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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > 2010 mini refresh?

2010 mini refresh?
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ninahagen
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May 11, 2010, 12:04 PM
 
Does anybody have an idea when the new minis will be out? Any guess what the best one will look like in terms of chipset, speed, SSD option? Need one in a new office we opened and wondering if we should wait a bit and just use an older machine for a while.
     
-Q-
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May 11, 2010, 02:11 PM
 
There's a neat buyers guide over at Macrumors that attempts to predict the refresh cycles:

Mac Buyer's Guide: Know When to Buy Your Mac, iPod or iPhone

Their advice is to hold off. The mini update cycle has been really sporadic, tho'. It was updated twice in 2009 and then went all of 2008 without an update.

So like with most things like this, buy it if you need it but hold off if you can afford to do so.
     
Simon
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May 11, 2010, 02:17 PM
 
The mini has had a very irregular upgrade schedule. Hence your guess is as good as anybody else's.

There's not a whole lot Apple would want to update to right now though. Arrandale IGP stinks. C2D + new Nvidia 320M maybe, but that's not a very significant update for the mini and it would drive cost up a bit. Apple could just as well decide to hold off until Sandy Bridge.
     
imitchellg5
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May 16, 2010, 07:57 PM
 
I agree with Simon. Right now there isn't a lot to be done with the mini, unless they want to totally blow us away and put an i5 in it.
     
P
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May 17, 2010, 08:16 AM
 
Well, they could put a Clarkdale in there...

BTW, has anyone seen any benches of the 320M? If it really has 48 shaders, it's really a quite decent chip, but I can't seem to confirm that anywhere.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Simon
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May 17, 2010, 12:16 PM
 
If anything the Mac mini would get Arrandale, not Clarkdale. The latter's TDP is twice what any previous Mac mini has ever seen.

Since Arrandale means Arrandale IGP and the Mac mini likely can't accept a dedicated GPU (for cost reasons alone), Apple's in the same dilemma with the mini as they were with the 13" MBP. IOW it's either going to be Penryn+320M or wait for Sandy Bridge.
     
P
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May 20, 2010, 06:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
If anything the Mac mini would get Arrandale, not Clarkdale. The latter's TDP is twice what any previous Mac mini has ever seen.
Lynnfield has twice the TDP of any iMac before it, and the latest iMac is much quieter than the second hottest. Apple cares about idle power, not about TDP - they're quite consistent in this. The first Clarkdales actually have worse idle power than Lynnfield, but that should improve once Intel's 32nm process matures a bit.

Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Since Arrandale means Arrandale IGP and the Mac mini likely can't accept a dedicated GPU (for cost reasons alone),
Also for space-inside-the-box reasons.

Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Apple's in the same dilemma with the mini as they were with the 13" MBP. IOW it's either going to be Penryn+320M or wait for Sandy Bridge.
Or Intel GMA is acceptable for the mini. It depends on the use case for it - if it's as an HTPC, it might be enough, especially as Clarkdale GMA is higher clocked and has faster RAM.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Simon
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May 20, 2010, 08:00 AM
 
Well it wasn't 'enough' for the MacBook. So it's not suddenly going to be enough for the Mac mini.
     
P
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May 20, 2010, 10:31 AM
 
Clarkdale integrated GPU is faster than Arrandale, and it wouldn't be the first time that the mini had weaker graphics than the MB.

I think that the likeliest option is that the mini stays the way it is for some time yet, but I wouldn't rule out Clarkdale.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
imitchellg5
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May 20, 2010, 11:59 AM
 
Intel HD graphics would be a downgrade from the current Nvidia chip...
     
Simon
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May 20, 2010, 06:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Clarkdale integrated GPU is faster than Arrandale
Not by enough, but regardless it's already been established that present-generation Clarkdale isn't happening. And we know what Apple does when they are faced with Arrandale IGP and no space for dedicated graphics.

and it wouldn't be the first time that the mini had weaker graphics than the MB.
Ever since the MB has been the budget option (beside the beefier 13" MBP) it sure would.
     
Simon
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May 20, 2010, 06:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
Intel HD graphics would be a downgrade from the current Nvidia chip...
Yep. Which is why Apple stuck with C2D on the 13" MBP. If Apple were to update the Mac mini today, the same would happen on the mini.
     
