Future mini hardware

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  • Reply 21 of 29
    With those specs it would eat into the iMac sales wouldn't it?







    OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! God forbid something eats into imac sales...just let people have choices and both will flurish...that's all i hear in these forums..."OMG, but that might mean 6 more people won't get the imac!!!!!" the earth will end
  • Reply 22 of 29
    ionyzionyz Posts: 491member
    Yeah, well maybe your new here but Apple and choices don't mix well. They haven't since I've been an Apple user (2000). What I'd like (lower cost, headless computer like Mac Pro and a Mac mini with better graphics) is not what Apple would like, cause if it was we would have seen it by now wouldn't we?



    Want real choice, build a PC from millions of different parts and see if you can hack OS X onto it. Maybe Apple will release OS X for PCs while they build us that mythical headless Mac everyone wants too. Me, I'm fine with a Mac mini with a 2 GHz Core Duo and a PC for gaming. Just need a KVM to finish it off.
  • Reply 23 of 29
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,275moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by IonYz


    Most consumer computers in this class use onboard video.



    ... because that's all they get.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by IonYz


    With those specs it would eat into the iMac sales wouldn't it?



    Hopefully. The imac sucks. I don't think it will though. Some people don't want to have to deal with finding their own display, connecting it and having two power leads. Some (short-sighted) people like the design.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by IonYz


    The onboard GMA950 supports Core though. It may be a surprise but outside of games, my 1.5 GHz Core Solo and GMA950 is faster then my 1.4 GHz G4 with dedicated Radeon 9200.



    Outside of games, the machine is faster because the CPUs are faster. Inside of games or any 3D software (3D design apps etc) the machine is slower because the GPU is slower.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lonYz


    Want real choice, build a PC from millions of different parts and see if you can hack OS X onto it.



    Exactly. I want to support Apple but if they keep making stupid decisions then they leave me little choice.
  • Reply 24 of 29
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin


    Hopefully. The imac sucks. I don't think it will though. Some people don't want to have to deal with finding their own display, connecting it and having two power leads. Some (short-sighted) people like the design.



    so basically anyone who owns an imac is an idiot right? i would love to have one...believe it or not, not everyone needs expandibility, so if that makes the imac suck, you've got to realize how inotive it is
  • Reply 25 of 29
    ionyzionyz Posts: 491member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin


    ... because that's all they get.



    Yeah Marvin, not just talking about Apple here. Check your ads for various electronic retailers, check Dell. Lots of low-end computers don't get dedicated graphics. Thats all they get is because thats what they pay for.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin


    Hopefully. The imac sucks. I don't think it will though. Some people don't want to have to deal with finding their own display, connecting it and having two power leads. Some (short-sighted) people like the design.



    I like you, your silly. There is nothing wrong with the design of the iMac but that's subjective. Your entitled to your opinion but once again, I doubt Apple will jazz the Mac mini up to "iMac crushing" specs. Like it or not.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin


    Outside of games, the machine is faster because the CPUs are faster. Inside of games or any 3D software (3D design apps etc) the machine is slower because the GPU is slower.



    Your running 3D design software on a computer that costs less then said software? What are we talking? CAD? 3D Animation?



    I've ran Quake 4 (a game, GASP!) on both computers, they get similar framerates (sucky). But I don't really care, if you just want to come out and say it, please do. 3D design wasn't what you wanted to say, it was just an afterthought. This is about game performance because of onboard video.



    Because I've mentioned, GPU-related taskes (GPU is the keyword here) feel faster and support more effects (ripple in Dashboard) on the more advanced onboard video. Is onboard great? No. Outside of games, I like it more then having a 32 MB Radeon 9200. But again, I think your gripe is games.



    As a footnote, when I want to play a game at full frame and not be treated like a second-class citizen I use my PC. 5 years of Mac gaming left me bitter, what can I say.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin


    Exactly. I want to support Apple but if they keep making stupid decisions then they leave me little choice.



    Then have at it. If you want 3D power without breaking the bank, build a PC. Hell you can just buy one from Best Buy or Circuit City or whatever and plop a video card in it. Thats what you want from Apple, but I doubt they are going to deliver. People have wanted expandable, yet inexpensive hardware from Apple for _years_.
  • Reply 26 of 29
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,275moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by luv2playtenis


    so basically anyone who owns an imac is an idiot right?



    Yup.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lonYz


    Yeah Marvin, not just talking about Apple here. Check your ads for various electronic retailers, check Dell. Lots of low-end computers don't get dedicated graphics.



    Sure but they get expansion slots in nearly every PC because they are all towers so if they want better graphics, they don't have to shell out loads of money and get a whole new machine to get it. They pop into their local PC store or go onto ebay and spend maybe £50 and put it in one of the PCI slots. That's the kind of thing I'd like to do. And I just don't want to have to be forced to go the PC route in order to get that basic level of customization.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lonYz


    There is nothing wrong with the design of the iMac but that's subjective.



