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Apple unveils Mac mini Core Duo - Page 15

post #561 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H
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?

From the reports the MBP fails HQV test disc in a similar way to study above (ie jaggies everywhere).

I stand corrected on the GPU decoding through the DVD player. It looks as if they are exposing the H.264 hw decoding at least for the X1600 by some reports. Yes, and they did have MPEG-2 decode through the DVD player.

It shouldn't be hard to determine if someone has a HQV test disc and an apple store nearby.

Vinea
post #562 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H
Don't take this the wrong way, but for future reference, it's

"Intents and purposes"

Thanks.

Vinea
post #563 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by peharri
Airport and Bluetooth are "free" with the Intel chipset Apple's using as I understand it (which is why they now support 802.11a having rubbished it for so long.)

I doubt the remote costs Apple more than $10.

So I don't think what you mention would reduce the costs to Apple by $100.

Much as I liked the fact there was a $499 Mac mini in the original line-up, I can't remember ever seeing the $499 one and saying "Yeah, I like/I'd recommend that." I think Apple's sane in starting at $600 for a full-featured model. They're not quite sane for releasing Core Solo based stuff *now* when we're still waiting for Universal Binaries, and the lack of accelerated graphics in the medium end ($800) model, even as an option, is a major turn-off for me. But the pricing I don't have an issue with.

The only way I can see for them to produce a cheaper Mac mini would be to spec it something like this:

Core Solo
Smallest drive available (probably 40G)
256Mb of RAM
No optical drive (use Firewire or USB)
Ethernet/BT/Airport/Crap Integrated Graphics/4 USB ports/etc

Even then, savings are from the second, third, and fourth items, and given the prices Apple pays, I'd be surprised if the saving averages more than $10 per item (maybe $20 for the RAM), so this (awful!) Mac mini probably couldn't sell profitably for $499.

I've said elsewhere, if I were Apple I'd have:

- Kept the Mac mini G4 versions for the low end, at least until next year or when Microsoft releases a UB of Office X, whichever is sooner.

- Released the Core Duo version at $800 as they did, today.

- Released a better Core Duo with a proper, iMac-like, graphics chip, and a gig of RAM, for $999 today. Both Core Duo versions could be a half inch higher than the machines they replace to ensure they have the space.

- When the G4 is fully obsoleted (see first point), replace that with a Core Solo version.

They're, all in all, in too much of a hurry to eliminate the PowerPCs from their lines. I don't think the time is right to release Core Solo based machines, and I especially think they'll harm the credibility of the platform if they do that on what was once the machine aimed at switchers and the rest of us.

IMHO, these are TRUE statements, MacMini Duo was rushed without thinking what it is meant... rather they shd hv released MacBook and once Yonah price are cheaper they shd hv released the $499 mac mini version with Solo

$499, i love the price point (whatever the specs may be)

Nov '09 | iMac 21.5" C2D 3.06 Ghz | Intel 330 240GB SSD | ATI

Sep '12| Toshiba 14" 1366 x 768! | i5 3rd Gen 6GB| Intel x25-m 120GB SSD | Win 7|  Viewsonic VX2255wmb 22" LCD
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Nov '09 | iMac 21.5" C2D 3.06 Ghz | Intel 330 240GB SSD | ATI

Sep '12| Toshiba 14" 1366 x 768! | i5 3rd Gen 6GB| Intel x25-m 120GB SSD | Win 7|  Viewsonic VX2255wmb 22" LCD
iPhone 4S| iPad 2 wifi

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post #564 of 782
as i stated in some other posts

MacBook will be attactive to most of us, see the last page of AnandTech review of Aopen MiniPC as well, they reflect the same feeling about MiniPC/MacMini/SmallFormFactor machines ....

if these machines were costlier people decide to choose a laptop than choosing a MiniPC/MacMini

http://www.anandtech.com/systems/sho...px?i=2707&p=12

Nov '09 | iMac 21.5" C2D 3.06 Ghz | Intel 330 240GB SSD | ATI

Sep '12| Toshiba 14" 1366 x 768! | i5 3rd Gen 6GB| Intel x25-m 120GB SSD | Win 7|  Viewsonic VX2255wmb 22" LCD
iPhone 4S| iPad 2 wifi

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Nov '09 | iMac 21.5" C2D 3.06 Ghz | Intel 330 240GB SSD | ATI

Sep '12| Toshiba 14" 1366 x 768! | i5 3rd Gen 6GB| Intel x25-m 120GB SSD | Win 7|  Viewsonic VX2255wmb 22" LCD
iPhone 4S| iPad 2 wifi

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post #565 of 782
Quote:
I don't. Apple's DVD player sucks quality-wise.

