Originally Posted by Kolchak
Do you really think the mini can handle 55 or 65w? Its tiny fan already whines like crazy if you keep the CPU pegged. The current power brick can't handle that, either. I don't think Apple is putting quad core processors in their low-end machine anytime soon.
I don't think there is any rush for Apple to get a quad core chip into the mini. The whole point behind the mini is to use entry-grade technology to keep the product at a lower price point. It can work because the capabilities of that technology are substantive enough for the mini to be a useful product anyway. I think that if we see a mini that runs the 9400M GPU with a 2G DP processor out of Intel's mobile line, the machine will be more than enough computer for quite a few customers. It's not much of a leap for Apple to improve specs by upping the base memory to 2 gigs of faster RAM to go with the 9400 M and keep in mind that there will soon be a performance boost coming in the revised OS which is said to be a streamlined package able to take better advantage of multiple cores.
To me it's about how this plays out in absolute terms rather than looking at it in relative terms. By that I mean, if the mini so assembled proves to be a very solid machine able to handle pretty much everything the average consumer throws at it, does it really matter that there are faster systems out there? The mini is already a decent little computer (I'm on my second one) and the rumoured specs upgrades would collectively improve the machine's performance by a substantial amount, certainly very noticeable even for an average customer.
It's all about taking advantage of the advances manufacturers like Intel have made which allow levels of performance from inexpensive components that are comparable to state of the art performance not so long ago. All I ask of the next mini is that it allow me to edit HD video without a lot of anguish. If it's powerful enough to do that, it's powerful enough for me and, I would imagine, most potential customers. The days of having machines make spectacular strides every few months, accompanied by all manner of hype about how much more powerful the latest model is, are long past. The reason for this is that even the most modest computers today have the ability to handle the majority of tasks we throw at them. There is still a longing for the latest and greatest but the reality is that the technology has evolved to the point where it's becoming a minor issue. Today's computers, top to bottom, are that capable.
There was a time when Apple might have worried that making the mini too capable would eat into the sales of their Mac Pro products but that machine is evolving into a niche product anyway. These days the thing to do is opt for a laptop in place of a desktop system. Still, the pro desktop has it's market and the mini has its niche also. The truth is that for the vast majority of us, the expandability and power of the pro range is simply overkill and right now, with so much scary economic news circulating, overkill is something few of us can afford to indulge in.
Hopefully Apple will not, as has been suggested from time to time, pull the plug on the mini. It's a form factor that is ideal for quite a few of us and even just occasional spec upgrades will be enough to keep the machine from falling too far behind the needs of most customers. You don't get to brag to your friends about how spectacular your computer's specs are but you get your tasks done with little fuss. That's a good thing.