or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mac Hardware › Current Mac Hardware › Closing the book on Apple's Mac mini
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Closing the book on Apple's Mac mini - Page 10

post #361 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwinnipeg View Post

Oh dear god... excuse me while I sulk off into a dark corner and place a dunce cap on my head. This is just one of the many reasons why you proof-read your comments, kids.

Now that one or more of the Almighty's have been invoked, could an administrator come in here please and close this thread and put us all out of our misery....???
"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
Reply
"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
Reply
post #362 of 573
Until about six months ago, my former roommate and I used his first generation G4 Mac Mini as a home theater server. Overall, it worked very well, but if I were to reproduce that system, I would use a MacBook instead of the Mini. Upgrading a Super Drive equipped Mini to the same memory and HDD specs* as the low end Super Drive equipped MacBook brings the price of the Mini to within $325 of the MacBook. What does the consumer get for that $325?

First and foremost, the MacBook comes with an LCD screen. This is a very big deal for any use other than video. NTSC televisions, still used by many people who are likely concerned with the price point, does not have sufficient screen resolution to allow the user to easily read text. As a work around, we used Apple Remote Desktop from our laptops, which worked very well. However, not every potential Mini owner is going to have an extra computer, or the knowledge to implement ARD.

The MacBook comes with a newer generation, faster processor. It has been my experience that when dealing with video on a computer, a faster processor with more RAM is most always superior to a slower processor with less RAM.

The MacBook comes with a keyboard and mouse. While these aren't absolutely necessary when accessing a Mini via ARD, they are definitely creature features worth having. Wireless is better, but neither system comes standard with a wireless keyboard and mouse.

The MacBook does not require a separate UPS, as the battery already serves this function. While the laptop battery won't keep the big screen HDTV up and running, it will allow the user to finish that OS update, or just properly shut down.

The Mac Book comes with iSight built in. While this is not necessary fore a home theater, it is a feature that would likely come in handy, especially if used in conjunction with software like ARD.

The Mini does win the form factor category. The Mac Book has 60 percent more volume than the Mini. However, adding a screen and/or a keyboard and mouse to the Mini mitigates its advantage here.

While the Mac Mini is an effective media server solution, in my experience it is not an optimal solution. At the end of the day, it is a crippled, low end laptop, without the features that make laptops so useful. I do like the Mini, but I think Apple offers better solutions for the needs of most customers, even switchers on a budget.

-JC

* To be fair, anything over 40-60 GB of HDD space is overkill for the Mini (or any other computer) in a media server application, since it is not practical to store a complete library of music or movies internally. With the exception of the Mac Pro, no Mac is upgradeable to enough internal HDD space. One TB of external storage space is a good starting point, but even that will fill up faster than one might expect. Three or even five terabytes would be much better. Still, most users won't initially have a large storage solution set up, and 120 GB is better than 80 GB.
post #363 of 573
I would like to see the next mac mini with a port for external eSATA.
Add a third party box like my NewerTech miniStack with TWO bays.
The external box could have one hard drive and one optical drive.
(Two optical drives are slick for duplicating.)
post #364 of 573
I haven't had a chance to read through other posts on this topic so if I repeat something somebody else has posted, I apologize.

At any rate, it seems to me that Jobs has long been facinated by the idea of a very small form factor and with a couple of developments on the horizon that could render the most surprising reduction in the size of Apple's entry level system, I find it hard to believe that Jobs would abandon this market segment.

After all, the mac mini is son of Cube. And I think we're not too far away from seeing a successor to the mini that will see a reduction in size by the elimination of an optical drive and the replacement of hard drives with solid-state system memory.

As it sits right now, I have three external hard drives and two optical drives attached to my first-gen Mac mini. I think the potential is there for a mini that is half the size of the existing machine and that would serve as a cpu only with external devices handling all the other tasks. Such a computer, freed from the extra cost and production complexity of including a hard drive and optical drive could check in at a very low cost. Imagine, if you will, a mac super mini checking in at $449 in the U.S. and $549 here in Canada. In my case, being as I already use external devices that do optical drive and extra memory, buying a new Mac would be very inexpensive. I can't be the only consumer out there already with such external devices. Flash internal memory in the 40 to 60 gig range would certainly be more than enough if an external drive was being used to store files.

Grandson of the Cube could turn out to be the coolest Mac yet and even if there was a lull, as was the case between the Cube and the Mini, the wait would be worthwhile.
post #365 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

As it sits right now, I have three external hard drives and two optical drives attached to my first-gen Mac mini. I think the potential is there for a mini that is half the size of the existing machine and that would serve as a cpu only with external devices handling all the other tasks. Such a computer, freed from the extra cost and production complexity of including a hard drive and optical drive could check in at a very low cost. Imagine, if you will, a mac super mini checking in at $449 in the U.S. and $549 here in Canada. In my case, being as I already use external devices that do optical drive and extra memory, buying a new Mac would be very inexpensive. I can't be the only consumer out there already with such external devices. Flash internal memory in the 40 to 60 gig range would certainly be more than enough if an external drive was being used to store files.

I like your idea but wouldn't 40GB of flash memory cost much more than 60-80GB on a hard disk?
post #366 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by iDave View Post

I like your idea but wouldn't 40GB of flash memory cost much more than 60-80GB on a hard disk?

At the moment that is the case and it's probably why Apple hasn't brought such a super mini to market already.

But within a year, flash memory will drop in price to the point where a low-cost Son of Mini form factor will be viable. What makes this all possible is that such drives will be phased in for laptops and as such affordability will happen, even if the mini disappears for a short while. The technology is being developed for another very common form factor. That's the beauty of developing a desktop that uses laptop technology.

Of course, Apple could, at any time, eliminate the optical drive from the mini and reduce the cost and size but that would be a half step and Apple under Jobs' guidance is a company that likes to do things rather dramatically.

