I moved away from Mac towers (G5 and the like, now known as ‘Mac Pro’) around 12 months ago. I just didn’t need the power, expandability and frankly the noise that the towers provided. The Mac Mini has served me well since then, even running Final Cut Pro and DVD Studio Pro etc. The only grievance is a limit of 2GB of memory and having to use laptop size internal hard drives.

However, a worrying section of the spec requirements for Final Cut Studio 2 is ‘An AGP or PCI Express Quartz Extreme graphics card (Final Cut Studio is not compatible with integrated Intel graphics processors)’

What this basically seems to equate to is ‘if you have a Mac Mini you are screwed’. So, on first glance, it would appear that if I want to run Final Cut Pro 6 I need to get a tower? Not necessarily as the specs for Final Cut Studio 1 said much the same. However, this factor has reminded me about something I have been thinking about for a while…

Why on earth don’t Apple release a ‘Mac Middle’; a mini tower with an AGP/PCIe slot (for the graphics card of choice), space for two internal SATA drives and perhaps a maximum of 4GB memory powered by a single Intel Core Duo processor? Such a device would be a perfect half-way house. It would fall short of the real high end power and expandability that make the ‘Mac Pro’ an essential purchase for some, whilst also providing a more affordable yet capable platform for ‘middle ground’ users that don’t enjoy the purchasing budget of a small country. Just a thought!

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