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Next Mini - which Sandy Bridge CPU? - Page 3

post #81 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

It's a chicken/egg situation though when it comes to defining the users. People who are not budget-limited are few and far between. The price point certainly limits the audience to people who have more money but that is not an exclusive group of people who have little time.

Also, the Mac Pro isn't all that fast until you get to the 8-core+ models. The current $1699 i7 21.5" iMac is faster than the $2499 Mac Pro and comes with a free screen. So even a time-constrained buyer would be throwing money away buying an entry Mac Pro especially now that Thunderbolt offers as much storage as needed.

So what does a headless machine offer that an iMac doesn't? Well, if you are into doing very heavy rendering or encoding, you don't need multiple screens so you can get multiple $1000-1200 Cubes with the 2.8GHz quad i7 and the time-limited users save time and money in style with low power usage as they use 65W chips.

The server guys and the high-end visual effects crowd would go nuts over a shelf of little quad i7 Cubes and it would make a neat alternative to the iMac.

Apple always say the consumer will tell them what the right route is by buying or not buying a product. Well, they have to give them the option in the first place and no the original Cube wasn't the option that failed, for obvious reasons.

But, the Mini will reach the desired performance-level eventually so it doesn't matter. Just one update to quad-core Ivy Bridge and that's almost enough. Give it 2-3 years and it will reach today's mid-level Mac Pro performance, which should be plenty for almost any task.

It would be nice of them to stop holding the Mini back though. There is a chance that this delay might have something to do with SSD but if it just ends up being an update that could have come months earlier, it's clear they are holding it back for some unknown reason.

The Mini and the Macbook, on paper, seem like excessively expensive products considering they're both using previous-gen components. The Macbook, with 4GB of RAM and a 320GB hard drive, i.e. the same specs as the Macbook Pro, is $1,199 here in Canada vs. the Macbook Pro 13" which comes in at $1,249. I mean $50 difference, really? And the Mini might start at $699 but all you have to do is boost the memory to 4GB, step up to a 2.66Ghz previous-gen processor, toss in a keyboard and magic mouse to climb to $1082. Even considering the Mini uses costlier laptop components, compared to the laptops, something is out of whack. No expensive battery technology, no monitor, and yet the Mini is all of $167 cheaper than the Macbook Pro and $112 less than the Macbook.

By decontenting both the Macbook and the Mini, Apple gives the impression that pricing is appropriately lower for last-gen tech and yet in truth, Apple is charging just as much for its Core 2 Duo machines as they are the Sandy Bridge products like the Macbook Pros. How can this be?

We can't really claim that the Mini is a $699 machine when Apple doesn't provide some very basic pieces without which the Mini is unusable. Even if you buy the notion that the Mini is a desktop spinoff of Apple's laptops, the numbers don't add up. Surely the battery and monitor that comes with the Macbook Pro is worth more than $167 and when you consider the Pro has a far better processor, you have to wonder what's going on.

Right now you'd have to be quite naive to consider buying the Macbook since the Pro is pretty much the same price, with comparable specs. There is no similar option for potential Mini buyers but even a Sandy Bridge refresh seems rather like not enough to justify the price.

Apple is charging so much because it can. If all Apple delivers in the next few weeks is a Sandy Bridge refresh for the Mini, a price reduction is in order or at the very least the minimum RAM needs to climb to 4GB. Otherwise, the Mini will amount to a poor deal that Mac customers are being forced to turn to because there is no other way to get a headless Mac for less than $2,400.
post #82 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

Desktops are going to enjoy a resurgence of sorts because of the rise of the tablet. What makes the tablet such an ideal device is that it doesn't try to be a desktop replacement. If one is looking to perform more demanding tasks, that's where the desktop comes in.

Why are desktops going to enjoy a resurgence? Perhaps they will but tablet evolution is happening at a rapid pace. Take the Eee Transformer. No need for a desktop there assuming Honeycomb gets some good apps.

Take the iPad with iWorks, GarageBand and with what Adobe has shown with their companion Photoshop apps I think that the rest of the iLife suite isn't too far behind.

Updates, sync, backups and additional storage via iCloud and what do you need a desktop for?

Quote:
The advantage of not trying to have a portable with desktop muscle is that for a good price you can have tons of battery life and a lighter form factor. Yet the flipside of that is then having a solid desktop serving as a companion becomes that much more important.

To do what? If you airplay your iPad screen to your HDTV+aTV and use the iPad as the input device with maybe a BT keyboard what do you need a desktop for?

Some of us will still want one but the importance of a desktop/laptop is reduced, not enhanced.

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So you use a tablet for lighter work while puttering around the house, cottage, whatever, and then you have a powerful desktop for doing more demanding work. Both devices suffer from fewer compromises because they are not trying to reconcile conflicting goals.

Or you can dock your tablet...

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What I see as possible now that wasn't so much before is that both the Mini and the Mac Pro can be replaced effectively by one form factor that can be configured to meet various needs.

Except it can't for the Mac Pro. It's too small for the Pros that max out their configs.

Nor can you for the mini because folks who use the mini for many purposes don't want something much larger than the aTV it replaces in their setup.

So neither can be replaced effectively but instead poorly.

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This is possible because the consumer-grade desktop components found in the iMac are now powerful enough to perform demanding tasks.

For the pro with lower computing needs yes. For the pros with heavy computing needs, no.

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For Apple, it seems to me that having one form factor for its headless line of desktops simplifies the process of evolving that product.

No it doesn't, it seriously compromises the evolution because now you have a product that has to meet both consumer and pro needs. Currently the break is very clear.

Quote:
It's not so much a question of adding an xMac to the line-up but rather having such an xMac replace both the Mini and the Pro. I would guess that's not in the cards for 2011 but Ivy Bridge might be the point at which it could happen.

Thanks for being selfish in your desires. At least the normal xMac folks aren't trying to pee on other people's desires. Just get their met.
post #83 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTac View Post

Pickups and SUV's are still 50% of the vehicle market. While Nissan is struggling to get anyone to buy its all electric Leaf. Nissan has sold maybe 1000 in the US and the year is almost half over. That's not an impressive showing for new technology.

Light truck market share has been in decline since 2008. I don't think $4/gal gas prices are going to fuel a rebound. They're down to 41%.

http://www.epa.gov/otaq/fetrends.htm

Car analogies go only so far. If you want to equate tablet sales to EV sales that's a hard sell.

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Desktop sales have slowed because there are fewer people that no longer have one. But computers still age. There will always be a market because people will always need to buy new ones.

Like pickups, folks with lifestyles that demand them (to haul boats or whatever) will still buy them. Folks without that need will likely buy tablets that are easier to use. That might not apply to Android tablets.

