February 28, 2006. Apple Special Event in Cupertino, Steve who is clearly unwell, and three and a half new products – one of which was in the list of worst products of the company. Most of this list was just unlucky. iPod HiFi is not one of them, however today we’ll talk about it…

Today we will talk about the first Mac mini Intel.

The third Intel Mac ever, the first Intel Macs with 1-core processor, the first Mac included in the chipset and motherboard graphics processor Intel GMA 950 – which has limited graphics capabilities of the Mac mini were selected from the system a portion of memory, but cost much cheaper than “real” graphics cards. But, in fact, not so clear.

The results of SPECint and SPECfp was that even Mac mini with the sole core at times exceeds Mac mini G4 for performance. In real life, and in other tests, the performance gap was more modest – but he sure was.

Here is a video of the event (22 minutes 06 seconds):

About the Mac mini – not at the beginning of the movie, but close to it. Quality for 2006 is very decent, the production Duo of Steve with Phil funny…

Intel Core Solo, technology and cost

Intel Core Solo processor with a single core similar to core Intel Core Duo, produced on the same production line that the Intel Core Duo. No miracles of automation and flexible production, everything is much easier.

Intel Core Solo is the same 2-core Intel Core Duo, which one of the cores simply disabled. Sometimes discovered in one of the cores of the marriage. Sometimes (if not defective enough to run the program) is disconnected completely normal kernel and all.

Core Solo sold at a lower price than Core Duo. The same and cheaper? Greed is the most foolish and ruinous disadvantage in the world. As written by Shota Rustaveli (whose translation I don’t know I like him more than any other): “What gave you return, Stail – consider missing…” – just don’t understand this “rule” too literally.

It was cheaper than a specially developed 1-the nuclear option and a separate line for its release.

To manufacture a single chip go a penny amounts of expensive materials, and labor costs in terms of one chip is small. The higher the circulation, the cost below. Dear (and crazy) and time consuming – development, testing and debugging, production organization, creating testing debugging of production lines, the maintenance of an effective quality control…

There is no paradox. All natural, and waste less.

Intel GMA 950 – video card budget

The GMA 950 is the second generation GMA (Graphics Media Accelerator), the graphics processors from Intel. GMA appeared out of nowhere, but to delve into the history of graphics systems from Intel, we will not: the company is not trying to compete with the acknowledged masters of this business, but also outright trash it “budget decisions” should not be called.

Intel GMA 950 was designed for users without special requirements for the graphics performance of a computer (comprising not less than 99% of the total). In the area of their destination they were sufficient.

In the marketing materials for the Mac mini G4 has repeatedly emphasized the advantages of these video cards (ATI Radeon 9200 (4x AGP) with 32 or 64 MB of video memory) over integrated graphics processors. When the first Mac mini with Intel GMA 950 fell into the hands of independent experts, Intel GMA 950 confidently “won” Radeon 9200 in 3 of 4 tests Cinema 9,5 bench.

Intel GMA 950 was not dedicated video memory, the Mac mini they “robbed” 64 Megabytes of the main memory of the computer during startup of the computer 16 Megabytes, when performing complex visual tasks did not hesitate to seize extra Megabytes (technically, the Intel GMA 950 can use up to 224 MB shared RAM).

It was budget, but it’s a decent solution.

Where was gunning for Apple in 2006?

In early 2006, Apple Remote and Front Row was included in the baseline configuration of all new Macs, they are focused (with the involvement of the whole marketing power of the company): the intention of Steve was evident. He planned to capture and conquer the segment of consumer electronics.

The segment was vulnerable to his power and genius, enhanced by the achievements of science and technology, has long found application in the computer industry. Experts laughed at the Apple, easily finding serious flaws in the Apple Remote, Front Row, iPod HiFi, almost all the provocations of Apple in this market segment – but it was just reconnaissance.

By the way, these “provocations” (with the exception of the iPod HiFi and leather cases for iPod Classic and iPod nano) was not at all hopeless.

In the new version of Front Row (which detractors from other platforms called “a rather minor upgrade to an existing and little-known software package”) added support for Bonjour.

Bonjour (“nee” Rendezvous, “rendezvous”) is a communication technology zeroconf, beyond simple for users, and relatively simple for developers. With it service providers and their customers find each other in the network “on time”.

In the video (see above) Steve, with the help of this add to the Front Row, easily explores audio and photo archives on another computer (and the role of victims, traditionally, performed by Phil Schiller and his MacBook Pro). The invasion of privacy? Comes to mind a quotation from the old Soviet film: “… and so you can remove any wall?” don’t worry, everything has been thought of.

