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Apple debuts new Mac minis with five times better graphics - Page 4

post #121 of 207
I bought two today.

If I whine about no upgrades, I can also put my money where my mouth is.
post #122 of 207
I went ahead and bought the 599 base, no upgrade to 2.26, instead i put the money towards:

- 4GB crucial memory from newegg: $52
- 6ft mini toslink cable from newegg. $9
- Mini-DVI to HDMI + 6ft HDMI cable amazon: $15

I was going to buy the WD 320gb 7200 drive, but i was going to see how performace was first. I have a 1TB external FW800 drive, see how that runs. I didnt buy the apple remote, I'm going to use my JB iPhone for a remote via PLEX (for now).

I'm hoping my ram upgrade will auto-allocate 256 (instead of 128) to the GPU
post #123 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by GMHut View Post

No matter how you look at it, it's underspecced as an HTPC, but it has a form factor perfect to be used as one.

I'm curious to know in what way you consider it underspec'd as an HTPC? I'm not necessarily arguing, but would like your perspective/reasoning.

From a software point. I'd agree. Merge the functionality of FrontRow and AppleTV for a better software solution.

From a hardware perspective, how much more power do you need for HTPC service? The only thing I can think of that it might not handle is very high bit-rate 1080p video, and on that I'll reserve judgement until someone tries it. As for storage space, even if they put the biggest 2.5" drive in they could, it still wouldn't be big enough and you'd need an external drive anyway. So why bother with a huge internal drive. It only needs to hand the OS and applications, all my content is going on a big Firewire drive regardless. The only other hardware nice-to-have would be a blu-ray player.

What else would you add/upgrade to make it properly spec'd?
post #124 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilMole View Post

Actually, as of today and in the UK, that's not accurate. The closest-equivalent Studio Hybrid (with not-so-good graphics, but twice the memory and HD space) costs £449 versus Apple's £499.

But, of course, you don't have to buy a Studio Hybrid. You can buy a Studio instead with a not-totally-lame case and better specs than Apple's £649 model for £379 (with 2.8GHz Core 2 Duo, rather than a 2.0GHz one). While paying a little bit more is fine, paying 71% more seems a little extreme.

The Mac mini is competitive with the Studio Hybrid. Apple simply has chosen not to compete in the cheaper category of the Studio.

(1) It almost seems that a lot of people assume there is a human right to have an Apple system at every price point. The implicit justification for this 'human right' might be that OS X (on Apple hardware) is so much better than Windows that it is not acceptable to deny those who cannot afford (or simply don't feel like spending as much for a computer) the Macs offered, the joy of using a Mac.

(2) Or the unsaid rationale is that if Apple does not offer anything in the lower price brackets, the will never achieve more than 15-30% of the market. And without that they will ultimately fail.
post #125 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by bongo View Post

I just called my local Apple Store and asked about dual monitor support for the new Mini. They said that it does NOT support more than one monitor at a time.

Sad but true

From Mac mini - Features page:
Quote:
Theres nothing quite like seeing your photos and movies on a big, beautiful display. Unless, of course, you add a second. Mac mini comes with both mini-DVI and Mini DisplayPort output ports, so you can connect up to two displays. Choose the beautiful, widescreen Apple LED Cinema Display or displays available from many third parties.
post #126 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by xwiredtva View Post

Their just getting started... Have friends in England selling everything they own, buying Euro's.

They are going from bad to worse. Europe is having all of the same problems as the USA, plus a couple trillion in bad loans to the former soviet republics.
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post #127 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by GMHut View Post


Follow along here, try not to think so small. The mini is either under-specced or overpriced as a low-end computer.

Spend some time in the off-topic section of PLEX forums. You'll find guys running older Mac Mini's 1080p files stutter-free.
post #128 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

I'm curious to know in what way you consider it underspec'd as an HTPC? I'm not necessarily arguing, but would like your perspective/reasoning.

From a software point. I'd agree. Merge the functionality of FrontRow and AppleTV for a better software solution.

From a hardware perspective, how much more power do you need for HTPC service? The only thing I can think of that it might not handle is very high bit-rate 1080p video, and on that I'll reserve judgement until someone tries it. As for storage space, even if they put the biggest 2.5" drive in they could, it still wouldn't be big enough and you'd need an external drive anyway. So why bother with a huge internal drive. It only needs to hand the OS and applications, all my content is going on a big Firewire drive regardless. The only other hardware nice-to-have would be a blu-ray player.

What else would you add/upgrade to make it properly spec'd?

I myself will have a firewire drive (FW800) and if needed, i have a mac pro on the gigabit network.
post #129 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by bongo View Post

I just called my local Apple Store and asked about dual monitor support for the new Mini. They said that it does NOT support more than one monitor at a time.

Sad but true

That's weird. In the Feature page of Mac Mini, it reads, "Theres nothing quite like seeing your photos and movies on a big, beautiful display. Unless, of course, you add a second. Mac mini comes with both mini-DVI and Mini DisplayPort output ports, so you can connect up to two displays."

