Rochester, March 6th 2009
The new Mac mini is out, the waiting for the new computers are over. Says Andre Leite Alves owner of Aware Bear Computers in Rochester NY. The last Mac Mini series was released 17 months ago, no major changes were done to the case however the major advantage over the previous version is a faster processor and more memory. According to tests conducted by AwareBear the overall performance increased 20 to 25 % when compared to the older model.
The two current Mac mini configurations come outfitted with 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processors and either 1GB of RAM and a 120GB hard drive for $599, or 2GB of RAM and a 320GB hard drive for $799. The new Mac mini now has a 1,066MHz system bus, as well as 1,066MHz DDR3 memory, up from the 667MHz bus and DDR2 RAM in the previous Mac mini. The new systems support up to 4GB of RAM; the previous Mac mini only officially supported 2GB, though any folks reported getting the older Mac mini to recognize up to 3GB. The new Mac mini has 3MB of shared L2 cache. According to Vinny P from the Aware Bear Greece NY location.
Mac is no longer using the Intel GMA 950 chip set with integrated graphics, the new chipset adopted by Mac is the Nvidia Ge Force 9400M integrated chipset. Depending on the RAM installed the video memory is 128MB when using 1GB or RAM and 256MB when 2GB of RAM is installed. The previous model only supported 64MB of shared video memory. Added Mike Allen from Aware Bear.
Several of the newer software require a minimum of 2GB of RAM making a good idea to upgrade the entry level MAC Mini to 2GB of RAM. Programs such as Adobe Suite CS4 run a lot better with the extra RAM and also the extra 256MB of video memory. The extra 128MB of video memory makes the program run about 15% faster.
The Nvidia graphics has better reviews than the previous Intel. The older Mac mini couldn’t even run our Call of Duty test, and struggled to get just 5 frames per second in our Quake 4 test. The new Mac minis, with 2GB of RAM installed, were able to push through almost 7 times as many frames per second in that test.
When upgraded to 2GB of RAM both Macs have similar specs when it comes down to processor, memory and video memory. The only difference is the bigger hard drive on the more costly machine.
The break down of our review:
The new Mac mini was 21 percent faster overall than the previous model. The 3D performance is a lot higher since Mac upgraded to the Nvidia chip.
A gain of 23% was possible by upgrading the processor to a 2.0Ghz.
The new Macs are still being tested by our staff, so far we gave them 5 out 5 stars. Says Arthur Leite from Aware Bear Computers in Rochester NY.