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Apple updates Mac mini and AirPort, adds Mac Pro RAID card

post #1 of 61
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Without fanfare, Apple Inc. on Tuesday unleashed a stealth refresh to its Mac mini desktop computer, upgraded its high-end Wi-Fi base station, and added a brand new RAID card option to its pro towers.

While AppleInsider remains confident that Apple ultimately intends to phase out the diminutive Mac, the Cupertino-based firm quietly updated existing models with faster processors on Tuesday.

Although Apple made no mention of the update during its media event or in the ensuing press releases, Apple chief operating officer Tim Cook confirmed the slight refresh during a Q&A session following the company's announcements. The subtle update to the Mac mini is the first in nearly a year.

The 2-inch tall systems are the last to receive a boost to Core 2 Duo processors, moving up from 1.66GHz and 1.83GHz Core Duo processors to 1.83GHz and 2.0GHz chips with a 667MHz system bus, similar to current MacBooks.

Memory and storage have also been upgraded, Apple says. Every model ships with 1GB of RAM, while hard disk space climbs from 60GB to 80GB on the base 1.83GHz model and from 80GB to 120GB for the 2.0GHz computer.

Both systems keep the same $599 (1.83GHz) and $799 (2.0GHz) price points as earlier systems, and are immediately available.

Two peripherals also reached the Apple Store on Tuesday without a separate announcement.

AirPort Extreme revision

The AirPort Extreme Base Station introduced in January now adds gigabit Ethernet without a price hike ($179).

PCI Express RAID card

Meanwhile, Mac Pro buyers can now also outfit their systems with a PCI Express RAID card that provides hardware acceleration for mirrored or striped disk arrays and enables new RAID 0+1 and 5 modes with both mirroring and striping. Previously, the Mac Pro depended on software RAID and was limited to either mirroring or striping alone.

The card adds $999 to the cost of a Mac Pro and, as of Tuesday, isn't available separately for existing Mac Pro users searching for an upgrade.
post #2 of 61
Updates to Airport Extreme are always welcome. Is this without an "unlock" pittance attached?
post #3 of 61
Now if Apple would just add the AppleTV 1.0 ports and software to it I could run EyeTV on it and get rid of my Tivo.
post #4 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The AirPort Extreme Base Station introduced in January now adds gigabit Ethernet without a price hike ($179).

If only this upgrade had occurred about three weeks ago when I had to replace my dead Netgear Gigabit Wireless N router. I bought an AirPort Extreme to replace it. (Too many reports on the Netgear forums about this router failing exactly as mine did after about 3 to 4 months.)

Ah well...
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post #5 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

While AppleInsider remains confident that Apple ultimately intends to phase out the diminutive Mac, the Cupertino-based firm quietly updated existing models with faster processors on Tuesday.

Personally I hope the mac mini stays around for a long while. Sure it could use a better update than what it got, but I personally love my mac mini. It's an AppleTV + DVR (when using EyeTV) + a fully functional computer.

And why must you continue to persist with your idea that the mac mini will be phased out, when you've clearly been proven wrong?
post #6 of 61
From the point of wanting to keep the product line-up as simple and easy to understand as their products themselves, it might make sense to merge the AppleTV and the Mac mini at some point.
post #7 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by NPrtmn4evr View Post

And why must you continue to persist with your idea that the mac mini will be phased out, when you've clearly been proven wrong?

Proven wrong? Far from it. All Apple have done is put in a pin-compatible CPU with slightly higher clock speed. That equals no engineering effort, meaning Apple haven't done any work on it for a very long time now. The mini smells more and more like a product that's on the way out.
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post #8 of 61
I would actually like to see a Mini that is smaller, perhaps without a built in optical drive, that always runs Front Row 2.0 or in the background, and that approaches the price of the Apple TV. perhaps they can discontinue the Apple TV then. Of course with a minor update to the graphics chip and its faster processor, it should be able to do 720 and 1080 HD material. a DVD drive with a 3.5" HDD bay could be offered as an accessory, either stackable or placed side by side in a living room system.
post #9 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsvisser View Post

I would actually like to see a Mini that is smaller, perhaps without a built in optical drive, that always runs Front Row 2.0 or in the background, and that approaches the price of the Apple TV.

