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Apple quietly updates Mac mini line with faster chips

post #1 of 59
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Alongside a complete revamp of its iMac product line on Wednesday, Apple Computer also quietly updated its petite line of Mac mini desktop computers with faster Intel Core Duo processors at no additional cost.

The $799 model now includes a 1.83 GHz Intel Core Duo processor, up from 1.66 GHz Intel Core Duo processor. Meanwhile, the $599 model now includes a 1.66 GHz Intel Core Duo processor, up from a 1.5 GHz Intel Core Solo processor.

Updates to the Mac mini line had previously been rumored, but a posting to an overseas Web site that suggested Apple would include a SuperDrive in the new low-end model now appears to be inaccurate. The 1.66GHz Mac mini continues to sport a slot-loading Combo drive.

Also on Wednesday, Apple today announced that it has transitioned its entire iMac line to Intel's new Core 2 Duo (Merom) processors, delivering up to 50 percent faster performance than the previous iMac Core Duo models. Additionally, a new 24-inch iMac with a stunning 24-inch widescreen was introduced into the iMac family.

The new iMac lineup includes four models: a 1.83 GHz and a 2.0 GHz 17-inch, a 2.16 GHz 20-inch and the all-new 2.16 GHz 24-inch iMac. The 17-inch iMac now starts at just $999 and the 20-inch model at just $1499.
post #2 of 59
This is awesome, now I officially have a reason to get desktop Mac!

I'll probably choose the iMac, though.

(My Macbook and future iMac, now I have all my bases covered!)
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post #3 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eduardo

This is awesome, now I officially have reason to get desktop Mac!

I'll probably choose the iMac, though.

Yeah, at 999 for the low end 17 in. iMac model, the Mac Mini just doesn't much sense
post #4 of 59
Nice to see the base model get dual cores, but I still want to see it drop back down to $499.

Disappointment on the high end, that's barely an improvement at all. Doesn't compare well with the iMac or Macbook.
post #5 of 59
I am waiting to pick up the new high end mini. The Apple Store doesn't yet have it in stock. How many days does it typically take for their stores to receive the new products?
post #6 of 59
What impresses me is that Steve isn't saving this stuff for his special event next week.
He must have enough other good stuff to feel he doesn't need these to WOW the audience.
I'm particularly surprised that the intro of the 24" iMac is without any fanfare.
post #7 of 59
$999 for a desk top with gma 950 and laptop ram is a joke as well as forceing you to get a bigger screen to get a better video card on the high end and they still have laptop ram in them.
Where is the headless mac?
post #8 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_the_dragon

as well as forceing you to get a bigger screen to get a better video card

I don't know where you get that from. They offer two 17" models, with or without dedicated graphics, and you get other upgrades with the dedicated graphics model too.
post #9 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_the_dragon

$999 for a desk top with gma 950 and laptop ram is a joke as well as forceing you to get a bigger screen to get a better video card

I don't know where you get that from, they offer two 17" models, with or without dedicated graphics, and you get other upgrades with the dedicated graphics model too.
post #10 of 59
I just went to Apple Store and configured similarly specd Mac mini and iMac.

Both have
512MB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 2x256
Intel GMA 950 graphics with 64MB of shared memory
160GB Serial ATA drive
Apple Remote (*not standard with iMac)
Apple Wired Keyboard & Mighty Mouse Kits (*not standard with mini)


The Mac mini has a................................................T he iMac has a...
1.83GHz Intel Core Duo.........................................1.83GH z Intel Core 2 Duo
SuperDrive 8x (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)........24x Combo Drive (DVD-ROM, CD-RW)
Built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0.............Built-in AirPort Extreme
.................................................. ............................17-inch widescreen LCD

Final price Mac mini:$1077.................................. iMac:$1028
post #11 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM

I don't know where you get that from, they offer two 17" models, with or without dedicated graphics, and you get other upgrades with the dedicated graphics model too.

You have to go to the 20" just to be able to pay more for more vram or go to the 24" to be to pay more for a GeForce 7600 GT and a desk top at $2000 with a laptop cpu and ram is a joke.
post #12 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_the_dragon

You have to go to the 20" just to be able to pay more for more vram or go to the 24" to be to pay more for a GeForce 7600 GT and a desk top at $2000 with a laptop cpu and ram is a joke.