    The chin, the chin.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lonYz


    Your running 3D design software on a computer that costs less then said software? What are we talking? CAD? 3D Animation?



    3D animation and the software I use is free - Blender - and it's been having problems with the integrated graphics. The MBP and imac are fine. The problems seem to be kind of sorted now but there are still some bugs.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lonYz


    I've ran Quake 4 (a game, GASP!) on both computers, they get similar framerates (sucky).



    I tried this on a Macbook just yesterday and I have to say, it ran ok. I was quite happy with it. I had been comparing all the low end experience to an Intel Mini Solo with 512MB Ram. But a CD Macbook with 1.25GB was actually really snappy. No dock lag, Parallels runs really smoothly - Office just flies along. But as you say, the graphics are no faster than the old Mini. That's what really annoys me. The machine is supposed to be an upgrade but the graphics are either the same or worse and they could easily have used a GPU like the one you get in the powerbook.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lonYz


    As a footnote, when I want to play a game at full frame and not be treated like a second-class citizen I use my PC. 5 years of Mac gaming left me bitter, what can I say.



    That's the point. If Apple want people to stop using PCs and buy more of their products then they're going to have to seriously think about this market. People are playing some really decent games on the MBP under dual-boot with Windows and getting good framerates. I saw a video of someone playing Oblivion on it. But, they don't have a headless Mac that can compete with a budget PC. As I say, it won't cut into imac or Mac Pro sales because Mac Pro buyers probably need 4 processors and all the expansion and imac buyers probably like the features it has. The Mini should have an imac spec without a display.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lonYz


    People have wanted expandable, yet inexpensive hardware from Apple for _years_.



    It doesn't have to be inexpensive but all we're asking for is say a PCI-e slot or something in the Mini at least. That may of course mean making it slightly bigger.
  • Reply 27 of 29
    ionyzionyz Posts: 491member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin


    Sure but they get expansion slots in nearly every PC because they are all towers so if they want better graphics, they don't have to shell out loads of money and get a whole new machine to get it. They pop into their local PC store or go onto ebay and spend maybe £50 and put it in one of the PCI slots. That's the kind of thing I'd like to do. And I just don't want to have to be forced to go the PC route in order to get that basic level of customization.



    Well you'll probably have to. The only non-Power Mac from Apple that had any expandibility recently was the Cube. I picked it up for $1399 or so before they got canned. It was a great little machine. You could upgrade the video card... if they fit.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin


    The chin, the chin.



    Chicken and the egg problem. Want an iMac thats guts only take up behind the screen? You'll need laptop parts and either the prices will increase or the speed will decrease. Open up an iMac, it needs the chin because the power supply IIRC.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin


    3D animation and the software I use is free - Blender - and it's been having problems with the integrated graphics. The MBP and imac are fine. The problems seem to be kind of sorted now but there are still some bugs.



    Ok Blender, its an anomoly in the multi-thousand dollar 3D tools catagory but I'll go with it. So the 3D software can cost nil, but any 3D work is going to require horsepower beyond the bottom rung of hardware. So you once again have a choice between an iMac or a PC given your assumed budget. Thats simply how it is going to be. Could Apple release a tower for a grand? They could. If they do I expect it for at least $1500 though. This is Apple, not Dell.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin


    I tried this on a Macbook just yesterday and I have to say, it ran ok. I was quite happy with it. I had been comparing all the low end experience to an Intel Mini Solo with 512MB Ram. But a CD Macbook with 1.25GB was actually really snappy. No dock lag, Parallels runs really smoothly - Office just flies along. But as you say, the graphics are no faster than the old Mini. That's what really annoys me. The machine is supposed to be an upgrade but the graphics are either the same or worse and they could easily have used a GPU like the one you get in the powerbook.



    The Solo lags because 512 MB is _bare_minimum_ for Tiger. And unlike every other Mac it only has a single core. For Rosetta multiple cores help greatly, and well for many other things. Mac OS X scales very well to multiple processing units, Windows does not or not as well. I enjoyed it way back when I had a dual 533 MHz G4. And once again on my Dual 1.8 GHz G4.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin


    That's the point. If Apple want people to stop using PCs and buy more of their products then they're going to have to seriously think about this market. People are playing some really decent games on the MBP under dual-boot with Windows and getting good framerates. I saw a video of someone playing Oblivion on it. But, they don't have a headless Mac that can compete with a budget PC. As I say, it won't cut into imac or Mac Pro sales because Mac Pro buyers probably need 4 processors and all the expansion and imac buyers probably like the features it has. The Mini should have an imac spec without a display.



