New Mac desktops

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New Mac desktops

Postposted on Tue Mar 03, 2009 8:45 am

Mini:

2.0GHz Core2
1GB or 2GB of DDR3 (?!) RAM
120GB or 320GB hard drives
DVD-RW DL
Geforce 9400M
Mini DVI AND Mini Displayport
$599 or $799

iMac:

20" (low end only) or 24" display
2.66GHz, 2.93GHz, 3.06GHz Core2
2GB (20" only) or 4GB DDR3 RAM
320GB (20") or 640GB (24") HDD
DVD-RW DL
GeForce 9400M (20" and 24" low end), GT120, or GT130 graphics (edit: GeForce 8600? lolwut?), upgradeable to Radeon 4850 for $50 on the high end one, $200 on the next one down, not available on bottom 2.
new keyboard with no numpad, old version still available for same price.
$1199 - $2199

Mac Pro:

single Quad or dual Quad Nehalem Xeons
2.66 single or 2.26 dual
3 or 6GB DDR3
640GB HDD
GT120 512MB (up to 4x) or 4870 512MB ($200 upgrade)
DVD-RW DL
$2499 or $3299

Base model cannot be upgraded to dual, but can go up to 2.93GHz. High-end model cannot be downgraded to single, but can go to dual 2.93.

I wonder if the single is a desktop board with ECC support or something?

edit: oh, new Airport Extreme and Time Capsule, dual-band to use G/B and N at the same time.
Last edited by derFunkenstein on Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Mac desktops

Postposted on Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:02 am

Source?

Ah, I see Apple's updated their store. Funny that Ars hasn't picked up on it yet.
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Re: New Mac desktops

Postposted on Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:28 am

Finally the mini is a good overall item, the graphics update should be a big help.
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Re: New Mac desktops

Postposted on Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:03 am

the mini is the best buy. Heck it would make an excellent HTPC.
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Re: New Mac desktops

Postposted on Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:05 am

The Mini, yeah, definitely an improvement. 1GB in the low end is cheesy, though - the new onboard graphics use 128MB in a 1GB config or 256MB in a 2GB setup. 2GB should really be the minimum. But an improved bus (1066MHz bus to dual-channel DDR3 1066) will help performance. At DDR3 SODIMM prices, though, I think you're better off letting Apple upgrade the RAM for $50. I think it would hold its own against $650 Dell/HP SFF boxes, though.

Actually...I just put together a Dell Studio Hybrid. It starts with a 1MB Pentium Dual-Core chip, 2GB of RAM, and a 160GB hard drive which starts at $450. Compared to a $650 mini (with 2GB of RAM), you have to upgrade the CPU to a 2GHz Core2 ($100 extra) and Vista Home Premium ($30) to get the same features. That brings you up to $580. Is an extra 1MB L2 cache, bluetooth, wifi N, FW800, and GeForce 9400M vs GMA X4500 forht $70? To me it is. And that's before we ever talk about software. I personally don't care about the Dell's keyboard or mouse because I have my own preferred models. I could have jacked up the Mini's price to get a KB/Mouse, and I could have jacked up the Studio Hybrid's price to get wifi/bluetooth - though personally I'd want wifi to go with my wireless router. Plus the mini has 5 USB ports, and is dual-display capable now (for $30 more if you dont' have a Mini DP monitor. Since it's not included on the Dell, I'm not including that in teh setup).

The GeForce 9400M is slower than the Radeon 2400, though...what you're going to see is that the base iMac has much slower graphics, if such a thing is possible, and only about 11% more CPU speed.
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Re: New Mac desktops

Postposted on Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:18 am

It's kind of surprising to me that the mac mini is one of the cheapest sff computers you can buy out there, and its also one of the best.
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Re: New Mac desktops

Postposted on Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:26 pm

Traz wrote:It's kind of surprising to me that the mac mini is one of the cheapest sff computers you can buy out there, and its also one of the best.
It is a pretty good deal, especially by Mac standards. Though I'd say the Dell Studio Hybrid is in the same ballpark (setting aside OS preferences, obviously) -- at its cheapest (Yonah CPU) it's cheaper, and at a similar price-point it offers a bit more (7-in-1 media reader), especially when Dell has one of their (increasingly frequent) sales. And you can get it in a color other than white (even bamboo or leather) ;) But obviously Intel X3100 IGP falls down in a big way compared to the 9400M, so if you're looking for a nettop with the guts to do a little gaming the Mini is a very nice package.
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Re: New Mac desktops

