The Mac mini's silent upgrade

The Mac mini's silent upgrade

Summary: It appears that Apple has quietly released an upgrade to the Mac mini - and they're not fessing up to it. Rather than do it with their usual press release and updated product page Apple's quietly rolling out the zippier 1.5GHz minis in the 1.42GHz packaging.

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TOPICS: Apple
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It appears that Apple has quietly released an upgrade to the Mac mini - and they're not fessing up to it. Rather than do it with their usual press release and updated product page, Apple's quietly rolling out the zippier 1.5GHz minis in the 1.42GHz packaging. Users on message boards are claiming to have received 1.5GHz machines in 1.42GHz boxes. Although not confirmed, some also claim to have extra VRAM and Bluetooth 2.0+EDR chipsets in their Minis.

On Friday Apple confirmed that "Some Mac mini systems may contain components that slightly exceed the published specifications" but declined to go into any detail. The new specifications are pretty close to what AppleInsider published on 27 September in a story about a "significant Mac mini update." The AI story also indicates that the new minis will ship with faster 5400RPM drives, ATI Radeon 9200 GPUs with up to 64MB of VRAM and 8x double-layer SuperDrives.

The Apple Web site is still hawking the 1.42GHz minis.

The reason for all this is still a big mystery, but it appears to be either a manufacturing oversight or a glut of Mac mini boxes with 1.42GHz markings. In the past, Apple has been known to simply add an updated product spec sticker to the package, but that doesn't appear to be the case here. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice surprise to get a faster than advertised machine as a present, but as a consumer I want to know exactly what I'm buying too. Besides, how long will it be before people start getting disappointed that they're only getting a 1.4GHz machine in the box?

Either way, Apple is being forced to keep innovating with the Mac mini now that Windows hardware vendors are nipping at their heels. For more on the latest Wintel Mac mini clones, check out George Ou's blog The new Mac mini PC clone.

Topic: Apple

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9 comments
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  • "ONLY" 1.4GHz??

    Regarding the comment "how long will it be before people start getting disappointed that they're only getting a 1.4GHz machine in the box?"...
    Probably as soon as you realize that the type of consumer that buys the mac mini doesn't need a 3.6GHz machine. What do they do with that kind of speed? They don't render HD Video, they don't do high-end image editing or render complex effects. The only people who need as much speed as they can get are graphic designers working with huge images and complex effects, video editors and sound editors.
    Maybe they'll realize it's "only" 1.4GHz when you realize that a 1.4GHz G4 is about as fast as a 2GHz P4. And I say this as a former Windows/PC Guru....not as someone who has lived and breathed Macs my entire life. My friend's 667MHz PowerBook ripped and encoded a CD to MP3 in half the time as my old 1.8GHz Pentium 4
    The motive behind buying a mac (be it a MacMini, or any other Mac computer) shouldn't be the processor. What makes a mac what it is is the user experience. It doesn't choke on data, the system configuration doesn't get cramped simply by adding software to the machine, it almost never crashes (my Mac has crashed 5 or 6 times in 2 years, and only after working the heck out of it)...you're free of "DLL Hell", viruses and spyware. The mac works for you, where windows constatly works against you or gets in your way. In the end, owning a Mac is about using a solid machine, with an absolutely top-notch Operating System. Anyone who thinks speed is still the main selling point for any computer today needs to get out of the 90s. That's true for Macs as well as PCs. You buy a computer for its ability to get things done. When your computer stalls, crashes, fails to boot, or complicates your work process, you're not doing an aweful lot, even with a 5GHz Pentium machine.
    Incidentally my mac PowerBook is "only" 1.25GHz and when I'm away from home I'm able to do all of my work on it without a hitch (graphic editing, and audio optimization).
    theMacDaddy
    • Stepping Back

      I think you're missing the point behind the statement. People have heard that some 1.4GHz Minis actually contain a 1.5GHz chip. They go out and buy one hoping to get the faster chip then, if they don't, they're disappointed that they only got what was advertised. This could backfire on Apple as people start buying Minis and returning the ones with the 1.4GHz chips.
      pj_mouse
  • Clearing the back channel

    Obviously, this is an attempt to clear out the back channel of
    leftover machines before officially announcing the new ones. We'll
    see how this method goes over with consumers.

    Honestly, if you sign up to buy a 1.42 Ghz machine, that's what
    you should expect to get. You have no right to complain if you
    don't get a faster one, because that's not what you were promised.
    tic swayback
  • 5% faster? Yawn....

    Wake me up when they've put a decent hard disk in the box. That'll make far more difference than a 5% faster CPU.
    figgle
    • Absolutely right

      the the CPU doesn't make it faster, that's just what consumers think
      they should buy. What matters is how fast the HD navigates
      through data. My iMac 17" flat panel has loads of processor power
      and memory but that 4200 rpm hard disk just slows it down.
      mlindl
      • Are you shure?

        Thats strange because my 17" LCD iMac has a 7200 rpm hard
        drive. Is yours the older G4 model?
        jmick
  • Component Shortage

    I heard from an Apple employee this "stealth upgrade" was due to a shortage of some components. Rather than saying units are not available, they're building units with available components.
    HarryR_z
  • how long will it be before people start getting disappointed that they're o

    Dimes to dollars very few will ever notice!!!

    Mountain out of a molehill, this.
    mlindl
  • ddudrkk 27 sep

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    cdsfwrryd18-24379017479559766812173320980356