Apple, please introduce GPU mac mini line

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by StoneJack, Mar 12, 2016.

  1. StoneJack macrumors 6502a

    StoneJack

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2009
    #1
    We have Mac mini, iMac and Pro line, which misses completely the GPU-card based mid-class Macs.
    The mac mini line should be revised to allow for Macmini with onboard graphics and MacMini with GPU (changeable) configuration ala ITX micro/mini board-based.
    After all, the Mac desktops is not hot selling anyway, so why not to create a new line? Would be good for gamers and tinkers. Might cannibalize iMac line a bit, but truth is GPU Macmini won't steal thunder of 5k imacs (they are so good value), only of lower and slower iMacs. Right now, most people needing midtower Macs with GPU, are forced to Hackintosh line. By creating Macminis which allow PCI-e cards and GPU cards, Apple could have more sales of midtower Macminis.
     
  2. Serban Suspended

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    Jan 8, 2013
    #2
    I wonder if any mac mini or macbook that supports tb3 can connectto the razer core for more gpu power?! Under bootcamp, because osx i doubt it can
     
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G3

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  4. Serban Suspended

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  5. dogslobber macrumors 68020

    dogslobber

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    #5
    Would Apple break even with the xMac? Apple is more interested in maximizing profits.
     
  6. jpietrzak8 macrumors 6502a

    jpietrzak8

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    #6
    Along this line, I kinda get the feeling that Apple is getting ready to abandon the desktop wholesale. The Mini is given less press, fewer updates, and weaker hardware with each release; the Mac Pro eliminates practically any form of expandability or customizability, significantly reducing the uses to which it can effectively be put; and the iMac, more and more, is just turning into a high-end laptop without a built-in battery or keyboard. And while desktop CPUs and GPUs continue to increase in power by leaps and bounds, the mobile hardware Apple puts on the desktop just slowly fades into obscurity by comparison.

    Really, while Apple's hardware choices must certainly be providing them a healthy margin of profit at the price points they've chosen, I can't help but believe that those same choices are going to start eroding their market share.

    I don't think Apple cares enough about desktop computers at this point to actually remain in this business long-term. They may just switch over wholly to a mobile device manufacturer...
     
  7. StoneJack thread starter macrumors 6502a

    StoneJack

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    Dec 19, 2009
    #7
    Apple should get some fat profit margin on xMac.
    First, MacMini with onboard GPU costs 499 dollars which means that it costs to produce around about 300-350 dollars (to be consistent with 30% margin across hardware). The main cost is Intel CPU. iMac costs 1099 dollars with 21 inch screen. You can buy aftermarket 21 inch screen for 100 dollars. Add graphic GPU to Macmini, say 100 dollars, you will have 450 dollar machine, selling for about 699 or 799 dollars with even higher margins than iPhone, but with minimum of R&D. The only R&D is here the mainboard, micro/mini ATX with PCI-e slots or two slots. Asus could easily make a custom board for Macs at this price. Quite manageable, in my opinion. Would people buy 699/799 dollar MacMini with GPU and PCI-e slot? If people buy 21 inch iMacs for 1099, then why not, because they will be able to save some dollars on screen. Apple may have higher margins on xMac than on iMac, actually.
     
  8. Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

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    #8
    Dunno why people even bother with this kind of fantasy. The Mac Mini is what it is.

    Want more? Get a Mac Pro.

    Apple aren't likely to produce some niche product to satisfy the desires of a few geeks.
     
  9. StoneJack thread starter macrumors 6502a

    StoneJack

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    Dec 19, 2009
    #9
    If Mac sales are cannibalized by low cost PCs, would not it better to be cannibalized by another Mac line?
     
  10. jpietrzak8 macrumors 6502a

    jpietrzak8

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    #10
    Gotta disagree with this one. Apple is all about the niche products today: the Mini computer that fits into spaces that normal desktop computers cannot (great for HT applications); the iPod, designed to expand a market ("mp3 players") that was used only by technology geeks; the iPad, very similar to the iPod; and heck, the iMac itself is pretty much just an attempt to push the all-in-one nature of laptops onto the desktop (even using laptop components). I think Apple's only truly mainstream device at this point is the iPhone.

    Yeah, right. Apple's only non-laptop computing hardware is a device with Xeon processors, a choice of either AMD D300 or D500 graphics card, and pretty much no expandability/configurability at all. Sure, this is more than a Mini, but unless you're in the market specifically for a Xeon processor and an AMD D300/D500 GPU, the Pro isn't going to fit your specifications...
     
  11. Serban Suspended

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    Jan 8, 2013
    #11
    In a mac pro you can change the gpu, ssd and i think even the cpu so it is
     
  12. jpietrzak8 macrumors 6502a

    jpietrzak8

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    #12
    Oh? How so? In the Mac Pros prior to 2013 you could do all that (at least so long as you stuck to a certain family of Xeon processors), but in the 2013 Pro, all that the end-user can change (so far as I can tell) is the RAM and the SSDs. You can't do anything about the CPU (at least not officially), and you really can't do anything about the GPU (as the entire canister design is pretty much built around a heat-sink tailor made for the D300/D500 GPUs). Trying to hack a different graphics card into the canister would probably not only not fit, it'd probably overwhelm the machine's cooling mechanism and fry it...
     
