Don't-Miss Desktop Stories

Mac mini (Early 2009)

The new Mac mini models provide the most significant upgrades to the line yet, offering slightly better CPU performance, considerably improved video capabilities, increased expandability, and better wireless technology. The result is that for the first time, the Mac mini is a computer that’s truly capable of handling the iLife suite.

120GB Mac mini Core 2 Duo/2GHz

The first Mac mini upgrade since 2007 replaces the integrated Intel graphics with an Nvidia GeForce 9400M card. Graphics still share memory with the system RAM, but there's more to share and its the faster DDR3 SDRAM. The new system features more USB 2.0 ports, but ditches FireWire 400 for a single FW 800 port.

320GB Mac mini Core 2 Duo/2GHz

The first Mac mini upgrade since 2007 replaces the integrated Intel graphics with an Nvidia GeForce 9400M card. Graphics still share memory with the system RAM, but there's more to share and its the faster DDR3 SDRAM. The new system features more USB 2.0 ports, but ditches FireWire 400 for a single FW 800 port. This system ships with a larger hard drive and more RAM--but also a $799 price tag.

Review: iWeb ’09

iWeb ’09 is an excellent program for anyone wanting a personal Web site to share stories, photos, home movies, videos, podcasts, and blogs. Its improved uploading capabilities, easy-to-use widgets, and more straightforward interface will be worth the price of the upgrade.

Review: FreeMind 0.8.1

Looking for a mind mapping application that packs a powerful punch, takes it easy on your wallet, and is a dream to use, even for a novice? FreeMind 0.8.1 will get you two-thirds of the way there.

Review: Linksys WRT610N Simultaneous Dual-N Band Wireless Router

Linksys has tried to improve the WRT610N and make it easier for Mac users to work with. But it has not succeeded. All the problems found could be solved through firmware updates to fix obvious bugs, and better packaging and explanation of its software.

Review: BusySync 2.1.6

If you want family members or colleagues to see and edit your iCal calendars, BusyMac’s BusySync 2.1.6 may be just the tool you need. It syncs calendars among Macs (with the same or different users), among user accounts on a given Mac, and between your Mac and Google Calendar—in any combination.

24-inch iMac Core 2 Duo/2.8GHz

Apple updated its all-in-one desktop line to include next-generation Core 2 Duo processors, which boost the amount of shared L2 cache to 6MB and the frontside bus to 1,066MHz. The top-of-the-line iMac sees its processor boosted to 2.8GHz and its shipping memory upped to 2GB. Build-to-order options include a 3.06GHz processor and the Nvidia GeForce 8800 GS graphics card with 512MB of video RAM.

20-inch iMac Core 2 Duo/2.66GHz

Apple updated its all-in-one desktop line to include next-generation Core 2 Duo processors, which boost the amount of shared L2 cache to 6MB and the frontside bus to 1,066MHz. Besides a processor boost to a 2.66GHz chip, the mid-range iMac also ships with 2GB of RAM now, a change from its predecessor. The 320GB hard-drive capacity and ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro graphics card remain unchanged.

20-inch iMac Core 2 Duo/2.4GHz

Apple updated its all-in-one desktop line to include next-generation Core 2 Duo processors, which boost the amount of shared L2 cache to 6MB and the frontside bus to 1,066MHz. This entry-level iMac now runs at 2.4GHz -- otherwise, the installed memory, hard drive capacity, and optical drive specs remain unchanged from the previous model.

Review: 20- and 24-Inch Aluminum iMacs (2008 Edition)

Apple's new crop of iMacs get a speed bump.

Mac Pro Eight-Core 2.8GHz

If you simply want the fastest Mac you’ve ever used, the base-model Mac Pro Eight-Core 2.8GHz won’t disappoint. If, however, you don’t need the maximum Mac, stick to an iMac—they’re plenty powerful for the rest of us.

Mac Pro/8-core 2.8GHz Xeon 5400

This standard configuration replaces the two dual-core 2.66GHz Xeon chips on the preceeding Mac Pro offering with a pair of quad-core 2.8GHz processors. Other changes include a bigger hard drive, more installed RAM (not to mention double the RAM capacity), and a new graphics card. In addition to this standard configuration, Apple offers several build-to-order models, from a single quad-core 2.8GHz machine to dual quad-core Mac Pros with 3GHz and 3.2 GHz processors.

Review: Mac mini Core 2 Duo

The latest Mac mini models have made some impressive gains in terms of performance, without gaining bulk or higher price tags. Still a great bargain, especially for those who already own a mouse, keyboard, and display, the Mac mini’s size and price allow it to fit into spaces and budgets that other Macs cannot.

Mac mini Core 2 Duo/1.83GHz

Apple made little noise about this update to its Mac mini line, which is highlighted by the addition of Intel Core 2 Duo chips to replace the older Core Duo processors. The minis also now ship with 1GB of RAM, up from 512MB, and more hard-drive capacity. However, the minis continue to use an integraged Intel graphics processor that shares memory with the system RAM, hampering performance in graphic-intensive applications.