How will Apple gimp the mini with Haswell?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Count Blah, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. Count Blah, Feb 15, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2013

    Count Blah macrumors 68040

    Count Blah

    Jan 6, 2004
    US of A
    You know it will happen. We all know it will happen. The next mini refresh that will contain Haswell can NOT take sales away from the iMac. Keeping the graphics and/or CPU a generation or two behind the iMac has always the easy play for Apple.

    But with Haswell, the present model potentially gets put on it's ear. I"m REALLY excited about the possibility, and would but a mini the day it's announced, if Apple releases what I want. But as we've all seen with the mini, it's not what WE want, it's what Apple can release so as not to cut into iMac/MBA/MBP sales.

    Given all that, my prediction is that only the highest model gets Haswell, and even in that, they do NOT release GT3 on the 1st go-round. The lower models will contain i7's with slightly faster clock speeds. MAYBE, and only maybe, an increase in memory or disk space on the lower models.

    It would fit right in line with what they have historically done, and would not eat into sales of other products. I hope I am wrong.

    What do you think the Haswell mini will look like?
  2. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    MOD NOTE: I went ahead and did it for you, but you should be able to do it yourself. Edit -> Go Advanced.

  3. Count Blah thread starter macrumors 68040

    Count Blah

    Jan 6, 2004
    US of A
    Thanks, noted for future screw-ups on my part ;)
  4. gregorsamsa macrumors 6502a

    Apr 6, 2006
    (Metamorphosing near) Staffs, 51st State.
    Agree they won't risk cannibalizing iMac sales under any circumstances. How might they "gimp" Haswell Minis? Good question.

    Little is 100% certain re Apple's future roadmap, but that increasing focus on iOS & mobile devices seems likely. That's where the greatest market share & profit margins will be. Conceivably, Macs may play a much less important role for Apple in future.

    By the time Haswell is released, Apple may have moved way ahead towards integrating OS X & iOS. By then, Apple might also have considerably advanced development of their own custom-designed ARM processors, with more cores. ARM already announced their 64-bit core CPU last October.

    Though I hope the following doesn't happen, by the time of Haswell, the Mini could be made even thinner & run on advanced ARM processors. The iMac seeing ARM-based CPUs with more cores. More powerful graphics may be sacrificed to hasten the overall transition

    I don't necessarily believe it'll play out like this. I honestly don't know. This view could turn out to be complete BS. :) But I doubt that such a scenario won't be feasible for Apple at some point in the not so distant future.

    Apple will likely follow the most profitable markets. In future, this seems less likely to be focused on improving the specs of their consumer Mac range (ditto for other proper computers), & more so on improving their mobile devices.
  5. CausticPuppy macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2012
    This isn't true - in fact, the Mac Mini got the Ivy Bridge CPU's months before the iMac did.

    The only difference is that the Mini uses laptop CPU's while iMac uses desktop CPU's (with discrete graphics, albeit mobile GPU's).
  6. Woyzeck macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2012
    I'm afraid that there's a good chance that they'll drop the Mini at all. It's original purpose was to provide a low-cost and thus low-barrier-entry into OSX for people coming over from PCs. The objective was that once they're in they'll probably purchase something more expensive (iMac, MBA, MBP) later.

    As the desktop seems to be of lower importance now for Apple I doubt that the Mini can still provide what Apple is looking for. By 2013 it's much more likely that switchers will buy a low-cost notebook than a low-cost desktop.

    So somehow the MBA could be the new Mini.
  7. Count Blah thread starter macrumors 68040

    Count Blah

    Jan 6, 2004
    US of A
    That's why I said "CPU and/or GPU" The mini got the IB CPU, but lost integrated graphics so as NOT to cannibalize iMac sales too much. This is precisely why I think GT3 in the mini is a pipe dream on the initial haswell upgrade. The mini would simply be too compelling, when compared to the iMac.
  8. Futurix macrumors 6502


    Nov 22, 2011
    All they need to do is update iMacs 6-8 months before the mini.
  9. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Because of the Mini's small size it'll never get any CPU / GPU with a high TDP. Of course you should be able to buy a not gimped at all Pro this fall.
  10. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    well if they want to have 2 desktop lines.

    a fusion of the mini and the pro.

    you could have 5 or 6 models.

    then to make the iMac compete you could allow hdd access.

    it could work.

    but most likely they will keep the 3 lines with the mini getting welded ram.

    the mini is very close to being converted into a non mod-able piece of gear.

    intel is developing mini computers

    I think these will pressure apple into a black box mini. I hope that I am wrong.
  11. ToomeyND macrumors 6502

    Sep 14, 2011
    I swear I already posted in this thread, but I'll repost.