Postposted on Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:10 pm

Don't forget HD video. The 9400 will have a much easier time than the GMA. For an HTPC, there's no way I'd consider a GMA anything, 950, X3100, whatever. If it wasn't a Mac, it could be an AMD box with Radeon 3200 onboard or something. But definitely not the Dell Studio Hybrid and its GMA.
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Re: New Mac desktops

Postposted on Sat Mar 07, 2009 2:58 pm

Agreed. with these upgrades I'll buy a mac mini to replace my dead PC--probably around may, when my birthday is :) I'm not gaming anymore so...the only way I can see it changing is if Dell wakes up and puts something better than that godawful Intel GPU in it's machine.
edit: yeah, it's 150 more than the Dell...but the better GPU makes that not as painful as it could be. I mean, the 9400M isn't smoking hot, but it beats the pants off that intel one. I just hope that I can import all my old documents and stuff easily. It'd be a pain to renter those.
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Re: New Mac desktops

Postposted on Sat Mar 07, 2009 9:46 pm

If you can burn a CD or stick a hard drive in an external enclosure, you'll be able to get your docs on the machine. And unless you're using something that absolutely has no Mac equivalent and no way to convert it to something more universal, you'll be able to use it on the Mac. Even Access, which MS has ignored on the Mac, can export the data in some usable format that could be imported by Bento ($50 for a home database app? Yes, please) without too much trouble.

You can get 4GB of Crucial DDR3 SO-DIMMs on Newegg for $53, and with the economy the way it is, that'll probably be lower in May, too.
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Re: New Mac desktops

Postposted on Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:11 am

I so want a new Mac Pro, but I just can't bring myself to pull the trigger. I have the original Xeon model, 2 dual core 2.6GHz processors. The big difference is the bus speed. I think though, I might be able to extend the lifetime of my box with a GPU upgrade.
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Re: New Mac desktops

Postposted on Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:12 am

ATi has a Radeon 4870 upgrade for Mac Pros, but only those with 64-bit EFI (only for the 2008 and 2009 models). Do you already have a GeForce 8800GT? If so, you might be at the end of the line already for your Mac Pro.
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Re: New Mac desktops

Postposted on Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:35 am

We got our 2.8GHz 24" iMac last December and man is it ever great! We paid $2200 CAD at Bestbuy (that includes 13% tax). When you think about it it's not too bad value.

You get a pretty decent 24" monitor. ($500)

Decent speakers ($40)

Good web cam ($50)

Remote ($20, I'm a sucker for the remote)

Software to burn DVD's (I think that's included with Vista now)

Software to manage photo's ($45)

Software to make home movies ($100)

Backup software ($60)

Wireless N built in ($60)

Firewire 400/ 800 (I find a lot of Bestbuy PC lack these) ($20)

It fits on your desk (and looks sexy)

Built in security ($150)

Even though my estimates are rough, you can see that your not just getting a processor, RAM video card etc when you buy a Mac. Sure you can get a Dell for 30% less but after you factor in the features you get (both software and hardware) I think the price is quite justified.
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Re: New Mac desktops

Postposted on Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:29 am

henfactor wrote:Even though my estimates are rough, you can see that your not just getting a processor, RAM video card etc when you buy a Mac. Sure you can get a Dell for 30% less but after you factor in the features you get (both software and hardware) I think the price is quite justified.


I think you need to read up what is actually contained in Vista or Windows 7. Not really the focus of this thread but this "oh look it's not that expensive" posts always seem to come from those who haven't looked at a Windows system or Windows itself since XP. Programs exist on both sides that do everything you listed for free or the hardware you mentioned is pack in on nearly every model (web cam, mics, remotes, etc are all extremely common these days). Many of them are included (some for a very long time at that) With that said...

