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Closing the book on Apple's Mac mini - Page 11

post #401 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

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.

I don't think it's that hard for an inexpensive desktop to be more powerful and with better storage than a notebook that's only a little more expensive than the desktop. Notebooks have a lot of requirements that generally don't apply to desktops. The only thing I consider to be unrealistic is the graphics expectation, though that can be improved just by using the new chipset.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iDave View Post

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 possible know and state it with such certainty?

There does seem to be too many models of mini-based external hard drives to wave it off as an item that's rarely purchased.
post #402 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by iDave View Post

Forgive my ignorance. What's a NAS?

I don't know if anyone else answered your question, but, if not:

Network Attached Storage

"Network-attached storage (NAS) is the name given to dedicated data storage technology which can be connected directly to a computer network to provide centralized data access and storage to heterogeneous network clients."
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post #403 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by iDave View Post

Forgive my ignorance. What's a NAS?

There is also another type called SAN:

"Storage Area Network (SAN) is a high-speed subnetwork of shared storage devices. A storage device is a machine that contains nothing but a disk or disks for storing data."
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post #404 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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



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.

It seems to me that it hardly matters that the mini is comparable to state-of-the-art from six years ago. It still has the capabilities that it has. The fact that there are much faster machines out there hardly renders the mini inoperable. It still does what it does and I find it can do quite a lot. Anything else is meaningless to me. I don't buy computers just to say I have a computer that can do A, B or C. I buy a computer to accomplish a given set of tasks. If the machine gets the job done, I'm happy. The G4 tower could handle a lot of what I wanted done and so too, by virtue of delivering similar performance, can the mini. And we're talking a 1.25 ghz G4 mini, not the current version operating on only 512 megs of RAM. I have no doubt that 1gig of RAM, soon enough, will become the minimum for the mini line. I can easily imagine that by year's end for well under $800 Cdn. I will be able to buy a mini with decent processor performance, the new version of OS X, 1 gig of RAM, and perhaps even the latest Intel integrated graphics. There's a real chance that hardware decoding for HD content might also be part of the mix.

Why would I care that a Mac tower would blow such a machine out of the water? Am I buying the latest and greatest or am I spending less than $1,000 for a significant boost in computer performance, including what amounts to a new OS.

My comparing the mini to the tower was intended to note that I feel like I got more of my money's worth out of my $629 mini than I did my old tower that cost me 10 times as much.

Basically, slower machines of today like the mini, in absolute terms are pretty darn fast, which is why a computer like the mini makes a lot more sense today than it would have six years ago when you really had to have the power of the G4 tower to get anything more strenous than word-processing done in a reasonable fashion.

And in regards to people not buying external components because it's too much bother, I would think someone with a desire to do something, will go out and acquire the technology to do it. If that technology that is inexpensive and easy to install (plugging it in, basically) isn't purchased, it tells me we're talking about someone who really didn't care if they did whatever the extra storage required.

If there are a lot of people out there who don't care enough to go out and purchase a hard drve, who cares about them? They obviously don't need anything more than a basic computer that allows for Internet access and a few other tasks of similarly minor difficulty. There's nothing wrong with using a mini that way but it's a waste of a very capable machine.
post #405 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

It seems to me that it hardly matters that the mini is comparable to state-of-the-art from six years ago. It still has the capabilities that it has. The fact that there are much faster machines out there hardly renders the mini inoperable. It still does what it does and I find it can do quite a lot. Anything else is meaningless to me. I don't buy computers just to say I have a computer that can do A, B or C. I buy a computer to accomplish a given set of tasks. If the machine gets the job done, I'm happy. The G4 tower could handle a lot of what I wanted done and so too, by virtue of delivering similar performance, can the mini. And we're talking a 1.25 ghz G4 mini, not the current version operating on only 512 megs of RAM. I have no doubt that 1gig of RAM, soon enough, will become the minimum for the mini line. I can easily imagine that by year's end for well under $800 Cdn. I will be able to buy a mini with decent processor performance, the new version of OS X, 1 gig of RAM, and perhaps even the latest Intel integrated graphics. There's a real chance that hardware decoding for HD content might also be part of the mix.

I do understand where you're coming from. The machine I use for most of my browsing is the one I'm typing on now. It's an upgraded Audio Mac that came with a single 733 MHz G4, which I upgraded to a dual 1.8 GHz board. I upgraded everything else as well, and for its purpose, it's a fine machine.

