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Mac mini makeover considered likely for Macworld

post #1 of 175
Thread Starter 
A new source claims that Apple's long-overdue revision of the Mac mini will make its appearance at Macworld Expo early next month.

Claiming to have obtained the information from a "corporate" employee of Apple, Wired has allegedly heard that a refresh of the compact, headless desktop is due at the start of the show.

The rumor is accompanied by little else besides a speculative wish list based on Apple's recent trends in design and components, such as a unibody design and newer Core 2 Duo processors.

Still, the report corroborates things that AppleInsider has privately heard about the matter. It also supports a number of outside claims that an update is approaching; of these, a reported Apple executive care rep's advice to be patient has been the strongest sign of an impending upgrade.

What any new Mac mini would include is still uncertain, though two months ago Macminicolo asserted that it had validated as many as three new features that would make their way into the new system.

Of these, the most feasible were the switch to Mini DisplayPort -- a move Apple has publicly promised for all of its Macs -- and the ability of the mainboard chipset to address more than 3GB of RAM, which is currently limited by the Mac mini's roughly two year old hardware.

The more aggressive claim instead suggested Apple would attempt to please business and server operators by letting buyers replace the optical drive with a second hard drive that could increase the total storage for the computer.

Whether any of this occurs is still up in the air, as Apple has yet to commit to a Steve Jobs keynote at Macworld despite the event being just three weeks away.
post #2 of 175
If this is indeed true, I couldn't be happier. I am still using the last G4 Mac mini produced by Apple. I have been waiting (hoping) for an update to the Mac mini architecture before I take the plunge and upgrade.

I just hope that they don't do something crazy like remove the FireWire port. That would not be cool. I'm sure many server farms have no need for that, but I certainly do.

Long live the Mac mini!
post #3 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A new source claims that Apple's long-overdue revision of the Mac mini will make its appearance at Macworld Expo early next month.

Claiming to have obtained the information from a "corporate" employee of Apple, Wired has allegedly heard that a refresh of the compact, headless desktop is due at the start of the show.

The rumor is accompanied by little else besides a speculative wish list based on Apple's recent trends in design and components, such as a unibody design and newer Core 2 Duo processors.

Still, the report corroborates things that AppleInsider has privately heard about the matter. It also supports a number of outside claims that an update is approaching; of these, a reported Apple executive care rep's advice to be patient has been the strongest sign of an impending upgrade.

What any new Mac mini would include is still uncertain, though two months ago Macminicolo asserted that it had validated as many as three new features that would make their way into the new system.

Of these, the most feasible were the switch to Mini DisplayPort -- a move Apple has publicly promised for all of its Macs -- and the ability of the mainboard chipset to address more than 3GB of RAM, which is currently limited by the Mac mini's roughly two year old hardware.

The more aggressive claim instead suggested Apple would attempt to please business and server operators by letting buyers replace the optical drive with a second hard drive that could increase the total storage for the computer.

Whether any of this occurs is still up in the air, as Apple has yet to commit to a Steve Jobs keynote at Macworld despite the event being just three weeks away.

Here's my mini lineup for 2009.


1. $499 mini- 2Ghz 800fsb Core2 Duo,1GB RAM (512MB x2) 80 GB hard drive, Nvidia mobo with 9400m graphics, GigE, Wifi, Bluetooth. No Superdrive. Mini-DisplayPort

2. $699 mini - 2.2 Ghz 1066 Core2 Duo, 2 GB RAM(1GB x2) 160 GB, Nvidia mobo with 9400m graphics, GigE, Wifi, Bluetooth and Superdrive. Mini-DisplayPort

There we go. The $499 mini becomes the perfect computer for secondary or tertiary needs or the perfect children's computer. I rarely us my DVD Burner and in a home with networked computers it makes more sense to simply create your video or audio creation and send it to the Apple TV in the living room. Software is easily installed over a network on Macs. It begs the question "why are you trying to sell me the same product over and over?" I don't need 8 DVD burners in my home.
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post #4 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Here's my mini lineup for 2009.


