An Apple turnover
Its easy to lower the price when you remove both the graphics card and the optical drive.
And as always the specs are upped for another Apple downer.
Apple has added Intel Sandy Bridge Core i5 processors to its Mac Mini small form-factor desktop - and yanked the optical drives from the system. The new model - which now comes in at £529, down from the £649 the previous version launched at - sports a 2.3GHz Core i5, 2GB of 1333MHz DDR 3 memory and 500GB of hard drive storage …
They look good, have great specs, but are still a lot more expensive than a PC with the same specs. But I suppose if people want to buy a Mac the price has never stopped them in the past. So well done to Apple for producing an expensive brand that sells well and generates high profits. I wish I could have done the same! ;-)
at least in previous mac mini models, was the startlingly low power draw. There isn't really anything else that offers the same price/performance/power tradeoffs... you may find it is expensive, but compare it to, say, a fitpc 2 ultra which is a markedly inferior machine in most aspects.
The i7 at 2.7GHz but with only two cores must be an i7-2620M. Really wished they had been able to handle 10 more watts and gone for a quad core. Oh well, it's the only machine I can afford that doesn't include a built in monitor so I guess I'll be ordering one.
Oh and no versions, server or desktop include optical drives. Ok I'll stop now.
"but lacks the optical drive found in the desktop models". Not any more.
I think they should have continued to offer an option of an integrated optical drive. A computer system isn't complete without such a drive. Lion may be coming in via the internet, but a lot of software still doesn't. Adding an external drive makes the system not as mini, but I guess it's another high-priced accessory they can sell.
Apple do like to use video connectors that need adaptors, don't they? They had mini DVI, then mini DisplayPort, now Thunderbolt, but I guess that means more high-priced accessories they can sell.
Small correction: Mini DisplayPort and Thunderbolt have the same physical connector and any Thunderbolt-equipped Mac can use the exact same accessories as a Mini-DisplayPort-equipped Mac for connection to external displays.
Obviously you can also connect any old DVD drive you want, no need to buy an Apple-branded one.
I'm a hawk on eliminating the optical media drive from all computers on the grounds that I barely use mine and don't recall ever having used one away from my home. So investing in a single, external drive and keeping that with the USB floppy drive on my shelf feels like an acceptable way to reduce the cost and size of any future computers I buy. You know, across the whole industry, irrespective of whether specific individual manufacturers pass savings on.
Please explain to all us noobs just why installing from USB is such a technical foobar?And what the advantages are of an optical install disc over a USB drive? Capacity? No. Speed? Uh-uh. Robustness? Nope.
Do come back when you've joined the 21st Century and learnt not to act like chicken licken everytime something a bit different comes along.
Well Mr Davies I shall inform you "21st Century" know-it-all types as to why it is better to use optical media that your oh-so-brilliant USB stick - a USB stick remains write-able whereas an optical disk can be on a read-only format so your "Robustness? Nope." argument goes right out the window. I don't give a toss as to whether the USB stick could "potentially" outlast it as a storage medium. I give a toss that what I wrote to the device has not and cannot be altered - especially when I am relying on it to give me a fresh system install. That is why optical media still has its place in "the 21st Century".
One of my optical disk drives used to used to write on my read-only media. Well, I should say etch...
I had a read-only USB thumbdrive from a marketing company that was read-only. After a lot of fiddling about, I finally had to open the case and solder a little bridge to make it writeable. Sure it was only 512MB but I installed puppy on it, removed the bridge I soldered and it's read only again.
Take the bottom model, put Windows 7 on it and you have a very nice Media PC.
Smaller and faster than my Acer Revo but also more than twice the cost and is a mouse and keyboard still extra with the mini?
Still I think it's a good price for what is essentially a 13.3" Macbook pro without the keyboard. touchpad or screen.
"Still I think it's a good price for what is essentially a 13.3" Macbook pro without the keyboard. touchpad or screen."
