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More versatile Mac mini expected at Macworld - Page 2

post #41 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

So no, a 3.5" HD will not ever fit into the Mac mini, since the Mac mini doesn't include a full height CD/DVD drive.

SSD and 2.5" HD's will eventually replace 3.5" HD IMHO, it may take several years though.

As to the Mac mini, I can wish for eSATA (with PM) and HDMI, but I doubt either of these will happen. I'd actually rather see Socket P then Socket LGA 775, but if the LGA 775 are quad-core and first out of the gate and you can get the Mac Mini configured with one of these, then give me that instead.

And as long as there is a cheap adapter for Apple's proprietary display connection so that I can drive an HDMI or DVI LCD I'll be in seventh heaven, as I'll never waste my good money on Apple's high margin displays, TYVM.

I'd gladly take two 2.5" 500 GB HD's though, 7,200 RPM, with Apple's built in RAID 0/1 though. Or one 2.5" 500 GB 7,200 RPM drive with a 2.5" Intel SSD as the boot drive.

Meh, to Firewire though, just give me plenty of USB 2.0 ports so that I can use one of then for an external DVD burner. Although a Firewire 400 port would not get me upset in the least.

Agreed that you couldn't swap out the optical drive for a 3.5" hard drive because the optical drive is half-height. But you could fit a 3.5" drive in an enclosure with the same footprint as the current mini. In fact, several manufacturers sell external hard drives and enclosures for 3.5" drives which are designed to stack with the mini. You'd either have to drop the optical drive altogether or make the enclosure a little taller, but you could replace the current 2.5" drive with a 3.5" and keep it within the same footprint.

Either way, I'd need far more capacity than they'd ever get inside a mini, so what's internal isn't as important to me. But a bump in capacity and an option for a 7200 rpm drive is long overdue. The rest would be external, which is the reason I think Firewire is important. USB would perform poorly with multiple drives connected, and as far as I can tell, you can't daisy-chain eSATA drives (??).

I don't see a quad-core in the mini until it's been in the iMac for at least a year or so.
post #42 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by elroth View Post

Where's the link to the AI story that declared that the Mac Mini is absolutely dead?

Well... if they call it something other than "Mac Mini," such as "XServe Home" that post might technically be correct
post #43 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

Agreed that you couldn't swap out the optical drive for a 3.5" hard drive because the optical drive is half-height. But you could fit a 3.5" drive in an enclosure with the same footprint as the current mini.

With the speculation about a new case anything is possible. Even if the case remains the same a rearraingement of the internal components space might be had. It all depends on how much they can shrink the internal hardware.
Quote:
In fact, several manufacturers sell external hard drives and enclosures for 3.5" drives which are designed to stack with the mini. You'd either have to drop the optical drive altogether or make the enclosure a little taller, but you could replace the current 2.5" drive with a 3.5" and keep it within the same footprint.

Which is what the rumor is about. ????
Quote:

Either way, I'd need far more capacity than they'd ever get inside a mini, so what's internal isn't as important to me. But a bump in capacity and an option for a 7200 rpm drive is long overdue.

First you say internal storage isn't important then in the very next statement you go about indicating that the internal hardware needs an update. Either it is or isn't important.

Internal storage is always important and I hope they offer up a fast SSD as a choice.
Quote:
The rest would be external, which is the reason I think Firewire is important. USB would perform poorly with multiple drives connected, and as far as I can tell, you can't daisy-chain eSATA drives (??).

Yep if Apple dumps FireWire they will have made a big mistake. It will be a lesser mistake if they don't offer a faster FireWire port.
Quote:
I don't see a quad-core in the mini until it's been in the iMac for at least a year or so.

I disagree. It looks like intel just released a quad that would be ideal price wise for a higher end Mini. It is only two GHz but for some uses that would be better than a moderately faster Duo CPUs.

Dave.
post #44 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by PXT View Post

How about bringing together the Mini, AppleTV, TimeCapsule and AirportExtreme into a single footprint design and all running OSX? Then make them configurable by adding layers...

eewwwww.

