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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > New Mac mini coming up!

New Mac mini coming up!
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Simon
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Sep 22, 2005, 02:51 AM
 
This TS article claims new minis are right around the corner. They were scheduled to appear this week, but for some reason they could be delayed to next week.

The new minis will come with 1.33/1.5 GHz, 5400 rpm HDD (same sizes as before) and BT 2.0+EDR as well as an 8x DL SuperDrive on the high-end model. Prices are to remain the same.

Looks like a nice little upgrade. I'd appreciate if they would slightly modify the case to make it easier to open (think of something like the PowerBook's single battery opening knob on the mini's bottom case). And while they're at it, they could add an inch to its case width to allow standard HDDs (also giving them room for a second RAM slot).

Assuming Apple releases Intel Macs in June with a bottom-top approach, this could be the last PPC mini update.
     
buggsuperstar
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Sep 22, 2005, 03:08 AM
 
nice.

just in time. I've been looking to get a Mini for the longest time now.
     
EFFENDI
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Sep 22, 2005, 03:42 AM
 
I was going to buy my Mom a Mini soon anyway, this is great news.
     
Agent69
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Sep 22, 2005, 07:24 AM
 
I'd say that the only thing missing is a GPU upgrade.
Agent69
     
Simon  (op)
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Sep 22, 2005, 07:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by Agent69
I'd say that the only thing missing is a GPU upgrade.
Well, the TS article didn't mention anything about it, but who knows.

OTOH if they do update the GPU, I wouldn't expect more than a 9550.
     
buggsuperstar
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Sep 22, 2005, 07:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon
Well, the TS article didn't mention anything about it, but who knows.

OTOH if they do update the GPU, I wouldn't expect more than a 9550.
There's a fella over at the MacRumours forums who claims he ordered a 1.42 and they shipped him a Mini which System Profiler shows as 1.5Ghz.

It has a Radeon 9200, but with 64mb VRAM.

There's screenies in there too, but those can be easily photoshopped i guess. We'll just have to wait and see. *shrug*
     
Zim
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Sep 22, 2005, 09:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by Agent69
I'd say that the only thing missing is a GPU upgrade.
Ok, help me out, I have been chugging along with my G4/800 and not kept up with the implications of the graphics cards...

Other than game playing/frame-rate, what are the important thresholds as they relate to System capabilities?

Thanks,
Mike
     
cambro
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Sep 22, 2005, 09:55 AM
 
Originally Posted by Agent69
I'd say that the only thing missing is a GPU upgrade.
DIGITAL AUDIO OUT!!!!!!!

It's the only thing keeping the mini from being a perfect little digital hub.
     
Agent69
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Sep 22, 2005, 09:59 AM
 
Zim,

A core image compatable video card is nice to have, as it relieves the CPU from performing some functions. Additionally, more VRAM would make things run smoother, especially at higher resolutions.
Agent69
     
andreas_g4
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Sep 22, 2005, 06:20 PM
 
The MHz "bump" is pathetic. However, a 5200 RPM HD would have a significant impact on the system speed compared to the 4200 drives in the current lineup.
     
Grrr
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Sep 22, 2005, 08:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by andreas_g4
The MHz "bump" is pathetic. However, a 5200 RPM HD would have a significant impact on the system speed compared to the 4200 drives in the current lineup.
Probably so as not to poke a stick in the eye of the much more expensive PowerBooks..
Thats assuming this rumour is true anyways..
The worst thing about having a failing memory is..... no, it's gone.
     
ghporter
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Sep 22, 2005, 08:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by andreas_g4
The MHz "bump" is pathetic. However, a 5200 RPM HD would have a significant impact on the system speed compared to the 4200 drives in the current lineup.
I think the processor speed thing is more an issue of availability of 1.33 and 1.5GHz G4s than anything else-you're right about the net difference in noticable speed. But just about everyone who has one and has commented on it says that disk access slows the whole system down-something that's very understandable. Even a "minor" jump in drive speed from 4200 to 5400RPM will mean a substantial improvement in performance. I wonder what size cache these new drives will have... A fairly large cache could have another impact on performance.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Simon  (op)
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Sep 23, 2005, 03:04 AM
 
I would like to second ghporter's opinion. The drive speed was a much larger bottleneck for most users than the clock of its G4. It will be a very smart (and probably pretty inexpensive) move on Apple's behalf to switch to 5400 rpm drives. Keep in mind that the G4 is coming to an end in Macs and that the mini is the entry level. As long as $2500 PowerBooks have to take a 1.67GHz G4, the mini won't go any further than 1.5GHz. That said, this hardware update with the previous price tag remaining is a nice deal. I hope it will be the last PPC update for the mini!
     
buggsuperstar
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Sep 23, 2005, 03:09 AM
 
I await this coming Tuesday with utmost glee.
     
