An Apple support page on Boot Camp was updated yesterday to include a mention of a mid-2014 Mac mini, perhaps hinting that a refresh of the desktop computer might be in the works.
First noticed by 9to5Mac, a cached version of the support page suggests yesterday's update also added mentions of the 2014 low-cost iMac and 2014 MacBook Airs. Today's newly released mid-2014 Retina MacBook Pros were not added to the updated page.
The mention of the mid-2014 Mac mini may be a simple error, but the machine is long overdue for a refresh. Last updated in October of 2012, the Mac mini is the only product in Apple's mainstream Mac lineup that has not seen an update with Haswell processors.
Aside from the mention on Apple's support page, there has been no indication that a Mac mini refresh is on the horizon. Several events, including the unveiling of the new iPads last October and Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference seemed like opportune times for the company to unveil a refreshed version of the desktop computer, but no new Mac mini materialized at either event. It continues to remain unclear when Apple might release a new Mac mini, but the support page does offer hope that the product line might continue to live on.
An updated Mac mini would likely offer some improvements brought to the rest of Apple's Mac lineup over the course of the last two years, including Haswell processors, faster PCI Express-based flash storage options, and 802.11ac WiFi.
Wednesday June 18, 2014 7:28 am PDT by Kelly Hodgkins
On the same day it launched a new entry-level iMac model, Apple also used the downtime to adjust the prices on other hardware in some European markets. The price cuts we've noticed affect European models of the Mac mini, the European Apple TV and iMac models in the UK.
Pricing on the Mac mini dropped between €30 and €60, depending on the country and model. Most European stores are now offering the entry-level Mac Mini for €619 with the quad-core and OS X server models selling for €819 and €1019, respectively, although some euro countries such as Germany are showing slightly lower pricing of €599/€799/€999. In the UK, the entry-level Mac Mini remains the same at £499, with price drops between €30 and €50 being applied to the quad-core and server models.
Apple also cut the prices on the Apple TV in Europe, reducing the cost by €10/£20. The once €109/£99 media streaming device is now available for €99/£79 throughout most of Apple's European stores. While Europe saw a reduction, the Apple TV price remains the same in the US at $99.
Along with the new entry-level 21.5-inch iMac, Apple UK also lowered the cost of existing iMac models. The existing 21.5-inch models were lowered by £100, while the 27-inch models saw similar reductions of £150. The reduction appears to limited only to the UK with most of Europe and the US still selling the iMac at its original pricing.
French site MacBidouille revives rumors that Apple is actively developing ARM processor based Macs. According to a source that they describe as reliable, Apple has prototypes of several ARM-based machines, including an iMac, Mac mini, and 13" Notebook with 4-8 64-bit ARM Quad-core processors.
These machines are reportedly far along in development, and come with a new keyboard that incorporates a large-format Magic Trackpad. Apple might even be ready for an announcement but is reportedly hesitant to make the move.
MacBidouille isn't a frequent source of rumors, so its hard to gauge its source's credibility, but rumors of ARM-based Macs have been circulating for years. It seems likely that Apple has prototyped such devices, but many have doubted the feasibility of moving forward with such a plan.
The first inklings of such a plan might have come when Apple threatened to abandon Intel's chips if they didn't work to slash power consumption. While AMD might have been one way to go for Apple, the first rumors of an Apple migration from Intel to ARM processors appeared earlier that year. Later, a report claimed that Apple already had an ARM (A5) powered MacBook Air in their labs back in 2011.
An analysis in 2012 suggested that Apple shifting from Intel to ARM wasn't implausible but it faced several hurdles. The most significant one was Apple's own ARM chips being able to keep a pace with Intel's future roadmap.
Apple, however, has been making great strides in performance in their ARM processors. The A7 is described as desktop class even in an independent analysis. In fact, the A7 chip is currently being underutilized in Apple's iPhone and iPad devices, leaving some of its power untapped.
Friday February 21, 2014 12:43 pm PST by Eric Slivka
With Apple's Mac lineup beginning to show signs of aging, consumers are no doubt starting to wonder when they can expect updated models to hit the market. Apple's product update cycles are in large part driven by availability of new processors, so it pays to take a look at Intel's roadmap to see what might be coming when to give Apple new options for upgrades.
