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2014 Mac mini Wishlist

post #1 of 1392
Thread Starter 
I had to do this : P though I am not sure if it is allowed. I don't think anyone will mind since I'm only half joking.

First off, I hope there is a Haswell Mac mini. I hope the Ivy Bridge models sell well so there can be.

I didn't expect a quad core processor in anything but the server as standard though there were no discrete graphics which is a shame.

Nonetheless hopefully we possibly move into a quad core at the $599 spot (pipe dream) and bring back discrete graphics in one model as BTO. Maybe however the next line of Intel HD Graphics (5000 or whatever) will be sufficient enough to keep up with most games or whatever games people play at the time.

I'd also like SSDs as BTO on the base model.

Either way I'm happy overall with the releases. No complaints but I don't want to say that everything is great.

iMacs

Happy with them mostly except for the fact that 3 out of 4 models only have 512 MB of VRAM. I do like that they are offering the nVidia GeForce 680M with the max 2 GB (I don't think it can take more iirc).

I think at the very least the base 27" should have had a BTO 1 GB.

They feel a bit too thin as well.

Overall though, I do like them and they (like the Mac minis) were long overdue for an update.
post #2 of 1392

What makes you think that the Mac Mini is anywhere near being discontinued? Of course there will be a Haswell model.

Originally posted by Relic

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

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post #3 of 1392
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

What makes you think that the Mac Mini is anywhere near being discontinued? Of course there will be a Haswell model.

I can never be too sure with Apple.
post #4 of 1392
Originally Posted by Winter View Post
I can never be too sure with Apple.

 

As of yesterday, I can say the same thing. But I think for the better this time.


Edited by Tallest Skil - 10/24/12 at 8:15am

Originally posted by Relic

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

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post #5 of 1392
Thread Starter 
All right, well I don't want to get into semantics as much as I want to get into the core, so let me ask this.

Is the current line-up the future of the mini? One dual-core, two quad-cores (with one being a server). Do we ever see discrete graphics again? Next year or the year after and is it even necessary? I admit, I liked the quad-core option though I'm not sure how the GeForce 640M LE can play games and at decent speeds (the vizio all in one has the LE). Could they put in 512 MB or 1 GB and still make it $799? That sounds very un-Apple.

What happens with the iMacs? When do we start to see some more VRAM in these things or does it even matter? Beginning with the 640M, should an option to double the VRAM been included and would it have mattered? Same for the the next model up and the 650M? Already you're getting the same video card and VRAM as the 15" MBP and it's a desktop processor (although the mobile one has hyper-threading).

Then we move into the 660M GTX? Is 512 MB of that better a 1 GB of the 650M in the 15" MBP and 15" rMBP? Dunno that one.

Finally the ultimate one which is perfect except I'm not spending $2,000+ to max out the graphics and processor.
post #6 of 1392

It appears that Apple has established various price points that helps to keep their different products from competing against each other.

 

My guess is that Apple has equipped the Mac Mini's with the optimum equipment at the $599; $799; and $999 price points.

 

The 2012 base iMac is the first Mac that I noticed to have changed it's price point from $1199 to 1299.  

 

The Mini product line has actually been reduced in price when you factor in the extra ram or larger HDD added to the various price points plus faster processors.

 

I believe that Apple just decided that they couldn't maintain the price points for the product line while including dedicated graphic processors, but they could improve the processor across the product line.

 

It appears that the end result is a product line that delivers  more bang for the Buck. 

post #7 of 1392
Originally Posted by jack92029 View Post
The 2012 base iMac is the first Mac that I noticed to have changed it's price point from $1199 to 1299.

 

The Mac Mini went from $599 to $699 two years ago, and now it's back at $599.

Originally posted by Relic

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Originally posted by Relic

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post #8 of 1392
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

The Mac Mini went from $599 to $699 two years ago, and now it's back at $599.