Simon  (op)
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Sep 23, 2005, 03:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by buggsuperstar
I await this coming Tuesday with utmost glee.
Ditto.

I just bought this awesome movie projector for my home cinema and I'd absolutely love to have a silent and tiny mini drive it. My g/f think my PowerBook's good enough for that, but if the mini gets an upgrade I'm probably not gonna be able to resist the temptation.
     
ajprice
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Sep 23, 2005, 04:25 AM
 
Out of interest, how would the speed of one of these Mac minis compare to my Powermac (specs below)?

It'll be much easier if you just comply.
     
Simon  (op)
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Sep 23, 2005, 04:33 AM
 
Originally Posted by ajprice
Out of interest, how would the speed of one of these Mac minis compare to my Powermac (specs below)?
Your HDD will be faster making disk related jobs speedier. But CPU-bound tasks will be faster on a mini than on your PowerMac. Your sig doesn't say what GPU you're using, but if it's the stock GF2MX, the mini will also feel faster when it comes to graphics - even though the mini's GPU is really nothing to get excited about.

XBench (for whatever that's worth) gives systems like your's about 30, while the 1.42GHz mini gets roughly 40. So you should feel a speed increase with a mini.

In my experience, nothing beats going to a shop that has the machine in question on display and trying out some of the things you do regularly on your system.
( Last edited by Simon; Sep 23, 2005 at 04:40 AM. )
     
ajprice
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Sep 23, 2005, 05:09 AM
 
Thanks Simon, the GPU is a 64Mb Geforce 2 Twinview, by the way (it was the optional card above the standard 32Mb GF2).

It'll be much easier if you just comply.
     
Grrr
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Sep 23, 2005, 08:44 AM
 
[QUOTE=SimonKeep in mind that the G4 is coming to an end in Macs and that the mini is the entry level. [/QUOTE]

How is that true? When recently several sites reported that Apple has secured G4 orders until 2008.
The worst thing about having a failing memory is..... no, it's gone.
     
Simon  (op)
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Sep 23, 2005, 08:46 AM
 
Well, Apple will switch to Intel from the bottom up and they just recently claimed they were still on track to start rolling out Intel Macs in June. That's why I would guess this might be the last PPC mini. But of course, that's just guessing.

Also keep in mind that they need G4s for quite a while even when they start switching to Intel; they need replacement hardware. AppleCare lasts for three years.
     
pliny
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Sep 23, 2005, 11:15 AM
 
I like the G4 chips. They are efficient and do not run so hot.

I wondered about how long it would be until a new mini release. A couple of weeks ago I went to the local BestBuy, and they had sold out all their Minis and said they weren't expecting the same models to resupply, because there were new models coming.

I wonder if TS just went to the local BestBuy for this "scoop"?
i look in your general direction
     
that one guy
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Sep 23, 2005, 02:26 PM
 
I was hoping that they would go ahead and update them with some of the newer Pentium M chips. The newer Mobile Intel chips are really fast and fairly power efficient. The minor speed bump of the G4 is not even noteworthy. If Apple wanted to speed them up, put in some 5400 RPM hard disks with the 16MB cache. That would really be a noticable difference.


Matt
     
osxrules
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Sep 23, 2005, 04:40 PM
 
I agree with pretty much all the comments. The Mini would be great with:

Pentium-M chips, two Ram slots, standard hard drives, an easy open case and a coreImage compatible GPU with 64MB VRam minimum. Possibly better VGA output but it doesn't really bother me personally. I'd also prefer a tray instead of a slot-loader. I don't even use the drive in the Mini any more because every time I do I'm afraid that I won't get it out again.

