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2012 Mac Mini Wish List?

post #1 of 391
Thread Starter 
So anyone have an idea what Apple might be doing with the Mini, and when you think it might be updated?

Quad CPU's across the whole line up ?

On-par graphics with iMac ?

All SSD making it even smaller ?
post #2 of 391

Quad Core

Graphics card (Now the MBPs are NVIDIA maybe the GeForce GT 650M 512MB from the 13" MBP)

SSD system drive with hard drive storage in the second bay.

USB3

16GB RAM capacity

post #3 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Market_Player View Post

So anyone have an idea what Apple might be doing with the Mini, and when you think it might be updated?
I'm hoping it gets replaced by a new concept. Further I hope Apple gets over their idiotic need to castrate the machine.
Quote:
Quad CPU's across the whole line up ?
Even with Ivy Bridge I think that will be difficult in the same housing. Especially in the model with the descrete GPU!
Quote:
On-par graphics with iMac ?
I wish!
Quote:
All SSD making it even smaller ?
Again it would be nice to have at least one slot for an SSD. However smaller is the wrong direction to go for this platform.

Here is what I'd like to see:
  1. A slightly larger case to offer up more room for a powersupply bulk up. This would allow for some of the features that are needed below.
  2. We still need a model with a descrete GPU, however if Apple screws us again I can't see a rush in sales. So the descrete GPU needs to be an upper midrange model with at least 512 MB of VRAM and preferably 1GB. The midrange GPU and RAM is in part the reason for a bigger box/power supply.
  3. I agree quad cores should be a priority but I'm not sure Intel has one suitable for the machine. I'd actually like to see AMDs Trinity processor in the Mini as the GPU would be a huge win for the Mini. In any event I want to see laptop processors in the machine but I do wish that they could support high wattage units. The Mini should be close to equal to Apples laptop lines performance wise.
  4. at least two TB ports.
  5. USB 3 obviously.
  6. SSD over PCI Express. Hopefully Apple defines a card format that wors on the Mini, iMac and the coming Mac Pro replacement. Apples new laptops are demonstrating rather impressive SSD performance right now, it is obvious that SATA will soon need to be replaced.
  7. Bulk storage is still a real need so two bays for magnetic drives are required.
  8. An expansion slot.
  9. Hardware theft protection, so that the machine can always be found on the Internet.
  10. Plenty of RAM capacity. Ideally expansion to 32 GB. Further ship the damn machine with at least 4GB of RAM IN THE BASE MACHINE. Apple has spent far to many years selling this thing without enough RAM. Use desktop RAM modules.

Note that this is only slightly more than the current machine, with a strong emphasis on the currently poor GPU implementation. The expansion slot could be a completely different format for all I care, the goal is a port to allow customization of the machine.

Of all Apples desktops I see the Mini as the best of their desktops right now. Unfortunately that isn't saying much as the machine is chronically underpowered even when paying extra for an upper tier model. Without much effort Apple could turn the machine into a far more desirable computer.
post #4 of 391
Same processors that the MacBook Pro got, Intel 4000 graphics across the board, 640M in the top two models, 4GB of RAM across the board, 500GB HDD base with 1TB and dual 1TB options.

It just got a redesign, so nothing is happening there. Apple won't be making an xMac.

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post #5 of 391
Thread Starter 
I agree with Wizard, going smaller would not be cool; however it seems Apple has this fetish with trimming things up.

Would be awesome to have quads to choose from in the non server models

Up to 32GB ram would be exciting, although I think officially Apple will support 16GB; which I can totally live with.

Dedicated GPU with minimum 1GB VRam..... why so cheap with the VRam Apple !

Dual drive bays will probably by BTO unless going for the server model..... ( however I hope to get dual drives ) I'll probably order SSD's from Newegg or OWC depending on who is dealing.
post #6 of 391

Make it large enough to offer an open drive slot to allow the option of an internal optical drive for those of us that use it.
 

post #7 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTac View Post

Make it large enough to offer an open drive slot to allow the option of an internal optical drive for those of us that use it.

55
24

Just keep hitting +R.

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post #8 of 391

If more VRAM is not standard, at least offer it as a CTO.

post #9 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


Again it would be nice to have at least one slot for an SSD. However smaller is the wrong direction to go for this platform.
Here is what I'd like to see:
  1. A slightly larger case to offer up more room for a powersupply bulk up. This would allow for some of the features that are needed below.
  2. We still need a model with a descrete GPU, however if Apple screws us again I can't see a rush in sales. So the descrete GPU needs to be an upper midrange model with at least 512 MB of VRAM and preferably 1GB. The midrange GPU and RAM is in part the reason for a bigger box/power supply.
  3. I agree quad cores should be a priority but I'm not sure Intel has one suitable for the machine. I'd actually like to see AMDs Trinity processor in the Mini as the GPU would be a huge win for the Mini. In any event I want to see laptop processors in the machine but I do wish that they could support high wattage units. The Mini should be close to equal to Apples laptop lines performance wise.
  4. at least two TB ports.
  5. USB 3 obviously.
  6. SSD over PCI Express. Hopefully Apple defines a card format that wors on the Mini, iMac and the coming Mac Pro replacement. Apples new laptops are demonstrating rather impressive SSD performance right now, it is obvious that SATA will soon need to be replaced.
  7. Bulk storage is still a real need so two bays for magnetic drives are required.
  8. An expansion slot.
  9. Hardware theft protection, so that the machine can always be found on the Internet.
  10. Plenty of RAM capacity. Ideally expansion to 32 GB. Further ship the damn machine with at least 4GB of RAM IN THE BASE MACHINE. Apple has spent far to many years selling this thing without enough RAM. Use desktop RAM modules.
Note that this is only slightly more than the current machine, with a strong emphasis on the currently poor GPU implementation. The expansion slot could be a completely different format for all I care, the goal is a port to allow customization of the machine.
Of all Apples desktops I see the Mini as the best of their desktops right now. Unfortunately that isn't saying much as the machine is chronically underpowered even when paying extra for an upper tier model. Without much effort Apple could turn the machine into a far more desirable computer.

http://ark.intel.com/products/65710/Intel-Core-i7-3612QE-Processor-%286M-Cache-up-to-3_10-GHz%29

 

They have quite a few skus. While I like ram capacity, I wouldn't expect 32 GB unless you do it yourself. They're using notebook boards and so far they've stuck to 2x sodimm configurations. I haven't located any 16GB sodimms yet. There are a couple 32GB rdimms available if you search around. Ivy Bridge should support the 16GB sticks assuming there aren't hardware incompatibilities on Apple's end, but none are available yet. It may be some time before pricing looks fully practical.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Market_Player View Post

All SSD making it even smaller ?

