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2012 Mac Mini Wish List? - Page 2

post #41 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post


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.


I'll use the example of Adobe here. They've been implementing OpenCL functions via Mercury Engine, even though it was initially developed for CUDA. Without enough, some things just do not work. The standard recommended amount seems to be 1GB with the minimum set to 512. Without this amount, these functions will not officially load or run (perhaps there's a hack somewhere).  In 2012, this isn't a huge demand. Overall the Air  probably remains the best possible point of growth for the Mac line. Intel may see a couple more strong generations of gpu improvement there too. Now this doesn't mean that you're likely to see too many more quad options with haswell. I expect Intel will allocate as many transistors as possible to the gpu.

post #42 of 391
I agree with you. Now what might we be looking at? A 640M with 1 GB of GDDR5? 630M?
post #43 of 391
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.

It's used for storing textures and caching data in Motion - some games you won't be able to play with high quality textures as they can't all fit into memory, even if the GPU is fast enough to render them. 256MB video memory is a poor amount of video memory. The minimum for any system these days should be 512MB. With Apple's move towards high resolution displays, they should be moving towards that.

The HD 4000 allocates 384MB if you have 4GB RAM and 512MB if you have 8GB RAM so dedicated GPUs should be starting out with 512MB.

1GB is probably overkill for the 6630M but not 512MB. There's no harm in it really, it's like having too much system memory, the more the better.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter 
Now what might we be looking at? A 640M with 1 GB of GDDR5? 630M?

Worst case scenario would be 256MB 630M. Personally, I want to see a 512MB 640M at least and 1GB would be great.
post #44 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


It's used for storing textures and caching data in Motion - some games you won't be able to play with high quality textures as they can't all fit into memory, even if the GPU is fast enough to render them. 256MB video memory is a poor amount of video memory. The minimum for any system these days should be 512MB. With Apple's move towards high resolution displays, they should be moving towards that.
The HD 4000 allocates 384MB if you have 4GB RAM and 512MB if you have 8GB RAM so dedicated GPUs should be starting out with 512MB.
1GB is probably overkill for the 6630M but not 512MB. There's no harm in it really, it's like having too much system memory, the more the better.
Worst case scenario would be 256MB 630M. Personally, I want to see a 512MB 640M at least and 1GB would be great.

 


Apple markets quite a lot on simplicity, just works, etc. I agree with you that they should never dip below an amount that can be allocated to integrated graphics. Even at the time of release last year, this was an incredibly poor amount. Seeing as ram allocation doubles each time, 512 could have been at least acceptable last year. I dislike when Apple tries to force shorter upgrade cycles by sneaking in artificial limitations where some people will not notice them. I get it. They're pushing the laptops, but these could be some awesome little boxes. I wish they'd run them off power bricks too for quieter operation. A brick is a lot more annoying with a portable machine than one designed for stationary use. Anyway I don't feel they should be such a step down in spec desirability from the lower imacs which do include a display, keyboard, and mouse. If they were only marketed as home servers, that would be different.

post #45 of 391
Mine runs pretty quiet though I guess it's only because I use it for light use.
post #46 of 391
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.

It is a function of software requirements. If the software you are interested in won't run without xxx MB of RAM the actual GPU chip means nothing. Granted at times reccomendations are just that but some software does need what it demands in the way of VRAM.

As to making sense on a 6630M, it comes down to this; for some of us the upgrade wasn't worth the price being charged in the Mini. If the apps you use or are looking at require 512MB or more VRAM, the Mini is immediately disqualified due to its configuration. So the Mini due to its configuration is kept from running more demanding apps, that doesn't make sense.
post #47 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

I agree with you. Now what might we be looking at? A 640M with 1 GB of GDDR5? 630M?

Do you mean in the next Mini or it's replacement? If so it is a tough guess, Apple could go back to Integrated only Minis for all we know. Ivy Bridge is much better in this regard so it is possible though I'd hate to see it happen. I mainly want to avoid Ivy Bridge graphics right now until they have been proven in the field. Further I'm thinking we will have to wait until Mountain Lion before we really have a solid grasp on how well Ivy Bridge integrated graphics work on the Mac.

