iFixit tears down late-2014 Mac mini, offers positive and negative findings

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Date: Tuesday, October 21st, 2014, 11:01
Category: Hardware, Mac mini, News

The grand masters of the hardware teardown have cracked open Apple’s new Mac mini and found both positive negative things about it.

Per 9to5Mac, the mighty iFixit has completed a teardown of the new Mac mini and confirmed something that’s been a point of contention: the RAM is soldered into the logic board and can’t be upgraded, so you’ll have to pay Apple’s price when you initially purchase the machine.

Getting access to the inside of the new Mac mini is more difficult than it used to be …

The twist-off bottom cover of the previous model is gone, with a new plastic cap needing to be levered off. Beneath this is a plate with three tamper-proof screws.

iFixit identified these as TR6 Torx, and said it was the first time it had ever seen these in use. The company’s Torx drivers only went down to T7, so they had to improvise – but will be getting TR6 drivers in stock.

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Apple announces fourth-gen Mac mini, drops price to $499

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Date: Thursday, October 16th, 2014, 15:34
Category: Hardware, Mac mini, News

The Mac mini just got a hefty update and a nice price cut.

Per AppleInsider, Apple’s desktop received an update and accompanying price reduction on Thursday, featuring 4th-generation Intel Core processors and 802.11ac Wi-Fi, starting at US$499.

The new Mac mini lineup features integrated Intel Iris and HD Graphics 5000. It also has PCIe-based flash storage for faster performance.

The hardware refresh adds two Thunderbolt 2 ports and 802.11ac Wi-Fi connectivity, but retains the title of world’s most energy efficient desktop.

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Almost 80% of current Macs should be able to run OS X Yosemite

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Date: Monday, June 9th, 2014, 15:50
Category: Mac mini, Mac Pro, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mavericks, Mountain Lion, News, Software

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The odds are in your favor as to being able to run OS X 10.10 Yosemite.

Per Computerworld, OS X Yosemite will run on about eight out of every ten Macs, a boon for customers who want to upgrade this fall.

OS X 10.10, aka Yosemite — named after the California national park — will support the same Macs as 2012′s Mountain Lion and 2013′s Mavericks, according to accounts of the Yosemite preview’s system requirements.

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Apple posts Christmas delivery order details

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Date: Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013, 09:39
Category: Apple, Consumer Electronics, Holiday, iMac, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac mini, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Retail Store

Apple-Christmas-ListWith the next big shopping holiday just around the corner, shoppers have to think ahead if they want to beat the shipping avalanche before Christmas. To help its iShoppers this holiday season, Apple has posted a delivery guide to help make sure that everyone’s iGoodie is safely under the tree in time to give Santa the credit. By the way, Apple is offering free shipping on everything until Dec 22nd. A few examples of the big sellers are;

  • MacBook Pro – Standard config – Standard shipping order by Dec. 18, Next Day order by Dec. 22
  • MacBook Air – Custom config – Standard shipping order by Dec. 16, Next Day order N/A
  • iMac – Standard config – Standard shipping order by Dec. 18, Next Day order by Dec. 22
  • iPad mini with Retina display - Engraved or no engraving – Standard shipping order by Dec. 5, Next Day order N/A
  • iPad Air – Engraved or no engraving – Standard shipping order by Dec. 9, Next Day order N/A
  • iPhone 5S – All config – Standard shipping order by Dec. 12, Next Day order N/A

Those deadlines are creeping up fast, so better head over to the Online Store or your nearest retail location before the elves beat you to it!

Rumor: Mac mini ship times slip to 5-7 days, near-term Haswell refresh possible?

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Date: Friday, July 26th, 2013, 06:04
Category: Mac mini, retail, Rumor

When the ship times vary, a new product refresh could be around the corner.

Per MacRumors, Mac mini ship times on many Apple Online Stores have slipped to 5-7 business days.

This flies in the face of ship times for all the other Macs, as the other units 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 in the near future.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple releases Mac mini EFI Firmware Update 1.7, works to address HDMI flicker issue on late-2012 Mac mini

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, December 11th, 2012, 07:20
Category: Mac mini, News, Software

You can’t knock a good firmware update.

