There was a glimmer of hope a year ago when Apple CEO Tim Cook reassured fans that Apple would still support the Mac Mini , and rumors had been mounting that we might see a Mac mini in And sure enough, Apple has revealed the Mac mini So how does it compare to the previous version, which was released way back in ? The Mac mini kept the same compact design of the Mac minis that came before it, with a small, square-ish metal design that measures 7. Apple says the Mac mini is the biggest update ever for the Mac mini, and it certainly looks like that's the case.
This, Apple tells us, results in up to five times faster performance over the Mac mini Meanwhile, the Mac mini has had a number of hardware refreshes, and the most recent came with three hardware configurations.
The base model features a 1. Graphics are handled by Intel HD Graphics That's quite a slow hard drive, these days — solid state drives SSDs are much faster and increasingly prevalent in machines, especially small form factor devices where the heat and sound of SSDs is practically nothing compared to standard hard drives. The Mac mini ditches standard hard drives for SSDs, offering up to 2TB of super-fast storage space, which will make opening and editing large files and complex apps faster than ever. The mid-range Mac mini comes with a 2.
You can configure this Mac mini to have a 3. The graphics are provided by integrated Intel Iris Graphics.
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My preference is usually to buy gear when my workload needs it. Fortunately, the new Mac mini allows for RAM upgrades.
While we don't consider the memory directly end-user accessible, service providers can access the internals of the Mac mini to upgrade the memory. I'm honestly not entirely sure what I'll encounter when the Mac arrives, but I'm sure it'll be interesting. Next is storage. Apple charges way too much on storage, but it's not internally upgradeable. Apple's internal storage is also seriously fast, since it relies on flash memory.
Here, I needed to balance performance against price. I use an external direct-attached RAID array for my video production and assets, so I don't need a huge amount of on-system storage. I also have a very large NAS with most of my other resources. I checked my various machines and, as might be expected, the main workhorse iMac used the most.
Even so, it was under GB. That machine was equipped with 1TB and I found that quite workable. Finally, there was another big decision.
Battle of the titchy
This time, though, it was not about price, but about reliability. The new Mac mini comes with either a 1Gb Ethernet port or, for an extra hundred bucks, a 10Gb Ethernet port. I am not running 10Gb Ethernet here, mostly because none of my computers support it. I spent the extra hundred bucks and configured the Mac mini with 10Gb.
My only concern is that since Apple only has such a port on the iMac Pro and now the Mac mini, will it work properly? Apple just doesn't have that much experience with this new port. I decided to go for it anyway, because it'll help future-proof the machine. Also, worst case, since the machine has four Thunderbolt 3 ports, the worst case scenario is to throw an Ethernet adapter on the Thunderbolt and use it that way. Oddly enough, that's exactly what I recommended when I recorded my Mac mini Pro video and article last April.
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I asked for Thunderbolt and USB-3 and got it. I asked for a 10Gb Ethernet port and I got it.
Upgrade or install memory in your Mac mini
I even suggested Space Gray and got it, although I don't really care about shade of gray. I paid a buck less. It's rare okay, never before that Apple builds a machine that's pretty much exactly what I specified as what I need. So, yeah, I bought one. Mac Mini Cheat sheet TechRepublic. You might notice I did not discuss an external GPU. To be honest, I don't know if I'll need one.
If I do, that's another thousand bucks. I won't enjoy spending it, but at least it's incremental. Undoubtedly, sometime before this Mac mini reaches end-of-life it'll get a GPU upgrade. Just probably not this year. Finally, let's look at the other Apple machines I discussed in my pre-game scenario. Yes, I would have gotten a Retina display, but I don't want that form factor screen.
Was the Mac mini I bought cheap? Oh, hell no. Was it less expensive than other Mac alternatives? Yeah, by quite a lot. Does it look like it will actually meet my needs? Yeah, I think it will. Stay tuned. I'll let you know what I think after I get it and set it up. You can follow my day-to-day project updates on social media.
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