new macs!

Info & chat about quiet prebuilt, small form factor and barebones systems, people's experiences with vendors thereof, etc.

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rei
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new macs!

Post by rei » Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:44 am

in with the new macs announced today are new mac minis. yay.

Matija
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Post by Matija » Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:31 am

SPCR is for people who use actual computers and aren't distracted by shiny objects.

Entropy
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Post by Entropy » Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:32 am

Prices are prohibitive though, particularly outside the USA due to the strong dollar (which is a rather weak argument, since most of the components and the assembly is outside the US).

Wonderful systems from a noise standpoint, but my prediction is that their desktop sales will drop. Sharply. Very Sharply.

Edit: And drop the Apple hate, it is pathetic. If you don't like their products, simply buy something else.

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Post by NeilBlanchard » Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:43 am

Hi,

My latest computer is a 24" iMac. It cost $1,800 -- and it draws ~116watts at full load (WHICH INCLUDES THE 24" MONITOR!), it is virtually silent, and it is very fast. And I won't have Registry corruptions, and it will probably never get a virus or have malware installed w/o my knowledge.

The monitor quality is excellent, btw -- I have not seen better.
Last edited by NeilBlanchard on Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Sincerely, Neil
http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/

rei
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Post by rei » Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:50 am

don't be an ass, Matija. computers are tools but you don't have to be one.

the minis are quite nice for low-power sipping and low-noise (until they hit full load).

the pricing for canadians is still a little cheaper by almost a $100 compared to full dollar exchange ($685 base mini)

QuietOC
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Post by QuietOC » Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:21 am

NeilBlanchard wrote:And I won't have Registry corruptions, and it will probably never get a virus or have malware installed w/o my knowledge.
I also have a previous model 24" iMac I use professionally, and the machine is okay, but OSX is less reliable for me than Vista.

These new iMacs are a little underwhelming. The Geforce 9400M is nice, but hopefully it is not in the models with discrete graphics. The Geforce GT 120 and 130 are pointless, but Apple has a tradtion of sticking poor video cards in the iMac. Funny how they now have nVidia low end and AMD high end options when nVidia has better high end cards (GTX 260) and AMD has better low end (4670). Almost like Apple is getting closeout deals on stuff PC makers can't sell. An Apple with the first RV740s--now that would've news.

As far as CPUs: a 45nm quad core option might have been nice, but a fast (~3.6GHz) dual core with the 9400M would have been great for me. I need to try the Hackintosh angle with my boss again... :)

Matija
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Post by Matija » Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:54 am

rei wrote:don't be an ass, Matija. computers are tools but you don't have to be one.
Yes, computers are tools.

So why not build your own tool, which is going to be better, cost less, and have a better operating system?

Macs are shiny. That's it. They offer absolutely no advantage over regular PCs and are, in fact, worse in everything.

rei
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Post by rei » Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:04 am

i won't dignify your tactless idiocy and brainless platform-fanboyism with any further responses.

Matija
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Post by Matija » Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:20 am

Fact: You can build an equivalent system for less money.

Fact: You can *buy* an equivalent system for less money.

Fact: You can install a better OS on either of those two systems, be it Windows or Linux.

Those are the facts. I'm sorry if you can't see them, but they honestly are the simple facts.

QuietOC
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Post by QuietOC » Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:40 am

Matija wrote:Macs are shiny. That's it. They offer absolutely no advantage over regular PCs and are, in fact, worse in everything.
Apple is a PC OEM like all the others except they have their own unique OS. Their hardware components are okay and their chassis are quite nice. As a low budget overclocker I can't imagine spending $1,800 on this machine I am typing at right now--it is considerably slower than my $400 PC at home, but I don't have a 24" H-IPS screen built into my home system either. A lot of this machine is mobile parts and that explains a lot of the rest of the cost--it is Intel "mobile" tax.

Apple could make a more affordable mid range Mac tower--more along the lines of the G3/G4 towers or a typical PC, but they just don't. What they currently offer is a good deal for some people. Their OS is pretty much required in my industry, so they also sell a lot of poorly specified machines. That might hurt them in the long run.

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Post by thejamppa » Tue Mar 03, 2009 12:18 pm

Apple is affraid if they start to make "cheap" computer they will lose their brand what htey have been building since 2nd iMac...
If seeing is believing, how can blind person believe in anything?
Maturity is just not experience in life but also ability to make compromises.

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Post by QuietOC » Tue Mar 03, 2009 12:51 pm

thejamppa wrote:Apple is affraid if they start to make "cheap" computer they will lose their brand what htey have been building since 2nd iMac...
My company (and probably a lot of professionals) tends to view the iMacs as junk. I have one of the few in a company with lots of Apple hardware.

shleepy
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Post by shleepy » Tue Mar 03, 2009 1:04 pm

This is about the Mac Mini, no? Look, I'm no Apple fanboy. I have never had an Apple PC, and I don't particularly see any advantages of the OS. That said, the new Mac Mini does look very cool.

