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I Dream of a Mighty Mini
July 23, 2013 - Dave Hecei
With all the test reports available online for the new 2013 MacBook Air, I’m starting to dream about the next Mac mini. The Air is the first Mac to get the latest Intel chipset, which they have named Haswell. They were released during this years WWDC event back in beginning of June. There have not been any announcements of any other new Macs, except for the preview of the next Mac Pro, but other new Macs are only weeks away. Here is my wish for the next generation mini.On to my dream for the next mini.
The current Mac mini is still the tiny 7.7-inch square hunk of aluminum that stands just 1.4-inches high. This design has been around since 2010 so it’s not really outdated in any sense of the word. For what the mini is its practically perfect. Yes it might be mini, but it packs a hell of a punch, especially when configured with a quad-core i7 processor. You’ll find all the ports you’ll need on the back. This includes – Ethernet, Firewire 800, HDMI, Thunderbolt, USB 3.0, audio in, audio out, and an SD card reader slot. The only thing I’d consider changing is to add a second Thunderbolt port. If this means getting rid of the HDMI port, I’d probably survive. But hey, I’m dreaming here, so just add a second Thunderbolt back there.
So with no changes to the outside, there is really only the inside to deal with. Of course the next mini will have the new Intel Haswell chipset. This probably won’t bring much of a speed boost, but it will bring some other improvements. First is better video. Haswell contains the faster Intel HD 5000 graphics processor. This is still considered an integrated video system, but it is faster then the current mini with Intel HD 4000 graphics. According to Apple, the HD 5000 is up to 40% faster than the older HD 4000.
My dream mini would also have the same PCI-E based storage system found in the new Air. This would make the mini scream. Let’s face it. Many of the minis out there are either working as a server or hooked in to a home theater as a media player. Super fast disk access would be perfect. Sure the current mini could be ordered special with an SSD type drive, but it is still based on the SATA interface. Going directly to the PCI-E bus allows data transfers that are two to three times faster. That is impressive since the current SSD is already fast.
So there’s my dream of the next Mac mini. It will have the latest Intel processors, hopefully all quad-core, PCI-E based SSD storage, and more Thunderbolt. If this all happens, the mini will become mighty.
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