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2014 Mac mini Wishlist - Page 4

post #121 of 1506
Thread Starter 
And for some who wish to, they are selling themselves short because people will either not buy a higher end model or they will go third-party. If you at least offer the option, it creates more of a money making opportunity.
post #122 of 1506
Quote:
Originally Posted by AandcMedia View Post

Apple has this weird fetish with making things as thin and compact as they possibly can. 
I really don't see it as a fetish. Small compact devices can be extremely handy. On the flip side small devices waste far fewer resources.
Quote:
They eventually learned their lesson with the iPod series, ie people were buying shuffles to work out with and when they made it super tiny it was no long convenient. The nano's became a bit larger than the shuffle with just a touch screen and learned people wanted something smaller than an iPod touch but not super tiny.
True when it comes to human interaction there is a thing such as too small. However it might have been better for Apple to focus on thin instead of small.
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When will they learn the desktops don't need to be ungodly thin...probably in a matter of time.
I don't see thin as the issue so much as the lack of choices. At this point one Mini, except for Apples artificial constraints, doesn't really offer much over the other models.
Quote:
Removing the cd/dvd drive from the iMac fine, but the mac mini...leave one of them with it. The mini being about 1/2in taller isn't going to bother anyone, add in the CD/DVD. Having it as a media PC would be nice or when I burn things for my parents or a friend. 

It might not bother anybody but if it was a 1/2" taller I'd consider putting in a optical drive a serious waste of space. It would be far better to use that space for a beefed up power supply and a decent GPU implementation.

The GPU situation in the Mini has always bothered me. Last years attempt was such a joke that I don't even want to talk about it. For many of us we where tip honking if we wait till the next release Apple will address the issues with the GPU implementation so that it becomes a worthwhile investment. Instead the whole idea of a discrete GPU was borked in favor of integrated Intel crap.

I'm not really sure what Apples excuse is here. They clearly don't understand the needs of some of the common software apps out there, nor the idea that the Mini is often used as a media / gaming PC. More and more CPU power doesn't do much for many apps out there, nor does it do a lot for the general user experience. GPU power though has never be adequate in Apples hardware. That may be OK in the base Mini, it is almost a requirement, but when you get close to a $1000 for a Mini you kinda expect a little better.
post #123 of 1506
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

That may be OK in the base Mini, it is almost a requirement, but when you get close to a $1000 for a Mini you kinda expect a little better.

For $1,000 you should absolutely expect a discrete GPU and a good one at that with enough memory, I agree.

Edit: Kepler has a 2 GB maximum. 1 GB on the 640M would have been nice even on the iMac.
post #124 of 1506
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post


Edit: Kepler has a 2 GB maximum. 1 GB on the 640M would have been nice even on the iMac.


I know I've seen higher than that on some of the desktop cards. It's interesting how the need for memory efficiency never completely went away. Now that we have desktop computers with incredible amounts of ram, the problem has moved more to gpus rather than becoming a non issue. Pixar has done some work in that area if you look up Opensubdiv. I was looking for a Siggraph link, but I can't find one at the moment.

 

Edit: I found a link. This kind of thing could end up in places like game engines where subdivision surface based geometry has afaik historically been avoided.


Edited by hmm - 12/31/12 at 1:51pm
post #125 of 1506
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post


I know I've seen higher than that on some of the desktop cards. It's interesting how the need for memory efficiency never completely went away. Now that we have desktop computers with incredible amounts of ram, the problem has moved more to gpus rather than becoming a non issue. Pixar has done some work in that area if you look up Opensubdiv. I was looking for a Siggraph link, but I can't find one at the moment.

Absolutely. I meant for mobile cards and should have posted links.

http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GT-640M.71579.0.html
http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GT-650M.71887.0.html
http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-660M.71859.0.html
http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-675MX.82580.0.html
http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-680MX.83519.0.html

Max memory is 2 GB for all of those cards.
post #126 of 1506


Oh yeah for notebooks, although even then the mobile workstation cards can go higher. It typically locks you to at least $3k for a notebook, but you can get 4GB with a Quadro K4000M or K5000M. 2GB is the cap for the gaming cards. To be fair those computers are for people who use a notebook due to a need to be extremely mobile with heavier work. They are somewhat of edge cases.

post #127 of 1506
Thread Starter 
Yeah I looked at one of those notebooks. Not exactly something I would personally purchase.
post #128 of 1506
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

Yeah I looked at one of those notebooks. Not exactly something I would personally purchase.


