2012 Mac mini teardown, benchmark results revealed

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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 releases Digital Camera Raw Compatibility Update 4.01

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Date: Thursday, October 25th, 2012, 07:20
Category: News, Software

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On Tuesday, Apple posted its Digital Camera Raw Compatibility Update 4.01, an update designed to extend RAW image compatibility for the Aperture 3 and iPhoto ’11 applications.

The update, a 5.3 megabyte download, adds support for the following cameras:
- Canon EOS M

- Canon PowerShot G15

- Canon PowerShot S110

- Canon PowerShot SX50 HS

- Nikon D600

- Nikon 1 J2

- Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ200

- Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G5

- Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX7

- Sony Alpha NEX-F3

- Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100

The update requires Mac OS X 10.7.5 or later to install and run and is also available via Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature.

If you’ve tried the new Digital Camera RAW update and noticed any changes, please let us know how it went.

Skype updated to 6.0.60.2946

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Date: Wednesday, October 24th, 2012, 07:41
Category: News, Software

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On Thursday, version 6.0.60.2946 of the Skype VoIP application was released. The new version, a 34.5 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:
- Microsoft and Facebook Account Integration: Sign up and sign-in is easier than ever. You can now sign into Skype using your Microsoft or Facebook account – there’s no need to create a new Skype account. This makes it even easier to connect with friends on Skype without having to set up another account.

- IM friends on Messenger: Now you can instant message your Windows Live Messenger, Hotmail and Outlook.com contacts via Skype all in one place. If you use a Microsoft account today, merging your accounts is easy – just sign in to Skype with your Microsoft account.

- Calling with Messenger friends is coming soon: We’re working on polishing a feature which will enable audio and video calls to Windows Live Messenger customers using Skype desktop clients. The feature will be available in coming weeks.

- Open Chats in Multiple Windows: We hear your feedback! With this release we’ve added support to open chats in multiple windows.

- Retina Display Support: We also added another feature you’ve asked for – support Retina display. Now you can take full advantage of improved usability and of higher resolutions.

Skype 6.0.60.2946 is available for free and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later to install and run.

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

Apple announces Fusion Drive, blends SSD and HDD technologies

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012, 18:11
Category: hard drive, Hardware, News

This could be interesting.

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog, Apple surprised its audience by announcing the Fusion Drive, a combination of SSD and HDD technologies. Fusion Drive is part of the new, just-announced iMacs, and is supported by OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion). In concept, it’s similar to auto-tiering that is used in enterprise environments.



In practice, Apple is offering a 128 GB SDD with a 1 TB or 3 TB HDD drive that are combined with smart software. The OS will monitor which apps you use the most and runs them from the SDD. Apple claims that, when the system is idle, it uses 50 percent less power than a standard hard drive.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Dropbox updated to 1.4.20

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012, 18:34
Category: News, Software

An update’s an update.

On Tuesday, Dropbox released version 1.4.20 of its cloud-based storage client for Mac OS X. The new version, a 22.9 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- Fix menu icon not showing for Ubuntu 12.10.

- Fix tray icon not showing for Windows 8.

- Other small fixes.

Dropbox 1.4.20 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

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

Cocktail updated to 6.2

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Date: Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012, 06:23
Category: News, Software

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On Thursday, shareware developer Maintain released version 6.2 of CocktailCocktail (Lion Edition), the popular shareware utility program that allows for additional Mac OS X system tests. The new version, a 5.2 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and features:
- Added ability to disable Notification Center (System – Misc).

- Added ability to set the Software Update frequency (System – Misc).

- Added ability to set the default file save location in iCloud supported applications (Interface – General).

- Added “Use the Backspace key to show the previous page” setting (Interface – Safari).

- Fixed compatibility issues with Firefox 16.

- Updated Help files.

- Updated Automator actions.

- Other bug fixes and improvements.

Cocktail 6.2 retails for a US$19.00 shareware registration fee and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.8 or later to install and run.

OnyX updated to 2.6.2

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Date: Monday, October 22nd, 2012, 06:03
Category: News, Software

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OnyX, Titanium Software’s popular freeware multifunction utility for Mac OS X, has been updated to version 2.6.2. The new version, a 21.5 megabyte download adds the following fixes and changes:

- Translations improved.

- Some obsolete functions were removed.

- Minor corrections.

OnyX 2.6.2 requires an Intel-based processor and OS X 10.8 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback, please let us know in the comments.

