Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 6th Mar 2006 15:54 UTC
Apple Ars reviews the Mac Mini Core Solo, and concludes: "Because this machine maintains the same great form factor and adds a ton of new, standard features in addition to having substantially better performance with only a price increase of $100 on each model, I'm giving the Mac Mini Solo a score of 8. The integrated graphics issue is an issue to be sure, but the impacted population is so small and the cure so easily fixed, that I don't feel that knocking the score down any further is warranted. From nearly all other perspectives, this is a great entry level machine with a great footprint and the ability to utilize peripherals most people already have." On a related note, the new Mini's processor is upgradable.
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Will Apple bring the price still down ?
by jbalmer on Mon 6th Mar 2006 17:06 UTC
jbalmer
Member since:
2005-12-18

As long as apple does not bring the price of the product down to that of a PCs level, I am going to stick to a PC running which ever OS comes bundled with it - with a preference for Linux.

--
A wise man once quipped:
A Mac is a rich man's computer.

Reply Score: 0

dru_satori Member since:
2005-07-06

Enjoy your PC, you aren't the customer that Apple targets anyways, and that's not a cheap shot or dig, it's just fact.

Apple doesn't really market to what I will refer to as the 'bargain' shopper. There is an old saying about penny wise and pound foolish that applies here. Traditionally Apple hasn't targeted these customers. Apple does want the 'value' customer, one who is looking for the best possible 'value' not necessarily the best possible 'price'. The problem is that 'value' is a very subjective measurement, thus for your needs, size, design, and default software don't present enough value-add to justify the price difference, and this is fine with Apple.

The reason this is fine with Apple, is that your sale would be unlikely to generate further revenue for them as you're unlikely to buy .Mac, iWorks, nor be a big spender on iTunes, yearly upgrades, or other items. This goes a step further, in that you are unlikely to use the Apple Store's either online or retail to purchase hardware upgrades or seek them out for repairs, further reducing potential revenue in services and goods.

This may sound a little harsh, but Apple is probably the single most focused company in technology right now about building a broad revenue stream and targeting a customer that has a) enough disposable income to generate ongoing revenue, b) is a likely candidate for add-ons in the form of the iPod and peripherals, software and services, c) is unlikely to cost Apple large sums of money in unpaid support.

With all of that in mind, reconsider the Mini, and it's market. It's not, nor has it ever been, targetted at the Beige Box, DIY computer user. It is targetted at the Dell Optiplex and Dimension buyers. Buyers that buy add-ons and services, and customers that are going to spend more than the initial purchase price with them.

There is a subset of customer that Apple has gotten that aren't by targeted marketing, but are consumers capable of the DIY, that simply aren't interested in saving $50 today, at the expense of $150 in 6 months. This is the category I fall into. I've done the DIY thing over the years. I've had boxes that have been torn down and rebuilt so many times that I've lost count, the problem is that today, I have no interest in expending the time. Specifically my time, which if I'm billing, more than compensates for a $100 / hour of build and setup, and over the course of a year maintenance.

Now I'm not going to preach that a Mac is no maintenance, it's not, no computer and OS is. However, I have 5 Macs, 2 Windows computers and a Linux server at home. The Linux server took me literally days to get setup to a point where I can ignore it, which I have now basically done for over 2 years (it's still running Suse 9.0). The Mac' are used by people that know the power button and the basics of navigation, but don't know how to do anything beyond very basic maintenance, and the Windows machines are used by myself and my wife, part time as we both prefer not using them but require them for work. I've spent more time troubleshooting little issues on the 2 lightly used Windows machines than I have the other machines combined, for what I would estimate to be a 10 hour difference per 6 months.

I *am* however exactly the customer that Apple wants, and I recognize that fact, though I'm not religious about the platform. If Linux or another alternative gets to a point that I think that's a better way to go, I'm there, and that includes Windows, though Vista doesn't look very promising to me right now. It's like 'Cairo' all over again. All those promises and then we got NT 4 :-(. I do pay for the add-ons that I use, because despite having the technical ability to replicate them or use free alternatives, simply because it's easier to simply pay for the services that I have neither the time nor desire to do anymore.