That just doesn't fit into Apple's minimalist design theory.
It would take up MUCH more space than an equivalent computer in a single casing. A complete case for each "component" plus all the additional bussing it would require would take up quite a bit of space.

It IS an interesting idea, I just don't think it has any chance of being an idea Apple would use.
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post #45 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

Agreed that you couldn't swap out the optical drive for a 3.5" hard drive because the optical drive is half-height. But you could fit a 3.5" drive in an enclosure with the same footprint as the current mini. In fact, several manufacturers sell external hard drives and enclosures for 3.5" drives which are designed to stack with the mini. You'd either have to drop the optical drive altogether or make the enclosure a little taller, but you could replace the current 2.5" drive with a 3.5" and keep it within the same footprint.

Either way, I'd need far more capacity than they'd ever get inside a mini, so what's internal isn't as important to me. But a bump in capacity and an option for a 7200 rpm drive is long overdue. The rest would be external, which is the reason I think Firewire is important. USB would perform poorly with multiple drives connected, and as far as I can tell, you can't daisy-chain eSATA drives (??).

I don't see a quad-core in the mini until it's been in the iMac for at least a year or so.

The height might not change by more than a quarter inch, or so, but it would also need a slightly larger footprint IMHO. A 3.5" bare drive is ~5.75" in length, there's a lot more stuff in the Mac mini then there is in a single 3.5" HD enclosure. But I guess if anyone could do it, then that would be Apple.

If the 4 GB RAM rumor is correct, it means at least the Santa Rosa chipset, so I'd also be very curious as to the FSB, 1066 Mhz (2x2GB, DDR2 CAS5) would be sweet.

If they don't have a quad-core, then I would prefer Socket P, as those chips only use 35W maximum. The flip side is of course the chip price, as I believe LGA 775 CPU's are cheaper than the Socket P's at the same clock, but then again these new LGA 775's at 65W are likely to be more expensive than their 95W counterparts currently shipping. Talking quad-core. For Core Duo it's already at 65W, and those chips are really cheap, even at 3 Ghz (1333 FSB, 6 MB L2). Sweet.

As to eSATA, it's cool if you have PM as you can attach (usually) 5 drives and possibly do RAID 0/1/5/JBOD depending on what Apple does on the hardware side. Like I stated earlier though, I'll be surprised if the Mac mini has even a single eSATA port. IMHO eSATA is the future of external storage, if it isn't already.

Now if someone would come out with an eSATA five drive enclosure for 2.5" HD's (HD's stacked vertically for natural convection purposes) that would be sweet. It would kind of look like a small brick on it's side. I'll have to go back to the SonnetTech website and see what they have, as they are getting into eSATA RAID for portables in a big way.
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post #46 of 93
Nvidia 9400M GPU? If so, I'm very interested. But the iMac will probably have a 9600GT... Oh the madness.

I'm so close to going out and building a Vista Home Premium 64bit Direct X10 gaming machine. With an Nvidia 9800GT.

I want to play Left 4 Bad (from Valve) so badly. And Crysis Warhead, Dead Space. PS3, tried it, I just don't like the PS3 or the PS3 controls.
post #47 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

The fastest part of the HD is adjacent to the spindle, thus a 5,400 RPM 2.5" drive will have better performance then a 7,200 RPM 3.5" drive over the last outer fractional inch difference between these two drives (theoretically speaking based on geometry alone)).

Dear Sir,

run that by me again? The fastest part of a spinning disk is nearest the spindle? I'd say it'd be on the perimeter of the disk not toward the centre.

All the best,

Fluffy
post #48 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffylump View Post

Dear Sir,

run that by me again? The fastest part of a spinning disk is nearest the spindle? I'd say it'd be on the perimeter of the disk not toward the centre.

All the best,

Fluffy

Oops, my bad.
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post #49 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

The fastest part of the HD is adjacent to the spindle, thus a 5,400 RPM 2.5" drive will have better performance then a 7,200 RPM 3.5" drive over the last outer fractional inch difference between these two drives (theoretically speaking based on geometry alone)).

Love to know how you came to that "fact".
post #50 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by gastroboy View Post

Love to know how you came to that "fact".

