Apple announced a few new Mac Mini models today, the ones with Intel processors. There have already been some shots taken at the new Mini’s graphics. Some say that it’s a step backwards, because it includes a integrated Intel graphics chipset. I just wanted to take a minute to address the integrated-graphics naysayers.

In my opinion, the Intel graphics chipset in this new Mini model is tailored for home theater.

For starters, the chipset supports Core Image. A Good Thing. On the HDTV side of things, it’s got hardware MPEG-2 decoding with hardware motion compensation. Supports resolutions up to 1920×1200, 16×9 and 16×10 ratios, as well as the necessary 480i/p, 576i/p, 720i/p and 1080i/p resolutions (with overscan settings too).

This particular chipset doesn’t game well (one review claimed a mere 20fps in Quake 4), but guess what? It shouldn’t. It’s not in a machine that is built for gamers. It’s a HDTV output chipset for a low-cost media center.

Mike at HD For Indies (God rest his soul) has been preaching for months now about the coming Apple home theater/media center assault. Looks like he was right.


4 Responses to “New Mac Mini graphics are tailored for HDTV and home theater output”  

  1. 1 Dave C

    Good points all round – and to the folk moaning about the small HD etc. did you notice the ethernet port?
    GIGABIT ETHERNET in a Mac Mini?????
    If this isn’t saying “stream HD from your BIG computer to me at your TV in the sitting room” I don’t know what is.
    All the factors – graphics targetted at HD playback, Gigabit ethernet, bonjour discovery of itunes on other machines, digital audio out
    ALL point to this being the ‘playback engine’ for an IP based HD distribution system where the mac mini is simply the last box in the chain.

    OK, it won’t work in EVERY consumer sitting room, but that’s not the target market…not yet anyway!!

    It’s all us geeks who are salivating right now!!

  2. 2 Anonymous

    Um, don’t say “God Rest His Soul” please unless you know something we don’t… hopefully Mike’s still aboveground and with us.

    Sorry, I’m paranoid. His blog’s been down a few days.

  3. 3 freshdv

    ALL point to this being the ‘playback engine’ for an IP based HD distribution system where the mac mini is simply the last box in the chain.

    You said it better than I could have, Dave, I think that’s exactly where Apple is headed. Did you hear that they just recently snapped up an unused corporate data center in Newark? 107,000-square-foot of fully equipped space. I’m curious what to make of that development…

    -MJ

  4. 4 freshdv

    Um, don’t say “God Rest His Soul” please unless you know something we don’t…

    I don’t know anything you don’t, that was 100% tongue-in-cheek. :-)
    Like you, I’ve been missing my HD For Indies fix.

    hopefully Mike’s still aboveground and with us.

    I’ll drink to that. If he doesn’t get caught up on work and start blogging again soon, we may have to send backup to Austin…

    -MJ