Maybe this will push Apple to update the mini!

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Dell has recently introduced another pc line that takes direct aim at the mini. It's called Dell Studio Hybrid. This line makes direct comparisons to the mini quite easy and unavoidable for Apple. The comparisons aren't going to be flattering for the mini either. Personally the DSH looks pretty darn attractive to me and a legitimate alternative by about any way you look at it.



Hopefully this will get Apple off their butt to update and improve the mini which is getting a bit stale.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 45
    rickagrickag Posts: 1,626member
    They are attractive, too bad they don't run Mac OS, or do they? Anyone up to creating a hackintosh.
  • Reply 2 of 45
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,217moderator
    It looks safe in the UK. The lowest price for that model is £569. The lowest Mini is £399.



    The lowest Dell in the UK is the 2GHz one though so it compares to the 2GHz Mini, which is £499.



    You just have to get 3GB Ram, X3100 graphics and a 250GB drive for £170. You can get a 200GB 7200 rpm drive for £80 (Dell is 5400rpm) and 3GB Ram should be £50 or so. Crucial only give you 2GB max, which is £30.



    Penryn with new graphics + bigger drives + more stock Ram would be nice but there's no rush unfortunately if that's all Dell has to offer.



    I just hope we see new Minis before the rumored laptop refresh in September.
  • Reply 3 of 45
    Identically configured, the MacMini is $849 (USD), and the Dell is $639... but the Dell includes "N" wireless and HDMI output. making for a better bigscreen media server (what I use my Mini for.)

    Of course the Mac comes with much better software and OS.



    But still... Dell manages to pack the exact same (and some better) components into roughly the same enclosure at a MUCH cheaper price...

    But if Apple can sell the Mini at it's current price, with greater margins, then why not?... more money for R&D, or for shareholders, or cancer surgery, or whatever!.. no point in operating a business if it doesn't make money (unless you're an airline )
  • Reply 4 of 45
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    Penryn with new graphics + bigger drives + more stock Ram would be nice but there's no rush unfortunately if that's all Dell has to offer.

    .



    They offer Blue Ray burners (can't even get that on a Mac Pro) and speeds up to 2.6 ghz.



    A DSH with a 2.0 ghz cpu, x3100 graphics, a 160 gb HDD and 2 gbs of RAM is over $100 USD less than a similarly speced mini. In the US the Dell is decidedly a better value although that really isn't a big surprise.



    Now that direct comps can be made hopefully Apple will get on the ball and improve the mini!



    Edit. Teh King beat me to it.



    Long live teh king.
  • Reply 5 of 45
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,789member
    That looks like a great computer. How I wish for the days when there was an OS like Be or Next one could consider moving to on the other side without feeling dirty.



    Two questions: What kind of monitor can it drive, and can I get in to upgrade the RAM and Hard Drive?
  • Reply 6 of 45
    programmerprogrammer Posts: 3,409member
    I think Apple will update the mini (and fairly soon, this year anyhow) but they won't be "pushed into it" by Dell or anybody else. They do things on their own schedule, and the time is about right.
  • Reply 7 of 45
    guinnessguinness Posts: 473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Programmer View Post


    I think Apple will update the mini (and fairly soon, this year anyhow) but they won't be "pushed into it" by Dell or anybody else. They do things on their own schedule, and the time is about right.



    Apple pretty much has to update the Mini or drop it, as the CPUs in the Mini are old (Intel doesn't use Socket M in their new designs), it has a 667 FSB, GMA 950, and 802.11g, and doesn't support 4 GB.



    I could say they could continue, as-is, and drop the price, but the parts will run out eventually.



    I do like the new Dell, a bit on the pricier side, but you're paying for the form factor, and it is better than similarly priced Minis, only lacks built-in BT.
  • Reply 8 of 45
    royboyroyboy Posts: 447member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Programmer View Post


    I think Apple will update the mini (and fairly soon, this year anyhow) but they won't be "pushed into it" by Dell or anybody else. They do things on their own schedule, and the time is about right.





