Mac Tech Support
Follow
Find
41.3K views | +70 today
 
Scooped by David Anders
onto Mac Tech Support
Scoop.it!

Apple Mac mini (Thunderbolt)

Apple Mac mini (Thunderbolt) | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
The Apple Mac mini (Thunderbolt) is a powerhouse desktop that adds a Thunderbolt port, and drops the optical drive.

By Joel Santo Domingo The Apple Mac mini (Thunderbolt) ($799 list) is the latest iteration of Apple's compact desktop PC. While the iPads and iPhones have much of the attention these days, the Mac is still an important part of Apple's business. You'll use your tablets and phones while you're mobile, and the Mac when you want to do serious work like typing for extended periods of time or watching a movie on a big screen with the family. The new Mac mini upgrades with a Thunderbolt port, second-generation Intel Core i5 processor and new AMD discrete graphics, but it's also notable for something that you probably don't even use anymore: It removes the optical drive from the chassis. Oh yeah, and it's as powerful as a tower PC. Users used to regard the Mac mini as an extra second or third PC around the house, rather than a primary PC. The new iteration is now powerful enough to take over as that primary PC in your house. Plus it's still a great base station for your iPod, iPhone, and iPad. For all these reasons, the Apple Mac mini (Thunderbolt) earns the Editors' Choice for compact desktop PCs.

Design and Features
The new version of the Mac mini looks just like the previous iteration the Apple Mac mini (HDMI) ($699 list, 4.5 stars). It has the same unibody aluminum chassis, with one glaring difference. There is no longer any slot-loading optical drive, a feature that had been prominent on the Mac mini line since its debut in 2005. Basically, it's as if Apple is saying "we gave you the iTunes Store, Safari, and the Mac App store online, why would you need an optical drive?" Just like the original iMac dropped the then prominent floppy drive from its desktops, the Mac mini (Thunderbolt) puts a stake in the ground and declares that you don't need an optical drive anymore. Sure, there have been miniature nettops without optical drives for a while now, like the Giada MiniPC A50 ($449 street, 3.5 stars). But the Mac mini is one of the few premium compact desktops without an optical drive.

View all 9 photos in gallery

Thing is, optical drives are pretty useful for installing programs and rebuilding the operating system. Apple's Mac App Store and online downloads will take care of the programs, and Mac OS X Lion is designed to be installed from a recovery partition, over the Internet, or from a USB stick. True, you can install Windows 7 from a USB stick too, but you first have to find a way to create one yourself: All new Mac minis will be able to reinstall Lion from either the recovery partition or over the Internet after typing in a key combination on startup. Apple will be selling pre-made Lion USB sticks in the near future. If you absolutely need to read an optical disc, you can share the optical from any Mac or PC on you LAN by installing a client program on the remote PC or Mac. You can also use the same optional Apple External SuperDrive ($79) that was released with the MacBook Air. If you have older software that you still install from DVDs, you might want to think about picking one up. That said, the 800-pound gorilla of all Mac programs, Adobe Creative Suite 5.5, is available as an online download.

The internal layout of the Mac mini is the same as last time: opening the bottom panel reveals the (filled) memory slots with 4GB of memory, and not much else. You can see the 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi antenna, but to go further you'll need Torx screwdrivers and a lot of patience. The Mac mini isn't designed to be serviced by users (aside from the memory), so unless you have a boatload of fortitude, you won't be replacing the internal 500GB hard drive anytime soon. The desktop comes with a 500GB, 5,400 rpm drive, which trades its compact size for a little performance. You can configure the mini when you order it on Apple's online store to a 7,200rpm 750GB hard drive ($150), a 256GB SSD ($600), or both ($750).

On the back panel, a lot will seem familiar: power button, power port for the AC power cable, Gigabit Ethernet, FireWire 800, HDMI, Thunderbolt port (functionally incorporating the previous mini-DisplayPort), four USB 2.0 ports, the SDXC card reader, and a pair of audio ports with digital audio capabilities. The power port is notable, since the desktop has a built-in power supply instead of the power brick found on many small PCs. This is both a lot more convenient and a lot better looking than the power brick. The Thunderbolt port uses Intel's new interface (think of it as external PCIe), so you can theoretically hook up multiple monitors, hard drives, and even other interfaces like USB 3.0 or eSATA. In practice, the only Thunderbolt peripherals that you can order are the Promise Pegasus R6 RAID array and the upcoming Apple Thunderbolt Display (27-inch). Hopefully, we'll see more Thunderbolt peripherals before the end of the year.