I have an external DVD drive. Another reason I don't use the drive is because it is so slow. I don't care if they do update the superdrive to 8x DL because my superdrive is supposed to be 4x and it burns all my media at 2x so I don't trust them. Why shell out money for an underachieving 'super'-drive when I can get an external 16x DL drive for probably the same price with far more support for various brands?

I also wouldn't mind more ports. Yes I can daisy chain stuff but some devices don't work properly like that. When I have a keyboard attached, I need my webcam on the same connection as my flash reader and palm sync cradle. My mouse and usb headphones and into my keyboard.

I could live happily with 3 USB and 2 firewire instead of 2 usb and 1 firewire.

I also hope they don't ship dodgy hard drives in the new ones. I got mine replaced within a couple of months of getting the machine. The cache I don't think matters. The shipped drive I got had a 2MB cache and my new one has an 8MB and the XBench result is exactly the same overall as well as general use. I agree that the jump from 4200 to 5400 would be significant but if they just use 7200 standard drives, that would be even better.
     
natural1
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Sep 23, 2005, 06:36 PM
 
If the rumors are true, the high-end mini would be basically equivelent to a 12" Powerbook. Translation: it will ROCK for entry level applications, including Garageband! The transition to a Pentium M will make it even sweeter still. I still think that that should offer a 7200RPM drive option, the way that Dell does (sorry).
     
ghporter
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Sep 23, 2005, 08:57 PM
 
Natural1, the 7200 RPM notebook drive market is pretty pricey, so I doubt that Apple will go that way. However, if you must have a 7200 RPM drive, you're welcome to crack the case on a Mini and slip one in! But the cost is pretty steep right now.

The industry seems to be moving (v e r y s l o w l y) toward 5400 RPM as a more common speed for notebook drives, but it's going to take a very long time to get there. In the meantime, what speeds do PowerBook drives run at?

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
brokenjago
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Sep 23, 2005, 10:29 PM
 
PowerBook drives = 5400 RPM
     
curmi
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Sep 23, 2005, 11:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by cambro
DIGITAL AUDIO OUT!!!!!!!

It's the only thing keeping the mini from being a perfect little digital hub.
Agreed. Exactly what I'm looking for. A better video card, and digital audio out!
     
brokenjago
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Sep 24, 2005, 04:56 PM
 
You people seem to want a lot more from the Mac Mini than the point of the device. I'm pretty sure Apple doesn't want everyone to suddenly switch over to using Mac Minis for everything. They're an entry level computer for a reason. They're not going to add another RAM slot. They might upgrade the video, (I agree, that would be nice. a 9550 with 32 MB vRAM for Core Image), I don't think they're gonna add more ports.
     
iDaver
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Sep 24, 2005, 06:49 PM
 
My poor mini has to drive a 23" Cinema Display. I'll eBay it and replace it only if the new ones have a 64MB GPU. The rumored bumps are less important to me, but icing on the cake.
     
curmi
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Sep 24, 2005, 07:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by brokenjago
You people seem to want a lot more from the Mac Mini than the point of the device. I'm pretty sure Apple doesn't want everyone to suddenly switch over to using Mac Minis for everything. They're an entry level computer for a reason. They're not going to add another RAM slot. They might upgrade the video, (I agree, that would be nice. a 9550 with 32 MB vRAM for Core Image), I don't think they're gonna add more ports.
You are right brokenjago. However, some of us want a Mac based media centre - and the mini is almost right for it. It seems Apple doesn't see a market in media centres, but then Apple has been wrong before. There was a time when they didn't see a market in CD-R/W drives, and were very late to market with them...
     
Zim
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Sep 26, 2005, 09:22 AM
 
What I really want is a headless iMac.... I think that is what a lot of ppl want from the Mini.. I'd happily pay iMac - LCD price too... ie ~$1299 - $299 = $999 for a top-end Mini. Its an old argument, but I have a 21" CRT I'm very happy with, and a PMac is overkill for me. But the Mini is the closest (but not quite there) to a middle ground. And frankly, I'd prefer to see the Mini, be not quite as mini if that would allow the more common (and faster and cheaper) 3.5" HDDs.

Mike
     
ajprice
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Sep 26, 2005, 10:50 AM
 
What would that one be called then, Zim?