...and in 2012 they increased the RAM from 2gb to 4gb which Apple used to charge an extra $100, so they actually reduced the price in 2012 sorta LOL

post #9 of 1392
Thread Starter 
16 GB for $300 is still ridiculous though ah well. I am surprised there is not even another HDD option on the base model. Oh well.
post #10 of 1392

Well, obviously Haswell, seeing as they've dumped discrete graphics already.  It would be nice to have decent graphics performance back again.  And, one hopes, better prices on upgrades such as memory and Fusion drives.

post #11 of 1392
Thread Starter 
The Fusion price I think is a bit high only because it is new technology. Memory though despite being high might only increase in the coming months though we shall see. I just hope they keep the ability to easily change the memory next time around.
post #12 of 1392

Interesting if a little on the sunny side.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

I had to do this : P though I am not sure if it is allowed. I don't think anyone will mind since I'm only half joking.
Well it isn't a joking matter.
First off, I hope there is a Haswell Mac mini. I hope the Ivy Bridge models sell well so there can be.
I'm not sure the new Mini has what it takes to spur on sales. There certainly are people waiting for just this update but I suspect that more than a few are missing the GPU. Sales will likely be good for awhile and then taper off significantly.
I didn't expect a quad core processor in anything but the server as standard though there were no discrete graphics which is a shame.
Quad core should be considered minimal for any non entry level desktop. Quad core just offers the best trade off in performance vs cost right now.
Nonetheless hopefully we possibly move into a quad core at the $599 spot (pipe dream) and bring back discrete graphics in one model as BTO. Maybe however the next line of Intel HD Graphics (5000 or whatever) will be sufficient enough to keep up with most games or whatever games people play at the time.
Integrated Graphics will get there sometime that I'm convinced of. However Intel is really dragging this out significantly, I really don't see Haswell as performing at the level that eliminates the need for discrete graphics.
I'd also like SSDs as BTO on the base model.
Yes this is another shortcoming on Apples part. I'm really in the dark about the hybrid storage system but it really looks like a technology that should have been implemented a few years ago. Now SSDs are far more reasonable for the premium devices Apple sells.
Either way I'm happy overall with the releases. No complaints but I don't want to say that everything is great.
Honestly I'm frustrated. I was really hoping to buy into a new Mini sometime early in 2013 now that is put on hold. At least for a Mini to be used as my primary computer it is on hold. Last years Mini provided just enough 3D power to be viable as my primary machine, now it suffers from Intel hell with questionable 3D performance.
iMacs
Happy with them mostly except for the fact that 3 out of 4 models only have 512 MB of VRAM. I do like that they are offering the nVidia GeForce 680M with the max 2 GB (I don't think it can take more iirc).
I think at the very least the base 27" should have had a BTO 1 GB.
They feel a bit too thin as well.
Overall though, I do like them and they (like the Mac minis) were long overdue for an update.

 

Yes they where due for an update. However it appears at this time that they are less serviceable than before which is a big boner for me. It is one thing on a laptop to use no standard parts it is far different on a desktop. The new Macs just have the appearance right now of being even less maintainable than before if that is possible. Don't get me wrong I don't want to dismiss their better qualities as these machines do have some nice benefits. I just don't see them as wonderful to the extent of the introduction of sliced bread. That and the stretch for even thinner machines isn't really in the performance users best interests. Hey at least we have a few weeks to digest the hardware designs before they hit the street, that should lead to informed buying decisions.
post #13 of 1392

Well you really do never know with Apple.   However it does look like they have lost their way with this model, many of us where expecting better not worst configurations.   The base model isn't that bad relative to the previous year but the $799 model is a regression pure and simple.   What many of us wanted to see was a better GPU, discrete with more RAM.   What we got is less for the same money.