The desktop comes with a few extras on the hard drive, including the iLife Suite (iPhoto, iMovie, etc.) in addition to the new Mac OS X Lion operating system. Lion is optimized for the Magic TrackPad and Apple Magic Mouse, so newer functions like Launchpad and Mission Control work great on these touch-sensitive pointing devices. However, using an older mouse will be a bit disconcerting. The scroll wheel works opposite to what you're expecting (spinning the scroll wheel toward you pushes the page up, and vice versa), and you obviously can't activate the multi-touch swipes with a third-party mouse. Settings in the mouse and trackpad control panels can change the scrolling behavior back to what you're used to. The Mac mini (Thunderbolt) does come with a HDMI to DVI adapter, so you can use the system with an older display, mouse, and keyboard. However to get the full use of Lion's new features, you'd be better off budgeting $69 for the Magic Trackpad.

Performance
The Mac mini (Thunderbolt) has an Intel Core i5-2520M processor and AMD Radeon HD 6630M discrete graphics, which are certainly powerful enough to run all our benchmark tests well, including the 3D games. We tested the system under both Mac OS X Lion and Windows 7 Enterprise (64-bit) using Boot Camp. The Mac mini (Thunderbolt) completed our Handbrake video in a quick 1 minute 42 seconds in Windows and 2:23 in Mac OS. The system also finished the Photoshop CS5 test in 3:47 in Windows and 5:10 in Mac OS. This is significantly faster than the Core 2 Duo equip ped Mac mini from last year, which took around 3:32 to complete Handbrake and 7:14 to complete CS5.

Likewise, the Mac mini (Thunderbolt) has improved 3D graphics capabilities as well: Back then, the Mac mini (HDMI) was the best 3D performer in the compact PC class, scoring 21 frames per second (fps) at Crysis at medium quality. The Mac mini (Thunderbolt) completed the same test at a much more playable 48 fps. It's still not quite the ultra-smooth 60+fps point yet, but you should be able to play Crysis at those frame rates on the Mac mini with some tweaks to the settings. This is significant, because the only other rival that we've seen lately at this price range is the Asus Essentio CM6850-07 ($829.99 list, 3.5 stars). The Asus CM6850-07 is a full tower with a huge gaming-class discrete graphics card. Even then, the Asus only got a slightly better Crysis score with 50fps. The Asus did get a better score on Lost Planet 2 at medium quality (26 fps Asus, 19 fps Apple), but neither scores are considered playable.

The Asus CM6850-07 was faster than the Mac mini (Thunderbolt) on benchmark tests like Handbrake, CS5, and PCMark Vantage, attributable to the Asus CM6850-07's faster 7,200 rpm hard drive (the Mac mini has a 5,400rpm drive). The Mac mini (Thunderbolt) blew away the compact PC Editor's Choice Dell Inspiron Zino HD (Inspiron 410) ($849.99 direct, 4 stars) on the same tests. All this means that the Mac mini shows that you don't have to sacrifice performance if you want a compact desktop.

The compact form factor is usually about compromise. You can either go really compact but low-powered like the Giada PCs and Asus' Eee Box, or go a bit larger and really inexpensive like the HP Pavilion Slimline s5-1020 ($429.99 list, 3.5 stars). At the high-end are systems like the Dell Zino HD and the Apple Mac mini. These systems use higher end multi-core processors like the Intel Core i5 and AMD Phenom II X4 along with discrete graphics to give you tower desktop-class performance in a compact chassis. Like the iPhone and the iPad, the Mac mini is now a true extension of the Apple ecosystem, where you can hook up to the Internet to purchase media, entertainment, and programs from online and Apple stores. It's likely that you don't miss your optical media now, so you certainly won't miss it going forward. It's not like Blu-ray was ever a concern for Mac users in the past: if you own them, you already have something else that can play them.

The Dell Zino HD, which is pricier than the Mac mini, is still available on Dell's website, but it's essentially the same model with a similar AMD quad-core processor and ATI Radeon HD graphics as the previous iteration Dell Zino we reviewed. Blu-ray aside, new Mac mini is much more powerful and more capable overall. Therefore the Apple Mac mini (Thunderbolt) is the new Editor's Choice for compact PCs.