I wouldn't either. There's a point where most people are better served by a desktop or workstation as your money should go further there. Mobile workstation variants aren't as pleasant to transport either. They aren't so bad on their own. If you're already encumbered with luggage or gear of some kind, it becomes annoying. It's also a factor when you're trying to stay under a given weight limit for carry-on baggage.

post #129 of 1506
I was over at 9to5mac just a short while ago and they had a blurb on refurbished Minis where they indicated that Apple has taken another $50 off one model. I can't say if this is true or not because most of the Minis are gone and I don't track them that closely. However if true maybe the current Mini has a shorter expected lifespan then we suspect.

Maybe that is wishful thinking, but it wouldn't be the first time refurb prices have been adjusted before a model upgrade. Then again this is the 2013 wish list, as such I think the best thing to wish for is a respectable Mini upgrade as soon as possible.
post #130 of 1506
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

For $1,000 you should absolutely expect a discrete GPU and a good one at that with enough memory, I agree.
This is one thing I just don't understand about Apple, it is almost as if they go out of their way to produce machines that confirm the idea that the desktop is dying. The 2011 machine, with the discrete GPU, simply wasn't worth the expense that Apple was charging for it. Not enough VRAM and not enough of a performance delta. I have to wonder if there was a sales issue with the GPU model.
Quote:
Edit: Kepler has a 2 GB maximum. 1 GB on the 640M would have been nice even on the iMac.

Frankly I don't expect 2GB of VRAM in the Mini, but I do expect enough that it can deliver respectable performance and run a reasonable cross section of the software out there. In other words a Mini that can provide that missing mid range performance.
post #131 of 1506
Thread Starter 
Yeah it would never happen in the Mini, though 512 MB would be nice and 1 GB for all iMac models (with the 2 GB upgrade).

Sales could be an issue and maybe heat is as well. Also maybe Intel is making promises to Apple and paying them a huge sum to only use their integrated graphics.

Anything is possible.
post #132 of 1506

Along with a Mini, with Haswell, quad-core as a base-line config, 32 GB RAM option, etc.--I'd like to see a cheaper Apple display. Maybe a 23", I would say $999 is a bit much. And 27", IMO, is over doing it. I'd like to see a $500 21-23" and a $699-799 27". 

 

 


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post #133 of 1506
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

Yeah it would never happen in the Mini, though 512 MB would be nice and 1 GB for all iMac models (with the 2 GB upgrade).
That is what I'm thinking for the Mini with today's technology. However Apple still needs an entry level iMac. This reality I'd the other reason I don't understand Apples attitude towards the Mini, they do maintain what amounts to an entry level iMac so by that measure the Mini can't really be seen as their entry level machine.
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Sales could be an issue and maybe heat is as well. Also maybe Intel is making promises to Apple and paying them a huge sum to only use their integrated graphics.
Considering Apples history with GPUs, Intel wouldn't have to pay them much.
Quote:
Anything is possible.

For some reason I have it in my head that both the Mini and the Mac Pro will get overhauled this year. Maybe that is wishful thinking but I see wishful thinking fitting into this thread. From the engineering standpoint I realize that in a couple of years or so the need for a discrete GPU will be highly minimalized. Today with Ivy Bridge it is more of a toss up and depends upon your needs as a user, so I still see the need for a Mini with a decent GPU.

As to that overhaul itself, they really should address what appears to be a power limitation in the Mini. It just seems like and probably is, that this machine is power limited. Thus we get these up and down configuration cycles. 20 to 25 watts more capability would do wonders. Some of that extra power should be budgeted for extra TB ports, some for either a GPU or more RAM slots. I also want to see a dedicated and standardized internal PCI Express slot(s) for SSD storage cards. We really need to get away from SATA and the old mechanical form factors.
post #134 of 1506
Quote:
Originally Posted by logandigges View Post

Along with a Mini, with Haswell, quad-core as a base-line config, 32 GB RAM option, etc.--I'd like to see a cheaper Apple display.
You and me both. Apples current pricing scheme might be viable as a pro screen but my god really decent monitors can be had for $250 dollars these days. Most Mini users can get by fine with one of those monitors.
Quote:
Maybe a 23", I would say $999 is a bit much. And 27", IMO, is over doing it. I'd like to see a $500 21-23" and a $699-799 27". 
Even those numbers are high. They need a solution that is well under $350. Mind you this is just a very basic monitor. Part of the problem with Apples one solution is that the monitor isn't just a monitor, it is also a hub for USB and other ports.
post #135 of 1506
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm 
Now that we have desktop computers with incredible amounts of ram, the problem has moved more to gpus rather than becoming a non issue. Pixar has done some work in that area if you look up Opensubdiv. I was looking for a Siggraph link, but I can't find one at the moment.

