall physical implementation.
Quote:
I would agree on the GPU & OpenCL support issue; I did not take that into consideration

But I would also think that external GPUs connected via Thunderbolt might be a future consideration I only mention such a solution to keep the post in the context of a non-AIO Mac that is also NOT a Mac Pro

I'm almost certain somebody will try to market an external GPU. The problem I have is will enough users actually see a positive benefit? I don't think they will though I could see many successful specialty uses.
Quote:
Who knows though, maybe the forthcoming redesigned (knocking on wood here) Mac Pro will also bring more configuration flexibility and a lower entry point price-wise?!?

Well everybody is hoping that Apple will wise up with the Mac Pro but we also have to realize that it fills a niche that Apple shouldn't abandon. This is why I'm a big XMac promoter. XMac of course being a faster machine than the Mini with internal expansion capability.

Contrary to what many think XMac should be I'm not thinking a huge box here. Some have described a taller Mini in this thread which could really be just the nuts with the right configuration. The goal is fairly straight forward: a faster box that can grow internal storage where internal storage can be RAM or secondary storage.

It is sort of like car dealers / manufactures offering up compacts, sedans and station wagons. They do this because different buyers have different needs. This is no different than buyers when it comes to Personal Computers, different users have different needs. Apple has yet to recognize that. Frankly I think they are stuck with the same thinking they had when the hardware line up was trimmed to save the company. The problem is they saved the company but have left the desktop line up to decay and become not relavant to today's need. The big issue today in my mind is reliable storage capacity. A terabyte is no longer an unrealistic requirement for storage, especially if you are into video.
post #131 of 154
Okay, all points well put and heard

I say, then, that Apple consider the following

XMac

iSeries CPU, quad core i5 may be sweet spot?
4GB RAM standard, room/slots for up to 16GB RAM (I think 4 slots, since single CPU)
128GB SSD-on-a-stick for boot drive/apps (if Apple can start standardizing SSD sticks across their entire product line, just maybe the economics of scale will allow them to keep overall pricing down?)
Room for two (2) internal HDDs (media/etc.)
SuperDrive
Room, power & bandwidth for massive SLI/CrossFire gaming GPUs (just to shut up any & all gamers who will whine about this; plus, might make my Steam games look/run better?)
Plethora of front & rear USB/FireWire/Thunderbolt/audio ports
IR eye on front

That is it, no more really needed!

Discuss, flame, whatever! ;^p
Late 2009 Unibody MacBook (modified)
2.26GHz Core 2 Duo CPU/8GB RAM/60GB SSD/500GB HDD
SuperDrive delete
Reply
Late 2009 Unibody MacBook (modified)
2.26GHz Core 2 Duo CPU/8GB RAM/60GB SSD/500GB HDD
SuperDrive delete
Reply
post #132 of 154
This may sound stupid and it may be; I don't know enough about the technology. Could a small box be designed so that it could utilize the guts from an iMac with room for additional hardware? I'm not suggesting that a newer iMac be cannibalized, but if the monitor went bad on an older model or even just use the iMac monitor with it.
ADS
Reply
ADS
Reply
post #133 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by sequitur View Post

This may sound stupid and it may be; I don't know enough about the technology. Could a small box be designed so that it could utilize the guts from an iMac with room for additional hardware? I'm not suggesting that a newer iMac be cannibalized, but if the monitor went bad on an older model or even just use the iMac monitor with it.

I'm sure it's possible but it would likely stoke Apple's lawyers. I would love to have such a box.
post #134 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

It is sort of like car dealers / manufactures offering up compacts, sedans and station wagons. They do this because different buyers have different needs. This is no different than buyers when it comes to Personal Computers, different users have different needs. Apple has yet to recognize that.

Right. The iMac is a crossover or minivan. Meets the needs of quite a few. A small hatchback is the Mini. The Mac Pro is a 4 wheel drive SUV. Tow, haul gets it all done. That leaves a lot of mid sized sedans that the XMac would be.

I've compared the Mac line up to clothes.

The iMac being an all in one would be a jumpsuit or those coverall things you see older guys wearing, shirt and pants all in one.
The Mac Pro would be a three piece suit.
The Mini would be shorts and a tank top.
Leaves a lot of room for all the shirts and slacks or tops and skirts. That would be the XMac.
post #135 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTac View Post

Right. The iMac is a crossover or minivan. Meets the needs of quite a few. A small hatchback is the Mini. The Mac Pro is a 4 wheel drive SUV. Tow, haul gets it all done. That leaves a lot of mid sized sedans that the XMac would be.

