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New iMacs and Mac minis confirmed to use NVIDIA chipsets

post #1 of 181
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Apple's next-generation iMacs and Mac minis will adopt the same NVIDIA chipset platform found at the heart of the company's most recent notebook overhaul, new findings confirm once over.

A member of the InsanelyMac forums was recently rifling through the extension files that ship with the latest MacBooks and MacBooks Pros and discovered references to a "Macmini3,1" and "iMac9,1."

Running System Profiler on Apple's most current iMacs and Mac minis reveal the model number of those systems to be "Macmini2,1" and "iMac8,1," meaning the configuration files included with the company's latest notebooks are for still unannounced models.

Specifically, the extension file of interest pertains to a Mac's System Management Controller and Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI_SMC_PlatformPlugin.kext). It includes a variety of information, including strings that identify the supporting chipset of each Mac.

The entries for the unannounced iMac and Mac minis list their chipset as the "CFG_MCP79," which is the same exact NVIDIA MCP79 platform employed by unibody MacBooks, MacBook Pros, and MacBook Airs, which are similarly identified in the same file as the MacBook5,1, MacBookPro5,1, and MacBookAir2,1.

Also of interest is that the entries for the new iMac and Mac mini are dated 2008, which may provide evidence to support claims that these systems were originally targeted for a release in the November time frame but were pushed into the first quarter of the year due to unexpected delays.



While announcing its new notebook offerings in October, Apple had indicated that it would be using more of NVIDIA's technology in its Mac computer line going forward.
post #2 of 181
About time we had some decent hardware rumours!
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post #3 of 181
OK, great- now just add a new casing on the iMac , please.
post #4 of 181
Makes you wonder if they wouldn't have announced them in time for the holiday season if it weren't for MacWorld?
post #5 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

OK, great- now just add a new casing on the iMac , please.

I think the current iMac is a superbly designed from an aesthetic point of view.

It's only major fault is that it is not user serviceable unlike previous iMacs.
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post #6 of 181
Good news all round. What about the Mac Pro?
post #7 of 181
I recently placed my mac mini in my son's room for gaming, but the graphics were not fast enough. I am thinking that this will be a good option for them to play crossover games.
post #8 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

OK, great- now just add a new casing on the Mac mini, please.

fix'd
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post #9 of 181
For iMac design, I mostly just want to see the power cord changed to black. It sure looks funny having that white power cord coming out of the black backside of the iMac.

The new mini should show some significant performance increase. That will be great.
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post #10 of 181
I would have hoped the iMac would have better graphics than the MB Pro. Maybe there will be options.
post #11 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by stukdog View Post

For iMac design, I mostly just want to see the power cord changed to black. It sure looks funny having that white power cord coming out of the black backside of the iMac.

The new mini should show some significant performance increase. That will be great.

It will be interesting what they offer. I've been looking at my VERY old desktop system and I am tired of waiting for Apple to offer a computer for under $2700 where I can add a 2nd (or 3rd) internal hard drive.

Again: iMac, minus display with space for two hard drives = golden.
post #12 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

I would have hoped the iMac would have better graphics than the MB Pro. Maybe there will be options.

The MBP has two graphics chips but based on this report, the "CFG_MCP79" designation does not distinguish it from the MB or MBA. So even though the iMac gets the same designation (per this report), it doesn't mean that the iMac will not have a second chip equal to or better than what is in the MBP.
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post #13 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbonner View Post

I recently placed my mac mini in my son's room for gaming, but the graphics were not fast enough. I am thinking that this will be a good option for them to play crossover games.

By crossover, do you mean the games EA has wrapped up in Mac sauce? You'd be a lot better off either just getting games actually ported to Mac by Aspyr, or just installing XP and playing windows games. Cider creates such a performance problem that it's not even funny.
post #14 of 181
Quote:
I think the current iMac is a superbly designed from an aesthetic point of view.

I beg to differ. The white one - yes. Gorgeous.
This one is simply a revamped environmentally repackaged version- from it's glossy screen to its cheapo enviro black back plastic. The shiny white mouse doesn't even match nor the white keyed keyboard. And don't even mention the racoon eyeliner around the screen. Hopefully the new one omits the Jay Leno chin.
But whatever - let's move to a new design or get the color scheme/ texture at least right.
post #15 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by stukdog View Post

For iMac design, I mostly just want to see the power cord changed to black. It sure looks funny having that white power cord coming out of the black backside of the iMac.

Wow, that is a silly oversight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

I beg to differ. The white one - yes. Gorgeous.
This one is simply a revamped environmentally repackaged version- from it's glossy screen to its cheapo enviro black back plastic. The shiny white mouse doesn't even match nor the white keyed keyboard. And don't even mention the racoon eyeliner around the screen. Hopefully the new one omits the Jay Leno chin.
But whatever - let's move to a new design or get the color scheme/ texture at least right.