Matija - why don't you go on newegg and try to configure a better computer in a case that's 6.5" x 6.5" x 2" (with rounded corners, at that)? Good luck! You won't even get anything with a mini-ITX (6.7" x 6.7") MOTHERBOARD (i.e., significantly bigger case) that has an onboard Nvidia 9400 yet.

Will I buy it? Nope. But I do think that it's good news for small PC enthusiasts, since similar motherboards will be coming in OEM forms soon enough.

One thing that struck me about the release is that it wasn't on the Nvidia Ion platform (i.e., with Intel Atom and not C2D) but still had the 9400. Did Apple decide that it didn't perform up to par, maybe?

Edirol
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Post by Edirol » Tue Mar 03, 2009 1:23 pm

I'm curious how quiet the new mac minis are, esp compared to SPR built PCs. Right now the loudest thing in my PC when it's idle is the WD Green Power HD. 99% of the time my PC isn't loaded so speedfan doesn't ramp up the fan speeds.

dougz
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Post by dougz » Tue Mar 03, 2009 1:30 pm

shleepy wrote:One thing that struck me about the release is that it wasn't on the Nvidia Ion platform (i.e., with Intel Atom and not C2D) but still had the 9400. Did Apple decide that it didn't perform up to par, maybe?
Strikes me as an advantage. I'd much rather pay for a C2D, particularly because it supports virtualization. YMMV.

I'm an open source type because I like free (as in freedom), despite the cost of having to debug Linux issues. OTOH, the Mini has always impressed me as an elegant design. Cheap, small, fast: pick any two. OK, the Mini is small and fast. Not a terrible value, but not cheap. (Small and quiet is never cheap!)

For US$599, it now comes with a "superdrive" (DVD writer) and decent (non-Intel) integrated graphics. 120 MB is adequate (server on the net). OK, 1MB is too small...

Dumb question: Is the lack of HDMI a DRM issue? I'd really like to do a media PC and the Linux choice (fast processor/no video driver support for HD) or Vista (better video drivers/don't need as much CPU, but Vista???) do not appeal.

Netflix on Linux may come "Real Soon Now" says Godot. The Mini looks attractive. (I'd like it even better with Mac OS X "Snow Leopard.")

shleepy
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Post by shleepy » Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:06 pm

dougz wrote:
shleepy wrote:One thing that struck me about the release is that it wasn't on the Nvidia Ion platform (i.e., with Intel Atom and not C2D) but still had the 9400. Did Apple decide that it didn't perform up to par, maybe?
Strikes me as an advantage. I'd much rather pay for a C2D, particularly because it supports virtualization. YMMV.
No, I agree. :) It's just that the rumors proved false. It's certainly a better value at $600 with a C2D than with an Atom, heh.

jessekopelman
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Post by jessekopelman » Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:12 pm

shleepy wrote: One thing that struck me about the release is that it wasn't on the Nvidia Ion platform (i.e., with Intel Atom and not C2D) but still had the 9400. Did Apple decide that it didn't perform up to par, maybe?
Ion was the wrong tool for the job. Mini is supposed to be directly comparable to iMac -- one is for those who like separate monitor one is for those who don't. Ion is intended for something like an Apple TV, not a full featured desktop. Indeed, I expect we will see an Ion-based Applet TV at some point this year.

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Post by jessekopelman » Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:15 pm

dougz wrote: Dumb question: Is the lack of HDMI a DRM issue?
No, the DVI output supports HDCP. You just need to use a a DVI-to-HDMI cable or adapter.

dougz
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Post by dougz » Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:24 pm

jessekopelman wrote:
dougz wrote: Dumb question: Is the lack of HDMI a DRM issue?
No, the DVI output supports HDCP. You just need to use a a DVI-to-HDMI cable or adapter.
Thank you!

lowpowercomputing
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Post by lowpowercomputing » Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:34 pm

IMHO it's a nice machine, just the thing I may replace my 1st-gen one with. Idle power consumption is impressive. I just hope it'll still be quiet under load, mine certainly isn't.

Sorry if that's been answered before - can the 9400M output two digital signals at once?

The price is still a bit high though (would prefer $100 less) and as usual the non-US prices are rip-offs. E.g. US price: $599, EU price: €599. Using current course, $599 = €477. I'd be much happier if the entry-level mini were ~€499.

dougz
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Post by dougz » Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:57 pm

lowpowercomputing wrote:E.g. US price: $599, EU price: €599. Using current course, $599 = €477. I'd be much happier if the entry-level mini were ~€499.
VAT included? US Sales Taxes are extra. Possibly avoidable ;-)

599 Euro<-->5148 Yuan vs. 599 USD<--> 4098.05 Yuan. (Disregarding engineering, this is really a Chinese product.)

lowpowercomputing
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Post by lowpowercomputing » Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:05 pm

dougz wrote:
lowpowercomputing wrote:E.g. US price: $599, EU price: €599. Using current course, $599 = €477. I'd be much happier if the entry-level mini were ~€499.
VAT included? US Sales Taxes are extra. Possibly avoidable ;-)

599 Euro<-->5148 Yuan vs. 599 USD<--> 4098.05 Yuan. (Disregarding engineering, this is really a Chinese product.)
Yep, 19% VAT is included. It was when I bought my last one from the German Apple Store. Hmm, if I add VAT to €477 I'm at €567.

