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Mac mini makeover considered likely for Macworld - Page 2

post #41 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Messiah View Post

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'.

The top part of the Mac Mini is extremely flexible, so you can't put anything on top of it without risking damage to the optical drive.

Apple even warns people not to put anything on top of an Xserve for the same reason.
post #42 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post

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?

I think SJ didn't choose the right wording, he was referring to PC laptops and complete PC systems which run under $500.
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post #43 of 175
Sounds like they're doing it right. Still I have a couple of concerns. Will the entry level Mini use the GM965 chipset used in the white Macbook or Intel's GM45. I do not believe that GM965 had displayport support. GM45 does. Also, will they include VGA/DVI adapters in box? Users finding out that their new computer requires buying an adapter to use anything but Apple's expensive cinemas might not be the best way to begin a relationship with a user.
post #44 of 175
AppleNet


There seems to be 2 markets to serve here:
a. Corporate for which cheap mac minis are perfect for desktop computers or as part of server farms.
b. Consumer looking for low entry point into Mac ecosystem.

Possible simple solution for both markets:
1. Create a Terminal Services type of setup option on MAC servers that allow for multiple remote sessions by users. Corporations will need to purchase a license for each remote user.

2. Apple will allow provide this service for consumers on a subscription basis - AppleNet. Maybe $24.99-29.99 monthly for network access to 50gb of storage space, office software, and more..

3. Apple will allow users to use Apple TVs to connect to the AppleNet service or corporate Mac servers.

4. Rename the Apple TV device to remove the word "TV". Install Safari and iTunes on these devices. Offer a lower-priced version for $149.99.

5. Allow national ISPs to resell the device with internet access. ex. $40 per month from AT&T for DSL service and Apple Net access.

For many consumers, this will be very appealing
$149.99 for the device that will allow internet and itunes access.
$24.99 - $29.99 monthly subscription to a fully functional network desktop and 50gb of storage.

Jacob Varghese
post #45 of 175
Time Capsule, Mac Mini, Apple TV - all turned into a single set of white snap-on layers.

Want to turn your Apple TV into a Mini? Snap-on the Super-Drive layer.

Time Capsule? Snap-on the hard drive layer.

DVR, Blu-Bag-of-Hurt, ... just keep on snappin'

Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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post #46 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by PXT View Post

Time Capsule, Mac Mini, Apple TV - all turned into a single set of white snap-on layers.

Want to turn your Apple TV into a Mini? Snap-on the Super-Drive layer.

Time Capsule? Snap-on the hard drive layer.

DVR, Blu-Bag-of-Hurt, ... just keep on snappin'

That is a great idea.
post #47 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacob1varghese View Post

AppleNet


There seems to be 2 markets to serve here:
a. Corporate for which cheap mac minis are perfect for desktop computers or as part of server farms.
b. Consumer looking for low entry point into Mac ecosystem.

Possible simple solution for both markets:
1. Create a Terminal Services type of setup option on MAC servers that allow for multiple remote sessions by users. Corporations will need to purchase a license for each remote user.

2. Apple will allow provide this service for consumers on a subscription basis - AppleNet. Maybe $24.99-29.99 monthly for network access to 50gb of storage space, office software, and more..

I like #1. It could be the next logical step from screen sharing, by allowing multiple GUI logins at the same time (I belive currently you can only have simultaneous terminal logins, but not GUI logins on the same machine). I'm not sure how efficient Apple's screen sharing is, but a lot of techs at my company carry around laptops only to use Remote Desktop back to their desktop machines. If Apple could allow multiple logins on a single machine, or perhaps virtualization of the client machines on the server, you could put a bare bones client on the users desk. It would also solve the big problem we have of users never backing up the content on their individual computers. IT could simply backup the server.

As for #2, oh please no!! Apple has proven with MobileMe that they are not skilled at managing an online service! How about they get MM working properly (they are getting there), before piling more on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PXT View Post

Time Capsule, Mac Mini, Apple TV - all turned into a single set of white snap-on layers.

Want to turn your Apple TV into a Mini? Snap-on the Super-Drive layer.

Time Capsule? Snap-on the hard drive layer.

