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2012 Mac Mini Wish List? - Page 5

post #161 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by RBR View Post

Why on earth would you want RAM soldered to the motherboard?

See above.  Price, performance, reliability, and space.  

 

Do you want the RAM soldered to the motherboard in your iPhone?

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post #162 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

See above.  Price, performance, reliability, and space.  

 

Do you want the RAM soldered to the motherboard in your iPhone?


I simply think that is madness when talking about a Mini. Space is not that critical and defective RAM is much more common than you seem to think. I do not have prices to quote, but it simply can not be that expensive to provide slots for RAM. Soldering RAM also precludes an upgrade as the price of denser RAM stick comes down.

 

I, grudgingly, concede the place of soldered RAM in the rMBP, but I certainly hope that it is not the way things will be a widespread trend in the future.

 

In my view, if anything, the form factor of the Mini should be increased a little bit to provide space for increased functionality. Some of Apple's designs have reminded my of the B & O line of audio equipment...very stylish looking, short on functionality and not priced properly for what it was. What are people going to ask for next...a Dick Tracy wrist watch Mini?

 

P.S. Soldering is not necessarily more reliable than any other interface. Soldering, even in a mass production environment, has had a history of failure that has been expensive for some manufacturers. It also means that the device is "not serviceable".

post #163 of 391
3 years later? That is down right self control! I hope you didn't go without any computer for that long.

As to the Mini how is it working out for you? I ask because I'm thinking seriously about purchasing one, in 2013, for cost reasons and because I believe the combo of an iPad and a desktop makes more sense these days. Well that and it is Apples only truly affordable desktop machine, I'd still be tempted by a higher performance desktop.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

The percentages make sense. The unibody MacBook was going to be my first Mac back in 2008. I wanted the one with the backlit keyboard but couldn't afford the $1,599 cost. Over time I waited and settled for a $599 mini about 3 years later.
post #164 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

I wasn't referring to anyone specific. Lots of people shared your usb3 sentiment.
It was a foolish sentiment in my estimation considering Apple has a history of waiting to implement a technology until it is in a processor chipset. In the case of USB 3, I do believe it was a mistake to wait for Intel as that meant years of non support. Even today the iMac, Mini and Mac Pro offer no USB 3 support which is reason enough not to recommend those Macs to new buyers.

Honestly I think it was Apple that forced Intel to get going with USB 3 in its chip sets. Intel seemed to be the one with the mindset to replace USB 3 with Thunderbolt.
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Regarding soldered ram, what real benefit is granted if you aren't constrained by thickness?
Reliability of the mechanical connections. Better signal integrity. More options for thermal control.
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Assuming you're just soldering regular sodimms to the board as is the case with the rMBP, you would occupy more surface area on the board.
Sodimms is a electromechanical standard for plug in memory cards. Those cards are NOT soldered into the rMBP. The rMBP instead has the memory chips themselves soldered onto the memory board. Huge difference.
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Right now it mounts in a perpendicular manner to the board, yet surface area is more constrained than a notebook. They wouldn't be able to fit it in a similar manner unless I'm missing something. If you know more than me about board design, which is extremely probable (I'm eyeballing the layouts of the past couple models as well as the Air, rMBP, etc.).
Well this is true to some extent but do realize that those sockets take up surface area themselves. Forward looking though Apple could use the new 3D memory technology that Intel, Micron and others are working on. This would put far more RAM on the motherboard in a given amount of surface area. Due to the much faster interface you probably wouldn't want these in a socket anyways.
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In both cases the soldering has come into play where the machine is constrained by height. The mini is constrained by logic board surface area, so even if they wanted to seal them in, I can't see Apple laying them down flat as they do with the rMBP. The Air doesn't use standard sodimms at all.

Well this comes back to the idea that the Mini is too small for its own good! I have to qualify that some though because I'm sitting here thinking that the Mini at one time did have RAM soldered into the motherboard. Sodimms sockets where offered for expansion. People can correct me if I'm wrong here, but this was dropped out of the design a long time ago.

The interesting thing here is that if Apple went with a desktop processor they could use one memory bank for soldered RAM and still offer up Sodimms sockets for expansion. Most of Intels desktop processors support at least four "sockets" of memory while I believe the laptop chips only support two. In any event Apple has lots of options here, they could move the GPU off the motherboard onto a mezzanine card for example. This also highlights a point, Apple currently has room for a GPU and it's RAM in the Mini
post #165 of 391
You do realize you comparison here is non sense. First that rMBP will have either 8 or 16 GB of RAM, far more than is likely on the pictured 13" MBP. Second if you look closely you will see that the actual overall area is not really all that much bigger than the area covered by the Sodimms, sockets and support circuitry.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post


I found a picture of the macbook pro 13" logic board. It doesn't have a lot of free space on the logic board. You'd pick up some dropping the optical drive in a non tapered body, but those dimms are still significant. They would have to be laid out side by side for Apple's soldering as you see in the rMBP.

Deleted many a nice pic here!!!
I guess you could squeeze it in there if the width shrinks, but it's still silly. You mention reliability. It has one of the lowest failure rates of any part of the system. If you're having ram failure issues, stop buying cheap ram. Those components may well outlive the rest of the system. What signs have you seen on price and performance? Memory benchmarks from geekbench are lower by 100 points or so comparing the top ones on the retina macbook pro to the 2012 cMBP. It provided no distinct performance benefit in drag racing volatile storage. It won't save you space as you'll have to lie them side by side. It's more like they could probably cram them in if they want, and since when has the memory contact area been a common reason for a logic board replacement? Dimms rarely fail with quality memory. If they do with soldered, you can't replace them anyway. Looking at Air + rMBP, they haven't stacked soldered memory. It's laid flat across the board.