Even smaller wouldn't really add anything beyond gimmicky marketing. Their thermals are already pretty bad. I'd rather see them work on this rather than stressing every machine so hard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

If more VRAM is not standard, at least offer it as a CTO.

Vram was only a recent example. The thing I hate is when companies skimp in certain areas that are less effective in terms of marketing. It's the same with idevices. I'd only care quite a lot about specs if they affect the capabilities of the device within its native OS. The mini is cheap for a mac, but that doesn't mean it couldn't be more capable for a stationary machine that still requires roughly $1k of hardware on the conservative end to be functional as a desktop (display, mouse, keyboard not included).

post #10 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Market_Player View Post

I agree with Wizard, going smaller would not be cool; however it seems Apple has this fetish with trimming things up.
Yeah their need to shrink things doesn't really fit the need of desktop users. The problem I have is that the small enclosure is apparently thermally limiting the performance of the machine. I really want to see top end 45 watt processors in the box with a midrange GPU, this seems to be impossible with the current design.
Quote:
Would be awesome to have quads to choose from in the non server models
Nice but I don't want Apple to drop the low end model. The flip side of my desire to have MBP like performance is the reality that some simply need low cost. I'd rather see Apple clip the price of the low end model another hundred to stimulate sales.
Quote:
Up to 32GB ram would be exciting, although I think officially Apple will support 16GB; which I can totally live with.
I could easily live with that much myself. The big issue I see is that I want Apple to get away from purposefully limiting the machines performance.
Quote:
Dedicated GPU with minimum 1GB VRam..... why so cheap with the VRam Apple !
Well certainly not 256MB when so much software out there specifically reccomends more VRAM.
Quote:
Dual drive bays will probably by BTO unless going for the server model..... ( however I hope to get dual drives ) I'll probably order SSD's from Newegg or OWC depending on who is dealing.

Dual drive bays are already there. What I'm hoping for is enough room for one of their blade SSDs along with space for the hard drives. Considering how fast the new SSDs are. In the MBPs this would have a significant impact on performance of the machine and give it a new feel.

Of course what you have to be concerned with with Apple and SSDs is that they build in units that are too small. So if Apple does add a blade to the machine lets hope that it is at minimal a 256GB model.
post #11 of 391
Quote:

Originally Posted by hmm View Post

 

Vram was only a recent example. The thing I hate is when companies skimp in certain areas that are less effective in terms of marketing. It's the same with idevices. I'd only care quite a lot about specs if they affect the capabilities of the device within its native OS. The mini is cheap for a mac, but that doesn't mean it couldn't be more capable for a stationary machine that still requires roughly $1k of hardware on the conservative end to be functional as a desktop (display, mouse, keyboard not included).

I agree with you and I'm hoping they eventually get it. When the mini was released last year; even seeing the AMD Radeon 6630M was a surprise but after a while to soak it all in, a friend and I agreed that 256 MB was a bit minimal. 

post #12 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

I agree with you and I'm hoping they eventually get it. When the mini was released last year; even seeing the AMD Radeon 6630M was a surprise but after a while to soak it all in, a friend and I agreed that 256 MB was a bit minimal. 

I think you understand my issues with these things quite well. They like  to make cuts in areas that most people are unlikely to notice right away. Usually when I bring these things up, the replies contain fabricated statistics on how many people might actually make use of such a feature. Another thing that irritates me would be the thermal issues. These components are not all manufactured perfectly. If you've ever the ifixit teardowns, the thermal paste application is often pretty terrible. There are areas that could be improved dramatically to help thermal profiles. I hate it when fans kick up and the thing is still pushing 190F. If they're manufactured perfectly, this may not be an issue. If not, combined with eventual dust buildup, it can create problems. More people would clean out their machines to help one part of this if they were more accessible. Macrumors has a couple mini threads where people broke cables just trying to install an SSD. I'm extremely careful and I use proper tools, so it's not as likely that I would be one of them, but this still disturbs me in a stationary/desktop machine.

post #13 of 391

As I often say to people, "Made in China with pride." I remember thinking that I was going to be one of the unlucky ones to not only break something installing an SSD into my mini though that the clips used for the memory modules would also cause a problem. I consider myself lucky on both. I was careful though christ was I nervous.

 

Have things always been this way though or just recently? Maybe more visits are required to the Foxconn factory for quality control?

 

Heh maybe someone should tell Apple about Arctic Silver 5.

post #14 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

I think you understand my issues with these things quite well. They like  to make cuts in areas that most people are unlikely to notice right away. Usually when I bring these things up, the replies contain fabricated statistics on how many people might actually make use of such a feature.
I suspect people do notice this crap! I'd like to see Mini sales splits because I suspect that many rejected the model containing the GPU because it simply isn't able to support many apps these days, thus the additional expense isn't worth it. A common term is Rip-Off.

