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Photo of next-gen Apple Mac mini in the wild?

post #1 of 222
Thread Starter 
A photo making the rounds on the Internet appears to conform to descriptions of a next-generation Mac mini published by AppleInsider earlier in the year.

The photo shows the rear of a Mac mini that includes five USB ports instead of 4, both mini DVI and Mini DisplayPort connectors, and FireWire 800 instead of 400 -- all of which were specifications for a next-generation Mac mini first published by AppleInsider back in January (1, 2).

For what it's worth, this is the second picture of a Mac mini seen by AppleInsider with such a port makeup, the first of which we were asked not to publish. While we cannot vouch for the authenticity of this new photo, it shows a Mac mini that is identical in every way to the system in the unpublished photo, which was said to be a prototype from last fall.

People familiar with Apple's plans have said that the new Mac mini, like Apple's MacBook families and upcoming line of iMacs, will be powered by chipsets from NVIDIA Corp.

However, with no official announcement from Apple, and two photos of the same unreleased system making the rounds in as many months, there's an outside chance the company may have recently changed its course for the next-gen Mac mini.

Update: The image was also posted to the MacRumors forums from user 'monthy,' who claims the system will ship with a 2GHz Core 2 Duo with 3MB Level 2 cache, 2GB DDR 3 RAM @ 1066MHz and a ATA Super Drive. It appears monthy is the source of the image.

post #2 of 222
Whoopty Doo!

Hurry up and bring it out! I got cash burning a hole in my pocket for this bad boy!
post #3 of 222
Yes, I agree, just release the damn thing alright! All I want is an apple computer that can handle games for my big screen tv!

How are people doing with the new GPU chips in the macbooks while playing games?

What kind of CPU do you think they will drop in this little box?
post #4 of 222
I need this little baby right now.

Anybody think there might be delays because of the Intel/Nvidia spat?
post #5 of 222
Seems fake. Why would Apple leave a miniDVI port on there when they added mini-DisplayPort? And FW800 on the Mini? Why? Plus the design is too similar to the existing mini. After this long you'd think they'd revise it at least a little bit.
post #6 of 222
The FW800 is nice, but what the hell does anyone need five USB ports for on this level of computer?
post #7 of 222
doubtful.

1. The port arrangement (row of ports, second row of audio and power) means the logic board would need to be split into two sections, increasing cost.

2. Firewire 800 seems to be in the realms of pro only, i doubt the cheapest computer apple sell will have it.

3. No other mac has that many usb ports - the reason is if you want that many devices you wont mind having another (a usb hub).

4. The Apple TV has integrated power, i expect the mini to offer something similar.

5. This update seems relatively minor, the time since the previous update suggests a bigger change
post #8 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheKid2020 View Post

Yes, I agree, just release the damn thing alright! All I want is an apple computer that can handle games for my big screen tv!

How are people doing with the new GPU chips in the macbooks while playing games?

What kind of CPU do you think they will drop in this little box?

I haven't had the chance to play around with the unibody MB, but my MBP's 8600 is slighty more powerful than the 9400. So if they toss in 256 MB of dedicated video memory with it, a 9400 GT-equipped mini (with at least 2 gigs of ram) could probably handle Call of Duty 4 on medium-high settings, and Battlefield 2142 on max settings. Ditto for less intensive games like Spore. Mirror's Edge would run on high, or at least medium-high settings too.

If you wanted to run Fallout 3 you'd probably be stuck on medium (or slightly better) settings.
post #9 of 222
Bring that shiz to me maan!

Seriously been waiting for a new Mini for over a year now.

And to the previous poster-you seem awfully sure of yourself with your comments. Do you have inside info?

I seriously doubt the internal power supply (too large) and why would it be hard to design a motherboard with 5 UBS ports in a row? The board is likely going to need to be redesigned anyway to accommodate the new Nvida chipset.
post #10 of 222
I don't believe it. There's no way they're going to release another speed bump without a redesign.

I believe more that it's an early test machine.
post #11 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thinine View Post

Seems fake. Why would Apple leave a miniDVI port on there when they added mini-DisplayPort? And FW800 on the Mini? Why? Plus the design is too similar to the existing mini. After this long you'd think they'd revise it at least a little bit.