Pretty extreme assessment.

Yes there are other DVD applications that de-interlace better, but that does not mean Apple DVD player is just all around bad.

Quote:
(i.e. software DVD player sucks in comparison to PC software DVD players).

In the film/video industy most eveyone is using Apple DVD Player for viewing on computer. I've never heard serious complaints.
post #566 of 782
This was such a friendly place until the "switchers" showed up.
iPad2 16 GB Wifi

Who is worse? A TROLL or a person that feeds & quotes a TROLL? You're both idiots.....
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iPad2 16 GB Wifi

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post #567 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by kcmac
This was such a friendly place until the "switchers" showed up.

I don't know if you were referring to me, but I've been using a Mac since 1993. It was my first computer, so it wasn't a switch, either
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post #568 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by vinea
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.
Vinea

Actually, Oppo has beaten even the top of the line DVD players that cost over $3k and there's no way that any HTPC at $3k range will beat Oppo video playback performance. This shows very simple point that software emulation in video playback isn't enough for high quality video playback. Most GPU chip manufacturers design their chip around 3D performance and few just started to improved on video playback quality. However, Intel IGP GMA950 isn't one of them yet, and new to be release GMA965 still lacks alot of features but going towards the right direction, though.

Anyway, I do own oppo dvd player as well as some denon dvd players, and $200 gets you very far in the videophile world, thanks to oppo. Maybe I should give up on HTPC as well. Atleaset I'm going to hold off on the current Macmini. Actually, compared to Macmini, intel-imacs look very attractive. You get so much for $500 more(17" monitor, faster CPU, mouse, keyboard, isight cam, faster and bigger HD, better optical drive, alot better GPU that has potential for good video playback), but I don't need the monitor and I need it in the smaller enclosure.
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post #569 of 782
From MacCentral:

>One change to the Mac minis architecture appears even more controversial than the processor swap: The switch from ATIs Radeon 9200 graphics with dedicated memory to integrated Intel graphics that use 64MB of system memory have some users up in arms. And while the debate continues, Macworlds initial results show the new minis lagging behind their predecessors in Unreal Tournament 2004 by a couple of frames per second.<

That's a disgrace. Its performance was pathetic before now its just laughable.

Apple-you screwed us over by using an Integrated Video Card.
You said it sucked a few days ago, now all of a sudden it doesn't?

Memo to Steve Jobs-there's a limit to what you can get away with.
Call the sucker onto the mat and let him know he fucked up. Don't put up with his arrogance.
post #570 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by steve666
Apple-you screwed us over by using an Integrated Video Card.

I disagree. Apple screwed people over by not having the option for a decent video card. Most users just don't care about the GPU.

Quote:
Originally posted by bitemymac
This shows very simple point that software emulation in video playback isn't enough for high quality video playback.

fnrg (that's the sound of my brain hurting). It does not show this.

It does show that:

Mid-range and high-end GPU video de-interlacers and scalers are O.K., but not great.

Any HTPC software de-interlacers and scalers aren't that great either. That does not mean that they could not be better.

It also shows that you do not need expensive hardware to obtain a very high quality video signal.

On the software vs. hardware deinterlacer front, think of it like this:

At its simplest, a video de-interlacer and scaler is a block that has one signal input, and one signal output. It receives an interlaced, low resolution digital video signal in, does a load of maths, and spits out a progressive, high resolution digital video signal.

That "load of maths" can equally well be performed in software running on a CPU, or with dedicated hardware. Both solutions can perform exactly the same "load of maths", and therefore have exactly the same output signal quality.

CPUs and dedicated hardware have their own plus points and minus points, so the choice of how to perform the maths is a compromise. CPUs are extremely flexible, they can be programmed to do pretty much anything, the trade-off is that for a given function they are slow compared to dedicated hardware for that single function.

Dedicated hardware, however, is limited because it can only do that one thing that it was designed for. Another drawback of dedicated hardware is that once implemented, it cannot be modified or tweaked.

