Apple rumored to adopt NVIDIA's Ion platform

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  • Reply 61 of 136
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ajprice View Post


    What if... they replace Mac mini with an 'iMac mini' using this Atom in a smaller screen than the iMac, maybe 15" or 17". OS could be somewhere between full OS X and a simplified iPhone/Apple TV version. Similar thing to an Eee Top or Shuttle X50.





    WHY... the 15" and 17" screens are dead on the desktop and this would need to be able to run regular OS X applications, otherwise it would add unnecessary confusion to the retail Mac software market.
  • Reply 62 of 136
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    The original article stated: $400 for simple Ion-based "desktop netbook" computer



    I don't know what the specs would be for a simple desktop netbook, but Apple would need to get the price down to around $200-250 max to be a viable AppleTV. Netbooks already have pretty minimum specs. What can you get rid of to make the price acceptable? Smaller hard drive? No optical drive (assume a netbook has one to begin with)?



    Is this feasible from a price standpoint?
  • Reply 63 of 136
    Apple will not use the Ion platform for the Mac Mini. Apple does not downgrade its products. They will use a C2D + 9400M for the new Mini and the Ion for a different product, like Apple TV or something.



    The Mini is a desktop computer meaning that its CPU power is a central thing. Diminishing it will kill it off.



    When the C2D + 9400M Mini comes out I am seriously considering buying it.
  • Reply 64 of 136
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by @homenow View Post


    The comments on the AppleTV/Mini convergence are missing one major marketing goal for the AppleTV that Apple will need to address to take it from a hobby and turn it into a product that can compete with the DVD player, and that is cost. Whatever Apple does to the AppleTV it needs to bring the cost down, not double the cost of the device. Blue Ray players are down around $200 now, so it does not make sense to do anything that would double the cost of the AppleTV when what they really need to do is bring it down closer to $100.



    The Media Server idea is interesting, and something that I think will come in time. However it should be an extension of Time Capsule not another computer. Also, the AppleTV should not be dependent on such a device since that would drive up the cost of a useful system and make the products less attractive to the average consumer.



    I agree with what you're saying, but all one needs is for this model to work is to allow tv to get content from a Time Capsule. I believe that Apple thinks the future distribution model is electronic, not disk-based, so don't see themselves competing with BluRay. Time will tell whether they're right.
  • Reply 65 of 136
    expatexpat Posts: 110member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Nano_tube View Post


    Apple will not use the Ion platform for the Mac Mini. Apple does not downgrade its products.



    iPod classic, the 160 GB option became 120 GB. Not a loss of processing, mind you, but a lowering of the base specs
  • Reply 66 of 136
    Horrible move on Apple's part if they use it for the mini. It would make sense in an updated aTV or a netbook.



    The mini needs to be faster and/or cheaper, and if anything it would be fine if it got a bit bigger and switched to desktop parts (which would be the smartest way to get it faster and/or cheaper).



    Instead it sounds like Apple is going to do pretty much the exact opposite - make it slower (???), the same price if not more expensive, and go even smaller on a box that most people don't even buy for its size.



    The only upside I can see to this would be if Apple decides to specialize the mini for an ultrasmall niche (which I can't imagine is a big enough market segment to bother targeting) and adds a new model that is cheaper but bigger, although I doubt that scenario.



    It's bizarre that Apple is so insistent on staying out of the netbook market, the only segment of computer sales that seems to be growing in this lousy economy, yet they think that there's a market for really small DESKTOPS? Makes no sense at all.
  • Reply 67 of 136
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by @homenow View Post


    The comments on the AppleTV/Mini convergence are missing one major marketing goal for the AppleTV that Apple will need to address to take it from a hobby and turn it into a product that can compete with the DVD player, and that is cost... ...Blue Ray players are down around $200 now, so it does not make sense to do anything that would double the cost of the AppleTV when what they really need to do is bring it down closer to $100.



    I don't agree at all. A decent media center costs a lot of money. A good screen, good speakers, decent furniture, etc. Sure, you can get cheapo 5.1 speakers and a loss-leader 40" TV to go along with your cut-rate bluray player, but that's not Apple's market.



    It's all about value. Apple could sell a $300, $400or even a $600 box no problem, if it does something cool, it looks good, is easy to use and hook up, and it integrates with Apple's ecosystem.
  • Reply 68 of 136
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Expat View Post


    iPod classic, the 160 GB option became 120 GB. Not a loss of processing, mind you, but a lowering of the base specs



    Technically, the base option went up. The 160 GB option was discontinued.
  • Reply 69 of 136
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by caliminius View Post


    A media center device using flash memory would be pointless unless it was only designed for streaming.



