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Apple Unveils Mac Mini with Intel Core Duo


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#1 IMG News

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 01:10 PM

Apple today unveiled the new Mac mini with the Intel Core Duo processor, delivering performance up to four times faster than its predecessor and providing even greater expansion in the same innovative and incredibly compact design. Starting at just $599, the Mac mini is the most affordable way to enjoy iLife ’06, the next generation of Apple’s award-winning suite of digital lifestyle applications, and features the Apple Remote and Front Row so you can play your music, enjoy your photo slideshows, watch your DVDs, iMovies, music videos and television shows from across the room. Here's more from the full press release:

“With the new Mac mini, Apple has now moved 50 percent of its entire product line to Intel within 60 days—a record transition,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “The new Mac mini is now up to four times faster with the Intel Core Duo, includes even greater expansion in the same incredibly compact design, and is the most affordable way to enjoy Front Row and iLife ‘06.”

Featuring the next generation of Apple’s breakthrough Front Row media experience, the new Mac mini gives customers a simple way to enjoy their digital lifestyle content on the Mac mini including music, photos and videos from across the room using the Apple Remote. With the latest version of Front Row, customers can now effortlessly access shared iTunes® playlists, iPhoto® libraries and video throughout their home via Bonjour™, Apple’s zero configuration wireless networking built into Mac OS® X.

The new Mac mini offers a completely new system architecture for performance up to four times as fast as the previous Mac mini, including a 667 MHz front-side bus and 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM memory expandable to 2GB. With the latest high-performance connectivity options, every new Mac mini now includes built-in 10/100/1000 BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet for high-speed networking, built-in AirPort® Extreme 802.11g WiFi for fast 54 Mbps wireless networking**, built-in Bluetooth 2.0+EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) and a total of four USB 2.0 ports, twice as many as the previous generation. Mac mini includes a DVI interface and a VGA-out adapter to easily connect to a variety of displays, including many of today’s most popular flat panel televisions, and now features both analog and digital audio outputs to easily connect to a home stereo.

The new Mac mini includes iLife ‘06, the next generation of Apple’s award-winning suite of digital lifestyle applications featuring major new versions of iPhoto, iMovie HD, iDVD®, GarageBand™ and introducing iWeb™, a new iLife application that makes it super-easy to create amazing websites with photos, blogs and Podcasts and publish them on .Mac for viewing by anyone on the Internet with just a single click. All the iLife ‘06 applications are Universal applications that run natively on the new Intel-based Mac mini for maximum performance.

Every new Mac mini comes with the latest release of the world’s most advanced operating system, Mac OS X version 10.4 “Tiger” including Safari™, Mail, iCal®, iChat AV and Front Row, running natively. Mac OS X Tiger includes an innovative software translation technology called Rosetta™ that lets customers run most Mac OS X PowerPC applications seamlessly.

The new 1.5 GHz Mac mini, for a suggested retail price of $599 (US), includes:

1.5 GHz Intel Core Solo processor;
512MB of 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM, expandable up to 2GB;
a slot-load Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) drive;
60GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm;
Intel GMA950 graphics processor;
built-in AirPort Extreme wireless networking & Bluetooth 2.0+EDR;
Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000 BASE-T);
four USB 2.0 ports;
one audio line in and one audio line out port, each supporting both optical digital and analog;
DVI-out port for external display (VGA-out adapter included, Composite/S-Video out adapter sold separately); and
the infrared Apple Remote.
The new 1.66 GHz Mac mini, for a suggested retail price of $799 (US), includes:

[articlequote]1.66 GHz Intel Core Duo processor;
512MB of 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM expandable up to 2GB;
a slot-load 8x SuperDrive™ with double-layer support (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW);
80GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm;
Intel GMA950 graphics processor;
built-in AirPort Extreme wireless networking & Bluetooth 2.0+EDR;
Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000 BASE-T);
four USB 2.0 ports;
one audio line in and one audio line out port, each supporting both optical digital and analog;
DVI-out port for external display (VGA-out adapter included, Composite/S-Video out adapter sold separately); and
the infrared Apple Remote.
Build-to-order options and accessories include up to 2GB DDR2 SDRAM, 80GB, 100GB and 120GB Serial ATA hard drives, iWork ’06 (pre-installed), AirPort Express and AirPort Extreme Base Station, Apple Wireless Keyboard, Apple Wireless Mouse, Apple USB Modem and the AppleCare Protection Plan.
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#2 Marble

