2014 Mac mini Wishlist

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2015
I had to do this : P though I am not sure if it is allowed. I don't think anyone will mind since I'm only half joking.

First off, I hope there is a Haswell Mac mini. I hope the Ivy Bridge models sell well so there can be.

I didn't expect a quad core processor in anything but the server as standard though there were no discrete graphics which is a shame.

Nonetheless hopefully we possibly move into a quad core at the $599 spot (pipe dream) and bring back discrete graphics in one model as BTO. Maybe however the next line of Intel HD Graphics (5000 or whatever) will be sufficient enough to keep up with most games or whatever games people play at the time.

I'd also like SSDs as BTO on the base model.

Either way I'm happy overall with the releases. No complaints but I don't want to say that everything is great.

[B][U]iMacs[/U][/B]

Happy with them mostly except for the fact that 3 out of 4 models only have 512 MB of VRAM. I do like that they are offering the nVidia GeForce 680M with the max 2 GB (I don't think it can take more iirc).

I think at the very least the base 27" should have had a BTO 1 GB.

They feel a bit too thin as well.

Overall though, I do like them and they (like the Mac minis) were long overdue for an update.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 1528


    What makes you think that the Mac Mini is anywhere near being discontinued? Of course there will be a Haswell model.

  • Reply 2 of 1528
    winterwinter Posts: 1,238member
    What makes you think that the Mac Mini is anywhere near being discontinued? Of course there will be a Haswell model.

    I can never be too sure with Apple.
  • Reply 3 of 1528


    Originally Posted by Winter View Post

    I can never be too sure with Apple.


     


    As of yesterday, I can say the same thing. But I think for the better this time.

  • Reply 4 of 1528
    winterwinter Posts: 1,238member
    All right, well I don't want to get into semantics as much as I want to get into the core, so let me ask this.

    Is the current line-up the future of the mini? One dual-core, two quad-cores (with one being a server). Do we ever see discrete graphics again? Next year or the year after and is it even necessary? I admit, I liked the quad-core option though I'm not sure how the GeForce 640M LE can play games and at decent speeds (the vizio all in one has the LE). Could they put in 512 MB or 1 GB and still make it $799? That sounds very un-Apple.

    What happens with the iMacs? When do we start to see some more VRAM in these things or does it even matter? Beginning with the 640M, should an option to double the VRAM been included and would it have mattered? Same for the the next model up and the 650M? Already you're getting the same video card and VRAM as the 15" MBP and it's a desktop processor (although the mobile one has hyper-threading).

    Then we move into the 660M GTX? Is 512 MB of that better a 1 GB of the 650M in the 15" MBP and 15" rMBP? Dunno that one.

    Finally the ultimate one which is perfect except I'm not spending $2,000+ to max out the graphics and processor.
  • Reply 5 of 1528


    It appears that Apple has established various price points that helps to keep their different products from competing against each other.


     


    My guess is that Apple has equipped the Mac Mini's with the optimum equipment at the $599; $799; and $999 price points.


     


    The 2012 base iMac is the first Mac that I noticed to have changed it's price point from $1199 to 1299.  


     


    The Mini product line has actually been reduced in price when you factor in the extra ram or larger HDD added to the various price points plus faster processors.


     


    I believe that Apple just decided that they couldn't maintain the price points for the product line while including dedicated graphic processors, but they could improve the processor across the product line.


     


    It appears that the end result is a product line that delivers  more bang for the Buck. 

  • Reply 6 of 1528


    Originally Posted by jack92029 View Post

    The 2012 base iMac is the first Mac that I noticed to have changed it's price point from $1199 to 1299.


     


    The Mac Mini went from $599 to $699 two years ago, and now it's back at $599.

  • Reply 7 of 1528

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    The Mac Mini went from $599 to $699 two years ago, and now it's back at $599.



    ...and in 2012 they increased the RAM from 2gb to 4gb which Apple used to charge an extra $100, so they actually reduced the price in 2012 sorta LOL

  • Reply 8 of 1528
    winterwinter Posts: 1,238member
    16 GB for $300 is still ridiculous though ah well. I am surprised there is not even another HDD option on the base model. Oh well.
  • Reply 9 of 1528


    Well, obviously Haswell, seeing as they've dumped discrete graphics already.  It would be nice to have decent graphics performance back again.  And, one hopes, better prices on upgrades such as memory and Fusion drives.

  • Reply 10 of 1528
    winterwinter Posts: 1,238member
    The Fusion price I think is a bit high only because it is new technology. Memory though despite being high might only increase in the coming months though we shall see. I just hope they keep the ability to easily change the memory next time around.
  • Reply 11 of 1528
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member


    Interesting if a little on the sunny side.


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Winter View Post



    I had to do this : P though I am not sure if it is allowed. I don't think anyone will mind since I'm only half joking.

    Well it isn't a joking matter.

