What's holding back the update for the Mac Mini?

InternetSandman

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 25, 2011
8
0
I want an update to my aging mid 2010 MBP, the CPU and GPU are becoming too weak for gaming, especially now that I bought a big 27" monitor that I leave it hooked into (my MBP just sits there nowadays, I have an iPad for portability so I want a desktop computer with some proper meat on its bones, to speak metaphorically). All I want is a MM with a GPU powerful enough to game on this display (if not at the native 2560x1440 then at least at 1920x1080) and while it seems like that would be a simple enough upgrade today (along with Ivy Bridge CPU, TB, etc.)

What's holding back the upgrade? Do they want to upgrade both the iMac and the Mac Mini at the same time? If so I can see why they're holding back, but if not, are they building an entirely new chassis or something (a chassis change beyond simply cutting out the proper I/O holes for TB and USB3 rearrangements)? I haven't found any news on the topic but I attributed that to nobody caring about desktops in the wake of the iPad mini and iPhone 5, does anyone here know what might be holding back the update, and when we might actually see the new models roll in?

Also, what are the odds we'll see a quad core i7 available as an option in the MM without sacrificing the GPU entirely by having to go to the server model
 

paulrbeers

macrumors 68040
Dec 17, 2009
3,960
120
Also, what are the odds we'll see a quad core i7 available as an option in the MM without sacrificing the GPU entirely by having to go to the server model
If history has taught us anything, the Mac Mini will get the same processors as the 13" Macbook Pro. The Mac Mini server has gotten whatever is in the entry level 15" Macbook Pro. Using that, you wont' see a quad core i7 in the Mid-Mini, but most likely the 2.9ghz Dual Core....

I'm not saying Apple couldn't deviate from that, just saying that's the way it has been for the last couple of generations.....
 

Che Castro

macrumors 603
May 21, 2009
5,675
522
I know apple is secretive but the mac mini is not as big as the iphone, why dont they just say that one is coming out this year

I want to get one too, but not if one is coming out next month :(
 

Liquinn

Suspended
Apr 10, 2011
3,016
57
I know apple is secretive but the mac mini is not as big as the iphone, why dont they just say that one is coming out this year

I want to get one too, but not if one is coming out next month :(
Hmmm, I don't understand why they don't just say there'll be one soon though. :(
 

neilmacd

macrumors 6502
Apr 18, 2010
275
2
UK
Hmmm, I don't understand why they don't just say there'll be one soon though. :(
Announce it now and sales of the current mini would plummet, leaving Apple with old stock they'd rather not have that they'll then have to sell at a discount.
 

batistuta

macrumors regular
Jan 15, 2008
128
12
I so want a quad with a decent gpu but knowing apple it is not happening.
Erhm, you would not want that in the current enclosure as the current i7 is already making too much heat - i.e. the fan noise is loud when the machine is doing video encoding or gaming (just flash games like on the Lego homepage). Much worse than my old Mini and it doesn't give you the smooth Apple experience I am looking for (and paying for...)
Hope they will improve this in an upcoming revision, or I may opt for a less powerful CPU, since osx doesn't have a nice GUI for CPU throttling built in.
And me even looking for such a thing is a failure on Apples part, IMHO.
 

philipma1957

macrumors 603
Apr 13, 2010
6,271
191
Howell, New Jersey
Erhm, you would not want that in the current enclosure as the current i7 is already making too much heat - i.e. the fan noise is loud when the machine is doing video encoding or gaming (just flash games like on the Lego homepage). Much worse than my old Mini and it doesn't give you the smooth Apple experience I am looking for (and paying for...)
Hope they will improve this in an upcoming revision, or I may opt for a less powerful CPU, since osx doesn't have a nice GUI for CPU throttling built in.
And me even looking for such a thing is a failure on Apples part, IMHO.
oh I agree they won't do it in the current case they would need to pull the internal psu and give a brick this would make more room and allow better air 2 fans yada yada yada . there is no way apple will offer a brick external psu. so I am not counting on a quad with a better gpu.
 

paulrbeers

macrumors 68040
Dec 17, 2009
3,960
120
just flash games like on the Lego homepage IMHO.
There's problem #1. Flash on Macs is basically Fail. Flash on a Mac will basically send your CPU utilization sky rocketing, so don't pretend that Flash games are low power usage on Macs because they certainly are not....
 

ivnj

macrumors 65816
Dec 8, 2006
1,175
38
The reason its not being updated is because its not needed right now.
 

deconstruct60

macrumors G3
Mar 10, 2009
8,566
1,514
What's holding back the upgrade? Do they want to upgrade both the iMac and the Mac Mini at the same time?
If there was something the iMac and mini shared perhaps (discrete GPU option?). But as pointed out the MBP 13" is a close match ( besides the one config with a discrete GPU).

