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minimacdude
Mar 6, 2007, 08:52 AM
I'd like to switch from XP to a Mac. I have two 20" monitors so getting an iMac is out of the question since I don't need or want a dedicated, build-in monitor. But I also don't want to shell out nearly $2,500 for the Mac Pro.

Any rumors of a slightly upgraded Mac Mini with these two enhancements over the current Mac Minis?


7200rpm HD
Dual-Head capability
dedicated video (not shared with RAM)


It seems Apple isn't recognizing there is a 'prosumer' market for those wanting something above the current $800 top-of-the-line Mac Mini and $2,500 Pro machines. That's a $1,700 gap between these two product lines that is being completely missed by Apple (heck, I could buy a Shuttle XPC for the difference between those two price points). But, I would much prefer a Mac and am hoping someone has heard rumors of Apple providing an upgraded Mini with the above specs.

Cheers

Steve



mattscott306
Mar 6, 2007, 08:55 AM
Umm... there is an update to the line coming soon, as far as some of the functionality you mentioned, I'm not 100%. You'll probably get the HD speed, and maybe the vRAM, but as far as dual monitors, I doubt it.

roland.g
Mar 6, 2007, 09:41 AM
I'd like to switch from XP to a Mac. I have two 20" monitors so getting an iMac is out of the question since I don't need or want a dedicated, build-in monitor. But I also don't want to shell out nearly $2,500 for the Mac Pro.

Any rumors of a slightly upgraded Mac Mini with these two enhancements over the current Mac Minis?


7200rpm HD
Dual-Head capability
dedicated video (not shared with RAM)


It seems Apple isn't recognizing there is a 'prosumer' market for those wanting something above the current $800 top-of-the-line Mac Mini and $2,500 Pro machines. That's a $1,700 gap between these two product lines that is being completely missed by Apple (heck, I could buy a Shuttle XPC for the difference between those two price points). But, I would much prefer a Mac and am hoping someone has heard rumors of Apple providing an upgraded Mini with the above specs.

Cheers

Steve

The HDD is a tricky one, you can easily buy a Mini and put a 7200 in it, why they don't actually offer it like they do the notebooks, I don't know, but you need to realize it is a 2.5" drive and without a change in form factor, you won't see the 7200 standard.

Dual Head I assume you mean dual displays, and that again is a tricky one. Not off shared video. So that leads to the last point. Dedicated graphics. I don't see Apple offering a sub-$1000 machine with dedicated graphics. True the G4 Mini offered it, but the Intel chipset used in the Mini will evolve within the next 3 months to the X3000, the Santa Rosa GPU. This is quite an improvement over the GMA950. I haven't read anything that indicates that the X3000 will allow for dual displays.

A lot of people are clamoring for a mid-tower, something to fill that gap in the lineup that has dedicated graphics, support for 2 screens, 2 full size hard drive bays, and an extra pci slot. The size and cost of the Mac Pro, especially the RAM make it much less afforadable than the G4 and G5 PowerMacs. Apple stopped offering a single processor model, in this case a single Xeon to give us a low end prosumer machine. The last time they did was the 1.8 or 1.6 G5. The Mini is perfect as it is really, it is designed for a particular market segment, is great as a media hub, though HDMI on its next revision would be a plus, but for the price point and its intent, it's not going to change. The real question is whether Apple will introduce something with iMac specs without a builtin screen. I personally would love that option for two reasons. I want two internal hard drives and I want to hook up to a 23" Apple Cinema Display (not a huge fan of the white of the iMac, whereas I love the silver of the Mac Pro and the displays). Given all that I will probably get a 24" iMac when Leopard is released (hopefully there will at least be a black option) unless they come out with a mid-range product.

minimacdude
Mar 6, 2007, 09:55 AM
Good points all around! I'd be just as happy with a headless iMac (w/out the monitor) as Mini if it supported the options I listed. A whole new mid-range product would also be welcome.

I realize that Apple is trying to maintain a sub-$1000 product line but they're missing the fact that they offer nothing between the $1,000 and $2,500 price range that comes without a built-in monitor (headless). And this is from the company that traditionally targets artists, designers and others who've had two-monitor systems well before the masses. (and these same people, like me, probably prefer two monitors they can select rather than being forced to have one of the monitors be the one that came with the CPU). And now everyone and their brother wants two monitors, even at home but currently this is easier to do on a PC than a Mac. I can combine two Dell 20" monitors and effectively have a huge monitor for only ~$750.

Apple? You guys listening? I really want to leave XP/Vista behind but can't do it if it means a step backward in the hardware config I currently have with my Shuttle XPC, which costs around the $1,200 price point that'd gladly pay to Apple instead (but not another full $1,300 to go to a Pro machine).

-Steve

shu82
Mar 6, 2007, 10:55 AM
The mini so far has been the dumping ground for the old ibook and now macbook parts. So a good rule of thumb for the mini is whenever the macbooks get a bump the mini won't be far behind. It is just using their overstock of components. I really would like a mini pro or something similar. Maybe they could use the components from old MBPs with the dedicated graphics.

solvs
Mar 6, 2007, 11:15 AM
There are lots of threads on this. It's one of those things everybody seems to want, but Apple doesn't provide. I don't know why. If nothing comes out around WWDC in June, we won't be getting it any time soon. For now the cheapest is around $2100 if you drop everything in the BTO model to the lowest config.

You might be able to get a refurb 1st gen Mac Pro when the new ones come out, but they might surprise you with a new one in your price range.

Cave Man
Mar 6, 2007, 11:27 AM
Any rumors of a slightly upgraded Mac Mini with these two enhancements over the current Mac Minis?


7200rpm HD
Dual-Head capability
dedicated video (not shared with RAM)




7200 might be a BTO one day, but I wouldn't hold my breath. Doubt the dual monitor will become an option, either (probably have to lose the name 'mini'). Intel has just upgraded their GMA, but it's still on the logic board. Look for this in upcoming minis as well as macbooks.

iDave
Mar 6, 2007, 11:31 PM
Welcome to the club. I'm sure Apple is well aware of the gap between desktops. The fact is, they want buyers in that price range to buy iMacs. The iMac is an icon; an image for Apple. If it was up to Apple, every Mac would be an iMac. Problem is, they'd lose a lot of customers if they didn't offer headless machines.

I'm all for a mid-range headless Mac or an expanded mini with a few more options. The problem for Apple is, if they offered one, nobody would buy their expensive Mac Pro anymore. I'd bet that 95% of Mac Pro buyers would be well set with a slightly better mini for half as much money. Apple's bottom line would suffer as a result.

All this reasoning doesn't keep me from being peeved over the situation. I'd dump my boat anchor G5 in a second if I could buy an affordable replacement. :mad:

JAT
Mar 7, 2007, 12:10 AM
You could go 20" iMac and sell/store one of the monitors. That keeps your 2 monitor setup since the iMac can drive an external.

emptyCup
Mar 7, 2007, 05:54 AM
You could go 20" iMac and sell/store one of the monitors. That keeps your 2 monitor setup since the iMac can drive an external.

Good advice from JAT. Accept that any attempt to upgrade the mini to what you want will make it cost more than on iMac. Then buy the iMac which comes with a free (FREE!) monitor. Sell one of your 20" displays and your set up will cost even less. Best wishes.

mrgreen4242
Mar 12, 2007, 12:26 PM
I sympathize with the desire for a mid-range headless Mac, mainly because I think the iMac is a poor design. In any canse I'm hopeful that the new mini will be something worth buying (the current machine is rather meh, imo). The X3000, while not a discreet GPU and sharing system RAM, is looking pretty promising. Here's a very new posting regarding some of the current pre-beta driver builds:

http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=109314

I'd be extremely pleased with a 1.83ghz C2D, SuperDrive, X3000 GPU, and 1gb RAM for $700 (even $700 EDU pricing wouldn't be too bad), which is definitely possible in my opinion. The C2D is the same price per chip as the CD, and I think the CD prices have dropped since the mini pricing was set, or at the least will drop by the time updates are actually shipping. The new Santa Rosa platform, which includes the x3000 among other changes, shouldn't be dramatically more expensive than the G965 it's replacing. HDD and SODIMM prices have fallen since the mini was refreshed as well.

My biggest hope for the mini, aside from the X3000 performing as well as I think everyone is hoping, is that they add an eSATA port to it. Not very likely at all, but possible and would make the whole system really much more appealing, for me at least.

smythey
Mar 12, 2007, 12:45 PM
If an update to the mini is coming shortly, is it not a bit optimistic to expect the santa rosa chipset? I think realistically, a bump to C2D as well as some other enhancments (1G RAM standard, bigger HDD, "n" wireless...) is whats going to come.

MB and MBP will get it first, mini (hopefully not too much) later.

MacSA
Mar 12, 2007, 01:07 PM
If an update to the mini is coming shortly

Unfortunately, there's really no hard evidence that new Mac Mini's are coming soon, no convincing rumours at all lately. And when it does come, i'll SCREAM if it still has a damn Combo drive. :eek:

siurpeeman
Mar 12, 2007, 01:32 PM
it was my understanding that gma x3000 was going to include dual display support. that said, i wonder if santa rosa will be included in the next mini update, as an update to the mini is sorely needed. i think smythey is right, c2d's will be in the next update. what else would i like to see? a form factor similar to that of the new airport extreme base station and apple tv.