I'm reiterating the same few points here, but you haven't shown any real advantage other than Apple trying to sell ram upgrades :P.
On a Mini? Reliability is in and of itself a huge reason to solder directly to the motherboard.
Quote:
Also note that in both prior cases vertical restrictions could be noted as the reason for the use of soldered ram. It likely wasn't a design priority when determining placement and case height in those regions.
When it comes right down to it today mechanical restrictions or advantages can dictate which type of RAM physical layout is used in a machine. Mounting RAM vertically may offer Mini designers an advantage today, though I believe it is highly debatable. The problem is this means nothing when it comes to future machines. For one new technologies may dictate soldered in RAM simply to make timing closures. On top of that we can fit far more RAM into a given area these days and that only improves in the future.

In any event you can't look to the past to base what should be proper in the future. The electrical characteristics of future RAM solutions will demand a rethink of what is acceptable options for the user. Maybe expansion won't go away 100%' but instead we end up with fast and slow memory systems in the same machine.
post #166 of 391
Many things to agree with here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

They really need to add another thunderbolt port. The current one port thing is asinine given that one may be dedicated to displayport functions.
It is almost a design flaw in the current Mini. I'm really hoping that it changes in the next rev. More so I'm hoping that they get rid of Firwire to support that extra port and not the HDMI port!
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I realize it doesn't support the bandwidth or functions of displayport 1.2 either way. I'd say that belongs in place of a firewire port if peripherals really start to roll out.
Agreed, ditch FW as soon as possible!
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It sounded like you were allocating a current performance advantage to soldered ram. Future specs do not mean much in terms of performance relative to a 2012 mini.
This is future hardware!
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It's silly that one hasn't surfaced for the current year.
It is beyond explanation. Further the total lack of rumors, leaks or other bits of information (code in mountain lion) leads me to think the Mini is dead. A dead Mini isn't a bad thing because I think Apple can do much better on the desktop.
[/Quote]
Do they plan to wait for bumped ivy bridge chips and roll it out at the end of the year for some bizarre reason? I find Apple's logic to be irritating at times.
[/quote]

Irritating is a very kind way to put it. Assinine is likely a better way to describe the situation and still keep the conversation civil. I'd like to think there is a rational explanation like that Intel has Apple on allocation due to Ivy Bridge demand, but I suspect it is more of a case of Apple being an ass.
post #167 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

3 years later? That is down right self control! I hope you didn't go without any computer for that long.
As to the Mini how is it working out for you? I ask because I'm thinking seriously about purchasing one, in 2013, for cost reasons and because I believe the combo of an iPad and a desktop makes more sense these days. Well that and it is Apples only truly affordable desktop machine, I'd still be tempted by a higher performance desktop.

Oh definitely I had a computer in between those times. I originally had a Gateway desktop when a then friend in an IRC channel mentioned about wanting a MacBook. I looked at the white and black plastic MacBooks and saw nothing special. I don't remember looking at the MacBook Pros then (which was probably a good thing since I avoided the GeForce 8600M fiasco) though I may have at least seen the price as being out of my league. I never considered a mini at this point.

I then received a Compaq laptop for Christmas of 2007 and had that for a little over a year. I dropped it, the hard drive failed, and I never bothered to have it fixed. It had Vista on it and 1 GB of RAM.

For about 18 months after that I used my Wii and a neighbor's WiFi to access the internet (yes I was a dirty leecher). Needless to say it was unreliable though I just didn't want a computer at the time.

Fast forward to May 2010 and I bought a netbook. It served it's purpose well for close to 18 months as well. Soon after I had bought the netbook a year earlier was of course the release of the unibody mini. I felt it was unacceptable though to pay $700 for a Core 2 Duo so I held off.

Finally I waited until October 2011 and bought the 2011 base model mini. I upgraded the RAM a few weeks after my purchase (once I got my next paycheck) and had an SSD bought for me as a Christmas gift.

Anyway pardon me for going on and on though it was just a matter of price, looks, and specs. The 2011 Mini came into focus and I made my purchase. The only thing that was lame is that I couldn't have gotten at least a 64 GB SSD as a BTO for the base model. I didn't like that I had to install it myself but took on the challenge because I felt the 5,400rpm HDD was too slow.

Edit: That's another thing... I know SSDs won't be standard on the mini until maybe 2013 or possibly 2014, they need to (and I said this before) at least add a BTO SSD option on the base model.
post #168 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post


My point was that his suggestions aren't reality today. He later explained that they would be advantageous when measured by future standards. In terms of space, it takes up at least slightly more space in a mini.
Future standards is pretty much what this forum section is all about! The only informed speculation about future Apple products comes from knowing a bit about where technology is going.

As to that issue of space, it really depends. Since we don't know which way Apple might go technology wise it is a bit of a jump to say a future soldered in RAM will take up more space.
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In terms of performance the rMBP doesn't exceed the cMBP in memory performance. In reliability, that's debatable.
Actually it isn't debatable at all. Throughout the history of electronics connections have resulted in about 80% of all failures. Technicians have been taught the importance of CVI (Close Visual Inspection) to eliminate the easy problems first. Reducing connections, especially sockets and plugs will lead to a much higher reliability figure.
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I've never seen the connection there become a primary point of failure. If it's ram, stop buying cheap dimms. Most 3rd party ram carries a lifetime warranty anyway. If it goes bad with age, just take advantage of that. I'm relatively certain McCarling knows more about this stuff than me, but none of those suggestions reflect anything that would be implemented today.
It isn't today that is a concern as today's Mini is already designed. The trend is clear, much more will be integrated onto the motherboard than in the past. This due to higher integration. Think about it, Haswell will be close to a System On Chip implementation leaving lots of space on the motherboard for whatever. Ideally we will see a new Mini before Haswell comes out but even there Ivy Bridge is a high integration solution. In any event we are in a state of transition where technology will significantly compress motherboards and faster electronics will mean chips pack as close together as possible.

