Rumors typically start swirling about new Apple products well before the official announcement of the products. For a long time now, rumors have been bandied about that claim Apple was getting ready to launch new computer systems, including a revision to the Mac mini.
Apple has finally made the products official with announcements today that three new updated products are now available. Among the new products to receive updates is the aforementioned Mac mini. The new mini features NVIDIA graphics with the GeForce 9400M GPU that is now inside the new MacBook notebooks. Apple says that the graphics performance is now five times greater with the NVIDIA GPU than it was when Intel supplied the graphics for the machine.
Graphics aren’t the only thing that was updated in the mini. Buyers can now get up to 320GB of storage and a 120GB HDD is standard. Machines can be optioned with up to 4GB of RAM as well. Apple says the mini is the world's most energy efficient desktop computer with power consumption under 13 watts at idle; that’s 45% less power than previous generations required. The back panel has five USB ports, Gigabit Ethernet, Mini DVI port, FireWire 800 port and a Mini Display Port.
The CPU used in the mini is the Intel Core 2 Duo running at 2GHz with a 1066MHz FSB. Inside the small 6.5-inch square is also 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth is built-in. A slot-loading SuperDrive is standard on all minis that allows burning of CDs and DVDs. iLife 09 and Mac OS X Leopard are standard on the machine as well. The new mini starts at $599.
Apple also announced updates to the Mac Pro line adding quad-core Nehalem-based Xeon processors to the mix. Apple claims that the new processor makes the Pro up to 1.9 times faster than the old model. The integrated memory controller allows the Pro to use DDR3 RAM at 1066MHz for a 2.4 times increase in memory bandwidth.
Turbo Boost is a new feature on the Mac Pro that allows the user to boost the clock speed of the CPU with a button press based on their workload. The feature turns off cores of the CPU that aren’t being used to save power and increases the speed on the active cores up to 3.33GHz on a 2.93GHz CPU. The machines have options for AMD and NVIDIA GPUs. A base quad-core machine starts at $2,499 with a dual processor machine starting at $3,299.
The Apple iMac all-in-one line was updated with price cuts that make the 24-inch model cost about what the 20-inch version retailed for before. The 24-inch iMac now sells for $1,499. The machine uses NVIDIA 9400M graphics providing a resolution of 1680 x 1050 on the 20-inch iMac and 1920 x 1200 on the 24-inch iMac. The machines are built using recyclable glass and aluminum. The machines are also free of harmful toxins like BFRs and PVC plus the systems meets Energy Star 5.0 and EPEAT Gold requirements.
CPUs for the machines include the Core 2 Duo at 2.66GHz with an option to add the Core 2 Duo at up to 3.06GHz. The 24-inch iMac now gets 4GB of RAM standard and 640GB of standard storage space with an option for up to 1TB of storage. The 3.06 GHz version automatically gets 1TB of storage and all iMac models can use up to 8GB of RAM. The 20-inch iMac starts at $1199.
Apple also recently announced the release of its Safari 4 web browser.