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Special Report: Apple's Mac mini in-depth

post #1 of 56
Thread Starter 
Earlier this month Apple unveiled the Mac mini, a new desktop computer which it says was designed specifically for the consumer and education markets. Through investigations over the past week, AppleInsider was able to elicit several previously unpublished details and specifications of the computer, which can be found in our extensive report, below:

Overview

Weighing in at just shy of 3 pounds and only 6.5 inches square by 2 inches high, the Mac mini has the smallest form factor of any Macintosh ever produced. Its footprint is similar to the Power Mac G4 Cube, but about 1/3 the height and 1/10th the weight. The Cube was also about 1.5 inches wider than the mini, at 8 inches square.

Contrary to popular belief, the mini is not based on the Cube or even the iBook G4. According to sources, the mini is based on the USB 2.0-enabled eMac and shares many of the same technical specifications, including the same processor, system bus, DDR RAM, graphics chipset, USB 2.0, FireWire 400, AirPort, Bluetooth, and an Apple Internal 56K V.92 Fax Modem.

Processor and Bus

Like the eMac, the Mac mini uses a 1.25 GHz (or 1.42 GHz) Motorola PowerPC G4 processor with 512K of Level 2 cache that runs at the same speed as the processor. Additionally, the mini's frontside bus runs at 167 MHz, the same as the eMac.

Storage Options

For storage, the mini employes a 40GB or 80GB 2.5-inch Ultra ATA 100 hard drive featuring fluid dynamic bearing technology (though original specifications imply that the low-end configuration was to contain a 60GB drive). These 2.5-inch drives are 0.37 inches in height and operate at 4200 rpm. The mini includes Apple's standard Combo drive, but is also the first Macintosh to ship with support for a new breed of SuperDrive that now also supports DVD±R/RW media. It is available as a build-to-order option at the Apple Store.

Memory

The mini supports PC2700 DDR SDRAM (instead of PC133 SDRAM) through a single 184-pin DIMM slot. The memory slot supports compatible RAM modules with a capacity of up to 1GB. DDR SDRAM provides a higher level of performance than SDRAM does and is designed to be scalable for future increases in bus speeds and faster processors.

Depending upon supply constraints, Apple may choose to ship the mini with PC3200 DDR SDRAM. According to Apple documentation, this RAM may be reported as 400 MHz in the Apple System Profiler but will still operate at the 333 MHz.

Furthermore, the mini is the first Macintosh computer in several years that does not offer a user-installable option for upgrading RAM. RAM upgrades must be upgraded by an Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP).

Wireless Technologies

Bluetooth 1.1 and AirPort Extreme options are not part of the standard configurations for Mac mini; instead consumers must order Bluetooth or AirPort Extreme as a configure-to-order option. At the time of purchase, these options can be added separately. However, consumers looking to add these options after purchase will be required to purchase a Mac mini AirPort Extreme & Bluetooth Upgrade Kit, which includes both technologies.

The upgrade kit will be available from an AASP and will include an adapter mezzanine board, a Bluetooth board, a AirPort Extreme card, and antennas for both AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth modules. The kit is not user-installable and must be installed by an authorized technician. According to documentation, the mini's Bluetooth module is located on its own USB bus.

When configured with internal AirPort and Bluetooth modules, the antennas for AirPort and Bluetooth are located in the top of the Mac mini. More specifically, the AirPort antenna is located in the top, rear left-hand corner above the mini's power button, while the Bluetooth antenna is located in the top, front right-hand corner of the computer.

Due to the placement of the antennas, users who stack other computers or displays on top of the Mac mini may experience reduced wireless reception. For the best wireless performance, Apple suggests that users do not rest anything on top of the Mac mini, or stack other Mac mini's on top of one another.

System Software

While its likely that Apple will update the Mac mini's standard system software over time, the first batch of minis to leave Foxconn's manufacturing facilities in Asia are reportedly running a custom build of Mac OS X 10.3.7 (build 7T21). The mini will support Mac OS 9 applications through the Classic environment, but will not boot from a Mac OS 9 volume or display Mac OS 9 volumes in the Mac OS X Startup Disk manager--the same as currently shipping Macs.

Because a large number of minis were produced in December, prior to its introduction, iLife '04 was pre-installed on the hard disks, and the company will include an iLife '05 DVD in the box. In addition to iLife, the mini ships with a Mac mini Mac OS X Install Disc and a Mac mini Mac OS 9 Install Disc.

