Future MacMini - powered by the display?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by MRrainer, Nov 19, 2016.

  1. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

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    Zurich, Switzerland
    #1
    As the latest TB3/USB-C 3.1 displays can be a power-source, it occurred to me that maybe the next Mini will be so small and power-efficient that it can be powered by such a display.
    The LG 4K display can deliver 60W - that's much more than the power-supply of the 12" rMB and about on par with the power-supply of the 13" MBP.

    I'd guess it would have two USB-C ports and the combined audio port.
    They could probably reduce the size to that of the Magic Trackpad.

    Of course, it would be about as upgradable as the new MBPs (not at all).
    But if it had Core-M CPUs, it could be built fanless and as such have no moveable parts. It would be totally silent. No dust being sucked into it, clogging-up the fan after a while.
    I really like the quietness of my Mini. I'm actually thinking of ordering replacements from Aliexpress just in case - they're available there for a fraction of iFixit's price.
     
  2. troy14 macrumors 6502a

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    Las Vegas (Summerlin), NV
    #2
    So then it would be an iMac? If you required a display to power the Mini, that would eliminate almost any chance of it being portable (but even still who takes their Mini from place to place)...
     
  3. now i see it macrumors 65816

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    #3
    Apple will never create a MacMini that is anything other than the bottom of the barrel computing device.
     
  4. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    Sep 21, 2010
    #4
    Oh c'mon, netbooks and Chromebooks are bottom of the barrel computing devices, and Minis are substantially better than those.
     
  5. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #5
    My 2012 quad i7 Mini is 50% faster than the top of the line 13" MacBook Pro that Apple just introduced….
     
  6. MRrainer thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    It's different from the iMac in that you could choose the display.
    USB-C 3.1 is a standard.
    There are already displays other than the LG on the market, from ASUS and another one from LG.
     
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G4

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #7
    Boyd wrote:
    "My 2012 quad i7 Mini is 50% faster than the top of the line 13" MacBook Pro that Apple just introduced…."

    I'd like to see the numbers, please...
     
  8. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #8
  9. cynics macrumors G4

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    Jan 8, 2012
    #9
    No way! Imagine a monitor powering a Mac mini! Through USB C you can even use the USB ports of the monitor. Maybe they can even make a mount so you can connect the Mini to the back of the monitor....hmmmm :D
     
  10. sublunar macrumors 6502

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    Jun 23, 2007
    #10
    I think it's been mentioned elsewhere, but the OP's suggestion can be achieved by extracting the PSU from the Mini and making it a power brick again with a USB-C port. Each new Mini would obviously ship with the PSU as standard but anyone intending to use one of the 4k or 5k LG monitors would just connect the Mini to that instead. There'd be a massive temptation to call it the Nano but Apple really do probably need to keep 2.5" hard drives for use as Fusion drives.

    As mentioned, with 60w being the target benchmark from the 4k monitor there's going to be doubts over the finalised spec of such a small machine - and there's a possibility of looking towards the 15w CPU setup from the non-touchbar 13" Macbook Pro as the donor spec due to the smaller case size for heat dissipation issues.

    Apple would have to massively reduce the number of SKUs for a new machine along the lines. They may even produce a version of the Mac Pro that makes it significantly cheaper to buy and better value for money. We might know as soon as March.
     
  11. MRrainer thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    I wouldn't be surprised if the "base" for the new Mini was really the 12" rMB.

    After all, the rMB is the new Air - and the low-end of the Mini was already basically an entry-level MBA without he display.

    Not sure if that would win 'em any bonus-points in this forum, but it would really be kind-of-cool.
    But now that they don't even brand the displays, I have my doubts that they'd build and sell something that helps selling other people's hardware.
     
  12. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    Feb 21, 2012
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    #12
    That would make sense. It's the only Mac in Apple's current lineup that is actually slower than the 2014 Mini. :rolleyes:

    http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/macbook/specs/macbook-core-m3-1.1-12-early-2016-specs.html
    http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/mac_mini/specs/mac-mini-core-i5-1.4-late-2014-specs.html

    Apple MacBook "Core m3" 1.1 12" (Early 2016) - Geekbench 3 (64): 2528 Geekbench 3 (64): 5004

    Apple Mac mini "Core i5" 1.4 (Late 2014) Geekbench 3 (64): 2793 Geekbench 3 (64): 5387

     
  13. sublunar macrumors 6502

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    Jun 23, 2007
    #13
    I'm not sure the GPU in 5w Intel product will be able to drive a 5k screen with any satisfactory performance. The Air CPU is in a current Apple product, even if the proper 'Air' is on life support. If Apple were designing a product around the 5w rMB CPU they'd have to go all flash to make sure of the tiny form factor.

    If Apple really aren't getting enough profit from making their own 4k and 5k monitors you'd probably be better off assuming that they will go for higher profits by reducing the entry price of the Mac Pro. After all, that's a more suitable profit vehicle.

    Create a cheaper entry level Mac Pro by making some considered cuts to spec - lose 1 or 2 GPUs and go for a cheaper CPU with Iris Pro graphics for example. Those users will be more inclined to buy a 4k or 5k screen.
     

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