You got me. It didn't exactly make sense to me as I was writing it, for some reason I had DVD's in mind. Even then, it still doesn't make sense.

So basically I had it bass ackwards.
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post #51 of 93
I think people here made a good point about the iMac staying with a 2.5" drive. As much as I'd like the mini to go 3.5" the point that it would easily use the new SSD drives coming out makes it a foregone conclusion that it will continue to take the 2.5" drive. I have a hunch that apple will increase the footprint a bit if only to accommodate a larger motherboard, improve cooling for faster chips, and maybe make room for one of those new mobile quads.
post #52 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post

I'm going to wager that Apple won't announce anything at this expo. Perhaps some simple upgrades to existing lines if anything.

Improving the mac mini would be an upgrade to an existing line.

as would new graphics and the display port in the imacs (which personally I think is a given)

improving the apple tv etc.

that said, I"m holding all hissing and applause until the actual event. too many rumors from sketchy sources to fret over in my book.

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post #53 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider View Post

I think people here made a good point about the iMac staying with a 2.5" drive. As much as I'd like the mini to go 3.5" the point that it would easily use the new SSD drives coming out makes it a foregone conclusion that it will continue to take the 2.5" drive.

It all depends on Apples willingness to meet user demand for more storage. From my perspective that is the biggest issue with magnetic laptop drives. Even as a flash drive the 3.5" form offers more space for storage.

In either case though flash has two problems with these form factors. One is the wasted space because the only thing you are housing is the PC board with chips. The second issue is that SATA is way to slow for modern flash drives.

I'd actually like to see Apple set an industry standard here and adopt one of the PCI Express board standards as it's basis for solid state storage. There are already PCI Express cards in the normal PC format doing 750 MB/sec across the PCI Express interface - that is very fast storage. Not only are the transfers fast but you eliminate a whole level of useless SATA electronics this reducing latency. SATA & ESATA are, in my mind, stop gap measures that barely meet the demands of second generation SSD!
Quote:
I have a hunch that apple will increase the footprint a bit if only to accommodate a larger motherboard, improve cooling for faster chips, and maybe make room for one of those new mobile quads.

As to the motherboard it might actually end up having fewer chips on board. That depends upon what is built into the 9400M and what gets dropped. For example they still could drop FireWire. In anyevent the one thing that was impressive with the new MacBooks is just how clean the Motherboards are. Also it appears that the 9400M is a cool running chip. All this adds up to opportunities for flexibility in board layout so maybe the board actially shrinks! .

One could hope that would happen but I think the board will grow for other reasons. One would be the switch to desk top RAM to more economically support 8GB of RAM. That would be a small tweak that would lead to big payoffs in machine acceptance, knowning Apple though they will have an artificial 4GB limit. I could also see Apple actually using a descrete GPU with the 9400M, this to give them MBP like capabilities. The extra GPU also frees up the 9400M for OpenCL use. The potential is there for dual GPUs and frankly ought to offer up nice performance in the little package if better laptop parts are used.

The onset of OpenCL also will bring with it some interesting questions for new buyers to confront. For example let's say they go the MBP route and give us dual GPUs, that could imply at least a few of those GPU processors always being free for OpenCL programs. So one question that buyers will have to answer for themselves is which is faster four slower Intel CPUs or two faster CPUs. Mind you the machine might have sixteen vector processors free to execute what code they can. I predict a wide range of results especially as software matures.

In any event we have like four days left.


Dave
post #54 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

I'd also guess that they'd stick wtih 2.5" drives (but I also think they'd be able to get a 3.5" drive in the current footprint by making it a little taller). In any event, 2.5" drives are readily available in 500 GB capacities. The current 160 GB limit is pathetic. 500 GB might not be sufficient for server use, but would be fine for normal desktop use. I'd also like to see an option for a 7200 rpm drive.

I love the idea of an SSD for the OS, but if the new Mini is intended to be a small office Server, I would think eSATA would be much better than FireWire800. External SATA in a RAID-1 array for data, along with some FW800 drives for offsite backup, and the 10 seat Leopard Server could be a great small office setup.