The primary reason for the delay is because they can. Apple can string out announcements over time so that have something to release every 1-2 months. So stringing along the mini till Aug allows them to perhaps drop an iMac in Sept or October. Or they could do both in Aug after doing two in June (MBA and MBP ). If Apple does them all very rapidly in 2 months there are the other 10 months of the year with nothing to release. It isn't like Apple needs to release the mini so can make Q3 revenue targets and be profitable.

A very reasonable reason would be to wait for the release of 10.8.1 before the new mini. First, the new mini has to get 10.8 at this point. the 10.x.0 versions are always have a long list of annoying flaws. the 10.x.1 version usually follows in 10-30 days later. They'd probably ship with the 10.8.0 installed (if shipping in Aug) but get patched up right as do the initial config.

Shipping a major OS upgrade at the same time ship as ship new hardware generally isn't a good idea. It is less risky to just change one "major variable" at a time.


Another less likely glitch is that MBP 13" are selling at a much higher rate than Apple anticipated. Perhaps they expected the MBA 13" to decimate the MBP 13" and it is not. Is so then may have a short term need to consume MM parts to help beef up the MBP 13" production.


If so I can see why they're holding back, but if not, are they building an entirely new chassis or something (a chassis change beyond simply cutting out the proper I/O holes for TB and USB3 rearrangements)?
Really no need to cut the I/O assembly; it is plastic. USB3 "holes" are just as big as USB2 holes. Nothing new. If nuked a USB2/3 hole it would be straightforward to add a second TB next to the one already there. If they wanted to sell more FW dongles I guess they could nuke the FW800 slot.

I suspect they won't though. I suspect they will spin two TB ports as a "Pro"/"High end" feature. Like having two FW ports was. Two TB ports really just allow the Mac to be placed in the middle of the TB chain instead of one of the ends.
 

Poki

macrumors 65816
Mar 21, 2012
1,315
902
Erhm, you would not want that in the current enclosure as the current i7 is already making too much heat - i.e. the fan noise is loud when the machine is doing video encoding or gaming (just flash games like on the Lego homepage). Much worse than my old Mini and it doesn't give you the smooth Apple experience I am looking for (and paying for...)
Hope they will improve this in an upcoming revision, or I may opt for a less powerful CPU, since osx doesn't have a nice GUI for CPU throttling built in.
And me even looking for such a thing is a failure on Apples part, IMHO.
You know there's this CPU out there called i7-3612qm, right? It basically needs just as much power and generates just as much heat as the current i5 Minis. So a Quad-Core Mini with a dedicated GPU technically is no problem. The cooling - well, there are a dozen option to improve it, I hope they'll take care of it.
 

comatory

macrumors 6502a
Apr 10, 2012
736
0
Another less likely glitch is that MBP 13" are selling at a much higher rate than Apple anticipated. Perhaps they expected the MBA 13" to decimate the MBP 13" and it is not. Is so then may have a short term need to consume MM parts to help beef up the MBP 13" production.
I wondered why is that. I like Air design,it's great. On the other hand there is something about the "bulkier" factor of unibody,feels great in your hands (miss my old MBP sometimes). Maybe lots of folks are still holding onto legacy ports.

I suspect they won't though. I suspect they will spin two TB ports as a "Pro"/"High end" feature
I see that this might be the way in the future, Apple might mantain "Pro" models in the same enclosures. Maybe Mac mini server will become this pro machine,getting rid of FW800 and getting TB port while the classic mini will have all the usual ports.
 

deconstruct60

macrumors G3
Mar 10, 2009
8,566
1,514
Maybe lots of folks are still holding onto legacy ports.
We'll see over time. The MBP 13" and MBA 13" are essentially the same price in standard configs now. So unless the MBA 13" outsells 2:1 or 3:1 ore more then yes.... lots of folks put a higher value on those ports than Apple was probably hoping for.


I see that this might be the way in the future, Apple might mantain "Pro" models in the same enclosures. Maybe Mac mini server will become this pro machine,getting rid of FW800 and getting TB port while the classic mini will have all the usual ports.
The externals port on the server model are likely to be no different than the mainstream one. It is all about controlling costs through re-use. Apple will do things like add an extra disk (which fits anyway) or "more torque" CPU to make things different.

