Apple readying significant Mac mini update

1356789

Comments

  • Reply 41 of 174
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,285member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by PB

    That's exactly my point. Is it so difficult to understand? Any developer may disable some features of his software on a machine like the mini, since the 9200 is not programmable and the said feature may not work "good enough". I never said it will not work at all. I know very well that it can be made to work, just not in real-time, but it is up to the developer to decide if he will leave the feature on or if he will turn it off when a non-programmable GPU is in there. Apple already disabled something. Others may too.



    The question really, is WHAT may be disabled. If it's only silly effects, then big deal. If it's something that will constitute a really useful feature, that's different. If it's a feature tyhat will work only on a higher end machine, then it most likely isn't for someone who doesn't have that level of machine anyway. Anything really important will, no doubt, be available on every machine.



    So far I haven't seen any evidence of that happening.



    MS is doing the same thing with VISTA. The experience will vary depending on the cpu, gpu, and memory, both RAM and video.



    I think that this is the way of the future. We will see graduated abilities depending on the power of the machine being used.



    Also, a weak programmable gpu might be worse than doing the same effects in Altivec, esp. if there isn't enough video RAM to support it at a high resolution.
  • Reply 42 of 174
    pbpb Posts: 4,242member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by melgross

    If it's something that will constitute a really useful feature, that's different.





    That's what worries me.



    Quote:



    If it's a feature tyhat will work only on a higher end machine, then it most likely isn't for someone who doesn't have that level of machine anyway.





    No, I am not talking about that. Of course there is software that requires powerful machines, programmable (and powerful) GPUs etc. And you cannot expect a computer like the Mac mini to be able to run such software like a Power Mac.



    Quote:



    Anything really important will, no doubt, be available on every machine.





    I hope so.



    Quote:



    MS is doing the same thing with VISTA. The experience will vary depending on the cpu, gpu, and memory, both RAM and video.



    I think that this is the way of the future. We will see graduated abilities depending on the power of the machine being used.





    Although this appears to be the case, I have little faith to Apple playing fair game. Do you remember the case of OS X on Wallstreet Powerbooks a few years ago, right?
  • Reply 43 of 174
    Quote:

    Originally posted by melgross

    My lord, such complications over such a simple story.



    Apple does what they can. You might as well be complaining because they didn't go to the 1.7GHz chip.



    Miniaturizing something always makes its cost higher. As no one here knows Apple's cost, no one can say what Apple should have put into the machine.



    You can say what you wish Apple had put into the machine.



    It's fine to say that the 9550 is "dirt cheap", but you don't know what Apple has to allow for the cost of the GPU. Every penny of the cost of a part in a machine adds twice that to the finished product.



    Also think about what it would require for Apple to replace a GPU. It's not a swap. It requires a mobo redesign because the parts are not pin compatible. Neither are the signals going to them.



    At this late stage in the Mini's development the question is whether it pays for Apple to redesign the computer. I don't think so. Apple would have to have a very good reason to do that.



    Would any potential sales increases from doing so make up for the expense of the redesign and the retooling of the factory lines making the product? Would this cost Apple more than it would earn them? With the Intel designs taking up more of their time and staff, does it pay to remove them from future product development that is Apple's future to redesign a machine that is selling well, but not spectacularly? Would most consumers of this machine care or even know or understand the difference?



    The answer is probably no on most counts.



    This is a nice upgrade with no increase in pricing. Take it for what it is.



    It has nothing to do with PB's either. Don't bother mentioning them here. It's a totally different subject, and Apple is surely doing all they can in that area.




    I would say, it is worth the extra effort. Macmini's supposed to serve a roll as a fishing bait for the new comers and it would definately make a better impression to make full OS feature capable macmini, even it's an entry level mac. Eye candy can go far with consumers. The CPU may be slow, but if and desktop movement and resizing folders is snappier with accelerated Q2DE, then consumers will think it's faster.... just like on a Wintel machine. For many consumers, if it looks faster then it is faster. Also, think of all other eye candy featured with Tiger. That alone made me upgrade to Tiger from Panther.
  • Reply 44 of 174
    Quote:

    Originally posted by 1984

    No, that makes far too much sense.



