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New Mac Mini Coming - what might it mean?


Cycleman

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So, according to the MacRumors news site/forum, there's likely a new Mac Mini coming before February is out.

 

My first thoughts are: What might that mean for those of us who use Minis as dedicated music servers?

 

Sure, the possibility of a new microprocessor, more memory for the money, standard SSD -- all good things.

 

But here's what concerns me:

 

  • Perhaps no FireWire port anymore. Since I have several external drives that I can use for music that are FW and USB, but I don't want to use USB for data, that loss would bother me. Sure, I can use a Thunderbolt adapter, since any new Mini would have that port still, but I like the native FW port.
  • Another concern: a radical change in the form factor. Since I use my current Mini headless in my main music system, the current low silver square really fits into the overall aesthetics. But what if they make it a round black thing, smaller than the Mac Pro but similar? That might be okay, but my mind's eye says not to my tastes. I'm going more and more with silver, rather than black, in my music systems.

Anyway, I'm tempted to get another Mac Mini real soon, to use for my secondary music system (see signature below), which is about to go through several other upgrades anyway.

 

Your thoughts?

 

Dave, who when he finds something good that really works for him tends to stick with it and how things look can be part of that goodness

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Music is love, made audible.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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If what you have works, love the one you're with.

 

It.

Ain't.

That.

Simple.

 

Not only do these things die, but I am wondering about making the most of my secondary system.

 

And also, I didn't just start this thread for myself…wondering about others' perspectives.

 

And anyway, I love so many...

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Music is love, made audible.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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I kind of suffer from Apple product release rumor fatigue. I'll pay more attention when there is an official announcement.

I'd like 802.11 ac wifi. There is potential for the Mini to be physically connected to nothing else except USB DAC and power.

Even with that, I'll probably stick with my 2010 until it dies or I can't update the OS to the latest version. I'm lovin the one I'm with...

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Of course it would depend on what new features the new version would add and whether these would benefit SQ or usability. Another benefit for waiting until after the release is that once the new version comes out, it would likely bump down the price of the current and older versions. I agree that losing a Firewire option would be a nuisance, but not a show-stopper.

 

I am needing a server for my system in Shanghai ( I currently play from my MacBook Pro making working and listening at the same time very challenging, not to mention listening while posting pithy comments on CA ) and just saw a post on a Shanghai expatriate site for a 2011 MacMini with 16Gb memory and 1.25Tb fusion drive for 4000RMB (a little over $650). Keeping my eyes on it for now to see if he drops the price, but a bit concerned about buying secondhand, especially here in The Middle Kingdom.

You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star

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Of course it would depend on what new features the new version would add and whether these would benefit SQ or usability. Another benefit for waiting until after the release is that once the new version comes out, it would likely bump down the price of the current and older versions. I agree that losing a Firewire option would be a nuisance, but not a show-stopper.

 

The Thunderbolt to firewire adapter takes care of that one, an added option which uses more in packaging plastic than the device itself.

AS Profile Equipment List        Say NO to MQA

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The Thunderbolt to firewire adapter takes care of that one, an added option which uses more in packaging plastic than the device itself.

 

And costs the obligatory $29.

You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star

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I am excited to see what a new mini will be made of, it is time for an update.

Once something new is announced or even available you will see discounts on current stock or refurbs from Apple. I can't imagine you having trouble getting your hands on either.

Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not." — Nelson Pass

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Except for having to share the USB bus with the DAC, I'll happily replace my Firewire drives with the faster USB 3.0.

 

But that's a big "except" I think, since using USB for the sound signal going out, only, is a big factor in better SQ.

 

Also, I have not found speed of loading music files any problem, especially since Audirvana or Amarra reads them into memory anyway.

 

Have others found the speed of loading music to play an issue?

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Music is love, made audible.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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Eliminating Firewire port is a shame:

 

A lot of people has Firewire HD.

 

If you use the adapter from Thunderbolt, this port is not usable anymore for TB, at least you buy an TB expander for >$200, or, if the new Mini come with two TB ports (I don't think so).

 

More speed when loading the DAC with music is almost unnoticeable, but it will speed up backups, but the speed is limited also by your hard drive speed also.

 

Regarding better SQ from speed I have my doubts.

 

Roch

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