The Great (mini) Debate

2

Comments

  • Reply 21 of 44
    aegisdesignaegisdesign Posts: 2,914member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tubgirl View Post


    there - you said it!

    apple offer two TV devices, but no screen-less desktop for less than $2000...



    maybe apple should make the mini a bit more fitting for desktop use, rather than cabinet use.



    It's perfectly fine for desktop use. The only people that worry about the GPU are gamer nerds and they should really go off and buy a console.



    Do people gripe on about how lame the Macbook is? NO. Think of it as a Macbook in desktop form and you're closer to it's intended audience. Sure, it's slightly behind the Macbook in updates, but not that it'd actually matter to most of the people that it's intended for.
  • Reply 22 of 44
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,839member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post


    It's perfectly fine for desktop use. The only people that worry about the GPU are gamer nerds and they should really go off and buy a console.



    Do people gripe on about how lame the Macbook is? NO. Think of it as a Macbook in desktop form and you're closer to it's intended audience. Sure, it's slightly behind the Macbook in updates, but not that it'd actually matter to most of the people that it's intended for.



    The only thing that bugs me about the Mini's graphics is the inability to drive the 30" monitor.

    I don't care if the card is soldered in, because I'm not a "gamer nerd" (cool term, btw.)



    You're absolutely right about the MacBook comparison with one exception.

    The MacBook form factor allows the user to easily access its Hard Drive and RAM.
  • Reply 23 of 44
    guinnessguinness Posts: 473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post


    It's perfectly fine for desktop use. The only people that worry about the GPU are gamer nerds and they should really go off and buy a console.



    Do people gripe on about how lame the Macbook is? NO. Think of it as a Macbook in desktop form and you're closer to it's intended audience. Sure, it's slightly behind the Macbook in updates, but not that it'd actually matter to most of the people that it's intended for.



    The 950 is barely adequate to run something like Aperture, as as Apple's only headless Mac under $2000, that is a problem, and with Apple adding more desktop acceleration to 10.6, the 950 is sounding worse and worse, heck even now, it can't switch between Spaces without lagging problems.



    It's old, out of date, and needs to go. It's just Apple being cheap, and pushing users towards the iMac and above.
  • Reply 24 of 44
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,878moderator
    Even if they made the Mini capable of using external graphics solutions with Express Card:



    http://www.asus.com/news_show.aspx?id=5369

    http://www.engadget.com/2007/01/08/h...-external-gpu/



    It means an extra power cable but nearly 10 times graphics performance increase is worth it. I think an Express Card slot would open up a lot of possibilities. There are quite a few devices using Express Card to extend the features on a machine:



    http://www.expresscard.org/web/site/cons_wtb.jsp



    Firewire 800, eSATA, TV tuners, even a PCI box



    http://www.magma.com/products/pci/1PCI/index.html



    Apple could have approved/supported devices that work with it and it gives people the choice to have the Mini behave how they want without compromising the device form factor.



    Give gamers and 3D artists a GPU device. Give audio enthusiasts good sound cards, video enthusiasts capture boards - maybe all these could be covered simply with the external PCI box. Of course a single internal PCI slot would do the trick but it would change the Mini form factor quite a bit.



    I think it would be great if they even made the Mini a plug-in component to a larger device. Someone posted a link to this in another thread:



    http://www.drobo.com/products_demo.html



    Imagine if the Mini was just a slot-in module instead of the two top drives. This allows a RAID setup without the extra cables. Maybe a GPU could be inside the external enclosure. It still means the Mini is small and people don't have to get the extra add-ons but it allows people to get them if they'd like.
  • Reply 25 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    Imagine if the Mini was just a slot-in module instead of the two top drives. This allows a RAID setup without the extra cables. Maybe a GPU could be inside the external enclosure. It still means the Mini is small and people don't have to get the extra add-ons but it allows people to get them if they'd like.



    LOL ... sorry, I was just imagining that.

    It might appeal to a few, but not enough for Apple to go to the expense of developing and marketing such a thing.
  • Reply 26 of 44
    they can put in a low end video chip with it's own ram like the apple tv has.
  • Reply 27 of 44
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,839member
    Actually, an ExpressCard slot is a great idea for the Mini.
  • Reply 28 of 44
    hudson1hudson1 Posts: 800member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post


    It's perfectly fine for desktop use. The only people that worry about the GPU are gamer nerds and they should really go off and buy a console.