What else is in the Box?

Inside the Mac mini retail box, users will also find an 85-watt AC adapter, a three prong AC Cord, a DVI/VGA display adapter, and a manual packet. The "getting started" packet includes the Mac mini user guide, Apple logo stickers, proof-of-purchase coupons for both iLife and Mac OS X 10.3, as well as standard warranty and software licensing agreements.

Resetting a Mac mini and Flushing the PRAM

The Mac mini is equipped with a Power Management Unit that controls all power functions for the computer. To resolve a number of system problems, users may need to reset this microcontroller chip. To do so, users must unplug all cables from the computer -- including the power cord -- wait 10 seconds, and then re-plug in the power cord while holding in the power button on the back of the computer.

Mac mini logic board closeups Click images for larger view.Images taken by macnews.de

Incompatibilities

According to sources, Apple has discovered that a limited number of 22-inch Apple Cinema Displays (with model number M7478LL/A) are not compatible with the Mac mini. If users with this display experience screen tinting and lines when running a screen saver or other visualizer in Full Screen, Apple suggests using an alternative display.

Maintaining Proper Airflow

Because the Mac mini has a large number of components packed very tightly into a small space, Apple recommends that the unit be placed on a hard, flat surface to maximizes airflow into the bottom of the computer. The company also suggests keeping other materials and equipment away from the computer.

All the Rest...

Finally, sources note that the mini's non-standard power connector contains too many leads to serve solely as a power source, and could provide hints of upcoming add-ons, such as a potential iPod dock connector or media station.

Close-ups of the Mac mini motherboard from an educational-based configuration (sans modem) can be viewed above.
post #2 of 56
Very cool,

"Confirms" the suspicions of a few of us on these boards.


Though the iPod Dock option seems more reasonable than a media center. Anytime soon at least.
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post #3 of 56
the emac only comes with a 1.25GHz G4, for both combo and superdrive models (not with a 1.42GHz ver like the mini)
post #4 of 56
I think there are 2 inaccuracies in this article.

First, in this post:
http://www.macworld.com/weblogs/edit...nges/index.php
It very specificly says that MacWorld was told the RAM is a user servicable part, dispite rumors on the net to the contrary.

Second, it is highly unlikely that the power connector has anything else in it. First off, you almost never run power and data throught the same connect, unless it is specially designed for that, and I can tell you from the style that it is not (I'm an EE). It appears to be the same power connector as the current displays (tho im not at mine at the moment to see the pin count).

Also, 8 pins is not high for a powersupply. The pin sizes are small, so they probably have to use more then one pin for things. Like 2-3 GND,1 3.3V, 2 5V, 1-2 12V, and 1 or 2 control lines. Even if you 1 of each of those 3 voltages, plus 2 grounds that is 5 plus control is 6, AT LEAST, and i would higly doubt that 1 pin each could carry enough current

If the only reason people/you think that it may have other functions due to the fact that it has 8 pins, you are simply wrong, from any engineering point of view, that woulndt make any sense at all.
post #5 of 56
Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider

Contrary to popular belief, the mini is not based on the Cube or even the iBook G4. According to sources, the mini is based on the USB 2.0-enabled eMac

Kudos to them for shrinking the eMac mainboard to fit into a lunchbox.

This of course explains why it features a ordinary Radeon 9200, not a mobility like the iBook (more expensive) or a GeForce 5200 Ultra like the iMac (which has a different pin layout).
So we might see further revisions of the eMac after all. If the same basic mainboard design can be shared between two products, it might be viable to keep the eMac alive.
post #6 of 56
Quote:
For storage, the mini employes a 60GB or 80GB 2.5-inch Ultra ATA 100 hard drive

The Mac mini is, as far as I can tell, only available with a 40GB or 80GB drive.
post #7 of 56
Notes:

* RAM IS user-installable. It's not that hard to do, and does not void your warranty. (But it's not as obvious as screws, so Apple wisely warns the masses to have pros do it.)

* Low-end HD is 40, not 60.

* Re stacking: aside from blocking wireless reception through the plastic lid, the other reason is that the lid could touch the DVD if enough weight is placed on it. (Lightweight stuff would be OK I would think.) Oh, and Apple probably wants to keep their logo showing

* Someone said they did NOT get iLife 05 in the box, but that it was sent separately--free and automatically.