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 01:14 PM

I'll be interested to see how big a performance penalty we see from integrated graphics.  Do the Intel drivers/cards have all of the features (shaders, antialiasing, etc.) of the other brands?  I've got a bad feeling..

#3 MacProject

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 01:21 PM

View PostMarble, on February 28th 2006, 02:14 PM, said:

I'll be interested to see how big a performance penalty we see from integrated graphics.  Do the Intel drivers/cards have all of the features (shaders, antialiasing, etc.) of the other brands?  I've got a bad feeling..

The other thing about this Intel card is that it uses a shared memory setup like on a low budget PC (ie: Intel Extreme Graphics).  There doesn't appear to be an upgrade build-to-order option in the Apple store either.

#4 Mercury

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 01:25 PM

I can't believe they moved to integrated/shared graphics :o .
Doesn't look promising for the upcoming iBook :unsure: .
Coming soon!

#5 Ben

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 01:35 PM

They were so close to getting it right. But the integrated graphics is a deal killer.

Ben

edit: This is a nice graphic someone saved from the old Mac Mini page at the Apple Store:

#6 Frank the Tank

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 01:35 PM

http://www.extremete...,1821808,00.asp

I think the previous card in Mac Mini G4 had better benchmarks.

I can't believe Apple took a step down.  What were they thinking???

As the article infers, a $60 card would make a far better choice.

This is the equivalent of an emachines budget pc you get at Wal-Mart for 299.

BOOOH, APPLE!

#7 GlendaAdams

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 01:39 PM

View PostMarble, on February 28th 2006, 01:14 PM, said:

I'll be interested to see how big a performance penalty we see from integrated graphics.  Do the Intel drivers/cards have all of the features (shaders, antialiasing, etc.) of the other brands?  I've got a bad feeling..
No vertex shader support (vertex processing has to be handled by the CPU), fairly decent pixel shader support.  Shared memory is likely to be a trouble spot- not only do you have less real RAM for a game (448M on a 512mb mini), but video card and CPU accesses to memory can fight with each other for time.

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#8 halprin

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 01:53 PM

Yeah...  integrated/shared graphics=yuck

#9 nagromme

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 01:53 PM

This is not a 3D gamer's Mac (even though it may handle some lower-end 3D titles?)--but then, what company's low-end machine IS a gamer's box? Integrated graphics is the norm on the low end. This IS Apple's LOW end machine, despite having certain high-end specs. It's not low end in every regard which is why it doesn't cost $399, but nor is it high-end in every regard. That wouldn't be realistic.

I'd love to have seen 256 VRAM and a price tag of $199, but the new Mac Mini IS a great deal with a LOT of upgraded specs to justify the price increase.

I'll wait for real-world reports of the Mac Mini's graphics before I judge. I already know that most low-end users don't need the fastest 3D rendering. And that many gamers will want to look elsewhere--like an iMac--depending on the kinds of games you play.

I wish you could still get a sub-$500 Mac and I'm sure that day will come again. But I'd gladly pay the $100 increase for:

* Audio-in added

* Digital/optical audio (in and out)

* Wi-Fi now standard

* Bluetooth now standard

* More USB ports

* Two RAM slots

* MUCH faster (and future-proof) processor that nearly rivals a G5 (duals on the high end!)

* Front Row remote

All in the same small, quiet package, with a great OS and iLife 06 bundle.

I wonder how it could handle, say , UT2004 with the details low? My old eMac can handle that and it's 700 MHz which doesn't even meet specs. Bring on the tests :) It may not be the Mac for me, but I want to know who I should recommend it to.