    Do you guys not understand that no matter how much R&D they put into new models, if Motorola or IBM isn't supplying newer/faster/better chips, Apple is kind of stuck? And since Apple is not buying the quantity of processors that a company like Dell buys, Motorola and IBM don't have as much impetus to find a solution for Apple for the performance wall they've hit. AND, with IBM at least, these are not standard IBM CPUs Apple wants. They are specialized versions from the POWER family of CPUs. IBM is going to have limits on the cash they throw at R&D for Apple-only CPUs.



    Given that Intel currently refuses to favor any of their customers when releasing CPUs, Apple may no longer have the upper hand with unique processors and architecture. It's now going to be a race between the PC makers to be the first to market with a product based on a new Intel CPU. [edit: Ok, it has always been this way, but now Apple will be involved, and it's something to which they aren't accustomed.] The only way Apple could avoid this and still move forward without more significant architecture changes would have been to bring processor R&D in-house, but apparently that's cost-prohibitive.



    If you look at the minimal specification enhancements that have been the norm for all of the lines over the past 2 years, I think it's pretty obvious that better/faster PPC CPUs are not flowing into Cupertino. It seems like much of the time, even if Motorola/IBM announces an improved CPU, they fail to be able to mass-produce it. I really don't think the slow, boring refreshes are Apple's fault.



    I'm an X-Files fan, so I'm still hoping for a big conspiracy: the switch to Intel is a ruse conjured up by Apple, IBM, and maybe even Motorola, to catch both Microsoft and Intel off-guard. Apple convinces Intel to show them favoritism (if anyone can, Steve can), weakening Intel's relationship with all of it's other customers, gets lots of people that previously ignored them to use their Xcode tools to create OS X apps, bringing a lot more software to the platform, then IBM announces major new PPC chips for Apple, and Apple goes forward with IBM PPC. Now, this could happen over the course of 3 to 5 years, and there will be Intel Macs, because there must be in order to get more developers to try Apple's development tools. OSx86 piracy is part of the plan. The piracy will only last so long, because they will stop updating it after a sufficient number of users and developers have gotten onboard with OS X. I know... I sound like I'm smoking crack.
  • Reply 45 of 174
    Quote:

    Originally posted by gugy

    No we are not unrealistic. Of course if the chips are not ready no new upgrades. but what about price drops? if will take forever to update the current line up then that would be a trade off for the consumers. What annoys me is the fact the line up needs a makeover so badly and Apple hasn't drop their prices because they can't update for whatever reason. Apple's posture on the situation is what's bad. Their silence is bad. Lack of action is bad. So if we are not going to see anything soon, I would expect at least price drops or more RAM or HD capacity of the current models.



    Actually, you are pretty unrealistic. Apple has a Fiduciary Responsibility (look it up if you don't know what it means) to it's shareholders. If they drop the prices on PowerMacs and Powerbooks, it damages the bottom line. You should expect that they know what they're doing. These are their most important and lucrative computer lines. Apparently, despite your disappointment, they are still selling significantly well. Enough so that lowering prices significantly would hurt more than help, and if they drop the prices it's an admission that the products aren't good enough anymore, which could hurt sales even more. I'd bet they are doing the right thing. It's just unfortunate that so many rumor-readers think they could run things better.



    Oh, and about upgrading other hardware specs on the PMs and PBs... when Apple makes a minor update to the CPU speed, and increases other specs instead, there is no end to the bitching and moaning that is heard about how uninteresting the refresh was, and how Apple has failed miserably. Someone is going to be unhappy either way.
  • Reply 46 of 174
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,285member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by bitemymac

    I would say, it is worth the extra effort. Macmini's supposed to serve a roll as a fishing bait for the new comers and it would definately make a better impression to make full OS feature capable macmini, even it's an entry level mac. Eye candy can go far with consumers. The CPU may be slow, but if and desktop movement and resizing folders is snappier with accelerated Q2DE, then consumers will think it's faster.... just like on a Wintel machine. For many consumers, if it looks faster then it is faster. Also, think of all other eye candy featured with Tiger. That alone made me upgrade to Tiger from Panther.



