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Old February 28th, 2006, 09:50 PM   #1
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Intel Mac Mini Released!

Hey, for all those people wanting a taste of the new Intel Macs at a cheap price, Apple released the Intel Mac Minis today.

-2gb of DDR2 SDRAM supported
-Serial ATA (notebook?) hard drives supported up to 120gb
-Top Intel-based Graphics

Watch for the 1.5ghz model, it's a single core and not the dual core. True, they're not as fast as the other Intel models, but they're at least better than the old Mac Minis. If you have a Mac Mini already, like I do, then there isn't too much to get excited about realistically but for people new to Macs, these are certainly a great stepping stone for future Intel-based Macs.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 02:24 PM   #2
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I'll be ordering the Intel Duo core model in a month or so.

For video I'll probably stack one of the drives that look like the mini underneath.

The only downer is the integrated graphics but they support Core Image/Video unlike the dedicated graphics of last years model.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 03:06 PM   #3
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Unfortunately, even the fastest new Mac Mini is slightly slower than what Apple recommends for reliable playback of H.264 video at 720p resolution. That's odd considering this would make a decent HD playback device if they'd just coordinated that a little better.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 03:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
Unfortunately, even the fastest new Mac Mini is slightly slower than what Apple recommends for reliable playback of H.264 video at 720p resolution. That's odd considering this would make a decent HD playback device if they'd just coordinated that a little better.
It is odd considering the Mac Mini is somewhat billed as a media center device. Had they used the 2.0ghz core duo I would have gone for it.

It' also odd that Apple would "dumb down* their own product line rather than release a solid competitor in the consumer PC market (with a faster processor and decent graphics card).
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Old March 1st, 2006, 04:03 PM   #5
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Only problem I see is in fact the h.264 playback issues as Kevin has already stated. It's most likely due to the Intel graphics and/or software optimization. But hey, if you'd like to step into a Mac versus spending a whole lot for a top Mac setup or if you want a secondary editing bay, the Mac Mini can help out.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 04:11 PM   #6
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The problem is that the fastest Mac Mini processor is slightly below what's recommended by Apple for 720p playback. For all I know it will turn out to work fine as an HD player, but it's a mis-step for this to fall short of the suggested HD spec.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 04:56 PM   #7
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Have any recommended specs leaked for the universal binary of Final Cut Studio, or will we just have to wait until it's formally released later this month?

Personally, I wouldn't mind if I was limited to DV projects for now, as that's almost all of the projects I do. I wouldn't expect Motion to run very well on the mini, even with 2 gigs of RAM, but I don't care as long as I could cut DV on FCP and author with DVDSP. I would bear with running Photoshop and AfterEffects by Rosetta for awhile, just to have it at home as well as at work.

I've been running the numbers on an iMac, but if the mini would do what I need it to right now, I'd rather spend less. I'm thinking of it as a stopgap until Apple releases a full-blown Intel workstation to replace the G5.
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Old March 2nd, 2006, 06:07 AM   #8
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I am very disappointed they dropped the ATI 9200, for the Intel, rather than replace it with a more modern ATI for all the video acceleration they give.

The problems is that though it was said to be for media centre stuff, where are the video in ports etc, 5.1 sound analogues?

One possibility (and if anybody can verify, please do) is that it uses the new Intel Viiva platform, and that has h264 support, and I thought I read Intel was giving up the market and using ATI design. confusing and I don't know what the reality exactly is.

One thing is, I hope the Ibook doesn't ship with anything else than video editing/h264 acceleration support of a good ATI etc chip (and hopefully the powerbook has to).
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Old March 2nd, 2006, 07:47 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Wayne Morellini
One possibility (and if anybody can verify, please do) is that it uses the new Intel Viiva platform, and that has h264 support, and I thought I read Intel was giving up the market and using ATI design. confusing and I don't know what the reality exactly is.
Any product which conforms to the Viiv specifications should be clearly labeled as such, so if you don't see that in the Mac Mini literature that answers that question. Don't know about the graphics issues other than what's stated in the specs on the Apple web site.

FYI, on the Dell web site a nicely configured Viiv computer costs about $1000, with a starting price of $800 (prices not including monitor).
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Old March 4th, 2006, 04:38 AM   #10
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The core duo mini I used had no problem playing 1080p movie traliers, my current mini(1.5ghz) dies when trying that.
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Old March 4th, 2006, 03:00 PM   #11
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Evan,

That's interesting and gives me hope as I am seriously considering a new Mac Mini. Perhaps that's because for H.264 playback, Apple's website "recommends" a 1.83 GHz for 720p or 2.0 GHz for 1080p, but it doesn't mention the "minimum" system requirements. So, yes, this definitely gives me hope. I wonder how HDV/DVCPRO-HD video editing will perform? Have you or anyone tried?
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Old March 4th, 2006, 10:33 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Evan C. King
The core duo mini I used had no problem playing 1080p movie traliers, my current mini(1.5ghz) dies when trying that.
In h264, that will be alright? I wonder how it will go in editing too.
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Old March 5th, 2006, 12:03 AM   #13
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Would this thing be able to play Divx or Xvid files? I have most of my movies and tv dvds copied onto my PC's external drives (about 1.2 TB) in Dvix and Xvid and would love a mini to hook up to a TV to play them in another room via Front Row...or is there a good conversion program that will convert Divx/Xvid into h.264?
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