DVR, Blu-Bag-of-Hurt, ... just keep on snappin'

So basically, you are wanting a mini without an optical drive? Because you can already do all of the rest of that (except the Bag-of-Hurt). This is my exact set-up, minus blu-ray and DVR (could use El gato, if I wanted). A Mac mini, NewerTech miniStack, and Airport Extreme all stacked nicely behind my HDTV. I get better network drive performance with the mini hosting the drives than you'll get with Time Capsule, and the advantage of 3 additional FW drives daisy-chained to the miniStack for basically unlimited storage (which is why Apple needs to keep the FW, I'd freak trying to duplicate that on USB)!

As for the bag-of-hurt blu-ray, other than licensing, the other problem you'll have is audio. DisplayPort doesn't support audio, and as I understand it, the high-resolution audio on blu-ray can't be output via the optical connections (not enough bandwidth?). You'd still be able to have the 5.1 Dolby Digital (which I think is required on blu-ray discs?), but you'll never get the newer audio formats. Still, that would be sufficient for me.

So, take today's mini, add the NVIDIA chipset, larger HD, DisplayPort, start renting HD movies via Macs (not just via AppleTV), keep the FW (800?), and while they are at it finally upgrade the wi-fi to N already!
post #48 of 175
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post #49 of 175
I would be extremely surprised if Firewire was included on the new Mini. It's been dropped from the MacBook and SJ defended its omission in an email to a user. The port is on its way out, excepting perhaps at the high end (which is *definitely* not where the mini is positioned).

As to those who are hoping for an expansion slot, I'll have some of what you're smoking.
post #50 of 175
I wouldn't mind if Firewire went bye bye if they replaced it with 2 USB ports. It should have a mini Display port, 5 to 6 USB ports, Ethernet, and audio in/out.

I still would prefer a cube format like the Shuttle (instead of integrated power supply have an external one).
post #51 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post

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?

Nah....he just forgot to append " at the margins we like to seel at" to the end of that sentence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PXT View Post

Time Capsule, Mac Mini, Apple TV - all turned into a single set of white snap-on layers.

Want to turn your Apple TV into a Mini? Snap-on the Super-Drive layer.

Time Capsule? Snap-on the hard drive layer.

DVR, Blu-Bag-of-Hurt, ... just keep on snappin'

Exactly though the modular approach is an anethema to Apple. The A-I-O benefits are nice for computing novice and those that want simplicity. Enthusiasts want more control. Dual Monitors, and systems configured the way they want. Apple has not provided this yet unless you want a huge behemoth Mac Pro (I do) which is $$$$$.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hypercommunist View Post

I would be extremely surprised if Firewire was included on the new Mini. It's been dropped from the MacBook and SJ defended its omission in an email to a user. The port is on its way out, excepting perhaps at the high end (which is *definitely* not where the mini is positioned).

As to those who are hoping for an expansion slot, I'll have some of what you're smoking.

Jobs is a fcking moron. 17k signatures on a petition. FW complaint threads on various message boards hitting 2 and 3k posts. Jobs' is clearly wrong. Apple hardware has shown very little innovation which is why Psystar and other companies are trying to eat Apple's lunch.
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post #52 of 175
It makes totally sense to update the MacMini. With the economy struggling all over the world, folks are looking for good deals and ways to get cheaper goods. That's where the MacMini fits so well.
I hope the next update will be substantial and the form factor can be smaller and the price points will stay the same or maybe a bit lower.
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post #53 of 175
My guess is that they will target the MM as a secondary mac and/or multimedia hub. If I were at apple, I would make sure that :

- the MM doesn't cannibalize the desktop sales by removing firewire and equipping it with a slower & smaller disk. As such, any video enthousiast will be compelled to go for an iMac as primary machine
- the MM doesn't cannibalize the macbook sales by removing the optical drive
- the MM doesn't cannibalize the appleTV by limiting the video-out options. Just the mini-displayport, no composite video
-if they can keep the price low enough, a drive-less MM is perfect as hub or secondary computer. Again, you'll need an iMac to be properly equipped


Im mostly hoping for an affordable MM (less than 500€*would be awesome, but it isn't going to happen. 599 will be the cheapest I think) with the new mini-displayport, more RAM capacity and a chipset thet supports the upcoming snow-leopard/openCL acceleration. The rest of the features (firewire, processor speed, form actor) are totally irrelevant for me. Anyone who cares about these should get an iMac or macBook
post #54 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Messiah View Post

You don't hear many people saying 'I wish my desktop was more torsionally rigid'.