Late Monday, Apple released Mac mini EFI Firmware Update 1.7, the company’s firmware updater for the late-2012 Mac mini desktop. The update, a 4.8 megabyte download, addresses HDMI video flicker issues on Mac mini (Late 2012) computers and is recommended for all users.

The EFI Firmware Update 1.7 requires a late-2012 Mac mini running OS X 10.8.2 or later to install and run and can be directly downloaded or located and installed via the Software Update feature.

If you’ve tried the updater and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Initial tests show faster boot, read and write times under Apple’s Fusion Drive

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Date: Friday, November 9th, 2012, 08:59
Category: hard drive, Hardware, iMac, Mac mini, News

There may be ample reason to go with a Fusion Drive inside your Mac.

Per Techfast Lunch&Dinner, a series of tests run by the site found the Fusion Drive Mac mini started in just 15.7 seconds, while the 2012 Mac mini with a traditional hard drive took 34.1 seconds to start.

Major improvements were also found in a disk speed test, which revealed the Fusion Drive can achieve read speeds of more than 300 megabytes per second, and write speeds exceeding 400 megabytes per second. In comparison, the Mac mini with 5400-rpm drive couldn’t exceed 100 megabytes per second on either the read or write test.

Fusion Drive was unveiled by Apple last month and is an upgrade option in the company’s latest Mac minis and iMacs. Apple has said the feature offers nearly the same performance as a solid-state drive, but also allows considerably more storage at a lower price point.

Apple’s Fusion Drives feature 128 gigabytes of flash storage paired with either a 1-terabyte or 3-terabyte 5400-rpm hard drive. Apple’s OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion operating system calculates which files and applications are used the most and automatically places them on the faster solid-state drive, while less frequently accessed software remains stored on the spinning drive.

Core applications and the operating system are permanently stored and accessed from the flash memory, while the leftover space is used for those frequently accessed files, folders or programs. File transfers between the drives take place in the background dynamically, so the system is seamless and unobtrusive to the user.

Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller last month compared the Fusion Drive to a baseline 1TB 7200 RPM HDD. He said the Fusion drive performs an Aperture photo import 3.5 times faster, a file copy of a 4GB folder 3.5 times faster, and system boot 1.7 times faster.

If you’ve gotten your mitts on a new Mac with a Fusion Drive and have any feedback to offer about it, please let us know in the comments.

Apple releases OS X 10.8.2 Update for 13″ Macbook Pro with Retina Display, late 2012 21.5″ iMac and Mac mini models

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Date: Thursday, October 25th, 2012, 07:48
Category: iMac, Mac mini, MacBook Pro, News, Software

Where new hardware is released, the software updates will follow.

Per AppleInsider, only one day following the announcement of new iMac, MacBook Pro and Mac mini models, Apple on Wednesday released an OS X Mountain Lion update built specifically for those devices.

While the download is called OS X 10.8.2, just like the most recent update to Apple’s current operating system for all other Macs, Wednesday’s release is “for 13″ Macbook Pro with Retina Display, 21.5″ iMac (Late 2012)Mac mini (Late 2012).”

A quick look at the release notes doesn’t yield much in the way of new information, possibly pointing to issues the new 2012 units are facing with some features in 10.8.2. Of note is the update’s compatibility with the 21.5-inch iMac, a model that has yet to be released, though the no mention was made of the 27-inch version.

The update, a 654 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

Facebook:
- Single sign on for Facebook.
- Facebook as an option when sharing links and photos.
- Facebook friends’ contact information and profile pictures in Contacts.
- Facebook notifications in Notification Center.

Game Center:
- Share scores to Facebook, Twitter, Mail, or Messages.
- Facebook friends are included in Game Center friend recommendations.
- Facebook Like button for games.
- Challenge friends to beat your score or achievement.