 

BENCHMARK TEST RESULTS
Check out the test scores for the Apple Mac mini (Thunderbolt)

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2388873,00.asp#

 

COMPARISON TABLE
Compare the Apple Mac mini (Thunderbolt) with several other desktops side by side.
http://www.pcmag.com/products/compare/1564?ids=269192,266922,256946,268063,263174,251824

 

 

more...
No comment yet.
Mac Tech Support
Help for Apple Mac, iPhone, and iPad Problems
Curated by David Anders
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by David Anders
Scoop.it!

iMazing Connect, Backup iPhone to computer

iMazing Connect, Backup iPhone to computer | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
iPhone, iPod & iPad Manager for PC & Mac. Connect your iDevice via USB or Wi-Fi and backup or transfer files, music, messages and more without iTunes.

  iMazing 1.1.3 is priced at $29.99 (single user, 3 computers) for OS X 10.7 and up, supporting all iPhone, iPad and iPod devices from iOS 1 through iOS 8, and it offers a 30-day trial period.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Anders
Scoop.it!

The Safe Mac » Beware MacKeeper

That said, MacKeeper does not fall into the same category of misunderstood software.  I certainly do not find MacKeeper at all appealing.  But that’s not why I recommend that all Mac users avoid it.  My reasons for saying that are twofold.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Anders
Scoop.it!

How to partition a hard drive in OS X using Core Storage

How to partition a hard drive in OS X using Core Storage | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
When you set up an external drive for use with your Mac, you may wish to partition it for various uses. For instance, you might want to isolate automatic Time Machine backups from manual ones. The ...
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Anders
Scoop.it!

OS X: Changing or resetting an account password - Apple Support

OS X: Changing or resetting an account password - Apple Support | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
Learn how to change or reset an account password in OS X. You might need to do this when someone has lost or forgotten his or her account password.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Anders
Scoop.it!

Time Machine - Frequently Asked Questions 2. What can Time Machine back up, and where can it put it’s backups?

Time Machine can back up FROM
Any internal or directly-connected (USB, FireWire, Thunderbolt, eSATA) drive/partition formatted with any variation of Mac OSX Extended (HFS+).
In most cases, by default it will:
•Include all internal HFS+ disks/partitions (including externals connected via eSATA)
•Exclude all external disks/partitions, including the one it's backing-up to (but not those connected via eSATA)
You can easily modify the handling of individual HFS+ volumes. See question #10.
It can easily back up multiple Macs. See question #4 for details.
It can easily back up multiple drives/partitions on a single Mac. See question #32 for details.
It will back-up your entire system (OSX, configuration, applications, user data, settings, preferences, etc. (less most system work files, caches, logs, trash, etc.), unless you specifically exclude things (see question #10 and/or question #11).
It cannot back up a Boot Camp or other Windows-formatted volume. The WinClone app may work for that, or check the Apple Discussions Boot Camp forum.
It cannot back up a USB thumb drive.
It cannot back up any network drive, including a Time Capsule, a USB drive connected to a Time Capsule or Airport Extreme, or a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device. The CarbonCopyCloner ($40 U.S. with 30-day free trial) or ChronoSync apps (about $40 U.S.) may be alternatives.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Anders
Scoop.it!

Using the USB-C port and adapters on your MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015) - Apple Support

Using the USB-C port and adapters on your MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015) - Apple Support | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
Learn about the power, data transfer, and video capabilities of the USB-C port and USB-C adapters for your MacBook.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Anders
Scoop.it!

iCloud: Mail server settings for email clients - Apple Support

iCloud: Mail server settings for email clients - Apple Support | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
Use these mail server settings if you need to manually set up your email app (client) to use an iCloud email account. 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Anders
Scoop.it!

How to transfer music from iPod to iTunes | TouchCopy 12

Learn how to transfer music from iPhone to iTunes, as well as how to copy iPhone music to computer and backup your iPod to Mac or PC.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Anders
Scoop.it!

Tackle your Mac booting to a gray screen

Tackle your Mac booting to a gray screen | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
Given the efficiency and convenience of sleep mode on Mac systems, it is often a rarity that we end up restarting our Macs. When we do, we expect it to boot to normal operation; however, sometimes ...
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Anders
Scoop.it!

Pointers: Safe downloading on Macs | MacNN

Pointers: Safe downloading on Macs | MacNN | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it

Download something from the web and when you try to open it, your Mac will at the very best say that this is from the web, are you really sure? Nicely, the warning dialog also tells you when the item was downloaded and offers to take you to the website. It's very good, very sensible, and very well thought-out, but nobody in the world has ever got that far with downloading an app and then hit the button to stop it, unless it was an automatic download they didn't specifically ask for.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Anders
Scoop.it!

Fix OS X 10.10.3 failing to install

Fix OS X 10.10.3 failing to install | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
A few people who have attempted to install the latest OS X 10.10.3 update have found an issue where the update will take a while to install, and then restart only to stall at boot, followed by load...
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Anders
Scoop.it!