1. $499 mini- 2Ghz 800fsb Core2 Duo,1GB RAM (512MB x2) 80 GB hard drive, Nvidia mobo with 9400m graphics, GigE, Wifi, Bluetooth. No Superdrive. Mini-DisplayPort

2. $699 mini - 2.2 Ghz 1066 Core2 Duo, 2 GB RAM(1GB x2) 160 GB, Nvidia mobo with 9400m graphics, GigE, Wifi, Bluetooth and Superdrive. Mini-DisplayPort

There we go. The $499 mini becomes the perfect computer for secondary or tertiary needs or the perfect children's computer. I rarely us my DVD Burner and in a home with networked computers it makes more sense to simply create your video or audio creation and send it to the Apple TV in the living room. Software is easily installed over a network on Macs. It begs the question "why are you trying to sell me the same product over and over?" I don't need 8 DVD burners in my home.

I think that Superdrive is the standard now, if anything I think they'll match the Mac Mini up with the new MacBook specs. HD size, graphics, RAM, speed. It makes sense in my head \

EDIT: Oh, I'm also surprised at how well kept this secret is for once....
post #5 of 175
They should merge the AppleTV and Mac mini lines and preinstall both OSes. Put both a Mini DisplayPort and a HDMI port on there.
post #6 of 175
I expect a redesign, perhaps something along the lines of the Macbook Air's external Superdrive with the airflow vents of the Airport Extreme.
post #7 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Here's my mini lineup for 2009.


1. $499 mini- 2Ghz 800fsb Core2 Duo,1GB RAM (512MB x2) 80 GB hard drive, Nvidia mobo with 9400m graphics, GigE, Wifi, Bluetooth. No Superdrive. Mini-DisplayPort

2. $699 mini - 2.2 Ghz 1066 Core2 Duo, 2 GB RAM(1GB x2) 160 GB, Nvidia mobo with 9400m graphics, GigE, Wifi, Bluetooth and Superdrive. Mini-DisplayPort

There we go. The $499 mini becomes the perfect computer for secondary or tertiary needs or the perfect children's computer. I rarely us my DVD Burner and in a home with networked computers it makes more sense to simply create your video or audio creation and send it to the Apple TV in the living room. Software is easily installed over a network on Macs. It begs the question "why are you trying to sell me the same product over and over?" I don't need 8 DVD burners in my home.

Never say never but I don't see a new mini coming without an optical drive. This is a computer that's usable without resorting to tricks like network software installations, etc. Grandma doesn't know how to do that yet. Perhaps more to the point, if MacBook's still have optical drives then I believe the mini will as well.
post #8 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by retroneo View Post

They should merge the AppleTV and Mac mini lines and preinstall both OSes. Put both a Mini DisplayPort and a HDMI port on there.

No need...monoprice is coming out with a MDP to HDMI cable.

http://gizmodo.com/5110847/minidispl...ice-next-month

I think the ATV should move to ARM and PowerVR processing. It's only function is to playback media content. It should be based as closely around SoC as possible.
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post #9 of 175
Not that it matters but, it will probably be the size of the apple tv and time capsule instead of the old mac mini and the airport extreme.
post #10 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson1 View Post

Never say never but I don't see a new mini coming without an optical drive. This is a computer that's usable without resorting to tricks like network software installations, etc. Grandma doesn't know how to do that yet. Perhaps more to the point, if MacBook's still have optical drives then I believe the mini will as well.

Precisely. It's a Network computer though I'd suspect that many people would purchase it for solo needs but if they have problems installing software that's up to them to handle.

Optical drives have reached their peak for usefulness a long time ago. I rarely use my Superdrive and when I do I'm reminded about how clunky it is. I'd rather just take my iMovie and larger media files and send them to the Apple TV for playback.

1. It's faster
2. It's Green (one less polycarbonate disc clogging a landfill)
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post #11 of 175
I think it will be like an Dual Core Atom based with MPC Mini,

It will be cheap , affordable, and quite fast.....

After All , Grand Central and OpenCL would speed things up with MCP and Atom
post #12 of 175
The update will be useless unless they change the form and make the mini more expandable. From what we've seen in the new MB family I think we will see a complete redesigned mini (if it happened) including better graphics card.
post #13 of 175
All I have to say is that they better not kill the firewire port on it.
post #14 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

The update will be useless unless they change the form and make the mini more expandable. From what we've seen in the new MB family I think we will see a complete redesigned mini (if it happened).

Expansion??? This is Apple you're talking about. They don't care about expansion unless the product has Pro in the name.
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post #15 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Expansion??? This is Apple you're talking about. They don't care about expansion unless the product has Pro in the name.

