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Any ideas for future Mac Mini? - Page 3

post #81 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter Slocombe View Post

{Throws stones at the sky and curses the name of Steve jobs} or better yet IBM, like hurry the fook up duuuudes.

I'm resigned to the fact that the iMac will be dual core at the time I buy it, but I can always upgrade (again) if the reports are of a BIG speed boost if and when it goes quad core, or a 30" screen (which I really don't see happening BTW)

Er...you mean Intel right? No need to curse IBM any longer...

As for quad vs dual you can compare the Mac Pro against the iMac for the applications you expect to run to determine if its worth waiting past the next speed bump. Mobile penryn is a bit aways...

You know...the cost delta between a 24" iMac and a 24" Mac Pro is only $669. And the Mac Pro will get bumped to Penryn first so you'd be getting a lot more for that $700 than you would today.

So you could get an octo Mac Pro with 30" monitor in January for $1500 up front (to Dell...the 30" HC is nice) and $59 a month (on your Juniper Visa Card with iTunes Rewards!)...

Won't that be cheaper than upgrading your iMac later? <insert evil laugh>
post #82 of 123
I'd make two changes

1. Grow the system to include a 3.5" hard drive. This is the Mini's main weakness. It takes a good idea and makes it very weak against other entry level machines. Come on, even at 8x8x3, it's going to be so much smaller than anything else, it isn't even funny.

2. Throw in the keyboard and mouse. Like going completely overboard on size, Apple completely misjudged this. Yes, people want to bring their own display. Not they do not want to buy another keyboard and mouse set. In fact, most people at this price point aren't to picky about the combo they get. Bundle Macally's combo if you have to, just give them something.
post #83 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

Some applications will get a big speed boost going from dual core to quad core, but most will not. I wouldn't lose any sleep over it. Buy a computer when you need one.


I will do I've been waiting on the quad cores to show up in the iMacs though, it will likely be for Logic which STILL hasn't upped its use of cores past 2 and theres no telling when, if ever, it will, but i guess following sods law I could just buy and Apple will immediately put out a quad iMac no matter the time!
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I don't see how an anti M$ stance can be seen as a bad thing on an Apple forum I really can't!

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post #84 of 123
They probably won't update the iMac to a quad core for another year or so.

I just bought a mini. upgraded it to 2GB's and am soon going to replace the CPU to one of the newer 2.0Ghz ones
I installed Leopard last Sat. and it's screemin' awesome! (and uber fast)
Mac Mini 1.83Ghz Core 2 Duo with 2GB RAM, 80GB HD+160GB External HD
Running Mac OS 10.5 Leopard


Upgrade Your Mini Yourself!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreyfus2

All wrong. Avon perfumes...
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Mac Mini 1.83Ghz Core 2 Duo with 2GB RAM, 80GB HD+160GB External HD
Running Mac OS 10.5 Leopard


Upgrade Your Mini Yourself!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreyfus2

All wrong. Avon perfumes...
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post #85 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by smee View Post

I just bought a mini. upgraded it to 2GB's and am soon going to replace the CPU to one of the newer 2.0Ghz ones
I installed Leopard last Sat. and it's screemin' awesome! (and uber fast)

So why replace the CPU? What will that get you?
post #86 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by iDave View Post

So why replace the CPU? What will that get you?

I've got an Intel 1.83Ghz T5600 in the mini now.
If I were to buy the processor (it's the T7200) on eBay and sell the one already in the mini, the upgrade will end up just costing 40 bucks. It won't give me much but hey, Why not?
Mac Mini 1.83Ghz Core 2 Duo with 2GB RAM, 80GB HD+160GB External HD
Running Mac OS 10.5 Leopard


Upgrade Your Mini Yourself!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreyfus2

All wrong. Avon perfumes...
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Mac Mini 1.83Ghz Core 2 Duo with 2GB RAM, 80GB HD+160GB External HD
Running Mac OS 10.5 Leopard


Upgrade Your Mini Yourself!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreyfus2

All wrong. Avon perfumes...
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post #87 of 123
I really really need to buy a mini, but I'll be damned if I will buy one this close to the end of life or prior to a re-tool.

Now if they discontinue them... I'll have to really re-consider what I'm doing and look at an iMac.
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post #88 of 123
I love my mini, and bought it for it's size and price. It just barely fits right under the side of my 15" CRT monitor, which leaves room for other things. If they made it any bigger, I would have had a problem.

Mini's do not break often. They are very reliable, and once people figure this out, sales will go way up.
post #89 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Not Unlike Myself View Post

I really really need to buy a mini, but I'll be damned if I will buy one this close to the end of life or prior to a re-tool.

