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jackt

New Mac Mini

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Umm, you do realise that that GMA950 is near a 9200 in graphics performance. And the mac mini will probably run games a lot better with the 5x faster CPU. CPU speed matters a lot for graphics performance.

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Based on your needs it doesn't really seem to me that a macmini is your best choice. Video editing would be better served with a more robust computer regardless of universal binaries.

 

for a while i was trying to edit video on my powerbook 500mhz. i think the macmini 1.42ghz will be better than that. its not hardcore video editing i want to do. just 20minute web video. id be using final cut express not final cut pro.

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Just to clear up the RAM issue that GLMeese raised:

 

I see no reason why you would need to have matching RAM modules to make the machine work. You could happily have a 1Gb module in slot A and nothing in slot B. As always, 2x512Mb would indeed be slightly faster, but negligibly and it would harm future upgradability due to pricing issues. It's a play off that a single stick always wins for me.

 

If I have missed something however, please point it out here.

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Why can't Apple make a one size fits all media edition?? MS can.... they would just have to put different tuners in the machines that go to Europe

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Although there seems to be an outcry for it, the Mac Mini itself is a computer, not a Media Center. Apple is aware of it's position, the position of the Mac and the Mac Mini. I think Apple understands that it cannot replace any conceivable future of the iTMS with a Media Center as people hope, it cannot stray from the one-size-fits-all OS, the dedicated tenacity of it's software or hardware.

 

To make a Mac Mini everything people hope would take a lot of work and be marketed as a completely different unit, even if it had the form factor and even the case. I don't think you will see the "Mac Mini Media Center Edition" but you may see a Mac Media Center (iHub?) in the future. It's a long way off yet I suspect, if it ever comes to fruition, because there would be so much work to do to make it more along the lines of an X-Box which better suits the need but with the inclusion of FrontRow Movie Trailer type interfacing.

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I realize my posting was a bit long-winded and I didn't clarify a few issues.

 

Paired RAM

First off, I realize(d) that two memory sticks weren't actually/truly required, but it was something you needed to do for best performance. The bummer part is that however you buy it from Apple, you effectively have to "throw out" both DIMMs if you decide to upgrade yourself. Sure, you can keep one if you want less-than-optimal performance. Anyway, IMO, people need to factor this in as one usually upgrades RAM for better performance. If someone can identify what the memory controller is on this board, then "we" might be able to tell what kind of hit one will take if you don't upgrade in pairs.

 

Intel Video

Secondly, I realize that the Intel graphics chipset is in the same league as the Radeon 9200 it replaces. I haven't been able to find any kind of consistent benchmark on all the PC sites that do such reviews to compare the two chipsets exactly. However, it would appear that the Intel chip is still a bit south of the ATI one. Additionally, the first test I've seen of the new system (the "solo" configuration) on Macintouch confirms that the hardware OpenGL on the new mini performs worse than the G4 mini:

http://www.macintouch.com/specialreports/p...ck02/#cinebench

 

Hi-Def Video?

Will the new mini be able to output 1280x720p HD without dropping frames? I know my current mini can sometimes pull this off (with a Gig o' RAM) if I read the source from a fast, external FireWire drive and all other apps have been quit. 1920x1080i is out of the question. Will that work on the new mini? Somehow, I doubt it unless Intel has a special CoDec much as ATI has commissioned one for their newest (AVIVO-equipped) boards. If you've not watched HiDef content, you probably don't know what you're missing, but SD (Standard Definition) is like going back to AM radio when you've gotten used to CD sound. If the mini can't play in this arena, there are more capable PC solutions out there that can (I'm thinking of both Windows and Linux here).

 

Anyhow, I'm a bit disappointed to see Apple taking a downward turn at all just when they need the maximum performance boosts wherever they can get it. Customers will be taking enough of a hit as it is with Rosetta - they don't need to be hobbled with poor video performance. Shared memory for video is just...inexusable. It's one of the reasons I've avoided the major PC vendor's low-end models for years because, although I'm not an avid gamer, I do like 3D games that perform at better than slide-show speeds.

 

Not an Apple-basher!

For those who think I'm an Apple basher...well, I've probably owned Macs longer than many of you have been around. With my own money, I've purchased a Mac 512K, Mac SE, Performa 575, PM 6100, PM 8500, Bondi iMac, Summer 2000 iMac, and the G4 mini. At work, I've used Pluses, SI's, CI's, Beige G3's, Cubes, various flavors of G3 & G4 towers, etc. I worked on Norton Utilities and SAM while at Symantec, various products at AVID Technologies, other Mac-friendly shops as a developer and software QA engineer, blah, blah. I still think the Mac is the best doggone desktop OS out there to date. Apple will have to actually do what Dvorak said recently for me to stop being a customer altogether. I just think this iteration is a swing and a miss.

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To steal a line from Steve:

"Oh, there's one more thing..."

 

This is from the original Mac mini's product description page:

Go ahead, just try to play Halo on a budget PC. Most say they're good for 2D games only. That's because an "integrated Intel graphics" chip steals power from the CPU and siphons off memory from system-level RAM. You'd have to buy an extra card to get the graphics performance of Mac mini, and some cheaper PCs don't even have an open slot to let you add one.

 

So, now shared memory for video is kewl? :?

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seriously, this whole shared memory and video chip discussion is for the rats.

 

The MacMini is a low budget computer.

While I agree it should be $100 less.

We all will agree on that the cpu is too expensive to be much cheaper than what the MacMini already is.

 

I would discribe the MacMani for the following uses:

Part of the living room or simple computer taks:

 

Documents, iPhoto, iTunes some iMovie and internet surfing and that is pritty much it.