I've compared the Mac line up to clothes.

The iMac being an all in one would be a jumpsuit or those coverall things you see older guys wearing, shirt and pants all in one.
The Mac Pro would be a three piece suit.
The Mini would be shorts and a tank top.
Leaves a lot of room for all the shirts and slacks or tops and skirts. That would be the XMac.

Has anyone seen or heard a word from an Apple executive stating the company will not
produce an Xmac? If not maybe there is still hope.
post #136 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRonin View Post

Okay, all points well put and heard

I say, then, that Apple consider the following

XMac

iSeries CPU, quad core i5 may be sweet spot?

I'm still pulling for AMDs new Fusion chip. Mainly because of the excellent GPU. Plus it runs cooler.
Quote:
4GB RAM standard, room/slots for up to 16GB RAM (I think 4 slots, since single CPU)

Yes. Though the number of slots is dictated by the CPU hardware.
Quote:
128GB SSD-on-a-stick for boot drive/apps (if Apple can start standardizing SSD sticks across their entire product line, just maybe the economics of scale will allow them to keep overall pricing down?)

As long as their is an option to upgrade the SSD. 128GB is just a little thin for my needs. As to standards industry is working on that.
Quote:
Room for two (2) internal HDDs (media/etc.)

I would prefer more!
Quote:
SuperDrive
Room, power & bandwidth for massive SLI/CrossFire gaming GPUs (just to shut up any & all gamers who will whine about this; plus, might make my Steam games look/run better?)

I'm mixed on the need for this. These cards require a massive power supply. Further I'm really thinking midrange here.
Quote:
Plethora of front & rear USB/FireWire/Thunderbolt/audio ports
IR eye on front

That is it, no more really needed!

Discuss, flame, whatever! ;^p

I'd probably drop the optical myself.
post #137 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by geneking7320 View Post

Has anyone seen or heard a word from an Apple executive stating the company will not produce an Xmac? If not maybe there is still hope.

How can they build an 'xMac' when, as the name even suggests, it isn't well-defined?

If you asked them to build a Cube, they'd know what you meant; if you said a mini-tower, they'd know. A mini tower would be something like Dell's Vostro:



They could of course build whatever is in the 21.5" iMac without the display panel and it would be the size of a 21.5" screen but quite thin. If they split it in two and folded it over, it would end up being fairly compact and the 2.8GHz i7 in the 21.5", which is very fast can go in it.

But they still couldn't put any PCI slots in it, nor could they put 4 or more 3.5" drives in it. If they make it bigger then it just becomes another big ugly box like the Mac Pro.

As much as I love the design of a Cube, computer parts are flat and long so a 21.5" iMac folded in half would probably work better. To fit the parts from the 21.5" iMac, you'd be looking at something around about this size:



Spec would be:

2.8GHz i7 quad
4GB RAM
1TB HDD
512MB Radeon 6770M

$1299

But, I'd say there's not much that sets it apart. It can possibly have 4x 2.5" drives and allow you access to them and have more easily upgradable MXM graphics cards but that's about it and you still have to source your own display.

Personally, I still think the Mini is the best way forward as it retains an instant selling point. It just needs some TLC.

Give it an SSD blade, allow it to use external GPUs (it's a temporary solution), give it some 4-thread or 4-core CPUs and that's all that's needed. If it gets redesigned to keep all storage internal, it makes it bigger than needed for some people and still not enough for others. Some people won't be happy until they get 12TB internally. With Thunderbolt, you can get this storage and more no problem and it makes it far easier to upgrade your machine while leaving your data in tact.

Imagine one day having an iPhone that's as powerful as today's Mac Pro and you sit it on your desk and it drives your 27" display and connects to your 12TB RAID storage with one cable and churns through data with its 8-cores like butter while using passive cooling and you don't even have to think about it. Roll on 2020.
post #138 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRonin View Post

Okay, all points well put and heard

I say, then, that Apple consider the following

XMac

iSeries CPU, quad core i5 may be sweet spot?
4GB RAM standard, room/slots for up to 16GB RAM (I think 4 slots, since single CPU)
128GB SSD-on-a-stick for boot drive/apps (if Apple can start standardizing SSD sticks across their entire product line, just maybe the economics of scale will allow them to keep overall pricing down?)
Room for two (2) internal HDDs (media/etc.)
SuperDrive
Room, power & bandwidth for massive SLI/CrossFire gaming GPUs (just to shut up any & all gamers who will whine about this; plus, might make my Steam games look/run better?)
Plethora of front & rear USB/FireWire/Thunderbolt/audio ports
IR eye on front

That is it, no more really needed!