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And as stated elsewhere, as more people jump on the bandwagon of portable devices there will be a jump in home computer sales too. People have to have something somewhere to store and sync.

Yes you do. However, it is not guaranteed that this will be a desktop. The iCloud hangs over this idea.
post #84 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

It's a chicken/egg situation though when it comes to defining the users. People who are not budget-limited are few and far between. The price point certainly limits the audience to people who have more money but that is not an exclusive group of people who have little time.

Sure, but the assertion is that a SINGLE xMac design can meet all Pro needs. This is clearly false.

Quote:
Also, the Mac Pro isn't all that fast until you get to the 8-core+ models. The current $1699 i7 21.5" iMac is faster than the $2499 Mac Pro and comes with a free screen. So even a time-constrained buyer would be throwing money away buying an entry Mac Pro especially now that Thunderbolt offers as much storage as needed.

Folks that buy an entry Mac Pro isn't compelled by just CPU power but ECC memory and the ability to run pro grade cards. Some folks don't value ECC memory but many workstation buyers do. There's no need for ECC memory in a consumer grade machine so which is this mythical one size fits all xMac going to use?

For perspective, the Google study found mean error rates of 20006000 per GB (aka bit flips caught by ECC) per year (concentrated in problematic DIMMs).

http://www.cs.toronto.edu/~bianca/pa...gmetrics09.pdf

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/storage/dr...imm-street/638

Okay, maybe consumer grade machines should be using ECC DIMMs. As long as we're wishing for ponys I wish the next mini will use ECC DIMMs. Of course, no one makes 204 pin SODIMM DDR3 ECC RAM so...

Quote:
So what does a headless machine offer that an iMac doesn't? Well, if you are into doing very heavy rendering or encoding, you don't need multiple screens so you can get multiple $1000-1200 Cubes with the 2.8GHz quad i7 and the time-limited users save time and money in style with low power usage as they use 65W chips.

The server guys and the high-end visual effects crowd would go nuts over a shelf of little quad i7 Cubes and it would make a neat alternative to the iMac.

If you're doing heavy rendering needing a render farm you probably have a render farm...that Apple killed the xserves indicates that folks weren't going nuts in paying the Apple tax for OSX based render farms but more likely doing linux or windows based farms like BOXX.

Do you really think an Apple quad i7 Cube would be that cost effective in that environment?

Quote:
But, the Mini will reach the desired performance-level eventually so it doesn't matter. Just one update to quad-core Ivy Bridge and that's almost enough. Give it 2-3 years and it will reach today's mid-level Mac Pro performance, which should be plenty for almost any task.

It would be nice of them to stop holding the Mini back though. There is a chance that this delay might have something to do with SSD but if it just ends up being an update that could have come months earlier, it's clear they are holding it back for some unknown reason.

I'd like a mini refresh just like you would but I expect the mini to get bumped to 13" MB specs soonish. The unknown reason could simply be that the mini isn't all that important and they get around to it when they get around to it.

Not some kind of grand strategy for pissing us off.
post #85 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

Sure, but the assertion is that a SINGLE xMac design can meet all Pro needs. This is clearly false.

You could say the same about the current Mac Pro though. You can't for example run 4 high-end graphics cards in it. You can't configure it with 24 Cores ( http://www.avadirect.com/gaming-pc-c...asp?PRID=17132 ). There will always be a compromise. At some point someone decides on what that compromise is.

I think adding cores is going to stop being worthwhile pretty soon because other parts of the system are going to bottleneck. At this point, I see the smaller form factors making more sense and it may end up satisfying fewer high-end needs but people will adapt to it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

Folks that buy an entry Mac Pro isn't compelled by just CPU power but ECC memory and the ability to run pro grade cards. Some folks don't value ECC memory but many workstation buyers do.

The real-world benefits of ECC RAM aren't really noticeable though in anything less than servers like the ones Google run 24/7 referenced in the PDF. For workstation use, consumer chips are fine and produce an unnoticeable amount of errors (hundreds of bytes per year) with no real-world consequences.

Apple can still use Xeons though - this quad Xeon with ECC is only 45W and $245:

http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=52275

Put that in with a mobile 6970M with the option for a mobile Quadro and it can satisfy a good deal of the requirements of the entry Mac Pro and Thunderbolt gives expansion options. I would agree that for now, a Cube with those parts wouldn't replace the Pro but there will come a point when the tasks requiring more just aren't worth catering for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

If you're doing heavy rendering needing a render farm you probably have a render farm...

Not necessarily, you may run a small visual effects studio with 10 employees and simply harness the power of all the workstations overnight to render content. Buying extra boxes to help where needed and when the budget allows, is a good option. Architecture firms don't need server farms of thousand of computers to pre-viz minute-long fly-throughs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

that Apple killed the xserves indicates that folks weren't going nuts in paying the Apple tax for OSX based render farms but more likely doing linux or windows based farms like BOXX.

Do you really think an Apple quad i7 Cube would be that cost effective in that environment?

I think if they had low power requirements, decent cooling and a compact form factor that there would be a place for them. I don't think people would suddenly migrate over and throw out the cheap boxes but they would offer significantly more power than the Mini, much more compact form factor than the iMac and be around half the price of the Pro and this would be appealing in a number of scenarios.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

I'd like a mini refresh just like you would but I expect the mini to get bumped to 13" MB specs soonish. The unknown reason could simply be that the mini isn't all that important and they get around to it when they get around to it.

Not some kind of grand strategy for pissing us off.

I wouldn't think it's their intention to piss people off but their intention seems to be to purposely ignore it, which has the same effect. The upgrade from the white model to aluminum shows how amazing they can make these machines with just a bit of attention. The time has come again to give it some attention and what I'd like to see is for them to drop the optical drive put in a dual i5/i7 CPU with Intel IGP, 256GB SSD chip and make it the size of an Apple TV or thereabouts. Then have two Thunderbolt ports with options for an external mobile GPU. The other can connect to an external storage drive and optical.
post #86 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

Why are desktops going to enjoy a resurgence? Perhaps they will but tablet evolution is happening at a rapid pace. Take the Eee Transformer. No need for a desktop there assuming Honeycomb gets some good apps.

Take the iPad with iWorks, GarageBand and with what Adobe has shown with their companion Photoshop apps I think that the rest of the iLife suite isn't too far behind.

Updates, sync, backups and additional storage via iCloud and what do you need a desktop for?



To do what? If you airplay your iPad screen to your HDTV+aTV and use the iPad as the input device with maybe a BT keyboard what do you need a desktop for?

Some of us will still want one but the importance of a desktop/laptop is reduced, not enhanced.