Er... That is the AppleTV
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post #10 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Proven wrong? Far from it. All Apple have done is put in a pin-compatible CPU with slightly higher clock speed. That equals no engineering effort, meaning Apple haven't done any work on it for a very long time now. The mini smells more and more like a product that's on the way out.

Well, while I would have liked a Santa Rosa update the MB needs it just as much.

If the mini is to get a true rev I would expect after the MB rev since the MB is a much more important machine.

Dissapointing but better than a cancellation. And yes, AI was proven wrong. They reported the impending doom of the Mini on May 24:

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Therefore, it comes as little surprise that sources, for whom AppleInsider holds the utmost respect, are now pointing towards the mini's impending demise. For it's according to those people that the miniature Mac will soon follow in the wake of its similarly-proportioned counterparts of years past: the PowerBook 2400, the PowerMac G4 Cube, and, most recently, the 12-inch PowerBook.

It's August. They just did a refresh. There could be a variety of reasons they waited until now. Perhaps they had an exceptional deal on Yonahs from Intel that finally ran dry.

Either way a Mini cancellation sometime in 2008 does not satisfy "impending doom" or "soon follow" adjectives. The book sure as hell hasn't closed yet.

Vinea
post #11 of 61
Hi!

Just to let know that Apple also introduced a (non-PCI) RAID option for the xServe. Price is the same as the one for Mac Pro.

Yours

Miguel Arroz
post #12 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Either way a Mini cancellation sometime in 2008 does not satisfy "impending doom" or "soon follow" adjectives. The book sure as hell hasn't closed yet.

Well, we're into semantics now. The end of the AI article did say:

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider

Whether Apple will squeeze another revision from the mini, and how long it plans to allow existing models to linger, are both unclear.

Which I agree does somewhat contradict "impending doom".

However, I still don't think they've been proven wrong.
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post #13 of 61
Quote:
The AirPort Extreme Base Station introduced in January now adds gigabit Ethernet without a price hike ($179).

About time. I really don't understand why the first one didn't have it.
post #14 of 61
The lack of gigabit ethernet was my main gripe, glad they finally listened to all the complaints about it. I bought the first version after it came out. Now I will have to sell mine at a loss (which sucks), so I can buy the new one the way it should have been configured.
post #15 of 61
I bought an Apple Airport Extreme Base Station on July 31st from the Apple EDU store. Will Apple exchange it for me without charging a restocking fee? I'm on the phone now but it looks like it's going to be a long wait.
post #16 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Well, we're into semantics now. The end of the AI article did say:

If I say in bold type that you're going to die soon and you're still alive 3 months later I'm wrong even if I caveat it with "well, you might linger on too" later on. Because the caveat is clearly just CYA.

Quote:
However, I still don't think they've been proven wrong.

Well they sure are acting defensive about it.

Quote:
Although Apple made no mention of the update during its media event or in the ensuing press releases, Apple chief operating officer Tim Cook confirmed the slight refresh during a Q&A session following the company's announcements. The subtle update to the Mac mini is the first in nearly a year.

Lets see...the last update was a bump from core solo to core duo and a speed bump. The product was only launched Feb, 2006. This is a processor change and speed bump. Two minor revs in a year and a half.

It's their low end machine designed for low(er) cost of entry and upsell to the iMac or laptops. How much effort should anyone expect Apple to sink into the Mini? Its a 2" brick...its not like a redesign is going to improve it much.

Sure, Santa Rosa and 802.11N would have been nice. /shrug Maybe later, maybe never but AI was dead wrong about the timing.

Vinea
post #17 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

If I say in bold type that you're going to die soon

Oh man, how bad are you going to feel if I get crushed by a falling rhinoceros tomorrow?
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post #18 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Oh man, how bad are you going to feel if I get crushed by a falling rhinoceros tomorrow?

Let us know, won't you? That will keep me up nights!
post #19 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by lantzn View Post

Now if Apple would just add the AppleTV 1.0 ports and software to it I could run EyeTV on it and get rid of my Tivo.