As to fabricated reasons many people have trouble getting with the program. I still have Windows users telling me that you don't need a descrete GPU. Even though Windowsitself has been using GPU acceleration for some time. Like wise on the Mac, every Mac OS release has seen an increase in the use of GPU acceleration. In the end it is silly to buy a desktop or even a laptop these days without good GPU acceleration for general purpose usage.
Quote:
Another thing that irritates me would be the thermal issues. These components are not all manufactured perfectly. If you've ever the ifixit teardowns, the thermal paste application is often pretty terrible. There are areas that could be improved dramatically to help thermal profiles. I hate it when fans kick up and the thing is still pushing 190F. If they're manufactured perfectly, this may not be an issue.
Nothing in this world is manufactured perfectly. Could Mac Assembly be improved, that is almost certain, however the overall quality of the machines is still high relative to similar products from other manufactures.
Quote:
If not, combined with eventual dust buildup, it can create problems. More people would clean out their machines to help one part of this if they were more accessible. Macrumors has a couple mini threads where people broke cables just trying to install an SSD. I'm extremely careful and I use proper tools, so it's not as likely that I would be one of them, but this still disturbs me in a stationary/desktop machine.

Well considering what I've seen over the years, many people should never get near anything mechanical!!!! I say this in all seriousness as I work in industrial maintenance and one of the first things we tell an operator with an issues is not to touch anything for fear that they will make things worst or hurt themselves. So when I see posts about people breaking things and how Apple sucks; I tend to think, no they suck. For the most part these machines will not break on their own.

As to machine maintenance, It would be better if the machines could be properly cleaned without the need for disassembly magic. The new Mini is actually a tiny improvement in this regards.
post #15 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

As I often say to people, "Made in China with pride."
China has nothing to do with it. The machines are designed by Apple and Apple has been locking things up since after the Apple 2. Effectively the Apple 2 was the last really accessible low cost computer from Apple. That is a very long time ago. For the most part the rest of the machines to come out of Apples design shops have been closed systems.
Quote:
I remember thinking that I was going to be one of the unlucky ones to not only break something installing an SSD into my mini though that the clips used for the memory modules would also cause a problem. I consider myself lucky on both. I was careful though christ was I nervous.
Luck has very very little to do with it. Let somebody near a machine with all the finesse of a Gorilla and things will end up broken.
Quote:
Have things always been this way though or just recently? Maybe more visits are required to the Foxconn factory for quality control?
For what? You are implying here that there are issues with the current designs where all the evidence points to very reliable hardware that lasts a long time. Instead of getting all excited from people posting how they broke their machine (people that couldn't fix a bicycle), look instead at the machines overall reliability.

As a side note those cables are likely being broken because the user doesn't grasp that they are designed not to come apart under normal usage. Many a generic laptop has suffered from the lack of sound cabling where users have to fix things by reseating cables. People should be happy that Apple spends a couple of extra penny's on cables that don't fall off.
Quote:
Heh maybe someone should tell Apple about Arctic Silver 5.
post #16 of 391

I get that Apple is responsible for design though who is responsible for putting all the components together?

 

Frankly I really didn't want to take out the HDD and put in the SSD though A. I really wanted a fast machine (of which a 5,400rpm hard drive is not part of in my view) and B. I wasn't going to pay Apple $600 for their SSD on top of $200 I would have had to pay for getting the discrete model mini.

 

I had also read stories of people trying to do simple tasks such as replace the memory (of which Apple even talks about on their website that customers can do) and the clips popping off. So you can understand why I was nervous.

 

I am not faulting Apple really. I love my 2011 mini and think it is a good machine, though I think nothing is perfect and if something can be improved upon than that's that.

post #17 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

I get that Apple is responsible for design though who is responsible for putting all the components together?

Frankly I really didn't want to take out the HDD and put in the SSD though A. I really wanted a fast machine (of which a 5,400rpm hard drive is not part of in my view) and B. I wasn't going to pay Apple $600 for their SSD on top of $200 I would have had to pay for getting the discrete model mini.
SSDs are really nice!

As to Apples pricing, yeah it does suck. At least with the new MBP roll out we are seeing much better pricing. In this regards I see the descrete GPU mini as a rip-off, the elevated price just isn't justified considering the extra hardware doesn't cover common usage.
Quote:
I had also read stories of people trying to do simple tasks such as replace the memory (of which Apple even talks about on their website that customers can do) and the clips popping off. So you can understand why I was nervous.
I've seen people break stainless steel hydraulic fittings, so breaking a Mini isn't anything special. If such operations make you nervous then perhaps you should farm it out to a repair house.
Quote:
I am not faulting Apple really. I love my 2011 mini and think it is a good machine, though I think nothing is perfect and if something can be improved upon than that's that.

I think I understand where you are coming from. The Mini is a great little machine that gets no respect at Apple. This is really the sad part of the whole deal with the Mini as Apple could and should do much better with the machine. It is bad enough that they over charge for a lackluster middle tier model, but every model offered is short on RAM. Given RAMs bargain basement pricing it just doesn't make one feel good about Apples marketing.

So what we have here in the Mini is a great concept bungled by Apple. I'm really hoping Apple sees the errors in its ways with the coming Mini and or it's replacement. The number one issue is that they should ship with enough RAM to run today's work loads well. People should not have too expect too update RAM right after leaving the showroom. Further buying a middle tier machine should get you a machine that can cover most popular GPU needs. It will be very interesting to see what the new machines look like and how they are configured.
post #18 of 391

I was actually considering sending it to OWC to have them do it for me though I eventually worked up enough confidence to do it myself and figured "Well, if I do this and it breaks than it's my own damn fault." This is not often seen with people. People try the same thing and then they break it and believe Apple should give them a brand new machine because "I'm the damn customer!"

 

I believe in the near future that probably in 2013 or 2014 the mini will be using onboard Flash storage like with the Airs and Retina MacBook Pros.

post #19 of 391

i want to see a quad i7 and a proper GPU.

then a pair of free memory slots (base memory soldered on is OK) and option for SSD+HDD.

 

if you say thats not possible to do, i say the mini form factor is officially broken!

post #20 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by grapposoda View Post

then a pair of free memory slots (base memory soldered on is OK) and option for SSD+HDD.

