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So apple announced a couple new MacMini’s today. At first I was really disappointed since MacRumors has them both listed as a maximum speed of 2.0ghz (as of 11:40am PST). But, in reality its a 2.0Ghz and 2.26Ghz model.

Engadget also gets a FAIL as of 1:34pm PST, also erroneously reporting only a 2ghz model.

But there is some good news underneath the surface of this fairly standard refresh.

First the basics, support for up to 4GB of memory (up from an unofficial 3GB and officially 2GB maximum), more USB ports (no-hum), 802.11n, firewire 800 and the most obvious big enhancement the 9400M graphics chipset.

The real interesting part to me is the new 1066Ghz frontside bus and the socket that comes along with that (up from 667mhz). I can’t wait for someone to crack one open. It appears to use the Core 2 Duo P7350 which if I’m not mistaken is a socket P. Which means there might be quite a bit of latitude for upgrades.

Model Number sSpec Number Frequency L2-Cache FSB Mult Voltage TDP Socket Release Price
Core 2 Duo P7350 SLB53 2000 MHz 3 MB 1066 MT/s 7.5x 1.00V-1.250V 25 W Socket P OEM
Core 2 Duo P8700 SLGFE 2533 MHz 3 MB 1066 MT/s 9.5x 1.00V-1.250V 25 W Socket P $241
Core 2 Duo P9600 SLGE6 (E0) 2667 MHz 6 MB 1066 MT/s 10x 1.050V-1.212V 25 W Socket P $348
Core 2 Duo T9800 SLGES (E0) 2933 MHz 6 MB 1066 MT/s 11x 1.050-1.212V 35 W Socket P $530
(table data pilfered from wikipedia)
New Mac mini
New Mac mini

So in this table, the P7350 is what I believe the new Mini to be using. This means if the CPU is easily removable at a minimum the P8700 should be a drop in replacement at 2.533Ghz its part of the same exact line. The P9600 has a slightly narrower voltage range and twice the cache, but again I couldn’t see why this wouldn’t be a GREAT drop in replacement at 2.667Ghz. The top of the line would be the T9800, it has a higher total wattage which means a slightly higher chance of running in to trouble but at 2.933Ghz its worth trying.

Personally, I have a Mini that I upgraded to 2.33Ghz. It’s the same 34Watts as the original 1.83Ghz CPU that came with it originally. The only downside is that it does make quite a bit more noise than the original CPU when both cores are running 60% or more. But, if the original mini can handle a 35Watt CPU, the new one just might…

Can’t wait to see the first 2.93Ghz Mini benchmark!

P.S. There are in fact faster versions of the Socket P line of CPU’s but I omitted the 3.066Ghz C2Extreme (44watts) and the 2.26Ghz C2Quad’s (45watts) as just a little unrealistic with the stock mini cooling, but that isn’t to say it isn’t possible. Only time will tell when someone actually tries such a thing…

Update: Ask and ye shall receive (well partially at least), macminicolo.net has an unboxing and disassembly, no specifics on the cpu/socket but it all looks pretty similar to the current model.

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