If Apple would just buy ElGato and put all their functionality into the mini, we could just get rid of AppleTV.
post #20 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsvisser View Post

I would actually like to see a Mini that is smaller, perhaps without a built in optical drive, that always runs Front Row 2.0 or in the background, and that approaches the price of the Apple TV. perhaps they can discontinue the Apple TV then. Of course with a minor update to the graphics chip and its faster processor, it should be able to do 720 and 1080 HD material. a DVD drive with a 3.5" HDD bay could be offered as an accessory, either stackable or placed side by side in a living room system.

Exactly what do you do with regards to OS upgrades or large software installs? Leaving out the optical drive doesn't make any sense for a non-mobile machine unless it's a not going to be used as a computer. Even for a mobile computer it doesn't make sense yet to drop the optical drive.
post #21 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by killerapp View Post

If Apple would just buy ElGato and put all their functionality into the mini, we could just get rid of AppleTV.

Yes, apple should go on a mad buying spree until they control the world
post #22 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpiddly View Post

Yes, apple should go on a mad buying spree until they control the world

Its all good. Maybe when they control the world they can fix the falling rhinoceros problem that we are all worried about...
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post #23 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The 2-inch tall systems .......

Given the recent AI penchant for how everything is "1-inch thin" or whatever-inch thin, shouldn't it be "2-inch short systems...."

post #24 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Given the recent AI penchant for how everything is "1-inch thin" or whatever-inch thin, shouldn't it be "2-inch short systems...."


Unfortunately, it's not just AI. I've noticed that sort of attempted psychological manipulation on notebook marketing from pretty much all the brands. AI probably took the cue from Apple. It's an epidemic in TV marketing too.
post #25 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by NPrtmn4evr View Post

Personally I hope the mac mini stays around for a long while. Sure it could use a better update than what it got, but I personally love my mac mini. It's an AppleTV + DVR (when using EyeTV) + a fully functional computer.

And why must you continue to persist with your idea that the mac mini will be phased out, when you've clearly been proven wrong?

Here, here!!!

The Mini in da bomb for alot of people and it is merely self-agrandizing, pseudo-marketeering wannabe-ism to predict its end much less advocate for its end.

It is selling.
It is paying above and beyond its R&D costs in profits.
It is helping with wholesale purchases of laptop components.
It is a hackers favorite.
It is a mods favorite - 'a la integration into robots, automobiles, etc.
It is the future - 'a la aTV.

Reports of its demise are grossly exxagerated and it fills a niche that needs filling.
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post #26 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacGregor View Post

Here, here!!!
The Mini in da bomb for alot of people and it is merely self-agrandizing, pseudo-marketeering wannabe-ism to predict its end much less advocate for its end.

I'm watching Steve Jobs trying to make a latin tune in Garage Band, and he's so funny . Indeed, the Mac Mini is a bargain buy for someone who wants a fast and solid Intel 2 Core Duo unit. A very cheap option for just $599 ($549 with education discount).

The only setback I can see is that the updated unit doesn't ship with built-in 802.11n wireless (just the slower 802.11g). Or am I mistaken and the enabler software could fix that ? Any ideas?
post #27 of 61
Now with 1 GB Ram its a better deal. For web surfing perhaps it would be Ok now to get a Mini and a 17 inch LCD. Figure $200 for the LCD and its $799 vs. $1199 for the cheapest iMac. Better graphics card and a webcam I'll never use. Hmmmmmmmm
post #28 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve666 View Post

Now with 1 GB Ram its a better deal. For web surfing perhaps it would be Ok now to get a Mini and a 17 inch LCD. Figure $200 for the LCD and its $799 vs. $1199 for the cheapest iMac. Better graphics card and a webcam I'll never use. Hmmmmmmmm

Or you can just buy a refurbished 17 inch iMac for just $849. I'm torn . The new Mac Mini comes with new software though (and with Leopard in October).
post #29 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delfoniq View Post

Or you can just buy a refurbished 17 inch iMac for just $849. I'm torn . The new Mac Mini comes with new software though (and with Leopard in October).