I take it that it does support two monitor at the same time, or not?
post #130 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilMole View Post

But, of course, you don't have to buy a Studio Hybrid. You can buy a Studio instead with a not-totally-lame case and better specs than Apple's £649 model for £379 (with 2.8GHz Core 2 Duo, rather than a 2.0GHz one). While paying a little bit more is fine, paying 71% more seems a little extreme.

It depends what you want. Also, the Dell Studio uses more power (it has a 350W power supply), so you probably get the full cost back in electricity bills within a year or two. Let's say each machine is running 12 hours a day, and draws half of maximum power on average (55 W for the mini and 175 W for the Studio). That's 1.44 kWh per day difference. Over two years that's 1,000 kWh. In the UK, electricity costs about 11 pence per kWh, so that's £110 right there.

Besides that, there is the little matter of software. You are getting iLife '09, not to mention OS/X Leopard.

I honestly don't see this as an overpriced product. It's certainly not underpriced though.
post #131 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alonso Perez View Post

It depends what you want. Also, the Dell Studio uses more power (it has a 350W power supply), so you probably get the full cost back in electricity bills within a year or two. Let's say each machine is running 12 hours a day, and draws half of maximum power on average (55 W for the mini and 175 W for the Studio). That's 1.44 kWh per day difference. Over two years that's 1,000 kWh. In the UK, electricity costs about 11 pence per kWh, so that's £110 right there.

Besides that, there is the little matter of software. You are getting iLife '09, not to mention OS/X Leopard.

I honestly don't see this as an overpriced product. It's certainly not underpriced though.

missing the point about pricing.

US = same price point...better specs.
UK = 26% price increase...better specs.

it has nothing to do with currency.

When Apple was selling the base model to you guys at $599, they were selling the same model over here for £391.

Now, your price has stayed the same and ours has gone up massively.

same for the iMac...£799 to £949.

rubbish, APple, just rubbish. They ahve priced them over here as if they don't want to sell them.
post #132 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by Archipellago View Post

it has nothing to do with currency.

How exactly do you come to that conclusion, when you have not referenced the exchange rate in your post? Compare exchange adjusted price at introduction for each model of mini, the price of the mini in the UK should have gone up 40% in the last year, or else Apple's margins are shrinking there.

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post #133 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I'm quite pleased with it. With the price hikes, the Mini looks to be Apple's best value product right now. The 9400M with OpenCL compatibility looks powerful enough for most things. Just throw in 4GB Ram and a 7200 rpm drive and it's a nice little desktop.

Hope this doesn't sound too stupid. Will Mac warehouses like MacMall ship to Britain or other foreign places? How would tax, shipping, etc., in general, affect the cost? Would this be viable vis-a-vis buying a Mac locally? Cheaper? Costlier?
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post #134 of 207
poof..
post #135 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

I'm curious to know in what way you consider it underspec'd as an HTPC? I'm not necessarily arguing, but would like your perspective/reasoning.

From a personal perspective, a proper 3.5" HDD or dual 2.5" HDDs would have been nice. Real HDMI 1.3a with audio would also expand its potential as a no-fuss HTPC greatly. Blu Ray is obviously just a fantasy but it would certainly make it into my ultimate HTPC.

I would have pulled the trigger at the old UK price despite these missing features. However, at £499, it's just too expensive once you factor in the extras you'd need to buy.

I'm seriously considering building a Shuttle PC instead. For ~£500 I can get 4GB RAM, 1TB disk space, Blu-Ray, HDMI and all kinds of goodies. The only downside is Vista.
post #136 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Jeez, the number of folks that use a HTPC...PC, Mac, whatever, EVEN on AVS Forum is miniscule. Apple has the Apple TV as their set top entry, not the mini.

I would love the speed and useability of the iTunes interface huge on my 47 inch TV so I can get the most of my A/V receiver for music and download the occasional TV show I miss, all in the place I want it most, my living room. I don't want it enough to pay $300 bucks for Apple TV which does that, and only thatno sale there. I don't want to invest in an HTPC for that purpose aloneno sale there either. However, let's say I'm on the edge about buying a new computer for the sake of needing a computer (which I am). Knowing that computer would make an excellent HTPC after it's served it's original purpose as a computer alone to get more life out of ithow is that a bad thing? Who wouldn't want that? Do ya think maybe HTPC might be more widly used if people had a computer that fits that bill a little better, say like the mini with an HDMI port? Do ya think Apple might increase video sales on iTunes that way? Call me crazy, but I think it might.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

It is Apple's entry level computer which is a SFF computer. As such, it seems to be better spec'd than the Dell Studio Hybrid which is $449 but for the Pentium Dual core. Not the C2D although it does come with 2GB standard.

Again, why not leverage the SFF further with an HDMI port?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

The top end Mini is over priced...and it's meant to be so the iMac looks great in comparison. But it's nothing a putty knife and newegg can't solve.