It's not a joke. You look at Macs and try to squeeze them into your box. That doesn't work at all. What you should be doing is looking at how well Macs do what they're meant to do and whether what it does is worth the money.

An iMac has the benefit of being 1-2-3 set-up with a built in monitor - which is a nice plus if you're not a computer person. You don't have to worry about getting a monitor or speakers or keyboard/mouse separately. It also minimizes the amount of space on the desk. All of these are major factors if you're a home user. What sells it is that you spend $1500 for a 20" iMac with x1600 and you get a mid-range processor (it's a Core 2 Duo > 2 GHz), a decent HDD w/ a gig of RAM. You also get a 20 inch screen ($300 value), ok speakers (a $20 value), and a webcam ($40-50). That compares well to a 2.13 GHz Conroe system if you would use the monitor and webcam.
post #13 of 59
What's funny is now that there is a core duo on the low end mini it no longer offers you the option of adding a superdrive for $50. Goddamn it apple I love you but I hate you.
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post #14 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_the_dragon

You have to go to the 20" just to be able to pay more for more vram or go to the 24" to be to pay more for a GeForce 7600 GT and a desk top at $2000 with a laptop cpu and ram is a joke.

Buddy like jeff said there are TWO 17" imacs now one with dedicated vram and one without.

Nothing major changed in the 17" all they did was add the 17" education model to the line up.
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post #15 of 59
I have to be honest, this minimal update leaves me wondering if they're looking to kill off the mini.
post #16 of 59
PMJOE,

Yeah, that was a 'freescale' type update wasn't it. Hardly worth the wait. Wish Apple would have dropped the prices a bit as well. Oh well I guess I expect to much.
post #17 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac

Yeah, that was a 'freescale' type update wasn't it. Hardly worth the wait. Wish Apple would have dropped the prices a bit as well. Oh well I guess I expect to much.

Well, to me it suggests a different level of commitment to the iMac than the mini, though the iMac update wasn't anything huge either (but at least there was some design effort involved, not just dropping in new chips).

I also think Apple constrained themselves with the size of the mini. An inch bigger in one direction and a half inch in another probably opens up all kinds of options that are really difficult in the current size constraints. I mean their isn't even room for more ports on the back if they thought it was necessary, use cheaper 3.5" drives, or you could design the same motherboard to handle a couple of graphics chip options. Or just extra space for a hotter CPU.
post #18 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmjoe

Well, to me it suggests a different level of commitment to the iMac than the mini, though the iMac update wasn't anything huge either (but at least there was some design effort involved, not just dropping in new chips).

I also think Apple constrained themselves with the size of the mini. An inch bigger in one direction and a half inch in another probably opens up all kinds of options that are really difficult in the current size constraints. I mean their isn't even room for more ports on the back if they thought it was necessary, use cheaper 3.5" drives, or you could design the same motherboard to handle a couple of graphics chip options. Or just extra space for a hotter CPU.

Why not use Core 2 chips since intel priced them the same as core duos were when the intel mini was introed? If core duos are cheaper in price (more likely IMO) why not pass some savings on to the consumer? The imac got a better chip, a faster clock speed and the 17" and 20" got price drops. I would have preferred conroe but all in all a pretty solid upgrade for iMac. The mini OTOH...
post #19 of 59
Joe you are turning out to be the kind who complains no matter what.

The logic is not that difficult to grasp. Its more likely the majority of people who would care about a more expensive dedicated graphics card would also want a larger screen and faster processor. Ergo the 24" configuration.

People who care more about price would care less about dedicated graphics and screen size. Which would be the far majority of the computer market, ergo the IG 17" configuration.

There probably is the odd ball out there who would like to have a 13" monitor with the latest card, but that's not representative of the majority.

I do agree though that Apple should lower to price of the mini. Its not at all a good deal in comparison with the $999 iMac now.
post #20 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella

What impresses me is that Steve isn't saving this stuff for his special event next week.
He must have enough other good stuff to feel he doesn't need these to WOW the audience.
I'm particularly surprised that the intro of the 24" iMac is without any fanfare.

He will probably demo his movie store with these machines, and doesn't want to waste time going over the specs.
post #21 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell

Joe you are turning out to be the kind who complains no matter what.