    Definitely! Apple is not effected by whether their competitors are successful or not. Competition has no effect upon Apple. Apple knows what's best for you. Apple has its own drummer so the beat goes own.
  • Reply 9 of 45
    stoostoo Posts: 1,490member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    The lowest Dell in the UK is the 2GHz one though so it compares to the 2GHz Mini, which is £499.



    If the computer's footprint isn't an issue you can get Dell base Inspiron base units quite cheaply from the Tesco Direct online store. It's less than £300 for an Inspiron 530 (2.4GHz quad core, 8M L2 cache, 2GB RAM, 320GB hard disk).
  • Reply 10 of 45
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,217moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post


    Identically configured, the MacMini is $849 (USD), and the Dell is $639...



    Is that including shipping? I got it to come to $849 vs $709 doing a test shipping to San Francisco.



    2GHz models, 1GB Ram, 160GB drives.



    Given that the Dell is just out vs the Mini being over a year old, the Dell is a PC (typically cheaper due to lower margins), $140 doesn't seem like a big difference.



    It does have more options and has a nice form factor, which you don't see often in PCs but it's not enough to make Apple think they are being outdone IMO. There's no question the Mini needs to be updated and that Apple needs to start offering Blu-Ray though. Making it easier to open would be nice too - that's probably one other area the Dell does better.



    I really doubt they'll update the Mini before the laptops. The iMac already has Penryn chips so no need to wait on a refresh there. There was no mention of the Mini in the stock shortage notice so I reckon it will have to come after.
  • Reply 11 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    Is that including shipping? ...



    No, i didn't figure in shipping (Apple doesn't charge for it in the US... and I'm assuming I could pick up the Dell myself at the local big-box store eventually.)



    $140 doesn't sound like much till you figure that's 20% more than the dell... not much in terms of my income, but quite a noticeable difference between the two. (And the Dell has a few extra features!)



    I still prefer OSX, but for someone who's used to Windows... they may not know that's worth an extra $140 !!
  • Reply 12 of 45
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,259member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post


    Identically configured, the MacMini is $849 (USD), and the Dell is $639... but the Dell includes "N" wireless and HDMI output. making for a better bigscreen media server (what I use my Mini for.)

    Of course the Mac comes with much better software and OS.



    But still... Dell manages to pack the exact same (and some better) components into roughly the same enclosure at a MUCH cheaper price...

    But if Apple can sell the Mini at it's current price, with greater margins, then why not?... more money for R&D, or for shareholders, or cancer surgery, or whatever!.. no point in operating a business if it doesn't make money (unless you're an airline )



    HDMI?



    Quote:

    Video Card

    Intel® Integrated Graphics Media Accelerator X3100



    Big deal. I wouldn't be thrilled having this as my GMA to my HDMI port.
  • Reply 13 of 45
    alfiejralfiejr Posts: 1,524member
    Nope, that's wrong, King. To make the Dell comparable with the Mini, you have to:



    - upgrade from Vista Home Basic (you're kidding!) to Vista Ultimate.

    - add the Adobe software suite to match iLife.

    - add some security software of course, which the Mini doesn't need.

    - add on the modem and wifi.

    - fiddle with some other things.



    i compared two fully equipped units that i might actually buy, getting the hardware/software specs as close to identical/equivalent as possible. the Mini came in at $890, the Dell and $980. everyone should do their own version and see how it turns out.
  • Reply 14 of 45
    In my comparison, the Dell had EVERYTHING the Mini had (except software) ... yes, I even added speakers to the Dell since the Mini has one (sort of) built in... and the Dell even had better components in the case of WiFi and Graphics because the Mini COULDN'T be upgraded to match..



    You'll notice I still prefer the Mini... specifically because of the OS and iLife/iWork.



    As for mdriftmeyer's mention of HDMI and the x3100... that'll drive a 1080p bigscreen just fine ... something the Mini does NOT do well. If you want to use this as a media server connected to your 46" LCD, that could be a big selling point.



