New Mac Mini


Finally, the new Intel Mac Minis have been launched! What's Inside.

They seem to address the issues of what needed to be improved with the original mac mini with the exception of the graphics. More on that later.

The obvious critical differences are the new intel processors, the extra ram slot and the larger disks. I suspect that all of these mean that it's slightly larger than the G4 version.

The prospect of a dual-core Mac Mini sounds very nice, although for HK$6,300 you could build a pretty powerful dual-core linux box. Wouldn't be as small and as cute, and it wouldn't have OSX (although maybe...), but it would be a good machine nevertheless.

The extra ram, combined with the digital audio in/out and bigger disk sounds like a 'make garage band usable on the mac mini' ploy.

I'm surprised by the move to Intel graphics, but that's probably not too shabby for an entry level type machine. It's shared graphics memory, which will eat into system memory, and that means that the base configuration of 512Mb is probably not enough to comfortably run OSX 10.4.

At least the Mac Mini will now support Core Image, which the older Mac Minis didn't. I would've liked to have dual monitor capability though — it could have been done with a dual screen DVI plug like the old RADEON VE/7000 used to have. There's Intel graphics on the workstation I'm using right now, and that has dual video outputs, so the hardware can support it. A quick run through of the various 3DMark benchmarks puts the power at roughly equivalent to an Nvidia FX5200, which is fine for casual gaming and OpenGL. Quake III and Half-life 2 with no problems, but for Doom 3 and Quake 4, forget it.

I guess the new iBooks will have a substantially identical specification when they're announced. Hopefully they'll have a higher resolution screen, though. A 1280x1024, or even 1280x800 dual core iBook would be very nice indeed.

Some other reviews:

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This page contains a single entry by dave published on March 4, 2006 1:10 PM.

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