Last month, Apple refreshed its Mac mini lineup after 4 long years. While the new Mac mini looks the same externally as the outgoing model, it comes with significantly more powerful and beefed up internals making it apt for pros. Ahead of the new mini going on sale tomorrow, the first set of reviews of the device are out. Let’s see what other publications have to say about Apple’s new Mac mini.
Apple seems to have delivered on its promise of making a Mac mini for the pro. The device can easily do all the heavy lifting thanks to its new 8th generation Core series of processors, with the wide variety of I/O ports providing plenty of room for expansion.
Mac mini Review Roundup
Apart from the impressive performance, it is impressive to see the Mac mini ship with four Thunderbolt 3 ports.
The biggest turn on the I/O side of things, however, is the inclusion of an impressive four Thunderbolt 3 ports. That’s the same number found on the iMac Pro and twice as many as you get on the 2017 standard iMac. It opens things up to a lot more computing versatility. As far as my own desk is concerned, I welcome the ability to power the LG 4K monitor Apple sent along for testing purposes.
The base Mac mini seems to be good for everyday tasks but for anything else, you might want to spend the extra money on a more powerful processor and additional storage/RAM.
Of course, even the lowest-speced version should be plenty fine for most tasks. I’ve shifted my standard tech blogger work flow over the machine for the last couple of days and am perfectly happy with the results. On the other hand, if your workload requires anything processor or graphics intensive, you’re going to want to pimp this thing out — or seriously consider picking up a desktop with the word “Pro” in the name.
While impressive, the Mac mini no longer offers the same value for money as its predecessor.
The Mac Mini is undoubtedly a powerful upgrade over its predecessor and an interesting glimpse into the future of the Mac ecosystem. Along with the product’s pro ambitions, however, comes a higher price tag, starting at $799. The Mini is still the best-priced gateway into a desktop Mac ecosystem, but the definition of entry-level has clearly shifted for Apple since the last ‘go round.
An important point to note about the new Mac mini is that unlike other new Apple products, it is not less useful or versatile than the outgoing model. That might not seem like a big deal but given how new Apple products have regressed in one way or another, this is a welcome change.
Number one — and this is a big one these days, especially for this product — is that it’s not any less useful or versatile than the outgoing Mac Mini, including the generous assortment of ports. If the previous one served a role for you, the new one can probably do it just as well, and probably better and faster, with minimal donglage.
The high-end Mac mini with a 6-core Core i7 3.2GHz chip can score 5,912 and 24,740 in Geekbench’s single and multi-core benchmarks which puts it ahead of the 2018 13-inch MacBook Pro. It is also notably faster than most other Macs from Apple excluding the iMac Pro and the new 15-inch MacBook Pro. In fact, its Xcode build time of 36 seconds is just a second slower than the 2017 iMac Pro featuring a 10-core Xeon W chip.
It is only the GPU performance of the new Mac mini which is not up to the mark. If your workflow will benefit from a strong GPU, you might want to go for the iMac Pro or go the eGPU route.
It is impressive that despite its small size, Apple has managed to ensure that fan noise is not an issue on its new Mac mini.
As the Mini handily went from task to task, without any hangups or issues, I kept waiting for the fan to kick on. Even as I was exporting a video, streaming a YouTube video, and reading through my Twitter timeline, I realized I was yet to hear the fans.
I felt the top of the Mini, and it was warm. So turned off all audio, and leaned really close to the enclosure. Only then could I hear the whirr of the fans. They are stunningly quiet, which was something the company strived for. Often times, the Mini is used in music studios or on film sets where loud fans aren’t welcome.
Let me say it another way: The external hard drive I used for Time Machine on my iMac is louder than the Mac mini’s cooling system.
The new Mac mini is the most versatile Mac in Apple’s lineup.
Between the number of ports, the types of accessories those ports allow for, and the customization options, the Mac mini is a computer that’s no longer serving a niche market. It’s designed for all types of users, whether you want to use it as a server in your home, and set up more than one Mini as a set of servers to offload video encoding and code compiling.
The new Mac mini starts at $799. What are your thoughts on it? Do you plan on picking one up?