As a slight digression here realize that Apples video drivers while stable are not fast. Even Linux machines can outperform Apple hardware in side by side GPU benchmarking. That is rather alarming if you think about it as in general GPU drivers under Linux suck. This is another reason to be up in arms over Apples puny VRAM allocations.

In any event back to your question, will the next Mini come with a 640M and 1GB of VRAM. With some confidence I can say no, but would love to be proven wrong. It is a matter of Apples attitude to the Mini (which could change) that seems to be that the Mini must always be configured to be the poorest performing machine in the entire line up. That would rule out the 640m right away.

This is actually rather sad as I see no reason to keep the high end Mini down. It could be easily configured to be close to equal to the low end MBP but is consistently marketed with rather pathetic performance relative to its siblings in the lineup. Some have speculated that this is a thermal / power limitation which is very possible. If so Apple needs to invest a buck or two into a larger fan for the high end model. Frankly lots of excuses are heard that mean little, because if true it is a sign of engineering laziness.
post #48 of 391
For clarification, yes, I meant a 640M with 1 GB in the next Mini. I don't expect a replacement for it myself.
post #49 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.

 

What you are asking for might be called the "Mini-Max" which obviously needs a new and larger enclosure. I like it, but that convinces me that the chances of Apple making such a model are something approaching zero which is too bad because not everyone wants the smallest imaginable box or the all-in-one of the iMac. Actually, there have been calls for a small tower for a very long time and you can see how Apple have responded.

post #50 of 391
This topic hasn't had a post in a few days so allow me to ask.

The mini is the least expensive Mac you can buy so why does are sales for it pretty bad. Is $599 still too high a price point for the specs it offers on the base model?
post #51 of 391
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

This topic hasn't had a post in a few days so allow me to ask.
The mini is the least expensive Mac you can buy so why does are sales for it pretty bad. Is $599 still too high a price point for the specs it offers on the base model?

I am not sure anyone can say if sales for the mini are bad or not; I was not so sure Apple broke out individual model sales of the Macs, I personally think that the whole experience that comes from using a Mac is well worth $599-$1000; however I do not feel constrained from spending some money, so someone's milage may vary :-P
post #52 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Market_Player View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

This topic hasn't had a post in a few days so allow me to ask.
The mini is the least expensive Mac you can buy so why does are sales for it pretty bad. Is $599 still too high a price point for the specs it offers on the base model?

I am not sure anyone can say if sales for the mini are bad or not; I was not so sure Apple broke out individual model sales of the Macs, I personally think that the whole experience that comes from using a Mac is well worth $599-$1000; however I do not feel constrained from spending some money, so someone's milage may vary :-P

I'd be surprised if it sold well. It's a great computer but Apple are terrible at selling it. If you walked into an Apple Store, even if you were impressed by the $599 price, if you tried to walk out with a full kit, you'd have no choice but to spend:

Mac Mini - $599
27" Cinema display - $999
cheapest keyboard - $49
cheapest mouse - $19.95

total = $1667

Why bother when all of the iMacs are better value than that? While there are shoppers who know how to look for an affordable setup, it's not your average buyer.

Now, 3rd parties offer 23" IPS displays for $200-300 so that's at least $700 less, making the total $867-967, which undercuts the entry iMac by $230-330. Apple should start stocking 3rd party displays in their stores if they aren't prepared to make an affordable 23" display themselves.
post #53 of 391
Another good question that is hard to answer.

If it wasn't for the allocated RAM the base model isn't that bad. That is sad too as more RAM would cost Apple a few bucks these days.

What bothers me about the Mini isn't the base model as every company needs an entry level machine. Rather it is the uprated models that Apple is soaking users for that is bothersome. For all that extra cash there is an expectation that you will atually get something of value for it. In this regards if you look at the Mini with the GPU, you are paying a lot ($200$) for for very little in the way of descrete GPU and a minor CPU bump. Frankly it is pathetic. The same thing applies to the server model, here you are paying even more ($400) for a minor upgrade to quad core, a slow quad core at that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

This topic hasn't had a post in a few days so allow me to ask.
Waking us up are you?
Quote:
The mini is the least expensive Mac you can buy so why does are sales for it pretty bad. Is $599 still too high a price point for the specs it offers on the base model?

