Mac mini to go Intel in January

Mac mini to go Intel in January

Summary: Sources have confirmed that Apple will announce their first Intel Mac in January, presumably at Macworld Expo, and it will be a Mac mini.

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TOPICS: Apple
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mac-mini-200.jpgThinkSecret is reporting that Apple will announce an Intel-based Mac mini in January — presumably at Macworld Expo in San Francisco. According to the story, which I confirmed with another source, the new Mac mini will pack a bunch of new features not found in the original.

In addition to being the first Macintosh to ship with "Intel inside" the 2006 Mac mini aspires to be the digital entertainment hub in your living room. Already embraced as the center of many Mac-ophiles home entertainment systems, and even some cars, the Mac mini is a natural in the role of entertainment hub: it's small, headless and inexpensive.

According to the TS story, the mini will evolve in several ways, first by getting Front Row 2.0 (as part of a revamped iLife '06 suite) which is currently only available on the iMac G5, an artificial limitation Apple uses to distinguish the iMac. The second major innovation is new DVR functionality that will allow you to record TV programs directly to the hard drive which TS refers to as a "TiVo-killer."

Perhaps the most interesting part about about the 2006 Mac mini is its reported built-in iPod dock which will allow you to transfer recorded TV programs directly to the iPod "a feature that was scrapped from the Mac mini Apple first introduced one year ago."

After talks between Apple and TiVo reportedly broke down, it's not surprising that Apple would release this functionality themselves, especially in light of the TiVo announcement that they'll soon be transferring shows directly to iPods via their TiVoToGo program. January looks like it will be the golden convergence for Apple indeed.

Topic: Apple

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34 comments
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  • Wicked coOL

    ..
    D T Schmitz
  • Well this answers a lot of Video iPod questions...

    Content being a key issue now is becoming a bit more clear.

    Pagan jim
    Laff
  • Can TiVo survive?

    With both Microsoft and Apple putting so much effort into the home entertainment area and producing much more functional paradigms, can TiVo even survive?

    Personally, I have never went with TiVo because I refuse to pay a monthly fee for programming and without the programming it's about as smart as a 10 year old VCR.

    Remove the monthly fee and it might be of interest, but only if it can match the functionality of the competition. Right now neither seems to be in the offering.
    No_Ax_to_Grind
    • Yes, but they must adapt

      Just like PDAs will have to adapt to accommodate 'smart phones'.

      There will always be a niche for a single-purpose devices, their simplicity is the big attraction - that has always been a major selling point of Apple's consumer products (and why Palm held of Microsoft PDAs for so long).

      iPod is becoming almost indistinguishable from the Palm iLife - but which product is a roaring success and which languishes in the backwaters of coulda-beens-ville?
      Fred Fredrickson
  • Cost, 64-bits?

    I'll be interested to see the cost of the new Mac
    minis. Wintel computers are now selling for
    under $300 Canadian (approx $250 US), so the Mac
    Mini is currently competing with mid-level
    desktop computers, despite this article's claims
    that the Mac mini is 'inexpensive'.

    More interesting, though, will be to see whether
    Apple went with 64-bit CPUs or if they are
    sticking with obsolete 32-bit CPUs (though
    perhaps only for the first generation, or only
    for Mac minis).
    cthompson
    • ummm...

      intel is supposed to have a 64 bit, single and dual core versions, Pentium-M out early next year. Its possible the new ibooks and mac minis will use these.

      I'm not sure how you think that 32 bit is obsolete when intel has lines of chips not even available in anything but 32bit. Yes 32 bit is going to be phased out, but its not actually obsolete yet.
      doh123
      • 64 bits

        I'm not claiming the Mac Minis _won't_ be 64-bit.
        That is, I am saying it is entirely possible they
        will have 64-bit CPUs, and I certainly hope and
        expect this is the case. Intel already has
        64-bit CPUs, of course.

        Just because Intel still sells 32-bit CPUs does
        not mean they are not obsolete. Some companies
        still sell 16 bit (and maybe even 8 bit) CPUs,
        for crying out loud! Apple has a chance to go
        entirely 64-bit across the board on the new Intel
        Macs and it would greatly sadden me if they
        didn't bother doing so.
        cthompson
        • Pointless

          [i]"Some companies still sell 16 bit (and maybe even 8 bit) CPUs"[/i]

          And your problem with that is?

          Does a printer need a 64 bit CPU? A mobile phone? PDA? Watch? Does every car need a 6 litre V8?