I should have said easier to upgrade (HDD and memory) the same thing they did with the MB and MBP. They also need to drop the 2.5" HDD and use 3.5" instead (cheaper, larger capacity, and faster).
post #16 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Here's my mini lineup for 2009.


1. $499 mini- 2Ghz 800fsb Core2 Duo,1GB RAM (512MB x2) 80 GB hard drive, Nvidia mobo with 9400m graphics, GigE, Wifi, Bluetooth. No Superdrive. Mini-DisplayPort

2. $699 mini - 2.2 Ghz 1066 Core2 Duo, 2 GB RAM(1GB x2) 160 GB, Nvidia mobo with 9400m graphics, GigE, Wifi, Bluetooth and Superdrive. Mini-DisplayPort

There we go. The $499 mini becomes the perfect computer for secondary or tertiary needs or the perfect children's computer. I rarely us my DVD Burner and in a home with networked computers it makes more sense to simply create your video or audio creation and send it to the Apple TV in the living room. Software is easily installed over a network on Macs. It begs the question "why are you trying to sell me the same product over and over?" I don't need 8 DVD burners in my home.

That sounds about right, except that both models would have the superdrive.
post #17 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

No need...monoprice is coming out with a MDP to HDMI cable.

http://gizmodo.com/5110847/minidispl...ice-next-month

I'm all for having a mini-DisplayPort on the mini even if that means DRM, as long as that also means that we'll be able to purchase and rent HD movies (and ideally, be able to purchase/rent/play it through FrontRow).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Expat View Post

All I have to say is that they better not kill the firewire port on it.

Amen! If it drops the FireWire port it'll be no-sale for me. If it does the above for access to HD content and maintains the FW port, I'll be replacing my old PPC mini for my HTPC, media server, and network drives for Time Machine.
post #18 of 175
I have the feeling that it might be a lil bit thinner. I would love if it is able to remove the optical disk and upgradeable HDD. If the optical disk is removed, den can put 2 TB HDD!! That would be like a backup machine.
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post #19 of 175
I'm thinkin' Geforce 9300M integrated (slightly slower and cheaper then the 9400M), with DDR2 memory still. That would be more in line with its budget status.

I don't see Apple using an Intel chipset on the cheaper model and Nvidia on the higher model; cheaper to use one motherboard for both.
post #20 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelhot View Post

I have the feeling that it might be a lil bit thinner. I would love if it is able to remove the optical disk and upgradeable HDD. If the optical disk is removed, den can put 2 TB HDD!! That would be like a backup machine.

For the kind of money they'll be asking for it, I'd rather stick with my Drobo.

I think is info is a no-brainer. Of course we're going to see a Mini with the new display port. That's like saying it will come with 10.5.6 pre-installed.
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post #21 of 175
Something to consider: If there is indeed an option to not include an optical drive, they'll be no slot for the disc - a consideration if you ever want to pop a bluray player in there in the future. (assuming that the MM is HDCP compliant, blah, blah)
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post #22 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by razorpit View Post

For the kind of money they'll be asking for it, I'd rather stick with my Drobo.

I think is info is a no-brainer. Of course we're going to see a Mini with the new display port. That's like saying it will come with 10.5.6 pre-installed.

It should have full DP with a Full DP to mini port cable + a DP to DVI cable shipping with the system.
post #23 of 175
Really it is the machine most in need of an update and the economic conditions are ripe. I don't know about the linked article though as there where several things there that didn't make sense at least economically.

For example I have a hard time believing they will be machining the chassis out of Aluminum. It is to expensive for Apples lowest cost Mac. That doesn't mean it won't be Aluminum just that die casting or extrusions would be a lot cheaper.

As for what the video card might be I'm thinking Apples investment with Nvidia tilts the likely hood towards them as a supplier. The question is which Nvidia chipset. I'm going out on a limb here but it is likely a low power chip we don't know about yet. Something like a 9400M with a few more execution units. The idea is to maintain low power but have slightly better performance. The trick here is balance as Apple loves to market Minis low power nature and that nature is becoming more and more important to the consumer.

For storage I wouldn't be surprised if one variant doesn't go solid state. Ideally what Apple needs to do is to get rid of legacy form factor and interface. By this I mean storage on a PCI Express card or daughter card. This would give Apple a lot of flexibility with respect to the new computers housing. That is what I'd like to see what we are likely to get is slots for two notebook drives. Hopefully not the 1.8 drives.