P
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May 21, 2010, 06:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Not by enough, but regardless it's already been established that present-generation Clarkdale isn't happening.
It has? I must have missed that. Clarkdale GPU is clocked almost 50% higher than Arrandale and has 25% more memory bandwidth. The difference between mobile and desktop versions of the Radeon 4850 is 25% on clockspeed and 17% on memory bandwidth. In every xMac debate we have, you bring up this clockspeed difference as a significant drawback of using the mobile chip, and the Clarkdale advantage is much bigger.

Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Ever since the MB has been the budget option (beside the beefier 13" MBP) it sure would.
Yes, but the mini has only been updated once or twice since then - hardly enough to make a trend.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Simon
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May 21, 2010, 09:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
It has?
Don't be obtuse. I already pointed you towards its high TDP. You yourself actually correctly added that current-gen Clarkdale idle power is also very high.

Originally Posted by P View Post
The first Clarkdales actually have worse idle power than Lynnfield, but that should improve once Intel's 32nm process matures a bit.
The mini is two things: low-power and cheap. It's nonsensical to suggest Clarkdale when there's cheaper and cooler Penryn. Especially when we know that Apple considers Penryn+320M more than adequate. In fact, they consider it good enough not only for their budget line (MB), but even for the 13" MBP. The Mac mini is the ultimate budget Mac. If you're expecting them to go for a current-generation Clarkdale that's a lot hotter and more expensive, you're setting yourself up for disappointment. That ship has sailed. To the port of not going to happen.

In every xMac debate we have, you bring up this clockspeed difference as a significant drawback of using the mobile chip, and the Clarkdale advantage is much bigger.
So what? There's not the slightest contradiction there. For the xMac we're talking about a $1999 desktop Mac with a large case and ample cooling. This here is the mini. With its miniature case and $599 price tag it's the exact opposite. And we also have a track record to go by. We know what Apple has done with the Mac mini before and we know what they're doing now with recently updated lines. The Mac mini was always about low-end/mobile components, preferably previous-gen at low cost. And you're expecting Apple push the envelope here just because they were forced to do so on the iMac? If I were less polite, I'd call that delusional. Instead I'll just assume you're playing Devil's advocate so you can enjoy debating me. But it's getting old.

Yes, but the mini has only been updated once or twice since then - hardly enough to make a trend.
Meanwhile you try to sneak in some argument about this last iMac update showing up where Apple might take the Mac mini. So after years of lackluster iMac specs you suddenly try to derive a trend from this one last update? Nice try buddy, but definitely no cigar.
     
P
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May 21, 2010, 02:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Don't be obtuse. I already pointed you towards its high TDP. You yourself actually correctly added that current-gen Clarkdale idle power is also very high.
No, I said that it was higher than Lynnfield, which is slightly odd, but an 87W TDP Core i5-661 system idles under 30W AC and is much more efficient than Wolfdale. That's low, even if there aren't any mobile chips in that comparison, and it's done using a seriously overspec PSU and a hot HD. 27W is still lower than the first mini. Specially tuned components and a purpose-built PSU could bring a Clarkdale mini down very far.

Originally Posted by Simon View Post
The mini is two things: low-power and cheap. It's nonsensical to suggest Clarkdale when there's cheaper and cooler Penryn.
Penryn isn't cheaper. Apple uses the P8400 in the bottom model. That one retails for $209, and there are 5 Clarkdales below that price.

Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Especially when we know that Apple considers Penryn+320M more than adequate. In fact, they consider it good enough not only for their budget line (MB), but even for the 13" MBP. The Mac mini is the ultimate budget Mac. If you're expecting them to go for a current-generation Clarkdale that's a lot hotter and more expensive, you're setting yourself up for disappointment. That ship has sailed. To the port of not going to happen.
I'm not expecting it. I'm expecting the mini to stay just as it is for several months more, with maybe a clockspeed boost thrown in. I'm just saying that a Clarkdale isn't out of the question. The mini has a secondary usage as an HTPC, and that is the one thing Clarkdale does well.

