The Mac Mini Lives On!

Fri, Oct 24, 2008

News, Rumors

Apparently the Mac mini and Steve Jobs have a lot in common.  AppleInsider is reporting that the Mac mini isn’t going anywhere, despite earlier reports to the contrary.

“Earlier this year, however — and shortly after NVIDIA pitched its new integrated graphics chipsets to Apple — AppleInsider reported a pulse in the Mac mini department. The tiny systems were reportedly coming out of their coma, with a dedicated team of engineers performing the first top-to-bottom reconstruction since the product’s inception three year’s earlier.”

And according to Macminicolo, a colocation service that works exclusively with Mac mini’s, this is what we can expect when Apple finally gets around to giving the beloved Mac mini a spec bump:

  • The Mac mini will use the new Mini DisplayPort that was recently showcased on the Macbook line. This will save considerable port real estate on the back of the Mac mini.
  • The Mac mini will join all other Macs in being able to address 4GB of RAM. Currently, they are officially sold with up to 2GB of RAM, but can also support 3GB of RAM. (Though the latter configuration loses the minor dual channel benefits.)
  • Like the new Macbook, the Mac mini optical drive will be changed to a SATA connection. (It is currently a standard ATA/IDE cable.) This will obviously increase performance. But this change offers even more benefit for those who use the Mac mini as a server. (I have hundreds of Mac mini servers in here that have never once used their optical drive.) In ordering a Mac mini from Apple, there will be an option to have two SATA HDDs and eliminating the optical all together. With the new Remote Disc introduced with the Macbook Air, this option will be tempting for many.
  • The Mac mini will likely join the rest of the line with the black and aluminum. I wouldn’t expect the desktop Mac to use the new unibody aluminum casing as that would surely push it out of the Mac mini price range. (And probably isn’t as useful for desktop computers anyway.)
  • Without the higher cost of unibody casing, and more space with the switch to Mini DisplayPort, we’d expect FireWire to stay on the Mac mini.
  • Our hopeful nature would point to a move from integrated graphics to NVIDIA GPUs though I’m not sure how close they’ll want to bridge the performance with the iMac and Macbooks.

Read the full scoop over at AppleInsider here.



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