Edit: I found a link. This kind of thing could end up in places like game engines where subdivision surface based geometry has afaik historically been avoided.

Subdivision is being used in games already thanks to companies who actually bother to implement tessellation (not Apple):

http://blogs.amd.com/play/2012/11/20/hitman-absolution-in-depth/
http://blogs.amd.com/play/files/2012/11/TessDisabled.png
http://blogs.amd.com/play/files/2012/11/TessEnabled.png

(they don't seem to have turned it on for the clothes, just the head - you can see the difference in the ears)

I'm surprised that Pixar only has 4 GPU engineers (out of 1200 staff) and as usual the genius is the one who can't speak English well.

It seems Pixar want to push the Catmull-Clark subdivision so that surfaces don't get subdivided in different ways and take on a different shape from one platform to another.

They explained that hardware tessellation doesn't store the points in memory, it generates data on the fly based on the viewport and then flushes it once it's rendered. This can save loads of memory as they can turn very simple objects into extremely complex ones with a few points and a procedural noise function or image map. An entire detailed street could be made with under 100 points and instancing.

The GPU and CPU should use the same memory eventually:

http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/cpu/display/20120202102405_AMD_Promises_Full_Fusion_of_CPU_and_GPU_in_2014.html

so the amount of memory will be a non-issue. Haswell appears to manage to do this:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6277/haswell-up-to-128mb-onpackage-cache-ulv-gpu-performance-estimates

This can work in a similar way to Apple's Fusion drives. It just swaps the immediately needed data into the very fast 128MB cache and everything else can sit in the 4GB+ main memory. You shouldn't need more than 128MB of textures in a given scene. They could actually bundle all their GPUs with a small amount of dedicated memory as long as they get the bandwidth high enough between it and main memory.

Given that Apple apparently requested this feature and expressed discontent with Intel's IGP performance, I think Haswell will be a big improvement:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-20125598-64/steve-jobs-knocked-intels-chip-design-inflexibility/

"There were two reasons we didn't go with them. One was that Intel are just really slow. They're like a steamship, not very flexible. We're used to going pretty fast. Second is that we just didn't want to teach them everything, which they could go and sell to our competitors," Jobs is quoted as saying.

"At the high-performance level, Intel is the best," Jobs is quote in the book. "They build the fastest, if you don't care about power and cost."

Jobs didn't stop there. "We tried to help Intel, but they don't listen much," he said.

And Jobs also voiced a gripe that many PC game enthusiasts have been leveling at Intel for many years. "We've been telling them for years that their graphics [silicon] suck."

