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Intel Based Mac Mini in January?
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ack_mac
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am still a little baffled by this rumor. The thing that is bugging me is why would Apple do the recent bump in specs on the Mini knowing that they would be rolling out an Intel Mini in January? What would be the point? I could see it if they bumped up the hard drive, and possibly the Superdrive, but why the bump in CPU and VRAM? I assume that they will need a completely different motherboard and GPU to support Intel?

Also, I am still not sure on both performance and price point. If they do release an Intel mini in January I would suspect that to keep the cost under $500 they will need to put a Celeron chipset in it. What would be the performance gain in this chip vs. the chipset that I have in mine (1.5GHZ PPC)? Would this really be groundbreaking? What would the advantages of a low-end Intel "M" chipset have over the G4 PPC?

I am still not sure about this one...
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kuro
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ack_mac wrote:
I am still a little baffled by this rumor. The thing that is bugging me is why would Apple do the recent bump in specs on the Mini knowing that they would be rolling out an Intel Mini in January? What would be the point? I could see it if they bumped up the hard drive, and possibly the Superdrive, but why the bump in CPU and VRAM? I assume that they will need a completely different motherboard and GPU to support Intel?


The point is to continue selling PPC machines. The one thing they don't want is sales to slump between June 2005 and, say, October 2006 when the rev. B Mac mini is released. Some people are already saying that they are going to wait for the Intel product line and others are saying that they are going to with for the rev. B Intel products.

By performing a number of incremental upgrades of the existing product line, Apple stimulates sales (some people will buy the updated product, while others will hunt for a bargain on the previous-generation product).

It is for this reason that I wouldn't be suprised if Apple were to perform another incremental update to the Mac mini between now and February, nor would I be surprised if the iBook and PowerBook lines don't get some (further) updates.

Quote:
Also, I am still not sure on both performance and price point. If they do release an Intel mini in January I would suspect that to keep the cost under $500 they will need to put a Celeron chipset in it. What would be the performance gain in this chip vs. the chipset that I have in mine (1.5GHZ PPC)? Would this really be groundbreaking? What would the advantages of a low-end Intel "M" chipset have over the G4 PPC?


Personally I wouldn't expect the performance difference to be groundbreaking, just incrementally better. Between 10% and 20% better, like the difference between the 1.25 and 1.44 GHz processors.
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ack_mac
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kuro wrote:
ack_mac wrote:
I am still a little baffled by this rumor. The thing that is bugging me is why would Apple do the recent bump in specs on the Mini knowing that they would be rolling out an Intel Mini in January? What would be the point? I could see it if they bumped up the hard drive, and possibly the Superdrive, but why the bump in CPU and VRAM? I assume that they will need a completely different motherboard and GPU to support Intel?


The point is to continue selling PPC machines. The one thing they don't want is sales to slump between June 2005 and, say, October 2006 when the rev. B Mac mini is released. Some people are already saying that they are going to wait for the Intel product line and others are saying that they are going to with for the rev. B Intel products.

By performing a number of incremental upgrades of the existing product line, Apple stimulates sales (some people will buy the updated product, while others will hunt for a bargain on the previous-generation product).

It is for this reason that I wouldn't be suprised if Apple were to perform another incremental update to the Mac mini between now and February, nor would I be surprised if the iBook and PowerBook lines don't get some (further) updates.

Quote:
Also, I am still not sure on both performance and price point. If they do release an Intel mini in January I would suspect that to keep the cost under $500 they will need to put a Celeron chipset in it. What would be the performance gain in this chip vs. the chipset that I have in mine (1.5GHZ PPC)? Would this really be groundbreaking? What would the advantages of a low-end Intel "M" chipset have over the G4 PPC?


Personally I wouldn't expect the performance difference to be groundbreaking, just incrementally better. Between 10% and 20% better, like the difference between the 1.25 and 1.44 GHz processors.


I understand your point, but they never officially announced the latest update. So, they are not necessarily benefitting from increased sales as a result (except from people like us who troll these rumor boards and are armed with the information).

Assuming that Apple announces the Intel Mini's in January, it is possible that the recent updated Mini's may never be officially announced at all. I also do not see Apple selling new PPC and Intel chipset Mac Mini's in parrallel after the current Mini PPC stock is sold out. It would be way to confusing.

As for the performance jump, I am still not sold that going from a 1.5GHZ G4 PPC to a 1.6-2.0GHZ Celeron chipset is going to result in a 20% increase in performance. I guess I need to do some more research to understand the advantages of Intel of PPC if the processor speeds are similar.
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kuro
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ack_mac wrote:
I guess I need to do some more research to understand the advantages of Intel of PPC if the processor speeds are similar.


Well, my understanding is that Apple's two main motivations for switching to Intel are:

* deliver a next-generation laptop computer range that has better battery life, runs cooler and comes in a slimmer enclosure than their existing range while offering an incremental performance improvement

* deliver a replacement for the PowerMac range that offers at least a 20% performance improvement over the existing range (this effectively means at least dual proc/dual core clocked at over 3GHz).

Longer term, Apple probably want to deliver a super-slim Tablet PC and continue to shrink the size of the computer component in the Mac mini and iMac series.