 

Given that regression maybe Apple doesn't intend to keep the machine around long.   They certainly reduced the incentive to buy the mid range model.   I guess i will continue to dream about an XMac.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

As of yesterday, I can say the same thing. But I think for the better this time.

post #14 of 1392
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

All right, well I don't want to get into semantics as much as I want to get into the core, so let me ask this.
Is the current line-up the future of the mini?
I hope not.
Quote:
One dual-core, two quad-cores (with one being a server). Do we ever see discrete graphics again?
I see more cores in the future. I still think it will be a couple of years before discrete graphics won't be needed but that doesn't mean we will get them.
Quote:
Next year or the year after and is it even necessary? I admit, I liked the quad-core option though I'm not sure how the GeForce 640M LE can play games and at decent speeds (the vizio all in one has the LE). Could they put in 512 MB or 1 GB and still make it $799? That sounds very un-Apple.
Apple could do many things but obviously the desktop int a high priority.
Quote:
What happens with the iMacs? When do we start to see some more VRAM in these things or does it even matter? Beginning with the 640M, should an option to double the VRAM been included and would it have mattered? Same for the the next model up and the 650M? Already you're getting the same video card and VRAM as the 15" MBP and it's a desktop processor (although the mobile one has hyper-threading).
IMac will continue to achieve higher levels of integration.
Quote:
Then we move into the 660M GTX? Is 512 MB of that better a 1 GB of the 650M in the 15" MBP and 15" rMBP? Dunno that one.
Finally the ultimate one which is perfect except I'm not spending $2,000+ to max out the graphics and processor.
Then don't.
post #15 of 1392

Does anybody make a decent monitor that matches the Mini? Haven't seen one, and will be looking to purchase one by Christmas.

The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
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The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
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post #16 of 1392
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Then don't.

Well only because I personally don't have a use for it at the moment, though the options that are offered are awesome. Even better than the last 27" iMac ultimate in my opinion.

What graphics could they have put in the Mini? Should they have gone with a 35W quad-core on the $799 (2.1 GHz) and maybe make the 2.6 GHz 45W quad-core the standard one for $999?

I can sense your frustration there wizard, but anytime Apple updates I'm happy just for the fact that they're updating.

The presentation was great as I was tired. Cook talks about figures, turns it over Schiller, Schiller intros the new products, he turns it back over to Cook, and I went to take a nap. : P

Edit: The base 21.5" iMac needs a BTO for flash storage and the fusion drive.
Edited by Winter - 10/25/12 at 9:45am
post #17 of 1392
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

Well only because I personally don't have a use for it at the moment, though the options that are offered are awesome. Even better than the last 27" iMac ultimate in my opinion.
What graphics could they have put in the Mini?
Anything that would fit and has a performance pro file to double execution in general. If need be they can put a higher capacity power supply in the machine and a better fan
Quote:
Should they have gone with a 35W quad-core on the $799 (2.1 GHz) and maybe make the 2.6 GHz 45W quad-core the standard one for $999?
I can sense your frustration there wizard, but anytime Apple updates I'm happy just for the fact that they're updating.
Well yeah that is an advantage or positive perspective I guess. As it is the base machine is a very nice value, but it is the $799 machine that I have problems with. It is an awfully steep price increase to get only a little bit hear and there. Beyond that Apple really needs at least one affordable desktop computer with GPU acceleration. Contrary to all the idiots whining about games, the need for a GPU has nothing to do with gaming.
Quote:
The presentation was great as I was tired. Cook talks about figures, turns it over Schiller, Schiller intros the new products, he turns it back over to Cook, and I went to take a nap. : P
Edit: The base 21.5" iMac needs a BTO for flash storage and the fusion drive.

At least you saw some of it live.
post #18 of 1392
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter 
Do we ever see discrete graphics again?

I doubt it. Hopefully Intel will deliver Haswell GT3 to the processors that go in the Mini:



"Intel: So framerates are about the same but with Haswell we can get a higher quality
Reporter: Are you guys disclosing what average framerates you're looking at here?
Intel: Uhhhhh, no"

Oh Intel. Still, the demo looks good and that's a reference board for a mobile platform. It should be equivalent to a 640M:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRKqg6tnYIk

Shame we didn't get that performance this year but we know Intel is about a year behind everyone else in graphics. It is likely harder for Apple to keep the smaller systems cool with two separate chips though so I think it's a good direction to go in.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter 
What happens with the iMacs? When do we start to see some more VRAM in these things or does it even matter? Beginning with the 640M, should an option to double the VRAM been included and would it have mattered?