Optimistically, I'd like to see the 2013 Mini arrive at WWDC in June with quad-core Haswell at $799 with a 10-15% CPU boost and 80-100% GPU boost over the HD3000 with OpenGL 4 support in the bundled OS. If the memory design works better with soldered RAM, that won't be too good because they might cap it at 8GB like the 13" rMBP or charge double 3rd party RAM providers for 16GB. At least they offer 16GB on the current Mini but it's over 3x the price from a 3rd party, which is insane considering how easy it is to install on the Mini.
post #136 of 1506
Thread Starter 
Haswell is expected to have an increase of 80-100% with their IGP over Sandy Bridge IGP? I am sold!
post #137 of 1506
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Subdivision is being used in games already thanks to companies who actually bother to implement tessellation (not Apple):
Apple is just plain slow, when it comes to improving anything to do with GPUs, drivers and such. I hold out hope that this is due to excellent quality control and an attempt to keep APIs stable. The cynic in me just thinks they are slow due to a lack of interest on Apples part.
Quote:
(they don't seem to have turned it on for the clothes, just the head - you can see the difference in the ears)
I'm surprised that Pixar only has 4 GPU engineers (out of 1200 staff) and as usual the genius is the one who can't speak English well.
It seems Pixar want to push the Catmull-Clark subdivision so that surfaces don't get subdivided in different ways and take on a different shape from one platform to another.
They explained that hardware tessellation doesn't store the points in memory, it generates data on the fly based on the viewport and then flushes it once it's rendered. This can save loads of memory as they can turn very simple objects into extremely complex ones with a few points and a procedural noise function or image map. An entire detailed street could be made with under 100 points and instancing.
The GPU and CPU should use the same memory eventually:
http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/cpu/display/20120202102405_AMD_Promises_Full_Fusion_of_CPU_and_GPU_in_2014.html
This is another example of where I see AMD as better aligned with Apple than Intel. Obviously they
Need to deliver on this objective but they seem to have meant their midterm goals. This is good considering the state they are in financially. Intel still ats as if they are afraid of the GPU, this is strange because they do have their own implementation. That implementation may suck today but it will look like true crap if AMD delivers complete heterogeneous computing chips. Plus AMD is on the OpenCL banded wagon and isn't looking back.
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so the amount of memory will be a non-issue. Haswell appears to manage to do this:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/6277/haswell-up-to-128mb-onpackage-cache-ulv-gpu-performance-estimates
This should make Haswell worth waiting for. The real question though is this, would Apple actually implement such a chip in the Mini. They should be put they also have a history of screwing the machine up more than incrementally improving it. On the other hand if they can offer such a chip in a power profile suitable for the AIRs look out. Such a chip would be a drastic improvement for that machine.
Quote:
This can work in a similar way to Apple's Fusion drives. It just swaps the immediately needed data into the very fast 128MB cache and everything else can sit in the 4GB+ main memory. You shouldn't need more than 128MB of textures in a given scene. They could actually bundle all their GPUs with a small amount of dedicated memory as long as they get the bandwidth high enough between it and main memory.
This highlights a problem that both AMD and Intel now have, integrated GPUs are slowed by the processor memory interface. Performance actually scales with the increase in memory subsystem performance. Thus Intels rumored in package RAM as rumored above. I can see both AMD and Intel using various techniques in the future to deal with this bandwidth issue.
Quote:
Given that Apple apparently requested this feature and expressed discontent with Intel's IGP performance, I think Haswell will be a big improvement:
Not to be a pain here but who hasn't expressed discontent with Intels GPU hardware? AMDs hardware from last year can still outperform the Ivy Bridge GPU, further that AMD GPU supports OpenCL really well. I have no idea if AMD can keep it up in their current state, but for many users the APU represents a better more well rounded processor.
Quote:
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-20125598-64/steve-jobs-knocked-intels-chip-design-inflexibility/
"There were two reasons we didn't go with them. One was that Intel are just really slow. They're like a steamship, not very flexible. We're used to going pretty fast. Second is that we just didn't want to teach them everything, which they could go and sell to our competitors," Jobs is quoted as saying.
"At the high-performance level, Intel is the best," Jobs is quote in the book. "They build the fastest, if you don't care about power and cost."
Jobs didn't stop there. "We tried to help Intel, but they don't listen much," he said.
And Jobs also voiced a gripe that many PC game enthusiasts have been leveling at Intel for many years. "We've been telling them for years that their graphics [silicon] suck."
Well at least his appraisal is right on the money.
Quote:
Optimistically, I'd like to see the 2013 Mini arrive at WWDC in June with quad-core Haswell at $799 with a 10-15% CPU boost and 80-100% GPU boost over the HD3000 with OpenGL 4 support in the bundled OS.
A CPU boost doesn't mean as much to me right now as does getting decent GPU performance in a Mini class machine. It really looks like Haswell will do that for us. Frankly I'm expecting better than 100% improvement over the HD3000 in the top of the line Haswell chips. If the GT3 version actually comes with that in package high speed VRAM then such a leap is possible. The gotcha is Apples willingness to implement such a chip in the Mini.
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If the memory design works better with soldered RAM, that won't be too good because they might cap it at 8GB like the 13" rMBP or charge double 3rd party RAM providers for 16GB. At least they offer 16GB on the current Mini but it's over 3x the price from a 3rd party, which is insane considering how easy it is to install on the Mini.
The in package RAM buffer is one way around the congestion to main memory. The other obviously is faster main memory. Unfortunately if faster main memory is required at some point the only supported standards will be soldered in RAM. This isn't Apple being evil, but rather engineers having to deal with the physical realities of logic board layouts and timing integrity. So yeah let's hope they build systems with large memory arrays. All is not completely lost here though it may be possible for Apple to build systems with conventional expansion memory sitting on a different bus/channel. But then you are back to the processor actually supporting two independent memory interfaces.

Technology is moving really fast right now with respect to RAM, solid state secondary store and een GPU integration. It will interesting to see what the 2013 Mini picks up.
post #138 of 1506
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

Haswell is expected to have an increase of 80-100% with their IGP over Sandy Bridge IGP? I am sold!

