will the next mini be even smaller?

wetcanvas

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 7, 2014
158
51
Does anyone think the next mini will be even smaller and thinner or do you think it may get a little bigger to be like a mini mac pro. People laugh at the trash can design but there is no arguing the design works in terms of cooling. even under heavy load reviews point at it being quiet as a mouse. If they made a mini mac pro they could have it silent all the time instead of just when its idle. Then again we could end up with a mini that is even smaller like the apple tv.
 

Wuiffi

macrumors 6502a
Oct 6, 2011
685
78
Does anyone think the next mini will be even smaller and thinner or do you think it may get a little bigger to be like a mini mac pro. People laugh at the trash can design but there is no arguing the design works in terms of cooling. even under heavy load reviews point at it being quiet as a mouse. If they made a mini mac pro they could have it silent all the time instead of just when its idle. Then again we could end up with a mini that is even smaller like the apple tv.
I think the concept of the Mac Pro is not really working for the Mac Mini. The Pro uses the 3 side thermal core so it's 3 processors (1 CPU + 2 GPUs) share it and the heat gets distributed equally. I guess this would not work with the 1 chip setup of the Mini. Furthermore everything in the Pro is mounted vertically, so if the Mini goes this route it would get a lot bigger

I think the Mini might get some kind of redesign, but personally all I want is better Hardware (Haswell with Iris Pro, Thunderbolt 2) maybe an optimized cooling system, and that they keep the upgradeability (they may add a bto PCIe SSD, but should keep at least 1 SATA port)!
 

Menel

macrumors 603
Aug 4, 2011
6,199
1,050
Does anyone think the next mini will be even smaller and thinner or do you think it may get a little bigger to be like a mini mac pro. People laugh at the trash can design but there is no arguing the design works in terms of cooling. even under heavy load reviews point at it being quiet as a mouse. If they made a mini mac pro they could have it silent all the time instead of just when its idle. Then again we could end up with a mini that is even smaller like the apple tv.
I bet it maintains a similar form factor. Tall and small footprint like Mac Pro and Airport Extreme.

Apple seems to like that now for antenna setup whether beefy hardware like nMP or super skimpy hardware like Airport.
 

Micky Do

macrumors 68000
Aug 31, 2012
1,826
1,361
An island in the Andaman Sea.
A smaller footprint would be nice.

I like that my 2009 Mini takes up less space on my desk than the current model. It is a little taller, but the other dimensions are smaller.

I am not ready to buy a new one yet, but when I do I would prefer that it is close to, or smaller than the original dimensions.
 

Wuiffi

macrumors 6502a
Oct 6, 2011
685
78
It would be epic if Apple was gonna do the mini like the airport extreme AC tower.
Problem with a higher mac mini would be, that it won't fit 1u racks anymore.
Furthermore I think, that any design change would push the mini into the soldered ram, proprietary ssd direction, which I personally don't like, especially not with the mini
 

barkmonster

macrumors 68020
Dec 3, 2001
2,121
10
Lancashire
Problem with a higher mac mini would be, that it won't fit 1u racks anymore.
Furthermore I think, that any design change would push the mini into the soldered ram, proprietary ssd direction, which I personally don't like, especially not with the mini
I agree. There's a ton of Thunderbolt and 19" rack solutions that fit perfectly with the Mac Mini. The idea of having something like the Sonnet Rack Mac and just adding another Mac Mini for extra Node processing in Logic or Reaper as they become available would be lost with a redesign.

They could re-work the internals to give a PCIe flash option using a daughtercard and still retain the dual SATA connectors. That would be useful addition along with Thunderbolt 2 and improved GPU and CPU power but I can't see any point in a smaller form-before-function Mac Mini.

It would ruin it's usefulness for so many people just for aethetics.
 

Wuiffi

macrumors 6502a
Oct 6, 2011
685
78
They could re-work the internals to give a PCIe flash option using a daughtercard and still retain the dual SATA connectors. That would be useful addition along with Thunderbolt 2 and improved GPU and CPU power but I can't see any point in a smaller form-before-function Mac Mini.
You just described my perfect mac mini :)
Maybe they could improve the cooling system a bit, but in general what you said would be the perfect update for the mini.
 

blanka

macrumors 68000
Jul 30, 2012
1,549
3
Puzzle for Apple:
Broadwell is almost ready. I think if Apple wants, it can get access to the first batches of Broadwell. With the mini being the first to update, Apple could choose to go Broadwell. Apple skipped architectures before on the Mini (Core2Duo straight to Sandy bridge).

If it maintains the current form factor, and moves to Broadwell, we will have a machine that both outperforms the top of the line iMac, and the entry Mac Pro. Maybe its Iris Pro 2nd gen will be no match for the GPU's in the top iMac/MPro, it will still be very decent, and fast enough for most people. Apple will kind of kill its own market.

So Apple almost HAS to shrink the mini. It is completely useless, I have no idea how they are going to market it. The current one does 11 watt idle, maybe they say this one is 5 watt idle or so, and even half the amount of materials used. Not very much sense on what is already one of the most efficient computers, but hey, they can sell it I guess.

