Mac Mini
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Mac Mini

Mac Mini
Mac-mini-2018-logo.png
Mac Mini 2020 silver.png
Fifth-generation Mac Mini
DeveloperApple Inc.
TypeCompact desktop
Server (pre-October 2014 models)
Release dateNovember 17, 2020; 8 months ago (2020-11-17) (current release)
January 22, 2005 (2005-01-22) (original release)
Introductory priceUS $499 (original)
US $699 (current release)
Operating systemmacOS[1]
CPU
PredecessorPower Mac G4 Cube
Related articlesiMac, Mac Pro, iMac Pro
Websitewww.apple.com/mac-mini/

Mac Mini (stylized as Mac mini) is a small form-factor desktop computer developed and marketed by Apple Inc. It is one of four desktop computers in the current Macintosh lineup, serving as an alternative to the all-in-one iMac, and sitting below the performance range iMac Pro and Mac Pro.

The Mac Mini is Apple's only consumer desktop computer since 1998 to ship without a display, keyboard, or mouse. Apple initially marketed it as BYODKM (Bring Your Own Display, Keyboard, and Mouse),[2] pitching it to users switching from a traditional PC running operating systems such as Microsoft Windows[3] or Linux. It uses many laptop components to achieve its compact size.[4]

The Mac Mini was introduced in January 2005, using PowerPC G4 processors. The second-generation Mac Mini, introduced in February 2006, carried over the design of the PowerPC version, but used Intel Core processors and other upgraded components, and made wireless connections such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi standard.

The third-generation Mac Mini, introduced in June 2010, brought a thinner unibody aluminum case and an HDMI port, more readily positioning it as a home theater device alternative to the Apple TV.[5] Later revisions added Thunderbolt and Intel Core i5 and i7 processors. The fourth-generation Mac Mini introduced in October 2018 changed to a darker "space gray" finish. This model features solid-state storage as standard, and replaces most data ports with USB-C. A fifth-generation model based on Apple silicon processors was introduced in November 2020, returning to the silver finish of earlier models. The fourth-generation model remains on sale alongside it.

A server version of the Mac Mini, bundled with the Server edition of the OS X operating system, was offered from 2009 to 2014.[6]

First generation (PowerPC G4)

The original Mac Mini

A small form factor computer had been widely speculated and requested long before the release of the Mac Mini.[7] On January 10, 2005, the Mac Mini was announced alongside the iPod shuffle at the Macworld Conference & Expo and was described by Apple CEO Steve Jobs at the time as "the cheapest, most affordable Mac ever".[8][9]

The Mac Mini was intended as an entry-level computer intended for budget-minded customers. Unlike regular desktops, which use standard-sized components such as 3.5-inch hard drives and full-size DIMMs, the Mac Mini uses low-power laptop components to fit into a small case and run without overheating.[10]

Design and repairability

The aluminum case, capped with polycarbonate plastic on the top and bottom, has an optical drive slot on the front and the I/O ports and vents for the cooling system on the back. It has an external 85W power supply.[11]

The 1st generation has no visible screws, reflecting Apple's intention that the computer not be upgraded by the user. Some Mac Mini owners used a putty knife or a pizza cutter to open the case to install third-party memory, which could be obtained far more cheaply than Apple's offering.[12] Apple describes this procedure in detail, including an official Apple part number for a "modified putty knife".[13]

Processors

The Mac Mini G4 has single-core 32-bit PowerPC processors with 512 KB (1 KB = 1024 B) of on-chip L2 cache. The processor -- running at 1.25, 1.33, 1.42, or 1.5 GHz, depending on the model -- accesses memory through a front-side bus clocked at 167 MHz. It can also be overclocked to higher frequencies by either soldering or desoldering certain zero-ohm resistors on the logic board.[14][15] An ATI Radeon 9200 graphics processor with 32 MB of DDR SDRAM (1 MB = 1024 KB) came standard; in 2005's final Mac Mini G4, Apple added a high-end option for 64 MB VRAM.

