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Apple updates Mac mini with Thunderbolt, 2X graphics and CPU power - Page 2

post #41 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by aiolos View Post

Air superdrive? Why couldn't you just plug it in the back of the Mini?

Uh, that's exactly what he's talking about.

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post #42 of 112
What is the consensus opinion on the HDD vs SSD? Is it worth the extra $600?

Looking to get an i7 with discreet graphics for a home media setup, i.e. Netflix, iTunes, Hulu, and the Boxee app.

That said, is the i7 even necessary if I'm not doing much actual computing? Or is extra RAM (8GB) a better value?
post #43 of 112
If they Mac mini, a desktop, has lost the ODD who here doesn't think the future of the MBP is to lose the ODD?


Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

I like the lack of an internal optical drive.

This means you can run an incredibly clean system with a Apple Thunderbolt Display by simply mounting the Mac mini "out of sight out of mind" and hooking the external superdrive and other peripherals to the display. Voila

Thunderbolt is really nice. Even the base $600 dollar Mac mini sitting in front if a TB RAID would make for a fast NAS.

The only think I wish is they offered a PSU bypass on the Mac mini with the locking port for the new Thunderbolt-equipped LED display so you can have a single cable for power for both your display and Mac mini, with the single cable going to the back of the Mac mini. SInce the continuous power in for the Mac mini and out for the LED display are both 85W it's too far fetched to imagine. I assume Apple had thought of this but there were other complications that prevented it.
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post #44 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJim View Post

Glad to see the CPU muscle, but Apple's not doing anything more for me on supporting multiple displays. There's always the mac pro but that did not get the expected refresh today. I guess if you want hella monitors you have to get the 27" iMac which has dual Thunderbolt ports, then you could have three 2560x1440 monitors (counting the iMac). Its making me think about going hackintosh; straight PC hardware makes it easy to support two or 3 big monitors. Right now I have a 2009 mac mini driving a Dell u2711 and a generic 1920x1200, and these new models don't give me more.

It should be easy to upgrade the RAM. What about the hard disk? Anyone know does Lion support TRIM?

I believe you can daisy chain Thunderbolt connections. In fact the image used for the new Cinema Displays has two monitors hooked up to a macbook pro.

james
post #45 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by shen View Post

I suspect he wants a DVD drive for movies...


That makes sense enough. But the optical in my MBP went belly up last year and I replaced the functionality with a bus powered USB external for $35 and it doesn't do anything any worse.

As far as portability it stays in the TV cabinet anyway. Plays movies great and burns archives faster than what Apple gave me stock.

No idea if what I picked up (happens to be an Iomega Slimline, no bigger looking than the Superdrive) is functionally the same, but I've never run into anything it couldn't do and only needs one port for power.
post #46 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

Thus ends the life of the Mac Mini as a home-theater PC. Back to a table-top of mismatched remotes...

why?

dont tell me you were actually using the DVD drive for DVD playback?!? i figured anyone utilizing a HTPC would have the means to rip the disks to a server/NAS/drive....

getting the mini smaller and quieter (and faster-epsecially graphics) makes it an even better HTPC choice.

My HTPC software is SageTV, and since they just got bought out by Google, their hardware extenders are now going for $300 and $400 on ebay (MSRP $149) so the mini is being much much more attractive.
post #47 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

The Thunderbolt port lets you daisy chain monitors...

What I've read is you can daisy chain Thunderbolt devices. But only one monitor per Thunderbolt port/chain. I am pretty sure that new display only has one Thunderbolt plug on it... it sits at the end of the chain. That it doesn't have two plugs so it could sit in the middle and you could have 2 monitors on one chain. Furthermore, if I'm wrong, then why would the 27" iMac have TWO Thunderbolt ports, it wouldn't serve much purpose.

Then again, there is that picture of a Mac Book driving two of the displays, thanks James. So maybe I'm wrong. But what exactly is that cable in that photo?? If the regular Thunderbolt cable costs $49 I wonder what that cable costs, surely like the $49 cable only Apple sells it, but where? Yes, that photo really raises some questions, about how that works. Is there a Y cable or does the new monitor have two Thunderbolt ports so you can daisy chain?
post #48 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandor View Post

why?

dont tell me you were actually using the DVD drive for DVD playback?!?

Why, yes, I was.

I also stream content, but broadband Internet service in the US is still pretty primitive in places, and generally unsuitable for HD content at true Blu-Ray quality (not that Apple supported it anyway). And impending data caps make full-time streaming a risky proposition.


Quote:
i figured anyone utilizing a HTPC would have the means to rip the disks to a server/NAS/drive....

Sure, if you have a DVD drive sitting around. Which is what we're discussing here.