So, in the case of the Mac mini, it would seem that whilst there is a dedicated piece of hardware to do de-interlacing and scaling, that dedicated piece of hardware isn't that good at doing the job. So, it would be a better choice to do it in software on the CPU. The only question is, is the processor fast enough to perform de-interlacing and scaling in real-time at a higher quality than the piece of dedicated hardware? I would think, that as long as it doesn't have to do anything else, the Duo should be able to cope.
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post #571 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by steve666
From MacCentral:

>One change to the Mac minis architecture appears even more controversial than the processor swap: The switch from ATIs Radeon 9200 graphics with dedicated memory to integrated Intel graphics that use 64MB of system memory have some users up in arms. And while the debate continues, Macworlds initial results show the new minis lagging behind their predecessors in Unreal Tournament 2004 by a couple of frames per second.<

That's a disgrace. Its performance was pathetic before now its just laughable.

Apple-you screwed us over by using an Integrated Video Card.
You said it sucked a few days ago, now all of a sudden it doesn't?

Memo to Steve Jobs-there's a limit to what you can get away with.
Call the sucker onto the mat and let him know he fucked up. Don't put up with his arrogance.

What's really interesting is that if you compare the performance of Intel CoreDuo to AMD64 X2 and DualCore G5, they all performace very similarly at the same clock speed. Each design slightly edges out each other in certain benchmarks, but in overall, they are pretty similar per clock. Now, they use this hottie intel cpu in the mini, and decide to hinder the performance by going with IGP. Obviously, they don't want mini to out perform imacs, but at the moment, they really do need mini to out sell anything else in the market to expand OS X user base....... I think Steve Jobs is loosing it. Jobs gone mad!
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post #572 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by bitemymac
What's really interesting is that if you compare the performance of Intel CoreDuo to AMD64 X2 and DualCore G5, they all performace very similarly at the same clock speed. Each design slightly edges out each other in certain benchmarks, but in overall, they are pretty similar per clock. Now, they use this hottie intel cpu in the mini, and decide to hinder the performance by going with IGP. Obviously, they don't want mini to out perform imacs, but at the moment, they really do need mini to out sell anything else in the market to expand OS X user base....... I think Steve Jobs is loosing it. Jobs gone mad!

Exactly. And Apple needs to hear about it from all of us. He's turning the beloved Mac into a PC! Integrated Graphics in a Mac? Unacceptable. More expensive? Equally unacceptable.
Apple needs to keep the $499 price point. The new Mini is a huge letdown, a flop.
post #573 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by steve666
Apple needs to keep the $499 price point. The new Mini is a huge letdown, a flop.

What you want for $499 is not possible without Apple making a loss.

(Assuming that what you want is still what you posted earlier, basically the current $599 model but with a 64 MB GPU)
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post #574 of 782
Quote:
Apple screwed people over by not having the option for a decent video card. Most users just don't care about the GPU.

Apple is screwing over people who don't care about the GPU?

Quote:
Obviously, they don't want mini to out perform imacs, but at the moment, they really do need mini to out sell anything else in the market to expand OS X user base......

No they need the iMac to sell really well. I don't think they have have any delusion it will out sell anything else in the market.

You computer nerds really have no sense of business.

Quote:
The new Mini is a huge letdown, a flop.

Yes Steve666, you've said this many times in many ways, to people who have absolutely no control over it.
post #575 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H
What you want for $499 is not possible without Apple making a loss.

(Assuming that what you want is still what you posted earlier, basically the current $599 model but with a 64 MB GPU)

No remote.
It is very doable. Apple's margins are the highest in the industry.
post #576 of 782
Really above all Apple needs the MacBook and MacBook Pro to sell well.

Laptops are the fastest growing segment and cost more.
post #577 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by TenoBell
Apple is screwing over people who don't care about the GPU?

You really like twisting words, don't you? I said most users don't care about the GPU. Those people have not been screwed over by IGP. All users - most users = some users. Those users have been screwed over by no GPU upgradeability.

Quote:
Originally posted by TenoBell
You computer nerds really have no sense of business.

