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Portables (Apple) Businesses Apple Hardware

New iBook and Apple mini 480

shintaro writes "ThinkSecret reports that 'Apple delivers iBook, Mac mini updates July 26 - Apple updated its iBook and Mac mini lines Tuesday, increasing standard RAM across the board to 512MB and improving other specs. Missing from the iBook update was the long-rumored move to a widescreen model which unconfirmed reports had suggested might arrive with the revision.' "
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New iBook and Apple mini

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  • Sweet Spot (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ralphb ( 15998 ) * on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @12:18PM (#13166177) Homepage
    The $599 Mac Mini is a great bargain. For just $100 more than the base unit, you get double the HD space, WiFi, Bluetooth, and a faster processor, but you give up the 56K modem (not a problem for most people). The $699 upgrade only adds a DVD±RW/CD-RW SuperDrive instead of the Combo drive (DVD/CD-RW) if you need to burn DVDs.
    • Re:Sweet Spot (Score:3, Informative)

      by GraZZ ( 9716 )
      It's a good deal compared to powerbooks; going from the 12" combo-drive to super-drive model costs you $200 [apple.com].
      • Re:Sweet Spot (Score:3, Informative)

        by BackInIraq ( 862952 )
        It's a good deal compared to powerbooks; going from the 12" combo-drive to super-drive model costs you $200.

        Except with the Mini upgrade, you're only upgrading the optical drive (for $100). With the Powerbook upgrade, you're also adding 20 more gig of HD space (for $200). Still not a good price:value ratio, but not as bad as you were making out.

        For reference, you pay $150 on a 12" Combo-drive machine to go from 60GB to 100GB, so on the Super-drive model you probably are just paying $100 for the supe
    • Re:Sweet Spot (Score:5, Informative)

      by coop0030 ( 263345 ) * on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @12:29PM (#13166349) Homepage
      Yea, but they still don't have 64MB of Video RAM on the Mac Minis.

      Why can't they just bump it up to 64MB so that it can support all the nice graphical effects of the dashboard?!?

      How much could it possibly cost to do this paltry upgrade?
      • Re:Sweet Spot (Score:2, Insightful)

        by hattig ( 47930 )
        It's not the amount of memory that is the issue, it is needing a GPU that can handle it.

        The new iBooks can with the 32MB Radeon 9550 they have onboard.

        I'm not buying a Mac Mini until they have a 64MB Radeon 9600 or similar on-board. Mainly because for an iBook with a 1024x768 display 32MB is adequate, but for a desktop machine you need more for higher resolution displays.
      • "How much could it possibly cost to do this paltry upgrade?"

      • Re:Sweet Spot (Score:4, Interesting)

        by javaxman ( 705658 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @01:03PM (#13166792) Journal
        Why can't they just bump it up to 64MB so that it can support all the nice graphical effects of the dashboard?!?

        Why bother? It's not like you're going to play Doom3 on these machines.

        Hey, the mini can't support dual 30-inch cinema displays, either! What a rip! If you really care about performance, buy a dual-G5 Powermac and a ATI Radeon 9650. Otherwise, recognize that you're making a choice to have a lower-than-maximum-performance machine.

        Yes, I realize you're making a point that for the price of a little extra R&D and a small amount of money per machine, you could get an added dashboard effect... but you know what? Someone decided having that wasn't too important and isn't going to sell more Mac minis, and probably they asked a lot of people their opinions on the matter before making the decision. You might be the only person who noticed the mini didn't do whatever dashboard effect you're talking about.

      • Re:Sweet Spot (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Core Image, which is responsible for the gooey eye candy, requires a programmable GPU but doesn't have a specific memory requirement. My powerbook only has 32MB VRAM, but can handle the "ripple effect" just fine (which is overrated IMHO).

        I agree, though, that they should have included at least a GeForce FX Go 5200 and that the Radeon 9200 is underpowered. All in all, though, the mini is still a good deal.

