New Mac Minis to use NVIDIA's Ion platform

appleionEveryone was expecting a Mini refresh at MacWorld, and although the 17-inch MBP is a sweet setup, the Mini has been one of Apple’s more neglected products and people thought it was time. Well, they were sort of right. The new Minis are going to be coming out a little later this year, and they’ll be sporting the NVIDIA Ion platform, which is a combination of the 9400M video solution with Intel’s dual-core low-power processor, the Atom 330, on a really tiny mobo — 12 square inches.

It looks as if this update isn’t going to be about power, but size and specific capabilities. At 1.6GHz and two cores with a 533MHz FSB, the Atom 330 is more than powerful enough to run OS X, although I wouldn’t expect to do any real HD video editing or RAW editing. You’ll have web, iPhoto, and hardware HD decoding — great for iTunes movie downloads.

I’d be afraid that the old Core2 Duo will actually outperform the new Mini, even taking architecture improvements into account, but I’m also guessing that the new Mini is going to be about the size of a 2.5″ hard drive.