* FYI, the no-modem option (BTO) exists for institutions only... and doesn't seem to reduce the cost! $479 with or without. (But I'm sure there are volume deals.)

EDIT: beat me to some of that
post #8 of 56
Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider
Weighing in at just shy of 3 pounds [/B]

I was just reading an old nineteen-eighty-something ad for the original Macintosh. They were lauding its unprecedented portability, weighing in at under 20 pounds! And it even had a handle!
They showed photos of, no kidding, a hip college student removing it from his backpack after a jaunt across campus. right.
post #9 of 56
Quote:
Originally posted by deadend
If the only reason people/you think that it may have other functions due to the fact that it has 8 pins, you are simply wrong, from any engineering point of view, that woulndt make any sense at all.

How DARE you try to bring common sense and logic into a discussion of Mac products. No one wants to hear that! We all want to pretend we have a clue about stuff, and dream some fanciful dream about how I could hook up my iPod to my mini through the power cord. Oh, it'll be so cool.

Of course, I'm not entirely sure what kind of stupidty would be needed to say "Hey, sure, there's a couple of Firewire AND USB ports on the computer, but screw that! That's how everyone hooks their iPod to their computer to their iPod. Let's hook up an iPod to the power cord!"

Wait, I'm sorry. I'm guilty of practicing what I just said we don't want. Logic and common sense.
post #10 of 56
Anyone know what model drive the superdrive is?

I'd guess that the Superdrive option is the same Matshita UJ-825 4x drive that they use in the newer Powerbooks and iMacG5. That supports +R and +RW media already on those as well already, it's just not advertised as such. I think I recall Steve mentioning that iLife05 iDVD supported +R/RW media also and that drive would be the reason why.

In reality, it's also rarely a 4x drive unless you use Apple 4x media or a couple of brands that the drive thinks is Apple 4x media.
post #11 of 56
So can you or cant you install your own RAM and AE card? Much sadness if you cant...
post #12 of 56
Quote:
Originally posted by CtLirt
So can you or cant you install your own RAM and AE card? Much sadness if you cant...

You can't.

Meaning that if you're confident enough as a hardware jockey and you don't break anything, you can. But Apple wisely advises people to let an authorized tech do the work.

Additionally, according to Dan Frakes' informative dissection of the mini at MacCentral, if you've installed Bluetooth you have to unscrew the Bluetooth antenna in order to upgrade the RAM.
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post #13 of 56
Uhm, the power socket would need all the voltages required by the hardware right? The block that plugs into the wall may actually put the various required voltages down the line to the Mac Mini, since it may actually be too small to include these parts in the computer case itself.

Just speculating, but it seems to fit...
post #14 of 56
Quote:
Originally posted by starwxrwx
the emac only comes with a 1.25GHz G4, for both combo and superdrive models (not with a 1.42GHz ver like the mini)

Yet... Maybe next week unless the eMac is moved to the G5 or dropped completely.
post #15 of 56
Quote:
Originally posted by Louzer
How DARE you try to bring common sense and logic into a discussion of Mac products. No one wants to hear that! We all want to pretend we have a clue about stuff, and dream some fanciful dream about how I could hook up my iPod to my mini through the power cord. Oh, it'll be so cool..

and we love to speculate how you can buy 6 of these and stack it up and stuff and use it as media centers and stuff.... because Oh, it'll be so cool...

oh yeah and mod it and stuff so that it can run like UT2004 at 1600x1200 at 60fps average and remove the hard disk and stuff and put in a 250gb 5400rpm 3.5" drive and ...
post #16 of 56
It's great to see a Mac so small and affordable. I really believe that Apple will attract "switchers" but with only 2 USB ports and 1 FW port it won't be long before most mini users have the desk space they gained filled with USB/Firewire hubs, external HDD's (Apple don't offer anything bigger than 80Gb (yet) and if the speed is 4200 rpm then this is at the low end of HD speeds. Users who require large volume HDD's for DVD productions etc will be needing a FireWire external drive), USB audio input devices etc, etc.

But on the other hand this problem opens up a whole new market - Mac mini periferals. Here's a golden opportunity for a manufacturer (ie Apple or Belkin or whoever) to produce a 16.5 x 16.5cm brushed aluminium box (with rounded corners) to sit beside or under the Mac mini, connecting to the USB and FW ports on the back of the mini, which can house a large capacity hard drive, multiple USB and FW ports, memory card reader, audio in/outs, etc, etc...