        Here's a list of Mac compatible cards that can handle Core Image:
        ATI Mobility Radeon 9700
        ATI Radeon
    • Re:Sweet Spot (Score:2, Informative)

      by Clockwurk ( 577966 ) *
      The best bargain is getting the $599 model off ebay. I got mine new in box for $500 (the same model from apple would have been over 600 with tax). I'm a little miffed that I got one before they put 512 RAM as standard (OSX isn't worth running with 256), but cracking open the mini and upgrading the RAM wasn't that hard (just search for mac mini service manual and you get the apple manual for dealers that explains everything).
  • 512 Mb RAM (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Myrmi ( 730278 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @12:19PM (#13166194)
    At last, 512Mb RAM in the Mac Mini - far and away the largest complaint about the happy little box. Apple may now have just invented a license to print money.
    • Re:512 Mb RAM (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Just Some Guy ( 3352 )
      Amen. I just moved from the "that looks nice, but..." category to the "here's my Visa" queue. $599 now buys me the computer I want, rather than a down payment on the computer I'd use as a starting point.
  • Mac Mini + (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TimTheFoolMan ( 656432 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @12:20PM (#13166209) Homepage Journal
    The higher end Mac Mini looks much better now. Adding in Bluetooth and Airport makes $599 look more reasonable, and $699 for a Superdrive model makes a good deal of sense.

    It should have been this way from day 1. :-(

    • It should have been this way from day 1. :-(

      Yeees, and I should have been able to get as much power as my Athlon machine back in 1995 for the same price as today...
      • Re:Mac Mini + (Score:3, Insightful)

        It's been less than 6 months since introduction. Have Bluetooth and Airport Extreme components become that much cheaper in this timeframe? (I'm asking honestly, because I don't know the answer.)

        My guess is that it is a competitive response, and not based on technology advance.

        • Re:Mac Mini + (Score:5, Insightful)

          by EggyToast ( 858951 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @12:48PM (#13166592) Homepage
          Incidentally they have. 6-7 months ago, a bluetooth dongle/adapter thing was at least $30. Now they're easily had for $10 or less. I bought one the other day for $6.

          Wireless has also been falling in price quite a bit over just the last year. To the point where people are giving them away? no, but they are becoming standard components.

          I see adding these features in as standard is more a way for Apple to consolidate their lines and features. In other words, From Now On All Apples Have Wireless And Bluetooth. That's a nice thing to be able to say. It's less confusing for consumers and allows developers to assume standard features in the future.

    • for use as a remote media center, the mac mini looks great, but im a bit disapointed with the weak video card that won't take advantage of tigers CoreImage features. I wonder if apple is going to release a OSX Medi Center edition since these mini's aren't optimised for tiger.
    • Re:Mac Mini + (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Doctor Memory ( 6336 )
      Absolutely! I was all hot to get a Mini, but figured I'd have to spend close to US$800 to get one I consider "usable" (512+MB, WiFi). Ultimately I just ordered one of these [sun.com], but I still might get one for my wife.
  • by Titusdot Groan ( 468949 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @12:20PM (#13166217) Journal
    I've also seen this rumor on another site [apple.com] ...
  • by sczimme ( 603413 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @12:21PM (#13166227)

    That's nice, but why link to ThinkSecret when Apple's iBook page has much more detailed information [apple.com]?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    From the article...

    "The displays of both iBooks continue to feature native 1024x768 resolutions and are driven by an ATI Mobility Radeon 9550 with 32MB of video memory, not enough to take advantage of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger's new Core Image technologies."

    Why don't they start revising hardware so that it can actually use all the features of their great software?
    • by UserChrisCanter4 ( 464072 ) * on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @12:46PM (#13166555)
      That statement in the article was slightly off. 32MB of RAM is not enough for the iBook to take advantage of GPU-accelerated Core Image technologies. The Core Image system is designed to scale, and will revert to using Altivec instructions if the GPU is not up to par.

      I'll agree that the systems should simply include 64MB of RAM, but I also expected more of the writers at a mac-centric site such as thinksecret.
    • Who cares? The fact that they've got a sexy 9550 chipset in there at all is good enough news to me. I'm disappointed with the fact that no Mini has anything with modern shader support (9200 is a last-gen board). I mean, I know I can't be alone in my approach to building a box (get the cheapest POS Dell makes and drop in more ram and a new-gen low/mid 3d card).
    • by hattig ( 47930 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @12:52PM (#13166634) Journal
      The Radeon 9550 has the required technology to enable CoreImage entirely on the GPU.

      The 32MB VRAM shouldn't be an issue - it might slow it down a bit, but that's all.
  • zzzaaahhhggwaaahh (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rinoid ( 451982 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @12:24PM (#13166272)
    Oh, just woke up and found a drool puddle oozing out of my keyboard...

