Apple Mac mini Review (Mid 2010)

by Anand Lal Shimpi on 8/9/2010 3:37 AM EST
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  • AstroGuardian - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    Now we just sit and wait until some problems show up like overheating, melting of refurbished hard drives, security issues bla bla bla.... This starts to be a trend in Apple equipment.. Reply
  • solipsism - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    Curious, which new Macs use “refurbished” HDDs? Reply
  • Pirks - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    Wintroll's ones, obviously. Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - link

    He might use Ubuntu.

    Either way, he does have a point and the more people that defend Apple, the more they get away with things. Just look at End'Gadget.. many posts asked them to modify their review of the iPhone 4 but did they? Nope.

    Oh well
    Reply
  • Wizzdo - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    Yup, troll above. With the wonderfully low power consumption I would imagine the Mini will be extremely dependable. Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - link

    Probably, but remember, it's going to be mass produced so a few bad eggs will get in there Reply
  • slb14 - Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - link

    You must be confusing this with a Dell.
    Sorry, troll points are not awarded here.
    Reply
  • Stokestack - Sunday, August 15, 2010 - link

    "overheating, melting of refurbished hard drives, security issues bla"

    You're obviously desperate for attention. Why waste your time posting this instead of a legitimate point?

    When it comes to the Mini, there's one glaring legitimate gripe: THE PRICE. It's a cool product, but grossly overpriced. It's mystifying why Apple bothers with it at this point. If they're overpricing it to avoid cannabilizing other sales, then why continue to make it?

    They should've dropped the price by $200 and replaced the iTV with it. But again, that's counter to Apple's new goal: get rid of real computers and replace them all with locked-down devices running iOS. Again, why bother updating anything resembling a real computer in the product lineup? A smokescreen?
    Reply
  • MySchizoBuddy - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    an article about using 10+ mac mini for a render farm or HPC solution would be great. Reply
  • jasperjones - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    now that wouldn't be exactly cost-effective ducy? Reply
  • DaveGirard - Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - link

    seriously - I use a Mac Pro Nehalem for Maya and if I had to build a network of headless slaves, this would be an expensive and underperforming option. You could make a vanilla i7 for less and it would destroy this machine for rendering. Nice to see this is a great mini server/HTPC but it's not for performance. Reply
  • name99 - Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - link

    Why would you engage in such a stupid enterprise?

    Apple is NOT selling you a bunch of MIPs here at the lowest possible cost. They are selling you a device that runs MacOSX, with IO options adequate for most users, that is low power and small.
    If you do not need any of these capabilities, then buying such a computer is stupid.

    Or, to put it another, don't buy a package of, what, 10GFlops AND a reasonable quality GPU AND two video ports AND FW8000 AND OSX AND a small form factor, and then complain that the package costs more than this other package consisting of 10GFlops and nothing else.

    But if this device meets your needs, it's great --- I got a previous gen mini for HTPC, and it does what it is meant to do, at a price I found acceptable.
    Reply
  • JAS - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    I bought one of these to run a public kiosk display (Apple Keynote program on a loop). Beyond its good looks, the new Mac Mini provides more than enough horsepower for what most "normal" people use computers for -- web browsers, media playback, e-mail, word processing and so forth. I like how access to the RAM has been made easy and the addition of the HDMI and SD connectors.

    My only significant criticism of the new Mac Mini is its retail price. It ought to be $50 to $100 less to be considered an "entry level" Macintosh.
    Reply
  • nafhan - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    I agree from a computing aspect, but it really ought to be about $200 - $300 less to be considered a good computer for the average home user. Especially since they will have to spring another $100+ for a monitor/mouse/keyboard right off the bat. Reply
  • Steve W - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    The idea behind the Mac Mini is that you DON'T have to spring for a "monitor/mouse/keyboard" if you are the average switcher. If you need a monitor, then the iMac is a better buy. Reply
  • Ratman6161 - Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - link

    Given that it does not come with those items? The only way you would not need them is if you just happened to already have them. But if you were buying this as a second computer etc that might not be the case. Reply
  • tipoo - Friday, September 10, 2010 - link

    Exactly. Once you add a monitor, keyboard and mouse into the price, you are into iMac price territory, and the iMac is still alot faster. Reply
  • LtGoonRush - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    I don't understand why 7200rpm 2.5" HDDs aren't more popular. The cost difference isn't very large, on a 320GB drive it only amounts to $5. The performance difference isn't Earth-shattering, but given the price of the system it seems hard to justify cutting this corner, along with shaving off 2GB of RAM as called out in the review. Reply
  • Minion4Hire - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    I've heard both power and noise concerns given as reasons (besides cost as you mentioned) why 7200s aren't as popular. Both are pretty minor, but those are valid reasons. Reply
  • Shark Tek - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    The main reason of why they aren't popular is a very valid one.