Quote:
getting the mini smaller and quieter (and faster-epsecially graphics) makes it an even better HTPC choice.

All of which can still be achieved whether it has an optical drive or not. But Apple just removed the option entirely, even if some of us were willing to pay extra for it.
post #49 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

What is the consensus opinion on the HDD vs SSD? Is it worth the extra $600?

Looking to get an i7 with discreet graphics for a home media setup, i.e. Netflix, iTunes, Hulu, and the Boxee app.

That said, is the i7 even necessary if I'm not doing much actual computing? Or is extra RAM (8GB) a better value?

My reading of the models in the Apple store says you can't get both quad-core-i7 and discrete graphics. You can get discrete graphics and dual-core i5 or i7. Or you can move to the server for quad core.

IMHO both i7 are overkill for HTPC. Its kind of ironic, the Mac Mini's new form factor (for this and previous model) were intended to also be used for a new Apple TV. But they probably realized it would be too expensive and canned it.

If you want a home media set up, suggest you look here www.iboum.com. On the other end of the spectrum, you have to use windows, and run Media Player Classic Home Cinema edition, with yCMS gamut and grey scale calibration, and play full Blu-Ray images into an AVR that can play the high def (True HD or DTS HD MA) audio. Apple is so far behind on this that it hurts. And its again ironic because they are using the same z68 chipset that supports mixing the audio into the HDMI.

That said, Apple was right about optical drives going away.
post #50 of 112
Though I am disappointed that there is not a Core i7 offering in the non-server model, I suppose the Core i5 with a discreet graphics card will do well enough. It would have been very nice indeed to have a Core i7 2.5 GHz quad core and discreet graphics.

Perhaps Apple did not think such a model would sell enough units to be worth their while. Oh well.

I do wonder if the hard drives in the new models are specific to Apple as in the iMacs or are still "generic" that you can swap out with any standard HD.
post #51 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJinTX View Post

Not completely. Only for those who rely heavily on playing DVDs. I think the number of people wanting to play actual DVDs is getting smaller by the day. I think the majority either watch from ripped content, or what they can stream from Netflix, Hulu, and other online sources.

There is, of course, the issue of ripping the media in the first place. Some of use were using the Mac Mini's optical drive for that purpose. Having an extra drive (USB) really clutters up a nicely organized entertainment center.

Streaming doesn't cut it. Some of us still want the physical medium.
post #52 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTac View Post

Apple just doesn't seem to understand the beauty of internal devices which is odd considering how much effort it puts into the look of its products. Apple really wants us to hide their designs behind third party external devices? I just don't get it.
.

The 80$ external drive is not "third" party because its made by Apple. And it looks pretty neat, you could put it on top of the mini and it would still look good since its the same aluminum casing. The drive is a little smaller than the MacMini.

http://store.apple.com/ca/product/MC684ZM/A#overview

MacMini Size
Width: 7.7 inches
Depth: 7.7 inches

Superdrive size
Width: 5.47 inches
Depth: 5.47 inches
post #53 of 112
Anyone know if the gigabit network port on the 27" screen will allow the internal to keep working so you have dual nics?
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post #54 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by RBR View Post

Though I am disappointed that there is not a Core i7 offering in the non-server model, I suppose the Core i5 with a discreet graphics card will do well enough. It would have been very nice indeed to have a Core i7 2.5 GHz quad core and discreet graphics.

Perhaps Apple did not think such a model would sell enough units to be worth their while. Oh well.

I do wonder if the hard drives in the new models are specific to Apple as in the iMacs or are still "generic" that you can swap out with any standard HD.

You can build the $799 Mac Mini to order with a dualcore i7 for an extra $100.
post #55 of 112
I'm so happy to see the discrete GPU in the Mini as well as the quad-core i7 in the server model. I'll probably go for one of the discrete GPU models eventually, not least because you are actually getting two GPUs.

As for the Mini no longer being a media centre, they did pretty much exactly what I wanted them to do, which is cut the optical and drop the price by $100 so that you can buy whatever drive you want. You can even buy a Sony Blu-Ray burner for $180:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...8048&Tpk=s500u

and you've basically only spent $80 more than the previous model and you get DVD and Blu-Ray playback as well as Blu-Ray burning.

The CPUs are more than twice as fast as before and we still have HDMI and now 500GB drives all round. The dedicated GPU is faster than a 5650 and 6490 so higher than the first i7 MBP, which costs much more.

This is pretty much the best outcome there could ever have been for the Mini. I am so pleased with every choice made here because they have given each model a clear role and specced the machines accordingly.

Once the quad i7 creeps down to the discrete GPU model with Ivy Bridge and you hook up a RAID system to Thunderbolt, there's your xMac right there. The server model is almost there already.