Ironduke
Mar 12, 2007, 01:37 PM
I dont know why people keep creaming about Core2Duo unless you do very intensive 64bit tasks you will not see much difference in general Mac use

mrgreen4242
Mar 12, 2007, 02:04 PM
I dont know why people keep creaming about Core2Duo unless you do very intensive 64bit tasks you will not see much difference in general Mac use

It's slightly faster at the same clockspeeds for the same price. Why wouldn't people want it?

I've heard it mentioned that Santa Rosa will drop in May. I think that fits pretty well into an updated mini - it'll be WAY overdue by then, but they will be able to offer up a pretty good package. If they do keep the $600/800 prices, I'd hope they go with a 1.83ghz C2D, 512mb RAM, 80gb HDD, x3000, .11n/BT2, CD for $600 and 2.0ghz C2D, 1gb RAM, 100gb HDD, x3000, .11n/BT2, SD for $800. Even my cheap-butt would buy that.

As for not making the SD standard on the mini, well, it sucks, but I figure that it's something "casual" users aren't to concerned about and something important enough to the "prosumer" or slightly more savvy user that it would push them to go for a higher profit top end model. Just looking at the specs from the current minis, the $200 extra you pay for the top end has got to be at least $120 pure profit (so 150% markup on the upgrade) bringing the overall profit levels up significantly.

Just guessing, I've not read the product breakdowns from anyone like iSuppli, but the $600 mini probably costs $425 to make, and the $800 probably costs $510 or something. So, percentage wise, 29% profit vs. 36%, which is pretty substantial. The only thing that would make me get the $800 model over the $600 is the SD (a sub 10% speed bump isn't worth $200, and I can add a huge FW drive and still have a lot of my $200 left).

SMM
Mar 12, 2007, 02:19 PM
I'd like to switch from XP to a Mac. I have two 20" monitors so getting an iMac is out of the question since I don't need or want a dedicated, build-in monitor. But I also don't want to shell out nearly $2,500 for the Mac Pro.

Any rumors of a slightly upgraded Mac Mini with these two enhancements over the current Mac Minis?

7200rpm HD
Dual-Head capability
dedicated video (not shared with RAM)
It seems Apple isn't recognizing there is a 'prosumer' market for those wanting something above the current $800 top-of-the-line Mac Mini and $2,500 Pro machines. That's a $1,700 gap between these two product lines that is being completely missed by Apple (heck, I could buy a Shuttle XPC for the difference between those two price points). But, I would much prefer a Mac and am hoping someone has heard rumors of Apple providing an upgraded Mini with the above specs.

Cheers

Steve

Apple recognizes it. But, how big is the market really? I am sure they know and if it is large enough, they will be in it. Consider what a couple others posted. I recently sold a beatiful 2.0 Dual PowerMac loaded, for $1500.

Ironduke
Mar 12, 2007, 02:52 PM
It's slightly faster at the same clockspeeds for the same price. Why wouldn't people want it?

I've heard it mentioned that Santa Rosa will drop in May. I think that fits pretty well into an updated mini - it'll be WAY overdue by then, but they will be able to offer up a pretty good package. If they do keep the $600/800 prices, I'd hope they go with a 1.83ghz C2D, 512mb RAM, 80gb HDD, x3000, .11n/BT2, CD for $600 and 2.0ghz C2D, 1gb RAM, 100gb HDD, x3000, .11n/BT2, SD for $800. Even my cheap-butt would buy that.

As for not making the SD standard on the mini, well, it sucks, but I figure that it's something "casual" users aren't to concerned about and something important enough to the "prosumer" or slightly more savvy user that it would push them to go for a higher profit top end model. Just looking at the specs from the current minis, the $200 extra you pay for the top end has got to be at least $120 pure profit (so 150% markup on the upgrade) bringing the overall profit levels up significantly.

Just guessing, I've not read the product breakdowns from anyone like iSuppli, but the $600 mini probably costs $425 to make, and the $800 probably costs $510 or something. So, percentage wise, 29% profit vs. 36%, which is pretty substantial. The only thing that would make me get the $800 model over the $600 is the SD (a sub 10% speed bump isn't worth $200, and I can add a huge FW drive and still have a lot of my $200 left).

it pale's
when compared to FW800, Dual DVi output, Wifi N, a Larger HD, More Ram, a dedicated gfx card or atleast improved gfx. Yet so many people keep mentioning Core2Duo as the primary wish an updated mini.

localoid
Mar 12, 2007, 02:57 PM
I dont know why people keep creaming about Core2Duo unless you do very intensive 64bit tasks you will not see much difference in general Mac use

Not really true... There were numerous improvements made to the C2D other than just EMT64 extensions... The fact that Core 2 Duos' 128-bit SSE/2/3 instructions execute in a single clock cycle vs. two clock cycles (for Core Duo) gives C2D a big edge in real-world applications that make use of SSE extensions, which is reflected in Apple's comparison of CD vs C2D performance... (http://www.apple.com/macbook/intel.html)

Ironduke
Mar 12, 2007, 03:03 PM
Not really true... There were numerous improvements made to the C2D other than just EMT64 extensions... The fact that Core 2 Duos' 128-bit SSE/2/3 instructions execute in a single clock cycle vs. two clock cycles (for Core Duo) gives C2D a big edge in real-world applications that make use of SSE extensions, which is reflected in Apple's comparison of CD vs C2D performance... (http://www.apple.com/macbook/intel.html)

If all apple do is give the mini a 20% speed increase over what I bought last september on their next release then I will be very disapointed.:mad:

mrgreen4242
Mar 12, 2007, 03:43 PM
it pale's
when compared to FW800, Dual DVi output, Wifi N, a Larger HD, More Ram, a dedicated gfx card or atleast improved gfx. Yet so many people keep mentioning Core2Duo as the primary wish an updated mini.

Because they know the others aren't very likely, and not are they FREE. The cost to of the CD and C2D in trays of 1000 from Intel are exactly the same. You can already add more RAM to the mini for an OK price, and of course people are hoping for more standard/"free" RAM.

We all accept the limits of the 2.5" HDD as far as capacity for the dollar and so any increases in standard size will be fairly small (as in 60->80gb, 80->100gb). People look for large storage space in the mini are adding FW drives.

I think that the most commonly asked about feature is the GPU, not C2D, and it looks pretty good that we'll get the GMAx3000 (hopefully not the plain GMA3000, though). I'm holding out hope that it will perform moderately well. Dual DVI is one of those things that only a handful of people are really interested in on the mini. If you are concerned about powering two displays you can always buy an iMac and add another one... it's not really the kind of this that the mini is intended for I suppose.

.11n is pretty much expected in the next mini, I think, since they are releasing routers and all the other systems with it. People aren't inquiring about it since 1) they feel confident it will be there, 2) it's not really that big of a deal to most people (.11g will stream DVDs - no MPEG4 copies of them, but full MPEG2 rips - in real time).

FW800 isn't on the iMacs except the 24" so it's unlikey to make it's way to the mini. I'm more interested in them putting an eSATA port ofr HDD expansion, which would leave the FW400 for DV cameras, etc.

If all apple do is give the mini a 20% speed increase over what I bought last september on their next release then I will be very disapointed.:mad:

Why? What did you expect them to do? Are you mad they didn't do more or that your mini was outspecced or what?

iDave
Mar 12, 2007, 03:46 PM
it pale's when compared to FW800, Dual DVi output, Wifi N, a Larger HD, More Ram, a dedicated gfx card or atleast improved gfx. Yet so many people keep mentioning Core2Duo as the primary wish an updated mini.
I think most people are assuming the mini won't get much with an upgrade since it's Apple's low end. But, C2D seems likely since the other Macs (the MacBook in particular) got it. WiFi N is likely too since the other Macs, aTV and Airport got it. Much else is a pipe dream.

If nothing happens for six more months, then perhaps the mini will get santa rosa with its improved graphics. I doubt Apple would not update the mini for six more months.

mrgreen4242
Mar 12, 2007, 03:58 PM
I think most people are assuming the mini won't get much with an upgrade since it's Apple's low end. But, C2D seems likely since the other Macs (the MacBook in particular) got it. WiFi N is likely too since the other Macs, aTV and Airport got it. Much else is a pipe dream.

If nothing happens for six more months, then perhaps the mini will get santa rosa with its improved graphics. I doubt Apple would not update the mini for six more months.

I don't see why Apple would have to wait for the whole Santa Rosa platform. I've been thinking about this, and I'm wondering if they won't release a mini that has the 965GM chipset (which has the x3000 GPU) and a C2D (at the current mini CD clock speeds), a .11g wireless, maybe a price drop or more RAM standard soon (the 965GM w/x3000 is available right now from lots of manufactures) and then do a Santa Rosa MacBook in a few months when available, then follow up with a SR mini in the fall/early winter.

Price drop + faster CPU + faster GPU + more standard RAM + Leopard/iLife 07 (presumably) would make the mini an OK buy for the next 6 months while the full SR platform is finalized and launched in the MacBook and then brought to the mini, along with some clock speed bumps and other SR improvements (.11n, access to more memory I think is one of the features, new CPU socket for future CPU upgrades, etc).