Gordon
post #55 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

One could hope that would happen but I think the board will grow for other reasons. One would be the switch to desk top RAM to more economically support 8GB of RAM. That would be a small tweak that would lead to big payoffs in machine acceptance, knowning Apple though they will have an artificial 4GB limit. I could also see Apple actually using a descrete GPU with the 9400M, this to give them MBP like capabilities. The extra GPU also frees up the 9400M for OpenCL use. The potential is there for dual GPUs and frankly ought to offer up nice performance in the little package if better laptop parts are used.

The onset of OpenCL also will bring with it some interesting questions for new buyers to confront. For example let's say they go the MBP route and give us dual GPUs, that could imply at least a few of those GPU processors always being free for OpenCL programs. So one question that buyers will have to answer for themselves is which is faster four slower Intel CPUs or two faster CPUs. Mind you the machine might have sixteen vector processors free to execute what code they can. I predict a wide range of results especially as software matures.

In any event we have like four days left.


Dave

I actually thought of the idea that a larger footprint motherboard would be able to house some full sized DIMM slots. A discrete GPU would also be another route they could go, maybe even paired with the 9800M chip.
post #56 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider View Post

I actually thought of the idea that a larger footprint motherboard would be able to house some full sized DIMM slots. A discrete GPU would also be another route they could go, maybe even paired with the 9800M chip.

The original PowerPC mini had one full-size DIMM slot.
post #57 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider View Post

I think people here made a good point about the iMac staying with a 2.5" drive. As much as I'd like the mini to go 3.5" the point that it would easily use the new SSD drives coming out makes it a foregone conclusion that it will continue to take the 2.5" drive. I have a hunch that apple will increase the footprint a bit if only to accommodate a larger motherboard, improve cooling for faster chips, and maybe make room for one of those new mobile quads.

iMacs use 3.5 Hard Drives - http://www.flickr.com/photos/smalldo...74110/sizes/o/
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post #58 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by imacmadman22 View Post

iMacs use 3.5 Hard Drives - http://www.flickr.com/photos/smalldo...74110/sizes/o/

I made a mistakein my post. I was talking about the subject of this thread; the mini. Sorry.
post #59 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post

The original PowerPC mini had one full-size DIMM slot.

I remember I guess they made the decision to put in 2 slots instead of one big one for some reason....

Check out this mini-ITX mobo:



It's got a mini sized footprint, but would require a lot more headroom Well this one has 2 slots and even a PCIe 1x slot. With a larger area motherboard you could potentially use those full sized DIMM slots that lay flat or angled, or have enough room for a flattened cooling system.
post #60 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider View Post

I remember I guess they made the decision to put in 2 slots instead of one big one for some reason....

Check out this mini-ITX mobo:



It's got a mini sized footprint, but would require a lot more headroom Well this one has 2 slots and even a PCIe 1x slot. With a larger area motherboard you could potentially use those full sized DIMM slots that lay flat or angled, or have enough room for a flattened cooling system.

add pci-e x16 to it and firewire
post #61 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider View Post

I remember I guess they made the decision to put in 2 slots instead of one big one for some reason....

Check out this mini-ITX mobo:



It's got a mini sized footprint, but would require a lot more headroom Well this one has 2 slots and even a PCIe 1x slot. With a larger area motherboard you could potentially use those full sized DIMM slots that lay flat or angled, or have enough room for a flattened cooling system.

A company like Apple, that custom-builds everything, has a lot of options for odd layouts. They could, for example, put the DIMM slots on the bottom of the board, accessible through a door on the bottom of the case.

In fact, to use the old PPC mini for another example, its Radeon 9200 chip was on the bottom of its mobo (in thermal contact through a heat pad with the metal case).
post #62 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider View Post

I remember I guess they made the decision to put in 2 slots instead of one big one for some reason....

You go with two slots in modern chipset implementations to get a little better performance with the RAM. I will avoid the details but properly paired DIMMs can add around 5% to the performance of the RAM system.
Quote:
Check out this mini-ITX mobo:

Cool!

Just realize Apple would have it's own collection of ports.
Quote:


It's got a mini sized footprint, but would require a lot more headroom Well this one has 2 slots and even a PCIe 1x slot.

