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Mac mini "certain" to get update soon?

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.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2002


    30" display...

    ...would be a welcome option...

  1. Roehlstation

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Wait a Minute....

    I thought the mini was supposed to be dead....

  1. dynsight

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005


    Mini is nice

    The Mac Mini is a nice (albeit not a great selling) computer. I use it as a Media center. It's low profile/footprint makes it unobtrusive and Front Row makes listening to music, photo slide shows etc great.

    The external USB 2.0 hard drive is similarly designed, and provides space for Movies and TV recorded by Eye TV.

    Hope they don't kill it!

    (but I still want a Mac Mid range tower!!!)

  1. Geobunny

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Oct 2000


    Woohoo...but when?

    Fantastic. The fan in my intel mini died recently and the external USB fan I jerry-rigged onto it won't last forever. GeForce 9400M would be a superb upgrade.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Re: mini is nice

    The Mac Mini is a nice (albeit not a great selling) computer.

    Of course it isn't great selling. They haven't updated it in any sense since they went to Intel on it, what, 10 years ago or something.

  1. Monstermind

    Junior Member

    Joined: May 2000


    Eff the Mini

    When is the Mac MAXI getting a refresh? I want a new Mac Pro, dammit!

  1. bjojade

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2007


    Built in power supply?

    Along with those features, the only other addition I'd love to see is a built in power supply. Make the thing the same size footprint at the AppleTV or Time Capsule and get rid of the friggin brick. That would be wonderful!

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001



    "The change would (...) significantly free up space on the crowded back of the computer"

    Oh boy, they'll free it up a whole lot more: any bets that, even if the Mini doesn't die, FireWire will??

  1. Feathers

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Oct 1999


    been waiting..

    I've been waiting quite a while for an update and if it's appropriately priced, I'll take two thank you very much! (Particularly if it gets gigabit ethernet)!

  1. eddd

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2001


    firewire's a goner

    FireWire is certain to disappear, sadly. And I don't think you'd really want an internal power supply - that would require a small fan, which means big noise. I hope this happens - I'll buy one on the spot, and I imagine many others will too. Despite the comments made during the quarterly report, I think this is the change that will most affect Apple's margins. If the mini has gigabit Ethernet, it will make a fine pro 2D machine... one that would allow the choice of a non-glossy screen up to 30" (or a Cintiq)

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