Or you can dock your tablet...



Except it can't for the Mac Pro. It's too small for the Pros that max out their configs.

Nor can you for the mini because folks who use the mini for many purposes don't want something much larger than the aTV it replaces in their setup.

So neither can be replaced effectively but instead poorly.



For the pro with lower computing needs yes. For the pros with heavy computing needs, no.



No it doesn't, it seriously compromises the evolution because now you have a product that has to meet both consumer and pro needs. Currently the break is very clear.



Thanks for being selfish in your desires. At least the normal xMac folks aren't trying to pee on other people's desires. Just get their met.


It's not selfishness, per se. I'm simply trying to look at this from Apple's perspective. Mac Pro sales are not that strong to begin with so a so-called xMac would bring the volume of Mac Pros down to the point where it just wouldn't make sense for Apple to build them any more, being as Apple is a volume producer. The xMac would also be more of a challenge for iMac sales than the Mini has been, representing as it would a better value than the Mini.

So whatever Apple does, clearly Apple will consider what's in it for Apple. The company is not a charity or dedicated to making us consumers' lives better. Apple wants to sell stuff at a profit to make as much money as possible. No crime in that. It's the American Way.

Bottom line is just that. Apple will offer the products that it stands to most profit off of. For the xMac (I would consider it be just plain Mac, not Mini not Pro, just Mac) to come to market Apple would have to see the business sense in having that happen.

Clearly, since desktops are no longer the first choice of consumers, there are only so many units Apple can move, no matter what it does. There isn't enough room for the Mini, and the Mac and the Mac Pro. But if you end up with just the Mac and give customers the ability to configure it as needed, I see that as a win/win.

My vision of this product would be something that resembles a PS3 in shape and basic dimensions, making it media-system friendly. If PS3s wind up in people's media set-ups, I see no reason why such a Mac model would be seen as problematic.

The two targets that matter, in my view, are bringing out an entry version at just below $1,000 and a top model that can legitimately meet the needs of most professionals. Perhaps this isn't feasible at this time. And perhaps, after examining all the marketing ramifications Apple deems that such a product just wouldn't make sense. I don't know. I haven't done the research and certainly lack the technical knowledge and expertise such an analysis would require.

All I do know is that it doesn't seem like a good deal for us lowly consumers when a computer costing just about as much as another made by the same company, is significantly less capable. The iMac is a different beast and hence not an alternative to someone like me who requires a headless Mac in light of his set-up. So on the surface of it, I find myself wondering why it is that the iMac can be so much more powerful than the Mini yet in truth, the two devices are not far apart in cost, when you factor in peripherals and upgrading the Mini to approach some basic elements of the iMac like system RAM and hard-drive capacity.

By the way, I happen to disagree that there is such a difference between what consumers want and what pros look for. Both parties want bang for the buck. The notion that professionals never give cost any consideration is absurd. If that were true, the Mac Pro would not come in assorted versions varying wildly in price. There simply would not be a $2,500 Mac Pro. Heck, my G4 Tower set me back $7,000 back in the day. As the muscle offered by CPUs and GPUs increases with each generation, power becomes increasingly less critical. Keep in mind that if the Sandy Bridge processors found in the new iMac approach the performance of Mac Pros of only a couple of years vintage, Ivy Bridge will take that further. Every year the bar gets raised. Prior to Sandy Bridge, it wasn't practical to consider switching the machines offered for pro use to such processors. Now though, the lines have blurred a little and Ivy Bridge will blur them even further. External storage is also getting easier to accommodate. I recently bought a 3TB external to mate with my Mini. I'm running the OS off it and have been getting good results. Not to imply that a pro setting would be right for a $250 3TB external but Thunderbolt provides the throughput and I'm sure pro grade external solutions will soon follow. Are we coming to the point where the Mac Pro is overkill even for the pro customer? If we haven't quite yet, isn't it inevitable that we will certainly no later than 2013. To me that makes the Mac Pro a dinosaur equally destined for extinction.
post #87 of 154
People still care about the Mini? I left that train a long time ago.

If/when Apple gets around to updating the Mini, it will come with the weakest Sandy Bridge CPU, probably an i3, and Intel graphics, as it will be cheap, have the lowest TDP, require the smallest case, and least amount of engineering, as for Apple, it's still a niche product. And I'm not even concerned about things like Blu-ray anymore, Netflix has made those irrelevant for me anymore, never use the BR drive in my PC or my player now.

If it wasn't for the fact that I hate AIO's, I don't see what the point of the Mini is anymore (mine is over 3 years old), once you factor in the cost of a additional KB/mouse and monitor to the Mini, but it would probably still feature weaker graphics, CPU, HD, and RAM.

That, and/or Apple lowers the base price, $700 is a ridiculous amount of money to spend on the current Mini for a C2D, 2 GB, etc. It would probably help if I wasn't also wrapped up over specs, but for less than 2x as much, the base iMac comes with a monitor, KB/mouse, quad-core CPU, dedicated graphics.
post #88 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

Bottom line is just that. Apple will offer the products that it stands to most profit off of. For the xMac (I would consider it be just plain Mac, not Mini not Pro, just Mac) to come to market Apple would have to see the business sense in having that happen.

If Apple wants more businesses using Macs then it is going to have to build an xMac. If I was running a business and wanted to switch to Macs what am I supposed to buy? iMacs? Businesses don't need fancy screens. (Talking regular office stuff) Mini's? Maybe but most businesses would want a computer that is quick and easy to open. Most regular offices don't have putty knives laying around. Pro? Not for regular business. Too much money.

Not filling that gap between the mini and Pro is keeping Macs out of the work place.
post #89 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTac View Post

If Apple wants more businesses using Macs then it is going to have to build an xMac. If I was running a business and wanted to switch to Macs what am I supposed to buy? iMacs? Businesses don't need fancy screens. (Talking regular office stuff) Mini's? Maybe but most businesses would want a computer that is quick and easy to open. Most regular offices don't have putty knives laying around. Pro? Not for regular business. Too much money.

Not filling that gap between the mini and Pro is keeping Macs out of the work place.

It is hard to understand exactly where Apple is coming from with the Mini. I suspect most Mini owners are like me in that they settled for the Mini rather than bought it because it is an ideal device. I'm firmly entrenched in the Mac camp and I have a Cinema Display that I hope to keep for a very long time. Even if there are niche scenarios in which the Mini's size matters, as you point out, there are scenarios in which the Mini is a flawed offering.

The just plain Mac could be not offered to this point because it would cannibalize sales of the Mac Pro and the Mini to such an extent that it would have to pretty much be able to replace both. For that matter, such a machine would be more of a threat to the iMac.