I was alarmed the other minor issue: a video taken by one of the employees of Apple marketing in Antarctica… They tried to sell ice-free Mac and iPods penguins?

Mac mini Intel Core Solo/Duo: upgrade

In the first model of Mac mini is the CPU located on the ZIF socket. The reaction of those who do not want to live simply and wait for the mercy of nature (from Apple, but it is synonymous), it was not difficult to predict: what is there about upgrades? Documentation, sternly and unequivocally forbidden not only to upgrade the processor but upgrade the RAM.

“Inflated turkeys”, of course, did not believe and know about the successful replacement of the Intel Core Duo processor with a clock frequency of 1.66 GHz at the same but with a clock speed of 2.16 GHz (which cost about as much as a Guinea a Mac mini), and about several occasions.

The increase in RAM was described in detail on pages iFixit and I had the opportunity to witness this heartbreaking action, starting with the purchase at the hardware store putty knife and knitting needles, and ending with an enthusiastic cry of “we did it!”.

Inside Mac mini Intel Core Solo/Duo

Despite the radical differences in the configuration (even number of cores is different), options for the Mac mini model ID MacMini1,1 had a lot in common.

In all variants of the first model Mac mini to the Inlel – processors with second level cache (2 MB clock frequency of frontal system bus 667 MHz in the base set consisted of 512 Megabytes of RAM (PC2-5300 DDR2 SDRAM, 667 MHz), two chips for 256 Megs occupying both slots. In the online shop and the service centers of the amount of memory can be increased up to 2 Gigabytes.

DVI connector (DVI-to-VGA included in the kit), 1 x Firewire 400, 4 USB 2.0 (two times more than the Mac mini G4), Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000Base-T), AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR are included in the basic configuration, but the modem 56k v.92, only the external Apple USB modem, for blood $ 49.

Mac mini Core Dolo/Duo, like his ancestors from the fourth generation of PowerPC, support only one external monitor. Resolution up to 1920×1200 (16:10). Supported by 20-inch Apple Cinema and a 23-inch Apple Cinema HD, and almost all of their classmates “from the dark side.”

Supplied with Mac OS 10.4.5 compatible with all Mac OS X to 10.6.8. For 10.7 and above required 64-bit architecture and support for OpenCL. Intel Core Solo/Duo is a 32-bit.


Rare case: there is no need to come up with humiliating names for variants of the model. Their names were Mac mini Core Solo and Core Duo Mac mini, officially.

Mac mini Core Solo 1-core processor Intel Core Solo (T1200) processor with a clock frequency of 1.5 GHz. Modifications of Intel Core with a numeric index starting with unit – 1-nuclear.

The drive capacity of 60 GB (for its own account in the online store it can be replaced on the disk 100 or 120 GB), 5 400 rpm, c SATA 1.5 GB/s.

8x Combo (DVR-ROM/CD-RW). Slot load.

Independent tests (Geekbench 2) did not confirm the claimed superiority of the Apple Mac mini G4 “3.2 times). Have a Mac mini Core Solo 1 387 points from “Junior” Mac mini G4 Sep 2005 – 771 points. Solo cooler 1.8 times. If you compare Mac mini Core Solo with a “big Mac mini latest model on G4, which is equal with it clock speed is only 1.6.

Cost Mac mini Core Solo $ 599 (youngest ancestor – 499).

Mac mini Core Duo 2-core T2300 with clock speed of 1.66 GHz from 28 February 2006 to 6 September installed drive capacity of 80 Gigabytes, 6 September (the day this option was cheaper and was the youngest in the model) – 60 GB 5 400 rpm and c SATA 1.5 GB/s.

2,4-multiples of the SL SuperDrive. This DVD±RW/CD-RW, with multiplicities (for a CD unit of frequency equal to 150 KB/s for DVD – 1.4 MB/s):

record DVD–R and DVD+R – 8x;
recording DVD–RW and DVD+RW – 4x;
–CD-R – 24x;
–CD-RW – 8x;
read DVD and CD, respectively, 8 – and 24-fold.

SL means “one-layer”.

On 6 September, becoming the “low variant”, Mac mini Core Duo 1.66 GHz inherited 8x Combo drive.

According to jobs, and the results of SPECint and SPECfp, this Mac mini was superior to the latest Mac mini G4 c almost five times. The tests Geekbench 2 (and many others) has a slightly different opinion. Mac mini Core Duo 1.66 GHz 2 scored 153 points, his ancestor – 855. Divide…

Mac mini Core Duo 1.66 GHz “faster” 2.5 times. In real life even more differently, but when you consider that between past and future it took only six months – the gap is impressive.

To be continued