Well don't count your chickens before they are hatched. However the rumors and preliminary reports are very positive. The extra execution units and some modest tweaks should work out good in the Haswell chips that get the best offerings. The thing here is that Intel apparently has three variants of GPUs planned for Haswell, which means Apple could implement a crappy chip in the Mini. Just because Intel delivers doesn't mean Apple will.

So a 100% improvement or even more is possible. By the way that is with respect to Sandy Bridge, the improvement might not be as great with respect to Ivy Bridge.

Hey maybe Intel will have their drivers fixed by then.
post #139 of 1506
Thread Starter 
Yeah I want to make sure everything works first. I bought my 2011 Mini in October even though it was released in July. I don't want to be a guinea pig.
post #140 of 1506
Thread Starter 
I know this is a double post though I don't think the rules are too strict on here about that right?

I want to know if anyone here feels that with Haswell, the integrated graphics will reach the 1024 MB/1 GB limit or if it will stay at 768 MB for 16 GB of RAM (or even for 8 GB of RAM)?
post #141 of 1506
Off the top of my head I really don't know. I would imagine there are hardware limits, but I really don't think that is a problem with Apples hardware. Rather I believe Apple under implements RAM allocations in its drivers. I say this because I seem to recall multiple instance of the same generation hardware on Linux and windows implementing larger buffers.

In the long run if you have a full heterogeneous system, each processor would end up with equal access to RAM with possibly the only "dedicated" RAM being frame buffers that are the last place data goes before the display hardware. So at some point in the evolution of these "APU" we won't be seeing RAM quoted as being allocated to VRAM. What Apple will do is unknown, they have a history of poor GPU configurations so I wouldn't hold my breath.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

I know this is a double post though I don't think the rules are too strict on here about that right?
I want to know if anyone here feels that with Haswell, the integrated graphics will reach the 1024 MB/1 GB limit or if it will stay at 768 MB for 16 GB of RAM (or even for 8 GB of RAM)?
post #142 of 1506
Thread Starter 
That reminds me and it doesn't appear this way thus far, though I sure hope we are at least another year away from the next version of OS X. Let Mountain Lion kind of simmer in for a while.

I wonder if the limit changes for the HD 4600.
post #143 of 1506

1.  Make the drive bays accessable, and include a SATA connector for the second bay.  I shouldn't have to completely diassemble my mini to add a second HDD.  It's like Ive never heard of an OS X feature called Time Machine!  WTF should I have to use an external drive enclosure to use Time Machine?  Make up your mind Ive, do you want a cool looking THIN computer, or do you want your creation to be raped by some big ugly external HDD enclosure next to?

 

2.  Two RAM slots?  It's a desktop computer, add couple more slots.  Stop insulting us with your cheapness, Apple.

 

3.  Discreet graphics.  Ah, fu[k it, Apple wants to gimp the graphics so the mini hits the landfill in a couple years.  Keep the integrated graphics, or add a full length PCIe slot that accepts a real video card.  Since the latter wouldn't be thin, it's not happening.

 

4.  Stop gimping the CPUs!  That's fine for the base mini, but the high end mini should have a 3+ GHz quad core i7.  The iMac is at 3.5 GHz, why must the mini be a full GHz less?  Oh right, it's got to be in the landfill in 3 years.

post #144 of 1506
Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg View Post
Make up your mind Ive, do you want a cool looking THIN computer, or do you want your creation to be raped by some big ugly external HDD enclosure next to?

 

Ugly, huh.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #145 of 1506
Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg View Post