Yeh, thats an option also. Just never been crazy about all in ones, al;though my nieces G3 iMac 400 DV is still going strong.
post #30 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Proven wrong? Far from it. All Apple have done is put in a pin-compatible CPU with slightly higher clock speed. That equals no engineering effort, meaning Apple haven't done any work on it for a very long time now. The mini smells more and more like a product that's on the way out.

Right. Exactly like they did with the MacBook upgrade. That must be destined for oblivion too.
post #31 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by fazekas View Post

The lack of gigabit ethernet was my main gripe, glad they finally listened to all the complaints about it. I bought the first version after it came out. Now I will have to sell mine at a loss (which sucks), so I can buy the new one the way it should have been configured.

I would wait for some benchmarks. The previous version was disappointingly slow at hosting a USB drive. I hope they've fixed that and the performance over gigabit is ok. Hopefully they've bumped the CPU and gave it more RAM.
post #32 of 61
Nice to see the Mini still around. Sure it could have gotten a better upgrade but it still fills a niche in the market.
post #33 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delfoniq View Post

I'm watching Steve Jobs trying to make a latin tune in Garage Band, and he's so funny . Indeed, the Mac Mini is a bargain buy for someone who wants a fast and solid Intel 2 Core Duo unit. A very cheap option for just $599 ($549 with education discount).

The only setback I can see is that the updated unit doesn't ship with built-in 802.11n wireless (just the slower 802.11g). Or am I mistaken and the enabler software could fix that ? Any ideas?

Well, it took a few months after the 802.11n enabler was released to the public before Apple got around to updating the specs of the other Macs to reflect the new wireless options. Perhaps the same might be true of the Mini. I'd doubt it, though.

The first of the upgraded Minis should be shipping about nowish, so I guess it'll be possible to get an answer soon.
post #34 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by lfmorrison View Post

The first of the upgraded Minis should be shipping about nowish, so I guess it'll be possible to get an answer soon.

Let's hope the new ones ship with 802.11n enabled. Still, nothing on the specs about this though. Something on the side, has anybody noticed the FrontRow update? The new version gives you a video preview of your avi and mp4 files similarly to the Apple TV .
post #35 of 61
Maybe I'm missing something here!

From what I have observed the Mac Mini has followed the same path that all Apple's other computers have followed.

It was introduced in 2006 and since has been updated every so often with better spec's. Why would they change the shape so soon? The last iMac was introduced in 2004 I think so it's due a new form factor. Apple doesn't update it's computers every five minutes like some manufacturers. I can't see any reason why Apple would want to kill it off as it's a great entry level machine.

Maybe Apple will morph the Mac Mini and AppleTV into one home media centre - that would make sense. Then maybe we will see built in TV tuners, etc.

Long live the Mac Mini!!
post #36 of 61
"Ultimately" is an awfully ambigious word AI ! Whoever made this claim should have put their rep on the line and given us a clear timeline for the Minis "ultimate demise".

Afterall, Steve Jobs will 'ultimately' retire, ultimately the sun will go supernova and ultimately Apple Inc. will be no more. Useless information for the medium short term.
post #37 of 61
"While AppleInsider remains confident that Apple ultimately intends to phase out the diminutive Mac, . . ."

That's like a weather man who incorrectly predicted rain for today saying, "Well, it will rain one of these days."
post #38 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Oh man, how bad are you going to feel if I get crushed by a falling rhinoceros tomorrow?

I saw you post today. You made it...I guess I was wrong eh?
post #39 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

I saw you post today. You made it...I guess I was wrong eh?

Still an hour of today to go...
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post #40 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post


Lets see...the last update was a bump from core solo to core duo and a speed bump. The product was only launched Feb, 2006. This is a processor change and speed bump. Two minor revs in a year and a half.

It's their low end machine designed for low(er) cost of entry and upsell to the iMac or laptops. How much effort should anyone expect Apple to sink into the Mini? Its a 2" brick...its not like a redesign is going to improve it much.

Sure, Santa Rosa and 802.11N would have been nice. /shrug Maybe later, maybe never but AI was dead wrong about the timing.

Vinea

Vinea, you seem to have done your homework on the upgraded Mini. Do you know if the graphics card has its own memory now? If not, how much RAM would you recommend? I think 2 is offered?
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