There's no way to tell for sure, but I tend to agree.

This very website has run several articles that they claim are based on information from similarly "in the know" insiders, that talk about how the Mac mini has undergone a radical redesign inside and out. They have also published rumours and believed-to-be-reliable reports that the new Mac mini would be crazy thin, or made out of different materials etc. Then they publish this pic with just re-arranged ports?

The ports in the picture don't exactly line up either, but that could be just from lens distortion as the pic seems to be taken at an angle. I don't see it unusual that they would leave on the DVI port given the use of the machine, and I don't see the FireWire 800 port as a big deal either.

What I question is why they would have five USB ports. Especially since they have reduced the ventilation by about 30% or more and had to move some ports up to the top, there would have to be a good reason to take up all that space with five USB ports, and I can't think of one at the moment.

Edit: I'm leaning towards real now based on info in this thread. Still terrifically boring and terribly disappointing if true.
In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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post #12 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enigmafan420 View Post

And to the previous poster-you seem awfully sure of yourself with your comments. Do you have inside info?

I seriously doubt the internal power supply (too large) and why would it be hard to design a motherboard with 5 UBS ports in a row? The board is likely going to need to be redesigned anyway to accommodate the new Nvida chipset.

The Apple TV is smaller than the Mac Mini and has one, why shouldn't the Mini? If apple went through the effort of putting one in the apple TV they obviously think it's worth doing.

It's not that 5 USB ports would be hard to do, it's just that apple wont do it, there's plenty of room on an iMac or Mac Pro to put more USB ports, but they don't do it.
post #13 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thinine View Post

Seems fake. Why would Apple leave a miniDVI port on there when they added mini-DisplayPort? And FW800 on the Mini? Why? Plus the design is too similar to the existing mini. After this long you'd think they'd revise it at least a little bit.

Because the Mac mini is sold as "bring your own keyboard, mouse and monitor" It's aimed at PC users. Apple just invented Mini DisplayPort. There is only one monitor on the market with Mini DisplayPort.

K
EIC- AppleInsider.com
Questions and comments to : kasper@appleinsider.com
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EIC- AppleInsider.com
Questions and comments to : kasper@appleinsider.com
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post #14 of 222
I also highly doubt that FW800 will be on the Mac Mini if they include it at all. On the other hand, they did stick with FW800 for the MBP and maybe they actually listened to complaints about the lack of it on the MB. Still, I doubt it since they seem to be going away from FW.

I also really doubt that they will put both DisplayPort and DVI on the mini. That would be way too nice of Apple to provide backward compatibility when they could sell lots of DisplayPort adapters.
post #15 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by fezzasus View Post

The Apple TV is smaller than the Mac Mini and has one, why shouldn't the Mini? If apple went through the effort of putting one in the apple TV they obviously think it's worth doing.

It's not that 5 USB ports would be hard to do, it's just that apple wont do it, there's plenty of room on an iMac or Mac Pro to put more USB ports, but they don't do it.

Hoping you're wrong-not so that you are wrong, but I feel this is an intriguing design. I have an alum MB and the lack of any firewire is frustrating-they should keep it on the mini.

And to the poster who asked about 5 USB-I have more than that on my current mini with an attached Newer Tech ministack.
post #16 of 222
Given that:
-the Mini is positioned a low-end consumer grade machine
-that Apple removed FW400 from the low-end consumer MacBook
-that Apple is still selling the previous model MacBook with FW400

I would say it is quite unlikely that Apple would upgrade the Mini from FW400 to FW800.

I think it would be more likely that Apple might lead the way to USB 3.0 (presuming there is a chipset available), and include a USB 3 port (and either have all USB 3 ports, which are backwards compatible with USB 2 or have several other USB 2 ports, depending on cost & chipset capabilities).
post #17 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasper View Post

Because the Mac mini is sold as "bring your own keyboard, mouse and monitor" It's aimed at PC users. Apple just invented Mini DisplayPort. There is only one monitor on the market with Mini DisplayPort.

