Apple TV Gets Spec'd

Last week’s launch of the Apple TV was met with some fanfare and a lot speculation. The fanfare came from the usual suspects, while the speculation came from everyplace else. Speculation on whether the device was redundant and what powered the $299 unit.

It might be too soon to comment on redundancy, but, thanks to Apple Insider. today we, at least, have some potential answers on the hardware. The Apple rumormonger has scooped a bunch of info on the guts of the Apple TV.

According to the Insider, Apple TV is powered by a 1GHz Pentium M Crofton processor under-clocked to run on a 350MHz bus. This chip stems from the cycle before Core Duo, but it still features 2MB of L2 cache. It’s an aged showing, but certainly powerful enough to conduct the business it’s responsible for.

What’s more important for a device of this nature is its video board. It features an Nvidia G72M GPU with 64MB of dedicated DDR2 memory. It’ll do. One point of possible concern is the paltry 256MB of 400MHz DDR2 system memory. Perhaps I’m just scrupling, but it seems to me that should be higher.

The storage is, of course, at the expense of the stated 40GB hard drive, which will be good for about 50 hours of video, 9,000 songs, or, if you have a much more exciting life than me, 25,000 pictures. We now know, however, that it’s a 2.5-inch PATA drive. I’m assuming it’s either 4200RPM or 5400RPM (read: not good).

So there you have it. Apple TV specs. I can think of more than a few ways to better spend $299 (like alcohol and debauchery).

Pentium M-based Intel chip at heart of Apple TV [Apple Insider]