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Apple intros new Mac minis with faster speeds, OS X Server option

post #1 of 114
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Three new Mac mini models were released by Apple Tuesday, with a 1TB Mac OS X Server option accompanied by two faster, upgraded consumer-level versions.

Billed as the worlds most energy efficient desktop, the new Mac mini is said to be faster, offer more storage and come standard with double the memory.

Starting at $599, the entry level Mac mini 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 Mac mini features a 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB of memory and a larger 320GB hard drive.

The new $999 Mac mini is specially configured with Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server. It 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.

The new Mac minis meet the new, more stringent Energy Star 5.0 requirements and achieve EPEAT Gold status. It uses PVC-free internal components and cables, contain no brominated flame retardants, use highly recyclable materials, and feature material-efficient system and packaging designs.

AppleInsider reported on a new Mac mini server edition almost one year ago. The new hardware was apparently delayed some time before Tuesday's launch.



The new Mac mini has the following features:

Processor and memory
2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor
3MB on-chip shared L2 cache running 1:1 with processor speed
1066MHz frontside bus
4GB (two 2GB SO-DIMMs) of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM
Peripheral connections
One FireWire 800 port (up to 800 Mbps)
Five USB 2.0 ports (up to 480 Mbps)


Graphics and video support
NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics processor with 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory3
Extended desktop and video mirroring: Simultaneously supports up to 1920 by 1200 pixels on a DVI or VGA display; up to 2560 by 1600 pixels on a dual-link DVI display using Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter (sold separately)
Mini-DVI port
DVI output using Mini-DVI to DVI Adapter (included)
VGA output using Mini-DVI to VGA Adapter (sold separately)
Mini DisplayPort output
Communications
Built-in AirPort Extreme 802.11n Wi-Fi wireless 802.11n networking4; IEEE 802.11a/b/g compatible Bluetooth
Built-in Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR (Enhanced Data Rate)
Built-in 10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45 connector)


Audio
Combined optical digital audio input/audio line in (minijack)
Combined optical digital audio output/headphone out (minijack)
Built-in speaker
Storage
Mac mini with OS X Snow Leopard Server includes two 500GB hard drives.
The consumer Mac mini offers one 160GB, 320GB, or 500GB serial ATA hard drives.
The consumer also comes with a slot-loading SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW): Writes DVD+R DL and DVD-R DL discs at up to 6x speed, writes DVD-R and DVD+R discs at up to 8x speed, writes DVD-RW discs at up to 6x speed, writes DVD+RW discs at up to 8x speed, Slot-load optical drive reads DVDs at up to 8x speed, writes CD-R and CD-RW discs at up to 24x speed, reads CDs at up to 24x speed
post #2 of 114
Nice!
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post #3 of 114
Welcome (but minor) updates to the mini line, but too bad they couldn't get the base model back down to the $499 price point like the original mini was. Psychologically, a sub-$500 Mac would be a good selling point. And they are still shipping the base model wtih only 160 GB. That's pretty weak, but I supposed they needed to justify the $200 price gap to the next model.
post #4 of 114
Just when my ibook G4 decided to stop connecting to the internet for no apparent reason.
Now, which model do i get? If I just surf the internet, watch video clips and use office here and there , is there any need for 4Gb of RAM?
post #5 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

Welcome (but minor) updates to the mini line, but too bad they couldn't get the base model back down to the $499 price point like the original mini was. Psychologically, a sub-$500 Mac would be a good selling point. And they are still shipping the base model wtih only 160 GB. That's pretty weak, but I supposed they needed to justify the $200 price gap to the next model.

Yeh, I was hoping for the $499 price, especially considering the performance difference between the Mini and new iMac.
Still a glare inducing screen on the iMac so I'm going for the Mini, although the new Macbook is tempting, but with an external screen (not a fan of glare).
I'm thinking the Mini would be th best choice for me. Now, which monitor to get?
post #6 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve666 View Post

Yeh, I was hoping for the $499 price, especially considering the performance difference between the Mini and new iMac.
Still a glare inducing screen on the iMac so I'm going for the Mini, although the new Macbook is tempting, but with an external screen (not a fan of glare).
I'm thinking the Mini would be th best choice for me. Now, which monitor to get?

Now I gotta stows the WHOOT xMac banners, streamers, confetti and party hats for another year or so... \
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post #7 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

And they are still shipping the base model wtih only 160 GB. That's pretty weak, but I supposed they needed to justify the $200 price gap to the next model.