The MacBook Air is currently the older of Apple's two current notebook lines (setting aside the non-Retina MacBook Pro that has been reduced to a single 13-inch model and hasn't been updated since June 2012). Apple's ultrathin notebook currently offers a choice of two low-power 15-watt Haswell chips to help achieve remarkable all-day battery life. Entry-level models include a 1.3 GHz i5-4250U chip, while higher-end models bump up to a 1.7 GHz i7-4650U processor. Both chips include Intel's "Iris 5000" integrated graphics that offers reasonable everyday performance in a power-efficient design.
According to an Intel roadmap leaked by VR-Zone [Google Translate], a successor to the current low-end chip is set to launch in the third quarter in the form of an i5-4260U Haswell refresh, presumably carrying just a small speed bump compared to the current chip. Another alternative for Apple could be the 1.4 GHz i5-4350U or its just-announced successor 1.5 GHz i5-4360U. The 4350U chip has been available since last year, but Apple elected not to use it in the current MacBook Air. The high-end MacBook Air situation is less clear, as leaked roadmaps have not yet shown a direct successor to the current i7-4650U chip.
Wednesday January 22, 2014 6:38 am PST by Eric Slivka
While nearly all of Apple's Mac lines have transitioned to Intel's latest Haswell chip platform, one notable exception is the Mac mini, which has not been updated since October 2012 and is ripe for an update.
Retailer placeholders are typically unreliable indicators of new product launches, although they have on occasion been accurate. One forum poster did, however, contact the store and was told that the information "comes from apple or reliable sources". The store representative also noted that a release date is not yet available but that they expect a launch by the end of February based on availability of the placeholder listings.
While the listings include images of the current Mac mini, they are likely placeholders for the time being and it is unknown whether there will be a change to the machine's appearance or if it will be an entirely internal upgrade. The listings do, however, come with product descriptions that differ from the current models (translated via Google).
The Apple Mac mini features a sturdy and above all very compact aluminum housing. Despite its small size, the Apple Mac mini comes with powerful hardware. The Mac mini is equipped with the latest Intel Core i7 processor from Haswell series. This processor is obviously faster than its predecessor, but also uses the powerful Intel Iris graphics. The latest Apple operating system, OS X Mavericks, works very user friendly and communicates seamlessly with other Apple products. So for example you can just get iMessages on your Mac mini. In addition, OS X Mavericks a very secure operating system, you have (almost) not suffer from nasty viruses. The Apple Mac mini with the latest WiFi standard 802.11ac. This will make use of a high speed Gigabit LAN. You are here obviously compatible 802.11ac equipment needed. If you ever want to expand the memory of the Mac Mini, this is easily done by turning the black plate on the bottom and then add additional memory. The Mac Mini has many connections. He is equipped with HDMI, USB 3.0, FireWire and high-speed Thunderbolt connection.
Beyond Haswell, the description includes several other expected updates such as Iris integrated graphics and 802.11ac Wi-Fi, although it does not specify whether the new Mac mini would adopt the new Thunderbolt 2 standard seen on the Mac Pro and Retina MacBook Pro.
Update: Computerstore.be has removed the listings.
2014 will likely bring even more innovation to Apple's product lineup, with current rumors hinting at highly anticipated products like the Apple smart watch, a larger iPhone and iPad, and new developments with the Apple TV. A number of these products have been rumored for some time, but the spate of Apple product releases over the past few months and the imminent turning of the calendar offers a chance to bring those rumors back to the forefront.
According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Apple has plans to create "great products" in areas the company does not participate in today, and in a recent email, Cook told Apple employees that there's a lot in store for Apple in 2014, "including some big plans that we think customers are going to love."
In the list below, we've highlighted Apple's prospective 2014 product plans, outlining what customers might see from Apple in the next 12 months based on current rumors.
Apple's next iPhone is rumored to come equipped with a larger screen size, somewhere between 4.7 and 5.7 inches. Some rumors have suggested that Apple might release the phone in two separate sizes, both of which are larger than the current 4-inch iPhone 5s/5c.
Left to right: iPhone 5, Galaxy S III, "iPhone Plus", Galaxy Note II (Source: Marco Arment)
The larger iPhone, which will likely incorporate a faster 20-nanometer A8 chip from TSMC, may also include sweeping design changes in the form of a curved display. While it is possible Apple will release an updated iPhone earlier in the year, the most likely release target for the larger-screened device is September or October.