If you'd like to find my post on page 14, where I detailed a profitable, configurable, $499 machine, and explain to me why that machine would either not be profitable, or be a bad idea for Apple to make for some other reason, then please, be my guest.
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post #578 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by steve666
No remote.
It is very doable. Apple's margins are the highest in the industry.

dude, you are living in a dreamworld. Is it fun there?
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post #579 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H


Dedicated hardware, however, is limited because it can only do that one thing that it was designed for. Another drawback of dedicated hardware is that once implemented, it cannot be modified or tweaked.

So, in the case of the Mac mini, it would seem that whilst there is a dedicated piece of hardware to do de-interlacing and scaling, that dedicated piece of hardware isn't that good at doing the job. So, it would be a better choice to do it in software on the CPU. The only question is, is the processor fast enough to perform de-interlacing and scaling in real-time at a higher quality than the piece of dedicated hardware? I would think, that as long as it doesn't have to do anything else, the Duo should be able to cope.

Yup, dedicated hardware is inflexible, but it is best at doing what's designed to do. Look at how well and smoothly iPod can decode MPEG4 as an example.

I also would like to beleive that software teaming with powerful cpu can do everything from sound, video, and etc. But we're not there yet, actually still very far from it. Hence we still need specialized hardware to do decoding, deinterlacing, and other specialized tasks to help the CPU. In a perfect world. We just need a super fast clock single core cpu to do everything, but it's not feasible with todays technology and having two core seems to show better efficency at certain tasks than having one fast core. Also having other specialized core hardware chip to manage sound, video, data management, and etc. seems to make the whole system more efficient and effective with current technology. Hence, software emulation to do a good job replacing the specialized hardware is still not effective.
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post #580 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H
dude, you are living in a dreamworld. Is it fun there?

I'm living in a dreamworld? You make a living sticking up for Apple screwing its customers.
They fucked up, admit it, its OK. They've fucked up before. Admit it, it'll be good for you.
post #581 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by steve666
Make a living sticking up for Apple screwing its customers.

Sticking up for Apple huh? You think that's what I've been doing in this thread?

Look, you have to face reality. You have provided nothing, absolutely nothing, to demonstrate that Apple could produce the computer you desire for $499.
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post #582 of 782
Quote:
You really like twisting words, don't you

I was going by what you originally said.

Quote:
Apple screwed people over by not having the option for a decent video card. Most users just don't care about the GPU.

Quote:
Those people have not been screwed over by IGP. All users - most users = some users. Those users have been screwed over by no GPU upgradeability.

The only problem with this line of logic is the fact that you buy the Mac mini knowing its not upgradable. If you don't want IGP don't buy the mini.

What I can agree with is that Apple needs to offer a small tower that does have upgradable GPU.

Quote:
$499 machine, and explain to me why that machine would either not be profitable, or be a bad idea for Apple to make for some other reason, then please, be my guest.

I don't feel that $100 is that big of a deal. Several people I know who have bought Dell computers. They were lured in by the advertisement of $399. But by the time they've added on all the things one wants for a modern computer, they come to or far exceeded $1000.

I can't see mini sales rising sharply because they cost $100 dollars less with less features.

Either you are going to buy it or you're not.
post #583 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by TenoBell
What I can agree with is that Apple needs to offer a small tower that does have upgradable GPU.

O.K., great. So why make that machine and the mini two different machines?

If Apple came out with a small tower alongside the mini, it would just cannibalise mini sales because most people don't buy the mini for its ultra-compactness, they buy it because it is inexpensive. Have a compact tower, that starts cheap, and do away with the mini (or better yet, go back in time and never develop the mini in the first place, just the mini tower; it would have been cheaper. Shame that's impossible.)
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post #584 of 782
In my mind the small tower would have similar specs to the iMac, 2 PCIe slots, 4 RAM slots upgradable to 4GB of RAM, 3.5 HDD, cost $999 to $1499.

Trust me Apple would not mind if a more expensive computer cannibalized sales of a less expensive computer.
post #585 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by TenoBell
In my mind the small tower would have similar specs to the iMac, 2 PCIe slots, 4 RAM slots upgradable to 4GB of RAM, 3.5 HHD, cost $999 to $1499.

Trust me Apple would not mind if a more expensive computer cannibalized sales of a less expensive computer.

Oh, O.K.

