I know people use desktops

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Wirenut, Nov 6, 2016.

  1. Wirenut macrumors regular

    Nov 6, 2016
    People do use desktop computers. And not all of them use iMacs and super expensive trashcan Pros. SO what does everyone do, use laptops with monitors connected? What other option do Mac users have?

    That's the boat I am in now, I have a base level 13" MacBook Air sitting in a $40 stand that it never left. I use an Apple mouse and keyboard and an Asus 27" monitor.

    I need a little more processing power than my base level Air can give, so I have been waiting for a newer Mac Mini to come out, but it looks like that's not going to happen. I just don't understand why?? It's not like it needs to fit some small form factor, it can be any size or shape. Just put some new hardware into a box and it's good.

    I know this is a silly rant, but I just hate how Apple always does odd things. Just make a new Mac Mini, damnit!
  2. MysticCow macrumors 6502a

    May 27, 2013
    But a used Mac Pro from Mac of All Trades.

    Or a used mini from the same place, but then you have to be careful to not get a mini where everything is (stupidly) soldered on.
  3. Wirenut thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 6, 2016
    A used Mini is old. I don't want to buy used and I don't want to buy 2012 products. I am willing to spend the money on a nice new Mini if Apple would just make one.

    That's my point, the Mini is the easiest product to make. No size constrictions, just throw everything in a box and it will sell.
  4. Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

    Aug 31, 2012
    An island in the Andaman Sea.
    If you are patient:

    Wait a bit and choose the Mac Mini you desire/require from a new line-up of Mac Minis which will likely come sooner or later, and enjoy OS updates and support for about seven years after you buy it, and use for longer.

    If you really do need a new computer now:

    Choose from the current line-up of Mac Minis and spec the amount of RAM you want, up to 16 GB, and enjoy OS updates and support for seven years, though it will probably still be useful for longer.

    If you have a smaller budget, or want quad core processing power:

    Choose an older Mac Mini with the specs you require/desire, and add the RAM you want up to 16 GB, and enjoy OS updates and support for seven years after manufacture ceased, though it will probably still be useful for longer.

    In all cases a clean out every couple or three years will keep the Mini running sweetly.

    The chances of having to swap out the HDD increases after 4 years, but can be done on all models. The original HDD on mine is well over 7 years old now. If your budget extends to SSD it may last longer, though you get less GB for your buck, and may have to spring for extra external storage.
  5. Wirenut thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 6, 2016
    Thanks Micky. I will probably end up waiting. But hopefully a new model will be out soon. I have waited years and nothing has changed.
  6. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    The Mini uses laptop-power hardware anyways, so it's no different than having a laptop docked other than the extra expense and mobility advantages.

    Personally I wouldn't buy a Mini right now unless it was pretty nicely discounted.
  7. Wirenut thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 6, 2016
    That's my whole point. I wasted a lot of extra money getting a laptop since I don't need the portability. A Mini would be great for me, less expensive and better hardware. But the only problem is that Apple won't update the Mini, which is the easiest device to update.
  8. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    Aye, they just can't be bothered.

    Apple has shifted entirely to a focus on what's best for them rather than what's best for the customer.

    It would appear they don't want people buying the Pro or Mini at all. Why would they when they can charge you more to get a laptop which you don't even need, or an iMac as a last resort?
  9. jpietrzak8 macrumors 65816


    Feb 16, 2010
    Dayton, Ohio
    ? The Mini has a far more compact case than a laptop, and for the last six years or so has even been milled from a solid block of aluminum -- durable! It's much easier to find room for it on my desk, and I don't have to worry about it if my (slightly overweight) cat suddenly decides to jump on top of it. :) And although this may not always be the case in the future, but for now the Mini has far, far more ports available than any of Apple's laptops do.

    There are certainly a few advantages to be found in a machine designed specifically for desktop use, even one using mainly laptop components. :)
  10. Pakaku macrumors 68000


    Aug 29, 2009
    Apple can't mark up the prices on the Mini, because it's not tied to a keyboard they can exploit, and they adamantly refuse to buff it up beyond "entry level" specs, which includes not using USB-C as another excuse to mark up prices since the average consumer is still going to be using USB-A. So the Mini naturally becomes low-priority for Apple.