    My comment on being treated like a second-class citizen wasn't because Apple didn't provide a cheap tower. It was several things that repeated bit me in the ass over and over. Oh my clan is using voice communication software, but it hasn't been ported to the Mac. Oh a new patch has been released for a game but we won't see it for weeks or more. Oh everyone (PC-side) is getting new video cards while ours plain suck.



    Apple needs more then a cheap tower to boost marketshare to a point when things are ported equally, games are patched evenly, and hardware choices grow. So I said screw it and bought a PC. I can upgrade and buy and sell parts cheap, I always play games on their release, its great. That being said its a "wintendo", its only use is gaming and Windows is all I for that. Its not a good OS for gaming, Linux and Apple could be just as good, its just that is has support.



    Since Steve Jobs came back to Apple, clear lines were drawn between models. The Mac mini will not be an iMac without display. Just have to face the music and buy a PC man.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin


    It doesn't have to be inexpensive but all we're asking for is say a PCI-e slot or something in the Mini at least. That may of course mean making it slightly bigger.



    PCI-e slot for the hundreds of Mac PCI-E cards on the market? Your not asking for a single slot, as that isn't enough and you know it. People have asked for a low-cost tower, they have asked (you, specifically actually) have asked for a Mac mini that is spec for spec equal to an iMac, others want something like a Mac mini but larger and can handle a video card and one or two 3.5" hard drives.



    Many people want many different things, but Apple has stuck with their simplified product lineup. If they start branching out, great. But there is no pleasing everyone. They can't have a dozen models with multiple configurations each like Dell. If they add _one_ new product to their Mac line I'd be surprised.



    If Blender is hobby 3D (don't have the budget for Mac Pro or similar PC workstation) go the PC route. You can upgrade and stay with newer parts faster. Don't expect Apple to just because another PC company though. Thay are specialized and small in their selection, for better or worse. I'd actually tell you to "get an iMac" but apparently you owning one would make you an idiot.



    In fact, to tell you the God's honest truth, I should have bought an iMac 17" instead of this Mac mini. Once I upgrade the Mac mini with a faster hard drive, superdrive, RAM, processor, its going to cost me (plus what I paid for the base model) near a 17" iMac. That iMac also has socketed processors, but has a dedicated (and faster) GPU with large hard drive support. You can now plug a display into the iMac for spanning and not just mirroring so my 20" ACD would work. \
  • Reply 28 of 29
    I didn't realize it was shortsighted to like the iMac's design. Troll logic is funny. From an aesthetic standpoint, the all-in-one design is RIDICULOUSLY preferable. Mini and Cinema display? Close, until you realize all the extra wires that your'e running. Oh, and the intel iMac might be the greatest consumer system in terms of silencing that's ever been put out in the market. That makes a huge difference to a silencing freak like me. To a lot of us, the benefits of a system like that far outweigh any lack of expandability, to me. The iMac has allowed me to eliminate the idea of a computer room from my floorplan and bring the computer back into the living space again. Funny how that works.



    The mini also has no need for anything beyond quality integrated graphics as long as that keeps it in the wheelhouse for strong media playback and such. As it stands, you can't do anything CLOSE to a mini for a similar-sized, stylish media center PC (XBMC excluded) for the mini's cost. Costs down, style up, the intel mini sits alone on the SFF market.
  • Reply 29 of 29
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,275moderator
    Firstly, I'd like to ammend what I said about the graphics on the GMA machines being the same as the old machines. I tested out Quake 4 on a Macbook and compared it with my 1.5GHz powerbook - not because I intend to play it as I'm not a gamer but I wanted to test the graphics performance. The powerbook choked even without shadows on. The Macbook had shadows on and was still playable IMO. In some of the heavier scenes, it didn't like it but overall, it was pretty fast. But that doesn't mean I'm now comfortable with integrated graphics because I'm sure things like shadow calculation are done on the CPU.



    Also, although I use Blender mostly for 3D stuff out of a choice because I don't like Maya, I also use Shake at work. I tried the universal binary they had on the Macbook and it renders very quickly as well as being very responsive even with large graphics. However, the menu scrolling is broken and dragging the scrollbar isn't smooth like on the powerbook. Ignoring the time Apple broke the Nvidia drivers, ATI and Nvidia cards have always just worked.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by IonYz


    Well you'll probably have to. The only non-Power Mac from Apple that had any expandibility recently was the Cube. I picked it up for $1399 or so before they got canned. It was a great little machine. You could upgrade the video card... if they fit.



    Yeah, a lot of people want the cube back. I don't think it has to be as big as a cube.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by IonYz


    Chicken and the egg problem. Want an iMac thats guts only take up behind the screen? You'll need laptop parts and either the prices will increase or the speed will decrease. Open up an iMac, it needs the chin because the power supply IIRC.