Headroom isn't a problem, Apple could simply use different heat sinks, cooling or chipsets. Ditch the CD drive altogether and they would have plenty of room. For some uses it really makes sense to dump the CD drive, those that really need one ought to buy one.

Interestingly I wonder if the Minis height really means anything. If it has the same foot print but varies in hieght by an inch would anyone care?
Quote:
With a larger area motherboard you could potentially use those full sized DIMM slots that lay flat or angled, or have enough room for a flattened cooling system.

If Apple was wise they would just raise the roof on the case and be done with it. Ideally the case would support 1/3rd hieght expansion cards. That and work a bit on the cases thermals.

The other thing to comment on is the PCI Express slot. It needs to be at least 4X to have any hope of supporting future needs. The biggest issue with such cards though is power management, put a slot in and you have to build a bigger power supply.


Dave
post #63 of 93
Guys, this thread is veering dangerously off course.

We're starting to talk about much larger form factors with desktop RAM, SSDs and 3.5" drives and expansion cards. That's simply not going to happen.

A 'more versatile Mac Mini' doesn't mean Apple is going to make the dreaded midrange Mac.

The Mini will still sit at the low end of the desktop range and Apple will restrict it to encourage sales of the higher-margin iMac and Mac Pro. That is guaranteed, since we know that both of those machines will be overhauled as well in early 2009.

The Mini will end up with capabilities for more RAM and much faster internal electronics. If we're blessed, we'll get the options for a second SATA drive and Firewire 800.

If we're really blessed, we'll get a new form factor, Firewire 3200 and/or USB3.
There will be no Blu-Ray and definitely no expansion cards.
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post #64 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

Oops, my bad.

Actually they can be quicker, for random IO loads, because the maximum seeks distance is smaller. Sun 2.5" Fibre Channel server drives do about as many random IOPS at 10,000 RPM as the 15,000 RPM 3.5" drives.

That's probably what you were thinking of....

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post #65 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by datamodel View Post

Actually they can be quicker, for random IO loads, because the maximum seeks distance is smaller. Sun 2.5" Fibre Channel server drives do about as many random IOPS at 10,000 RPM as the 15,000 RPM 3.5" drives.

That's probably what you were thinking of....


I wish that were true, but I did blow it majorly.

However, the fastest HD's are currently Seagate's SAS Savvio's which are 2.5" and the newest WD 300GB 10K Raptor, which while still fitting a 3.5" form factor actually has 2.5" platters.

I think one factor is that 2.5" platters are like a CPU die shrink, in that you get more 2.5" platters than 3.5" (or actually ~3.75 (I believe)) platters. I'm also fairly certain that the 2.5" platters are thinner than the 3.5" platters.

(3.75/2.5)^2 = 2.25

But then again I don't really know how the platters are manufactured. I remember seeing a DEC MiniVAX platter once, about 20 years ago, it was huge, something like 15" diameter, and thick, perhaps an eight of an inch or so, quite heavy too.

Anyway, I think the 2.5" HD use a combination of factors to achieve their "world class" speed, the one you mentioned (less motion in the drive head reduces seek time), higher platter count (at least for the newest WD Raptor relative to it's immediate predecessor), and higher areal data density (possibly due to the smaller platter size and manufacturing tolerances).

2.5" drives also use less power than an equal (GB) sized 3.5" drives, if I'm not mistaken.
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post #66 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

I wish that were true, but I did blow it majorly.

However, the fastest HD's are currently Seagate's SAS Savvio's which are 2.5" and the newest WD 300GB 10K Raptor, which while still fitting a 3.5" form factor actually has 2.5" platters.

I think one factor is that 2.5" platters are like a CPU die shrink, in that you get more 2.5" platters than 3.5" (or actually ~3.75 (I believe)) platters. I'm also fairly certain that the 2.5" platters are thinner than the 3.5" platters.

2.5" drives also use less power than an equal (GB) sized 3.5" drives, if I'm not mistaken.

Apologies for snippage - I think the Sun ones I referred to above are Seagate SAS drives, they use 10k 2.5" internal drives on all their servers.