    You might be looking at alternative approaches (a new laptop, since you specifically stated "any shape"), or ditching Apple for another desktop brand, or even building your own PC. Building your own also comes with the potential to make a Hackintosh, if you're tied to the OSX line for some reason.
  11. dandeco macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2008
    I've always liked the idea of a desktop computer in my bedroom. In late 2014 I got an older 20" aluminum Apple Cinema Display and hooked it up to my 2009 MacBook, using it with an Apple wireless keyboard and Magic Mouse. I did like the bigger screen size.
    Then back in February of this year, at a small used electronics shop in Boston I saw a 2012 quad-core i7 Mac Mini being sold for $500, with the RAM maxed out to 16 GB! I couldn't resist buying it, and so I hooked it up to my display, and it's since become my main computer I use. The quad-core processor and high amount of RAM made a big difference when rendering video or using a virtual machine, or even basic multitasking.
    Interestingly, I had been thinking about getting a Mac Mini, but wasn't too keen on the 2014 models. I liked how the 2012 models had a quad-core option, and had user-serviceable parts.
    If you're looking into a Mac Mini, I highly recommend the quad-core 2012 model.
  12. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013

    I'm still traditional in that I like to have large monitor, nice keyboard and mouse, and a desk.

    Of course, it looks like docking your MacBook with a single USB-C connection is the way that Apple is heading. I think it's a great solution for those who need/use laptops, but it's too bad for desktop users.
  13. CmdrLaForge macrumors 601


    Feb 26, 2003
    around the world
    I really hope Apple gets to its senses and releases a powerful headless Mac. I don't care what they call it but the costs must not exceed the same confit from a great pc manufacturer
  14. Nospig macrumors member

    Jul 25, 2011
    Bangkok, Thailand
    I have the money waiting to spend right now. Current Mini not really enough for me, Mac Pro too old and too expensive, iMac has a screen I have no use for.
  15. zen macrumors 68000


    Jun 26, 2003
    Or, perhaps a better solution is to licence macOS out to other hardware manufacturers. macOS is, without doubt, the best OS there is, yet Apple really do it a disservice with their hardware.

    You can build the most kick-ass PC rig for less than the price of a Mac, and you can still have amazing industrial design and aesthetics (I've seen this as a criticism of custom-build PCs, but there are some truly incredible cases available that actually knock Apple's design out of the water).

    Or Apple could even do their own custom builds through the Apple store. Have a choice of 4-5 cases, from a mini to a giant last-gen aluminium Mac Pro tower. Build it up like a PC part picker.

    That would be amazing. But it'll never happen, so I'm building a PC instead.
  16. CmdrLaForge macrumors 601


    Feb 26, 2003
    around the world
    To hackintosh it or to just run windows?
  17. zen macrumors 68000


    Jun 26, 2003
    Hackintosh was tempting, but honestly, I'm just going to switch to Windows 10. My wife has a big custom build Windows 10 gaming rig, and it's freakin' amazing. We want to play games together, and I need to work on it during the day, so Windows will just be less of a headache.

    Cruising through several threads on this forum, a lot of people are still under the impression that Windows is a buggy, crashy mess that requires hours of updates and is full of driver incompatibilities. That was once true, for sure, but Windows 10 is about a thousand times better than Windows used to be. The increased hardware options and performance you get with a custom build PC (not to mention the reduced cost) outweighs the fact that you have to use Windows 10.
  18. Wirenut thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 6, 2016
  19. Crosscreek macrumors 68030


    Nov 19, 2013
    I built my own rig during the summer and bought components that could be hackintoshed if I chose to go that rout but I was just planing originally for a Linux/Windows 10 machine.

    After I built it and got Windows 10 and Ubuntu 16.04 set up I did buy an extra SSD for running the hack on which turned out to be very simple and reliable with hand off and messaging working.

    So I was finally ready to add a graphics card and this is where Apple and macOS fail. The only thing that is compatible with macOS with the latest GPUs is AMD. I gave a RX 480 a try which would be compatible with my 3 OSs and it ran pretty well except for macOS which had Apple made drivers that were terrible compared to AMDs native drivers.

    I sent the card back and bought a Nvidia GTX 1070 so I could do some decent 1440 and 4K gaming with and just use the IGPU for the hack.

    After running OSX for the past few years I did grow to like it very much but Windows 10 runs so well I hardly go to my hack disk anymore.
  20. wickedpapercut macrumors member


    Jul 17, 2005
    It's been a gap in the Apple computer product line for quite a few years. I'm running a 2012 mini with the i7 processor, an external SSD, and about 6TB of external hard drives connected. It's a great machine but it's falling behind on the power scale as well as compatibility with new OS features. I also have a laptop and an iPad that I use when I travel, depending on the amount of work/processing I'll need away from home.

    I don't, however, need a Mac Pro that can blaze through video, intensive calculations, or be used for multi-screen development processes. That puts me squarely in the middle... without a product to match my needs.