I'm actually a bit excited about what will be possible in Mini sized machines in the coming years. At some point, possiblely Haswell, I won't have a reason to complain about Mini performance. Well at least not for my current needs. Maybe that machine is two years off, I don't know, I do know that what gets put on the motherboard just gets smaller and smaller meaning more functionality in a limited space.
post #169 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by RBR View Post


I simply think that is madness when talking about a Mini. Space is not that critical and defective RAM is much more common than you seem to think. I do not have prices to quote, but it simply can not be that expensive to provide slots for RAM. Soldering RAM also precludes an upgrade as the price of denser RAM stick comes down.
I'm not convinced that defective RAM happens as often as you think, sure it fails but so do CPUs, hard drives and other parts of the machine. I lost track of it, but there was a rather lengthy report on hardware failure statistics in computing hardware floating around the net. I believe it came from Google. My memory is foggy so no quotes, but it was very enlightening to say the least.

In any event soldered RAM doesn't have to eliminate the possibility of an upgrade. They simply need to use a chip set that can support an extra bank of RAM. Most desktop chips support four sockets of RAM so I don't see a problem.
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I, grudgingly, concede the place of soldered RAM in the rMBP, but I certainly hope that it is not the way things will be a widespread trend in the future.
At some point soldered in RAM becomes mandatory if you want maximum performance. Granted the Mini has never been Apples performance machine but that can change quickly. Plus you have to measure performance against tomorrows standards not today's.
Quote:
In my view, if anything, the form factor of the Mini should be increased a little bit to provide space for increased functionality. Some of Apple's designs have reminded my of the B & O line of audio equipment...very stylish looking, short on functionality and not priced properly for what it was. What are people going to ask for next...a Dick Tracy wrist watch Mini?
I have to agree with this point. Again though that is based on today's hardware and what is possible with Ivy Bridge. Come 2013/2014 Haswell and follow ons will make what is possible in the Mini very surprising. If Apple implements a 3D memory technology on a Haswell based motherboard we could easily see a Mini with 32 GB of RAM soldered on to a clutter free motherboard.
Quote:
P.S. Soldering is not necessarily more reliable than any other interface. Soldering, even in a mass production environment, has had a history of failure that has been expensive for some manufacturers. It also means that the device is "not serviceable".

Actually this is wrong, soldering can be extremely reliable and is many more times reliable that sockets and plugs. There is a reason why sockets have almost disappeared from motherboards, it isn't just the move to surface mount, but rather inherent problems with interconnects.

As a side note I do service on CNC equipment, not the cheap stuff either, and beyond power supply failures interconnects are often a common failure point. These are machines using hi reliability connectors too. Often reseating a connector after applying a little Pro Gold will take care of the problem forever. I've had similar results with computer hardware.

As to being not serviceable that is what warranties are for! Seriously these days we often see 85% of the entire computer on one motherboard as it is. Soldering in the RAM just changes the percentages a little bit. Once past infant mortality a computer should run for a very long time and historically this is the case.

Now I know there will be a bunch to raise their hand and speak out saying their motherboard crapped out after two years of operation. To that I say tough luck, your failure is not the norm at all! The vast majority see their electronics last for years, and frankly much of that is due to vastly improved reliability through high integration and the reduction of interconnects.
post #170 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The vast majority see their electronics last for years.

Very true, if treated with care.
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post #171 of 391

I'm amused by the posters over the last year who are quite willing to buy a machine with 4GB of RAM expandable to 8GB maximum but who swear they would never buy a machine with 16GB that is not expandable.

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post #172 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

the total lack of rumors, leaks or other bits of information (code in mountain lion) leads me to think the Mini is dead. A dead Mini isn't a bad thing because I think Apple can do much better on the desktop.

It's been longer since the last iMac update and the full MBP update took even longer. I don't think they'll kill the Mini for a long time as it would kill adoption of OS X Server.

If it hasn't been updated in 3 months, then it's time to start being concerned about it. Once they clear the Retina MBP orders, I think we'll see a refresh of both the iMac and Mini together, possibly even another 13" MBP.

The iMac is way overdue. A report here (from an analyst) says that there may have been delays due to screen lamination:

http://www.macrumors.com/2012/07/24/13-inch-retina-macbook-pro-and-updated-imacs-reportedly-due-in-september-october/

Apple is laminating the glass to their panels to cut glare but it may not work too well on a 27" panel. The benefit is huge though as you can see on the Retina MBP:




If they did this, it would be interesting to see how they deal with access to the internals as they can't hold the entire display in with magnets. What they could do is have a groove at the top and then screw it in at the base, perhaps even a small, hidden lever to push the display out from the bottom and you'd just lift it out. This design requires that there is no chin.

I think the resolution will be the same and the optical removal will help reduce the cost. I'd like to see them drop the 21.5" model too so that you can get a 27" for $1299.

If we assume they are laminating the glass, it means a big redesign and may even be announced at an event. They won't update the Mini before the iMac so it'll take just as long for the Mini to arrive.