Memory

The Mac Mini G4 uses 333 MHz DDR SDRAM. It has just one desktop-sized DIMM slot for random-access memory, allowing a maximum of 1 GB of memory (1 GB = 1024 MB). This relatively small amount often forced the system to page to the hard disk, slowing operation considerably. (Intel models of Mac Mini use two notebook DIMM slots.)

Storage

Back panel of a late 2005 PowerMac10,2 model Mac Mini. From left to right, first row: power button, 15 ventilation holes, Kensington lock slot. Second row: DC in, Fast Ethernet, blanked 56k Modem, DVI-I, 2 USB 2.0 ports, FireWire 400, audio out.

The Mac Mini G4 uses a single 2.5-inch Ultra ATA/100 hard drive, which offers a maximum transfer rate of 100 MB/s.[clarification needed] Because of its sealed enclosure, it is not possible to upgrade the hard drive without opening the enclosure and possibly voiding the warranty of the system.[16] The Mac Mini G4 also contains a second ATA cable that connects to the optical drive. A Combo drive was included as standard, while a SuperDrive able to write to DVDs was also an option.

Connectivity

The Mac Mini includes two USB 2.0 ports and one FireWire 400 port. Networking is supported with 10/100 Ethernet and 56k V.92 modem, while 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth were additional build-to-order options. External displays are supported via a DVI port. Adaptors are also available for VGA, S-Video, and composite video. The system contains a built-in speaker and an analog 1/8-inch stereo mini jack.

In the last revision of the Mac Mini G4, the internal mezzanine board was upgraded to accommodate the AirPort Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology onto one chip. In prior models, the Mac Mini included an AirPort Extreme card taped to the mezzanine board and a separate Bluetooth module.[17] This new Wi-Fi card also no longer uses an MMCX-Female connector for the antenna (as the prior models did) but rather a proprietary Apple one.

Alternative operating systems

The Mac Mini G4 can run different operating systems designed for the PowerPC architecture. For example, users can install the AmigaOS-compatible MorphOS, OpenBSD,[18] or Linux distributions such as Debian or Ubuntu.[19][20][21][22]

Support for pre-OS X Mac applications

Unlike the Intel models, a Mac Mini G4 running Mac OS X 10.4 can run Mac OS 9 "Classic" applications, as long as a bootable copy of the OS 9 System Folder is installed from which to run the Classic environment (although a Mac Mini G4 can not natively boot to Mac OS 9). As of Mac OS X 10.5, the ability to run the Classic Environment was removed.

In recent years, it's now possible to run Mac OS 9 on the Mac Mini G4 through an unofficial patcher, though this is not supported in any way by Apple.[23]

Second generation (Intel-based)

An Intel-based Mac Mini

On February 28, 2006 Apple announced an Intel-based Mac Mini with an Core Solo or Duo processor. Apple claimed it was "four times faster than its predecessor".[24]

On October 22, 2009, Apple introduced a server version with a second hard drive instead of an optical drive. It was marketed as an affordable server for small businesses and schools.[25]

Processors

Inside the Intel Mac Mini circa 2007

The 2006 and 2007 models came with 32-bit Intel Core Solo processors that could be replaced with 64-bit Core 2 Duo processors through a simple upgrade.[26] Since the 2006 and 2007 "Merom"-based Mac Mini models came with socketed processors, the 32-bit processor can easily be removed, and replaced with a compatible 64-bit Intel Core 2 Duo processor. The following processors are compatible: 2.00 GHz Intel T7200 SL9SF, 2.16 GHz Intel T7400 SL9SE, 2.33 GHz Intel T7600 SL9SD. 2009 and later models have the processors soldered onto the logic board and preventing it from being upgradable. Once the 2006 model is upgraded to a Core 2 Duo processor, it can support up to 2 GB of memory, and can run Mac OS X Lion through a minor modification by editing or deleting the platformsupport.plist file.[27][28] Many users have found that such upgrades can make the 2006/2007 models perform even better than the 2009 models. Geekbench scores have shown that the 2.33 GHz Core 2 Duo fitted Mac Mini with 2 GB of RAM has a score of 3060 whereas a late 2009 Mac Mini with 2 GB of RAM has 3056 making the two machines fairly comparable.[29][30]