 

I believe there is no reason at all to complain about this new machine.

 

If there is anything to complain about the new announcements its the iPod accesories.

 

I don't know why anybody would want to buy these.

They are really only for if you have too much money lying around or are a die hard brain dead Apple fan who needs everything that Apple has to offer, as these products are offered by other manufacturous cheaper and to some extent better.

 

(while getting too much off topic here)

 

I was hopping and I am still that some company will make some kind of boombox that will make it in some way real simple to have a party with lots of iPods present which can just be connecteted real simple to the boombox.

 

I want awesome "huge" sound, a large display, for album arts and editing the iTunes party jukebox, something like "13 inch or so.

 

Also this jukebox should have wireless connectivity to the hopeful next gen wireless iPod.

And lastly the design of this boombox should be real hot I am thinking somethign in the direction of the U2 iPod.

 

Ok sorry for the rant :) had to leave my beef somewhere ;)

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Why can't Apple make a one size fits all media edition?? MS can.... they would just have to put different tuners in the machines that go to Europe

 

Agreed it would be simple to put in a basic tuner that deals with PAL/NTSC/Secam and you've covered a good part of the globe. However, if you look at Elgato's products page there's a range of solutions that go beyond that.

 

I think it's better to let a 3rd party provide these customized solutions and it gives a lot more flexibility to the user. I don't agree with this idea that what we need is one box that will do everything.

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Why can't Apple make a one size fits all media edition?? MS can.... they would just have to put different tuners in the machines that go to Europe

 

Agreed it would be simple to put in a basic tuner that deals with PAL/NTSC/Secam and you've covered a good part of the globe. However, if you look at Elgato's products page there's a range of solutions that go beyond that.

 

I think it's better to let a 3rd party provide these customized solutions and it gives a lot more flexibility to the user. I don't agree with this idea that what we need is one box that will do everything.

 

it also wouldn't as noted before not fit into the Apple iTunes strategy.

 

Apple wants people to buy TV Shows from iTunes.

And I hope at some point in the future Apple will introduce a suscriptions service for TV Content,

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...it would seem at first glance that Apple has made a decent improvement to the mini. However, for me (as I stated above), the paltry video will keep me a 10-foot-pole's distance away from this model. I could probably ignore the other issues if it weren't for this. However, I find the video setup inexcusable for Apple, of all vendors. Although I've been an Apple owner since 1985 (a "Fat Mac"), I honestly hope that this model sells poorly. Hopefully, Apple will "get it" and re-design the video subsystem correctly.

 

I agree, the new Mac Mini is definitely a mixed bag.

 

I was looking to buy one as a media center, but I'm having second thoughts because of the Graphics issue.

 

A lot of the problem comes down to Apple's pricing model, they only regard the Mini as a budget machine and now they're having to put some very budget components inside to offset the cost of the Intel processors.

 

I think there's room for a Mini model at the $1,00US price point or maybe even higher. Of course that starts to compete with the iMac, but I believe there's two different markets out there, there's people that like the all in one nature of the iMac and those that like to buy there own periperals and just replace the system unit.

 

If you just want to buy a system unit the choice is Mac Mini (up to $799) and then jumps to the lowest Power Mac at $2,000.

 

I'm not knocking the iMac, I'm writing this on my iMac, it's a fantastic machine, but I'd like to see more product choice in the mid-price range.

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Intel Video

Secondly, I realize that the Intel graphics chipset is in the same league as the Radeon 9200 it replaces. I haven't been able to find any kind of consistent benchmark on all the PC sites that do such reviews to compare the two chipsets exactly. However, it would appear that the Intel chip is still a bit south of the ATI one. Additionally, the first test I've seen of the new system (the "solo" configuration) on Macintouch confirms that the hardware OpenGL on the new mini performs worse than the G4 mini:

http://www.macintouch.com/specialreports/p...ck02/#cinebench

 

But note how much faster the software opengl is than the hardware opengl. Notice that the software opengl on the intel mac mini is much faster than the G4 hardware opengl! That's a really stunning remarkable example of how fast the core duo is. This appears to mean that the core duo is possibly able to more than make up for the GMA950. Of course you really can't say that for sure until you see the real world tests. Also take a look at the shading benchmark, shading is an important part of modern games (say doom 3) and that benchmark shows that the GMA950 is much faster at shading than the 9200. That site actually leaves me confident that the new mac mini will see a very good speed boost for games.

 

Hi-Def Video?

Will the new mini be able to output 1280x720p HD without dropping frames? I know my current mini can sometimes pull this off (with a Gig o' RAM) if I read the source from a fast, external FireWire drive and all other apps have been quit. 1920x1080i is out of the question. Will that work on the new mini?

 

Certainly yes, the core duo is easily fast enough to handle 1080i and 720p HD all in software, you may even be able to watch 1080p h264 on it. With optical out and such a fast CPU the mac mini should make an ideal home theatre computer.

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I am going to get a new core duo mac mini and was wondering if anybody could recommend a great bluetooth wireless mouse and keyboard. I found this logitech one but wasn't sure if it's compatible con Mac (Logitech® diNovo™ Media Desktop™ Laser). I would like to utilize the left/right and scroll functions that the bluetooth Mac mouse doesn't offer. Thanks.

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The diNovo does work with Macs and it's the best combo set I have ever used (and I have used a lot). I would prefer to stick with the Apple lot personally and wait for a Bluetooth Mighty Mouse (which HAS to be in the works surely) but if you want it now, and you want to scroll, go diNovo in my opinion. It's the only way to... urm... compute?

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Hmm, intereting, 12FPS vs 14.5FPS in unreal with G4 mac mini winning. Although that's not a huge difference.

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