The new iMac's, Mini's and MacPro's are here!
First off is a brand new Mac Mini that now features the same NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics that has done absolute wonders for the MacBook. This is a great leap forward from the previous Mini and should be a welcome addition, since Apple claims that it gives a whopping five times the performance of the older model. The new Mini comes in both a $600 version, complete with 1GB of RAM and a 120GB hard drive, and a higher end version featuring 2 GB RAM and a 320 GB hard drive. Both versions of the Mini run 2.0 GHz Core Duo processors. All-in-all, a nice upgrade especially considering it's better graphics and the now included five USB ports, and it's one 800 MB FireWire port.
When it comes to the iMac, well, there's a newer, cheaper and more powerful 24 inch model with a starting price of $1,499. This includes a 2.66 GHz Duo Core processor, 4 GB RAM (nice, very nice!), 8x double-layer SuperDrive and NIVIDIA's GeForce 9400M built-in graphics. The hard drive capacity is now 540 GBs, the same as the $1,799 mid-range model. This mid-range model sports the much more powerful NIVIDIA GeForce GT 120 with 256 MB memory. The top model weighs in with a 1 TB hard drive and NIVIDIA GeForce GT 130 sporting 512 MB of video. This high-end will set you back $2,199 and sports a 3.06 GHz Inteld Core 2 Duo, compared to the middle range's 2.93 GHz version.
Now for the mother of all Mac's, the really Big Mac of the family, the Mac Pro. This beast comes in two versions, a 4 core version and a 8 core version. The Quad-Core starts at $2,499, a tad bit more than your high-end iMac and at this price point it might tempt some potential iMac buyers. For your $2,499 bucks you get a machine that boasts one 2.66 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon "Nehalem" processor with 3 GB of RAM, a 64o GB hard drive, 18x double-layer SuperDrive and a NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 with 512 MB of video. Now if you just happen to have a spare $3,299 for the top-end Mac Pro, you'll get two lovely next-generation Intel Quad-Core running at 2.26 GHz. Also included in the basic price is a 18x double-layer SuperDrive and a NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 with 512 GB of video.
Unfortunately, what the new iMac's don't have is those speculated Intel i7 quad chips that were really hoped for! Neither is there that speculated 28 inch model to be seen anywhere? When it comes to the Mac Pro, it's also no go for a redesigned enclosure that was also speculated to becoming. The current enclosure is certainly nice, but come on, its' been ages and if the MacPro needs anything it is a new, sexier enclosure. So what gives Apple? I must say that I'm personally bummed out on the above omissions!
Still, the truth is that new offerings are nice, but just not as nice as they could have been otherwise. The new iMac's at least can now accommodate a whopping 8 GBs of RAM! Yeah on that one, but just don't buy it from Apple - that's an extra $1,000 bucks! Yucky, yucky, yucky, I say! I'm sure that you can buy 8 GBs or RAM a lot cheaper else where, but I have yet to check that out. The iMac uses the super fast DDR3 SDRAM which I like, but at an extra $1,000, well that is almost as much as the price for the also new iMac 20 inch model that goes for $1,199! There is now only one single model of the 20 inch featuring 2 GB of RAM, a 320 GB hard drive, 8x double-layer SuperDrive, 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo cpu and a NVIDIA GeForce 9400M built-in graphics.
In conclusion, even though I'm very disappointed in the new offerings, I still really like the new offerings simply because they are a much better bargain then the previous models, but then again, I wouldn't say I'm jumping up head over heels about them either! They are definitely better than their predecessors and offer better bang for the buck, but fall short of what I was expecting and hoping for. Oh well, hope springs eternal and there is always this coming fall - you never know, maybe, just maybe, I will get the Mac of my dreams then? In the meantime, even though I'm not sure I can afford one, I have this sneaky feeling that I will probably break down and buy the top end iMac with that 8 GB of RAM anyway, but only if I can find the RAM somewhere else at considerably less that the $1,000 premium that Apple is demanding.
In conclusion, the new Mac's are all so very exciting, but, sadly, at the same time they are also so very, very boring!
And that's my 2 cents 4 this Tuesday, March 03, 2009