Old Apple Mac mini G4 vs. new Mac mini’s graphics and video specs

Apple’s old Mac mini G4 versus the new Intel-based Mac mini video specs:

Mac mini G4:
• ATI Radeon 9200 graphics processor with AGP 4X support, 32MB of dedicated Double Data Rate (DDR) video memory
• DVI video output for digital resolutions up to 1920 x 1200 pixels; supports 20-inch Apple Cinema display and 23-inch Apple Cinema HD display; supports coherent digital displays up to 154MHz; supports non-coherent digital displays up to 135MHz
• VGA video output (using included adapter) to support analog resolutions up to 1920 x 1080 pixels
• S-video and composite video output to connect directly to a TV or projector (requires Apple DVI to Video Adapter, sold separately)

Mac mini Intel-based:
• Intel GMA950 graphics processor with 64MB of DDR2 SDRAM shared with main memory
• DVI video output for digital resolutions up to 1920 by 1200 pixels; supports 20-inch Apple Cinema Display and 23-inch Apple Cinema HD Display; supports coherent digital displays up to 154MHz; supports noncoherent digital displays up to 135MHz
• VGA video output (using included adapter) to support analog resolutions up to 1920 by 1080 pixels
• S-video and composite video output to connect directly to a TV or projector (using Apple DVI to Video Adapter, sold separately)

More information about Apple’s new Intel-based Mac mini’s specs here.

More details about Intel’s Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA 950 graphics core) here.

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Related MacDailyNews article:
Apple introduces new Intel-based Mac mini – February 28, 2006

80 Comments

  1. With the huge overall bandwidth difference, the new integrated graphics is quite likely still substantially faster than the one in the old mini. Not enough for a medium range or high end Mac, but probably okay for the mini.

    And Macs King is right, the audio interfaces are a good step forwards; Both input (new) and output are now digital as well! Plus Gigabit ethernet – another limitation gone!

  2. I ordered the high end one today. I feel guilty cutting my local reseller out of my purchases because they really are a good store and have been great servicing my machines, so I did a preorder today with them instead of ordering direct from Apple. Gives me some time to sell the old mini on craigslist, too.

    I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about the shared memory. I won’t be playing games on this machine–I have a PS2, a PSP, and will be getting an xbox 360 as soon as the supply is up. What I will be doing is hooking this up to my TV and stereo so that I finally have convenient access to the approaching-a-terabyte collection of video and music files I have spread accross multiple machines. I have been loathing the idea of consolidating these files and now I don’t have to. At Apple’s memory prices I’d put memory into the machine myself, so the shared memory doesn’t bother me–I’d put a 1GB stick in it either way.

    What matters most for me on this is that now I have no reason to replace my 20″ iMac G5. It really is the best machine I’ve ever had. I had planned to hold onto for another six months and then sell it and get the next revision of the intel iMac, but now can hold out even longer.

  3. I think Apple made some good design choices to best optimize the Mac mini for its market. And I don’t think the Intel Graphics is all that bad (at least the recent versions of it). I have a PC laptop that I use for work, about a year old. It has the Intel Graphics chips. It seems to work fine, although I don’t play 3D games on it. It should be at least comparable to the previous PPC Mac mini’s video. Of course, 256MB of dedicated video RAM would be better, but this is a Mac mini.

    Didn’t the “developer’s” preview Intel Macs from last year use Intel Graphics?

  4. ITunes 6.0.4 has front row streaming!
    you heard it from me first

    iTunes 6.0.4 is not out yet but is documented on the mac mini site

    “Sharing photos requires iPhoto (i.e. a Mac). Sharing music and videos requires iTunes 6.0.4 or later. Video playback capabilities may vary against network bandwidth.”

  5. For all of the people who have acted as if integrated graphics are a strange thing for Apple you all obviously are newbies to the Mac world. Aside from the IIfx, all macs had integrated graphics until the first G3 tower and of course Apple used its own port which kept us from easily using third party monitors. Granted, Apple’s integrated graphics were far superior to the card available to the rest of the world during most of that time but it was integrated all the same. Now most of those machines did use dedicated memory for the graphics but memory busses were much slower back then.

    If you need top of the line graphics buy a $3299 quad G5 with a $1650 QUADRO FX 4500 not a $599 or $799 Mac Mini!

  6. Man, if there is one reason NOT to buy this system, THIS is it. I don’t think there is ANY reason SHARED memory makes sense in a MAC. Man, I’m REALLY disappointed in Jobs on this one.

    Spoken like someone that has never used a low end PC. This isn’t a PowerMac, or even an iMac, or an iBook for that matter.

    Don’t like it, don’t buy it. My guess is that you were never a customer for it to begin with. Gawd, how I hate geeks. Always wanting more, never willing to pay for it.

  7. Movies….so that´s what computers are now for. Watching movies.

    Dang, guess I better trash my vcr, dvd players and tv…cause the we will all be watching movies with our computers…

    LOL. Never would I think that I would buy a computer that is optimized for watching movies and tv shows.

  8. Why cry. I work in the graphic business – I wouldn’t buy this for a graphic work station but what an awesome home machine.
    Even better how about a good replacement for the ugly DELL’s in an office. The mini is now a good replacement for our admin computers as they need updating. Good price, ease of a MAC – a lot of offices can easily switch. My work will be thrilled.

  9. Queezzie, the only thing I’ve used my TV for in the past year is watching football games and playing PS2. The only thing I’ve used the VCR for is as an over-power-consumptive line-in-to-coax adapter for the PS2. Just realized when arranging my furniture last week that the DVD player hasn’t been plugged into anything for as long as I can remember. Just wired the stereo speakers back up after not having used that since before the summer.

  10. I’m quite happy with the specs of this new mini. But – and nobody so far has complained about it, are you all sleeping or what? – it just got 25% more expensive ! How dare they. In times when consumer electronics and computers are only ever getting cheaper, Apple bumps the price right up. That’d be a good reason not to buy one!

    Another question: Can I connect the mini via digital out to my 5.1 surround system and get the 5.1 sound from DVDs? All I can find in the specs is that it’s stereo. If it’s not 5.1 (or better) it’s not going to replace my DVD player. If it’s not going to replace my DVD player, I’m not going to buy one. Anyone here thinking the same?

  11. Here are some more specs to help ease our pain…

    -256-bit graphics core running at 400MHz

    -Up to 10.6 GB/sec memory bandwidth with DDR2 667 system memory

    -1.6 GPixels/sec and 1.6 GTexels/sec fill rate

    -Up to 224 MB maximum video memory

    -2048×1536 at 75 Hz maximum resolution

    -Dynamic Display Modes for flat-panel, wide-screen and Digital TV support

    -Up to 4 pixels per clock rendering

    OpenGL* 1.4 support plus ARB_vertex_buffer and EXT_shadow_funcs extensions and TexEnv shader caching

    -High Definition Hardware Motion Compensation to support high definition hi-bitrate MPEG2 media playback

    -Up and Down Scaling of Video Content

    -High Definition Content Decode – up to two stream support

    -5×3 Overlay Filtering.

    While this may not give us 54 fps on our favorite 3D games it will handle Quartz Extreme well and do a great job with all type of video playback.

    I bolded the Open GL support because this is the key for OS X developers. While this chip set has a lot of Direct X optimization, Open GL is the technology that Apple has based all of its graphics development on and all of the reviews of this processor have used only Direct X based benchmarks. Maybe Apple is genuinely pleased with the Open GL support that Intel has incorporated in this product.

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