Mac mini: What we want to see in an update to Apple's low-cost desktop

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  • Reply 81 of 127
    hentaiboyhentaiboy Posts: 1,249member
    Soli said:
    Personally, I love for Apple to make the a Mac mini more serviceable. I have an SSD I want to install in place of the HDD but you literally have to dismantle the entire thing. This includes sliding the power supply and port assembly out of the back before you can access it.
    It’s not that difficult (plenty of guides on the InterWebs). Makes a huge difference. 
  • Reply 82 of 127
    greg uvangreg uvan Posts: 86member
    Maybe they should go back to the way computers were in the 80s. Like the Commodore 64, just build the logic board into the underside of the keyboard. Then plug the monitor into the back of the keyboard via USB-C. That one connection could be used to power the computer, and transfer the audio and video signal out to the display. The back of the display could have extra network and USB ports, and built in speakers. You could connect an eGPU beside the display, connected to the back of the display, if you needed beefier gfx performance.

    Then you could imagine an entire mac being embedded inside and no larger than one of the current wireless keyboards.

    Also, I do kinda like the idea of the touchbar being built into the top row of such a keyboard/computer.
  • Reply 83 of 127
    One of the things a new form factor should support is the ability to be stacked and easily rack mounted in a blade-ish fashion with sufficient cooling (now it draws air from under with exhaust to the back).  We have seen all kinds of creative mounts for the existing one, but none of them are very density efficient. 

    Config flexibility from i5, i7, i9 to at least one Xenon. 

    Configs that don't come with much graphics power at one end, to at least medium level gaming performance at the other end. 
    This is rather along the lines of what I was thinking as well. I think they'll drop the "mini" branding and just go with Mac and Mac Pro. Both could be the same small housing- a 1U height, quarter width design that's... as deep as is needs to be to accommodate suitable hardware. The Mac would only be available in the classic silver, and the Pro would be some flavor of space grey. With the Mac you could custom configure pretty similar setups as to what you can get with MacBook Pros right now-- but then you could also get a fire breathing eGPU (in a matching rack-mountable case) to bundle with it. I'd imagine Apple will solder everything down, but an upgradable SSD sure would be nice. On the Pro side- same deal, only configs are all Xeon based, AND what if Apple came up with a fool-proof way to link the Mac Pros together with say two TB3 cables or the optical version of TB3 or some such for parallel processing goodness. Then you'd have some real "modular" upgrade options. Oh, that 18 core 128GB RAM 1TB SSD Pro with a Vega eGPU Mac Pro ain't gettin the job done anymore? Buy another Pro box and tie em' together. Boom, nearly double the performance. Tie four or more of em' together, and you've got some evil super villain CPU power there. 
    edited May 2018
  • Reply 84 of 127
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member
    rweiser said:
    Why not change the Mac mini to just be the “Mac”, as the Mac Pro’s counterpart?
    The iMac is more the quintessential Mac, though.
  • Reply 85 of 127
    Apple apparently has no interest in selling an inexpensive desktop box. With Apple, it's all about profit margins. One might think Apple could offer at least one loss leader product, but that might hurt Apple's branding. Apple is even trying to sell those old refurbished dual-core i7 MacMinis for well above $1000. That's just crazy. They're nice machines but their hardware is rather dated when it comes to graphics. Apple knows they can get away with dumping desktops with older hardware, so they simply don't try to do any better. Honestly, though, offering future Mac Minis that aren't user-upgradeable seems quite unfair at any price. Apple just seems so desperate to get consumers' money up-front and I don't understand why. Has Apple done some survey that showed consumers don't have any interest in updating their computers? If that's the case, then why do most manufacturers allow customers to update their computers? I'm not complaining because it's my choice if I want to buy a Mac. I simply don't understand why Apple has changed so much and is so different from other computer makers. I don't think Apple selling a low-priced Mac Mini would hurt iMac sales to such a great degree.
  • Reply 86 of 127
    bkkcanuckbkkcanuck Posts: 862member
    Apple apparently has no interest in selling an inexpensive desktop box. With Apple, it's all about profit margins. One might think Apple could offer at least one loss leader product, but that might hurt Apple's branding. Apple is even trying to sell those old refurbished dual-core i7 MacMinis for well above $1000. That's just crazy. They're nice machines but their hardware is rather dated when it comes to graphics. Apple knows they can get away with dumping desktops with older hardware, so they simply don't try to do any better. Honestly, though, offering future Mac Minis that aren't user-upgradeable seems quite unfair at any price. Apple just seems so desperate to get consumers' money up-front and I don't understand why. Has Apple done some survey that showed consumers don't have any interest in updating their computers? If that's the case, then why do most manufacturers allow customers to update their computers? I'm not complaining because it's my choice if I want to buy a Mac. I simply don't understand why Apple has changed so much and is so different from other computer makers. I don't think Apple selling a low-priced Mac Mini would hurt iMac sales to such a great degree.
    I think it is more about them doing both the Mac Pro and the Mac Mini as part of the lineup total rework.  As such, I don't really expect them to update it til next year -- and until then, since they are not canceling it, they will leave the placeholders on the market ...  even if they don't sell much.
  • Reply 87 of 127
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member
    One might think Apple could offer at least one loss leader product
    Any company stupid enough to sell something that doesn’t accrue currency for every unit sold deserves to go under.
    Apple just seems so desperate to get consumers' money up-front and I don't understand why.
    Because they won’t get it if they don’t. Third party upgrades don’t earn them anything.
    why do most manufacturers
    Is Apple most manufacturers?  :p If it was up to Dell, we’d still be using PS/2 and VGA. If it was up to Intel, “ultrabooks” wouldn’t even exist, since it was Apple who had them make a smaller, low power processor for the first MacBook Air.