When I was a college student, living from paycheck to paycheck, I would not have been the target market either, I was working 40+ hours a week in a restaurant just to cover school and living expenses, now that I'm doing a little better than that, I spend money where I get the best 'value' for me. And that's on the Apple platform (for the time being).

Reply Score: 5

xrobertcmx Member since:
2005-09-21

Interesting. I recently purchased a 12in iBook and love it. The thing is that I don't see any added value in purchasing .mac or any of the other add ons. I have a pop email address, online file folder, and gmail. So the .mac email address, 1 gig of online storage, etc... don't provide any value to me. I purchased apple care, and that was overpriced for what it provides. I did however buy an iPod Nano, the 1 gig version, but I refuse to buy DRM'ed music so iTunes is out.
All in all though, from a usage, price to feature, build quality, and every other comparison I think the iBook is probably the best laptop on the market.

Reply Score: 2

dru_satori Member since:
2005-07-06

You are a part of that group of 'capable of DIY' but not really interested group.

In my case .Mac pays for itself in that it's easy, and with the family pack sub, it's easy enough for my kids and wife to use, they aren't willing to learn the fine art of FTP and WebDav. Option Shift I is too easy. The other benefits here are in things like Backup 3, which they use, and of course the iLife integration which is dead simple to use, and suits the needs of the quick dump the photos and video to the web for family in other states needs.

None of this isn't doable with other free alternatives, but the doing requires more knowledge and work, which requires more time. Thats the core reason for that add-ons.

About DRM, to each their own, while I'm not thrilled about it, I recognize that I enjoy music, and the RIAA isn't going away. It's a legalized mafia, it exists only to benefit the record labels, it hurts consumers and it hurts artists both about equally. It's not like commercial music right now is all that great, and American Idol is only making it worse. I also subbed to eMusic for a year or so before iTunes got rolling. The content was great for those who have tastes off the beaten path, but the catalog was always limited to what the labels felt they could afford to lose or indie content, and I don't see anyone solving those problems.

Is it a shame? yes, but do I see my abstaining from using DRM'd music helping ? no, the RIAA will just blame lost revenue on pirates and justify more draconian measures. I'd rather vote with the service that has reasonable DRM requirements, which at the moment iTunes does (though the RIAA would love to change that, after all ripping a CD is no longer 'fair-use' either in their latest legal wrangling).

On the quality, I'd say that the Sony Viaio remains close, and the Panasonic Toughbooks remain the most durable legwarmers on the market. Fujitsu also builds nice products, all of these product have a common thread though, none are 'bargain' machines, and in most cases are more, and some cases, significantly more expensive than the Apple offerings. The iBook you mention might be the single most well suited to general consumer use built to date. My original iBook G3 (dual USB / 600mhz) is now nearly 5 years old, and is on it's fourth full-time user, have passed from me to my wife, to my then 10 year old daughter and now to my son who is just now 9. The only hardware failure was the battery, which was replaced about 12 months ago.

Reply Score: 2

cerbie Member since:
2006-01-02

"As long as apple does not bring the price of the product down to that of a PCs level..."

I think you managed to either make a typo for bringing the price up, or are still living in the clouds, somewhere, where SFF PCs are cheap as dirt.

Pentium M 730
Kingston 512MB SODIMM
WD 60GB 2.5" HDD

$357.99 shipped (all free shipping items at Newegg)

AOpen MiniPC (only other thing of the same form factor)
$317.85 shipped, from Page Computer

Total?
$675.84 plus about $50, because both stores didn't have a slim combo drive, but it was about $50. Anyway, a comparable PC is over $700.

So, the Apple costs less, and all that are lost are PS/2 ports--USB are gained.

Apple is now forced to compete, and they are doing a good job at it.

Reply Score: 2

umm....
by modmans2ndcoming on Mon 6th Mar 2006 17:36 UTC
modmans2ndcoming
Member since:
2005-11-09

APple's mini is cheaper than teh other PCs of the same form factor.... do you want them to raise the price?