Now if they discontinue them... I'll have to really re-consider what I'm doing and look at an iMac.

I'm in the same fix; however, I'd settle for a mid-tower.
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post #90 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Not Unlike Myself View Post

Now if they discontinue them... I'll have to really re-consider what I'm doing and look at an iMac.

That's be best time to buy really I picked up a Yonah mini (with SuperDrive) for under $500 on closeout at CompUSA for my dad. It was a no braiiner at that point.

They might still have the old base model...I might go back and so how desperate they are to get rid of it...
post #91 of 123
The one problem that I have with the Mac Mini is that in all the times that I've seen it, its always in use with some fugly off color monitor, keyboard and mouse that doesn't match. Yes, Apple sells the Cinema display which would be killer with the Mini, but I think it would be overkill for that caliber of computer. I say, break up the displays into two categories, consumer and pro. Just like their computers. The consumer displays would be elegant but inexpensive ~$199 for a 17". Now here's the kicker. Have the stand for the consumer display fit perfectly on top of the Mini to integrate the hardware and offer a discount to those buying them in conjunction. The Minis selling with a monitor would come with short connecting cables and would include power for the monitor. Possible idea for those not completely sold on the iMac concept. Just an idea.
post #92 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by HyteProsector View Post

Have the stand for the consumer display fit perfectly on top of the Mini to integrate the hardware and offer a discount to those buying them in conjunction. The Minis selling with a monitor would come with short connecting cables and would include power for the monitor. Possible idea for those not completely sold on the iMac concept. Just an idea.

Then when you sell your mini to move up to a Mac Pro you're stuck with a monitor that has a short cable and is useless for that? Defeats the purpose for separate components.

I too would like Apple to offer an inexpensive display option. If Apple's build to order options offered package deals on keyboards and displays with a mini (at a discount) that would be great.

There are lots of nice looking inexpensive displays out there. It's too bad the only ones you've seen attached to a mini looked like junk.
post #93 of 123
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post #94 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by iDave View Post

Then when you sell your mini to move up to a Mac Pro you're stuck with a monitor that has a short cable and is useless for that? Defeats the purpose for separate components.

Yes, I should have added, a longer cable would have to be made available at the Apple store for $10 or something... more like $19 knowing apple (iPod cable).... The cable would have to be able to disconnect from the monitor to make this work. Its a very plausible proposition.
post #95 of 123
Another pain in the butt part of this... Frontrow...

My last 'mini' as a media center attempt failed. I'm tempted to ditch it and drop in a cheap PC for the time being and use that confiscated mini for work.

I had to go through a HUGE pain in the butt to get my Mini up and running on my big screen using VNC to connect to it and change to a supported resolution.
I don't want that problem again.
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post #96 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Not Unlike Myself View Post

My last 'mini' as a media center attempt failed. I'm tempted to ditch it and drop in a cheap PC for the time being and use that confiscated mini for work.

I had to go through a HUGE pain in the butt to get my Mini up and running on my big screen using VNC to connect to it and change to a supported resolution.
I don't want that problem again.

Are you sure you wouldn't have the same problems with a cheap PC?
post #97 of 123
Hi Team;

At this point I don't consider the Mini to be a good value for a PC Apple or not. Of course there are other ways to justify a PC besides cost. In any event below are some things that would help make the Mini more attractive.

1.
Go to a solid state drive. It doesn't need to be huge as this would be a connected computer. The gain here is coolness and flexibility in form factor. It wouldn't take much to solder 16 or 32 GB to the motherboard for a solid long lasting machine.

2.
A better GPU X3100 isn't to bad, given drivers that fully exploit it, but a bit better would be nice. Along with this there should be hardware support for video decode.

3.
Obviously all the "radio" networking one could possibly want. Maybe even the option of a WiMax plug in card.

4.
No CD/DVD drive is needed but a couple of front facing USB ports would be nice.

5.
There should be provision for an internal expansion drive. Likely 2.5 inch form factor.

6.
Provision for RAM expansion but with the first 2GB soldered in place. I really like the reliability that soldered RAM provides.

7.
It would actually be nice if the motherboard was Eurocard format (3U) to allow one to reuse the hardware industrially.

8.
Likewise I would love to see Apple adopt a mezzanine card standard like are used on VME cards. Even if this only gave us one expansion slot it would be worth it.

9.
Ultra Low POWER design. It would be nice if the base configuration could average below 10 watts. This might very well be doable with an Intel SOC design. Lots of rumors with respect to SOC so maybe this is for Apple.

10.
Maybe a super cap in the power supply to allow the unit to withstand the occasional power line glitch. This in no way should be considered a backup power supply just a little insurance to get you through the short term power glitches and sags.

