New Mac Mini Unveiled


Today, Apple unveiled the new iteration of their Mac Mini. Previously $599, the new model will begin at $499. Proclaimed by Apple as the “world’s most energy efficient desktop,” the new Mac Mini will feature:

  • 4th gen Intel Core processors
  • Intel iris and HD Graphics 5000
  • PCI-e-based flash storage
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Two Thunderbolt 2 ports

Processor Improvements
According to Apple, the new Mac mini “keeps up with computers twice its size.” The Mac Mini comes with either a dual core Intel i5 processor or a more powerful Intel i7. The i5 models come in 1.4GHz, 2.5GHz, or 2.8GHz. The i7 model is 3.0GHz. The processors all feature Turbo Boost 2.0, which can increase the clock speed up to 3.5GHz, making it quite powerful for its size. Hyper-Threading allows each core to run two threads, making multitasking more efficient.

GPU Improvements
The new Mac mini features Intel Iris Graphics and Intel HD Graphics 5000, which Apple touts as providing 90% faster graphics performance than the previous-generation Mac mini. Although Apple does not specify what graphic settings they used to compare the processing power needed for the games, they have stated that the new GPU has 1.5 times the graphics performance required to run StarCraft II and 1.2 times the processing power needed to play Portal 2. For lans low on table space where high or ultra settings aren’t needed, this may make the Mac mini a viable party PC.

Storage Improvements
Custom models of the new Mac mini can include up to a 1TB Fusion Drive. The Fusion drive combines a 1TB hard drive with PCIe based flash storage. This drive automatically and intelligently manages data so that frequently used apps and files stay on the faster flash storage. Infrequently used items are then moved to the hard drive. This improves boot times and app launch times. If this $999 model is a bit too much, a standard 500GB or 1TB hard drive is available.

Port Improvements
As one would expect, the new Mac mini now offers Thunderbolt 2 connectivity, with 2 Thunderbolt 2 ports. The device also features 4 USB 3.0 ports, an SDXc card slot, HDMI input, Gigabit ethernet jack, and auxiliary ports, as displayed below:


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