Reply Score: 5

v nice mini
by sp29 on Mon 6th Mar 2006 18:26 UTC
Graphics tests?
by altair on Mon 6th Mar 2006 19:22 UTC
altair
Member since:
2005-07-06

They didn't run any game benchmarks to see how the Intel graphics chip performs. They have access to all of those different mac machines to test and didn't run one game to see how the mini compares to them. Many people would like to know this information before getting one. Cinebench is not a good test for those that want to play WoW though it does show that the OpenGL hardware lighting is slower than a G4 mini. It's odd that the machine scored twice as high in software rendering than hardware rendering.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Graphics tests?
by MightyPenguin on Mon 6th Mar 2006 20:51 UTC in reply to "Graphics tests?"
MightyPenguin Member since:
2005-11-18

Trying to enjoy just about any modern game on 512mb of ram is like trying to date two girls at once, it just won't work ;)

* GeForce 7800GT: 3325 megapixels/sec
* CoreDuo iMac 20": 1137 megapixels/sec
* Core Duo Mini: 802 megapixels/second
* iMac G5: 778 megapixels/second
* PowerBook G4: 662 megapixels/second
* G4 Mac Mini: 288 megapixels/second

And all this without taking into account, shader support, vertex's, # of pipelines, etc etc. So basically, even with upgraded memory, Runescape's the only MMORPG you'll be playing ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Graphics tests?
by dru_satori on Mon 6th Mar 2006 21:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Graphics tests?"
dru_satori Member since:
2005-07-06

I find WoW on an iMac CoreDuo with 1.5gb to be eminently playable, and an equal performer to my Dell Latitude d810, with the sole exception that I can't use Ventrilo on the iMac (because the server my uild uses doesn't support Speex, only the Windows centric, GSM).

However, with just 512mb, it was unplayable, Ironforge was o jittery and I was afraid I was having a seizure :-)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Graphics tests?
by rayiner on Mon 6th Mar 2006 22:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Graphics tests?"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

The Latitude D810 is also, even in its top model, about half as fast as the Mac CoreDuo. It's got a single-core Pentium-M processor and an X600, not an X1600. If the performance of the two machines in WoW are equal, than that just shows that the gaming performance of the Mac is about half as much as that of the Windows machine...

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Graphics tests?
by Tuishimi on Mon 6th Mar 2006 21:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Graphics tests?"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

I dated 3 girls at a time for a few weeks... until it all blew up! ;)

Reply Score: 0

What surprises me is...
by mario on Mon 6th Mar 2006 20:05 UTC
mario
Member since:
2005-07-06

How the heck is it possible that no traditional PC maker (Dell, HPaq, Acer, Fujitsu Siemens etc.) came up with a similar form-factor computer, that would be also cheaper. What's wrong with this picture? How the heck is this possible?

Reply Score: 1

RE: What surprises me is...
by enegeo on Mon 6th Mar 2006 20:22 UTC in reply to "What surprises me is..."
enegeo Member since:
2006-03-06
RE[2]: What surprises me is...
by WZot on Mon 6th Mar 2006 23:26 UTC in reply to "RE: What surprises me is..."
WZot Member since:
2005-07-06

Right. And:
1) They lacked imagination to make something new. They took a Mac mini, removed everything that makes it look good.
2) Put a price tag on it $100 OVER the price of the mini with Intel. (the Aopen one costs $699, Mac mini starts at $599, the old mac mini started at $499)
3) Specs on the Aopen one is lower than the Mac mini. No wireless or bluetooth.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: What surprises me is...
by mario on Tue 7th Mar 2006 01:19 UTC in reply to "RE: What surprises me is..."
mario Member since:
2005-07-06

Thanks for the AOpen link. Very interesting computer. Probably what I am looking for, in fact, judging from the specs and the price.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: What surprises me is...
by gdanko on Tue 7th Mar 2006 14:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What surprises me is..."
gdanko Member since:
2005-07-15

Gonna put /<r4d windows ViStA on it? ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: What surprises me is...
by sanctus on Mon 6th Mar 2006 21:24 UTC in reply to "What surprises me is..."
sanctus Member since:
2005-08-31

because it will be more expensive and no customer for it

Reply Score: 1

RE: What surprises me is...
by deathshadow on Mon 6th Mar 2006 23:51 UTC in reply to "What surprises me is..."
deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

because that form factor relies on notebook and non-standard proprietary parts - which generally speaking drives the price UP. Normal PC desktops are kept cheap by using off the shelf parts.