I figured they'd intro the next iPhone on October 5th and we're basically into August now so there's only 9 weeks between now and then. If they launch the iPhone in September, they'll have to launch the iMac with it.
post #173 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

I'm amused by the posters over the last year who are quite willing to buy a machine with 4GB of RAM expandable to 8GB maximum but who swear they would never buy a machine with 16GB that is not expandable.

I'm guessing you mean the Air compared to the Retina Pro. That's a good question. Maybe because the Air is more of a light notebook and more is expected out of a pro notebook, you know?
post #174 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post


I'm guessing you mean the Air compared to the Retina Pro. That's a good question. Maybe because the Air is more of a light notebook and more is expected out of a pro notebook, you know?

No, I mean people who are evidently happy to buy a MacBook Pro with 4GB (expandable to 8GB) but claim that they would never buy any computer with RAM soldered directly to the motherboard -- even though 16GB models are available.  The "repairability" issue seems overstated to me.

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post #175 of 391
Originally posted by Marvin:
The iMac is way overdue. A report here (from an analyst) says that there may have been delays due to screen lamination:
http://www.macrumors.com/2012/07/24/13-inch-retina-macbook-pro-and-updated-imacs-reportedly-due-in-september-october/
Apple is laminating the glass to their panels to cut glare but it may not work too well on a 27" panel.

 

Question: you make it sound as though you think that Apple didn't intend screen lamination to require such a hefty redesign. Do you speculate that they ran into some bumps along the way and had to change the design dramatically? Is that why it's taking so long? 

post #176 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkunicorn View Post

Question: you make it sound as though you think that Apple didn't intend screen lamination to require such a hefty redesign. Do you speculate that they ran into some bumps along the way and had to change the design dramatically? Is that why it's taking so long? 

They will have anticipated the major redesign for a laminated panel but they might have had yield issues. When ifixit took apart the Retina MBP display, they said they cracked the screen quite easily:

http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/MacBook-Pro-15-Inch-Retina-Display-Teardown/9493/1#.T-CPhLVYvO4

Apple have to ensure that no dirt or hair gets under the glass during manufacturing or it can ruin a very pricey panel.

What the analyst is saying might not have any evidence behind it though (wouldn't be the first time). While the iMac refresh has taken a long time relative to its usual cycle, relative to the MBP it's still not as long. Apple appears to be pushing the updates of the Mac line further and further apart.
post #177 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

No, I mean people who are evidently happy to buy a MacBook Pro with 4GB (expandable to 8GB) but claim that they would never buy any computer with RAM soldered directly to the motherboard -- even though 16GB models are available.  The "repairability" issue seems overstated to me.


Without access to extensive (proprietary) data it would be difficult to determine the actual rate of occurrence of failure of soldered components or the soldering itself. (Soldering is not exactly a perfect interconnect.) Anecdotal evidence suggests that the failure rate, across the industry, is higher than the manufacturers want to be known. It is unsettling for a consumer to consider that an entire motherboard/logic board may need to be replaced out-of-warranty because of the failure of a RAM module which, in and of itself, is not that expensive. Generally, such an occurrence means the end of life of that particular product unless the owner somehow secures a replacement part from the secondary (salvage) market as the cost of repair with new components, if they are even still available, makes the repair uneconomical.

 

As to what people are happy with, yes, it is something of a puzzle. For myself, I have concluded that the overwhelming majority of purchasers are not even aware of the issue and may or may not understand it if made aware of it. Having stood around waiting for a genius bar appointment on several occasions, I have observed the purchasers. There is a problem in making conclusions based on retail store purchasers as there a great many online purchasers who may not, indeed probably do not, match the profile of the retail store customer. I will say, however, that my observation of the retail Apple store customers is that they are entirely different from the likes of the participants on this board or most any of the enthusiast boards. I rather doubt they know much of anything about the equipment they are buying other than a "good, better, best" sort of comparison which the Apple sales rep provides them. (I do not in any way intend this as a criticism of the Apple reps as I have listened to them asking questions about the intended use of the product and, in my opinion, trying to provide the customer with useful recommendations for their consideration in product selection.) My conclusion is simply that the issue of repairability is lost on a lot of customers. This would quite naturally lead a manufacturer to discount that consideration to some degree in the product design/configuration if there are costs to be saved in doing so. (Please note that there are two distinct aspects to repairability. One is in warranty and one is out-of-warranty. The manufacturer may or may not find it economical to repair the defective unit and place it in inventory again. That can be a difficult proposition in many respects. The consumer almost certainly will find it uneconomical in an out-of-warranty situation.)

 

Sometimes there are surprises in manufacturing. A number of years ago I toured a couple of auto assembly plants. When I inquired about engine test stands to perform final checks of the engines before placing them in the assembly line I was told that the practice of doing so had been discontinued some time ago because of the improved quality of the machine work and inspection of the engine components prior to engine assembly that it simply was not worth the effort. The very first time that the engine was fired up was to drive the completed vehicle off the assembly line! If there was a problem with an engine, the car was simply pulled aside and a special team would be called to deal with it. Things change. Perhaps we are approaching that situation with these electronics. On the other hand HP has had a great many failures of "graphics controllers" which, not at all surprisingly, are soldered to the motherboard of their laptops. According to comments, some have been component failures, but a lot have been soldering failures. They are even experiencing replacement motherboard shortfalls resulting in replacement of the laptop because they are unable to repair the customer's unit in the time frame specified in HP's warranty policy. (By the way, HP service is not good, but where's the surprise in that?)