    Again... I still prefer the Mini just for it's ease of use (perhaps just because OSX is what I'm used to.) Though I'd replace it tomorrow if Apple intro'd a new model with true HDMI output (the DVI-HDMI adaptor has some limitations.)
  • Reply 15 of 45
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,259member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post


    In my comparison, the Dell had EVERYTHING the Mini had (except software) ... yes, I even added speakers to the Dell since the Mini has one (sort of) built in... and the Dell even had better components in the case of WiFi and Graphics because the Mini COULDN'T be upgraded to match..



    You'll notice I still prefer the Mini... specifically because of the OS and iLife/iWork.



    As for mdriftmeyer's mention of HDMI and the x3100... that'll drive a 1080p bigscreen just fine ... something the Mini does NOT do well. If you want to use this as a media server connected to your 46" LCD, that could be a big selling point.



    Again... I still prefer the Mini just for it's ease of use (perhaps just because OSX is what I'm used to.) Though I'd replace it tomorrow if Apple intro'd a new model with true HDMI output (the DVI-HDMI adaptor has some limitations.)



    The reason the Mac-mini doesn't drive the big screen as well is because Apple doesn't allow for the maximum 256MB of RAM to be horded by the CPU.
  • Reply 16 of 45
    hudson1hudson1 Posts: 800member
    For fun, I priced the Dell out with what I thought was a reasonable match... not saying that I'm any smarter than anyone else in this exercise. I came out at $748 with the following upgrades:



    2.0 GHz processor ($50)

    Windows Vista Home Premium ($30)

    802.11n wireless ($70)

    Photoshop Elements + Premiere Elements ($99)



    You get the keyboard and mouse that the mini doesn't have but not as good a deal on a printer as Apple has. Those probably balance out. I didn't tackle the security and office software questions as they aren't clear cut. For practical purposes you can install OpenOffice on both the mini and Dell for free and probably cover all of your office software needs that way.
  • Reply 17 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    The reason the Mac-mini doesn't drive the big screen as well is because Apple doesn't allow for the maximum 256MB of RAM to be horded by the CPU.



    Not true... it displays a perfect picture even displaying HD content, the Mini can decode and show it just fine.

    But doesn't match the resolution of the Sony LCD... I either have the menubar and dock "dissappear" off the edges of the screen, or I have unused space around the edge of the picture. It's not a RAM problem, but rather the Mini doesn't "see" the resolution of a rather "industry standard" Sony HDTV. So when I'm watching through the Mini it's like a 43" screen instead of 46"... oh well.
  • Reply 18 of 45
    alfiejralfiejr Posts: 1,524member
    how did you set Overscan on the Mini? what display settings did you adjust on the Sony? what cable connection are you using? it will work right when you get all these in synch. but rather than get into this complicated topic here, off topic, go over to the AVS Forum where there are dozens, if not hundreds, of posts on how to set the Mini/Sony up.
  • Reply 19 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Alfiejr View Post


    how did you set Overscan on the Mini? what display settings did you adjust on the Sony? what cable connection are you using? it will work right when you get all these in synch. but rather than get into this complicated topic here, off topic, go over to the AVS Forum where there are dozens, if not hundreds, of posts on how to set the Mini/Sony up.



    What about "It just works." ???
  • Reply 20 of 45
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,259member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post


    Not true... it displays a perfect picture even displaying HD content, the Mini can decode and show it just fine.

    But doesn't match the resolution of the Sony LCD... I either have the menubar and dock "dissappear" off the edges of the screen, or I have unused space around the edge of the picture. It's not a RAM problem, but rather the Mini doesn't "see" the resolution of a rather "industry standard" Sony HDTV. So when I'm watching through the Mini it's like a 43" screen instead of 46"... oh well.



    A: The mac-mini doesn't use more than 144MB of Ram out of a possible 256MB of RAM the chipset can borrow from System Ram.



    B: Check this theory against a non-mac-mini and determine whether or not it's a pre-defined spec inside of QuickTime or not.
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