Mac mini Overview Updated September 6, 2022

Mac mini

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187 'Mac mini' stories

December 2010 - November 2022

The Mac mini is the gateway for the macOS ecosystem. The most affordable Mac is now one of the most powerful Apple computers. Here’s everything you need to know about it

History

The Mac mini is one of the oldest products sold by Apple and it’s currently in its fifth generation, feeling as new as ever.

First introduced in 2005, the original Mac mini was equipped with the PowerPC G4 processors. This computer was Apple’s attempt to enter the BYODKM (Bring Your Display, Keyboard, and Mouse) market. This is the only Mac that Apple sells without any accessories. The Mac Pro, for example, doesn’t come with a display, but it ships with the Magic Mouse 2 and the Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad.

One year later, in 2006, Apple introduced the second generation with the same design, but with Intel Core processors, as well as support for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

The third-generation Mac mini released in June 2010 brought a thinner unibody aluminum case and an HDMI port. Later revisions of this Mac added a Thunderbolt port and Intel Core i5 and i7 processors.

The fourth-generation introduced in October 2018 is still being sold today and is the last one with an Intel processor. This generation includes a darker Space Gray finish, features SSD as standard, and replaces most data ports with USB-C. This is the first Mac mini made with 100% recycled aluminum.

In November 2020, Apple introduced the fifth-generation model based on the Apple Silicon processor with a silver finish of earlier models. This Mac was preceded by the A12Z-based Developer Transition Kit, a prototype used by developers to test what was going to be the first M1 Apple Silicon chip. It came with 16GB of RAM, 512GB of SSD storage, and two USB-C ports.

Mac mini specs: Apple Silicon and Intel models

Apple sells two different Mac minis: one with its newer Apple Silicon chip and a high-spec model with the 8th generation Intel chip.

M1 Mac mini

M1 Mac mini deals

The M1 Apple Silicon Mac mini comes with an 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, and 16-core Neural engine. It starts with 8GB unified memory and 256GB SSD storage, and it can go up to 16GB of RAM and 2TB of SSD storage. This Mac has two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports with HDMI 2.0 and Gigabit Ethernet ports and a 3.5 mm headphone jack.

In April 2021, Apple silently updated the M1 model with an optional 10 Gigabit Ethernet port, which was previously only available on the Intel version.

This Mac is also made of 100% recycled aluminum.

Intel Mac mini

The Intel Mac mini comes with the 8th-generation Intel Core i5, with 8GB of RAM, Intel UHD Graphics 630, and 512GB SSD storage and can go up to the 3.2GHz 6-core 8th-generation Intel Core i7, 64GB of RAM, up to 2TB of SSD storage, and 10 Gigabit Ethernet support.

macOS Big Sur

The M1 Mac mini first operating system was macOS 11 Big Sur, which introduced a new design to the Mac software and proper optimization for the new processor.

macOS Big Sur also brought the Control Center to the macOS for the first time with quick access to brightness and other quick toggles. The Notification Center in macOS, for example, is now up-to-date with the iOS version, featuring grouping and rich interface styles.

The iOS 14 widget system is also available on macOS and the Messages app for Mac has also been revamped with an inline photo picker and Memoji. The Apple Maps app has also been modernized, now as a  Catalyst app so it shares the same codebase with iOS.

macOS Monterey

macOS Monterey

During WWDC21, Apple previewed macOS 12 Monterey. On October 25, Apple released Monterey for Mac users. Here are some of its most important features:

  • Shortcuts app now on the Mac;
  • Revamped FaceTime feature;
  • Redesigned Safari;
  • SharePlay feature;
  • Universal Control (currently in beta).

You can read more about macOS 12 Monterey here.

Pricing

The M1 Apple Silicon Mac mini starts at $699 and can go up to $1,699. The Intel model starts at $1,099 and can go up to $2,999.

Apple Silicon

  • 8GB RAM, 256GB storage: $699
  • 8GB RAM, 512GB storage: $899
  • 8GB RAM, 1TB storage: $1,099
  • 8GB RAM, 2TB storage: $1,499

The model with 16GB of RAM, adds $200 to every configuration. You can also get 10 Gigabit Ethernet for $100 more.

Intel

  • i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB storage: $1,099
  • i5, 16GB RAM, 512GB storage: $1,299
  • i5, 32GB RAM, 512GB storage: $1,699
  • i5, 64GB RAM, 512GB storage: $2,099

For the model with Intel Core i7, adds $200. If you want more storage, add $200 for 1TB and $600 for the 2TB option. The 10 Gigabit Ethernet feature is $100 more.

Lower prices may be available from Apple’s official Amazon store.