.

As for me, there are compromises which I view as acceptable in some circumstances, but not necessarily so in others. For example, cell phones, whether with a "big screen" or not, are obviously cramming a lot into a little space, even if not trying to make them smaller, thinner and lighter as such. Those sorts of devices get a pass from me, although it is a plus if the battery is readily replaceable as well as the screen if it cracks, though the cost of the screen might lead toward a new unit. The MacBook Air and its class of PCs also pretty much get a pass, although I still wonder about why a really small form factor RAM stick is not a possibility. I have just seen too much troublesome RAM to feel good about it being soldered in place yet. MacBook Pro and similar class laptops I simply do not believe should have soldered RAM because of the changes in RAM density one might reasonably expect over the service life of a more expensive product. (You will recall the old saw about "what Intel giveth (performance), Microsoft taketh away." If some 16 GB RAM stick became available at a decent price in two years, having a 32 GB laptop for a variety of applications would be a good thing.)

 

In any event, I suspect that you are correct in believing the market is headed in the direction of more things being soldered in place on anything that is remotely considered a mobile device. The buying public has made it clear that they want lighter weight laptops to carry around and, in the mobile environment, one should not overlook the consequences of repeated (physical) shocks to the system even if it is not dropped.

 

Cheers,

 

P.S. I heard another justification for the use of SSDs, though in a very, very specialized environment. It seems that the air cushion on which the heads of rotating drives "float" becomes marginal, if not simply inadequate, and is unreliable in any event, above an altitude of about 10,000 feet. So if you are flying in an unpressurized aircraft or are mountain climbing or even downloading your image files above that altitude there might be a problem with a rotating drive's reliability and the security of your data.

post #178 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by RBR View Post

Without access to extensive (proprietary) data it would be difficult to determine the actual rate of occurrence of failure of soldered components or the soldering itself. (Soldering is not exactly a perfect interconnect.) Anecdotal evidence suggests that the failure rate, across the industry, is higher than the manufacturers want to be known.

There would be lots of news articles about MBA, iPhone and iPad returns about this if that was the case.

Those devices are examples of where everything is heading.
post #179 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by RBR View Post


Without access to extensive (proprietary) data it would be difficult to determine the actual rate of occurrence of failure of soldered components or the soldering itself. (Soldering is not exactly a perfect interconnect.) Anecdotal evidence suggests that the failure rate, across the industry, is higher than the manufacturers want to be known.
What anecdotal evidence? Beyond that proprietary evidence isn't needed, much is publicly known about the science of reliability.

As to the perfection of solder, nothing is perfect! However industry has reached a high level of perfection when it comes to soldering. Baring some well know failures, surface mount technology and soldering in general has dramatically increased the general reliability of electronics.
Quote:
It is unsettling for a consumer to consider that an entire motherboard/logic board may need to be replaced out-of-warranty because of the failure of a RAM module which, in and of itself, is not that expensive.
The vast majority of electronic failures occur very early in a products life, so you are extremely likely to have a device run for a very long time if it doesn't fail during the warranty period.
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Generally, such an occurrence means the end of life of that particular product unless the owner somehow secures a replacement part from the secondary (salvage) market as the cost of repair with new components, if they are even still available, makes the repair uneconomical.
Dealing with uneconomical repairs is a daily reality. It happens with automobiles, TVs refrigerators and a bunch of other things. An automobile has one hell of a lot more parts too.
Quote:
As to what people are happy with, yes, it is something of a puzzle. For myself, I have concluded that the overwhelming majority of purchasers are not even aware of the issue and may or may not understand it if made aware of it. Having stood around waiting for a genius bar appointment on several occasions, I have observed the purchasers. There is a problem in making conclusions based on retail store purchasers as there a great many online purchasers who may not, indeed probably do not, match the profile of the retail store customer. I will say, however, that my observation of the retail Apple store customers is that they are entirely different from the likes of the participants on this board or most any of the enthusiast boards. I rather doubt they know much of anything about the equipment they are buying other than a "good, better, best" sort of comparison which the Apple sales rep provides them. (I do not in any way intend this as a criticism of the Apple reps as I have listened to them asking questions about the intended use of the product and, in my opinion, trying to provide the customer with useful recommendations for their consideration in product selection.) My conclusion is simply that the issue of repairability is lost on a lot of customers.
It isn't lost it is rather not of a concern. One of the guys I work with repairs computers on the side. On many occasions he has had people decline simple repairs to instead give him the old machine to be replaced with a new one. You look on repair ability as an important consideration while others don't even bother.
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This would quite naturally lead a manufacturer to discount that consideration to some degree in the product design/configuration if there are costs to be saved in doing so. (Please note that there are two distinct aspects to repairability. One is in warranty and one is out-of-warranty. The manufacturer may or may not find it economical to repair the defective unit and place it in inventory again. That can be a difficult proposition in many respects. The consumer almost certainly will find it uneconomical in an out-of-warranty situation.)