Ironduke
Mar 12, 2007, 03:59 PM
Im going iMac soon anyway, its just i was hoping apple would give us more options in the mini, why not dedicated notebook gfx with dual dvi?

aslong as u pay for it

most things on apples site are next day dispatch, but when you start tinkering it becomes 3-10 day, thats fine with me, give us more options apple:cool:

why not a mac mini turbo nutter b*stard edition for a premium?

mrgreen4242
Mar 12, 2007, 04:10 PM
Im going iMac soon anyway, its just i was hoping apple would give us more options in the mini, why not dedicated notebook gfx with dual dvi?

aslong as u pay for it

most things on apples site are next day dispatch, but when you start tinkering it becomes 3-10 day, thats fine with me, give us more options apple:cool:

why not a mac mini turbo nutter b*stard edition for a premium?

That would require a substantial change the system design... there's NO space in a mini for any sort of removable graphics subsystem, so it has to be part of the mainboard. To have different GPU options means that they'd need to have a separate logic board for each option, which just isn't practical. If you look at all the other Macs, the GPU options "make sense" from that point of view.

The 17/20" iMacs have the same video card (which is part of the logic borad layout) but different RAM configuration, meaning the board/firmware is the same but there are just additional chips soldered in. The 24" iMac has a removable GPU unit, so it's possible to offer other chips. Same goes for the Mac Pro.

The best we could hope for is a mini with the MXM notebook GPU card system, but that's quite expensive and so very, very unlikely. After that, they COULD put in a discreet mobile GPU like they did with the G4 minis, but since it looks likely that the x3000 will provide similar performance for less price it's much more likely they'll just do that.

Ironduke
Mar 12, 2007, 05:43 PM
That would require a substantial change the system design... there's NO space in a mini for any sort of removable graphics subsystem, so it has to be part of the mainboard. To have different GPU options means that they'd need to have a separate logic board for each option, which just isn't practical. If you look at all the other Macs, the GPU options "make sense" from that point of view.

The 17/20" iMacs have the same video card (which is part of the logic borad layout) but different RAM configuration, meaning the board/firmware is the same but there are just additional chips soldered in. The 24" iMac has a removable GPU unit, so it's possible to offer other chips. Same goes for the Mac Pro.

The best we could hope for is a mini with the MXM notebook GPU card system, but that's quite expensive and so very, very unlikely. After that, they COULD put in a discreet mobile GPU like they did with the G4 minis, but since it looks likely that the x3000 will provide similar performance for less price it's much more likely they'll just do that.

I seriously doubt the x3000 is anywhere near a match for the Go 7600 mxm II card which fits in many a 14" notebook

mrgreen4242
Mar 12, 2007, 07:55 PM
I seriously doubt the x3000 is anywhere near a match for the Go 7600 mxm II card which fits in many a 14" notebook

The mini's logic board is less than 6x6 inches. The mainboard in a laptop has about twice that to work with. The point wasn't that the x300 would be as good as the best mobile GPUs, though. The point was that the x3000 will fit inside the mini, be very cheap to implement, and will satisfy the majority of people who buy a mini.

SteveG4Cube
Mar 12, 2007, 08:40 PM
You can get a refurb. Mac Pro for $1899. That fills the gap pretty well for now:

http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore.woa/wa/RSLID?nplm=G0359LL%2FA

localoid
Mar 12, 2007, 09:26 PM
.. (the 965GM w/x3000 is available right now from lots of manufactures) and then do a Santa Rosa MacBook in a few months when available, then follow up with a SR mini in the fall/early winter.

Socket 478 motherboards have been available for a while with 965GM chipset with x3000 onboard, etc., but there are currently no such configurations available for socket M, the type cpu the (current) mini uses.

Intel's (currently available) laptop/mobile chipsets: Intel (http://indigo.intel.com/compare_cpu/default.aspx?familyid=7&culture=en-us)

iperson
Mar 12, 2007, 09:28 PM
Why don't they just make the mini a bit bigger and offer all that stuff we want? Even if it was as big as a cube yet had more upgradable options...There's your entry-level/mid range-pro/headless mac/entertainment system that will last for years right there. Keep the price under 1200 usd, please?

While a mini would do me fine as it is, I don't want to be stuck in the same situation as I am with my ibook; wishing it just had a little more space, upgradability, and power.

Waiting for upgrades on either a mini or the imac 24, but not for long...

shikimo
Mar 13, 2007, 07:03 AM
If an update to the mini is coming shortly, is it not a bit optimistic to expect the santa rosa chipset? I think realistically, a bump to C2D as well as some other enhancments (1G RAM standard, bigger HDD, "n" wireless...) is whats going to come.

MB and MBP will get it first, mini (hopefully not too much) later.

Yeah, you're right; it's highly unlikely, perhaps 100% impossible, that Apple would use the mini to launch the Santa Rosa era. So, unless they're going to live danerously and unleash a bunch of new hardware at once, the C2D upgrade that is overdue--an upgrade that would also bring 1GB of RAM, .11n and maybe another small treat or two--is still by far the safest bet...

...but it's going to have to be soon, ay? If the May SR release is accurate, it would be counterproductive to stock boatloads of C2D minis if we get too much closer to May.

There was a March 20 rumor going around a while back...maybe that's the one :cool: .

Pressure
Mar 13, 2007, 08:56 AM
You can get a refurb. Mac Pro for $1899. That fills the gap pretty well for now:

http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore.woa/wa/RSLID?nplm=G0359LL%2FA

If only we lived in the land of the cheap ;)

Magnus Reftel
Mar 13, 2007, 09:20 AM
it was my understanding that gma x3000 was going to include dual display support.
That's pretty much a given, since the GMA950 does (which is why the Macbook supports screen spanning with an external monitor). Whether Apple will put two DVI ports on an updated Mini is an entirely different question, though.

mrgreen4242
Mar 13, 2007, 09:35 AM
Socket 478 motherboards have been available for a while with 965GM chipset with x3000 onboard, etc., but there are currently no such configurations available for socket M, the type cpu the (current) mini uses.

Intel's (currently available) laptop/mobile chipsets: Intel (http://indigo.intel.com/compare_cpu/default.aspx?familyid=7&culture=en-us)
Duh, I always forget they use the laptop components in most of their desktops. Stupid Me. :o

Why don't they just make the mini a bit bigger and offer all that stuff we want? Even if it was as big as a cube yet had more upgradable options...There's your entry-level/mid range-pro/headless mac/entertainment system that will last for years right there. Keep the price under 1200 usd, please?


Well, that's the million dollar question, isn't it?

That's pretty much a given, since the GMA950 does (which is why the Macbook supports screen spanning with an external monitor). Whether Apple will put two DVI ports on an updated Mini is an entirely different question, though.

I worked on a contract job awhile back where we were deploying some (Windows) systems for a customer that had a 2 display requirement (screens facing the customer and the worker displaying different information). The hardware we deployed had a single DVI port, but used a small splitter cable that connected to the DVI port and terminated in 2 VGA ports which the displays used.

Now, using dual VGA isn't IDEAL but if you NEED multi-monitor support on a mini then it could work... just curious if anyone's tried it?

rasmithuk
Mar 13, 2007, 10:27 AM
I worked on a contract job awhile back where we were deploying some (Windows) systems for a customer that had a 2 display requirement (screens facing the customer and the worker displaying different information). The hardware we deployed had a single DVI port, but used a small splitter cable that connected to the DVI port and terminated in 2 VGA ports which the displays used.

Now, using dual VGA isn't IDEAL but if you NEED multi-monitor support on a mini then it could work... just curious if anyone's tried it?

If your talking about the port I think you are that isn't DVI.
It's a freaky hybrid port that contains two DVI-I ports in a single socket. This allows you to have two break-out leads, one that gives 2 pure DVI-D and the other that gives 2 DVI-A/I which can be switched to VGA.

mrgreen4242
Mar 13, 2007, 10:50 AM
If your talking about the port I think you are that isn't DVI.
It's a freaky hybrid port that contains two DVI-I ports in a single socket. This allows you to have two break-out leads, one that gives 2 pure DVI-D and the other that gives 2 DVI-A/I which can be switched to VGA.

Ah, that could be. I didn't build the systems, just deployed them so I'm not 100% of the hardware that went into it. I think the GPU was made by ATI. In any case, it'd be nice of Apple to build the new mini with something like that, and bundle in the box a small adapter that gives you a regular DVI port, and one that gives you a regular VGA port. Then do their normal charge you $29 for the adapter that gives you dual DVI (or VGA if that's your need).

PNW
Mar 14, 2007, 01:21 PM
Yes the iMac is a very slick design and the mini is cute, but I just don't get Apple's devotion to them as the only solutions for every home user. Add a few external HDs and all that cuteness and slick design is obscured by a rat's nest of wires. If the mini were a little less mini, it could use desktop components (it is after all a desktop) and they could put out a more powerful box with a greater number possible configurations for the same if not less money.

iDave
Mar 14, 2007, 02:26 PM
Yes the iMac is a very slick design and the mini is cute, but I just don't get Apple's devotion to them as the only solutions for every home user. Add a few external HDs and all that cuteness and slick design is obscured by a rat's nest of wires. If the mini were a little less mini, it could use desktop components (it is after all a desktop) and they could put out a more powerful box with a greater number possible configurations for the same if not less money.
Just a standard 3.5" drive would allow much more storage, more suitable as an aTV server. Isn't that what Apple wants; lots of people buying and storing lots of TV and Movies? I think the mini is an also-ran in their minds. It's simply something to get people started on a Mac. What a shame. :(

QCassidy352
Mar 14, 2007, 05:08 PM
Socket 478 motherboards have been available for a while with 965GM chipset with x3000 onboard, etc., but there are currently no such configurations available for socket M, the type cpu the (current) mini uses.