Uh, it doesn't make the iMac look great in comparison to me, and many others I might suspect. It just reiterates the fact that Apple STILL doesn't make the machine I REALLY want. One with the specs of the iMac and no monitor. I fail to see the logic in almost making the machine a great many people want and pricing it high enough they won't want it in hopes they'll pay even more for another machine that has something they don't want in the first place (built in glossy monitor). The smarter goal is to make computers people want at the price you are selling them, not deter them from buying one of your products in favor of another (how is that a good idea). Because (if you're Apple) you think you can make up for it in sales of the low-end version to people who will void their warranty with a putty knife in an effort to frankenstein parts into it from a 3rd party? I doubt that's Apple's intent. Heroic efforts to "crack" the case hardly fit the "user friendlyit just works" idea. Here's an idea. If you are selling an "entry" model which most read as more affordable; why not put a hinge on the lid and advertise that it's now designed with user more affordable upgradability in mind?


Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Or get an AppleTV and Boxee it. Or just use your PS3.

It's called, "added value" and it increases demand. It's an especially good thing when people are holding on to their cash with a death grip, like in times of recession.

Ever used the PS3 browser? It's functional at the basic level, but many features (some basic blogging functions for one) don't work. Ever tried to play your iTunes music through the PS3? Give it a shot and see what happens. The fact that I've already spent $500 on a PS3 is one reason the Apple TV at another $300 is not exactly appealing to me. Again, repurposing the mini later for no more than the cost of an HDMI cable would fill in the gap where the PS3 falls short. Are you starting to get the picture now? Again, added value sells.



Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Yes, a $599 C2D machine that can go to 4GB of ram and drive a 30" ACD is almost functional as a stopgap.

Well...hopefully drove a 30" ACD if the damn adapter doesn't suck but I digress. Dual 24" displays anyway. Hmmm...I wonder if two 4GB sticks might work. Not that I have a spare $700 to buy two sticks to try...

30" monitor on the new mini? You must have access to a different spec sheet than I saw. You have know idea of the type of work I'm talking about specific to me, yet you're emoticon-laughing as if you know the specs that suit my purpose better than I do? Interesting. I do some rather large animations and 3D work which I bring home sometimes. It isn't what I do exclusively, but I do I need to do it. For those times, there is no such thing as "fast enough"if you've ever rendered something in 3D, you know what I'm talking about. You understand the concept of "stop-gap" don't you? It means, "in the mean timetemporaryuntil another set of circumstances occurs." That "$599 C2D, goes up to $799 with 4 gigs of RAM. So, yeah, I guess the idea paying $799 for a machine that is roughly the same processor speed as the one I already have but with less RAM, a less powerful video card, and a smaller hard drive is laughable as a stop gapunless I can use it for something else when I get another computer. I don't think I'm alone as a designer in considering the leap-frog approach to upgrading computers. Many of us can't afford the top of the line each time we need a new computer so we start to alternate. We look for the least we can get by with spec-wise with one purchase, so we can afford to upgrade to more powerful technology sooner than if we'd blown a huge wad because newer technology is cheaper with regard to performance per dollarthis makes especially good sense in uncertain economic times. I know more than a few designers who find the low-end mini underspecced but would be interested in the top end mini if it were more reasonably priced. The iMac bump is appealing, unless you want a headless mac. Then your back to square one scratching your head trying to decide if you want to go super cheap (mini) and upgrade again as soon as possible, or go uber-Mac (pro) and be stuck with it longer than you want because you spent an arm an a leg on it. It's the age old Apple story they could have made less painful with this mini, either feature wise on the low-end, or better pricing at the top end.


Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

If you can show me a significant HTPC market I might agree. Heck, and I have a half dozen old HTPC builds gathering dust in my basement. Futzing around trying to get Front Row to work seamlessly as a HTPC is really low on my list of things to do these days. Although I might try Understudy for kicks.

Otherwise, that's a mighty small boat you're in.

By "builds" are your referring to Macs? I'm not interested in "building" a Mac anything. That's one reason people go Mac, to forego that particular brand of pain. I agree, I'm not interesting in "futzing" with Front Row or anything else on any computer to get HTPC. That's why I suggest Apple put the dern HDMI on their mini. If Front Row works on Apple TV, it should work on the mini. If it doesn't work, than they shouldn't be pushing it on either. To reiterate, the HTPC aspect alone is not the deal, its' the fact that adding an attractive feature to a minimal bump in specs and overpricing at the top end goes at least some distance in tipping it from the "meh" category, to the "OK, I'll bite this time around" column.
post #137 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

From a personal perspective, a proper 3.5" HDD or dual 2.5" HDDs would have been nice. Real HDMI 1.3a with audio would also expand its potential as a no-fuss HTPC greatly. Blu Ray is obviously just a fantasy but it would certainly make it into my ultimate HTPC.

I would have pulled the trigger at the old UK price despite these missing features. However, at £499, it's just too expensive once you factor in the extras you'd need to buy.

I'm seriously considering building a Shuttle PC instead. For ~£500 I can get 4GB RAM, 1TB disk space, Blu-Ray, HDMI and all kinds of goodies. The only downside is Vista.