While the Mac Mini G4 contained a separate graphics processor, all revisions of the Intel-based Mac Mini contain integrated GPUs, except in the 2011 version where the 2.5 GHz model contains a separate AMD Radeon GPU. In Apple's early marketing of the Mac Mini G4, it touted the superiority of the use of a discrete ATI Radeon 9200 32 MB graphics card over the integrated graphics included in many budget PCs.[31] The Intel GMA that was built into the Mac Mini was criticized for producing stuttering video, despite supporting hardware accelerated H.264 video playback, and disappointing frame rates in graphics-intensive 3D games.[32] Early and Late 2009 models corrected these performance issues with an improved NVIDIA based GeForce 9400M chipset.[33]

Back panel of a mid-2007 2,1 model Mac Mini. From left to right, first row: power button, ventilation holes, Kensington lock slot, audio in, audio out. Second row: DC in, gigabit Ethernet, FireWire 400, DVI, 4 USB 2.0 ports
Back panel of a late 2009 3,1 model Mac Mini. From left to right, first row: power button, ventilation holes, Kensington lock slot, audio in, audio out. Second row: DC in, gigabit Ethernet, FireWire 800, Mini DVI, Mini-DisplayPort, 5 USB 2.0 ports

Memory

Unlike the Mac Mini G4, the Intel-based Mac Mini uses a dual-channel architecture for memory. The original Intel-based Mac Mini uses 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM, while models starting with the early 2009 revision use 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM.

Storage

The Intel-based Mac Mini moves away from the formerly used Ultra ATA/100 to the newer Serial ATA interface, which offers a maximum 3 Gbit/s transfer rate, however all models of Intel Mac Mini have been limited to 1.5 Gbit/s even though the SATA standard supports a transfer of 3 Gbit/s. All models continue to use 2.5-inch hard drives as opposed to the 3.5-inch drives used in standard desktops. A server edition of the Mac Mini was introduced in October 2009, which omits the optical drive in favor of a second hard drive for a total of 1 TB of storage (1 TB = 1000 billion bytes). A Combo drive was initially offered as standard, with the SuperDrive being an option, but through the 2010 models, all models that have an optical drive contain the SuperDrive as standard. The 2010 standard version of the Mac (without Server) comes with a 0.3 TB or on 2.66 GHz 0.5 TB of storage.

Connectivity

The Intel-based Mac Mini includes four USB 2.0 ports and one FireWire 400 port. The I/O ports were changed with the early 2009 revision, with a fifth USB 2.0 port added and the FireWire 400 port replaced with a FireWire 800 port. An infrared receiver was added allowing the use of an Apple Remote.

Bluetooth 2.0+EDR and 802.11g Wi-Fi became standard after being optional in the G4 version, and the Ethernet port was upgraded to Gigabit, while a built-in 56k modem is no longer available.[24] The 2009 models added 802.11 draft-n and later 802.11n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth was also upgraded from 2.0 to 2.1.

External displays are supported through a DVI port. The 2009 models change the video outputs to Mini-DVI and Mini DisplayPort, which allowed for dual displays. The Mini DisplayPort supports external displays with a resolution up to 2560×1600, which allows use of the 30-inch Cinema Display. While the Mac Mini G4 supported only analog audio output, the Intel-based Mac Mini has separate Mini-TOSLINK/3.5 mm mini-jacks that supported both analog audio input and output as well optical digital S/PDIF input and output.