It's probably going to be a while, Apple doesn't change their computer aesthetic designs very often.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AeronPrometheus View Post

fix'd

Given the length of time that aesthetic design has been on the market, a face lift is overdue, but I don't have a problem with the aesthetics of the mini. In fact, the rest of the Mac line has been brought towards the mini's look, not away from it.
post #16 of 181
I don't have any real info, but the best guess on available info is that the Mac Mini has been completely redesigned, whereas the iMacs will likely look much the same but with the new graphics update.

Also, when you think about it, it makes no sense to upgrade the entire line to this faster graphics system yet leave out the one device that deals exclusively with graphics and multimedia, so we can also hope for an Apple TV redesign as well even though nothing has really been mentioned on that front.

When you add those product intros to the financials segment, and possibly a segment about Snow Leopard, there isn't much time left in the keynote for anything else. Unless it's unusually long, I would speculate that the tablet won't be revealed at this one.

Possibly this will be shown at the new "Steve Jobs LIVE!" TV show later in the year?
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post #17 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Wow, that is a silly oversight.

Well it does match the mouse.
post #18 of 181
Cool, so now we know the new iMac and Mac mini will use the 9400M NVIDIA chipset-on-a-chip and Mini DisplayPort. I'm guessing FW400 ports are dead to Apple, so the iMac will just have FW800 while the Mac mini...well, it only has FW400, so I wonder if they'd give a distinctly "non-pro" Mac a port it's never had, FW800; doubt it. iMac will also get LED backlighting, the NVIDIA 9600M discrete GPU (at the very least), and (hopefully) a black-keyed aluminum keyboard.

Maybe the Mac mini will get a redesign to make it easily user-serviceable and to adopt the black-on-aluminum look of the rest of Apple's computers. Could totally see them switch out the white plastic for black and perhaps offer a 128GB SSD build-to-order option.

Obviously the lingering question is, what about the Mac Pro?
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post #19 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Well it does match the mouse.

I'd love a new mouse. The white Apple mouse does not match the current design and besides, it has the lowest life expectancy of any mouse ever. All mine have bitten the dust. Maybe my fingertips are just filthy greasy, but that tiny ball should be removable and cleanable. I know it is cleanable but not PROPERLY.
post #20 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

Unless it's unusually long, I would speculate that the tablet won't be revealed at this one.

Definitely not happening. A Mac tablet would be a major announcement, which would be handled by Jobs, not Phil.
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post #21 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

I'd love a new mouse. The white Apple mouse does not match the current design and besides, it has the lowest life expectancy of any mouse ever. All mine have bitten the dust. Maybe my fingertips are just filthy greasy, but that tiny ball should be removable and cleanable. I know it is cleanable but not PROPERLY.

Same thoughts here... Mighty Mouse would be an easy product to improve upon, and they should think about offering two quality levels of mice. Mighty Mouse and MousePro.

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post #22 of 181
Hopefully at Apple's January 6, 2009 keynote at MWSF, we will have the 17" Power book Pro available and the video issues have been resolved. \
post #23 of 181
If Apple removes Firewire from the Minis, I will have bought my last Mac. At least they should include Firewire 800 for people to connect a better hard drive, given that the 2.5" drive is barely decent enough to last 2 years...

I may just get me a used Mini or a closeout model on Apple's store...
post #24 of 181
It certainly makes business sense for Apple to buy huge numbers of one chipset for use in all but one of their models. Use of an Nvidia chipset in the iMac doesn't mean that machine won't have a discrete ATI GPU, either.
post #25 of 181
After the notebook releases it should have been pretty obvious that Nvidias new baby was going into the Minis replacement. It is an almost ideal upgrade for the low end machine. This being a desktop though you have to wonder about the exact implementation.

By this I mean is the 9400M going into the Mini an exact copy or has it been tweaked. The first thought is that they could bump clock rate to boost graphical performance a bit. The second possibility is a few more execution units. While there is no need to blow out GPU performance on the Mini the IMac is a different story altogether. To put it mildly the iMacs need better performance than the Mini and moreso need a considerable boost over the old machines.

The only reason I even bother with this speculation is that Nvidia has already said that the 9400M started out as a desktop chip. So it does not seem unreasonable to believe that a more capable member of the 9400 family has been implemented. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if there is a variant with an interface to desktop processors. This potentially could blow out iMac performance.

OK speculation off now. The reality is that I simply don't know what is up. I do wish though that Apple would throw off it's image of introducing midly state of the art desktops. It is about time Apples desktops compete on performance.



