The skinny is that the iMacs and Mac Mini will move to Nvidia graphics chips across the line (right now only the high-end 24″ model has Nvidia graphics). I was initially excited about this, because I’m STILL waiting for a machine from Apple that can properly run all the apps in Final Cut Studio that doesn’t start at $2,800 (Mac Pro)! But my hopes appear to be dashed.
The Nvidia chip rumored to be going in to the Mini and the 20″ iMacs is the GeForce 9400M. Checking the specs, this is about a 2x improvement over the Intel 950 graphics in the current Mac Mini. But this is still a mere 1/10th the speed of the Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT typically used on the Mac Pro for serious graphics work. So obviously none of these new low-end Macs are going to do the trick.
Most disturbingly, even the top-of-the-line 24″ iMac is rumored to be going to a GeForce 9800M, which has approximately half the performance of the GeForce 8800 GS in the current high-end 24″ iMac! So, after the announcement I may be finding myself shopping for a discontinued model iMac to run Final Cut on.
But I’ll still be following every Tweet and blogroll update from MacWorld on Tuesday at noon (eastern) hoping for better news! C’mon Phil, gimme a Mac with a real graphics card (that doesn’t cost $2,000 more than it should)!
UPDATE (post-MacWorld Keynote): Well, no iMac or Mini announcements at all so there is still hope of something better. Turns out the big news was software, and the new iMovie ’09 in particular is going to rock.