I think it's fine as long as the GPU can use the system memory on top. I think we'll see more and more of a convergence between the CPU and GPU in the next couple of years.
post #19 of 1392
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post
Reporter: Are you guys disclosing what average framerates you're looking at here?

 

If they can't tell by sight and it doesn't look choppy, it's at least 60 FPS and the number over that shouldn't matter.

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.
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post #20 of 1392
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

As it is the base machine is a very nice value, but it is the $799 machine that I have problems with. It is an awfully steep price increase to get only a little bit hear and there. Beyond that Apple really needs at least one affordable desktop computer with GPU acceleration. Contrary to all the idiots whining about games, the need for a GPU has nothing to do with gaming.

So what GPU could have been used for it that would have done the trick.
Quote:
At least you saw some of it live.

Yeah I got lucky. I had to refresh several times as either the quality dropped from HD or it froze a bit but it went pretty well and beat having to follow the text on a site. Soon after my nap, I got up checked the Apple Store and saw the updated specs. Made my day.
post #21 of 1392
Quote:
Originally Posted by jack92029 View Post

It appears that Apple has established various price points that helps to keep their different products from competing against each other.

 

My guess is that Apple has equipped the Mac Mini's with the optimum equipment at the $599; $799; and $999 price points.

 

The 2012 base iMac is the first Mac that I noticed to have changed it's price point from $1199 to 1299.  

 

The Mini product line has actually been reduced in price when you factor in the extra ram or larger HDD added to the various price points plus faster processors.

 

I believe that Apple just decided that they couldn't maintain the price points for the product line while including dedicated graphic processors, but they could improve the processor across the product line.

 

It appears that the end result is a product line that delivers  more bang for the Buck. 

That isn't entirely correct. Pricing is set at the time a model is released. You have to look at costs at that time. Ram has decreased in price. It's gone way down in price since the time they moved to 4GB standard. I think that was 2010. Hard drives at similar price points go up in capacity annually. The only real offset to that was the issue of flooding, although the HDD manufacturers were able to maintain higher pricing for a while longer. You can't look at every spec bump as an increase in cost if it's a flat change at the time of launch.

post #22 of 1392
Thread Starter 
I am back. I was out of commission due to Hurricane Sandy but am back online. SemiAccurate reported something called the Small Business Advantage that they were building into the Haswell processors. This I think will only be best with Windows and not Mac though.
post #23 of 1392
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

I am back. I was out of commission due to Hurricane Sandy but am back online. SemiAccurate reported something called the Small Business Advantage that they were building into the Haswell processors. This I think will only be best with Windows and not Mac though.

I don't see SBA being an advantage for anybody. It has more negatives for users than positives.

By the way I hope things are going well with the Hurricane recovery in your area. All we got was a bit of wind and lots of rain.
post #24 of 1392
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the kind words wizard. Yeah damage wasn't too bad where I am (Neptune, NJ), and I only lost power for four days. The worst part was not so much not having a TV or computer, that's nothing. It was not being able to wash and dry clothes or get gas. A friend got me some on Wednesday (2.5 hour wait standing in line with cans) and then I filled my tank on Friday (only a 45 minute wait and I was able to sit in my car and listen to the radio).

Getting back to the topic at hand, yeah I agree SBA won't help anyone and who knows why they are implementing it. Still I think we are a bit away from Apple implementing their own processors in the Mini. Might take until Skylake/Skymont.
post #25 of 1392
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

Thanks for the kind words wizard. Yeah damage wasn't too bad where I am (Neptune, NJ), and I only lost power for four days. The worst part was not so much not having a TV or computer, that's nothing. It was not being able to wash and dry clothes or get gas. A friend got me some on Wednesday (2.5 hour wait standing in line with cans) and then I filled my tank on Friday (only a 45 minute wait and I was able to sit in my car and listen to the radio).
Getting back to the topic at hand, yeah I agree SBA won't help anyone and who knows why they are implementing it. Still I think we are a bit away from Apple implementing their own processors in the Mini. Might take until Skylake/Skymont.

