[RENDER] Mac mini for 2014

Vukmon

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 18, 2013
61
0
Started with modeling few weeks ago, so here are my first renders :)

I would like to see Mac mini as prosumer version of Mac Pro! So it should be much more capable than current Mac mini. Top specs should include i7 Haswell processor, dedicated mobile graphic card, 16 GB of 1600MHz DDR3 memory and 1TB flash storage.

To accommodate all components & ensure low temparatures, new Mac mini should be bigger compared to current one.

Now, take a look on renders :D

 
Last edited:

costabunny

macrumors demi-goddess
May 15, 2008
2,464
59
Weymouth, UK
I like!

Always love to see fan art esp when it 'could' be an actaul product design. This is nicely done and is in keeping with current design ethos.

10/10 from me
 

shaunp

Cancelled
Nov 5, 2010
1,811
1,395
Looks good. I would buy it in a heartbeat if it had dedicated graphics - GTX 780 or above to future-proof it a little.
 

haravikk

macrumors 65816
May 1, 2005
1,494
21
I do think round is a good possibility, but how big are you putting the Mac Mini at size-wise?

Personally I don't see them making the Mini much taller, but with smaller, even more memory efficient components it can definitely shave off some of the square profile.

I'd expect it to become round to the same size as the bottom cover, losing the 2nd drive bay (since it's just a holdover from the optical drive anyway) in favour of a compact SSD blade for Fusion drive configs. With a circular design they might be able to expand the fan to almost fit the full profile of the machine (like the Mac Pro, but still an internal blower type fan), which could make the machine even quieter, and that's assuming it'll even still need a fan, as Apple could go another route such as dissipating heat onto the case via heat-pipes, allowing the whole system to be passively cooled.

I'm also hoping they might build in VESA compatibility; I recently drilled holes through the bottom cover my Mac Mini (after removing it!) to fit the holes on the back of a monitor, dead easy to do and there's plenty of clearance for the screw heads, making it an instant VESA compatible machine, it just lacks a proper mechanism to keep it locked, though I've achieved that with generous use of cable manager so it can budge at all. :)

Not sure whether I'd expect it to mimic the Mac Pro finish, as I doubt the Mac Mini will ever be a "pro" product (even if professionals can use it), so they may want to keep it in line with other consumer products.
 

Vukmon

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 18, 2013
61
0
^ Those are very good points. Since my wishes for hardware are set pretty high, I thought dimensions of whole pack should suffer. But, as you said, maybe it could be same size, or even smaller than current Mac mini :eek:
 

hudson1

macrumors 6502
Jun 12, 2012
405
192
I do think round is a good possibility, but how big are you putting the Mac Mini at size-wise?

Personally I don't see them making the Mini much taller, but with smaller, even more memory efficient components it can definitely shave off some of the square profile.

I'd expect it to become round to the same size as the bottom cover, losing the 2nd drive bay (since it's just a holdover from the optical drive anyway) in favour of a compact SSD blade for Fusion drive configs. With a circular design they might be able to expand the fan to almost fit the full profile of the machine (like the Mac Pro, but still an internal blower type fan), which could make the machine even quieter, and that's assuming it'll even still need a fan, as Apple could go another route such as dissipating heat onto the case via heat-pipes, allowing the whole system to be passively cooled.

I'm also hoping they might build in VESA compatibility; I recently drilled holes through the bottom cover my Mac Mini (after removing it!) to fit the holes on the back of a monitor, dead easy to do and there's plenty of clearance for the screw heads, making it an instant VESA compatible machine, it just lacks a proper mechanism to keep it locked, though I've achieved that with generous use of cable manager so it can budge at all. :)

Not sure whether I'd expect it to mimic the Mac Pro finish, as I doubt the Mac Mini will ever be a "pro" product (even if professionals can use it), so they may want to keep it in line with other consumer products.
The design problem with "round" is it inevitably results in ports on the side. The nMP deals with this by arranging the ports vertically but I doubt any plausible mini redesign would offer this possibility. Frankly, I think the mini will soldier on with basically the current design... maybe reduce the footprint a little.
 

ChristianVirtual

macrumors 601
May 10, 2010
4,105
269
日本
:apple: could sell the "innovative" idea to put some interface connectors to where the user is: in front.

So power, network, one TB/mini DP, half USB at the backside; half of USB and maybe one TB in front.
 

TLansing

macrumors newbie
Mar 25, 2010
6
0
Nice Rendering

Nice work on the rendering, but I don't think the flattened design would be effective for cooling. The taller design on the nMP forces more air through with a smaller fan.

I'll submit that Apple may be considering using the same form factor as the nMP. Much like the way the MacBook went the way of the MacBook Pro. Using the same form factor reduces costs and probably was the underlying decision on the MBP path. Why continue with two desktop form factors when they essentially reduced the size to essentially that of the mini?