When released the Minis aren't priced too good considering the performance installed but are extremely short on RAM. Sadly Mac OS these days requires a lot of RAM to really work well. I say "performance installed" because it looks like Apple purposefully restricts the performance of the Mini to force up sales. I'm not even sure Apple considers it a product in its own right and rather sees it as a sales tool. In a way the Minis should perform as well as the MBP or better.

In a nut shell I don't have a problem with an entry level Mini even if Apple is RAM stingy. What I have a problem with is the offerings above that that are at best a bit of a joke as far as value for the buck goes. I don't even mind that the Mini is a laptop equivalent in a box, I'd do expect a significant performance delta when buying the unrated model though.
post #54 of 391
Well being that they built in an HDMI port in all of the minis for HDTV hookup and showed that on their website as well as how to add memory, those are two things that they have going for it.

Also yes, I was sending a wake-up call : P
post #55 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I'd be surprised if it sold well. It's a great computer but Apple are terrible at selling it.
You got that right! Sometimes I think Apple is ashamed to have the Minis in its stores. Apple would rather have third parties move the product.
Quote:
If you walked into an Apple Store, even if you were impressed by the $599 price, if you tried to walk out with a full kit, you'd have no choice but to spend:
Mac Mini - $599
27" Cinema display - $999
You would think that Apple would team up with a third party and offer a non branded 20" monitor for say $250. These days $250 for a no frills monitor is expensive.
Quote:
cheapest keyboard - $49
cheapest mouse - $19.95
total = $1667
Not exactly cost competitive is it. This might be why third parties actually have lots of luck selling the Mini as it can be offered up with a decent monitor at a much better price.
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Why bother when all of the iMacs are better value than that?
It isn't just the iMacs, every laptop they offer is a better deal, Especially if you are looking for an all Apple installation. Even the AIRs offer better value.
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While there are shoppers who know how to look for an affordable setup, it's not your average buyer.
Sometimes I wonder if the average buyer even knows that the Mini exists.
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Now, 3rd parties offer 23" IPS displays for $200-300 so that's at least $700 less, making the total $867-967, which undercuts the entry iMac by $230-330. Apple should start stocking 3rd party displays in their stores if they aren't prepared to make an affordable 23" display themselves.

I'm pretty much convinced that Apple sees the Mini as a third party solution, the lack of a reasonable Apple monitor highlights this point. Really at the near by Apple store the Mini is actually hard to find in the store. Then there is the hilarity of trying to sell people on the entry level Mini by attaching a $1000 monitor. Maybe this is Apples sense of humor coming through.

So yeah Apple needs to work this out in some manner, either by offering a third party entry level display or making one themselves.
post #56 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

Well being that they built in an HDMI port in all of the minis for HDTV hookup
Actually that has been a big factor in the Minis success. Many people use it as a home theater PC. Unfortunately that means it isn't being used as a general purpose Mac.
Quote:
and showed that on their website as well as how to add memory, those are two things that they have going for it.
Not really, the ease of adding RAM is nice but what isn't so nice is the need toads RAM in the first place. Apples stinginess with RAM is probably one of the biggest negatives when it comes to Apples desktops in general but is extremely bad in the Mini. By the time you are done allocating for video and system you have a base Mini with about 1.5 GB of RAM available which is pathetic in a desktop that ships at $600.
Quote:
Also yes, I was sending a wake-up call : P

There does seem to be light at the end of the tunnel though. If one looks at the new laptops that came out it does look like Apple is starting to get a clue here. So maybe the next Mini will address the RAM issue and ship in such a way that it can actually run Mac OS well. So maybe this means Apple got a wake up call a little while ago and will ship a respectable Mini.
post #57 of 391
I can guarantee the next mini will have 4 GB of memory minimum. The server might even have a BTO option for 16 GB option.
post #58 of 391
I think people are being optimistic discussing a 2012 Mac Mini. I think it will stay as it is until mid-2013 when Apple will merge together the Mac Pro and Mac Mini lines into a single new pro product. Until then, Apple can enjoy increased profit margins on existing hardware as components costs continue to fall but prices remain the same.
post #59 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by eksodos View Post

…Apple will merge together the Mac Pro and Mac Mini lines into a single new pro product.

