Category: Mac mini

Apple Updates iMac, Mac Mini Goes Retina on 13-Inch Pro

13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display

13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display | Image courtesy of Apple

During today’s event Apple released a slew of Mac updates including updating the Mac mini, completely refreshing the iMac and releasing a brand new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display.

Apple’s Phil Schiller kicked off with the brand new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display which joins the 15-inch as the top end of Apple’s notebook range. The 13-inch model packs over 4 million pixels into the 2560 x 1600 pixel display. The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display features 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5 processors with the option to choose faster 2.9 GHz Intel Core i7 processors, Intel HD Graphics 4000, 8GB of RAM, and up to 768GB SSD. Two Thunderbolt and two USB 3.0 ports allow users to connect to multiple displays and high-performance devices, and a HDMI port.

Moving on from the Mac mini Schiller moved on the iMac which has received a complete refresh including an all new super-thin enclosure. Apple has also decided to remove the optical drive on the iMac. Measuring just 5mm at the edge the iMac is 80% thinner than the previous generation and is still a powerhouse.

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Future Retina Macs

MacBook Pro with Retina Display running Final Cut Pro

MacBook Pro with Retina Display running Final Cut Pro

In early May I wrote about how Apple was going to make use of Intel’s latest processors in this years generation of Macs. At the time no Macs had been updated during 2012 and the iMac amongst others was looking long in the tooth, although that was nothing compared to the Mac Pro. As WWDC approached it became clear that other than a focus on software Apple would give some significant attention to the Mac.

Notably missing in my piece on Ivy Bridge Macs was any discussion about the direction of the MacBook Pro and any predictions about Apple’s use of Retina displays in Macs.

Now WWDC has passed we can see how Apple’s Mac roadmap is shaping up and whilst Apple certainly surprised me with some of the the updates they delivered the majority of the news out of San Francisco earlier this month was in line with expectation. I wrote up the details of Apple’s new MacBook Pro with Retina Display after the keynote and the minor changes to the rest of the MacBook Pro lineup and the MacBook Air, I’ll cover that briefly and then move on.

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Ivy Bridge Macs

As the fifth month of the year continues to progress the time is nearing for Apple to release a flurry of new Macs. Unlike the days of IBM’s PowerPC CPU architecture it’s now relatively easy to pinpoint when and what Macs are going to get refreshed at what point during the year and that is all down to Apple’s use of Intel’s architecture.

Last year Intel released Sandy Bridge and up to this point all Macs but the Mac Pro take advantage of the Sandy Bridge architecture. In addition Thunderbolt connectivity became a standard across Apple’s lineup of Macs, slowly pushing Firewire into the past.

In 2012 Intel’s new architecture is named Ivy Bridge, on a technical level the architecture marks a huge leap from the previous Sandy Bridge taking advantage of a 22 nm die shrink process. Some other headline improvements over Sandy Bridge include PCI Express 3.0 support, integrated USB 3.0 and the use of tri-gate transistors (sometimes known as 3D transistors) which offer the same performance as their “2D” counterparts but are said to offer up to 50% less power consumption. Apple may choose not to be cutting edge with all the technologies available in Ivy Bridge as the company tends to enjoy setting its own trends.

Outside of the real technicalities of Ivy Bridge the raw numbers look promising over Sandy Bridge; CPU performance is said to increase between 5% and 15% and integrated GPU performance between 20% and 50% (for the recored the integrated GPUs are HD 2500/4000).

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Mac Mini Receives Update, Loses Optical Drive

Rear of Mac mini

Rear view of Mac mini (Mid-2011)

Today the Mac mini received an update which firmly set out Apple’s vision for an optical disc free future. The brand new Mac mini featuring Intel’s latest processors, Thunderbolt connectivity, and improved graphics is also the firm consumer desktop Mac to ship without an optical drive.

“Mac mini delivers the speed and expandability that makes it perfect for the desktop, living room or office,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “With faster processors, more powerful graphics and Thunderbolt in an incredibly compact, aluminum design, the new Mac mini is more versatile than ever.”

The Mac mini is available with the latest dual-core Intel Core i5 or Intel Core i7 processors and AMD Radeon HD 6630M discrete graphics. The server configured Mac mini is available with quad-core Intel Core i7.

The Mac mini which is available today starts at $599 (£529) for the 2.3 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 configuration with 2GB of memory and a 500GB hard drive.

A server configured Mac mini is available starting at $999 (£849) and packs a 2.0GHZ quad-core Intel Core i&, 4GB of memory and dual 500GB hard drives. A version of OS X Lion Server is installed.

Mac Mini Drops in Price Outside U.S.

Mac mini

Mac mini (Early 2010) Ports

Apple has today quietly lowered the price of the Mac mini in international countries. The change noted by Macerkopf.de appears to have taken place in all markets outside of the U.S. and Australia.

In the UK the two Mac mini models reduced from £649 to £599 and £929 to £879.

Apple Unveils New Mac Mini Featuring HDMI Output

Mac mini

Mac mini (Early 2010) Ports

Apple has today quietly unveiled a brand new Mac mini featuring a new design, twice the graphics performances, HDMI out and an SD card slot.