Considering the number of iPod periferals that have sprung up I believe this would be a huge success.

I wish I had the funds to do this myself
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post #17 of 56
Quote:
Originally posted by Bart Smastard
It's great to see a Mac so small and affordable. I really believe that Apple will attract "switchers" but with only 2 USB ports and 1 FW port it won't be long before most mini users have the desk space they gained filled with USB/Firewire hubs, external HDD's (Apple don't offer anything bigger than 80Gb (yet) and if the speed is 4200 rpm then this is at the low end of HD speeds. Users who require large volume HDD's for DVD productions etc will be needing a FireWire external drive), USB audio input devices etc, etc.

Get real, users doing DVD production beyond iMovie/iDVD won't be using Mac minis so a small-ish 4200rpm drive isn't that big a deal.

A third USB port would have been useful as if you're a PC owner, bringing your own cheap keyboard and mouse, that's both ports taken up leaving no printer port as most PC keyboards don't incorporate hubs.

Then again, quite a few LCD monitors have USB hubs built in so it's maybe not that big a problem. A mini USB hub like the portable laptop hubs is a pretty small thing to hide behind the Mac mini also.

The mini is pretty much perfect for it's target low end market. 512MB as standard would be my only quibble as 256MB really isn't enough for OSX and iLife and that 4200rpm disk will get thrashed with memory swaps.

So many people seem to forget that this is a very cheap computer for new users, not some kind of Xserve Mini.
post #18 of 56
Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign
The mini is pretty much perfect for it's target low end market. 512MB as standard would be my only quibble as 256MB really isn't enough for OSX and iLife and that 4200rpm disk will get thrashed with memory swaps.

Enh. Bill Fox at Macs Only! couldn't find anything to complain about, and based on that, Gene Steinberg relented on his criticism that Apple was shipping the mini with inadequate RAM. Dan Frakes actually tested a mini, and he found himself "pleasantly surprised" by how well the mini performed with 256MB.

Now that people are actually getting minis, it will be interesting to see some additional data points. But the early cries for 512MB as a practical minimum might be misguided.

It could be that Apple's been hard at work making OS X run better in smaller memory footprints, and I've never noticed any substantial effect from the various claims of "improved performance" simply because I'm running 1GB of RAM.

Quote:
So many people seem to forget that this is a very cheap computer for new users, not some kind of Xserve Mini.

Or PowerMac mini, for that matter.
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Becca Sutlive - Iowa Fried Rock 'n Roll - now on iTMS!
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post #19 of 56
Quote:
Originally posted by Amorph

It could be that Apple's been hard at work making OS X run better in smaller memory footprints, and I've never noticed any substantial effect from the various claims of "improved performance" simply because I'm running 1GB of RAM.

hmm... so it looks like on your Rig and what You Use It For... you'd be seeing max real benefit at the 512 or 640mb mark... 1 GB prolly a bit overkill for you... you know, you gotta not get sucked in by all these people on the forums that have loaded up their Rigs with 1GB and 2GB ... unless you're on PowerMac or PowerBook and doing hardcore graphix and stuff

i think for most most people on Mac mini, eMac, iBook, and iMac, 512 and 640 is a nice amount for a smooth cruise ;-)

and yes, 256 can be sufficient for a lot of peoples
post #20 of 56
That would be great if you could hook up your ipod through the power port somehow. The firewire and USB 2.0 ports are at a mega-premium on the Mac Mini!
post #21 of 56
Quote:
Originally posted by Amorph
Enh. Bill Fox at Macs Only! couldn't find anything to complain about, and based on that, Gene Steinberg relented on his criticism that Apple was shipping the mini with inadequate RAM. Dan Frakes actually tested a mini, and he found himself "pleasantly surprised" by how well the mini performed with 256MB.

Now that people are actually getting minis, it will be interesting to see some additional data points. But the early cries for 512MB as a practical minimum might be misguided.

It could be that Apple's been hard at work making OS X run better in smaller memory footprints, and I've never noticed any substantial effect from the various claims of "improved performance" simply because I'm running 1GB of RAM.

I find Bill's results a little odd. Perhaps he should try doing something with those applications - like have 8 tabs open in safari, a few thousands mails in his mailbox and a couple of documents with graphics in and switching between them. I think he'll find there's a more significant wait between switching apps with 256MB ram than 512MB. I also think he's running a fairly stripped down OS (ie. no web sharing, small screen, no wireless) as his OS takes up half the amount of ram mine does. Using his application set, I've got over 600MB RAM used.