The small tower you have in mind is different from the one I do. What is it that would make it start at $999? Conroe?
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post #586 of 782
Yes the $999 small tower can have the same Duo Yonah processor as the highest Mac mini or a single core Conroe.
post #587 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by TenoBell
Yes the $999 small tower can have the same Duo Yonah processor as the highest Mac mini

Then why would it start at $999? That would have much higher margins* than the mini** (and therefore may not be perceived to be good value)

* The Core Duo mini costs $799. A mini tower such as you suggest would actually cost Apple less than the mini (desktop parts vs. laptop parts, lower assembly costs)
** maybe I've answered my own question?
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post #588 of 782
I haven't gone through all the work of pricing it out but Conroe should be a more expensive chip than Yonah.

-Faster Front Side Bus

-PCIe exansion slots with a PCIe GPU.

-4 Full RAM slots

Will certainly all be more expensive than items in the Mac mini.
post #589 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by TenoBell
I haven't gone through all the work of pricing it out but Conroe should be a more expensive chip than Yonah.

Yes, I know that. That's why I highlighted the bit where you said the tower would have Core Duo (yonah).

Quote:
Originally posted by TenoBell
-PCIe exansion slots with a PCIe GPU.

Good point about the GPU.

If Apple did something as you suggest, and it started at $849, it'd be a good deal. I've got my fingers crossed that they are going to bite the bullet and finally do it. Then I'll just have to lament the fact that they don't think a lower-end tower is worth making .
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post #590 of 782
Even if it did come with Duo Yonah the exansion parts are going to cost more than the mini.


Another way to look at it:

iMac's use Duo Yonah, are not expandale, and start at $1299.
post #591 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by Flounder
It seems one of the big arguments for some $399 machine is "increase market share and thus increase developer support."

But do people that spend $399 on a computer actually buy much of any software?

It seems unlikely. It would help with maybe getting better video compatability on the web for macs, but beyond that I don't think I see it.

I know a bunch of people who would pick up a $399 Mac. Prolly for email, web, Office, and the iLife stuff.

Buying software? I dunno, but I think the way it goes that the more People pick up a system to run OS X, the bigger market share OS X has a chance at gaining.
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post #592 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by Faasnat
I know a bunch of people who would pick up a $399 Mac. Prolly for email, web, Office, and the iLife stuff.

Buying software? I dunno, but I think the way it goes that the more People pick up a system to run OS X, the bigger market share OS X has a chance at gaining.

I think iLife is worth more than to be stuck in a 399 box, especially with OSX... I asked before: what is the value of iLife? If we consider the current price of 79 to be an upgrade price (as it comes included on all machines), then the original cost would be about 149, which doesn't leave much room for OSX on a 399 box.

 

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post #593 of 782
It's also been brought up before, by myself, and numerous others, that buying into the Mac isn't simply buying a Mac.

People also have to be willing to buy other things in the Mac ecosystem. Why is it mentioned so many times, that the reason why people stay (along with other reasons, of course) with Windows is because of the amount of software available?

People spending $399 for a computer are less likely to also buy some of that software.

The Mac, like every other computer platform, lives and dies by the amount, and quality, of software available for it. This is also true, to a somewhat lessor extent, for hardware.

People complain that they can't get a Mini with a 500GB HD. and, yes, they have, right here, on this site, in several threads. Yet, some of them as well, insist on a $399 or $499 machine.

How many people buying such machines would spend the extra money to purchase such an expensive drive?

To change the entire design of the Mini to allow such a thing, for those who would buy them, would likely raise the price even further. That would move this goal even further away.

Apple has a vision of what their products should be, and how they should get there. They also decide which possible customers they will have to give up to accomplish that. Every company must make those decisions. Not everyone will be happy with them.

I haven't always been happy with them, and I've said so. But, at the same time, we must understand that we simply do not have the information that Apple does. They don't do things in a vacuum.

If people won't, or can't, pay that extra $100 for a Mini, too bad. That's just the way it is. You just have to get over it. Every company in the world works this way.

What if Apple released a $299 computer? How about a $199 model?

Is it possible? Sure, if they want to make something unusable by modern standards. Apple has decided that in order to provide what they consider to be the minimum "Mac" experience, their machines must have certain features as standard. And, I should mention, MANY people on these same threads have complained, in the not too distant past, that Apple MUST include these features as standard. to them, Apple, in not including them, would be "ripping off" its customers, because then we would have to pay for features that are beginning to become standard, even in the PC world.