Dave
post #98 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Er...you mean Intel right? No need to curse IBM any longer...

As for quad vs dual you can compare the Mac Pro against the iMac for the applications you expect to run to determine if its worth waiting past the next speed bump. Mobile penryn is a bit aways...

You know...the cost delta between a 24" iMac and a 24" Mac Pro is only $669. And the Mac Pro will get bumped to Penryn first so you'd be getting a lot more for that $700 than you would today.

So you could get an octo Mac Pro with 30" monitor in January for $1500 up front (to Dell...the 30" HC is nice) and $59 a month (on your Juniper Visa Card with iTunes Rewards!)...

Won't that be cheaper than upgrading your iMac later? <insert evil laugh>

A totally uncalled for post!!! you just want to make me penniless don't you!?

yeah, I ment intel obviously not IBM, musta been asleep that day.

I'm less worried about buying an iMac now that the software update has come out, but I recently got to play on one with Leopard, and "meh" still maybe I was tired that day too they are huge though, however the 30inchers are REALLY big, but need a rez update IMO. still gonna wait on Jans Macworld before parting with cash.
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I don't see how an anti M$ stance can be seen as a bad thing on an Apple forum I really can't!

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post #99 of 123
WOW our usage and needs must be really different!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

1.
Go to a solid state drive. It doesn't need to be huge as this would be a connected computer. The gain here is coolness and flexibility in form factor. It wouldn't take much to solder 16 or 32 GB to the motherboard for a solid long lasting machine.

seriously? my iTunes alone takes up 30 GB so where do I put my work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

2.
A better GPU X3100 isn't to bad, given drivers that fully exploit it, but a bit better would be nice. Along with this there should be hardware support for video decode.

built in Video decode would be great. because of 4 (see below)

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

4.
No CD/DVD drive is needed but a couple of front facing USB ports would be nice.

so how do I rip movies to playback on my Apple TV? where do I put the DVD? why do I need better video decode?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

5.
There should be provision for an internal expansion drive. Likely 2.5 inch form factor.

So make it smaller via flash memory, but then make it bigger again with big empty space that few would use because "most people don't upgrade"

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

6.
Provision for RAM expansion but with the first 2GB soldered in place. I really like the reliability that soldered RAM provides.

not sure what chipset needs to go in the mini in order to address more than 4GB but it seems like overkill for a low end machine? awesome though if it was possible, but why limit ourselves to 2GB soldered? I think you are kidding yourself about soldered in RAM ever get a dry solder joint? a reall messy bitch to discover and put right I imagine, not good from a servicing point of view either, so thats going against the upgradability you seem to be talking about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

9.
Ultra Low POWER design. It would be nice if the base configuration could average below 10 watts. This might very well be doable with an Intel SOC design. Lots of rumors with respect to SOC so maybe this is for Apple.

cool but a lack of low power wouldn't stop me buying one

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

10.
Maybe a super cap in the power supply to allow the unit to withstand the occasional power line glitch. This in no way should be considered a backup power supply just a little insurance to get you through the short term power glitches and sags.

Have you got a mini? are you in a dodgy supply area? I've got a mini and because of a local housing development have experienced a lot of power dips (enough to knock off my monitor and TV among other things) and the mini just keeps on going so there must be a fair sized cap in the power supply already, but I agree with your point ALL computer powersuppliers should be able to cope with some minimum standard of interuption, or they can't be sold as fit for purpose.

In my experience though the mini knocks me out in this regard.

Sorry to be negative but I guess it just highlights the different needs of users, and shows how difficult it is to get right a one size fits all computer.

Almost everyone seems to think that a 3.5" drive would be a great addition, would cut costs and make upgrading the HD SO much cheaper.
I don't see how an anti M$ stance can be seen as a bad thing on an Apple forum I really can't!

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I don't see how an anti M$ stance can be seen as a bad thing on an Apple forum I really can't!

nagromme - According to Amazon: "SpongBob Typing Tutor" is outselling Windows
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post #100 of 123
I'd prefer to take it the other way and make it a little bigger to be useable. The machine you describe would look kinda cool, but it wouldn't be very functional at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Hi Team;

At this point I don't consider the Mini to be a good value for a PC Apple or not. Of course there are other ways to justify a PC besides cost. In any event below are some things that would help make the Mini more attractive.

1.
Go to a solid state drive. It doesn't need to be huge as this would be a connected computer. The gain here is coolness and flexibility in form factor. It wouldn't take much to solder 16 or 32 GB to the motherboard for a solid long lasting machine.

2.
A better GPU X3100 isn't to bad, given drivers that fully exploit it, but a bit better would be nice. Along with this there should be hardware support for video decode.

