At a Glance
- Faster than ever before
- Small size
- Burns dual-layer DVDs
- Hard drive and graphics performance underwhelming
- Slower, shorter-ranged 802.11g wireless networking
Apple made little noise about this update to its Mac mini line, which is highlighted by the addition of Intel Core 2 Duo chips to replace the older Core Duo processors. The minis also now ship with 1GB of RAM, up from 512MB, and more hard-drive capacity. The higher-end Mac mini also comes with 4MB of shared L2 cache, instead of 2MB on the 1.83GHz offering. The minis continue to use an integraged Intel graphics processor that shares memory with the system RAM, hampering performance in graphic-intensive applications.
The latest Mac mini models have made some impressive gains in terms of performance, without gaining bulk or higher price tags. Still a great bargain, especially for those who already own a mouse, keyboard, and display, the Mac mini’s size and price allow it to fit into spaces and budgets that other Macs cannot. With its faster performance and DVD burning capabilities, the 2GHz Mac mini is worth the extra $200 over the 1.83GHz model.