Apple AT LAST releases trio of long-awaited desktops
We were expecting new Mac minis and possibly new iMacs, but Apple has gone ahead and released updates across its entire desktop line-up.
The updated Mac mini is just as rumors foretold: Core 2 Duo processors running at 2.0 or 2.26 GHz, NVIDIA 9400M graphics, and 120GB, 250GB, or 320GB 5400 RPM drive options. It also features the same port array as recently leaked photos have shown. Surely there is someone who can explain to us the logic of having both Mini-DisplayPort and Mini-DVI ports—we’ll let you know if we can get a statement from Apple. And yes, the Mac mini does in fact now have five USB ports. Five! The Mac mini starts at the same $599 as the previous model.
The iMac has been updated with faster Core 2 Duo processors running at 2.66GHz, 2.93GHz, and 3.06GHz; NVIDIA 9400M graphics; and for the 24" model, discrete NVIDIA GeForce or ATI Radeon graphics cards. Hard drive options include 320GB, 640GB, or 1TB 7200 RPM drives. It doesn’t appear that LED backlighting has come to the iMac yet, however. The FireWire port has been updated to FW800, and the external display port is of course Mini-DisplayPort. A 20" model starts at $1,199, and 24" models start at $1,499.
The new Mac Pro is a whole new "beast," according to Apple. The machine uses Intel’s Nehalem-based quad-core Xeon processors in either a 4- or 8-core configuration, with a "Turbo Boost" for the high-end 2.93GHz 8-core system, which can push the clock speed as high as 3.33GHz in bursts. Of course, 1066MHz DDR3 ECC RAM is standard, with four-core systems maxing out at 8GB and eight-core systems maxing out at 32GB. Apple offers NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 or ATI Radeon 4870 HD graphics card options, including the option to run up to 4 NVIDIA GT120s to drive up to eight 30" Cinema Displays. And, all four FireWire ports are the FW800 variety. Like the other models, the external design remains the same. A quad-core Mac Pro starts at $2,499, and an 8-core model starts at $3,299.
Apple is stressing the environmental aspects of all three machines as well. All new desktops are BFR and PVC-free (including arsenic-free glass on the iMac), have highly recyclable enclosures, meet Energy Star’s more stringent 5.0 requirements, and are rated EPEAT Gold. We’re not sure if that is enough to keep Greenpeace off Apple’s back, but it sure sounds like Apple is continuing to emphasize that it takes the environment seriously.
It appears that all the machines are available immediately from Apple’s retail stores. The online Apple Store lists Mac minis and iMacs as shipping within 24 hours, and Mac Pros are shipping in four business days. Be sure to check out more detailed coverage of the new hardware on Infinite Loop later this morning.
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