Originally Posted by melgross
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.