Wow, that takes me back… soldered + user-upgradable RAM in the same machine…

Originally Posted by asdasd

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post #21 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


Well considering what I've seen over the years, many people should never get near anything mechanical!!!! I say this in all seriousness as I work in industrial maintenance and one of the first things we tell an operator with an issues is not to touch anything for fear that they will make things worst or hurt themselves. So when I see posts about people breaking things and how Apple sucks; I tend to think, no they suck. For the most part these machines will not break on their own.
As to machine maintenance, It would be better if the machines could be properly cleaned without the need for disassembly magic. The new Mini is actually a tiny improvement in this regards.

 

I agree somewhat here. A lot of computer designs are idiot proofed in that user serviceable parts did not contain tiny cables that break easily. I still dislike the idea of being locked out of changing a hard drive in a desktop machine by such factors. Apple has a significant markup on such a repair, and given that we're talking about expendable parts here, it should not be an issue. Typically it's one of the repairs that is actually worth it even on a very old machine if the rest is in good working order. It's like the battery on the rMBP. You've mentioned more experience with batteries than myself. My concern is gluing in expendable parts that are naturally expected to lose functionality before the rest of the machine.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


For what? You are implying here that there are issues with the current designs where all the evidence points to very reliable hardware that lasts a long time. Instead of getting all excited from people posting how they broke their machine (people that couldn't fix a bicycle), look instead at the machines overall reliability.
As a side note those cables are likely being broken because the user doesn't grasp that they are designed not to come apart under normal usage. Many a generic laptop has suffered from the lack of sound cabling where users have to fix things by reseating cables. People should be happy that Apple spends a couple of extra penny's on cables that don't fall off.
 

 

I think the reliability should still be higher in much of the line given the cost to repair it if anything does go. Apple has things integrated in a way where small things are just extremely expensive to replace. I don't agree that they always choose the best parts. The last really really well built display they had was the one Sony built for them. The rest have seen major problems. The uniformity on recent ones is actually pretty good. It's ahead of much of the competition, but you still see long term issues creep up. I suspect heat is an issue there. Most designs using comparable panels allow for some ventilation. Apple thinks vents are ugly.

 

 

 

Quote:
I suspect people do notice this crap! I'd like to see Mini sales splits because I suspect that many rejected the model containing the GPU because it simply isn't able to support many apps these days, thus the additional expense isn't worth it. A common term is Rip-Off.

The discrete gpu was almost a token gesture. Yes they implemented it, but they didn't implement it well. I don't consider it balanced. You have a machine that is capable of a fair range of tasks from a cpu standpoint (although the quad would be better) yet the gpu isn't appropriately matched. Going too low on ram annoys me as you won't notice it much if you're within what it will tolerate. In the case of both ram and vram, going beyond a certain point drops it off a cliff when things can no longer be held there. It's an area where not everyone gets it as you don't see nice linear gains on benchmarks simply due to increased ram. It just keeps it from tanking past a certain point.

 

 

Quote:
As to fabricated reasons many people have trouble getting with the program. I still have Windows users telling me that you don't need a descrete GPU. Even though Windows itself has been using GPU acceleration for some time. Like wise on the Mac, every Mac OS release has seen an increase in the use of GPU acceleration. In the end it is silly to buy a desktop or even a laptop these days without good GPU acceleration for general purpose usage.

I like AMD for the low end stuff. They at least balance it out better.

 

Quote:
Nothing in this world is manufactured perfectly. Could Mac Assembly be improved, that is almost certain, however the overall quality of the machines is still high relative to similar products from other manufactures.

 

Tolerance for variations encountered in manufacturing are built into any design. You can design a part in a CAD program to 1/100th of a millimeter or whatever. Good luck getting mechanical parts manufactured to such a tolerance (speaking of consumer grade products here). The thermal paste thing is a bit sloppy though. If you've seen some of the photos, it sometimes covers areas that it should not touch. Speaking of that, I need to repaste one of my old machines. I do use the right tools though, and I don't bend cables when removing them.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


Well considering what I've seen over the years, many people should never get near anything mechanical!!!! I say this in all seriousness as I work in industrial maintenance and one of the first things we tell an operator with an issues is not to touch anything for fear that they will make things worst or hurt themselves. So when I see posts about people breaking things and how Apple sucks; I tend to think, no they suck. For the most part these machines will not break on their own.
As to machine maintenance, It would be better if the machines could be properly cleaned without the need for disassembly magic. The new Mini is actually a tiny improvement in this regards.

Yeah....

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


For what? You are implying here that there are issues with the current designs where all the evidence points to very reliable hardware that lasts a long time. Instead of getting all excited from people posting how they broke their machine (people that couldn't fix a bicycle), look instead at the machines overall reliability.
As a side note those cables are likely being broken because the user doesn't grasp that they are designed not to come apart under normal usage. Many a generic laptop has suffered from the lack of sound cabling where users have to fix things by reseating cables. People should be happy that Apple spends a couple of extra penny's on cables that don't fall off.
Quote:
Heh maybe someone should tell Apple about Arctic Silver 5.

When you reach a certain price level with a machine and we're no longer talking about things that are sold on razor thin margins, proper cabling should be a given.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


I think I understand where you are coming from. The Mini is a great little machine that gets no respect at Apple. This is really the sad part of the whole deal with the Mini as Apple could and should do much better with the machine. It is bad enough that they over charge for a lackluster middle tier model, but every model offered is short on RAM. Given RAMs bargain basement pricing it just doesn't make one feel good about Apples marketing.
So what we have here in the Mini is a great concept bungled by Apple. I'm really hoping Apple sees the errors in its ways with the coming Mini and or it's replacement. The number one issue is that they should ship with enough RAM to run today's work loads well. People should not have too expect too update RAM right after leaving the showroom. Further buying a middle tier machine should get you a machine that can cover most popular GPU needs. It will be very interesting to see what the new machines look like and how they are configured.