3.
Obviously all the "radio" networking one could possibly want. Maybe even the option of a WiMax plug in card.

4.
No CD/DVD drive is needed but a couple of front facing USB ports would be nice.

5.
There should be provision for an internal expansion drive. Likely 2.5 inch form factor.

6.
Provision for RAM expansion but with the first 2GB soldered in place. I really like the reliability that soldered RAM provides.

7.
It would actually be nice if the motherboard was Eurocard format (3U) to allow one to reuse the hardware industrially.

8.
Likewise I would love to see Apple adopt a mezzanine card standard like are used on VME cards. Even if this only gave us one expansion slot it would be worth it.

9.
Ultra Low POWER design. It would be nice if the base configuration could average below 10 watts. This might very well be doable with an Intel SOC design. Lots of rumors with respect to SOC so maybe this is for Apple.

10.
Maybe a super cap in the power supply to allow the unit to withstand the occasional power line glitch. This in no way should be considered a backup power supply just a little insurance to get you through the short term power glitches and sags.

Dave
post #101 of 123
Solid state drives that perform properly in PC's are only 64GB, and I think you still need a regular drive for some reason. Which is why I don't think SS is ready for prime time. Especially at that size.

Removing the optical drive would kill it. How does one load their programs? What? Buy a drive just to load software. Big mistake. I'm not even going to address this list. My time is more valuable.
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post #102 of 123
Wizard69,

Interesting, if strange suggestions.

Most people think even AppleTV needs an optical drive. And most think the mini needs more, not less storage space. Any more than 2GB of RAM in a mini or any entry level computer is overkill.

Apparently you have a whole different idea in mind for how this box would be used.
post #103 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter Slocombe View Post

WOW our usage and needs must be really different!

seriously? my iTunes alone takes up 30 GB so where do I put my work?

For those that need the space you simply use the expansion bay. Nothing difficult about that. I'm not saying that 32 GB is the nuts for everybody, but the trade off for a platform like the Mini is excellent. The annal savings in electricity would pay for a alternative storage device.
Quote:

built in Video decode would be great. because of 4 (see below)

I'm not sure what 4 has to do with it. Video comes from all sorts of places including the web and more than a few handheld cameras. In any event you do have to realize tat many of us simply aren't into movie collections.
Quote:

so how do I rip movies to playback on my Apple TV? where do I put the DVD? why do I need better video decode?

Err, you will have to use your imagination with that DVD. Seriously you are taking a very self centered point of view here, how many people do you think really spend that much time looking t DVD's on their PC. As to software and updates, both Linux and Apple's MAC OS/X have demonstrated that online updates work. New software could be shipped on USB ROMS if that is a problem.

In any event I can see the need for a drive in some situations. The disadvantageous are such though that I suspect that Apple would be far better off offering optical drives as an add on.
Quote:

So make it smaller via flash memory, but then make it bigger again with big empty space that few would use because "most people don't upgrade"

Old Apple users of the past might not have upgraded but that certainly isn't the case any more. RAM is upgrade regularly by Apple users. Secondary storage is a close second. The difference here is that this approach allows for an internal upgrade.
Quote:

not sure what chipset needs to go in the mini in order to address more than 4GB but it seems like overkill for a low end machine? awesome though if it was possible, but why limit ourselves to 2GB soldered? I think you are kidding yourself about soldered in RAM ever get a dry solder joint? a reall messy bitch to discover and put right I imagine, not good from a servicing point of view either, so thats going against the upgradability you seem to be talking about.

2GB is about right for a machine these days. Now I'm not saying that one couldn't get by with 1GB but it is pretty clear that that is now considered bargain basement territory. The thing is 2 GB is enough to make a huge number of people happy. Having the RAM soldered in doesn't mean that expansion capabilities are dismissed. Indeed Apple has already demonstrated the feasibility of soldered in RAM in their products.

In any event your allusions to the issues with bad solder joints is meaningless. If you put the RAM in a socket you still have solder joints on top of which you have the card edge connector joints. A cold solder joint is an issue but let me tell you that connectors provide plenty of problems on their own.

In any event soldered in RAM and Flash provide Apple with the ability to produce a very reliable computer board.
Quote:


cool but a lack of low power wouldn't stop me buying one

Well the issue I have is that I'm tired of paying high prices for electricity. One of the best approaches for that issue is to reduce your power usage as much as possible. Energy efficiency will become a major selling point n the near future as energy prices sky rocket.