That Raptor (I believe it's marketed as "Velociraptor" is probably about as fast a SATA drive as you can get - at work we use a load of 15k FC drives in disk arrays, all of which are 2.5" platters in 3.5" casings - just rising from 300 GB to 400 GB at the moment.

High end SSDs are a laugh - about 100x the random read performance, and only about £25,000 for 73 GB.... prices are dropping drastically though, give it a few years and we'll be SSD throughout, I'm sure.

Cheers,

Martin
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post #67 of 93
I'd like to see that optical drive position in the MM be SATA 3.5 inches so it can accommodate a larger HDD or an upgrade to a Blu-Ray drive.
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post #68 of 93
blu-ray drives are 5.25".

 

 

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post #69 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

Guys, this thread is veering dangerously off course.

How can that be when the new machine doesn't even exist right now?
Quote:
We're starting to talk about much larger form factors with desktop RAM, SSDs and 3.5" drives and expansion cards. That's simply not going to happen.

First it would only be slightly bigger so that the RAM could fit arround the optical drive. Besides a SSD would actually make for a smaller and cooler Mini.

In any event you seem to be set on Apple never changing the form factor. They may or may not this go around but each major rev is an opportunity to do so. Nothing lasts forever, not even Minis foot print. It is just a question of when and in which direction.
Quote:

A 'more versatile Mac Mini' doesn't mean Apple is going to make the dreaded midrange Mac.

No it doesn't but there is a large selection of small form factor PCs on the market each with a unique set of features. Apple likewise has a feature set goal also, I don't see them letting the case decide what will actually go into the case. The point is there is more to the Mini than it's case.
Quote:

The Mini will still sit at the low end of the desktop range and Apple will restrict it to encourage sales of the higher-margin iMac and Mac Pro.

I don't see the Mini as a restricted machine at all. Considered against the field of small form factor machines it is reasonably appointed. My interest is how do we move that machine past 4GB of memory cheaply and address the modern users bulk storage needs. One way to do that is to use desktop parts. Another way is to place part of the storage allotment on a PCI card that does take up much space.
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That is guaranteed, since we know that both of those machines will be overhauled as well in early 2009.

I really wish these sorts of arguements would go away. The Mac Pro is an entirely different computing platform directed at an entirely different class of user. There has never been any overlap and there won't likely ever be. The Mini and the Mac Pro DO NOT compete!

Even the up sell arguement with the iMac is a bit of a joke.
Quote:
The Mini will end up with capabilities for more RAM and much faster internal electronics. If we're blessed, we'll get the options for a second SATA drive and Firewire 800.

What you get has nothing to do with being blessed.
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I we're really blessed, we'll get a new form factor, Firewire 3200 and/or USB3.
There will be no Blu-Ray and definitely no expansion cards.

You start out demanding no new form factor but then end saying we might get one. Cute!

As to USB3 show me the chip set? Until Apple gets going with it's own chipset we will get watt is already known on the Intel platform.

In any event will that new form factor include 3.5" disks?

Dave
post #70 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

In any event will that new form factor include 3.5" disks?

No.

If for no other reason, then that the internals would have to be arranged differently. There would be space around the first 2.5" HD occupied by other internals. These would have to be moved to accommodate the the larger footprint of the 3.5" HD.

Apple will only sell one Mac mini configuration of internals, geometrically speaking.

They can easily replace a 5.25" half height optical drive with a 2nd 2.5" HD, because then there are no geometry conflicts.

Why exactly are you so desperate for a 3.5" HD in the mini anyway?

Even if Apple did so, I don't think you'll see a 1.5 TB HD as an option, and second you would get 1 TB with two 500 GB 2.5" HD's anyway, and Apple's software RAID 0/1 to boot.

Also the original spec for the height of 2.5" drives are 9 mm (currently used in most laptops), 12.5 mm, and 15 mm, so that this additional headroom "could" be used for additional platters, and thus higher capacity 2.5" HD's.
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post #71 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

First it would only be slightly bigger so that the RAM could fit arround the optical drive. Besides a SSD would actually make for a smaller and cooler Mini.

