updated 07:55 am EDT, Fri October 24, 2008
Mac mini Update Rumor
Server colocation firm Macminicolo late Thursday made a claim that Apple is planning to finally update the Mac mini with three key changes in the works. Describing two as confirmed through unnamed sources and a third as a "99% educated guess" without identifying each, the Internet hosts say the miniature desktop should first switch from its full DVI connection to a mini DisplayPort connector like newer MacBooks. The change would require the use of a video adapter for most current displays but would significantly free up space on the crowded back of the computer, allowing Apple more room for expansion or cooling.
A second expected update also implies a direct platform change for the Mac mini. The system will allegedly gain support for 4GB of memory rather than the maximum 3GB of the current platform, which is dictated by the use of a nearly 1.5-year-old Intel reference platform that doesn't support more than the current amount. It's not known, however, whether Apple under this plan would switch the Mac mini to the GeForce 9400M as with its portables or whether it would just use a more modern Intel design.
A swap for an NVIDIA platform would be much more significant for the Mac mini than any of Apple's portables, as the desktop until now has had to use two-year-old GMA 950 integrated video that effectively rules it out of gaming and certain pro apps that depend on reasonably fast 3D, such as Final Cut Studio.
A last but more contentious claim suggests that Apple will switch the optical drive from Parallel ATA to Serial ATA; by using the more recent storage bus, the company would let users custom-order the Mac mini with a second hard drive in place of the optical drive if hard drive space is more important, such as with servers. The existence of Remote Disc, first used with the MacBook Air, is said by Macminicolo to reduce the need for a built-in drive.
The company has no real track record to support the rumor other than its experience in regularly ordering Mac minis but corroborates claims that Apple is slowing down Mac mini shipments for at least some retailers, suggesting a revision or close-out in coming weeks.