The point I was making was that most people don't compare what they are getting now, with what they have from 6 years ago. They compare it to what's around now. New software almost always requires faster machines.

Quote:
Why would I care that a Mac tower would blow such a machine out of the water? Am I buying the latest and greatest or am I spending less than $1,000 for a significant boost in computer performance, including what amounts to a new OS.

My comparing the mini to the tower was intended to note that I feel like I got more of my money's worth out of my $629 mini than I did my old tower that cost me 10 times as much.

I'm not saying that you should compare it to a tower. But, you could compare it to an iMac. Depending on what size monitor you want, or have, that would be a sensible choice. But, I'm not telling you to make it either.

Quote:
Basically, slower machines of today like the mini, in absolute terms are pretty darn fast, which is why a computer like the mini makes a lot more sense today than it would have six years ago when you really had to have the power of the G4 tower to get anything more strenous than word-processing done in a reasonable fashion.

You're right. No argument. But, even this machine would be hard paced to run certain software. It depends on why you bought it.

I've recommended Mini's to people who would do well with one.

Quote:
And in regards to people not buying external components because it's too much bother, I would think someone with a desire to do something, will go out and acquire the technology to do it. If that technology that is inexpensive and easy to install (plugging it in, basically) isn't purchased, it tells me we're talking about someone who really didn't care if they did whatever the extra storage required.

If there are a lot of people out there who don't care enough to go out and purchase a hard drve, who cares about them? They obviously don't need anything more than a basic computer that allows for Internet access and a few other tasks of similarly minor difficulty. There's nothing wrong with using a mini that way but it's a waste of a very capable machine.

Most people buying a Mini, or even an iMac, for that matter, do not go out a purchase another Hd. Most people never back-up either. And, I'm talking about most people, not everyone.

But, this whole discussion originally revolved around one point. Whether it would pay to get a Mini with a small flash drive for more money, and then buy a large external drive, or to buy a Mini with just a large internal drive.

We seem to have gotten off track.
post #406 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I do understand where you're coming from. The machine I use for most of my browsing is the one I'm typing on now. It's an upgraded Audio Mac that came with a single 733 MHz G4, which I upgraded to a dual 1.8 GHz board. I upgraded everything else as well, and for its purpose, it's a fine machine.

The point I was making was that most people don't compare what they are getting now, with what they have from 6 years ago. They compare it to what's around now. New software almost always requires faster machines.



I'm not saying that you should compare it to a tower. But, you could compare it to an iMac. Depending on what size monitor you want, or have, that would be a sensible choice. But, I'm not telling you to make it either.



You're right. No argument. But, even this machine would be hard paced to run certain software. It depends on why you bought it.

I've recommended Mini's to people who would do well with one.



Most people buying a Mini, or even an iMac, for that matter, do not go out a purchase another Hd. Most people never back-up either. And, I'm talking about most people, not everyone.

But, this whole discussion originally revolved around one point. Whether it would pay to get a Mini with a small flash drive for more money, and then buy a large external drive, or to buy a Mini with just a large internal drive.

We seem to have gotten off track.


I do agree with you that the decision to go with a cooler form factor at the expense of storage capacity was the wrong one. A somewhat larger mini with a standard hard drive that would be both 7,200 RPM and able to hold more data would have resulted in a higher value package.

But that ship has sailed. There's no way now that Apple would bring out a mini that was less mini. That's just not the Steve Jobs way and fault him though you may, the man does have a great flair for developing cool, ground-breaking products. The computer industry owes him big-time on that front.

Looking ahead, I see flash memory in the 40 to 60 gig range in an even smaller base mini with a basic optical drive. Supplementing that product would be a stripped down mini that has no internal storage or optical drive. Not only would the ultra mini be amazingly compact, it would give comsumers freedom to add whatever optical drive and storage they wanted. The advantage, besides having such an improbably tiny computer, is that one could upgrade optical and storage technology without doing a thing to the basic computer at the heart of the system. Provided the ultra mini was powerful enough, I could see it being a machine that would be useful for a very long time.

Even if it were true that a lot of mini owners haven't made a point of adding external drives (don't know if that's the case), I could certainly see a market for a flexible product like the ultra mini. I for one would be able to buy such a machine and be up and running without spending a dime on any additional products because I already own them. And even if I didn't, for roughly $300 Cdn. I could certainly purchase external hard drives and optical drives to be up and running. If the ultra mini itself checked in at let's say $499 Cdn. I would have the following for a total cost of $800 Cdn. A 320 gig 7,200 RPM drive, a DVD Burner, aka a superdrive, and the specs from the base mini.

