Apple updates Mac mini with Intel Core i5 & i7 processors, Thunderbolt I/O, discrete graphics, and more

Apple Mac mini
Apple's new Mac mini
Apple today updated the Mac mini with next generation Intel core processors, new discrete graphics, high-speed Thunderbolt I/O technology and Lion, the world’s most advanced operating system. The new Mac mini delivers up to twice the processor and graphics performance of the previous generation in the same amazingly compact and efficient aluminum design.

Starting at just US$599, the new Mac mini is available for order today and in stores tomorrow.

“Mac mini delivers the speed and expandability that makes it perfect for the desktop, living room or office,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, in the press release. “With faster processors, more powerful graphics and Thunderbolt in an incredibly compact, aluminum design, the new Mac mini is more versatile than ever.”

At just 7.7-inches square and 1.4-inches thin, the new Mac mini maintains its compact aluminum design while delivering amazing performance and graphics capabilities. Available in three different configurations, customers can choose a Mac mini with the latest dual-core Intel Core i5 or Intel Core i7 processors, AMD Radeon HD 6630M discrete graphics, or a quad-core Intel Core i7 powered server configuration. Designed without an optical disc drive, Mac mini can access the optical drives on other PCs and Macs, and works with the MacBook Air SuperDrive. Configure-to-order options include up to 8 GBs of memory, a faster 7200 RPM hard drive and a 256GB solid state drive.

Mac mini now comes with Thunderbolt I/O technology for expansion possibilities never before available to Mac mini users. With a Thunderbolt port, Mac mini can connect to peripherals such as high-performance storage devices, RAID arrays and the new Apple Thunderbolt Display, a stunning 27-inch IPS widescreen display that’s great for making FaceTime® HD video calls, surfing the Web and viewing movies and photos.

With ultra-fast Wi-Fi, you can wirelessly download apps from the Mac App Store, get music and movies from iTunes, back up data to Time Capsule and share files with AirDrop, which makes transferring files quick and easy. Mac mini includes Bluetooth for wireless peripherals and four USB ports for easy connectivity for the wired and wireless devices you use every day.

The new Mac mini remains the world’s most energy efficient desktop, meets Energy Star 5.2 requirements and achieves EPEAT Gold status. Mac mini has a highly recyclable aluminum enclosure, PVC-free components and cables, no brominated flame retardants and features material-efficient system and packaging designs.

Every new Mac mini comes with Mac OS X Lion, the latest major release of Mac OS X, the world’s most advanced operating system, and iLife® apps for creating and sharing great photos, movies and music. Lion introduces more than 250 new features to the Mac, including Multi-Touch® gestures and system-wide support for full screen apps; Mission Control, an innovative view of everything running on your Mac; the Mac App Store, the best place to find and explore great software; Launchpad, a new home for all your apps; and a completely redesigned Mail app.

Advertisement: OS X Lion. The world’s most advanced desktop OS advances even further. Just $29.99 at Mac App Store.

The new Mac mini is available through the Apple Store today and in Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers starting July 21.

The 2.3 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 Mac mini with 2GB of memory and a 500GB hard drive starts at a suggested retail price of $599, with options to add memory up to 8GB and a 750GB hard drive.

The 2.5 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 Mac mini with 4GB of memory and a 500GB hard drive starts at a suggested retail price of $799, with options to upgrade to a 2.7GHz dual-core Core i7 processor, up to 8GB of memory, and a 750GB hard drive with an option to add or replace with a 256GB solid state drive.

The 2.0 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 Mac mini with Lion Server, 4GB of memory and dual 500GB hard drives starts at a suggested retail price of $999. Options include adding memory up to 8GB, two 750GB hard drives, or up to two 256GB solid state drives.

More info about the new Mac mini here.

Source: Apple Inc.

Related articles:
Apple’s Mac OS X Lion now available via Mac App Store; thumb drive version coming in August – July 20, 2011
Apple debuts new MacBook Air with Intel Core i5 & i7, Thunderbolt I/O & backlit keyboard – July 20, 2011
27-inch Apple Thunderbolt Display unveiled; world’s first Thunderbolt display – July 20, 2011
Apple discontinues MacBook – July 20, 2011

21 Comments

  1. I want one! I do not need one …but I want one. I am typing this on a quad core 27″ iMac; I have a 13″ MacBook Pro, and an iPad 2 …and I still want this sweet thing. Wow! Nobody can pull your strings like Apple can. Time to hide the credit card.

    1. AppleTV is Apple’s home-entertainment solution. It’s not necessarily good enough for everyone, but it is in Apple’s eyes.

      Besides, how much are USB DVD drives? Can’t be more than $30.

    2. Apple is trying to tell us that physical media is no longer needed. Though I personally prefer owning physical media, I have to acknowledge that I am the dinosaur here…

      1. Yes, Apple is telling us that optical discs are obsolete. The problem is that they’re wrong. At the bleeding edge, this is what is happening; but for average computer users, and for anyone who doesn’t have broadband access, physical discs are a long way from being “no longer needed”.

        In fact, even people who do have broadband access may run into trouble because of the data caps that ISP’s are increasingly imposing on their customers’ useage.

    3. You can buy the MacBook Air USB SuperDrive and plug it in.

      How do I know? I use a Mac mini Server with such a setup as my HTPC. You can also use any SuperDrive in the house on the network.

  2. So long, white MacBook… (sniff)… it’s been a fun ride.

    Glad I went for the i5 13″ Macbook Pro back in March!!
    So now I gots my 21.5 i3 iMac and my MBP. Ready for Lion!!

  3. the $599 mini has an “Intel HD Graphics 3000 processor with 288MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory”

    I thought there were problems with games etc with the intel graphics?…

    The low end one is the one i’d grab for myself at that price.. but that graphics card makes me want to wait and see..

    I’m with Empty tank, same boat…
    But i do have a PowerMac G5 dual behind me serving as my media server… the mini could replace it.

    and Doug.. as Scott said, say hello to the AppleTV.
    If you need a DVD drive… they are cheap. I don’t even remember when the last time i actually watched a DVD/Blu Ray… I bring them home, toss them in the drive of either my iMac or my PC and rip them…
    or just copy them outright if i wanted to make sure i had the “extras”

    and most of my Blu-Rays i purchase.. I try and get the Digital copy included ones.

    Optical disk… sad to say, is a dieing breed.
    OMG…. the MacBook Air don’t have one either!!!!!!
    it never had one.. it’s not a problem.

    if you must live in the past… i’m sure you can find the old Mini on sale somewhere. or buy a refurbished one from apple.

    and i will bet that real soon, someone will make a optical drive enclosure that is slim and has exact dimensions as the mini and sit beneath it. just like those USB hubs and Drive enclosures they have now.

  4. I still think that they should make the Mac mini just big enough to use the cheaper, bigger 3.5″ desktop hard drives. That would only add about an inch to the overall size. Still plenty small for a desktop computer.

    $599 for a computer with a 500GB drive and no mouse or keyboard is just bit much. Especially if you start loading all your movies and music on this thing for a media center.

    The original Mac mini started at $499.

  5. Finally! I’ve been waiting for the update for a while. I was a little concerned about the disk drive but then I started thinking about the last time I used the one on my other Mac….to be honest I can’t remember…

  6. No disc drive? No problem here i mount all my dmgs from a network share anyway. My disc drive in my mini has been used maybe 2 times in 2 years.

    My only complaint is the intel graphics. Blah.

    Other than that its a nice upgrade and tempting…. so so tempting….

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