K

The Mini DisplayPort is an open standard, there are already adaptors being made for it by third parties, unlike the previous port which was apple only.
post #18 of 222
But they sell a mini-displayport to DVI adapter: there's no need for mini DVI.

I could understand if they put a full-size DVI port on the mini, to cater for people's old monitors without the need for adapters. But customers who buy it for use with a DVI monitor will need a mini-DVI to DVI adapter ANYWAY, so why the hell not just put mini-DP on there and be done with it?

Makes no sense. I call fake.
post #19 of 222
Quote:
2. Firewire 800 seems to be in the realms of pro only, i doubt the cheapest computer apple sell will have it.

This is more or less in keeping with what they've done to the MacBook and MBP lines, though. Apple seems to want to dump FW400 -- if they keep FW at all -- assuming for some reason that everybody has an adapter. So I guess they figure if they're going to include FireWire anyway (and previous Mac minis did have it), it might as well be 800. I am actually surprised they included it at all, though, much less a record 5 USB ports and two display options. Maybe they actually want to sell some of these things now?
post #20 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by fezzasus View Post

doubtful.


2. Firewire 800 seems to be in the realms of pro only, i doubt the cheapest computer apple sell will have it.

Is that why FireWire is on the cheapest MacBook they sell?


Quote:
Originally Posted by fezzasus View Post

3. No other mac has that many usb ports - the reason is if you want that many devices you wont mind having another (a usb hub)

Not true. The Mac Pro has 5 USB ports - 2 in front and 3 in back.


Quote:
Originally Posted by fezzasus View Post

4. The Apple TV has integrated power, i expect the mini to offer something similar.

As long as it's the "mini," it's going to be the smallest device Apple can make. I see no reason for them to integrate the power supply, but that is pure conjecture. I could be wrong.


Quote:
Originally Posted by fezzasus View Post

5. This update seems relatively minor, the time since the previous update suggests a bigger change

What do you expect, FireWire 3200? USB 3.0? It has Mini DisplayPort. That's good enough for them. They're probably thrilled they got that huge DVI port off of there.


edit:
Quote:
Originally Posted by cbw87 View Post

But they sell a mini-displayport to DVI adapter: there's no need for mini DVI.

I could understand if they put a full-size DVI port on the mini, to cater for people's old monitors without the need for adapters. But customers who buy it for use with a DVI monitor will need a mini-DVI to DVI adapter ANYWAY, so why the hell not just put mini-DP on there and be done with it?

Makes no sense. I call fake.

Maybe they will let you use two monitors at once with this new mini.


Quote:
Originally Posted by whatisgoingon View Post

Given that:
-the Mini is positioned a low-end consumer grade machine
-that Apple removed FW400 from the low-end consumer MacBook
-that Apple is still selling the previous model MacBook with FW400

I would say it is quite unlikely that Apple would upgrade the Mini from FW400 to FW800.

I think it would be more likely that Apple might lead the way to USB 3.0 (presuming there is a chipset available), and include a USB 3 port (and either have all USB 3 ports, which are backwards compatible with USB 2 or have several other USB 2 ports, depending on cost & chipset capabilities).

I think it makes sense for them to put a 800 port on there, because it is turned into a FW 400 port with a simple cable.
post #21 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thinine View Post

Seems fake. Why would Apple leave a miniDVI port on there when they added mini-DisplayPort? And FW800 on the Mini? Why? Plus the design is too similar to the existing mini. After this long you'd think they'd revise it at least a little bit.

I agree.
But iirc, original rumours on the new MBP and MacBooks had 2 ports also.

I guess the question would be whether having 2 video ports is cheaper than just the DisplayPort bundled with an adapter? Still it's unlike Apple not to break with the old, I even expect the next AppleTV to have Mini DisplayPort with an HDMI adapter.

Regarding power: I think external power is much better only due to the heat of the power source. External allows the computer to run cooler, they have the power bricks looking pretty good.

