Will next Mini have two TB ports?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by MacPrometheus, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. MacPrometheus macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2013
    I know this may seem like a really lame question, but what is your opinion on the number of Thunderbolt ports the Mini will get? Currently, one seems sufficient but as I look ahead two ports on the back would be nice.

    Holding out hope for a Haswell or better Mini in the near future.

    Side observation, I believe once the Mini goes Haswell or better a new display gets released.
  2. haravikk macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    Well, I think the Mac Mini's the only Mac left with a FireWire port? So I can see that disappearing next, wouldn't be surprised if it got another Thunderbolt port instead.

    It really depends on what kind of update it's getting though, a tweak to swap FireWire for Thunderbolt might be small enough to make it into a silent update with processor bump etc., but I could really see Apple going for a redesign next year instead, in which case they might make it smaller. If they do then it may just stick with the single ThunderBolt port (and just lose the FireWire port for space). Might be good timing for an LCD Display update with a new heap of ports on it.
  3. SoCalReviews macrumors 6502

    Dec 31, 2012
    I'm not worried about the ports. Just pray that Apple doesn't finally solder the RAM onto the boards on the next revision of Minis the way they have done with almost every other newer Mac model in the last year.
  4. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    Like the iMac? Or the new Mac Pro? Not.

    Soldering RAM allows 0.9-1.0" thick designs (MBP 13" or 15") to limbo under 0.8" (down to 0.71" for the retina MBP versions). So fractions of an inch traded off for larger length and width.

    It is unlikely Apple wants to make the Mac Mini longer and wider. At over 1.3" inches tall shaving a fraction of an inch isn't gong to do much productive either with the design.

    Should be far more concerned that one of the drive bays doesn't disappear. ( adopt PCIe SSD like the rest of the Macs introduced over last year actually is uniform over all the Macs. ).
  5. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    As the mini has tracked the MacBook and classic MBP over time it depends upon what it will track. If Apple keeps a thicker MBP around with Firewire it will likely stay around ( could trade ODD+HDD for PCIe SDD and HDD which would map to a Mini easily without throwing bulk storage out the window.) That thicker model would probably keep Ethernet and slightly less so FW. Without the ODD slot good chance could do 2 TB ports too. If not, then the port collection will likely take cues from whatever the Mini is sharing several component parts with. The retina MBP models have gone to two Thunderbolt ports and HDMI standard. In that case, the Mac mini will probably track those. ( In that case, wouldn't be surprising if Ethernet was also on a slippery slope also. )

    Either way seems like it would be tracking a two port TB model to share parts with. The only way it tracks 1 TB port is if it starts tracking the MBA for parts. That's a pretty dubious move.

    For now the TB devices that seem to have more deployment traction are chain-enders. (largely because they are cheaper). In that context having two ports allows you to allocate one to a more affordable chain-ender and still have another chain open.

    Perhaps in the January-May Mac product release vacuum they developed over the last couple of years. Move the mini to early 2014 along with thicker laptop.

    It is more of a docking station with a LCD panel in it. If so, for those that use it, the FW port just migrates to another box.

    Apple doesn't need so much as a new display but new 'displays'. A huge impediment to their docking station is the price tag. A more affordable 21.5" model would get more traction. I don't think the mini drives lots of docking station display sales. Right now it is cheaper to buy a "paneless" docking station and any number of 3rd party displays that take HDMI, DVI, and/or DisplayPort. All the more so if Apple sticks with one device at a $999 price point.
  6. dbroncos78087 macrumors regular

    Feb 27, 2013
    Northern Virginia
    I wouldn't be worried about it. There really doesn't seem to be a demand for a slimming of the MM. The iMac would make sense because people want that all-in-one to take up less space on the desk. But I would be very surprised if that happens.

    The soldering only seems to be happening on the laptop side of the product line. The only change that I would expect to see is them shifting to a Mac Pro look (circular and black color).

    Edit --
    A couple of the concepts on this page are what I would expect to see:
  7. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    Makes little sense for the iMac. The "footprint" actually on the desk is the pedestal. Screwing the RAM doesn't nothing for that in the iMac.

    The iMac has desktop processors which are going to require fans and cooling which are going to keep the thickness in the over 1" zone. To a smaller degree the discrete GPU is also driving non MBA like thickness. It is actually far more space effective to use the so-DIMMs. Soldering the RAM absolutely minimizes height/thickness but also brings trade-offs in limited RAM sizes and growth in the other dimensions. Even the lowly Mac Mini can match (or in future denser so-DIMMs blow away) the RAM capacity of the models with soldered RAM.

    While the Mini has tracked the laptops, it is also much smaller than the laptops in length and depth. Mini 7.7" x 7.7" ... rMBP 13" 12.35" x 8.62"
    It doesn't have horizontal room to blow away which is exactly what soldering the RAM onto the motherboard will do.

    Following them on the soldering track doesn't make much sense. Likewise bulk data storage at much higher price points.

    Why do macs with different function have to mimic each other? Design isn't solely about copying superficial looks.

    Again superficial elements of Apple design. How do you back up your entire photostream on those mini's? HDDs didn't disappear from the iMac and aren't likely to dissappear from the mini. The inverted "V" ... no good reason to put a HDD's in a 45 degree orientation.

    Mac mini slim ? Why... not particularly different than a MBA with the lid closed. To hit Mac mini price points going to throw lots of capacity out of the window.
  8. SoCalReviews macrumors 6502

    Dec 31, 2012
    I hope you're right that the Mini (and hopefully Mac Pro) will remain as the last of the RAM upgradeable Mac products.
  9. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    And iMac ( currently is and looks to remain so). For mid-high double digit GB RAM capacities soldering is just silly in the desktop (immobile) space and will remain silly for at least several years.

    As long as the Mini's motherboard is smaller than the laptop ones it is in the same boat even at low double digit GB RAM capacities.
  10. SoCalReviews, Nov 23, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2013

    SoCalReviews macrumors 6502

    Dec 31, 2012
    Sadly Apple is a pioneer of non-upgradeable computer products. :(
  11. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    Just a guess -

    FW will be dropped in favour of an additional USB 3 port.
    GPU and CPU may get a bump up. The rest will probably remain the same. The Mini is more utilitarian in nature.

    As far as wishes go, that is an entirely different story and I, like others have our ideas of what a Mini should be or do.

    Increase the height of the Mini but keep the foot print to allow for -
    1) "slot load" 2.5 inch hard drive (wont have to crack open the case to change the drive) in the back with simple screw cover
    2) return to discrete video as an option
    3) on board vid should be at least Intel Iris or better
    4) Arrangement for increase option of RAM
    5) Two TB ports or one TB2 port
    6) With even 1/4 inch greater height, more focus on a larger fan that runs silently at high speeds
    7) (as long as we are wishing) HDMI 2 if new GPU can support it

    My biggest beef with the Mini line up is Apple's insistence on having them lag behind in some areas on technology with a notion of more about what they can get away with rather than being forward thinking. There is still plenty of profit to be in this market without being in competition with the rest of their line up.

    Just more peanuts from the gallery

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