Dave
post #26 of 181
Mac mini will not have Firewire nor discrete graphics

iMac will have Firewire 800 and 256MB of discrete 9600 graphics for the 20" and 512MB for the 24"


I hope both cases are improved so that access to components is easier.


Let's hope for a Quad Core high end 24"
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post #27 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

...Hopefully the new one omits the Jay Leno chin.

I like the Leno chin - it's perfect for multiple post it notes.
post #28 of 181
All I'm hoping for is a new keyboard and a new mouse. The keys on the new notebooks are MUCH better than the ones on my iMac keyboard and on my white macbook, so I'd love to buy an upgrade with black keys for my alu iMac. Also, the Mighty Mouse is an abomination. The only Apple product I'd call an utter piece of shit. You can buy mice from other manufacturers at half the price that are twice as good. Just as I was scrolling through this thread, the crolldown locked up again. I've been able to "fix" it once again, but it's awful that have to clean the ball every month at least once cause it locks up again... Also, the click is way too loud and sounds very cheap and precision is very lackluster.
post #29 of 181
I'm so excited... I think I'm going to have a New Mini as my Network Media Player. I will be equally excited if it uses a MagSafe Connector so it works magically with my new LED Cinema Display.



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post #30 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Mac mini will not have Firewire nor discrete graphics

iMac will have Firewire 800 and 256MB of discrete 9600 graphics for the 20" and 512MB for the 24"


I hope both cases are improved so that access to components is easier.


Let's hope for a Quad Core high end 24"

The base model will only have the 9400M but I would say the higher end models
will have the 9600 and 9800 desktop GPUs.
post #31 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

I'd love a new mouse.

I've nothing against mice, but I prefer the trackpad on my MBP.

What I'd really like is a wireless Bluetooth trackpad to match the Apple wireless keyboard. I have a Mac Mini in the lounge and use the wireless keyboard and mouse with it (or sometimes VNC from my laptop) but have you ever tried to use a mouse on your knee or the armrest of a sofa?? A wireless trackpad with multitouch would be wonderful!
post #32 of 181
In a way I can kinda understand why the Mac Book doesn't have Firewire but I'm not certain the same reasoning holds for the Mini. On the Mac Book they trimmed costs, in my estimation, to pay for the expensive machined housing of the Mac Book. I've gone over this in my head many times and the brick process strikes me as expensive. This the chopping of excess parts.

The mini shouldn't have this problem as Apple has many more choices with respect to case fabrication. Both die cast and stamped cases should be much cheaper if they even go metal. I see it as the difference between paying 3 or 4 dollars per case or 30 to 40 dollars. Something had to give to keep the Mac Books price competitive.

In anyevent I haven't seen anything yet that says Apple is giving up on Firewire. That could be the case in the future but for atleast the next two years what would the alternatives be? USB2.0 nope!

In any event I do hope that I'm right as the loss of Firewire would be a huge negative.


Dave
post #33 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

...
Also, when you think about it, it makes no sense to upgrade the entire line to this faster graphics system yet leave out the one device that deals exclusively with graphics and multimedia, so we can also hope for an Apple TV redesign as well even though nothing has really been mentioned on that front.
...

But the Apple TV already has nVidia inside. It has an nVidia G72M handling video decoding/display alongside the Pentium M 1GHz CPU, according to reports. I would like to see it get a bump in CPU, RAM, and graphics but I'm guessing they feel it's fine as-is for handling the stock applications and H.264, etc. video decoding. It just gets a bit slow and RAM-strapped when you start piling on the goodies like Boxee/XBMC, decoders, emulators, etc.
post #34 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel84 View Post

Good news all round. What about the Mac Pro?

The Mac Pro is waiting for introduction of the Gainestown processor, the Xeon version of the Core i7. Intel originally planned to introduce it this year, but has pushed it back to next quarter so I wouldn't count on seeing a new Mac Pro before April.

I'm hoping they make the iMac hard drive accessible and use LED backlit H-IPS displays. That might be enough to get me to stop waiting for a mini-tower.

Unfortunately the iMac only has a single drive bay so I'll need more external hard drives than I already have, but it'll still be a lot cheaper than a Mac Pro.
post #35 of 181
A new keyboard w/ black keys and black power chord would complete the iMac look.

I ditched Apple mice a while back in favor of Logitech's VX Revolution, which has long battery life and a wonderful alloy scroll wheel. I only wish the scroll had a finer grit, like Apple's nipple. Bonus: It's black and matches the iMac.

I was at a Xmas party last night and was peeking around the host's beautiful home and I spotted a 24" iMac on his office desk. My first reaction was "Damn, that's a sexy piece of hardware..." It was an odd reaction because I have the exact machine at home (and at the office).

