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Apple unveils Mac mini Core Duo - Page 14

post #521 of 782
OK, 609 or 699 for a PC box with graphics card... but what kind of software?

How much would it cost to bring one of those machines to a comparable level of the mini in terms of iLife?

Where the mini may be hurting in terms of graphics cards (have any of you guys actually played with it yet?), it more than likely makes up for value in software. iLife is all made by one manufacturer and therefore has a shorter learning curve and better integration, which is very helpful for beginners or even more advanced users who want to save time.

 

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post #522 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by ecking
Most people actually never upgrade their computers at all. They like believing that they have the option but never actually end up doing it.

As long as Apple keeps coming up with terrific new designs with extraordinary new feature sets I'll always opt for the newer after debating over and over again about upgrading:

Mac to MacSE* to IIci to iMac & G4^3* w/ 15" Cinema then 22" Cinema (does that count as an upgrade?)........ iMacG4 15"* to iMacG4 20"* to something Duo?

Then there are the PBs, but I'll spare you.
*=still have 'em\
"Run faster. History is a constant race between invention and catastrophe. Education helps but it is never enough. You must also run." Leto Atreides II
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"Run faster. History is a constant race between invention and catastrophe. Education helps but it is never enough. You must also run." Leto Atreides II
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post #523 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by backtomac
Your points are articulate and well taken.

Thank you.

Quote:
Originally posted by backtomac
should Apple give minis away to increase market share.

I'm not suggesting that Apple should "give minis away". I have explained several times how Apple could make a profitable $499 machine now, and a $399 one when the Celeron comes out. I'll do it again, more explicitly, at the end of this post.

Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
Apple doesn't have to capture that crowd that can't spend the extra $100. That's NOT the largest category of buyer out there. And I just can't understand why you seem to think it's so important.

Just because I'm talking about a machine that starts at $399 (this is not the lowest of the low-end, the cheapest Dell is $250 including keyboard and mouse, and that is 37% less than $399, i.e., significantly less), doesn't mean that I think it's just the price that would attract more users. It is also the increased flexibility and configurability of the machine that I suggest.

Now, on to flogging my dead horse

Fact:

Apple sells a $599 Intel Mini, for a profit, with the following specs:

Attractive casework
Core Solo processor
512 MB of laptop RAM
60 GB 5400 RPM laptop HD
DVD-ROM, CD-RW combo laptop optical drive
Integrated graphics
Wireless networking + Bluetooth
Apple Remote

Fact: Desktop RAM costs less than laptop RAM
Fact: a 40 GB 3.5" hard drive costs a lot less than a 60 gig 5400 rpm laptop drive
Fact: A full-size CD-RW optical drive costs less than a combo laptop optical drive
Fact: No wireless networking or bluetooth costs less than wireless networking and bluetooth.
Fact: No Apple remote costs less than an Apple remote
Fact: A bigger form-factor makes custom assembly quicker and therefore cheaper.
Fact: A bigger case costs more than a small case
Fact: A bigger, heavier case costs more to ship
Fact: None of the changes need stop the machine having elegant casework.

The last two increased costs are no where near big enough to outweigh the savings of the first 6. So now you have a profitable $499 machine with much more options.

If desired, the customer could choose a larger HD, better optical drive, bundled Apple remote, wireless networking, graphics card in the single available PCI-E slot (edit: just to make it clear, integrated graphics would be standard, a PCI-E graphics card would be an upgrade).

Fact: The Celeron 4xx will be a lot cheaper than the Core Solo

so when that arrives, Apple could replace the Solo with the Celeron 4xx and have a $399 or perhaps $449 profitable, configurable, computer.
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post #524 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign
Of course they do. Or do you think Apple's programmers work for free?

They get paid whether or not Apple includes it. Its an Apple product, it should be included.
How do you sell a computer without a word processor? Come on
post #525 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by bitemymac
1080p trailers only requires decoding via CPU, hence everything would look great on the 1080p Display, but all other video feeds especially 480i DVD titles would look aweful even with good DVD software player due to lack of proper deinterlacer.

You do realize that you can do software deinterlacing right? Apparently not since you keep trying to spread this FUD.

Deinterlacing film dvds is relatively easy (weave) as the even line field and odd line fields are created from the same frame. Then you do 3:2 pulldown. No motion compensation is needed to deinterlace film DVDs.

If video DVDs look like crap...its because you're playing it on OSX. The per pixel motion adaptive deinterlacing present in the Powerbook GPU was unused using the Apple DVD player.

480i film DVDs are passable as long as the flags are set correctly. Eventually Apple will fix this problem with deinterlacing.