Absolutely true, but SSDs are not priced for adoption by the Mini's target market right now.
It hasn't even gotten to the point where the iMac or Mac Pro can use them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

In any event you seem to be set on Apple never changing the form factor. They may or may not this go around but each major rev is an opportunity to do so. Nothing lasts forever, not even Minis foot print. It is just a question of when and in which direction.

Hey, I was one of the first to say I wished the Mini used desktop parts when the machine debuted.
But Apple uses the Mini as a leverage point to drive down MacBook and iMac part costs.
I doubt that will change substantially.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

No it doesn't but there is a large selection of small form factor PCs on the market each with a unique set of features. Apple likewise has a feature set goal also, I don't see them letting the case decide what will actually go into the case. The point is there is more to the Mini than it's case.

If Apple cared what PC manufacturers did that midrange box would be here by now. It isn't and they don't.
The point to the Mini is to have a low cost machine that switchers consider, and also use that machine to access economies of scale for part costs. The machine has also seen surprise adoption for business, particularly in the security, manufacturing and kiosk markets. This is likely what is driving the "second hard drive" feature, since Apple's never bothered to put a second hard drive space in the iMac.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I don't see the Mini as a restricted machine at all. Considered against the field of small form factor machines it is reasonably appointed.

Trying hooking it up to Apple's own 30" display and then tell me its functionality wasn't deliberately restricted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

My interest is how do we move that machine past 4GB of memory cheaply and address the modern users bulk storage needs. One way to do that is to use desktop parts. Another way is to place part of the storage allotment on a PCI card that does take up much space.

Apple has a way to move past the 4GB limitation. Buy another machine.

They can use desktop parts, but then you can whine about why the MacBook prices are so high.
And Jobs hates expansion cards, so kiss that idea goodbye.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I really wish these sorts of arguements would go away. The Mac Pro is an entirely different computing platform directed at an entirely different class of user. There has never been any overlap and there won't likely ever be. The Mini and the Mac Pro DO NOT compete!

In Apple's mind there is a danger of too many enterprise clients going low end. Mac Pro sales are dominated by the design and publishing industry, and low end machines are now capable of running Creative Suite just fine. Until the new Final Cut Suite is announced, Apple's not going to want to jeopardize Mac Pro margins by decimating Mac Pro sales to Publishing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

You start out demanding no new form factor but then end saying we might get one. Cute!

A new form factor does not necessarily mean the Mini transforms into a midrange machine.

That's what I was trying to convey. They might raise the height a bit, to allow the second drive.
Or they might add an iPod/iPhone holder. Or they might put in front facing port access.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

As to USB3 show me the chip set? Until Apple gets going with it's own chipset we will get watt (sic) is already known on the Intel platform.

The current Mini is a custom Apple board, I see no reason they would change that. This is Apple.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

In any event will that new form factor include 3.5" disks?

Maybe, but given the information from other posters above that six 2.5" drives can fit in a 3.5" space, I'm guessing they'll go with space for two 2.5" drives. If 7200rpm drives are an option, that's all we need. The biggest need is that they be user-replaceable.
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post #72 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

Even if Apple did so, I don't think you'll see a 1.5 TB HD as an option, and second you would get 1 TB with two 500 GB 2.5" HD's anyway, and Apple's software RAID 0/1 to boot..

Why do you say this? If they went to 3.5" why wouldn't they offer 1.5tb? It makes no sense not to. And even if they didn't one could always put their own in.

Either way, I seriously doubt apple will move to 3.5 to keep it as close to an entertainment form factor as possible. This is the first time I've been interested in a mini. Mainly because of the graphics. I refuse to buy computers with integrated graphics like intel's. At least this is a real integrated gpu. When I think of graphics I think of ATI / Nvidia. Not Intel. Lets face it, Nvidia/ATI has beat intel to death on the low end GPU front for years and years.

With that being said, I think the displayPort / DVI option is a great idea. If this is to be an option for home entertainment, I think having as many tv connections as possible is good.

I'm hoping they don't drop FW. Or if they do, add e-sata. We need a fast video transfer connection and USB 2.0 just wont' cut it. We'll see what happens tues.