Discuss, flame, whatever! ;^p

Sounds just like my PC, just a Mac...

Gaming on Mac still blows through, just compare the number of games available on the Mac side vs PC through Steam, you'll still be using Boot Camp.

It also would probably be at the best, the size of a micro ATX tower, which would still be small, but cooling becomes problematic (cards in SLI/Crossfire get really hot, my one GPU can easily hit 80 C, the other mid 60's, and they're just lowly 5770's, and that's with an intake fan blowing right on them from the side of the case).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post




Spec would be:

2.8GHz i7 quad
4GB RAM
1TB HDD
512MB Radeon 6770M

$1299

But, I'd say there's not much that sets it apart. It can possibly have 4x 2.5" drives and allow you access to them and have more easily upgradable MXM graphics cards but that's about it and you still have to source your own display.

Personally, I still think the Mini is the best way forward as it retains an instant selling point. It just needs some TLC.

I can't see Apple building a slightly bigger mini now, they have that small as possible fetish. I'm still expecting Apple do to the simple road, offer a low-end Sandy Bridge CPU and Intel GMA, they don't even care about OpenCL that much.

Faster than what they have currently, but a cheap iOS dev box or 1st Mac. Past that, they offer power in the iMac for the consumers, a long in the tooth Pro for pros.
post #139 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by guinness View Post

I can't see Apple building a slightly bigger mini now, they have that small as possible fetish. I'm still expecting Apple do to the simple road, offer a low-end Sandy Bridge CPU and Intel GMA, they don't even care about OpenCL that much.

I agree completely but wish things were different.
post #140 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

To fit the parts from the 21.5" iMac, you'd be looking at something around about this size:




Imagine one day having an iPhone that's as powerful as today's Mac Pro and you sit it on your desk and it drives your 27" display and connects to your 12TB RAID storage with one cable and churns through data with its 8-cores like butter while using passive cooling and you don't even have to think about it. Roll on 2020.

I'd like a few hits on whatever it is you're smoking. However, I think you're absolutely right - and hopefully sooner than 2020.

I posted about taking the guts from an iMac and putting it into a box (like yours) just for that purpose. The box you show could also be an enclosure for that purpose if Apple won't give us that computer. How about putting the guts of a Mini into that enclosure? I'd love that. Someone please build that enclosure.
ADS
Reply
ADS
Reply
post #141 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Well that last idea I disagree with 100%. Apple needs to promote it's hardware better, especially the desktop line up.

Unfortunately, it seems Apple has done the exact opposite. It's hard to blame them when they're selling iPhones, iPads and notebooks by the crate. There's only so much room in an Apple store, so desktops languish.

I'd love to see Apple pushing more desktops, but Apple's desire to keep the line-up 'clean' (in both the physical and psychological sense) seems to be a primary obstacle to an xTop slotting in between the Mac Mini and the Pro.
Apple's I've owned: AppleTV2; Ipad2; Iphone4; Iphone3; 13" 2010 MBP; 13" CoreDuo MB; 14" iBook (1 Ghz g4); Powerbase 240; PB 5300; Newton; PB 800; Mac LC; Mac plus; Mac 512; Apple II+.
Reply
Apple's I've owned: AppleTV2; Ipad2; Iphone4; Iphone3; 13" 2010 MBP; 13" CoreDuo MB; 14" iBook (1 Ghz g4); Powerbase 240; PB 5300; Newton; PB 800; Mac LC; Mac plus; Mac 512; Apple II+.
Reply
post #142 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ompus View Post

Unfortunately, it seems Apple has done the exact opposite. It's hard to blame them when they're selling iPhones, iPads and notebooks by the crate. There's only so much room in an Apple store, so desktops languish.

I'd love to see Apple pushing more desktops, but Apple's desire to keep the line-up 'clean' (in both the physical and psychological sense) seems to be a primary obstacle to an xTop slotting in between the Mac Mini and the Pro.

Apple is selling lots of those things. But I'm completely disinterested until I have the one product I really want and feel I really need. Until I'm able to spend my hard earned money on the computer I want why should I spend any of my hard earned money on other Apple products that only compliment (go with) a desktop computer. I can't see me doing everything I want to do on an iPad. So I need that desktop computer. iPod? Can I rip the CD's and DVDs I have without using a desktop computer and put them on an iPod? iPhone? I really don't need to be connected 24/7 nor do I want to be and I can't do everything on an iPhone that I can do on a desktop computer.