    I wonder how much cheaper Apple's computers would be if they would quit shoving mobile components into desktop computers...Apple really needs to get over their "smaller is better" philosophy for desktop computers. Would it really matter to anyone if the next iMac were to be 2cm thicker?



    Good point about flash on a media center device. I was thinking out loud and I'm not on sure footing.



    Also "Mac nano" was probably a bad name for what I had in mind, or maybe I really have in mind two different products, only one of which would be a Mac nano.



    Smaller is better, but I didn't mean the Mac nano or media center device should be physically smaller than the mini. I was thinking in terms of capability. I'm also guessing the next Mini might be a bit taller. The nano would be the size of the Apple TV. A media center device, who knows? It could even be rack-mount if they want the high end market.



    I just think we are entering an era of new formats, only some of which will fly. Exactly the kind of situation where you need a guy like Jobs to filter out the bad ideas. If that's all he does, it will be plenty.
  • Reply 70 of 136
    hattighattig Posts: 860member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post


    The original article stated: $400 for simple Ion-based "desktop netbook" computer



    I don't know what the specs would be for a simple desktop netbook, but Apple would need to get the price down to around $200-250 max to be a viable AppleTV. Netbooks already have pretty minimum specs. What can you get rid of to make the price acceptable? Smaller hard drive? No optical drive (assume a netbook has one to begin with)?



    Is this feasible from a price standpoint?



    You can remove from a netbook:



    * Battery

    * Display

    * Keyboard

    * Trackpad

    * Casing with hinges, etc

    * Speakers

    * Windows XP

    * Tiny inconvenient design area, and very low vertical clearance



    You can also reduce cost by buying in bulk, and being pushy like Apple can be.



    You can then increase the cost by having a fancy aluminium casing, increased margins on sales, shrinking your simpler box shape even smaller, adding a DVD writer.
  • Reply 71 of 136
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hattig View Post


    You can remove from a netbook:



    * Battery

    * Display

    * Keyboard

    * Trackpad

    * Casing with hinges, etc

    * Speakers

    * Windows XP

    * Tiny inconvenient design area, and very low vertical clearance



    You can also reduce cost by buying in bulk, and being pushy like Apple can be.



    You can then increase the cost by having a fancy aluminium casing, increased margins on sales, shrinking your simpler box shape even smaller, adding a DVD writer.



    The quote referred to a "desktop netbook" for $400. So I assumed most of the stuff on your list was already removed. But I confess, since I have no interest in netbooks, I don't know the lingo. I figured the "desktop" label meant it was just a very stripped down desktop computer and they were using "netbook" simply as the current buzzword. If we are still talking about a portable, self-contained computer, then yes we can remove all the stuff on your list and get into the appropriate price range.
  • Reply 72 of 136
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    DRM is the inevitable solution to rampant stealing that people do in fact engage in. Without content you cannot sell hardware.



    I wouldn't mind the Apple TV going to Atom as an interim solution but I'd love to see the next major upgrade move to ARM/PowerVR/VXD SoC



    No, DRM is the "knee jerk" reaction to piracy. The inevitable solution is to conveniently offer consumers the product they want at reasonable prices. The music industry has been pressure into dropping DRM. The movie industry will eventually be forced to the same conclusion.



    Also, the ARM/PowerVR platform is ideal for devices like the iPhone where every bit of power must be conserved. It makes far less sense in a product like the AppleTV. With the AppleTV, you want relatively low power consumption along with high performance. Performance higher than what is associated with ARM/PowerVR.
  • Reply 73 of 136
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by xwiredtva View Post


    Well I can personally tell you with absolute precision the next MacMini WILL NOT run an Atom based CPU.



    I have exactly what there stating on my desk at the office. It's half the speed of the 1st gen Core Solo mini, even though it's dual core.



    And they can't use it for AppleTV either because it can't process HD content as well as the current Pentium M cpu.



    WHY? So glad you asked, it can't run processes out of step/sync. And the low cache is horrid when you try to watch HD Movies.



    While I certainly have no first hand knowledge of Apple's plans, I can point out that your reasoning is flawed. Specifically regarding the AppleTV. While I might agree with you in that the Atom may be ill suited for HD content, you should note that the nVidia 9400m has built in full HD decoding capabilities. Likewise, the processor wouldn't even be used for that task.



    Further, you might want to look at how nVidia is marketing the Atom. It shoots a few holes in your theory.



    http://www.nvidia.com/object/sff_ion.html
  • Reply 74 of 136
    Mac Nano with Atom 330 @399 would be competitive.