I like the new Mac Mini from a hardware perspective and I didn't really understand why it wasn't thought of so well in TR's last podcast. No other OEM system offers more performance potential that I can think of off the top of my head. I can understand the strong dislike of a modern system coming defaulted with 1GB of RAM and a 120GB hard drive, and those are a bit stinging, but from the TR readers perspective those are easily done upgrades by yourself that are cheap and will keep you in range or lower than say the Dell Studio Hybrid. I think this is more a function of Intel's integrated solutions really being that bad but if I were to buy one of these small systems now form an OEM it'd be a Mini.
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Re: New Mac desktops

Postposted on Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:38 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:ATi has a Radeon 4870 upgrade for Mac Pros, but only those with 64-bit EFI (only for the 2008 and 2009 models). Do you already have a GeForce 8800GT? If so, you might be at the end of the line already for your Mac Pro.


I have no idea which EFI mine has. I have an XT1900 in mine. It's decent, but wouldn't mind something a bit faster.
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Re: New Mac desktops

Postposted on Wed Mar 11, 2009 5:05 pm

Are your Xeons on the 1333MHz bus or the 1600MHz one? Boot into Windows and take a look at CPU-Z. If you're riding a 1333MHz bus, you've got 32-bit EFI.

edit: I'm stupid. The System Profiler shows the bus speed on the Hardware Overview screen.
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Re: New Mac desktops

Postposted on Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:19 am

derFunkenstein wrote:Are your Xeons on the 1333MHz bus or the 1600MHz one? Boot into Windows and take a look at CPU-Z. If you're riding a 1333MHz bus, you've got 32-bit EFI.

edit: I'm stupid. The System Profiler shows the bus speed on the Hardware Overview screen.



Sadly, it's the slower of the two.
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Re: New Mac desktops

Postposted on Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:48 am

I'm relatively sure, then, that this is as good as it gets. I don't own a Mac Pro, of course, so I may not be right.
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Re: New Mac desktops

Postposted on Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:21 am

:o 300 for an 8800GT? Ouch.

edit: and agreed on the mini. I like it. I'd have changed 2 things about it (larger HDD, 2 gigs ram standard) but neither of those is really game breaking. It's still a niche product. There aren't that many of us interested in super small form factors after all. But within that niche it's the overall most functional device I've seen. Don't know why the podcast was so rough on it.
edit 2:
I think this is more a function of Intel's integrated solutions really being that bad
Exactly. I can upgrade RAM and HDD. I can't, in these sorts of things, upgrade the IGP.
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Re: New Mac desktops

Postposted on Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:52 am

You can buy a 512MB 8800GT and flash it yourself as long as you have a BIOS box laying around somewhere (needs flashed using nvflash in DOS).

edit: that link has the 64-bit ROM. If you want a 32-bit ROM you'll need to look elsewhere.

edit #2: That 32-bit EFI ROM here and confirmed by other users in that thread to work.
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Re: New Mac desktops

Postposted on Sat Mar 14, 2009 4:31 pm

Sorry for the double-post, but apparently Thresher is in luck.

Apparently the Radeon 4870 Mac version can run in any Mac Pro, and you can flash your own PC parts. The problem, as I see it, would be cabling - don't those things require two PCIe connectors, and therefore probably two Molex connectors. You'll either need the extracted 4870 drivers from the 10.5.7 leak or the special new build of 10.5.6 that comes with new Minis/iMacs/Nehalem Mac Pros. So much for having to spend a gazillion dollars. :D
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Re: New Mac desktops

Postposted on Sat Mar 14, 2009 4:34 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:Sorry for the double-post, but apparently Thresher is in luck.

Apparently the Radeon 4870 Mac version can run in any Mac Pro, and you can flash your own PC parts. The problem, as I see it, would be cabling - don't those things require two PCIe connectors, and therefore probably two Molex connectors. You'll either need the extracted 4870 drivers from the 10.5.7 leak or the special new build of 10.5.6 that comes with new Minis/iMacs/Nehalem Mac Pros. So much for having to spend a gazillion dollars. :D


Yea, I think you are right. I only remember one connector in the original mp. The x1900xt required only 1 connector.