Compare that to the mini as it sits. The base model with a 60-gig, 5,400 RPM drive and an optical drive that burns CDs but not DVDs, costs $679 Cdn. while the step-up model with a faster processor, an 80-gig, 5,400-rpm drive and a superdrive costs $899 Cdn.

Now imagine if there was a base ultra mini at $499 Cdn. and one with a faster processor retailing for $649 Cdn. If you went for the faster processor, it would cost $949 for that plus a superdrive plus a 7,200 RPM 320-gig hard drive. Right now, $899 gets you 80 gigs at 5,400 rpm. Which would you prefer? Imagine my delight at being able to have the superdrive, nearly 500 gigs, and only pay $649 to step up to the new mini with the faster processor (assuming of course that Apple will soon make 1 gig of RAM the base spec).

It seems to me that Apple could take the mini's form factor to another level and you would still get what you want in that having the extra capacity and speed of a full-size drive would be just a matter of adding such a device in external firewire form. Opting for the slower processor (remember this is in Canadian funds) would mean 320 gigs and a superdrive for a total cost of about $799 vs. the $679 it costs for the base mini. The $799 package would be a far better deal, I think, in that $120 for all that extra storage and a superdrive would be well worthwhile. More importantly, for those who wouldn't want to go that route, something similar to the $679 package currently offered could still remain in the mix.
post #407 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

I do agree with you that the decision to go with a cooler form factor at the expense of storage capacity was the wrong one. A somewhat larger mini with a standard hard drive that would be both 7,200 RPM and able to hold more data would have resulted in a higher value package.

But that ship has sailed. There's no way now that Apple would bring out a mini that was less mini. That's just not the Steve Jobs way and fault him though you may, the man does have a great flair for developing cool, ground-breaking products. The computer industry owes him big-time on that front.

Looking ahead, I see flash memory in the 40 to 60 gig range in an even smaller base mini with a basic optical drive. Supplementing that product would be a stripped down mini that has no internal storage or optical drive. Not only would the ultra mini be amazingly compact, it would give comsumers freedom to add whatever optical drive and storage they wanted. The advantage, besides having such an improbably tiny computer, is that one could upgrade optical and storage technology without doing a thing to the basic computer at the heart of the system. Provided the ultra mini was powerful enough, I could see it being a machine that would be useful for a very long time.

Even if it were true that a lot of mini owners haven't made a point of adding external drives (don't know if that's the case), I could certainly see a market for a flexible product like the ultra mini. I for one would be able to buy such a machine and be up and running without spending a dime on any additional products because I already own them. And even if I didn't, for roughly $300 Cdn. I could certainly purchase external hard drives and optical drives to be up and running. If the ultra mini itself checked in at let's say $499 Cdn. I would have the following for a total cost of $800 Cdn. A 320 gig 7,200 RPM drive, a DVD Burner, aka a superdrive, and the specs from the base mini.

Compare that to the mini as it sits. The base model with a 60-gig, 5,400 RPM drive and an optical drive that burns CDs but not DVDs, costs $679 Cdn. while the step-up model with a faster processor, an 80-gig, 5,400-rpm drive and a superdrive costs $899 Cdn.

Now imagine if there was a base ultra mini at $499 Cdn. and one with a faster processor retailing for $649 Cdn. If you went for the faster processor, it would cost $949 for that plus a superdrive plus a 7,200 RPM 320-gig hard drive. Right now, $899 gets you 80 gigs at 5,400 rpm. Which would you prefer? Imagine my delight at being able to have the superdrive, nearly 500 gigs, and only pay $649 to step up to the new mini with the faster processor (assuming of course that Apple will soon make 1 gig of RAM the base spec).

It seems to me that Apple could take the mini's form factor to another level and you would still get what you want in that having the extra capacity and speed of a full-size drive would be just a matter of adding such a device in external firewire form. Opting for the slower processor (remember this is in Canadian funds) would mean 320 gigs and a superdrive for a total cost of about $799 vs. the $679 it costs for the base mini. The $799 package would be a far better deal, I think, in that $120 for all that extra storage and a superdrive would be well worthwhile. More importantly, for those who wouldn't want to go that route, something similar to the $679 package currently offered could still remain in the mix.