I wish I were!

I imagine the new MacMini with six FW 400 ports and four FW 800 ports!
post #55 of 175
DisplayPort, handling more RAM, and a slight speed bump are obvious.

If Apple were smart, we'd get 3.5" drives, and an option for a Blu-ray drive.

If not, they'll drop Firewire and stay with 2.5" drives.

I expect the latter. So, if I don't care about more than 3GB of RAM, what's the point of this "makeover"? It's just so Apple can increase their profit margin.
post #56 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by jawadde View Post

Im mostly hoping for an affordable MM (less than 500*would be awesome, but it isn't going to happen. 599 will be the cheapest I think) with the new mini-displayport, more RAM capacity and a chipset thet supports the upcoming snow-leopard/openCL acceleration. The rest of the features (firewire, processor speed, form actor) are totally irrelevant for me. Anyone who cares about these should get an iMac or macBook

Why would OpenCL acceleration be of interest yet Firewire and Processor speed are not? Processor speed pays off %100 of the time and FW is a smarter bus that delivers much more power than USB.

People are getting a wee bit excited about OpenCL. Do not expect miracles. Most of the applications for CUDA are "geeky" and it's going to be a whle before we see the typical applications consumers use benefitting from OpenCL.
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post #57 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post

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.

Apple will not make a tablet computer.

Snow Leopard won't contain Cocoa touch.

Apple will not make a TV.

Steve Jobs will not send a personal check to me for $1M
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #58 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by jawadde View Post

My guess is that they will target the MM as a secondary mac and/or multimedia hub. If I were at apple, I would make sure that :

- the MM doesn't cannibalize the desktop sales by removing firewire and equipping it with a slower & smaller disk. As such, any video enthousiast will be compelled to go for an iMac as primary machine
- the MM doesn't cannibalize the macbook sales by removing the optical drive
- the MM doesn't cannibalize the appleTV by limiting the video-out options. Just the mini-displayport, no composite video
-if they can keep the price low enough, a drive-less MM is perfect as hub or secondary computer. Again, you'll need an iMac to be properly equipped


Im mostly hoping for an affordable MM (less than 500*would be awesome, but it isn't going to happen. 599 will be the cheapest I think) with the new mini-displayport, more RAM capacity and a chipset thet supports the upcoming snow-leopard/openCL acceleration. The rest of the features (firewire, processor speed, form actor) are totally irrelevant for me. Anyone who cares about these should get an iMac or macBook

It would be even easier and certainly more effective if Apple just drops the mini entirely. That should keep cannibalization to a bare minimum.

More seriously, never be afraid to make a good product.
post #59 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by jawadde View Post

My guess is that they will target the MM as a secondary mac and/or multimedia hub. If I were at apple, I would make sure that :

- the MM doesn't cannibalize the desktop sales by removing firewire and equipping it with a slower & smaller disk. As such, any video enthousiast will be compelled to go for an iMac as primary machine
- the MM doesn't cannibalize the macbook sales by removing the optical drive
- the MM doesn't cannibalize the appleTV by limiting the video-out options. Just the mini-displayport, no composite video
-if they can keep the price low enough, a drive-less MM is perfect as hub or secondary computer. Again, you'll need an iMac to be properly equipped

I don't see how an optical drive in a mini cannibalizes the MB. Also, moving from an AppleTV to a mini isn't cannibalization, it's upselling which is good for Apple, not bad. And the mini already has a slower, smaller hard drive; and as long as they stick with a 2.5" drive, it will always remain so compared to Apple's other desktop offerings. No danger of cannibalization there, either. As for Firewire, it's not as big a deal to remove it from a MB, which as a mobile platform wouldn't have a large number of external devices constantly hooked up to it. But Firewire's performance and reliability are more exploitable by a desktop machine and the types of devices you might have connected.