Apple's opinion has always been that they don't do low end. The mini's starting price has climbed over time. What I'd like to see from them  is a little less focus on as small as possible and maybe a bit more toward efficient cooling so that you don't experience heat and noisy fans so easily. Balancing these things has always been an issue. Apple likes things that are pretty. They want the design to be different and make a statement. I care more about how things work especially under load. Apple has seen hiccups here. There was something with the power management. I think it was last year. The Apple discussion boards had people who mentioned that things like transcoding were eating their battery and causing eventual shutdowns even when the machine was plugged in. Given the way Apple pushes its laptops, I'm not surprised some people are doing this on their laptops. It's also common for a laptop to be used as a backup machine even if you own a mac pro. Most of those guys own macbook pros too.

post #22 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Wow, that takes me back… soldered + user-upgradable RAM in the same machine…

Actually his idea isn't that bad. This would give you the reliability of soldered in for the base configuration and an upgrade potential that doesn't loose you anything. I'm just not sure how many banks the mobile chips support though. The current motherboard is probably a bit crowded for this but sooner or later integration will catch up.
post #23 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

I agree somewhat here. A lot of computer designs are idiot proofed in that user serviceable parts did not contain tiny cables that break easily. I still dislike the idea of being locked out of changing a hard drive in a desktop machine by such factors. Apple has a significant markup on such a repair, and given that we're talking about expendable parts here, it should not be an issue. Typically it's one of the repairs that is actually worth it even on a very old machine if the rest is in good working order. It's like the battery on the rMBP. You've mentioned more experience with batteries than myself. My concern is gluing in expendable parts that are naturally expected to lose functionality before the rest of the machine.
I've seen lots of concern expressed here and elsewhere over the battery, frankly I don't see it as an issue. Either you can DIY the change or you can't , that will likely be determined later. The way I see it is if you gain reliability then a glued in battery isn't a problem.
Quote:

I think the reliability should still be higher in much of the line given the cost to repair it if anything does go. Apple has things integrated in a way where small things are just extremely expensive to replace. I don't agree that they always choose the best parts. The last really really well built display they had was the one Sony built for them. The rest have seen major problems. The uniformity on recent ones is actually pretty good. It's ahead of much of the competition, but you still see long term issues creep up. I suspect heat is an issue there. Most designs using comparable panels allow for some ventilation. Apple thinks vents are ugly.
Well I can't disagree with Apples feeling on cooling, it is far better to err on the side of to much cooling. Frankly though I have not heard a lot of comments about the reliability of Apples products over the last few years. If the retina MBPs hold up well I will be suitably impressed.
Quote:

The discrete gpu was almost a token gesture. Yes they implemented it, but they didn't implement it well. I don't consider it balanced. You have a machine that is capable of a fair range of tasks from a cpu standpoint (although the quad would be better) yet the gpu isn't appropriately matched. Going too low on ram annoys me as you won't notice it much if you're within what it will tolerate. In the case of both ram and vram, going beyond a certain point drops it off a cliff when things can no longer be held there. It's an area where not everyone gets it as you don't see nice linear gains on benchmarks simply due to increased ram. It just keeps it from tanking past a certain point.
Token gestures like this can be taken by your customers as an insult. It is like a form of appeasement, with a little FU attached. The thing is you have to believe that Apple has more than a little clue about what Mini users where asking for.

I hate to read minds here but it is like Apple set up the machine to fail on purpose. They placed a crap configuration on the market apparently with the intention of turning around and saying well that didn't sell - see we told you nobody wanted GPUs in the Mini. This really is an example of Apple at its worst, they keep the Mini borked just to move other product. Sadly the Mini could be a huge success in its own right, if Apple would simply offer the same value for dollar seen in their laptops.
Quote:

I like AMD for the low end stuff. They at least balance it out better.


Tolerance for variations encountered in manufacturing are built into any design. You can design a part in a CAD program to 1/100th of a millimeter or whatever. Good luck getting mechanical parts manufactured to such a tolerance (speaking of consumer grade products here). The thermal paste thing is a bit sloppy though. If you've seen some of the photos, it sometimes covers areas that it should not touch. Speaking of that, I need to repaste one of my old machines. I do use the right tools though, and I don't bend cables when removing them.


Yeah....
When you reach a certain price level with a machine and we're no longer talking about things that are sold on razor thin margins, proper cabling should be a given.
The implication is that the cabling in the Mini is some how bad or not up to par. I see nothing to support this. Because of its design there are cable and connection limitations, you will not be seeing military grade circular connectors in the Mini.
Quote:
Apple's opinion has always been that they don't do low end. The mini's starting price has climbed over time. What I'd like to see from them  is a little less focus on as small as possible and maybe a bit more toward efficient cooling so that you don't experience heat and noisy fans so easily. Balancing these things has always been an issue. Apple likes things that are pretty. They want the design to be different and make a statement. I care more about how things work especially under load. Apple has seen hiccups here. There was something with the power management. I think it was last year. The Apple discussion boards had people who mentioned that things like transcoding were eating their battery and causing eventual shutdowns even when the machine was plugged in. Given the way Apple pushes its laptops, I'm not surprised some people are doing this on their laptops. It's also common for a laptop to be used as a backup machine even if you own a mac pro. Most of those guys own macbook pros too.

Well they did enlarge the mini recently, but that was to install an internal power supply. Sadly the internal,supply was a mistake for many users. That external, easy to replace powersupply made for a very versatile platform.

In any event I'm off on a tangent here as are you with notebook references. I have to agree far to many times Apple has overdone design and under did functionality. The original AIRs are an example here. It is interesting how Aple took a great concept of the AIR and turned it completely aroun with the new versions, not just the engineering and design but the marketing too. The AIR is a major hit now.

I believe they can do the same thing with the Mini if they really wanted too. That is build the form around the function. It isn't that the Mini is a bad concept, it is actually a good one but their lack of focus on user needs is deplorable. I don't want to advertise but the concept is rather good, what I'm talking about is Drobos new Mini portable disk array, This unit takes four laptop size drives that can be installed with a pen. The drives literally pop in from the front. No need to disassemble and the arraignment is compact! In any event little things like this is what Apple should be implementing in the next Mini. Innovation isn't impossible it just take more than ten seconds with the next rev.

