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May 26, 2011 - Dave Hecei
After seeing the last few Mac updates, specifically the MacBook Pro and the iMac, I’m really starting to want a newer Mac with a quad-core processor. All new iMacs are now quad-core based, either Core i5 or i7. All but the 13-inch MacBook Pros are quad-core based. If only the Mac mini would come out with a quad-core option, that would be on my wish list.
The latest mini, which was last updated almost a year ago, is available with either a 2.4GHz or custom ordered 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor. This processor is starting to show its age (remember computer age is like a dogs – multiply it by 7 or 8 – or in the case of a processor – multiply by 20).
Apple is in the midst of Mac updates, which mainly is to add Thunderbolt ports to all Macs. There will likely be a newer mini within the next couple of months. This next mini is likely to not change on the outside, except for thes new Thunderbolt port in place of the mini DisplayPort. Thunderbolt is a next-generation very high-speed input/output port thought up by Intel and Apple.
Inside the next mini there should be a bit more of a change. It will obviously have the latest Intel processor, code named ‘Sandy Bridge’. The question is if it will just be the low-end Core i3 or the much better Core i5. Actually, what I’d love to see is both. Have a low priced (as close to $500 as possible) i3 model and then allow a build-to-order option of the quad-core Intel i5. The mini is, after all, based on MacBook parts. The MacBook Pros can have the new i5 processor so why not the mini?
The other obvious change that will happen in the next mini is with graphics. This means that it will be the Intel HD 3000, which is part of the ‘Sandy Bridge’ chipset. This is a decent video system, and probably fine for the mini, but it is, in my opinion, a step down from the current nVidia GeForce 320M graphics chip.
Updates are coming for the mini, Air, and Mac Pro tower in the next few months. No one but Apple knows which one will be updated first and when it will be released. I would think it might be the mini, then the Mac Pro, which could be released close to WWDC, Apple’s big event for developers. I think the last one to be updated, which is fairly new, would then be the Air.
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