If Apple did everything you suggest, the mini would be so crippled, even as a secondary computer, that Apple might as well just kill of off now. Loss of Firewire is the most likely thing on the list above to come true; but I still hope you are incorrect about it!
post #60 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

I don't see how an optical drive in a mini cannibalizes the MB. Also, moving from an AppleTV to a mini isn't cannibalization, it's upselling which is good for Apple, not bad. And the mini already has a slower, smaller hard drive; and as long as they stick with a 2.5" drive, it will always remain so compared to Apple's other desktop offerings. No danger of cannibalization there, either. As for Firewire, it's not as big a deal to remove it from a MB, which as a mobile platform wouldn't have a large number of external devices constantly hooked up to it. But Firewire's performance and reliability are more exploitable by a desktop machine and the types of devices you might have connected.

If Apple did everything you suggest, the mini would be so crippled, even as a secondary computer, that Apple might as well just kill of off now. Loss of Firewire is the most likely thing on the list above to come true; but I still hope you are incorrect about it!


mkay, the drive-loss vs MB was indeed a flaky argument :-)
about firewire : as many have pointed out, the MM is actually a fairly powerful computer, perfectly capable of doing your video editing. Removing the FW port will ensure that video anthousiast will have to buy the iMac, which has a greater profit margin for Apple. Making it driveless and FW-less, will leave the MM only valuable as a 2nd mac & multimedia hub
post #61 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by jawadde View Post

The rest of the features (firewire, processor speed, form actor) are totally irrelevant for me. Anyone who cares about these should get an iMac or macBook

Pro, you forgot "Pro" after macBook.
post #62 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Why would OpenCL acceleration be of interest yet Firewire and Processor speed are not? Processor speed pays off %100 of the time and FW is a smarter bus that delivers much more power than USB.

People are getting a wee bit excited about OpenCL. Do not expect miracles. Most of the applications for CUDA are "geeky" and it's going to be a whle before we see the typical applications consumers use benefitting from OpenCL.


I mis-stated my point i guess.. what i ment was that snow leopard will most likely include optimisations that have a better result on specific hardware. The power of dual-graphics in the MBP for instance probably be tapped into by snow leopard. That's what I hope the MM will get as well : some hardware that gives us a snappier OS. But dual video like the MBP is of course totally out of the question for a mini.

but this probably has little to do with OpenCL, rather OpenGL
post #63 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by jawadde View Post

I mis-stated my point i guess.. what i ment was that snow leopard will most likely include optimisations that have a better result on specific hardware. The power of dual-graphics in the MBP for instance probably be tapped into by snow leopard. That's what I hope the MM will get as well : some hardware that gives us a snappier OS. But dual video like the MBP is of course totally out of the question for a mini.

but this probably has little to do with OpenCL, rather OpenGL

Not a problem. Apple can take the MM in a variety of different directions. Snow Leopard and the Mac Mini could be pretty sweet especially if it's more accessible and can take 4GB of RAM.

They will likely remove the FW port which sucks but if they can deliver a $499 mini that doesn't suck then it's a tool that some of us can use to help switch family members and friends.

I'm still trying to get my mother off of a PC and onto a Mac with Vista in virtualization. She wouldn't need a much more than a 2Ghz C2D and 2-4GB of RAM.

There are still millions of potential switchers out there.

I love January...a new year and new toys!
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post #64 of 175
Can you guys help me decide which LCD Monitor to purchase to go with the Mini? I haven't bought a monitor in ages and never an LCD.
Should it be digital or analogue? Am I even saying it right? DVI or ?
I don't need a large screen and I really don't like widescreen. I don't see the advantage unless you're watching movies on your computer all day.
I started researching and coming up with NEC, Samsung, and Viewsonic.
15 inch would actually be big enough for me although 17 inch would probably make more sense. I don't want to go too high resolution because I don't like tiny text.
Any help would be appreciated. Maybe I should start a new thread?
post #65 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve666 View Post

Can you guys help me decide which LCD Monitor to purchase to go with the Mini? I haven't bought a monitor in ages and never an LCD.
Should it be digital or analogue? Am I even saying it right? DVI or ?
I don't need a large screen and I really don't like widescreen. I don't see the advantage unless you're watching movies on your computer all day.
I started researching and coming up with NEC, Samsung, and Viewsonic.
15 inch would actually be big enough for me although 17 inch would probably make more sense. I don't want to go too high resolution because I don't like tiny text.
Any help would be appreciated. Maybe I should start a new thread?