    Do people gripe on about how lame the Macbook is? NO. Think of it as a Macbook in desktop form and you're closer to it's intended audience. Sure, it's slightly behind the Macbook in updates, but not that it'd actually matter to most of the people that it's intended for.



    It's hard to think of a single reason why the mini wouldn't have essentially the same innards as a MacBook. Say what you will about the hard disk drive size but there's no good reason at all for why the mini can't even sport the same onboard Intel graphics as the MacBook.
  • Reply 29 of 44
    sybariticsybaritic Posts: 340member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hudson1 View Post


    It's hard to think of a single reason why the mini wouldn't have essentially the same innards as a MacBook. Say what you will about the hard disk drive size but there's no good reason at all for why the mini can't even sport the same onboard Intel graphics as the MacBook.



    Any predictions on when the mini will get a refresh?



    Let's assume that the MBP comes in late July or early August. The mini languishes behind the Macbook, which will likely not be refreshed until after the school buying season is over. I'm predicting a mid-fall mini update.



    I hope I'm wrong. We need an update now.
  • Reply 30 of 44
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,878moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sybaritic View Post


    Any predictions on when the mini will get a refresh?



    Let's assume that the MBP comes in late July or early August. The mini languishes behind the Macbook, which will likely not be refreshed until after the school buying season is over. I'm predicting a mid-fall mini update.



    I hope I'm wrong. We need an update now.



    July 14th. Montevina was delayed from early June and a Mini update is way overdue (as updates tend to be with Apple). If Montevina hadn't been delayed, I reckon we'd have seen an update by now:



    http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/37644/122/



    An update simply couldn't arrive earlier than 3-4 weeks but hopefully not longer than that.



    Of course, we must remember the precious iphone 3G comes out then too so you never know. We all know what's more important to Apple these days.
  • Reply 31 of 44
    sybariticsybaritic Posts: 340member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    July 14th.



    I like the sound of that.
  • Reply 32 of 44
    jasonfjjasonfj Posts: 558member
    That's 11 months since the last update, so I hope you're right. A bit of a price drop would be nice too.
  • Reply 33 of 44
    kenaustuskenaustus Posts: 916member
    I think the mini is the computer that Apple updates when it gets around to it.



    The original mini was to allow PC users to give the Mac a try without investing in new keyboards, mice or displays. It came at a time when the iPod was developing the "halo effect".



    Now the iPhone 2.0 is about to explode on the scene and a more powerful mini would be well timed to motivate iPhone/PC users to give them to give a Mac a try with a new mini that has current features.



    The only question then is where do these people that gave a Mac a try and want to move up a bit while keeping their investments in displays? But then this isn't the time to talk about an xMac.
  • Reply 34 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kenaustus View Post


    I think the mini is the computer that Apple updates when it gets around to it.



    The original mini was to allow PC users to give the Mac a try without investing in new keyboards, mice or displays. It came at a time when the iPod was developing the "halo effect".



    Now the iPhone 2.0 is about to explode on the scene and a more powerful mini would be well timed to motivate iPhone/PC users to give them to give a Mac a try with a new mini that has current features.



    The only question then is where do these people that gave a Mac a try and want to move up a bit while keeping their investments in displays? But then this isn't the time to talk about an xMac.



    The old mini cost $100 less and it had a real video card built in. They even mocked intel on board video. Now they have a intel video chip that has list of games that it does not work with. Not even that both ATI and NVIDIA have much better on board video as well.



    Also no dvd/rw in the base system is a joke now days.
  • Reply 35 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by guinness View Post


    The 950 is barely adequate to run something like Aperture, as as Apple's only headless Mac under $2000, that is a problem, and with Apple adding more desktop acceleration to 10.6, the 950 is sounding worse and worse, heck even now, it can't switch between Spaces without lagging problems.



    It's old, out of date, and needs to go. It's just Apple being cheap, and pushing users towards the iMac and above.



    what?



    how would i notice these lagging issues ? currently folding at home(fairly heavy load?) on my 1.66 core(non2) duo and spaces responds just fine.
  • Reply 36 of 44
    hudson1hudson1 Posts: 800member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Joe_the_dragon View Post


    The old mini cost $100 less and it had a real video card built in. They even mocked intel on board video. Now they have a intel video chip that has list of games that it does not work with. Not even that both ATI and NVIDIA have much better on board video as well.



