Photo of next-gen Apple Mac mini in the wild?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
A photo making the rounds on the Internet appears to conform to descriptions of a next-generation Mac mini published by AppleInsider earlier in the year.



The photo shows the rear of a Mac mini that includes five USB ports instead of 4, both mini DVI and Mini DisplayPort connectors, and FireWire 800 instead of 400 -- all of which were specifications for a next-generation Mac mini first published by AppleInsider back in January (1, 2).



For what it's worth, this is the second picture of a Mac mini seen by AppleInsider with such a port makeup, the first of which we were asked not to publish. While we cannot vouch for the authenticity of this new photo, it shows a Mac mini that is identical in every way to the system in the unpublished photo, which was said to be a prototype from last fall.



People familiar with Apple's plans have said that the new Mac mini, like Apple's MacBook families and upcoming line of iMacs, will be powered by chipsets from NVIDIA Corp.



However, with no official announcement from Apple, and two photos of the same unreleased system making the rounds in as many months, there's an outside chance the company may have recently changed its course for the next-gen Mac mini.



Update: The image was also posted to the MacRumors forums from user 'monthy,' who claims the system will ship with a 2GHz Core 2 Duo with 3MB Level 2 cache, 2GB DDR 3 RAM @ 1066MHz and a ATA Super Drive. It appears monthy is the source of the image.



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 221
    Whoopty Doo!



    Hurry up and bring it out! I got cash burning a hole in my pocket for this bad boy!
  • Reply 2 of 221
    Yes, I agree, just release the damn thing alright! All I want is an apple computer that can handle games for my big screen tv!



    How are people doing with the new GPU chips in the macbooks while playing games?



    What kind of CPU do you think they will drop in this little box?
  • Reply 3 of 221
    vinney57vinney57 Posts: 1,162member
    I need this little baby right now.



    Anybody think there might be delays because of the Intel/Nvidia spat?
  • Reply 4 of 221
    Seems fake. Why would Apple leave a miniDVI port on there when they added mini-DisplayPort? And FW800 on the Mini? Why? Plus the design is too similar to the existing mini. After this long you'd think they'd revise it at least a little bit.
  • Reply 5 of 221
    neilmneilm Posts: 925member
    The FW800 is nice, but what the hell does anyone need five USB ports for on this level of computer?
  • Reply 6 of 221
    doubtful.



    1. The port arrangement (row of ports, second row of audio and power) means the logic board would need to be split into two sections, increasing cost.



    2. Firewire 800 seems to be in the realms of pro only, i doubt the cheapest computer apple sell will have it.



    3. No other mac has that many usb ports - the reason is if you want that many devices you wont mind having another (a usb hub).



    4. The Apple TV has integrated power, i expect the mini to offer something similar.



    5. This update seems relatively minor, the time since the previous update suggests a bigger change
  • Reply 7 of 221
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheKid2020 View Post


    Yes, I agree, just release the damn thing alright! All I want is an apple computer that can handle games for my big screen tv!



    How are people doing with the new GPU chips in the macbooks while playing games?



    What kind of CPU do you think they will drop in this little box?



    I haven't had the chance to play around with the unibody MB, but my MBP's 8600 is slighty more powerful than the 9400. So if they toss in 256 MB of dedicated video memory with it, a 9400 GT-equipped mini (with at least 2 gigs of ram) could probably handle Call of Duty 4 on medium-high settings, and Battlefield 2142 on max settings. Ditto for less intensive games like Spore. Mirror's Edge would run on high, or at least medium-high settings too.



    If you wanted to run Fallout 3 you'd probably be stuck on medium (or slightly better) settings.
  • Reply 8 of 221
    Bring that shiz to me maan!



    Seriously been waiting for a new Mini for over a year now.



    And to the previous poster-you seem awfully sure of yourself with your comments. Do you have inside info?



    I seriously doubt the internal power supply (too large) and why would it be hard to design a motherboard with 5 UBS ports in a row? The board is likely going to need to be redesigned anyway to accommodate the new Nvida chipset.
  • Reply 9 of 221
    I don't believe it. There's no way they're going to release another speed bump without a redesign.