Dell has a DisplayPort LCD I believe and HP may have one as well. It might be a good time to buy into this technology since Apple will be using it for their future computers and PCs will probably move to DisplayPort en masse as well.
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post #66 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Dell has a DisplayPort LCD I believe and HP may have one as well. It might be a good time to buy into this technology since Apple will be using it for their future computers and PCs will probably move to DisplayPort en masse as well.

I'll look into the HP but there's no way I can bring myself to buy anything from Dell!
post #67 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.

It is more a question of what will be out at the time the Mini is introduced. It is agreed that the current chips are expensive but that does have to hold at production time. Frankly All Apple would have to do is to agree to clock a special run of i7s a little slower than normal and have intel put a unique part number on them. Let's face it Intel has bent over backwards for Apple already in this reguard.

As to chip set yeah as we currently understand it the chip selection is limited but that doesn't mean that Apple couldn't roll their own. It is not like they don't have experience here to do so. The could even bridge to hyperteansport to make use of GPUs supporting that interface.

I know i7 is a stretch for early next year but it is the platform to go to for a new long lasting generation of Minis.
Quote:

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.

Nvidia has already said that the 9400M started out as a desktop concept and that Apple refocused efforts on the Laptop market. So I take this to mean that what is in the 9400M is a cut down implementation of a larger chip. It also appears that the execution units are modular enough that a few could easily be added to a desktop chip while keeping power managable. Now this is more hope than anything but it is interesting how strong the collaboration between Apple and Nvidia is.

In any event yes Apple likes to manage costs by keeping parts interchangeable across platforms. That is very important for a low volume manufacture. That however isn't what Apple is anymore especially with the mac Mini.
Quote:

- 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.

It is a given that SSD are a bit expensive in the larger size right now but let's look at this as a potential hybrid approach. Say a 32 to 64 GB flash storage system was implemented as a system code storage pool and user and log data went to magnetic storage. The flash drive then only needs to be optimized for reads this controlling costs. Of course this won't work well if you are a user with tons of apps and other code installed but for many users it would be a low cost solution to much better performance. Code segments and apps in general would load much faster. Sure we are talking crappy writes but how often is software installed or updated?
Quote:
- 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.

Atom would be good for a Mac Nano! Let's face it for certain types of servers Atom would be fine. It might also be fine for task specific Mac applications. It won't however deliver the performance that Mini users want.
Quote:
- 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.

Twelve months is a long time. There are however several things that Apple could do here. One is roll their own support chip something they have had a lot of experience with on PPC. The could also cut a deal with intel for a "special run" which would be nothing more than a relabeled special run that is undercoocked with respect to the high performance chips on the market at the time.

Maybe i7 doesn't mean a $500 computer but it doesn't mean impossible either.
Quote:

- 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.

Express Card is certainly a possibility but frankly I see it as less than perfect. Mostly because of two things. One is the rather fragile mechanical housing that the cards are often inserted in. The other is the lack of lanes. A mezzazine card can be more robust if a bit fiddly to install.

What ever they go with it needs to provide a quality mechanical and electrical interface.
[/quote]




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.
[/quote]
Which from Apples standpoint makes i7 a lot like AMD and PPC processors. Also quickpath ought to be easier to work with as all the memory traffic gets it's own path. Frankly quickpath is exactly why I could see Apple adopting i7 early. They have slot of experience themselves and they have PA Semi. If anybody could successfully introduce an i7 chipset for relatively low cost machines it is Apple.

Moreso if they are working with Nvidia we could see Apple being the first to deliver a two chip i7 solution. Now that may seem like grasping at straws but there are Apple excutives on reccord as saying the will soon have hardware on the market others can't compete with. I'm fairly certain we haven't seen that hardware yet. So is it really that much of a stretch to think that Apple would go i7 in a big way.
Quote:

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.