Sometimes there are surprises in manufacturing. A number of years ago I toured a couple of auto assembly plants. When I inquired about engine test stands to perform final checks of the engines before placing them in the assembly line I was told that the practice of doing so had been discontinued some time ago because of the improved quality of the machine work and inspection of the engine components prior to engine assembly that it simply was not worth the effort. The very first time that the engine was fired up was to drive the completed vehicle off the assembly line! If there was a problem with an engine, the car was simply pulled aside and a special team would be called to deal with it. Things change. Perhaps we are approaching that situation with these electronics. On the other hand HP has had a great many failures of "graphics controllers" which, not at all surprisingly, are soldered to the motherboard of their laptops. According to comments, some have been component failures, but a lot have been soldering failures. They are even experiencing replacement motherboard shortfalls resulting in replacement of the laptop because they are unable to repair the customer's unit in the time frame specified in HP's warranty policy. (By the way, HP service is not good, but where's the surprise in that?)
Maybe maybe not. Comments are rather worthless unless they are quoting service reports. However HP is not the first nor the last to suffer a process failure.
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As for me, there are compromises which I view as acceptable in some circumstances, but not necessarily so in others. For example, cell phones, whether with a "big screen" or not, are obviously cramming a lot into a little space, even if not trying to make them smaller, thinner and lighter as such. Those sorts of devices get a pass from me, although it is a plus if the battery is readily replaceable as well as the screen if it cracks, though the cost of the screen might lead toward a new unit.
How many iPhone failures involve RAM?
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The MacBook Air and its class of PCs also pretty much get a pass, although I still wonder about why a really small form factor RAM stick is not a possibility.
Because it is a waste of money, isn't reliable, connectors waste space and generally goes against the trend in shrinking electronics. Further coming high speed RAM standard don't support anything but soldering to the motherboard to assure signal integrity.
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I have just seen too much troublesome RAM to feel good about it being soldered in place yet. MacBook Pro and similar class laptops I simply do not believe should have soldered RAM because of the changes in RAM density one might reasonably expect over the service life of a more expensive product.
Funny but I seldom here of documented RAM failures from respectable RAM vendors.
as to RAM upgrades these days you can buy a machine up front with enough RAM. By the time you need a justifiable RAM upgrade it makes more sense to buy a new machine.
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(You will recall the old saw about "what Intel giveth (performance), Microsoft taketh away." If some 16 GB RAM stick became available at a decent price in two years, having a 32 GB laptop for a variety of applications would be a good thing.)
This is a Mac Forum where we are talking about Mac OS. I really don't care about the problems with Windows.
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In any event, I suspect that you are correct in believing the market is headed in the direction of more things being soldered in place on anything that is remotely considered a mobile device. The buying public has made it clear that they want lighter weight laptops to carry around and, in the mobile environment, one should not overlook the consequences of repeated (physical) shocks to the system even if it is not dropped.

Cheers,

P.S. I heard another justification for the use of SSDs, though in a very, very specialized environment. It seems that the air cushion on which the heads of rotating drives "float" becomes marginal, if not simply inadequate, and is unreliable in any event, above an altitude of about 10,000 feet. So if you are flying in an unpressurized aircraft or are mountain climbing or even downloading your image files above that altitude there might be a problem with a rotating drive's reliability and the security of your data.
post #180 of 391
Suppose there is no new mini this year. When do the Haswell mobile processors come out? Q2 2013 or Q1?
post #181 of 391

Hard to know where to start with an abomination like the Mini.  First thing Apple needs to do is wipe the slate clean and design a desktop computer to replace what is actually a headless iBook.  

 

Start by building the new Mini around a desktop quad core Ivy Bridge i5 with CTO option for a quad core i7 with hyperthreading.  Add three PCIe slots, with one occupied by a full length video card.  Build the case so that access to the drive bays is as simple and quick as with the Mac Pro, and add two full sized drive bays.  Boot drive is a mini-PCIe SSD similar to what's used on the MacBooks, so those two drive bays can be used for data, time machine, backups, etc.  

 

Just because it isn't small doesn't mean it can't be cool.  Ive can work his magic on the case, but above all keep the components standard issue desktop parts so the cost remains low and Apple gets their phat profit margins.  Keep the ports accessable.  That means USB ports in front so users don't have to turn the damn thing around to plug in a flash drive.  Use enough fans to keep it quiet without running the CPU at ungodly temperatures.

 

The current Mini is worthless, terminate it with extreme prejudice.  

post #182 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

Suppose there is no new mini this year. When do the Haswell mobile processors come out? Q2 2013 or Q1?

They are most likely late Q2 2013. Lack of a mini is extremely unlikely. This would put it on a 2 year refresh when the current hardware should be pin compatible. It costs them very little to keep it up to date. It's not like we're in October with Haswell coming out in January or February. There is an imminent refresh due here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg View Post
 

 

Start by building the new Mini around a desktop quad core Ivy Bridge i5 with CTO option for a quad core i7 with hyperthreading.  Add three PCIe slots, with one occupied by a full length video card.  Build the case so that access to the drive bays is as simple and quick as with the Mac Pro, and add two full sized drive bays.  Boot drive is a mini-PCIe SSD similar to what's used on the MacBooks, so those two drive bays can be used for data, time machine, backups, etc.  

I'd expect embedded graphics to become more prevalent in future years. I don't see a mini being built to accommodate such a gpu.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

 Further coming high speed RAM standard don't support anything but soldering to the motherboard to assure signal integrity.

Funny but I seldom here of documented RAM failures from respectable RAM vendors.
as to RAM upgrades these days you can buy a machine up front with enough RAM. By the time you need a justifiable RAM upgrade it makes more sense to buy a new machine.
This is a Mac Forum where we are talking about Mac OS. I really don't care about the problems with Windows.

I've been looking for information on future standards, but I haven't turned up much. Typically if you're purchasing quality ram, it's unlikely to go bad. It's still possible to end up with a bad stick out of the box, which is why I suggest memtest after installation. Some brands do consistently receive more complaints at some of the typical outlets.

post #183 of 391
Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg View Post
Hard to know where to start with an abomination like the Mini.  First thing Apple needs to do is wipe the slate clean and design a desktop computer to replace what is actually a headless iBook.

