Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Apple Mac Mini Based on Nvidia Ion

Last response: in News comments
January 15, 2009 6:16:47 PM

this is great news. i wanted to buy a mac mini to get a taste of the mac world but i didnt wanna pay almost $700 for a really slow computer. hopefully the ion platform will also reduce the production costs.
January 15, 2009 6:18:34 PM

Wait...wouldn't moving to an atom processor be a huge step BACKWARDS in performance?

p.s the comments are screwed up, im logged in but i still have to comment as anonymous?
Related resources
January 15, 2009 6:19:56 PM

Wait...wouldn't moving to an atom processor be a huge step BACKWARDS in performance?!

p.s the comment system is screwed up. im logged in, but down at the comment field i still have to comment as anon.
January 15, 2009 6:24:28 PM

So a mac mini might actually not be pathetically underpowered anymore. Interesting.
January 15, 2009 6:31:17 PM

I just bought a mac mini with 2GHz core2duo and it's cool.

I most certainly would NOT buy a mac mini with an Atom inside. What are Apple thinking?

Netbook without a screen?
January 15, 2009 6:46:50 PM

I agree with Tipoo and Dude2000, Taking the atom into the mini would be step back in performance of the system. But if they do this, then the system would/could be smaller and use less power. I personally think that its a dumb idea, but for the time being, people(at least some) seem to think that they don't want or need a full computer, and just need something like a thin client. Now, for a lot of people they really don't need a full computer. E-mail and web would be fine. But for the rest of us, we would like the mini to work well as desktop, home server, security server, etc
January 15, 2009 6:47:20 PM

Yeah, I don't get it. Wouldn't using an Atom CPU be a huge step down in performance from a Core 2 Duo?

So better GPU, worse CPU?
January 15, 2009 6:48:51 PM

Oh, and I forgot."An Nvidia partner confirmed to us that Apple was the first to receive samples of Nvidia's Ion platform," that does not mean "Confirmed: Apple Mac Mini Based on Nvidia Ion." Those are two different things. It could happen, but its not Confirmed.
January 15, 2009 7:24:46 PM

The atom 330 intel sells for $43 dollars to oem in a thousand chip shipments.
The intel dual core e5200 soon (Jan 18, 09) will be sold for $67 dollars to oems in thousand chips shipments.

Now the atom is a little bit cheaper, will require less power, can do a smaller case, etc but I think Mac is sacrificing too much for a mac mini by putting an atom in it at the $500 to $700 price point. Seriously for $25 more dollars Apple can have a cpu that is 3 times faster.


Now if the new mac mini is $499 it is a different story.
January 15, 2009 7:51:20 PM

Yea I compleatly agree the choice to switch to the Atom processor is the wrong one here. I do like seeing improved graphics out of the Mac Mini the Intel 945 sucks. I can barley output 720p video on a Mac Mini despite having the horsepower to do it. I also don't see this as a logical step in terms of 64-bit compatibility. As far as I knew the Atom chips didn't support 64-bit instructions. So what will a Mac Mini with 4gb on memory do now?
January 15, 2009 8:10:43 PM

Maybe Apple plans on using CUDA on the GeForce 9400 to get back some of the performance lost by using an atom instead of the C2D?
January 15, 2009 8:57:30 PM

I heard it is for a Netbook not the Mini.
January 15, 2009 8:58:58 PM

FFS, Change the title of the article.

This in no way confirms the ion in the mac mini, I highly doubt they would take the mini and drastically reduce the performance. If anything it points to a mac netbook, or a new model altogether, perhaps a 'Mac Nano' or something in a smaller case with a lower price tag.
More likely that the mini will get a revamp later this year and keep the Core2 and gain the 9400M to bring it in line with the rest of the range.
January 15, 2009 9:32:55 PM

intelno1fan - are you paying them to write? Why are you so angry anyway that you gotta say FFS?
January 16, 2009 2:04:57 AM

Disappointing, I was hoping for an option for a low power quad core, and a motherboard capable of taking up to 8GB (2x4GB) of (aftermarket) ram.
January 16, 2009 6:37:08 AM

> I also don't see this as a logical step in terms of 64-bit compatibility.
> As far as I knew the Atom chips didn't support 64-bit instructions.

The 230 and 330 atom desktop models actually do support x86-64 instructions, so it will run 64-bit just fine. Since a lot of the horsepower of the old mini would have been used to play catch-up to the weak graphics chipset I think we'll see the benchmarks indicating that this machine is overall a quicker device.

Yes the CPU benchmarks will say otherwise though. I for one look forward to seeing these new minis.
a b Î Nvidia
January 16, 2009 11:17:26 AM

Did Apple not say they wanted to start using the GPU for general use computing? maybe this will bring it into line.