    First off, I hope there is a Haswell Mac mini. I hope the Ivy Bridge models sell well so there can be.


    I'm not sure the new Mini has what it takes to spur on sales. There certainly are people waiting for just this update but I suspect that more than a few are missing the GPU. Sales will likely be good for awhile and then taper off significantly.

    I didn't expect a quad core processor in anything but the server as standard though there were no discrete graphics which is a shame.


    Quad core should be considered minimal for any non entry level desktop. Quad core just offers the best trade off in performance vs cost right now.

    Nonetheless hopefully we possibly move into a quad core at the $599 spot (pipe dream) and bring back discrete graphics in one model as BTO. Maybe however the next line of Intel HD Graphics (5000 or whatever) will be sufficient enough to keep up with most games or whatever games people play at the time.


    Integrated Graphics will get there sometime that I'm convinced of. However Intel is really dragging this out significantly, I really don't see Haswell as performing at the level that eliminates the need for discrete graphics.

    I'd also like SSDs as BTO on the base model.


    Yes this is another shortcoming on Apples part. I'm really in the dark about the hybrid storage system but it really looks like a technology that should have been implemented a few years ago. Now SSDs are far more reasonable for the premium devices Apple sells.

    Either way I'm happy overall with the releases. No complaints but I don't want to say that everything is great.


    Honestly I'm frustrated. I was really hoping to buy into a new Mini sometime early in 2013 now that is put on hold. At least for a Mini to be used as my primary computer it is on hold. Last years Mini provided just enough 3D power to be viable as my primary machine, now it suffers from Intel hell with questionable 3D performance.

    iMacs

    Happy with them mostly except for the fact that 3 out of 4 models only have 512 MB of VRAM. I do like that they are offering the nVidia GeForce 680M with the max 2 GB (I don't think it can take more iirc).

    I think at the very least the base 27" should have had a BTO 1 GB.

    They feel a bit too thin as well.

    Overall though, I do like them and they (like the Mac minis) were long overdue for an update.


     

    Yes they where due for an update. However it appears at this time that they are less serviceable than before which is a big boner for me. It is one thing on a laptop to use no standard parts it is far different on a desktop. The new Macs just have the appearance right now of being even less maintainable than before if that is possible.

    Don't get me wrong I don't want to dismiss their better qualities as these machines do have some nice benefits. I just don't see them as wonderful to the extent of the introduction of sliced bread. That and the stretch for even thinner machines isn't really in the performance users best interests. Hey at least we have a few weeks to digest the hardware designs before they hit the street, that should lead to informed buying decisions.
  • Reply 12 of 1528
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member


    Well you really do never know with Apple.   However it does look like they have lost their way with this model, many of us where expecting better not worst configurations.   The base model isn't that bad relative to the previous year but the $799 model is a regression pure and simple.   What many of us wanted to see was a better GPU, discrete with more RAM.   What we got is less for the same money.


     


    Given that regression maybe Apple doesn't intend to keep the machine around long.   They certainly reduced the incentive to buy the mid range model.   I guess i will continue to dream about an XMac.


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    As of yesterday, I can say the same thing. But I think for the better this time.


  • Reply 13 of 1528
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    winter wrote: »
    All right, well I don't want to get into semantics as much as I want to get into the core, so let me ask this.
    Is the current line-up the future of the mini?
    I hope not.
    One dual-core, two quad-cores (with one being a server). Do we ever see discrete graphics again?
    I see more cores in the future. I still think it will be a couple of years before discrete graphics won't be needed but that doesn't mean we will get them.
    Next year or the year after and is it even necessary? I admit, I liked the quad-core option though I'm not sure how the GeForce 640M LE can play games and at decent speeds (the vizio all in one has the LE). Could they put in 512 MB or 1 GB and still make it $799? That sounds very un-Apple.
    Apple could do many things but obviously the desktop int a high priority.
    What happens with the iMacs? When do we start to see some more VRAM in these things or does it even matter? Beginning with the 640M, should an option to double the VRAM been included and would it have mattered? Same for the the next model up and the 650M? Already you're getting the same video card and VRAM as the 15" MBP and it's a desktop processor (although the mobile one has hyper-threading).
    IMac will continue to achieve higher levels of integration.
    Then we move into the 660M GTX? Is 512 MB of that better a 1 GB of the 650M in the 15" MBP and 15" rMBP? Dunno that one.
    Finally the ultimate one which is perfect except I'm not spending $2,000+ to max out the graphics and processor.
    Then don't.
  • Reply 14 of 1528
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,835member


    Does anybody make a decent monitor that matches the Mini? Haven't seen one, and will be looking to purchase one by Christmas.

  • Reply 15 of 1528
    winterwinter Posts: 1,238member
    wizard69 wrote: »
    Then don't.

    Well only because I personally don't have a use for it at the moment, though the options that are offered are awesome. Even better than the last 27" iMac ultimate in my opinion.

