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Mac Mini - no more... (Page 2)
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ginopiazza49
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Dec 28, 2008, 12:35 PM
 
While not an authority by any means, you may want to read "State of the Mac Mini" at macminicolo.net: http://www.macminicolo.net/state2008.html.
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bishopazrael
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Dec 28, 2008, 01:48 PM
 
So what is the mini due to be bumped to? Nice thing about apple lately. My reciepts all have a return by date. Just so happens that my 14th day lands on the 7th. So I'll hang onto my mini and listen to the macworld broadcast as usual. If it's worth it and the new mini will hit stores in days.... I'll box this one up and return it.
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Westfoto
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Dec 28, 2008, 05:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by ginopiazza49 View Post
While not an authority by any means, you may want to read "State of the Mac Mini" at macminicolo.net: http://www.macminicolo.net/state2008.html.
I will say that the above was an interesting read. Some of which I agree with and some just might be hopeful thinking. One thing is for sure that we will know come MacWorld, one way or another.
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Ted L. Nancy
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Jan 6, 2009, 02:52 PM
 
So Schiller didn't say anything about the mini. Are they quietly going to phase this thing out or could there still be an update on the way?
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Dakar V
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Jan 6, 2009, 02:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by Ted L. Nancy View Post
So Schiller didn't say anything about the mini. Are they quietly going to phase this thing out or could there still be an update on the way?
The amount of info out there suggest there's one waiting in the wings.
     
olePigeon
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Jan 6, 2009, 03:53 PM
 
The Mac Pro wasn't updated either. Steve or Phil might do a "One more thing..." event in a couple weeks.
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danangdoc
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Jan 6, 2009, 04:15 PM
 
I think we have to listen to what Apple said recently about not wanting the Macworld event to drive their product releases. It's nice the new MB pro - 17" was available to release at this time, but I'm sure Apple didn't 'time' it with the event. Apple just may further emphasize this divide by releasing an updated Mini, or other products, like a netbook, in spring or fall, but on THEIR schedule, not someone else's. If nothing else, maybe they didn't think the market was right at this time, given the economy. So take a deep breath folks, and have a bit of patience.

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TomR
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Jan 6, 2009, 07:30 PM
 
The fact that there was no word on the mini pisses me off. Either it's gone or not. Come on Apple, WTF???? TELL US SOMETHING.

     
JohnVP
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Jan 6, 2009, 07:47 PM
 
I have been waiting since June for a refreshed mac mini to replace the G4 MDD that was fried by a power surge. It's been "real soon now" and "be patient" for months. I'm really starting to feel jerked around by Apple. Meanwhile, that PC that I use for work is becoming less and less onerous. I've owned nothing but 10 Macs since the mid-80's, but I'm feeling like I'm being taken for granted by the folks in Cupertino.
     
G4XJ
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Jan 6, 2009, 08:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by ginopiazza49 View Post
While not an authority by any means, you may want to read "State of the Mac Mini" at macminicolo.net: http://www.macminicolo.net/state2008.html.
So their guess is you might be able to delete the optical drive to gain a second hard drive? God Apple needs something between the mini and the Mac Pro. Two internal hard drives and an optical drive. How hard is that?
     
iDaver
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Jan 7, 2009, 03:27 AM
 
The low end Mac mini is the number one best selling desktop at Amazon.com today. I don't think Apple needs to be in any hurry. It drives me crazy too but I bet Apple makes a boatload of money on those outdated things.
     
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Jan 7, 2009, 04:15 AM
 
Link, iDaver? Yes, I'm too lazy to find it myself.

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scottiB
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Jan 7, 2009, 02:43 PM
 
It was the best selling Apple desktop, but currently it's 4th,
     
axlepin
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Jan 8, 2009, 09:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by scottiB View Post
It was the best selling Apple desktop, but currently it's 4th,
ah, but it seems to be beating the pants off the quad-core dual Mac Pro and several iMac configs..

Hmmm...

HMMMMMMMMM....


axle
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Luca Rescigno
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Jan 9, 2009, 05:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by axlepin View Post
ah, but it seems to be beating the pants off the quad-core dual Mac Pro and several iMac configs..

Hmmm...

HMMMMMMMMM....


axle
Maybe because it's one of the few Macs that isn't ridiculously expensive?

You'd think, given how bad the economy is, that Apple would want to promote their cheaper computers the most. At this point, buying a Mac Mini would be stupid, but it would be just as dumb to spend way more for an iMac or MacBook if all you need is a Mini, just because you want a Mac that isn't old and outdated.

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axlepin
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Jan 10, 2009, 12:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by Luca Rescigno View Post
Maybe because it's one of the few Macs that isn't ridiculously expensive?