I'll give you the nod for thinking it out so thoroughly.

A lot of it does make sense.

But, I'll tell you one thing, Apple will never sell a machine without storage containing a bootable OS—their own. That's just not the Apple "experience" they want to push.
post #408 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I'll give you the nod for thinking it out so thoroughly.

A lot of it does make sense.

But, I'll tell you one thing, Apple will never sell a machine without storage containing a bootable OS—their own. That's just not the Apple "experience" they want to push.

Clearly such a machine would, even if there were no internal hard drive, come with the software to install OS X and being as it is such a marvellous OS, the odds of somebody buying the hypothetical ultra mini and not bothering to install OS X are slim and none. That's especially true considering OS X will come with boot camp, allowing the machine to also run Microsoft's OS. It would be quite easy for Apple to design this product so that the only way to operate the computer would be if OS X was installed, even if it was by the consumer. And besides, nobody would buy a Mac who intended to not run Apple's OS. What would be the point?

I do think such an ultra mini would not be the best choice for someone who had little or no experience with computers. Installing the OS yourself isn't that hard but it isn't for everybody. Still, I could see that product having a lot of appeal for many potential customers.
post #409 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

Clearly such a machine would, even if there were no internal hard drive, come with the software to install OS X and being as it is such a marvellous OS, the odds of somebody buying the hypothetical ultra mini and not bothering to install OS X are slim and none. That's especially true considering OS X will come with boot camp, allowing the machine to also run Microsoft's OS. It would be quite easy for Apple to design this product so that the only way to operate the computer would be if OS X was installed, even if it was by the consumer. And besides, nobody would buy a Mac who intended to not run Apple's OS. What would be the point?

I do think such an ultra mini would not be the best choice for someone who had little or no experience with computers. Installing the OS yourself isn't that hard but it isn't for everybody. Still, I could see that product having a lot of appeal for many potential customers.

It isn't that someone wouldn't install it, it's that someone would HAVE to install it.

Apple doesn't want that. They want you to unpack the machine, plug it in, turn it on, and start playing.

Even the servers have everything installed.
post #410 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

It isn't that someone wouldn't install it, it's that someone would HAVE to install it.

Apple doesn't want that. They want you to unpack the machine, plug it in, turn it on, and start playing.

Even the servers have everything installed.

Perhaps though installing the OS would be little more work than hooking up the hard drive via firewire or USB2, the optical drive in the same fashion and putting in a DVD with the necessary software. As I said, this wouldn't be for everybody. Inexperienced users would certainly not go there.

Another option that would still keep costs down would be to include a small flash drive internally, allowing for the OS to be included in the ultra mini, even if the onboard storage would not be enough to handle that much more. Such a memory would still allow for a remarkably small form factor. I think even the 8 gigs found on a top-end iPod Nano would be enough for such a function. Considering the size of the Nano, I suspect such memory would negligibly impact on the ultra mini form factor. And as flash cost keeps dropping, going higher than 8 gigs in the not-too-distant future would be quite viable.

Just thinking out loud. I'm not that technically savvy and it could be that there are a thousand and one technical obstacles that would not make such a product viable.

The possibilities, though, are quite intriguing and even if Apple is looking to retire the mini as it is currently configured, I think it's highly probable that a sub-$1,000 computer with an amazing form factor is very much in Apple's future.
post #411 of 573
This photo comes from Macbidouille:



Where is the Mac mini?

Now this is about 64-bit machines, which the Mac mini is not, but you never know... is the book already closed?
post #412 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by PB View Post

Now this is about 64-bit machines, which the Mac mini is not, but you never know... is the book already closed?

It was in the shot earlier in the keynote showing all the machines transitioned to Intel. Obviously since it is a 32bit Core(Duo) in the Mini, it wouldn't make sense in the slide about which machines supported 64bit.
post #413 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

It was in the shot earlier in the keynote showing all the machines transitioned to Intel. Obviously since it is a 32bit Core(Duo) in the Mini, it wouldn't make sense in the slide about which machines supported 64bit.

That's what I am thinking, but it is at least strange how Apple neglected the mini lately... from a real update to the keynote.
post #414 of 573
Kasper's call on the mini looks more accurate every day. I would say that not only is the mini EOL, it's SOL.
post #415 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

I do agree with you that the decision to go with a cooler form factor at the expense of storage capacity was the wrong one. A somewhat larger mini with a standard hard drive that would be both 7,200 RPM and able to hold more data would have resulted in a higher value package.