    The Mini is a great little machine. Worth the money.

    The iBook is a dead horse. OK, it's not horrible for $1000.00 but they could do better.

    In fact their entire (oh! all six?) portable line is stale and going nowhere fast. Where are the innovations? The better screens? The tablet? (they practically led the way with HWR and it's in OSX as Ink). What about the built-in media reader? I like that feature on my M-In_Law's HP book.

    On another topic but closely related, I can't wait to see how the Intel transition plays out and what new growth engines they'll introduce. I'd hate to think that Apple will continue to play so conservatively with their computer (designs, features, specs) because as it stands that's where they are.
    • My feeling is Apple's stuck between a rock and a hard place; they really don't feel they can come up with a major innovation until they can start moving the line to a new processor. Because IBM did nothing to make G5s possible on the Powerbook, it weakened the entire line.

      Jesus, G5s have been around for two years, and we've seen no room for portable innovation in terms of horsepower.

      That said, adding shitloads of new features like the ones you're suggesting kinda goes against Apple's core minimalism philo
    • Agreed, And especially with the addition of a 9550 with 32MB, now we can once again never think of playing any modern game, or have full Core-Image support. Seriously. A 9550. At 32MB. What, did ATI have some lying around from 2003 and decided to cut apple a deal on a few truckfulls of the chipset? I would LOVE to see how the marketing department sat around brainstorming the copy for this hardware upgrade/addition. Also, although it's been said before, why oh why does the 14" STILL have only a 1024 screen?

    • "The iBook is a dead horse. OK, it's not horrible for $1000.00 but they could do better."

      I still think the 12" 1.2GHz G4 iBook is the sweet spot in terms of function, performance and value. I pimped mine out with 1.25GB RAM, and with the Airport built in it's one sweet mobile unit.

      I'ts solid, it's got good battery life (GHz don't come free when you figure in battery life), and the thing just constantly works.

      I've had Macs going back to the 512K "Fat Mac" way back when, and I consider my iBook to th

    • by buckhead_buddy ( 186384 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @12:56PM (#13166688)
      I'm sure there are some new designs, form factors, and technology innovations designed, tested, and ready to go in Apple's labs. But Apple has two threats hanging over it, right now:
      • Investors wary of an "Osborne effect"
      • A desire to force most upgrades only after the Intel transition
      Until the Intel transition we'll ONLY see smaller price reductions or simple spec increases to drive sales. Apple has no incentive to bring out a radical new form factor such as a tablet or wide screen iBook. That'd only make people more likely to hang on to the older PowerPC tech.

      What I find somewhat amazing is that Apple hasn't felt the need to really drop its prices on its professional gear. There are a few "bundles" and rebates, but my guess is that Apple intends to set Intel Macs near these same price points and don't want the move to Intel to look like a major price increase. What's even more likely is that Apple and Apple geeks are experienced with the "Mac OS 9" effect and thus see the time to the Intel transition as their "last chance" to buy the current tech they are familiar with. And until there's a sharp drop in sales figures we aren't going to see any price cuts.

      Personally, I'm doing my best to wait for the Intel macs that will almost certainly have new Ive cases and new tech innovations besides "just" an Intel chip. I'm running an ancient TiBook so I'm drooling over current Macs in almost all form factors, but since I don't really need the speed I'm trying to make do with small spec upgrades until the major revisions of their whole line. Sounds kind of like the strategy Apple is using :-)

    • The iBook is a dead horse. OK, it's not horrible for $1000.00 but they could do better.

      In fact their entire (oh! all six?) portable line is stale and going nowhere fast.

      Big reason for the intel switch, yes? Remember the whole "per watt" part of the keynote? Remember how Jobs specifically said the first intel chips would be in Mini-level consumer boxes and portables?

      Personally I'm maybe going to consider an iBook as an interim measure and utility box to carry around. They aren't meant to be workhor

  • As predicted [slashdot.org] by a fellow poster.
  • Apple mini? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by baryon351 ( 626717 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @12:25PM (#13166278)
    The iBook and Mac mini were the ones updated, and it's not so much a new Mac mini as a revision of the line. They're no quicker, just the higher end one loses its superdrive and gains airport+bluetooth as standard, and a newer more expensive higher-end one gets the superdrive back again, along with the 512MB default across the board.