Vinea
post #526 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by peharri
I just went to Dell's site. Machines under $1,000 vary between those with IG and those with more powerful configurations. For example, the Dimension E510 ($699) comes with a 128Mb ATI Radeon X300 mini-PCI card. (There are probably others in this price range, I'm just mentioning the first one I came across.)

Similarly, I jumped into the middle of the HP machines and found a variety with ATI and nVidia graphics in this price range. For example, the a1350y, with mostly the minimum settings checked, but including an NVIDIA GeForce 6200se, comes out at $609.99.

(Try customizing here, don't know if it'll work)

You can presumably go to most of the big names and get the same results. Including a decent graphics card may occasionally be a BTO option, but machines that are directly price-competitive with the Mac mini that have decent graphics are far from abnormal. And let's be honest: most people who want decent graphics are not willing to spend thousands on a PC. College students, parents buying boxes for their kids, etc, are not made of money.

Here are two home XPX machines, intended for media and digital entertainment for $999, that need an upgrade for a video card. Both $999 models have 950 graphics.

Whats interesting about these machines is that while on the one hand they offer more, they also offer less. iGB RAM, at 533MHz. A 19" LCD, but, it's analog. A 24xCD-RW/DVD ROM drive. No DVD recording. All the software you get is a Wordperfect word processor.

It's a full size case, so you do get a big, fast HD. But the 3.5" drives are much cheaper than the 2.5" models.

http://www1.us.dell.com/content/prod...=19&l=en&s=dhs

The point isn't just that you can buy machines for less with a graphics chip, but that those machines offer even LESS than Apple does otherwise. With these other machines I show, You get more of a few things, but you also get much less of others. Older cpu's. What about networking/ Wireless of any kind, etc.

I think that Apple can make good inroads against thes machines, and others like them.

Big isn't in these days. Compact is. And it's cheaper to build a big machine than a small one. But, these machines still don't offer what they could.

As I said, Apple needs cheaper, consumer grade monitors to round out their line. Drop the aluminum, and use plastic.
post #527 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
A tablet PC is a loser.

Generally I agree with you but I think you're short sighted on this one. Yes tablet pcs today are losers. I don't disagree with that. However i would argue that apple could design and produce a successful one. I would argue that the original mac mini was the cube and it was a failure. The newton was a failure but lead to palm and PDAs which were quite hot at one time. Initial failure doesn't necessarily mean the idea is bad.

While I wouldn't suggest Apple ignore the heart of the pc market, they need to innovate and make products the others aren't. If they just build boxes, the competition will catch up. Already a pc maker has produced a mac mini clone. Looks pretty damn close to the mac mini. Others are quick to dismiss it because it costs $1000. IMO they're missing the boat. The pc makers will copy good ideas, they always have. It's all they know how to do. A moving target is harder to hit.
post #528 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
I wish that most web designers were as conscientious as you.

I try. My 'Designing with Web Standards' by Zeldman book has been passed about more often than a parcel at a spoilt 10 year olds party. I had to buy a second copy.
post #529 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by vinea
Eventually Apple will fix this problem with deinterlacing.

Really? What makes you so sure of that? They've had plenty of years to do it, but still haven't.
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post #530 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by steve666
They get paid whether or not Apple includes it. Its an Apple product, it should be included.
How do you sell a computer without a word processor? Come on

<Sigh> There's already a word processor installed on every computer Apple sells. It's called AppleWorks. Now you're wanting to put another word processor on there too. Same thing with PC's ... very few of them ship out the door with MS Office, but almost all of them have MS Works out of the box. Should Aperture or FCStudio be included just because it's Apple software. That doesn't make any sense...
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post #531 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by AgNuke1707
<Sigh> There's already a word processor installed on every computer Apple sells. It's called AppleWorks.

I think that you are wrong. There's certainly no mention of AppleWorks in any of Apple's information about the mini.
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post #532 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H
I think that you are wrong. There's certainly no mention of AppleWorks in any of Apple's information about the mini.

They've ditched it on the Intel Macs. Probably a lot of work to make it a universal app.
post #533 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by backtomac
Generally I agree with you but I think you're short sighted on this one. Yes tablet pcs today are losers. I don't disagree with that. However i would argue that apple could design and produce a successful one. I would argue that the original mac mini was the cube and it was a failure. The newton was a failure but lead to palm and PDAs which were quite hot at one time. Initial failure doesn't necessarily mean the idea is bad.