If this is the reason for how Apple has evolved its desktop line, I have to think that as technology evolves, the situation can certainly change. Just because the right path, based on available technology, was X in 2007 does not mean that the answer, based on available technology, remains X in 2011 or 2012.

I can't imagine that Apple would fail to regularly explore its options. For every product offered for sale, not doubt 100 come into being in Apple's labs. If a just plain Mac emerged that makes more sense than offering the Mini/Mac Pro, what possible reason would there be for Apple to not bring such a product to market. After all, if the monitorless desktop is no longer the most popular form factor, the fewer models the better. Why build and evolve two product lines if one will do just fine.

Up to this point, of course, one would not do just fine. Pro customers demand a machine engineered more rigorously than is needed for the typical consumer customer's needs. Has that changed, though. I don't know the answer but it is worth noting that now top end Sandy Bridge iMacs are delivering numbers that are Mac Pro-like. And if Sandy Bridge isn't good enough, what of Ivy Bridge or beyond. Don't update the Mac Pro long enough and Apple could even release a just plain Mac that in range-topping form could outgun the Mac Pro of the day. Apple could market such a machine as a Mac Pro For Everybody.
post #90 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

It is hard to understand exactly where Apple is coming from with the Mini. I suspect most Mini owners are like me in that they settled for the Mini rather than bought it because it is an ideal device. I'm firmly entrenched in the Mac camp and I have a Cinema Display that I hope to keep for a very long time. Even if there are niche scenarios in which the Mini's size matters, as you point out, there are scenarios in which the Mini is a flawed offering.

The just plain Mac could be not offered to this point because it would cannibalize sales of the Mac Pro and the Mini to such an extent that it would have to pretty much be able to replace both. For that matter, such a machine would be more of a threat to the iMac.

If this is the reason for how Apple has evolved its desktop line, I have to think that as technology evolves, the situation can certainly change. Just because the right path, based on available technology, was X in 2007 does not mean that the answer, based on available technology, remains X in 2011 or 2012.

I can't imagine that Apple would fail to regularly explore its options. For every product offered for sale, not doubt 100 come into being in Apple's labs. If a just plain Mac emerged that makes more sense than offering the Mini/Mac Pro, what possible reason would there be for Apple to not bring such a product to market. After all, if the monitorless desktop is no longer the most popular form factor, the fewer models the better. Why build and evolve two product lines if one will do just fine.

Up to this point, of course, one would not do just fine. Pro customers demand a machine engineered more rigorously than is needed for the typical consumer customer's needs. Has that changed, though. I don't know the answer but it is worth noting that now top end Sandy Bridge iMacs are delivering numbers that are Mac Pro-like. And if Sandy Bridge isn't good enough, what of Ivy Bridge or beyond. Don't update the Mac Pro long enough and Apple could even release a just plain Mac that in range-topping form could outgun the Mac Pro of the day. Apple could market such a machine as a Mac Pro For Everybody.

I think desktops are for dinosaurs like myself, I hate AIOs and I like picking and choosing all my components as well; 5 internal HD's, dual monitors, soon to have 2 video cards in Crossfire, 8 GB RAM, quad-core i5...but other than some games and Lightroom 64-bit, it's overkill for what I do most of the time. When I upgrade again, I'll probably get a NAS, as I can never get enough space.

If there was money to be had in a 'typical' desktop Mac, I'm sure they would've done it, but they are a consumer driven company, so if they can get someone to buy a more expensive iMac or MBP over a Mini, so be it, and some pros will still cling to the Mac Pros, but even the 27" iMac looks like a better deal for majority of tasks.

All I see that the current Mini has going for it, is size and power consumption, but the price is a turnoff.
post #91 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by guinness View Post

I think desktops are for dinosaurs like myself, I hate AIOs and I like picking and choosing all my components as well; 5 internal HD's, dual monitors, soon to have 2 video cards in Crossfire, 8 GB RAM, quad-core i5...but other than some games and Lightroom 64-bit, it's overkill for what I do most of the time. When I upgrade again, I'll probably get a NAS, as I can never get enough space.

If there was money to be had in a 'typical' desktop Mac, I'm sure they would've done it, but they are a consumer driven company, so if they can get someone to buy a more expensive iMac or MBP over a Mini, so be it, and some pros will still cling to the Mac Pros, but even the 27" iMac looks like a better deal for majority of tasks.

All I see that the current Mini has going for it, is size and power consumption, but the price is a turnoff.

Desktops make sense as a compliment to a portable device like the iPad. Instead of putting demands on the portable device that results in penalties (poorer battery life, more weight, higher price), one can have an inexpensive portable with great battery life and amazing lightness for ease of use. Combine that with a desktop that has some horsepower and you've got a set-up that allows for handy portable use and serious clout to do more demanding work.

This isn't for everyone. Some need power on the go and others don't ever need real substantial power. As touchscreen portables evolve, some will end up able to meet their computing needs just with something like the iPad. For those consumers, the rise of the tablet will not translate to purchasing a desktop. The same will hold for those who have demanding applications to which they need to apply serious muscle while using a portable. For those consumers, the desktop serves no purpose. But there are many who could have the best of both worlds by way of a tablet+desktop arrangement. Use the desktop for heavy lifting and big-time storage while the tablet does the job when casual portable use is what's sought after. A $600 tablet+$2,000 desktop system can offer advantages over a $2,600 laptop.

As such, I think that it's not a good idea for Apple to neglect the desktop segment. It has a place in the overall scheme of things and the tablet revolution will, if anything, encourage many to re-establish a desktop element to their computer eco-system.
post #92 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by guinness View Post

I like picking and choosing all my components as well; 5 internal HD's, dual monitors, soon to have 2 video cards in Crossfire, 8 GB RAM, quad-core i5.

What if they did something like this:



I'm not 100% sure how that quad Xeon performs but I'd expect it to come close to the current entry quad Mac Pro as the above chip is a Sandy Bridge chip. It's only $90 more than the chip they use now. The TDP should fit within the Mini's 85W.

If it had to raise the entry price by $100, I'd say that's ok. 4GB ECC RAM kit is about $65.

The IGP inside the Xeon is not good but suitable for people who aren't gaming etc. The external MXM options and prices are based on current MXM cards you can buy and their power draw goes as high as 100W so they have to be external and have their own power supply. The 10Gbps is plenty for these cards and Sony appear to be driving a 6770M off their TB port with HDMI out.

With dual Thunderbolt ports, I'd expect SLI/CrossFire could be possible. I doubt Apple would support as many options and wouldn't need to.