Mac midi? Mac mini extreme? Maybe up the mini bigger with a G5 and call the current G4 mini a Mac nano?

Oh the possibilities...

It'll be much easier if you just comply.
     
Agent69
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Sep 26, 2005, 12:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by Zim
What I really want is a headless iMac.... I think that is what a lot of ppl want from the Mini.. I'd happily pay iMac - LCD price too... ie ~$1299 - $299 = $999 for a top-end Mini. Its an old argument, but I have a 21" CRT I'm very happy with, and a PMac is overkill for me. But the Mini is the closest (but not quite there) to a middle ground. And frankly, I'd prefer to see the Mini, be not quite as mini if that would allow the more common (and faster and cheaper) 3.5" HDDs.

Mike
I have to say that I agree with you. By the time I got around to selling my PowerMac G4, Apple had discontinued the entry level PowerMac G5, leaving a huge headless gap between the Mini and the PowerMac.

Sure, I could buy a PC, but there doesn't seem to be a PC maker I feel confortable with.
Agent69
     
Big Mac
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Sep 26, 2005, 02:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by Agent69
I have to say that I agree with you. By the time I got around to selling my PowerMac G4, Apple had discontinued the entry level PowerMac G5, leaving a huge headless gap between the Mini and the PowerMac.

Sure, I could buy a PC, but there doesn't seem to be a PC maker I feel confortable with.
I didn't even realize Apple discontinued the 1.8. The fact that there isn't a G5 under $2000 is pretty disturbing. When did this happen? You know, they may have decided to pull the 1.8 because of all of the problems people were having with them. I can't imagine they won't reintroduce an entry-level G5 some time in the near future.

Off topic: Agent, your signature is terrifically juvenile.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
iDaver
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Sep 26, 2005, 02:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac
I didn't even realize Apple discontinued the 1.8. The fact that there isn't a G5 under $2000 is pretty disturbing. When did this happen?
A couple of months ago or more. This is partly why Apple's product line is screaming for a headless mid-Mac. I wouldn't have bought a single processor 1.8, just because of its huge size, nothing to do with price or performance.
     
brokenjago
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Sep 26, 2005, 03:40 PM
 
Why buy a PowerMac G5 1.8 when you can get the same speed + 17 inch LCD for $200 less?

(IE the iMac G5)
     
brokenjago
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Sep 26, 2005, 03:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by curmi
You are right brokenjago. However, some of us want a Mac based media centre - and the mini is almost right for it. It seems Apple doesn't see a market in media centres, but then Apple has been wrong before. There was a time when they didn't see a market in CD-R/W drives, and were very late to market with them...
I agree, that proposition isn't particularly out of order. If they would add an Optical Audio Out and possibly the 9550, then i think it'd be the perfect entry level machine, as well as a great little media center with 1 GB of RAM. But people are asking for 4 more ports, another RAM slot, and God knows what else. If you want that, buy an iMac or eMac or something...
     
iDaver
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Sep 26, 2005, 04:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by brokenjago
Why buy a PowerMac G5 1.8 when you can get the same speed + 17 inch LCD for $200 less?

(IE the iMac G5)
You might if like me you already have a 23" or other nice display that you want to keep, and the Mac mini just doesn't do it for you. I'm making do with a mini because the Power Mac towers are too big, too expensive, and like you say the SP 1.8 model (when it was available) was beat by the iMac. (Three strikes!)
     
Agent69
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Sep 26, 2005, 06:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by brokenjago
Why buy a PowerMac G5 1.8 when you can get the same speed + 17 inch LCD for $200 less?

(IE the iMac G5)
LCDs give me headaches. I bought an iMac and I couldn't stand it, so I ate the return fee.
Agent69
     
iDaver
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Sep 26, 2005, 07:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by Agent69
LCDs give me headaches.
Interesting. Many people say the same, only about CRTs. Neither has ever given me a headache.
     
echosphere
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Sep 26, 2005, 07:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by iDaver
Interesting. Many people say the same, only about CRTs. Neither has ever given me a headache.
Was just curious, could it be the response time? Is it similar for CRTs and LCDs?
I'm from the government and I'm here to help
     
osxrules
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Sep 27, 2005, 03:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by brokenjago
I agree, that proposition isn't particularly out of order. If they would add an Optical Audio Out and possibly the 9550, then i think it'd be the perfect entry level machine, as well as a great little media center with 1 GB of RAM. But people are asking for 4 more ports, another RAM slot, and God knows what else. If you want that, buy an iMac or eMac or something...
I asked for two more ports and I wouldn't get an imac or emac because I prefer the headless computers to give me a choice for the display. Also I can transport the Mini easier if I need a new hard drive or Ram.