Mac mini review

In our M1 Mac mini diary video, we believe that this is a solid buy, even being a first-generation product since it has Apple’s proprietary chip:

Is the M1 Mac mini worth it? Absolutely, as long as you consider the fact that this is the first iteration of the Mac with Apple Silicon, and forthcoming versions will feature more powerful chips, more robust configuration options, and more I/O. But even in its current form, this Mac is the most versatile of any of the machines in Apple’s M1 lineup, and it also happens to be the least expensive. When paired with the right peripherals, the Mac mini shines as one of the best Macs that we’ve seen in quite some time. The more I use it, the more I come to appreciate just how good it is.

Here’s what our video review says about the Intel model:

The 2019 Mac Pro might be the best Mac desktop ever by a long shot, but the Mac mini is the best value desktop Mac, and it remains my favorite desktop Mac to this day. Although I look forward to an eventual CPU upgrade, the 2018 Mac mini, when properly specced, makes for a good workhorse machine for tasks like video editing with Final Cut Pro X.

Deals

Over at 9to5Toys, you can find the best deals on the Mac mini and other Apple products. Download the 9to5Toys iPhone app to receive push notifications for new deals as well.

Mac mini rumors

There are some rumors about a new Mac mini. According to a Bloomberg report in May 2021, the new Mac mini will feature a next-generation Apple Silicon chip with 8 high-performance cores and 2 efficiency cores. It will also support up to 64 GB RAM and feature more Thunderbolt lanes which support the expanded IO ports. Gurman also believes this computer will launch somewhere in 2022.

In July, Gurman talked about the rumored redesigned Mac mini, which was first corroborated by YouTuber Jon Prosser. Bloomberg’s journalist doesn’t think we’ll see Apple redesigning its entry-level Mac since the Mac Studio looks very similar to it.

I don’t think there’ll be a redesign to the Mac mini. I actually don’t know where the rumors of a redesign came from. I think those are also going to be spec bumps. If you look at the Mac Studio, it looks like a double-height Mac mini.

A new Mac mini is rumored for an Apple event in October.

Mac mini Stories November 8

The Mac mini form factor has been around for years without any major changes, and this frustrated YouTuber Luke Miani so much that he decided to take things to the extreme. In a new video today, Miani shows off his project to convert an old Nintendo Wii into a Mac mini, creating a device “perfect for retro gaming on a Mac.”

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Mac mini Stories October 20

Apple this week announced new iPad models, as well as a new generation Apple TV 4K. However, according to recent rumors, the company has also been working on new Macs – including the next generation Mac mini equipped with the M2 chip. Read on as we detail everything we know about the new Mac mini.

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Mac mini Stories August 7

In his latest edition of the Power On newsletter, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman talks about Apple’s plans for the Mac mini with M2 and M2 Pro chips, as the company is still readying the launch of this product.

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Mac mini Stories July 26

In an interview, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman reveals a few tidbits on Apple’s Mac lineup development for the coming months and years. In addition, he said Apple had a Mac Pro “ready to go” with the M1 chip but ultimately decided to wait for the M2 Pro.

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Mac mini Stories May 25

Microsoft has revealed what looks very much like an M1 Mac mini clone during its developer conference, Build 22. The device is known as Project Volterra.

The resemblance is more than skin-deep: the machine is ARM-based, and effectively plays the same role as Apple’s Developer Transition Kit (DTK), offered back in 2020 …

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Mac mini Stories April 12

Apple’s Studio Display has an A13 Bionic chip inside it to manage things like image processing from the built-in camera and Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos – as a result, it basically runs a special version of iOS. Interestingly, the current firmware seems to have references to a new, unreleased Mac mini that may be coming soon.

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Mac mini Stories March 9

Apple this week introduced Mac Studio, which is somewhat based on the Mac mini but with much more powerful hardware – but that doesn’t mean it’s the end of Mac mini. As rumors point to a new redesigned Mac mini coming soon, 9to5Mac has learned from sources that Apple is developing two new versions of it: one with M2 and one with the M2 Pro chip.

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Mac mini Stories March 8

Apple on Tuesday introduced a brand new Mac desktop called Mac Studio, which comes as an alternative between the Mac mini and the Mac Pro aimed at professional users. However, as the company approaches its two-year deadline to complete the transition to Apple Silicon, it seems that the Intel Mac mini will be around for a bit longer.

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Mac mini Stories March 4

As Apple gets closer to its deadline for completing the transition from Intel Macs to Apple Silicon, the company is expected to introduce even more computers with its own chips this year. 9to5Mac has learned from sources that in addition to the rumored new Mac mini and Mac Pro, Apple has been developing a brand new “Mac Studio” computer.

Update: It has been revealed and it is glorious

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Mac mini Stories February 21

I’m a big fan of the M1 Mac mini. Like all Apple Silicon-powered Macs, it’s notably faster, runs quieter, and stays cooler than its Intel-powered predecessor. Although I use the 16-inch MacBook Pro day-to-day, the M1 Mac mini remains a desktop staple for me.