Now that everyone brought it up, as I look around my desktop, there's an odd mix of old and new design aesthetic. White iPod bases, aluminum external hard drives, white USB hubs, white cables all over.

Everything would look so much better in dark gray or black.
post #36 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

In anyevent I haven't seen anything yet that says Apple is giving up on Firewire. That could be the case in the future but for atleast the next two years what would the alternatives be? USB2.0 nope!

In any event I do hope that I'm right as the loss of Firewire would be a huge negative.

...But you just noted in your post that the MacBooks lost Firewire. Notice how the Air debuted with no Firewire at all, the iPhone debuted with no syncing (or even charging) over Firewire, all current iPods now lack Firewire syncing/charging, and the new 24" LED Cinema Display lacks the FW400 ports of previous iterations as well? The new MacBooks, Airs, and Pros all come with faster USB 2.0 ports (when compared to previous Macs), so the speed advantage of FW400 is negligible (which is the only thing most mainstream consumers care about).

However, if Apple had really wanted to kill Firewire entirely, they would have dropped FW800 from the new MacBook Pros too - they didn't. FW400's death has been a long time coming. I strongly doubt anything new from Apple will ship with FW400. FW800, yes, it's far better than USB 2.0, but not FW400.
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post #37 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Object-X View Post

Makes you wonder if they wouldn't have announced them in time for the holiday season if it weren't for MacWorld?

Because just like the MacBook, the updated iMac and Mac Mini will no longer have FireWire! There was originally a rumor on AI stating that these updates would be ready by November (in time for Christmas shopping season). Then Apple announce, no further updates for the year.

I think because of the large negative outcry over the lack of FW on the MacBooks these FireWire-less updates to the iMac and Mac Mini were put on ice... Until the Mac community cooled down some.

Dave
post #38 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

In a way I can kinda understand why the Mac Book doesn't have Firewire but I'm not certain the same reasoning holds for the Mini. On the Mac Book they trimmed costs, in my estimation, to pay for the expensive machined housing of the Mac Book. I've gone over this in my head many times and the brick process strikes me as expensive. This the chopping of excess parts.

The mini shouldn't have this problem as Apple has many more choices with respect to case fabrication. Both die cast and stamped cases should be much cheaper if they even go metal. I see it as the difference between paying 3 or 4 dollars per case or 30 to 40 dollars. Something had to give to keep the Mac Books price competitive.

In anyevent I haven't seen anything yet that says Apple is giving up on Firewire. That could be the case in the future but for atleast the next two years what would the alternatives be? USB2.0 nope!

In any event I do hope that I'm right as the loss of Firewire would be a huge negative.


Dave

I'd also add that there was a need to differentiate the MB from the MBP. Performance tests show that the two are very close in performance (except where the MBP's dedicated graphics come into play). If the MB had included FW, there would not have been enough differentiation between the two to justify the price difference. The reaction to the loss of FW proves that it's important enough to a lot of people that it alone would get them to spend money on the higher priced MBP.
post #39 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post

Because just like the MacBook, the updated iMac and Mac Mini will no longer have FireWire! There was originally a rumor on AI stating that these updates would be ready by November (in time for Christmas shopping season). Then Apple announce, no further updates for the year.

I think because of the large negative outcry over the lack of FW on the MacBooks these FireWire-less updates to the iMac and Mac Mini were put on ice... Until the Mac community cooled down some.

Dave

No the iMac WILL have FW800. The Mac mini will likely drop FW. Apple is going to be positioning FW as a step up feature.

One way to entice Mac mini owners or potential owners to upgrade is going to be discrete graphics and FW800.

The next Mac Pro will likely have FW 3.2Gbps. We can't forget for the iMac is indeed suitable for running apps like Final Cut Pro and Logic Studio. You delete FW here and you're going to harm your sales.
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post #40 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post

Because just like the MacBook, the updated iMac and Mac Mini will no longer have FireWire! There was originally a rumor on AI stating that these updates would be ready by November (in time for Christmas shopping season). Then Apple announce, no further updates for the year.

I think because of the large negative outcry over the lack of FW on the MacBooks these FireWire-less updates to the iMac and Mac Mini were put on ice... Until the Mac community cooled down some.

Dave

Pfft, that's quite a stretch. The iMac has FW400 and FW800, just like the MacBook Pro. If Apple wanted FW800 dead, they would have killed it with the new MBP. The fact a vocal minority complained about the loss of FW400 wouldn't be enough to affect Apple's decisions when the mainstream majority doesn't even recognize the few benefits FW400 had left over Apple's use of faster USB 2.0 buses on their new Mac laptops.
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