    The Mac minis are still 1.25GHz and 1.42GHz models.

    the iBook 14 looks to be a better gain in value than others. It gets the powerbook scroller trackpad, powerbook motion sensor, new graphics card (as do all the others), 512MB RAM and bluetooth/airport as standard while also getting a decent price DROP.

    Still, whether or not it's enough of a gain in value to keep the competing PC laptops away given their speed advantages now is something else entirely. Guess that comes down to how much OS X and iBook design is worth to a particular buyer.
    • Re:Apple mini? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by javaxman ( 705658 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @12:39PM (#13166485) Journal
      They're no quicker

      While the processor has the same clock speed, in every day use that 512MB does indeed make the machine quite a bit quicker. We should all be applauding Apple for finally putting 512MB standard in their machines.

      That processor clock speed thing ? Apple's limited by the chips they are able to buy in that regard, and the fact that they aren't able to bump up the speeds speaks volumes as to why they're switching to Intel. Until the switch- which will likely happen first in the machines that were updated today - only folks who want OS X and iBook or Mac mini form factors will buy these machines. Not that they're too slow to be useful; they're extremely practical computers. You just wouldn't play Doom3 on them...

    • Re:Apple mini? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RAMMS+EIN ( 578166 )
      ``The iBook and Mac mini were the ones updated, and it's not so much a new Mac mini as a revision of the line. They're no quicker''

      Don't discount the speed boost that the memory upgrade from 256 to 512 MB gives. OS X is quite memory intensive, and this upgrade would probably make the difference between needing to swap and not needing to swap for many people. That obviously has a huge impact on how fast the system feels.

  • Bluetooth and Airport become standard. 14" model gets a superdrive, both models get more RAM.

    It's a substantial improvement all around.
  • by Realistic_Dragon ( 655151 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @12:27PM (#13166312) Homepage
    My 14" NEC laptop had a conventional format an in an economy seat it couldnt be opened up because the top banged against the seat in front and if the guy pushed his seat back too fast... crunch, end of laptop hinge.

    My 15" powerbook on the other hand fits with an inch to spare, which is much more convenient. At least for us young guys who get screwed when the company does it's travel budget allocation for the year.
  • School season (Score:2, Interesting)

    by michokest ( 893732 )

    This is clearly targeted for the students buying new computers in August and September.
    It's all about dumping the last G4/G5 and gaining market share.
  • http://www.thinksecret.com/news/0507ibookmacmini. h tml [thinksecret.com] (not that you need a ThinkSecret article to tell you that there actually are updates...)

    Also, the /. article summary fails to mention some important details--for example, there are now only two iBooks: 1.33GHz/Combo/30GB and 1.42GHz/Super/60GB. Additionally, there are now three Mac Minis with the same specs except 512 MB RAM standard, and AirPort+Bluetooth included on all but the $499 low-end model. Additionally, the 56k modem is actually not include

  • 1024x768 screens (Score:4, Informative)

    by Heian-794 ( 834234 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @12:31PM (#13166372) Homepage
    The 1024x768 screens, while certainly nothing to look down on, really need to be upgraded. Is it 96 pixels per inch now? Would increasing that be too expensive? (Not rhetorical; I'd like to know.)

    Microsoft's font smoothing works only in the horizontal dimension and makes even small text look smooth and pleasing to the eye. Apple, on the other hand, tries to smooth things both vertically and horizontally. This looks fantastic at really big sizes, but at a normal size such as 12 point, horizontal bars (such as in "H" and "E" become gray and cause eyestrain.

    I love Macs and hate to see Gates trumping them in something. But a higher-resolution, or better-smoothed, portable (iBook/PowerBook)screen would do wonders for readability.
    • Re:1024x768 screens (Score:2, Interesting)

      by bladx ( 816461 )
      I agree. Especially for reading Japanese, it is hard for me to use my iBook because it is smoothed too much (and even when I use Tinkertool, it just makes it so hard to read as well.) I wish this is something that would be seriously changed for Mac screens.
    • You might want to consider installing Linux. FreeType has a very configurable font smoothing system integrated into X (but X is teh suck! blah blah blah -- not anymore).

      From the KDE Control Center, you can, with a few clicks, indicate what kind of font smoothing you want.

      Go to Control Center -> Fonts. Check the "Use anti-aliasing for fonts" box. The "Configure..." button becomes active. Click it.