Now I do keep the PC on 24/7 and one could argue just shut it off. There are good reasons to keep it on though, the goal is to minimize the cost to myself when doing so.
Quote:

Have you got a mini? are you in a dodgy supply area? I've got a mini and because of a local housing development have experienced a lot of power dips (enough to knock off my monitor and TV among other things) and the mini just keeps on going so there must be a fair sized cap in the power supply already, but I agree with your point ALL computer powersuppliers should be able to cope with some minimum standard of interuption, or they can't be sold as fit for purpose.

Dodgy? Well maybe not that bad but a few glitches that I know for sure causes crashes. Again some would say a UPS is in order but I tend to agree with you if a simple power glitch cycles your computer then the power supply isn't suitable.

By the way this isn't an Apple PC.
Quote:

In my experience though the mini knocks me out in this regard.

Glad to hear this.
Quote:

Sorry to be negative but I guess it just highlights the different needs of users, and shows how difficult it is to get right a one size fits all computer.

Yeah I actually have several computer around the house. The one that is on all the time just needs to be cost effective as is reasonably possible.

On the other hand the computer I was describing above would be even more useful to a large number of people with different needs. I'm actually providing for the expansion of secondary store for example. A reliable computer means a computer that can be used in more places than just the desktop. A computer with 100% soldered in parts would be just the nuts in an RV or truck. Low power is green but even more so means it would run in a cabin in the woods.
Quote:

Almost everyone seems to think that a 3.5" drive would be a great addition, would cut costs and make upgrading the HD SO much cheaper.

Not doubt that would but then Apple wouldn't have one of the smallest desktop computers going to market! Lets face it this year Flash can't compete with hard drives strictly on a cost to purchase basis, no body with a reasonable grasp of the situation this year will argue that. One the other hand the cost of the product in the final machine is a different story. This is where things get iffy. The production of mass produced mother boards with on board flash has to shave some of the cost off the final product verses one with a solid state drive. You save on assembly time, power supply and heat management costs.

In any event we only have to step back a bit and look at the iPod Touch to see where Apple could go with this and keep things cost effective. The Touch has soldered in Flash, nothing wrong with that and it seems to make people happy. The unit is inexpensive for what you get, which in many ways is a full PC, yet can be had with 16GB of Flash. Take the same point of view when building the new Mini mother board and we should be able to get 32GB easy with Samsungs new year ramp. G4 GB isn't out to the question either.

So how well will it work and will it sell. Looking at ASUS modest effort with the Eee PC and I'd have to say the potential is excellent for performance. The customers reactions will be difficult to judge but we can see that there is interest demonstrated in this thread.

Dave
post #104 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by iDave View Post

Wizard69,

Interesting, if strange suggestions.

Strange?? Not so much strange as forward looking. Lets face it people have been associating rotating media with PC's for years, so this would break he mold a bit.
Quote:
Most people think even AppleTV needs an optical drive.

Well yes obviously so. I mean I really didn't grasp Apples design here at all. Lets face it if you have a TV, and watch movies on it, a drive would make lots of sense. In any event we are not talking Apple TV here. A optical less PC makes a lot of sense these days.

Granted this is largely my perspective and may not be shared by others but I don't need an optical drive any more. I run Linux and that is perfectly installable over the network with a USB dongle. For Apple they are or could be in the same boat. Apple already makes most of their software updates available on line and they have all the infrastructure in place to sell software on line. The only place there is an issue is with third party suppliers.
Quote:
And most think the mini needs more, not less storage space. Any more than 2GB of RAM in a mini or any entry level computer is overkill.

Funny how you follow up a line complain about to little storage with one immediately after ward complaining about to much. Look I'm not trying to say that the Mini with 32GB of flash would be perfect, I'm just saying it would be a solution that a lot of people would be interested in.
[quote

Apparently you have a whole different idea in mind for how this box would be used.[/QUOTE]

Well it wouldn't be a repository for PORN! That isn't the goal here at all. What it would be is a very useful computer for people that need productivity apps, go on line for Mail, the web and other utility uses. Such a machine could be delivered by Apple at a very low cost. It might even be possible for Apple to deliver that machine with 64GB but we all know that might not be enough for many people.

The point is that it would be perceived as a very valuable machine for people that understand the trade offs. Look folks I know it is a squeeze for many of you, I got 46GB in my home directory on my Linux machine right now. A lot of that due to the lack of management effort on my part, many iso images laying around for Linux, but I look at the big picture here. What do I really need and hat are the trade offs?

Dave
post #105 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Not doubt that would but then Apple wouldn't have one of the smallest desktop computers going to market!

I would suggest that most people don't care if they're buying the smallest desktop computer. The small size of the Mac mini probably works against it if people think small means underpowered. (Perhaps this is Apple's intention, so people look at the iMac instead.) But your point is taken. If Apple put a larger hard drive in the mini, they'd have to rename it.
post #106 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by iDave View Post

I would suggest that most people don't care if they're buying the smallest desktop computer.

