updated 11:45 am EST, Fri December 19, 2008
iMac and mini 9400M Leak
Apple's upcoming iMac and Mac mini refreshes will both use NVIDIA's GeForce 9400M or a variant of it when they launch, according to leaks referenced and investigated by AppleInsider. Mac OS X extension files for SMC and ACPI power management included with the 10.5.6 update make references to unreleased "iMac9,1" and "Macmini3,1" models that are specifically tied to using MCP79, NVIDIA's codename for the GeForce 9400M graphics and controller combo chipset.
The news virtually confirms significant redesigns of both systems as well as Apple's own statements that its relationship with NVIDIA would expand beyond the current MacBook platform. It also promises to significantly increase the base performance of the Mac mini, which currently uses a two-generation-old Intel GMA 950 integrated chipset for its graphics. The system is incapable both of the most modern OpenGL visual effects and of using newer technology such as DisplayPort, which Apple has also said it plans to introduce throughout all of its lineup, which should now include the next-generation iMac.
Notably, both entries also list the systems as being 2008 models, suggesting either pre-production models or an unintentional delay in their release.
Other features of the systems aren't mentioned in Apple's own text entries but have been hinted in past rumors. The iMac in particular is believed to be moving to quad-core chips thanks to a new, lower-power desktop design, while the Mac mini has been rumored both for the NVIDIA switch and for a dual hard drive option.