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Thursday, March 02, 2006

The new Macmini

O.K., Steve came on stage today talked about some iPod leather cases for $99...

Then he finally shows something cool, the new iPod Hi-Fi

Which according to Apple:

*Compatible with all iPod models with a dock connector through the integrated Universal Dock (dock adapters included)
*Compatible with iPod shuffle and iPod models without a dock connector through the audio input port (audio cable sold separately)
*Charges iPod via dock connector
*Tone Control in speakers menu provides additional EQ settings specifically for iPod Hi-Fi
*Input port accepts analog 3.5 mm stereo minijack or S/PDIF optical digital miniplug
and can also run on six D-cell batteries.
All for just $349 and is availible today.

Now we get to my headline.... the Mac Mini. Now I don't have my hands on one, but reading the spec's I was smiling for a while:

*1.5GHz Intel Core Solo($599) or 1.66GHz Intel Core Duo processor ($799)
*60GB hard drive(1.5GHz)--80GB hard drive(1.66GHz)
*Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) drive(1.5GHz)--8x SuperDrive (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)(1.66GHz)
*2MB on-chip L2 cache
*667MHz frontside bus
*512MB of 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM (PC2-5300) on two DIMMs; supports up to 2GB
*A new infrared port designed to work with the Apple Remote and support for a enhanced version of Front Row. The new version of Front Row (Front row with Bonjour) allows customers to access shared iTunes and iPhoto libraries and video throughout their home via Bonjour.

Then I got to the specs on the graphics card. Hold on, there is none, well not one you want anyway. It has a Intel integrated graphics processor. A GMA950 graphics processor to be exact, with 64MB of DDR2 SDRAM shared with main memory. Ya shared. According to Apple's website, Memory available to Mac OS X may vary depending on graphics needs. Minimum graphics memory usage is 80MB, resulting in 432MB of system memory available.

Meaning when you buy this Mac, you better max it out with memory (not from Apple unless you want to pay $300) because working with iMove or iDVD will bring up that beach ball we all hate if you don't.

But, lets look deeper into the GMA950 chip.

I thought about this computer possible for my kid till I read Extreme Tech's review of this chip. They did a test on a PC, but you get the point. This chip could only run Doom 3 at 16.20FPS in (640X480) and got worse at 1024X768 when it dropped to 10.4 FPS. Unreal Tournament 2004 was not much better barely making 30FPS at 640X480 and only 18.2FPS at 1024X768. Toms Hardware has Mark Rein, vice president for Epic Games, the developer of the Unreal graphics engine and game series is qouted as saying "What is the point of shipping multi-core CPUs, if they are only going to have integrated graphics?" I guess that line itself makes my point.

Bottom Line

If all your gonna do is surf the web or watch and share pictures, movies and music, this mini's for you. If you want a intel based Mac that can play games also, get a iMac.


  • At 7/17/2006 12:18:00 PM, Blogger moralofthestory said…

    Fascinating...finally, someone who obsesses over Macs, like myself.

    I am going to major in Game Art & Design. I hope that a Mac will be the right choice. OR I'm going to be a coder, which would require a PC...

  • At 11/09/2011 11:58:00 PM, Anonymous Tink said…

    cool docking system.. i like that..


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