      You have the following options:

      [ ] Exclude range [8.0pt] to [15.0pt] (if you want it to behave like (IIRC)
    • by Proteus ( 1926 )
      Microsoft's font smoothing works only in the horizontal dimension and makes even small text look smooth and pleasing to the eye. Apple, on the other hand, tries to smooth things both vertically and horizontally. This looks fantastic at really big sizes, but at a normal size such as 12 point, horizontal bars (such as in "H" and "E" become gray and cause eyestrain.

      Yeah, I had the same problem, as a new convert to the Mac. Working through the advanced calibration allowed me to change some things about smoot

  • I don't know what it is with Apple and the VRAM. Every machine ships with about half of what you need to get any decent performance out of it. You're not going to be able to play many current games on them, much less any coming out in the next year. That has to be a disappointing experience to many people who are switching. When I ordered my 15" PowerBook earlier this year, I had to spend $300 just to upgrade it to the 128 MB video card. I really wish the VRAM was seperate a BTO option.
    • I'm sorry, but you can't expect a $499 computer to include a 6800U. A Radeon 9200/32MB is competive even with Dell. Comparing against a $550 dell: http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.asp x ?c=us&cs=19&l=en&oc=D30CVB2&s=dhs [dell.com]

      The dell only includes an Intel Integrated Extreme Graphics 2, with no dedicated VRAM. When it comes to graphics performance, there is no comparison (admittedly, the dell does include a 15" analong flat panel).
    • I too upgraded my PowerBook to 128MB of VRAM in the BTO option, but you are sorely mistaken if you think this has much of an impact on performance in the case of your PowerBook. The amount of VRAM has an extremely small effect on performance of games unless in extreme situations. (playing modern games on a 32mb card, as opposed to a 16MB card of equal speed). Memory speed and core speed and pipelines etc are far far more influential in performance. I can guarentee you that my gaming experience on a 1.67Ghz
  • Bummer (Score:5, Funny)

    by Dark Paladin ( 116525 ) * <<jhummel> <at> <johnhummel.net>> on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @12:41PM (#13166507) Homepage
    Too bad they're going out of business any day now [macobserver.com]....

    True story:

    "You know that Apple's going to be bought out by Microsoft eventually," my father told me.

    I raised an eyebrow. "Oh? How do you figure that?"

    "Well, they've only got 3% of the market, and now they've got a problem with iPod inventories building up. People just aren't buying enough iPods."

    "Oh. Well, I know I'm getting Emily a 512 MB iPod Shuffle for Christmas, since she's started listening to her own music."

    "I have one of those." He pulled into the parking lot at Best Buy. The task was to find a set of 801.11g XR transmitters. It seems that my sister was sucking down all of the bandwidth in the house with her stuff, so he wanted to keep her on the g (54 Mbps) while he coasted at g XR (108 Mbps), so he'd have priority on the downloads.

    "Yeah, I remember." My father had received a free 512 MB iPod Shuffle for appearing at a CIO convention or something like that.

    "I really like it, but I had to upgrade to the 1 GB Shuffle for more space."

    I looked down at the dashboard, where his 60 GB iPod Photo sat in its iPod charger/radio transmitter. "This one's to hold more of my music," he said, changing the tracks from country to blues.

    We went into Best Buy. It turned out they didn't have the router, but they did have iPods, of which he bought a 30 GB iPod Photo for my sister. "I got Deby one, and once I had Dejah use iTunes she bought some music, but it doesn't work on her Rio, so I had to get her one. I got Amber a Shuffle too not to long ago." Amber was my niece, his granddaughter.

    Once we were home, he went into the back room for a bit and came out with his old iPod shuffle in a purple protector case. "Here - this is for Emily. I don't need it any more."

    Emily, of course, was so excited and gave her Grandpa all the thanks in the world. Along with the shuffle came another two protector cases, a set of iPod socks made by Apple, then the dock adapter we had to get so it could be charged away from a computer.

    "Gee, too bad that Apple's going out of business because they're not selling enough iPods," I mused.

    "Well, Microsoft will just buy them out." Dad started inserted CD's into his laptop, ripping his entire collection to his hard drive to take with him on his portable music player. "Want to help your sister figure out her playlists in iTunes?"

    "Ah - sure."

