Here is how to make a low costs feature rich mini.
1. A high integration 970, that is a chip with an on board memory controller.
2. A new high integration bus interface chip. Since the memory controller is now gone and much bandwidth has been freed up this should work out nicely. This chip would supply all I/O for the machine. In otherwords SATA, USB, Firewire, Networking and a graphics port and whatever.
Note: This means that your logic board has two main chips, video and memroy to worry about.
3. Move to notebook form factor SATA drives. These should just be coming on the market and will save on power and space.
4. No sound hardware, rely instead on external USB speakers.
I realize that as described above we loose a bit of flexibility, it the expansion realm, but how many people even bother to put PCI cards in their machines anymore. With a bit of design effort though this machine could fit inot a lunch box. And that would be without the minitaurized mother boards of a portable. This brings up the interesting possibility of using existing portable chipsets or even more so a freshly design 970 chipset for both portable and compact usage.
Look at it this way if a whole computer can be stuffed into a laptop it should be a piece of cake to do a mini desk top. I;m not talking the current PC route whcih has normal motherboards stuffed into mini or mivro enclosures, we are talking a motherboard purposefully designed for a minmalist machine.
Originally posted by rickag
The only problem I see with such low cost G4 systems is the MPC7447/MPC7457 and the G5 both use a 0.13µm process, but the G4's have more transistors than the G5, so I'd expect them to cost more than the G5. And to be competative would need some form of L3 cache(got to overcome the anemic 167MHz bus).
Of course this doesn't take into account the myriad of other parts in a computer and I couldn't begin to figure out(re: as my technical knowledge is very limited) how Apple could reduce these other costs so they could introduce a $700 mini cube.