While the Mac Mini is not exactly one of Apple’s best selling computers, it seems that the company is still very much involved in its development. Over the years, the tiny display-less and keyboard-less computer has been left behind in terms of performance and considerable upgrades. With the release of the iMac 2017 looming ever so near, many are now beginning to wonder if Apple is going to release the said computer anytime this year.
Fortunately, in the previous round table interview with the Cupertino company, it said that the Mac Mini remains to be an important product for the company. However, the Apple executive declined to give more details about the Mac Mini’s future.
Mac Mini overall build
Immediately after the said round table discussion, a blog claimed to have first-hand information about the mini computer. According to Pike’s Universum, the Mac Mini will be released with two slightly different models. The entry-level version will retain the original form factor of the computer. However, the blog says that the high-end version of the Mac Mini will have a much taller build. Unfortunately, no details were provided on how much of a change the top-tier model will have compared to the entry-level.
Performance and hardware configuration
There is no denying that the current generation Mac Mini has lost some degree of performance compared to the previous iteration. The top-tier 2012 Mac Mini has an Intel processor with a total of four cores. Not to mention that the said version of the computer also has the Intel Hyper Threading enabled, thereby giving it a total of eight virtual cores.
In comparison to the current generation Mac mini, the 2014 model, performance has suffered a bit because Apple has decided to equip it with only a dual-core CPU. Even with Hyper Threading enabled, the 2014 model still lags in performance by almost 50 percent; the 2014 model runs at 3GHz while the 2012 model runs at 2.6GHz.
Perhaps the main question is, what exactly are consumers to expect on the next generation Mac Mini?
For one, Apple could finally admit the fact that it has miscalculated the performance gains of the current generation Mac Mini. In doing so, there is a chance that it would once again offer quad-core processor-equipped versions of the said computer.
Meanwhile, on the top-tier model, since the build is considerably taller or bigger than the entry-level, Apple could then include a discrete GPU. Perhaps, an AMD Radeon R7 350 which has a TDP of 75W and is relatively new.
Will the top-tier Mac Mini support VR?
Unfortunately, virtual reality or VR is a very taxing graphics technology. It requires faster and more powerful graphics cards in order to pull a convincing and acceptable VR gameplay. Due to its size, there is a very slim chance that the Mac Mini will support VR. Nevertheless, it would be quite a feat if Apple manages to include this feature in the upcoming update for the tiny desktop computer.
Mac Mini release date and price
So far, Apple has not mentioned anything else on the Mac Mini. It has been more than two years since the company has updated the computer. At the moment, Apple is focusing more on both the Mac Pro and the iMac. The former to be released next year while the latter before the end of 2017. That being said, it could be that the Cupertino giant may decide to release the Mac Mini in between the releases for the iMac and the Mac Pro. It is more likely that it will happen early next year than later this year.
As for the price, let us assume for a moment that the entry-level version will have a dual-core processor. With that, it can be said that Apple might price the Intel i5 version running at 2.8GHz somewhere around $499. It could then push the price for the top-tier version to $1,099. This is assuming it will have a quad-core Intel i7 chip. For more updates in the Mac Mini, be sure to check us out at TheBitbag.