Now if Apple only had the type of desktop computer that I want. One that isn't huge and overly expensive (Mac Pro). One that isn't so tiny there isn't any room in the case for another internal hard drive so I can back things up and still have that optical drive I'll need to rip all those CDs and DVDs (Mini). One that let me use the monitor I already have instead of having it built in (iMac).

If only Apple had a Mac that was between the Mini and the Mac Pro that had a case large enough for some expansion, that had some jacks on the front like the Pro and had the horsepower of the iMac that didn't come with a built in screen. Then I might be able to actually find an interest in all the other products Apple wants to sell me.
post #143 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTac View Post

Apple is selling lots of those things. But I'm completely disinterested until I have the one product I really want and feel I really need. Until I'm able to spend my hard earned money on the computer I want why should I spend any of my hard earned money on other Apple products that only compliment (go with) a desktop computer. I can't see me doing everything I want to do on an iPad. So I need that desktop computer. iPod? Can I rip the CD's and DVDs I have without using a desktop computer and put them on an iPod? iPhone? I really don't need to be connected 24/7 nor do I want to be and I can't do everything on an iPhone that I can do on a desktop computer.

Now if Apple only had the type of desktop computer that I want. One that isn't huge and overly expensive (Mac Pro). One that isn't so tiny there isn't any room in the case for another internal hard drive so I can back things up and still have that optical drive I'll need to rip all those CDs and DVDs (Mini). One that let me use the monitor I already have instead of having it built in (iMac).

If only Apple had a Mac that was between the Mini and the Mac Pro that had a case large enough for some expansion, that had some jacks on the front like the Pro and had the horsepower of the iMac that didn't come with a built in screen. Then I might be able to actually find an interest in all the other products Apple wants to sell me.

The computer you want won't come from Cupertino.

The computer you want is called a PC. Might not run the OS you want, but Apple sells iPads, iPhones, and iMacs. The Mac Pro exists, because they have to at least throw pros a bone, and the Mini used to that computer for switchers, but it's a poor value, both compared to the iMac and any current PC for that price. I just see the Mini becoming a cheap iOS dev box, a mainstay for a small Mac computer lab, or a Lion Server home NAS.

And Apple probably has the right idea with the iMac. For most people, internal storage is fine, the supplied amount of RAM is fine, people might add an external HD or 2 for TM, use a couple USB ports for an iPhone/iPod, flash drive, and don't play many games, so a powerful GPU isn't a major concern.

And that IPS panel is sexy (so is the design).

If you want anything above and beyond that, it's the Mac Pro or a PC.
post #144 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ompus View Post

Unfortunately, it seems Apple has done the exact opposite. It's hard to blame them when they're selling iPhones, iPads and notebooks by the crate. There's only so much room in an Apple store, so desktops languish.

Physical space has nothing to do with it.
Quote:
I'd love to see Apple pushing more desktops, but Apple's desire to keep the line-up 'clean' (in both the physical and psychological sense) seems to be a primary obstacle to an xTop slotting in between the Mac Mini and the Pro.

This seems to be the big obstical. Apple is extremely reluctant to add new models, even as sales are expanding, this keeps them out of a lot of markets where there is an expectation of PCI Express slots in a wasp ably priced machine.
post #145 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Which dramatically impacts your overall available bandwidth. People seem to think a TB port gas infinite bandwidth, it doesn't. In any event you still need to realize that internal drives operating off SATA chip set ports offer up a different channel for data movement. Sometimes anyways as we are already seeing Apple implementing TB in different ways on different machines.

RIght, and for single drives that max sustained read throughput is what? Around 100MB-200MB? That's for some of the higher end 15K drives. Max disk to buffer rate is typically around 1Gbps.

That's not a "dramatic" hit on a 10TB pipe.

Quote:
It is sort of like car dealers / manufactures offering up compacts, sedans and station wagons. They do this because different buyers have different needs. This is no different than buyers when it comes to Personal Computers, different users have different needs. Apple has yet to recognize that.

Yes, Apple is so stupid they don't realize that users have different needs. Really? That's your assertion?

Quote:
Frankly I think they are stuck with the same thinking they had when the hardware line up was trimmed to save the company.

Yep, look up "complacent" or "stuck in the past" in the dictionary and you'll see Apple's picture.