True. But there are application's where it makes a difference.
Quote:
The small size of the Mac mini probably works against it if people think small means underpowered. (Perhaps this is Apple's intention, so people look at the iMac instead.) But your point is taken. If Apple put a larger hard drive in the mini, they'd have to rename it.

Well many people do think that the Mini is underpowered! So you are right there. That is a question of Apple paying attention to it though, as it wouldn't take much to bring it up to more current technology.

I think the point I'm trying to make is that Apple could go smaller and make the unit even more desirable. Especially if they get rid of legacy hardware.

By the way even though I think Flash is a POSSIBILITY in the Mini I thin it is a shoe in for the ultra portable talked about in another thread. Interestingly for may of the same reasons. The difference being they would be mandatory requirements in an ultra portable.

Dave
post #107 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Seriously you are taking a very self centered point of view here,


ok I'm with onlooker on this, my time is more valuable
I don't see how an anti M$ stance can be seen as a bad thing on an Apple forum I really can't!

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I don't see how an anti M$ stance can be seen as a bad thing on an Apple forum I really can't!

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post #108 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Funny how you follow up a line complain about to little storage with one immediately after ward complaining about to much. Look I'm not trying to say that the Mini with 32GB of flash would be perfect, I'm just saying it would be a solution that a lot of people would be interested in.

Perhaps I shouldn't have referred to storage and RAM in the same paragraph. I think you know that they are not the same.

Do you really think the pack-rats of the world would not quickly outgrow 32GB? It just doesn't make sense to me in a desktop computer. A laptop is a different story, where power savings as space requirements matter.

I'm not going to try to calculate the savings based on any cost per kilowatt hour of electricity, but I think you're overestimating the benefit of flash storage. It's likely the electricity cost savings of flash storage vs hard disk storage is only a few dollars a year, at most.
post #109 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Well many people do think that the Mini is underpowered!

I don't. The current Mac mini is about as fast as the fastest Mac you could buy just a couple of years ago (GPU excluded). It's much faster than my dual-core G5 Power Mac. But perception is everything. A lot of people think because it's so small, it's just a toy.
post #110 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Hi Team;

At this point I don't consider the Mini to be a good value for a PC Apple or not. Of course there are other ways to justify a PC besides cost. In any event below are some things that would help make the Mini more attractive.

1.
Go to a solid state drive. It doesn't need to be huge as this would be a connected computer. The gain here is coolness and flexibility in form factor. It wouldn't take much to solder 16 or 32 GB to the motherboard for a solid long lasting machine.

2.
A better GPU X3100 isn't to bad, given drivers that fully exploit it, but a bit better would be nice. Along with this there should be hardware support for video decode.

3.
Obviously all the "radio" networking one could possibly want. Maybe even the option of a WiMax plug in card.

4.
No CD/DVD drive is needed but a couple of front facing USB ports would be nice.

5.
There should be provision for an internal expansion drive. Likely 2.5 inch form factor.

6.
Provision for RAM expansion but with the first 2GB soldered in place. I really like the reliability that soldered RAM provides.

7.
It would actually be nice if the motherboard was Eurocard format (3U) to allow one to reuse the hardware industrially.

8.
Likewise I would love to see Apple adopt a mezzanine card standard like are used on VME cards. Even if this only gave us one expansion slot it would be worth it.

9.
Ultra Low POWER design. It would be nice if the base configuration could average below 10 watts. This might very well be doable with an Intel SOC design. Lots of rumors with respect to SOC so maybe this is for Apple.

10.
Maybe a super cap in the power supply to allow the unit to withstand the occasional power line glitch. This in no way should be considered a backup power supply just a little insurance to get you through the short term power glitches and sags.

Dave

Are you sure you've not gotten your threads mixed up? I wonder if you didn't mean to post these ideas in this thread?
post #111 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by iDave View Post

Perhaps I shouldn't have referred to storage and RAM in the same paragraph. I think you know that they are not the same.

Do you really think the pack-rats of the world would not quickly outgrow 32GB?

Many people would there is no doubt about that. Then again many people outgrow whatever Apple puts into their machines, thus the after market for hard drives.

I'm only mentioning the value of 32 GB because I believe it is very doable with todays technology. The Touch is pretty much proof of that. With the newer high density chips they could hit 64 GB easy.

32 or 64 it really doesn't matter because there will always be a segment of the market place that out grows what ever is put into the machine. What ever starting value Apple uses, it will allaw them to transition the industry over to solid state devices.
Quote:
It just doesn't make sense to me in a desktop computer. A laptop is a different story, where power savings as space requirements matter.