Why in the world would they kill a consumer product that sells well and a pro product that sells well (enough for its demographic) to make a worse "pro" product that doesn't appeal to anyone but the "xMac" crowd, which currently consists of about 20 forum members?
post #60 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

I can guarantee the next mini will have 4 GB of memory minimum. The server might even have a BTO option for 16 GB option.

Well let's hope so.

The big problem is that sort of Mini should be shipping now. RAM has never been so cheap and Mac OS certainly could use it.
post #61 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by eksodos View Post

I think people are being optimistic discussing a 2012 Mac Mini. I think it will stay as it is until mid-2013 when Apple will merge together the Mac Pro and Mac Mini lines into a single new pro product. Until then, Apple can enjoy increased profit margins on existing hardware as components costs continue to fall but prices remain the same.

After the Mac Pro fiasco anything is possible.

However the Mini could easily be morphed into something that makes more sense in Apples product line up. Plus if Apple had any sense they would offer up a Mini bundle. By bundle I mean a box that is 100% ready to go when unpacked.

Now I could see Apple offering up a common box upon which they cover to completely different classes of uses. One class would be high performance computing, in otherwords a Mac Pro replacement. The other being midrange desktop users. The idea being to use a common platform to comtrol costs. However this would not really be a Mini.

Sometimes my imagination runs away from me but imagine that Apple and Intel have teamed up to work on a MIC product designed for the desktop user. Instead of 50 + cores that Xeon Phi - Knights Corner supposedly has, lets imagine a smaller processor of let's say 24 cores going into a Mini or iMac or we could go to twelve cores, whatever is required power wise. So instead of getting a GPU the Mini gets a 24 core co-processor / vector processor. Again bits and pieces of info has my mind running wild, but as we have seen with TB, Apple and Intel can work together in secret.
post #62 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Why in the world would they kill a consumer product that sells well and a pro product that sells well (enough for its demographic)
Because repeatedly saying that they sell well doesn't make it true.
Quote:
to make a worse "pro" product that doesn't appeal to anyone but the "xMac" crowd, which currently consists of about 20 forum members?

Because done right Apple could have a machine or sets of machines that would attract a far wider crowd of users.

Of course a good part of the problem with the Mini is that Apple itself doesn't have a marketing strategy for the Mini in its stores. Walk into any Apple store and try to walk out with a 100% functional Mini solution at a reasonable price. Apple literally has a low end product that it has no way to market as such in its own stores. That is pathetic. So to be honest the Minis abysmal sales are as much Apples fault as it is the devices.

Don't get me wrong here; of Apples three desktop products, the Mini is the only one I have any respect for. It isn't a bad machine nor is it a bad concept, it is just that I really think Apple could do better for the price and make it a better performer. I'm also getting plain tired at Apples ignoring the desktop in general.
post #63 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Because repeatedly saying that they sell well doesn't make it true.

It sells well enough to keep around. Unlike the 17" MacBook Pro, apparently. That is the only metric that matters.
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Of course a good part of the problem with the Mini is that Apple itself doesn't have a marketing strategy for the Mini in its stores.

BYODKM. I don't see how that's not a strategy.
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Walk into any Apple store and try to walk out with a 100% functional Mini solution at a reasonable price.

You don't get to define what 'reasonable' is. Every individual customer does.
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Apple literally has a low end product that it has no way to market as such in its own stores. That is pathetic.

Again, BYODKM.
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So to be honest the Minis abysmal sales are as much Apples fault as it is the devices.

Sales that, correct me if I'm wrong, we don't know, as Apple doesn't break that down, right?
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I'm also getting plain tired at Apples ignoring the desktop in general.

