Why can't mac-mini spec be same as top iMacs

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Applecom, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. Applecom macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2011
    I am new so bear with me, but I cannot understand why the spec on a mac-mini be as high as a that on an iMac - i.e i7 3.4 1 tb etc.

    If there was one available, I would buy that and the monitor.

    Easy for cables and easy to upgrade.

    No :confused:
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    There's your answer.
  3. MadDragon1846 macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2011
    2 reasons come to mind. Maybe 3.

    1. Heat. A mini with the top imac parts would burn a hole in your desk!. :D
    2. If it had the same parts, then a lot less people would buy the imac.
    3?. I don't know the size of the gpu in the top imac, but I guess it wouldn't fit.
  4. Erendiox macrumors 6502a


    Oct 15, 2004
    Brooklyn NY
    The issue is size and heat. The mac mini weighs about 3 pounds. The 27inch iMac weighs 30 pounds. You cannot fit 30 pounds of equipment into a 3 pound box. And yea, you'd burn a hole in the table with the iMacs processor in the mini. Not enough room for cooling.
  5. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    It is completely about a heat. The Mac Mini has the same cooling properties as a laptop (and really it is nothing more than a screen and keyboard-less laptop). You don't see 3.4ghz DESKTOP processor in a laptop now do you? The iMac has a huge aluminum back that can dissipate a lot of heat, the mac mini has roughly what a 1/6? (I've never done the math to compare so 1/6 is just a guesstimate) of the same square footage to dissipate the heat.

    Seriously, it's the laws of thermodynamics. Understand it and you wouldn't have to ask such a silly question.
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    There's no need to be condescending. It's not a silly question. Not everyone knows the laws of thermodynamics or the heat properties of various computer components. :rolleyes:
  7. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    actually psu is a big problem along with the heat.

    85 watts is the max for the mac mini. the iMac psu has more power available. currently no one makes a power supply that fits in a mini that could power the 3.4 quad. and a 6970 gpu.

    the 3.4ghz quad core cpu in an iMac is 95 watts
    the source below claims the gpu pulls 75 to 100 watts.


    so go low and you are at 170 watts for 2 parts an 85 watts psU will not do it.

    with a brick as psu 110 to 130 watts would be max


    this power supply is one of the biggest on the market 130 watts.


    so this lets you have a 45 watt cpu and a 50 watt gpu in a mini of course you get a brick not a power cord.

    now If you make a 130 watt brick as a BTO option and put in a better cpu/gpu

    you would need a second fan and maybe just one hdd. you could get the

    i7-2860qm it is 45 watts


    the 6870m it is 50 watts


    this is 95 watts with 35 watts for other parts.

    Apple could make this work if they want.

    this would be the best they could do in the mac mini if they add the 130 watt brick.

    it would be quite a machine. it could handle 16gb ram ddr3 1600 but they won't make it. too bad. it could run a great ht/game room.
  8. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    You do get that 45Watt TDP is NOT the amount of power that the CPU uses right? TDP stands for Thermal Design Power. This is the amount of HEAT that a processor gives off.


    While traditionally, a 130 Watt TDP processor will use more power than say a 45 Watt TDP, it doesn't correlate directly to the amount of power that a processor uses.

    So just slapping a power brick onto the Mini will not allow you to run a desktop CPU or better GPU.
  9. warvanov macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2011
    A lot of the Mac mini components are based on laptop sized parts-- the hard drive, for instance. In order to keep the cost of the machine itself down they make compromises-- a 500gb laptop hard drive is significantly less expensive than a 1tb drive.

    Also, and probably more significantly, better specs on the Mac mini would cut into sales of the iMac and even the Mac Pro.
  10. Applecom thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2011
    A Mac- mini twice the size may be able to cope??

    Thanks for all the answers, and I do understand that size matters.