Along with a larger iPhone, Apple may be planning to add a larger iPad to its current tablet lineup, which comprises the 9.7-inch iPad Air and the 7.9-inch iPad mini. The "iPad Pro" or "iPad Maxi" as it has been called by the media, is rumored to include a larger 12.9-inch display, which would be most similar in size to the current 13.3-inch MacBook Air.
Mockup of the 12.9-inch iPad next to a 13-inch MacBook Air
The display reportedly offers higher pixel density nearing ultra high-definition quality and it will likely adopt many of the design elements offered in the current iPads, like an ultrathin chassis and narrow side bezels. Aside from a larger screen size, not much is known about Apple's larger iPad, and it is unclear when such a product might be released.
Apple's much-anticipated "iWatch," which was a major rumor focal point in 2013, will likely be released in 2014. According to rumors, the smart watch will primarily function as an accessory to the iPhone and the iPad, providing at-a-glance access to common iOS functions.
The watch may also include a multitude of biometric functions, possibly offering a pedometer and heart rate monitor, among other things, and it could also serve as a home automation hub. While it is entirely unclear what the iWatch will look like, rumors have indicated that it could have an OLED display in the range of 1.3 to 1.7 inches, possibly coming in multiple sizes for a customized fit.
Apple's iWatch may incorporate an ultra durable sapphire glass screen, as the company recently signed a deal with GT Advanced to ramp up sapphire glass production. Rumors have also hinted at a flexible, curved design.
Over the course of 2013, Apple ramped up its work on the iWatch, with a team of 100 product designers working on the project. The company also filed for iWatch trademarks in multiple countries throughout 2013.
Currently, Apple's iWatch is expected to debut during the second half of 2014.
Apple has been long rumored to be making some upgrades to its Apple TV, either in the form of a revamped set top box with additional functionality or a full blown television set. It is unclear what Apple will do in the television arena in 2014, however, as rumors have suggested that the company has shelved its TV plans for the time being in order to focus on wearables like the iWatch. Television remains an area of "intense interest" for Apple, according to Tim Cook.
If Apple does release a television-related product in 2014, it will likely be a new set top box that could bundle key features like an App Store and Siri, along with additional content offerings.
In 2013, Apple worked hard to beef up content offerings, adding several new channels, including WatchESPN, HBO GO, Vevo, Yahoo Screen, and PBS. The company is also said to be in talks with cable provider Time Warner and a deal with that company, as well as other improvements in content, could come in 2014.
Improving content and reaching deals with various cable companies and content providers is a necessary step before Apple can make headway in the television industry.
Many people believed Apple would introduce a new Thunderbolt Display alongside the Mac Pro, as it has been two years since the last Thunderbolt Display update. No new display appeared, but it is possible that the company will debut a new display product in 2014, likely offering a 4K resolution of 4096 or 3840 x 2160 pixels.
In late 2013, Apple supplier AU Optronics introduced new 27 and 32-inch 4K display panels, sparking speculation that revamped Thunderbolt Displays were on the horizon, though concrete information on a new display or a possible release date is unavailable at the current point in time. In lieu of a 4K Thunderbolt Display, Apple is offering a 4K 32-inch Sharp display as an add-on to the Mac Pro.
Other updates: iOS 8, OS X 10.10, MacBooks, and More
As it does every year, Apple will undoubtedly offer refreshed MacBooks over the course of 2014. Recently, a rumor has suggested that a 12-inch MacBook with a MacBook Air-style design and a Retina display could make its debut in the middle of 2014, and other incremental updates to products like the Retina MacBook Pro will come as well.
Apple has several products that have not been refreshed for quite some time, including its lineup of iPods and the Mac Mini, which could see updates in 2014.
New versions of both iOS and OS X are also expected, though few details are available on the software at this time. iOS 8 may include improvements to Maps, iOS in the Car, and a possible Siri API, while the next version of OS X could take on some iOS 7-style design elements. iOS 8 will probably arrive during the fall along refreshed iPhones, and it is likely that a revamped version of OS X will come during the same general time frame.
Wednesday December 4, 2013 11:42 pm PST by Richard Padilla
According to new a survey done by market research firm Parks Associates (via CNET), Apple desktops have become the most sought after desktop computers this holiday season, beating out longtime holiday desktop leader Dell and other competitors such as HP and Acer. This marks the first time that Apple products have taken the top spot in the history of the survey, as the company was ranked 3rd in the category in 2011 and 2nd in 2012. The Apple TV also remained at the top spot for the most sought after streaming media device, topping the Roku TV.