The logic is not that difficult to grasp. Its more likely the majority of people who would care about a more expensive dedicated graphics card would also want a larger screen and faster processor. Ergo the 24" configuration.

People who care more about price would care less about dedicated graphics and screen size. Which would be the far majority of the computer market, ergo the IG 17" configuration.

There probably is the odd ball out there who would like to have a 13" monitor with the latest card, but that's not representative of the majority.

I do agree though that Apple should lower to price of the mini. Its not at all a good deal in comparison with the $999 iMac now.

there are a majority of people who have a good monitor and want a mac but need more power then a mini but don't need the power of a mac pro.
post #22 of 59
An interesting note, the refurbished 1.66 Rev A (Best) Mini's are $50 more than the current 1.66 Rev B (entry) Mini's. For that it looks like you get a DVD burner (aka Super Drive) and a larger hard disk. 17" 1.83 Ghz refurbished iMac is $949, and 20" 2 Ghz refurbished iMac is $1199.
post #23 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_the_dragon

there are a majority of people who have a good monitor and want a mac but need more power then a mini but don't need the power of a mac pro.

First things first. Please put a little bit of care to your writing. You have a tendency to write run-on sentences and leave out proper capitalization.

Another, while I think there is a large untapped demand for an Apple consumer tower, I doubt they are the majority, unless you are misusing the word majority. Most computer users are not gamers and most computer users don't need a special graphics chip. I do think Apple should release a consumer tower, but the topic has been beaten to death.
post #24 of 59
I agree Apple needs another desktop. But that has nothing to do with how they configure the iMac.
post #25 of 59
Joe -

Apple can't appeal to everyone. That group is a lot smaller than the "iMac group" or the "Mac Pro" group. What monitor do you expect them to have? If they have something better than a 20" widescreen, they won't be happy with a Merom and a x1600.

You personally want an x1800 or an x1900 with a 2.4 or 2.67 GHz Conroe in a mini-tower w/ 2 GB RAM standard, and CF or SLI options, as well as 2-3 harddrives. That's probably not going to happen, but that's what'll satisfy you.

If there is an xMac (which remains an if) it'll have a 2.13 or 2.4 GHz Conroe w/ 1 GB of RAM and a 7600GT or a x1800GTO w/ 2 drives and no crossfire.

Just accept that Apple isn't going to release the computer you want. They are too small of a company to start adding models left and right. This was only possible because the Mac Pro moved to a totally BTO set-up. You've been asking Apple for the same thing here and on slashdot, and it's not going to happen.
post #26 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac

Why not use Core 2 chips since intel priced them the same as core duos were when the intel mini was introed? If core duos are cheaper in price (more likely IMO) why not pass some savings on to the consumer? The imac got a better chip, a faster clock speed and the 17" and 20" got price drops. I would have preferred conroe but all in all a pretty solid upgrade for iMac. The mini OTOH...

Because apple doesn't pay the prices on the lists. They're likely getting yonahs cheaper than meroms now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZachPruckowski

Just accept that Apple isn't going to release the computer you want. They are too small of a company to start adding models left and right. This was only possible because the Mac Pro moved to a totally BTO set-up. You've been asking Apple for the same thing here and on slashdot, and it's not going to happen.

People don't want a ton of new models, they just want a midtower. It could simply be one model with bto, just like the mac pro is. That's a big part of the appeal of a tower, it can be configured easily with different cpu, ram, hard drives, optical drives, video cards etc.
post #27 of 59
this was a bit underwhelming wasn't? dare i say the beginning of the end of the mini...?
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post #28 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmjoe

I have to be honest, this minimal update leaves me wondering if they're looking to kill off the mini.

Calm down man, this bump is obviously just to drain inventory of the 1.66ghz and 1.83ghz chips.

They don't have to do that to the 2.0ghz chips because a lot of apple's line up used those.

Also the mini has a 160gb bto option now, which probably next week will go into the macbook and macbook pro.

I'm sure pleny of people will buy the 1.66 mini for 599, if you're a basic computer user and you already have a screen it's well worth it.

I know my mom will probably be getting one soon.
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post #29 of 59
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post #30 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by tubgirl

this was a bit underwhelming wasn't? dare i say the beginning of the end of the mini...?

