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Apple Releases Mac Mini With Unibody Construction

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 99 comments

Apple updates its tiny, 'cheap' Mac desktop.

Lately, Apple's focus has been on its iOS devices like the iPhone 4 and the iPad. Macs seem to have fallen by the wayside, but Apple today quietly released a completely new Mac Mini.

This new piece of kit wasn't the star of any Steve Jobs reveal, but there are a few new features that are noteworthy. The new Mac Mini is the first Mac to include HDMI support, which is great for those who don't want to deal with mini DisplayPort adapters any longer.

Internally, the new Mac Mini shares the same hardware as the 13-inch MacBook, which sadly means it's still sticking with Core 2 Duo chips instead of employing the modern Westmere-based Intel CPUs. This choice to stick with the Core 2 Duo plays in part with Apple's plan of keeping Nvidia on as the chipset maker, as it has an integrated GeForce 320M.

Created with the same unibody construction process as used on the MacBooks, the new Mac Mini is 7.7 inches square and 1.4 inches thin. A new integrated power supply eliminates the need for an external power adapter, reducing overall system volume by 20 percent and keeping cable clutter to a minimum. A removable panel underneath provides quick access for memory expansion. There's also new SD card slot in the back. It's not the most convenient of locations, but at least the little Mac Mini isn't hard to maneuver around.

Mac Mini comes standard with a 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 320GB hard and 2GB of RAM for $699 – that's $100 more than the outgoing model. There will be some savings in power costs, however, as it runs at 10W at idle.

For those who want to use Mac Minis in their server farms, Apple is also rolling out a version with Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server that runs at 11W of power at idle, and packs a 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, two 500GB hard drives now running at 7200 rpm, 4GB of RAM and supports unlimited clients for $999.

The Mac mini, for a suggested retail price of $699 (US), 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).

Build-to-order options and accessories include up to 8GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, 500GB hard drive running at 5400 rpm, Apple Remote, Aperture™ 3, Final Cut® Express 4, Logic® Express, iWork® (pre-installed), Apple Wireless Keyboard, Magic Mouse, Apple 24 inch LED Cinema Display and the AppleCare® Protection Plan.

The Mac mini with Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server, for a suggested retail price of $999 (US), includes:

* 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).

Build-to-order options and accessories include up to 8GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, External SuperDrive, Apple Wireless Keyboard, Magic Mouse, Apple 24 inch LED Cinema Display and the AppleCare Protection Plan.

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Top Comments
  • 22 Hide
    kalogagatya , June 16, 2010 12:09 AM
    in one word: overpriced.
  • 20 Hide
    garyshome , June 16, 2010 12:11 AM
    Seems kind of pricey.
  • 18 Hide
    restatement3dofted , June 16, 2010 12:57 AM
    lemonsftw*cough* integrated graphics *cough*


    Who the hell would buy a computer that small, with specs like it has, for its graphics processing power? And where in that thing do you suggest they put a discrete GPU?
Other Comments
  • 22 Hide
    kalogagatya , June 16, 2010 12:09 AM
    in one word: overpriced.
  • 20 Hide
    garyshome , June 16, 2010 12:11 AM
    Seems kind of pricey.
  • 5 Hide
    bob_white , June 16, 2010 12:12 AM
    yikes $999 !

    could probably build a comp with way better specs for half the price
  • 12 Hide
    mlopinto2k1 , June 16, 2010 12:29 AM
    Something tells me nobody looked at the picture of the damn thing. It's SMALL! I personally think it looks pretty damn sexy! The specifications and the connections and body all tell me that it's worth spending the money to own it.
  • 13 Hide
    Spanky Deluxe , June 16, 2010 12:32 AM
    Wow that is small. Seems like a great little device. Sure it may be pricey compared to a full sized desktop computer but this is the price you pay for such a compact computer with such design quality.
  • 15 Hide
    war2k9 , June 16, 2010 12:32 AM
    This should be the mac media center.
    If the price is lower I would consider getting one to play with.
    If i get one most likely i will load win7 and dual boot.
  • 7 Hide
    godwhomismike , June 16, 2010 12:39 AM
    Wish I had the money. Tiny, quiet, and quick. Won't burn the doors off of anything, but I've always had a soft spot for the Mac Mini.
  • 6 Hide
    jmchien , June 16, 2010 12:40 AM
    unlimited clients? that's pretty nice, but unpractical for a machine with those specs...
  • 9 Hide
    godwhomismike , June 16, 2010 12:40 AM
    bob_whiteyikes $999 !could probably build a comp with way better specs for half the price


    For the tiny Mac Mini server. That's not a desktop computer, it's meant to be used as a lightweight power efficient server. Notice, it has a server OS on there. I read somewhere that it only draws 10W at idle.

  • -9 Hide
    lemonsftw , June 16, 2010 12:44 AM
    *cough* integrated graphics *cough*
  • 6 Hide
    godwhomismike , June 16, 2010 12:47 AM
    lemonsftw*cough* integrated graphics *cough*



    Could be worse - could have came with a Core i3 and depended on the integrated Intel GPU for its video. With that form factor, you really aren't going to get much graphical muscle out of it.
  • 2 Hide
    godwhomismike , June 16, 2010 12:48 AM
    godwhomismikeWish I had the money. Tiny, quiet, and quick. Won't burn the doors off of anything, but I've always had a soft spot for the Mac Mini.


    To the person that down voted me. Trust me, I am not happy that it still used the antiquated and outdated Core 2 Duo processors, but to me, the form factor, quietness, processor power and powerful integrated nVidia GPU (compared to the horrible integrated GPUs Intel offers), and power efficiency. If I wasn't choking with medical bills right now, I would possibly consider buying one, or grabbing the 2.4Ghz 13" Macbook Pro from a MicroCenter for $999.

    The woes of adulthood.
  • 7 Hide
    cadder , June 16, 2010 12:56 AM
    I've been looking for a cheap Mac Mini, maybe this will allow prices on used ones to go down a little.

    It's amazing how much they can put in the little devices, even though they are not that small compared to some laptops.
  • 18 Hide
    restatement3dofted , June 16, 2010 12:57 AM
    lemonsftw*cough* integrated graphics *cough*


    Who the hell would buy a computer that small, with specs like it has, for its graphics processing power? And where in that thing do you suggest they put a discrete GPU?
  • 8 Hide
    godwhomismike , June 16, 2010 1:02 AM
    jeeepersIntel i5 and a 330M with 1GB would make it a hot seller... What they just released today is just sad... Core 2 Duo and integrated graphics don't cut it anymore in 2010 for the Adobe CS5 suite...


    Can you explain how that would fit in that form factor?
  • 0 Hide
    indigoataxia , June 16, 2010 1:03 AM
    Copycat of the Dell Zino HD which only uses a 1.8 dual core Athlon Neo, but offers ATI HD 4330 graphics for $500 with same ram, hdd, and windows 7.
  • 1 Hide
    godwhomismike , June 16, 2010 1:09 AM
    indigoataxiaCopycat of the Dell Zino HD which only uses a 1.8 dual core Athlon Neo, but offers ATI HD 4330 graphics for $500 with same ram, hdd, and windows 7.


    My guess is you either get a decent processor or decent video in that form factor. I have yet to see anyone put a good video and good CPU in a super tiny form factor yet.
  • 2 Hide
    godwhomismike , June 16, 2010 1:09 AM
    I wonder if it would have been possible to fit a quad core AMD mobile CPU (N930) and a lower end ATI GPU into that form factor.

  • 4 Hide
    Pyroflea , June 16, 2010 1:10 AM
    SLEEK ALUMINUM CHASSIS?
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