Mac Desktops update galore

So Apple announced an entire refresh of their Desktop line. Everything from the Mac Minis, to the Mac Pros, and even some other peripherals like Time Machine, Airport Extreme and new keyboards. Let’s delve into each of these updates and see what Apple’s produced for us, shall we.

Mac Mini:
Let’s start with the Mac Mini. The prior update to the Mac mini line was in August of 2007 with the introduction of the Intel Core 2 Duo with Intel’s GMA 950 graphics chipset. The base Model came with a 1.83 GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, 80GB Hard drive, and the Combo Drive. The Maximum you could configure for the Mac Mini was 2.0 GHz processor, 2GB of RAM, 250GB Hard drive, and super drive.

The new Mac Minis start with a 2.0GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, and 120GB Hard drive. They both come with the Nvidia 9400M graphics chipset and a superdrive. There is no more combo drive option for any Mac. They are configureable up to 2.26 GHz, 4GB of RAM, and a 320GB Hard drive.

The new Mac Minis come with 5 USB ports, 1 Mini-DVI, 1 Mini DisplayPort, and one Firewire 800 port. The Firewire 800 port can work with a Firewire 400 device, all you need is a cable to do the conversion. The prices for the Mac Minis remains unchanged. Starting at $599 and $799 for the two models. There are a couple of differences between the two Models. The first is that the Base Mac Mini has 1GB of RAM, and 160GB Hard Drive and 128MB of shared video memory. While the higher end one starts at 2GB of Memory, is only configured with a 320GB Hard drive and has 256MB of shared video memory.

The Nvidia 9400M chipset means that the memory is now DDR3 running at 1066 MHz. This means faster performance and it can utilize the features of the Nahelem chips.


Apple has decided to drop the 20″ displays down to just one model.

The previous model was a 2.4GHz with 1GB of RAM, 250GB Hard drive, and ATI Radeon HD 2400 XT with 128MB of dedicated video memory.

The new 20″ Model has a 2.66GHz processor, 2GB of RAM, a 320GB Hard drive, and the Nvidia 9400 graphics chipset with 256MB of shared video memory. It comes with the glossy display, just like the previous models. It is configurable up to 8GB of RAM and a 1TB Hard Drive. The 8GB of DDR3 1066 Memory will set you back $1100. So I’d recommend going with the third party RAM on this one.

With having only one 20″ Model, that leaves room for three 24″ iMac Models. The $1499 model has a 2.66GHz processor, the same as the 20″ Model, along with the NVidia 9400M graphics processor and the same 256MB of shared video memory. The only difference between the 20″ and the 24″ models are the base hard drive size, memory size and Screen size. Other than that, they are both identical.

the Mid-range 24″ iMac that goes for $1799 has a slightly better set of specs. It boasts a 2.93GHz processor, with 4GB of RAM, and a 640GB Hard drive all standard. This iMac comes with a Geforce GT 120 with 256MB of dedicated video memory. The main difference between this model and the $1499 model is the configurable graphics cards. This model can support the Geforce GT 130. The GT 130 has 512MB of video memory as well as the ATI Radeon X4850.

The top of the line 24″ iMac has a 3.06GHz processor and 4GB of Memory. The Geforce GT 130 is the default graphics card, with the ability to upgrade to the ATI Radeon 4850. Both of these have the 512MB of dedicated video memory. This model only comes with a 1TB hard drive, there is no other option.

All of the iMacs have four USB 2.0 ports, 1 Firewire 800 port, a Mini-DisplayPort, 802.11A/B/G/N and the Dual-Layer Super Drive.

Mac Pro:

The Mac Pro also saw and update. There are two models, one Quad-Core, and One eight-Core Machine.

The Quad-Core model has a 2.66GHz processor, 3GB of RAM, and one 640GB Hard Drive. You can configure this beast up to one 2.93GHz processor and 8GB of memory (which would be a mistake).

The Eight-Core (or Octo) Mac Pro starts with two 2.26 GHz processors and 6GB of RAM. You can configure this behemoth with 32GB of memory, if you want. I wouldn’t recommend it, since the Nehalem chipsets are triple channel and should be installed in sets of three.

Both of the new Mac Pro models con be configured for four Geforce GT 120 video cards, four 1TB Hard drives, Fibre Channel and RAID and can support up to two 18X super-drives.

That’s it for the Mac Desktop, Early 2009, updates. It looks like those who were waiting for the Mac Mini and iMac updates got what they were looking for in an update. The odd thing is that the Mac Pros were not even rumored to be getting an update. So either this was something that Apple kept really hush-hush, or nobody from that group leaked any information.

I'm into everything technology related, particularly anything Apple related. I enjoy programming and tend to lean towards server-based technologies over client-based. You can contact me on twitter, via e-mail, or follow me on friendfeed.