I doubt it, Apple just needs to get them back down to $499 and $699 (w/SuperDrive) so that they can be used to attract customers into looking at Macs that wouldn't without a computer down at that price level, and hopefully sell enough to be profitable while the iMac specs and monitor convince more people to buy that instead of the Mini.
post #31 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder

Nice to see the base model get dual cores, but I still want to see it drop back down to $499.

Disappointment on the high end, that's barely an improvement at all. Doesn't compare well with the iMac or Macbook.

Does it seem like Apple just doesn't want anyone to buy the Mini?
With the new $999 iMac, the Mini should have either received the newer Core 2 Duo chips or a $100 price decrease.
Really odd.
post #32 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder

Nice to see the base model get dual cores, but I still want to see it drop back down to $499.

Disappointment on the high end, that's barely an improvement at all. Doesn't compare well with the iMac or Macbook.

Does it seem like Apple just doesn't want anyone to buy the Mini?
With the new $999 iMac, the Mini should have either received the newer Core 2 Duo chips or a $100 price decrease.
Really odd.
post #33 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder

Nice to see the base model get dual cores, but I still want to see it drop back down to $499.

Disappointment on the high end, that's barely an improvement at all. Doesn't compare well with the iMac or Macbook.

Does it seem like Apple just doesn't want anyone to buy the Mini?
With the new $999 iMac, the Mini should have either received the newer Core 2 Duo chips or a $100 price decrease.
Really odd.
post #34 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCG

hopefully sell enough to be profitable while the iMac specs and monitor convince more people to buy that instead of the Mini.

If Apple's goal is to convince more people to buy the iMac instead, they may as well write the mini off as dead. Their goal should be to reach people who already have and are happy with their monitor, keyboard, mouse, (other peripherals), etc.; don't want to buy a all-in-one, throw away computer; and don't have the money for an expandable computer like the Mac Pro. They could easily do that in a scheme that is equally profitable to the iMac.
post #35 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve666

Does it seem like Apple just doesn't want anyone to buy the Mini?
With the new $999 iMac, the Mini should have either received the newer Core 2 Duo chips or a $100 price decrease.
Really odd.

I think apple just screwed themselves by making the box so small and requiring laptop parts. They just can't make the damn thing competitive.

At this point I think they might as well dump it in favor of a bigger box that allows the cheap parts and could have some expandability (for the same price or less).
post #36 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder

I think apple just screwed themselves by making the box so small and requiring laptop parts. They just can't make the damn thing competitive.

At this point I think they might as well dump it in favor of a bigger box that allows the cheap parts and could have some expandability (for the same price or less).

I agree 100%. With even just a slightly bigger box, they can use better, cheaper 3.5" drives with the option of faster 7200RPM. They could produce a cheap motherboard that might handle surface (or socket) mounting a couple different graphics processor options. They wouldn't be so cramped for space for the optical drive. They'd have more room for hotter CPUs.

I mean even adding an inch in width and depth and a half inch in height could make all the difference in the world, and it still would've been "mini". Unfortunately, Apple got so caught up in designing it to be the smallest computer possible, that they forgot to make a design they could grow with. Another option might be a slightly larger "maxi" case that still uses an improved mini motherboard, with a side bus connector for a specialized graphics card, but the cheapest way would be to just make the mini a bit bigger and put it all on the same motherboard.
post #37 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_the_dragon

there are a majority of people who have a good monitor and want a mac but need more power then a mini but don't need the power of a mac pro.

So set up both monitors in dual monitor mode and have twice the room. all the best features of the iMac and another screen. problem solved
post #38 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder

Because apple doesn't pay the prices on the lists. They're likely getting yonahs cheaper than meroms now.

I agree that's why I suggested that they should have lowered prices.
post #39 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder

Because apple doesn't pay the prices on the lists. They're likely getting yonahs cheaper than meroms now.

I agree that's why I suggested that they should have lowered prices.
post #40 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecking

Calm down man, this bump is obviously just to drain inventory of the 1.66ghz and 1.83ghz chips.

They don't have to do that to the 2.0ghz chips because a lot of apple's line up used those.

I agree. I sure we'll see a real update soon.
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