Regarding FW800: It probably doesn't cost Apple more or less for FW800 than FW400. For the people putting Mac Minis into racks for server farms FW800 will be helpful.
post #22 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasper View Post

Because the Mac mini is sold as "bring your own keyboard, mouse and monitor" It's aimed at PC users. Apple just invented Mini DisplayPort. There is only one monitor on the market with Mini DisplayPort.

I seem to remember that there was a rumor a while ago stating that this would happen. Whether or not the graphics card will handle dual displays would be an interesting question. And the firewire remaining is a nice touch.

Here's what I don't get - while its only one view, the machine seems exactly the same from a form-factor standpoint - down to the white plastic. If this is legit, what the heck took so long? This image just seems to imply that there were a few port changes, and some bumped innards - I can't say that this comes remotely close to justifying the 20 month wait we've had for this thing. We all love apple's ability to innovate, but their desktops have shown some serious signs of laziness over the last few years.
post #23 of 222
i'm sorry but i need more than a blog publishing a photo that confirms their own previous article.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #24 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregAlexander View Post

I guess the question would be whether having 2 video ports is cheaper than just the DisplayPort bundled with an adapter?

But you still need a mini-DVI to DVI adapter ANYWAY! There's no logic to this design, given they sell a mini-DP to DVI adapter. If they wanted legacy compatibility they'd have included a full-size DVI port, otherwise there's no logical reason to include anything other than mini-DP.

Even if they wanted two ports, it'd be more logical to have 2 x mini DP, for consistency.
post #25 of 222
I truly hope this photo is of the actual Mini that is soon to be release, for the lone reason of killing all the pessimism that I read in this thread. I don't care how Apple screwed up by removing FW on the MacBook. Perhaps they have learned their lesson after the fall-out over that and realized you need to add MORE value to computers, yes even low end ones, in this difficult economic climate.

But Apple Insider's last sentence seems to indicate that the release of this photo may mean that Apple's new Mini is actually something different than this? If so, I can only hope something better. Perhaps something more like the Cube. I would be willing to pay more for a Mini if it came with more value. But a big part of that value includes Firewire. Faster graphics are key too, and it would appear that the Mini will have that. So the only other weak link is the hard drive. Therefore, if they redesign the case to accommodate 3.5" drives, then the mini may turn out to be an ideal Mac for many who now seek a fast mid-range tower.
post #26 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by uni View Post

Maybe they will let you use two monitors at once with this new mini.

Still illogical to include two different types of port when they could both be mini-DP: mini-DVI gains nothing here; they could just have 2 x mini-DP, which would make sense considering (A) they're trying to push their own mini-DP monitors and (B) going forward there are likely to be more and more DP-based monitors that mini-DVI just can't connect to, no matter what adapters you have... (depends on the monitor manufacturer)
post #27 of 222
Image is fake, just look at the 5 USBs and look at the USB logo on top of them, only one has it.
post #28 of 222
Wow, that looks AMAZING!!!

If it had all the NVIDIA chipsets in the MBP models (since it DOES appear to have FW800), then I'd certainly buy it, WITH a LED cinema display!

Besides, if I had a Mac Mini, I'd certainly be playing certain games *cough* Starcraft II & Diablo 3 *cough*.

BJ
post #29 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by cbw87 View Post

Even if they wanted two ports, it'd be more logical to have 2 x mini DP, for consistency.

Yeah, but then how do you convince Mini users to buy a shiny new Apple Cinema Display?
post #30 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by uni View Post

Is that why FireWire is on the cheapest MacBook they sell?

Because it's an old design that doesn't cost them anything to continue, just like the current mini doesn't cost them anything. In contrast, including an additional chip to continue the use of firewire when the majority of mac minis do not have any firewire devices connected is just unnecessary expense and counters the idea of having a cheap, stripped down mac.

Quote:
Originally Posted by uni View Post

As long as it's the "mini," it's going to be the smallest device Apple can make. I see no reason for them to integrate the power supply, but that is pure conjecture. I could be wrong.

Apple like simplicity, i've already stated twice that an internal powersupply has been included in the appleTV so therefore could be included without the loss of much space.
post #31 of 222
That pic looks fake. Although as far as the ports, i'd be so thrilled that it would still have firewire!