Let's face it, apple could probably shave another $200 off the shelf price by just using a standard ATX mainboard, case, power supply and normal desktop drives - but they have to go the proprietary our way or nothing artsy fartsy route instead...

but as someone said above, apple has their target market, PC market gets everyone else.

Reply Score: 2

RE: What surprises me is...
by cerbie on Tue 7th Mar 2006 00:50 UTC in reply to "What surprises me is..."
cerbie Member since:
2006-01-02

The same reasons they haven't dine a good job competing with the Ipod. The same reason Nintendo has managed to do well with the Gamecube and DS, where Sony and MS have been bleeding themselves (MS mostly, but Sony isn't doing great).

They need to make money on low margins, and they lack vision. I very much dislike a lot of what Apple does, but they do have folks with vision.

The Mac Mini is something we never asked for, but can find many uses for, and it makes a nice small and quiet desktop or firewall, in the worst case. The major PC makers have innovated when it comes to business practices, but in any artistic or technical sense, they completely lack the ability to do anything but follow.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: What surprises me is...
by deathshadow on Tue 7th Mar 2006 02:53 UTC in reply to "RE: What surprises me is..."
deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

>> The same reason Nintendo has managed to do well with the Gamecube and DS, where Sony and MS have been bleeding themselves (MS mostly, but Sony isn't doing great).

You know, I see all these press releases about how well the gamecube is selling and how piss-poor PS2 and XBox360 sales are... but I see one major issue with that; I'll be damned if I know of or have heard of anyone who actually OWNS a gamecube... While everyone and their brother seems to have a Xbox (original or 360) and/or a PS/2.

Doesn't seem to make sense, does it...

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: What surprises me is...
by cerbie on Tue 7th Mar 2006 03:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What surprises me is..."
cerbie Member since:
2006-01-02

Small sample size. I know afew people with Gamecubes, but Nintendo really targetted kids with it. I know more people with a DS, and they each love it, which can't be said for the few I know with PSPs.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: What surprises me is...
by RenatoRam on Tue 7th Mar 2006 08:54 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: What surprises me is..."
RenatoRam Member since:
2005-11-14

I have to second the parent poster: never heard or known anybody owning a gamecube here in italy. PS2 is ubiquitous, though: a huge lot of late 20s and 30s aged men got it. The Xbox is doing just a wee bit worse, IME.

The playstation has hooked a generation of people previously uninterested in gaming (mostly with soccer and racing games, this being italy, of course).

Actually, I think the gamecube is in the process of being discontinued from the shops.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: What surprises me is...
by Get a Life on Tue 7th Mar 2006 03:31 UTC in reply to "RE: What surprises me is..."
Get a Life Member since:
2006-01-01

The Gamecube was outsold by the PS2 and the Xbox worldwide. On the other hand, the handheld market favors Nintendo.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: What surprises me is...
by rayiner on Tue 7th Mar 2006 03:45 UTC in reply to "RE: What surprises me is..."
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

The same reasons they haven't dine a good job competing with the Ipod. The same reason Nintendo has managed to do well with the Gamecube and DS, where Sony and MS have been bleeding themselves (MS mostly, but Sony isn't doing great).

In what alternate reality is this? In my particular reality, sales of the PS2 are twice as high as that of the Gamecube and XBox combined. PS2 and Gamecube sales are down significantly this year (not surprising, given the next-gen consoles are coming out now), but the PS2's ~20% drop is substantially smaller than Gamecube's 50% drop. Game sales for the Gamecube are down about 30% as well. Nintendo's operating profits are up this last year, but only because the Yen depreciated against the doller, and Nintendo has substantial foreign assets. Not counting these assets, their operating income is down 20% over the past nine months.