I guess that "ridiculously expensive" is a call that each person makes for him/herself. I prefer to look at it from the angle of what machine is enough for the job you're using it for, which you touched on. I do work on my Minis that supposedly "can't be done" on a mini. Yet, here I am. Doin' it.

Apple's gonna produce and sell whatever brings in the most dough.

Apple customers are gonna buy whatever seems like the best machine for the money for them.

So, unless you're doing heavy-duty 3D and video, even the slowest Mac Mini will git 'er done..and I guess that's why many people are refusing to buy now, preferring to wait for better value which may come in the form of an updated Mini.

a
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Luca Rescigno
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Jan 10, 2009, 03:37 AM
 
All I'm saying is that over $1,000 is a lot of money no matter how you slice it, especially when most computers cost between $500 and $800. Macs tend to compete with other companies' midrange products, so they're actually fairly competitive (they cost a bit more but they are much better made with nice industrial design and high-quality materials instead of plastic). The Mini is the only computer Apple makes that is under $1,000. Then again, Apple doesn't care about budget-conscious consumers. But with the economy going the way it is, there are more and more people who do care a lot about price.

The main problem with the Mini, from a performance standpoint, is the low RAM. 1 GB is not enough. You need 2 GB to keep OS X happy these days, and it's not like 2 GB of RAM costs much... I recently bought that much for my computer for $10 after a rebate. That shortcoming is magnified by the fact that you can't replace the RAM in the Mini without voiding the warranty and that Apple charges 2-3x market price to upgrade the RAM as a BTO option.

The rest is probably fine. Sure, a 1.83 GHz CPU won't be setting any records, but is it really that much worst than a 2.0 or 2.4 GHz one? Sure, it's a little slower, but not that bad. And of course the graphics are lacking, but if you're buying a Mini intending to use the graphics card for anything other than video playback, you need to reconsider your decision. The tiny hard drive is also a bit of a concern, mainly because very large laptop drives are available for pretty cheap these days. Again, not the end of the world, but it seems like the sort of thing Apple should have addressed... oh... six months ago. Or more.

Really, the Mini just needs a minor spec bump. Just turn it into a Mac Mini-ized version of the MacBook at the same price points and make sure both tiers get a DVD-R and 2 GB of RAM as standard equipment.

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clockworkwar
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Jan 10, 2009, 10:19 AM
 
I think Apple will probably be updating the mini, with some better specs and it will probably take in the features of the horrid Apple TV system. Maybe a new harddrive and some updated other components should be fine for the system.
     
Westfoto
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Jan 18, 2009, 11:18 AM
 
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Simon
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Jan 18, 2009, 11:34 AM
 
Atom is a very bad idea for the Mac mini. For the AppleTV it might be fine, but not for the mini.
     
Westfoto
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Jan 18, 2009, 08:37 PM
 
Well I hope we get a true upgrade to the specs of the Mini. As it is the Mini has not had an upgrade since well forever in computer time.
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Simon
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Jan 19, 2009, 06:56 AM
 
Atom would actually be a downgrade from the current 1.83 GHz C2D in pretty much everything but power consumption. A 9400M GT would be a clear improvement over the 950, but not enough to offset the Atom. At least not for general purpose computing. Which is why although it would make sense in the AppleTV, for the Mac mini the Atom's a bad choice.
( Last edited by Simon; Jan 20, 2009 at 03:55 AM. Reason: fixed)
     
Pierre B.
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Jan 19, 2009, 07:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by Luca Rescigno View Post
Macs tend to compete with other companies' midrange products, so they're actually fairly competitive (they cost a bit more but they are much better made with nice industrial design and high-quality materials instead of plastic).
Others have different opinion on this.

Originally Posted by Luca Rescigno View Post
Really, the Mini just needs a minor spec bump. Just turn it into a Mac Mini-ized version of the MacBook at the same price points and make sure both tiers get a DVD-R and 2 GB of RAM as standard equipment.
The mini needs real desktop components, even if this means much bigger volume. There are computers from other vendors (stylish, display included) for less than the entry level iMac offering about 80-90% the quad Mac Pro performance. The fact that they cannot run Mac OS X does not tell much when the price gap is so big.

Imagine the margins of a machine like the Mac mini whose internals are from 2007. This is the bet Apple is making and as long as people are still buying it, Apple wins fat cash. I apologize if my post sounds too much negative (I am a Mac user and I am not going to change), but the truth has to be told.
     