$200 (or close to it) would get you a brand new 2.5TB seagate or WD drive.
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post #8 of 114
A server model eh?

I certainly didn't expect that. But it makes sense for a home media server, or for a small business. Considering that Mac OS X Server by itself is half the cost of the machine, that's really not a bad deal at all. Apple ought to push this hard for small business customers; Windows SBS costs nearly as much as this bundle ($700 or so last time I checked -- for five client licenses only).

WIth unlimited clients, Apple could leverage Mac Mini Servers to create a whole new class of customers in the small retailer, service, and restaurant industries.
post #9 of 114
The new Mac mini server is $999.
Snow Leopard Server is regularly $499.

Subtract the cost of the server software and BOOM...$500 Mac mini.
post #10 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoboNerd View Post

A server model eh?

I certainly didn't expect that. But it makes sense for a home media server, or for a small business. Considering that Mac OS X Server by itself is half the cost of the machine, that's really not a bad deal at all. Apple ought to push this hard for small business customers; Windows SBS costs nearly as much as this bundle ($700 or so last time I checked -- for five client licenses only).

WIth unlimited clients, Apple could leverage Mac Mini Servers to create a whole new class of customers in the small retailer, service, and restaurant industries.

This should sell more servers which will result in more developers porting server software to the Mac.
post #11 of 114
Would it have killed them to at least put a *better* laptop video card in the mini?
post #12 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc Ingersol View Post

Would it have killed them to at least put a *better* laptop video card in the mini?

Yes? Think (THERMAL DISSIPATION!!!!)

The mini is not a gaming machine.. any modern 9000+ series can do hardware decoding of video.. this is just a nice computer that has good specs for what it does.
post #13 of 114
Please look at the front of the Mac Mini Server.
There is the light which turns shows the machine is on.
But why is there room for an IR reciever on a server.

This seems to indicate a multimedia purpose.
post #14 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoboNerd View Post

A server model eh?

I certainly didn't expect that. But it makes sense for a home media server, or for a small business. Considering that Mac OS X Server by itself is half the cost of the machine, that's really not a bad deal at all. Apple ought to push this hard for small business customers; Windows SBS costs nearly as much as this bundle ($700 or so last time I checked -- for five client licenses only).

WIth unlimited clients, Apple could leverage Mac Mini Servers to create a whole new class of customers in the small retailer, service, and restaurant industries.

The main thing which holds the Mac Mini back from being a decent home media server is the fact that the internal hard drive is not easily upgradable. I know I've said in the past that modifying the Mini isn't much more difficult than modifying a PC, but increasing/adding hard drive space is something which is done frequently enough on servers to warrant the need for it to be as easy as possible (i.e. not require putty knives and patience).

And there's no eSATA port to allow external hard drives to be connected at speeds which are the same as the internal drive. Sorry, but FireWire 800 is still too slow when dealing with large video files (think 1080p). I still don't get what Apple has against eSATA...
 
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post #15 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by SlicerDicer View Post

Yes? Think (THERMAL DISSIPATION!!!!)

There are more-modern GPUs in the same thermal envelope and around the component cost range of the 9400M when it showed up.
post #16 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

$200 (or close to it) would get you a brand new 2.5TB seagate or WD drive.

I'm guessing they are using 2.5" laptop drives in it. Still, they could offer 2TB (RAID 0) and 1TB (RAID 1) options.

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post #17 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

The new Mac mini server is $999.
Snow Leopard Server is regularly $499.

Subtract the cost of the server software and BOOM...$500 Mac mini.

Wouldn't you need to add back in the $129 cost of a regular Snow Leopard installation?
Making it a $629 Mac Mini?
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post #18 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

The main thing which holds the Mac Mini back from being a decent home media server is the fact that the internal hard drive is not easily upgradable. I know I've said in the past that modifying the Mini isn't much more difficult than modifying a PC, but increasing/adding hard drive space is something which is done frequently enough on servers to warrant the need for it to be as easy as possible (i.e. not require putty knives and patience).

And there's no eSATA port to allow external hard drives to be connected at speeds which are the same as the internal drive. Sorry, but FireWire 800 is still too slow when dealing with large video files (think 1080p). I still don't get what Apple has against eSATA...

I agree about the lack of eSATA. Firewire 800 is a big improvement over FW400 and USB2, but eSATA can leave FW800 in the dust on raw throughput. At least there are ways to bridge the internal SATA port on a Mac mini to an external connector with a little hackery. Not that I would want to make such mods on a machine I'd spec and set up for professional use...