I guess that Apple can't win here.
post #594 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
To change the entire design of the Mini to allow such a thing, for those who would buy them, would likely raise the price even further. That would move this goal even further away.

Why do some people assume a slightly larger, more configurable machine would cost Apple more to produce? It simply isn't true. I have demonstrated this on page 14 of this thread. Have you seen the packaging in the mini? It must have cost a fair amount to develop, and quite a bit to assemble. Developing a mini tower would have cost Apple less than developing the mini. But, what is done is done. It wouldn't cost Apple that much in R&D to develop a small tower computer.

Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
People spending $399 for a computer are less likely to also buy some of that software.

The Mac, like every other computer platform, lives and dies by the amount, and quality, of software available for it. This is also true, to a somewhat lessor extent, for hardware.

People complain that they can't get a Mini with a 500GB HD. and, yes, they have, right here, on this site, in several threads. Yet, some of them as well, insist on a $399 or $499 machine.

How many people buying such machines would spend the extra money to purchase such an expensive drive?

Yes, 500 GB HDDs are expensive. But the mini tops out at 120 GB. 160 GB to 250 GB HDDs are a lot cheaper than 500 GB ones.

These comments raise a couple of issues:

1. What you seem to forget sometimes is that you are quite a wealthy person. Some people have to save up to buy computers, and don't like to spend more than they have to. Just because they don't have all that much money to spend on hardware, doesn't mean that they aren't willing to spend a bit to get what they need. But to tell someone, if they want OS X, their own monitor, and an HDD bigger than 120 GB, they should buy a PowerMac, is just ridiculous.

Yes, they could buy a mini and an external HDD, but that would be more expensive than putting a bigger HDD inside the mini, if only it was possible. An external HDD is an inelegant solution that Apple could have avoided with a more configurable low-end computer.

2. The computer I've been talking about in this thread, would be more configurable than the mini. So, Apple could have it start at $499 ($399 when Celeron 4xx arrives), and offer other standard configs with more features for more money. The machine I'm talking about could easily span a $399 to $1499 price range.

So, at the bottom end, this computer would appeal to those looking for a $399 computer. It would also appeal to people looking for a small, configurable computer. I am willing to accept that on the whole, those are two different sets of people. It doesn't change any of my arguments.


Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
If people won't, or can't, pay that extra $100 for a Mini, too bad. That's just the way it is. You just have to get over it. Every company in the world works this way.

I'm not just talking about a very inexpensive computer. I'm also talking about a configurable one that is less than $999. There are simply loads of these available to you if you are a Windows user.

Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
What if Apple released a $299 computer? How about a $199 model?

Is it possible? Sure, if they want to make something unusable by modern standards. Apple has decided that in order to provide what they consider to
be the minimum "Mac" experience

I agree. Going that low would do Apple no good. But both a $199 and $299 computer are very different from a $399 one (they are around 50% and 37% cheaper, respectively)

Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
And, I should mention, MANY people on these same threads have complained, in the not too distant past, that Apple MUST include these features as standard. to them, Apple, in not including them, would be "ripping off" its customers, because then we would have to pay for features that are beginning to become standard, even in the PC world.

Well, I think that's only if they aren't offering features as standard at a price point where they should be offering said features. (e.g., if the $599 mac mini didn't include wireless, I think it would be fair enough to complain about that). However, to complain about a lack of wireless in a $399 or $499 computer would be churlish.

So, in conclusion:

A small tower (just big enough to contain full-size HD, optical drive and space for one PCI-E card) would appeal to everyone to whom a Mac mini appeals, and also, to a load of people to whom a Mac mini does not appeal. So, I'm talking about replacing one profitable computer with another profitable computer, which appeals to a much wider market. I simply cannot see how this would be a bad thing for Apple.
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post #595 of 782
What would the PCIe slot in this small tower be for?
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post #596 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by lundy
What would the PCIe slot in this small tower be for?



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post #597 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by lundy
What would the PCIe slot in this small tower be for?

Well, primarily for a graphics card, if the user wants one. The motherboard would have integrated graphics as standard.