 

Or maybe they've kept it around and in the form it has been since its creation because it sells well like that and serves the needs of a large number of people who understand why it exists, unlike you.

 

Start by building the new Mini around a desktop quad core Ivy Bridge i5 with CTO option for a quad core i7 with hyperthreading.  Add three PCIe slots, with one occupied by a full length video card. Build the case so that access to the drive bays is as simple and quick as with the Mac Pro, and add two full sized drive bays.

 

Mac Pro. Buy one. Or a PC.

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
Reply
post #184 of 391
Calling the Mac mini an abomination is a bit unfair I feel. Are there things to be improved on? Absolutely. Will they improve upon those things? Doubtable.
post #185 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


What anecdotal evidence? Beyond that proprietary evidence isn't needed, much is publicly known about the science of reliability.
As to the perfection of solder, nothing is perfect! However industry has reached a high level of perfection when it comes to soldering. Baring some well know failures, surface mount technology and soldering in general has dramatically increased the general reliability of electronics.

The vast majority of electronic failures occur very early in a products life, so you are extremely likely to have a device run for a very long time if it doesn't fail during the warranty period.
Dealing with uneconomical repairs is a daily reality. It happens with automobiles, TVs refrigerators and a bunch of other things. An automobile has one hell of a lot more parts too.
It isn't lost it is rather not of a concern. One of the guys I work with repairs computers on the side. On many occasions he has had people decline simple repairs to instead give him the old machine to be replaced with a new one. You look on repair ability as an important consideration while others don't even bother.
Maybe maybe not. Comments are rather worthless unless they are quoting service reports. However HP is not the first nor the last to suffer a process failure.
How many iPhone failures involve RAM?
Because it is a waste of money, isn't reliable, connectors waste space and generally goes against the trend in shrinking electronics. Further coming high speed RAM standard don't support anything but soldering to the motherboard to assure signal integrity.

Funny but I seldom here of documented RAM failures from respectable RAM vendors.
as to RAM upgrades these days you can buy a machine up front with enough RAM. By the time you need a justifiable RAM upgrade it makes more sense to buy a new machine.
This is a Mac Forum where we are talking about Mac OS. I really don't care about the problems with Windows.


Are you really that obtuse? Bloatware takes away performance on any platform. It is not a problem unique to
Windows,now that you bring up the subject of Windows. Microsoft has simply been the dominant vendor of "office productivity suites". Without Microsoft's support of the Mac platform some years ago there is considerable doubt that Apple would have survived.

 

You dissemble in a meaningless way to no good end.

post #186 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg View Post

Start by building the new Mini around a desktop quad core Ivy Bridge i5 with CTO option for a quad core i7 with hyperthreading.  Add three PCIe slots, with one occupied by a full length video card.  Build the case so that access to the drive bays is as simple and quick as with the Mac Pro, and add two full sized drive bays.  Boot drive is a mini-PCIe SSD similar to what's used on the MacBooks, so those two drive bays can be used for data, time machine, backups, etc.

I would rather have last year's Mini.

Mac user since August 1983.
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Mac user since August 1983.
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post #187 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by RBR View Post


Are you really that obtuse? Bloatware takes away performance on any platform. It is not a problem unique to

Windows,now that you bring up the subject of Windows. Microsoft has simply been the dominant vendor of "office productivity suites". Without Microsoft's support of the Mac platform some years ago there is considerable doubt that Apple would have survived.

You dissemble in a meaningless way to no good end.

Who here was discussing bloat ware? The discussion was about hardware and soldered in RAM.
post #188 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg View Post

Hard to know where to start with an abomination like the Mini.  First thing Apple needs to do is wipe the slate clean and design a desktop computer to replace what is actually a headless iBook.  
Well this is a little extreme, the Mini is an entry level machine which serves a purpose. In its current form it is just a little too little in overall capability.
Quote:

Start by building the new Mini around a desktop quad core Ivy Bridge i5 with CTO option for a quad core i7 with hyperthreading.  Add three PCIe slots, with one occupied by a full length video card.  Build the case so that access to the drive bays is as simple and quick as with the Mac Pro, and add two full sized drive bays.  Boot drive is a mini-PCIe SSD similar to what's used on the MacBooks, so those two drive bays can be used for data, time machine, backups, etc.  
An interesting configuration. Though honestly I'd rather see a slightly different configuration in that the machine have more drive bays. Those drive bays could be laptop sized for all I care.
Quote:
Just because it isn't small doesn't mean it can't be cool.  Ive can work his magic on the case, but above all keep the components standard issue desktop parts so the cost remains low and Apple gets their phat profit margins.  Keep the ports accessable.  That means USB ports in front so users don't have to turn the damn thing around to plug in a flash drive.  Use enough fans to keep it quiet without running the CPU at ungodly temperatures.
Well let's just say no to standard desktop parts, at least when talking power supplies.
Quote:
The current Mini is worthless, terminate it with extreme prejudice.  

Being a constant promoter of XMac even I see that as a bit extreme, it is a machine that has its place. When talking about XMac I'm not thinking tower either, that is the Mac Pros place. Frankly I see full size slots as a thing of the past though slots are still needed. In this case though there might be a division between internal and external slots with internal slots supporting fast SSD storage cards built around a new industry standard.
post #189 of 391
And if you terminate the mini with extreme prejudice, what becomes the entry model? The MacBook Air?
post #190 of 391

I have done my part to get the new mini to come out.  I finally broke down and ordered upgrade parts (SSD, RAM, etc) for my old mini instead of waiting for any new machines.