So is it really true that $599 is excluding US VAT?

lowpowercomputing
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Post by lowpowercomputing » Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:09 pm

Matija wrote:Fact: You can build an equivalent system for less money.

Fact: You can *buy* an equivalent system for less money.

Fact: You can install a better OS on either of those two systems, be it Windows or Linux.

Those are the facts. I'm sorry if you can't see them, but they honestly are the simple facts.
1. Hardware-wise, maybe. Size-wise, not that sure.

2. Same as 1.

3. That's not a fact, it's an opinion. But it doesn't matter if X thinks that Y is a "better" OS than Z, so it's moot.

dougz
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Post by dougz » Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:14 pm

lowpowercomputing wrote: Yep, 19% VAT is included. It was when I bought my last one from the German Apple Store. Hmm, if I add VAT to €477 I'm at €567.

So is it really true that $599 is excluding US VAT?
There is no national/federal (VAT/sales) tax in the U.S. Individual states have State Sales Taxes. Localities may add their own tax to the State tax. Most (not all) Internet sales are tax free.

I would expect that Amazon.com will sell it for US$599 - $25 discount & no tax for most U.S. customers.

lowpowercomputing
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Post by lowpowercomputing » Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:26 pm

dougz wrote:
lowpowercomputing wrote: Yep, 19% VAT is included. It was when I bought my last one from the German Apple Store. Hmm, if I add VAT to €477 I'm at €567.

So is it really true that $599 is excluding US VAT?
There is no national/federal (VAT/sales) tax in the U.S. Individual states have State Sales Taxes. Localities may add their own tax to the State tax. Most (not all) Internet sales are tax free.

I would expect that Amazon.com will sell it for US$599 - $25 discount & no tax for most U.S. customers.
Thanks for clearing that up. :) So my point ($599 < €599) still stands.

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Post by shleepy » Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:40 pm

Question - how easy would it be to upgrade the internal components (for owners of older Mac Minis)? I don't imagine that Apple really likes users to do this, what with charging $175 to upgrade the HDD to one that costs ~$45 to consumers.

dougz
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Post by dougz » Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:45 pm

lowpowercomputing wrote: Thanks for clearing that up. :) So my point ($599 < €599) still stands.
For small values of "stands." :-)

If I went to the local Richmond, Virginia Apple store I would pay US$599 list price + 5% tax. (Great store, sales droids are suspect, genius bar is excellent.)

I believe that California has the highest state tax at 7.25% plus some hefty local taxes. Might be as high as 9.5%, IIRC.

So, VAT is higher than highest U.S. tax rates, AFAIK. Therefore, the bulk of the difference is due to taxation! :-(

Hard to beat Amazon price, at least after all of the old models are gone and they start discounting the new ones. Free shipping, too!

dougz
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Post by dougz » Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:50 pm

shleepy wrote:Question - how easy would it be to upgrade the internal components (for owners of older Mac Minis)? I don't imagine that Apple really likes users to do this, what with charging $175 to upgrade the HDD to one that costs ~$45 to consumers.
It would be better/cheaper to sell your current box and buy a new one. Old Minis hold excellent resale value.

To upgrade, they would have to swap mobo (including video), CPU, and RAM (DDR3 vs. DDR2). HD extra. Superdrive extra.

BTW, a new case would be needed, due to different ports. PSU?

Given the markup on replacement parts and labor costs, it would be prohibitively expensive.

lowpowercomputing
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Post by lowpowercomputing » Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:52 pm

shleepy wrote:Question - how easy would it be to upgrade the internal components (for owners of older Mac Minis)? I don't imagine that Apple really likes users to do this, what with charging $175 to upgrade the HDD to one that costs ~$45 to consumers.
PowerPC models: RAM is very easy to upgrade, HDD and optical drive are a bit of a hassle, but doable. I've done RAM & HDD upgrades on mine.
Intel models (as of now): RAM upgrade requires motherboard to be removed from the case, HDD & optical drive is more or less the same as on PPC. CPU can be upgraded too (socketed).
Opening the case requires a puttyknife or something similar (basically you need something wide and very thin to pray open the case).

Various videos of how to open PPC/x86 minis are floating around the net so you can get an impression of what's to be done.
So, VAT is higher than highest U.S. tax rates, AFAIK. Therefore, the bulk of the difference is due to taxation!
Yes. Damn taxes... At least I can get a student discount which is 5% AFAIK.

dougz
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Post by dougz » Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:05 pm

dougz wrote:Old Minis hold excellent resale value.
http://lowendmac.com/deals/best-mac-mini-prices.html

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