Nvidia in, Intel out for Apple Mac Mini?

Apple's Mac Mini may adopt Nvidia's GeForce 9400M.

Is Nvidia elbowing out Intel at Apple again? Will the same Nvidia GeForce 9400M chip that caused a small sensation when it dislodged Intel graphics silicon in the MacBook line land in the Mac Mini too?

Nvidia coming to the Mac Mini?
Is Nvidia coming to the Mac Mini? Nvidia, Apple

Tom's Hardware is speculating that it's Nvidia's Ion platform that is Mini-bound.

But Nvidia's Ion chipset is tied strictly to Intel's Atom processor. It seems unlikely that Apple would demote the Core 2 Duo-based Mini to the slower Atom chip. Though anything is possible with Apple, it seems more likely that Apple will upgrade the ancient Intel GMA 950 graphics to the GeForce 9400M, sans Atom.

Apple could be planning some ultra-small Mini whose thermals can only handle a low-power chip like the Atom z540 (1.86GHz) or dual-core 330 (1.6GHz). Like I said, anything's possible at Apple, but unless there's a good reason I don't think a "new, slower" Mini hobbled by the Atom makes for happy Apple customers.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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