Third generation (Unibody)

Back panel of a mid-2010 4,1 model unibody Mac Mini. From left to right, first row: power button, AC power supply plug, Gigabit Ethernet, FireWire 800, HDMI, Mini-DisplayPort, 4 USB 2.0 ports, SDXC card slot. Second row: ventilation holes, audio in, audio out
Mac Mini 2010 front view of optical drive

On June 15, 2010, Apple introduced the third generation Mac Mini with a thinner unibody aluminum case. It also included an internal power supply and an SD card slot.[34] An HDMI port, which Apple describes as being HDMI 1.4 compliant, replaces the Mini-DVI port as one of the main video connection methods.

An update announced on July 20, 2011 added a Thunderbolt port, dual-core Intel Core i5 and 4-core i7 processors, support for up to 16 GB of memory, Bluetooth 4.0, and either Intel HD Graphics 3000 integrated graphics or AMD Radeon HD 6630M dedicated graphics. The revision also removed the internal CD/DVD optical drive from all versions. The server model was upgraded to a quad-core Core i7 processor.

Apple updated the line on October 23, 2012 with Ivy Bridge processors, USB 3.0, and upgraded graphics.[35] On October 16, 2014 the line was updated with Haswell processors, improved graphics, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Thunderbolt 2. The FireWire 800 port was replaced with a second Thunderbolt port. The price of the base-model was lowered by $100. The only change to the body was the removal of the two holes used to open the case, as the memory was no longer upgradable because it was soldered to the logic board. Since the integrated graphics processor does not have its own dedicated memory, the system shares some of the main system memory with it.[36] 4K video output via HDMI was added.[37]

Structure

There is a removable panel on the bottom of the chassis enabling the user to upgrade the RAM. While opening the case does not actually void the warranty, anything broken while the case is open is not covered.[16]

The 2011 revision removes the Kensington Security Slot,[38] as well as the optical drive, leaving internal space for a second internal hard drive or SSD, which can be ordered from Apple, or as an upgrade kit from third party suppliers.[39]

Performance

Mac Mini models released in late 2014 used dual-core processors, which perform worse in multi-threaded workloads compared to the quad-core processors from the 2012 model. Meanwhile, single-threaded workload performance increased.[40] Comparing the high ends of both releases, the 2012 model used a 4-core, 8-thread Intel Core i7-3720QM, whereas the 2014 model used a 2-core, 4-thread Intel Core i7-4578U.

The 2014 model featured Intel Iris graphics (GT3), which greatly outperforms the Intel HD Graphics 4000 (GT2) in the previous models.[41] The late 2014 CPUs were also more energy-efficient: their maximal thermal design power (TDP) was 62% lower than that of the 2012 models.[42][43]

Reception

In general, the Mac Mini has been praised as a relatively affordable computer with a solid range of features. Reviews noted it is possible to purchase small computers at the same price with faster processors, better graphics card, more memory, and more storage.[44] The small size has made the Mac Mini particularly popular as a home theater solution. In addition, its size and reliability has helped keep resale values high.[45]

Fourth generation (Space Gray)

Back panel of a 2018 Mac Mini. From left to right, first row: power button, AC power supply plug, Gigabit Ethernet, 4 Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C 3.1 Gen 2), HDMI 2.0, 2 USB 3.0 Type-A. Second row: ventilation holes, audio out

On October 30, 2018, Apple announced a fourth generation Mac Mini with Intel Coffee Lake processors, the T2 series chip used to manage the security of the device, Bluetooth 5, four USB-C 3.1 gen 2 ports that support Thunderbolt 3, two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, and HDMI 2.0. PCIe-based flash storage is standard with no option of a hard disk drive. The storage was changed to a baseline 128 GB, with a maximum of 2 TB. The RAM was increased to a baseline of 8 GB, and a maximum of 64 GB of SO-DIMM DDR4. The chassis is mostly a carryover from the previous generation, measuring the same dimensions, though is only available in a darker "space gray" finish.[46] This generation removes the SD card reader, SATA drive bay, IR receiver, optical S/PDIF (TOSLINK) audio out, and audio in. macOS Catalina added support for Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, and HDR10.[47] In March 2020 Apple doubled the default storage in both base models.[48] Configurations with Core i3 processors were discontinued in November 2020 after the launch of the first Apple silicon Mac Mini, but Core i5 and Core i7 configurations remain on sale.