Although it's a bit of a pain, you could go the Hackint0sh route, but obviously would have to do a dual boot.

Vista = blu-ray
HackinT0sh = everything else.
post #138 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by GMHut View Post

Originally Posted by vinea View Post
If you can show me a significant HTPC market I might agree. Heck, and I have a half dozen old HTPC builds gathering dust in my basement. Futzing around trying to get Front Row to work seamlessly as a HTPC is really low on my list of things to do these days. Although I might try Understudy for kicks.

Otherwise, that's a mighty small boat you're in.
By "builds" are your referring to Macs? I'm not interested in "building" a Mac anything. That's one reason people go Mac, to forego that particular brand of pain. I agree, I'm not interesting in "futzing" with Front Row or anything else on any computer to get HTPC. That's why I suggest Apple put the dern HDMI on their mini. If Front Row works on Apple TV, it should work on the mini. If it doesn't work, than they shouldn't be pushing it on either. To reiterate, the HTPC aspect alone is not the deal, its' the fact that adding an attractive feature to a minimal bump in specs and overpricing at the top end goes at least some distance in tipping it from the "meh" category, to the "OK, I'll bite this time around" column.

Look into PLEX, forget FrontRow.
post #139 of 207
Has this been addressed?

The high end Mini 2.0GHz : 320GB is $799.
The low end Mini (reconfigured) 2.26 GHz : 120 GB is also $799..

Which would be the better buy?
Are there factors that would make one better than the other?

After market, I could always buy a larger external HDD but not a better processor.
I think the after market HDD would be better for less money

If this has been addressed, I apologize. I haven't had time to read all the posts.
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post #140 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by sequitur View Post

Has this been addressed?

The high end Mini 2.0GHz : 320GB is $799.
The low end Mini (reconfigured) 2.26 GHz : 120 GB is also $799..

Which would be the better buy?
Are there factors that would make one better than the other?

After market, I could always buy a larger external HDD but not a better processor.
I think the after market HDD would be better for less money

If this has been addressed, I apologize. I haven't had time to read all the posts.

If you REALLY need the 13% boost, then go with the low-end option w/ the CPU upgrade. Hard drives, you can shop around for much cheaper. I found a good 320 gb drive on newegg (faster than the 320 from apple) for $75-80 bucks.
post #141 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by GMHut View Post

OK, I know I'll be labeled a hater, but it's overpriced for the minimal bump. This "bump" really just puts the thing where it should already have been by now more or less, or they need more attractive pricing. Ya see, there's this little thing called a recession going on now that makes anemic electronics less desirable, "it's the economy stupid."

To make it worth the price Apple should have sweetened the deal IMO. Right now, the high-end maxed out is only slightly less than the low-end iMac but with no monitor. If they really wanted to basically sell the same machine tweaked a little, they should have thrown in more.

If they're going to offer it with Front Row included (a good thing), they obviously want to further the idea of the mini used as a digital entertainment hub. They should lose Apple TV and let the mini cover both the entry computer and home entertainment markets with the production cost of a single unit. That means little without a built in HDMI port. I think it's performance limitations are a function of it's size. Keeping it small and quiet (which I'm guessing includes heat-related performance limits) make it attractive to put in an entertainment system. But they configure it so you have to buy an HDMI converter which isn't just another thing to buy, there's more to it than that. That won't get audio to your home theater set up so you have to ad another cable, probably with a Lft/Rt splitter to inputs on your A/V receiver. Just more wires in your cabinet.

The typical home theater enthusiast has at least the A/V receiver, cable box, game console, maybe a DVR. Anyone building a system or adding new things to it wants it as close to "future proof" as possible and as few cables as possible—that means HDMI. HT equipment without HDMI is simply outdated. The remote is necessary to make it useful as part of an HT system, that should be included standard for all models as well. As a computer alone it just isn't that impressive considering it's present cost structure. The low-end should have 2 gigs RAM standard at the current start price. The high-end should have 4 gigs and/or the larger HD standard at the current start price. Those things would make me want to buy one. As it is, not so much; I'm a little underwhelmed.

If what you want is to run OSX and you have a monitor of recent vintage, exactly how many choices do you have?

I don't think Apple is unreasonable in asking roughly $1,000 Cdn. for a well-equiped mini.

From my perspective, the 9400 M, plus faster memory, plus the opportunity to bump up system RAM, translates to a machine that will make editing HD video considerably more pleasant than trying to do it on the mini I have now, which is a base model that has 1.83 Core 2 duo with a gig of RAM. That's 667 Mhz SDRAM, compared to the new version's 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM.

Updating to this machine in the next few months is a no-brainer. I can't even imagine going another route. The price is not, for me, a deal-breaker. Consider that to go to 2 gigs of RAM here in Canada, costs all of $60. Big deal. Going all the way to 4 gigs sets you back $180. Seems to me that's not much of a cost to take this machine up to the point where it can handle some serious work rather well. A few years ago, a top-of-the-line Apple running 4 gigs of RAM would have been prohibitively expensive.
post #142 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by sequitur View Post

Has this been addressed?