For most desktop computers I would agree, the difference in the mini is that we have a very small form factor platform that many of us would like to see stay small. Flash would allow them to put more technology into the box and manage the heat and space requirements. For instance I have to wonder how many people would object to solid sate storage if it allowed Apple to put a fairly decent GPU in the box with its own RAM? Not that Apple wold do that but it is a case of engineering trade offs.
Quote:

I'm not going to try to calculate the savings based on any cost per kilowatt hour of electricity, but I think you're overestimating the benefit of flash storage. It's likely the electricity cost savings of flash storage vs hard disk storage is only a few dollars a year, at most.

Well I haven't yet and it probably wouldn't mean a lot because hard disk power usage would be very dependent on the activities on the computer. In other words a dozen people could come up with a dozen different answers to the question "just what is the annual difference". Even if Apple was able to save here it may very well use the power budget for something else.

Dave
post #112 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

Are you sure you've not gotten your threads mixed up? I wonder if you didn't mean to post these ideas in this thread?

Nope not at all!!

The interesting thing here is that the two devices being talked about share a common hardware platform and rely on miniaturized components. The current Mini would be an all around different machine if it had to use desktop parts. So it is no surprise that discussions about the two devices should sound the same or have similar themes.

Both machines have to jam a lot of componentry into very small places. Apple certainly has more options with respect to the Mini or its replacement as the box size can be adjusted to suit the marketing goals of the moment. The Ultra Portable is constrained by physical limitations to some extent.

Dave
post #113 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

32 or 64 it really doesn't matter because there will always be a segment of the market place that out grows what ever is put into the machine. What ever starting value Apple uses, it will allaw them to transition the industry over to solid state devices.

Apple does seem to be a trendsetter. And if they were to start putting flash storage in any desktop computer, I suppose the mini would be a good place to start. However, I think it's far more likely the first Macs with flash storage will be portables; computers which are dependent on battery power.

A small amount of storage such as 32 or 64 GB would be just another reason for people to poo-poo the mini. (Again, maybe that's what Apple would want, judging by their history with the mini.)
post #114 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by iDave View Post

Apple does seem to be a trendsetter. And if they were to start putting flash storage in any desktop computer, I suppose the mini would be a good place to start.

Right now it is the only reasonable desktop to do so in. Mainly because of the Mini's constraints on size and power. Especially if Apple has as a goal beefing up the Mini and keeping the same form factor. A form factor which by the way is very nice.

Apple could use he room saved for a number of things. This includes antennae for 'N' WiFi, a GPU and memory for that, an accelerator for video decoding, more RAM expansion and a host of other possibilities.

The only other machine that Apple has that is pressed for space is the iMac, but that not so badly. Further the iMac is seen as a more professional platform so they will be more conservative.
Quote:
However, I think it's far more likely the first Macs with flash storage will be portables; computers which are dependent on battery power.

I won't totally disagree with that. But the Mini is due for a rev and we have not heard much about where it is going. The Mini is also a laptop from many perspectives so.....
Quote:

A small amount of storage such as 32 or 64 GB would be just another reason for people to poo-poo the mini. (Again, maybe that's what Apple would want, judging by their history with the mini.)

It all depends on what the final feature set is. If they go directly to 45nm hardware this little box could be very impressive.

Dave
post #115 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

It all depends on what the final feature set is. If they go directly to 45nm hardware this little box could be very impressive.

Dave

To go directly to 45nm "hardware", if we are talking january 2008, is to use a Santa Rosa motherboard (just like the MacBook) and the first wave of penryn chips, both of which will bring huge improvements in performance, not so much in power consumption since the SR chipset is known to draw more power than Napa (current 945 chipset in the Mini), but I agree the CPU is better in this area and it starts at 2.1GHz. That also means that most other Macs (MB, MBP and iMacs) would also have to be upgraded to faster chips in order to match those in the mini (at least).

As far as storage is concern, I really don't think that SSD will come to the Mini first: too expensive yet, AFAIK, a 32GB SDD alone costs as much as a Mini!
My guess is Apple will start using that technology not in a MB/MBP but in the "ultra-portable" people are talking about in another thread. It may also well not be a full implementation but something like Sandisk Vaulter (8/16GB of Flash in a fast PCIexpress interface + a traditional maybe 1.8" HDD).