    The problem we have here on these boards is to many "I"'s. Yes, agreed, YOU think it's worth it. Do YOU know what the situation is at Apple? Do YOU know their costs? Do YOU know what their projected sales are?



    If the eye candy alone made you upgrade from Panther, then it's good that Apple has customers like you.



    Most low end Windows users have machines that are years old. They can't do what the Mini can do now. These people will be the switcher on the low end. Apple knows that very well. It's a market segment they are looking to catch. XP Home, which most of those PC users are on now, isn't very exciting. Neither is the graphics capability the 256Mb of shared RAM their built-in Intel video chip sucks from. Their Celeron chip is nothing to write home about either. Their machines usually only come with combo drives, and often, when on sale, a 90 day warrantee. They often have one to three slots, but they are never used.



    PC users who are interested in a higher end solution are buying iMacs in droves.
  • Reply 47 of 174
    gugygugy Posts: 794member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by macbear01

    Actually, you are pretty unrealistic. Apple has a Fiduciary Responsibility (look it up if you don't know what it means) to it's shareholders. If they drop the prices on PowerMacs and Powerbooks, it damages the bottom line. You should expect that they know what they're doing. These are their most important and lucrative computer lines. Apparently, despite your disappointment, they are still selling significantly well. Enough so that lowering prices significantly would hurt more than help, and if they drop the prices it's an admission that the products aren't good enough anymore, which could hurt sales even more. I'd bet they are doing the right thing. It's just unfortunate that so many rumor-readers think they could run things better.



    Oh, and about upgrading other hardware specs on the PMs and PBs... when Apple makes a minor update to the CPU speed, and increases other specs instead, there is no end to the bitching and moaning that is heard about how uninteresting the refresh was, and how Apple has failed miserably. Someone is going to be unhappy either way.




    You are entitled to your opinion. I don't think I am unrealistic. maybe you are.



    If you look at the current line up. PB and PM you can see that they are outdated. (Maybe you don't think so. Are you blind?) specially the PB that still running G4's. So sales are hurt (please prove otherwise). Apple is running well in the last financial quarters because ipod and consumer (Imac & Mini) computers sales, not PM and PB.

    Apple still selling professional computers, that's true, but not as many as they would like.



    Apple did reduce prices of the PB not long ago (did they upset their shareholders?). So they definitely could do the same on the PM front.



    For me, Apple is stuck because of chips suppliers (IBM and MOTO). Their next step should drop prices or offer more RAM, HD and possible combine promotions with their cinema displays or whatever. This will increase their sales and make shareholders and consumers satisfied.

    The way things are going in the last months suggest otherwise.



    I agree with you that Apple knows what they are doing, They are smart. So that makes me believe some upgrades are coming soon with PPC. If not then we'll see Intel here very soon.
  • Reply 48 of 174
    Quote:

    Originally posted by PB

    That's exactly my point. Is it so difficult to understand? Any developer may disable some features of his software on a machine like the mini, since the 9200 is not programmable and the said feature may not work "good enough". I never said it will not work at all. I know very well that it can be made to work, just not in real-time, but it is up to the developer to decide if he will leave the feature on or if he will turn it off when a non-programmable GPU is in there. Apple already disabled something. Others may too.



    That's a very silly point you're trying to make...you're telling us Apple, and other software developers, should always support the entire lineup by not adding features that might be unavailable to the lower-end of the lineup. With this mentality, we would have only seen Altivec-enabled apps 2 years ago and we'd have yet to see Motion and other apps that makes use of CI technology...just because.
  • Reply 49 of 174
    pbpb Posts: 4,242member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by kim kap sol

    That's a very silly point you're trying to make...you're telling us Apple, and other software developers, should always support the entire lineup by not adding features that might be unavailable to the lower-end of the lineup.