I know Apple wants to keep things simple and not bamboozle people with a billion different ports, but an eSATA port on the mini would just make it so much more viable for a wide variety of tasks. Oh well.
post #19 of 114
The Mac Mini Server model is perfect for a small business needing only file / print sharing. Thanks to Apple, you can now get a Mini Server, unlimited user license 10.6 server OS, low cost UPS and an external WD 4TB RAID5 setup for under $2000. Even in a Windows centric small business that just makes better sense over any Microsoft SBS offering.

I really think this is the biggest news coming out of today's product announcement. Tack on a $500 install charge and the smart Apple reseller has a great way to compete in the small business network environment.

Great work, Apple!
post #20 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silencio View Post

I know Apple wants to keep things simple and not bamboozle people with a billion different ports, but an eSATA port on the mini would just make it so much more viable for a wide variety of tasks. Oh well.

But why not just put it on the server Mini then?

I guess it requires a separate production line, but it would make me seriously consider replacing my server with the Mini when the time comes (due to the low power consumption and expandability options). Though I would miss having my 2 gigabit ethernet ports...
 
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post #21 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

But why not just put it on the server Mini then?

I guess it requires a separate production line, but it would make me seriously consider replacing my server with the Mini when the time comes (due to the low power consumption and expandability options). Though I would miss having my 2 gigabit ethernet ports...

1. Shabby connector that doesn't lock
2. No power or ability to run any other devices other than SATA drives.
3. Already legacy pretty much with 6Gbps SATA coming it makes no sense to add current eSATA


It's a limited connection and since Apple prefers svelte designs keepin the port total low is what they tend to skew towards.
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post #22 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoboNerd View Post

A server model eh?

I certainly didn't expect that. But it makes sense for a home media server, or for a small business. Considering that Mac OS X Server by itself is half the cost of the machine, that's really not a bad deal at all. Apple ought to push this hard for small business customers; Windows SBS costs nearly as much as this bundle ($700 or so last time I checked -- for five client licenses only).

WIth unlimited clients, Apple could leverage Mac Mini Servers to create a whole new class of customers in the small retailer, service, and restaurant industries.

The Mac Mini is perfect as a server for small businesses and maybe iPhone/software developers looking for inexpensive server. Actually, the Mini has been used as a server for long time now. Check this out.
post #23 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

The main thing which holds the Mac Mini back from being a decent home media server is the fact that the internal hard drive is not easily upgradable. I know I've said in the past that modifying the Mini isn't much more difficult than modifying a PC, but increasing/adding hard drive space is something which is done frequently enough on servers to warrant the need for it to be as easy as possible (i.e. not require putty knives and patience).

And there's no eSATA port to allow external hard drives to be connected at speeds which are the same as the internal drive. Sorry, but FireWire 800 is still too slow when dealing with large video files (think 1080p). I still don't get what Apple has against eSATA...

Not sure I agree. I use a Mini as a HT machine and I have 1080p ripped BR movies on a FW800 drive. It plays perfectly fine. In fact I can copy files to that drive and still play an HD movie without a skip.
post #24 of 114
Whoo the mac mini will be good for services like macminicolo
post #25 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc Ingersol View Post

Would it have killed them to at least put a *better* laptop video card in the mini?

I wish they'd dump the 500GB second drive, swap out the 500GB for a $750GB drive and make the box wider, a bit longer and give me a second GPGPU for use as an affordable OpenCL option.

A full PC-E x16 double slot would have been nice so one can put in an ATI-5800 series card or Nvidia.

This form factor is getting long in the tooth.
post #26 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by xwiredtva View Post

Not sure I agree. I use a Mini as a HT machine and I have 1080p ripped BR movies on a FW800 drive. It plays perfectly fine. In fact I can copy files to that drive and still play an HD movie without a skip.

Sure, buffering takes care of smoothing out slower data transfers while playing video.

However copying 10+GB video files on a regular basis over an 800Mbit/s connection just feels like wasted time to me now that I'm used to 3000Mbit/s.
 
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post #27 of 114
It's nice to have the assurance that the Mini is here to stay. It does make for a nice server box but they should have addressed the upgradeability issues.

The problem they have now with dropping the price to $499 is that it would precisely contradict what Steve Jobs said:

"What we want to do is deliver an increasing level of value to these customers, but there are some customers which we choose not to serve. We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk; our DNA will not let us do that."

That extra $100 makes all the difference between junk and a "little powerhouse".
post #28 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

1. Shabby connector that doesn't lock

On a laptop, I agree. But it doesn't matter for a server machine which never moves.
Quote:
2. No power or ability to run any other devices other than SATA drives.