But the M1 Mac, like all M1-powered machines, leaves room for improvement in important areas like storage, memory, and physical I/O. Watch my latest Back to the Mac episode as I explore the state of the Mac mini from both an Intel and Apple Silicon perspective. In it, I share my wishlist of features I’d like to see in the rumored Mac mini refresh and explore some of the advantages that the Intel Mac mini currently has over the version donning Apple Silicon. I’ll also take a look at how current Intel Mac mini owners can breathe new life into their existing machines.

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Mac mini Stories December 30, 2021

Apple is usually praised for the release of new products. The iPhone 13 Pro and M1 Pro/Max MacBook Pro are definitely some of the best launches of the company in 2021. But as we near 2022, there are some products Apple should definitely stop selling, as they don’t make sense in its lineup anymore.

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Mac mini Stories October 21, 2021

Apple’s October “Unleashed” event brought the launch of the M1 Pro and M1 Max Apple Silicon chips that power the all-new 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro notebooks. We also got the 3rd-gen AirPods with Spatial Audio and more. However, there were a few of things in Apple’s pipeline that weren’t unveiled. Let’s look at everything Apple didn’t announce at its October event.

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Mac mini Stories October 17, 2021

The wait is finally over as we are just a day away from Apple’s “Unleashed” event. If rumors turn out to be true, Cupertino’s company will unveil a new MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and the long-awaited AirPods 3.

Although many people already expected these launches, it’s the leaker Dylandkt who doubles down on this bet, according to some of his tweets and information gathered by 9to5Mac.

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Mac mini Stories August 26, 2021

M1 Mac mini with 10GB ethernet now available from Apple refurb store

After Apple started selling the 24-inch M1 iMac via its Refurbished Store, the M1 Mac mini with 10GB ethernet is now available at a lower price as well.

Mac mini Stories August 22, 2021

When Apple will launch the next Mac mini? According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, in the latest entry of his Power On newsletter, in the “next several months.” Here is what we know.

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Mac mini Stories June 30, 2021

Satechi originally launched its Aluminum Mac mini Stand and Hub back in 2019 bringing expanded I/O to the front of the desktop Mac and giving it a lift. Now an upgraded Stand and Hub is out today that lets you seamlessly expand your storage with a built-in SSD enclosure along with the extra I/O.

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Mac mini Stories May 18, 2021

In a fresh report from Bloomberg today, we’ve got new details on what we’ll likely see as Apple Silicon expands to the rest of the Mac lineup. Apple is said to be working on an all-new Mac Pro with 40 cores, a higher-end Mac mini, and more.

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Mac mini Stories April 20, 2021

Apple today introduced a new redesigned iMac with the M1 chip, but there’s also another Mac that received an upgrade after the special “Spring Loaded” event. The company has quietly updated the M1 Mac mini with an optional 10 Gigabit Ethernet port, which was previously only available on the Intel version of the Mac mini.

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Mac mini Stories March 11, 2021

Update: After more research, the issue appears to be on DHL’s side rather than Apple, and it is only affecting developers in Europe. DHL is working to resolve the issues and ensure that the DTK units are delivered to Apple, but 9to5Mac has learned that developers will not be penalized for any issues caused by DHL shipping.

With less than a month left for developers to return the DTK Mac mini and receive a $500 credit, things seem to be a bit chaotic, according to some developers online. Developers outside of the US report that they are having some issues when attempting to return the A12Z-powered Mac mini.

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Mac mini Stories February 27, 2021

In this look back at the M1 Mac mini, I discuss my experiences with Apple’s most affordable M1-enabled Mac. Is Apple’s compact desktop computer worth it? Watch my M1 Mac mini diary for more details.

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Mac mini Stories February 25, 2021

Following the arrival of the M1 MacBook Pro and M1 MacBook Air in the Apple Refurbished Store, Apple today began selling the refurbished M1 Mac mini. Customers can now get all three Macs with M1 chip in the Refurbished Store at a discounted price.

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Mac mini Stories February 24, 2021

Amazon had a surprising announcement back in December when it revealed support for Mac instances on AWS. macOS Mojave and Catalina were the only supported operating systems at launch, and now the latest OS for Mac is officially supported.

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Mac mini Stories February 2, 2021

Accessing an M1 Mac mini in the cloud just got cheaper. Amazon Web Services (AWS) began offering Intel Mac mini instances at the end of last year for $1.083 per hour, in minimum 24-hour chunks. Scaleway, a European cloud services company, is now offering the M1 version for €0.10 ($0.12) per hour, with the same 24-hour minimum …

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Mac mini Stories January 28, 2021

The M1 Mac mini power consumption and thermal output figures highlight just how much more efficient Apple Silicon is than the Intel chips that powered older models …

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