 

Therefore we should get new desktops macs this tuesday.

post #191 of 391
That's part of what is making me grow some disdain for Apple. It would be nice for them to drop just a few vague hints every once in a while. To go to Apple.com and have them say "We have something cool planned for the fall for our Mac line. Stay tuned."
post #192 of 391
Originally Posted by Winter View Post
That's part of what is making me grow some disdain for Apple. It would be nice for them to drop just a few vague hints every once in a while. To go to Apple.com and have them say "We have something cool planned for the fall for our Mac line. Stay tuned."

 

Your disdain is completely foolish. You really want them to just give up sales?

Apple already does that. Every time there is a keynote and every time there is a quarterly earnings call, the executives will say "great new products coming up soon". They don't need to say diddly squat about anything more specific than that, nor should they.

 

Between those hints and the actual, known release dates of the chips themselves, we know that things are coming down the pike. 

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
Reply

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
Reply
post #193 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

 

 

Between those hints and the actual, known release dates of the chips themselves, we know that things are coming down the pike. 

They've really been pushing it this time. The mini shares a lot of parts with the macbook pro. It should be available by now. Either way expect another somewhat long refresh after this as you're unlikely to see a haswell mini prior to the second half of next year.

post #194 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Your disdain is completely foolish. You really want them to just give up sales?


Apple already does that. Every time there is a keynote and every time there is a quarterly earnings call, the executives will say "great new products coming up soon". They don't need to say diddly squat about anything more specific than that, nor should they.

Between those hints and the actual, known release dates of the chips themselves, we know that things are coming down the pike. 

I guess I admit I'm being impatient. It's probably because I don't have a whole lot going on in my life right thus I'm clamoring just to see an update so I can say "Oh cool that's what is in it and those are the options." Not to mention the lawsuit garbage with Samsung just pisses me off because it's almost like tabloid trash to me at the grocery store. I get that sites are obligated to report on it but is anyone actually interested in the day to day developments of he said she said?
post #195 of 391
History says what you want a tech company can't give. Read up on the Osborne Effect and the early history of personal computers. Pre announcing hardware to replace existing hardware has a chilling effect on sales. In a literal sense it has destroyed companies in the past.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

I guess I admit I'm being impatient. It's probably because I don't have a whole lot going on in my life right thus I'm clamoring just to see an update
Take a vacation or find a loose woman. Seriously don't get wrapped in trivial things regarding a fruit company.

Frankly I'm extremely disappointed that Apple is jerking the Mini community around the way it is but I don't get overly involved in that reality. I realize that many things could be behind the delays including allocation from Intel. There is also the possibility that the Mini is dead.
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so I can say "Oh cool that's what is in it and those are the options." Not to mention the lawsuit garbage with Samsung just pisses me off because it's almost like tabloid trash to me at the grocery store. I get that sites are obligated to report on it but is anyone actually interested in the day to day developments of he said she said?

Skip those articles then!

Your situation is no different than the clowns from the past that would read the negative articles in newspapers and then declare that the world is going to hell and the end is near. Obviously it isn't and if you want there are more positive things to be concerned with. It is unfortunate that we have a publication environment where money equals negative imagery. Even political success revolves around negativity these days. You as an individual can resist though.
post #196 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

There is also the possibility that the Mini is dead.

I sure hope not, because I'm afraid my fascination with Apple will end. Tis a shame.
post #197 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

There is also the possibility that the Mini is dead.

Sigh...  You hit the nail on the head regarding the Osborne Effect, then add this gratuitous silliness.  Sure, technically, there is a possibility that the iPhone, iPad, and Mac are dead so that Apple can concentrate on iPods.  However, like the dead Mini idea, the possibility is so remote that's silly to bring it up.  The Mac Mini will be dead when either the Mac is dead or desktops are dead.  Apple will not kill the Mini just because it doesn't meet the needs of one curmudgeonly wizard.

Mac user since August 1983.
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Mac user since August 1983.
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post #198 of 391
http://fudzilla.com/home/item/28299-haswell-comes-with-up-to-3x-faster-3d <--- This is awesome and makes me even savor for 2013 more. wizard better be dead wrong on the mini being canceled.
post #199 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

http://fudzilla.com/home/item/28299-haswell-comes-with-up-to-3x-faster-3d <--- This is awesome and makes me even savor for 2013 more. wizard better be dead wrong on the mini being canceled.

An interesting read to be sure, some of the comments where hilarious. The problem is that Intel might have a very good desktop processor there but Apple has a history of putting crap into the Mini. Further the Mini simply doesn't meet the requirements of common desktop users thus the struggling sales.

Haswell could go a very long way to correcting the Mini but I still see it as a failed design that needs to be completely rethought. It needs to be turned into a desktop that no one feels embarrassed to own as their primary machine. Technology wise we are very close to being able to put a respectable computer into a Mini sized box. I just hope that Apple can get over its need to make sure the Mini is the worst performer in their entire lineup of Mac systems.
post #200 of 391
Maybe I'm being overly optimistic here but I think that is possible under a Tim Cook reign. I see Cook as being just a tad bit open minded to new ideas and not someone who would have a seizure because the iMac is the wrong color blue.

Edit: I'm not embarrassed to own my mini. I love it. Could it use a bit more juice? Sure. Absolutely, no question. Possibly even the 3720QM for example as a starter model? I don't know. It all lies on Intel.
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