The processor is a bit of a mystery right now. As interesting as Atom is it is too much of a step backwards. This especially so when Apple is about to transition Mac OS to 64bits. The big issue is what Intel will have ready, ideally the new Mini would start out as an i7 machine. This would make the basic design viable for another two to three years.

FireWire is an interesting question. Frankly there is a lot of new hardware out there using it. The problem is it is not the type of hardware that drives sales agressively. So I think it will be dead in the base machine.

The key to the Firewire issue is expandability. Thus I expect at least one expansion slot. The Apple twist on this will be that the slot is for compact cards like would be used in laptops or industrial cards.

I'm still thinking they will go with a MagSafe connector for power and unbundle the power supply. The MagSafe connector will have a built in mechanical retaining supplement. To address fears about Magsafe Apple will supply the new Mini with a super capacitor to allow a few minutes of time for a save and orderly shut down. Magsafe just offers a lot of flexibility in meeting the users power requirements.


Dave
post #24 of 175
- It will be FW 800 or none at all (that should piss some people right off -sorry).
- 4Gb accessible ram,
- some kind of unibody - it's not as difficult do as a notebook.
- Very green to keep the tree huggers happy
- Mini display port of course and pay $20-30 for DVI/HDMI adaptor.
- Possibly i7

You know if they included the mouse and keyboard in the price, they'd have more switchers. I reckon people add up the price and say to themselves I'll go with an iMac instead. Clever and evil thoses marketing people at Apple.

Gavin
post #25 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by i386 View Post

- It will be FW 800 or none at all (that should piss some people right off -sorry).
- 4Gb accessible ram,
- some kind of unibody - it's not as difficult do as a notebook.
- Very green to keep the tree huggers happy
- Mini display port of course and pay $20-30 for DVI/HDMI adaptor.
- Possibly i7

You know if they included the mouse and keyboard in the price, they'd have more switchers. I reckon people add up the price and say to themselves I'll go with an iMac instead. Clever and evil thoses marketing people at Apple.

Gavin

This seems right on the money to me. Since Mini's are most commonly used as control machines, back-up servers, and media servers, it only makes sense that if they have FW it will be 800 despite the Mini is not a "Pro" machine. The guys at Apple aren't stupid; FW400 is on the way out, and for a Mini to work as a media or backup server, it simply has to have FireWire.

About the processor though, I wouldn't be surprised if it uses the same custom chip Intel made for the MacBook Air. It's physically smaller, uses less power, and still performs well. In fact I'd be surprised if they didn't use at least the same MB as the MacBook.

It would be nice if they make them a little larger and thinner too, as other here have suggested so their form factor matches the air port and time capsule and Apple TV forms. That would be great because then they might put a 3.5" drive in it so the storage could be made quite good.

Lastly, I'd love to see the Apple TV discontinued because the Mini will have its capabilities expanded and incorporate the ATV features and software. If it did that, I'd be one of the first people in line to buy one.
post #26 of 175
1) Intel's new i7 is more than just new processors, it's a new architecture, one specifically designed to get the most performance out of each core and each thread. Since the Mac mini has never been about performance, it's doubtful the mini will see an i7 processor this time around - prolly just slightly faster Core 2s. Still, since the i7 architecture is Intel's future for the next several years, and Apple will want to drop in i7s easy later on, expect the underlying motherboard to be i7 right off the bat. One good thing: the i7 scales easily from dual-core to quad and beyond, so maybe we'll finally see an $899-999 enthusiast Mac mini in Quad-core!
2) Regarding the SuperDrive: I know most power users have moved past discs to pure digital multimedia content, but that's not yet the case for the rest of us. Many of us still use DVDs on a regular basis (Netflix, anyone?) and many more are not yet ready to give up the comfort of real, tangible media. A few of us even still use VHS - years of trusty analog and not a hint of DRM!
post #27 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksec View Post

I think it will be like an Dual Core Atom based with MPC Mini,
It will be cheap , affordable, and quite fast.....
After All , Grand Central and OpenCL would speed things up with MCP and Atom

Going from a ~2Ghz Core Duo to an Atom? No way.. That is such an over-hyped weak processor. Even an old low-power Pentium-M blows that thing away.
And what are you referring to with "MCP" and "MPC"? Are you talking about the nVidia chipset branding of "Media communications processor"? Regardless, I'm sure it will have the same 1-chip chipset that the Macbook uses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Expat View Post

All I have to say is that they better not kill the firewire port on it.