    HEAT...

    A good example is one about the PS3 HD upgrade. They recommend 5400rpm disks due to problems of overheating using a faster one.
    Reply
  • MonkeyPaw - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    I don't understand why it has to keep getting smaller and smaller. The original Mini is by no means a monster. I remember setting an old FX5900 on my old G4 mini, and I laughed that the card stuck out about 2" on each side.

    I guess my point is that I would have rather seen Apple boost the specs all around as opposed to shrinking the package (and raising the price). Apple continues to miss the boat (at least my boat, anyway) when it comes to price/features. I just don't think Apple cares about market share. They want to continue to sell overpriced items to a smaller audience. I guess that's fine, as they seem to make nice profits doing so. But the original Mini made me buy my first mac, and eventually I bought an iBook and a dual-G5. The dual G5 became mysteriously crash-happy, and I haven't been back since. Appke just can't draw me back in yet, not with this price/product.
    Reply
  • thunng8 - Thursday, August 12, 2010 - link

    That is not correct anymore these days. Modern 7200rpm 2.5" hard drives are only marginally hotter than the 5400rpm variety. It would make no difference in a mac mini enclosure. Reply
  • woutersamaey - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    It would've been nice to read more on the Mac Mini with Mac OS X Server. To my opinion, it looks like an interesting SOHO server. It has faster (2 of them) 7200 rpm disks and 4 GB of RAM. Reply
  • solipsism - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    Anand wrote, "With no DMI/QPI enabled NVIDIA chipsets, Apple is either going to have to increase the physical size of many of its products to transition to newer Intel CPUs with 3rd party GPUs or live with Intel/AMD integrated graphics going forward. I'm very curious to see how this plays out over the next 12 - 18 months.”

    There is plenty of space when they remove the ODD. It’s obvious they aren’t going to move to Blu-ray if they haven’t in August 2010 and haven’t even added AACS to Mac OS X.

    The ODD is large, slow, prone to breaking and goes unused by most consumers these days. To put it into perspective takes up 25% of the 13” MB/MBP footprint, as well as 5” of port-side space which all Mac notebooks could use.

    On top of that, there is no 9.5mm Ultra-Slim Slot-Loading BRD that would be feasible for the needs of a company obsessed with thin.

    Honestly, Anand, if they haven’t added AACS to Mac OS X, added the option to their Mac Pros with full-sized ODDs, and left their optical disc authoring apps to rot why would you even expect this to arrive in such a svelte machine as the Mac Mini.
    Reply
  • Ratman6161 - Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - link

    ...because that isn't what this system uses. Take a look at the page in the review where they show pictures of the system torn down and talk about the Nvidia GeForce 320M and go on to say "The 320M has the graphics, memory controller, SATA controller, PCIe and USB interfaces. " The 320M seems to be a common part on Windows based laptops so it's nothing special - but it isn't Intel. Reply
  • larson0699 - Wednesday, August 11, 2010 - link

    @solipsism: The new mini also has a server edition ($1k, apple.com/macmini/server), 2 HDD, no ODD, though none of that open vertical space helps the limited real estate of the motherboard itself.

    @Ratman6161: As far as I can tell, only Apple has used the GeForce 320M thus far -- you may have mistaken that for the GeForce GT 320M, the former being an IGP and the latter a discrete GPU. Notebookcheck is a great place to compare mobile GPUs by specs, 3DMark scores, and their uses among OEMs, and that's where I learned of the similarly named IGP.
    Reply
  • mschira - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    How does the Mac mini fare with a contemporary medium demading game, such as Starcraft 2?
    Best
    M.
    Reply
  • jabber - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    For that price and application I would want a BD drive in it.