The high end Mini 2.0GHz : 320GB is $799.
The low end Mini (reconfigured) 2.26 GHz : 120 GB is also $799..

Which would be the better buy?
Are there factors that would make one better than the other?

There won't be significant performance difference between 2 and 2.26 GHz. 10% at the most.

Since high-end mini is identical to low-end except for the hard disk and memory, I wouldn't even consider it.

I would buy the low-end from online retailer that offers free shipping and $25 mail-in-rebate, along with 2x2GB 1066 MHz SO-DIMM (about $70) and external hard disk (e.g., 1 TB USB at about $100).
post #143 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quevar View Post

So, what is the difference of having 128 vs. 256 MB of graphics memory. I know some games require it, but would it speed up openCL, iMovie, rendering, etc.?

I am so glad they finally updated it. Now I just have to decide which graphics and processor speed I want.

Well the thing is if you have 1 GB of RAM it only takes up 128 MB, but if you 2 or 4 GB of RAM it will use up to 256 MB...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Put in the G110M and I've got OpenCL ready GPU.

http://www.nvidia.com/object/product..._g110m_us.html

Add a secondary PCI-Express 2.0 GPU slot and I'd buy 2 and buy 2 GPUs to use OpenCL and OpenGL3.x.

They blew it.

Are you saying that this GPU is not OpenCL ready?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phong View Post

I would have bought this, if they released this six months ago instead of the Macbooks. I remember feeling like a second class citizen for owning a Mac desktop back in the 90s. These past six months I've felt like a second class citizen from Apple's perspective for wanting to buy a Mac desktop.

There's no excuse for waiting this long. The real headline should be "Apple waits 19 months to make 6-month-old Macbook."

This is just the way I see it, but a Nintendo, XBOX, or PS takes 3-4 years or more per release...
This is just an expensive set top box, that can run os x, win, and linux...

This is what I am doing, with my purchase:

Getting the low end $599
Use it for a little
Sending it Off to OWC for 7200.4 500 GB Seagate & 4 GB of RAM...
And putting that 120 GB in an External case YUM

I was wondering if this would do the 6 GB trick, but that seems like it's to expensive to be practical.

Laters...
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post #144 of 207
1 year too late. A upgrade after sitting on the shelf for a year? Mini should should retired! As usual apple cripples its low end mac to meet a pricepoint. Underpowered and overpriced yet again. 2GHz? On come on! When 3ghz is the low end on most pcs. Wake up and get a clue.

Maybe a financial loss next quarter will make apple more humble and less arrogant. The entire desktop line up has nothing worthy to offer.
post #145 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by filburt View Post

From Mac mini - Features page:

Seriously, that wasn't there when I looked! COOL!

Wonder if I can run the projector for the home theater AND a 15" touchscreen next to the couch...
post #146 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kung Fu Guy View Post

1 year too late. A upgrade after sitting on the shelf for a year? Mini should should retired! As usual apple cripples its low end mac to meet a pricepoint. Underpowered and overpriced yet again. 2GHz? On come on! When 3ghz is the low end on most pcs. Wake up and get a clue.

Maybe a financial loss next quarter will make apple more humble and less arrogant. The entire desktop line up has nothing worthy to offer.

YOU SERIOUS!?!?! This 2.0ghz CPU is NOT ONLY A laptop unit designed for low power, but has the better performance on a magnitude of 5 of the 3.06 from years ago. 1066mhz bus! Single chipset controller! Let's see the numbers before ANYONE b*tches about the specs.

Where not in 2003 anymore, this isn't about higher ghz numbers. We are in total gigaflops (teraflops soon) a cpu can calculate per second.

Megahertz junkies... Come on. IT'S A MINI! Not a MacPro! Which BTW lost it's 3.0+ chips, YET IS OVER 200% faster!
post #147 of 207
Since OpenGL 3.0 is compatible with DirectX 10 hardware, this 9400M is fully compatible with DX10... Then this GPU is compatible with OpenGL 3.0... Hmmm....

Full use of OpenGL 3.0 requires the same level of hardware as is required for DirectX 10 support. Unlike DirectX 10, OpenGL 3.0 does not require Windows Vista and can be used on any OS for which the appropriate drivers are provided.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenGL#OpenGL_3.0
post #148 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by Archipellago View Post

missing the point about pricing.

US = same price point...better specs.
UK = 26% price increase...better specs.

it has nothing to do with currency.

Actually, it has everything to do with currency. The exchange rate used to be around $1.90 +/- per 1 GBP (It's been awhile since I've travelled to the UK, so I'm not exactly sure). It's now $1.40 per GBP. So let's do the math, that's a $0.50 change, and 0.5/1.9 = 0.26 or 26%. Hmm...

Now obviously, the exchange rate didn't change overnight. It gradually changed over time. So in fact, over the past year or two, the price of the mini in the UK should have been slowing increasing as the dollar got stronger vs the GBP. So you should actually be thanking Apple for not increasing the price of the mini sooner as the exchange rate changed!