Originally Posted by Simon View Post
So what? There's not the slightest contradiction there. For the xMac we're talking about a $1999 desktop Mac with a large case and ample cooling. This here is the mini. With its miniature case and $599 price tag it's the exact opposite. And we also have a track record to go by. We know what Apple has done with the Mac mini before and we know what they're doing now with recently updated lines. The Mac mini was always about low-end/mobile components, preferably previous-gen at low cost. And you're expecting Apple push the envelope here just because they were forced to do so on the iMac? If I were less polite, I'd call that delusional. Instead I'll just assume you're playing Devil's advocate so you can enjoy debating me. But it's getting old.
The only reason I brought up the xMac debate here was to illustrate that the Clarkdale GPU is really a lot faster than the Arrandale one, and that Apple's decision to skip Arrandale GPU need not mean that Clarkdale is out.

Besides, Intel is now selling this wierd beast with a TDP below regular Penryns.

Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Meanwhile you try to sneak in some argument about this last iMac update showing up where Apple might take the Mac mini. So after years of lackluster iMac specs you suddenly try to derive a trend from this one last update? Nice try buddy, but definitely no cigar.
Not showing a trend so much as showing that it's possible. The only trend is that Nehalem has taken a big step forward in idle power, and that might let Apple use desktop models where it previously was forced to use mobiles.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Simon
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May 21, 2010, 08:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
No, I said that it was higher than Lynnfield, which is slightly odd, but an 87W TDP Core i5-661 system idles under 30W AC and is much more efficient than Wolfdale. That's low, even if there aren't any mobile chips in that comparison,...
My point actually. Dragging higher-power desktop Wolfdale in here when all we've seen so far is low-power and low-clock mobile CPUs isn't going to help. Again, we're talking Mac mini. Small, cool, and cheap is the name of the game. Ever since Apple has gone Intel they've used low-end mobile components, preferably last-gen. Clarkdale's none of that. At least not in it's current state.

Penryn isn't cheaper. Apple uses the P8400 in the bottom model. That one retails for $209, and there are 5 Clarkdales below that price.
Apple does not pay 1k retail prices. Also, you can rest assured Apple can get batches of older Intel CPUs for far less than what they're latest and hottest chips cost.

I'm not expecting it. I'm expecting the mini to stay just as it is for several months more, with maybe a clockspeed boost thrown in.
So you agree with me then. At the very top of this thread I already said that IMHO it's quite likely they'll just keep it the way it is for now:

Originally Posted by Simon View Post
... Apple could just as well decide to hold off until Sandy Bridge.
However, you also say

I'm just saying that a Clarkdale isn't out of the question.
And I disagree with that. Clarkdale in its present state is out of the question in the Mac mini.

Here's the deal: we'll sit back and see what happens in the next few months. We'll see if the mini's updated and if it is, if it goes Clarkdale or not. We'll see who was right. But right now all this back and forth here serves no purpose. We've both stated where we believe the Mac mini is headed and why. We'll see.
( Last edited by Simon; May 21, 2010 at 08:45 PM. )
     
P
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May 24, 2010, 07:55 AM
 
Actually, I said nothing about where I think it's headed. All I'm saying is that Clarkdale isn't out of realm of possibility (and certainly more likely, IMO, than a desktop Core 2 in the iMac was before the last refresh). I'm not sure how I'd ever win that - build one myself?
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
lpkmckenna
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May 24, 2010, 08:11 AM
 
Probable: C2D+320m
Pleasant surprise: i5+dedicated graphics
     
ajprice
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Jun 4, 2010, 04:57 AM
 
Mac mini supply said to be dwindling, world wonders 'why?' -- Engadget

Supply chains drying up, so there could be a refresh soon (WWDC?)

It'll be much easier if you just comply.
     
LEStudios
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Jun 17, 2010, 10:06 AM
 
Originally Posted by ninahagen View Post
Does anybody have an idea when the new minis will be out? Any guess what the best one will look like in terms of chipset, speed, SSD option? Need one in a new office we opened and wondering if we should wait a bit and just use an older machine for a while.
I made a New Thread that I found two sites that has the 2010 Mac mini in stock!
( Last edited by LEStudios; Jun 17, 2010 at 10:11 AM. Reason: Decided to post thread instead of duplicates!)
     
   
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