And by shrinking they can increase profit. They can tie-sell extra RAM/SSD etc. The problem is they might kill the Mini with it. One option is they really drop the price, so people can start using Mac for say 400$

I really don't know why people want PCI SSD on the Mini. It has 2 SATA 600 bays, and as we have seen, using those 2 bays for generic cheaper-than-apple-pci SSD's in RAID-0 already makes the Mini outperform the new Mac Pro on disc tasks.

But we never know. With the last Mini update, I had the idea it was from a separate company within Apple doing its own thing, not taking care of how it would compete against iMac, Pro and Macbooks. If the Mini team comes with a Trojan horse again.....

----------
I guess this would not work with the 1 chip setup of the Mini.
The current form factor can have 2 chips. See the 2011 Radeon Mini.
 

barkmonster

macrumors 68020
Dec 3, 2001
2,121
10
Lancashire
You just described my perfect mac mini :)
Maybe they could improve the cooling system a bit, but in general what you said would be the perfect update for the mini.
I wish they'd actually do this. It wouldn't be too difficult if they were already redesigning the motherboard to accomodate new chipsets and CPUs along with Thunderbolt2. Then their whole range will be PCIe flash or PCIe flash-based Fusion at least as a BTO option. It would add to the Mac advantage for switchers, not to mention, the value of the system.

I really don't know why people want PCI SSD on the Mini. It has 2 SATA 600 bays, and as we have seen, using those 2 bays for generic cheaper-than-apple-pci SSD's in RAID-0 already makes the Mini outperform the new Mac Pro on disc tasks.
It's more the assumption that at one stage Apple could decide to standardise their entire range having PCIe SSDs at least as a BTO option. If Apple got realistic about their SSD/HDD pricing.

Even if they stick with just SATA 6Gb/s for cost reasons, they should be offering dual SSDs for the additional £160 they currently charge to swap a 1Tb HDD for a single 256Gb SSD or adding a 128Gb SSD in a Fusion configuration. It would fly if it had Iris Pro GPUs, Haswell CPUs and dual 500Mb/s+ SSDs in a RAID 0 config and then their entire range would be high performance I/O and throughput with the option of 16Gb even on the lower end.
 
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iSayuSay

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2011
3,170
314
I would love a redesigned, reinvented Mac mini which may has the same footprint, but as tall as current AirPort Extreme. So with it also comes improved hardware (i.e using a desktop CPU, and most importantly it's finally possible to add a decent discreet graphic)

From a customer standpoint it would be an excellent machine and the closest thing to xMac I've ever dreamed for so long. Sell it at decent price, like $1499 for the highest end configuration and I'd buy it in an instant.

But from Apple's, too bad. It would be awkward to offer it alongside the iMac, a dearest signature of Mac desktop and Apple. All with the same spec, but no built in display. Would you buy another iMac? I know I wouldn't if this happens to mini.
 

paulrbeers

macrumors 68040
Dec 17, 2009
3,960
120
Puzzle for Apple:
Broadwell is almost ready. I think if Apple wants, it can get access to the first batches of Broadwell. With the mini being the first to update, Apple could choose to go Broadwell. Apple skipped architectures before on the Mini (Core2Duo straight to Sandy bridge).

i.
Broadwell won't be released until Q4 2014 or even more likely 2015. This was announced by Intel in October.
 

shaunp

macrumors 68000
Nov 5, 2010
1,736
1,309
If it gets smaller, say Apple TV sized, there would be no way to dramatically improve the graphics. This would widen the gap between the mini and the nMP even more and for those of us not wanting an iMac Apple have left a massive hole in their product range.
 

tpm1999

macrumors member
Sep 4, 2009
53
1
I love my mac minis and I cant wait for the 2014 version. My biggest fear with the move towards 64-bit Arm processors is that any future Mac Mini and many other "low cost" Apple PCs (Mac Mini, Macbook Air, etc) will be iOS based instead of Mac OS X.

But we shall see.
 

Crosscreek

macrumors 68030
Nov 19, 2013
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I love my mac minis and I cant wait for the 2014 version. My biggest fear with the move towards 64-bit Arm processors is that any future Mac Mini and many other "low cost" Apple PCs (Mac Mini, Macbook Air, etc) will be iOS based instead of Mac OS X.

But we shall see.
Might get a preview of that with the upcoming IPad Pro.
 

loby

macrumors 6502a
Jul 1, 2010
847
606
I believe the reason why we have not seen a new mac mini is that Apple will hold off upgrading it because they do not want to tap into Mac Pro sales since it JUST was officially released and most of them are not shipping until February. The low end Mac Pro MIGHT temp some of the mac mini want-a-bees to suck it up and spend a little more and buy the lower end Mac Pro if they continue to not release a new one....

A redesigned mac mini would not be good business sense (though I would want one) because it would take the "Wow" out of the Mac Pro right now and Apple knows that they can get away with just another small update to the mini without any design changes and people will buy by the thousands. They make more profit with smaller updates....why not...

