The increasing popularity of laptop systems in recent years meant that the Mini was sidelined even further, and admirers of the Mini soon began to fear for its life. Yet, the Mac Mini is still here and has just received its first proper upgrade in almost two years. It’s not the most adventurous of upgrades, but hopefully this means that game’s not yet up for the Mini.
Externally, only the port array has changed with this update
Externally, the new Mac Mini is virtually identical to all its predecessors. The entire system is crammed into a square aluminium block measuring just 163mm (6.5in) wide and deep, and a mere 50mm (2in) high. However, there are a few interesting changes among the assorted interfaces and connected tucked away on the back of the unit.
There’s an additional USB 2.0 port, which takes the total to five. We were quite pleased to see that the old Firewire 400 port has now been upgraded to Firewire 800, and interested to note that the Mini now has two separate video ports. The original DVI connector has been shrunk down to a Mini DVI – and, thankfully, there’s a Mini DVI adaptor included in the box - unlike the pricey new 17in MacBook Pro - so that you can still connect it to an ordinary DVI monitor if you want to.
Apple has also found room to squeeze in the new DisplayPort interface that it uses with its new 24in Cinema monitor. You can even use both video interfaces to connect two monitors to the Mini at the same time. If you don’t want to spend £635 on the Cinema monitor you can get a DisplayPort-to-DVI adaptor for £20, and use two DVI monitors, which might well come in handy in a few showrooms or boardrooms.
Gigabit Ethernet and digital audio input and output round out the connectors at the back, and there’s also 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 wireless tech built in as well.
The previous Mac Mini was available with either 1.83GHz or 2.0GHz Core 2 Duo processors, and cost £399 and £499, respectively. The £399 model has now gone altogether, while the £499 model remains in place with the same 2.0GHz processor, 1GB RAM and 120GB hard disk as before. That’s not much of an upgrade, obviously, although the new model does increase the frontside bus speed from 666MHz to 1066MHz, and uses faster DDR 3 Ram.
I got one
OK, I admit I got one. My old digital audio G4 (with an upgraded CPU) just wasn't cutting it anymore. I needed a new home media server and this mini can both drive my 1080p HDTV and a monitor for productivity work. I was displeased that there had been no price cuts in the previous gen mini, and I was looking at Windows and Linux alternatives. However, when I looked at the costs of switching from a mac to something else (cost of new software for a windows system, time to properly configure a linux system), it seemed like the Mac mini was a better deal. I did spring for the upgrade to 2GB for the base system. Yeah, the memory is somewhat overpriced, but I figured it was worth it not to void the warranty. Is it the best possible system? No, but it is a versatile little computer that does a great job as a HDTV media server. In this function, I would not want a laptop. I ordered it the day the new models were announced and I've been using it for about 2 weeks and am very happy with it.
Cant help but think
they have this ass-backwards, and should be pushing Mac Mini as a glorified typewriter and email checker box, perhaps with a mini-pro variant with a blu-ray drive, improved storage and graphics for the mediabox darlings.
It wants to steal and convert PC users. the best way of doing this is to shunt hardware out that doesnt do everything a PC does, but do it damned cheap. a 300quid mini right now tempts the PC users in, and then they gradually tire of it not doing games, or complex high-graphics/ram jiggery-pokery, and upgrade to a 'real mac' because they love the interface; god only knows, apple doesnt compete with PC users on a hardware basis, so it prettymuch boils down to "love our tiny box and interface!!!", and the only way they are gonna do that is by selling people a Fkin mac to start with, and to do that, you're gonna need to go _cheap_.
Honestly think they shouldnt be trying to make it better, just splitting it into electronic-typewriter version and mediabox version would draw the crowds. can you image a blu-ray version of this? I'd buy the fucking thing, I cant find a single bluray player that actually looks _nice_ that isnt made by Crazy swedes for 10 grand.
mac mini old to new
I got my mac mini 1.66ghz cpu, 512mb ram, 60gb hard disk, cdrw/dvd, 802.11g, july 2007 in august they brought out upgraded models, i was a little p*****d, so i upgraded my mac mini from 1.66ghz core duo to a 2.19ghz core 2 duo, and memory from 512mb to 2gb, the hard disk was upgraded from 60gb to 160gb, the cdrw/dvd drive was changed to a superdrive, my wi-fi upgraded to 802.11n , also got external storage os 250gb hard disk and 500gb time port. she runs like a dream but the graphics card is a little under power, the only fault i have with it. I have thought of selling the lot and getting an imac or another mac mini more up to date.
I hoped the upgrade 2009 would be worth me buying an new mac, but i don't think so not at the price they are.
£100 too expensive
i've paitently waited two months for this hardware refresh after getting my old 1.6c2d mini stolen in the hope i would get a 2ghz unit for the same price as the 1.8ghz. what do they go and do? up the price of the base model by a ton, so effectively, theyve scrapped the base model, stuck new video chips in the top end one, and then charged a load more for an extra 1gb of ram and a bigger hard disk (which *has* to be no more than £40 difference.
so apple have lost a sale, theres no way i'm paying that much for a small pc that sits under my telly and only gets used for watching videos over ethernet and the odd bit of web browsing.
instead i'm gonna try out either the popcorn hour or the WD media player which are cheaper, and spend the spare cash on a new netbook so i can browse t'internet whilst sat on the sofa.
Yes, but why Apple?
I mean seriously what's the big selling point about Apple computers? It used to be the GUI, then the PowerPC then MacOSX, but now you can get usable Linux distributions which have virtually every kind of software availiable at a touch of a button. Additionally the build quality of Apple hardware had it's weak times with "Logic Board Failures" becomming a common phenomenon.