This idea of Apple implementing their own processors in the Mini is interesting but has more than a few negatives associated with it. Right now you can boot the Mini up into any OS you want from Windows to Linux to BSD. That is a huge advantage and I'm actually seeing Minis embedded into machines and instrumentation now as it has the right combination of power and size. It is almost like the Mini has become a standardized component.

On the other hand if Apple can deliver a Mini with six to twelve ARM 64 processors next year, with the whole platform running on ten watts or less it will be an incredible advance forward. For use at home I wouldn't have any problem at all with such a machine given that it is just as fast as today's hardware. For Apple though it would be a big gamble, mainly due to the lost of even more of the professional crowd.

The big unknown here is how aggressive Intel will be competing here. They really need to loose some of the legacy functionality in i86 so that the design can be streamlined as much as possible but I don't think they have the balls to do it. ARM 64 on sub 28nm processes will be very interesting indeed.
post #26 of 1392
Thread Starter 
I think Intel will start to be aggressive since they cannot just sit on their hands with ARM in the processor field. AMD right now is lacking with CPUs but not with GPUs. ARM will get bigger if Intel does not do something.
post #27 of 1392
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

I think Intel will start to be aggressive since they cannot just sit on their hands with ARM in the processor field. AMD right now is lacking with CPUs but not with GPUs. ARM will get bigger if Intel does not do something.

ARM is the first real processor to impact Intel in a significant way in years. It is a bit shocking that Intel is missing sales numbers for the first time in years. If one just looks at iPad, over the last couple of years it has taken 100 million in potential Intel sales. Combine that with the impact of smart phones and AMD offer really good value at the low end and you have a hurting giant.
post #28 of 1392
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

What makes you think that the Mac Mini is anywhere near being discontinued? Of course there will be a Haswell model.


What I'd really like to see is a Goldilocks model  (Pro is too big, Mini is too small, this one is just right). I'll call it a Mac Midi. It would have a discreet GPU, 32 GB RAM capability, at least one, and preferably more than one PCIe slots, perhaps for a graphics card, but so you could put a bootable PCIe SSD in it to get some real speed. It would also use a 3 1/2 inch hard drive with space for two which would allow you to choose a wide variety of drives to install. I really don't care if Apple drops the optical drive. If you need one, a full size external one is readily available that is better than the ones Apple supplies and usually costs less too.

 

Haswell is supposed to have a much reduced power profile which should help keep the cooling requirements modest.

 

It should have two Thunderbolt ports, preferably TB II, as well as a bunch of USB 3 ports and one FW800 port for legacy devices.

 

Such a unit, I believe, would suit the needs of a great many current Apple users who are constrained by the iMac and don't really need a full blown workstation.

 

Frankly, it would not be very hard for Apple to produce such a model. Most of the heavy lifting on motherboard design has been/will be done by Intel (one of the benefits of using their products) in their reference design motherboards and support chip sets. About all Apple really needs to do is come up with a suitable motherboard, wrap some sort of case around it, ship a bunch of them and listen to all the "thank you" posts online.

 

One size does not fit all. It never has and never will.

 

Although Tim has said that there will be a Mac Pro in 2013, a great many people are still wondering whether it will be worthwhile and whether it may be an end-of-life release. The delays in updating the Mac Pro certainly indicate a wavering commitment to the platform. If it goes, I suspect a good many people who might have been interested in the Mac Midi would move along with the former Mac Pro users. As it is, the real professional video editing crowd has already been leaving the Mac platform because of performance issues.

 

There are a lot more people who like Apple computers because of the OS than care about Jony Ive wrapping some overheating container around the hardware. Memo to Tim: Functionality still matters.

post #29 of 1392
Quote:
Originally Posted by RBR View Post


What I'd really like to see is a Goldilocks model  (Pro is too big, Mini is too small, this one is just right). I'll call it a Mac Midi. It would have a discreet GPU, 32 GB RAM capability, at least one, and preferably more than one PCIe slots, perhaps for a graphics card, but so you could put a bootable PCIe SSD in it to get some real speed. It would also use a 3 1/2 inch hard drive with space for two which would allow you to choose a wide variety of drives to install. I really don't care if Apple drops the optical drive. If you need one, a full size external one is readily available that is better than the ones Apple supplies and usually costs less too.
Sounds like an XMac! 😃😃😃😃

