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The Other Mini

November 13, 2013 - Dave Hecei
Picture 2 Apple secretly released the new iPad mini with Retina yesterday, Tuesday November 12. For most this was a pleasant surprise since most took Apple’s word that it would be available at the end of November. Now I’m just waiting for the other mini.

In the last month and a half, Apple has released two different iPhones, an iPad, and two MacBook Pros. The next generation Mac Pro is slated to be released in December. The one thing that hasn’t even been announced is a new Mac mini.

The Mac mini is Apple’s smallest and lowest priced Macintosh desktop computer. It is unique in that it is not a cut-down system. The mini packs a full-powered computer in a tiny 7 by 7 by 1-inch aluminum shell.

If and when the next mini arrives it should have the latest Intel processor known as Haswell. This is Intel’s newest chipset that doesn’t bring a huge performance boost, though it does do that a bit, but brings more power efficiency. This means this chip in a new mini will use less power, generate less heat, and still run faster.

The other thing Haswell brings is better graphics performance. When Haswell makes it into the mini it will probably be the same chips as in the updated MacBook Air. The graphics system in the Air is the Intel HD Graphics 5000. The current mini has the 3rd generation Intel chipset (names Ivy Bridge) that has the Intel HD Graphics 4000.

The other interesting thing I’m waiting for is if the new mini will have the better SSD drive option. The MacBook Air and Pro with Retina both have SSDs for storage. Instead of connecting with the typical SATA interface they connect directly to the PCI-E bus. By connecting this way you get a speed boost of up to 5x. Just ask anyone who has an SSD based Mac (either SATA or PCI-E) how much faster the computer is.

So the wait is on. The iPad mini with Retina came sooner than most everyone thought so why can’t a new Mac mini magically appear in the Apple Store some morning. I would think it should be here before the Mac Pro, right?


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