...They might have some but I just don't remember mac pro's having any molex connectors...
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Re: New Mac desktops

Postposted on Sat Mar 14, 2009 4:41 pm

oh, that might put a damper on things. I was thinking it might but then I forgot that all the drives are SATA. No need for Molex.
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Re: New Mac desktops

Postposted on Sat Mar 14, 2009 4:52 pm

http://developer.apple.com/documentatio ... tion.html#

It looks like it has 2 ports, you just need a cable.
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Re: New Mac desktops

Postposted on Sat Mar 14, 2009 4:58 pm

The Mac Pro has never been a great value proposition but this latest one seems particularly bad, especially in single processor form. A Core i7 build can be speced for nearly half the cost of what Apple is asking, with Blu-ray no less. And what's with the 8GB RAM limitiation and what I presume to be dual-channel memory controller? I don't think those are limitations of the Xeon 3500 series. I know friends who use Macs for more than fooling around but less than professional work, and I can't help but think it's better to just roll your own.
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Re: New Mac desktops

Postposted on Sat Mar 14, 2009 5:01 pm

crazybus wrote:The Mac Pro has never been a great value proposition

Uh, no. In the Core 2 based Xeon era, the Mac Pro was pretty competitively priced with stuff from Dell and HP.

Right now we have no idea if it's a good value proposition because Nehalem Xeons are not out on the open market yet.
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Re: New Mac desktops

Postposted on Sat Mar 14, 2009 5:28 pm

Uh hey guys, sorry to break up the argument but there's a small disappointment I wanted to express:

When the iMac refresh hit the rumor mill, I was really hoping for the iMac to get C2Quads. Sure, OS X probably doesn't need 2 more cores, but (supposedly) OS X 10.6 will have this "grand central" api/framework going for it. I was thinking that in order to get a larger base of users with more than 2 cores, Apple would give the iMac 4 cores so that developers can capitalize on that.

Oh well.
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Re: New Mac desktops

Postposted on Sat Mar 14, 2009 6:03 pm

ssidbroadcast wrote:Uh hey guys, sorry to break up the argument but there's a small disappointment I wanted to express:

When the iMac refresh hit the rumor mill, I was really hoping for the iMac to get C2Quads. Sure, OS X probably doesn't need 2 more cores, but (supposedly) OS X 10.6 will have this "grand central" api/framework going for it. I was thinking that in order to get a larger base of users with more than 2 cores, Apple would give the iMac 4 cores so that developers can capitalize on that.

Oh well.


It's a reasonable disappointment. Dell charges 164 more dollars for the qx9300 on the precision m4400 (compared to the x9100 3.06). So in Apple's case they could make it a 200-300 dollar upgrade.
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Re: New Mac desktops

Postposted on Sat Mar 14, 2009 6:26 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:
crazybus wrote:The Mac Pro has never been a great value proposition

Uh, no. In the Core 2 based Xeon era, the Mac Pro was pretty competitively priced with stuff from Dell and HP.

Right now we have no idea if it's a good value proposition because Nehalem Xeons are not out on the open market yet.

You misread me, I didn't mean to say it was a bad deal. I know it held its own vs the comparable competition. In my budget-oriented mind it's hard to reconcile high-end workstation hardware with "great value".

What I am saying is that with the lack of a quad-core processor option for the iMac, the single processor Mac Pro is the obvious step up for users wanting more power. Most users don't really need ECC support, so the Xeon processor is unnecessary. Core i7 systems can be had for half the cost and are otherwise comparable, except they can usually handle 24GB DDR3.
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Re: New Mac desktops

Postposted on Sat Mar 14, 2009 6:57 pm

24GB in what, 8GB DIMMs? Don't most X58 boards have 4 slots?

I disagree that they're not a good value. If your time is money and you use your computer to make money, and if the Mac Pro can get things done faster, doesn't that make it an outstanding value?

I see what you really want - you want a Core 2 Quad iMac. Remember that iMacs are built with mobile parts. Are there Core 2 Quad mobile parts yet? I know they were at one point planned, but if they're not available and won't be available for a while, you probably won't see them in an iMac. And I'm curious what kind of pricing they'll get - you could conceivably see a Core 2 Quad iMac come in at a higher price than a Nehalem quad-core Mac Pro. Sure, you get the display, but I cannot fathom spending $2500 or more on an AIO computer. I can't see spending $2000 on one, even if the screen is worth $400+ of it (and a IPS 24" panel would be worth $400, I think).
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