I slummed it with 384MB in an iBook for quite a while before filling it to the 640MB max and really noticed the difference. Also since it was a 500Mhz G3 with 8MB VRAM and a 66Mhz bus, the beachball of death was infuriatingly regular. My main gripe used to be the apple spell checker paging in and out of ram whilst using Safari. Safari runs much quicker if you switch off the spell checking and autofill.

I still notice the difference between a 512MB machine and 1GB G5 for more serious work and don't really like less if I'm running Photoshop and Dreamweaver alongside each other, even for non-intensive diddy web graphics.

It could be that Apple have indeed improved low ram performance but there's no getting away from the applications using lots of ram.

The other problem I've noticed with switchers from Windows is they don't 'get' the way Macs work at first. On Windows, if you close an application's window it usually closes the application but on a Mac the application sticks around. I've occasionally had to teach new Mac users that the little arrows under the icons in the dock indicate the application is still running and taking up ram. So, for switchers sake and for people who multitask, 512MB is a better base config to create a good impression. After 512MB, then you're talking about more specialist uses that may be beyond it's remit.
post #22 of 56
Have you guys thought about putting the Mac Mini into the center of your living room? I know it would fit right into mine.

I found HomeTheaterMac.com and the community there really knew their stuff. They got me started with my Mac Centric Home Theater Systm. I hope you find it helpful too.
post #23 of 56
Quote:
Originally posted by CtLirt
So can you or cant you install your own RAM and AE card? Much sadness if you cant...

You CAN install RAM. Many reputable sources have quoted Apple on the warranty issue: you're fine unless you break something, same as with any computer.

This video shows how to open the case:
http://www.smashsworld.com/uploads/macminidl.php

It's really not hard. There's some risk of scratching your Mini if you're careless--but on the bottom where you can't see anyway.

And once the case is open, the RAM slot is right there, easy to get to.

I can understand Apple discouraging hordes of clueless buyers from wrecking their Minis carelessly. But that's all it is: discouragement. You don't have to listen

Wireless options aren't so easy. You probably COULD install them yourself, but it would be a bigger challenge.
post #24 of 56
Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign
Get real, users doing DVD production beyond iMovie/iDVD won't be using Mac minis so a small-ish 4200rpm drive isn't that big a deal.

Thanks for your input aegisdesign but iMovie/iDVD is exactly what I'm talking about. Consider this: One double density DVD (which the new SuperDrive for the Mac mini can burn) of video taken with any digital video camera amounts to a lot of data before it is compressed at the authoring stage, regardless of whether the user is using iDVD or Final Cut Pro.

Also consider that iPOD Photo stores 60Gb, where would you store that amount of data if you wish to back that up? On your HARD DRIVE is one option. Another is to burn it to DVD but it would take 7 or 8 double density disks to do that, and they're not cheap. So, soon enough, Joe user buys an external 160Gb drive and hooks it up to the sole FireWire port and "Hey Presto", there's a chunk of desk real estate and the only firewire port gone!

The underlining point of my post was that there is a market for Mac mini periferals that have a Mac mini look, just like there are a lot of iPOD periferals that have an iPOD look.

Geez some people are hard to impress
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post #25 of 56
Quote:
If users with this display experience screen tinting and lines when running a screen saver or other visualizer in Full Screen, Apple suggests using an alternative display.




Great. If your >$1000 *Apple* display doesn't work, just use an 'alternative' one! Simple!
post #26 of 56
Just wanted to say that Appleinsider did a nice article giving us all the details that apple seems not interested in letting the consumer know about. Bravo! Good Job.
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post #27 of 56
Quote:
Originally posted by Bart Smastard
Thanks for your input aegisdesign but iMovie/iDVD is exactly what I'm talking about. Consider this: One double density DVD (which the new SuperDrive for the Mac mini can burn)

No it can't. It's appears to be the same MATSHITA UJ-825 superdrive as in the iMac and Powerbook. 4.7GB. Apple.com points you to the same 4x 4.7GB media in the shop as for the others in the range.

No Macs come with Dual-Layer (which is what I presume you meant) drives yet.

Quote:
Originally posted by Bart Smastard
of video taken with any digital video camera amounts to a lot of data before it is compressed at the authoring stage, regardless of whether the user is using iDVD or Final Cut Pro.