    Again no, I am telling that all the machines should have appropriate hardware support for the core OS technologies (and not advanced software that would require a powerful computer). As of now they all do, except the Mac mini which by the way has (perhaps more than) appropriate support for everything else than CI.
  • Reply 50 of 174
    This will be great. Mac Mini will have dual-layer Superdrive, but Powerbook doesn't.
  • Reply 51 of 174
    Quote:

    Originally posted by melgross

    Also think about what it would require for Apple to replace a GPU. It's not a swap. It requires a mobo redesign because the parts are not pin compatible. Neither are the signals going to them.



    At this late stage in the Mini's development the question is whether it pays for Apple to redesign the computer. I don't think so. Apple would have to have a very good reason to do that.




    Unfortunately THAT is problem number one. I would think there would have been a better upgrade pathway for the cpu and gpu than this. I understand that it isn't easy or the other two dozen pc companies would have done this, but it seems that it IS possible for advances in hardware to be more scaleable than we are seeing with the Mini.



    As for price drops, it would be hard for Apple to go back to real prices if people had access to Macs for less than $400 for very long.



    My assumption is that for a Mac Mini with Leopard to be worth more than a Dell "mini" with Vista, it is going to have to have a good enough gpu to show off CoreEverything at a reasonable price. Also even though the cpu speed is all of a sudden hardly worth talking about, there has to be better FreeScale stuff sitting in boxes gathering dust than what we have seen offered. The Mini maybe waiting for Intel's super low wattage boards, but by now there should be a good enough dual core something that is running cool and doesn't cost more than the 1.3 gig did last year!
  • Reply 52 of 174
    Quote:

    Originally posted by PB

    Again no, I am telling that all the machines should have appropriate hardware support for the core OS technologies (and not advanced software that would require a powerful computer). As of now they all do, except the Mac mini which by the way has (perhaps more than) appropriate support for everything else than CI.



    I suppose the Mac Mini should also have a G5 in it too?
  • Reply 53 of 174
    Looks like someone got one already,

    www.tuaw.com
  • Reply 54 of 174
    Quote:

    Originally posted by gugy

    If you look at the current line up. PB and PM you can see that they are outdated. (Maybe you don't think so. Are you blind?) specially the PB that still running G4's. So sales are hurt (please prove otherwise). Apple is running well in the last financial quarters because ipod and consumer (Imac & Mini) computers sales, not PM and PB.



    Actually, yes, I am blind. Thank Apple for Universal Access:VoiceOver. Absolutely the PB and PM lines are behind what they should be, but the machines themselves are still very good performers. You seem to be missing my point... I think they do know what they are doing. Apple will lower prices on the PMs if/when it is prudent to do so. They know much better than you or I if now is an appropriate time to lower prices. That doesn't mean they can't or won't screw up an opportunity, but they are much better equipped with information to make the decision than we are.



    Quote:

    Originally posted by gugy

    Apple still selling professional computers, that's true, but not as many as they would like.



    When is any company ever selling as much of any of their products as they'd like, unavailable supply notwithstanding?



    Quote:

    Originally posted by gugy

    Apple did reduce prices of the PB not long ago (did they upset their shareholders?). So they definitely could do the same on the PM front.



    Having done so only means that the timing was right for lowering PB prices. It doesn't mean or guarantee that the same holds true for the PM line. I don't remember when they lowered PB prices, but if it really wasn't long ago, it probably would look really bad to do it again before a refresh.



    At least we agree on a few things. And I'm not really blind. It just seemed like a good SITCOM opportunity.
  • Reply 55 of 174
    Wow, I can't believe all of the complaining about this. I used to run Mac OS X 10.4.2 on a 1.25ghz single processor PowerMac G4 MDD that had a Radeon 9000 with 64MB of VRAM. Not once did I ever feel that I was missing something because my video card was not Core Image compatable.