But that ship has sailed. There's no way now that Apple would bring out a mini that was less mini. That's just not the Steve Jobs way and fault him though you may, the man does have a great flair for developing cool, ground-breaking products. The computer industry owes him big-time on that front.

Looking ahead, I see flash memory in the 40 to 60 gig range in an even smaller base mini with a basic optical drive. Supplementing that product would be a stripped down mini that has no internal storage or optical drive. Not only would the ultra mini be amazingly compact, it would give comsumers freedom to add whatever optical drive and storage they wanted. The advantage, besides having such an improbably tiny computer, is that one could upgrade optical and storage technology without doing a thing to the basic computer at the heart of the system. Provided the ultra mini was powerful enough, I could see it being a machine that would be useful for a very long time.

Even if it were true that a lot of mini owners haven't made a point of adding external drives (don't know if that's the case), I could certainly see a market for a flexible product like the ultra mini. I for one would be able to buy such a machine and be up and running without spending a dime on any additional products because I already own them. And even if I didn't, for roughly $300 Cdn. I could certainly purchase external hard drives and optical drives to be up and running. If the ultra mini itself checked in at let's say $499 Cdn. I would have the following for a total cost of $800 Cdn. A 320 gig 7,200 RPM drive, a DVD Burner, aka a superdrive, and the specs from the base mini.

Compare that to the mini as it sits. The base model with a 60-gig, 5,400 RPM drive and an optical drive that burns CDs but not DVDs, costs $679 Cdn. while the step-up model with a faster processor, an 80-gig, 5,400-rpm drive and a superdrive costs $899 Cdn.

Now imagine if there was a base ultra mini at $499 Cdn. and one with a faster processor retailing for $649 Cdn. If you went for the faster processor, it would cost $949 for that plus a superdrive plus a 7,200 RPM 320-gig hard drive. Right now, $899 gets you 80 gigs at 5,400 rpm. Which would you prefer? Imagine my delight at being able to have the superdrive, nearly 500 gigs, and only pay $649 to step up to the new mini with the faster processor (assuming of course that Apple will soon make 1 gig of RAM the base spec).

It seems to me that Apple could take the mini's form factor to another level and you would still get what you want in that having the extra capacity and speed of a full-size drive would be just a matter of adding such a device in external firewire form. Opting for the slower processor (remember this is in Canadian funds) would mean 320 gigs and a superdrive for a total cost of about $799 vs. the $679 it costs for the base mini. The $799 package would be a far better deal, I think, in that $120 for all that extra storage and a superdrive would be well worthwhile. More importantly, for those who wouldn't want to go that route, something similar to the $679 package currently offered could still remain in the mix.

aegisdesign showed a Mini stacked on a look-alike hard drive on a post at 03:54 PM on 06-11-2007 .

NewerTechnology also has hard drives that look exactly like the Mini and stack with the Mini; however, they are pricey. NewTechnology also sells HD O-GB kits that also look like the Mini. You can put your own HD or optical drive or whatever in them. You wouldnt have to rely on Apple to make a cube or super Mini. You could add another empty 0-GB unit if you needed to.

www.newertechnology.com
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post #416 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

It was in the shot earlier in the keynote showing all the machines transitioned to Intel. Obviously since it is a 32bit Core(Duo) in the Mini, it wouldn't make sense in the slide about which machines supported 64bit.

I noticed that Steve said "Almost all our computers are 64bit"... which was a backhanded acknowledgement that the Mini still exists... wasn't it?

Still wonder about the future!
post #417 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregAlexander View Post

I noticed that Steve said "Almost all our computers are 64bit"...

Curiously enough, he forgot to utter "But soon all will be 64-bit"...
post #418 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by PB View Post

Curiously enough, he forgot to utter "But soon all will be 64-bit"...

Heh...thats a good and bad thing. Good in that one way for all to be 64-bit is to simply drop the mini. Bad in that a 64-bit update doesn't seem to be a near term update to warrant such a comment.
post #419 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by PB View Post

Curiously enough, he forgot to utter "But soon all will be 64-bit"...

There could have been a reason for that.

They certainly could have bolstered their claim of 64 bit compatibility if they had upgraded the Mini for the WWDC. That would have fit into the presentation.

It's possible that they will either discontinue the machine, as has already been suggested, or will simply not upgrade it to 64 bits anytime soon.
post #420 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

There could have been a reason for that.