Again, for a server, finding plugins isn't a problem. And why would I care about connecting a pro audio/video device to a server (about the only other devices which Firewire is used for)?
Quote:
3. Already legacy pretty much with 6Gbps SATA coming it makes no sense to add current eSATA

6Gbps doesn't make a difference for a single drive since you've already hit the wall for how fast current hard drives can transfer data. Only for external RAIDs does it start to make sense.
Quote:
It's a limited connection and since Apple prefers svelte designs keepin the port total low is what they tend to skew towards.

Svelte doesn't make any difference when it's locked away in a server room.

I'd agree with all of your points if Apple weren't marketing the Mini as a low-cost server.
 
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post #29 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

But why not just put it on the server Mini then?

Light Peek FTW!
post #30 of 114
If we're strictly talking about storage then eSATA really isn't in the equation.

Servers attached to external storage are dominated by

Ethernet connections and NAS or SAN or a combination of both.


The Mac mini server + DroboPro would be perfect for a SMB.

I'd personally run two mirrored SSD (SLC) for the boot drive and add an external
NAS via iSCSI.

All could be done for sub $1499 easily.
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post #31 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

Light Peek FTW!

Maybe when 3D Atomic Holographic Optical Data Storage also comes of age...
 
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post #32 of 114
Wow. The server option is great. Two gigabit Ethernet ports would have been cool (iSCSI DroboPro, or firewall capabilities. Competes with a Dell rackmount server, but could save you the rack.

Now all Apple needs to do is make the software seemless for a 3-50 person office and they can easily take on both MS SBS and Linux. Maybe a few ads, genius info, and VAR linkage and they really have something! (The X-Serve [c/w]ould work for most of these companies, buti think it was too intimidating of a solution.)

I don't think people realize how huge this really is.
post #33 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

If we're strictly talking about storage then eSATA really isn't in the equation.

Servers attached to external storage are dominated by

Ethernet connections and NAS or SAN or a combination of both.

The Mac mini server + DroboPro would be perfect for a SMB.

So with only one ethernet port, how do you also connect your Mini to your network so that it can actually act as a server? And don't say the Firewire port...

And yes, you could use a separate router, but then you're still stuck with the problem that the Mini needs to access both the Drobo and the network at the same time. Thus limiting the amount of data which can, for instance, be read from the Drobo and then streamed to other devices on your network at the same time.

Edit: ok, right, use FW800 for the Drobo. But then we still have the problem that FW800 doesn't maximize the speed of accessing files on your storage device, which is where I started.
 
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post #34 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

The Mac mini server + DroboPro would be perfect for a SMB.

How do you do the droboPro with this-- just fw800 and not iscsi?
post #35 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

So with only one ethernet port, how do you also connect your Mini to your network so that it can actually act as a server? And don't say the Firewire port...

Run it into a switch, add a NAS or DroboPro, add a time capsule for Wifi and tertiary storage and perhaps Cloud storage a la Dropbox. Voila

Disaster Recovery for SMB.
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post #36 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post



The Mac mini server + DroboPro would be perfect for a SMB.

I'd personally run two mirrored SSD (SLC) for the boot drive and add an external
NAS via iSCSI.

All could be done for sub $1499 easily.

I'm looking to switch my business software ( PM and EMR) to Mac software and this *may* be exactly what I'm looking for.

Do you know if the two internal HDDs mirror each other or would I need to buy software to do that?
post #37 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

How do you do the droboPro with this-- just fw800 and not iscsi?


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post #38 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

I'm looking to switch my business software ( PM and EMR) to Mac software and this *may* be exactly what I'm looking for.

Do you know if the two internal HDDs mirror each other or would I need to buy software to do that?

backtomac you can use built in RAID utility to set up a mirror without having to spend another nickel.
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post #39 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

backtomac you can use built in RAID utility to set up a mirror without having to spend another nickel.

Awesome!

I've contacted my SW vendor to get their opinion on this new mini server but it looks like it'll be ideal for my purposes and the price is right.
post #40 of 114
Let's not forget that Apple's done a nice revision with Snow Leopard Server

http://www.macworld.com/article/1432...rd_server.html

Stuff like Addressbook server Mobile Access Server and improved email and calendar make
this the right time to deliver a mini based Server.

I've been clamoring for an affordable server from Apple and they've finally delivered. I imagine the tie in with a potential tablet and the affordability of setting up push email/calendaring will make the sales of this product explode.
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