While I wouldn't suggest Apple ignore the heart of the pc market, they need to innovate and make products the others aren't. If they just build boxes, the competition will catch up. Already a pc maker has produced a mac mini clone. Looks pretty damn close to the mac mini. Others are quick to dismiss it because it costs $1000. IMO they're missing the boat. The pc makers will copy good ideas, they always have. It's all they know how to do. A moving target is harder to hit.

Well, what I was saying, is that Apple could have a sucessful tablet, but even being sucessful wouldn't change their marketshare much.

If Apple sells 6 million computers this year, and they had a tablet in January, and sold a million of them this year to add another million to Apple's numbers, that would bring the total to 7 million.

That would certainly be nice, and I won't decry it goodness to Apple's bottom line.

But it won't make much difference in their marketshare. That's what I'm saying. The market won't suddenly jump to OS X because Apple has even a killer tablet. A million sold, for Apple , is a LOT of machines. But the marketplace is 200 million machines a year. A million is a drop in the bucket.

I'm NOT saying that Apple shouldn't come out with some machine that has the characterists of a tablet though.

But, it's the mid range machines that will make the difference.
post #534 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H
Really? What makes you so sure of that? They've had plenty of years to do it, but still haven't.

It's possible that with their new concentration on video, they will see the necessity, though I watch DVD's on my Sony 24" crt monitor here, at 1920 x 1080, and rarely see problems that I don't see elsewhere, including on my HP 65" DLP 1080p set.
post #535 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign
They've ditched it on the Intel Macs. Probably a lot of work to make it a universal app.

This could be a good thing. Perhaps it means that something is in the wings.
post #536 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H
I think that you are wrong. There's certainly no mention of AppleWorks in any of Apple's information about the mini.

Indeed, I am. My sincere apologies! I called Apple and they verified that AppleWorks is no longer bundled with Intel-based Macintosh computers. The guy suggested I purchase iWork, but then I asked what happens if I need a spreadsheet. His comment was to either purchase MS Office of Excel as a standalone ... so yes, that does make me wonder if they're going to expand iWork's capabilities.
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post #537 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by vinea
You do realize that you can do software deinterlacing right? Apparently not since you keep trying to spread this FUD.

Deinterlacing film dvds is relatively easy (weave) as the even line field and odd line fields are created from the same frame. Then you do 3:2 pulldown. No motion compensation is needed to deinterlace film DVDs.

If video DVDs look like crap...its because you're playing it on OSX. The per pixel motion adaptive deinterlacing present in the Powerbook GPU was unused using the Apple DVD player.

480i film DVDs are passable as long as the flags are set correctly. Eventually Apple will fix this problem with deinterlacing.

Vinea

You must have alot of faith on software deinterlacing. You know deinterlacing w/o hardware deinterlacer will only give you 540p instead of full 1080p. Also, alot of times simple bobbing technic is used instead of weaving and results in more jaggies.
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post #538 of 782
Reality Check: AppleWorks didn't help grow the platform.

Future Solution: iWorks for those that need these tools to do work with and if Apple can't accomodate the customer is to look to a third party.

Anyone who believes they paid for the right to have a complete office suite when they buy a computer of any brand, is due to the simple fact that Microsoft built their entire business on this approach while strong-arming the OEM vendors.

To the consumer they don't give two shits whether the OEM survives in the Windows world--plenty of others to choose from and do choose by buying a few from various vendors who then compete for your dollar.

To the Mac consumer Apple is the sole shop in town. If you think Apple is required to include say OpenOffice for Mac (Cocoa version) to help sell the Mac then I hope history shows that this approach has never grown their platform.

The developer tools for the Mac are free. If someone wants to port a Cocoa version of OpenOffice [presently in the early stages] then they can pitch in and help.

Ironically, NeXTStep/Openstep had multiple office options to choose from and it clearly doesn't have the user base Apple had after the first week the original Mac had once it hit the consumer space.

Today's Cocoa frameworks are more advanced than those at NeXT and yet we don't see any companies wanting to enter into this territory: one reason is obvious: MS Office is the standard and OpenOffice is on it's way for Free.

If you need a Cocoa spreadsheet, right now, then purchase MESA 3.0.14.

P&amp;L Systems Mesa Spreadsheet

This company has been around since the early days of NeXT.

Cost: $34.

Free evaluation is referenced in that page. If it satisfies your needs I'd think $34 is well-worth the price.
post #539 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by bitemymac
You know deinterlacing w/o hardware deinterlacer will only give you 540p instead of full 1080p.

Rubbish. It is possible to implement a 480i --> 1080p de-interlacer & up-scaler in software.

edit: having said that, I don't know if that could run in real-time on a Core Solo/Duo.
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post #540 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H
Rubbish. It is possible to implement a 480i --> 1080p de-interlacer & up-scaler in software.

edit: having said that, I don't know if that could run in real-time on a Core Solo/Duo.