By the way, on the point of removing the optical drive, not only are external optical drives much more common these days, their cost has dropped so much that here in Canada it's roughly $150 to get a USB2 drive that is the equivalent of a super drive. To buy a mac mini upgraded with a superdrive, you need to upgrade to the higher cost mini which retails here for $899 compared to the base mini with a combo drive (and a slower processor) at $679. Even if in the Canadian market a base mini dropped in price to $599 in exchange for the removal of the optical drive, that's a good trade-off. A $599 mini + USB2 "Superdrive" would check in at $749 and, provided the slower processor was fast enough, that would be better than opting for the existing superdrive mini. Apple could afford the change because not only would they no longer have the cost of the drive itself, production costs would be reduced in that a step is eliminated. And the mini would get even smaller as well as offering Apple more form-factor flexibility.

Come to think of it, maybe the time is right for a mini without the optical drive. Hey, Apple, how about it?
post #367 of 573
I'm not sure that a flash-based Mini is viable by mid 08. A current 32G SSD costs about $350, and that's primarily the cost of the already mass-produced flash chips, not the assembly. A 4GB SD costs about 30E, 8 of those is 240E. There's a little room for mass-production to lower prices, but not all that much. The price of the flash chips will drop precipitately, but by mid-08 even a puny 16G SSD will still cost more in quantity than the smallest available laptop HD, of around 80-120G by that point.

Now, if they decide the cost is worth it, that's something else, but it won't be a cost-saving measure, and a 16 or even 32G SSD will put off a lot of people because it can't even store your itunes collection.

Optical driveless, though.. quite possibly. Hell, they've fabbed the case already, just relabel the @TV. Especially for markets like offices etc, you don't even *want* a local optical drive in every desktop. If they put a pair of expander-supporting eSATA ports on the back and dropped firewire, that would definitely work.
post #368 of 573
Carmissimo, I don't really understand why you want what you want.

A "mini tower" that has room inside it for a full-size optical drive, full-size HDD and built-in PSU would:

1.) Take up the same or less room than Ultra-Mini flash-based Mac + external optical drive + external HDD.

2.) Be much cheaper than Ultra-Mini flash-based Mac + external optical drive + external HDD.

3.) Be just as cheap, if not cheaper, to upgrade to the latest optical drive or HDD.

4.) Have lower running costs than Ultra-Mini flash-based Mac + external optical drive + external HDD. (your solution requires three separate PSUs, each with their own losses. One PSU supplying all components in one machine has lower losses and is therefore cheaper to run.)

Surely a mini-tower Mac is the better way to go? What advantages does your solution offer?
it's = it is / it has, its = belonging to it.
Reply
it's = it is / it has, its = belonging to it.
Reply
post #369 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Carmissimo, I don't really understand why you want what you want.

A "mini tower" that has room inside it for a full-size optical drive, full-size HDD and built-in PSU would:

1.) Take up the same or less room than Ultra-Mini flash-based Mac + external optical drive + external HDD.

2.) Be much cheaper than Ultra-Mini flash-based Mac + external optical drive + external HDD.

3.) Be just as cheap, if not cheaper, to upgrade to the latest optical drive or HDD.

4.) Have lower running costs than Ultra-Mini flash-based Mac + external optical drive + external HDD. (your solution requires three separate PSUs, each with their own losses. One PSU supplying all components in one machine has lower losses and is therefore cheaper to run.)

Surely a mini-tower Mac is the better way to go? What advantages does your solution offer?

For someone who has to build a system from scratch, there is probably little advantage. But in my case, for example, I already have three external HDs and two external DVD burners (one is very old and on its death bed). Such a stripped-down mini as I'm proposing would in fact be very inexpensive for me to switch to. I'm working on the assumption that I'm not alone. Being as external hard drives and DVD burners are so inexpensive, I suspect they're already in a lot of people's homes, just as they are in mine. And once I do switch to a High-Def burner of some description, it seems to me that as long as a high-speed interface able to handle all that data is part of the mix, it would mean I could upgrade to High-Def without replacing the entire computer or winding up paying for a superdrive in a mini and then having to buy an external High-Def drive anyway.

The advantage to my suggestion is flexibility in that instead of having to change the cpu to upgrade other bits and pieces, I can simply change the external burner or hard drive, for that matter. As it stands, I'm running my OS off of a firewire 7,200 RPM drive, so the hard drive in the mini is itself just used for some extra storage. When the external drive goes down, I could choose to replace it without the hassle of taking the mini, which is not really user upgradable, in to have the drive replaced, or worse, have to throw the mini out and buy a whole new system. Either way, a new external drive would likely be cheaper and easier to replace.

I will eventually replace the mini. I know that it's just not going to cut it when I end up with a fully High-Def set-up. But I like the idea of a minimalist box containing basicaly the cpu and little else because it allows me to retain that cpu for as long as its useful without being tied down to an optical drive or memory technology that has become outdated to an even greater degree than the cpu. Basically a consumer could expand as far as they need to and upgrade components as needed without being tied down to the limitations of a given form factor.

Right now I have a mini that is the hub for a system that includes more than 500 gigs of storage and a DVD burner. Even a mini minus an optical drive and, for that matter, an intenal hard drive would allow me to do what I'm already doing and without having to go out and purchase additional components.

I could even imagine Apple doing this while hedging their bets by leaving the existing mini in the line-up and adding a new super mini that would be a cpu minus the traditional hard drive and optical drive. Such a device would work beautifully in a lot of settings where compact size would be crucial and external optical drives and hard drives were already in the mix, making it redundant to place them in the super mini (I'm sure Apple could come up with something more clever to call it). Basically the current mini would be convenient for those who basically just need a machine to do the Internet and send off the occasional e-mail. The super mini, on the other hand, would be an interesting product whose time, I believe, is soon at hand.