USB 3.1 Cables - Type C - Monoprice.com

USB 3.1 Cables - Type C - Monoprice.com | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
USB 3.1 Cables - Type C Monoprice, Inc. (DBA. MonoPrice.com) specializes in the wholesale distribution of world class cable assemblies for home theater, PC, and high technology industries. MonoPrice.com offers a wide range of products from standard PC products, network cables, and HDMI cables to custom cable assemblies and wiring harnesses.,USB & Firewire,USB 3.1 Cables - Type C
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Anders
Scoop.it!

Mac keyboard shortcuts - Apple Support

Mac keyboard shortcuts - Apple Support | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
By pressing a combination of keys, you can do things that normally need a mouse, trackpad, or other input device.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Anders
Scoop.it!

The Safe Mac » Tech support scam pop-ups

The Safe Mac » Tech support scam pop-ups | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it

The typical tech support scam presents itself to the user while browsing the web, in the form of a pop-up message saying that a virus or “suspicious activity” has been detected. A phone number is provided, of course, which the user can call to get “support” with this problem.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Anders
Scoop.it!

how to uninstall MacKeeper - updated

how to uninstall MacKeeper - updated | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
MacKeeper - also known as 911 Bundle' in the App store — yes, you’ve seen the ads all over the internet, pop ups on your favourite webpages, it seems to be everywhere. Many people that download and...
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Anders
Scoop.it!

How to reinstall OS X if your Mac fails

How to reinstall OS X if your Mac fails | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
You can use OS X Recovery to reinstall OS X on any Mac computer (running OS X Lion or later). This feature explains how to install OS X on any Mac by installing the Mac operating system from over the internet.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Anders
Scoop.it!

If your Mac is lost or stolen - Apple Support

If your Mac is lost or stolen - Apple Support | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
If you lose your Mac or think it might be stolen, these steps might help you locate it and protect your data.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Anders
Scoop.it!

3 easy ways to share a Mac's screen, great for long-distance tech support

3 easy ways to share a Mac's screen, great for long-distance tech support | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
To begin, download and install the full version of TeamViewer on your own Mac first, then instruct your family member to do the same for the TeamViewer QuickSupport version, a stripped-down edition optimized for instant support and minimum fuss. Have them make note of the unique ID and password, then enter those credentials under the “Control Remote Computer” section of your own installation, making sure the Remote Control option is selected.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Anders
Scoop.it!

Authorize your computer in iTunes - Apple Support

Authorize your computer in iTunes - Apple Support | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
Authorize your computer before you use it to sync or play content that you download from the iTunes Store.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Anders
Scoop.it!

How To Create ISO Disc Image from CD/DVD in Mac OS X

How To Create ISO Disc Image from CD/DVD in Mac OS X | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
Most Mac users are not aware of taking image of a DVD/CD. In the Disk Utility there is a option to create image file, but even though it creates .cdr format
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Anders
Scoop.it!

Technical Note TN2063: Understanding and Debugging Kernel Panics

Technical Note TN2063: Understanding and Debugging Kernel Panics | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
TN2063: Addresses kernel panics: what they are and how to debug the code that caused the panic.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Anders
Scoop.it!

Apple releases OS X 10.10.3, Photos for Mac, iOS 8.3 | MacNN

Apple releases OS X 10.10.3, Photos for Mac, iOS 8.3 | MacNN | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
The bugfixes in 10.10.3 largely deal with Wi-Fi performance (particularly for public Wi-Fi hotspots, also known as "captive networks"), Bluetooth device connections, screen sharing, and compatibility with the new Force Touch-equipped devices such as the current 13-inch MacBook Pro and the forthcoming 12-inch Retina MacBook. Safari has been beefed up with better security and stability, including privacy enhancements to Private Browsing mode.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Anders
Scoop.it!

A few mindful notes before installing Apple's 10.10.3 update

A few mindful notes before installing Apple's 10.10.3 update | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
Apple has released its 10.10.3 update today, which can be installed on any Mac running Yosemite and which brings a number of security and stability fixes. However, in addition, Apple has made the c...
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Anders
Scoop.it!

Use an external SSD to make an old Mac feel new (without cracking it open)

Use an external SSD to make an old Mac feel new (without cracking it open) | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
When internal surgery of a Mac isn't in the cards, an external SSD can rejuvenate a slow machine.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Anders
Scoop.it!

Power tips for managing files in Apple’s Finder

Power tips for managing files in Apple’s Finder | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
You're already doing most of your file management in the Finder--now add some hotkeys and modifiers to make it even easier.
more...
No comment yet.