Indeed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelhot View Post

If the optical disk is removed, den can put 2 TB HDD!! That would be like a backup machine.

The Mini uses 2.5" HDDs which are up to 500GB I believe. Also there are now 1500GB 3.5" drives now...


Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

I think the ATV should move to ARM and PowerVR processing. It's only function is to playback media content. It should be based as closely around SoC as possible.

Agreed. Right now, the AppleTV is basically just using very outdated laptop components. I believe it has an old-school 1.0ghz Intel Celeron-M and an low-power Geforce Go 7300 mobile card. Considering that the interface isn't real graphics or processor intensive, and the video only goes to 720P, A modern ARM SoC (say, a Cortex-A8 core) from TI, Qualcomm, or Samsung could run this thing quite easily.
post #28 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by i386 View Post

- Possibly i7
Gavin

Not a chance. The only Nehalem chips out right now are the high-end (high power) desktop "Bloomfield" chips with Quickpath that use the X58 chipset. The wholesale cost of the cheapest i7 and motherboard together would probably be close to $500 alone! The mini will most likely continue to use mobile chips for their low power dissipation, and quad-core laptop "Clarksfield" chips won't be out until Q3 2009. The only dual-core Nehalem chips, both mobile and desktop, are the ones with graphics cores integrated onto the CPU package and both have been delayed until 2010.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_N...roarchitecture)


Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

As for what the video card might be I'm thinking Apples investment with Nvidia tilts the likely hood towards them as a supplier. The question is which Nvidia chipset. I'm going out on a limb here but it is likely a low power chip we don't know about yet. Something like a 9400M with a few more execution units. The idea is to maintain low power but have slightly better performance. The trick here is balance as Apple loves to market Minis low power nature and that nature is becoming more and more important to the consumer.

For storage I wouldn't be surprised if one variant doesn't go solid state. Ideally what Apple needs to do is to get rid of legacy form factor and interface. By this I mean storage on a PCI Express card or daughter card. This would give Apple a lot of flexibility with respect to the new computers housing. That is what I'd like to see what we are likely to get is slots for two notebook drives. Hopefully not the 1.8 drives.

The processor is a bit of a mystery right now. As interesting as Atom is it is too much of a step backwards. This especially so when Apple is about to transition Mac OS to 64bits. The big issue is what Intel will have ready, ideally the new Mini would start out as an i7 machine. This would make the basic design viable for another two to three years.

FireWire is an interesting question. Frankly there is a lot of new hardware out there using it. The problem is it is not the type of hardware that drives sales agressively. So I think it will be dead in the base machine.

The key to the Firewire issue is expandability. Thus I expect at least one expansion slot. The Apple twist on this will be that the slot is for compact cards like would be used in laptops or industrial cards.

I'm still thinking they will go with a MagSafe connector for power and unbundle the power supply. The MagSafe connector will have a built in mechanical retaining supplement. To address fears about Magsafe Apple will supply the new Mini with a super capacitor to allow a few minutes of time for a save and orderly shut down. Magsafe just offers a lot of flexibility in meeting the users power requirements.

Dave

- Most likely Apple will simply use the Macbook's single-chip nVidia 9400 chipset in the Mini, as they love to share parts to reduce costs. Also, this is a good chipset, and besides nVidia not (publicly) having anything better than the 9400 for an integrated graphics chipset, the Mini never had better graphics than the Macbook in the past so I don't see why they would start that now.

- SSD in a budget computer? First of all, given the price of the Mini, it certainly couldn't be a decent one. Second, the primary benefits of an SSD apply to laptops (low power, durability) and servers (very high random read speed) -- there really wouldn't be a compelling advantage to having one in a budget desktop.
My guess is they will simply continue to use a conventional 2.5" laptop harddrive, which is the cheapest and most sensical solution.

- As I mentioned above, an Intel Atom is a major step back from *any* Core (2) Duo.. even an old ultra-low-voltage Pentium M can blow it away. There is simply no compelling reason to use one, other than for Apple to increase their margins.. and I don't believe even they are that cynical.