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Jan 20, 2009, 03:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by Pierre B. View Post
The mini needs real desktop components, even if this means much bigger volume.
It needs better graphics (it's still on a GMA 950 from freaking 2005!), more RAM and quite frankly a a 3.5" HD, but CPU-wise it's decent. The upgrade to MB-class components would make it a contender. I'd rather Apple kept the price down or lowered it further than upgraded the specs. Frankly, only moving it to a full-size HD would be a huge boost in itself.

Originally Posted by Pierre B. View Post
There are computers from other vendors (stylish, display included) for less than the entry level iMac offering about 80-90% the quad Mac Pro performance. The fact that they cannot run Mac OS X does not tell much when the price gap is so big.
You only get to that price by not buying any extra software for it. Supply it with rough equivalents to the iLife pack (Adobe's Elements apps, for instance - Dell offers those) - and the other goodies that Apple includes (like the webcam) and you will have priced any quadcore out of the main iMac range. What you can do is make box with almost MP performance but at a lower cost, by using single-socket quads and chipset that uses regular DIMMs and not FB-DIMMs, but that's a different story, and one that doesn't really apply to the mini discussion.
     
Simon
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Jan 20, 2009, 03:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by Pierre B. View Post
The mini needs real desktop components, even if this means much bigger volume. There are computers from other vendors (stylish, display included) for less than the entry level iMac offering about 80-90% the quad Mac Pro performance. The fact that they cannot run Mac OS X does not tell much when the price gap is so big.

Originally Posted by P View Post
It needs better graphics (it's still on a GMA 950 from freaking 2005!), more RAM and quite frankly a a 3.5" HD, but CPU-wise it's decent. The upgrade to MB-class components would make it a contender. I'd rather Apple kept the price down or lowered it further than upgraded the specs. Frankly, only moving it to a full-size HD would be a huge boost in itself.
P, I think what you say makes sense for a Mac mini positioned as it has been so far. If it is to remain a very small budget Mac an update to MB-like specs would be sufficient and I'd argue even the 2.5" disk could stay. I'd like to see FW400 replaced with FW800 though. eSATA would be even better, but that's not going to happen.

However, what Pierre pointed out makes sense too if you believe the Mac mini should be moved towards a 'more regular' desktop Mac. If it were to be a budget desktop, super-slim size is not required, more expensive mobile components aren't required, the 2.5" disk and slot-loader wouldn't be required, etc.

I think this all just very much depends on what the Mac mini is supposed to be: budget super-small or budget desktop. Quite obviously Apple will never satisfy potential buyers if they continue to try and cater to all of those requirements with just one box. Usually, when one thing tries to do too much, it ends up doing nothing properly. In a first step, Apple should position the Mac mini more clearly. And once that's done I think they should start thinking about filling the void.
( Last edited by Simon; Jan 20, 2009 at 03:57 AM. )
     
Luca Rescigno
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Jan 20, 2009, 05:32 AM
 
Pierre, my real opinion is that Macs are pretty much all overpriced luxury items, and I agree 110% with that article you linked to (I'm also a reverse switcher, having given up my Mac for a Windows desktop a year ago). I try to hold my tongue since I'm on a Mac-centric message board.

Now, when a particular Mac has just been updated, it is not as bad a deal. Of course, Apple seems to have settled into a once per year update cycle.

Dell sells a desktop similar to the Mini called the "Studio Desktop." It's configured actually quite like the Mini, except it has realistic amounts of RAM and hard drive space, a DVD burner, and it costs $500 instead of $600. It's definitely a better deal than the Mini, but it's still a significantly worse deal than a standard Dell Inspiron desktop. I think it's because it uses laptop components just like the Mini and tries to cram them into a very small case. If you need a really tiny desktop, it's pretty good, but I think most of Dell's customers would rather spend the same amount of money on a standard desktop and get something that's much better equipped.

The difference is that Dell offers that standard desktop. Apple doesn't. It's Mini or nothing if you want something under $1000.

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Pierre B.
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Jan 20, 2009, 07:15 AM
 
I reckon that the discussion about the form and the role of the Mac mini in the Apple computer hardware is a matter of opinion and debate. The real problem though is this: the Mac mini has not been updated for almost one year and a half. No price drop in the meantime. Please show me one single computer from another vendor with the same fate. Something does not look right here.
     
Luca Rescigno
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Jan 20, 2009, 11:10 AM
 
Yeah, they haven't even bothered updating the hard drive or RAM, which are horribly low right now especially for the price.

I think it might be because Apple knows they can keep selling them without updating them. More profit that way I guess. I mean, it's the only affordable Mac. If you're absolutely dead-set on getting a Mac and refuse to do a Hackintosh or use Windows, and you can't spend more than $1000, the Mini is your only option. So maybe they can keep milking that cow.