The Emac only supports up to 1280x960 resolution @75Hz too whereas my 3rd-party 17" CRT display goes up to 1920x1440 @ 75Hz and does 1280x1024 @85Hz, which is what I use normally.

Now the base model for the EMac is £669 and that is with the following:

1.42 GHz
1GB Ram upgrade
80GB drive
Radeon 9600 64MB
DVD/CDRW

My Mini was £570 with:

1.25GHz
1GB Ram
40GB drive
Radeon 9200 32MB
Superdrive
including monitor, keyboard &mouse

Originally Posted by ajprice
Mac midi? Mac mini extreme? Maybe up the mini bigger with a G5 and call the current G4 mini a Mac nano?
How about the cube - only without the design flaws. That's what I want anyway. I thought the idea was great and even Nintendo thought so. Apple just built it wrong.

It was big enough for standard drives etc. Easier to open too.

Originally Posted by iDaver
Interesting. Many people say the same, only about CRTs. Neither has ever given me a headache.
I used to get headaches with a CRT but it was with Apple's own g3 imac one. I then switched to an ibook and the LCD was such a relief. I was concerned about having to go back to a CRT with the Mini but with the 3rd party CRT, I get no headaches.

It could be to do with how often you stare at the screen. My habits have changed in that I look around the room more while using it and I use my machine in a better lit room.
     
Will C
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Sep 27, 2005, 04:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by osxrules
Now the base model for the EMac is £669 and.....
Um, actually the base model is £549, the superdrivemodel is £679.

I wish Apple would put the eMac Mobo in 'midi' case - something like 2-3 times the size of a mini with a 3.5 inch drive and space for another and sell it for £400. The eMac mobo has the edge over the mini:-
2 Firewire ports
3 USB ports
Audio in
2 IDE busses
2 RAM slots
Of course it does not have DVI, but I can live with that for now.
     
Agent69
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Sep 27, 2005, 07:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by iDaver
Interesting. Many people say the same, only about CRTs. Neither has ever given me a headache.
Where it really gets me is black text on a white background. I don't know why but it really kills my eyes.
Agent69
     
buggsuperstar
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Sep 27, 2005, 07:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by Agent69
Where it really gets me is black text on a white background. I don't know why but it really kills my eyes.
I'll chime in here and say I agree.

For some strange reason, I'm ok with black text on white background on a CRT. But on an LCD, it really hurts my eyes. It takes a lot of tweaking on contrast and brightness to get something that is acceptible to my pupils.
     
Simon  (op)
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Sep 27, 2005, 09:04 AM
 
OK, the usual AppleStore update time is over and no new mini. Maybe next week...
     
buggsuperstar
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Sep 27, 2005, 09:13 AM
 
fiddlesticks.
     
Agent69
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Sep 27, 2005, 09:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by buggsuperstar
I'll chime in here and say I agree.

For some strange reason, I'm ok with black text on white background on a CRT. But on an LCD, it really hurts my eyes. It takes a lot of tweaking on contrast and brightness to get something that is acceptible to my pupils.
It must have something to do with the overall brightness of the screen. I tried turning down the brightness but then everything else was too dim. Ironically, I have never had this problem with a laptop LCD.
Agent69
     
CaptainHaddock
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Sep 27, 2005, 09:54 AM
 
Maybe the ambient light in the room you're working in is too low. I find LCDs way easier on my eyes than CRTs, but being in a room lit with sunlight or incandescent light helps reduce eye strain.

One great thing about LCDs is that there's no flicker.
     
stwain2003
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Sep 27, 2005, 10:03 AM
 
No minis today
8GB iPhone
Coming Soon: Mac mini Core 2 Duo 2.0Ghz
     
 
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