The mini dvi makes no sense though. No computers have a mini dvi connector, and no one upgrading a mini is going to have a monitor already on a mini dvi connector since the old mini's had full dvi. In other worse, i don't get why it would have one of each instead of two of the new ports. since either way you're going to have to buy a new video adapter to use it. Its not really a 'legacy' port.
post #32 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by fraklinc View Post

Image is fake, just look at the 5 USBs and look at the USB logo on top of them, only one has it.

Right and it would signify "These are the USB Ports". Look at the display connectors, there aren't different symbols for each one. There is one right in the middle to point out these are the display connectors.

When is the last time that a 'fake' picture of an apple product has made the rounds?
post #33 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by Expat View Post

Yeah, but then how do you convince Mini users to buy a shiny new Apple Cinema Display?

You're missing my point. They don't have to buy ACDs, they can buy any, and use mini-DP to DVI adapters. Yes, having to buy adapters sucks, but even with mini-DVI they need adapters, so there's no point in having two different connectors on the back. It adds nothing.
post #34 of 222
Could the NVIDIA and Intel lawsuit be holding this up? If Apple wanted to use NVIDIA chips, Intel could have said they won't give them unless they use a non-NVIDIA graphics chip since they claim it's a unlicensed chipset.
post #35 of 222
My 2c . Never going to waste my money on this.
What I need is the combination of the formfactor and processing power of mini with the stupidity of apple tv w/ HDMI and a proper remote. THEN. YES. Then, i will be the guy sitting in the line at the apple store.
Frak it.
post #36 of 222
5 USB ports because if you're brining your own keyboard & mouse then you need the extra ports. Agree with the dual video outs, not necessary and mini-dvi is on the way out. Surely dual display ports if anything. The new MacBook has no firewire so why the mini? though I'm not confident about that.

The white plastic is an oddity too considering Apples recent design ethic of black plastic and aluminium.
post #37 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by fezzasus View Post

1. The port arrangement (row of ports, second row of audio and power) means the logic board would need to be split into two sections, increasing cost.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fraklinc View Post

Image is fake, just look at the 5 USBs and look at the USB logo on top of them, only one has it.

You guys are stupid.

Current Mac Mini:
post #38 of 222
5 USB ports because if you're bringing your own keyboard & mouse then you need the extra ports. Agree with the dual video outs, not necessary and mini-dvi is on the way out. Surely dual display ports if anything. The new MacBook has no firewire so why the mini? though I'm not confident about that.

The white plastic is an oddity too considering Apples recent design ethic of black plastic and aluminium.
post #39 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quevar View Post

Could the NVIDIA and Intel lawsuit be holding this up? If Apple wanted to use NVIDIA chips, Intel could have said they won't give them unless they use a non-NVIDIA graphics chip since they claim it's a unlicensed chipset.

Nah, the lawsuit was only announced today and the mini has been due for an update for a long time.

Additionally, Intel would rather make money from selling processors rather than selling nothing. Apple could switch to AMD quite easily if Intel make a fuss.
post #40 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by fezzasus View Post

doubtful.

1. The port arrangement (row of ports, second row of audio and power) means the logic board would need to be split into two sections, increasing cost.

Doesn't the current Mac Mini have this already? It's only a couple of ports and a ribbon cable to the main board anyway. 10 cents cost at the most.

Quote:
2. Firewire 800 seems to be in the realms of pro only, i doubt the cheapest computer apple sell will have it.

Might be cheaper for Apple to buy 2 million Firewire 800 controllers than 1 million Firewire 800 and 1 million Firewire 400. Who knows.

Quote:
3. No other mac has that many usb ports - the reason is if you want that many devices you wont mind having another (a usb hub).

There's space for them, why not, the chipset supports many more than that. The Mac Mini is most in need of them as well, for external drives and so on.

Quote:
4. The Apple TV has integrated power, i expect the mini to offer something similar.

It hasn't so far. I was hoping for Magsafe just for nice compatibility with the new displays.

Quote:
5. This update seems relatively minor, the time since the previous update suggests a bigger change

Well an entire rework of the innards isn't minor. This will be far far better than the current Mac Mini.
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