    The iMac is a lovely screen, and so any connections - ethernet, 2 thunderbolt for 2 more screens, usb for a eyeTV, another one for something else, hard drive - suddenly you need to consider cable management and which impacts on the aesthetics.
  11. Bye Bye Baby macrumors 65816

    Bye Bye Baby

    Sep 15, 2004
    i(am in the)cloud
    Seriously, there is no need for that kind of attitude on these forums. The guy said he was new to this and didn't understand things. Read the post first before showing off.
  12. G4er? macrumors 6502a

    Jan 6, 2009
    Temple, TX
    I too wish for a computer that is more than the mini but not as much as the Mac Pro.
    Some of us just don't like all in ones and feel Apple is leaving users like us to flap in the breeze.

    Take the footprint of the mini (I would actually like the previous versions footprint) and make the case as tall as is necessary to make everything work. A computer with the footprint of the mini that is 6, 8, 10 inches tall would still be much smaller than the Mac Pro.

    Instead Apple offers one choice (iMac) of mid range computer.
  13. theSeb, Dec 28, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011

    theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    The simple answer is that the Mac Mini is just too small to have the same internals as the iMac. A lot of people want exactly what the guy above me just posted. I can imagine something with about the same footprint as the current mini, but 3 or 4 times taller. A cute little tower with a desktop CPU and a mobile GPU. Then people will complain that they want a desktop GPU so it will have to get bigger. The problem is that apparently we're in the minority when it comes to wanting something like this... I am not so sure. At this point in time Apple are in a place that is pretty good for a tech company - "If you build it, they will come". I imagine there would be a lot of people wanting to snap up a QC 3.4 2600 i7 with space for a PCIe expansion card, two 3.5" HDDs and plenty of ports. We don't all need a desktop computer with a screen.

    I've written to Tim Cook and Steve Jobs about this, but they're not interested.
  14. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    apple has intentionally created a gap in their product line. why I don't know.

    it is not to protect iMac or Mac Pro.

    My Ht has a 46 inch screen. I have no need for an iMac and I can't quite fit a mac pro. So I like many others are SOL!

    http://www.superbiiz.com/system_category.php?id=7 I may build this. use windows only.
  15. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    Sadly they never built anything between the mini and the iMac. On the forum there used to be a lot of talk about an xMac. There are plenty of Windows PCs that use a form factor maybe 4 times the size of the mini and do well. Maybe Apple didn't want to go to a place where users could do too much modding..then they would have to deal with more graphics cards, more drives, more cards...etc.
  16. nylonsteel macrumors 6502a


    Nov 5, 2010
    re this thread

    good thread - learned alot

    started off slow - but got rolling into some good info and discussion

    yeah id like a qc i7 mini with screaming graphics - ok to dream on
  17. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2011
    Apple actually once built Macs that were between a Mac Mini and an iMac. They were rectangular desktop computers that were not as powerful as the high-end tower Macs. There were consumer Macs called Performa and "prosumer" Macs in a similar form factor with a more powerful processor. Neither Mac shipped with a monitor.

    I won't be buying another iMac; my 24" matte display iMac will be my last. The lack of an anti-glare display and no ergonomic adjustments are deal-killers for me.
  18. G4er? macrumors 6502a

    Jan 6, 2009
    Temple, TX
    Yet Apple offers the Mac Pro which allows users the ease of replacing drives, adding cards, etc. It is as if Apple majically assumes there is some inherent skill level difference between the persons that purchase a Mac Pro and the rest of the people.
  19. philipma1957, Dec 29, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011

    philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    yes and as a former mac pro owner and user it is sad that I may need to build this for my ht.

    this is 950 add a decent gpu is 150 or so like a 6870 around 170

    add a blu-ray drive is 100 total of 250 like a pioneer bdr-206dbks

    plus the 950 is 1200

    i can add a gpu and a blu ray drive and have a 1.3k system that spanks most any mac except the mac pro.

    I can fit this in my ht rack I can't fit a mac pro and an iMac is useless due to the small screen (27 inches is small for ht)

    this machine is a very nice ht/gamer machine. so at a 1200 to maybe 1400 range i have what I want.

    the only machine that can do this from apple is the mac pro cost more then 2600 with the blu ray player and the mac pro is too big.

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