At a recent event, Apple announced, among other Macs, an updated Mac mini with updated hardware to be even faster than last year’s models. This Mac mini is turning out to be the most powerful yet.
The history of the Mac mini goes back to a wonderfully designed yet failed computer that Apple had back in 2000 and 2001 called the G4 Cube. Apple failed with this small computer but did not fail with it’s successor, the Mac mini, released in 2005. The Mac mini has been one of Apple’s most successful products since it is Apple’s cheapest Mac yet it is high-powered. To me, you get the most out of your money from the Mac mini.
The design of the Mac mini has not changed this time around. Made from a single piece of aluminum, just like other Macs, it is lightweight and durable. It is the smallest computer that Apple sells. The mini is only 7.7 inch x 7.7inch x 1.4 inch and weighs 2.7 pounds. It’s incredible! The Mac mini is stylish on any desk that is lucky enough to have it on. There is a removable panel on the bottom that allows you to add RAM. There is no power brick on the power cord. It’s just the small details in the Mac mini that make it a one-of-a-kind computer.
As with the other Mac computers, the Mac mini has been updated with Intel’s Ivy Bridge processors. The lower end Mac mini will feature a 2.5 GHz dual-core i5 while the higher end will have a 2.3 GHz Quad-Core i7 processor, the second fastest processor on a computer that size. This particular model is also configurable to an incredible 2.6 GHz Quad-Core i7 processor, the fastest processor on a computer this size. The lower end 2.5 dual-core i5 can TurboBoost up to 3.1 GHz and the higher end 2.3 GHz can TurboBoost up to 3.3 GHz and the highest end Mac mini (2.6 GHz Quad-Core i7) can TurboBoost up to 3.6 GHz. We are getting closer to seeing 3 GHz Mac minis! Give it a few years, they’ll be out there.
Both Mac minis come standard with 4 GB of RAM but can be configured with up to 16 GB of RAM according to Apple. The RAM is not soldered in and you can replace it or add more to it with a few very simple steps. Of course, you can usually put in more RAM than Apple tells you you can so I would predict that you could try for 20 GB up to 36 GB of RAM. I do not see the need to do so, however.
The Mac minis have a few options for storage space. The lower end Mac mini is stuck at 500 GB of HDD space. The higher end comes standard with 1 TB (1000 GB) of space. You can also configure the higher end Mac mini with either a TB Fusion drive (takes the best things from HDD and SDD and combines them into one drive, it puts frequently used things on a SDD and less used stuff on the HDD) or a 256 GB SDD.
The graphics performance on the Mac mini is impressive too with an Intel HD 4000 graphics card which is 65 percent more graphics performance than last years Intel HD 3000 on the Mac mini.
The Mac mini offers a very versatile port selection. It has a gigabit ethernet slot, a FireWire 800 slot, HDMI slot, a Thunderbolt slot, four USB 3.0 slots, and a SDXC card slot. It also features a 802.11n Wifi, the fastest wifi available. It also has the new Bluetooth 4.0, just like Apple’s new computers.
Prices and Availability
The Mac mini is available now. The low end Mac mini is $599 while the higher end starts at $799 (it will cost more to add more things to it, such as a different drive than the standard 1 TB HDD). Anyone with last years model, I do not suggest upgrading. However, anyone with a Mac mini older than last years model or someone who doesn’t have a Mac mini, you may want to consider upgrading.
This latest update on the Mac mini shows the sheer power of the Mac mini’s performance. It may be small but it packs a huge punch, bigger than a lot of computers 5-10 times as big. It really is a small, powerful machine.
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Image courtesy: www.apple.com/mac-mini/