any rumors of an improved Mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by minimacdude, Mar 6, 2007.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2007
    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.


  2. macrumors 68040


    Jan 16, 2007
    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.
  3. macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    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.
  4. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2007
    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).

  5. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 10, 2007
    Rocket City, AL
    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.
  6. macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    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.
  7. macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    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.
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2003
    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:
  9. JAT
    macrumors 603

    Dec 31, 2001
    Mpls, MN
    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.
  10. macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    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.
  11. macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    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:

    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.
  12. macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2007
    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.
  13. macrumors 68000


    Jun 4, 2003
    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:
  14. macrumors 603


    Dec 2, 2006
    the OC
    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.
  15. macrumors 65816

    Nov 12, 2006
    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
  16. macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    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).
  17. SMM
    macrumors 65816


    Sep 22, 2006
    Tiger Mountain - WA State
    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.
  18. macrumors 65816

    Nov 12, 2006
    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.
  19. macrumors 68020


    Feb 20, 2007
    America's Third World
    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...
  20. macrumors 65816

    Nov 12, 2006
    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:
  21. macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    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.

    Why? What did you expect them to do? Are you mad they didn't do more or that your mini was outspecced or what?
  22. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2003
    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.
  23. macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    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).
  24. macrumors 65816

    Nov 12, 2006
    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?
  25. macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    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.

Share This Page