- 5/5 smiles from a happy Mini supporter.
post #56 of 112
Silly question, but I'm not familiar with the i5 and i7. I'm looking at the new $799 mini. Is it worth the $100 extra to bump it up to an i7? My biggest gripe about my current mini (that I LOVE!!!) is that Aperture 3 really bogs it down. I'm currently running the last of the white minis (2.53 ghz Core 2 Duo) with 4 gigs of RAM.
post #57 of 112
Based on re specs would any of these minis be good for Final Cut Pro 7? I know the graphics are discrete, but is that good enough for FCP or Color? If they are and I could BTO with a quad core that'd be potentially pretty sweet.
post #58 of 112
Keep in mind, it's a dual core i7, not a quad core, sadly. Still, a nice option to have.
post #59 of 112
I'm a bit shocked that 2GB of RAM is still the base memory.

With all of the billions of dollars that Apple is making, you'd think they'd open up their purse strings a bit and eliminate this embarrassment. I was wrong.
post #60 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by aiolos View Post

Air superdrive? Why couldn't you just plug it in the back of the Mini?

imo they just didnt update the superdrive page yet. If it works on the old MacMini server it should work on the new macmini. If that thing doesnt work I will fall out of my chair.
post #61 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTac View Post

Apple just doesn't seem to understand the beauty of internal [optical] devices which is odd considering how much effort it puts into the look of its products. Apple really wants us to hide their designs behind third party external devices? I just don't get it.

It's all about pushing the App Store and the iTunes store. And it'll probably work out well for them, business-wise. And I must admit that it doesn't bug me; I've already got several external drives of various sorts sitting around. The extra hard drive really is more useful for most people.
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post #62 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by rare comment View Post

not having a dvd player makes it a less useful home-theater computer. but not fatal if air superdrive works well.

Not having a br players makes it a less useful home-theater computer. Losing the superdrive in this context doesn't mean all that much if you had a BR player in your rack anyway.

Most of my DVDs are finally ripped anyway.
post #63 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

This is pretty much the best outcome there could ever have been for the Mini. I am so pleased with every choice made here because they have given each model a clear role and specced the machines accordingly.

I'd like to have had a lower cost 128GB SSD (or even 64GB) BTO option. The 256GB option is a bit steep and all I really want is a SSD that can hold Lion and a few apps.

I guess that when I do get one I'll have to take it apart to update the drives but it's a lot more annoying than the older white minis. Maybe I'll let OWC do it for $99 unless there's a local shop who will do it.
post #64 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by chabig View Post

Why do think it's not a good home-theater computer?

Without an optical drive you'll need an external drive. Another piece of clutter in the living room. Or don't you use DVDs?
post #65 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

You can build the $799 Mac Mini to order with a dualcore i7 for an extra $100.

Thanks!

I was looking for a quad core so hard I missed that.

Cheers!
post #66 of 112
I just ordered the 2.5 with the 750GB drive, it will replace my mini server at home.

It's a pity they didn't make the 500GB drive in the upgrade 7200RPM, bit of a cop-out, you have to upgrade to the 750GB to get the extra speed. No point in getting bogged down with a slow drive.
post #67 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by charley2 View Post

Without an optical drive you'll need an external drive. Another piece of clutter in the living room. Or don't you use DVDs?

No, I use blueray. Meaning the superdrive wasn't all that useful either.
post #68 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2oh1 View Post

Silly question, but I'm not familiar with the i5 and i7. I'm looking at the new $799 mini. Is it worth the $100 extra to bump it up to an i7?

Yes, the i7 chips offer good performance improvements over the i5. However, the i5 will still be noticeably faster than the last model anyway.

i5-2520M gets Geekbench scores around 5500
i7-2620M gets scores around 7500

So 35% faster for 10% more money. Whether you will actually notice that extra speed is always debatable but it's at least good value.

Quote:
Originally Posted by elliots11

Based on re specs would any of these minis be good for Final Cut Pro 7? I know the graphics are discrete, but is that good enough for FCP or Color? If they are and I could BTO with a quad core that'd be potentially pretty sweet.

Yes the discrete GPU is fine for those apps. The HD 3000 isn't. It's on the supported list but it has no OpenCL support. Go with the Radeon and you will get a GPU with 480GFLOPs of compute performance and GDDR5 VRAM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldenclaw

I'm a bit shocked that 2GB of RAM is still the base memory.

They have to buy RAM from someone else so it's added expense. They would have passed this cost onto the consumer. 2GB should be plenty for most tasks like a media centre and basic PC. I think it's great the price dropped down by $100.
post #69 of 112
I was so pleased with the update on the Mini that I've already placed an order for one speced out rather aggressively. The 256 SSD+750 7200 RPM, the 2.7 i7, 8Gb of RAM.