[edit: fix typo]
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LemonySnicket
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

resuna wrote:
devo wrote:
I have a feeling Apple is going to do away the Mac mini having a dedicated video.
There's no way, not the way they use OpenGL everywhere. They even have custom Apple-only openGL extensions on both the Radeon and nvidia platforms. Breaking in a new GPU that has such limited openGL support compared to the Radeon would be insanely hard. Harder than porting Mac OS X to the Pentium in the first place.


What about AltiVec? How will that be affected? I can't wait to get my hands on one of these and dual boot with Windows.
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resuna
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LemonySnicket wrote:
What about AltiVec? How will that be affected? I can't wait to get my hands on one of these and dual boot with Windows.
Altivec will be replaced by SSE2.

What I'm mostly trying to indicate is thet the switch to an intel CPU doesn't require a switch to an intel graphics chip (GPU). Altivec has nothing to do with the GPU.
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slickrick
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some tidbits on OpenGL, AltiVec and Rosetta.

http://news.zdnet.com/2100-1040_22-5939915.html
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anthonymoody
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quantum wrote:
I would wait until July to buy a second generation of intel based Mac, just in case some ugly viruses find their way in.
No Beta testing for me, I pass Arrow



Would people stop spewing this nonsense? Viruses and the like are SOFTWARE related. Not hardware.

TM
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Quantum
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

anthonymoody wrote:
Quantum wrote:
I would wait until July to buy a second generation of intel based Mac, just in case some ugly viruses find their way in.
No Beta testing for me, I pass Arrow



Would people stop spewing this nonsense? Viruses and the like are SOFTWARE related. Not hardware.

TM


SO... Mr Expert what's your point or is it your way to draw attention? BTW, you are late replying...
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andp
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

resuna wrote:
LemonySnicket wrote:
What about AltiVec? How will that be affected? I can't wait to get my hands on one of these and dual boot with Windows.
Altivec will be replaced by SSE2.

What I'm mostly trying to indicate is thet the switch to an intel CPU doesn't require a switch to an intel graphics chip (GPU). Altivec has nothing to do with the GPU.


Rosetta doesn't support AltiVec. Games and software that take advantage of AltiVec won't run until they are ported or recompiled.
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tdmckee
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2005 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leander wrote:
crikey i hope this isnt true to be honest. im a day or 2 away from ordering my mini and i dont want it completely obsolete a month or 2 later.

(i dont see an increase in vram, faster drive etc as being completely obsolete . but an entire core change, thats very different.)

Sad


I don't know - I'm almost going the other direction - as a long time mac user (well, medium-time - since ~os 9.1), I'm going for a ppc mini now to keep around and be able to use all of my accumulated programs that can still run natively, without having to rely on rosetta emulation. I'm sure at some point I'll pick up an intel mac, once the software is out and the hardware is tweaked, but chances are it will be a nice, (hopefully) cheap laptop - since that seems to be the main reason for the switch - the inability to get faster chips that will run in the powerbook/ibook lines. Am I mis-quoting the company line? Smile
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ack_mac
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2005 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tdmckee wrote:
Leander wrote:
crikey i hope this isnt true to be honest. im a day or 2 away from ordering my mini and i dont want it completely obsolete a month or 2 later.

(i dont see an increase in vram, faster drive etc as being completely obsolete . but an entire core change, thats very different.)

Sad


I don't know - I'm almost going the other direction - as a long time mac user (well, medium-time - since ~os 9.1), I'm going for a ppc mini now to keep around and be able to use all of my accumulated programs that can still run natively, without having to rely on rosetta emulation. I'm sure at some point I'll pick up an intel mac, once the software is out and the hardware is tweaked, but chances are it will be a nice, (hopefully) cheap laptop - since that seems to be the main reason for the switch - the inability to get faster chips that will run in the powerbook/ibook lines. Am I mis-quoting the company line? Smile


I think this is a smart position to take. I am still not convinced that the first Intel generation of the Mac Mini will be that much faster than the current PPC build when you are running Rosetta. I am very happy with the performance of my 15GHZ Mini with 1GB of RAM. I think the switch to Intel will payoff in the long haul (especially for the Apple laptop line). Time will tell... I bought my Mini expecting that I would most likely update to a faster Apple machine within the next 2 years.
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picaman
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2005 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ack_mac wrote:
I am still not convinced that the first Intel generation of the Mac Mini will be that much faster than the current PPC build when you are running Rosetta.


The most optimistic estimates are that you'll get 80% of your speed running emulated software under Rosetta. And I think that's probably a best-case scenario.

I think that a PPC Mini would stand anyone in good stead for sometime to come, if you look at the situation purely from a "how fast and well will my basic software operate" standpoint. The "X-factor" is that any new Intel Mini is likely to have several wonderful new hardware features that will set us drooling, especially if it shows up as the long-awaited Home Theater Mac.

Smile

Jamie
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castaway
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2005 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apple Insider says the iMac and PowerBook will be first. The Intel iBooks and Mac mini will be later in the spring.

http://www.appleinsider.com/article.php?id=1368
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devo
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2005 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

castaway wrote:
Apple Insider says the iMac and PowerBook will be first. The Intel iBooks and Mac mini will be later in the spring.

http://www.appleinsider.com/article.php?id=1368


If true, all those people that buy an iMac or PowerBook for Christmas are going to be pissed. Laughing I was starting to buy into the theory that the Mac mini was going to be first because Apple skipped over the 1.5GHz minis without an official announcement.
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