Intel/AOpen Mini

Pictures of the Intel and AOpen equivalent of the Mac Mini are starting to hit the net.

There’s also an interesting article at Wired on the box.

It looks very similar; but the internals are obviously very different. Most notable, as far as I’m concerned, is the include of the Pentum M, actually a very fast little CPU that has advantages from being placed in such a small case; because it was originally a laptop CPU, which has similar cooling problems, yet with the need for performance, it makes an ideal little solution to the SFF problem.

The Pentium M includes some advanced power management and the ability to quickly and dynamically ramp up speed when required. I own a couple of laptops with the technology and there’s not a lot these CPUs can’t do.

The Pentium M is also much faster than the VIA low-power, SFF CPUs – I have a 1GHz unit running in the lounge for watching video (captured on cheap AMD PCs in the server room).

I’ll certainly be getting one of the Intel/AOpen units. But will it beat my Mac Mini? Difficult to tell. If the price point is similar, there’s a real chance it could steal some of the thunder. But the Mini has more going for it than a simple form factor choice. The iPod effect, Mac OS X and much more help to make the Mac Mini an attractive box regardless of the hardware inside.

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