Apple announces updated Mac mini with 2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7

Apple announces updated Mac mini with 2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7

Summary: At a special event Apple today announced a speed-bumped Mac mini (and four other new pieces of hardware.)

TOPICS: Apple, iPad
Apple announces updated Mac mini w/2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 - Jason O'Grady

Apple held a "little" media event today at the California theatre in San Jose that turned out to be anything but "little" -- at least as far as hardware is concerned. Apple announced five (count 'em!) new hardware devices, including:

In this post I want to discuss the new Mac mini (late 2012) which didn't even garner a press release. 

Clearly at the bottom of the Mac pecking order, at least in terms of price, Apple showed the littlest Mac some love today. New features in the Mac mini include:

  • Third-generation Intel Core processor
  • 2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, or
  • 2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 (up to 2x the performance of the previous-generation)
  • 4-16GB of 1600MHz DDR3 memory
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000 (up to 65x more  performance)
  • Comes standard with a 500GB or 1TB 5400 RPM hard drive, or
  • Up to 256GB SSD, or
  • Fusion Drive, which combines a 1TB HDD and 128GB SSD
  • Thunderbolt port
  • Four USB 3 ports
  • 802.11n Wi-Fi

Base prices are, as follows:


  • 2.5GHz Mac mini
  • 2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
  • 4GB memory
  • 500GB hard drive
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • OS X Mountain Lion
  • $599.00


  • 2.3GHz Mac mini
  • 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
  • 4GB memory
  • 1TB hard drive
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • OS X Mountain Lion
  • $799.00


  • Mac mini with OS X Server
  • 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
  • 4GB memory
  • Two 1TB hard drives1
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • OS X Mountain Lion
  • OS X Server
  • $999.00
Apple announces updated Mac mini w/2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 - Jason O'Grady

Topics: Apple, iPad

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  • Benchmarks

    I love my current Mac Mini (mid-2010) but its lacking in speed when I have a number of things running (especially handbrake). I'd really like to see benchmarks for the new mini's. If there is a sufficient increase my old mini is destined for eBay.
  • 5400RPM drives

    Is there any specific reason on why Apple still using 5400RPM drives with their default configurations?
    • Probably heat

      Or not. I need sleep.
    • Two words..

      Profit Margin!!
  • $1000 for this?!

    Seriously? I wonder if the windows-based hardward is as expensive
    • Feel free to link to your small form factor,

      dual HDD, SBS server with unlimited client licenses for under $1k.

      It's not for everyone but it serves a niche. I've configured a couple for friend's businesses and they're ideal for the SME with Macs and iPhones.

      Windows has CALs, Linux lacks a solid calendar and contacts server. I've tried several for the later; need to revisit the mod_caldav project at sourceforge. I see a newer version 0.2.0.
      Richard Flude
      • Have you tried

        Zimbra? Their Open Source Collaboration Server works on a lot of Linux platforms and works well with their clients. They make open source clients for Windows, Linux and Macs.
        • Zimbra is good (vmware backing a plus)

          I'm not fan of the AJAX interface, preferring thick clients. Also the backend is overkill ( OpenLDAP, MySQL, Jetty, etc ). IMO it's better suited to medium to large business as either a hosted solution or appliance.

          I've spent a few hours playing with Written in Python ( requires 2.6+ for the rhel5.X users ) and looks promising; recently introduced IMAP authentication ( for use with say dovecot ). Uses file system for storage.
          Richard Flude
      • Linux

        Linux has plenty of options for Calendar and Contacts services... Many of the biggest solutions use open source software for these functions.
        • And none I've tried suit the market identified

          If you have a suggestion I'd welcome it. Saying "plenty of options" doesn't help, I've tried a few (Baïkal, DAVical, Darwin Cal, ModCalDAV, ...).
          Richard Flude
  • Mac Mini

    Being the owner of a 2011 Mac Mini with an AMD 6630M GPU, I can honestly say these machines aren't that big of an upgrade for me. The HD3000 was bad but, the HD4000 is still about 30% slower than the 6630M.

    I have 8 Gigs of DDR 3 in mine and will put an SSD in it when prices come down and it will likely outperform the i5 Minis from this new batch.
  • This is tempting.

    The price is reasonable, but honestly, it is too similar in hardware to the Samsung Series 3 Chromebox, which, only costs $330.00
    Richard Estes