Intel's (currently available) laptop/mobile chipsets: Intel (http://indigo.intel.com/compare_cpu/default.aspx?familyid=7&culture=en-us)

darn! I was excited for a minute there. I'm thinking about a mini, but it would have to have better graphics or no sale. The x3000 seems pretty impressive (near 7300 level performance?), but I guess we need Santa Rosa to get it in to the mini, and that's not coming for a while. :(

localoid
Mar 14, 2007, 05:56 PM
darn! I was excited for a minute there. I'm thinking about a mini, but it would have to have better graphics or no sale. The x3000 seems pretty impressive (near 7300 level performance?), but I guess we need Santa Rosa to get it in to the mini, and that's not coming for a while. :(

Intel's "Santa Rosa" (Socket P) line is expected to include Intel's "Crestline" North Bridge chip, , the 965GM, and the ICH8M South Bridge. Intel’s Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) X3000 integrated graphics engine is contained on the 965GM chipset.

Unless Apple changes the mini to use a graphics "card" (e.g., Nvidia 7400Go, etc.) the mini is likely to retain the Intel GMA 950, which currently is the latest-and-greatest onboard solution available from Intel for Socket M boards.

Santa Rosa is expected to be available in early May and possibly officially announced by Intel in April. Several laptop manufacturers have already demoed their new Santa Rosa prototypes to select groups. In other words, "it's right around the corner." :p

localoid
Mar 14, 2007, 06:11 PM
Just a standard 3.5" drive would allow much more storage, more suitable as an aTV server. Isn't that what Apple wants; lots of people buying and storing lots of TV and Movies? I think the mini is an also-ran in their minds. It's simply something to get people started on a Mac. What a shame. :(

Psst! If you're hacker (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hacker) inclined, you would upgrade the mini's hard drive (http://www.macintouch.com/specialreports/minimonster/phase2.html) to 3.5" without giving the need to cut out a small hole in the mini a 2nd thought... :p

vga4life
Mar 14, 2007, 08:09 PM
Core2Duo and 802.11n are given - it's possible to upgrade the current mac mini with these already.

I just hope the next mini offers dual-link DVI. I don't care about dual-head if I can drive a 30" ACD. I don't need (and won't buy) a mac pro to run a web browser and a bunch of Terminal.app windows. But I'd buy that 30" ACD in a heartbeat if a mini could drive it...

QCassidy352
Mar 14, 2007, 08:39 PM
Intel's "Santa Rosa" (Socket P) line is expected to include Intel's "Crestline" North Bridge chip, , the 965GM, and the ICH8M South Bridge. Intel’s Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) X3000 integrated graphics engine is contained on the 965GM chipset.

Unless Apple changes the mini to use a graphics "card" (e.g., Nvidia 7400Go, etc.) the mini is likely to retain the Intel GMA 950, which currently is the latest-and-greatest onboard solution available from Intel for Socket M boards.

You don't think apple will put Santa Rosa in the mini? Why not? I realize it's a different socket, but it's still the next mobile chipset from intel, isn't it?

localoid
Mar 15, 2007, 05:16 AM
If the mini get Socket P, the wait for that could be a while longer... since there's been no official word from Intel re: Santa Rosa (yet)... but that could come anytime...

Today @ CeBIT 2007, Intel is expected to announce its Bearlake chipsets (http://www.digitimes.com/Backgrounders/ArtReview.asp?datePublish=2007/03/15&pages=VL&seq=200) for desktops, and possibly reveal some new FSB1333 processors -- the C2D 6650 (2.33 GHz), 6750 (2.66 GHz) and 6850 (3.0 GHz). ;)

Also at CeBIT, the Nano Abox V2.0 Mini-PC (http://www.addict3d.org/news/53344/Albatron%20showcasing%20Nano%20Abox%20V2.0%20Mini-PC%20at%20CeBIT), a mini wanna-be, is expected to be displayed...

Apple is scheduled to make a presentation at CeBIT... will that be centered (only) around the iPhone, or will Apple reveal something new and exciting for its computer line? Who knows? ;)

shikimo
Mar 15, 2007, 09:13 AM
You don't think apple will put Santa Rosa in the mini? Why not? I realize it's a different socket, but it's still the next mobile chipset from intel, isn't it?

I think the theory goes something like this:

The mini is awfully long in the tooth--I think it's clearly the worst value in the Apple line right now--and needs an update to once again be price-competitive. Also, most don't think Apple wants to have the mini as its showcase piece for Santa Rosa. Thirdly, the mini is the only line left operating completely on Core Duo CPUs. Thus, a near-term update to C2Ds, .11n, an option of 1GB stock RAM in the higher model, a price adjustment or some combination thereof would serve as a nice little appetizer while SR gets its time in the sun with higher-end products.

This all made PERFECT sense a month ago, and I think it's still fairly likely, but it becomes less and less of a sure thing as time passes. Nothing says they can't update to C2Ds after the SR release, but it seems a bit odd...I still get excited every Tuesday, but if we get deep into April with last September's minis still for sale I'm going to start rethinking the situation.

MacSA
Mar 15, 2007, 09:30 AM
I think the theory goes something like this:

The mini is awfully long in the tooth--I think it's clearly the worst value in the Apple line right now--and needs an update to once again be price-competitive.

That's no theory, the Mini s probably the worst value computer you can buy from ANY manufacturer right now.

Compared to the iMac it's terrible value, and in the Windows PC world you can buy computers with 19" monitors, keyboard/mouse and DVD burners for the same price or less than the Mini. They certainly need to do something with it soon if they want it to attract switchers.

I wouldn't be surprised if they dropped the Mini from their lineup at some point.

gkarris
Mar 15, 2007, 10:38 AM
As I've posted before, IMHO, we will be disappointed (again) with the mini upgrades. I think they are just going to go to C2D so that Apple can say that's the new min.

I think the midrange will come with the redesigned Mac Pros (called just a "Mac"?).

They can take newer and smaller case for the new Mac Pros and put an iMac spec'ed board in it - and you have a midrange Mac!!!

gkarris
Mar 15, 2007, 10:43 AM
That's no theory, the Mini s probably the worst value computer you can buy from ANY manufacturer right now.

Compared to the iMac it's terrible value, and in the Windows PC world you can buy computers with 19" monitors, keyboard/mouse and DVD burners for the same price or less than the Mini. They certainly need to do something with it soon if they want it to attract switchers.

I wouldn't be surprised if they dropped the Mini from their lineup at some point.

My friend just bought a Dell w/ Vista, and spent about as much as I did on my Mini over Christmas.

I have no problems. He has nothing but.. His most frustrating is when the computer has to burn a disc and asks for a CD-R. He puts one in and hits okay, then the computer spins the disc, and then asks for him to put in a CD-R.... he ejects the disc and put it in again and hits okay, then it spins the disc, then asks him to put in a CD-R, (again, and again, and again)...

Don't drop the Mini, what are people who have $600 to buy a Mac going to do? Make them buy a $1,100 iMac?

Magnus Reftel
Mar 15, 2007, 11:08 AM
I worked on a contract job awhile back where we were deploying some (Windows) systems for a customer that had a 2 display requirement (screens facing the customer and the worker displaying different information). The hardware we deployed had a single DVI port, but used a small splitter cable that connected to the DVI port and terminated in 2 VGA ports which the displays used.
I obviously have no insight in what hardware it was they were using (and this is going a bit off topic), but this thing _could_ be accomplished with a DVI-I to VGA adapter and a Matrox DualHead2Go (http://www.matrox.com/graphics/en/gxm/products/dh2go/home.php).

iSee
Mar 15, 2007, 11:15 AM
I hope they don't drop the Mini, but I've been fearing this as well.

I'm guessing sales are lackluster which will have them thinking people just don't want Minis.

Well, people don't want Minis--at least not the way they are now. I think with upgrades along the lines everyone is talking about will make a huge difference.

AlexisV
Mar 15, 2007, 11:40 AM
Compared to the iMac it's terrible value, and in the Windows PC world you can buy computers with 19" monitors, keyboard/mouse and DVD burners for the same price or less than the Mini.

Apple's an independent company and needs higher profit margins on every product to survive. PC manufacturers buy off the shelf and put them in the same basic boxes. Macs are custom, bespoke, and also need extra profit margins to cover their R&D. Dell let Intel and Microsoft do their R&D - Apple has to produce custom hardware as well as operating systems.

The style factor Apple has is justification for higher markups. Look at how they were struggling before the 98 iMac came along.

NewbieNerd
Mar 15, 2007, 12:27 PM
Well, people don't want Minis--at least not the way they are now.