This setup allows you to get a quad-core (8 thread even) server CPU with ECC RAM, decent performance gaming when needed and low power consumption when doing average tasks starting at $699/799.

The spare Thunderbolt port can be used for storage. I like the idea of the Mini itself only having a 256GB or 512GB SSD and so there's plenty space for cooling but even with the 19nm Toshiba NAND, prices may still be too high for this.

An example configuration could be:

$699 Mini with 256GB SSD
buy 4GB RAM kit for $65
buy Geforce 460M for $299
buy Pegasus RAID box for $300, add 8TB (4x2) in RAID5 $400

Total cost = $1763 give or take

Fast boot drive with 6TB space, able to play Metro 2033 on high quality with options to upgrade cards in future and plenty of CPU power for an entry machine.

This external GPU setup could be a lifesaver for NVidia and great for people who want to use Quadro GPUs so that they get anti-aliased viewports in 3D apps and CAD software among other things.

Great use as a server due to the Xeon and ECC as well as Thunderbolt ports for connecting to fibre-channel RAID systems and very low power and space used.

I think it would also end once and for all the requirement for an affordable mid-range tower with BTO options.
post #93 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

What if they did something like this:



I'm not 100% sure how that quad Xeon performs but I'd expect it to come close to the current entry quad Mac Pro as the above chip is a Sandy Bridge chip. It's only $90 more than the chip they use now. The TDP should fit within the Mini's 85W.

If it had to raise the entry price by $100, I'd say that's ok. 4GB ECC RAM kit is about $65.

The IGP inside the Xeon is not good but suitable for people who aren't gaming etc. The external MXM options and prices are based on current MXM cards you can buy and their power draw goes as high as 100W so they have to be external and have their own power supply. The 10Gbps is plenty for these cards and Sony appear to be driving a 6770M off their TB port with HDMI out.

With dual Thunderbolt ports, I'd expect SLI/CrossFire could be possible. I doubt Apple would support as many options and wouldn't need to.

This setup allows you to get a quad-core (8 thread even) server CPU with ECC RAM, decent performance gaming when needed and low power consumption when doing average tasks starting at $699/799.

The spare Thunderbolt port can be used for storage. I like the idea of the Mini itself only having a 256GB or 512GB SSD and so there's plenty space for cooling but even with the 19nm Toshiba NAND, prices may still be too high for this.

An example configuration could be:

$699 Mini with 256GB SSD
buy 4GB RAM kit for $65
buy Geforce 460M for $299
buy Pegasus RAID box for $300, add 8TB (4x2) in RAID5 $400

Total cost = $1763 give or take

Fast boot drive with 6TB space, able to play Metro 2033 on high quality with options to upgrade cards in future and plenty of CPU power for an entry machine.

This external GPU setup could be a lifesaver for NVidia and great for people who want to use Quadro GPUs so that they get anti-aliased viewports in 3D apps and CAD software among other things.

Great use as a server due to the Xeon and ECC as well as Thunderbolt ports for connecting to fibre-channel RAID systems and very low power and space used.

I think it would also end once and for all the requirement for an affordable mid-range tower with BTO options.

The modularity is nice, but I'd rather have a standard desktop-class CPU, mobo, and RAM, rather a server CPU, consumers don't need error checking, and it just increases the prices of components, example I wouldn't buy another computer with less than 4 GB of RAM.

Essentially, if Apple took the guts of the current iMac, and stuck it in a small mid-tower, they would be on their way to my idea of an xMac, with just enough room for a few internal HD bays and a PCIe slot or two (for SLI/Crossfire), and it would be a bit smaller than my current PC, which is the size of a Mac Pro.

However, I just don't see Apple doing that, I think their pigeon holing causes people to spend more money, or they end up having to settle (like me when I bought my Mini).
post #94 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by guinness View Post

The modularity is nice, but I'd rather have a standard desktop-class CPU, mobo, and RAM, rather a server CPU, consumers don't need error checking, and it just increases the prices of components, example I wouldn't buy another computer with less than 4 GB of RAM.

I couldn't find an i5 or i7 desktop or mobile chip that was cheaper, lower powered and had 4 cores/8 threads and the Xeon RAM kits aren't too badly priced. The 65W 2.8GHz i7 in the 21.5" iMac is a nice option but would need a bigger chassis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guinness View Post

Essentially, if Apple took the guts of the current iMac, and stuck it in a small mid-tower, they would be on their way to my idea of an xMac, with just enough room for a few internal HD bays and a PCIe slot or two (for SLI/Crossfire), and it would be a bit smaller than my current PC, which is the size of a Mac Pro.

To fit those parts inside, it would certainly need to be around the size of the Mac pro:



but you'd sell more Minis that were powerful than you would underpowered workstations. There's really little point in making this type of machine now because this market is so small and getting ever smaller. HTPCs are much more convenient for home use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guinness View Post

However, I just don't see Apple doing that, I think their pigeon holing causes people to spend more money, or they end up having to settle (like me when I bought my Mini).

Yeah, that's right but from their point of view it makes sense. I think the modular approach is the only way it works for both parties. A flexible Xeon Mini doesn't conflict with the iMac because it requires you to do more work to make the machine what you want so the simplicity of the iMac is lost. It also doesn't require unique PCI cards. The MXM route can use the options in the iMacs and RAM from the Pro so it reduces inventory and it strengthens the Thunderbolt standard.

The problem with this xMac thing being like a Mac Pro is it's just another box of parts with no identity and no clear focus on who it's for or what it's for. And what happens when the parts are so small that having a big box doesn't matter? It gets discontinued. The Mini has a clear focus and people who have the desire can make it into something more if Apple give it a few more features.
post #95 of 154
When I first heard of the Mini I thought it was supposed to be the machine which would encourage PC users to switch to Macs [since you already had a PC no monitor or keyboard is needed]. But what if you are in my position? I have a 2003 Power Mac G5 (very old in dog years). I am past time for an upgrade but my wallet says pinch pennies because there are other needs of higher priority. I don't need a new keyboard or monitor as the present ones work OK. I can't afford the quad core 2011 Mac Pro. If a buy a Mini tomorrow Apple will take just enough time releasing the upgrade for me to be stuck!
I don't wish to buy a windows box because I think there is more malware and viruses out to
attack them than Macs [and we any computer can be subject to attack]. I sure would like to see a headless Mac with a quad core I7. Being realistic, I am not expecting one. I would like
to know why Apple is taking so long to update the Mini.
Help!
post #96 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by geneking7320 View Post

When I first heard of the Mini I thought it was supposed to be the machine which would encourage PC users to switch to Macs [since you already had a PC no monitor or keyboard is needed]. But what if you are in my position? I have a 2003 Power Mac G5 (very old in dog years). I am past time for an upgrade but my wallet says pinch pennies because there are other needs of higher priority. I don't need a new keyboard or monitor as the present ones work OK. I can't afford the quad core 2011 Mac Pro. If a buy a Mini tomorrow Apple will take just enough time releasing the upgrade for me to be stuck!
I don't wish to buy a windows box because I think there is more malware and viruses out to
attack them than Macs [and we any computer can be subject to attack]. I sure would like to see a headless Mac with a quad core I7. Being realistic, I am not expecting one. I would like
to know why Apple is taking so long to update the Mini.
Help!