    raoulduke42pscooter63
  • Reply 88 of 127
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    mrakoplas said:
    Or they can just put MacBook (Pro) mainboard inside a Magic Keyboard. It definitely would fit there. Of course, with at least two TB3 ports :)
    I like this idea as an addition to the Mac line up but not a Mini replacement.  Id rather see the mini go upscale with a real GPU chip and a greater power capacity.  

    On the other hand a keyboard Mac would be ideal.   Deliver power from a monitor and use TB3 to drive the monitor and a few i/O ports.  The biggest problem would be performance and thermal power.   This is where an Apple designed ARM chip would be ideal.  We have already seen suitable performance in an iPad and a keyboard could pack more aluminum for cooling. This would be even more impressive with a 7nm tech chip.   In any event a 8GH RAM anda 256 GB SSd should come in at less that $400, probably a lot less.   Remember the power supply comes from the monitor as do many of the i/O ports.  

    An auxilrary power supply port would be nice but in either case a power supply disconnect backup (super cap) and warning system would be needed.  I do see a huge potential for such a machine though.   The Mac Mini on the otherhand sould be refactored into a machine that can support AR/VR tech really well.   That means a better than Intel GPU.  
  • Reply 89 of 127
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member

    Has Apple done some survey that showed consumers don't have any interest in updating their computers? 

    In a manner of speaking, yes 

    If that's the case, then why do most manufacturers allow customers to update their computers? 

    Because most manufacturers are targeting the type of people who buy cars with paddle-shift gear controls but never take the car out of automatic. 
    raoulduke42randominternetpersonpscooter63
  • Reply 90 of 127
    One might think Apple could offer at least one loss leader product
    Any company stupid enough to sell something that doesn’t accrue currency for every unit sold deserves to go under.
    Apple just seems so desperate to get consumers' money up-front and I don't understand why.
    Because they won’t get it if they don’t. Third party upgrades don’t earn them anything.
    why do most manufacturers
    Is Apple most manufacturers?  :p If it was up to Dell, we’d still be using PS/2 and VGA. If it was up to Intel, “ultrabooks” wouldn’t even exist, since it was Apple who had them make a smaller, low power processor for the first MacBook Air.

    I see your snark and applaud you!
  • Reply 91 of 127

    Rayz2016 said:

    Has Apple done some survey that showed consumers don't have any interest in updating their computers? 

    In a manner of speaking, yes 

    If that's the case, then why do most manufacturers allow customers to update their computers? 

    Because most manufacturers are targeting the type of people who buy cars with paddle-shift gear controls but never take the car out of automatic. 
    Damn right!
  • Reply 92 of 127
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,876member
    I'd rather they not redesign it. I just want a 4-core option with SSD and if they free up space inside, use it for the cooling system.
    I'd need TB3 to consider it, but I suppose a USB-C version could be a possibliity (bad move though, as that excludes eGPU).

    But, I think as the article says, "We also hope Apple completely does away with USB-A on the new machine."... we do? Why? So everyone has to have a bunch of adapters hanging off the back to plug their peripherals into? I'd like a USB-C port or maybe a few, but it would be great to have some USB-A ports as well, since that's what everyone still uses.
    raoulduke42
  • Reply 93 of 127
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member
    cgWerks said:
    But, I think as the article says, "We also hope Apple completely does away with USB-A on the new machine."... we do? Why? So everyone has to have a bunch of adapters
    As soon as every computer Apple sells includes a USB-C port they’re probably going to discontinue their USB-A peripherals. It may not be a good thought for those of us with old machines, but hey. They don’t care much for wires, after all.
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 94 of 127
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,876member
    tallest skil said:
    As soon as every computer Apple sells includes a USB-C port they’re probably going to discontinue their USB-A peripherals. It may not be a good thought for those of us with old machines, but hey. They don’t care much for wires, after all.
    Yeah, though it isn't so much Apple's peripherals I care about, but the 95% (99%?) of pretty much any peripheral out there.
  • Reply 95 of 127
    bkkcanuckbkkcanuck Posts: 862member
    cgWerks said:
    tallest skil said:
    As soon as every computer Apple sells includes a USB-C port they’re probably going to discontinue their USB-A peripherals. It may not be a good thought for those of us with old machines, but hey. They don’t care much for wires, after all.
    Yeah, though it isn't so much Apple's peripherals I care about, but the 95% (99%?) of pretty much any peripheral out there.
    I am the opposite way.  If USB-C is the future, I would prefer every port to be USB-C / TB port.  I have a number of USB-A peripherals, but I will just replace all the ones with detachable cables with cables I order from a supplier -- and the one I cannot - I am fine with a dongle in the meantime.  Having them all be new -- gives me future growth and does not lock me into the past.
    randominternetpersonRayz2016
  • Reply 96 of 127
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,566administrator
    cgWerks said:
    I'd rather they not redesign it. I just want a 4-core option with SSD and if they free up space inside, use it for the cooling system.
    I'd need TB3 to consider it, but I suppose a USB-C version could be a possibliity (bad move though, as that excludes eGPU).