    I'm due for an upgrade, but I plan on waiting until the refresh at the end of this year. I'm also scared of what they will do with the update. My biggest fear is removing the ability to do user upgrades. For example, soldering the ram and ssd or just closing off the unit at much as possible. If they do this, I will have waited a 8-11 months just to settle for this year's model...
  12. Acorn macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2009
    intel is beginning to figure out heat wise why apple uses laptop cpu and not desktop cpu in the mini. intel boasts a desktop board inside yet heat proves its not a viable option yet.
  13. spatlese44 macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2007
    Wouldn't ram soldered to the board be more appropriate where space is truely at a premium as in laptops? I could see Apple creating such a device for kiosk use and such, but I think the for consumer use the Mini is already small enough.
  14. ToomeyND macrumors 6502

    Sep 14, 2011
    People said that about the iMac too. Then apple trimmed it down, requiring users to purchase an external ODD to compliment their Most-in-One machine.
  15. Count Blah thread starter macrumors 68040

    Count Blah

    Jan 6, 2004
    US of A
    Never underestimate Apple's desire to make things thinner. Thinner to the point of reduced functionality for the end user, as ToomeyND points out.
  16. ToomeyND macrumors 6502

    Sep 14, 2011
    Think of just taking the innards of the rMBP and put all the ports on the back of a square enclosure instead of both sides of a laptop. That is what I'm afraid they are going to do. It'd be amazingly thin for amazingly no reason.
  17. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    This is my guess for the 2013 Haswell Mac Mini (might even slip to early 2014 since they generally run about a 15 month update cycle). Generally speaking Apple has been building the Base Mini's around whatever the 13" MBP has for CPU. The High end Mini ($800 model) has been a moving target so it's hard to say. 2010 and 2012 it was what the Base 15" MBP had for CPU, but the 2011 used the upper 13" (probably because they paired it with the AMD 6630).

    My guess is you are right that the Base Mini will be the 13" rMBP processor + soldered memory, but will throw in the small SSD from the 13" as their way of saying "sorry for the soldered memory" and the High end mini will probably be whatever the base 15" rMBP has (but not discrete GPU). Just my guess. All in a super thin package that is about half the height of the current Mini....
  18. Che Castro macrumors 603

    May 21, 2009
    how big of a difference will this haswell be be compared to the new model out now

    i just got the base mini 2012 last week and put 16gb of ram in it

    are you guys going to sell yours when this haswell drops?
  19. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    I'll be retiring my 2006 MacPro as my "server" and putting my 2012 in it's place. And then putting the Haswell Mini as my "main" desktop. I know I have "special" circumstances...
  20. gregorsamsa macrumors 6502a

    Apr 6, 2006
    (Metamorphosing near) Staffs, 51st State.
    Haswell will be about 3 times faster than Ivy Bridge for onboard 3D graphics:

    I'm buying, bar one proviso. If the next Mini's RAM is non-upgradable, my next Mac will be 2nd user & so on. No more new Macs for me &, in time, I'll switch more work over to PC. That's for sure.

    I've upgraded RAM on all 3 of my previous Macs, saving loads on Apple's exorbitant prices. It's not so much the cost though, more so the principle. :rolleyes:
  21. rbrian macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2011
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    Apple aren't afraid to cannibalise their own products. The mini Server killed the X-Serve, the MacBook Air and classic MacBook Pro killed the plain MacBook. That being said, there's no reason to gimp the mini to avoid canibalising the iMac - they could be identical but for the screen and still be different enough.

    The Haswell mini will probably be made 12mm thinner by removing one of the drive bays, leaving no room for a discrete graphics card. This will be less important with Haswell, which has much better standard graphics. The missing second drive will be replaced with a blade type SSD and standard HDD Fusion drive. They've made the RAM so easy to change with a simple twist that I doubt they'd solder it... But I've been wrong before.

    The lineup will be two models, with the internals of the low-end 13" MBP, and the high-end 15". The iMac will have some desktop components, making it faster despite similar numbers - and it comes with a screen, which will be cheaper than the equivalent mini + Thunderbolt Display. The Mac Pro will be supercomputer.
  22. Rapscallion macrumors regular

    Sep 28, 2010
    I'm surprised they haven't put a blade style SSD in the mini yet, of course those are more expensive then the standard HDD and then that would eat into the profit margins, maybe I shouldn't be so surprised.

    I bet that this is where we are headed though, soldered ram and Blade SSD's would make more room in the body or would allow apple to make the mini tiny.
    Hmmm a Mac Tiny!
  23. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009

    Mac Nano!
  24. mslide macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2007
    Exactly like the minis now except it will have Haswell. Not putting discrete graphics in them is enough of a gimp.
  25. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    You know the big advantage to a Mini is you can either buy a better and less mirror like display than Apple offers or save money on a less expensive one. Not everyone will do this either way. Some people buy the mini and a thunderbolt display. I'll never understand the point of a stationary machine with a display that is marketed based on its functionality as a docking station.

    Your assumptions are really silly and merely suggest that you haven't paid attention to what actually trickles out. The 2011 had a very poor gpu implementation. They used a sort of lower mid range notebook gpu and starved it on memory. It outperforms the HD 4000 when the memory isn't an issue. When it is, the gap closes pretty fast. Instead this year they went to a more expensive cpu on the mid range model and dropped the "discrete" gpu. Integrated means it's part of the cpu package, which is what it has now, not what it lost. GT3 just depends on the available matrix of cpu and gpu configurations in terms of tdp, price, and core count.

    It still puzzles me at times. It's like they try to gauge what percentage of users will be affected and out of those what percentage will put up with it. They could at least do better than extortionate prices for poorly made dongles. One of the old mini displayport to dvi dongles I used a long time ago had misaligned seams like it wasn't assembled properly. The things frequently die or don't maintain solid connections, which is why I hate anything that forces the use of dongles. Anyone who doesn't believe me can check Apple Store comments.

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