Sorry, but I would venture to disagree with you. The non-prosumer is certainly the target for the Minis, people who have no idea, let alone concern, that Core Duo is different than Core 2 Duo, or at least that this processor difference exists between Minis and iMacs. Nor does the target audience care about playing games or having a 30" monitor. I think there are plenty of people who fit into this category, people who just want to surf the web and use iPhoto and iTunes on a cute little Mac Mini which is stylish and not so expensive (at least in the target audience's eyes).

mrgreen4242
Mar 15, 2007, 02:33 PM
The mini COULD be a terrific system... it's just not at the moment. Apple must know this. I don't think they'll drop it, unless they launch a new mini-esque product. I don't think that's likely, tho.

I don't know why people are concerned that the mini would be the "showcase" for the SR platform. I mean, there's nothing exceptionally groundbreaking about it; it's purely the next step of Intel's system design. I contend that it makes the MOST sense to debut it in a revamped mini.

Get the latest system in a cute little box for $600/800, only from Apple. They'd fly off the shelves, if Intel/Apple do a good/great job writing drivers for the x3000. A system that is fast enough (CPU wise) for anything a normal user would throw at it, and most things a high end user would. Fast enough for casual and low end gaming (the x3000 looks like it will handle 3D gamin pretty OK - at least lots of games will work and be playable). It can take an adequate amount of RAM (I'm assuming that SR w/ be able to utilize at least 4gb of RAM, and that 2gb SODIMMs will drop in price over the next year). 2.5" HDDs, while the suck, are catching up. The 5400rpm SATA units are pretty decent for most needs, and I figure Apple will offer a 120 or 160gb 7200rpm drive as an option with the next mini.

Seems like a wonderful use of new tech, and a great way to highlight it and a product that has a ton of potential (the mini, that is).

NewbieNerd
Mar 15, 2007, 03:18 PM
Yeah I definitely think the Minis are great but am personally hoping for some beef in them. I'm thinking of getting my first mini for home. What I love about them is that, after it's served it's purpose, it won't be hard to convince the wife that I need to keep the thing for some kinda server or Xgrided assistant or something because it is so small and cute. A nerdy developer's gotta be able to keep some hardware around to play with, right? ;)

QCassidy352
Mar 15, 2007, 03:37 PM
I think the theory goes something like this:

The mini is awfully long in the tooth--I think it's clearly the worst value in the Apple line right now--and needs an update to once again be price-competitive. Also, most don't think Apple wants to have the mini as its showcase piece for Santa Rosa. Thirdly, the mini is the only line left operating completely on Core Duo CPUs. Thus, a near-term update to C2Ds, .11n, an option of 1GB stock RAM in the higher model, a price adjustment or some combination thereof would serve as a nice little appetizer while SR gets its time in the sun with higher-end products.

This all made PERFECT sense a month ago, and I think it's still fairly likely, but it becomes less and less of a sure thing as time passes. Nothing says they can't update to C2Ds after the SR release, but it seems a bit odd...I still get excited every Tuesday, but if we get deep into April with last September's minis still for sale I'm going to start rethinking the situation.

I hope you're wrong. If apple just puts a c2d in the current mini, I won't be buying a mini for a long time, if ever. I've been clinging to the hope that the reason for this delay is that they're going straight to Santa Rosa. If the mini is going to need another 2 upgrades to get there, then forget it.

The mini COULD be a terrific system... it's just not at the moment. Apple must know this. I don't think they'll drop it, unless they launch a new mini-esque product. I don't think that's likely, tho.

I don't know why people are concerned that the mini would be the "showcase" for the SR platform. I mean, there's nothing exceptionally groundbreaking about it; it's purely the next step of Intel's system design. I contend that it makes the MOST sense to debut it in a revamped mini.

...
Seems like a wonderful use of new tech, and a great way to highlight it and a product that has a ton of potential (the mini, that is).

I totally agree. Why does the mini have to be the red-headed stepchild of apple's lineup? It may be the cheapest, but that doesn't mean it has to suck, does it? Giving it Santa Rosa wouldn't stop people from buying other models. Maybe it would take away a few imac sales, but even there, imac buyers generally want the all-in-one. It certainly wouldn't meaningfully impact mac pro or laptop sales.

If the mini were dirt cheap, I could see sticking it with old tech while everything else moved on. But the truth is, it's not that cheap. Buy a mouse, keyboard, and monitor, and you're at or above the price of the low-end imac. I wish apple would either price the mini like the crap PCs it shares tech with, or even better, spec it to be a reasonable option compared to an imac.

PNW
Mar 15, 2007, 03:56 PM
Sorry, but I would venture to disagree with you. The non-prosumer is certainly the target for the Minis, people who have no idea, let alone concern, that Core Duo is different than Core 2 Duo, or at least that this processor difference exists between Minis and iMacs. Nor does the target audience care about playing games or having a 30" monitor. I think there are plenty of people who fit into this category, people who just want to surf the web and use iPhoto and iTunes on a cute little Mac Mini which is stylish and not so expensive (at least in the target audience's eyes).

All the more reason to make the unit a little bigger and move to desktop parts, which provide more bang for less buck and afford more flexibility. Apple could then offer the mini (or some new name) as a low to mid range desktop priced from $500 -$1500 depending on config, make everyone happy, and grab even more market share.

On a side note I doubt we’ll see any new hardware announcements until Leopard gets released (or a release date is announced). After all the kind of folks who’ll look around and wait for a hardware upgrade aren’t going to rush out to the store for a new box when an OS upgrade is rumored to be a month away.

shikimo
Mar 16, 2007, 03:55 AM
The mini COULD be a terrific system... it's just not at the moment. Apple must know this. I don't think they'll drop it, unless they launch a new mini-esque product. I don't think that's likely, tho.

I don't know why people are concerned that the mini would be the "showcase" for the SR platform. I mean, there's nothing exceptionally groundbreaking about it; it's purely the next step of Intel's system design. I contend that it makes the MOST sense to debut it in a revamped mini.

Get the latest system in a cute little box for $600/800, only from Apple. They'd fly off the shelves, if Intel/Apple do a good/great job writing drivers for the x3000. A system that is fast enough (CPU wise) for anything a normal user would throw at it, and most things a high end user would. Fast enough for casual and low end gaming (the x3000 looks like it will handle 3D gamin pretty OK - at least lots of games will work and be playable). It can take an adequate amount of RAM (I'm assuming that SR w/ be able to utilize at least 4gb of RAM, and that 2gb SODIMMs will drop in price over the next year). 2.5" HDDs, while the suck, are catching up. The 5400rpm SATA units are pretty decent for most needs, and I figure Apple will offer a 120 or 160gb 7200rpm drive as an option with the next mini.

Seems like a wonderful use of new tech, and a great way to highlight it and a product that has a ton of potential (the mini, that is).

I basically agree with you, at least from a common-sense, product/productivity standpoint. However, from the marketing angle I still think we're more likely to see the first SR chips either in the flagship iMac or the laptop line. The mini is the dirty forgotten uncle cuz it's the cheapest, and thus not Apple's biggest priority.

In any case I do hope you are right and I am wrong; I would gladly wait two more months for a nice shiny little SR mini with some beefed-up specs for about the same price. They could sell out their current stock to folks who don't know or care about SR/C2D/stock RAM issues and then blow us away with all kinds of new hardware after a Leopard announcement in May, to be delivered on or around WWDC...with all new hardware shipping with 10.4.9 and coming with a little voucher for the Leopard/iLife '07 upgrade.

Now that would be worth waiting for :) .

dale.albiston
Mar 16, 2007, 05:21 AM
actually looking at a mac mini to complement my macbook pro, and allow me to use at least one of them :-).

i'd love to see duel link dvi, or even better hdmi for the simple reason that this little bugger is ideal as a home media machine, who needs a monitor, lob it at a hd lcd screen... the 23" acd is silly money for this, plus its not a telly.

yes i can get a telly with dvi/vga inputs but a decent sized telly that can do 1080p would make a passable monitor to me (given it will be used for limited things via a bt keyboard/mouse combo from the sofa).

this will work at present, but at lower resolutions than such screen can handle. its not too important but the ability to play hd content from the mini to the screen would be a killer for me (it would be hooked to a networked storage device for the content).

with a nice surround system for audio its a nice media center, that can also surf the net and, well basically do anything a mac mini can do. for the cash (400ukp) it doesn't *need* anything else other than the duel link/hdmi option really. as a primary machine for a power user its not up to the job, but such a user will want way more anyway.

c2d yeah it would be nice. more than 512meg ram... ditto but i'm looking at rigging this up in a few months, if there is a new machine i'm over the moon, otherwise *shrug* it will do.

though if i can get proper HD res out of the box (1080p) to a screen the sky+ box that will end up under it will be a skyhd box instead. :-) can't do both the cost of the screen isn't worth it.

btw.. i'd *love* a change in case design, make a mac mini int he sort of format that dvd players are normally in (think 1U case without the rack mounts) i.e. wide and flat, would stack well with other such cases. just the IR sensor, power button and a glowing logo on the front. not fussed over the colour really but silver would look better than white. or possibly a wall mount capable unit (same box, mounted under it, the rear designed to shroud the connectors so from above (i.e. in front on a wall) you can't see them, just the wires.

not gunna happen but would look kinda good, having a computer in the lounge that basically was invisible among all the other similar boxes

bigandy
Mar 16, 2007, 06:38 AM
btw.. i'd *love* a change in case design, make a mac mini int he sort of format that dvd players are normally in (think 1U case without the rack mounts) i.e. wide and flat, would stack well with other such cases. just the IR sensor, power button and a glowing logo on the front. not fussed over the colour really but silver would look better than white. or possibly a wall mount capable unit (same box, mounted under it, the rear designed to shroud the connectors so from above (i.e. in front on a wall) you can't see them, just the wires.

not gunna happen but would look kinda good, having a computer in the lounge that basically was invisible among all the other similar boxes

never going to happen because the mini's main market is at home users/switchers as a computer, not a media box. because of the :apple: TV there's no point in creating a mini in a new enclosure, as it'd take sales away from said new product.

dale.albiston
Mar 16, 2007, 08:03 AM
never going to happen because the mini's main market is at home users/switchers as a computer, not a media box. because of the :apple: TV there's no point in creating a mini in a new enclosure, as it'd take sales away from said new product.

