Infrastructure // PC & Servers
03:06 PM

Apple Refreshes Mac Mini

The Mac computer now sports an Nvidia GeForce 320M processor, an HDMI output for connecting the computer to an HDTV, and a smaller footprint.

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Apple Refreshes Mac Mini
Apple has redesigned the Mac Mini, replacing the white plastic body of the previous model with a smaller aluminum enclosure that contains a faster graphics processor.

Apple's least expensive Mac, released Tuesday, now sports an Nvidia GeForce 320M processor, which the company claims delivers up to twice the graphics speed of the previous model. In addition, Apple has added a new HDMI output for connecting the Mac Mini to a high-definition television, and a new SD card slot for transferring photos and videos from a digital camera.

The latest consumer and server versions of the Mac Mini are smaller than before, measuring 7.7 inches square and 1.4 inches thick. The power supply has been placed inside the machine, which reduces overall system volume by 20%, according to Apple.

The base configuration of the Mac Mini consumer model includes a 2.4-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor; a 320-GB, 5,400-RPM hard disk drive; and 2 GB of DDR3 SDRAM, which is expandable to 8 GB. The system also includes a slot-loading SuperDrive optical drive, Gigabit Ethernet, one FireWire 800 port, four USB 2.0 ports, and wireless connectivity in the form of Airport Extreme 802.11n and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR.

The server model includes many of the same hardware features, with the exceptions of a faster processor, more system memory, and a larger and faster hard drive. The base configuration of the Mac Mini Server includes a 2.66-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor; two 500-GB, 7,200-RPM hard drives; and 4 GB of DDR3 SDRAM, expandable to up to 8 GB.

Build-to-order configurations and accessories are available for both systems. The consumer model ships with Mac OS X Snow Leopard, while the more business-focused version comes with Snow Leopard Server, which is designed for workgroups and small businesses.

Snow Leopard Server includes e-mail, calendar, file serving, Time Machine backup, Wiki Server, and Podcast Producer. The system supports unlimited clients.

Mac Mini consumer starts at $699, while the server edition starts at $999.

Apple introduced the Mac Mini server last October, which was also the last time the company refreshed its entry-level desktop. Typical for Apple, which prefers to target the higher end of the computer market, Mac Mini is roughly $200 more than entry-level Windows 7 systems, which typically offer less performance.

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