    I mean a BD drive would be what? An extra $50 (real world price) bu then the Apple price would be an extra $200.

    Hmmmm.
    Reply
  • Johnmcl7 - Wednesday, August 11, 2010 - link

    Not just the cost but also a threat to streaming HD content from Itunes which seems to be another reason for not having blu-ray according to Steve Jobs.

    I agree with you though hence I bought a Dell Studio Hybrid which is a very similar machine in that it uses laptop component but it also has a blu-ray drive - I'm surprised it didn't get a mention at all in the article.

    John
    Reply
  • PrincePickle - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    At least Apple is concentraiting on bringing decent GPU's to their lineups. The industry as a whole has been slacking with educating consumers on the benifits of discrete GPU's. Reply
  • AssBall - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    Yeah, that 45 fps at 800x600 in WoW is killer, Dude.

    wtf
    Reply
  • Tros - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/2921/4

    19 fps on an overclocked Intel integrated GPU (i3 generation). I'd say going with NVidia's GPU was the better choice by at least two-fold for gaming.
    Reply
  • thunng8 - Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - link

    Thats right, a standard clocked Intel GPU gets approx 12.5-15fps or less than 1/3rd the performance of the Nvidia 320M Reply
  • retrospooty - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    "Apple calls the new Mac mini the world’s most energy-efficient desktop computer"

    Nice thing to call it, considering its really a laptop with no LCD. Gotta love Job's spin. ROFL
    Reply
  • thunng8 - Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - link

    Why is it spin if it is correct? Reply
  • jihe - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    Ridiculously overpriced. Might as well get a laptop and hack off the lcd. Any one care to compare this to a laptop at the same price level? Reply
  • Tros - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    1) NVidia chipset laptops are hard to find. I imagine this is something like when AMD-powered Dell machines were non-existent.
    2) Compare it and realize what? Power consumption on the Mac-mini is already lower than it's low-voltage netbook counterpart. Would you compare a T8600 to a T8600?

    And yeah, the initial cost is a lot more. But have you considered the cost over time? Even if the ION system was cheaper, the cost-over-time curve has a higher slope because of power consumption and build quality. The Mac-Mini is the better investment for the long-run. Well, unless you replace your HTPC every year, but who has that kind of money?
    Reply
  • jihe - Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - link

    1) NVidia chipset laptops are everywhere.

    2) Turn off the screen of your laptop and see how much power it consumes.

    The mac mini is half an outdated laptop, for much more than the price of one.
    Reply
  • name99 - Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - link

    A laptop that runs MacOS X?

    If you are not in the market for such a machine, fine, but don't pretend you're making deep philosophical points by ignoring this issue.
    I don't give a damn about motorbikes. The difference between you and me is that I don't feel a compulsive need to read articles on motorbikes and then offer up my opinion on devices that I have never owned and will never own.

    20% or so of the US market feels the overall value of Apple products, from the OS to the generally higher reliability to the much better resale value (or, if you prefer, longer usable lifetime) make them worth buying. If you're not in that group, fine, but is your life really so empty that, rather than going door to door asking people if they have heard the word of god, you feel a need to engage in the equivalent behavior wrt a commercial purchase? "Excuse me, ma'am, but have you heard the words of Bill Gates, and how they can save your dollars and the dollars of your loved ones?"
    Reply
  • ManjyomeThunder - Wednesday, August 11, 2010 - link

    20%? I hope you're talking about iPhones and not Macintoshes, Considering OS X (all versions) hold around a total of MAYBE 10% of the US market. Reply
  • iwodo - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    By end of 2012, we should be able fit Sandy Bridge, 4GB Ram, SSD, and a much faster GFX within the same size. Reply
  • james.jwb - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    We will never get to the end of 2012 :) Reply
  • tech6 - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    The Apple box is nice but its too bad Apple feels the same way about Blue Ray than they do about Flash (and SSDs apparently).