I don't know if the Mini is a major priority for Apple anymore.

While it was never a great bang for your buck, I personally find charging $700 for a machine with 2 GB of RAM and a C2D in 2011 too much, when I got my Mini in December 2007, it had a C2D (albeit slower).

My guess is that Apple will update the Mini sometime this year, with a Core i3 and Intel HD 2000 or 3000 IGP, 4 GB of DDR3 RAM and a 500 GB HD, possibly 1 TB, and possibly with the DVD drive as an BTO, same case and addition of Thunderbolt.

If you want a headless Mac with a Core i7, it will probably remain the territory of the Mac Pro as a Xeon, perhaps they could offer one in the Mini, but it would depend on the TDP.

Personally, I gave up on Apple offering the type of computer I wanted, and built a new Win7 box last year, and couldn't be happier. I just get the feeling that Apple only cares about iMacs, iPhones, and iPads, and they probably aren't wrong as they print money, but none of them do anything for me.
post #97 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by geneking7320 View Post

When I first heard of the Mini I thought it was supposed to be the machine which would encourage PC users to switch to Macs [since you already had a PC no monitor or keyboard is needed]. But what if you are in my position? I have a 2003 Power Mac G5 (very old in dog years). I am past time for an upgrade but my wallet says pinch pennies because there are other needs of higher priority. I don't need a new keyboard or monitor as the present ones work OK. I can't afford the quad core 2011 Mac Pro. If a buy a Mini tomorrow Apple will take just enough time releasing the upgrade for me to
be stuck!

For the life of me I don't understand these posts, you clearly indicate that the Mini is effectively outdated yet you contemplate a purchase. You know it would be stupid to do so yet you write in indicating it is a problem for you.

Let me say this: if you recognize that the Mini is too outdated to be a good buy stop thinking about buying one.
Quote:
I don't wish to buy a windows box because I think there is more malware and viruses out to
attack them than Macs [and we any computer can be subject to attack]. I sure would like to see a headless Mac with a quad core I7. Being realistic, I am not expecting one. I would like
to know why Apple is taking so long to update the Mini.
Help!

I really don't know what the hold up with the Mini is all about. I'd like to think it is becamuse they are waiting for Llano but it could be a wait for a GPUless Sandy Bridge. The only thing I know for sure is that it doesn't pay to worry about it. The Mini or it's replacement will come out when it is ready so the suggestion is to get a grip on yourself.

One last thing your current Mac is grossly outdated, anything you buy today, even an AIR, would significantly out perform it. So all this posturing about what the new hardware has or doesn't have is a bit silly. The common advice of buying when you need to still holds true.
post #98 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

For the life of me I don't understand these posts, you clearly indicate that the Mini is effectively outdated yet you contemplate a purchase. You know it would be stupid to do so yet you write in indicating it is a problem for you.

Let me say this: if you recognize that the Mini is too outdated to be a good buy stop thinking about buying one.


I really don't know what the hold up with the Mini is all about. I'd like to think it is becamuse they are waiting for Llano but it could be a wait for a GPUless Sandy Bridge. The only thing I know for sure is that it doesn't pay to worry about it. The Mini or it's replacement will come out when it is ready so the suggestion is to get a grip on yourself.

One last thing your current Mac is grossly outdated, anything you buy today, even an AIR, would significantly out perform it. So all this posturing about what the new hardware has or doesn't have is a bit silly. The common advice of buying when you need to still holds true.

Maybe I was unclear.
1) My Mac needs replacement.
2) I can't afford a Mac Pro
3) I don't want an AIO or a laptop
4) The present Mini is outdated.
I am hoping that Apple will release an updated Mini [or better still an "XMac"] relatively
soon. In any event I won't lose sleep because it's only a computer!
Sometimes you just have to rant!
post #99 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by geneking7320 View Post

Maybe I was unclear.
1) My Mac needs replacement.
2) I can't afford a Mac Pro
3) I don't want an AIO or a laptop
4) The present Mini is outdated.
I am hoping that Apple will release an updated Mini [or better still an "XMac"] relatively
soon. In any event I won't lose sleep because it's only a computer!
Sometimes you just have to rant!

Same here. I really want just a little more than the Mini offers but I don't need a Mac Pro. I'd like Apple to fill the gap between the two but I'm not very hopeful. Kind of a bummer to have to make lots of hardware compromises in order to stay with the OS I want to use.
post #100 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTac View Post

Same here. I really want just a little more than the Mini offers but I don't need a Mac Pro. I'd like Apple to fill the gap between the two but I'm not very hopeful. Kind of a bummer to have to make lots of hardware compromises in order to stay with the OS I want to use.

That's the Apple ecosystem for you; either deal with settling on something, wait for a (maybe) update, or spend more money. I settled on my Mac, and was never quite happy with it, and now it's just slow and outdated feeling, but their isn't a good replacement ATM.
post #101 of 154
@Marvin, while I'd like the mini you describe it strikes me as un-Apple with the offboard MXM card and RAID array.

It's just a bit too unwieldy as a machine. Perhaps if the HD2000 didn't suck so badly it could leave everything else to 3rd party.
post #102 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

@Marvin, while I'd like the mini you describe it strikes me as un-Apple with the offboard MXM card and RAID array.

It's just a bit too unwieldy as a machine. Perhaps if the HD2000 didn't suck so badly it could leave everything else to 3rd party.

Apple themselves advertise the RAID system with the iMac:



The GPU option they could offer themselves but wouldn't have to. I certainly wouldn't see them offering as many options - likely just low, mid and high with a single Quadro option - but 3rd party manufacturers can come on board and offer these things.

GPU manufacturers really need to wake up to this. There are over 200 million laptops sold every year and Intel graphics are in half of them. If they all have Thunderbolt and can use an external MXM card while still being ultra-portable, the market for those cards is significant.
post #103 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Apple themselves advertise the RAID system with the iMac:

I wish Apple would make a Mac the size of that RAID.
post #104 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Apple themselves advertise the RAID system with the iMac:



The GPU option they could offer themselves but wouldn't have to. I certainly wouldn't see them offering as many options - likely just low, mid and high with a single Quadro option - but 3rd party manufacturers can come on board and offer these things.