    What graphics could they have put in the Mini? Should they have gone with a 35W quad-core on the $799 (2.1 GHz) and maybe make the 2.6 GHz 45W quad-core the standard one for $999?

    I can sense your frustration there wizard, but anytime Apple updates I'm happy just for the fact that they're updating.

    The presentation was great as I was tired. Cook talks about figures, turns it over Schiller, Schiller intros the new products, he turns it back over to Cook, and I went to take a nap. : P

    Edit: The base 21.5" iMac needs a BTO for flash storage and the fusion drive.
  • Reply 16 of 1528
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    winter wrote: »
    Well only because I personally don't have a use for it at the moment, though the options that are offered are awesome. Even better than the last 27" iMac ultimate in my opinion.
    What graphics could they have put in the Mini?
    Anything that would fit and has a performance pro file to double execution in general. If need be they can put a higher capacity power supply in the machine and a better fan
    Should they have gone with a 35W quad-core on the $799 (2.1 GHz) and maybe make the 2.6 GHz 45W quad-core the standard one for $999?
    I can sense your frustration there wizard, but anytime Apple updates I'm happy just for the fact that they're updating.
    Well yeah that is an advantage or positive perspective I guess. As it is the base machine is a very nice value, but it is the $799 machine that I have problems with. It is an awfully steep price increase to get only a little bit hear and there. Beyond that Apple really needs at least one affordable desktop computer with GPU acceleration. Contrary to all the idiots whining about games, the need for a GPU has nothing to do with gaming.
    The presentation was great as I was tired. Cook talks about figures, turns it over Schiller, Schiller intros the new products, he turns it back over to Cook, and I went to take a nap. : P
    Edit: The base 21.5" iMac needs a BTO for flash storage and the fusion drive.

    At least you saw some of it live.
  • Reply 17 of 1528
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,538moderator
    winter wrote:
    Do we ever see discrete graphics again?

    I doubt it. Hopefully Intel will deliver Haswell GT3 to the processors that go in the Mini:


    [VIDEO]


    "Intel: So framerates are about the same but with Haswell we can get a higher quality
    Reporter: Are you guys disclosing what average framerates you're looking at here?
    Intel: Uhhhhh, no"

    Oh Intel. Still, the demo looks good and that's a reference board for a mobile platform. It should be equivalent to a 640M:



    Shame we didn't get that performance this year but we know Intel is about a year behind everyone else in graphics. It is likely harder for Apple to keep the smaller systems cool with two separate chips though so I think it's a good direction to go in.
    winter wrote:
    What happens with the iMacs? When do we start to see some more VRAM in these things or does it even matter? Beginning with the 640M, should an option to double the VRAM been included and would it have mattered?

    I think it's fine as long as the GPU can use the system memory on top. I think we'll see more and more of a convergence between the CPU and GPU in the next couple of years.
  • Reply 18 of 1528


    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

    Reporter: Are you guys disclosing what average framerates you're looking at here?


     


    If they can't tell by sight and it doesn't look choppy, it's at least 60 FPS and the number over that shouldn't matter.

  • Reply 19 of 1528
    winterwinter Posts: 1,238member
    wizard69 wrote: »
    As it is the base machine is a very nice value, but it is the $799 machine that I have problems with. It is an awfully steep price increase to get only a little bit hear and there. Beyond that Apple really needs at least one affordable desktop computer with GPU acceleration. Contrary to all the idiots whining about games, the need for a GPU has nothing to do with gaming.

    So what GPU could have been used for it that would have done the trick.
    At least you saw some of it live.

    Yeah I got lucky. I had to refresh several times as either the quality dropped from HD or it froze a bit but it went pretty well and beat having to follow the text on a site. Soon after my nap, I got up checked the Apple Store and saw the updated specs. Made my day.
  • Reply 20 of 1528
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jack92029 View Post


    It appears that Apple has established various price points that helps to keep their different products from competing against each other.


     


    My guess is that Apple has equipped the Mac Mini's with the optimum equipment at the $599; $799; and $999 price points.


     


    The 2012 base iMac is the first Mac that I noticed to have changed it's price point from $1199 to 1299.  


     


    The Mini product line has actually been reduced in price when you factor in the extra ram or larger HDD added to the various price points plus faster processors.


     


    I believe that Apple just decided that they couldn't maintain the price points for the product line while including dedicated graphic processors, but they could improve the processor across the product line.


     


    It appears that the end result is a product line that delivers  more bang for the Buck. 



    That isn't entirely correct. Pricing is set at the time a model is released. You have to look at costs at that time. Ram has decreased in price. It's gone way down in price since the time they moved to 4GB standard. I think that was 2010. Hard drives at similar price points go up in capacity annually. The only real offset to that was the issue of flooding, although the HDD manufacturers were able to maintain higher pricing for a while longer. You can't look at every spec bump as an increase in cost if it's a flat change at the time of launch.

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