If the new Mac mini is still not coming, I'm getting the Skull Canyon!

Kaida

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 28, 2016
184
74
Singapore

Skylake i7
DDR4
M.2

The only thing bad I can think of is lack of 2.5" drive support. 1-2TB M.2 is still super expensive to replace the cheap data storage of a 2.5"... why Intel... why....
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,190
5,541
kaida wrote:
"The only thing bad I can think of is lack of 2.5" drive support."

This has USB3.1, does it not?
In that case, get an external USB3.1 2.5" enclosure, and plug in the SSD of your choice.

Yes, I realize "that means another case attached to it".
If you don't want that, buy an M.2 internal....
 

Kaida

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 28, 2016
184
74
Singapore
Well, the Skull Canyon is Intel's high-end, "price-is-no-object" SFF PC. Their more pedestrian NUCs (6i3SYH, 6i5SYH) do provide room for a standard 2.5" drive. :)
Yea, I noticed that too. Makes me wonder if I should just get an i5 for that 2tb 2.5"... The Skull Canyon looks cool on the outside. But on the insides, it just pretty generic green pcb and a steel plate. Apple really makes us appreciate what they have done with those unibody aluminium with black PCB and all that "T6 screw on a T8 screw" design..
 
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jnachbar

macrumors member
Nov 30, 2010
69
36
I've also been seriously considering this as an option for replacing my 2011 Mac mini. Obviously the biggest drawback is not being able to run OS X on it. I've thought about a hackintosh as well, but that is for a different post.

What I like about the skull canyon nuc that it has over the previous generation of intel nucs (and of course the Mac mini) is the skylake i7 CPU with the Iris Pro Graphics 580 iGPU and thunderbolt 3/USB 3.1 gen 2 support as well as DDR4 memory. It also has two M.2 slots. I know the m.2 PCIe SSD is quite expensive, but it is the fastest out there and it always costs more to get the latest and greatest. By now it's probably a $1K investment. You could use m.2 sata SSD to save a few bucks at the price of speed and of course you could go external 2.5 SSD on USB 3.1 which should be pretty fast and cheaper but that all kind of defeats the purpose of this chip set.

I know I'm probably dreaming, but come on apple, throw that in a new Mac mini and wow! I'm all over it, please take my thousand dollars....

Anybody else listen to the most recent Accidental Tech Podcast, it's shout out to MacRumors buying guide and how everything is "red, don't buy" and apple's overall mac hardware stagnation. Pretty good and thoughtful rant!
 
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Kaida

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 28, 2016
184
74
Singapore
I know I'm probably dreaming, but come on apple, through that in a new Mac mini and wow! I'm all over it, please take my thousand dollars....
I feel the same too and is still dreaming... DDR4 and M.2 (and a SATA3 port too for the 2TB HDD)
Seems like Apple doesn't care about our thousand dollars... haha
 

msh

macrumors 6502
Jun 13, 2009
331
107
SoCal
The way I use Minis - as HTPCs - i don't need internal storage, only fast SSDs for the OS. All data is streamed from a remote server via ethernet. Plus I am currently running Windows on both my Minis because the HTPC software I use (JRiver) has much more functionality under Windows. So my next SFF machine will most likely be a non-Apple one since Apple's likely offering will be a high priced, low spec, non-expandible machine but with a slick case and macOS.
 

richpjr

macrumors 68040
May 9, 2006
3,101
1,370
Even if you did want the storage, the Skull Canyon is much cheaper and will mop the floor with the Mini. A Mac Mini i7 with 16 GB ram and a 512 SSD drive is $1700. You can get a Skull Canyon NUC with 16 GB of ram and a 512 GB M.2 for $1000 right now on Amazon (plus the cost of whatever OS you want). If, and it's a big if for a lot of people, you don't need OS X it's kind of a no-brainer decision right now. Here's hoping Apple finally updates the Mini.
 

bopajuice

Suspended
Mar 22, 2016
1,571
4,310
Dark side of the moon
I like it. I am getting so tired of waiting for Apple to come out with something "NEW" and innovative. This looks interesting.
[doublepost=1470628491][/doublepost]
Yea, I noticed that too. Makes me wonder if I should just get an i5 for that 2tb 2.5"... The Skull Canyon looks cool on the outside. But on the insides, it just pretty generic green pcb and a steel plate. Apple really makes us appreciate what they have done with those unibody aluminium with black PCB and all that "T6 screw on a T8 screw" design..
Ya but the aluminum look has been around for a while now. Apple under Cook is just tweaks and updates to their increasingly dated designs.
 

Kaida

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 28, 2016
184
74
Singapore
I like it. I am getting so tired of waiting for Apple to come out with something "NEW" and innovative. This looks interesting.
[doublepost=1470628491][/doublepost]

Ya but the aluminum look has been around for a while now. Apple under Cook is just tweaks and updates to their increasingly dated designs.
Yup, the 2014 switch to the ultrabook processor and the soldered rams should have the form factor further reduced. Yet nothing was done. Back in 2010 when the first unibody came out, it was great, still good now, just not that great.
 

coldsweat

macrumors 6502
Aug 18, 2009
313
255
Grimsby, UK
Why do PC manufacturers always insist on making their cases look like their designed to appeal to pre-pubescent male teens?

edit: now I come to think about it - probably because they're designed to appeal to pre-pubescent male teens!
 

phrehdd

macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2008
3,266
725
I've also been seriously considering this as an option for replacing my 2011 Mac mini. Obviously the biggest drawback is not being able to run OS X on it. I've thought about a hackintosh as well, but that is for a different post.