Oh i know it won't happen, at least not for a while, though i could see the ATV & Mini merging into a single product in a few years, maybe maybe not. either way the case won't change which is a pity just for getting these things to physically fit in with set top boxes for cable etc.

its like the chances of mini getting hdmi is close to zero, again a shame, while a mini so equipped may take sales from atv, the question there is what is the margin on both products? and which makes more money?

but then the atv is useless on its own, while the mini is useful.

and the chances of me getting both (they should stack ok) simple to watch stuff on a hdmi equipped flat screen is close to zero. atv is a nice idea, and *if* it can play 'video_ts' folders from a network its useful, but otherwise in the uk theres no much point, unless you like ripping dvds to quick time files (though i guess that would work, if you can be bothered).

to me atv is an ipod that needs a telly to support it, in that without a computer its useless. something the size of a mini, with that one extra capacity - to drive a real HD display would be perfect.

colinmack
Mar 16, 2007, 08:50 AM
Personally, I don't care whether it's an upgraded mini or some new mini-tower hybrid, if they come out with a small footprint headless Mac that supports dual monitors, I'll buy one instantly.

In fact, probably two of them.

With the onboard graphics coming with the new Santa Rosa chipset, there's no reason it couldn't at least be an optional upgrade...I think there is more demand for that kind of system/option than Apple realizes.

wake6830
Mar 16, 2007, 11:43 AM
...yes i can get a telly with dvi/vga inputs but a decent sized telly that can do 1080p would make a passable monitor to me (given it will be used for limited things via a bt keyboard/mouse combo from the sofa).

this will work at present, but at lower resolutions than such screen can handle. its not too important but the ability to play hd content from the mini to the screen would be a killer for me (it would be hooked to a networked storage device for the content)....

The mini can do 1080p just fine right now without any dual-link dvi or discrete video memory.

BurtonCCC
Mar 19, 2007, 01:28 AM
How about Apple make a taller mini that looks about the same size as a G4 Cube? If a bigger size is what it takes to get more features into it, then I vote for it to happen.

Daniel.

iW00t
Mar 19, 2007, 03:05 PM
I hope they don't drop the Mini, but I've been fearing this as well.

I'm guessing sales are lackluster which will have them thinking people just don't want Minis.

Well, people don't want Minis--at least not the way they are now. I think with upgrades along the lines everyone is talking about will make a huge difference.

Actually I for one hope they kill off the Mini, if it is the Mini that is stopping them from introducing our mythical single processor Mac tower for fear that it will eat into either the iMac or Mini sales... kill that line, clear that spot, just to put a new machine in for all I care.

princealfie
Mar 19, 2007, 03:17 PM
I thought that the Mini is perfect the way it is... geewhiz, complainers! :mad:

iDave
Mar 19, 2007, 03:18 PM
Actually I for one hope they kill off the Mini, if it is the Mini that is stopping them from introducing our mythical single processor Mac tower for fear that it will eat into either the iMac or Mini sales... kill that line, clear that spot, just to put a new machine in for all I care.
Since the $499 mini no longer exists and the SuperDrive mini now costs $799, it's not exactly an entry level machine anymore anyway. If Apple replaced the mini, beefed up the specs a bit and offered a real computer in various configurations for $800-1200 it would be preferable to me. I'm certainly not hooked on the mini form factor, and its mobile hard drive requirement drives me nuts.

princealfie
Mar 19, 2007, 03:26 PM
Since the $499 mini no longer exists and the SuperDrive mini now costs $799, it's not exactly an entry level machine anymore anyway. If Apple replaced the mini, beefed up the specs a bit and offered a real computer in various configurations for $800-1200 it would be preferable to me. I'm certainly not hooked on the mini form factor, and its mobile hard drive requirement drives me nuts.

But why not use an external HD then?

iDave
Mar 19, 2007, 03:34 PM
But why not use an external HD then?
I probably will. I plan to buy a mini as soon as the anticipated update occurs. Since its hard drive (or any mobile drive) will be far from large enough for my needs, I'll use an external drive. This is not the ideal solution but it'll do I suppose.

bpjauburn
Mar 20, 2007, 07:07 AM
I probably will. I plan to buy a mini as soon as the anticipated update occurs. Since its hard drive (or any mobile drive) will be far from large enough for my needs, I'll use an external drive. This is not the ideal solution but it'll do I suppose.

That's my plan as well. I have over 300 GB's of music/photo's video that I need to move over. External on the Mini is the only option with it currently topping out at a 160 GB HD.

I am/will be a "switcher" and the current Mini specs are not enough to justify the switch. Even if they "only" update to C2D it might not be enough. They could have done that months ago so I'm betting they are going to do something "bigger".

For me, there is much room between the Mini and the other "destop" option the Mac Pro. I have my own monitor (24" Dell) so the iMac is a non-starter with the built in monitor. I, for one, would like to see something in the middle that didn't require a screen. A headless iMac would be perfect.

shikimo
Mar 20, 2007, 07:09 AM
I probably will. I plan to buy a mini as soon as the anticipated update occurs. Since its hard drive (or any mobile drive) will be far from large enough for my needs, I'll use an external drive. This is not the ideal solution but it'll do I suppose.

Yeah, having to use a big external drive right off the bat kind of ruins the design element...although I like the drives that are built to occupy the same footprint as the mini. Perhaps not big enough for hard core users, but that's not the mini target audience. Of course, that just brings us back to the question of the midrange headless mac, for which the audience is currently without an Apple...

mrgreen4242
Mar 20, 2007, 08:01 AM
I probably will. I plan to buy a mini as soon as the anticipated update occurs. Since its hard drive (or any mobile drive) will be far from large enough for my needs, I'll use an external drive. This is not the ideal solution but it'll do I suppose.

I'm in the same boat. I'm waiting for a mini with x3000 which should be the next system or the one after that (unless the next machine has something other than an x3000 that isn't a GMA950, but I digress). I already have a 120gb FW drive, but I am hoping against hope that Apple adds an eSATA port to the new mini. Seems pretty reasonable, imo.

If they don't, I am SERIOUSLY considering making my own eSATA port, like has been seen online. I'm already giving my wife my G4 mini, and she'll want the extra drive anyway, so I could snag a 4000gb SATA drive (can't believe these are down to <$100 already) and another mini-stackable drive case and do it. That system would be pretty close to perfect, for me. C2D, x3000 (which is looking more and more like it might actually live up to the hype surrounding it) GPU, 2gb RAM, 400gb external SATA with no drive in the mini which would create some extra airflow room and reduce heat inside the machine, ensuring that the already nearly silent operation stays that way...

Actually, I just came across this page, http://www.amug.org/amug-web/html/amug/reviews/articles/mini/dock/, which is brilliant. If it weren't for the GPU in the current mini I'd likely grab a refurb or used low end of the current model (1.66ghz CD/60gb/CD $519 from Apple) part out the drives and RAM, get a snazzy case, put a 400-500gb SATA drive and a 8x+ DVD-RW, and 2gbs of RAM in it. Probably end up running me, what, $519 for the mini, minus $90-100 for the removed parts, and add another $275 for new drives/RAM... plus whatever I feel spending on a case (lots of cool older PowerMac cases out there - like the mirror door G4's, which are hot imo... the cube would be fantastic if it weren't for the fact it uses a slot loading drive) and I've STILL spent less than the current high end mini.

Hell, now that I am looking at it, I might do that even WITH the crappy GPU.

dale.albiston
Mar 20, 2007, 08:50 AM
The mini can do 1080p just fine right now without any dual-link dvi or discrete video memory.

hmmm... i using 1080p as a monitor is doable, may have to look into this. i know people have a downer on the mini, but it has one massive advantage, my better half thinks its 'cute'. hence more chance of getting one as a media center than of running a mac pro behind the telly.

hooked to a network hard drive this has 'potential' even if my home wifi is only 56 'G', if thats not enough to stream video_ts folders over i can always copy em local (or just sit a drive under the mini, if it comes to it).

given a ps2 sits around for playing games as long as the minis graphics system *works* i'm not too fussed if its amazing at 3d etc

MacSA
Mar 21, 2007, 06:13 PM
This update is taking forever to arrive... I wonder if they are redesigning the Mini - there are rumours of a new iMac design too.