          There is no point in adopting 64 bit CPUs simply for the sake of it. In some real-world cases, they run more slowly than 32 bit systems. They (usually) require more power, generate more heat and cost more to produce. If their massive address space isn't required, there is no point in wasting the resources to employ them.

          PCs in general are moving to 64 bit, but lets keep sight of the fact that 32 bit is by no means obsolete. It is still a viable platform for consumer PCs and many other applications (and in some cases preferred to 64 bit).

          PS. Let me declare the obvious: I have no idea whether the new Mac Mini will be 32 or 64 bit.
          Fred Fredrickson
        • 8 bit

          yes, there are plenty of 8 and 16 bit cpus and microcontrollers still sold. Almost all things you use today have embedded processors in them.
          nojoeloser
    • I don't think so

      My predictions are:
      1. It will be far more expensive, than equivalents
      2. It will has 32-bit CPU
      3. I suspect, it will be far noisier, than MacMini (just compare heat dissipation of PPC 970FX and any Intel CPU).

      Lets wait for January and see ... %-)
      kvo
      • Heat problems

        The Intel mobile chips don't put out a huge
        amount of heat. MUCH less than the G5
        processors, though the Mac Mini never used G5s.
        cthompson
        • Or, really?

          As I remember, there was one model of Mac, not having any fan inside (unfortunately, I couldn't recall its exact name). Can you point me to ANY Intel computer, not having fans?
          kvo
          • Sure, easy

            There are plenty of computers with Intel CPUs
            that did not use fans. They only became
            mandatory around the Pentium days if memory
            serves, though perhaps you are talking about
            CURRENT CPUs. Does Apple currently sell a
            computer where the CPU does not need active
            cooling, either through fans or through water
            cooling?

            If I remember correctly, some of the lesser-known
            x86 CPUs still don't need fans, CPUs such as some
            manufactured by Via. I haven't paid much
            attention to this, though, so I could be wrong.
            cthompson
          • Abak?

            Abak don't use active cooling, too ... %-)

            I recalled the name, it was iCube (I think, G3) and it was Pentium equivalent, at least, in terms of computer power.

            You can look at heat dissipation in IBM/Motorola and Intel processors' specification, and comparison wasn't in Intel favor, always! Do you remember recent (past year) recall of Xeon 3.4 and 3.6 GHz (they burnt just inside, on any long-running numerical-intensive job)?
            kvo
          • Heat

            Well, I must say I find it strange to be on the
            Intel side of the argument here. :) If you want
            a better heat/performance comparison, try
            comparing against the AMD CPUs. The current G5s
            run _hot_ but AMD has some pretty powerful CPUs
            that will give the G5s a run for their money.

            I questioned why Apple went with Intel CPUs when
            AMD are basically clearly superior. The
            consensus seems to be that Intel is better at the
            whole package (that is, the supporting chips,
            motherboards, etc.), while AMD basically doesn't
            play in that space.
            cthompson
          • iMac Rev 1-3

            has no fans. PowerMac G5 Dual 2.0 has fans that only turn on when alot of processor activity is needed (number crunch graphics stuff). All Wintel PC's have required cooling fans & heat sinks since '95.
            nomorems
          • iMac Rev 1, 2 & 3

            has no fans. PowerMac G5 Dual 2.0 has fans that only turn on when alot of processor activity is needed (number crunch graphics stuff). All Wintel PC's have required cooling fans & heat sinks since '95.
            nomorems
      • Errhh...

        Don't be so sure about the transition to Intel processors. :)

        Also:

        "It will has 32-bit CPU"

        or

        "It will have a 32-bit CPU"

        ?

        The answer is:

        "It will have a 32-bit CPU"

        Better luck next time! ;)
        Grayson Peddie
    • Cost? That's almost offensive

      You complain about the cost of Apple computers, but when
      was the last time you complained about the cost of
      Windows or Office?

      People keep writing Apple off, yet their turnover is more
      than 50% of Microsofts - it is estimated to hit $24 billion in
      2006. Yet Apple's net profit is only a few hundred million
      compared to Microsoft's $10 billion or so.

      So who is ripping off who?
      Fred Fredrickson
      • An A

        I am not on an MS side, I hate all MS, in parts or at a whole. But Apple prices include OS and some applications' price, may I buy MacMini alone, without anything installed? If I would like work with AIX, FreeBSD, why should I pay for software that I will remove immediately after having computer in my hands?
        kvo