They've broken their 15-year vow of silence about new products and explicitly stated a new one is coming. Don't tell me they're ignoring the desktop.
post #64 of 391
Forgive me for being selfish though I think it is just too perfect of a product. I like the looks of it and I like the specs of it sans the graphics but yet the Intel HD 3000 hasn't caused me issues except for D3.

I know it's hard to predict the tech market but I just don't think the headless computer could ever go away do you?

Edit: At least in the next several years.
Edited by Winter - 7/1/12 at 9:54am
post #65 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

I know it's hard to predict the tech market but I just don't think the headless computer could ever go away do you?

There will always be headless computers.

What "headless computer" means will change.
post #66 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


I'd be surprised if it sold well. It's a great computer but Apple are terrible at selling it. If you walked into an Apple Store, even if you were impressed by the $599 price, if you tried to walk out with a full kit, you'd have no choice but to spend:
Mac Mini - $599
27" Cinema display - $999
cheapest keyboard - $49
cheapest mouse - $19.95
total = $1667
Why bother when all of the iMacs are better value than that? While there are shoppers who know how to look for an affordable setup, it's not your average buyer.
Now, 3rd parties offer 23" IPS displays for $200-300 so that's at least $700 less, making the total $867-967, which undercuts the entry iMac by $230-330. Apple should start stocking 3rd party displays in their stores if they aren't prepared to make an affordable 23" display themselves.

 

It is meant to be that way.  Most folks are not likely going to buy a $999 display so if the mini sold well at the same gross margins of the iMac the ASP of the Mac line would drop dramatically.

 

I dunno why some folks feel that Apple somehow bungled the mini when it is very apparent to me it was designed to be less cost effective than buying the iMac if you needed/wanted a new display even if you go with a budget display from somewhere else. 

 

The 21.5" entry level iMac is $1200 for a quad core i5, 4GB and a Radeon 6750M.  Just to get close to those base specs you need the $800 dual core i5 with the 6630M.  And the iMac doesn't come with the cheapest mouse but the Magic Mouse ($69) and the Wireless Keyboard ($69).  $940 leaves $260 which admittedly gets you a much nicer monitor than the 21" on the iMac but otherwise it's not nearly as nice a machine.

 

I'm hoping that the baseline iMac goes from 21.5" to 24" this year.  If so I'll probably spring for the $1400 model equivalent.

post #67 of 391
I sent an e-mail to Tim Cook (or his secretary) asking if I can expect good things from the Mac mini as with the Mac Pro. It will interesting (although highly unlikely) to see if I get a response.
post #68 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

It is meant to be that way.  Most folks are not likely going to buy a $999 display so if the mini sold well at the same gross margins of the iMac the ASP of the Mac line would drop dramatically.

I dunno why some folks feel that Apple somehow bungled the mini when it is very apparent to me it was designed to be less cost effective than buying the iMac if you needed/wanted a new display even if you go with a budget display from somewhere else. 
In a nutshell this is the problem, the Mini was castrated at birth and has been key that way for years. The problem most of us have is that it doesn't have to be that way. Further this artificial arrangement of models does Apple more harm on the desktop than good. To put it simply the line up leads to more lost sales than it does upgrades to the iMac.
Quote:
The 21.5" entry level iMac is $1200 for a quad core i5, 4GB and a Radeon 6750M.  Just to get close to those base specs you need the $800 dual core i5 with the 6630M.  And the iMac doesn't come with the cheapest mouse but the Magic Mouse ($69) and the Wireless Keyboard ($69).  $940 leaves $260 which admittedly gets you a much nicer monitor than the 21" on the iMac but otherwise it's not nearly as nice a machine.
exactly! That Mini with 6630m is a ripoff relative to Apples other hardware.
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I'm hoping that the baseline iMac goes from 21.5" to 24" this year.  If so I'll probably spring for the $1400 model equivalent.

No iMac for me if it continues to be the nightmare it currently is.
post #69 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

I sent an e-mail to Tim Cook (or his secretary) asking if I can expect good things from the Mac mini as with the Mac Pro. It will interesting (although highly unlikely) to see if I get a response.