“The sleek, aluminum Mac mini packs great features, versatility and value into an elegant, amazingly compact design,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “With twice the graphics performance, HDMI support and industry-leading energy efficiency, customers are going to love the new Mac mini.”

The new Mac mini features a unibody aluminum enclosure measuring just 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. Mac mini is incredibly versatile, effortlessly connecting to existing peripherals such as mice, keyboards and digital displays, while the new HDMI output connects Mac mini to an HDTV and the new SD card slot enables easy transfer of photos and videos from a digital camera.

Mac mini comes with the NVIDIA GeForces 320M integrated graphics processor, delivering twice the performance as its predecessor.

Mac mini is available for the base price of $699 (£649) featuring a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB of RAM and a 320GB hard drive.

New iMac, MacBook, Mac Mini and Magic Mouse Teardowns

iFixit has posted complete galleries of tearsdowns for all the Apple products released earlier this week.

As with most teardowns, iFixit has discovered some key points about the products released this week.

27-inch iMac

  • 27-inch iMac must be fully powered on to make use of the video in feature
  • CPU and GPU situated on opposite sides of the machine, both with large heatsinks
  • AirPort antenna is routed towards the large plastic Apple logo on the back, giving better signal strength
  • Power supply is 310 watts, the largest used in any iMac ever

MacBook

  • Battery offers 9% more capacity than previous generation 60wh vs 55wh but Apple claims a battery life of 7 hours versus the previous 5.
  • Hard drive is no longer easy to replace, but can still be done.
  • Bluetooth antenna is routed through the display housing.

Magic Mouse

  • Touch area is from the Apple logo forward.
  • Top of mouse is translucent.
  • Uses the Broadcom BCM2042 “Advanced Wireless Keyboard/Mouse Bluetooth Chip.”

Mac mini

MacminiColo offers several side by side shots of the new Mac mini and Mac mini server introduced on Tuesday.

Summary of Apple’s October 20 Announcements

Apple today released and updated multiple products, often when this happens certain important details or announcements slip under the radar. In this post those details will be made clearer and more concise.

Magic Mouse

  • Only available in wireless, Apple suggests that one set of batteries will last 4 months.
  • Only two “virtual buttons” no third and fourth button.
  • No Exposé or Spaces functions.
  • When scrolling pages have momentum much like scrolling on iPhone.
  • Shipping end of October.


iMac

  • Engadget has posted a hands-on review with video.
  • iMac now supports up to 16GB of RAM due to double the number of slots.
  • Audio is massively improved, Gizmodo describes a “noticeable difference” over the previous iMac.
  • The inclusion of quad-core i5 and i7 processors in the 27-inch iMac represents Apple’s first foray into desktop class processors in the iMac line. Historically Apple has used mobile processors.
  • 27-inch iMac supports video in via DisplayPort adapters, effectively making the iMac a 27-inch display to external sources.

MacBook

  • Engadget hands on, claims the new MacBook feels more solid that its predecessor.
  • New MacBook loses any form of FireWire, also utilises a Mini-DisplayPort in play of Mini-DVI. New MacBook includes a combined in/out port.
  • Has a MacBook Air style magsafe connector.

Apple Updates Mac Mini, Offers Mac OS X Server Version

Apple today quietly updated the Mac mini calling it the worlds most energy efficient desktop computer. The new Mac mini starts at $599 (£499) and features a faster 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and 2GB of DDR3 1066 MHz memory, a 160GB hard drive, five USB 2.0 ports, FireWire 800, NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics and a SuperDrive.

The $799 (£649) Mac mini model features a 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB of memory and a larger 320GB hard drive.

Apple is now also offering a $999 (£799) Mac mini pecially configured with Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server. Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server features two 500GB hard drives for a total of 1TB of server storage in the tiny 6.5-inch square by 2-inch tall Mac mini enclosure.

Apple Predicted to Unleash New Mac Mini, iMac, Time Capsules and AirPort

AppleInsider points towards a post on its own forums from a source who has historically offered accurate information prior to product launches. The information comes hot on the heels of rumours about iMac and Mac mini updates today.

The source claims that three models of Mac mini will be introduced, one with no optical drive, a 21.5-inch iMac featuring a 16:9 ratio widescreen display and updated Time Capsule and AirPort Extreme base stations.

MC207LL/A – K84 BEST BTR- USA
MC238LL/A – MAC MINI 2.26/2x1GB/160/SD/AP/BT-USA
MC239LL/A- MAC MINI 2.53/2x2GB/320GB/SD/AP/BT-USA
MC340LL/A – AIRPORT EXTREME (SIM DUALBAND) – USA
MC343LL/A – TIME CAPSULE 1TB (SIM DUALBAND) -USA
MC344LL/A – TIME CAPSULE 2TB (SIM DUALBAND) – USA
MC408LL/A – MAC MINI 2.53/2x2GB/1TB/NO ODD/AP-BT-USA
MC413LL/A – IMAC 21.5″/3.06/2x2GB/1TB/4670-256MB-USA
MC434LL/A – APPLE VESA MOUNT ADAPTER
MC461LL/A – MACBOOK 60W MAGSAFE POWER ADAPTER – USA

Engadget also points towards a filing with the U.S. Federal Communications commission which has revealed documents that could suggest updated AirPort base stations.