A DV stream off a camcorder is about 10-13GB per hour depending on format.

So the Mac mini with 80GB disk wouldn't be out of the question for editing most home users camcorder videos and burning to DVD but as I said, anyone doing serious editing is going to want a faster, bigger computer.

I've done video editing on a G4-Yikes! 450Mhz so it's not impossible, but that's all we had at the time. IIRC the drive was only 40GB too.


Quote:
Originally posted by Bart Smastard
Also consider that iPOD Photo stores 60Gb, where would you store that amount of data if you wish to back that up? On your HARD DRIVE is one option. Another is to burn it to DVD but it would take 7 or 8 double density disks to do that, and they're not cheap. So, soon enough, Joe user buys an external 160Gb drive and hooks it up to the sole FireWire port and "Hey Presto", there's a chunk of desk real estate and the only firewire port gone!

1) Joe User doesn't back up

2) To get 60GB onto the iPod, they'd have to have 60GB of photos and tunes in their iPhoto and iTunes library already on their Mac mini.

3) The Lacie D2 drive I have sat here, which is a nice silver colour and about the same size as a Mac mini (6.5" by 6" by 1.8") has a firewire pass through port. Most firewire drives do. It'd sit nicely under/on a Mac mini and take up no space.

Quote:
Originally posted by Bart Smastard
The underlining point of my post was that there is a market for Mac mini periferals that have a Mac mini look, just like there are a lot of iPOD periferals that have an iPOD look.

I'm sure there is but if I knew I wanted to edit a lot of video, I'd not start with a sub $500 computer with a small drive and limited RAM and then add on expensive peripherals.
post #28 of 56
Quote:
Originally posted by Bart Smastard
Consider this: One double density DVD (which the new SuperDrive for the Mac mini can burn)

Not to be nitpicking, but the Mac mini's SuperDrive does not support "dual density" discs - I assume you thought of dual-layer DVDs.

It does support DVD+R(W) and DVD-R(W) both being single-layered.

Source: http://www.apple.com/macmini/specs.html - Built-to-Order options -> DVD
post #29 of 56
Quote:
Originally posted by jouster


Great. If your >$1000 *Apple* display doesn't work, just use an 'alternative' one! Simple!

*Chuckle*

Reminds me of the Monty Python sketch where one of the team can't pronounce words with the letter 'C' in them, pronouncing them as 'B's instead. So the other person in the sketch suggests using a 'K' instead.

'Silly Bunt' ;-)
post #30 of 56

I'm wondering if Apple uses some pins to remotely switch the powersupply into a low-power-mode when the Mac Mini is turned off. It's difficult to do this only by sensing the current, so maybe that's the reason for the pin numbers.


Me too don't believe that Apple has thought about any add-on's connected to the power plug, it wouldn't make much sense, because Firewire, USB2, Bluetooth and Airport covers most peripherials which are available.



When does S-ATA External become a standard? It would have made very much sense in the Mac Mini (and every other Mac, of course). Many people are complainig about the slow 2.5" Harddrives, and USB/Firewire isn't that fast(compared to S-ATA).
Update: I forgot about FW800, but it's still not as fast as S-ATA
post #31 of 56
Quote:
Originally posted by uruguru
When does S-ATA External become a standard? It would have made very much sense in the Mac Mini (and every other Mac, of course). Many people are complainig about the slow 2.5" Harddrives, and USB/Firewire isn't that fast(compared to S-ATA).
Update: I forgot about FW800, but it's still not as fast as S-ATA

huh? aye, me heartie, i don't see anything but FW800 on the horizon, arrrr....
post #32 of 56
Quote:
Originally posted by Bart Smastard
So, soon enough, Joe user buys an external 160Gb drive and hooks it up to the sole FireWire port and "Hey Presto", there's a chunk of desk real estate and the only firewire port gone!

Except most external firewire drives have pass-through ports (well, the two I have do, and I didn't even think about that when I got them, and others I've seen also do as well). And what is the his firewire port for, if not to use? If Apple included a 200GB hard disk, would it be OK to get rid of the port then? Or maybe, they should just lose the hard drive altogether, since everyone's apparently going to need large hard drives anyway.

He can always plug in his iPod into the USB ports, you know.
post #33 of 56
Hopefully, subsequent versions of the mini will resolve a few immediate problems. It's clear that at least two more ports are needed, one more USB 2, and one more firewire.