    The ASRock i3 based box reviewed earlier is much better value for those seeking an HTPC. For around $700 it delivers i3 performance, a remote as well as BD.
    Reply
  • Oscarcharliezulu - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link


    Is the CPU soldered in place? No chance of diy CPU upgrades?
    Reply
  • futurepastnow - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    Yes, it is. Can't you tell just by looking at it? Reply
  • Ratman6161 - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    It's almost as if they scoured their parts bins for the parts that were obsolete and would otherwise be thrown out and stuck them in a white plastic box and slapped a $699 price tag on it. It may be the cheapest way to get a new OS X system - but it seems to me like Apple has lost it's way with this product. If the goal were to lure new OS X users, I suppose I could see this if it were priced at about $300.

    I know Apple people hate price comparisons with Windows PC's but since the hardware is basically identical these days, the comparisons are inescapable. I recently bought my wife a new HP laptop at Best Buy. It has an i3 330M (which blows away the 2.4 GHZ core 2 duo in my Dell laptop by the way), has 4 GB of RAM and a 500 GB 7200 RPM hard drive. And of course the laptop has to include a screen as well. It cost $649.00 + tax. Given spare parts bin components being used, there is just no way that the Mini should cost more.

    Like I said, you have to really want OS X to buy this.
    Reply
  • Ratman6161 - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    I forgot to mention that this thing comes with absolutely no input devices so if you want Apple stuff the real price is $819. And unlike a laptop it doesn't even need a battery. Reply
  • futurepastnow - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    While I couldn't care less about Apple's mouse and keyboard, upgrading the mini (via Newegg, not Apple) to 2x2GB of RAM and a 7200 RPM drive increases the total to nearly $840. That's completely unacceptable. Reply
  • fic2 - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    My laptop doesn't need a battery unless I want to use it on the go. It is usually plugged into a wall sitting on my desk at work with the battery laying next to it. Reply
  • v12v12 - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    Haha I 2nd these comments of common-sense! This is nothing but another overpriced Apple rehash of old-technology into a small, shiny, sleek, box. Profiteering for "Apple" is merely how to out fox the fanatical, tech-obsessed "Mac-phile" user base, out of their snidely earned cash.

    It's way out of date, comes with sub-standard parts, no BR, "mini" crap ports, sub-par full HDMI port blah blah. Oh and the PRICE? I know the editors have to give Apple a soft, white pillow to slam them down on, but come on... Take a look at these quotes right here;

    "The user experience of the Mac mini is noticeably diminished by only having 2GB of memory."

    “There are actually no input devices included in the purchase price, so expect to add another $120 if you want an Apple keyboard and Magic Mouse ($140 if you want them to both be wireless). There’s no remote included either, although Apple’s IR remotes do work with the mini.”

    That's a very polite way of saying something (honest) such as, "Apple is again cutting corners in the hardware department, yet making it seem 'adequate' for most users." Is 2GB "fine" for 8/10 “users” (highly ambiguous!?) YEP sure is. I work with a huge Win/OSX client base and NOBODY is screaming about needing 4GB of ram, but the industry standard IS 4GB now. 2 is "acceptable," but not up to pace. It's per user's demands, but (in general) anyone with experience dealing with "Apple" knows they've cut corners again. You just softened the blow.

    Let’s recap; SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS ($820*) for:

    -No peripherals*---WTF?
    --Dated CPU
    ---Sub-par Ram (should I bother asking about timings/quality of the Dimms, lol?)
    ----Sketchy Vid-output connections (HDMI 1900x1200!)
    -----Sub-par GPU vs a laptop (all it is stuffed in a small box)
    ----Sub-par 5400rpm HD. (Is this a joke?)
    ---No SSD???
    --PRICE! (Overpriced KB/M?)
    -No IR remote (this IS marketed as an HTPC?!)

    And lastly... dealing with "Apple" is nothing but a PITA if you're not blindly "appeased" with what they've attempted to brainwash you into buying, and then spoon-fed to you. Oh BTW... it's up to YOU to provide your own bib and paper towel to wipe off all that drool. That is until you use the thing and realize; OMFG I shoulda gotten a smaller LAPTOP instead.
    __Apple MARKETING is very, very keen on deception and mental-washing and this is how; SMALL FORM FACTORING (SFF). SFF'ing is nothing but a MARKETING ploy.
    Reply
  • Guspaz - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    Ever since the "Intel HD" integrated graphics (the ones that are on-package for certain i3/5/7 models) came out, Intel has had passable integrated graphics. They perform on-par with the GeForce 9400M (which was benchmarked in this review). That's not saying much, but it's an enormous improvement over the previous generation of GMA. That 9400M as benchmarked, though, is from a year ago (mid 2009), so I can't argue that Intel has caught up enough with nVidia to be a viable alternative for Apple. If they keep up the current momentum, though, they'll probably catch up with nVidia soon enough.