In any event it is bed time! I tend to agree that Apple could be doing better with their desktop designs. It is in fact something I've been harping about a long time. However I don't mean to say the current machines are non functional, rather that the next rev really should have the user in mind. Make a machine that people want as much as they want the laptops.
post #24 of 391

I actually think that the base mini was a good deal for $599 for a Mac anyway. I did not feel the 2010 base mini was a good deal since it was still using a Core 2 Duo at $100 more.

post #25 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


55
24
Just keep hitting +R.


What mini model was ever big enough for the current two hard drives and an optical drive? Your solution is for me to give up something in order to get something. Apple has already done that.

post #26 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Market_Player View Post

So anyone have an idea what Apple might be doing with the Mini, and when you think it might be updated?
 

 

Tim Cook and Jony Ive. Those are the folks that know the answers to your questions. 

 

As for what I would like them to do that might make me buy a Mac Mini. I would like something that is as powerful as a baseline Mac Pro with the ability for me to add more storage via thunderbolt which I could use in a RAID set so I could possibly run that Mini as a server that can handle the office backups, or media files for common projects or whatever I think up. 

 

Rather than the internals from the current Mac Pro I'm thinking more in line with the internals from the new MBPr, at least in term of multi core and speed, including the ability to power a Retina Cinema Display of at least 36 inches (which I would want Apple to release at the same time) up to 50 inches (enough power to run 2-3 of them would be even better). Minimum 8GB of Ram, up to 32GB. HDMI output as well as the thunderbolt. And the Display would have HDMI input so if we want to use it as a monitor to test Airplay via the Apple TV we can hook that to the Display. 

 

I happen to like the case form factor of the current Mac Mini so they can keep that but I would want to either have them make or license for someone to make those thunderbolt drives to match the look and be stackable under the main unit (creating a sort of 'lego' tower). Same with the Super Drive which should be at least USB 3.0 if not Thunderbolt. The internal drive on the Mac Mini should be SSD of at least 512GB if not even perhaps two of them of the same size able to run as two drives or a single depending on how I want to set it up. Being able to do that via their Setup Assistant would be fantastic. Wifi 802.11ac would be killer although probably won't happen this time. Or it might be that the chip can handle it but the software controller is just set for n for now and will be updated later (I would be okay with that since the routers aren't out there just yet)

post #27 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTac View Post

Make it large enough to offer an open drive slot to allow the option of an internal optical drive for those of us that use it.
 

 

The Mini is a consumer focused machine, not a pro one, and at this point there's probably not that many consumers that need an optical drive which is why they pulled it. If you need a drive, buy the external one. 

 

That said, as I said in my wish list, I wouldn't mind if that drive when thunderbolt if that would improve transfer and burn times. I didn't mention it before but I also wish, for those that insist them need it, if they would license the form factor etc to someone to make a TB Blu-ray burning and reading drive. Sure we'd have to probably get 3rd party software at least for the burning part if not the playing but folks that want such use are doing that anyway. There is a part of me that would hope that said mythical Retina Display might actually be able to handle 3d (as might a future high end Retina iMac) and perhaps Apple would include playback support for Blu-ray in the same playing only form as the first DVD/CD drives if one got the external drive (which perhaps they themselves would make). If you needed to burn Blu-rays you'd instead get the 3rd party drive and software and have at it. 

 

I know that folks are doing to say 'it's a big bag of hurt' so Apple won't ever touch any part of blu-ray and that's likely true. but perhaps Tim might revisit that issue. At the least they should try to get their iTunes extras more in line with what a disk can give and work on getting a 1080p file that is more inline with the various audio, subtitles etc of a Blu-ray. I know a lot of folks that wouldn't mind if the iTunes 1080p files were as much as 3 times their current size if it had all the bang of what's on a disk. Add the features and get it working on the iPad and Apple TV and they might never buy an optical disk again. Tim should also try to get folks off this whole Ultraviolet thing. Aside from the fact that it blows, that free copy of the movie from iTunes (and get them in HD if you are buying the blu-ray) was a bonus that has the potential to really market the store. 

post #28 of 391

Base model i5-3210M/2.5 GHz or i5-3320M/2.6 GHz - $599

Mid range model i5-3360M/2.8 GHz - $699 or $799 (CTO i7-3520M/2.9 GHz)

Server model i7-3612QM/2.1 GHz - $999 (I can see Apple doing a 35W quad core possibly, no?) They could also use the i7-3615QM, i7-3720QM, or i7-3820QM.

post #29 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

Base model i5-3210M/2.5 GHz or i5-3320M/2.6 GHz - $599
Mid range model i5-3360M/2.8 GHz - $699 or $799 (CTO i7-3520M/2.9 GHz)
Server model i7-3612QM/2.1 GHz - $999 (I can see Apple doing a 35W quad core possibly, no?) They could also use the i7-3615QM, i7-3720QM, or i7-3820QM.

The current Mini is rated for 85 watts max! Considering the power that has to be budgeted for USB, TB, RAM and other loads you end up fairly tight for the processor. For some reason though I thought the server model had a 45 watt processor though I could be wrong. Somebody had this all worked out once before, but even if I'm wrong a 35 watt chip is still fairly performant.

In any event if one variant of the Mini approached the performance of the current MBPs, and didn't screw up the descrete video chip I'd be happy. Knowing Apple though they will go out of their way to make sure that the Mini doesn't perform to well.

As a side note, some day I expect that the Mini could do fine with out a descrete GPU. I'm just not convinced that Ivy Bridge is there yet. In fact I'm pretty sure it isn't but we will hopefully find out before the end of July.
post #30 of 391

The last model did have a 45W processor (i7-2635QM) though because it is available to them, couldn't you see a 35W processor by default to play it safe or no?

 

Originally when I bought my 2011 Mini (and I believe I mentioned this before) I had wondered if I should get the discrete model in order to play Diablo III. I am now glad I didn't pick it up as it would have been a waste. Diablo III has seen so many problems that it's not even funny.