Quote:
The problem is they saved the company but have left the desktop line up to decay and become not relavant to today's need.

Or perhaps it is the desktop that is becoming less and less relevant?

Quote:
The big issue today in my mind is reliable storage capacity. A terabyte is no longer an unrealistic requirement for storage, especially if you are into video.

You can get 1TB in a mini...at least the server models...as 2 x 500GB. Probably we'll see a 9.5 mm 1TB drive soon if they don't exist already (haven't been paying attention). They have 750GB models today that you can swap into a mini.

In any case, 1 drive isn't all that "reliable". I'd much rather have a 4-bay RAID 10 array via thunderbolt than a fatter mini with 2x3.5" bays.
post #146 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by sequitur View Post

I posted about taking the guts from an iMac and putting it into a box (like yours) just for that purpose. The box you show could also be an enclosure for that purpose if Apple won't give us that computer. How about putting the guts of a Mini into that enclosure? I'd love that. Someone please build that enclosure.

I think Apple must try loads of designs out. Final designs don't come on the first go. Judging from their site, it seems they want to push everything into the screen:



This would suggest they won't move away from that but rather move towards the iPad-on-a-stand type of design. I have little doubt in my mind that they will have designed some mid-sized towers, sat them beside the iMac for half a second and decided the iMac design was more striking and used less space so was the way forward.

Apple like to control the display - the animated brightness controls, energy saving, viewing angles etc. Having their mainstream desktop without a screen takes away that control. The only option would be to build a box yourself and take the insides out of it. But all you'd really have to do is buy a 21.5" iMac, take the panel out and sell it and then put a metal cover over the front and connect a display or two of your own. Then you have access to your hard drive too and can put in an SSD.

I think the Mac Pro has to get a makeover at some point and I think that design would have to be close to the desired mid-sized tower design.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht

Probably we'll see a 9.5 mm 1TB drive soon if they don't exist already (haven't been paying attention).

One came very recently - the Samsung Spinpoint M8, 9.5mm 1TB. Others will likely follow suit. There is a larger 1.5TB 14mm one from Seagate that someone squeezed into a MBP but it doesn't quite fit:

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1018365

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht

In any case, 1 drive isn't all that "reliable". I'd much rather have a 4-bay RAID 10 array via thunderbolt than a fatter mini with 2x3.5" bays.

Exactly. People say they want 3.5" drives to get options to go to 3TB but I don't think that's a good idea at all. Ideally just have a reasonably sized SSD boot drive and keep all the big files on external storage. Apple do this themselves in their server farms.
post #147 of 154
We will hate it here, but I think Apple has something radical up there sleeves and will be replacing both the Mini and the Pro with a modular xMac not much bigger than the current Mini. It will have room for one card and one drive only, but will have two thunderbolt ports. It will be a compromise for almost every user, but the daisy chaining and Lion support makes it all workable.
post #148 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by beetle View Post

We will hate it here, but I think Apple has something radical up there sleeves and will be replacing both the Mini and the Pro with a modular xMac not much bigger than the current Mini. It will have room for one card and one drive only, but will have two thunderbolt ports. It will be a compromise for almost every user, but the daisy chaining and Lion support makes it all workable.

A few weeks ago, I attended an Apple seminar given at Miami-Dade College; After the lectures on iCloud and a little on Lion, I spoke with the two Apple reps separately; I specifically asked them about a one size fits all, but modular xMac. All I got was a stare, a shrug, and, "I wouldn't know that." from each of them. No elaboration or denial. I felt like something was unsaid, but since I was certain they wouldn't tell even if they knew, I didn't press it.
ADS
Reply
ADS
Reply
post #149 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I think Apple must try loads of designs out. Final designs don't come on the first go. Judging from their site, it seems they want to push everything into the screen:

Apple has been pretty straight forward in this respect acknowledging testing many
Prototypes. Not just hardware but software too.
Quote:


This would suggest they won't move away from that but rather move towards the iPad-on-a-stand type of design. I have little doubt in my mind that they will have designed some mid-sized towers, sat them beside the iMac for half a second and decided the iMac design was more striking and used less space so was the way forward.

Not everybody cares about design. The history of the AIR highlights this. AIR in it's original form was an example of design gone amok and as a result sales suffered. The new AIR soundly addressed the functionality part of the equation and as a result is seeing very strong sales.