NewbieNerd
Mar 21, 2007, 08:06 PM
This update is taking forever to arrive... I wonder if they are redesigning the Mini - there are rumours of a new iMac design too.

Nah, I can't imagine they're significantly redesigning the mini. I haven't heard any complaints whatsoever with how it looks, only the opposite, while lots of people say they don't like the current iMac design, as least in comparison with the G4 design.

They just need to focus on giving the mini some up-to-date internals and/or offering that middle-of-the-road headless mac. Being in the market for either one of these things myself, I wouldn't be too happy that they took their sweet time releasing a decent machine just to change the appearance of something that is already adorable. :)

synth3tik
Mar 21, 2007, 08:23 PM
iMac = prosumer :D

mrgreen4242
Mar 21, 2007, 08:34 PM
iMac = prosumer :D

The iMac is NOT an ideal prosumer machine, although Apple is pitching it as one. First, a prosumer would nominally want to pick their own display. Both in terms of size/resolution, and also choosing whether they want faster update speed, better color spectrum, whatever. They will spend the money they feel is required to get the display they want, and will want to keep it when they upgrade.

Second, the supposed prosumer is the sort of user who you would expect to want to add a second HDD later on, upgrade their GPU, and fo other various system updates and modifications after purchase. The new iMacs don't even have a user serviceable HDD.

Lastly, a prosumer is NOT the sort of person who will put form ahead of function, and as such shouldn't have to settle for a laptop GPU, a laptop CPU, and a laptop optical drive, just so they can have a slim AIO machine.

Basically, Apple doesn't offer a prosumer machine. They have a very high end line of pro computers, and a large array of standard consumer boxes based on price range and whether you need a new display or not.

siurpeeman
Mar 22, 2007, 01:10 AM
Nah, I can't imagine they're significantly redesigning the mini. I haven't heard any complaints whatsoever with how it looks, only the opposite, while lots of people say they don't like the current iMac design, as least in comparison with the G4 design.

They just need to focus on giving the mini some up-to-date internals and/or offering that middle-of-the-road headless mac. Being in the market for either one of these things myself, I wouldn't be too happy that they took their sweet time releasing a decent machine just to change the appearance of something that is already adorable. :)

i'd really want a mini to look like an :apple: tv. deeper, wider yet thinner base. 8" by 8" by 1" would be my ideal dimensions. the wider length could accommodate extra ports, possibly even dual display support. throw in the usual upgrades--core 2 duo processing, n-wireless, bigger hard drives, more ram--and i'd seriously consider getting one.

DVNIEL
Mar 22, 2007, 02:14 AM
i'd really want a mini to look like an :apple: tv. deeper, wider yet thinner base. 8" by 8" by 1" would be my ideal dimensions. the wider length could accommodate extra ports, possibly even dual display support. throw in the usual upgrades--core 2 duo processing, n-wireless, bigger hard drives, more ram--and i'd seriously consider getting one.

You just described just what I was thinking. Honestly, I'm quite excited to see what the new Mac Mini would look like. If they're going to revolutionize the consumer devices, the Mac Mini shouldn't be overlooked no less than the iMac. I would imagine that this will be future Mac Mini:

- Core 2 Duo Processor (good enough power when all other machine goes QuadCore and Penryn)
- 6x Superdrive (same as MacBook Pro)
- Built in iPod/iPhone dock
- HDD replaced with Flash Hard Drive
- HDMI video port
- Express34 Slot (option for expandability)
- And the biggest change would be the chassis because the loss of a hard drive, DVI ports and more power efficient/cooler Core 2 Duo giving it the size of an Apple Airport Extreme or AppleTV.

If they were to come out with that, God help me I would buy it

iW00t
Mar 22, 2007, 03:46 AM
You just described just what I was thinking. Honestly, I'm quite excited to see what the new Mac Mini would look like. If they're going to revolutionize the consumer devices, the Mac Mini shouldn't be overlooked no less than the iMac. I would imagine that this will be future Mac Mini:

- Core 2 Duo Processor (good enough power when all other machine goes QuadCore and Penryn)
- 6x Superdrive (same as MacBook Pro)
- Built in iPod/iPhone dock
- HDD replaced with Flash Hard Drive
- HDMI video port
- Express34 Slot (option for expandability)
- And the biggest change would be the chassis because the loss of a hard drive, DVI ports and more power efficient/cooler Core 2 Duo giving it the size of an Apple Airport Extreme or AppleTV.

If they were to come out with that, God help me I would buy it

Erm please don't put a dock on that thing, makes it fuglier than a Dull.

Besides an integrated dock will eat into their iPod dock sales figures, not like the profits from the sale of a $799 computer would justify that either.

mrgreen4242
Mar 22, 2007, 07:52 AM
You just described just what I was thinking. Honestly, I'm quite excited to see what the new Mac Mini would look like. If they're going to revolutionize the consumer devices, the Mac Mini shouldn't be overlooked no less than the iMac. I would imagine that this will be future Mac Mini:

- Core 2 Duo Processor (good enough power when all other machine goes QuadCore and Penryn)
- 6x Superdrive (same as MacBook Pro)
- Built in iPod/iPhone dock
- HDD replaced with Flash Hard Drive
- HDMI video port
- Express34 Slot (option for expandability)
- And the biggest change would be the chassis because the loss of a hard drive, DVI ports and more power efficient/cooler Core 2 Duo giving it the size of an Apple Airport Extreme or AppleTV.

If they were to come out with that, God help me I would buy it

Blech. Sounds... awful. I mean, it'd be an OK device, but NOT a replacement for a mini, at all. Maybe a Super version of the ATV, or something. But not a mini.

First, a 8x8x1 computer would be worse than we are now. The AppleTV can now be Apple's pretty little box, let the mini "grow up" into a smaller version of the Cube.

1) Yes, C2D is of course where the mini should go.
2) 6x SD? Forget that, give me a 5.25" 16x SD! Faster, cheaper... what's not to love?
3) Don't care if it had a built in dock, but really, it wouldn't be a particularly useful feature on a mini-Cube.
4) Yes, let me pay 2x as much for half as much disc space. The biggest flaw in the mini is it's tiny HDD... this would fix the speed problems, but not capacity. 60/80gb is barely enough for most people now-a-days, with digital music being extremely common and downloadable TV and movies becoming the next big thing. A flash HDD would be limited to 32/64gb to be affordable, and that's just plain wrong.
5) DVI with HDCP support is more likely, and probably coming on the next mini one way or the other... so a $6 DVI -> HDMI cable will grant that for you. Also, why would you want an HDMI port on a COMPUTER? Again, you are talking about a high end ATV, not a mini replacement...
6) I'd love to see an Express34 slot on the mini. Looks unlikely, though, since they're only on the MBP at the moment, and the mini will likely share components with the MB... but, yes, that's a must have for a "super mini".
7) I see NO point in making the mini smaller than it is already. For an "on the desk machine" it's already the perfect size, going to 8x8 will make it a bit on the akward size for most desks I can think of... an 8x8x8, though, would fit into most under desk computer areas with ease, and look quite nice...

Maybe Apple WILL make a high end ATV, though, and that would free the mini to grow a little in size and function.

PowerBook User
Mar 22, 2007, 09:00 AM
The iMac is NOT an ideal prosumer machine, although Apple is pitching it as one. First, a prosumer would nominally want to pick their own display. Both in terms of size/resolution, and also choosing whether they want faster update speed, better color spectrum, whatever. They will spend the money they feel is required to get the display they want, and will want to keep it when they upgrade.

Second, the supposed prosumer is the sort of user who you would expect to want to add a second HDD later on, upgrade their GPU, and fo other various system updates and modifications after purchase. The new iMacs don't even have a user serviceable HDD.

Lastly, a prosumer is NOT the sort of person who will put form ahead of function, and as such shouldn't have to settle for a laptop GPU, a laptop CPU, and a laptop optical drive, just so they can have a slim AIO machine.

Basically, Apple doesn't offer a prosumer machine. They have a very high end line of pro computers, and a large array of standard consumer boxes based on price range and whether you need a new display or not.
This is completely true. Apple desperately needs something between the Mac mini and the Mac Pro without a monitor. It should also have upgradable graphics and a PCI Express slot. As you hinted at, the only Mac with true desktop parts is the Mac Pro.

Skilargo
Mar 22, 2007, 10:21 AM
I agonized through this last year, did a trade and determined better price/performance to buy an iMac 24 to replace a G4 tower (even though I now have an unused 22" Cinema Display) than get miniscule graphics improvements in the current mini, and also given I needed to upgrade its base memory, HD (and it was so much more expensive to upgrade the mini than it was to upgrade an imac...e.g 80-160GB upgrade $ in the mini = 250-500Gb upgrade $ in the imac. yow). I really wanted a mini, but EXTREMELY happy I bought the iMac 24.