It probably will not be responded too. Mostly because I suspect new Minis with Mountain Lion. In any event good things would be a more reasonable value equation, as has been pointed out in the responses of others the Mini isn't exactly a good value, especially in its descrete GPU form.
post #70 of 391

I must say, from all the macs I had, and I had a handful of them, starting with the all-in-one-performa, this mac-mini I like the most (it's the one with a superdrive and nvidia-graphiccard):

 

It's small, quiet and simply works like a charm every day. Mac-OS-X-Snow-Leopard on one partition, Windows XP on the other thanks to Bootcamp.

 

If there was something that I wished were different it would be these things:

 

1. It should be easier to open the machine for changing RAM and HDD, cause these are with 2 GB and 160 GB a bit limited.

2. A real HDMI-port would be nice.

3. A bit more power for the graphiccard so that it doesn't choke on 1080p-video-material. 

 

I know that the newer minis already offer that but they also got rid of the internal superdrive which is imho a mistake.

I disagree, and could prove you're wrong; care to offer any proof that you're not wrong?
Reply
I disagree, and could prove you're wrong; care to offer any proof that you're not wrong?
Reply
post #71 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightcrawler View Post

I must say, from all the macs I had, and I had a handful of them, starting with the all-in-one-performa, this mac-mini I like the most (it's the one with a superdrive and nvidia-graphiccard):
Which year is that Mini?
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It's small, quiet and simply works like a charm every day. Mac-OS-X-Snow-Leopard on one partition, Windows XP on the other thanks to Bootcamp.
Small and quiet are good qualities. As to other OS support I use virtual box to run Linux. I find VMs are a good productivity boost as in effect the guest operating systems become apps that you can start and stop at will. The bit disappointment here is the need for RAM, lots of it.

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If there was something that I wished were different it would be these things:

1. It should be easier to open the machine for changing RAM and HDD, cause these are with 2 GB and 160 GB a bit limited.
I'm assuming you have a rather older model, the newer model is just slightly easier to work on. One of the reasons I'm a big promoter of XMac is that it would hopefully be much easier to get into! Frankly you hit on two issues right away with RAM and especially hard disk access.

One good thing is that current models do have 500 GB hard drives, but beleive it or not they still ship the base model with 2GB of RAM. Frankly that is terrible in a $600 machine.
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2. A real HDMI-port would be nice.
I'm not sure I follow, they have been shipping with an HDMI port for some time.
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3. A bit more power for the graphiccard so that it doesn't choke on 1080p-video-material. 
This is a big concern especially with Mountain Lion accelerating even more things with the GPU. The other thing I've expressed concern about is the pathetic descrete GPU implemented in these machines. If I'm going to pay extra for a descrete GPU it had better be worth the money.
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I know that the newer minis already offer that but they also got rid of the internal superdrive which is imho a mistake.

For some it can only be seen as a mistake, for me I don't really care one way or the other. Ripping the CD drive out did impact the machines usefulness as a home theater PC. On the other hand I hardly use my drive anymore prefering the net mostly.

The optical issue is a bit of an example of why I think Apples approach to the desktop is screwed. It makes lots of sense for portable to delete the optical but it does seemed rush to do so on the desktop. It is almost as if they wanted to look progressive so they did this to the machine without thought as to how it is used buy buyers. Enought of those Minis where going to the home theater PC crowd that Apple should have said hey is this right for this platform.
post #72 of 391
If they do not switch to flash memory modules in the near future, I would like to see the mini feature the HDD on top with a SATA port similar to the one the MacBook Pro has. That way you can easy just undo the top, pop out the memory, pop out the HDD for an SSD and pop the lid back on.

I'm asking for too much though : P
post #73 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

I'm asking for too much though : P

Yep. Once you unibody, you don't panel.
post #74 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

If they do not switch to flash memory modules in the near future, I would like to see the mini feature the HDD on top with a SATA port similar to the one the MacBook Pro has. That way you can easy just undo the top, pop out the memory, pop out the HDD for an SSD and pop the lid back on.
I'm asking for too much though : P

Probably! However I tend to agree that Apple needs to do more with the desktop line up as there has been no innovation in platforms.