While I agree a discrete GPU is still needed, I'd rather see the PCI Express slots focused on other needs. Thus a GPU built right on the motherboard wold be a better solution.
Quote:

Haswell is supposed to have a much reduced power profile which should help keep the cooling requirements modest.
Haswell is expected to be better but frankly Ivy Bridge is nothing to sneeze at. We are getting a lot of performance for our watts these days. There is also the question of just how hot the chip will be running flat out.
Quote:
It should have two Thunderbolt ports, preferably TB II, as well as a bunch of USB 3 ports and one FW800 port for legacy devices.
Time to kiss FW good bye. However a PCI Express slots goes a very long way to supporting any sort of legacy port.
Quote:
Such a unit, I believe, would suit the needs of a great many current Apple users who are constrained by the iMac and don't really need a full blown workstation.
Yep! This is my greatest frustration right now with Apple. The only midrange machines they have are the laptops.
Quote:
Frankly, it would not be very hard for Apple to produce such a model. Most of the heavy lifting on motherboard design has been/will be done by Intel (one of the benefits of using their products) in their reference design motherboards and support chip sets. About all Apple really needs to do is come up with a suitable motherboard, wrap some sort of case around it, ship a bunch of them and listen to all the "thank you" posts online.
Not really. I mean sure they could use a reference board design and gain nothing. What they really need to do is to innovate on the desktop like they do with the laptops.
Quote:
One size does not fit all. It never has and never will.
Which is why I still have machines running Linux.
Quote:
Although Tim has said that there will be a Mac Pro in 2013, a great many people are still wondering whether it will be worthwhile and whether it may be an end-of-life release. The delays in updating the Mac Pro certainly indicate a wavering commitment to the platform. If it goes, I suspect a good many people who might have been interested in the Mac Midi would move along with the former Mac Pro users. As it is, the real professional video editing crowd has already been leaving the Mac platform because of performance issues.
If the new Mac Pro isn't a massive step forward then Apple might as well sink the remaining cases in the ocean someplace. The Mac Pro is simply an ancient design from the standpoint of a professional computer.

As to the desktops future at Apple I think Apple is at a cross roads of sorts. It is pretty obvious from the pathetic releases last month that they simply don't care about the desktop anymore. Maybe the management shake up will address that. Or maybe not, I just don't think they realize how much of the market they have given up due to the lack of suitable hardware to sell into it.
Quote:
There are a lot more people who like Apple computers because of the OS than care about Jony Ive wrapping some overheating container around the hardware. Memo to Tim: Functionality still matters.

It would be nice to see Apple offer two things on the desktop that they don't currently. That is the midrange machine (XMac) and a decent shot at a professionals machine in a Mac Pro replacement. In each case the idea with these machines is to address functionality.
post #30 of 1392

wizard69,

 

The biggest reason to keep a FW port is to support the large number of video cameras which still use it. Who knows how long that will be the case? Otherwise FW is an evolutionary dead end.

 

I certainly agree that Ivy Bridge offers good performance. Haswell is supposed to offer comparable performance, but with substantially reduced power requirements. In the mobile arena this should improve battery life or allow the use of smaller/lighter batteries and contribute to smaller, lighter and cooler laptops. One figure I have heard tossed about is a 17 watt Ivy Bridge equivalent processor is targeted to be in the 10 to 12 watt range. That's a big difference.

 

You may have noticed that I hedged the bet on GPUs. Some sort of discreet GPU is called for. If it is not in a PCIe slot, it is still needed. I believe a PCIe slot one is preferable, but not if it takes up the only PCIe slot. If there are multiple slots, one should have a graphics card in it. :-)

 

About your Linux machine, if Adobe were to release Lightroom, Photoshop and the rest of their product line for Linux, I can only image the impact on Apple.