    And that is how Emily got an iPod. And I learned that Apple may go out of business in the next bit - but odds are, my family alone will keep them floating for quite some time.
    • That's a great story. I love how a company that's experiencing more profitability now than it has in the last 10 years is pretty much dead-in-the-water.
  • by bennomatic ( 691188 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @12:41PM (#13166510) Homepage
    It's not just for the entry-level market, and it's not just for switchers.

    One of the great things about Macs is that they hold their value so well, historically. They just keep on performing as the years go by. I've sold three Macs (Quadra 650, PPC 7500 and B/W G3 (Yosemite)), all when they were about three years old, all for $500-$600, or about 1/3 of the price I paid for them, making it easier to move up to the new models.

    I'm thinking about moving from my G4/867 to a G5 (not sure I want to wait until the MacTel boxen come out), and I was thinking about the sales prospects when I realized that nobody in their right mind would spend $600.00 on a 3-year old G4 when they could have a mini which is almost twice as fast for the same cost.

    So they've really changed the whole profile of the Mac economy, if there is such a thing. If it's harder to sell them, will it make a big difference to those thinking about buying them? I know it does to me. I wonder if the advantages associated with getting into that market for Apple outweigh the disadvantages of the "upsell" market for people like me, who are interested in hopping to near the top of the scale every 3 or so years.

    • I had expected to see G4s going for under $500 very soon after the Mac mini came out, but it didn't happen. The price of G4s stayed steady, dropping no faster than they had been, until the Intel announcement.

      Then they dropped like a bomb. I've been offered a dual G4/550 for $350, or a stripped G4/400 for $150. I wish the Mini had had that effect, because I was trying to get a cheap G4 a couple of months back and finally went for the Mini instead.

      But your G4/867 (MDD, I assume)? It's got a faster hard driv
  • from the iBook update was the long-rumored move to a widescreen model which unconfirmed reports had suggested might arrive with the revision.

    Missing even more is a G5 processor. Yeah I know Power Book is their expensive -- excuse me, high performance -- line, but iBook is what's coming out now, not Power Books.

    Would anyone have been willing to pay more for a lowest speed, low power G5 iBook, or is keeping iBook prices as low as possible paramount instead?

  • Radeon 9550 vs. 9200 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RAMMS+EIN ( 578166 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @12:46PM (#13166566) Homepage Journal
    So the Mini has a Radeon 9200, whereas the iBook has a 9550? Does that mean the iBook has a better video card? I'd look it up, but video cards are such a jungle I figured it's easier to just ask.
    • Does that mean the iBook has a better video card?

      Almost certainly. I tend to think of the Radeon 9200 as comparable to the GeForce FX 5200, although the latter does support Core Image.

      The first Google hit for ati 9550 is a DriverHeaven review [driverheaven.net], which someone mentioned on one of the rumor site forums. It shows the 9550 soundly beating the 5200 in every benchmark.

      The 9550 continues Apple's tradition of shipping bottom-of-the-barrel video cards, but at least the iBook has a dedicated 3D card, unlike som

      • I tend to think of the Radeon 9200 as comparable to the GeForce FX 5200,

        The Radeon 9200 (OpenGL 1.3, DirectX 8.1) is actually an updated Radeon 8500 [endian.net] and is comparable to the GeForce 3. ATI just re-used their previous generation's high end technology into their low end product. The GeForce FX 5200 (OpenGL 1.4, DirectX 9) is comparable (in features) to the Radeon 9550, but slower.

        although the latter does support Core Image.

        Core Image [apple.com] seems to require an OpenGL 1.4 GPU, which is probably why it require

  • I predict. The reason Apple didn't launch wide screen iBooks is because it would have been wasted investment. Power users who watch DVDs (in aircraft etc) use Powerbooks, not iBooks. And parents probably want their kids to use their iBooks to study, not be entertained. Anyway, if Sony can produce such amazingly compact yet feature laden portables as their current mini-laptop range, am sure Apple's next portable will be an ultra thin (Intel inside?) tablet with a very cleverly designed swivel touch screen an
  • The really big news is that Apple now offers 512 MB of memory *standard*, across ( very nearly ) their entire line of computers. There is only one configuration I could find that by default ships with less- the eMac Combo Drive [apple.com], which I guess is OK, you know you're going the cheap all-in-one route there. Even that machine should really get 512MB, though- there is a noticable difference in real-world use between OS X running 256MB and 512MB.