Of course this is rampant speculation on my part and it's based on a biased view that takes into account the needs of a single customer, namely myself. But on the other hand . . .
post #370 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasper View Post

I'm not sure that a flash-based Mini is viable by mid 08. A current 32G SSD costs about $350, and that's primarily the cost of the already mass-produced flash chips, not the assembly. A 4GB SD costs about 30E, 8 of those is 240E. There's a little room for mass-production to lower prices, but not all that much. The price of the flash chips will drop precipitately, but by mid-08 even a puny 16G SSD will still cost more in quantity than the smallest available laptop HD, of around 80-120G by that point.

Now, if they decide the cost is worth it, that's something else, but it won't be a cost-saving measure, and a 16 or even 32G SSD will put off a lot of people because it can't even store your itunes collection.

Optical driveless, though.. quite possibly. Hell, they've fabbed the case already, just relabel the @TV. Especially for markets like offices etc, you don't even *want* a local optical drive in every desktop. If they put a pair of expander-supporting eSATA ports on the back and dropped firewire, that would definitely work.

Don't forget that most USB flash drives cost so little for a good reason. They usually use very slow, cheap, memory. Many still use 4x memory. That's only 600 KBs. Faster memory costs correspondingly more. If you price the cost of 100x and up flash cards, you will find them to be much more expensive.
post #371 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Don't forget that most USB flash drives cost so little for a good reason. They usually use very slow, cheap, memory. Many still use 4x memory. That's only 600 KBs. Faster memory costs correspondingly more. If you price the cost of 100x and up flash cards, you will find them to be much more expensive.

But the price is dropping and there is no reason why the price drop is going to subside any time soon. At some point in the not-too-distant future, putting 30-40 gig flash memory into laptops and desktops will be economically viable.

Clearly it's not happening right now but it's equally clear that it is going to happen. If not in 2008 then certainly by the end of the year after. Being as we're in the middle of 2007, even the end of 2009 isn't that far away,
post #372 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

But the price is dropping and there is no reason why the price drop is going to subside any time soon. At some point in the not-too-distant future, putting 30-40 gig flash memory into laptops and desktops will be economically viable.

Clearly it's not happening right now but it's equally clear that it is going to happen. If not in 2008 then certainly by the end of the year after. Being as we're in the middle of 2007, even the end of 2009 isn't that far away,

Prices are dropping. And sometime in 2008, they will drop enough for it to be a viable alternative for some.

Biut, no matter how you look at it, these drives aren't faster than Hd's are, except for access times. The price will always be more than for Hd's, until sometime in the future when a physical drive reaches some limitation that makers can't work their eay around.

But, right now, there is a 1.8" 100 GB drive out. It doesn't use much more current than a flash drive would use for the same size, and is cheaper by a factor of 20

2.5" drives are now at the 300 GB size, and are even cheaper per GB than the 1.8" drives, and are considerably faster.

I think that it will take three years for flash drives to become cheap, and large enough to be even fairly close to competitive, in an equal setting. By close, I mean perhaps twice as expensive, and up to 64 GB at a low enough price so that a large enough number of people will choose it rather than a cheaper, larger Hd solution.
post #373 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Prices are dropping. And sometime in 2008, they will drop enough for it to be a viable alternative for some.

Biut, no matter how you look at it, these drives aren't faster than Hd's are, except for access times. The price will always be more than for Hd's, until sometime in the future when a physical drive reaches some limitation that makers can't work their eay around.

But, right now, there is a 1.8" 100 GB drive out. It doesn't use much more current than a flash drive would use for the same size, and is cheaper by a factor of 20

2.5" drives are now at the 300 GB size, and are even cheaper per GB than the 1.8" drives, and are considerably faster.

I think that it will take three years for flash drives to become cheap, and large enough to be even fairly close to competitive, in an equal setting. By close, I mean perhaps twice as expensive, and up to 64 GB at a low enough price so that a large enough number of people will choose it rather than a cheaper, larger Hd solution.


I think long before flash drives will replace hard drives for the larger capacities, they will replace them in the lower ranges that will still be substantial enough for a computer to run off of. Something in the 30-60 gig range is enough to run an OS and today's software, with a little storage room as well. I think external drives for storing larger chunks of data are becoming increasingly common and storage discs have become so inexpensive that it is practical to store a lot of data on them, as well.

A basic computer including a flash drive of around 50 gigs would certainly be adequete as the foundation for a desktop set-up able to do quite a lot. In addition, external drives with substantial storage could continue to be part of the equation.

In short, for a long time I think flash and hard-drive tchnology might well co-exist and there is nothing wrong with that.
post #374 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

I think long before flash drives will replace hard drives for the larger capacities, they will replace them in the lower ranges that will still be substantial enough for a computer to run off of. Something in the 30-60 gig range is enough to run an OS and today's software, with a little storage room as well. I think external drives for storing larger chunks of data are becoming increasingly common and storage discs have become so inexpensive that it is practical to store a lot of data on them, as well.

A basic computer including a flash drive of around 50 gigs would certainly be adequete as the foundation for a desktop set-up able to do quite a lot. In addition, external drives with substantial storage could continue to be part of the equation.

In short, for a long time I think flash and hard-drive tchnology might well co-exist and there is nothing wrong with that.

But, people don't want smaller drives. They want bigger drives. And then, after that, they want bigger drives.

32 Gb drives will only be considered by people (except under unusual circumstances) when buying UMPC's, or other machines of that ilk, like, perhaps a 2 pound, or lighter, 11', or smaller screen model.
post #375 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

But, people don't want smaller drives. They want bigger drives. And then, after that, they want bigger drives.

32 Gb drives will only be considered by people (except under unusual circumstances) when buying UMPC's, or other machines of that ilk, like, perhaps a 2 pound, or lighter, 11', or smaller screen model.

