More versatile Mac mini expected at Macworld

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
A much anticipated update to Apple's tiny Mac mini desktop computer is believed to be a lock for next week's Macworld Expo, according to some last minute reports.



TUAW is citing its own sources who say the new models will sport a revised enclosure that more closely conforms to materials used throughout the better part of Apple's product line, namely aluminum and black plastic. Legacy Mac minis have employed a mixture of grey and white plastic.



The report also corroborate some details published by AppleInsider in October regarding a move towards SATA optical drives and hard drives. It was reported that this change would be accompanied by build-to-order options that will allow customers to swap out the optical drive for a second hard drive -- a move that will cater those who intent to use the systems as mini servers.



Other expected changes have included a move towards NVIDIA chipsets, the addition of a Mini DisplayPort, and the ability of the diminutive desktops to address 4GB of RAM, up from the 2GB maximum of today's models.



For what it's worth, AppleInsider has also received a couple of reliable reports in recent weeks that suggest the long-awaited Mac mini makeover is slated to arrive at next week's trade show. We've been following the Mac mini story for some time. Earlier reports on the matter can be reviewed below:



Eating our words: Apple's Mac mini to rock on



Apple Enterprise sending thousands of Macs into hotels, cruise ships



Informed players say Apple's Mac mini still kickin'



Apple tells Mac mini fan to hang in there



Mac mini makeover considered likely for Macworld



New iMacs and Mac minis confirmed to use NVIDIA chipsets
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 92
    I'm going to wager that Apple won't announce anything at this expo. Perhaps some simple upgrades to existing lines if anything.
  • Reply 2 of 92
    Why not just make a little bigger for a real HD... A second HD and the optical drive... $2700+ is too much for such a configuration.
  • Reply 3 of 92
    As much as I think it makes sense to go with a 3.5" HDD and the slightly larger aTV / TimeCapsule footprint, the option of configuring for two HDDs suggests that they are going to stay with laptop 2.5" drives.
  • Reply 4 of 92
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post


    I'm going to wager that Apple won't announce anything at this expo. Perhaps some simple upgrades to existing lines if anything.



    I'm going to wager that this will be one of the best MacWorld Keynotes to date. Apple will go out with a bang!
  • Reply 5 of 92
    emig647emig647 Posts: 2,414member
    I've been waiting for this for a long time. I will be buying one strictly for my tv. I will be shutting off my DirectTV (they should go into the business of knocking over banks), and getting a BLACK (HELL YAH) mac mini to match my entertainment center. I'm stoked and can't wait. Now all they need is blu-ray compatibility in them to make them a bitching entertainment center piece.
  • Reply 6 of 92
    Actually they have to move it up. The chips used to produce it are not in full production anymore. It's a good move though as the enterprise market just began the "Love" of the mini as of this year. I can take a monster dell desktop, swap out a MacMini it's place and convert the old into a parallels virtual machine. They use 1/6th the power have twice the performance and the added security of OS X and productivity applications. It's a win/win for business's to switch to the MacMini. It's also, even in it's current form, cheaper than an equivalent low-power/high performance desktop. For the same price from Dell you get a dual core celeron, 1gb ram and a 160bg HD that consumes more than 120 watts. The intel mini's even under a good load only suck up about 50-65 watts (using a kill-o-watt meter to test).



    Pro's of a virtual machine with NAT ethernet: startup/shutdown is about 5 seconds each way. Better Virus handling. Quicker interaction between Apple Mail/Downloads and windows desktop.



    Con's : Uses more than half of the 2gb of ram depending on configuration.
  • Reply 7 of 92
    emig647emig647 Posts: 2,414member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macxpress View Post


    I'm going to wager that this will be one of the best MacWorld Keynotes to date. Apple will go out with a bang!



    I have a feeling a lot of these updates will be released a few days before the keynote. They pulled that crap with the mac pro last time. Moving to nehalem, they should talk about it this year. We'll see.
  • Reply 8 of 92
    zunxzunx Posts: 620member
    Great, as far as it has Firewire 800 ports.
  • Reply 9 of 92
    Good news for us, as long as there's a decent bump in CPU.



    These little guys would become just right for low-usage stations that just need internet and a bit of word processing. Everyone's happy. They fit in our counters, CFO likes the price, employees are digging on cool OS X, and us in IT are enjoying the non-Windows and non-anti-virus.