1.  Make the drive bays accessable, and include a SATA connector for the second bay.  I shouldn't have to completely diassemble my mini to add a second HDD.
This is an exceptional problem and make you wonder what the hell they where thinking. It isn't that I don't expect a bit of disassembly but the Mini borders on ridiculous. With a little thought though they could have implemented drive draws accessible from on surface of the machine, sort of like Drobos new portable storage array.
Quote:
 It's like Ive never heard of an OS X feature called Time Machine!  WTF should I have to use an external drive enclosure to use Time Machine?  Make up your mind Ive, do you want a cool looking THIN computer, or do you want your creation to be raped by some big ugly external HDD enclosure next to?
Err actually your Time Machine drive should be external as it is ideally one element in a backup plan.
Quote:
2.  Two RAM slots?  It's a desktop computer, add couple more slots.  Stop insulting us with your cheapness, Apple.
This may be an artifact of the laptop chips but it is a valid issue and should be addressed in a machine overhaul. To that end I'd like to see base RAM soldered in for reliability and then offer up two slots for expansion.
Quote:
3.  Discreet graphics.  Ah, fu[k it, Apple wants to gimp the graphics so the mini hits the landfill in a couple years.  Keep the integrated graphics, or add a full length PCIe slot that accepts a real video card.  Since the latter wouldn't be thin, it's not happening.
I'm not sure if Apple has just gone plain stupid on us or what. A good GPU does extend hardware. Life which is justification right there for a Mini with a discrete GPU. However that GPU can not be gimped in the way it was with the 2011 model. I think it comes back to the issue of the Minis design and inability to handle the excess wattage required. If so Apple needs to overhaul the whole design.
Quote:
4.  Stop gimping the CPUs!  That's fine for the base mini, but the high end mini should have a 3+ GHz quad core i7.  The iMac is at 3.5 GHz, why must the mini be a full GHz less?  Oh right, it's got to be in the landfill in 3 years.
Again the issue here is the wattage required to run those faster CPUs. The CPU issue isn't as bad as the GPU issue though. I'd rather though that they at least achieve MBP level performance. I'm not sure what the answer here is, maybe a move back to external power supplies would do the trick if they are focused still on keeping the Mini small. My feeling right now is that they could accomplish some significant improvements to the Mini by making it maybe a 1/4" or 1/2" taller and get rid of the cute access panel at the bottom.
post #146 of 1506
Thread Starter 
They could add better cooling and allow for the MX processor.
post #147 of 1506
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


This is an exceptional problem and make you wonder what the hell they where thinking. It isn't that I don't expect a bit of disassembly but the Mini borders on ridiculous. With a little thought though they could have implemented drive draws accessible from on surface of the machine, sort of like Drobos new portable storage array.

 

Don't be silly. That would require lines on the computer. And lines are evil.

 

It also means that the Mini couldn't be hewn from a solid block of aluminium, and would need to be screwed together. And screws are evil.

 

The unibody ensures that the machine is sturdy for increased portability, even though it's not meant to be a portable machine.

 

Don't mess with the program.

The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
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post #148 of 1506

Lines are nowhere near as evil as a stagnate design that seldom gets improved.

 

As to the Mini, last I knew it was a die casting not a CNC machine product.

 

As to Unibody I have nothing against it if it serves a legitimate purpose.   The Mac Books are a perfect example of a good use of the Unibody concept and CNC machining.   This does not mean that the Mini can't have it both ways though.   That is accessible "disk drive slots" and a pleasing design.

 

As far as messing with the program, somebody needs too!!!    The whole desktop lineup is suffering badly from neglect, sort of like a horse that hasn't been feed in months, and as such they need to do something to drive sales upward.   If you really like he Mini concept you should be supporting messing with the machine to spur sales on otherwise you beloved Mini will go the way of XServe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

 

Don't be silly. That would require lines on the computer. And lines are evil.

 

It also means that the Mini couldn't be hewn from a solid block of aluminium, and would need to be screwed together. And screws are evil.

 

The unibody ensures that the machine is sturdy for increased portability, even though it's not meant to be a portable machine.

 

Don't mess with the program.

post #149 of 1506
Thread Starter 
And I will repeat myself and say a short commercial would definitely help the mini. I would love to see it during the Super Bowl or NBA Finals.
post #150 of 1506
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


This may be an artifact of the laptop chips but it is a valid issue and should be addressed in a machine overhaul. To that end I'd like to see base RAM soldered in for reliability and then offer up two slots for expansion.
I'm not sure if Apple has just gone plain stupid on us or what. A good GPU does extend hardware. Life which is justification right there for a Mini with a discrete GPU. However that GPU can not be gimped in the way it was with the 2011 model. I think it comes back to the issue of the Minis design and inability to handle the excess wattage required. If so Apple needs to overhaul the whole design.
Again the issue here is the wattage required to run those faster CPUs. The CPU issue isn't as bad as the GPU issue though. I'd rather though that they at least achieve MBP level performance. I'm not sure what the answer here is, maybe a move back to external power supplies would do the trick if they are focused still on keeping the Mini small. My feeling right now is that they could accomplish some significant improvements to the Mini by making it maybe a 1/4" or 1/2" taller and get rid of the cute access panel at the bottom.