 

 

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post #73 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by datamodel View Post

Actually they can be quicker, for random IO loads, because the maximum seeks distance is smaller. Sun 2.5" Fibre Channel server drives do about as many random IOPS at 10,000 RPM as the 15,000 RPM 3.5" drives.

That's probably what you were thinking of....


Actually the 15k 3.5" rpm drives do not really have 3.5" platters, as they would shatter due to the rotational forces. The platter is more like a 2.5" drive platter...
Only the package is of '3.5" drive' size, to have more space for strong head positioning magnets to give lower access times (and of course to allow easy mounting in 3.5" racks...)
post #74 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post

I'm going to wager that Apple won't announce anything at this expo. Perhaps some simple upgrades to existing lines if anything.

As Phil will be giving the keynote, instead of Steve, I think there will actually be some very interesting announcements.
This will be done to show the world that Apple is not only Steve Jobs.
(The rumors about Steve being too ill to do the keynote, resulting in a dropped share price, is not what Apple wants for the future...)
post #75 of 93
If two internal HDD bays are on offer then one could be a 64MB SSD and the other a normal HDD for data storage. I suppose the cost of a decent SSD would probably make this option out of the mini price range.

Dobby
post #76 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by emig647 View Post

We'll see what happens tues.

Or Monday. Apple has done a silent update in the past (e.g. last year's Mac Pro) to avoid mixing up the keynote message with too many product announcements.

If the new Mac Pro is ready to be debuted (though not shipped) it's possible either the iMac or Mini may get the silent treatment on Monday.
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post #77 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by emig647 View Post

Why do you say this? If they went to 3.5" why wouldn't they offer 1.5tb? It makes no sense not to. And even if they didn't one could always put their own in.

No reason really. Just that they won't go with the 3.5" form factor as you stated later on in your reply to begin with. The internal geometry of the internals would need to be changed to accomidate the 3.5" form factor, as the current 2.5" is wedged into it's appropriate footprint already. Why would Apple ever have two seperate Mac mini significantly different internal designs?

And I say this with the low budget server market in mind, two 2.5" drives in a RAID 0 would definitely be faster than a one drive configuration, be it 2.5" or 3.5".
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post #78 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

No reason really. Just that they won't go with the 3.5" form factor as you stated later on in your reply to begin with. The internal geometry of the internals would need to be changed to accomidate the 3.5" form factor, as the current 2.5" is wedged into it's appropriate footprint already. Why would Apple ever have two seperate Mac mini significantly different internal designs?

And I say this with the low budget server market in mind, two 2.5" drives in a RAID 0 would definitely be faster than a one drive configuration, be it 2.5" or 3.5".

I don't see apple offering two different chassis options. I think all that was said is they may offer (and most likely) a different one than what exists now. Since they are changing the colors to black, i think it's safe to say that the odds of there being a new design are good.

I also don't see apple shipping two 2.5" drives in RAID. 2.5" are much more prone to failures than 3.5", even more so in a RAID 0.

 

 

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post #79 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by emig647 View Post

I don't see apple offering two different chassis options. I think all that was said is they may offer (and most likely) a different one than what exists now. Since they are changing the colors to black, i think it's safe to say that the odds of there being a new design are good.

I also don't see apple shipping two 2.5" drives in RAID. 2.5" are much more prone to failures than 3.5", even more so in a RAID 0.

The 3.5" drive would need to be enterprise class, meaning 247 operation, except for the WD Raptors, I don't know of another 3.5"enterprise class SATA drive.

As to RAID 0/1 if two 2.5" drives are offered, it would be up to the end user, if they just want two HD's or use Apple's software RAID 0/1 option.

I'm quite sure Apple would just have two drives with no RAID from the factory. Personally, I had a RAID 0 using two WD Raptors (150 GB, enterprise class, last generation), the system (OS X 10.4 then 10.5) loaded in about 1/3 the time, and all applications just "jumped" open, almost instantaneously.

I'm in the habit of backing up all critical data 247.
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post #80 of 93
I foresee the Mini height differential and general widthxlength will change.
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