- i7/Nehalem will also never happen, for the reasons I outlined above. A Nehalem fit for use in a Mini (cheap, low-power, and integrated graphics) won't happen for at LEAST another 12 months from now.

- Including an expresscard slot is the best thing they could do for the Mini, even a current generation expresscard 1.0. This expansion slot would allow easy expandability in the future for Firewire 800/3200, USB 3.0, eSATA, Digital TV tuners, etc. This would be especially relevant if they decided to remove the standard firewire port.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DOSbox-gamer View Post

1) Intel's new i7 is more than just new processors, it's a new architecture, one specifically designed to get the most performance out of each core and each thread. Since the Mac mini has never been about performance, it's doubtful the mini will see an i7 processor this time around - prolly just slightly faster Core 2s. Still, since the i7 architecture is Intel's future for the next several years, and Apple will want to drop in i7s easy later on, expect the underlying motherboard to be i7 right off the bat. One good thing: the i7 scales easily from dual-core to quad and beyond, so maybe we'll finally see an $899-999 enthusiast Mac mini in Quad-core!

Well technically Nehalem/i7 was really about increasing the performance of everything BUT the processor core. The processor core itself has been enhanced with hyper-threading, but it's really not much different than the core from Core 2. It is everything else in the platform that has been changed. The memory controller has been moved onto the processor die, all the cores are on a single die (like AMD K10), there is a new 3-level caching system, and the ancient FSB has been replaced with Quickpath.

the Mini, as I mentioned above, it will not see a Nehalem/i7 CPU for some time. The first mobile CPUs (that is, the first CPUs cool enough for a Mini) are quad-core and should be out Q3 2009. Sometime after that, perhaps in 2010, the dual-core graphics-core-on-the-CPU version will be out.

One more thing, because the Nehalem platform is very different than Core 2 it uses a completely different socket. Therefore, there is now way for a new Core 2 Mini to be able to have future drop-in capability for Nehalem.
post #29 of 175
Very thin, very cheap and very unexpandable. SSD option. Super-desirable for a lot of markets.
post #30 of 175
.... embedded controllers, kids first computer, office thin client, software testing farm, recording studio voice expansion, digital signage, presentation playback..... blah blah.
post #31 of 175
... expandability is such non-argument in this sector... its a 'category error'.
post #32 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by winterspan View Post

Not a chance. The only Nehalem chips out right now are the high-end (high power) desktop "Bloomfield" chips with Quickpath that use the X58 chipset. The wholesale cost of the cheapest i7 and motherboard together would probably be close to $500 alone! The mini will most likely continue to use mobile chips for their low power dissipation, and quad-core laptop "Clarksfield" chips won't be out until Q3 2009. The only dual-core Nehalem chips, both mobile and desktop, are the ones with graphics cores integrated onto the CPU package and both have been delayed until 2010.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_N...roarchitecture)




- Most likely Apple will simply use the Macbook's single-chip nVidia 9400 chipset in the Mini, as they love to share parts to reduce costs. Also, this is a good chipset, and besides nVidia not (publicly) having anything better than the 9400 for an integrated graphics chipset, the Mini never had better graphics than the Macbook in the past so I don't see why they would start that now.

- SSD in a budget computer? First of all, given the price of the Mini, it certainly couldn't be a decent one. Second, the primary benefits of an SSD apply to laptops (low power, durability) and servers (very high random read speed) -- there really wouldn't be a compelling advantage to having one in a budget desktop.
My guess is they will simply continue to use a conventional 2.5" laptop harddrive, which is the cheapest and most sensical solution.

- As I mentioned above, an Intel Atom is a major step back from *any* Core (2) Duo.. even an old ultra-low-voltage Pentium M can blow it away. There is simply no compelling reason to use one, other than for Apple to increase their margins.. and I don't believe even they are that cynical.

- i7/Nehalem will also never happen, for the reasons I outlined above. A Nehalem fit for use in a Mini (cheap, low-power, and integrated graphics) won't happen for at LEAST another 12 months from now.

- Including an expresscard slot is the best thing they could do for the Mini, even a current generation expresscard 1.0. This expansion slot would allow easy expandability in the future for Firewire 800/3200, USB 3.0, eSATA, Digital TV tuners, etc. This would be especially relevant if they decided to remove the standard firewire port.




