Intel-based Mac minis

Products Reviewed

(2 items)

At a Glance

One of two Intel-based Mac minis, this model features a 1.5GHz single-core processor. The form factor of this mini remains unchanged from its PowerPC-based predecessor, although it adds two additional USB 2.0 ports for a total of four while dropping S-video and composite ports. Internally, the new mini has a faster frontside bus and built-in wireless networking via AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth. The mini uses the Intel GMA950 as its graphics processor; since the chip doesn' have its own dedicated video memory, it shares memory with the main system RAM. The mini also gains the remote-and-software combo that makes up Front Row, allowing you to control audio, video, and photos from across the room.

Price when rated: $599

Pros

  • Analog- and digital-audio input and output
  • Four USB 2.0 ports
  • Built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0
  • Front Row software with Apple Remote
  • Improved performance in many native applications
  • Gigabit Ethernet

Cons

  • RAM is difficult to upgrade
  • Improvements over G4 Mac mini not as dramatic as Core Duo model
  • Unable to play HD video without dropping frames
  • Integrated graphics reduces available RAM
 Compare

At a Glance

Unlike the single-core 1.5GHz Intel-based Mac mini, this model is powered by a 1.66GHz Intel Core Duo chip. It also features more storage capacity and an 8X dual-layer SuperDrive. Other features -- an integrated graphics processor that shares memory with the system RAM, built-in wireless networking capabilities, and the Front Row multimedia management program -- are the same as what you get with the 1.5GHz Mac mini.

Price when rated: $799

Pros

  • Two processing cores
  • Analog- and digital-audio input and output
  • Four USB 2.0 ports
  • Built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0
  • Front Row software with Apple Remote
  • Improved performance in many native applications
  • Built-in SuperDrive
  • Gigabit Ethernet

Cons

  • RAM is difficult to upgrade
  • Integrated graphics reduces available RAM
 Compare

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