GPU manufacturers really need to wake up to this. There are over 200 million laptops sold every year and Intel graphics are in half of them. If they all have Thunderbolt and can use an external MXM card while still being ultra-portable, the market for those cards is significant.

I suspect that GPU manufactures have already considered this concept and have discounted its value. Especially in connection with the Mini, as such an arrangement would lead to low performance high cost systems. If someone is seriously into gaming they will simply buys gaming laptop or go with desktop machine built to their needs.
post #105 of 154
Could well be that what a large percentage of potential Mac purchasers are looking for is not in sync with what produces the most profit for Apple, as Apple perceives it at this time. But Apple needs to take care to remember what got it to where it is today. To me it's providing a better user experience with price a secondary consideration that has made Apple more successful than many competitors.

The way I see it, Apple doesn't want an x-Mac that could fatally cripple the sales of the Mac Pro and hurt sales of the iMac. Let's face it, if instead of the Mini, Apple offered an x-Mac that was more or less a monitorless iMac, more than a few would seriously consider that machine over Apple's all-in-one and many pro scenarios could do just fine with a $1,500 x-Mac in place of a $2,500 Mac Pro. To be fair, it's no small thing to bring out a product that could, potentially, kill off Apple's robust pro offering. Not to be done with ease and it's hard to say if Apple would ever consider doing it.

Still, it is a product that many have long been asking for. On paper it makes sense. Who knows, maybe its time has come.
post #106 of 154
So much for the idea that the iPad will cause a desktop resurgence. No PC required means even less need for a desktop at all.

I think many folks would be fine with just aTVs, iPads and maybe time capsule as a router.
post #107 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

So much for the idea that the iPad will cause a desktop resurgence. No PC required means even less need for a desktop at all.

I think many folks would be fine with just aTVs, iPads and maybe time capsule as a router.

The one thing I'm not sold on is the deal with the filesystem. They said they tried hard to get rid of the filesystem so people don't have to learn it, which is fine in some ways but it's not just about learning it. Personal data means a lot to users and some people like to know it's protected both in terms of privacy and integrity.

I don't want my decades of files hidden away from me where I don't know if they're backed up or if some of them are being shunted onto a server in the middle of nowhere. Rather than ignore a filing system that people are well accustomed to by now, I think a better solution is to rethink it and make it more accessible to people.

Most people don't need to see their Library, root directory, system folder or any of the unix stuff, so have a simplified filesystem that behaves like the iTunes iOS app and uses just a handful of main categories. That's not hard to deal with at all. It's certainly far easier than getting an image out of one image editing app and opening it in another under iOS by syncing all the time.

The cloud storage will solve some of this but it's not going to work well for the likes of iMovie and probably not Garageband either. Anyone with even a moderately slow broadband uplink knows how long you can wait for 100MB+ upload.

I'd say the untethered iOS is another step towards merging Lion and iOS but there needs to be a few more before standard desktops can be removed from the equation. The direction they are going with Lion Server will make for some interesting changes too because it means both the Minis could ship with standard Lion and you'd just get the server add-on over the App Store for any machine.
post #108 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

The one thing I'm not sold on is the deal with the filesystem. They said they tried hard to get rid of the filesystem so people don't have to learn it, which is fine in some ways but it's not just about learning it. Personal data means a lot to users and some people like to know it's protected both in terms of privacy and integrity.

I don't want my decades of files hidden away from me where I don't know if they're backed up or if some of them are being shunted onto a server in the middle of nowhere. Rather than ignore a filing system that people are well accustomed to by now, I think a better solution is to rethink it and make it more accessible to people.

Most people don't need to see their Library, root directory, system folder or any of the unix stuff, so have a simplified filesystem that behaves like the iTunes iOS app and uses just a handful of main categories. That's not hard to deal with at all. It's certainly far easier than getting an image out of one image editing app and opening it in another under iOS by syncing all the time.

The cloud storage will solve some of this but it's not going to work well for the likes of iMovie and probably not Garageband either. Anyone with even a moderately slow broadband uplink knows how long you can wait for 100MB+ upload.

I'd say the untethered iOS is another step towards merging Lion and iOS but there needs to be a few more before standard desktops can be removed from the equation. The direction they are going with Lion Server will make for some interesting changes too because it means both the Minis could ship with standard Lion and you'd just get the server add-on over the App Store for any machine.

Apple is going down the road of iTunes/iOS/cloud...there's no turning back.

And if people actually starting using iPads as their primary computers, they aren't going to create very large files, due to the limited processing, garbage cameras, and storage capacity, and like my netbook, I couldn't do any serious photo editing without wanting to slit my wrists after awhile...there's nothing like having a large monitor (or two), USB ports, tons of local storage, and the CPU power to not have to sit around an wait, etc.

For those that only need e-mail, web, FB, the iPad + cloud would probably suffice, as they don't do anything demanding anyhow.

Someday, I think we'll come to a point where all our computers will be our phones that just dock into a monitor/mult-port station, but current phones and tablets aren't there yet, and the broadband infrastructure isn't up to speed either.

Lion Server sounds interesting, as I could use a small NAS/backup server, and my Mini plus a few external drives could work I think.
post #109 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by guinness View Post

For those that only need e-mail, web, FB, the iPad + cloud would probably suffice, as they don't do anything demanding anyhow.

Yes. I'd guess a good number of users are in this category and currently own computers they are barely using.

As far as photo editing goes, I'm thinking that eye-fi to iCloud for simple editing via the iPad might be a nice lightweight workflow for point and shoots.

I've been so lazy these days that for the kid soccer pics I did some crops and dumped them into a iPhoto slide show and stuck them up on the mobileme gallery for the other parents. No more shooting raw, doing post, yadda yadda yadda. Whatever the camera gives me to simple jpeg workflow into iPhoto.

I can imagine most folks could go this route. It's amazing how much kids can cure OCD.
post #110 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

The cloud storage will solve some of this but it's not going to work well for the likes of iMovie and probably not Garageband either. Anyone with even a moderately slow broadband uplink knows how long you can wait for 100MB+ upload.

If TimeCapsule could handle local upload to it's HDD and push it to the cloud overnight that works well enough.

A TimeCapsule Express would be an interesting product...3g + wifi hotspot with a 300gb 2.5" drive and iCloud caching and a 8 hr battery.

If it had the same month to month data plan as the iPad that would be pretty neat little device for the post PC ecosystem.
post #111 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

So much for the idea that the iPad will cause a desktop resurgence. No PC required means even less need for a desktop at all.