Personally I'd like to see Apple implement a storage modules that can be plugged it without opening the case. Drobo has a new concept portable storage array that highlights one approach here. The only difference is that I'd rather see Apple go directly to PCI Express modules. A bay that does both conventional drive interfaces and the new PCI Express interface would be ideal.

However solid state drives are something Apple needs to integrate into all of its desktop machines. The performance benefits are undeniable. Desktops still need bulk storage though. With iMac sales drying up, maybe new Minis aren't far off.
post #75 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Yep. Once you unibody, you don't panel.

Hopefully Apple does not hem itself in to that extent. Every machine they make needs to evolve over time.
post #76 of 391
Unless the 2012 mini is really off the charts, I doubt I will be upgrading. Much better to wait for Haswell. That said I still want to see what Apple has in store.

Edit: Hey what about the GeForce 640M LE? How much lower of a card is that compared to the regular 640M?
Edited by Winter - 7/4/12 at 2:35pm
post #77 of 391

At this point my primary wish is that the damn thing shows up sooner rather than later.

post #78 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

At this point my primary wish is that the damn thing shows up sooner rather than later.

There's a rumour of something happening in 2 weeks:

http://www.macrumors.com/2012/06/22/vacation-blackout-hints-at-late-july-release-for-os-x-mountain-lion/

Mountain Lion will certainly ship this month and there's a suggestion of the 19th. There wouldn't be much point in releasing the new machines today for example and then ship the new OS in 2 weeks, requiring people to pay for the upgrade. Most likely the new iMacs and Minis will ship with Mountain Lion.
post #79 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


There's a rumour of something happening in 2 weeks:
http://www.macrumors.com/2012/06/22/vacation-blackout-hints-at-late-july-release-for-os-x-mountain-lion/
Mountain Lion will certainly ship this month and there's a suggestion of the 19th. There wouldn't be much point in releasing the new machines today for example and then ship the new OS in 2 weeks, requiring people to pay for the upgrade. Most likely the new iMacs and Minis will ship with Mountain Lion.

They always include the upgrade if you're purchasing within however many days of the new OS. It's more that they wouldn't have to make any Lion bug fixes this way, concern themselves with adoption rates, or put that stress on their servers. Overall it's cheaper and easier to just ship Mountain Lion with new machines.

post #80 of 391

I, for one, would love to see a middle ground model of headless desktop Macs; so I guess that makes the count of forum members wanting an xMac move up to 21…

 

I could see a market for a mid-range unit that would cater to the gaming/HTPC market. My dream specs…?

 

Quad-core CPU

16GB RAM

Discrete GPU w/1GB RAM (minimum amount of RAM, I personally would prefer a GPU from the higher end of the scale & 2GB of RAM)

256GB PCI Express-based SSD (OS & apps)

Four HDD bays (hot-swap not required, but easy to access for adding new drives would be a requirement)

Hardware RAID (on the main logic board would probably be cheaper, but as a PCI Express card would be best if it needed replacing)

Blu-Ray player/DVD burner (not everyone wants to buy movies from the iTunes Store, and I like all the extras that come on DVDs & Blu-Ray)

HDMI out w/7.1 audio support

 

Now, I realize this sounds a lot like a pimp Mac Pro, but I envision it more like a complementary component to an A/V receiver, with a similar size.

 

Add some Razer gear (Naga Hex mouse, Nostromo keypad & BlackWidow Ultimate keyboard), a 70" HDTV & an Onyko THX HTiB (Home Theater in a Box) system; I would be good to go…

Late 2009 Unibody MacBook (modified)
2.26GHz Core 2 Duo CPU/8GB RAM/60GB SSD/500GB HDD
SuperDrive delete
Reply
Late 2009 Unibody MacBook (modified)
2.26GHz Core 2 Duo CPU/8GB RAM/60GB SSD/500GB HDD
SuperDrive delete
Reply
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