Apple To Use Nvidia's Atom-Powered Ion Platform For Something: Mac Mini or Apple TV?

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Tom's Hardware says it's for the sad and neglected Mac Mini. Apple Insider says it could make more sense inside a revamped Apple TV. Either way, a dual-core Atom with Nvidia's 9400M sounds nice.

Tom's Hardware is pointing to an Nvidia source that confirmed Apple was the first to receive Ion test units, and said that Apple most certainly had an Ion-powered Mac Mini in the pipe. Apple Insider is more inclined to believe it's for the Apple TV, since a move to Atom would be a step up from its aging 1GHz Intel Crofton proc.

Both products make the most sense for a low-power, low-cost processor, but a dual-core Atom 330 running at 1.6 GHz would certainly be a step down from the Mini's current Core 2 Duo at 1.83 and 2 GHz, so I would place my chips in the Apple TV stack. The Nvidia 9400M would bring a nice boost to the Mini's paltry HD video capabilities however, and OS X config file snooping has turned up evidence for a 9400M-powered Mini recently (doesn't mean it will also use an Atom processor).


Or maybe they'll simply combine these two fairly confused product lines into one dimunitive full OS X machine (please) that's perfect for the living room. Tom's source says the new Ion-powered product will hit around March. We'll see about that. [Tom's Hardware, Apple Insider]