VirtualBox updated to 4.2.2

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Date: Friday, October 19th, 2012, 07:02
Category: News, Software

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VirtualBox, an open source x86 virtualization project available for free has just hit version 4.2.2. The new version, a 102.3 megabyte download, features the following fixes and changes:
- VMM: adapted to changes in Mac OS X 10.8.2 (bug #10965).

- GUI: restored VM item tool-tip functionality (4.2 regression).

- GUI: added group item tool-tip functionality.

- GUI: fixed handling of the .ova/.ovf file name association (4.2 regression).

- GUI: it was not possible to change any setting before the first VM was created (bug #10928).

- GUI: disable grouping action if all the selected items are full children list of the same group already.

- GUI: added menu for runtime drag-and-drop option change.

- GUI: cleanup shared-clipboard menu on visual-mode change.

- GUI: make sure VM receives keyboard focus on entering fullscreen-mode on Win host (bug #11051).

- GUI: disable proxy authentication for security reasons.

- 3D Support: DrawIndexedPrimitiveUP implementation fixes for the Windows WDDM video driver (bug #10929).

- Storage: fixed a release assertion in the AHCI emulation when requests where canceled with asynchronous I/O disabled.

- Storage: fixed a hang during VM reset under certain circumstances (bug #10898).

- NAT: fixed a crash under rare circumstances (Windows hosts only; bug #10128).

- NAT: automatically use the host resolver if the host name server is set to some unusual loopback value (bug #10864).

- E1000: fixed a VirtualBox crash during intensive network transfers (4.2 regression; bugs #10936, #10969, #10980).

- ICH9: fixed PCI bridge initialization.

- USB mouse: ensure that the last mouse event doesn’t get lost if no URBs are available.

- BIOS: certain legacy guests (e.g. Windows 95) didn’t find the boot device after a warm reboot.

- BIOS: don’t trash the palette in text modes when setting the border color.

- EFI: fixed OS X guest autoboot (4.2 regression).

- VBoxManage: fixed output of showvminfo –machinereadable (bug #10973).

- VBoxManage: fixed parsing of storageattach –discard (bug #11023).

- VBoxManage: fixed wrong output of the HPET setting in showvminfo (bug #11065).

- VBoxManage: fixed closing the guest session after executing a guest process via guest control.

- VBoxShell: adaptions to interface name changes.

- Guest Additions device: fixed a Guest Additions hang when a machine was reset after a crash.

- Linux hosts / guests: Linux 3.7-rc1 fixes.

- Linux Additions: support X.Org Server 1.13.

- Linux Additions: fixed a hang when the X server was restarted with old guest kernels.

- Linux Additions: fixed a VBoxService crash during CPU hot remove (bug fixed in … (new)”>#10964).

- Windows Additions: fixed automatic screen resize issue for NT4 guests.

- OS/2 Additions: fixed shutdown hang.

- OS/2 Additions: fixed mouse driver panic.

- Solaris hosts: fixed autostart service going into maintenance mode after all VMs started.

- Solaris hosts: fixed linking the host driver with the dtrace module.

VirtualBox 4.2.2 is available for free and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later and an Intel-based Mac to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback, please let us know.

VLC updated to 2.0.4

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, October 18th, 2012, 06:47
Category: News, Software

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Video Lan Client, the nigh-indispensable open source media player for multiple audio and video formats (MPEG, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, Divx, ogg, etc.), was updated to version 2.0.4. The new version, a 43.3 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- Rework of the Mac OS X interface.

- Fix video output on old Macs, notably PowerPC and GMA950 intel Macs.

- Support for HiDPI, aka Retina Display.

- Translations updates and new Scottish Gaelic translation.

- Fixes for splitted RAR, MKV segmented, mp4 and Real media files playback.

- Rewrite of the Digital TV module on Windows.

- Enhancements in HLS, Blu-Ray and various codecs support.

- Fixes for subtitles auto-detection.

- Fixes on Qt, skins2 and web interfaces.

VLC 2.0.4 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run.

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

Apple releases Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 11

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Date: Wednesday, October 17th, 2012, 07:12
Category: News, Software

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Never knock a good Java update.

On Tuesday, Apple released Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 11, a Java update for its Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) operating system.

The update, an 81.9 megabyte download, uninstalls the Apple-provided Java applet plug-in from all web browsers. To use applets on a web page, click on the region labeled “Missing plug-in” to go download the latest version of the Java applet plug-in from Oracle.

As always, the update can also be located and installed via the built-in “Software Update” feature in Mac OS X.

The Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 11 fix requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later to install.

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