Of course, you wouldn't necessarily have to use the PCIe for a graphics card. You could use it for a TV tuner card etc.
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post #598 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H
Why do some people assume a slightly larger, more configurable machine would cost Apple more to produce? It simply isn't true. I have demonstrated this on page 14 of this thread. Have you seen the packaging in the mini? It must have cost a fair amount to develop, and quite a bit to assemble. Developing a mini tower would have cost Apple less than developing the mini. But, what is done is done. It wouldn't cost Apple that much in R&D to develop a small tower computer.



Yes, 500 GB HDDs are expensive. But the mini tops out at 120 GB. 160 GB to 250 GB HDDs are a lot cheaper than 500 GB ones.

These comments raise a couple of issues:

1. What you seem to forget sometimes is that you are quite a wealthy person. Some people have to save up to buy computers, and don't like to spend more than they have to. Just because they don't have all that much money to spend on hardware, doesn't mean that they aren't willing to spend a bit to get what they need. But to tell someone, if they want OS X, their own monitor, and an HDD bigger than 120 GB, they should buy a PowerMac, is just ridiculous.

Yes, they could buy a mini and an external HDD, but that would be more expensive than putting a bigger HDD inside the mini, if only it was possible. An external HDD is an inelegant solution that Apple could have avoided with a more configurable low-end computer.

2. The computer I've been talking about in this thread, would be more configurable than the mini. So, Apple could have it start at $499 ($399 when Celeron 4xx arrives), and offer other standard configs with more features for more money. The machine I'm talking about could easily span a $399 to $1499 price range.

So, at the bottom end, this computer would appeal to those looking for a $399 computer. It would also appeal to people looking for a small, configurable computer. I am willing to accept that on the whole, those are two different sets of people. It doesn't change any of my arguments.




I'm not just talking about a very inexpensive computer. I'm also talking about a configurable one that is less than $999. There are simply loads of these available to you if you are a Windows user.



I agree. Going that low would do Apple no good. But both a $199 and $299 computer are very different from a $399 one (they are around 50% and 37% cheaper, respectively)



Well, I think that's only if they aren't offering features as standard at a price point where they should be offering said features. (e.g., if the $599 mac mini didn't include wireless, I think it would be fair enough to complain about that). However, to complain about a lack of wireless in a $399 or $499 computer would be churlish.

So, in conclusion:

A small tower (just big enough to contain full-size HD, optical drive and space for one PCI-E card) would appeal to everyone to whom a Mac mini appeals, and also, to a load of people to whom a Mac mini does not appeal. So, I'm talking about replacing one profitable computer with another profitable computer, which appeals to a much wider market. I simply cannot see how this would be a bad thing for Apple.

That's a lot to respond to, so I'm going to do it here, at the bottom, rather than make the post too complex with more quoting. I hope that's ok.

If you look at the "Mini" PC models, you will see that they cost MORE than a Mini, once you add anything other than the bare basics. This shows that the costing model Apple uses is correct. A mini anything is always going to cost significantly more. Thats why 1" drives cost more per Gb than 1.8" ones, which cost more per GB than 2.5" ones, which cost more per GB than 3.5" ones.

But, if Apple makes the machine just a little bit bigger, to accommodate a 3.5" drive, it will cost more. We will still be talking about a miniaturized machine, with all of the attendant increases in cost. But, now we will also be talking about a significantly bigger power supply needed for the much hungrier 3.5" drive. This will definitely hold true if Apple has to accommodate the needs of someone stuffing that 500GB (or larger, when it comes out later this year) drive in the case. 3.5" drives also put out far more heat than the 2.5" models do. 7,200 rpm drives put out even more heat, and there are a few (or there were last I looked) 10,000ATA drives that put out even more heat than that (as well as requiring even MORE power).

Will Apple need to add fans to the case as well? That makes it bigger still. What about the quietness of the machines? That has been praised all over the web. These changes will make this a pretty noisy machine, compared to what it is now, which is almost silent.

The packaging of the Mini might cost Apple $10. $15 at the outside. I'm not sure it even does cost that much. When you get to hundreds of thousands, packaging costs drop precipitously. That's my experience. You can look up custom packaging costs. They are out there, if you want to bother.

