The first Tuesday after the end of the WWDC’10, without any show – but not secretive, Apple has updated the Mac mini line. New design, HDMI port, raised the price, the built in case power pack. The update deserved a show, but not in the era of the iPhone and iPad… about the new Mac mini Apple has released the full press release. Which, as expected, I abused the word “most”, was exaggerating – but let us be merciful to the marketing staff. It’s their job. Especially as a newborn and was really something to be proud of.

The most energy-efficient desktop computer in the world, the smallest, the most Mac mini for more than 5 years. And the most beautiful of them. Latest like should not matter – but the Primate inside each one of us not to appease. And beauty is still a sign of successful technical solutions.

Without special work it was possible to find a PC with more impressive technical specifications and at a lower cost – but it was a Mac. If necessary, develop programs for iOS it was possible on a Hackintosh, but this magic without adventures rather difficult.

Contrary to common belief, Apple has taken into account the desire seized her hostage buyers. The new mini was a serious competitor for Apple TV. His ancestors has already proved itself in this role. It required ingenuity and courage, now all that is needed is built-in and ready for immediate use.

Media even called the new mini, the announcement of next-gen Apple TV. If you reduce the number of USB ports to one, to replace the processor on the Apple A4 and the height of the housing to shrink to a centimeter – Apple TV has a much better chance.

But Apple TV is just someone’s whim. It was even more interesting…

Revenge Intel continues

Once again faced with a choice between the fantastic Intel Core i5/i7 and greatest in the world of embedded graphics from NVIDIA, Apple has again chosen graphics.

Imagine the Mac mini, the creators of which would not be the choice? Immediately both. Thermonuclear power and more than decent graphics performance. But also a fatal limitation of the upper limit of RAM. And hardly in this case it would be possible to embed the power supply in a tiny enclosure Mac mini.

Force majeure force to create masterpieces.

Family portrait Macmini4,1

In a cute family officially had only two options. Just the Mac mini and Mac mini Server. For a simple Mac mini in the Configurator was proposed, for an additional $ 150, more powerful processor “is the same as in server mode”.

Chipset NVIDIA MCP89, with integrated NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics and Intel Core 2 Duo two modifications, P8600 running at 2.4 GHz P8800 processor with a clock frequency of 2.66 GHz.

The chipset was quite efficient even for serious problems – the Mac mini was never a gaming computer, it is not a hot Roadster, and the practical delivery truck. And he was incredibly economical, because of what the power supply is placed inside the case. And it was nothing, I was a server option Macmini4,1, he remained cool and nimble even in the most tense moments of his working career.

Shell thickness decreased from 51 to 36 mm, but the length and depth increased from 165 to 196 millimeters. And weight non-server based version increased by 100 grams with a 1.3 kg to 1.4 kg. the Housing is machined from “a single piece of aircraft-grade aluminum”, at the bottom of the hull was a round hole with a lid of black plastic – hatch gives access to main memory.

To facilitate probable (he did almost all) of its upgrade. Tools that are not required. Apple listens to the clients ‘ wishes! Sometimes…

The server product weighed 1.3 kg.

The clock frequency of frontal system bus – 1 066 MHz, in the initial configuration of a conventional variant, the amount of RAM is 2 GB (PC3-8500DDR3 SDRAM SO-DIMMs), maximum size is 16 GB. In the online Apple store is only 8, but beyond and the memory is cheaper, and install it was easy.

SATA II (3 Gbps), two tires. In the usual options for connecting a hard drive and DL SuperDrive, the server – two hard drives.

In the basic configuration of a conventional variant was part of a drive capacity of 320 GB (5 400 rpm), $ 50 it can be replaced by disk 500 GB (5 400 rpm). In the server version was two discs of 500 GB with a rotational speed of the rotor 7 200 rpm In the previous model, the frequency of rotation of the rotor disks of the server version was normal and not a server (5 400 rpm).

Window to the world

Number of USB 2.0 ports decreased from 5 to 4.

Firewire 800, Gigabit Ethernet, Mini DisplayPort, it was all still. HDMI port, to connect to a normal DVI monitor required an adapter that… included in the package. And HDMI is regular connectivity to a mini widescreen TV “in the wall”. Without the belt with a tambourine.

Have a Mac mini even had the advantage over the Apple TV – it was able to output the signal to the legacy TV receivers, and has not lost this ability in the new model.

The mini has a slot for SD cards. Support SDXC (up to 2 Terabytes instead of 32 GB), Apple somehow did not report in a press release. In my opinion, this mini actually was the very first Mac of ω with support for SDXC.

The new mini you can connect two displays with resolution up to 1920×1200 for HDMI port and up to 2560 x 1600 Mini DisplayPort.

AirPort Extreme (802.11 n with support for 802.11 a/b/g) and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR. Standard for Macs 2010 and everything included in the basic configuration.

Prices, benchmarks and catch-up

We assume that the options were three: a normal Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz (P8600) Intel Core 2 Duo 2.66 GHz (P8800), and server with the P8800. We denote 2010/2,4, 2010/2,2010 66 and/Server.

2010/2,4 cost $ 699. $ 100 more expensive than the cheapest version of the old model. The Unibody manufacturing process, if not to take into account the specifics, was less traditional – but it came after a few months with a higher level of marriage. Beauty is hardly going to save the world, but it’s worth the sacrifice.

2010/2.66 cost 849. 2010/Server asked how and for 2009/Server, $ 999.

Geekbench 2 (32) and (64) is a 32 and 64 bit tests.
Geekbench 4 (SC) tests of the performance of one core, (MC) – all cores.

The results of the tests for server versions of the models 2009 and 2010 are identical to the results of conventional options with the same processor. Option 2009 with a clock frequency of 2.26 GHz is not considered.

2010/2,4: (32)= 3307 (64)= 3635 (SC)= 1516 (MC)= 2485
2010/2,66: (32)= 3627 (64)= 4003 (SC)= 1633 (MC)= 2649
2009/2,53: (32)= 3526 (64)= 3866 (SC)= 1603 (MC)= 2595
2009/2,66: (32)= 3700 (64)= 4025 (SC)= 1633 (MC)= 2664

To be continued