Especially Mac users who typically work with video, audio or photos. You need big drives for that stuff.
post #376 of 573
Marvin had given a good picture of the Mini in an earlier thread. Unfortunately, the Mini is being discontinued.

In case the Mini wasn't replaced with something better, I planned to upgrade my G4 tower. However, I was convinced by you guys that even if I put a lot of $ into the G4, it would still not be as good as a Mini. Then I planned to look for a Mini at MacMall, etc.
I just received the July 2007 issue of MacWorld. Neither MacMall nor MacConnection had the Mini in their lineup. Ouch.

Has anyone been in an Apple Store lately? Are the stores still selling them?

If the Mini is not replaced and I can't find one at one of the MacOutlets, I think I'll slit my wrists. APPLE, MY BLOOD WILL BE ON YOUR HANDS. Will my choice be between an AIO that I don't want and a Mac Pro I can't afford?

Any words of encouragement? Anyone?
ADS
Reply
ADS
Reply
post #377 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by sequitur View Post

I just received the July 2007 issue of MacWorld. Neither MacMall or MacConnection had the Mini in their lineup. Ouch.

Huh? I see four models at MacConnection and two at MacMall, all in stock.
post #378 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by sequitur View Post

In case the Mini wasn't replaced with something better, I had planned to look for a Mini at MacMall, etc.
I just received the July 2007 issue of MacWorld. Neither MacMall or MacConnection had the Mini in their lineup. Ouch.
Has anyone been in an Apple Store lately? Are the stores still selling them?

The Knoxville TN allegedly had two left when we bought our second one last Thursday after the AI announcement. They couldn't answer when they were getting more.
Hard-Core.
Reply
Hard-Core.
Reply
post #379 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by sequitur View Post

Marvin had given a good picture of the Mini in an earlier thread. Unfortunately, the Mini is being discontinued.

In case the Mini wasn't replaced with something better, I planned to upgrade my G4 tower. However, I was convinced by you guys that even if I put a lot of $ into the G4, it would still not be as good as a Mini. Then I planned to look for a Mini at MacMall, etc.
I just received the July 2007 issue of MacWorld. Neither MacMall nor MacConnection had the Mini in their lineup. Ouch.

Has anyone been in an Apple Store lately? Are the stores still selling them?

If the Mini is not replaced and I can't find one at one of the MacOutlets, I think I'll slit my wrists. APPLE, MY BLOOD WILL BE ON YOUR HANDS. Will my choice be between an AIO that I don't want and a Mac Pro I can't afford?

Any words of encouragement? Anyone?

Maybe, the Mini is being discontinued. Until Apple announces that, it's just a rumor.
post #380 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by iDave View Post

Huh? I see four models at MacConnection and two at MacMall, all in stock.

Not in the July 2007 issue of MacWorld I got. They may have been in last month's issue but not this one.
ADS
Reply
ADS
Reply
post #381 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by sequitur View Post

Not in the July 2007 issue of MacWorld I got. They may have been in last month's issue but not this one.

Oh, you're referring to the printed ads. Have no fear, the websites show plenty of stock at this point. Better have your finger on the button Monday afternoon though, in case the announcement comes that the mini is no more. They'll sell out fast, I expect.
post #382 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

But, people don't want smaller drives. They want bigger drives. And then, after that, they want bigger drives.

32 Gb drives will only be considered by people (except under unusual circumstances) when buying UMPC's, or other machines of that ilk, like, perhaps a 2 pound, or lighter, 11', or smaller screen model.

The biggest drive available in the mini right now from Apple is 80 gigs. My mini has a 40gig hard drive. But I have nearly 500 gigs of storage because I added external hard drives.

Rather than think of the mini as a complete package, I would like to see an inexpensive device that serves as the starting point, leaving it up to owners to upgrade as they see fit.

As long as the base mini was capable enough for someone to use it for basic stuff like surfing the Internet, e-mailing, etc., if the potential were there to use the machine for more demanding tasks through some inexpensive upgrades, I don't see a problem. A 40gig hard drive would certainly do the trick in that context. Considering the low cost of adding external hard drives, I hardly think it's a big deal that the mini has modest storage in its base form. A flash drive, in the not-too-distant future, will get the job done.
post #383 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

The biggest drive available in the mini right now from Apple is 80 gigs. My mini has a 40gig hard drive. But I have nearly 500 gigs of storage because I added external hard drives.

Rather than think of the mini as a complete package, I would like to see an inexpensive device that serves as the starting point, leaving it up to owners to upgrade as they see fit.

As long as the base mini was capable enough for someone to use it for basic stuff like surfing the Internet, e-mailing, etc., if the potential were there to use the machine for more demanding tasks through some inexpensive upgrades, I don't see a problem. A 40gig hard drive would certainly do the trick in that context. Considering the low cost of adding external hard drives, I hardly think it's a big deal that the mini has modest storage in its base form. A flash drive, in the not-too-distant future, will get the job done.

You've missed all of the discussions we've had about the fact that people rarely add to their system as bought from the factory.

If you look at all of the people who buy a Mini, (or iMac), you will find that few have purchased external drives.

That's why so many here, and elsewhere, have complained that Apple doesn't offer the bigger drives for it.

Most people who buy a Mini, or iMac, don't want their desk, or audio/video systems messed up with external appliances.

With the Mini, Apple is selling a relatively low priced model. No one is going to pay another $100 for a drive one third the size of what they could get otherwise.

Don't get blinded by the idea of flash drives. While they will serve a purpose for portables, esp. the smallest ones, they serve much less of a purpose right now for a desktop.
post #384 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by iDave View Post

Forgive my ignorance. What's a NAS?

This:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network-attached_storage
post #385 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Except for speed and noise. A 32GB flash drive in a mini might nearly double the price of a mini at $350 but it would make it a better HTPC. A BTO option with the flash HDD wouldn't be a bad option. The last thing I want in a small enclosure HTPC is one or more 500GB or 750GB drives screaming away.

Most modern hard drives aren't that bad, and the Seagate & Samsung hard drives are very quiet. I've got a four drive Firmtek enclosure next to my HTPC and it's fine. So far, no one complains about it, and no one can even hear it when I mention it.
post #386 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

You've missed all of the discussions we've had about the fact that people rarely add to their system as bought from the factory.

If you look at all of the people who buy a Mini, (or iMac), you will find that few have purchased external drives.

That's why so many here, and elsewhere, have complained that Apple doesn't offer the bigger drives for it.

Most people who buy a Mini, or iMac, don't want their desk, or audio/video systems messed up with external appliances.

With the Mini, Apple is selling a relatively low priced model. No one is going to pay another $100 for a drive one third the size of what they could get otherwise.

Don't get blinded by the idea of flash drives. While they will serve a purpose for portables, esp. the smallest ones, they serve much less of a purpose right now for a desktop.

That makes zero sense. Even if Apple offered bigger drives, the cost would be higher than simply buying an external drive, as I have done. My USB2 320 gig drive cost all of $180. I've installed my entire music collection on it. If, for example, I want to add an additional 250 gigs to an iMac, here in Canada the cost through Apple is $240.

If cost is not relevent, frankly what are you doing buying a mini in the first place?

Personally I think it's not rational to expect Apple, at this time, to offer the degree of miniaturization only possible through the use of laptop components while at the same time providing the storage capacity, etc. of a typical desktop system. The mini is not a typical desktop machine and that means if you want typical desktop performance you need to make adjustments accordingly.

Seems to me that what you want is something like 500 gigs of storage, a superdrive and a computer the size of a postage stamp, for well under $1,000. Good luck with that in 2007.

And being as I can't afford spending the more than $2,000 Cdn. it takes to buy a tower, have far too much invested in Mac software to consider switching, love the Apple software in any case, and need to have plenty of storage, buying a mini and augmenting it with an external hard drive is clearly a no-brainer. Even with the peripherals I've added, my set-up still checks in at under $1,000 (not including my monitor which is nine years old but still looking good).

The way I see it, I could either buy the mini, not add to it, complaining that Apple didn't give me enough storage, meaning I couldn't do what I wanted to or I could buy the mini, add the needed storage, and do all the things I want to with the system right now.

If down the road, advances made it possible for me to have a mini form factor with full-size tower capabilities, excellent. But in the meantime I'm making the best of what's available. As an Apple shareholder, frankly I think that it's a good thing that Apple isn't operated as a non-profit organization.

Also, the mini with a hard drive in the 40-60 gig range, is certainly more than adequete for the needs of the casual computer user who basically just wants to do e-mail, surf the net and run a few other programs. If you want to do more sophisticated work and refuse to add peripherals, don't even put the mini on your shopping list. It's not what the basic machine is intended for. On the other hand, for someone like me who is on a budget and is willing to put a few externals on my desktop, the mini is a great to have around as a lower-cost Mac option.
post #387 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

You've missed all of the discussions we've had about the fact that people rarely add to their system as bought from the factory.

If you look at all of the people who buy a Mini, (or iMac), you will find that few have purchased external drives.

That's why so many here, and elsewhere, have complained that Apple doesn't offer the bigger drives for it.

Most people who buy a Mini, or iMac, don't want their desk, or audio/video systems messed up with external appliances.

With the Mini, Apple is selling a relatively low priced model. No one is going to pay another $100 for a drive one third the size of what they could get otherwise.

Don't get blinded by the idea of flash drives. While they will serve a purpose for portables, esp. the smallest ones, they serve much less of a purpose right now for a desktop.

That makes zero sense. Even if Apple offered bigger drives, the cost would be higher than simply buying an external drive, as I have done. My USB2 320 gig drive cost all of $180. I've installed my entire music collection on it. If, for example, I want to add an additional 250 gigs to an iMac, here in Canada the cost through Apple is $240.

If cost is not relevent, frankly what are you doing buying a mini in the first place?

Personally I think it's not rational to expect Apple, at this time, to offer the degree of miniaturization only possible through the use of laptop components while at the same time providing the storage capacity, etc. of a typical desktop system. The mini is not a typical desktop machine and that means if you want typical desktop performance you need to make adjustments accordingly.

Seems to me that what you want is something like 500 gigs of storage, a superdrive and a computer the size of a postage stamp, for well under $1,000. Good luck with that in 2007.

And being as I can't afford spending the more than $2,000 Cdn. it takes to buy a tower, have far too much invested in Mac software to consider switching, love the Apple software in any case, and need to have plenty of storage, buying a mini and augmenting it with an external hard drive is clearly a no-brainer. Even with the peripherals I've added, my set-up still checks in at under $1,000 (not including my monitor which is nine years old but still looking good).

The way I see it, I could either buy the mini, not add to it, complaining that Apple didn't give me enough storage, meaning I couldn't do what I wanted to or I could buy the mini, add the needed storage, and do all the things I want to with the system right now.

If down the road, advances made it possible for me to have a mini form factor with full-size tower capabilities, excellent. But in the meantime I'm making the best of what's available. As an Apple shareholder, frankly I think that it's a good thing that Apple isn't operated as a non-profit organization.

Also, the mini with a hard drive in the 60-80 gig range, is certainly more than adequete for the needs of the casual computer user who basically just wants to do e-mail, surf the net and run a few other programs. If you want to do more sophisticated work and refuse to add peripherals, don't even put the mini on your shopping list. It's not what the basic machine is intended for. On the other hand, for someone like me who is on a budget and is willing to put a few externals on my desktop, the mini is great to have around as a lower-cost Mac option.
post #388 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

So don't. Park a NAS somewhere and get to it wireless.

