06/03/2006

Apple release Intel Mac Mini

The new Mac mini comes in two versions, eith a single core (Intel Core Solo) running at 1.5GHz or a dual core (Intel Core Duo) running at 1.67GHz. The tenry level single core costs £499 (inc VAT) with 512MB of RAM, CD-ROM/RW combo and a 60GB hard disk. The £599 dual core comes with 512MB RAM, Superdrive and 80GB disk.

Both models have Gigabit Ethernet, 4 USB 2.0 ports, DVI (display) adapter, Firewire and an infrared port so they can run Front Row (Apple's multimedia program that can be controlled with the Apple remote).

Inside it uses an Intel graphic chip, which some say is a step down from the ATI chip in the old G4 Mac Minis.

Since the G4 is only 32 bit, even the single core design should give an improvement in speed, while the dual core will noticably speed up. Of course this relies on the applications to be universal or they still have to go through Apple's Rosetta technology which interprets the PowerPC code (applications like Office will probably run ok, though Photoshop is still the benchmark as it runs considerably slower under emulation).

If you're looking for a small unit to sit next to your TV/HiFi then the Mac Mini is a good choice as it still looks the business and the standard iLife apps are now all universal binaries so they're completely usable and will run fast.
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