So much for Apple's "Back to the Mac" slogan, huh?
post #112 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTac View Post

So much for Apple's "Back to the Mac" slogan, huh?

MacBooks are macs too but I'd be Lion if I didn't admit I'm not waiting for the new Mini.
post #113 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


something like this:



Especially if the outboard GFX & HDD/RAID boxes matched the footprint of the Mac box

Be a nice little Home Server / Media server stack!
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 #114 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRonin View Post

Especially if the outboard GFX & HDD/RAID boxes matched the footprint of the Mac box

Be a nice little Home Server / Media server stack!

If Apple offered a stack-able component system Mac Mini I would probably never complain about the lack of a mid sized Mac again.
post #115 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

For the life of me I don't understand these posts, you clearly indicate that the Mini is effectively outdated yet you contemplate a purchase. You know it would be stupid to do so yet you write in indicating it is a problem for you.

Let me say this: if you recognize that the Mini is too outdated to be a good buy stop thinking about buying one.


[snip]

One last thing your current Mac is grossly outdated, anything you buy today, even an AIR, would significantly out perform it. So all this posturing about what the new hardware has or doesn't have is a bit silly. The common advice of buying when you need to still holds true.

The mini blows. But I may buy it. Silly? No. I need an entry level computer. That means I choose between a $550 Dell or a $700 Mac Mini. Either way leaves me unhappy. If you'll lend me $500 I'll happily buy another 13" MBP.
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 #116 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

Maybe it's time to reconsider the point of having a Mac Mini and the Mac Pro. The reason is that Thunderbolt would allow for externals to be viable for high-performance use.

I

So basically, kill off the current Mini (except in server form), kill off the Mac Pro, and replace both with a device configurable to meet the needs of current Mac Mini and Mac Pro customers.

You forgot MBA . SO WHILE I kinda agree a little with you about the mac mini server situation .

I feel that the MBP will keep at least 2 forms including superdrive optical long batter life . including high heat !!!

but i also can see apple expanding the MBA into a strong more powerful role . If the clouds and mac app store and itunes will be our holy grail Then a MBA can ram up a lot more power using the above mentioned clouds app store stuff.

I wonder what will happen to The White plastic classic model in all this ??? Expasnsion for our new 3rd world buyers ?? and even their school systems ??

just talking

9

ps the mac mini has great uses world wide .
whats in a name ? 
beatles
Reply
whats in a name ? 
beatles
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post #117 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ompus View Post

The mini blows. But I may buy it. Silly? No. I need an entry level computer.

I'd like a simple desktop that could easily be maintained as a home server and do double duty as a desktop work station. The Mini isn't to bad as a server though it needs to be easier to get to the disks. The problem as a desktop is the graphics are pretty sucky.

That is why I'm a big proponent of the AMD Llano that is arriving on the market this month. It stresses performance where most user need it the most, that is in the GPU. So even thought the CPU might be a bit slower than the Intel offerings it really doesn't make much of a difference with modern software. Especially when that software uses any sort of graphics beyond mainstream 2D or GPU acceleration of user code.

I know this is wild wishful thinking on my part but I'm really hoping the delay with the Mini update is due to a switch to an AMD Fusion processor. Honestly it is almost like AMD and Apple designed their systems to complement each other when you look at Llano and them look at GCD and OpenCL in Mac OS.
Quote:
That means I choose between a $550 Dell or a $700 Mac Mini. Either way leaves me unhappy. If you'll lend me $500 I'll happily buy another 13" MBP.

Well I'm actually hoping you won't be unhappy if you wait for the refreshed Mini. I can't imagine it being anything less that a big step forward in most regards. Oh by the way I have a MBP, nice machine but it isn't a desktop computer by any means. Of course the Min doesn't fit the definition for many people either so this discussion won't go anywhere.
post #118 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

If a just plain Mac emerged that makes more sense than offering the Mini/Mac Pro, what possible reason would there be for Apple to not bring such a product to market...

The answer is simple. Apple does not want to compete head-to-head with a mainstream PCs, as their premium pricing would be exposed. With the Macmini the consumer says "oooo it's so high-tech and tiny, I don't mind paying more for that." With the iMac the consumer says "oooo it's so convenient and easy to set up an all-in-one machine, I'll pay more for that!"

If Apple made a mid-range headless machine, the consumer would say "ewwwww, I have to pay how much more for this Apple computer that has the same specs as a $300 Walmart computer??"
post #119 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

The Mini and the Macbook, on paper, seem like excessively expensive products considering they're both using previous-gen components. The Macbook, with 4GB of RAM and a 320GB hard drive, i.e. the same specs as the Macbook Pro, is $1,199 here in Canada vs. the Macbook Pro 13" which comes in at $1,249. I mean $50 difference, really? And the Mini might start at $699 but all you have to do is boost the memory to 4GB, step up to a 2.66Ghz previous-gen processor, toss in a keyboard and magic mouse to climb to $1082. Even considering the Mini uses costlier laptop components, compared to the laptops, something is out of whack. No expensive battery technology, no monitor, and yet the Mini is all of $167 cheaper than the Macbook Pro and $112 less than the Macbook.

By decontenting both the Macbook and the Mini, Apple gives the impression that pricing is appropriately lower for last-gen tech and yet in truth, Apple is charging just as much for its Core 2 Duo machines as they are the Sandy Bridge products like the Macbook Pros. How can this be?

We can't really claim that the Mini is a $699 machine when Apple doesn't provide some very basic pieces without which the Mini is unusable. Even if you buy the notion that the Mini is a desktop spinoff of Apple's laptops, the numbers don't add up. Surely the battery and monitor that comes with the Macbook Pro is worth more than $167 and when you consider the Pro has a far better processor, you have to wonder what's going on.

Right now you'd have to be quite naive to consider buying the Macbook since the Pro is pretty much the same price, with comparable specs. There is no similar option for potential Mini buyers but even a Sandy Bridge refresh seems rather like not enough to justify the price.

Apple is charging so much because it can. If all Apple delivers in the next few weeks is a Sandy Bridge refresh for the Mini, a price reduction is in order or at the very least the minimum RAM needs to climb to 4GB. Otherwise, the Mini will amount to a poor deal that Mac customers are being forced to turn to because there is no other way to get a headless Mac for less than $2,400.

Apple charges what they want there is no regulation what they charge.The Mini will probably have Sandy Bridge soon.
post #120 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by The-Steve View Post

If Apple made a mid-range headless machine, the consumer would say "ewwwww, I have to pay how much more for this Apple computer that has the same specs as a $300 Walmart computer??"

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.
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