“Apple topped the list of intended brands for desktop purchases for the first time this year,” said John Barrett, director, Consumer Analytics, Parks Associates. “In 2011 and 2012, Dell was the top desktop brand, but Apple has displaced it, making Apple now the most popular brand across even more key CE categories.”
Apple quietly updated the iMac this past September with Intel's Haswell processors and faster PCI-Express based flash storage, which followed a major design revision to the desktop in 2012 that brought a thinner and lighter design. The company also currently sells its lower-priced Mac Mini and is getting ready to launch the high-end Mac Pro sometime in December, with a German retailer stating a possible availability date of Monday, December 16.
Friday October 18, 2013 9:39 am PDT by Eric Slivka
With just four days to go until Apple's October 22 media event in San Francisco, expectations for what will be shown are in many cases continuing to firm up, while in other cases questions remain. Our regularly updated Roundups section continues to offer a good overview of what is expected for each product and highlights the significant number of Apple products due for updates. Among the expectations for next week:
- iPad: Expect a new iPad mini-inspired design that is thinner, narrower, and lighter. [Read More]
- iPad mini: Retina display expected, but there have been questions about production and whether Apple be able to ship the new device in significant quantities, if at all, before the holidays. [Read More]
- OS X Mavericks: Reportedly due for launch before the end of the month, we should see a final unveiling next week. Other software updates including new versions of Apple's iWork and iLife suites, including iWork for iCloud, are also expected. [Read More]
- Mac Pro: Announced by Apple as launching "this fall" following a sneak peek at WWDC in June, Apple's radically redesigned professional desktop should get a thorough introduction next Tuesday. Some have speculated that updated displays may arrive to complement the new Mac Pro, but there has been no specific evidence of a display refresh. [Read More]
- MacBook Pro: An update for Apple's Retina MacBook Pro line has been expected for several months, moving to Intel's new Haswell processors for improved battery life. While it seems that Apple would want to feature the MacBook Pro improvements at its event, the list of products to be covered is beginning to get rather long and so it is unclear if the updated notebooks will make an appearance at or alongside the event or at a separate time. [Read More]
- Mac mini: There have been no specific rumors about the Mac mini, but it too is due for an update to Haswell processors. [Read More]
- An Apple TV wildcard: There have been some rumblings over the past several months that Apple is planning some sort of TV-related announcement for late this year, but there has been no concrete evidence of any imminent introduction. While Apple has been said to be planning its own connected television set product, that product may not be ready and the effort could continue to progress incrementally with an updated set-top box.
Friday September 27, 2013 10:58 am PDT by Eric Slivka
Last month, we revived our Roundups feature with new pages covering the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iOS 7, and Apple's rumored iWatch, offering a frequently updated one-page summary of the latest news and rumors about each product.
With the new iPhones and iOS 7 now launched, we're continuing to update those articles with information to help site visitors stay on top of the latest developments, but we're also launching a number of new roundups today to address Apple's upcoming iPad and Mac product launches expected over the next several months.
As with the original set of iPhone and iOS roundups, the goal of each of the new roundups is to simply answer the question of "What are you expecting" for any given product. That opinion is certain to change over time as new rumors are revealed, and the roundups will be updated regularly to reflect that. Roundups for recently updated products will also include details on the new models to help bring visitors up to speed on what they have to offer.
Our roundup index page continues to include a full list of our available roundups ordered by most recently updated. Roundups are also accessible directly through the "Roundups" tab in the navigation bar on all MacRumors pages. We will continue to update the existing roundups and add new ones for other products over time.
Thursday September 26, 2013 7:42 am PDT by Richard Padilla
After announcing a refresh to its line of iMacs earlier this week, Apple has quietly increased the prices of all Mac mini configurations in multiple countries, including Australia, Brazil, and Malaysia, reports 9to5Mac. In Australia, the prices of the standard Intel Core i5 2.5GHz, Intel Core i7 2.3GHz, and Mac mini with OS X Server models are now A$749, $A999, and A$1249 respectively, up from their previous prices of A$699, A$899, and A$1099.
Earlier this year, the Mac Mini's shipping estimates increased to 5-7 days on the Apple Online Store, leading to hope for a potential refresh, but they returned to normal a few days later without an update. Notably, the Mac Mini is still using Intel's last-generation Ivy Bridge processors, with the 2013 MacBook Air and recent iMac refresh using Intel's new Haswell processors, which contain features such as lower power usage, better performance, and increased battery life for laptops.
