Practical Technology

for practical people.

New Mac Mini: Cheap Mac desktop or SOHO server


I’ve always liked Apple’s Mac Mini. It was easily the most affordable desktop Mac around. Now, in its latest models, the new Mac Mini comes as both a desktop and Apple TV replacement and as a SOHO (small office/home office) server, I still see a lot to like.

While, it’s not as cheap as it used to be, the desktop model comes in at $699, it’s still not expensive considering the combination of Mac’s ease of use and what you get in the box. The server will cost a cool $999 with Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server. Underneath the Mac OS X pretty exterior, you have, for all intents and purposes, a 64-bit Unix server with all the usual Unix server goodies.

Both models are smaller than ever at 1.4 inches by 7 inches by 7 inches HWD (Height, Width, Depth). Each also comes with 4GBs of memory, which can be upgraded to 8GBs. They also come with Nvidia GeForce 320M integrated graphics. This new graphics package makes it much faster than before. While no serious gamer will ever mistake the new Mac Mini for a kick-rump and take names gaming PC, it does make it more than fast and powerful enough to easily output 1080p HDTV.

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