For now probably at least as likely to have had a former version mini with an external FW drive(s) as the back-up and storage drives than the non server versions.

Leaving the FW port would be a good thing for at least another iteration or so until a few more folks transition to TB external storage.

The one versus two FW port as "Pro" distinction was bad back when Apple did it on Mac models before. The mini probably should have it along with the whole iMac line up.
 

b166er

macrumors 68020
Apr 17, 2010
2,062
18
Philly
At this point I won't be too picky about the update. I just want them to do it soon. I am in the market for a mini and I don't want to pull the trigger now and then see an update in two weeks.
 

BornAgainMac

macrumors 603
Feb 4, 2004
6,390
3,292
Florida Resident
With the Mac Mini update, Apple reminds me of the scene from the original Total Recall movie when Arnold tells Cohaagen "You have what you want, now give the people the air.". Cohaagen responds the same way Apple is responding.
 

theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
6,963
90
Poole, England
Announce it now and sales of the current mini would plummet, leaving Apple with old stock they'd rather not have that they'll then have to sell at a discount.
Apple does not do old stock. Their products are basically built JIT and they turn their inventory around every 5 days, or something close to that. (sorry, I can't remember the exact number of days... it's somewhere between 5 and 7)

Having said that, would an announcement of a new Mini coming in 3 months impact the sales of the current model? Yes, it would a little bit, but most people that buy computers these days do not read tech sites and don't know about announcements anyway.
 

takezo808

macrumors member
Aug 7, 2011
98
0
mac mini updated hardware is not changing anytime soon. Apple store now reports all mac mini's (at least bought online via apple store) will come pre-loaded with Mountain Lion. If Apple was releasing a new hardware refresh soon, they would have waited to refresh hardware first. It probably means that mac mini will not be refreshed untill later this year. It will probably be a silent refresh.

iMac has the same indication that Mountain Lion will be pre installed on all new iMacs people buy online no hardware refresh.

If you buy an iMac from the apple store you can configure it to be faster and a bit cheaper than the entry level Mac Pro.

The high end iMac 27" with optional i7 wich adds hyperthreading which really boosts performace for video editing over i5 which is basicaly the i7 with no hyperthreading. The entery level Mac Pro uses an older xeon processor which are basicaly suppd up i7s. but this is a supped up i7 of over 2 years ago. New i7s are faster now.

You can increase HDD space to 2TB for 150 dollars.

the iMAC comes with only 4GB of ram vs the Mac Pro's default of 6GB. however it's too expensive to get the 16GB ram upgrade from apple. Amazon has 16GB kits far cheaper. Ram is easy enough to install.

Mac Pro requires an HD display, Apple's 27" display will set you back 1000 bucks. iMac will already have the HD display built right in.

as you can see from that example apple reall has no need to update imac either.
 

comatory

macrumors 6502a
Apr 10, 2012
736
0
At this point I won't be too picky about the update. I just want them to do it soon. I am in the market for a mini and I don't want to pull the trigger now and then see an update in two weeks.
I'm in the same boat buddy. Just refusing to buy year old model with my hard earned cash. At this point, I'd be happy Ivy CPU's and USB3, the rest can stay the same. If that happened I'd be running to Mac Reseller (buying it in the brick'n'mortar store gives you additional year of warranty here) and putting order on mini server.

I even wanted to order SSD and RAM beforehand so I can have everything ready but I'll just sit on it for a while, you never know the RAM might be incompatible in newer models and SSD might drop in price meanwhile (btw still can't believe how much their dropped in price for past 6 months).
 

theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
6,963
90
Poole, England
I'm in the same boat buddy. Just refusing to buy year old model with my hard earned cash. At this point, I'd be happy Ivy CPU's and USB3, the rest can stay the same. If that happened I'd be running to Mac Reseller (buying it in the brick'n'mortar store gives you additional year of warranty here) and putting order on mini server.

I even wanted to order SSD and RAM beforehand so I can have everything ready but I'll just sit on it for a while, you never know the RAM might be incompatible in newer models and SSD might drop in price meanwhile (btw still can't believe how much their dropped in price for past 6 months).
As long as you buy RAM that is compatible with the 2012 MBP, then you won't have a problem (204 pin DDR3 non-registered, 1600 MHz, CL9 etc). But, as you said, the prices of RAM and SSDs keep going down so there is no point in buying until you actually need the items. (hopefully there won't be any natural disasters that impact the pricing :eek:)
 

Ifti

macrumors 68020
Dec 14, 2010
2,356
484
UK
I'm in the same boat buddy. Just refusing to buy year old model with my hard earned cash. At this point, I'd be happy Ivy CPU's and USB3, the rest can stay the same. If that happened I'd be running to Mac Reseller (buying it in the brick'n'mortar store gives you additional year of warranty here) and putting order on mini server.