#10 Perfection

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 02:05 PM

Most of the people that buy a Mac mini might not even notice the difference between integrated graphics and a real graphics card.

#11 ibookworm

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 02:45 PM

Dang it dang it dang it. I really and truly didn't think Apple was going to imitate the crappy PC low-end machines and put integrated graphics in. I thought they were smarter than that.

#12 calroth

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 03:09 PM

I love IMG's new inline green advertising links. "Still starting at $499 with free shipping"...

#13 RiscIt

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 03:37 PM

Just ordered..

1.66GHz Core Duo
1G Ram
120G HD
SuperDrive
$1006.95 after tax.

I am most definitely not getting a mini for gaming. I bought a maxed out Dell specifically for that last year. The mini is for my work. My Dual 800 G4 is starting to get flaky (won't wake from sleep on occasion, overheats and shuts down without warning, etc). All I need is something to run my mac only web development environment - Perl, MySQL, Apache, BBEdit (yay!) and Photoshop. To be honest, BBEdit is the killer app for me... A mini is the perfect fit for me, now that I've moved my gaming to Windows. I was just waiting for the intel revision.

#14 sillek

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 03:42 PM

5400RPM HDs ):

#15 bobbob

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 03:54 PM

View Postsillek, on February 28th 2006, 03:42 PM, said:

5400RPM HDs ):

7200. Or, at least they say 7200 sometimes, but they're probably lying.

Quote

A variety of hard drive capacities are available for Mac mini. All Mac mini models include standard Serial ATA hard drives featuring data transfers up to 1.5 Gigabits per second. All hard drives run at 7,200 revolutions per minute (rpm).

Quote

60GB or 80GB 5400-rpm Serial ATA hard disk drive; optional 100GB or 120GB drive


#16 easy4lif

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 04:52 PM

Congrats Apple, you really missed the mark this time.  any processor improvement is neutralized by the shared memory of the GPU.

iseestockfallingonthisproductrelease :angry:

#17 Lampeft

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 04:59 PM

Intel integrated graphics?  Ouch.  Is Apple trying to kill gaming on their platform?  Seems phenomenally stupid to me, but what do I know?  I just hope they don't even hint that this will be a decent gaming machine.  Yeah, I'm probably over-reacting.. but still.. ouch.

#18 striderdm1

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 05:15 PM

View PostPerfection, on February 28th 2006, 08:05 PM, said:

Most of the people that buy a Mac mini might not even notice the difference between integrated graphics and a real graphics card.

very true. We're getting a new MacMini, but not to play games (why would i buy a MacMini if i wanted to play games!) but for everything else.. work, internet, music, etc.etc. The only bad thing really is the shared memory, Apple yet again disapoint with 512mb - even more so bcos it's shared. Maybe this is the real killer as the base/standard pack doesn't come with enough ram. (imho)

cheers, Strider
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#19 krex725

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 05:21 PM

There were actually a lot of great improvements to the Mini with this release.  Yeah, it won't be a gaming monster, but were you really expecting such with a sub-$1000 Mac?  Would you expect it in a sub-$1000 PC?  Outside of gamers, who else is going to walk into the Apple store and scoff at the GPU?  

Besides, they have to start the Intel-Mini somewhere.  It isn't like this is the last version they'll ever make.  If sales sink with this version, I'm sure Apple will make the appropriate increases/changes.  

Frankly, any time I see the Mini at the Apple Store I'm always amazed that it basically *had* the same specifications as my old MDD G4, but in the size of a CD case.

#20 Eric5h5

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 05:29 PM

View Postkrex725, on February 28th 2006, 06:21 PM, said:

Yeah, it won't be a gaming monster, but were you really expecting such with a sub-$1000 Mac?  Would you expect it in a sub-$1000 PC?  Outside of gamers, who else is going to walk into the Apple store and scoff at the GPU?

Maybe if Apple, with the G4 Mini, hadn't bragged so much and said basically "neener neener, those cheapo PCs have junky integrated graphics but the Mini has a REAL graphics card, nyah nyah!", people would be inclined to give them more of a break.

--Eric