If Apple is to refresh the Mac Mini this year, it would potentially be a part of a number of updates to various products in its line, including a new line of iPads, a new Apple TV, and a new MacBook Pro with Intel’s Haswell processors, as well as the company's dramatically redesigned Mac Pro. All products are expected to be refreshed in the following months before the end of the year.
Update: Contrary to the original report, Mac mini prices have not increased in Portugal.
All other Macs on the online store have shipping estimates of "within 24 hours". That said, most Apple Retail Stores do show availability for the mini, as does Amazon.com.
Apple sometimes does have temporary product shortages of computers mid-cycle, but they can also portend intentional drawdowns of stock ahead of a product refresh. The Mac mini is a candidate for an upgrade to Haswell processors, and it is coming due for a possible update according to the MacRumors Buyer's Guide.
9to5Mac reports that it has received an initial set of leaked model numbers for products expected to be released at next week's Worldwide Developers Conference.
The first series of codes that we have received are:
MD711LL/A — Better — USA
MD712LL/A — Best – USA
MD760LL/A — Better – USA
MD761LL/A — Best – USA
While the identities of the products corresponding to the four model numbers is unknown, the pattern showing two sets of two models suggests that they may be either MacBook Air or Retina MacBook Pro models at two different screen sizes, corresponding to Apple's current stock configurations. Apple's non-Retina MacBook Pro is currently offered in only a single stock configuration at the larger 15-inch size, suggesting that these model numbers may not represent that line.
A second set of model numbers have also leaked, but it is unclear to what products they refer:
ME177LL/A — Better — USA
ME182LL/A — Best — USA
ME918LL/A — Good — USA
A notebook refresh is expected to the hardware highlight of WWDC, although Apple is likely to introduce a number of new products once accessories and configuration options are accounted for.
9to5Mac also notes that, beyond the notebooks, supplies of the Mac Pro and Mac mini are also somewhat constrained, although not to the same level as seen for notebooks. As a result, desktop updates may come somewhat later in the year.
Thursday April 18, 2013 12:31 am PDT by Eric Slivka
Digitimes reports that Apple has essentially halted all component orders for its Mac product lines, apparently working through significant inventories of components delivered during an aggressive ramp-up late last year that may have proven overly aggressive.
The suppliers originally expected to finish digesting their Mac inventories in April, but are now stranded waiting for further instructions from Apple.
The sources revealed that Apple's Mac orders to the supply chain dropped to almost nothing after the Lunar New Year holidays. Apple had high hopes for its Mac product lines and placed aggressive orders at the end of 2012; however, the company is now badly affected by the decision.
The report claims that Apple generally provides shipment forecasts to its supply chain partners at the beginning of each quarter, but the company has not done so for the second quarter. The lack of information has reportedly left suppliers wondering when they will be able to resume production.
Just last week, Digitimes claimed that Apple is likely to refresh its notebook lineup at the end of the second quarter, so it seems that suppliers may need to start ramping up production for new models in the relatively near future.
Apple frequently has to juggle its supply chain as it approaches product updates, seeking to accurately estimate consumer demand in order to deplete its existing inventories just as the new models are released. But if today's report is true, it seems that Apple may have overestimated customer demand for the early part of 2013 and is now finding itself with substantial inventories heading into its next round of product updates.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has also warned about reading too much into rumors from Apple's supply chain, noting that its "very complex" nature makes it difficult to accurately interpret what is actually going on from limited data points, even if that data is accurate.
Tuesday January 15, 2013 8:04 pm PST by Eric Slivka
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a very good track record in predicting Apple's product plans, has issued a new research report outlining his expectations for Apple's 2013 product launches. Kuo believes that Apple will focus its launches on the third quarter of this year, with a number of updates throughout the company's various product families.
- iPhone: Kuo expects that Apple will introduce both an iPhone 5S and a revamped iPhone 5 around June or July of this year, with the iPhone 5S appearing very similar to the current iPhone 5 but carrying a number of upgrades including an A7 system-on-a-chip for better performance, a fingerprint sensor, and camera improvements such as an f2.0 aperture and a smart LED flash. He also believes that the lower-cost iPhone will in many ways simply be an iPhone 5 repackaged into a slightly thicker (8.2 mm vs. the current 7.6 mm) plastic enclosure available in six colors.