I like the idea of slices designed to fit underneath the mini. The ideal slice would house one (or even two) 3.5" HDDs, and provide passthrough firewire, USB2 (2 of each) as well as line A/V in/out.

Power requirements may become a factor, a pass through power plug might be possible as well. Jetison the mini powersupply, use the slice instead, though it would have to have enough power to run the mini, and the slice.
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post #34 of 56
Here's something I prepared earlier on how 'slices' might look... In this case, any of you into electronic music and analog synths will know what I'm talking about in da piccie... I call it TranceFire modules.

For those of you with no bloody idea what I'm talking about, replace those slices with whatever you can dream - Power slice, HDD slice, EyeTV slice, BluRay slice, etc...

Yeah baby, that Apple logo with two leaves instead of one -- That's the Apple2 slice

post #35 of 56
Quote:
Originally posted by sunilraman
hmm... so it looks like on your Rig and what You Use It For... you'd be seeing max real benefit at the 512 or 640mb mark... 1 GB prolly a bit overkill for you...

Hmm? No, my aversion to actually closing anything, fed by Exposé, makes me a bona fide RAM hog. What I meant is, that anything that makes the system run more efficiently in limited RAM is probably lost on me, because I have a whole lot of RAM to begin with.

Over time, OS X has gotten faster on my machine. But it's mostly been the big updates that have had the most noticeable results.
"...within intervention's distance of the embassy." - CvB

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"...within intervention's distance of the embassy." - CvB

Original music:
The Mayflies - Black earth Americana. Now on iTMS!
Becca Sutlive - Iowa Fried Rock 'n Roll - now on iTMS!
Reply
post #36 of 56
Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign
No it can't. It's appears to be the same MATSHITA UJ-825 superdrive as in the iMac and Powerbook. 4.7GB. Apple.com points you to the same 4x 4.7GB media in the shop as for the others in the range.

No Macs come with Dual-Layer (which is what I presume you meant) drives yet.



oh really? interesting, because these fellas seem to think different

http://www.hardmac.com/article.php?id=44

A bit of a hassle, but a nice surprise nonetheless if true.


edited for a typo
post #37 of 56
a little perspective...

mac mini is basic machine. it will have basic machine features apparently some features compromised for design. i.e. laptop drive instead of desktop drive etc...

come on people, basic machine for basic computer needs.

the form factor alone for the price makes this a nice alternative to mac or pc towers.

this machine will be a huge hit. i think this machine easily sell more then 100,000 units being produced by apple.

this will have the same affect as the original imac.

let's get some marketshare so more software developers have insentive to optimize software for osx which by itself will cause speed gains for the next few years even if all mac hardware is stalled.

just some thoughts.

action
post #38 of 56
Quote:
Originally posted by sunilraman
Here's something I prepared earlier on how 'slices' might look... In this case, any of you into electronic music and analog synths will know what I'm talking about in da piccie... I call it TranceFire modules.

For those of you with no bloody idea what I'm talking about, replace those slices with whatever you can dream - Power slice, HDD slice, EyeTV slice, BluRay slice, etc...

That's kind of an interesting idea. If you were to seriously consider making them, I would think that you'd want a gap between them. On the mini, there is a gap around the lower front and sides to take in air. I think each device should handle its own thermal management rather than adding burdens to the mini. If the air is ducted though the stack, with the mini on top, it would be getting all the heat that the devices below it, and the fan would also have to fight more flow resistance.
post #39 of 56
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffDM
That's kind of an interesting idea. If you were to seriously consider making them, I would think that you'd want a gap between them. On the mini, there is a gap around the lower front and sides to take in air. I think each device should handle its own thermal management rather than adding burdens to the mini. If the air is ducted though the stack, with the mini on top, it would be getting all the heat that the devices below it, and the fan would also have to fight more flow resistance.


in the mock-up i posted, i forgot to mention that the slices all use quantum tunelling to finally solve Apple's heat issues... it sends all extra heat to a parallel universe (where unfortunately from now on Apple users there all have to run their chips at lower GHZ because of the Apple CPU heat from our universe) so your Mac mini, and the future PowerBook G5, will run at a constant 75deg F or 20deg C, gentle to the touch on a hot day, reassuring on a cold one.
post #40 of 56
HHmmm, interesting idea the slices, but I think they may have been done before: Acorn RiscPC, didn't it have something like this?

RiscPC images and information

Product brochure...

I remember really liking the idea of this machine!
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