    I was getting worried the passed year that the minis would be abandoned just as they started being viable for us. We'd have been forced to move to Shuttle-X and Ubuntu.
  • Reply 10 of 92
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hudson1 View Post


    As much as I think it makes sense to go with a 3.5" HDD and the slightly larger aTV / TimeCapsule footprint, the option of configuring for two HDDs suggests that they are going to stay with laptop 2.5" drives.



    With good reason too...and the good reason isn't configuring for two HDDs. 3.5" is going the way of the dodo. SSD are faster than 15k RPM HDDs, make less noise, need less cooling, are becoming cheaper by the month, and are rapidly going to match HDD capacities within the next 2 years. And SSDs are usually in 2.5" formats.



    It would be hard for Apple to justify making the Mac mini bulkier to allow putting a desktop size HDD that is rapidly becoming obsolete.
  • Reply 11 of 92
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hudson1 View Post


    As much as I think it makes sense to go with a 3.5" HDD and the slightly larger aTV / TimeCapsule footprint, the option of configuring for two HDDs suggests that they are going to stay with laptop 2.5" drives.



    I'd also guess that they'd stick wtih 2.5" drives (but I also think they'd be able to get a 3.5" drive in the current footprint by making it a little taller). In any event, 2.5" drives are readily available in 500 GB capacities. The current 160 GB limit is pathetic. 500 GB might not be sufficient for server use, but would be fine for normal desktop use. I'd also like to see an option for a 7200 rpm drive.
  • Reply 12 of 92
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zunx View Post


    Great, as far as it has Firewire 800 ports.



    Thanks, I didn't want to be the first one to insist that it keeps Firewire!
  • Reply 13 of 92
    gugygugy Posts: 794member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by emig647 View Post


    I have a feeling a lot of these updates will be released a few days before the keynote. They pulled that crap with the mac pro last time. Moving to nehalem, they should talk about it this year. We'll see.



    I agreed.



    I think the iMac and the MacMini might be update right before and possibly the MacPro too if there isn't any case redesign. Same for displays.



    Phil will probably focus on the MacMini only if it is indeed a new redesigned product, snow leopard and iLife and iWork apps. Maybe that's all we'll see.
  • Reply 14 of 92
    I gotcha firewire.
  • Reply 15 of 92
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by emig647 View Post


    I have a feeling a lot of these updates will be released a few days before the keynote. They pulled that crap with the mac pro last time. Moving to nehalem, they should talk about it this year. We'll see.



    As long as they're updated I don't care if its at the keynote or not. I don't need someone to stand up on stage and explain the ins and outs of a computer. I do that for a living.....



    If the MacMini is truly going to be updated I would think they'd spend a little more time on it. That is unless they want to do a keynote filler and explain how they redesigned the iMac's insides, or something.
  • Reply 16 of 92
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member
    Give me the new enclosure, 2Gb RAM, NVIDIA chipset, displayport, and a trackpad on top like the ones on the new Macbooks all for $499 and I'll buy one immediately. Even though I wasn't planning to.
  • Reply 17 of 92
    eSATA please.
  • Reply 18 of 92
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    I would love to see it support 3.5" HDDs but my credit card is already twitching regardless.
  • Reply 19 of 92
    pxtpxt Posts: 683member
    How about bringing together the Mini, AppleTV, TimeCapsule and AirportExtreme into a single footprint design and all running OSX? Then make them configurable by adding layers.



    Basic unit is an Airport Extreme.

    Add a HDD layer and it's a TimeCapsule.

    Or add an NVIDIA layer and it's an AppleTV.

    Or two HDD layers and it's a mini server.

    Or an optical drive.

    Add an HDD plus NVIDIA and it's a media server.



    It's the tower that many have asked for.



    Gives lots of configurations based around a common set of hardware components and opens up the format for users to invent their own ideas based around a common OS. Really cool second-hand 'layer' market. Easy upgrades of any layer. Snaps together like Lego - it just works.
  • Reply 20 of 92
    neilmneilm Posts: 640member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zunx View Post


    Great, as far as it has Firewire 800 ports.



    Dream on ? we'll be lucky to have FW400. Since the Mini has shared its architectural features with the MacBook, the recent dumping of FW from that isn't a good omen for the Mini.
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