    From a more anecdotal perspective, I recently bought a Toshiba Portégé r700 (Anandtech recently discussed it in their "under 14" article) which (for my model) features a Core i5 520M. The graphics are Intel's on-package.

    Performance is acceptable. StarCraft 2 is playable at native resolution with a perfectly smooth framerate, but this is admittedly at low to low-medium settings. That's more than I expected to get out of it, though; I didn't buy this thing for gaming, so anything at all is a bonus.
    Reply
  • thunng8 - Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - link

    9400M graphics was first released October 2008, not mid 2009. Also, the Integrated graphics used in the i3 mobile is clocked significantly lower than the i5 desktop. Only on the i5 that the Intel integrated graphics almost matches the 2008 9400M. Reply
  • Stuka87 - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    I would have loved to see how it compared to the previous Mac Mini's with the intel graphics and such.

    And like some others have asked, will it run Starcraft 2? I typically play on my PC, but would be nice to not have to switch some times (Since saved games are saved on b.net).
    Reply
  • archer75 - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    I'm curious to know how World of Warcraft performs at 1900x1200 with all in game settings maxed? Reply
  • icecreampop3 - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    At 1280x1024, maxed, 23fps according to notebookcheck.net. I'd say maybe 18 fps @ 1080p. Reply
  • archer75 - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    I just looked up some youtube videos of wow running on the mini at 1920x1080, slightly lower than my resolution of 1920x1200 but they were getting 18-25fps in cities and warsong. So not that great. Reply
  • james.jwb - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    Not only a WOW player, but you want a Mac Mini?

    You must be one tough SOB to admit to this ;)
    Reply
  • tipoo - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    I'm really confounded by the price jump over the previous generation. If it had stayed the same, I may have found the Mini to be worth it. Reply
  • mados123 - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    A better alternative for an HTPC would be the Viewsonic VOT550 w/ Blu-ray, Core 2 Duo 2,2GHz, 4GB, etc. for around $600.

    http://www.viewsonic.com/vot530-550
    Reply
  • Claudius-07 - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    Just got an Acer Revo and installed XBMC. I have a seagate T+, HDX 1000, WD Live, and the Revo+XBMC is the best thing thus far (however can't bitstream HD audio). Anyhow, love Apple but still scratching my head on this one for the price. Reply
  • CharonPDX - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    People talk about how Apple is incapable of switching to the i3/i5/i7 plus a discrete GPU because of size constraints...

    Yet they forget that the original MacBook Air and the original Mac MIni were both three-chip solutions, with CPU, Intel Northbridge, and Intel Southbridge. If they could fit all three at some time in the past, why can't they fit three now? (CPU, Intel chipset, and nVidia/ATI GPU.)