Why do it in software?

http://www.intel.com/products/chipsets/gma950/

The 950 has hardware scaling and hardware support of interlaced resolutions.
post #541 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign
Why do it in software?

http://www.intel.com/products/chipsets/gma950/

The 950 has hardware scaling and hardware support of interlaced resolutions.

Because the 950's de-interlacer and scaler are both crap.
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post #542 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H
Rubbish. It is possible to implement a 480i --> 1080p de-interlacer & up-scaler in software.

1920x1080i with software deinterlacing will show 540p as 1920x540p(540p then scaled to 1080p) where 1080i with proper hardware deinterlacer would give full 1920x1080p.

Atleast... this is my understanding of how interlaced material gets handled by software vs. the hardware.
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post #543 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by bitemymac
1920x1080i with software deinterlacing will show 540p as 1920x540p(540p then scaled to 1080p) where 1080i with proper hardware deinterlacer would give full 1920x1080p.

Atleast... this is my understanding of how interlaced material gets handled by software vs. the hardware.

But that's my point. There is absolutely nothing stopping someone implementing a fully featured, high quality, de-interlacer and scaler in software. There may be a problem, however, in getting that to run in real-time on current CPUs.
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post #544 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
Well, what I was saying, is that Apple could have a sucessful tablet, but even being sucessful wouldn't change their marketshare much.

If Apple sells 6 million computers this year, and they had a tablet in January, and sold a million of them this year to add another million to Apple's numbers, that would bring the total to 7 million.

That would certainly be nice, and I won't decry it goodness to Apple's bottom line.

But it won't make much difference in their marketshare. That's what I'm saying. The market won't suddenly jump to OS X because Apple has even a killer tablet. A million sold, for Apple , is a LOT of machines. But the marketplace is 200 million machines a year. A million is a drop in the bucket.

I'm NOT saying that Apple shouldn't come out with some machine that has the characterists of a tablet though.

But, it's the mid range machines that will make the difference.

Can't argue with you there.
post #545 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H
But that's my point. There is absolutely nothing stopping someone implementing a fully featured, high quality, de-interlacer and scaler in software. There may be a problem, however, in getting that to run in real-time on current CPUs.

I hear your point. I actually think coreduo can handle real-time scaling and deinterlacing via software dvd player as long as enough ram is installed. However, my concern isn't just being able to do that, but being able to do it correctly. If you've experienced half-ass job bobbing deinterlacer in action, you'll never want to watch any interlaced video material again. I just wouldn't want to spend money on something that will give me full HD contents with tons of deinterlacing/scaling video artifacts and produce worst picture quality than properly deinterlaced 480i DVD titles.
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post #546 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H
Because the 950's de-interlacer and scaler are both crap.

Says who?

I'm not disagreeing but I've not read anything of it's abilities past the spec sheet.

[Not that I'm going to watch HD output for the next few years anyway so it's kind of academic personally]
post #547 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign
Says who?

The PDF linked to by bitemymac on page 8 of this thread.

Quote:
Originally posted by bitemymac
I hear your point.

Well, you say that, but then contradict yourself with the rest of your post. It is possible to implement a high quality, motion-compensated, all the bells and whistles de-interlacer and scaler in software.

Anyway, the whole point is moot because Apple would never do it.
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post #548 of 782
Quote:
Most consumer market PC's with IGP usualy comes with PCIe or AGP upgrade uptions which most people spend $60 on a lower end GPU card that performs 10x better than the intel IGP GMA950.

Of the people I know who have Dell's. No one knows what a graphics card is and none of them have updated whatever they got.

Quote:
The Apple DVD player never deinterlaced all that well. I've never tried to run VLC.

The deinterlace is fine for most viewing. Its just that other applications are smoother.

Quote:
And you, and others here, seem to think that the majority of PC buyers get $399 and $499 computers. They don't.

Most people I know who have Dells were hooked by the advertisements of $399. But after you actually add everything that you actually need to have a modern computer the true price is near to $1000.
post #549 of 782
post #550 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by TenoBell
The AOpen MiniPC for $1000.

http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=937

Plus monitor. I don't know if the keyboard and mouse is included. Or software.

It also isn't clear if the $1,000 includes an OS, and if it does, whether it is a free oneLinux, of some flavor.
post #551 of 782
It clearly says that it comes with a remote certified for MCE (Media Center Edition).
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post #552 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H
The PDF linked to by bitemymac on page 8 of this thread.