I was of course half-joking, so I did not really expect him to say that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

...or will simply not upgrade it to 64 bits anytime soon.

Which hardly makes sense after the bold statements about 64-bit and the graphic with all the Macs except the Mac mini. One would logically think that at least after Leopard's release, all the machines sold by Apple will be 64-bit and the 32-bit compatibility is there for the older models.

But yes, Apple has proved in the past that it is capable to do the unthinkable, so to leave the Mac mini with 32-bit CPU for a long time to come is certainly a possibility.
post #421 of 573
Eventually, won't all chips be 64 bit or will Windows Vista (can you run 32 bit windows on a 64 bit chip) keep that from happening for some time to come?
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post #422 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

Eventually, won't all chips be 64 bit or will Windows Vista (can you run 32 bit windows on a 64 bit chip) keep that from happening for some time to come?

All of the 64bit Intel and AMD chips can run either 64bit or 32bit code. The problem is that there are two versions of Windows, one for 32bit and one for 64bit. 32bit can't run any 64bit apps. 64bit can only run some 32bit apps and there's very few drivers so even if you've a 64bit copy of Word, if your printer driver is 32bit you're stuffed, it won't talk to it. For that reason, there's a tiny fraction of Windows 64 bit users and no incentive for developers to write 64bit Windows applications or drivers.

Apple doesn't have that problem. There's every incentive to write 64bit code.

However, if the developer is writing cross platform applications (I'm looking at you Adobe) then they'll almost certainly stick to 32bit and so development will be dragged down to the lowest common denominator - Windows 32bit.
post #423 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

However, if the developer is writing cross platform applications (I'm looking at you Adobe) then they'll almost certainly stick to 32bit and so development will be dragged down to the lowest common denominator - Windows 32bit.

Hmm.... I wonder why Steve used a photo manipulation exercise to demonstrate the power of 64 bit computing.
post #424 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

Hmm.... I wonder why Steve used a photo manipulation exercise to demonstrate the power of 64 bit computing.

64-bit's biggest advantage is allowing you to drastically increase your memory address space so if you have enough Ram, you can use all of it for any given process. Photos are good because they give you clear visual feedback about what's going on so they're good for a demonstration.
post #425 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

64-bit's biggest advantage is allowing you to drastically increase your memory address space so if you have enough Ram, you can use all of it for any given process. Photos are good because they give you clear visual feedback about what's going on so they're good for a demonstration.

SJ wouldn't be prodding Adobe to make PS 64 bit would he? He wouldn't do anything like that.
post #426 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

64-bit's biggest advantage is allowing you to drastically increase your memory address space so if you have enough Ram, you can use all of it for any given process. Photos are good because they give you clear visual feedback about what's going on so they're good for a demonstration.

On x86, going 64 bit, runs most programs faster. This is unlike the PPC platform, where 64 bit runs programs no faster, or sometimes, even slightly slower.
post #427 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

On x86, going 64 bit, runs most programs faster. This is unlike the PPC platform, where 64 bit runs programs no faster, or sometimes, even slightly slower.

What makes you think this?
post #428 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregAlexander View Post

What makes you think this?

Not sure where Melgross got the "slightly slower on PPC" thing from, but on the x86 front: if the programs are specially compiled for 64 bit, they have the potential to execute faster (even if they don't need any fixed-point 64 bit maths) because 64 bit x86 has twice as many registers as x86 32 bit.
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post #429 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Not sure where Melgross got the "slightly slower on PPC" thing from, but on the x86 front: if the programs are specially compiled for 64 bit, they have the potential to execute faster (even if they don't need any fixed-point 64 bit maths) because 64 bit x86 has twice as many registers as x86 32 bit.

On PowerPC 64bit you don't get the increase in registers so no increase there. The decrease comes from having to operate with 64bit data instead of 32bit so you've essentially halved the amount of data you can hold in the cache and you're operating with 64bit pointers for no reason.
post #430 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

On PowerPC 64bit you don't get the increase in registers so no increase there. The decrease comes from having to operate with 64bit data instead of 32bit so you've essentially halved the amount of data you can hold in the cache and you're operating with 64bit pointers for no reason.

So you are both saying that being 64bit itself doesn't make these chips faster, but the design of the chip is faster (due to increase in registers).

I assume then that those registers are only available when accessed via 64 bit instructions?