Other new features:
- Power Nap support for MacBook Air (Late 2010).
- iMessages sent to your phone number now appear in Messages on your Mac.
- From Safari and Mail on your Mac you can add passes to Passbook on your iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 6.
- New shared Reminders lists.
- FaceTime now receives calls sent to your phone number.
- New sort options allow you to sort notes by title, the date you edited them, and when you created them.
- Dictation now supports Mandarin, Cantonese, Spanish, Korean, Canadian English, Canadian French, and Italian.
- The Dictionary application now includes a French definition dictionary.
- Sina Weibo profile photos can now be added to Contacts.

This update also includes general operating system fixes that improve the stability, compatibility and security of your Mac, including the following fixes:
- An option to discard the changes in the original document when choosing Save As.
- Unsent drafts are opened automatically when launching Mail.
- Receive Twitter notifications for mentions and replies from anyone
- URLs are shortened when sending tweets from Notification Center
- Notifications are disabled when AirPlay Mirroring is being used
- SSL support for Google searches from the Smart Search Field in Safari
- New preference to have Safari launch with previously open webpages
- Graphics performance and reliability enhancements
- USB 3.0 reliability enhancements

As always, the update can be located and installed via the Mac App Store or OS X’s built-in Software Update feature.

2012 Mac mini teardown, benchmark results revealed

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, October 25th, 2012, 07:27
Category: Hardware, Mac mini, News

Apple’s made some cool changes to its most affordable computer.

Per Macminicolo and Mac mini vault, a series of teardowns and benchmark tests of Apple’s newly released Mac mini, finding that the small format desktop’s performance is approaching that of legacy Xserves and 2010′s Mac Pro.

Announced on Tuesday at a special event, the new Mac mini is largely seen as an incremental update from last year’s model as it doesn’t feature a new design like the super thin iMac, however the internal upgrades are substantial enough to significantly boost the tiny computer’s performance.

The company noted in a blog post that the most substantial additions to the new machine are Intel’s Ivy Bridge processors and the option to configure up to 16GB of 1600MHz RAM straight from Apple. The entry-level offering now comes with 4GB of memory, which was found to be a major improvement as the previous 2GB standard configuration was just barely enough to run OS X Mountain Lion.

Also of note is Apple’s new Fusion Drive, a hybrid device that uses a solid state drive to maximize read/write times and an HDD to maintain high storage capacity. As Fusion is only offered on the mid-tier Mac mini, Macminicolo believes the US$799 model will be the most popular out of the lineup.

The firm performed a Geekbench benchmark test of the new unit, and found its score to be expectedly superior to previous models.



During the teardown, the companies found that not much has changed besides a different fan design, the move to Hitachi HDDs, and updated antenna connections.

The company also performed an identical Geekbench test, and found that its out-of-the box unit running OS X 10.8.1 (Build 12B2080) scored 7433, compared to a 2011 Mac mini updated to OS X 10.8.2, which scored 6583.

Apple’s new Mac mini is already for sale and starts with a standard $599 configuration powered by an Intel 2.5GHz dual-core i5 chip, 4GB of RAM, a 500GB HDD and integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics. The most expensive Mac mini comes with OS X Mountain Lion Server, a 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, 4GB of memory, Two 1TB HDDs and Intel HD 4000 graphics.

If you’ve snagged a newly-released 2012 Mac mini and have any feedback to offer about the unit, please let us know in the comments section.

Apple announces updated, Ivy Bridge Mac mini

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Date: Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012, 18:23
Category: Hardware, Mac mini, News

The Mac mini, it’s now equipped with Ivy Bridge goodness.

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog, besides a new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, Apple also updated its Mac mini line of desktops. The affordable Mac computer keeps the same boxy form factor, but soups up internals with a Core i5 or Core i7 Ivy Bridge processor (dual-core or quad-core configuration), integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000, up to 16 GB RAM and up to 1 TB hard drive or 256 GB SSD. Other features include Bluetooth 4.0, Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI out, FireWire 800, Thunderbolt port, four USB 3.0 ports and an SD card slot.

The base model starts at US$600 with a 500 GB hard drive and 4 GB of memory. It is available starting today. A server edition will be available for US$999.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.