Well technically Nehalem/i7 was really about increasing the performance of everything BUT the processor core. The processor core itself has been enhanced with hyper-threading, but it's really not much different than the core from Core 2. It is everything else in the platform that has been changed. The memory controller has been moved onto the processor die, all the cores are on a single die (like AMD K10), there is a new 3-level caching system, and the ancient FSB has been replaced with Quickpath.

the Mini, as I mentioned above, it will not see a Nehalem/i7 CPU for some time. The first mobile CPUs (that is, the first CPUs cool enough for a Mini) are quad-core and should be out Q3 2009. Sometime after that, perhaps in 2010, the dual-core graphics-core-on-the-CPU version will be out.

One more thing, because the Nehalem platform is very different than Core 2 it uses a completely different socket. Therefore, there is now way for a new Core 2 Mini to be able to have future drop-in capability for Nehalem.

Apple will not add an expresscard slot to the mini. If expanding the mini was easy, many more people would try to go that route versus buying the ready-to-expand Mac Pro. But, that would cut into Apple's sales. Apple is very good about NOT making its systems easy to upgrade, for that very reason. Look what happened with the unibody MacBook: Apple realised most people would finally be happy with just the MacBook, so they jettisoned a key expansion piece: the FireWire port. Now, if you want FireWire (aka expansion), Apple can argue that you'd be happier with (the greater expandability of) a MacBook Pro.
As to the fate of FireWire, that's up to the mini's biggest customers, Macminicolo and such. I'd want to know from them (the Mac mini-using server farms and kiosk operators): how much of a need do you have for the FireWire port? And, what's the biggest change you want in the new mini?
post #33 of 175
Yeah, FW in normal consumer eyes is pointless since everything they see around them is USB. For them it makes no different if a notebook has FW or not.
Apple is a hardware company, dont believe me? Read this Article!. For those who understand my message, help me spread this info to those who dont get it.
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Apple is a hardware company, dont believe me? Read this Article!. For those who understand my message, help me spread this info to those who dont get it.
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post #34 of 175
I'm not sure how Apple see the Mac Mini - but for a lot of people, the Mac Mini is already an excellent media hub.

As a wish-list it would be nice to see Apple recognize this function and build on what they have.

Hardware playback of h264 would be a good start, as would HDMI.

But I'd also like to see some media hub software too - especially an overhaul of FrontRow.

C.
post #35 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Expat View Post

All I have to say is that they better not kill the firewire port on it.

I won't buy a Mac without Firewire. BTW, the Firewire for MacBook petition is doing well with over 17000 signatures.
post #36 of 175
I don't see unibody happening it has no benefits in the desktop space.

You don't hear many people saying 'I wish my desktop was more torsionally rigid'.
OK, can I have my matte Apple display, now?
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OK, can I have my matte Apple display, now?
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post #37 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Here's my mini lineup for 2009.


1. $499 mini- 2Ghz 800fsb Core2 Duo,1GB RAM (512MB x2) 80 GB hard drive, Nvidia mobo with 9400m graphics, GigE, Wifi, Bluetooth. No Superdrive. Mini-DisplayPort

2. $699 mini - 2.2 Ghz 1066 Core2 Duo, 2 GB RAM(1GB x2) 160 GB, Nvidia mobo with 9400m graphics, GigE, Wifi, Bluetooth and Superdrive. Mini-DisplayPort

There we go. The $499 mini becomes the perfect computer for secondary or tertiary needs or the perfect children's computer. I rarely us my DVD Burner and in a home with networked computers it makes more sense to simply create your video or audio creation and send it to the Apple TV in the living room. Software is easily installed over a network on Macs. It begs the question "why are you trying to sell me the same product over and over?" I don't need 8 DVD burners in my home.

They won't cut the price. If anything, they'll bump the specs and keep $599 as the baseline.
post #38 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksec View Post

I think it will be like an Dual Core Atom based with MPC Mini,

It will be cheap , affordable, and quite fast.....

After All , Grand Central and OpenCL would speed things up with MCP and Atom

Atom? No. That's an insult.

They'll move it up probably to the E8400 and increase the price by $100.
post #39 of 175
Apple will not make a "Mini" Mac.

Apple will not make a video iPod.

Apple will not make a mobile phone.

Apple will never switch to Intel processors.
post #40 of 175
Steve Jobs said "We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." Yet the original Mac Mini cost $499 when it was introduced. Did Steve admit that the Mac Mini is a piece of junk?
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