    Also no dvd/rw in the base system is a joke now days.



    I have an old mini (G4) and despite what the specifications read it doesn't have a "real" video card. The video performance from its 32MB card is actually worse than from the onboard Intel graphics on a three year old Dell laptop I have laying around.



    I actually care less about the DVD-R/RW capability. I find that I hardly ever use it.
  • Reply 37 of 44
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,878moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hudson1 View Post


    I have an old mini (G4) and despite what the specifications read it doesn't have a "real" video card. The video performance from its 32MB card is actually worse than from the onboard Intel graphics on a three year old Dell laptop I have laying around.



    It's less compatible though. For example, Motion actually runs on an old powerbook but doesn't on a Mini. Whether or not it may be faster than older dedicated cards in older machines, a low end dedicated card in a new machine is still much faster than integrated graphics. The one that comes with Montevina should be a big help though and should be as much as 6 times faster than the GMA 950 bringing it on par with low-end dedicated chips.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hudson1 View Post


    I actually care less about the DVD-R/RW capability. I find that I hardly ever use it.



    I never use mine as I prefer a tray-loading external. If Apple somehow made it so that you either get a GPU or an optical drive, I'd go for the GPU.
  • Reply 38 of 44
    guinnessguinness Posts: 473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Walter Slocombe View Post


    what?



    how would i notice these lagging issues ? currently folding at home(fairly heavy load?) on my 1.66 core(non2) duo and spaces responds just fine.



    If I use Control+1-4 to switch Spaces, its fine, but if hit the Spaces shortcut (F8), It's not the smoothest transition.



    I've noticed sluggishness too, with magnifying large Dock icons, when compared to an older G5 iMac, with a Nvidia FX5200. My Mini is a bit slow, the iMac is fine. My Mini is the 1.83 GHz C2D variety BTW.



    It's not the worst thing in the world; it's serviceable, but long overdue for an update, especially with things moving towards HD video. An GMA x3100 or x4500 could do all the video playback in hardware, and the system would be faster overall. You couldn't play new games on them (that's what a PC or consoles are for), but they would still be better than the 950, but I wouldn't mind playing Age of Empires III with better effects either.



    Additionally, IIRC, the current Mini has topped out, in terms of what can be added as far as a CPU update, due to the slower 667 MHz FSB or because the socket type. It would the perfect platform to utilize the cooler, lower power 45nm parts IMO.
  • Reply 39 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by guinness View Post


    If I use Control+1-4 to switch Spaces, its fine, but if hit the Spaces shortcut (F8), It's not the smoothest transition.



    I've noticed sluggishness too, with magnifying large Dock icons, when compared to an older G5 iMac, with a Nvidia FX5200. My Mini is a bit slow, the iMac is fine. My Mini is the 1.83 GHz C2D variety BTW.



    It's not the worst thing in the world; it's serviceable, but long overdue for an update, especially with things moving towards HD video. An GMA x3100 or x4500 could do all the video playback in hardware, and the system would be faster overall. You couldn't play new games on them (that's what a PC or consoles are for), but they would still be better than the 950, but I wouldn't mind playing Age of Empires III with better effects either.



    Additionally, IIRC, the current Mini has topped out, in terms of what can be added as far as a CPU update, due to the slower 667 MHz FSB or because the socket type. It would the perfect platform to utilize the cooler, lower power 45nm parts IMO.



    using the new apple keyboard so F8 is play/pause.



    on the old apple keyboard on my other mini, ill give you a very slight judder, that disappears once you toggle back and forth between spaces overview screen and the desktop.



    I agree completely the mini is in need of an overhall, and I'd be fairly close to the front once they are released I've had the G4 and now two intel ones. a brilliant little Mac IMO and even better given that there isnt an xMac.. but we wont start that!



    I personally think that cooler chips plus faster HDD (7200) would and SHOULD be the way to go, the mini needs some love.
  • Reply 40 of 44
    sybariticsybaritic Posts: 340member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Walter Slocombe View Post


    I personally think that cooler chips plus faster HDD (7200) would and SHOULD be the way to go, the mini needs some love.



    Well said.
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