Insofar as a mini tower goes, well, you should have read the several posts I've made about that. That was my suggestion soon after Apple came out with the first G5 towers. I presented the plans (yup, I actually drew out plans) to my friends in Apple engineering management. They thought the plans made sense, and could be produced, but that "upper" management didn't want to go in that direction. Too bad. They were really very nice. They maintained the aluminum chassis, but were smaller, and didn't have the expensive metalwork for the handles or feet. There were other major changes inside, in the electronics as well to get the price to $999.

Sometimes I wish it WAS possible to build a Mac clone. I think I could have been successful. But, no matter.

1. I don't know what "quite a wealthy person" means. It's all relative. I certainly don't think of myself that way.

First of all, very few people these days "need" a 500GB HD. Those who do, tend to be hobbyists. Hobbyists are usually willing to spend more to get what they want. After all, it's a hobby. The rest who really need it ARE willing to save up for it. Drive costs are dropping, by the time someone needs to upgrade to one, they will cost a good deal less. Besides, 2.5" drive sizes are going up, and the costs for them are dropping as well. If someone opts for the smaller drive now, by the time they need the biggest one, it will be over 200GB, and cheaper than the 160 is now. Buying it on the market will make it cheaper than buying it from Apple.

Look, I know plenty of people who can't afford to buy an iMac, much less a PM, with all of the attendant trimmings. I don't live in a castle all of the time, I do come out to play.

In my user group alone, we have a fair percentage of people with 6000 and 7000 series of machines running 7.5.1. I know what it means for them to consider a new machine. I know people who rely on others to give them old machines, because they can't, or won't, spend the money for one themselves. Some of these people save up for YEARS to buy a new machine. So, I either donate (depending on what it is) my older stuff to the schools, or the user group.

Believe me, I do understand.

Also, the external solutions aren't inelegant. In fact, they are VERY elegant. They also offer more connectivity, and you can decide what size drive you will get. These drive cases and drives cost less that if the choice came from Apple. The cases themselves don't cost much, once you consider what it is you are getting.

2. To a great extent, you are right. But the price of $499 would still be a stripped down model, just like the PC mini versions out there are. It wouldn't be complete. People are complaining that they are not getting a Superdrive in that $599 model. It just goes to show how close to the line the machine is.

If you look at the reviews of the iMac, for example, one of the virtues mentioned in most of these reviews is that the consumer doesn't have to think about the purchase. It's all there. The Mini, of course, isn't quite that simple, because you still need the monitor and keyboard mouse combo. But, it's close.

Apple wants the sale to go something like this:

"What will I need other than my monitor, keyboard, mouse, and printer?"

Nothing.

"What if I want to connect to a wireless network?"

Just this $49 wireless router.

"Yes, but what about for the computer?"

Nothing.

Etc.

Of course, the only fly here is that a modem is no longer included, but, it seems as though most Mac users elect to go for broadband.

If Apple removed several of these features, customers would be back to the "what do I need to buy to do..."

"Will the Celeron play HD trailers from Apple's web site, and others?"

No.

The interesting thing is that those who can afford less will usually buy a product that costs more, but already has these features, rather than buy something that needs to have them added later.

The problem with thinking about lacking these features upon first sale, is that they can't be added later, usually. Then what does Apple do if a customer wants to add WiFi to their machine 18 months after they bought it?

That would call for an extensive redesign of the machine, with customer friendly slots or connectors inside the machine. Oops, the price just went up again.
post #599 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H
Well, primarily for a graphics card, if the user wants one. The motherboard would have integrated graphics as standard.

Of course, you wouldn't necessarily have to use the PCIe for a graphics card. You could use it for a TV tuner card etc.

I understand the request, I really do ... but I just don't see it as practical. You say keep integrated graphics as standard, make the mini a bit bigger so we have an open PCIe slot for graphics or whatever else the user may want. What if it's a user that wants PCIe graphics AND a tuner? Are they forced to buy a PowerMac at this point ... or do they pick which card they'd rather have? They may not need all the power of the PowerMac (or want to spend the $ on one...) so now THOSE people are constrained.
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post #600 of 782
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H
Well, primarily for a graphics card, if the user wants one. The motherboard would have integrated graphics as standard.

Of course, you wouldn't necessarily have to use the PCIe for a graphics card. You could use it for a TV tuner card etc.

My mini tower design allows for three full size slots. Is the "small" tower full depth and width to enable a full size slot? Or is it like the Cube which offered an extra slot, but half length, and slightly shorter height?
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