Right. People who buy Mini's are going to buy an NAS and hook that up instead.

Quote:
Except for speed and noise. A 32GB flash drive in a mini might nearly double the price of a mini at $350 but it would make it a better HTPC. A BTO option with the flash HDD wouldn't be a bad option. The last thing I want in a small enclosure HTPC is one or more 500GB or 750GB drives screaming away.

I don't know. Mini's are bought because they are small, but mostly because they are fairly cheap. Most of the writing here about Mini Hd's are about the fact that Apple should have made the model a bit larger to accommodate the much bigger capacity, and cheaper, 3.5" drives. I don't think that going SS is a solution at this time.

Quote:
If I can park 2-3TB in a 4 bay NAS somewhere I don't care about noise that's more useful since its available to every PC in the house.

Vinea

I have no problem with that, but it isn't a solution for the Mini user.
post #389 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

That makes zero sense. Even if Apple offered bigger drives, the cost would be higher than simply buying an external drive, as I have done. My USB2 320 gig drive cost all of $180. I've installed my entire music collection on it. If, for example, I want to add an additional 250 gigs to an iMac, here in Canada the cost through Apple is $240.

If cost is not relevent, frankly what are you doing buying a mini in the first place?

Personally I think it's not rational to expect Apple, at this time, to offer the degree of miniaturization only possible through the use of laptop components while at the same time providing the storage capacity, etc. of a typical desktop system. The mini is not a typical desktop machine and that means if you want typical desktop performance you need to make adjustments accordingly.

Seems to me that what you want is something like 500 gigs of storage, a superdrive and a computer the size of a postage stamp, for well under $1,000. Good luck with that in 2007.

And being as I can't afford spending the more than $2,000 Cdn. it takes to buy a tower, have far too much invested in Mac software to consider switching, love the Apple software in any case, and need to have plenty of storage, buying a mini and augmenting it with an external hard drive is clearly a no-brainer. Even with the peripherals I've added, my set-up still checks in at under $1,000 (not including my monitor which is nine years old but still looking good).

The way I see it, I could either buy the mini, not add to it, complaining that Apple didn't give me enough storage, meaning I couldn't do what I wanted to or I could buy the mini, add the needed storage, and do all the things I want to with the system right now.

If down the road, advances made it possible for me to have a mini form factor with full-size tower capabilities, excellent. But in the meantime I'm making the best of what's available. As an Apple shareholder, frankly I think that it's a good thing that Apple isn't operated as a non-profit organization.

Also, the mini with a hard drive in the 40-60 gig range, is certainly more than adequete for the needs of the casual computer user who basically just wants to do e-mail, surf the net and run a few other programs. If you want to do more sophisticated work and refuse to add peripherals, don't even put the mini on your shopping list. It's not what the basic machine is intended for. On the other hand, for someone like me who is on a budget and is willing to put a few externals on my desktop, the mini is a great to have around as a lower-cost Mac option.

See? You did miss the discussions. Read my reply to Vinea, which, for some reason, in my browser window, has appeared above his earlier post.
post #390 of 573
Forgive my ignorance. What's a NAS?
post #391 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Most people who buy a Mini, or iMac, don't want their desk, or audio/video systems messed up with external appliances.

So don't. Park a NAS somewhere and get to it wireless.

Quote:
With the Mini, Apple is selling a relatively low priced model. No one is going to pay another $100 for a drive one third the size of what they could get otherwise.

Don't get blinded by the idea of flash drives. While they will serve a purpose for portables, esp. the smallest ones, they serve much less of a purpose right now for a desktop.

Except for speed and noise. A 32GB flash drive in a mini might nearly double the price of a mini at $350 but it would make it a better HTPC. A BTO option with the flash HDD wouldn't be a bad option. The last thing I want in a small enclosure HTPC is one or more 500GB or 750GB drives screaming away.

If I can park 2-3TB in a 4 bay NAS somewhere I don't care about noise that's more useful since its available to every PC in the house.

Vinea
post #392 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

I think you're all nuts.

iMac owners buy external drives. I've two. We don't all live in 70's glossy white loft apartments where even our shoes have to match our computers. Saying that, I quite like the design of Lacie's D2 drives so that's what I've got. I can't actually see it though, it's behind the iMac and the piles of scribbles and bits of paper and manuals on my desk - yes I'm a programmer with an iMac and quite happy with that. Mac Pro? What for?


With the Mini, have you actually seen how cool the Mini looks stacked on top of one of the many drives and hubs built especially for it such as those from Lacie and Iomega? It looks great. Almost like the mid-tower the whingers whinge about except it's 15cm square not some honking great big slab-o-beige.



Really, I think you lot should stop pigeonholing the little mac that could as it's more than capable for most of the things in this thread that it allegedly can't do. For me it does one thing the other macs can't do and that's act as a quiet, cheap, compact server - and I don't mean just a file server.

I'm with you lad... the 3rd party stuff for the Mini solves almost all of its "problems." Indeed there are many things that actually make it useful for all of us with peripherals from previous generation macs or pcs or people, like me, who always buy the biggest monitor I can afford-- now 23" Cinema Display in preference to a super-fast internal drive on a machine used mainly for word-processing (albeit in English & Japanese(.
"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
Reply
"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
Reply
post #393 of 573
I think you're all nuts.

iMac owners buy external drives. I've two. We don't all live in 70's glossy white loft apartments where even our shoes have to match our computers. Saying that, I quite like the design of Lacie's D2 drives so that's what I've got. I can't actually see it though, it's behind the iMac and the piles of scribbles and bits of paper and manuals on my desk - yes I'm a programmer with an iMac and quite happy with that. Mac Pro? What for?