And, this could explain why they've held off on refreshing the mini...
 

haravikk

macrumors 65816
May 1, 2005
1,494
21
The design problem with "round" is it inevitably results in ports on the side. The nMP deals with this by arranging the ports vertically but I doubt any plausible mini redesign would offer this possibility. Frankly, I think the mini will soldier on with basically the current design... maybe reduce the footprint a little.
The question really is, how many ports does the Mac Mini really need? HDMI certainly to keep its usefulness with HDTVs (though the loss of Front Row sucks), at least one Thunderbolt port, three or four USB ports, power connector, it only really needs a single audio connection, but what else? Ethernet is nice to have, but with built in wireless not everyone uses it, and it's easy to add via Thunderbolt; I wouldn't like it, but it's how Apple may see it.

With minimal ports the Mac Mini wouldn't really need to go vertical, and likewise reducing to a bare minimum the ports hardly need to take up any space at all. The rear ports on a Mac Mini have always been awkward, to the point that you don't really need more than two USB ports, such as one for a backup drive and one for a wired keyboard with integrated USB hub, or a separate USB hub if you use a wireless keyboard. Over time more displays will hopefully replace Display Port with Thunderbolt in order to add extra ports (which are more convenient anyway).

For example, here's a really quick and dirty re-arrangement of ports; image sucks a bit, but it shows how they can be reasonably compressed, and should fit pretty well even on a circular profile. For cooling the system could use vertical slits on just the right side, angled backwards so they're hidden from most angles.



Without ethernet and only a single Thunderbolt port (might be pretty likely for a smaller system) you could move the Thunderbolt over to the HDMI port. So yeah, there is absolutely room to do this, and the above image is actually keeping flexibility, I wouldn't be surprised to just lose the Firewire port with no extra Thunderbolt, and maybe even lose a USB port or two as I'm not sure Mac Minis desperately need them.
 

Crosscreek

macrumors 68030
Nov 19, 2013
2,856
5,730
Margarittaville
Lets add a new design monitor. Perhaps a pane of glass with (HUD) heads up display. Settings could be transparent or translucent with laser output display and configure to 2-d or holographic display. What to do with the Apple?:confused::confused:
 

Bear

macrumors G3
Jul 23, 2002
8,088
4
Sol III - Terra
Started with modeling few weeks ago, so here are my first renders :)

I would like to see Mac mini as prosumer version of Mac Pro! So it should be much more capable than current Mac mini. Top specs should include i7 Haswell processor, dedicated mobile graphic card, 16 GB of 1600MHz DDR3 memory and 1TB flash storage.
...
I presume you mean a desktop i7 instead of a laptop i7? Basically an iMac in terms of cpu, memory, gpu etc?

I would be interested in something like this.
 

jetblast

macrumors newbie
Nov 16, 2013
13
0
The reason I love the current design is how short the mini is. I have one 27" display, but my entire desk is full along the wall (the side where the monitor is). The mini fits perfectly underneath the display to its right, with about an inch to spare.

Anything taller and I'll have to move the mini underneath the desk, which is something I would never consider. Because of this, I don't believe the design will change much from the current.
 

riggles

macrumors 6502
Dec 2, 2013
256
0
I think that if the Mini sees any major redesign, it will resemble the new AirPort Extreme more than the new Mac Pro.
 

esskay

macrumors 6502
Jan 3, 2008
308
7
The overall size looks awfully large to me too. But great rendering job, very cool!
 

hudson1

macrumors 6502
Jun 12, 2012
405
192
The question really is, how many ports does the Mac Mini really need? HDMI certainly to keep its usefulness with HDTVs (though the loss of Front Row sucks), at least one Thunderbolt port, three or four USB ports, power connector, it only really needs a single audio connection, but what else? Ethernet is nice to have, but with built in wireless not everyone uses it, and it's easy to add via Thunderbolt; I wouldn't like it, but it's how Apple may see it.

With minimal ports the Mac Mini wouldn't really need to go vertical, and likewise reducing to a bare minimum the ports hardly need to take up any space at all. The rear ports on a Mac Mini have always been awkward, to the point that you don't really need more than two USB ports, such as one for a backup drive and one for a wired keyboard with integrated USB hub, or a separate USB hub if you use a wireless keyboard. Over time more displays will hopefully replace Display Port with Thunderbolt in order to add extra ports (which are more convenient anyway).

For example, here's a really quick and dirty re-arrangement of ports; image sucks a bit, but it shows how they can be reasonably compressed, and should fit pretty well even on a circular profile. For cooling the system could use vertical slits on just the right side, angled backwards so they're hidden from most angles.

Image

Without ethernet and only a single Thunderbolt port (might be pretty likely for a smaller system) you could move the Thunderbolt over to the HDMI port. So yeah, there is absolutely room to do this, and the above image is actually keeping flexibility, I wouldn't be surprised to just lose the Firewire port with no extra Thunderbolt, and maybe even lose a USB port or two as I'm not sure Mac Minis desperately need them.
Few, if anyone, will want to give up ports (most of which are being used already) just to say their computer is round. Also, it seems quite doubtful at the moment that Apple will remove Ethernet from a desktop computer. So far there's been no indication they will do this.
 
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