    I believe more that it's an early test machine.
  • Reply 10 of 221
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Thinine View Post


    Seems fake. Why would Apple leave a miniDVI port on there when they added mini-DisplayPort? And FW800 on the Mini? Why? Plus the design is too similar to the existing mini. After this long you'd think they'd revise it at least a little bit.



    There's no way to tell for sure, but I tend to agree.



    This very website has run several articles that they claim are based on information from similarly "in the know" insiders, that talk about how the Mac mini has undergone a radical redesign inside and out. They have also published rumours and believed-to-be-reliable reports that the new Mac mini would be crazy thin, or made out of different materials etc. Then they publish this pic with just re-arranged ports?



    The ports in the picture don't exactly line up either, but that could be just from lens distortion as the pic seems to be taken at an angle. I don't see it unusual that they would leave on the DVI port given the use of the machine, and I don't see the FireWire 800 port as a big deal either.



    What I question is why they would have five USB ports. Especially since they have reduced the ventilation by about 30% or more and had to move some ports up to the top, there would have to be a good reason to take up all that space with five USB ports, and I can't think of one at the moment.



    Edit: I'm leaning towards real now based on info in this thread. Still terrifically boring and terribly disappointing if true.
  • Reply 11 of 221
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Enigmafan420 View Post


    And to the previous poster-you seem awfully sure of yourself with your comments. Do you have inside info?



    I seriously doubt the internal power supply (too large) and why would it be hard to design a motherboard with 5 UBS ports in a row? The board is likely going to need to be redesigned anyway to accommodate the new Nvida chipset.



    The Apple TV is smaller than the Mac Mini and has one, why shouldn't the Mini? If apple went through the effort of putting one in the apple TV they obviously think it's worth doing.



    It's not that 5 USB ports would be hard to do, it's just that apple wont do it, there's plenty of room on an iMac or Mac Pro to put more USB ports, but they don't do it.
  • Reply 12 of 221
    kasperkasper Posts: 941member, administrator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Thinine View Post


    Seems fake. Why would Apple leave a miniDVI port on there when they added mini-DisplayPort? And FW800 on the Mini? Why? Plus the design is too similar to the existing mini. After this long you'd think they'd revise it at least a little bit.



    Because the Mac mini is sold as "bring your own keyboard, mouse and monitor" It's aimed at PC users. Apple just invented Mini DisplayPort. There is only one monitor on the market with Mini DisplayPort.



    K
  • Reply 13 of 221
    I also highly doubt that FW800 will be on the Mac Mini if they include it at all. On the other hand, they did stick with FW800 for the MBP and maybe they actually listened to complaints about the lack of it on the MB. Still, I doubt it since they seem to be going away from FW.



    I also really doubt that they will put both DisplayPort and DVI on the mini. That would be way too nice of Apple to provide backward compatibility when they could sell lots of DisplayPort adapters.
  • Reply 14 of 221
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fezzasus View Post


    The Apple TV is smaller than the Mac Mini and has one, why shouldn't the Mini? If apple went through the effort of putting one in the apple TV they obviously think it's worth doing.



    It's not that 5 USB ports would be hard to do, it's just that apple wont do it, there's plenty of room on an iMac or Mac Pro to put more USB ports, but they don't do it.



    Hoping you're wrong-not so that you are wrong, but I feel this is an intriguing design. I have an alum MB and the lack of any firewire is frustrating-they should keep it on the mini.



    And to the poster who asked about 5 USB-I have more than that on my current mini with an attached Newer Tech ministack.
  • Reply 15 of 221
    Given that:

    -the Mini is positioned a low-end consumer grade machine

    -that Apple removed FW400 from the low-end consumer MacBook

    -that Apple is still selling the previous model MacBook with FW400



    I would say it is quite unlikely that Apple would upgrade the Mini from FW400 to FW800.



    I think it would be more likely that Apple might lead the way to USB 3.0 (presuming there is a chipset available), and include a USB 3 port (and either have all USB 3 ports, which are backwards compatible with USB 2 or have several other USB 2 ports, depending on cost & chipset capabilities).
  • Reply 16 of 221
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kasper View Post


    Because the Mac mini is sold as "bring your own keyboard, mouse and monitor" It's aimed at PC users. Apple just invented Mini DisplayPort. There is only one monitor on the market with Mini DisplayPort.