Comparing Nintendo to Apple is thus pretty off the mark. The iPod dominates the portable MP3 player market and Apple's revenues and profits are on the upswing.

Comparing Apple to Sony is accurate in more ways than one. The PS2 and iPod did well not because of "vision". "Vision" and "innovation" do not translate into sales. Making products that people want to buy translates into sales. Neither Apple nor Sony have been particularly innovative with the iPod and the PS2. However, both have executed their product extremely well, and created a focus on content in order to increase sales. Sony has been very good about getting PS2-exclusive content, and Apple has been very good about synergizing iTunes and the iPod. Both have challengers in the market that are either faster, more featureful, or cheaper, but both maintain their leading marketshare simply by making products that people want to buy.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: What surprises me is...
by cerbie on Tue 7th Mar 2006 04:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What surprises me is..."
cerbie Member since:
2006-01-02

I've been in the alternate reality where the common news had been, until the last 6 months or so, that Nintendo made decent profits on their consoles and games, rather than selling console units at losses in hopes users buying enough games, or just trying to fight Sony to be the unit to control your living room in ten years.

Vision does not translate into sales, agreed--it translates into invention. The major PC manufacturers can't take too many risks. This, however, is leaving them behind whitebox and Apple SFF units. If the Core Duo Mac Mini had a real video card, it could replace even the typical gamer's desktop. OTOH, Shuttle is anything but dead...

Apple has failed before by taking risks. They got a winner with the iPod and have run with it. The Mac Mini similarly (much lesser in degree, obviously).

The PS2 may not have been innovative, but the first Playstation was. The competition was terrible. They realized what the games were going to become, and they made a product that worked with that. Now, both Sony and MS are basically making mini PCs to draw gaming to consoles, more than anything else. It is entirely content and how they manage it--otherwise, they are identical. There has been little real change in them since the Playstation.

The iPod is now not innovative. It was, originally, though. It's only early competition was the Nomad. Other players have still not caught up (note that I do not have an iPod, but one of those 'other players', instead ;) ). Then, as now, there were competitors with some features it didn't have...but none had the features it did have as well done. The same is true today, unless you really want features it lacks (like being a UMSD, or using standard batteries).

In both cases, there was either no cost premium, or it was only early on. What they had that their competitors did not at the time was something different, that showed itself to be something you might want. The Mac Mini is this. It's not as versatile as a real PC, or even Shuttle XPC, but it has 90% of everything you need, some upgrade capacity, and good compromises all around. It's even quiet in stock form.

Dell, HP, etc.. have cheap. Of the cheap, I'd go for eMachines. But, anyway, Apple offers value by the machine alone--OS X is icing (or wasted discs, once enough Linux distros fully support it). There is clearly a market, but trying to fight apple at their own game is taking a serious risk--not much less than making something completely different. The vision is involved in figuring out what product people didn't know that they wanted to buy, or giving it a killer feature that the competition hasn't figured out how to yet.

There is no product from Dell, FI, that is the least bit innovative or at all different from the competition.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: What surprises me is...
by rayiner on Tue 7th Mar 2006 04:50 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: What surprises me is..."
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

I've been in the alternate reality where the common news had been, until the last 6 months or so, that Nintendo made decent profits on their consoles and games, rather than selling console units at losses in hopes users buying enough games, or just trying to fight Sony to be the unit to control your living room in ten years.

Sony sells consoles at a loss because they know they have the have enough buyers out there to move enough software to more than make up for it. So far, the strategy has worked well enough for them that they came out very far ahead on both the PS1 and PS2.

Nintendo used to sell their consoles at a loss (the Nintendo 64's marketing costs alone where about half the sales price of the console), but when they realized that they'd lost the majority of the market to Sony, they wisely repositioned the Gamecube as a cheap system catering to a specific crowd. This market positioning is quite different from how Apple has positioned the iPod.

The PS2 may not have been innovative, but the first Playstation was. The competition was terrible. They realized what the games were going to become, and they made a product that worked with that.