    Especially the mini, whose motherboard has GAINED area. (Not much, since it doesn't fill the whole newly-enlarged chassis, but it did gain a little.)
    Reply
  • james.jwb - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    Aggressive profit requirements per sale at Apple is probably a major reason. Reply
  • Penti - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    Of course they can, redesigning the boards. But for a discrete mobile gpu too, they also need room for the added memories just like in the MBPs. (Well there's two sides of a PCB). It's a design choice not a limit. They could probably put something like Mobility HD5650 without upping the price and up the ram to 4GB and still make a lot of money. i5-520M 2.4GHz and HM55 costs $265 from Intel, though they also have a much higher power usage. P8600 goes for $209 plus nVidias 320M chipset. The same money + gpu. But it's worse in europe any way since they priced it when the dollar was high, so the mac mini is 809 euros (incl 19% sales tax) that's 900 US dollars before taxes. So we pay over a thousand dollars for something that goes for 699 in the states. For that kind of money 4-8GB, Mobility HD5650, faster drive etc should be standard. It should rather be something like €630. So we pay almost a 30% overprice. On a product that has a 20-30% margin easily. Reply
  • GeorgeH - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    The current MacBook Air has a bigger battery than the original, so 3 chips (and the extra cooling hardware that would be required for a discrete GPU) wouldn't fit without sacrificing battery life. Reply
  • Penti - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    Yes it's pretty busy already, http://guide-images.ifixit.net/igi/AaB5PK5d35HGTsZ... & http://guide-images.ifixit.net/igi/KJJyYGCKwbfhmAJ... in the Air. Much more room in the Mac Mini. Enough for discrete graphics I would say, with a serious redesign. Higher density DRAM (x16) might help (some) in the MB Air though. Reply
  • Penti - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    And the redesigned board (later mid 2009), http://cart-products.ifixit.net/cart-products/ULXA... & http://cart-products.ifixit.net/cart-products/Ti4N... No more room there. Reply
  • Penti - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    Just to add, mobile discrete GPU will be too much for a 40Wh battery as the macbook Air is using any way. Reply
  • solipsism - Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - link

    YOu seem to be forgetting the rounder edges on the case reducing the footprint over a square 7.7”x7.7” footprint, the placement of the components and the PSU which now resides inside the Mini for the first time.Unless it’s using TARDIS technology that MoBo isn’t likely to be big enough.

    You also have to account for the engineering of larger heat sinks, more or bigger fans and potentially increased power needs. It’s not the simple achievement you are making it out to be.

    My guess is that these small machines will get the Core-i when they remove the ODD. They aren’t going to add a $500 9.5mm slot-loading Blu-ray drive and they haven’t added AACS to Mac OS X so you all can stop scratching your head over what should be obvious. They are going to drop ODDs from notebooks and small PCs and move forward from there.
    Reply
  • farhadd - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    You can use any keyboard you like, not just an Apple. F12 functions as the eject key on non-apple keyboards. And you can customize the keys to make the command / option keys whatever you like, not just the windows / alt key that it defaults to. Reply
  • farhadd - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    Apple still sells white macbooks with 2GB of RAM standard. Reply
  • Casper42 - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    I know you said you already sent it back, but I'm curious why you didn't toss in an 80GB Intel G2 SSD (or a SandForce as mentioned), upgrade the RAM to 4GB and run it through all the paces again?

    Sure it comes out to be a $1000 machine at that point, but it would have been nice to see what the total potential of the platform would be. And putting in the SSD would arguably reduce the power footprint slightly as well.
    Reply
  • akatsuki - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    I think Apple's SSD support is still a bit thin anyway. Once they add TRIM support, etc. I think it will be a much better time to benchmark.

    I can't imagine spending that kind of money on a Mini over an entry level Macbook or a dedicated HTPC device - especially since GoogleTV and AppleTV revisions are due soon and should revitalize that area.
    Reply
  • cjs150 - Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - link

    Would have hit reply but for some reason locks my machine up

    No way would I use this as a server. Far better is to pick up an Atom board with a PCI-E slot (for a nice raid card), 4gb of memory and use Ebox (free) as the server software. Would cost 50% of the Mac mini price.

    Having just built one for a home server it is simply and just works without fuss
    Reply
  • thunng8 - Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - link

    Some nice nostalgia with the Powermac G5 2.5Ghz. I enjoyed reading about it. I'm surprised at how well it holds up in the benchmarks. Just a minor nitpick, but the Dual 2.5Ghz model was released in mid-2004, not early 2005. Reply
  • aliasfox - Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - link

    Agreed - would love to have seen some "vintage" games, just to see if an ancient midrange graphics card can hack it against a modern integrated chip. Throwing in an old Northwood (or was it Prescott by the end of 2004?) system just for comparison's sake would be amusing, too.

    Ancient's relative, too - I'm running (and occasionally gaming!) on an 8-yr old Power Mac (with a Radeon 9700pro) and do "general" stuff on a PowerBook that's nearly as old...

    I think one of the reasons that Power Mac G5s hold their value so well is that they are the only machines (pre Mac Pro) that could hold multiple HDs internally, as well as be upgraded (for a price) to a relatively modern GPU - ATI 3xxxx series, nVidia 8xxxx series, I think.