- iPad and iPad mini: Kuo forecasts that Apple will update both lines during the third quarter of the year, with the iPad mini gaining a Retina display as the most notable change. He also predicts that the full-size iPad will become considerably slimmer and lighter and adopt the thinner side bezels seen on the iPad mini.
- MacBook Pro: In line with his predictions from last year, Kuo believes that Apple will do away with the non-Retina MacBook Pro line in 2013, moving to an all-Retina lineup at cheaper price points than the current Retina models. Kuo also believes that Apple will tweak the design of these thinner Retina MacBook Pros, despite having just introduced the current form factor last year.
- MacBook Air: Retina displays remain a challenge for the MacBook Air given their relative thickness, and Kuo predicts that they will not be appearing in the 2013 MacBook Air lineup. Kuo believes that a move to Intel's forthcoming Haswell platform will be the main upgrade for the machines, with the update coming perhaps as soon as late in the second quarter.
- Desktops: Kuo notes that the iMac redesign has been well-received, but it appears that he does not see Retina displays coming to the lineup in 2013. He simply predicts a shift to the Haswell platform for the iMac and Mac mini in the fourth quarter of the year. Kuo's report does not address a new Mac Pro, even though Apple CEO Tim Cook had personally shared that a significant update for the line was due in 2013.
- iPod touch: Apple will reportedly discontinue the fourth-generation iPod touch, which is currently being sold alongside the new fifth-generation models. In order to fill the gap, Kuo believes that Apple will introduce a scaled-back fifth-generation model with 8 GB of storage and no rear camera at $199.
- Apple TV: Kuo predicts a minor update to the existing Apple TV product as soon as late this quarter, but he offers no details on what the update would entail. He also notes that Apple's more substantial television effort is unlikely to appear in 2013, with content issues and a lack of experience in the television set industry pushing things back until 2014.
Wednesday December 26, 2012 5:58 pm PST by Arnold Kim
DigiTimes reports that contrary to the early speculation, it will be the Mac mini, not the Mac Pro, that will be shifted to U.S. production.
Apple is reportedly set to move its Mac mini production lines back to the US with Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry) to be responsible of handling establishment, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.
According to the report, Foxconn already has "about 15 operating bases" in the U.S. and the company plans on recruiting workers for 2013 for new automated production lines. The Mac mini is expected to reach 1.8 million sales units in 2013, up from 1.4 million units in 2012.
During a recent interview with NBC's Brian Williams, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed that one of the existing Mac lines will be manufactured exclusively in the United States next year. Early speculation had suggested the Mac Pro might be that Mac model due to its relatively low volume of sales.
The issue seems to be a known one related to the Intel HD 4000 graphics used in the Mac mini, and Intel has now acknowledged the issue in the Mac mini and indicated that a fix is on the way. A timeframe for a fix delivered through Apple is, however, so far unknown.
Your OEM (Apple) will provide the driver with the fix when they are done configuring our driver (that has the fix). An ETA on this is currently unknown.
Apple has begun developer seeding of OS X 10.8.3 with an emphasis on graphics drivers, but it seems to be unclear at the present time whether the current beta version of OS X 10.8.3 contains the specific fix for this issue.
Wednesday October 24, 2012 1:36 pm PDT by Eric Slivka
Colocation data center Macminicolo has already gotten its hands on the new Mac mini, putting all three stock models through benchmarking tests and sharing initial impressions of the machines.
Geekbench results, which focus strictly on processor and memory performance, show a marginal increase in performance for the entry-level machine compared to the previous generation, with more substantial gains coming in the higher-end models tapping into quad-core Ivy Bridge processors. Early impressions of the latest models include:
- Don’t look now, but the new Mac minis are getting comparable to the last gen Xserve and 2010 Mac Pros as far as benchmarks. Tech progress marches on.
- All Mac minis now come standard with 4GB of RAM. Thank goodness. As of last week, the base Mac mini had 2GB of RAM and that was brutal with Mountain Lion.
- The Mac mini can officially be upgraded to 16GB now. It’s been possible for over a year, but it had to be done after ordering. Now, Apple offers the 16GB of RAM.
- The base mini is still i5, but the middle and high end minis are quad core i7 Ivy Bridge processors. That middle mini is the most interesting. Many customers prefer the quad core for things like an Xcode build server or for plenty of cores to spread between virtual machines. That $799 Mac mini is going to be very popular.
- The machines now come with 1600MHz DDR3 Memory. Seriously, 16GB of 1600MHz RAM in such a small machine. It’s really quite amazing.