--> also lacking battery, most of the chassis, the optical drive, the webcam and probably some more things I haven't thought of yet.
The price is so so, you pay extra for the tiny size.
Just put Boxee (other media centres are available) on the native OS and you're ready to go. I have a Mac Mini that does just that. In the background it runs Hudson, and on power-up it logs in to a default account and starts Boxee. Stick it under the TV and plug an HDMI cable in.
Both CPUs are dual-core jobs, but you can have a quad-core Core i7 running at 2GHz if you fancy the Mac Mini Server box. It has 4GB of memory and two 500GB 7200rpm hard drives, but lacks the optical drive found in the desktop models.
But the desktop model no longer has an optical drive. Cut'n'paste from an earlier review?
All of the current Mac Mini models, desktop and server alike are without an optical drive.
An external optical drive is an optional extra.
Now seeing as the desktop model doesn't have an optical drive any more, this would suggest it might be possible to fit a second drive, in fact one of the build to order options is to have both a 750GB rotating drive and and a 256GB SSD.
Ever depend on the Internet for installs? Ever have Internet go down in the middle of something when you find you need to install another tool? Internet dependence of computers can cause all kinds of end user problems. Then there's the whole point that optical storage is not subject to accidental magnetic erasure of data. I have lots of data and programs on DVD. I install the most of it from optical disks. Then there's magnetic storage drive mechanical failure, loss of data to this is real and optical disks are the solution. In the end it's, "no optical drive no sale."
Well best of luck to the Jobs and crew but no sale. I suppose the fanboys will not care though...
Removing the optical drive means one or two less tooling passes in the case manufacture... so reduced cost, also reduces the number of different cases - the 'server' lost the optical drive when the mac mini was promoted to te server role...
The mac external drive is rather lovely though... and more money in apples pockets for that!!
this isnt mac bashing, just an observation - i do have a mini server with snow leopard and the external optical drive...
Has anybody noticed that with Thunderbolt, Apple is on it's 5th or 6th video port standard in as many years?
DVI, Mini DVI, HDMI, Display Port, Mini Display Port and Thunderbolt.
Mind you it'll keep sales of port adaptors ticking over nicely. I do like the new cinema display though...
I thought that was the reason for mac minis - to put under the telly and use as a media centre. Yes, I know they want us to get all our content over the net, but out here in the real world, where DSL speeds are a lottery, we still use alot of optical media, thank you.
I'm definitely sticking with my 2010 model, does everything I need it to, has an optical drive and discrete graphics.
And yes, the mouse and keyboard you have to provide yourself.
Only interested in this as a media centre under the TV but unfortunately the world still hasn't ditched the optical media, nor has the missus. Mind you, I already had to extract the content from a bluray film we were given to the NAS so we could watch it and the missus puts all her new CD's into iTunes from her mac which is also on the NAS. The only time we use the drive is when the missus rents some DVDs. Really have to get her off this habit.
I guess this is Apples way of moving everyone to their appleTV media solution
You can get similar (or slightly better) spec components for about £300 ...
It all depends what you want your mini computer to look like.
Yep, the mac-mini is a damn fine "look at me" quality engineered setup, but looks aren't everything.
Doing a very quick bit of research at scan.co.uk, I racked up very similar specs, with a reasonable (if a LOT larger), case, for £300 - mini ATX
Add the £21 for Lion, assuming you'll go down the Hackintosh route and it's significantly cheaper.
Heck, slap in an optical drive for another £20.
It really boils down to looks. That's what your paying for.
I will add, however, that if you wanted a form factor as small as the mac mini, with the same amount of power, your going to struggle - and it will cost significantly more than £300 - and as far as I can tell, there's no micro ATX case as small as the current mac mini on the market. If there was, for the same build quality, you'd be looking at easily £150.
I guess the verdict here is, if you've got the moola and want a powerful, sexy, small form factor rig, the mac mini is the perfect choice.
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