At a Glance
- Performance comparable to that of the $799 model
- Significantly improved graphics performance compared to older models
- FireWire 800
- Dual video outputs with support for extended Desktop mode and 30-inch displays
- Tiny size
- Five USB ports
- Difficult to upgrade
- Even slower hard drive than $799 model
- Too little RAM
The first Mac mini upgrade since 2007 replaces the integrated Intel graphics with an Nvidia GeForce 9400M card. Graphics still share memory with the system RAM, but there’s more to share and its the faster DDR3 SDRAM. The new system features more USB 2.0 ports, but ditches FireWire 400 for a single FW 800 port.
With slightly better CPU performance, considerably improved video capabilities, increased expandability, and better wireless technology, the Mac mini is now truly capable of handling the iLife suite. More than ever, it’s an appealing computer for those who already have a display, keyboard, and mouse, or those looking to build a Mac system on the smallest budget. And the $599 price tag is appealing.