Now I'm not saying Apple should make ugly hardware, rather that they should have no problem at all making a device that is bigger than the Mini but yet functional and attractive.
Quote:
Apple like to control the display - the animated brightness controls, energy saving, viewing angles etc. Having their mainstream desktop without a screen takes away that control. The only option would be to build a box yourself and take the insides out of it. But all you'd really have to do is buy a 21.5" iMac, take the panel out and sell it and then put a metal cover over the front and connect a display or two of your own. Then you have access to your hard drive too and can put in an SSD.

so! Many many users, from a wide range of interests, like to control the display. In some cases it is mandatory in order for them to use a Mac.
Quote:
I think the Mac Pro has to get a makeover at some point and I think that design would have to be close to the desired mid-sized tower design.

A make over is possible but we have to remember that many users need a Pro as capable or more capable than the current unit.
[quote]
One came very recently - the Samsung Spinpoint M8, 9.5mm 1TB. Others will likely follow suit. There is a larger 1.5TB 14mm one from Seagate that someone squeezed into a MBP but it doesn't quite fit:
[quote]
I'd actually like to see Apple transition to laptop drives in more of it's machines. That might actually allow for an array inside the iMac. At least until there is no reason to include mechanical drives.
Quote:
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1018365



Exactly. People say they want 3.5" drives to get options to go to 3TB but I don't think that's a good idea at all.

It is an excellent idea. Secondary storage belongs inside the box containing the processor or the guts of your machine. External ports need to connect to tertiary storage. An external RAID drive is fine if it is for backup, caching or other uses but it is no place for your primary files.
Quote:
Ideally just have a reasonably sized SSD boot drive and keep all the big files on external storage. Apple do this themselves in their server farms.

I keep my iTunes library on an external drive but it is less than optimal for use with a laptop. I'd have no problem with backing that storage up to an external RAID but it is operationally limited for the user.
post #150 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

RIght, and for single drives that max sustained read throughput is what? Around 100MB-200MB? That's for some of the higher end 15K drives. Max disk to buffer rate is typically around 1Gbps.

You miss the point, if you put your secondary storage on the TB port then that bandwidth is always shared with normal system access. Using existing legacy ports prevents that.
Quote:
That's not a "dramatic" hit on a 10TB pipe.

You are looking at this based on yesterday's technology. Imagine a RAIDed array of SSD's or other devices. There are already SSD's that move 750 Mega BYTES of data per second.
Quote:
Yes, Apple is so stupid they don't realize that users have different needs. Really? That's your assertion?

No the problem as I see it is that they are stuck in the past when they where barely holding on and couldn't afford a full line up of hardware. It is pretty obvious that Apple hasn't paid much attention to the Mac line up since as it is basically the same product lineup. Frankly this should not require explanation to you or anybody else as it is obvious.
Quote:
Yep, look up "complacent" or "stuck in the past" in the dictionary and you'll see Apple's picture.

Yep exactly what you would see when the discussion centers around the desktop Mac line. What else would you call it when the same basic product has been on the market for multiple years now?
Quote:
Or perhaps it is the desktop that is becoming less and less relevant?

Maybe but it will never go away. Further Apple has never had a machine that could pass for that digital hub they promote.
Quote:
You can get 1TB in a mini...at least the server models...as 2 x 500GB. Probably we'll see a 9.5 mm 1TB drive soon if they don't exist already (haven't been paying attention). They have 750GB models today that you can swap into a mini.

I can't take anybody seriously if they offer up the Mini as their ideal of a server.
Quote:
In any case, 1 drive isn't all that "reliable". I'd much rather have a 4-bay RAID 10 array via thunderbolt than a fatter mini with 2x3.5" bays.

An external RAID is a great backup device. However imagine a Mini/XMac with four laptop sized drive bays.
post #151 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

A make over is possible but we have to remember that many users need a Pro as capable or more capable than the current unit.

When Apple first made the Mac Pro, they set a level for the needs that it satisfied and this was not the highest level that could be reached. They picked an affordable set of processors. Intel have processors that cost double what Apple's chosen BTO options cost. There are also machines that can take 4 CPUs.

There's no reason they can't adjust the level. If it cuts out a tiny fraction of the Mac Pro users then it doesn't matter because it might gain a lot more users if it helps adjust the price and size and becomes more suitable for use as a server.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

It is an excellent idea. Secondary storage belongs inside the box containing the processor or the guts of your machine. External ports need to connect to tertiary storage. An external RAID drive is fine if it is for backup, caching or other uses but it is no place for your primary files.

