New Mac minis get first tear down and Geekbench scores

Apple’s refreshed Mac mini lineup already received some nice RAM upgrade options from OWC this morning, but now we get a look at the insides of the updated Macs courtesy of a tear down from Mac Mini Vault. The website also published Geekbench scores for the device, showing some impressive performance increases over the 2011 models.

First off, it found minimal changes to packaging and the positioning of the new Mac mini’s internals:

The overall packaging size was unchanged, however marketing specs have been updated and the inside organization has been optimized… Under the hood only minor differences are visible. Most notable are the fan design, Hitachi hard drive, and connections for the antennas. (2012 on left – 2011 on right)

As for Geekbench, the new stock Mac minis were able to record a score of 7433 running 10.8.1 out of the box. In comparison, Mac Mini Vault had a 2011 Mac mini running 10.8.2 clocked at 6583. Mac Mini Vault also noted it will begin testing alternative OS options for the new Mac mini server edition next week:

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Apple October 23rd event: What we know, expect and some new tidbits

Had you heard? Apple’s got a ‘little’ event going on at the newly-decorated California Theatre tomorrow where they will FINALLY showcase the iPad Mini, new Mac Minis, a Retina 13-inch MacBook Pro as well as software like iBooks 3.0 and iTunes 11.

First, the bad news: We’ve heard that the some of the iMacs that we found earlier have been pushed so far back that they might not warrant inclusion at the event this week. That doesn’t mean they are cancelled but because there have been some issues with the products and the including them is a “gameday decision”. We’re obviously hoping they make the docket.

And now the good news: Read more

Estimated prices on 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros: Starts around U$1,699

Alongside the new mini/iPads, Mac Minis, and iMacs, Apple will reveal a 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display on Oct. 23. We have now received pricing information on the base model and the “best” model. We believe the entry model 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro will cost roughly $1,699 at launch, based on wholesale prices we received, while the higher spec model will cost $200 to $300 more.

The base model Retina MacBook Pro retails for $2,199 in the United States, so the 13-inch varieties would create a more inexpensive option for those who also prefer a smaller device. We expect these to be available shortly after launch, but we can probably expect some supply constraints as we saw with the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro. We also expect initial supply constraints on some of the new iMacs.

It sounds like the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro will have a 2,560-by-1,600-pixel display (the same as a 30-inch Cinema Display), with the effective area being the same as the 1,280-by-800 screens as the current MacBook Pros when used in pixel-doubled Retina mode. We do not yet have other specs on the Retina Pro configuration, but we will update as that information comes in.

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OWC puts together Mac Mini Stack Max: USB 3.0, 4TB 3.5 inch drive, eSATA and more

We love this add-on to the Mac Mini that turns it into more of a pro-device (and a cube!).  The business up front is a DVD-R drive (not sure about BluRay) and an SDXC card reader that complements the one on the back of the mini. On the rear, you get a high power USB source for quick-charging an iPad as well as a few USB 3.0 ports that require separate drivers.  Also on the back is an eSATA port for fast external peripheral support as well as two Firewire 800 ports. Inside, there is room for up to a 4TB 3.5 inch hard drive which you can order with the Mini Stack Max or you can bring your own.

This is interesting because it is moving the Mini more toward a pro-like setup.

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OWC has not put a price on the Mac Mini Stack Max but expects them to be available in March. Read more

Apple outlines some limitations of Thunderbolt displays

Following the first shipments of Apple’s new 27-inch Thunderbolt Display, a new support document reveals some limitations regarding multiple display support that we weren’t exactly expecting.

Nearly every current Mac model is able to support two Thunderbolt displays. The exceptions are the 13-inch MacBook Air (mid 2011), which only supports one, and the 13-inch MacBook Pro which supports two, but disables the device’s main display to do so. Also of note, the $800 Mac mini can support three Thunderbolt displays thanks to the AMD graphics and its HDMI port.

One other somewhat surprising limitation of the new displays is the inability to daisy chain a Mini DisplayPort screen off the new Thunderbolt display. The support document explains:
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Thunderbolt Displays now shipping to end users

…in New Zealand anyway.  One 9to5Mac reader said that the Thunderbolt Display he ordered on August 17th was now en route to his home.  If anyone else has a shipping display let us know in the comments or at tips@9to5mac.com.

What’s perhaps most interesting about this shipment information is that these displays aren’t shipping directly from China as most Apple products do. They are shipping from a holding spot in Australia (below) perhaps indicating that the wait on these displays isn’t because of hardware, but in fact software, which, incidentally was updated last night on Thunderbolt MacBook Pros and Mac Minis.