 

Cheers

post #31 of 1392
Thread Starter 
We are focusing quite a bit on the mini so I thought I would mention the iMac as well. I forget if I sent feedback to Apple or not, though I would like to at least have user replaceable RAM back even if it's only two slots instead of four. I also hope they start making 1 GB of RAM standard for video cards and stop with the 512 MB. Go for 1 GB minimum across the board and then on the ultimate, 2 GB with a BTO of 4 GB if it's available.
post #32 of 1392
Quote:
Originally Posted by RBR View Post

wizard69,

The biggest reason to keep a FW port is to support the large number of video cameras which still use it. Who knows how long that will be the case? Otherwise FW is an evolutionary dead end.
Yep, evolutionary dead end.

However one of the reasons I prefer to see an XMac with a couple of slots is that it allows users to adapt the machine to their specific needs. Thus is FireWire is really needed they can just plug in a card for that. I'm still not a fan of dongles and would much prefer in the box slots. Even here though I'm flexible, put four or six TB ports in an XMac and I might change my mind. The big problem though is that some hardware will never be adopted for TB.
Quote:
I certainly agree that Ivy Bridge offers good performance. Haswell is supposed to offer comparable performance, but with substantially reduced power requirements. In the mobile arena this should improve battery life or allow the use of smaller/lighter batteries and contribute to smaller, lighter and cooler laptops. One figure I have heard tossed about is a 17 watt Ivy Bridge equivalent processor is targeted to be in the 10 to 12 watt range. That's a big difference.
This is fairly consistent with what I'm reading but there is one big qualifier here, Intel apparently has three different GPU implementations planned one with significant performance. We really don't know what type of GPU performance those lower power units will have.
Quote:

You may have noticed that I hedged the bet on GPUs. Some sort of discreet GPU is called for. If it is not in a PCIe slot, it is still needed. I believe a PCIe slot one is preferable, but not if it takes up the only PCIe slot. If there are multiple slots, one should have a graphics card in it. :-)
For a midrange machine I don't see the need for a discrete GPU going away anytime soon either. On the Mini Haswell might do the trick if Apple would actually implement at least one machine with a performance chip.

The other thing here is TB and integration with that port. My understanding is that the GPU has to be on the motherboard unless Apple implements some sort of extended PCI Express port. Because of this and the desire to control cost I beleive Apple would have little choice but to glue the GPU to the motherboard.
Quote:
About your Linux machine, if Adobe were to release Lightroom, Photoshop and the rest of their product line for Linux, I can only image the impact on Apple.
That sounds good on the surface but Linux has significant issues with respect to the desktop environment. ADOBE would basically have to have their own distro. Even then GNOME, KDE and a bunch of other desktop environments leave a lot to be desired. Even Linus has been vocal about this lately.

As a side note one of the reasons I purchased a Mac Book Pro in 2008 was to have a far more stable desktop environment. For the mot part this has worked out really wel for me. Add in Apples integration with iPhone or iOS and you have a very pleasing platform. I wouldn't go back to using Linux as a primary desktop machine anytime soon but it is fantastic for servers and things that don't run on the Mac at all (LinuxCNC).
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Cheers

My biggest fear or concern is the freedom Mac OS provides me. I can get by with a locked down platform on my iOS devices but not on my Mac. The ability to dip into the supplied utilities, Python and other tools is invaluable to me. On the other hand an ARM based AIR, with twelve threads of performance (cores if your will) burning maybe 17 watts of power total, is very appealing to me. On top of that an AIR selling for much less due to not having to pay Intels margins is even nicer.
post #33 of 1392
One thing to watch out for is that a coming DRAM spec eliminates sockets for a new generation of memory. So eventually all high performance computers will have soldered in DRAM. This doesn't even include the 3D memory that Intel and Micron are working on which I believe also requires soldered in RAM. In a nutshell the days of soldered in RAM are quickly coming to an end.
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Originally Posted by Winter View Post

We are focusing quite a bit on the mini so I thought I would mention the iMac as well. I forget if I sent feedback to Apple or not, though I would like to at least have user replaceable RAM back even if it's only two slots instead of four. I also hope they start making 1 GB of RAM standard for video cards and stop with the 512 MB. Go for 1 GB minimum across the board and then on the ultimate, 2 GB with a BTO of 4 GB if it's available.
post #34 of 1392
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Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

On the other hand an ARM based AIR, with twelve threads of performance (cores if your will) burning maybe 17 watts of power total, is very appealing to me. On top of that an AIR selling for much less due to not having to pay Intels margins is even nicer.

