The new Apple Mac Mini is much better than previous models. It’s improvements are subtle, and anyone making a quick glance might miss the changes, but here is a summary:
- The switch from embedded Intel graphics to NVIDIA GeForce 9400M is a huge energy savings; the new Mini uses only half the power of the old one, and gets much better graphics performance as a bonus. It also has two display connections out of the box; which is a big bonus for people wanting small nettop servers and desktops.
- Maximum memory configuration is now 4GB using 1066MHz DDR3 sticks; that is a big boost where it is needed for small servers.
- Firewire 800 port means that you can externalize your storage to your favorite high speed RAID array or even just a bunch of really cheap, really large capacity drives; but you get the fastest speeds available via the Firewire 800 bus.
- With both Mini DisplayPort and Mini-DVI video out, and “Combined optical digital audio output/headphone out” this should be an excellent contender for a media center if you can convert the A/V outputs to HDMI or Component Video and Digital Audio out for an amplifier.
The entire new Mac desktop line includes NVIDIA graphics for lower power consumption and better graphics. Nice.