    As for the mini... as much as I like Apple's products, I can't get behind the pricing of the Mac mini - sure, it's a great piece of industrial design, and I'd love to have a stylish, small, nearly-silent box in my home theater set up, but having to drop $800 before getting 4GB of RAM means this is far, far out of its price range. $499-599, maybe $699 with BD and 4GB of RAM... too bad Apple doesn't believe in BD. Or RAM. Or internal 3.5" HDs...
    Reply
  • _gescom_ - Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - link

    Great machine, but definitely way too expensive at 760+ EUR.
    It should cost 450/500 EUR like the old one.
    Why additional 250+ EUR? I know, we sheep, you bleep.
    Reply
  • Setsunayaki - Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - link

    This is actually worse than a Laptop in a many ways...

    The scope of computers have changed and the public has proven the majority of people view email, write papers, use internet....or listen to music. Very basic things...

    I find that netbooks are way better...considering you can buy an always-on internet connection with them and their battery life is good. When one looks at basic usage, i know people can talk about performance and other things out there....

    But how many people out there who own computers as basic users end up using 30 - 40% of the processor on a dual core or quad core? I am still sitting here on a Quad Core and unless I am gaming or doing something heavy, I don't use it at heavy load. Once one eliminates the need for heavy servers or Heavy Gaming altogether...computers lose their grace..

    I remember I bought a Laptop in 2005 for $300 on sale. I know by now every laptop outperforms mine, but I don't do 3D gaming on the laptop and I run on Ubuntu Linux. I am not even at the point where my processor chokes and most of the time I don't even use 2GB of RAM on the laptop.

    Sorry, but with so many better offerings which include a monitor, keyboard and built in mouse along with portability, this MAC-Mini would have been great 4 years ago, unfortunately too little, too late.
    Reply
  • hummerchine - Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - link

    Man, you guys are a tough bunch to please! I own over 20 computers right now, from a gaming PC me and my son built with top shelf parts, to 5 Dell PCs, to a Mac Pro running a 30 inch monitor, to my wonderful new MacBook Pro 17", to three Mac Minis (not the latest...and best...ones), and multiple other Macs and PCs. Jeez, for many uses the Mac Mini totally rocks! And for many uses, it is the best computer you can possibly buy.

    I just cannot get over the seething hatred of Apple I sense so often...usually from people who hate them so much that they never use any of their products, and thus really know nothing about what they are talking about.

    I have not used the very latest Mac Mini, but since it's better than the two new ones I bought earlier this year that are awesome I'd have to guess it's awesome too!
    Reply
  • Rayb - Wednesday, August 11, 2010 - link

    I see you really bought into their marketing hype, line, hook and sinker.

    An ION1 box fully loaded can do exactly the same things, including BD playback wireless and remote for around $200 less. Do you see the irony now?

    With people like you thinking this is cutting edge tech in a new shinny box, I rest my case.
    Reply
  • aliasfox - Wednesday, August 11, 2010 - link

    I for one don't hate it - I hate the price.

    Even without i3 or i5, it's a great box - but at $700 (or near $850 with a basic monitor, keyboard, and mouse), it's far, far too expensive - in fact, the 'on the road' price is so close to a white macbook (with screen, keyboard, trackpad, and battery), that one has to imagine that Apple doesn't really *want* the mini to sell in huge numbers.
    Reply
  • synaesthetic - Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - link

    Why all the Apple hate?

    Price-performance.

    Apple doesn't have it.

    Smugness.

    Apple has too much of it.
    Reply
  • kpxgq - Wednesday, August 11, 2010 - link

    i think its amazing that this thing uses about the same power (wattage) as my acer revo htpc (single core atom 1.6ghz and ion chipset)... if these thing drop in price, i might pick one up as my main htpc and relegate the revo to the bedroom tv Reply
  • TinksMeOff - Wednesday, August 11, 2010 - link

    Needs to start a $599 like before with 2gb of basic ram and offer $799 for the upgraded RAM/CPU/HD Model. The article suggested you can upgrade the RAM yourself and save money. Problem is probably voiding the one year warranty and if you upgrade to the $150 three year protection plan, even more years of voided warranty all to save $30 bucks?