(I've just always read that 64bit is slightly slower - except on exceptionally large data files. Of course, if our general memory requirements double every year or 2, then we NEED 64 bit or we'd be forced shortly to install less memory than optimum and hence run more slowly on 32bit.)
post #431 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregAlexander View Post

So you are both saying that being 64bit itself doesn't make these chips faster, but the design of the chip is faster (due to increase in registers).

I assume then that those registers are only available when accessed via 64 bit instructions?

Yes.

The fastest operations are those which can be held in the CPU's registers. Think of them as extremely fast local storage on the CPU itself. The problem is the 32bit Intel platform only has 8 registers. 64bit Intel/AMD increases this to 16. PowerPC has always had 16 registers.

Compilers optimise code by using registers as much as they possibly can because they're really fast. The more they've got to play with, the more efficient the code generated. In theory, if the code can use only registers then the need to get data from the system memory is avoided and you get a massive increase in speed. In reality though, most of the register issues can be solved by clever compiler tricks and larger on chip caches at the expense of power consumption and rarely are computer algorithms just acting on small sets of data in registers and not accessing system RAM.
post #432 of 573
This is great!

I get back late, and don't even have to answer the question, because you guys did it for me.
post #433 of 573
This thread is way off topic now. the 64/32 bit issue should be its own thread.

BTW The mini ain't dead yet. :P
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post #434 of 573
Sorry Posted twice.
post #435 of 573
I just feel left out for not posting in this thread. I say the mini stays! Come Jan 2008 it will get an upgrade and Gates will let Steve announce to the world that he is finally getting that sex change !
post #436 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by ekivemark View Post

I want features in iTunes and iPhoto that allow me to seamlessly break my library in to multiple locations. ie. Have a core of music on my laptop, have a mush larger family library on a shared machine and be able to sync them both seamlessly to my iPod. This is doable now with some behind the scenes file sharing but Apple could do a much better job if they set their minds to the challenge.

Hear hear, an Apple central media server. That would rule absolutely.

I still want a Mac Mini, I have since they were introduced. The more I think about how useful it would be sat under my TV as a server/media player, the more I salivate at the idea. And hopefully with these rumours regarding a Mac Nano, well, you just never know.

Forget media speculation, long live the Mini!
post #437 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by philbutler View Post

I think the 'mini is a cute machine. But I won't buy one - due to it being a bit under powered. On the other hand, I won't buy a Mac tower due to it's size and noise factor. I had a MDD dual 1Ghz G4 tower and it was loud as everything. I have heard that the newer machines are quieter, but I want whisper quiet. I have a iMac 24" now and it's perfect.

What about a Mac-midi that has a full-size (replaceable) hard drive and has the speed capability of a iMac. Basically a headless iMac. If something like this were in the $1000 range or so, I WOULD be interested.

The Mac Mini got a reprieve and a Core Duo option which is great. I still believe that the Mini is a great central server for many families. After all the AppleTV is basically a mains-powered iPod with a hi def video interface. To get the most out of the AppleTV you want a media server and the mini with an add-on disk does a great job.

Now what I am waiting for is for Leopard to provide an iTunes update that allows me to partition my music library. I want a subset on my laptop and the rest shared on a home media server so all my family can share our music.
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post #438 of 573
Sorry if this has already been discussed but this thread is really long and I didn't read it all.

Does anyone have any advice on using the mini with Leopard server. Is the max ram really 2 gigs? can one disable the video shared ram? Is firewire 400 fast enough for external storage? Etc.

Thanks in advance

m

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post #439 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Does anyone have any advice on using the mini with Leopard server. Is the max ram really 2 gigs? can one disable the video shared ram? Is firewire 400 fast enough for external storage? Etc.

The latest mini will run with 3GB. OWC sells a 3GB kit for it. link

FW 400 is plenty fast enough for everyday stuff and server storage, in my opinion. For large transfers and high end video work, FW 800 or SATA is better.
post #440 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by iDave View Post

The latest mini will run with 3GB. OWC sells a 3GB kit for it. link

FW 400 is plenty fast enough for everyday stuff and server storage, in my opinion. For large transfers and high end video work, FW 800 or SATA is better.

On my mini and iMac 24", I can never really tell that big of a mind blowing difference in moving large quantities of files. I thought FW800 would be 2x speed but I don't believe it is. So I think FW 400 would be fine for external storage since it works great with my Final Cut Studio setup.
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