With the Mini, have you actually seen how cool the Mini looks stacked on top of one of the many drives and hubs built especially for it such as those from Lacie and Iomega? It looks great. Almost like the mid-tower the whingers whinge about except it's 15cm square not some honking great big slab-o-beige.



Really, I think you lot should stop pigeonholing the little mac that could as it's more than capable for most of the things in this thread that it allegedly can't do. For me it does one thing the other macs can't do and that's act as a quiet, cheap, compact server - and I don't mean just a file server.
post #394 of 573
My external miniStack via firewire transfers data faster than the internal drive.
My external DVD burner is faster than the SuperDrive would have been (CDRW installed in mini).
My next monitor may be LED--an option NOT available at the time of purchase.

For the price, the macmini does so many different tasks well enough.
I never imagined I would enjoy TWO computers on the same desktop!

Despite the talk here about how people do not modify their machines post purchase, all in one boxes will always have some components lagging behind. Seems like the computer world advances in some areas faster than others. Thus peripheral units are wise and economical extensions of the main mini brain.

Carmissimo may be slightly ahead of his time on the price of flash memory vs hard drives.
But the idea of a small quiet computer will live on.
post #395 of 573
Hey on the plus side of no new h/w announcements...no new h/w cancellations either. The mini lives on so far. If we could only get an update to Santa Rosa...
post #396 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Hey on the plus side of no new h/w announcements...no new h/w cancellations either. The mini lives on so far. If we could only get an update to Santa Rosa...

I'm hoping that when Penyrn comes out, and it's all over the place in the trade shows now (unlike Barcelona, ha!), that we will see an overall move to it by Apple, including the Mini. It would be perfect.

Less power in, more power out.
post #397 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

See? You did miss the discussions. Read my reply to Vinea, which, for some reason, in my browser window, has appeared above his earlier post.

I think the mini has potential if Apple approaches it on a less-is-more basis. Considering Apple has traditionally taken a less-is-more approach, it wouldn't surprise me if in fact that will happen.

I do understand your logic in suggesting the form factor sacrifice would be worthwhile if it meant going with less expensive hard drive technology but you're taking the short-term view of this thing. The cost of components is dropping all the time. Before long, the larger hard drive form factor will not have the cost advantage it currently does.

And I really don't think desk clutter is that big a deal. I'll be quite honest about this. There is only one reason I bought a mini. I'm not exactly raking in the bucks. While the mini form factor is awesomely cool and there are applications where a very compact form factor is a big advantage, the mini is an inexpensive Mac and that's plenty enough reason for me to have bought one.

Considering that the mini I am running is roughly equivalent in performance to my previous Mac a dual 500 G4 tower that was state of the art when I bought it yet even with all the external items cost less than $1,000, I figure the thing is a big-time bargain. My G4 tower cost me more than $7,000 Cdn. by the time I had bought the machine, updated my graphics card, added an external DVD burner and added RAM.

If a mini capable of being a serviceable computer out of the box for the casual, low-demand user, is also able to be adapted to more demanding uses, to me that's a marvellous product. The 40 gigs of hard drive in my mini (first-generation) allows the machine to perform as required, with some externals added to the mix.

And I think that you are wrong about external hard drives being rarely purchased. They are so inexpensive and easy to hook up, that it's a no-brainer to go there. Rather than the mini itself housing the hard-drive technology for people who need a great deal more storage, I think it makes sense for the mini to be a hub, if you will, essentially controlling whatever items a user needs to add. The beauty of this is that you can customize your system according to your needs. If all I want to do is surf the net, I don't have to pay for tons of hard-drive capacity, etc. If, on the other hand, that extra capacity is needed, it's very easy and inexpensive to add.

I think, really, where the mini does need an upgrade is in terms of its graphics performance. Especially, it needs to be able to handle video better and be high-def friendly. I'm not worried about CPU speed because Intel is steadily upgrading the capabilities of its products. Within the next couple of years I would think Apple couldn't put a slow processor in the mini if they wanted to. I'm also hopeful that soon enough the minimum standard for integrated graphics will result in good performance for all.

And I could easily imagine, within a couple of years, a version of the mini half the size of the current model, that has no hard drive or optical drive. Right now, I'm running my OS off of a 7,200 RPM firewire drive and it works just fine. What I could imagine is Apple selling two versions of the mini, one stripped of even the hard drive and optical drive and another with flash memory and an optical drive. The stripped-down version, checking in at around $450 US would make a marvellous little product. Even after adding an external optical drive/burner and memory, you would have a decent little computer for not much more money than the current mini. In fact, in terms of cost in relation to performance, such a package would represent greater value than what Apple could offer in a integrated package such as the current mini. Besides, many of us already have the pieces to take advantage of such a device. From my perspective, by taking my existing hard drives and DVD burner, I could opt for the new stripped down mini as a great way to switch to the upcoming OS X update.

If there are far fewer consumers out there than I think there are who are positioned as I am, well then, that's another matter. But I suspect there must already by a lot of external hard drives and burners sitting in people's homes because I find it hard to believe that manufacturers are building those products just to satisfy my needs. And at well under $200 each, buying a burner or hard drive is hardly an expensive proposition.
post #398 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

I think the mini has potential if Apple approaches it on a less-is-more basis. Considering Apple has traditionally taken a less-is-more approach, it wouldn't surprise me if in fact that will happen.

I do understand your logic in suggesting the form factor sacrifice would be worthwhile if it meant going with less expensive hard drive technology but you're taking the short-term view of this thing. The cost of components is dropping all the time. Before long, the larger hard drive form factor will not have the cost advantage it currently does.

I'm talking about the next couple of years. People who don't follow the progress in Hd technology are in for a surprise!

The price of Hd's is dropping almost as fast as that of flash. They are all ready up to 250 GB per platter. That's going up to a terabyte per platter in a few years.

