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Summary:

I’m more than willing to be proved wrong, but the latest rumours about a G5-based Mini seem far fetched to me.

I’m more than willing to be proved wrong, but the latest rumours about a G5-based Mini seem far fetched to me.

I’d love to see one – it might even tempt me to buy another Mini before the PPC is dropped – but the attractiveness will be tempered by stories like this talking about hot G5 iMacs. This looks like a PSU issue, but if those components are required then heat will be an issue in an even smaller case. Even without that recent report, there have been others about how hot the G5 iMac case gets and some of that must be attributed to the G5 CPU and not just the heat generated by the LCD panel.

And let’s not forget how much heat the early G5 PowerMacs generated and the ‘wind tunnel’ reports, even now, relating to the G5 CPU.

The mini is a tiny case and it only works because the G4 CPU is the same as that used in PowerBooks and it’s power and heat output can be easily controlled and solved. There’s not a lot of space in that Mini case, they even have to use a 2.5″ drive to fit everything in the tiny case.

Fitting a G5, and more importantly the cooling systems required to keep it from overheating, into a case the same size as the Mini would be an impressive feat of engineering to say the least. That level of engineering wont come cheap though and it also seems unlikely that Apple would spend that much money on creating a new machine – albeit based on an old external design – at a time when they are migrating to a brand new hardware platform.

  1. Yeah this is one of those way out there rumors just like the Apple switching to Intel or AMD rumors from years gone by. Of course we all thought the recent true switch to Intel rumors was a bit out there as well at first. After hearing about all the issues with the G5 iMac’s I can’t see them working the G5 into a mini while preserving the form factor or the price point. The external power supply does give them a bit of an advantage compared to models with internal PSU’s but I doubt it is enough. A G5 mini would probably have more in common with the G4 Cube than the G4 mini both in form factor and price.

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  2. All that and Mini is still to get PC users a machine for a low cost. If Apple make a G5 mini it will probably kick the iMac out of the market and thats not what Apple want to happen..

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  3. I had the same reaction to the report– it just seems implausible. Also a G5 mini would compete (successfully, I’d guess) with the iMac.

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  4. If they could cram a G5 into such a small space I think Apple would be smart enough to get it into a PowerBook instead of a mini.

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  5. Martin MC Brown Thursday, August 18, 2005

    You know, I hadn’t considered the PowerBook angle, but you are right. Since a Mini is just a Powerbook/iBook style mobo in a desktop case then the engineering feat would mean they could do a G5 ‘book.

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  6. They will supposedly be using a low-power version of G5. Or perhaps they will use the freescale and rebrand as G5. IN any case I don’t see canibilizing iMac sales. I think the g5 will likely be at a higher price point (and hopefully with a larger hardrive, as 80MB isn’t enough for a media server!) Anyway, I think the mini is going to continue to sell more into geekdom, people who will buy a commodity LCD — a lot of consumers really like the integrated systems, and once you factor in Apple branded LCD, keyboard, mouse, etc..the price differential isn’t really that significant.

    They are going to have to do this eventually (clearly can’t wait until 4Q06 — around when first Intel is expected to arrive) and if the chips are avialable I’d expect them to move agreesivly.

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