You do realize that that is discussing a $49 plugin for a $150+ card since the deinterlacing is only on the 6600 or greater.

And that the report was commissioned by nVidia

And that the description of how they couldn't actually set the PC and Samsung screen they had up to do 1080 on the Intel 950 because they 'couldn't find a driver' negates much of the test.

However, I'm sure that $200 worth of nVidia does beat $7 of Intel chip.
post #553 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by Gene Clean
It clearly says that it comes with a remote certified for MCE (Media Center Edition).

It does, but other articles said that it didn't come with an OS at that price. At least not here in the US.
post #554 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign
You do realize that that is discussing a $49 plugin for a $150+ card since the deinterlacing is only on the 6600 or greater.

So? That doesn't change how the 950 performed.

Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign
And that the report was commissioned by nVidia

Yes, the report was commissioned by nVidia, but so what? It wasn't performed by nVidia, and if its results hadn't come out as they would have liked, they just wouldn't have publicised it.


Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign
However, I'm sure that $200 worth of nVidia does beat $7 of Intel chip.

It was also soundly beaten by a cheap DVD player.

The vast majority of that nVidia price goes on all the 3D acceleration pipelines and VRAM. There is no reason that decent de-interlacing and upscaling should cost a lot of money to implement. It requires a tiny fraction of the total number of transistors in a typical GPU.

If someone's going to use a computer as a HTPC (I assume this stands for Home Theatre PC?), they want it to have decent video playback quality.
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post #555 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H
Really? What makes you so sure of that? They've had plenty of years to do it, but still haven't.

Because if they really want to position Mac in the media center role folks will start complaining that thier Desperate Housewives DVDs looks jaggy in Front Row (no I dont know if DH is a poorly flagged DVD...its just an example).

Or someone else will create a higher end DVD player for the mac a la theater tek.

/shrug

Vinea
post #556 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H
The PDF linked to by bitemymac on page 8 of this thread.

Yes, the study done by a couple folks clueless about video that doesn't apply to Macs ANYWAY because Apple chooses not to expose the GPU/VPU capabilities thus far.

Which means for all intents and purposes the GMA950 = X300 = X1600 = GeForce 7300 for video playback.

If you like the performance of any mac wrt to video the Mini shouldn't be any worse and should be better than any G4.

It's just that gaming will suck ass on the mini.

Vinea
post #557 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by vinea
Because if they really want to position Mac in the media center role folks will start complaining that thier Desperate Housewives DVDs looks jaggy in Front Row (no I dont know if DH is a poorly flagged DVD...its just an example).

[sarcasm]What, you mean just like how people complain about 128 kbps song downloads and 320 x 240 "main profile" video downloads from the iTMS?[/sarcasm]

I know, some people complain about those things, but it doesn't seem to make any difference. 1 billion song downloads, 15 million video downloads so far.
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post #558 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by vinea
Yes, the study done by a couple folks clueless about video that doesn't apply to Macs ANYWAY because Apple chooses not to expose the GPU/VPU capabilities thus far.

Which means for all intensive purposes the GMA950 = X300 = X1600 = GeForce 7300 for video playback.

So you know Apple's DVD decoding pipeline? I know they use the GPU's MPEG-2 decoding; are you suggesting that they then bring the data back to the CPU for de-interlacing and scaling, and then send it back to the GPU for output?


Quote:
Originally posted by vinea
If you like the performance of any mac wrt to video the Mini shouldn't be any worse and should be better than any G4.

I don't. Apple's DVD player sucks quality-wise.
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post #559 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H

It was also soundly beaten by a cheap DVD player.

Only the best of breed HTPCs beat current $200 upconverting DVD players like the Oppo IMHO. Yes, in the best of breed they will likely run PureVideo over ATI Catalyst these days as near as I can tell.

The downside to PC based HTPCs is they aren't as intuitive to use as a $200 Oppo and still require a lot of tweaking (ffdshow, zoomplayer, tt, glider, etc) to get working.

Which is why I dropped out of the HTPC game. The Mac should "just work" a lot better. In some ways it does. In others, not so much.

But the potential for an elegant and easy to use interface is much higher on OSX than from the folks that gave us MCE.

I'm not too thrilled about the GMA950 but its not a deal killer for video as much as OSX is sub-par in that regard. It would be a deal killer for game players.

But given the relative lack of titles on the Mac I think you'd be better off buying a $150 PS2 or XBox rig than a $150 vid card upgrade.

Vinea
post #560 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by vinea
Which means for all intensive purposes

Don't take this the wrong way, but for future reference, it's

"Intents and purposes"
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