While Vinea, and others have made a good case for flash sizes to rise quickly in small devices such as phones and music players, so that we may see the amounts double in 6 to 9 months, it's different for a desktop unit.

Quote:
And I really don't think desk clutter is that big a deal. I'll be quite honest about this. There is only one reason I bought a mini. I'm not exactly raking in the bucks. While the mini form factor is awesomely cool and there are applications where a very compact form factor is a big advantage, the mini is an inexpensive Mac and that's plenty enough reason for me to have bought one.

Well, price is one area that I said that a flash drive wouldn't be competitive. Are you willing to add $200 to the price for a drive that's one third the size?

And, while you might not mind the clutter, many Mini users have bought it for that very reason.

Quote:
Considering that the mini I am running is roughly equivalent in performance to my previous Mac a dual 500 G4 tower that was state of the art when I bought it yet even with all the external items cost less than $1,000, I figure the thing is a big-time bargain. My G4 tower cost me more than $7,000 Cdn. by the time I had bought the machine, updated my graphics card, added an external DVD burner and added RAM.

I would never compare a totally outdated computer with even a fairly new one. The only fair comparison is to something recent. If your Mini is about the same as a dual 500 MHz G4, that's not saying much. You're comparing it to a machine about 6 years old.

I may as well compare something to my 950, bought in early 1992, which cost me $6,000, plus another $189 for the keyboard. I had to add my own CD-ROM for another $700. That's USA dollars. Fiqure out what that's worth in Canadian today. Then add the $3,000 monitor, $2,400 for 64 MB RAM, etc.

But, what does that all mean today? Nothing.

Quote:
If a mini capable of being a serviceable computer out of the box for the casual, low-demand user, is also able to be adapted to more demanding uses, to me that's a marvellous product. The 40 gigs of hard drive in my mini (first-generation) allows the machine to perform as required, with some externals added to the mix.

And I think that you are wrong about external hard drives being rarely purchased. They are so inexpensive and easy to hook up, that it's a no-brainer to go there. Rather than the mini itself housing the hard-drive technology for people who need a great deal more storage, I think it makes sense for the mini to be a hub, if you will, essentially controlling whatever items a user needs to add. The beauty of this is that you can customize your system according to your needs. If all I want to do is surf the net, I don't have to pay for tons of hard-drive capacity, etc. If, on the other hand, that extra capacity is needed, it's very easy and inexpensive to add.

I have nothing against the Mini. For what it is, it's fine. But, Hd's are rarely purchased for it. That doesn't mean that companies don't have some good products available. But, Apple has now sold over a million of them, perhaps more than a million and a half. I'd bet that no more than about 10 to 15% of those people have bought external Hd's.

Quote:
I think, really, where the mini does need an upgrade is in terms of its graphics performance. Especially, it needs to be able to handle video better and be high-def friendly. I'm not worried about CPU speed because Intel is steadily upgrading the capabilities of its products. Within the next couple of years I would think Apple couldn't put a slow processor in the mini if they wanted to. I'm also hopeful that soon enough the minimum standard for integrated graphics will result in good performance for all.

Everyone would like to see an upgrade in its graphics. If Apple does keep the Mini around, we will see Intel's more capable integrated solutions available.

There is a software upgrade from Intel that just became available to unlock the 3D capability that was not being used, in the current chipsets. I'm not sure if it will work in a Mac though.

Apple could put slower chips in the Mini. Intel has them available.

Quote:
And I could easily imagine, within a couple of years, a version of the mini half the size of the current model, that has no hard drive or optical drive. Right now, I'm running my OS off of a 7,200 RPM firewire drive and it works just fine. What I could imagine is Apple selling two versions of the mini, one stripped of even the hard drive and optical drive and another with flash memory and an optical drive. The stripped-down version, checking in at around $450 US would make a marvellous little product. Even after adding an external optical drive/burner and memory, you would have a decent little computer for not much more money than the current mini. In fact, in terms of cost in relation to performance, such a package would represent greater value than what Apple could offer in a integrated package such as the current mini. Besides, many of us already have the pieces to take advantage of such a device. From my perspective, by taking my existing hard drives and DVD burner, I could opt for the new stripped down mini as a great way to switch to the upcoming OS X update.

Maybe, in two years. But don't expect a lower price.

Quote:
If there are far fewer consumers out there than I think there are who are positioned as I am, well then, that's another matter. But I suspect there must already by a lot of external hard drives and burners sitting in people's homes because I find it hard to believe that manufacturers are building those products just to satisfy my needs. And at well under $200 each, buying a burner or hard drive is hardly an expensive proposition.

It's not an expensive proposition, as you say. External drives are available for $100, and External optical drives for that as well.

But, it's like getting people to back up. It's not that much trouble, but they won't do it.
post #399 of 573
I still think you're all nuts.

You're arguing over a computer that costs less than the cheapest laptop, about it including massive drives, superfast cpus and graphics.

It has a niche - people who don't care about the above.

Those of you complaining about it are in the ├╝ber-niche...

"People who want blood from a stone"


Meanwhile I'll continue using them for what they're really good at - tiny, small OSX application servers for small business use. Carry on trying to get blood out of your stones.
post #400 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I have nothing against the Mini. For what it is, it's fine. But, Hd's are rarely purchased for it. That doesn't mean that companies don't have some good products available. But, Apple has now sold over a million of them, perhaps more than a million and a half. I'd bet that no more than about 10 to 15% of those people have bought external Hd's.

No offense, but you must be pulling these numbers out of your wazoo. I've never heard any definitive numbers on how many minis have been sold, much less numbers of external hard drives to use with them. How could you possibly know and state it with such certainty?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Current Mac Hardware
AppleInsider › Forums › Mac Hardware › Current Mac Hardware › Closing the book on Apple's Mac mini