    K



    The Mini DisplayPort is an open standard, there are already adaptors being made for it by third parties, unlike the previous port which was apple only.
  • Reply 17 of 221
    But they sell a mini-displayport to DVI adapter: there's no need for mini DVI.



    I could understand if they put a full-size DVI port on the mini, to cater for people's old monitors without the need for adapters. But customers who buy it for use with a DVI monitor will need a mini-DVI to DVI adapter ANYWAY, so why the hell not just put mini-DP on there and be done with it?



    Makes no sense. I call fake.
  • Reply 18 of 221
    Quote:

    2. Firewire 800 seems to be in the realms of pro only, i doubt the cheapest computer apple sell will have it.



    This is more or less in keeping with what they've done to the MacBook and MBP lines, though. Apple seems to want to dump FW400 -- if they keep FW at all -- assuming for some reason that everybody has an adapter. So I guess they figure if they're going to include FireWire anyway (and previous Mac minis did have it), it might as well be 800. I am actually surprised they included it at all, though, much less a record 5 USB ports and two display options. Maybe they actually want to sell some of these things now?
  • Reply 19 of 221
    uniuni Posts: 12member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fezzasus View Post


    doubtful.





    2. Firewire 800 seems to be in the realms of pro only, i doubt the cheapest computer apple sell will have it.



    Is that why FireWire is on the cheapest MacBook they sell?





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fezzasus View Post


    3. No other mac has that many usb ports - the reason is if you want that many devices you wont mind having another (a usb hub)



    Not true. The Mac Pro has 5 USB ports - 2 in front and 3 in back.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fezzasus View Post


    4. The Apple TV has integrated power, i expect the mini to offer something similar.



    As long as it's the "mini," it's going to be the smallest device Apple can make. I see no reason for them to integrate the power supply, but that is pure conjecture. I could be wrong.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fezzasus View Post


    5. This update seems relatively minor, the time since the previous update suggests a bigger change



    What do you expect, FireWire 3200? USB 3.0? It has Mini DisplayPort. That's good enough for them. They're probably thrilled they got that huge DVI port off of there.





    edit:

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cbw87 View Post


    But they sell a mini-displayport to DVI adapter: there's no need for mini DVI.



    I could understand if they put a full-size DVI port on the mini, to cater for people's old monitors without the need for adapters. But customers who buy it for use with a DVI monitor will need a mini-DVI to DVI adapter ANYWAY, so why the hell not just put mini-DP on there and be done with it?



    Makes no sense. I call fake.



    Maybe they will let you use two monitors at once with this new mini.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by whatisgoingon View Post


    Given that:

    -the Mini is positioned a low-end consumer grade machine

    -that Apple removed FW400 from the low-end consumer MacBook

    -that Apple is still selling the previous model MacBook with FW400



    I would say it is quite unlikely that Apple would upgrade the Mini from FW400 to FW800.



    I think it would be more likely that Apple might lead the way to USB 3.0 (presuming there is a chipset available), and include a USB 3 port (and either have all USB 3 ports, which are backwards compatible with USB 2 or have several other USB 2 ports, depending on cost & chipset capabilities).



    I think it makes sense for them to put a 800 port on there, because it is turned into a FW 400 port with a simple cable.
  • Reply 20 of 221
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Thinine View Post


    Seems fake. Why would Apple leave a miniDVI port on there when they added mini-DisplayPort? And FW800 on the Mini? Why? Plus the design is too similar to the existing mini. After this long you'd think they'd revise it at least a little bit.



    I agree.

    But iirc, original rumours on the new MBP and MacBooks had 2 ports also.



    I guess the question would be whether having 2 video ports is cheaper than just the DisplayPort bundled with an adapter? Still it's unlike Apple not to break with the old, I even expect the next AppleTV to have Mini DisplayPort with an HDMI adapter.



    Regarding power: I think external power is much better only due to the heat of the power source. External allows the computer to run cooler, they have the power bricks looking pretty good.



    Regarding FW800: It probably doesn't cost Apple more or less for FW800 than FW400. For the people putting Mac Minis into racks for server farms FW800 will be helpful.
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