According to a confirmation made by an NVIDIA partner for the Tom?s Hardware, the new Mac mini should be the only one to be based on an Intel Atom processor dual-core. In addition, it is believed in the presence of graphics from NVIDIA, but not through the GPU GeForce 9400M, the most compact present in a Mac today, but in its new Ion platform, even more compact and low cost, but also quite efficient.
The GPU was developed for use in netbooks, but in the case of the Mac mini it would also be a good addition, as it supports H.264 decoding in high definition resolution, 3D graphics acceleration and performs computational tasks very well. In addition, fully compatible with OpenCL, the programming interface intended for parallel computing, promised on Mac OS X Snow Leopard.
The two-core Atom 330 processor, supported for use by the Mac mini, would initially run at 1.6GHz. Although it is smaller than the current Core 2 Duo used on the small desktop, it would be fully compensated by the more powerful graphics, equivalent to those of aluminum MacBooks. In addition, chances are it will offer more standard memory, to help with this performance compensation.
Using these components, the new Mac mini should be smaller and lighter than the current one, according to speculation. In addition, it should be ready to be sold in March, possibly in time for the announcement at an Apple desktop event scheduled for February.
As for its price, it is still difficult to make an estimate. In the last presentation of Apple's financial results, Jobs said that she wouldn't be able to make a computer as robust as the rest of the line for less than $ 500, but with the use of the Atom processor and the Ion platform for graphics, that idea comes back to be possible. Intel offers the chip to PC makers for a mere $ 43, and connected Apple sources indicate that it has been working with NVIDIA's low-cost graphics architecture for a long time for use on Apple TV.