    You don't need laptop parts because the HD and optical drive can fit in the base. I thought all Macs had external PSUs these days. Still, I'm sure they could've put that in the imac base too. It's actually not a very good design the way it is now because the monitor moves. Someone at work has an imac and the plug keeps coming out while he is working and he loses all his open documents.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by IonYz


    but any 3D work is going to require horsepower beyond the bottom rung of hardware.



    Nope, you can do very complex renders if you have the right rendering software. You can render in layers, use displacement maps, composite in Shake etc. All I want is for the software to work properly and shared graphics just make it harder for developers.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by IonYz


    So you once again have a choice between an iMac or a PC given your assumed budget. Thats simply how it is going to be. Could Apple release a tower for a grand? They could. If they do I expect it for at least $1500 though. This is Apple, not Dell.



    Apple have put a Radeon X1600 into a laptop. Apple have put a Radeon X1600 into the imac. Apple can put a Radeon X1600 into the Mini and sell one at £629 with Core Duo processors. From what I can see, the Mini and the imac are consumer machines, not necessarily intended for pros. Therefore, if the Mini and imac are intended for the same market then why cripple the Mini with only integrated graphics? I don't want an all-in-one.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by IonYz


    Apple needs more then a cheap tower to boost marketshare to a point when things are ported equally, games are patched evenly, and hardware choices grow. So I said screw it and bought a PC. I can upgrade and buy and sell parts cheap, I always play games on their release, its great. That being said its a "wintendo", its only use is gaming and Windows is all I for that. Its not a good OS for gaming, Linux and Apple could be just as good, its just that is has support.



    Fair points but now that you can run Windows on a Mac, you wouldn't need to get a separate PC. If they did sell a Core Duo Mini with a Radeon X1600 for £629 then I'm sure you would've bought that instead of your Mac + PC. As I said, people are doing some serious gaming with that card. Now you still have the problem of upgradability but I personally upgrade my entire machine every 2-3 years - not that I have a choice. But it sometimes works out ok. It's coming time to upgrade my G4 Mini but I don't know what to do now. If there was a CD Mini w X1600 for £629, I'd already be using one. But now I'm going to have to wait until the current Minis come down in price.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by IonYz


    Since Steve Jobs came back to Apple, clear lines were drawn between models. The Mac mini will not be an iMac without display. Just have to face the music and buy a PC man.



    Then my mission is clear. Jobs must die.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by IonYz


    Your not asking for a single slot, as that isn't enough and you know it.



    One is enough to replace the GPU. Apple would ship the machine with a GPU in the slot.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by IonYz


    People have asked for a low-cost tower, they have asked (you, specifically actually) have asked for a Mac mini that is spec for spec equal to an iMac, others want something like a Mac mini but larger and can handle a video card and one or two 3.5" hard drives.



    Nah, most people just want a decent GPU. I also wouldn't mind a 3.5" drive but that's it. People who want the Mini to be anything more are changing the target market. I believe the Mini market is the same as the imac and so the spec should match.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by IonYz


    Many people want many different things, but Apple has stuck with their simplified product lineup.



    They could make it simpler. Instead of having different models, they could make all their machines like the Mac Pro. One design but just have BTO options.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by IonYz


    go the PC route. You can upgrade and stay with newer parts faster. Don't expect Apple to just because another PC company though.



    So you're saying a good business model is to not produce something that rivals the competition and instead frustrate customers so much until they eventually give up and go with the competition when all it would take is a redesign?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by IonYz


    In fact, to tell you the God's honest truth, I should have bought an iMac 17" instead of this Mac mini. Once I upgrade the Mac mini with a faster hard drive, superdrive, RAM, processor, its going to cost me (plus what I paid for the base model) near a 17" iMac. That iMac also has socketed processors, but has a dedicated (and faster) GPU with large hard drive support. You can now plug a display into the iMac for spanning and not just mirroring so my 20" ACD would work. \



    That's my point right there. If the Mini had the imac spec for same price minus display then you wouldn't be regretting buying the Mini. You obviously bought it to go with the 20" ACD, which IMO look far nicer than the imac displays.



    I said this in another thread but imagine if they just scrapped the imac altogether and instead sold Minis with good GPUs along with their cinema displays.



    Core Duo Mini with 128MB Radeon X1600 + 20" ACD = £629 + £529 = £1158

    20" imac = £1129



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KamiNoYadoru


    Close, until you realize all the extra wires that your'e running.



    I count two extra wires. Not a deal killer for me really.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KamiNoYadoru


    Oh, and the intel iMac might be the greatest consumer system in terms of silencing that's ever been put out in the market. That makes a huge difference to a silencing freak like me.



    The Mini + ACD is just as quiet. In fact it's quieter because I wouldn't be complaining.
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