After four long years, Apple has finally updated the trusty old Mac mini. On stage at the recent Apple event, Apple acknowledged that this little computer wears many hats. It’s perfect for scenarios where portability isn’t top priority and you don’t want to spring for an iMac. And at $799 starting price, the Mac mini is still the cheapest way to get into the Mac ecosystem. Oh and there’s a gorgeous new Space Grey finish.
Here’s everything you need to know about the new and improved Mac mini.
Up To 6-Core Processor
Apple has recognized that Mac minis are used by power users. Which is why they’re replacing laptop level chips with real, desktop-class 6–core 8th generation Intel processor in the base model. The base model comes with a Core i3 quad-core chip running at 3.6 GHz. But you’ll probably want to spring for the $1099 version which has a 6-core 3.0 GHz Core i5 chip with Turbo boost up to 4.6 GHz.
Because it’s been so long since the Mac mini was updated, the performance increase over the previous generation model is staggering. Apple is promising up to 5 times faster system performance. Xcode build time is up 2x.
Up To 64GB DDR4 RAM
The new Mac mini features high-performance 2666MHz DDR4 SO-DIMM memory. The off the shelf models come with 8GB of RAM but you can configure your Mac mini to up to 64GB!
All Flash Storage
The Mac mini finally leaves behind the spinning disk. Now, all models are flash storage only. The base model comes with 128GB storage and the $1099 version gives you 256GB. But if you want, you can customize it to have up to 2 TB SSD. And this SSD is damn fast, just like all recent Macs. It features sequential read speeds of up to 3.4GB/s, which is 4 times faster than the previous model.
Thunderbolt 3 with USB-A
To truly modernize this modular Mac mini, Apple has added not two, but four Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports. And thankfully, they haven’t removed the full-sized USB 3 ports. You’ll still find two of them on the back, along with an HDMI 2.0 port, Gigabit ethernet and a headphone jack.
This means that Mac mini can finally connect to 4K and 5K Thunderbolt displays, natively. For a little computer like the Mac mini, that’s a huge deal.
Sadly, the Mac mini still only comes with Intel’s integrated graphics – UHD 630. It’s still much better than the previous model, with up to 60% performance increase. But if you want a lot of graphical processing power, you’ll have to buy an external eGPU.
You’ll probably never notice this feature but the Mac mini has a T2 chip built in. This means your Mac mini has a secure boot system and encryption that runs on the fly. This little chip makes your Mac one of the safest computers in the world.
Will You Be Buying a Mac mini?
A Mac mini isn’t for everyone. But it can serve as a great media server, a processing bay, or even a real web server. If you don’t want a laptop, and if you think an iMac is too expensive, the base Mac mini is a great way to get into the Apple ecosystem. Will you be buying a new Mac mini? Share with us in the comments below.