Once the Mac Pro is available in stores for purchase and the Data analysis geaks at Apple have seen a slow down in Mac Pro purchases, then they will magically update the mac mini to draw those that did not want to put a Mac Pro on their credit cards to impulse-ly buy the mini after. Just like the iMac update, this we will probably see....magically appear on their website. Great marketing and the surprise of it all attracts better attention and saves money then a big fan-fair.

We have to remember that Apple is no long interested in putting out the best technology and best products ever anymore. They are fully market driven/profit "completely" now and watch what the market is doing to make decisions and product upgrades and releases instead of wow-ing the world with the "best ever" thing.

They do not need to put out a mac mini because their marketing and analysis geaks are giving them sales data saying that people are still buying mac mini-s, so no need to upgrade yet.... If you JUST read through the mac rumor forums, people are still buying mac minis, so there is no reason to upgrade...any profit/business minded person/company knows if you do not need to upgrade, then don't...until the demand makes you. Tim Cook is a profit guy more so than a tech guy, so we can predict the future when Apple will release new or upgraded products. Nothing wrong with being a profit guy, but I prefer the Apple company that preferred to "WOW" the world in being the best with the best products out there instead of JUST giving (like the iphone now) just incremental upgrades to drive people to continue to purchase each upgrade instead of doing what no one else has or is currently doing.

We saw this for the latest iPad. What would be the reason to NOT give it two gigs of RAM. Running on a 64 bit platform with 2 gigs of RAM would set them up next for the next iPad Air to be a fully functioning computer. Apple could do that right now and change the course of the world...again...but they would not do that and cut into their existing product lines...plus...they know that they can continue with small upgrades for another year or two before releasing something that would change the world again...an iPad that is a full computer. They could do that now. They could have done that a year ago (or maybe a few years ago)..WHY...all for profits. Again, nothing wrong with making a profit, but they could change the world again if they wanted too....right now.
 

osx11

macrumors 6502a
Jan 16, 2011
816
0
I love my mac minis and I cant wait for the 2014 version. My biggest fear with the move towards 64-bit Arm processors is that any future Mac Mini and many other "low cost" Apple PCs (Mac Mini, Macbook Air, etc) will be iOS based instead of Mac OS X.

But we shall see.
I don't think they will be iOS based but I wouldn't be too surprised to see some Nano MacBook with an ARM processor and 24 hour battery life with decent performance.
 

barkmonster

macrumors 68020
Dec 3, 2001
2,121
10
Lancashire
I don't think they will be iOS based but I wouldn't be too surprised to see some Nano MacBook with an ARM processor and 24 hour battery life with decent performance.
I can see them offering a hybrid Macbook Air/iPad eventually with a touch screen interface and integrated iOS apps and Mac OS X but not running it off ARM. What you're looking at there is a sub notebook/iPad hybrid but the Macbook Air was always the ultrabook, years before the PC equivelent was more than just a cheap toy with an ATOM CPU. There's no point in Apple stepping backwards. If anything the iPad could gain more power till they eventually allow certain Apps to be compiled to run on both Mac OS X and iOS.
 

haravikk

macrumors 65816
May 1, 2005
1,487
19
Personally I think it's likely it'll get smaller; at the very least Apple will ditch the second drive bay in favour of an SSD blade for Fusion Drives, and they'll probably take the opportunity to reduce the size.

The question is by how much; I don't doubt that they could make it really small, but personally I think a more modest reduction will be better overall, ideally keeping enough space to use a slightly larger fan so the machine is even quieter.

They could even potentially just use the current overall size but make it rounder, and use a big round blower type fan that takes up most of the empty space, though it'd require more custom components.
 

Crosscreek

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Nov 19, 2013
2,862
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Margarittaville
Personally I think it's likely it'll get smaller; at the very least Apple will ditch the second drive bay in favour of an SSD blade for Fusion Drives, and they'll probably take the opportunity to reduce the size.

The question is by how much; I don't doubt that they could make it really small, but personally I think a more modest reduction will be better overall, ideally keeping enough space to use a slightly larger fan so the machine is even quieter.

They could even potentially just use the current overall size but make it rounder, and use a big round blower type fan that takes up most of the empty space, though it'd require more custom components.
If this is to remain as a server wouldn't a second bay be required? Spin drives are much less expensive and offer greater storage capacity for a server.
 

Neiloid

macrumors member
Oct 9, 2012
61
0
Hants, UK
If it had a smaller footprint it would need to be taller or you would loose connectivity options - there is little enough space for the current level of connectivity on the current model. I guess you could loose the SD card reader slot thing to make it slightly narrower.......
 

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,141
13,997
I bet it maintains a similar form factor. Tall and small footprint like Mac Pro and Airport Extreme.

Apple seems to like that now for antenna setup whether beefy hardware like nMP or super skimpy hardware like Airport.
I'd love for apple to offer a merger between their desktops and their routers. Think about a mac mini thats also an airport extreme/time capsule. Sold.