More Information About Upcoming Mac Pro, Mac mini and Airport Updates

Submitted by lalit on June 20, 2011 - 10:50pm.

Few hours back, we reported that Apple is planning to update the Mac Pro and Mac mini systems by end of July or in early August. Now an Asian gadget blog MIC has posted more information about these updates along with information about upcoming Airport and Time Capsule updates also.

According to MIC the new Mac mini will lose NVIDIA graphics in favor of Intel HD graphics found on Core i5 processors. This might decrease the graphics performance little, but will also bring the manufacturing cost down by about $40, resulting in cheaper Mac mini. From what we have heard the performance difference between NVIDIA 320M and Intel HD 3000 graphics is so little that it won’t matter to most users. Also the new features and performance boost brought by the second generation Core i5 CPUs will more than make up for the slight graphics performance loss. The new Core i5 processors are about 2x-3x faster than Core 2 Duo processors on current Mac mini.

As for the Mac Pro the blog writes that it will have rack-mountable design (as has been rumored for quite sometime) with unique Sandy Bridge CPU specially developed for Mac Pro. This new CPU will increase the performance significantly and make the Mac Pro good replaced for Xserve in enterprises. The design change will result in loss of swappable drives and interchangeable power supply. Our sources say that Apple will continue using the Xeon processors in Mac Pro, as Sandy Bridge Core i7 processors can’t be used in dual processor setup. Also, Core i7 processors don’t support ECC (error correcting code) memory, a requirement for most enterprise customers.

For Time Capsule and Airport Extreme, MIC says both will have “new design to dissipate heat better than the current model”. The Time Capsule will also get hard drive update with a low power consuming 2TB hard drive. The new Airport Express will have six antennas that will support up to three networks, two private and one guest.

The highlight feature of Time Capsule and Airport Extreme will be update caching. According to MIC, “Both devices are built into Lion, so if you are working on iOS 5 and/or Lion, you can access the new Time Capsule and Airport Extreme. Once new content is downloaded or existing content is updated, the changes are pushed to all devices.” We have no information about Airport update and are hoping that all the rumors about upcoming Airport base station are true because we would love to have update caching, faster WiFi speed and better OS integration.