    I think the VRAM upgrade is more important to the Mini than Core Image compatability is, as the Mini is being attached to large displays (32MB of VRAM on an iBook is reasonable because it only supports a 1024x768 screen).



    As for the angst about other Apple upgrades, I think this shows why Apple is switching to Intel. Just look at how some of you are blaming Apple for problems which they have little control over (except price).
  • Reply 56 of 174
    gugygugy Posts: 794member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by macbear01

    Actually, yes, I am blind. Thank Apple for Universal Access:VoiceOver. Absolutely the PB and PM lines are behind what they should be, but the machines themselves are still very good performers. You seem to be missing my point... I think they do know what they are doing. Apple will lower prices on the PMs if/when it is prudent to do so. They know much better than you or I if now is an appropriate time to lower prices. That doesn't mean they can't or won't screw up an opportunity, but they are much better equipped with information to make the decision than we are.





    When is any company ever selling as much of any of their products as they'd like, unavailable supply notwithstanding?





    Having done so only means that the timing was right for lowering PB prices. It doesn't mean or guarantee that the same holds true for the PM line. I don't remember when they lowered PB prices, but if it really wasn't long ago, it probably would look really bad to do it again before a refresh.



    At least we agree on a few things. And I'm not really blind. It just seemed like a good SITCOM opportunity.




    I am not going to repeat what i have been posting. So, I recommend you read it again. You might finally come to a conclusion that what I said was not so "unrealistic".

    You seemed to have finally change your mind since your previous posts.

    So maybe now you are starting to see it better again and you might not be so blind after all.

  • Reply 57 of 174
    ThinkSecret has just stated that updated Mac minis are "arriving":

    http://www.thinksecret.com/news/0509macmini2.html
  • Reply 58 of 174
    19841984 Posts: 955member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by macbear01

    Do you guys not understand that no matter how much R&D they put into new models, if Motorola or IBM isn't supplying newer/faster/better chips, Apple is kind of stuck?



    No, because there are plenty of other things that can be upgraded aside from the CPU. In fact, when faster CPU supplies are lacking that is the best time to do so. Take a look at how poorly the PowerBook competes now. Sure the CPU speed is a problem but they could be doing other things to make it viable. Instead, Apple constantly holds back on the latest tech. For example, Matshita has had a slot-loading Superdrive with support for all formats since the beginning of the year. Has Apple used it? No. This sort of thing has been going on for ages.
  • Reply 59 of 174
    Quote:

    Originally posted by 1984

    No, because there are plenty of other things that can be upgraded aside from the CPU. In fact, when faster CPU supplies are lacking that is the best time to do so. Take a look at how poorly the PowerBook competes now. Sure the CPU speed is a problem but they could be doing other things to make it viable. Instead, Apple constantly holds back on the latest tech. For example, Matshita has had a slot-loading Superdrive with support for all formats since the beginning of the year. Has Apple used it? No. This sort of thing has been going on for ages.



    However, due to the way Apple upgrades products (everything at once, infrequently) it makes little sense for them to just change one thing like the optical drive. When the Mac mini was refreshed with 512Mb ram standard nothing about it needed to change except the stick of ram they stuck in it at final assembly. Chnaging an optical drive in a laptop requires a change further back in the production line.

    I wonder if the move to Intel may force Apple to make their products more user-configurable at purchase time? BTO options are pretty slim in current Mac's.
  • Reply 60 of 174
    idaveidave Posts: 1,283member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Agent69

    I think the VRAM upgrade is more important to the Mini than Core Image compatability is, as the Mini is being attached to large displays (32MB of VRAM on an iBook is reasonable because it only supports a 1024x768 screen).



    Ditto. I'm going to buy one for that reason alone. Off to eBay goes my rev. A mini.
Sign In or Register to comment.