Q3 (Summer) 2008 will bring more adequate chips/chipsets for the Mac mini (and MB & UPN): the medium voltage penryn chips (25W instead of 35W, 3MB of cache instead of 6, 2.13-2.53GHz, up to 1066FSB) with smaller & more power efficient chipsets: Montevina GL/GS. I believe those are pefect for both the Mac mini and the MacBook, the chipset could be used the the UPN (if ever released) along with LV or ULV penryn chips that will also be launched in Q3.
post #116 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjteix View Post

To go directly to 45nm "hardware", if we are talking january 2008, is to use a Santa Rosa motherboard (just like the MacBook) and the first wave of penryn chips, both of which will bring huge improvements in performance, not so much in power consumption since the SR chipset is known to draw more power than Napa (current 945 chipset in the Mini),

What you describe is certainly possible. The issue of power dissipation in the mini is real though so they will need a way to balance the heat output.

Some where in all of this mis mash of Intel chips there are rumors to the effect that Apple and Intel are working on a SOC (System On Chip). If there are any truth to the rumors at all the Minni would be a possible destination for such a chip. My Guess would be that the chip implements everything but the GPU, thus allowing for a real GPU and GPU memory.
Quote:
but I agree the CPU is better in this area and it starts at 2.1GHz. That also means that most other Macs (MB, MBP and iMacs) would also have to be upgraded to faster chips in order to match those in the mini (at least).

I don't subscribe to this idea that one needs to upgrade all machines because one other has an new chip set. Apple doesn't do this on the Mac Book line, where the processors are very similar and close in speed so why anywhere else?
Quote:
As far as storage is concern, I really don't think that SSD will come to the Mini first: too expensive yet, AFAIK, a 32GB SDD alone costs as much as a Mini!

No it doesn't. You are looking at the cost of harddisk modules that are new to market. Look instead at the cost of the 16GB Touch. We can do all sorts of Math on the parts break down but you have to agree the cost is a lot less than the $400 the unit costs new. That is with todays technology, 2008 brings a new year. The cost of the Flash in the Touch is what maybe $140 dollars.

Lets face it there is all sorts of ways to slice this beast up. Taking into account Apple margins and position in the industry though, I don't think the $140 price is to far off. A process shrink/improvement could double the amount of flash available for that amount of money. Certainly that is more than Apple is paying now for hard drives but still with in the ball park of a reasonably priced machine.
Quote:
My guess is Apple will start using that technology not in a MB/MBP but in the "ultra-portable" people are talking about in another thread. It may also well not be a full implementation but something like Sandisk Vaulter (8/16GB of Flash in a fast PCIexpress interface + a traditional maybe 1.8" HDD).

I would think that flash would be a requirement for an ultra portable. Frankly have posted as such in the thread for that device. With the Mini there are different factors involved and it really depends on whether or not Apple wants to be leading edge with respect to the desktop. One big point with the idea of flash on the Mini is that it gives Apple a chance to stuff more silicon into the box. For example Apple might want to trade off the heat of a hard drive for the heat of a GPU.
Quote:

Q3 (Summer) 2008 will bring more adequate chips/chipsets for the Mac mini (and MB & UPN): the medium voltage penryn chips (25W instead of 35W, 3MB of cache instead of 6, 2.13-2.53GHz, up to 1066FSB) with smaller & more power efficient chipsets: Montevina GL/GS. I believe those are pefect for both the Mac mini and the MacBook, the chipset could be used the the UPN (if ever released) along with LV or ULV penryn chips that will also be launched in Q3.

Intel has all of these public schedules which I'm happy to see but I'm not to sure what is up with Apple and Intel. Further I wouldn't be surprised to see Apple consider other chip sets to support the latest lintel processor. The one thing we have to remember about the current Mini is that it was a transitional machine and frankly not to bad for how fast it got to market. Apple has now had a lot of time to sit back an look at the Mini and its place in the market and that of Apple Tv. Frankly that gives them the opportunity build a replacement around a wholly different set of specs. So while we are all arguing about a revision more or less, to the current Mini Apple could just scrap it and offer something new.

Dave
post #117 of 123
A mini with a ATI on board chipset with it's own ram will be big boost in the mini.
post #118 of 123
What about a Mac Coffin?
post #119 of 123
The answer to the mini's 2.5" problem: keep the 2.5" drive, and add a 3 Gbps esata port for more advanced users.
post #120 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Not Unlike Myself View Post

Another pain in the butt part of this... Frontrow...

My last 'mini' as a media center attempt failed. I'm tempted to ditch it and drop in a cheap PC for the time being and use that confiscated mini for work.

I had to go through a HUGE pain in the butt to get my Mini up and running on my big screen using VNC to connect to it and change to a supported resolution.
I don't want that problem again.


Really? I found it very plug n play
I don't see how an anti M$ stance can be seen as a bad thing on an Apple forum I really can't!

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I don't see how an anti M$ stance can be seen as a bad thing on an Apple forum I really can't!

nagromme - According to Amazon: "SpongBob Typing Tutor" is outselling Windows
Reply
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