 

From what I hear, the Intel HD 4000 is obviously faster than the Intel HD 3000 though not as fast as the 6630M or even AMD's integrated GPU for Trinity (is it). 

post #31 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

The last model did have a 45W processor (i7-2635QM) though because it is available to them, couldn't you see a 35W processor by default to play it safe or no?
I would expect the 35 watter to be in the entry level machine and in the machine with the descrete GPU. I'm just not convinced that there is a worthwhile 4 core 35 watt variant. If im spending my own money I will go with a Quad core in any general purpose machine I buy. Dual core isn't bad if you have a focused usage plan, but I dont consider them to be a long term purchase. By long term I mean greater than 5 years.

In any event I was under the impression the 45 watt chip is in the current quad core (server) machine. Calling the Mini a server just doesn't impress me at all. A Mini with one of those new Drobos is another story, but then any Mini could be a server.
Quote:
Originally when I bought my 2011 Mini (and I believe I mentioned this before) I had wondered if I should get the discrete model in order to play Diablo III. I am now glad I didn't pick it up as it would have been a waste. Diablo III has seen so many problems that it's not even funny.
Would those problems have been less with the descrete chip and it's drivers? I'm not into gaming significantly so I don't know. Lately Angry Birds has been about it.

In any event I'm not sure what happened at Apple that they would have thought that the GPU variant of theMinimwas worth the price. Maybe nobody at Apple uses the Mini for gaming, design or 3D work.
Quote:
From what I hear, the Intel HD 4000 is obviously faster than the Intel HD 3000 though not as fast as the 6630M or even AMD's integrated GPU for Trinity (is it). 

For an Intel chip the HD 4000 is a huge step forward and as such is a huge win for platforms like the AIR. However it is almost always slower than Trinity sometimes by huge margins. As for AMDs integrated chips, Intel's HD 4000 can't consistently beat last years APUs from AMD. So one has to compliment Intel for the significant improvements but in the end it can be argued that AMDs chips are better balanced for integrated only systems.
post #32 of 391

The problems with Diablo III have not been because of Apple, Intel, or AMD though because of Blizzard.

 

Edit: I forgot to add that I would love to see the 35W quad core with the discrete graphics and also that yes I do commend Intel for the HD 4000 upgrade.

post #33 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

The problems with Diablo III have not been because of Apple, Intel, or AMD though because of Blizzard.

 

Edit: I forgot to add that I would love to see the 35W quad core with the discrete graphics and also that yes I do commend Intel for the HD 4000 upgrade.

What problems? The 35W quad core would be great there. That would be a decent step up for that platform, quad cpu + discrete gpu.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


Well they did enlarge the mini recently, but that was to install an internal power supply. Sadly the internal,supply was a mistake for many users. That external, easy to replace powersupply made for a very versatile platform.
In any event I'm off on a tangent here as are you with notebook references. I have to agree far to many times Apple has overdone design and under did functionality. The original AIRs are an example here. It is interesting how Aple took a great concept of the AIR and turned it completely aroun with the new versions, not just the engineering and design but the marketing too. The AIR is a major hit now.
I believe they can do the same thing with the Mini if they really wanted too. That is build the form around the function. It isn't that the Mini is a bad concept, it is actually a good one but their lack of focus on user needs is deplorable. I don't want to advertise but the concept is rather good, what I'm talking about is Drobos new Mini portable disk array, This unit takes four laptop size drives that can be installed with a pen. The drives literally pop in from the front. No need to disassemble and the arraignment is compact! In any event little things like this is what Apple should be implementing in the next Mini. Innovation isn't impossible it just take more than ten seconds with the next rev.
In any event it is bed time! I tend to agree that Apple could be doing better with their desktop designs. It is in fact something I've been harping about a long time. However I don't mean to say the current machines are non functional, rather that the next rev really should have the user in mind. Make a machine that people want as much as they want the laptops.

External power bricks aren't bad for a small machine like the mini. They do help with thermals, and right now the mini can get quite hot causing the fans to spin up. I dislike moving laptop problems into the realm of stationary computers, but I don't know if they'll reverse this. The mini has a lot of potential. It's expensive enough configured that I'd like to see them get the details just right. I'm not a big fan of Drobo after the service problems of others. I don't think Apple places much value in this kind of serviceability.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


For an Intel chip the HD 4000 is a huge step forward and as such is a huge win for platforms like the AIR. However it is almost always slower than Trinity sometimes by huge margins. As for AMDs integrated chips, Intel's HD 4000 can't consistently beat last years APUs from AMD. So one has to compliment Intel for the significant improvements but in the end it can be argued that AMDs chips are better balanced for integrated only systems.

It's a start. I agree with you on AMD. I like them at the lower end. With Apple you have a  high minimum sale to buy a system with a reasonably powerful gpu.

 

 

Quote:
The current Mini is rated for 85 watts max! Considering the power that has to be budgeted for USB, TB, RAM and other loads you end up fairly tight for the processor. For some reason though I thought the server model had a 45 watt processor though I could be wrong. Somebody had this all worked out once before, but even if I'm wrong a 35 watt chip is still fairly performant.

In any event if one variant of the Mini approached the performance of the current MBPs, and didn't screw up the descrete video chip I'd be happy. Knowing Apple though they will go out of their way to make sure that the Mini doesn't perform to well.

As a side note, some day I expect that the Mini could do fine with out a descrete GPU. I'm just not convinced that Ivy Bridge is there yet. In fact I'm pretty sure it isn't but we will hopefully find out before the end of July.

 

The current discrete gpu mini uses a 35W cpu. Intel has a 35W quad cpu this time, so you could see both. It doesn't even look that bad. Also regarding cooling, I'd prefer they design stationary machines that don't run near throttling range or require extreme RPM fans under normal circumstances.

post #34 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

What problems? The 35W quad core would be great there. That would be a decent step up for that platform, quad cpu + discrete gpu

I think you misread my post. The issues with Diablo III are a result of Blizzard's incompetence though not with Apple, Intel, or AMD. Here are some examples:

http://vr-zone.com/articles/south-korea-forces-blizzard-to-refund-diablo-iii-players/16367.html

http://vr-zone.com/articles/latest-diablo-iii-patch-stops-players-from-earning-xp/16349.html

http://vr-zone.com/articles/blizzard-denies-diablo-iii-security-issues-promises-patch/16024.html

For a game that was so anticipated, it crashed and burned hard. I played the beta which was okay but am so glad I never dropped $60 on the actual game.

