[Poll] Should Mac mini evolve into a different product?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by nutmac, Sep 1, 2017.


What should Mac mini evolve into?

  1. Mac mini: Status quo, spec bumped with new components and Thunderbolt 3

  2. Mac nano: NUC/compute stick, 12" MacBook in a desktop form factor

  3. Mac cloud: Extend iCloud in a NAS form factor with 2-4 drive bays

  4. Mac Pro: Mac Pro using consumer grade components, priced as low as Apple can make it

  1. nutmac macrumors 601

    Mar 30, 2004
    During Mac Pro press gathering in April, Phil Schiller said:
    Not particularly resounding vote of confidence, but Phil Schiller thinks Mac mini has a market.

    To me, it's a versatile machine that fills many niches, such as (1) home theater PC, (2) server, and (3) my first "cheap" Mac.

    At the same time, it's neglected, unfocused, and not particularly awesome as a home theater PC (weak 4K support) nor as a server (non upgradable storage and memory).

    So what should it evolve into? Or should it just remain the way it is?
  2. geneking7320 macrumors newbie


    Feb 2, 2012
    Chicago, IL
    It might be the way to get the "headless iMac" many have asked for.
  3. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    I'd like to see the Mac mini as it is now, but slightly more upgradeable. Just a single PCIe slot, and the option for up to 8 core processors. Two NVME M.2 connectors. Shouldn't be much larger, nor much more expensive for produce. The extra options for upgrades should provide Apple with a nice income.
  4. techwarrior macrumors 65816


    Jul 30, 2009
    The Mini definitely has a place in the lineup. I would like to see them continue to offer it with regular spec bumps, but I think it could be more...

    Current models include a low end model which is fine for surfing the web and light tasks, maybe even a Home Theater box, it is attractive to new Mac users who can get in at a low price point before taking the leap to more expensive Mac models. The "high" end today is at best a mid-range PC, but lacks a modular design. That might be OK if they had a "Mini Pro" modular model with higher end graphics, more memory and higher end CPU. Think of it as a headless iMac Pro, or perhaps just under the iMac Pro in specs. A Mini Pro might need a larger form factor, maybe a higher profile in the same footprint like ATV4 did.

    I also think Mini could take on some new roles. Perhaps a Home Server model with Airport Router functionality, Time Machine server, limited macOS server functionality such as Web\Wiki Server, Calendar and Contacts server, Caching for iOS and Mac updates, and maybe a lite\consumer grade Profile Manager to keep all the iOS, ATV, and Mac devices up to date.

    The Mini is (or could be) a good platform for small business servers, it was a preferred option prior to the 2014 models, and could become that again with a more modular design and spec boosts.
  5. Moonjumper macrumors 68000


    Jun 20, 2009
    Lincoln, UK
    I voted Mac nano because it started as an old style MacBook without screen or keyboard, so it should evolve into a new style MacBook without screen or keyboard.

    But not yet. It serves a purpose as an entry level model, so it makes sense to have a HDD option for the lowest possible entry price until SSD options are cheaper. I would like to see a spec jump to bring it up to date, and hopefully bring back upgradeable RAM and drives. This is to be used as a stopgap until they can bring in something smaller at a reasonable price.
  6. Miat, Sep 1, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2017

    Miat macrumors 6502a

    Jul 13, 2012
    I voted for the status quo, but I don't actually care what the exact form it is. Some version of the Mac Pro form would work just as well, as long as it is compact enough to carry around as easily as the current form

    What I really want is current technology, including 4K 60Hz video and TB3, and a quad core option.
  7. opeter macrumors 68000


    Aug 5, 2007
    Slovenia, EU
    Status quo for me: speed bump, that is all I wish. Even the case can stay the same, doesn't bother me.
  8. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    Option #1, but add quad-core available for $699, Fusion drive standard on all models (1 TB HDD + 32 GB PCIe SSD in the $499 model), and user-replaceable DDR4 RAM.