 

Somehow I think Apple is reasonably satisfied on price points. My guess was that such a thing would lead more to a split between increased features and higher margins. They may increase storage and migrate to higher resolution displays across the line while boosting margins. In terms of raw number crunching specs, Apple tends to aim for good enough. Most of their defining features are in other areas.

post #35 of 1392
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Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

Does anybody make a decent monitor that matches the Mini? Haven't seen one, and will be looking to purchase one by Christmas.

 

By "matches", I'm assuming goes along with the appearance. I would say the only option there is Apple's own Thunderbolt Display. I don't expect there to be a significant market for 3rd-party Mini-specific displays. Mac Mini buyers seem to fall into several categories:

1) Replacing a computer and they already have a monitor.

2) Incorporating into a home theater, so using a TV as a display.

3) Very cost-sensitive and intend to skimp on the diplay.

4) Using as a low-cost server, either without any display, or where the display itself doesn't matter.

 

A Mac Mini and a Thuderbolt Display costs about the same as an iMac; with the benefit that the computer can be replaced (upgraded) independently of the display. However, recent iMacs have had the capability to be used as a display. I'm assuming the just-announced (late 2012) models can as well. If that is a concern, you can buy an iMac now, and then buy a Mini (or a PC with Thunderbolt/DisplayPort) when it's time to upgrade.

post #36 of 1392
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

One thing to watch out for is that a coming DRAM spec eliminates sockets for a new generation of memory. In a nutshell the days of soldered in RAM are quickly coming to an end.

I may have misread this though are you saying there will be no soldered RAM or there will be?
post #37 of 1392
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Originally Posted by mbmcavoy View Post

 

By "matches", I'm assuming goes along with the appearance. I would say the only option there is Apple's own Thunderbolt Display. I don't expect there to be a significant market for 3rd-party Mini-specific displays. Mac Mini buyers seem to fall into several categories:

1) Replacing a computer and they already have a monitor.

2) Incorporating into a home theater, so using a TV as a display.

3) Very cost-sensitive and intend to skimp on the diplay.

4) Using as a low-cost server, either without any display, or where the display itself doesn't matter.

 

It just seems weird to me that the lowest cost Mac option doesn't have a corresponding monitor.

Even if the 21" iMac is a cheaper option, Apple would probably make enough sales to justify selling the same 21" by itself.

The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
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The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
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post #38 of 1392
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

One thing to watch out for is that a coming DRAM spec eliminates sockets for a new generation of memory. In a nutshell the days of soldered in RAM are quickly coming to an end.

I may have misread this though are you saying there will be no soldered RAM or there will be?

YIKES!

Pardon my conflagration above.

What I meant to say that DRAM in sockets will soon come to an end. At least in sockets as we know them today. The reason being that engineers can better control the electrical characteristics of the circuitry and thus communicate much faster. Plus as speeds increase wire distance becomes very significant.

So expect in the future to see high end machines that only support RAM soldered onto the motherboard.

Sorry for twisting up the logic in the previous post. Sometimes it is better to hit the sack then to try to do anything constructive online.
post #39 of 1392
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

It just seems weird to me that the lowest cost Mac option doesn't have a corresponding monitor.
Even if the 21" iMac is a cheaper option, Apple would probably make enough sales to justify selling the same 21" by itself.

If you look at the channels that the Mini sells in they are most likely being paired with economical LCD screens from a number of off shore manufactures. I suspect that the vast majority of Mini sales either happen in Apples online store or via third party retailers. Most Apple stores I've walked into have very few if any Minis in display.
post #40 of 1392
Thread Starter 
Do you think that will happen sooner rather than later or not for at least say five years?
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