You are making an assumption here that cool desktop chips won't be out early next year. You also assume that Apple would want to run them flat out in the Mini, it is not like Apple doesn't have options here.

As to the integrated GPU version I don't think Apple is all that interested as they look like they have gone all in with respect to OpenCL. As such they will continue to leverage the better performing solutions.
Quote:

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.

Well that might be useful but still I think an under clocked i7 running at say 2.5GHz would give Apple a better more salable machine. As cooler chips come out they would be able to easily bump up the clock speed while otherwise keeping the execution environment constant.

I know it is a stretch but a Mini replacement that leads off with i7 would create a massive storm of interest.


Dave
post #68 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve666 View Post

15 inch would actually be big enough for me although 17 inch would probably make more sense. I don't want to go too high resolution because I don't like tiny text.

Apple are supposedly close to implementing resolution independence and this will be a non-issue.

I wouldn't get anything less than a 20" monitor.
post #69 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by jawadde View Post

mkay, the drive-loss vs MB was indeed a flaky argument :-)
about firewire : as many have pointed out, the MM is actually a fairly powerful computer, perfectly capable of doing your video editing. Removing the FW port will ensure that video anthousiast will have to buy the iMac, which has a greater profit margin for Apple. Making it driveless and FW-less, will leave the MM only valuable as a 2nd mac & multimedia hub

Ah, but Mr Steve's arguement for dropping FW on the MB was because nearly all video cameras have USB now. So the video editting isn't FW-dependent! But I see your point.

Also, we are forgetting a market segment for the mini. We've covered use as a 2nd Mac and/or media hub but are neglecting the "switcher" audience. People willing to dabble in Mac-land, but not yet ready to jump in with both feet. That was the original intended audience of the mini. I think the mini needs to maintain minimal specs to ensure a good experience for those switchers so they stick around long enough to upgrade to a more powerful Mac later. Granted, not an arguement for keeping FW. But I can say with certainty there will be one less mini sale if it doesn't include FW. I have too much invested in my current setup and too little to gain by replacing my existing mini if FW is dropped.
post #70 of 175
This thread is an interesting read no doubt about that. One thing is obvious is that there are many needs out there that Apple has to try to meet. One product isn't going to do it in my opinion so how many people think that Apple will introduce two product lines to replace the current Mac Mini.

For arguements sake let's call the Mini and Nano.

The nano reason for being will be extremely low power usage and a very small form factor. Let's imagine an Atom powered device that uses 1.8" form factor drives. This machine would directly replace the mini in the special server market, vidoe server market, and extreme low cost markets. The goal would be for a machine in the range of 2 - 300 dollars and would obviously have limited I/O. Let's say one USB, one Firewire, a Gigabit Ethernet port and maybe BlueTooth. Firewire is needed for the video server role, that is making a camera available over the net. The box this all comes in would be very small on the order of a really thick iPhone and maybe one and a half times the length. This is not a machine for advanced desktop users at all.


The new Mini would actually be a bigger device to deliver many of the wants seen in this thread. It will be bigger even without the optional optical drive to accomodate desktop drives, expansion and other features. This of course would be a full complement machine with a fast intel processor, Nvidia graphics and a host of other slick features. In other words a decked out machine.

In any event is see possibilies here with this approach. For example the Nano could be transformed quickly based on the software installed. It could be a Apple TV or a Mac OS machine depending on what is installed software wise and possibly the video I/O connector. The Mini on the other hand becomes a machine that is very user configurable and vastly more powerful.

What do you guys think?


Dave
post #71 of 175
Dave

I'm for anything that allows more appropriate tailoring of computers to end user environment.

My son is 6 yrs old..he doesn't a full blown computer with a DVD burner. He needs a fairly basic computer that I can toss on a HAN (Home Area Network) and be controlled via Parental Controls. I need to be able to run current edutainment software.

Then there's a need for a more beefy computer that I can recommend to family and friends. Compatibiliy should be key and enough performance to deliver adequate performance.

MobileMe is something that I think is going to grow in importance in the near future (Safari 4 migh make a substantial difference as well due to faster Javascript and other tweaks).

