Mac mini refresh

Mac mini refresh

Summary: Apple's Mac mini gets a long overdue and much needed refresh. But expect to pay $100 extra for that upgrade.

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TOPICS: Apple, Hardware
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Apple's Mac mini gets a long overdue and much needed refresh. But expect to pay $100 extra for that upgrade.

So what's new?

  • Twice the graphics performance of the previous Mac mini thanks to the addition of an NVIDIA GeForce 320M GPU.
  • HDMI port.
  • Smaller unibody aluminum body measuring 7.7 inches square and 1.4 inches thick.
  • SD card slot.
  • 320GB hard disk

A couple of highlights worth pointing out:

  • No need to take a wallpaper scraper to the chassis to do a RAM upgrade.
  • There's no external power brick - a trick that other companies should learn!

It's also pretty gentle on the environment. According to Apple, the new Mac mini remains the world's most energy efficient desktop. Power consumption at idle has been cut by 25% to less than 10W at idle. The Mac mini meets Energy Star 5.0 requirements and achieves EPEAT Gold status. The new aluminum enclosure is highly recyclable and Mac mini uses PVC-free components and cables, contains no brominated flame retardants and features material-efficient system and packaging designs.

Here's the full spec:

The Mac mini, for a suggested retail price of $699, includes:

  • 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 3MB of shared L2 cache;
  • 2GB of 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, expandable up to 8GB;
  • a slot-load 8X SuperDrive® (DVD+/-R DL/DVD+/-RW/CD-RW) optical drive;
  • 320GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm;
  • NVIDIA GeForce 320M integrated graphics;
  • AirPort Extreme® 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
  • Gigabit Ethernet;
  • four USB 2.0 ports;
  • SD card slot;
  • one FireWire® 800 port;
  • one HDMI port and one Mini DisplayPort;
  • HDMI to DVI video adapter;
  • combined optical digital audio input/audio line in (minijack); and
  • combined optical digital audio output/headphone out (minijack).

There's also the Mac mini with Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server, for a suggested retail price of $999, which comes with:

  • 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 3MB of shared L2 cache;
  • 4GB of 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, expandable up to 8GB;
  • two 500GB Serial ATA hard drives running at 7200 rpm;
  • NVIDIA GeForce 320M integrated graphics;
  • AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
  • Gigabit Ethernet;
  • four USB 2.0 ports;
  • SD card slot;
  • one FireWire 800 port;
  • one HDMI port and one Mini DisplayPort;
  • HDMI to DVI video adapter;
  • combined optical digital audio input/audio line in (minijack); and
  • combined optical digital audio output/headphone out (minijack).

It's a nice upgrade, and one that places the Mac mini in the position of now being able to pretty much take over the role of the Apple TV device.

Topics: Apple, Hardware

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15 comments
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  • iMac refresh soon

    Going to see an iMac refresh soon? I'm looking at upgrading but I'm going to hold off till I see the 5000 series appear in the high end iMac 27inch model :D
    Macintoshtoffy
  • OT, venting about the stupid background ads...

    The new advertisements as a page background are really pissing me off ZDNet. I like to right click > back to navigate back a page and now can't.
    LandonAB
    • Re: Right click, Back to navigate

      @LandonAB <br>I do not have any problems doing this. Could it be your set up? I have Win7 Pro, IE8 and FireFox 3.6.3. and right click back works fine for me.
      AboveAverageJoe
      • RE: Mac mini refresh

        @AboveAverageJoe

        I am currently on Win XP, Chrome and if I click on the area to the right or the left that is green I get a link context menu because now this is all part of the top HP advertisement essentially making the entire page left/right background images a giant link.

        Left clicking on this area takes me to the HP Pro Liant Servers page.
        LandonAB
    • Ads?

      @LandonAB

      I dunno what you're talking about? Their ads are being invasive? I'm using Mac OS X Snow Leopard on my MacBook Pro, Safari 5, and I'm having no ad issues at all.
      Ktroje
  • No thanks, got my HTPC already

    For about $300, I got an Atom nettop HTPC with NVidia Ion graphics and Windows 7. It works perfectly. The Mini is useless to me.
    NonZealot
    • RE: Mac mini refresh

      @NonZealot ((( "The Mini is useless to me." )))

      Only because you're narrow-minded. Don't forget that the Mac Mini can run Windows 7 if necessary, and it blows the doors off of a weak Atom/Ion system in every conceivable way. The only thing about your HTPC that you can really brag about is how cheap it is. Cheap and slow... bravo.
      buddhistMonkey
      • Would my bluray rips play faster with the Mini?

        @buddhistMonkey
        [i]Cheap and slow... bravo.[/i]

        Could you please tell the class why on earth I would want my media to play faster than it was meant to play? Maybe the stuff you watch is so painfully bad that you would rather get through it faster but personally, I just don't watch the bad stuff, concentrating more on the stuff I want to watch. Maybe though the Mini forces you to watch just the stuff that Jobs likes watching, like Springer.

        Get it through your head Apple zealot, faster is not always better. I don't [b]need[/b] a faster processor because Atom + Ion makes for the perfect HTPC. I guess if one of your requirements is to overspend on your equipment, then that would be a "feature" of the Mini.
        NonZealot
      • RE: Mac mini refresh

        @buddhistMonkey
        You're just feeding the troll. Believe me, don't waste your time.
        vikingnyc@...
    • RE: Mac mini refresh

      @NonZealot

      I think most people use the Mini's as a media center (i.e. Plex and Boxee). On the Boxee forums people seem to be struggling with the Atom playing flash videos, which is too bad because Boxee is becoming the best media center around.

      Could be a Boxee issue as the software is still beta.
      maskman01
      • I had trouble with Flash until hardware acceleration

        @maskman01
        As soon as I installed the 10.1 beta a few months ago, Flash plays perfectly well. Now that 10.1 has been released, you don't even need to resort to beta software. In fact, I bet my HTPC with Windows 7 is [b]better[/b] than a Mini with OS X considering Flash on OS X isn't hardware accelerated. :)
        NonZealot
      • RE: Mac mini refresh

        @NonZealot

        I think the problem with Boxee is it needs a little more "juice" when playing back Flash videos then a browser like Chrome or Firefox does.

        On OSX the playback is beautiful and I can't wait for them to get hardware acceleration enabled. I don't know if it can get much better but I won't complain if it does.

        You should check Boxee out. They've got some great ideas that a regular Win7 Media machine doesn't have.
        maskman01
      • I will, thanks maskman01

        [i]You should check Boxee out. They've got some great ideas that a regular Win7 Media machine doesn't have.[/i]

        I will check it out. Thanks!
        NonZealot
      • RE: Mac mini refresh

        @NonZealot

        Being Canadian you'll need a VPN to get to services like Hulu. I can give you some tips on finding a good one if you are interested.
        maskman01
  • bleh

    pass
    wb.cnote