I even wanted to order SSD and RAM beforehand so I can have everything ready but I'll just sit on it for a while, you never know the RAM might be incompatible in newer models and SSD might drop in price meanwhile (btw still can't believe how much their dropped in price for past 6 months).
EXACTLY the same boat here!
Ivy Bridge, HD4000, and USB3 and I'll be off to buy the server version!
It'll be my first mini and I dont want to buy one now for a new refresh to come in a few weeks!

I also had a Vertex 3 sitting here waiting and ready. However, Ive just sold it. I'll watch the prices and can afford to spend some time looking out for SSD offers etc in the meantime. I want to get a Samsung 830 128GB SSD in there, along with a 1TB HDD. And, again the same as you, I'm holing off on the RAM purchase until I see what the server version comes with. If it comes with 8GB as standard that'll be enough for me (will probably be 4GB but we can hope!).
 

comatory

macrumors 6502a
Apr 10, 2012
736
0
EXACTLY the same boat here!
Ivy Bridge, HD4000, and USB3 and I'll be off to buy the server version!
It'll be my first mini and I dont want to buy one now for a new refresh to come in a few weeks!

I also had a Vertex 3 sitting here waiting and ready. However, Ive just sold it. I'll watch the prices and can afford to spend some time looking out for SSD offers etc in the meantime. I want to get a Samsung 830 128GB SSD in there, along with a 1TB HDD. And, again the same as you, I'm holing off on the RAM purchase until I see what the server version comes with. If it comes with 8GB as standard that'll be enough for me (will probably be 4GB but we can hope!).
Let's just hope that NAND and RAM factories aren't flooded :)

I'll probably go with 250GB M4 Crucial as they are at really good price where I live.
I heard that most reliable SSDs come from Intel, especially Intel 520 but they're a bit more expensive but that's what you pay for five year warranty.


I'll definitely go with 16GB RAM as my current setup pages out 4 gigs quickly. Let's just hope they don't seriously deviate from current design as I really like the server version, no way I'm getting a headless with dual core CPU (I do video editing).
 

blanka

macrumors 68000
Jul 30, 2012
1,549
3
Erhm, you would not want that in the current enclosure as the current i7 is already making too much heat - i.e. the fan noise is loud when the machine is doing video encoding or gaming (just flash games like on the Lego homepage). Much worse than my old Mini and it doesn't give you the smooth Apple experience I am looking for (and paying for...).
Remember that Ivy is a 22nm processor. It will run as hot as the dual core i7 in the 5.2, but then with quad cores.
 

Ifti

macrumors 68020
Dec 14, 2010
2,356
484
UK
I'll probably go with 250GB M4 Crucial as they are at really good price where I live.
I heard that most reliable SSDs come from Intel, especially Intel 520 but they're a bit more expensive but that's what you pay for five year warranty.

I'll definitely go with 16GB RAM as my current setup pages out 4 gigs quickly. Let's just hope they don't seriously deviate from current design as I really like the server version, no way I'm getting a headless with dual core CPU (I do video editing).
Yeh Crucial M4s are also very highly recommended.
Im sticking with the Sammy 830 since thats what I have in my current laptop and Im happy with it. Apparently reliability is up there alongside Intel as well. Since I have all of my media on my NAS I shouldnt need to store too much on the Mini, although it'll have a second HDD of 1TB just in case ;)
For my uses I think 8GB RAM would be enough, although Im the type of person who checks prices and if the next model or size up is only a little extra, I tend to go for it whether I need it for the moment or not! lol. Will see what prices are like nearer the time I guess!

I have everything mapped out, and my shopping list all set up!! Come on Apple!!!
 

bounou

macrumors 6502
Jun 6, 2012
354
108
I am really starting to doubt if Apple really cares all that much for the desktop macs anymore, it's less then 4% of the sales of the company and that includes all desktop machines.

I mean on one hand 4% of the sales of Apple is a very big number so they SHOULD care about it but it's also probably easy to get complacent about the mini doing a couple hundred million in sales when the iPhone is doing almost 20 billion in revenue every quarter.

I am pretty determined in holding off at this point, really want USB 3.0 for my new mini since it has to manage quite a few very large external hard drives.