It depends on what you call primary files though. Some film editors use massive external banks of drives to edit HD footage because sometimes even the storage in a Mac Pro won't be enough. You can fit 8TB inside but you can't have 8TB in RAID1 = 16TB so that you have a failure recovery. You need external RAID systems for this. It's also slower keeping the boot drive mixed with large media files.

Personally, I'd rather have a standard Mini with a 256GB SSD internally that can hook up to a 4 drive RAID system than a taller Mini with 4 x 2.5" drives inside.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I keep my iTunes library on an external drive but it is less than optimal for use with a laptop. I'd have no problem with backing that storage up to an external RAID but it is operationally limited for the user.

That is something Apple needs to address and possibly iCloud will offer an option to let you treat your Mac as a device and make sure the selection you want is local to the computer.
post #152 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

When Apple first made the Mac Pro, they set a level for the needs that it satisfied and this was not the highest level that could be reached. They picked an affordable set of processors. Intel have processors that cost double what Apple's chosen BTO options cost. There are also machines that can take 4 CPUs.

That is one way to look at it, but I look at it as the maximal system that people are willing to put on their desktops. So certainly that is related to affordability, but it is also related to profitability. I don't really believe Apple could market a more powerful Mac Pro, that is large iron
Xeon systems to the desktop market. Two sockets is about it when it comes to affordability, so the Pro is at anyone time the most powerful Mac system you can get.
Quote:

There's no reason they can't adjust the level. If it cuts out a tiny fraction of the Mac Pro users then it doesn't matter because it might gain a lot more users if it helps adjust the price and size and becomes more suitable for use as a server.

Well I do agree that Apple could do more to make the Pro appealing to a wider array of users. A more modular approach would certainly help.
Quote:

It depends on what you call primary files though. Some film editors use massive external banks of drives to edit HD footage because sometimes even the storage in a Mac Pro won't be enough. You can fit 8TB inside but you can't have 8TB in RAID1 = 16TB so that you have a failure recovery. You need external RAID systems for this. It's also slower keeping the boot drive mixed with large media files.

Yes there is always those that need more than a workstation can support. But I'm not in that segment, I'm simply a desktop user that doesn't want to waste money on an external device for primary storage. Especially when an external device is needed for backup.
Quote:

Personally, I'd rather have a standard Mini with a 256GB SSD internally that can hook up to a 4 drive RAID system than a taller Mini with 4 x 2.5" drives inside.

Believe me I have nothing against an SSD in a Mini. That would be great for snappy operation. What I would love to see is that SSD on a blade and then having the Mini support two or more additional drives.
Quote:
That is something Apple needs to address and possibly iCloud will offer an option to let you treat your Mac as a device and make sure the selection you want is local to the computer.

The feeling of grief just came over me again. I think many people have this idea of the cloud in their head that will never be a reality for everybody or even most people. Trying to serve large media files over the net is just stupid.

It is great for the service providers because they can then change everybody's contract to a metered rate and earn a bit on every file you want to view. Mind you I think they will be justified to because it is an incredible waste of bandwidth to be serving files when they can easily be stored locally. My sense is that Apple knows this and is avoiding selling iCloud as a storage bin.

The other problem with iCloud is that sometimes the bandwidth simply isn't there at all. I don't want to have to preload my MBP (or iPad for that matter) with the files I think I might need while outside of a net connection. Cloud services should make your life easier not more difficult.
post #153 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

You miss the point, if you put your secondary storage on the TB port then that bandwidth is always shared with normal system access. Using existing legacy ports prevents that.

No, I don't miss the point. Why do folks assume that folks that disagree are "missing the point" as opposed to "i don't f-ing agree with your point"?

Bandwidth is always shared. What do you think the SATA 3.0 controller is connected to? For example P55 motherboards used up PCIe lanes. Even when fully integrated into to the core logic (AMD? I forget) bandwidth from all sources are still "shared".

It is true that the TB bandwidth will be shared between storage and video but yah, so?

Quote:
You are looking at this based on yesterday's technology. Imagine a RAIDed array of SSD's or other devices. There are already SSD's that move 750 Mega BYTES of data per second.

You wanted 1TB worth of space. If you can afford 1TB worth of SSD in 2011 you can afford a mac pro. That drive is $3-$4K at the moment.

And the 750MBps data rate is achieved not via SATA but as a x8 PCIe slot and is already 4 smaller SSDs in RAID 0 mode.

I can imagine tomorrow's technology just fine and when I can afford multiple 1TB SSDs in a RAID 0 array I can afford a new mini with multiple optical TB ports and more bandwidth out the yin yang.