Quote:
Originally Posted by sequitur View Post

Hope this doesn't sound too stupid. Will Mac warehouses like MacMall ship to Britain or other foreign places? How would tax, shipping, etc., in general, affect the cost? Would this be viable vis-a-vis buying a Mac locally? Cheaper? Costlier?

Not sure it would save you much. By the time you add in sales tax (which isn't included in the US price) currency conversion, and import tax, the price is probably about the same. Granted, I'm not sure how sales tax would be applied in that case. But for me, if I were to purchase the base mini from either of those stores, the $599 price tag would change to $665 with sales tax. And at the current exchange rate, that's 475 GBP. Then add shipping and import duties. Even without sales tax, you are getting pretty close to the UK price with a lot more hassle.
post #149 of 207
Thought I would throw my $.02 in to the home theater discussion.

I like the mini because it is small and a cheap headless mac. The specs I have now are good enough for 1080p. However I mostly do the native on my projector at 720p. I use it for surfing the web on the big screen and to watch TV I missed.

Biggest things I see being commented on and what works for me personally:
HDMI: DVI to HDMI works great. Audio is not an issue I would rather take the optical to the surround receiver anyway. If macs had Blue-Ray, and if they then supported True HD over HDMI then maybe a different story. Do PC's support True HD over HDMI?

HDD: If your doing media you are going to want an external anyway. GigE or firewire (usb in a pinch) are better than going internal. I already have a few and adding externals can be done anytime and cheaper.

The setup I am going to order:
Low end mini $600
4GB ram $50
Processor bump $150

Pay the same amount as the stock high end but have a better system overall. I love having my current mini on a 100" screen and a new one is just what the doctor ordered.
post #150 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

They are going from bad to worse. Europe is having all of the same problems as the USA, plus a couple trillion in bad loans to the former soviet republics.

I noticed HSBC is looking for 12b to "fend" off the upcoming issues... Seems what's happening here follows in EuroAmerica by a year. There gonna need more than that, good thing Banc of China is lending... Only Bank that is.
post #151 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by Durandal549 View Post

Thought I would throw my $.02 in to the home theater discussion.

I like the mini because it is small and a cheap headless mac. The specs I have now are good enough for 1080p. However I mostly do the native on my projector at 720p. I use it for surfing the web on the big screen and to watch TV I missed.

Biggest things I see being commented on and what works for me personally:
HDMI: DVI to HDMI works great. Audio is not an issue I would rather take the optical to the surround receiver anyway. If macs had Blue-Ray, and if they then supported True HD over HDMI then maybe a different story. Do PC's support True HD over HDMI?

HDD: If your doing media you are going to want an external anyway. GigE or firewire (usb in a pinch) are better than going internal. I already have a few and adding externals can be done anytime and cheaper.

The setup I am going to order:
Low end mini $600
4GB ram $50
Processor bump $150

Pay the same amount as the stock high end but have a better system overall. I love having my current mini on a 100" screen and a new one is just what the doctor ordered.

Pushing 1080 on the new unit should be no issue, it's supporting 1080i resolutions.

BTW: Which Doctor are you seeing? Mine said "No way, not right now!"
post #152 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by GMHut View Post

I don't want to invest in an HTPC for that purpose alone—no sale there either. However, let's say I'm on the edge about buying a new computer for the sake of needing a computer (which I am). Knowing that computer would make an excellent HTPC after it's served it's original purpose as a computer alone to get more life out of it—how is that a bad thing? Who wouldn't want that? Do ya think maybe HTPC might be more widly used if people had a computer that fits that bill a little better, say like the mini with an HDMI port? Do ya think Apple might increase video sales on iTunes that way? Call me crazy, but I think it might.

Oh for crying out loud:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...mat=4#feedback

Boom. Mini DVI to HDMI for $10.
Optical Digital Out (TosLink) to receiver for sound. $5

Quote:
Again, why not leverage the SFF further with an HDMI port?

Other than being able to send audio on one cable it's a $10 fix. DisplayPort to HDMI may be a $10 fix with audio depending on how it's handled by OSX.

Quote:
Ever used the PS3 browser? It's functional at the basic level, but many features (some basic blogging functions for one) don't work. Ever tried to play your iTunes music through the PS3? Give it a shot and see what happens. The fact that I've already spent $500 on a PS3 is one reason the Apple TV at another $300 is not exactly appealing to me. Again, repurposing the mini later for no more than the cost of an HDMI cable would fill in the gap where the PS3 falls short. Are you starting to get the picture now? Again, added value sells.

So use a mini. Whatever. Jeez. The AppleTV is a nice little box if you don't game.

Quote:
30" monitor on the new mini? You must have access to a different spec sheet than I saw.

What? You mean the one on the Apple site?

Does "2560 by 1600 pixels on a dual-link DVI display using Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter (sold separately)" and "Connect the 30-inch Apple Cinema HD Display to your Mac mini using the Mini DisplayPort." confuse you somehow?