    It's 2017 and the product + pricing strategy needs to show it. But any update to the mini is better than discontinuing it, which I wouldn't be surprised to see happen either.
  9. Po Dameron macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2017
    My theory is this new Mac Pro is only part of a grander plan to introduce a next gen unified desktop range that will be modular in design to allow it to scale from consumer and prosumer level hardware up to professional, thus subsuming the Mac mini demographic. The Mac mini as we know will cease to exist but be replaced as part of this New range. Hence pschiller had no more to say about it as he didn't want to spill the beans.
  10. HungarianStan macrumors member

    May 23, 2015
    I love the Mac Mini right as it is; a spec bump now and then would be nice, but no real change is needed to me. Going up to an iMac might make the wife mad, but the mini I can get away with, easy as pie. Anyway, I prefer my own screen and keyboard setup; buying an iMac would make what I already have redundant, and that's annoying.
  11. Miat macrumors 6502a

    Jul 13, 2012
    That is a tempting and plausible theory, that would fit into Apple's history of innovation.

    I find it difficult to believe that Apple don't understand the problems with the current desktop range.
  12. nutmac thread starter macrumors 601

    Mar 30, 2004
    The key question is the price. Entry level Mac Pro was often priced at $2499 and PowerMac G5 (identical design) was once priced at $1499.

    In all likelihood, if new Mac Pro is designed serve both Mac Pro and Mac mini users, I suspect it will be priced at a premium at first ($1499 or $1999), with older Mac mini sticking around in its obsolete glory (just like MacBook Air).
  13. tigerinexile macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2015
    Want a quad-core option, replaceable SSD and RAM, and same form factor.

    Thunderbolt 3 ports, of course.
  14. Falhófnir macrumors 68040


    Aug 19, 2017
    Depends on what market there is/ Apple wants to aim at, a reduction down to something the size of an external SuperDrive with effectively the same specs as a MacBook could be appealing to a lot of people, but then it would truncate the semi-professional market who don't need anything like a Mac Pro but do need a bit of poke. Ultimately though I guess the latter crowd is catered to by the iMac, with a good screen built in to boot, so the MM is probably best aimed at a casual consumer market.
  15. Ace2617 macrumors regular


    Mar 16, 2016
    Status quo is fine. Especially with a quad core option. It'd be cool if they make changes to make it a slightly different product, but imo it's not necessary. I'm still using my 2012 Mac Mini, but in time it'd be nice to get a new one.
  16. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

    Nov 16, 2012
    Apple is dead to me because of the way they handled the Mac Mini. I'll be checking out the Google Pixel 2 against the new iPhone.
  17. Yvan256 macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2004
    SSDs are already cheap enough, HDDs are way too slow even for older version of OS X such as 10.9.5.

    Sure they won't be able to put a 512GB SSD in the entry-level Mac mini, but 128GB is plenty for the OS and a couple of programs. It doesn't have to be a lightning-fast PCI-e SSD either, anything is better than the slow 5400RPM HDDs that Apple currently uses. It's more about seek times than transfer speeds.
  18. VinOrdinaire macrumors newbie


    Jul 26, 2017
    Mac Mini has languished too long; nobody can count on regular updates. I'd like to see a Mac Mini announcement from Apple next Tuesday in the "one more thing" category.

    If Apple won't keep the Mac Mini current (and who would believe them at this point), I'd prefer they ship a more upgradable modular box. Memory, drives, graphics cards could be more la carte and user upgradable. Apple can set the baseline with maybe 8 GB RAM and 512 GB SSD and onboard graphics on the CPU. CPU options can be revised to match the range of iMac CPUs, which will mean a beefier power supply.
  19. Lesser Evets macrumors 68040

    Lesser Evets

    Jan 7, 2006
    ONE MORE THING!!! .... there is no MacMini update.

    They should redesign the Mini into something 1/3 the size and just update the specs. There is no reason for the Mini to be this bulky anymore. It should be 1/3rd the size with soldered in stuff for $399 base.
  20. critter13 macrumors 6502

    Aug 23, 2010
    TB3 with eGPU support makes for a lot of possibilities without form factor changes. But a totally customizable mac pro that can start in the low range is possible too. if they don't announce a new mini in oct i will probably go the hackintosh route. I love my cMP but i would love something a little more power efficient and a modern CPU.
  21. EmlynDewar macrumors member

    Aug 17, 2011
    Chengdu, China
    I think we all know the Mac Mini is consigned to the history books, but if there was a redesign I'd want a NUC style box.
    Not compute stick.

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