 

This really gets to the crux of the problem:  the Mini is a headless MacBook, which is just stupid.  If it were built with desktop components then our wish list would take care of itself.  Since desktop components are cheaper, Apple could enjoy phatter margins.  The only explanation for the current Mini design is that Ive stuck in a "thin" rut and is afraid to come up with any new design motifs.  The days of the candy colored iMacs are long gone, now Ive's studio is a captive of its own success, so fearful of loss that nothing new is seriously considered.  And since at Apple the design department has veto power over the engineering department, bad ideas tend to flourish as long as they look neato.  5 years ago it was easy to look the other way because OS X was growing by leaps and bounds, but now that OS X is sinking in some areas, the hardware shortcomings are brought into focus.  

 

Personally I think a cube of aluminum would look cooler than the current design, and I highly doubt the Mini's "thinness" is what drives it's sales.  But admittedly I'm biased towards function over form, in my view a big hulking Mac Pro is a work of art!

post #151 of 1506
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

 

Don't be silly. That would require lines on the computer. And lines are evil.

 

It also means that the Mini couldn't be hewn from a solid block of aluminium, and would need to be screwed together. And screws are evil.

 

The unibody ensures that the machine is sturdy for increased portability, even though it's not meant to be a portable machine.

 

Don't mess with the program.

 

Obviously you've never done a few lines before screwing.  It's pretty much the opposite of evil  :P

post #152 of 1506
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg View Post

Personally I think a cube of aluminum would look cooler than the current design, and I highly doubt the Mini's "thinness" is what drives it's sales.  But admittedly I'm biased towards function over form, in my view a big hulking Mac Pro is a work of art!

I think it is a work of art too although I admittedly like the mini as is, it just needed a halfway decent discrete graphics chip with decent memory on the $799 model.
post #153 of 1506
Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg View Post

This really gets to the crux of the problem:  the Mini is a headless MacBook, which is just stupid.  If it were built with desktop components then our wish list would take care of itself.  Since desktop components are cheaper, Apple could enjoy phatter margins.
The problem with the Mini is that it doesn't even use top of the line Laptop parts. The quad core high end model only comes in at 2.3GHz which isn't even close to what can be had in MBPs. Yes mobile processors are expensive and compromised but damn it this is a desktop machine and shouldn't be under performing laptops by design. Until Apple gets over this un mature reason that says the Mini must be slower than every other machine in the lineup it will get no respect from customers.

As to desktop parts yes Apple needs to look into this, especially with the advent of Haswell where parts with the right power profile will exists. They also shouldn't be shy about adjusting the case a bit here and there to handle the desktop parts. These days there I no reason to have to use a fat box to handle desktop parts.
Quote:
 The only explanation for the current Mini design is that Ive stuck in a "thin" rut and is afraid to come up with any new design motifs.  The days of the candy colored iMacs are long gone, now Ive's studio is a captive of its own success, so fearful of loss that nothing new is seriously considered.
I don't think it is entirely Ives fault. He is charged with the external realities, you still have a decision making pricess that comes up with the internal realities that Ive must wrap. I really believe it comes down to the man or woman in charge of the desktop line up as it has been so neglected that it borders on irresponsible.
Quote:
 And since at Apple the design department has veto power over the engineering department, bad ideas tend to flourish as long as they look neato.  5 years ago it was easy to look the other way because OS X was growing by leaps and bounds, but now that OS X is sinking in some areas, the hardware shortcomings are brought into focus.  
The hardware issues have been here a long time and complained about for a very long time. Currently Apple has very little in the way of hardware suitable for the corporate world beyond the secretaries desk. Frankly its offerings for the home suck if your interests are more complex that dead simple.
Quote:
Personally I think a cube of aluminum would look cooler than the current design, and I highly doubt the Mini's "thinness" is what drives it's sales.
Actually I can see where the Minis thinnest does drive some sales. It is a great little product to embed in different places. The problem is you can't use it where high performance is expected. It comes back to Apple biggest problem, no mid range computer.
Quote:
 But admittedly I'm biased towards function over form, in my view a big hulking Mac Pro is a work of art!
Art it may be but as function over form it is slowly showing its age. Basically it is just to Damn big for modern computing concepts. The idea of a cube does have its draw, though maybe we aren't thinking the same thing here. I'm thinking a cube about a foot square and 5-1/4" high. That would be three rack units high. 12" is only part of a rack width the rest could be allocated to an attachable disk array. This way we end up with a Mac Pro that could be implemented as easily on the desktop as in a racked system. One box to serve them all so to speak.