Actually, the N64 was by far the most innovative of the consoles of that era. Out of all three, it was the only one that could do 3D properly (anti-aliased, filtered textures, etc). It was a markethsare failure, however, because Nintendo executed it poorly. The console was very late, and Nintendo gave up whole genres of games to Sony in some misguided effort on "quality over quantity". Sony realized rightly that, as with movies, peoples' tastes were diverse enough that they'd rather buy into a platform with lots of choices, picking out the good games that appeal to them, rather than a platform loaded with a smaller number of "good" games pre-filtered by someone else.

Now, both Sony and MS are basically making mini PCs to draw gaming to consoles, more than anything else.

Out of the six current-gen and next-gen systems, the system most like a Mini-PC is the XBox, followed by the Nintendo Revolution, then the Gamecube, then the XBox 360, then the PS2, then the PS3. Yes, the Revolution has that retarded remote controller, but at the level of the system itself, it's basically a single-CPU machine with an ATI graphics chip. It is the most like a PC of any of the other machines, all of which are far more exotic.

It is entirely content and how they manage it--otherwise, they are identical. There has been little real change in them since the Playstation.

There has been little real change in consoles since the NES. They've just gotten faster and more flexible. However, that's hardly a bad thing. There has been little real change in cars and movies in decades as well. That's simply because the limits of the basic controller-TV format have been reached. Further evolution is possible, but not without breaking out of the fundamentally 2D world of the TV.

The Nintendo Revolution controller is certainly interesting, but I think its going to go the way of the PowerGlove. The idea is not new, but most people haven't encountered it for a good reason --- gyro controllers suck. They sucked when MS tried it on the Sidewinder gamepad, and they'll suck on the Revolution.

It was, originally, though. It's only early competition was the Nomad.

The iPod was never innovative. Throughout its history, its competitors had more features, more gadgets, etc. What it was was polished in a way its competitors weren't.

Other players have still not caught up (note that I do not have an iPod, but one of those 'other players', instead ;) ).

Over the years, I've bought four iPods for my family and friends. None of them offered anything I couldn't get cheaper in a competitor. It's always late in embracing new formats, late in embracing new features (video, radio), and late in supporting the largest capacities. What none of its competitors did (and none still do), is offer the simplicity of interface, and the compact, sturdy form-factor that the iPod does.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: What surprises me is...
by Get a Life on Tue 7th Mar 2006 19:08 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: What surprises me is..."
Get a Life Member since:
2006-01-01

Sony sells consoles at a loss because they know they have the have enough buyers out there to move enough software to more than make up for it. So far, the strategy has worked well enough for them that they came out very far ahead on both the PS1 and PS2.

Sony competitively priced the PS2 (and moved its manufacturing to offset this) to curb the growth of the Xbox which Microsoft has been happy to sell at a loss to obtain market penetration. Sony as the market leader (having taken the place of Nintendo by defeating the N64 and Gamecube with the sales of the Playstation and then the PS2) is interested in obtaining growth but most interested in maintaining its market dominance. It knows that it has a guaranteed revenue stream from licensees that it protects through protecting its market share.

Actually, the N64 was by far the most innovative of the consoles of that era. Out of all three, it was the only one that could do 3D properly (anti-aliased, filtered textures, etc).

The N64 was a cartridge system when the time of optical media had came, which limited the quantity and size (along with the texture) of the media assets that could be practically included in a game. Making use of texture filtering made an already small texture cache seem all the smaller. The N64 also had no dedicated sound processing hardware.

Sony realized rightly that, as with movies, peoples' tastes were diverse enough that they'd rather buy into a platform with lots of choices

And games that didn't look like cartoons. And that the box under their television should be able to do more than just play games.

Out of the six current-gen and next-gen systems, the system most like a Mini-PC is the XBox, followed by the Nintendo Revolution, then the Gamecube, then the XBox 360, then the PS2, then the PS3.

The XBox, XBox 360, and PS3 have HDDs and optical drives centered around mainstream optical media. They each have dedicated processors for graphics, audio, and general-purpose computation. The GPUs are all closely-related to designs meant for the PC market. They each provide or will provide some manner of home entertainment functionality. They each provide or wil provide online communication, updates, and game matching and so forth. These are all fairly normal PC uses. The PS3 differs the most programmably due to the reliance on batch-processing by the SPEs. Of the three, the XBox is the only that's truly like an x86 PC.

