/2011 Mac Mini Sandy Bridge refresh

2011 Mac Mini Sandy Bridge refresh

Aside from the Macbook Air, Apple has also issued a hardware refresh of it’s Mac mini line bringing Sandy Bridge, Thunderbolt, OS X Lion and a slew of other changes to the small mac package.

The new Mac Mini’s no longer sport an optical disc drive so it may be a downer for people still looking to use it as a media hub for DVDs but the good news is that it’s priced at a much lower bracket with the cheapest configuration clocking in at just $599.

The 2011 Mac mini will be available in 3 configurations, 2 for regular consumers (a low-end and high-end configuration) and one for servers. The matrix of options and prices are available below:

2011 Mac Mini Specifications
Low-end High-end Server
Processor i5-2410M (2.3GHz dual core) i5-2520M (2.5GHz dual core) i7-2635QM (2.0GHz quad core)
Graphics Intel HD 3000 with 288MB of shared DDR3 AMD Radeon HD 6630M with 256MB of GDDR5 Intel HD 3000 with 384MB of shared DDR3
RAM 2GB 1333MHz DDR3 (up to 8GB) 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 (up to 8GB)
Storage 500GB 5400rpm 2x500GB 7200rpm
Ports Thunderbolt, HDMI, FireWire 800, 4x USB 2.0, SDXC card slot, Gigabit Ethernet, audio in/out
Connectivity 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0
Weight 2.7lb 2.7lb 3.0lb
Price $599 $799 $999

There are some interesting items from Apple’s new Mac mini inventory so if you’re interested in getting one, take time to read it through.

Only the server configuration of the mini has a quad-core processor.  This maybe tempting but if you’re looking for an HTPC, you may want to check out high-end consumer model as it sports a discrete GPU.  If you’ve been following the Mac mini’s history, this is the very first mini equipped with a discrete GPU.  While it will not perform as fast as the chips inside the new MacBook Pros and iMacs, it still leagues above the Intel HD 3000 GPU.  Of course if you just need a number cruncher ten the server with it’s beefier processor will work fine.

As noted above, there is no more optical drives on the mini.  Apple’s push of it’s Mac App Store for apps and iTunes for media may have steered the company to remove it but at least you still have the option of using external drives.

While the mini’s price is still well above any PC you can build yourself, at $599 for the lowest tier build, it’s a great option for first time Mac users.

Pricing for the Philippines are as follows:

Model Price
Low-end Mac Mini Php30,990
High-end Mac Mini Php40,990
Server Mac Mini Php50,990