    The other thing I noticed is that clock speeds seem pretty much the

  • But then I saw that Apple updated everything but the graphics chip. The Radeon 9200 isn't capable of doing the core graphics that requires a GPU and they left it in there. The mini is the only machine in their whole line (that I can see) that's incapable of doing core graphics. So sad because that was my tipping point for getting one.
  • OK, I've waited this long...

    Where is the Freescale MPC7448?

    What in the hell have they been doing?

    What took so long?

  • by mactari ( 220786 ) <rufwork@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @01:32PM (#13167218) Homepage
    Note that with the 1.25 G4 you can add the Superdrive as a BTO option for $100. Otherwise you have to jack all the way up to the $699 to get one; though the modem is an option on the 1.42's, the drive you get isn't.

    More to the point, the *only* difference between the $599 and $699 is the Superdrive. They've changed a $100 BTO html SELECT box into a new level o' Mac.

    Now if I can just get someone to let me upgrade their new Mini to a gig of RAM. I can save them about $100 and keep their Mini's 512 for my Athlon system... Any takers? ;^)
    • More to the point, the *only* difference between the $599 and $699 is the Superdrive. They've changed a $100 BTO html SELECT box into a new level o' Mac.

      The reason Apple did this is for their retail stores. When most consumers walk in to buy a computer, they want it right now, not 4-6 weeks later after it's been built to order in China and shipped to them. Having a low-end consumer model with a DVD burner in it is a necessity if they want to target the consumer. Remember, most people buying a mini are
  • by nickovs ( 115935 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @02:15PM (#13167846)
    The only thing that stopped the Mac Mini from being the perfect living room machine was that it didn't have digital audio out. It already has full screen DVD playback through DVI; with the addition of digital audio out people could have a Mac Mini instead of a DVD player and not need to make any compromises and not have to mess around with third party solutions. It's a great pity that Apple have not rectified this glaring omission.

    Having said that, close inspection of the new machines reveals that they don't seem to have changed the main board at all; it's the same processors and same video RAM as before. Still, it would be very nice if they would add the digital audio some day.
  • by siriuskase ( 679431 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @02:32PM (#13168037) Homepage Journal
    The last weekend in July is back to school tax free shopping in Georgia. Last year, I bought an eMac and the Apple store was crammed. People come from all over the South to save 7%.
  • by Junks Jerzey ( 54586 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @02:43PM (#13168196)
    The key is to get something light, compact, cool running, good battery life, and yet still have good enough performance to be acceptable for most things. The goal is not by any means to have the fastest computer out there. Remember, if you really need the ultimate performance, you can always by a desktop. Or you could have just bought one of the current model PowerBooks instead of an iBook (though it's still not in the same ballpark as a high-end desktop). If you think about it, a 1.4GHz G4 with 3D acceleration standard, well, that's a pretty good machine for most things. Thinking back a few years, I developed commercial 3D games with desktops that were much lower powered than that. (For a real laugh, go back and look at what John Carmack used to develop Quake, remembering that Quake 1 was initially software rendering only.)

    Realistically, the iBook is not a hardcore gaming machine. You're not going to find many PCs in the same price range that can play DOOM 3 with all the bells and whistles turned on either. And I'd argue that this is okay. High-end 3D games like this are a niche.

    In terms of CoreImage, I think many people don't understand what it is. It is not QuartzExtreme. All 2D graphics are going through OpenGL on the iBook, so things will be snappy and take advantage of the GPU. CoreImage is about what are essentially Photoshop filters and special effects, not fundamental rendering. And being a fairly new OS X technology, it's not clear how much CoreImage is actually being used right now, or if it will come into its own in the future.
  • by saha ( 615847 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @03:42PM (#13168969)
    * G5 processor running at 1.2 GHz
    * Radeon 9600 graphics chip with a minimum of 64MB or anything that drives Quartz Extreme

    I think this price range is possible

    For those folks who want to pay extra for an elegant and intergrated PVR solution and not the more expensive EyeTV. An ATI Theater 550 Pro video processor with H.264 hardware encoding.
    http://www.ati.com/products/theater550/index.html [ati.com]
    With a new iLife software solution to easily record TV shows (TiVo) and does post processing of these recordings to a small H.264 file to build content for a future video iPod and for video podcasting (a.k.a vodcasting).

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.