The PS2 is more unusual in that its main processor has extended functionality for decoding video and sound processing, and it has a completely custom video processor.

The Gamecube has a custom (created by a company later acquired by ATI, which is probably why the Revolution will feature a part made by ATI but unrelated to its PC offerings) GPU and a MiniDVD drive.

Yes, the Revolution has that retarded remote controller, but at the level of the system itself, it's basically a single-CPU machine with an ATI graphics chip

And the XBox 360 is a single-CPU machine with an ATI GPU, one more closely related to its PC offerings no less. And the PS3 is a single-CPU machine with an NVIDIA GPU. Aren't we having fun?

It is the most like a PC of any of the other machines

About the only thing "really" like a PC will be its use of standard ports and wireless protocols.

There has been little real change in consoles since the NES.

Other than moving from 2D games to 3D games, moving from cartridge storage to optical and magnetic storage. Moving from single-utility devices, to increasingly being a central part of the home entertainment center. Little things like connecting to the Internets. We might as well say there hasn't been any real change in consoles since the Atari 2600.

The Nintendo Revolution controller is certainly interesting, but I think its going to go the way of the PowerGlove.

I think the Nintendo Revolution controller is a pretty clear sign that Nintendo jumped the shark with the N64. I am the first person to accept that the way all interactive entertainment will progress is through innovation in input technology, but the controller for the Revolution sure isn't it. It's a novelty, sort of like the stylus with the DS. Some people will love it, simply because it's different. Mario will get his sea legs or something, but being "different" at Nintendo seems to be more of a marketing strategy than a design goal.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: What surprises me is...
by Get a Life on Tue 7th Mar 2006 17:26 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: What surprises me is..."
Get a Life Member since:
2006-01-01

PC OEMs don't typically try to innovate because their business is usually to make pennies off of volume. Unlike a console manufacturer, most of them have no opportunity for post-sales revenue streams as their fate is largely dictated to them by Intel and Microsoft's platforms. As a body they attempt to push form-factor standards in the directions that they think the market would reward in as cost-conscious a manner as they can. VIA and Shuttle both had a clear interest and presence in the SFF arena before Apple brought the Mini to market, but their intentions were more COTS and hobbyist oriented. Apple's "innovation" in bringing the Mini to market is the realization that the Macintosh is Apple's platform and that catering to hobbyists was unnecessary when novelty, aesthetics, and its brand value together would eclipse the interest in a Shuttle computer that looked like a 1950s radio.

That doesn't mean that Apple will own the SFF market like it owns the portable music market. Now that the market interest has been primed by the realization that a personal computer can fit into a drive bay, with the forthcoming move by Intel to mass-market efficient processors the participants in the SFF arena will increase in number and their products will decrease in size (like the AOpen MiniPC, but hopefully without the mistakes of the AOpen MiniPC).

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: What surprises me is...
by Get a Life on Tue 7th Mar 2006 17:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What surprises me is..."
Get a Life Member since:
2006-01-01

Sony's Games division has had negative revenue growth for a number of years, though it's declined most-sharply recently as you've said due to the spectre of forthcoming consoles (PS3 mostly) and probably some degree of saturation.

I don't know if I would compare Apple with Sony. Sony has its hands in a lot of pies, and outside of the iPod Apple doesn't have anything with the market penetration of Sony's products. I mean we could use the success of a product line to reinclude the comparison to Nintendo, who completely dominates the handheld gaming market and has done so fairly consistently. The success of the PS2 is also probably in large part due to the success of the PS1 (which sold a larger volume of units worldwide) for which it maintained backward-compatibility.

Reply Score: 1

Developer Box
by Celerate on Mon 6th Mar 2006 20:07 UTC
Celerate
Member since:
2005-06-29

I should have figured no one would mention how well suited these things are as developer boxes. Obviously I realize that the PowerMacs would be the ideal machines for that, but I'm a financially challenged hobbyest programmer and I don't need the fastest thing around.