    You can also upgrade the HD from 320gb to 500gb for $100 more (no option for SSD or 7200rpm HD). The Intel Core 2 Duo CPU can be upgraded from 2.4GHz to 2.66GHz for $150 more.

    My existing MAC Mini is the Intel Core Solo 1.5GHz which came with 512MHz DDR2 memory which worked great originally. I upgraded to 1GB (upgradeable to 2GB). I've kept and used it through the years to just look at what Apple is up to and so far I'm able to run the lastest 10.6.4 software with a little lag loading some heavily laden web pages and video. Upgrading to 2gb would probably fix the issue and a Core 2 Dual wouldn't hurt either. I don't play games on the MAC by choice (along time ago) and would never recommend a MAC for PC Gaming over a W7 gaming system.

    This latest MAC Mini just gives me no incentive to upgrade my existing one at the price point, but my purpose in using it is strictly internet and MAC experimentation. I would assume many internet and general usage only people will be thinking just like me regarding this new version of the MAC Mini.

    Thanks for the thorough article and possible advantages of this MAC Mini model.
    Reply
  • thunng8 - Thursday, August 12, 2010 - link

    Upgrading RAM does not void the warranty. Reply
  • TinksMeOff - Thursday, August 12, 2010 - link

    Thanks for the update, the one I bought would have voided the warranty but you need a putty knife to get the cover off mine and then some work disconnecting some wires 'just so' to reach the ram modules. This model does have all the upgrade ease of a laptop ram upgrade and I was wondering about the warranty is done by the owner. Reply
  • matt b - Wednesday, August 11, 2010 - link

    You said that most OS X programs would be perform more like the Cinebench and Quicktime tests . . . I'd like to see more tests. I have a feeling that Cinebench is highly optimized for Intel processors and that Intel has optimized its drivers for the cinebench test. Intel does a lot of work on trying to win benchmarks that are used in tests . . . see the Federal Trade case against Intel. I'd love to see if that was true . . . test some more software that is less rarely used in benchmarks and see if the POWER chip prevails in those as well. Reply
  • derektrotter - Thursday, August 12, 2010 - link

    Not sure why people care more about streaming DTS-HD or Dolby Digital out the HDMI than discrete audio. Discrete uncompressed audio is also lossless and more versatile than compressed schemes which are tougher to clip mix and such.

    But the new Mac Mini also does 7.1 channels of 96KHz/24-bit streaming audio out. VLC doesn't support it correctly (you have to stream instead, with the checkbox that streams out the S/PDIF normally), but someday VLC surely will.

    Additionally, PLEX/XBMC do not impress me with their hardware video decoding support. People say they can play about every other frame of a Blu-ray rip? On this Mac Mini VLC can play every frame of a Blu-ray rip. It only bogs down at all on the toughest sections in Avatar (the hardest challenge, as it is full-frame 1.78:1, 44GB file). Video playback acceleration still needs some work on the Mac clearly.
    Reply
  • RagingDragon - Sunday, August 22, 2010 - link

    If Apple are determined to put OpenCL in all Mac's, then I guess we'll see either: Open CL drivers for Intel i3/i5, or the small form factors Mac's moving to AMD CPU's and and integrated graphics. Reply
  • mbtgood - Tuesday, August 24, 2010 - link

    like mbt a lot
    http://www.mbt-usa.com
    Reply
  • mutarasector - Sunday, November 28, 2010 - link

    This system offers more bang for the buc than a Mac mini:

    http://www.asrock.com/nettop/overview.asp?Model=Vi...
    Reply
  • Johnexo - Saturday, December 11, 2010 - link

    The Mac Mini remains unique as the smallest mainstream desktop, but competition from Dell and HP has narrowed the gap in features while also offering room for expansion, and at a better price. Reply
  • RJARRRPCGP - Saturday, June 09, 2012 - link

    The errors are probably because the SATA interface is SATA 1 and it not being backward-compatible. You must get a SATA 2 card. Reply
  • 666an666 - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    "Disconnect all of the temperature sensors and cable connectors from the back of the board..."
    Huh? Can you be more specific? Where are "all of the temperature sensors" connected? I only see two connectors: IR sensor and power supply. Where are all these other sensor connectors???
    Reply

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