Quote:
You have know idea of the type of work I'm talking about specific to me, yet you're emoticon-laughing as if you know the specs that suit my purpose better than I do? Interesting. I do some rather large animations and 3D work which I bring home sometimes. It isn't what I do exclusively, but I do I need to do it. For those times, there is no such thing as "fast enough"—if you've ever rendered something in 3D, you know what I'm talking about.

Yep. And I know it generally breaks down into two kinds of "take home" work flows: "fast enough to do real time" and "so slow you run it overnight or while watching lots of TV". The C2D and 9400M should be sufficient for that. If you need more then you should VPN into your work and put the job on the renderfarm and check later.

Quote:
You understand the concept of "stop-gap" don't you? It means, "in the mean time—temporary—until another set of circumstances occurs." That "$599 C2D, goes up to $799 with 4 gigs of RAM. So, yeah, I guess the idea paying $799 for a machine that is roughly the same processor speed as the one I already have but with less RAM, a less powerful video card, and a smaller hard drive is laughable as a stop gap—unless I can use it for something else when I get another computer.

Then stay with your G5 if you think it has the same processor speed.

Too bad that the benchmarks indicates that the old Merom based mini was faster than dual 2.5Ghz G5s...and the new mini a bit faster and the 9400M far better than the old GMA.

Quote:
I don't think I'm alone as a designer in considering the leap-frog approach to upgrading computers. Many of us can't afford the top of the line each time we need a new computer so we start to alternate.

So don't. You can get a few minis and use them as a baby renderfarm. Or get a refurb last gen Mac Pro.

Quote:
I know more than a few designers who find the low-end mini underspecced but would be interested in the top end mini if it were more reasonably priced.

Then find one tech with a putty knife and upgrade them all to "top end mini" with a fast drive and 4GB of ram for $100 each and a case of beer. You haven't pissed off your techs at work have you?

Quote:
By "builds" are your referring to Macs? I'm not interested in "building" a Mac anything.

The point is that I've probably done more with HTPCs than you have. Even with a mac, it's just not worth the effort for me anymore.

Quote:
That's one reason people go Mac, to forego that particular brand of pain. I agree, I'm not interesting in "futzing" with Front Row or anything else on any computer to get HTPC.

Then no hardware configuration will help you. There are no HTPCs that require no futzing of some kind. AppleTV probably comes closest IF you stay within the iTunes walled garden.

Quote:
That's why I suggest Apple put the dern HDMI on their mini. If Front Row works on Apple TV, it should work on the mini. If it doesn't work, than they shouldn't be pushing it on either. To reiterate, the HTPC aspect alone is not the deal, its' the fact that adding an attractive feature to a minimal bump in specs and overpricing at the top end goes at least some distance in tipping it from the "meh" category, to the "OK, I'll bite this time around" column.

Well, then I suggest you do some research and realize that you can't get there from here without futzing around with crap if you want a usable HTPC. That may mean as little as installing Boxee on your aTV or replacing Front Row with something else.

Frankly, if you can't use 2 cables to connect your mini to your HDTV you are not going be a happy HTPC user, single HDMI cable or not.
post #153 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatever00 View Post

First of all, the shared memory numbers quoted here are minimums, which brings me to my second point: Those minimum depends on how much memory you have installed---with 1GB (the lower end model), it's 128MB, but with 2GB, it's 256MB---which means you can simply install more memory into your lower end mac mini to achieve the same number.

Good point (I never new how they came up with allocating shared video memory).

So the only two things you get for an extra $200 (that is a 33% higher price) is a single extra GB of RAM (whoo-hoo :P ) and a boost in HD space from 120G up to 320G. Same cpu speed, same graphic chip, same same...

Is the larger capacity 2.5" notebook drive really worth the extra $150-$175?
I just did some quick checks:
- on PC3-8500 DDR3-1066 looks to be 1 GB for $25-$50 (depending on mfg, vendor);
- 2.5" 320 GB sata notebook drives: $75 to $100 (depending on mfg, vendor)

So about $100 for those two upgrades if you find best deals, maybe $150 for average (but still lower than SRP). ... 'course, still need to add in tax, shipping and whatever you or tech person install time ...

THus it seems the 799 higher end is not quite as good a value for price (compared to 599 base model) maybe $50 to 100 overpriced based on cost of hardware ...
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post #154 of 207
Many PCs with integrated GPUs that share the system memory have the GPU's memory allocation set in the BIOS. Macs use EFI which for the most part is hidden from the user. It may take more than simply installing more RAM to increase the memory allocation to the GPU, but I am sure that if it does require commands to be entered in EFI someone will post a how-to in short order.
post #155 of 207
The new mac mini is actually quite good. It has one of the best blu-ray accelerating video chipsets, which also includes hd h.264 videos. For 599 bucks apple is providing you with a computer that is capable of running two displays at once, has wi-fi, bluetooth and a dvd burner. The ram and hdd are awful choices on apple's part, but atleast they can be upgraded. The nvidia 110m is basically a overclocked 8400m gs and with its 64 bit interface against the 9400m's 128 bit is actually inferior despite featuring dedicated ram.
post #156 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by xwiredtva View Post

Pushing 1080 on the new unit should be no issue, it's supporting 1080i resolutions.