I won't care that my 3+ year old mini can't handle the transfer rate on it's old TB connection.

Quote:
No the problem as I see it is that they are stuck in the past when they where barely holding on and couldn't afford a full line up of hardware. It is pretty obvious that Apple hasn't paid much attention to the Mac line up since as it is basically the same product lineup. Frankly this should not require explanation to you or anybody else as it is obvious.

http://www.macworld.com/article/1512...ple_rolls.html

Really? Apple hasn't been paying attention? While the article doesn't address the Mac desktop line specifically try comparing the original G4 mini with the current 2010 mini. Or the G5 iMac with that of today.

How much has Dell's desktop lineup changed? I mean other than adding a SFF and AIO? Talk about looking to yesterday's technology.

Quote:
Yep exactly what you would see when the discussion centers around the desktop Mac line. What else would you call it when the same basic product has been on the market for multiple years now?

Mature?

Do you really think that adding a freaking tower is innovative? Or would cause some massive resurgence in desktop Mac sales?

Quote:
Maybe but it will never go away. Further Apple has never had a machine that could pass for that digital hub they promote.

The xMac isn't the only or even optimal answer. The optimal answer for MOST consumers is a Time Capsule like box that they plug in, do very basic configuration and never mess around with again.

Quote:
I can't take anybody seriously if they offer up the Mini as their ideal of a server.

The mini is not a bad little SOHO server.

However, the mini configured with 1TB of disk space today is called the "Mini with Snow Leopard Server" which I shortened to Mini Server. The mini you stipulated exists today, regardless of what folks call it.

Quote:
An external RAID is a great backup device. However imagine a Mini/XMac with four laptop sized drive bays.

An external RAID 10 is a great primary data drive...especially over TB and okay via FW 800. Via benchmarks I'm not getting hit with much of a performance penalty by using FW800 vs the internal SATA in my current 2009 mini.

I agree with Marvin. A highly viable 2011 mini design is one with a reasonable amount of SSD space for Lion and instant on capability like the MBA paired a matching 4 bay 3.5" RAID 0/1/5/10 Time Capsule NAS with TB and automatic iCloud backup.

I can even live without an internal optical drive if there's a nicely matching BR external enclosure.
post #154 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

the Pro is at anyone time the most powerful Mac system you can get.

For CPU performance they are comparable with competitors but there are other compromises. You can't for example put 4 high-end GPUs in a Mac Pro as the PCI slots only supply 300W so you can't build something like the 3DBOXX XTreme:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWzHFpIma4c

Each Tesla GPU can use up to 240W and that box has a 1.5kW PSU.

The machine BoXX make that I find very interesting is the RenderPro. This can have up to 2 x 6-core Xeons and is still this small (on top vs their standard workstation):



There needs to be storage and a GPU accounted for but an MXM card + 2.5" drives + slim optical shouldn't add too much to that. Since they already compromise on performance in certain aspects, why not have a new design that works to those compromises like the RenderPro?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The feeling of grief just came over me again. I think many people have this idea of the cloud in their head that will never be a reality for everybody or even most people. Trying to serve large media files over the net is just stupid.

It wouldn't have to do that though. The cloud acts as the sync controller. It doesn't need to transfer the files from the cloud but local external storage. There's no reason why your iTunes library for example can't be hosted in the cloud with playlists and you have a network attached storage and you can sit with your iPad and have the cloud transfer the files from the local storage server directly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The other problem with iCloud is that sometimes the bandwidth simply isn't there at all. I don't want to have to preload my MBP (or iPad for that matter) with the files I think I might need while outside of a net connection. Cloud services should make your life easier not more difficult.

This is mainly about the Mini though, which is static. The other mobile products are susceptible to the temporary inconveniences of current network speeds and availability.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht

And the 750MBps data rate is achieved not via SATA but as a x8 PCIe slot and is already 4 smaller SSDs in RAID 0 mode.

There's also the matter of needs. Thunderbolt gives you separate channels for video and data so you get a full 1.25GByte/s for data. At full rate, this means you can duplicate a Blu-Ray film in under 40 seconds and clone one 12TB RAID to another in under 3 hours. Obviously the faster the better but it's as fast as people really need and obviously exceeds the speed of internal SATA drives anyway.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Future Apple Hardware
AppleInsider › Forums › Mac Hardware › Future Apple Hardware › Next Mini - which Sandy Bridge CPU?