That being said, if they would JUST fix the lackluster graphics performance in the mini, I would buy one now and have two great machines!:D

iCecil
Mar 22, 2007, 06:03 PM
Caught a buzz on the Mini... IMO, look for the 7.7" AppleTV size format. That change will undo some of the limitations of the ultra-compact design, like 2.5 HD... Also a black mini will be released with the revisions... smaller power block, POSSIBLY doing away with Firewire, Core 2 Duo, 802.11N, HDMI, Superdrive...

iDave
Mar 22, 2007, 06:19 PM
Caught a buzz on the Mini...
Where'd you get this buzz?

zioxide
Mar 22, 2007, 07:06 PM
...POSSIBLY doing away with Firewire...

That would be the worst idea ever.

I hope the next mini has one firewire 800 port for external hard drives.

deasine
Mar 23, 2007, 02:00 AM
I really like the mini, though I hate to say that it isn't even close to the iMac performance. However, if it were to be upgraded with functions/performance slightly closer to the iMac, then I will buy one for sure. If it's slightly bigger, I don't mind. Wasn't the first generation Mac Mini smaller than the current one? Oh and I want some kind of iSight onto the mini. Maybe a detachable one. XD

shikimo
Mar 23, 2007, 03:10 AM
Caught a buzz on the Mini... IMO, look for the 7.7" AppleTV size format. That change will undo some of the limitations of the ultra-compact design, like 2.5 HD... Also a black mini will be released with the revisions... smaller power block, POSSIBLY doing away with Firewire, Core 2 Duo, 802.11N, HDMI, Superdrive...

Where, exactly, did you catch this buzz? Besides the rather insane idea of doing away with Firewire, I like your idea...is this a wish list-type of post--not that there's anything wrong with that--or do you have some info that leads you to think there is a 7.7" black mini coming our way? You sound so confident, and I want to believe...:)

mrgreen4242
Mar 23, 2007, 07:25 AM
I really like the mini, though I hate to say that it isn't even close to the iMac performance. However, if it were to be upgraded with functions/performance slightly closer to the iMac, then I will buy one for sure. If it's slightly bigger, I don't mind. Wasn't the first generation Mac Mini smaller than the current one? Oh and I want some kind of iSight onto the mini. Maybe a detachable one. XD

The mini hasn't changed size at all. (Just in case you didn't know) There used to be an external iSight, but Apple mysteriously stopped selling it a while back, shortly after integrating it into the iMacs and laptops. No word on a relaunch of it.

I'm seriously considering buying a very cheap mini and fitting it into a larger case so I can equip it with a standard HDD and optical drive. That'll close a lot of the gap between the mini and iMac. When the C2D chips get affordable, a 2ghz+ chip will make it as quick as the iMac in all regards except video functions.

I'm just holding out to see if there is a release with the x3000 anytime soon, or if they overhaul the mini design to make it a little more about speed and less about cute design.

Flynnstone
Mar 23, 2007, 01:02 PM
Given the mini and the appleTV, I'd like to see:
AppleTV+ (cross between a mini and appleTV)
- Blue Ray, HD-DVD, DVD, CD (don't need to write, read only)(Don't need DVD player(s))
- 1080P HDMI to HDTV
- HDMI inputs so this unit can do the switching
- optical spidif to receiver for audio
- wireless and wired ethernet
- Front row can handle switching sources (HDMI)
- hard drive size ? what ever, as long as content doesn't stutter coming from server.
- not this device specifically, but can play iTunes movies at 720p (or 1080p :) ) (a notchor two above DVD)

The mini : (a move towards the iMac performance)
- single processor (dual core)
- preferably a real GPU (ATI nVidia)
- 3.5 " hard drive at 7200 rpm, this implies case slightly larger
- dual monitor support
- doesn't need to be upgradeable. Just the HD and DVD drive.
- gigabit ethernet, plus wireless, plus bluetooth
- Firewire 400, Firewire 800 as bonus.

Plus Cinema displays with iSight that look visually compatible with iMac
(Stereo iChat :D )

World peace

deasine
Mar 23, 2007, 01:14 PM
Given the mini and the appleTV, I'd like to see:
AppleTV+ (cross between a mini and appleTV)
- Blue Ray, HD-DVD, DVD, CD (don't need to write, read only)(Don't need DVD player(s))
- 1080P HDMI to HDTV
- HDMI inputs so this unit can do the switching
- optical spidif to receiver for audio
- wireless and wired ethernet
- Front row can handle switching sources (HDMI)
- hard drive size ? what ever, as long as content doesn't stutter coming from server.
- not this device specifically, but can play iTunes movies at 720p (or 1080p :) ) (a notchor two above DVD)

The mini : (a move towards the iMac performance)
- single processor (dual core)
- preferably a real GPU (ATI nVidia)
- 3.5 " hard drive at 7200 rpm, this implies case slightly larger
- dual monitor support
- doesn't need to be upgradeable. Just the HD and DVD drive.
- gigabit ethernet, plus wireless, plus bluetooth
- Firewire 400, Firewire 800 as bonus.

Plus Cinema displays with iSight that look visually compatible with iMac
(Stereo iChat :D )

World peace

Oh talking about their displays... can someone tell me why they charge a ton for a 20" monitor? Is it just because it's "Apple" or there is some kind of special feature I'm not aware of.

ftaok
Mar 23, 2007, 01:44 PM
World peace

The first three request were reasonable, but asking for World Peace was just too much.

:D

ftaok
Mar 23, 2007, 01:47 PM
Oh talking about their displays... can someone tell me why they charge a ton for a 20" monitor? Is it just because it's "Apple" or there is some kind of special feature I'm not aware of.
The special feature is Apple's ability to separate the slips of green paper from your wallet without you feeling any remorse.

Seriously, Apple's monitors are expensive compared to the other stuff out there. but you have to compare them to the upper level stuff as there is a ton of junk monitors that cost very little. Apple's monitors are of very high quality, but that comes at a premium price. There are monitors out there that are equivalent in quality at lower prices, Dell's offerings for example.

ft

zioxide
Mar 23, 2007, 04:34 PM
Oh talking about their displays... can someone tell me why they charge a ton for a 20" monitor? Is it just because it's "Apple" or there is some kind of special feature I'm not aware of.

Apple uses IPS 8-bit color panels, while Dell and other companies almost all use PVA 6-bit color panels. IPS is superior, however more expensive, than PVA panels. In addition, Apple's 8-bit give out 16.7 million different colors, while the others put out 250,000 colors and simulate the rest. That is why ACDs are better for production use. For a normal user, a regular display would be fine.

See this for more detail: http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=3392732&postcount=69

mrgreen4242
Mar 23, 2007, 04:47 PM
Apple uses IPS 8-bit color panels, while Dell and other companies almost all use PVA 6-bit color panels. IPS is superior, however more expensive, than PVA panels. In addition, Apple's 8-bit give out 16.7 million different colors, while the others put out 250,000 colors and simulate the rest. That is why ACDs are better for production use. For a normal user, a regular display would be fine.

See this for more detail: http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=3392732&postcount=69

I'm pretty sure that the Dell 2007 20" LCD uses an 8-bit panel, while their cheaper lines use the 6-bit as you mention.

iW00t
Mar 23, 2007, 04:48 PM
Apple uses IPS 8-bit color panels, while Dell and other companies almost all use PVA 6-bit color panels. IPS is superior, however more expensive, than PVA panels. In addition, Apple's 8-bit give out 16.7 million different colors, while the others put out 250,000 colors and simulate the rest. That is why ACDs are better for production use. For a normal user, a regular display would be fine.

See this for more detail: http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=3392732&postcount=69

Yes, Apple uses very high quality panels, that explains the pinkish tint we see on ACDs in Apple stores and the grainy MBP displays :rolleyes:

zioxide
Mar 23, 2007, 08:12 PM
I was in an Apple store today looking at ACDs and there was no pink tint... Dell makes some models with IPS panels, but most have PVA panels. It's pretty much luck of the draw whether you get a PVA or IPS.

MacBass
Apr 14, 2007, 05:07 PM
It's slightly faster at the same clockspeeds for the same price. Why wouldn't people want it?

I've heard it mentioned that Santa Rosa will drop in May. I think that fits pretty well into an updated mini - it'll be WAY overdue by then, but they will be able to offer up a pretty good package. If they do keep the $600/800 prices, I'd hope they go with a 1.83ghz C2D, 512mb RAM, 80gb HDD, x3000, .11n/BT2, CD for $600 and 2.0ghz C2D, 1gb RAM, 100gb HDD, x3000, .11n/BT2, SD for $800. Even my cheap-butt would buy that.

As for not making the SD standard on the mini, well, it sucks, but I figure that it's something "casual" users aren't to concerned about and something important enough to the "prosumer" or slightly more savvy user that it would push them to go for a higher profit top end model. Just looking at the specs from the current minis, the $200 extra you pay for the top end has got to be at least $120 pure profit (so 150% markup on the upgrade) bringing the overall profit levels up significantly.

Just guessing, I've not read the product breakdowns from anyone like iSuppli, but the $600 mini probably costs $425 to make, and the $800 probably costs $510 or something. So, percentage wise, 29% profit vs. 36%, which is pretty substantial. The only thing that would make me get the $800 model over the $600 is the SD (a sub 10% speed bump isn't worth $200, and I can add a huge FW drive and still have a lot of my $200 left).

I would totally jump all over an $800 2.0 GHz C2D. As frugal as I am, and as much as I would grimace at spending $600 on a base model mini, I would be all over a 2 GHz C2D mini like software glitches on Vista.