The idea here is that the new Mac Pro would be condensed down to its basic elements. Those elements then get stuffed in a box no bigger than needed. People with special needs simply buy the additional capability that they need, which can be a disk array, an expansion chassis or whatever. I see a key element in any Mac Pro rebirth being controlling costs by minimalist design of the base unit.
post #154 of 1506
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

I think it is a work of art too although I admittedly like the mini as is, it just needed a halfway decent discrete graphics chip with decent memory on the $799 model.

I'm still wondering if the 2012 model was a punt to get by until a redesigned Mini comes in 2013. I really can't figure out what Apples issue is with the Mini and its performance and GPU support. It really seems like they only care about specific price points and don't even consider a line up that offers well defined performance differences between models. For me it is pretty obvious that the Mini should come in models with and without a decent GPU. That is the proverbial entry level model and a performance machine. For whatever reason somebody at Apple can't wrap their head around this idea.

I really don't know what the constraints are that resulted in the borked 2011 model with the GPU but whatever it was it can be addressed via engineering or repositioning products. For example why not make the server the midrange and the GPU supported device the high end model. If such a Mini needs a bigger power supply or fan give it one. It is just really sad that Apples only headless desktop is treated so badly when it comes to configuration.
post #155 of 1506
Thread Starter 
I'm still wondering if the 2012 model was a punt to get by until a redesigned Mini comes in 2013.

If that's the case, then I'm okay with that.


I really can't figure out what Apples issue is with the Mini and its performance and GPU support. It really seems like they only care about specific price points and don't even consider a line up that offers well defined performance differences between models. For me it is pretty obvious that the Mini should come in models with and without a decent GPU. That is the proverbial entry level model and a performance machine. For whatever reason somebody at Apple can't wrap their head around this idea.

I really don't know what the constraints are that resulted in the borked 2011 model with the GPU but whatever it was it can be addressed via engineering or repositioning products. For example why not make the server the midrange and the GPU supported device the high end model. If such a Mini needs a bigger power supply or fan give it one. It is just really sad that Apples only headless desktop is treated so badly when it comes to configuration.

I love it! Of course then you have to put in a good enough card to warrant the $999 price tag and I think Apple would gimp us on that.
post #156 of 1506
Originally Posted by Winter View Post
I'm still wondering if the 2012 model was a punt to get by until a redesigned Mini comes in 2013.

 

They JUST redesigned it. If history is any indicator, it'll be 2015 before there's another redesign. Just in time for desktop multitouch.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #157 of 1506
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

They JUST redesigned it. If history is any indicator, it'll be 2015 before there's another redesign. Just in time for desktop multitouch.

I was quoting wizard's post : P
post #158 of 1506
Originally Posted by Winter View Post
I was quoting wizard's post : P

 

Bah. 1tongue.gif

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #159 of 1506
Wizard69 saideth:
Art it may be but as function over form it is slowly showing its age. Basically it is just to Damn big for modern computing concepts. The idea of a cube does have its draw, though maybe we aren't thinking the same thing here. I'm thinking a cube about a foot square and 5-1/4" high. That would be three rack units high. 12" is only part of a rack width the rest could be allocated to an attachable disk array. This way we end up with a Mac Pro that could be implemented as easily on the desktop as in a racked system. One box to serve them all so to speak.

 

 

I like the way you think.  Such a Mac Pro design is entirely plausible and as long as it was designed to be accessable, it could work well.  

 

One caveat is cooling.  If two 12 core Xeons are to be cooled quietly, space is required.  If Apple starts getting cute with the cooling design (example:  Powermac G4 Cube), then it's game over for the Mac Pro.

post #160 of 1506
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


You and me both. Apples current pricing scheme might be viable as a pro screen but my god really decent monitors can be had for $250 dollars these days. Most Mini users can get by fine with one of those monitors.
Even those numbers are high. They need a solution that is well under $350. Mind you this is just a very basic monitor. Part of the problem with Apples one solution is that the monitor isn't just a monitor, it is also a hub for USB and other ports.

I was just trying not to make it cheaper than it ever will be. Let's face it: Apple's in it's own class, and it can charge whatever it wants and most of us will still buy some type of their product. You get what you pay for - that's my rationalization for buying a $1500 computer when you can get one for $300. And it isn't just a rationalization either, it's true. Apple just makes the best products and you can't even compete, and they can charge a lot because it is worth it, and there is no competitor to compete price-wise. 

 

 


Tim Cook using Galaxy Tabs as frisbees

 

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Tim Cook using Galaxy Tabs as frisbees

 

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