I wanted a lot more performance than I was getting out of my current Mini which I have now hooked up to my TV for streaming Netflix, etc. I thought I was going to need to step up to a Mac Pro but Apple has so dramatically upgraded the Mini that I think I can live with the system as I have it configured.

The best part is that with the current Mini running in the household still, the absence of an optical drive is not going to be a big issue in the new unit. In addition, I have a USB DVD drive kicking around that I had bought to use with a netbook, so if need be I can always hook that up and still have DVD access.

This machine is pretty much what I had advocated for Apple to make, namely remove the optical drive to make room for discreet graphics and an SSD. Add in Thunderbolt and I really think Apple has finally delivered on a mac desktop with the expandability and power to meet the needs of all but the true pro user.

I consider myself to be a prosumer, not doing it for money but dabbling in enough demanding activities, like video rendering, to warrant something with a little muscle. Up until today, Apple didn't have a product that fit that niche. Now, though, I believe Apple has such a product.

Lot's of versatility in how the Mini is offered, too. You can go all out, as I have, or for a lot less than $1,000 you can have a perfectly adequate little desktop for basic uses. A win all around in my estimation.

I am thrilled by what Apple has done and I can't wait for the new Mini to arrive.
post #70 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by chabig View Post

Why do think it's not a good home-theater computer?

It never was a good home theatre PC. No BD drive makes it a total non-starter.

Personally I can't see any non-gaming box ever standing much chance in the living room. How could anyone compete with an all-in-one like the PS3? That thing does just about everything.
post #71 of 112
I'm pretty thrilled with this Mini update too. As soon as I make sure my important apps run on Lion, I'll probably buy one.
post #72 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasenj1 View Post

Yep. My 17" iMac will need to be replaced for me to join the Lion party. I was thinking a mini would soften the hit to the credit card, but I'd like the discreet graphics, and then you're very close to an iMac with quad-core CPU, faster GPU, etc.

- Jasen.

And an optical drive.
post #73 of 112
Thanks Marvin!
post #74 of 112
The article here about the new 27" display states "Thunderbolt-based Macs with discrete graphics can drive two external displays giving professional users over 7 million additional pixels of display real estate and the ability to daisy chain additional Thunderbolt devices, as well as video and audio capture devices."

My understanding then is, only the mid-range mini has discrete graphics. And only the 2011 15" and 17" (and not the 13") mac books qualify. I would like to see a picture of the ports on the new monitor, won't there have to be TWO thunderbird plugs, to enable the daisy chain?
post #75 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post

No BD drive makes it a total non-starter.



Quote:
That thing does just about everything.

Except be a computer.

Originally Posted by Marvin

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post #76 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJim View Post

The article here about the new 27" display states "Thunderbolt-based Macs with discrete graphics can drive two external displays giving professional users over 7 million additional pixels of display real estate and the ability to daisy chain additional Thunderbolt devices, as well as video and audio capture devices."

My understanding then is, only the mid-range mini has discrete graphics. And only the 2011 15" and 17" (and not the 13") mac books qualify. I would like to see a picture of the ports on the new monitor, won't there have to be TWO thunderbird plugs, to enable the daisy chain?

http://www.apple.com/displays/ has a picture of the display's ports. 2 different plugs does not a daisy chain make. Daisy chain would require plugging into one and then continuing from that one to the next. I don't see any thunderbolt cables except as options when buying TB enabled Apple computers. My guess is you plug a cable from your TB port on your computer to the back of your Display, then the TB cable that comes out the back of the display hooks into the TB port on the 2nd monitor. Hence, daisy chain. The display has a built in TB cable coming out the back.
post #77 of 112
I still believe the iMac is a better value if you need to better all of the peripherals. My choice was still a good one.
post #78 of 112
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4744


I figure there's no point in dual mDP ports on a display because it has to be at the end of the chain in a TB chain anyways.
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post #79 of 112
Well, being a die-hard Optical disk and Optical storage user, having no Cd/DVD drive is discouraging.
I'm glad I've got the slightly older mini with Optical. (tho of course, the cpu in it is now way slower in comparison. --- )

The only upside is that without the optical slot in front, there now is no reason not to turn the Mini sideways so that one would at least have some *Hope* of finding the right port hole to plug things into!
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post #80 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJim View Post

My reading of the models in the Apple store says you can't get both quad-core-i7 and discrete graphics. You can get discrete graphics and dual-core i5 or i7. Or you can move to the server for quad core.

I think you're right. Looks like you can't do quad plus discrete graphics. That's too bad because I'd be all over that, but I guess it'd cannibalize iMac sales or something. Maybe it wouldn't physically fit or work, but I'll bet its a business move. Drat! That could've served a lot of purposes for me.
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