updated 01:40 pm EDT, Mon August 13, 2007
New Mac mini benchmarks
Though the introduction was largely lost in the shuffle of Apple's new iMac, iLife '08 and .Mac announcements, the Mac mini line received a significant revision during Apple's August 7th announcements. The tiny Mac now sports 1.83 or 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processors, updated from 1.66GHz or 1.83 GHz Core Duo processors in the older models, respectively. Apple claims the processor upgrades make the new minis run 39% faster than previously. Primate Labs has now put Apple's performance claims to the test with a series of benchmarks for the new revisions.
The site compared Mid 2007 Mac minis running at 1.83 and 2GHz with Core 2 Duo processors and 2GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM against Early 2006 Mac minis with Intel Core Duo processors running at 1.66 and 1.83GHz also with 2GB of RAM. Also compared were PowerPC Mac minis running at 1.25, 1.42 and 1.5GHz, equipped with 1GB of RAM each. The Core 2 Duo-based Mac minis showed only marginal performance increases over the Core Duo-based models. The author of the benchmarks article said "Moving from the Core Duo to the Core 2 Duo brings modest performance improvements without an increase in clock speed, and moving from 1.83GHz to 2.0GHz brings (unsurprisingly) another modest increase in performance. If you're running a previous generation Mac mini I see no real reason to upgrade (unless, of course, you want to use 64-bit applications."
The new Mac minis ship with an Apple Remote with Front Row, support up to 2GB of memory, use the Intel GMA 950 graphics processor and offer 802.11 b/g wireless networking. They also ship with the newly released iLife '08 suite rather than iLife '06, which was included with the previous models. The new Mac minis are still priced from $599, and available from the online Apple Store.