BTW: Which Doctor are you seeing? Mine said "No way, not right now!"

I guess I don't understand, what is the issue with 1080i?

Well my doctor is kind of a quack. I don't think he has a license. Travels around in a blue box. Like I said kinda strange, but I am sure he would say its fantastic!
post #157 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by Durandal549 View Post

Thought I would throw my $.02 in to the home theater discussion.

I like the mini because it is small and a cheap headless mac. The specs I have now are good enough for 1080p. However I mostly do the native on my projector at 720p. I use it for surfing the web on the big screen and to watch TV I missed.

Biggest things I see being commented on and what works for me personally:
HDMI: DVI to HDMI works great. Audio is not an issue I would rather take the optical to the surround receiver anyway. If macs had Blue-Ray, and if they then supported True HD over HDMI then maybe a different story. Do PC's support True HD over HDMI?

HDD: If your doing media you are going to want an external anyway. GigE or firewire (usb in a pinch) are better than going internal. I already have a few and adding externals can be done anytime and cheaper.

The setup I am going to order:
Low end mini $600
4GB ram $50
Processor bump $150

Pay the same amount as the stock high end but have a better system overall. I love having my current mini on a 100" screen and a new one is just what the doctor ordered.

Here's a few more pennies.

Not everyone uses a flat screen LCD or Plasma for their HD viewing. Like you, my HD display is a front projector. (92 inches for me). The biggest draw back with the old Mini is that it only supports one display. There is really no cheap and viable work around. On a PC box (and PowerMac) you can just add another graphics card.) Since I'm also planning on using the Mini as my music server, I need to use iTunes. I can select my music with the "Remote" app on my Touch. But I still have to open iTunes on the Mini. And I don't want to turn my projector on, just to do that. Plus I don't want to use my projector as a monitor when importing music or movies to my HD.

HD, Graphics and processor speed is not an issue. Even the old Mini was fast enough to do what I need it to do (play back video and music) and the internal HD is way too small even at 320G or 500G. External is the only way to go. And FW800 is a plus. I already have a 750G FW800 external that cost me only$120. The old Mini graphics was good enough and is now way better on the new Mini.

The other big plus for the Mini as a HTPC is the optical out for sound. It's the only way to get Dolby Digital to my sound system. Otherwise your stuck with with Dolby ProLogic. And since I'm not sending the sound to my projector anyways, DVI to HDMI (without sound) will do just fine. And there's no cheap and good work around when trying to add optical out for sound on a PPC Mac or older Intel Mac.

And finally "Front Row". Too bad the remote don't come with the new Mini. But being able to control the DVD player in OSX with a remote is also a big plus. My movies will be ripped and stored as a Video_TS file. Thus I will be using the DVD player to play back my movies. Not iTunes. This preserves the Dolby Digital surround sound. Along with subtitles, languages and special features. The only draw back is the file size. About 7G per movie after ripping. But no biggy when using external HDs.

And built in BlueTooth means I can surf the web from my couch if I want to use my projector as the monitor.

There are more pluses than minuses for the new Mini being use as a HTPC. And when you considered that a refurbish older low end Mini is going for $499 (with warranty and 1G ram) and used ones were going for about $450 (with no warranty but 2G ram), $599 (with warranty and 1G ram) for the new Mini is a bargain. The new low end Mini is better than the the older high end Mini when using as an HTPC. And is cheaper than a used or refurished one of those. And if you don't need to add memory, it's ready for HTPC out of the box (with a few connecting cables).
post #158 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by kgav View Post

Many PCs with integrated GPUs that share the system memory have the GPU's memory allocation set in the BIOS. Macs use EFI which for the most part is hidden from the user. It may take more than simply installing more RAM to increase the memory allocation to the GPU, but I am sure that if it does require commands to be entered in EFI someone will post a how-to in short order.

It does seem like this would have to be in software somewhere. It'd be my preference to get the $599 mini with the 2.26GHz upgrade and do the rest of the upgrades myself.

Note the Tech Specs at the bottom, "2. Memory available to Mac OS X may vary depending on graphics needs. Minimum graphics memory usage is 128MB for 1GB configuration and 256MB for 2GB configuration." Maybe it is based on the amount of installed RAM.
post #159 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacSuperiority View Post

What's the best way to hook this up to my HDTV??

It depends on the inputs of your HDTV. Some have DVI ports, some VGA. You could get a DVI to HDMI adaptor to connect to the included mini DVI adaptor.

Me? My HDTV has VGA, so, I'd need to buy the mini DVI to VGA adaptor cable.
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post #160 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by Durandal549 View Post

I guess I don't understand, what is the issue with 1080i?

There's no issue. It supports Full-HD 1080p resolution. 1080p refreshes the entire screen with every cycle.

1080i is interlaced video, like broadcast HD TV, meaning that it paints every other line with each cycle.

(excuse my lack of videot lingo)
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