This thing "may" be faster then the specs lead on. Not that I would ever buy one without seeing benchmarks.
January 16, 2009 12:14:13 PM

I'd definitely love to see some benchmarks of the ion vs Atom230/330!!
January 16, 2009 12:19:51 PM

and a newer atom (was it 250 or 280?) equipped platform too!
January 16, 2009 1:45:20 PM

er.. so this is highly stupid. it will be 9400M based *but with a Core 2 Duo CPU*, just like the MacBook.
January 16, 2009 4:43:20 PM

Apple, the nVidia Ion platform is great for the Mac mini, but what is ALSO needed is:

- A midTOWER with quadcore and 1.5TB 3.5-inch 7200 rpm inside (no need for PCI slots).

- An iTablet with full Mac OS X (not just OS X) inside and no more than 300-400g for full blown presentations via VGA-out port.
January 16, 2009 5:31:39 PM

My question is: How would Snow Leopard / openCL on a Atom 330/Ion based mini(2cpu cores, 16gpu cores) compare to Leopard w/out openCL and a Core2Duo/gma950 mac mini?

I'd be interested to see how much worse off the openCL enabled system would fare. If it's everything it's cracked up to be, I don't think the performance hit would be as bad as everyone is making out... But then, that would depend on just about every app being ported to using "grand central", which I'm pretty sure won't happen overnight...
January 16, 2009 9:20:12 PM

so replacing the core2duo with the atom = progress?

let me guess, apple will still sell the mini at the same price


January 16, 2009 9:47:50 PM

I am indeed curious. On some forums they say a NAS with a Atom 1,6 Gh is capable of playing back HD content. Although i agree with the aforementioned reservations.
January 17, 2009 1:22:59 AM

Now if the Mac Mini would only add HDMI video out, and if the Apple TV could also RECORD video . . .
January 17, 2009 8:53:43 PM

Well, this is definitely a good step. First off, as far as I'm informed they will shave $100 off each model. Second, Atom3300+GF9400M is of no doubts enough for what Mac mini is made for - basic computing needs plus some multimedia CONSUMING, which is becoming more and more about HD abilities, not raw CPU power. Third, this step will finally market-separate Mac mini and iMac 20" - they were oh so close, with mini being a bit too expensive. Bottom line? To me, it definitely brings better bang for buck.
January 18, 2009 7:37:47 AM

No need to add HDMI out. DVI to HDMI cable on my 2Ghz mini drives a 1080p LCD brilliantly for me. Plays 720p fine.

In my opinion, all the new mac mini needs to be able to do is play 1080p flawlessly to be a success. I imagine this is the reason they have upped the GPU and seem to have made the CPU choice based on heat output and power consumption.

A Blu-Ray drive would be a genius addition, but yeah I know it's not gonna happen :-)
January 18, 2009 11:50:33 AM

I think it's highly unlikely, there is note that future mac mini will have nvidia chipset from macrumors, but apple will never go backwards in performance - they skip small upgrades in order to deliver major ones ...
This seems more like it for AppleTV where it could be upgrade in performance.
January 18, 2009 11:25:16 PM

cheap atom + high price apple = more revenue for apple
January 19, 2009 12:49:23 AM

if use atom , i better buy new macbook and big LCD and connect together ,if like that and i won buy the new mac mini.
January 20, 2009 7:54:06 PM

January 22, 2009 1:11:14 AM

Apple is moving to multithreaded multicore OS called Snow Leopard. Why in the world would the drop an under powered single core CPU into the Mini???? This rumor makes zero sense!!!!

Don't believe everything you read on the net!!!
a b Î Nvidia
January 22, 2009 11:59:10 PM

The Atom 330 is a dual core(with 4 threads, 2 per core) not single. I think more then anything Apple wants to move to using the gpu's power to help things along.
January 23, 2009 7:50:18 AM

Wow, I am waiting a few months now, and I dont regret yet. CPU performance will be ok (for me). If it can handle HD video flawness, and uses low idle power (and is silent), it will be perfect.
February 4, 2009 1:24:38 PM

kamkalso replacing the core2duo with the atom = progress?let me guess, apple will still sell the mini at the same pricelol.

I highly doubt that Apple is going to switch the Mac Mini to an Atom processor. Apple hasn't been in the business of making dumb moves.
March 6, 2009 1:02:32 AM

Guess your sources were wrong :-/
a b Î Nvidia
March 6, 2009 1:16:30 AM

Guess your sources were wrong :-/

March 12, 2009 1:52:37 AM

Hmm, two company's who practice the fine art of denial. At least Apple silently fixes their product issues/problems while nVidia tends to play jack@$$ with their customers for extended periods of time; literally years. The nVidia customers effected tend to be the ones laying down the cash for $500.00 (+-$100.00) graphics cards. I guess they (nVidia) figure that these are the types of customers who rarely skip a series, so as long as they can hold out a year or so the alleged issues will go away.

Guess how many series it took me to learn my lesson. I don't actually remember, I can tell you that I still have a 5, 6, 7 and 8 sitting with the rest of my computer parts. Well, with the exception of the 8800 GTX which I'm still using as this is the card I realized I'll need to break up with nVidia and force myself to take on ATI. This was a very difficult decision as I have been indoctrinated into nVidia ever sense I replaced my Voodoo 2 card back in the day.