    Mac Mini on Ion with C2D 2.0Ghz with 320Gb disk $599

    Mac Mini Quad on Ion with 2Ghz C2Q with 500GB disk @ 799. Hows that ?.
  • Reply 75 of 136
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,430member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by another_steve View Post


    The movie industry will eventually be forced to the same conclusion.



    Don't hold your breath. I can guarantee you that movies from the majors won't go DRM free anytime soon.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by another_steve View Post


    Also, the ARM/PowerVR platform is ideal for devices like the iPhone where every bit of power must be conserved. It makes far less sense in a product like the AppleTV. With the AppleTV, you want relatively low power consumption along with high performance. Performance higher than what is associated with ARM/PowerVR.



    I suggest you go head on over to Imagination's website and read about their VXD (playback) and VXE (encoding) options for PowerVR SoC. Take for instance the VXD 370



    http://www.imgtec.com/corporate/news...asp?NewsID=330



    Quote:

    PowerVR VXD 370 (previously known as "MSVDX") is a high definition, multi-standard video decode core. PowerVR VXD 370 is capable of decoding H.264, VC-1(WMV 9), MPEG-4, H.263, MPEG-2, MPEG-1, JPEG at resolutions including 720p, 1080i and 1080p. This multiple decoder support has been implemented in an extremely power efficient architecture. As an example, in a 90nm 133MHz implementation power consumption for the core is in the range of 30mW to <50mW for decoding high definition MPEG-2 main profile and high definition H.264 high profile.





    http://www.beyond3d.com/content/articles/103/2



    Quote:

    The VXD 370 claims to deliver (and actually does in Intel’s Poulsbo chipset for their UMPC/MID Atom-based platform) power numbers for 1080p High Profile H.264 that are comparable to those of many competitors for their VGA resolution decode. Clearly, that’s a huge advantage, and given what we’ve examined of their architecture based on public information, we’re ready to believe it.



    Where you err is in making an assumption that the appropriate power needed for the ATV cannot be done with a Soc. The current Apple TV gets too hot IMO and heat always breaks down components faster. The next Apple TV should IMO support 1080p playback even if iTunes doesn't offer that resolution and it should use a SoC based system with OpenGL ES 2.0 graphics and a processor for decoding video. ARM/PowerVR/VXD accomplishes this and will do so far less the heat signature of the current Apple TV components. It's literally a no brainer.
  • Reply 76 of 136
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DrBoar View Post


    Mac Nano? What need do we fulfill with a displayless desktop computer smaller than the MacMini



    You may not have a need but I could see lots of uses for such a beast. Here are a few examples:



    1. Compact low power servers. Mini already has a good rep here a smaller machine just extends it's power saving capabilities.

    2. A computer that mounts betweent a mounitor and it's Industry standard stand. In effect any monitor becomes a low end iMac.

    3. Industrial uses. The market for PCs that can be easily mounted inside of a machines control panel is growing as machine connectivity becomes more important.

    4. Similarly cheap compute nodes in business. Let's face it, for some applications even an old G4 is overkill. Especially if you have a modern GPU to take care of graphical issues.

    5. Home servers. Most people don't need high performance servers at home but do need to control power usage. Obviously a big storage capacity wouldn't be possible in a small device but there are other servers besides storage servers.

    Quote:

    I am typing this on a keyboard that takes up more desk surface than the macmini, looking on a 20" TFT that also takes up more space than the mini!



    So if I really want to save space over the mini I have to



    A. integrate the computer in the screen =iMac

    B. Integrate the computer in the keyboard=



    Yes a good way to go. Seriously I've thought about such a device myself many a times. If that keyboard has solid state storage it should work well. This makes the PC disappear and with todays technology should make for a keyboard any bigger than my old IBM model.

    Quote:

    C. Integrate the computer with a small screen= netbook

    D. Integrate the computer with a very much smaller screen= tablet, touch, iphone



    Sure Apple could make a MacAir with a slower CPU, no optical drive and only one USB port and cut the size in half. But who would buy it



    It depends on what your needs are. Some people have no need for an optical drive for example. I highly doubt that there will be only one USB port too. For people with a home network set up a small compact machine may be just the nuts to allow extending that network.



    Dave
  • Reply 77 of 136
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ksec View Post


    Apple TV, Possibly 9400M technically, is perfectly capable of playing 1080P Video. With some optimization and proper software support.



    Mini, i have previously thought yes, but someone pointed out the simple reason why not. Atom is not 64bit. Which i think rules Atom out of the Mini equation.



