Friday, September 30, 2005

Mac mini updated... Kinda sorta

Apple has begun shipping upgraded Mac minis recently. Upgrades include a slightly faster CPU (up from 1.42 GHz to 1.5 in the top model), Bluetooth 2.0, an 8X SuperDrive, and a version of the Radeon 9200 updated with 64 MB memory (up from 32 MB). What's odd about this upgrade is that the Apple Mac mini page still lists the old Mac mini specifications. That may suggest that there is still a significant amount of inventory of the old model in the channel, and that Mac mini sales are perhaps not as good as Apple had hoped.

All of the upgrades are welcome, but the most significant upgrade is the video memory. 32 MB is not ideal for larger screen sizes, since things such as Exposé can slow down dramatically when there are several large windows open. 64 MB provides much more breathing room, especially when a large LCD screen such as Apple's 20" Cinema Display is used. However, it is a shame that the upgraded Mac minis still do not include a GPU that fully supports all of the features of Core Image. The Mac mini is Apple's last Mac that doesn't. Even the iBook now sports a fully Core Image compliant Radeon 9550.

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