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Jan 21, 2009, 08:18 AM
 
An updated mini with a $500-600 price point would be a good thing for Apple right now in the down economy. Not everyone can afford a $3000 17-inch laptop or even a $2000 iMac.

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Jan 21, 2009, 08:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Usually, when one thing tries to do too much, it ends up doing nothing properly. In a first step, Apple should position the Mac mini more clearly. And once that's done I think they should start thinking about filling the void.
This is a good point, especially as it seems to be out of character for Apple to do this. Perhaps the issue is fears that a regular budget desktop would cheapen the brand?

Anyway, the mini would fill both its current roles at a lower price if it were slightly wider and deeper, thereby accommodating the 3.5" HD and perhaps full-size DIMMs. It could be made thinner to compensate.
     
chichow
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Feb 9, 2009, 11:49 AM
 
I WANT

I WANT NOW!!!

ok...i go back into my corner and wait
     
Dakar V
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Feb 9, 2009, 11:54 AM
 
Yeah, I know, its gone from credible rumors to Kaiser Soze.
     
Eug
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Feb 19, 2009, 06:38 PM
 


Kensington security slot
Stereo/optical in
Headphone/optical out

Ethernet
Firewire 800
Mini-DVI
Mini-DisplayPort
USB 2 (5 ports)

What would be cool is dual monitor support:

Mini-DVI --> DVI or HDMI
Mini-DisplayPort --> DVI or HDMI
     
Dakar V
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Feb 19, 2009, 06:42 PM
 
Optical in? Impressive.

Also the 3000 USB ports.
     
Luca Rescigno
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Feb 19, 2009, 06:49 PM
 
Dual monitors would be nice.

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Eug
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Feb 19, 2009, 06:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by Dakar V View Post
Optical in? Impressive.

Also the 3000 USB ports.
The Mac mini already has optical in.

Audio

* Built-in speaker
* Combined optical digital audio input/audio line in (minijack)
* Combined optical digital audio output/headphone out (minijack)

The 5 USB ports don't really surprise me, but the FW 800 and dual video ports do (pleasantly) surprise me if true.
     
Dakar V
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Feb 19, 2009, 06:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
Guess who doesn't have a Mac mini.
     
Eug
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Feb 19, 2009, 06:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by Dakar V View Post
Guess who doesn't have a Mac mini.
Me!
     
Andy8
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Feb 19, 2009, 08:12 PM
 
I shall hold my breath and hope this port layout is true.
     
Eug
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Feb 20, 2009, 02:04 AM
 
So, with that port combination, one could support...

DisplayPort
HDMI
DVI
VGA

...and many combinations of that for duals.

That would be very nice.
     
Simon
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Feb 20, 2009, 04:37 AM
 
Oh get over yourselves. It's a blatant fake.
     
Dakar V
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Feb 20, 2009, 10:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Oh get over yourselves. It's a blatant fake.
Hello, grumpy.
     
Eug
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Feb 20, 2009, 10:26 AM
 


     
chichow
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Feb 20, 2009, 01:00 PM
 
i've been waiting for a long long time...and yet i still call fake.

some sites have mentioned how the video out doesn't line up with the motherboard
     
Eug
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Feb 20, 2009, 02:06 PM
 
It could very well be fake, but I'll have to say that the reasons given by many sites are always quite lame... and they often give the same reasons for pictures that turn out to be real too.

P.S. My iBook must be fake, because the ports don't all line up.

( Last edited by Eug; Feb 20, 2009 at 02:14 PM. )
     
Eug
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Feb 20, 2009, 09:00 PM
 
Here is a video complete with all the ports.

Mac mini 2009
     
Simon
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Feb 21, 2009, 05:37 AM
 
This time it's the real Mac mini 2009.

     
Eug
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Feb 21, 2009, 10:34 PM
 
^^^ Meh. Not enough ports. This is more like it:



P.S. The reason it's thicker is not because of the ports. That's just a fortunate side effect.
The main reason it's thicker is because it comes with two optical drives.
     
Undo Redo
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Feb 22, 2009, 02:02 AM
 
A mini that thick could hold a real 3.5" hard drive! That's the way it should have been from the beginning. What a nice media server it would be with a one or two TB drive in it.
     
Simon
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Feb 22, 2009, 03:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by Undo Redo View Post
A mini that thick could hold a real 3.5" hard drive! That's the way it should have been from the beginning. What a nice media server it would be with a one or two TB drive in it.
Absolutely. And the dual Xeons will really speed up media conversion. The price drop back to the original $499 will help sales in this bad economy. A shame it took them over three years to figure out how to make a decent Mac mini.
     
 
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