    N270, No. 230/330 (Single/Dual core)- YES.
  • Reply 78 of 136
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ksec View Post


    Apple TV, Possibly 9400M technically, is perfectly capable of playing 1080P Video. With some optimization and proper software support.



    Mini, i have previously thought yes, but someone pointed out the simple reason why not. Atom is not 64bit. Which i think rules Atom out of the Mini equation.



    You people need to use GOOGLE, its a really great tool.



    If Apple uses the ATOM, it will be a dual core 330 probably running at 1.8ghz. Combined with 9400 from Nvidia is can handle HD play back all day long.



    The 330 is 64bit, it has two cores that are hyper threaded, so that is 4 threads at one time. Now and I cant believe no one has said this, add in Snow leopard and grand central and now the GPU is helping the CPU, so 5 threads maybe more.



    Some proof it can do HD...



    http://www.upgraderguides.com/index....&id=233&page=7



    As far as it running Leopard/Snow Leopard server....why not? What are you doing on a Mini server anyhow? File server, web server? Anything that will tax a current Mini server will tax a new Atom based server as well. Unless you are running handbrake to convert DVD's I cant imagine a Atom Mini doing any worse than the current Mini at being a server. Some data...



    http://www.singlehop.com/servers/atom_tests.php



    I for one would welcome a Atom Mini for its power consumption alone and I would bet it could do anything a current Mini could do and more.
  • Reply 79 of 136
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by another_steve View Post


    While I certainly have no first hand knowledge of Apple's plans, I can point out that your reasoning is flawed. Specifically regarding the AppleTV. While I might agree with you in that the Atom may be ill suited for HD content, you should note that the nVidia 9400m has built in full HD decoding capabilities. Likewise, the processor wouldn't even be used for that task.



    Further, you might want to look at how nVidia is marketing the Atom. It shoots a few holes in your theory.



    http://www.nvidia.com/object/sff_ion.html



    Yes, you are correct. I'm NOW at the office... What we received to "tinker" with were Intel 330's (Dual Core, 64bit), on INTEL boards with GMA (can't say which) graphics and 2gb DDR2 800 Ram.



    this is OT BUT: Vista Ult 64bit on above: Decent but after 6 months it would be POOR at best.

    OS X 10.5.5 on above - Decent for basic stuff, front row, 1080 HD content OVER Internet is NO GO (we are using Cable 16/4 to test), 480/720 is fine and works well.

    Ubuntu Linux 64b - VERY GOOD. Optimized for Atom CPU though.

    Ubuntu 32b - BOXEEE setup - EXCELLENT, again we used atom optimization.



    Apple could use the nVidia chipset with this CPU which would add 4gb ram or more... It's ability to process IN SYNC only is the drawback right now when playing HD content. Via's nano cpu actually plays it better but only on a linux distro optimized for the ULV CPU's (latest kernel has this setup - Thanks ASUS!). If they (apple) optimize the Darwin core for these then YES with the nVidia setup they could EASILY make a killer AppleTV.



    HD Thoroughput is actually great on the 330 however the N270 and 230 cpu's it's been OK at best. You'll never max out the SATA I speed on either but there's a lot less drop off on the 330 which is WHY I'm saying NO WAY on HD... However nVidia's 9400 series is faster on the bus than Intel's chipsets, So in your case and as it was written and somehow ignored by me late last night, YES this would work well.



    Good enough of a backpeddle? The 330 chip would be what Apple would use in a netbook/AppleTV system. I can't see them settling for a 30-40 xbench score AT BEST and calling that "High End - Apple Worthy" products.



    Can't test Via's C7 Nano on OS X but on Linux it is FASTER at 2.0ghz, 800mhz Bus compared to ANY of the Atom's. However it being paired with VIA's Low-Power chipsets is it's downfall. It's 64bit, fast, very low power, lower than Intel's and carries an 800mhz bus compared to Intel's 533... One big point, CAN process out of sync through the pipe.



    EDIT: 230/330 are NOT designed for mobile devices. 4watts/8watts usage (looks good to me for mobile's) however it's the way Intel rights the Use Contracts... They also can't be used on Mobile's with larger monitors the way the contracts are currently written. Also Boxee was used to test our units along with Blu-Ray DVD. N270 is the only mobile version allowed (of course this WILL change).
  • Reply 80 of 136
    steve666steve666 Posts: 2,600member
    We should bombard Apple with emails just in case this is true. There is still time to change their minds.

    Apple has been known to dissapoint us many times before so who knows, it could be true.
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