    I'd like to see the entry-level mini remain as the low-end option and it can even have everything soldered in place. It would be Steve's version of the "toaster" appliance computer. A mid-range desktop is missing. The Mac Pro desperately needs to be updated as well for the serious power hogs who need that kind of supercomputer. Their iPad and laptop lines are fine and seem to be the only devices being updated.

    There's my rant. I have low expectations that Apple considers the mid-range desktop platform as a profitable option.
  21. Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
  22. Cloudsurfer macrumors 65816


    Apr 12, 2007
    1. The Mac mini is an entry level computer, and as it stands it is powerful enough for most of its users. There is no need for Apple to rush a new model out.

    2. The performance ∆ between Skylake and Haswell is not that big. You will not notice any significant improvements. Intel is to blame here, simply because they have no competition (yet...).

    3. The Mac as a platform is no longer a priority for Apple.

    4. The only reason why the Mac mini had a quad core i7 is because it was repurposed as a server offering when the Xserve was abandoned. Apple seems to have zero interest in recapturing the server market and has therefore repurposed the Mini as a entry level computer.

    So, as it stands Apple will either discontinue the Mini (unlikely) or release another disappointment that will lead to yet another 800+ days of misery on this forum (very likely).

    It all comes down to what you need your computer to do. How old is you MBA and what do you need extra horsepower for? I use my 2014 Mini to run FCPX and it runs it well enough for my needs. I would probably buy one today if I came across a good deal, they are not bad computers. If you need a quad core, then waiting will probably leave you disappointed when the new models come around.
  23. jpietrzak8 macrumors 65816


    Feb 16, 2010
    Dayton, Ohio
    The Mac Mini is a Small Form Factor computer. That doesn't mean that it can't be a powerful computer, and indeed, up until the 2014 refresh there were high-end options that provided enough oomph to make it a useful workstation for many tasks. (This isn't to say that the top-level 2014 Mini isn't usable as a decent desktop computer, but there are just some things that run better when you've got more than 2 cores to work with.)

    True! Except, perhaps, if you want to use Thunderbolt 3. Or SATA Express. Or, more importantly, the fairly significant improvements in the integrated Iris / Iris Pro GPU...

    No argument here. :(

    Er, not quite sure about that. :) A blade form-factor that is designed specifically for use in 19" racks is a very different beast from a SFF box that is designed to sit on a desk. In any case, the first "Server Model" of the Mini came out in 2010, when Apple was still using Core 2 Duo CPUs. In fact, I'm writing this post on one of those very machines.

    Apple never really had a lot of interest in the server market to begin with. They have always been a GUI-centric device manufacturer, and people purchasing servers tend to care more about performance and price than usability or esthetics. The Xserve was, in my mind, never a really good fit for them.

    tl;dr: An updated Mini, using Skylake parts and including updated graphics and ports would be a very nice machine indeed. Kaby Lake even better. But yeah, I agree that such an update seems unlikely at this point. :(
  24. twalk macrumors regular

    Apr 22, 2009

    Yep, didn't work out too well for him.

    Apple is caught on both sides here.

    On one side, they have a high cost structure (+ insane profit margin expectations) which means that they have to charge really high prices. Charging high prices causes lower market share. Since MacOS is a platform, that can jeopardize it's survival. On the flip side, if Apple licenses the OS, then they undercut their own hardware sales...

    One way kills the platform slowly. The other kills the hardware division and basically turns Apple into Microsoft.

    The answer? Restrictive licensing combined with market segmentation. People will pay big money for real Apple Macintosh hardware. For the stuff that's not really worth Apple's time, such as the categories the mini, pro, and air are in, Apple should outsource that. This restrictive licensing would be like, the other company does all the design, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, marketing, warranty, etc, etc. Apple just makes MacOS work with it, cashes the licensing checks, and exercises veto ability make sure the new device fits the market segment just right for Apple's purposes. That uses the other company's lower cost structure, pushes the risk on to the other company, and would greatly minimize cannibalizing real Apple Macs.

    Apple cutting a deal with Intel for a Mini replacement using the NUCs would look pretty good right now. A sealed device starting at $400 made with plastic and labeled something like "Intel " (for market segmentation). Put a usb-c under the replaceable top lid and you could do some really cool stuff (drive slot, wireless charger, lcd screen, etc, etc)
  25. bse5150 macrumors 6502


    Jan 12, 2014
    John Sculley was long gone before Apple experimented with Mac clones. I forget exactly who it was that opened the Mac to clones, but it was either Spindler or Amelio.

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