  13. n8mac macrumors 6502

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    Location:
    Ohio
    #13
    You want an xMac, I want an xMac, but if Apple were to ever release one they would have done it by now. They see the future of computing as purely mobile. I have an iPad and it certainly isn’t replacing my iMac any time soon.

    My iMac is old and has a lot of beach balls and slow down’s when accessing the HDD. I’ve looked into getting a new SDD but the machine isn’t worth paying someone to do that, and it isn’t user friendly enough for me to do it. I’m looking into getting a used 5,1 Mac Pro that gives me freedom to swap out dead parts and get a good FX card in it. After the Mac Pro gives up I don’t know what I’ll do. I love OSX and hate Windows too much to switch.
     
  14. StoneJack thread starter macrumors 6502a

    StoneJack

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    Dec 19, 2009
    #14
    We go Hackintosh way.
    Not that it is intended result, but just inevitable. Apple could have our money, but just doesn't care.
     
  15. Pakaku macrumors 68000

    Pakaku

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    Aug 29, 2009
    #15
    They don't care, because the target audience for high-end graphics is apparently not important enough for them to persue.

    We'll see how that changes once Apple shows anything VR-related, because either they'll pick the high-end graphics hardware required to power it, or they will have figured out a way to get acceptable VR performance on "budget" video cards.
     
  16. Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

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    #16
    If Mac sales are being "cannibalised" by low cost PCs, why is it that while Mac sales have grown, while other brands have been in decline?

    Consider too that it is not just about hardware. Macs come with OS X. If that is not important, just get any cheap PC, or custom build your own.
     
  17. StoneJack thread starter macrumors 6502a

    StoneJack

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    #17
    Mac sales haven't grown and indeed slided -3% this December quarter
     
  18. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #18
    If Apple just gave us support for TB3 eGPUs and go back to having a quad-core Mac Mini, then I think most people would be satisfied.
     
  19. Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

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    #19
    And how much have the others declined?

    Bear in mind that we must be entering a mature market for PCs in general. Whereas, not too many years ago there were many new buyers in the market, now many are replacing what has worn out or become obsolete.
     
  20. andiwm2003 macrumors 601

    andiwm2003

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    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #20
    The headless mid range Mac discussion is 15 years old. Apple never had any good offering in that segment and never will have as long as Ive/Cook are at the helm. If Windows was more secure I would have switched already. The only things that keep me at the Mac is security, being somewhat locked into the ecosystem and lazyness. The hardware is partially ok (MBP) and mostly to restricted for me (Mini, iMac, iPad, iPhone.....)
     
  21. jpietrzak8 macrumors 6502a

    jpietrzak8

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    Dayton, Ohio
    #21
    As others have said, Apple is just declining less than other brands are declining. I would argue that if Apple truly wanted to, they could expand their desktop sales by actually selling a desktop computer that is more in line with what users want...

    I love OS X. OS X is the only reason why I purchased a Mac. But the way I use my machines, I'm generally moving monitors between computers, running some headless, adding or removing hard drives or networking cards or graphics cards as needed to optimize my collection. Apple is slowly removing any possibility of doing these sorts of things with their devices.

    So yeah, much as I love OS X, I'm going to be returning to Linux soon, because I just can't get work done with Apple hardware any more. :(
    --- Post Merged, Mar 14, 2016 ---
    It's kind of funny; I'm starting to think that, if Thunderbolt 3 really is powerful enough to pipe all the data needed for a graphics card, wouldn't it be simpler is to just plug an entire PC into the Mini's Thunderbolt port. If Apple refuses to release a powerful, expandable desktop computer, but is willing to offload that much processing onto an external device, well heck! Just offload all the processing onto an external computer. Let the Mini just be the price required to run an authorized copy of OS X, and have it sit there feeding data to a machine that has the hardware I really want. ;)
     
  22. poematik13 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2014
    #22
    The CPU can also be changed in the 2013 Mac Pro. It is somewhat of an involved process (requires full disassemble and reapplication of thermal paste) but it certainly can be done. It's a standard LGA 2011 socket. OWC will do it for you, and they'll use your existing CPU as a trade in discount towards the service.

    Also, there are 3 GPU options- D300, D500, and D700. The latter has 6GB of VRAM per card.
     
  23. jpietrzak8 macrumors 6502a

    jpietrzak8

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    #23
    Good to know. :) Still, this seems a pretty awful level of customizability for a multi-thousand dollar computer. (I gotta say, I prefer the much more flexible design of the pre-2013 Pro...)
     
  24. awer25 macrumors 65816

    awer25

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2011
    #24
    This is the reason why the hackintosh community is growing. There's no other way to get a truly expandable desktop for those of us who prefer OSX. Nowadays, installing OS X on compatible, generic hardware is incredibly easy and rock solid.
     
  25. tokyodan macrumors regular

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    Dec 2, 2010
    #25
    Is it rock solid. I was advised buy Hackintosh fans to stay away if I don't like constantly fiddling around trying to fix things after every OSX update.
     

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