Another colocation center, Mac Mini Vault, has also taken a look at the new Mac mini, noting that their machine arrived running a custom Build 12B2080 of OS X 10.8.1. The company also performed a quick teardown of the machine, noting that Apple has tweaked the fan design since last year's model and also made some changes to the wireless antennas.
Tuesday October 23, 2012 7:25 pm PDT by Arnold Kim
Amongst the many new products Apple introduced today, they also announced a new storage option called Fusion Drive. Apple's website describes how the drive works:
With Fusion Drive in your iMac, disk-intensive tasks — from booting up to launching apps to importing photos — are faster and more efficient. That’s because frequently used items are kept at the ready on speedy flash storage, while infrequently accessed items go to the hard drive. The file transfers take place in the background, so you won’t even notice.
Some thought the drive might be Apple's implementation of a Hybrid drive which uses SSD as a caching system, but it appears that Apple's system is distinct. The MacObserver digs into some details and clarifies:
To be clear, this is not a caching concept, at least not in the current use of the word. Cache would imply that the data on the SSD is duplicated, and it's not. If you have a 1TB mechanical drive paired with the 128GB SSD, you have a 1.12 TB storage platform. This truly is the fusion of all the space on two separate disks.
In a caching solution, like Intel's, files live on the hard disk drive and are temporarily mirrored to the SSD cache as needed. In an enterprise auto-tiering situation, and with Fusion Drive, the data is actually moved from one tier to another, rather than only being temporarily cached there.
The Mac Observer reports that there are two separate drives that appear as one logical partition. As a result, if your Hard Drive fails, it could be replaced with a 3rd party drive and reconfigured as a Fusion Drive.
Meanwhile, they note that all writes take place on the SSD drive, and are later moved to the mechanical drive if needed, resulting in faster initial writes. The Fusion will be available for the new iMac and new Mac mini models announced today.
Tuesday October 23, 2012 11:13 am PDT by Jordan Golson
Apple updated its Mac mini line of desktop computers at its media event today.
The updated Mac mini models have new processors, including quad-core chips on the high end, as well as new build-to-order RAM options of up to 16 GB. Pricing remains the same as the prior generation Mac Mini models, starting at $599. There are two standard configuration and a server configuration:
- $599, 2.5 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5, 4GB RAM, 500GB HD
- $799, 2.3 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, 4GB RAM, 1TB HD
- $999, 2.3 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, 4GB RAM, 2TB HD, Includes Mountain Lion Server
High-end Mac mini models can now also be configured with Apple's new Fusion Drive technology, which seamlessly integrates a traditional 1 TB hard drive with 128 GB of fast flash storage for both speed and capacity. System files and frequently used apps and data are automatically placed in flash storage to optimize speed, while other data is housed on the slower traditional hard drive.
The Mac mini was last updated in July of 2011, marking some 460 days since the last update and the new models are available starting today.
Tuesday October 23, 2012 7:49 am PDT by Eric Slivka
9to5Mac reports that it has received information on three models of the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro launching today. According to sources, the machines appear to use the same 2.5 GHz and 2.9 GHz processors found in the non-Retina models, and like the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro all of the 13-inch Retina models start at 8 GB of RAM.
Unlike the 15-inch lineup, however, the entry-level 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro will come with 128 GB of flash storage, with higher-end standard models moving up to 256 GB and 512 GB of storage. The 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro starts at 256 GB of storage.
- 2.5 GHz, 128GB of Flash storage, 8GB of RAM
- 2.5 GHz, 256 GB of Flash storage, 8GB of RAM
- 2.9 GHz, 512GB of Flash storage, 8GB of RAM
Pricing on the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro is said to start at approximately $1699, a $500 premium over the non-Retina model. For that premium, users will receive a Retina display, 128 GB of flash storage instead of a 500 GB traditional hard drive, and a bump from 4 GB of RAM to 8 GB. The Retina version of course also comes in a thinner form factor that omits the optical drive and Ethernet and FireWire ports.
The site has also received details on the new Mac mini models coming out today, with the high-end models now moving to quad-core processors. As with the existing lineup, there are two standard configurations and a server configuration.
- 2.5 GHz dual-core, 4GB RAM, 500GB Hard drive
- 2.3 GHz quad-core, 4GB RAM, 1TB Hard drive
- Server: 2.3 GHz quad-core 4GB of RAM, 2TB Hard drive
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