---

Steering back on topic, I completely agree that a 35W quad core would be great along with a discrete GPU. I want to see it implemented. I want them to add a good setup in it. I probably won't be in the market for a new mini until Haswell though.
post #35 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post


I think you misread my post. The issues with Diablo III are a result of Blizzard's incompetence though not with Apple, Intel, or AMD. Here are some examples:
http://vr-zone.com/articles/south-korea-forces-blizzard-to-refund-diablo-iii-players/16367.html
http://vr-zone.com/articles/latest-diablo-iii-patch-stops-players-from-earning-xp/16349.html
http://vr-zone.com/articles/blizzard-denies-diablo-iii-security-issues-promises-patch/16024.html
For a game that was so anticipated, it crashed and burned hard. I played the beta which was okay but am so glad I never dropped $60 on the actual game.
---
Steering back on topic, I completely agree that a 35W quad core would be great along with a discrete GPU. I want to see it implemented. I want them to add a good setup in it. I probably won't be in the market for a new mini until Haswell though.


Tock cycles make better buying years anyway when it comes to longevity. A lot of the tick cycles involve cramming more cores onto the top Xeons. Intel is allocating most of that to the igpus on consumer models. If discrete is a requirement, it's not as big of a deal. That sucks regarding Blizzard, but I don't typically play games.

post #36 of 391
Discrete is not a requirement for me though I agree with those that feel it should be important.
post #37 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

Discrete is not a requirement for me though I agree with those that feel it should be important.

It won't always be a requirement. IVY Bridge seems to be almost there. However in a Mac it is hard to judge the chip yet, from what I understand they don't have OpenCL support yet for the GPU. Actually I'm hoping I'm wrong about OpenCL and that Apple has its own solution. In any event we need for drivers to firm up to really judge just how well Ivy Bridges GPU works under Mac OS.

In any event we are not far at all from a time where most users will find the integrated GPU to be acceptable. AMD is pushing real hard in this respect and doing surprisingly well.

The problem I have with Apple and the current descrete implementation, is that they simply didn't offer the machine with enough VRAM to make it worthwhile. That mainly because many software packages demand more than 256MB of VRAM. It is an artificial limitation on how the Mini can be applied by potential users.
post #38 of 391
All right so let's say we have 1 GB of video memory on a card. Would 1 GB of memory have had sense on the AMD Radeon 6630M?

My friend and I had a discussion about whether some OEMs add too much memory to mediocre cards.
post #39 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


It won't always be a requirement. IVY Bridge seems to be almost there. However in a Mac it is hard to judge the chip yet, from what I understand they don't have OpenCL support yet for the GPU. Actually I'm hoping I'm wrong about OpenCL and that Apple has its own solution. In any event we need for drivers to firm up to really judge just how well Ivy Bridges GPU works under Mac OS.
In any event we are not far at all from a time where most users will find the integrated GPU to be acceptable. AMD is pushing real hard in this respect and doing surprisingly well.
The problem I have with Apple and the current descrete implementation, is that they simply didn't offer the machine with enough VRAM to make it worthwhile. That mainly because many software packages demand more than 256MB of VRAM. It is an artificial limitation on how the Mini can be applied by potential users.

The problem I still see is that they need to appeal to a wide range of users, and Intel's igpus don't always seem to be well tuned. I am expecting to see some updates to the rMBP to make the gpu switching more aggressive. They try to rely on the igpu for battery reasons, but I've read a lot of lag reports. I'm not sure if this is solely a gpu issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

All right so let's say we have 1 GB of video memory on a card. Would 1 GB of memory have had sense on the AMD Radeon 6630M?
My friend and I had a discussion about whether some OEMs add too much memory to mediocre cards.


I imagine you're thinking of things such as fill rates in gaming. My point was that some functions simply will not work below a minimum amount of memory. We rarely see that with regular ram these days unless you have so little that it causes program crashes during pageouts. Certain things just don't work below a set amount. The OEMs that do this typically don't use DDR5 there. They'll use something cheaper. In the case of the 6630m, part of the issue is probably a very narrow thermal or power limit. If it's thermal, they shouldn't have moved the power supply inside the machine. If they hadn't, it would probably be quieter too. We can argue about mediocre cards, but they did the absolute minimum amount. Intel's igpus can allocate more than 256MB. I've always been of the opinion that things should have enough ram that they don't slow down or lag due to ram. While it may not add as much to overall performance, everyone hates lag. It's universal.

post #40 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

I imagine you're thinking of things such as fill rates in gaming. My point was that some functions simply will not work below a minimum amount of memory. We rarely see that with regular ram these days unless you have so little that it causes program crashes during pageouts. Certain things just don't work below a set amount. The OEMs that do this typically don't use DDR5 there. They'll use something cheaper. In the case of the 6630m, part of the issue is probably a very narrow thermal or power limit. If it's thermal, they shouldn't have moved the power supply inside the machine. If they hadn't, it would probably be quieter too. We can argue about mediocre cards, but they did the absolute minimum amount. Intel's igpus can allocate more than 256MB. I've always been of the opinion that things should have enough ram that they don't slow down or lag due to ram. While it may not add as much to overall performance, everyone hates lag. It's universal.

Actually no, not really. Diablo III was really the only game I had semi interest in. I feel if I want something to play a game on at max settings than I will just buy a gaming PC. Part of the reason why I moved to Mac was just to get a break from Windows.

I am looking to try and get better with certain things (such as video editing, which I am guessing something you would include as examples that can take advantage of more video RAM) and I am curious about these programs and wish to see their system requirements for my own knowledge should I venture into those fields.
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