    But, I think as the article says, "We also hope Apple completely does away with USB-A on the new machine."... we do? Why? So everyone has to have a bunch of adapters hanging off the back to plug their peripherals into? I'd like a USB-C port or maybe a few, but it would be great to have some USB-A ports as well, since that's what everyone still uses.
    USB-C to USB-B cables are cheap.
  • Reply 97 of 127
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member
    cgWerks said:
    Yeah, though it isn't so much Apple's peripherals I care about, but the 95% (99%?) of pretty much any peripheral out there.
    I wonder why the adapters I’m seeing are all cabled between the ports. Probably because PCs just stack their USB ports literally right next to one another and anything even slightly larger would mean nothing fits. But I have a USB-A to FireWire 400 adapter, for crying out loud, and that’s just port in, port out in one piece of plastic! I bet a simple dongle would make people feel less encumbered.

    Eric_WVGG
  • Reply 98 of 127
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,033member
    cgWerks said:
    Yeah, though it isn't so much Apple's peripherals I care about, but the 95% (99%?) of pretty much any peripheral out there.
    I wonder why the adapters I’m seeing are all cabled between the ports. Probably because PCs just stack their USB ports literally right next to one another and anything even slightly larger would mean nothing fits. But I have a USB-A to FireWire 400 adapter, for crying out loud, and that’s just port in, port out in one piece of plastic! I bet a simple dongle would make people feel less encumbered.
    [image]
    I've seen plenty of adapters for USB-C. Adapters that have much less additional plastic between the two port connectors than the one in your image.

    Here's one such example, but they're seemingly countless.


    That said, while I have some adapters for pretty much every occasion because they're very portable, for my own needs I tend to just buy the cable I need with the appropriate connectors on each end. It eliminates a potential fault point and they tend to be less expensive than the adapters (although I have seen very small USB-A(f)-to-USB-C(m) adapters for as low as $3.
    edited May 2018
  • Reply 99 of 127
    Eric_WVGGEric_WVGG Posts: 960member
    Damn. Those are cool. I'm nearly positive they are in violation of the USB 3.1 spec, but I'll be grabbing a couple anyway.

    [edit] Here it is, courtesy of some wonk:

    This adapter does NOT comply with the USB Type-C specification version 1.1 section 2.2 of the specification which states the following :
    "USB Type-C receptacle to USB legacy adapters are explicitly not defined or allowed. Such adapters would allow many invalid and potentially unsafe cable connections to be contructed by users."

    This is because if you combine this adapter with a USB Type-A to Type-C cable, you may create a dangerous condition where two power supplies may be connected together opposing each other using the combined cable.

    Furthermore, this adapter violates Section 2.3.1 :
    "Power is not applied to the USB Type-C host or hub receptacle (VBUS or VCONN) until the DFP detects the presence of an attached device (UFP) port."

    In my testing, even when no UFP device is attached, this receptacle port's VBUS line is powered on at 5V. It should only be at 5V when a UFP device is present.

    This adapter and port violates Section 4.5.1.2.1 - Please see figure 4-5. A correct DFP receptacle must use two distinct Rp resistors. According to my testing, the CHENYANG adapter leaves the CC lines completely floating, with no Rp at all on either CC pin.
    This means that the Chromebook Pixel 2015 does not detect a charger device at all, as it depends on the presence of Rp to start charging.

    Finally, this adapter also claims to support USB 3.1 SuperSpeed, but because it is only a passive adapter, there is no way to support both orientations of a potential USB device as that requires a mux on the receptacle end. Indeed, when I tried it, it would only ever enumerate a USB-C thumbdrive as high speed (usb 2.0).

    Long story short : This adapter is a type forbidden by the USB Type-C specification, and should NOT exist. It gets my lowest rating of 1-star because there is no simple thing that the manufacturer can do to make this adapter correct.
    edited May 2018 SoliMike WuerthelerandominternetpersoncgWerksRayz2016pscooter63
  • Reply 100 of 127
    Eric_WVGGEric_WVGG Posts: 960member
    … but yes, I do as you, it's a simple matter to replace the cables on external hard drives. Pity most keyboards and mice don't have detachable cables.
    cgWerks
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