Just like the CPU has slowed down the overall clock cycles and branched out in width I think there's a corrolary movement in the home. Many people will not need an 8 core computer but they do need to to effectively manage compute resources at home and leverage the network for Broadband Internet and media consumption.

Apple wants to be the "Build to Order" company so give us options.
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He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
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post #72 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

Apple are supposedly close to implementing resolution independence and this will be a non-issue.

I wouldn't get anything less than a 20" monitor.

Neither would I. I just replaced my 19" (square) monitor with a 24" widescreen, I am never going back.

Two documents open side-by-side, baby. Non-scaled 1080p. Giggity.
post #73 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

Apple are supposedly close to implementing resolution independence and this will be a non-issue.

I wouldn't get anything less than a 20" monitor.

For some reason I don't like huge monitors, I'd rather not have to dart around from one side to the other. I have found some 17 inch monitors from Samsung and NEC that look like a possibility. They both use DVI inputs.
So far the ones that use the display port are pretty pricey and seem to all be large size screens.
post #74 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.


I want my new Mac Mini - how likely are we to get it!

www.applepii.com for sale $1500.
post #75 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by hypercommunist View Post

I would be extremely surprised if Firewire was included on the new Mini. It's been dropped from the MacBook and SJ defended its omission in an email to a user. The port is on its way out, excepting perhaps at the high end (which is *definitely* not where the mini is positioned).

As to those who are hoping for an expansion slot, I'll have some of what you're smoking.

Firewire Growth in all markets has never been larger and has grown 20% year over year.

1394a is standard even on PC barebone system boxes.

Hell at least Microsoft is including it natively for their next releases (1394b).

They are pushing USB 3.0 but recognize the demand for 1394 and are including it in Kernel Debugging, currently.

http://www.1394ta.org/industry/Computers.html

Quote:
Microsoft’s 1394 Strategy and
Roadmap
(pdf): A presentation from the 1394 Design Seminar in Munich, October 2008

The Automotive Industry just finalized their Firewire Specs:

http://www.1394ta.org/industry/Automotive.html

They are full-steam ahead, right along with control systems for the Auto and Aerospace Industries.

I've given this current news very recently, so if you want to verify your claims to whether or not Firewire is dead then you should read it:

http://www.1394ta.org/press/TAPress/2008_1112.html

Seeing the growth of Firewire and Apple chairing the Board of Directors:
http://www.1394ta.org/about/Contact.html

It's not hard to add two plus two to make four.

Apple positioned itself in an attempt to differentiate Consumer and Professional by choosing to associate Firewire with Professionals only. It's not working as well as they anticipated: the backlash has been quite strong.

It also gives Apple more information in how to design products in their matrix and figure out where the boundaries are between Consumer and Professional Models.
post #76 of 175
I'd say since Phil Schiller is doing the MWSF keynote, it confirms there will be an updated Mac mini shown there. Steve Jobs doesn't want to talk about the mini, so he's skipping it.
post #77 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

It is more a question of what will be out at the time the Mini is introduced. It is agreed that the current chips are expensive but that does have to hold at production time. Frankly All Apple would have to do is to agree to clock a special run of i7s a little slower than normal and have intel put a unique part number on them.

....As to chip set yeah as we currently understand it the chip selection is limited but that doesn't mean that Apple couldn't roll their own. It is not like they don't have experience here to do so. The could even bridge to hyperteansport to make use of GPUs supporting that interface. I know i7 is a stretch for early next year but it is the platform to go to for a new long lasting generation of Minis.

....Twelve months is a long time. There are however several things that Apple could do here. One is roll their own support chip something they have had a lot of experience with on PPC. The could also cut a deal with intel for a "special run" which would be nothing more than a relabeled special run that is undercoocked with respect to the high performance chips on the market at the time.

.....Which from Apples standpoint makes i7 a lot like AMD and PPC processors. Also quickpath ought to be easier to work with as all the memory traffic gets it's own path. Frankly quickpath is exactly why I could see Apple adopting i7 early. They have slot of experience themselves and they have PA Semi. If anybody could successfully introduce an i7 chipset for relatively low cost machines it is Apple.