I thought the Mac Mini's would make interesting cheap development machines. Frankly, the only thing I've noticed that's greatly affected by the machine's speed is the compiler, and I don't mind the wait if it means I can compile my software for the mac platform.

Anyone care to comment?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Developer Box
by rayiner on Mon 6th Mar 2006 20:44 UTC in reply to "Developer Box"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

The new Core Duo mini would make a phenomenal developer machine. If it's as quiet as the old Minis, it would be completely unobtrusive, and very fast (loaded up with RAM, of course).

Going by the SPEC gcc scores (which correspond pretty well to how slowly I know GCC runs on my PM), the top Mac Mini would beat any PowerMac save for the Quad by a very substantial margin (25%).

Reply Score: 2

Sorry
by deathshadow on Mon 6th Mar 2006 21:06 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

But the video performance thing I just don't get. The ONLY people it effects are gamers, and anyone who expects decent game performance out of a Mac DESERVES what they get... and that even ASSUMES there are games for the Mac - a platform on which they still hold up the quake 3 engine as the be-all end-all of graphics benchmarking.

Besides, IT'S THE BARGAIN BASEMENT MODEL!!!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Sorry
by rayiner on Mon 6th Mar 2006 21:21 UTC in reply to "Sorry"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

I concur. Who spends all that money on Mac just to run an extremely limited library of titles at half the frame-rate achievable on a cheap PC?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Sorry
by Gunblade on Mon 6th Mar 2006 21:29 UTC in reply to "Sorry"
Gunblade Member since:
2005-07-21

I like what the mac-mini is going for but up the video memory or the card in general I am sold.

For that price I just don't think I am getting my moneys worth. When you can pick up a G4 for less put a better gfx card run OSX fine and buy more HD's ;)

I believe that calling it a bargain basement model is to much too. Because that is a bargain in it's own category ;D lol.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Sorry
by gdanko on Tue 7th Mar 2006 14:23 UTC in reply to "Sorry"
gdanko Member since:
2005-07-15

Some people use game performance as the yardstick by which computer quality is measured and this is simply a skewed perspective.

Reply Score: 1

Oh...
by deathshadow on Mon 6th Mar 2006 21:32 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

The forum link does make me curious if you could put ANY socket 478 CPU in them... Be interesting to see what the performance of a Dothan or the uber-expensive Gallatin would be under OSX... not a financially viable option, but would be a fun experiment... Might also be interesting to see how it fares on lower processors like the Celeron D.

Reply Score: 1

Apple Store
by Jimmy on Mon 6th Mar 2006 21:48 UTC
Jimmy
Member since:
2005-07-06

I just wish Apple would have kept selling the G4 Minis, and maybe sell them for $399 or something. I know about the whole shift to Intel chips, but didn't Steve Jobs say that the PowerPC architecture would be supported for several years? All these Intel machines are coming a lot sooner than expected, and it seems that Apple just wants to kill off PPC support.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Apple Store
by sanctus on Mon 6th Mar 2006 22:22 UTC in reply to "Apple Store"
sanctus Member since:
2005-08-31

What do you understand by "supporting it"?

For me, it means that they will continue to make application, updates, support, even maybe a X.5.

But never he said that they will continue to sell outdated hardware (which is going anywhere by the way).

Reply Score: 2

The failure of the N64
by werpu on Wed 8th Mar 2006 10:14 UTC
werpu
Member since:
2006-01-18

There were several factors. First Nintendo was the last one not using optical media at a time where it was more than necessesary to keep the textures multimedia data etc...
Secondly, and nowadays totally overlooked (or ignored by the press) the optical media was not added due to the fact that BigN wanted to have the extra copy protection from the more expensive cartriges.
Well we had one console where everyone was copying games for their neighbours left and right and having movies multimedia etc... and at the same price a cartridge based system almost uncopyable. So you can imaging why the N64 basically went under while the PS1 made a huge impact on the early adopters. Once the early adopters had settled for the PS1 the paying mass market followed (semi paying)

Reply Score: 1