What I like about the skull canyon nuc that it has over the previous generation of intel nucs (and of course the Mac mini) is the skylake i7 CPU with the Iris Pro Graphics 580 iGPU and thunderbolt 3/USB 3.1 gen 2 support as well as DDR4 memory. It also has two M.2 slots. I know the m.2 PCIe SSD is quite expensive, but it is the fastest out there and it always costs more to get the latest and greatest. By now it's probably a $1K investment. You could use m.2 sata SSD to save a few bucks at the price of speed and of course you could go external 2.5 SSD on USB 3.1 which should be pretty fast and cheaper but that all kind of defeats the purpose of this chip set.

I know I'm probably dreaming, but come on apple, throw that in a new Mac mini and wow! I'm all over it, please take my thousand dollars....

Anybody else listen to the most recent Accidental Tech Podcast, it's shout out to MacRumors buying guide and how everything is "red, don't buy" and apple's overall mac hardware stagnation. Pretty good and thoughtful rant!
How would you feel about a "Mac Mini" that has a built in keyboard? Consider buying a used MacBook (or new) and cracking off the display. Apple has proven of late no interest in making a Mini that is a natural upgrade from their 2012 quad models.
 

richpjr

macrumors 68040
May 9, 2006
3,101
1,370
Why do PC manufacturers always insist on making their cases look like their designed to appeal to pre-pubescent male teens?

edit: now I come to think about it - probably because they're designed to appeal to pre-pubescent male teens!
It does come with a second plain cover without the skull on it. If I get one, that is what I'd use.
 

Crosscreek

macrumors 68030
Nov 19, 2013
2,862
5,713
Margarittaville
Even if you did want the storage, the Skull Canyon is much cheaper and will mop the floor with the Mini. A Mac Mini i7 with 16 GB ram and a 512 SSD drive is $1700. You can get a Skull Canyon NUC with 16 GB of ram and a 512 GB M.2 for $1000 right now on Amazon (plus the cost of whatever OS you want). If, and it's a big if for a lot of people, you don't need OS X it's kind of a no-brainer decision right now. Here's hoping Apple finally updates the Mini.
If you stop and look at it you would be paying Apple $700 for the privilege of an outdated under powered computer and OS X.

Skull NUC has an excellent processor/graphics solution in a SF pc with excellent port arrangement and options.
 
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phrehdd

macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2008
3,266
725
Terrible. ;) Apple hasn't made a keyboard I could find comfortable to use for more than a decade now.
Well alas, it really isn't about the quality or ease of a keyboard (though I have zero issue) it is about the fact that the Mini's are the red headed step child of the Apple line up and that the laptop sans screen pretty much fills that spot.
 

hawkeye_a

macrumors 65816
Jun 27, 2016
1,258
3,230
Even *if* Apple updated the MacMini this year, what are the chances it comes with the same i7 that's in the Skull Canyon? Knowing Apple...i doubt it will.

It's not like the mini is difficult/complicated to update to keep it upto date with the latest processors on a yearly basis.

Right now, a Mini with and i5 and SSD comes to ~$850 (thats a 2 generation old processor). A NUC with a 6th Gen i5 and a 256GB SSD comes to ~$600 (add ~129 for WinXH), and you get a "modern" box, which is also smaller than the Mini. (AND more "upgradeable"). It's not even the price/premium for the product, it's the lack of interest/commitment from Apple to the product line. (Don't get me started on MacOS).

I've been an Apple fan for as long as I can remember, and the only time i can remember such neglect was in 96-97.

In the meantime, Apple has spent $3bn(i think?) on a headphones company which makes subpar headphones, watchbands and pencils.

/end rant
 

jpietrzak8

macrumors 65816
Feb 16, 2010
1,053
6,082
Dayton, Ohio
Well alas, it really isn't about the quality or ease of a keyboard (though I have zero issue) it is about the fact that the Mini's are the red headed step child of the Apple line up and that the laptop sans screen pretty much fills that spot.
Much as I hate to say it, no it doesn't. :) A laptop computer has many constraints upon it: it must be able to run for an adequate amount of time on battery power alone, it must be light enough that an average person can carry it, it must be small enough to fit into a bag / briefcase, etc. But none of these restrictions apply to desktop computers.

Apple has chosen, of its own accord, to place physical restrictions of various sorts onto its desktop machines. First, they have removed the user's ability to modify the hardware themselves. This in itself is not a detrimental restriction, in so far as they themselves provide a selection of models that satisfy most user's needs.

However, they are no longer doing so. They have given up on having a high-end graphics solution (and no, the Mac Pro does not count, given its extreme price and unusual specs, and the fact that it is now woefully out of date). They have crippled the Mini to the extent that, for the most part, their iMac is the only viable desktop PC left. And even if you don't mind being stuck with a non-upgradable machine welded to a non-removable screen, almost all the components of the iMac are low-power or laptop-oriented.

So no, Apple makes nothing that fills that spot. They appear to have no intention of filling that spot, either.
 
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grsc3p0

macrumors newbie
Oct 6, 2013
11
7
UK
Take a look at Lenovo's Tiny PC range. e.g M900 , M800 etc
It has Skylake i7 ,DDR4, M.2 (Pcie/MVNe) and 2.5" drive , 6 USB 3.0 ports.
I now have two of these quiet Tiny PCs running linux , VMWare and windows 10.
Am now thinking of selling my olde Mac Pro 2013 as these work so well.