...You are making an assumption here that cool desktop chips won't be out early next year. You also assume that Apple would want to run them flat out in the Mini, it is not like Apple doesn't have options
here.
.... I know it is a stretch but a Mini replacement that leads off with i7 would create a massive storm of interest.

I think you are being unrealistic here. You need to look at the Nehalem roadmap. The fact is that only high-end desktop i7 (and soon DP Xeons) CPUs are available. These are 130 watt quad-core chips that use a large desktop platform, including socket LGA-1366 on the X58 chipset with a QuickPath interface and a three channel memory controller for full-size DDR3 SDRAM. This platform has both a discrete northbridge and southbridge built for servers and workstations. These chips are not for mainstream, high volume sales and are expensive. The first low power Nehalem chips that could go in a Mac Mini are
the quad-core mobile "Clarksfield" CPUs which will not be out until Q3 2009 at the earliest. These CPUs have a cheaper dual-channel memory controller, and have the northbridge integrated onto the die which negates the need for the expensive Quickpath interface. But even these are high-end mobile parts, so they will be relatively expensive. The first mainstream/budget Nehalem CPUs, codenamed "Havendale" and "Auburndale", are not due out until early 2010. These are dual-core CPUs with integrated graphics cores on the processor package. I wouldn't be surprised if the Mini was stuck with Core 2 chips until Auburndale in 2010. However, It will be interesting to see what they do given the fact they'll probably want all their machines being able to utilize OpenCL. I don't believe there is a dual-core version of Nehalem that comes without an on-package GPU. Maybe they will be forced to use quad-cores in the macbook and Mini. That would be a good thing!


Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

It is a given that SSD are a bit expensive in the larger size right now but let's look at this as a potential hybrid approach. Say a 32 to 64 GB flash storage system was implemented as a system code storage pool and user and log data went to magnetic storage. The flash drive then only needs to be optimized for reads this controlling costs. Of course this won't work well if you are a user with tons of apps and other code installed but for many users it would be a low cost solution to much better performance. Code segments and apps in general would load much faster. Sure we are talking crappy writes but how often is software installed or updated?

A hybrid SSD + HDD approach has certainly been discussed a lot in laptop circles, but I don't see any reason why it would apply to the Mac Mini which is a budget system. I think we'll see this approach in a Macbook Pro or even iMac long before the Mac Mini.
post #78 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by winterspan View Post

A hybrid SSD + HDD approach has certainly been discussed a lot in laptop circles, but I don't see any reason why it would apply to the Mac Mini which is a budget system. I think we'll see this approach in a Macbook Pro or even iMac long before the Mac Mini.

And probably not before Mac OS X 10.7 (2011).
post #79 of 175
Hopefully, there will be a 4 core option.

iPod nano 5th Gen 8GB Orange, iPad 3rd Gen WiFi 32GB White
MacBook Pro 15" Core i7 2.66GHz 8GB RAM 120GB Intel 320M
Mac mini Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz 8GB RAM, iPhone 5 32GB Black

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iPod nano 5th Gen 8GB Orange, iPad 3rd Gen WiFi 32GB White
MacBook Pro 15" Core i7 2.66GHz 8GB RAM 120GB Intel 320M
Mac mini Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz 8GB RAM, iPhone 5 32GB Black

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post #80 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post

Hopefully, there will be a 4 core option.

You'll maybe see a 4 core mini about 2 years after you see a 4 core iMac.

If a new mini is announced, it will be little more than a transition to the NVIDIA chipset like the MBs use and a switch to mini-DisplayPort. There will be no dedicated video card like the MBP has. There will be a small bump in HD capacity, wi-fi will finally go to N, and it's 50-50 that FW will be included.

I'll be far more interested in iTunes announcements with regard to how they use the DRM on the DisplayPort. If the mini gets the upgrades listed above and keeps Firewire, and if I'll be able to buy/rent HD movies and play them via DisplayPort on my HDTV, then I'll jump on board. Otherwise I'll just keep chugging along with my PPC mini.

Alternately they could add an optical drive to the AppleTV, and I could go that direction instead.
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