Hardware replaceability

Memory can again be replaced, unlike the 2014 models which had it soldered directly to the logic board, though it is not officially user-replaceable per Apple, and requires service by an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider.[49][50] The processor and flash storage are soldered to the logic board and cannot be replaced.[51]

Fifth generation (Apple silicon)

Fourth generation Mac Mini in Space Gray

The fifth generation Mac Mini was announced on November 10, 2020, alongside updated versions of the Macbook Air and Macbook Pro. Released on November 17th, these three models were the first Apple consumer computers to ship with Apple silicon.[52]

The Apple silicon Mac Mini also adds support for Wi-Fi 6, USB4, and 6K output to run the Pro Display XDR. Externally, it is similar to the 2018 Mac Mini but returns to a lighter, silver finish similar to the third-generation (2010-2014) models. Options for over 16 GB of RAM are no longer available.[53] External display support is also reduced to one display over USB-C/Thunderbolt, though a second display is supported over HDMI; the previous Intel-based model could drive two 4K displays over USB-C/Thunderbolt.[54] On April 20, 2021, 10 Gigabit Ethernet was added as a built-to-order option.[55]

It made uses of athermal-based design for its internal cooling system, Apple claims it has 5x faster performance than the best-selling Windows desktop computer in its price range.[56]

The Apple silicon Mac Mini was preceded by the A12Z-based Developer Transition Kit, a prototype for developers using a Mac Mini enclosure, released on June 22, 2020.[57] It came with 16 GB of RAM, 512 GB of storage, and two USB-C ports that did not support Thunderbolt 3.

Home theater

A 2008 Mac Mini as a home theater PC demonstrating the Front Row application

The Mac Mini can be classified as a home theater PC with some limits. Because of the similar small form factor, HDMI port, remote control IR receiver, and media browser interface, some users see it as an Apple TV alternative.[5] It has a native user interface with Front Row, based on the user interface of the original Apple TV.[58][59] It does not include an integrated TV tuner card and cannot be upgraded to install one internally; accessing TV requires external devices like Elgato's EyeTV USB adapter or SiliconDust's HDHomeRun networked TV tuner which will encode and manage broadcast television from a cable or satellite receiver.

Pre-2009 models had a video connector which was compatible with DVI, HDMI (video only), SVGA, S-Video and composite video with the appropriate adapter. Sound is provided by a combination jack that uses both mini-headphone (analog) and optical fiber cables (digital).[58] Unlike the Apple TV, the Mac Mini is backward compatible with televisions that have only composite or S-Video inputs. As of the July 2011 revision it includes Intel HD3000 graphics processor with an optional Radeon graphics processing unit available and Thunderbolt which makes decoding high-resolution video much faster.

The addition of an HDMI port on the 2010 Mac Mini simplifies connecting to high-definition televisions and home theater AV receivers. The HDMI port supported up to 1080p and 8 channel 24-bit audio at 192 kHz, Dolby Surround 5.1 and stereo output. The 2014 model added 4K output, and the 2018 model supports Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, and HDR10 with macOS Catalina.[37][47]

Mac Mini Server

Apple has offered a Server configuration of the Mac Mini. The first Server model came preloaded with an OS X Server version of OS X, but later models instead came preloaded with the standard version of OS X, as well as a separate OS X Server package, which included separate component apps (including "Server App", "File Sharing", "Wiki Server", "Profile Manager", etc.). Later on, Apple released the OS X Server packaged app as a single purchase from the Mac App Store, containing all the separate components apps, so that any model of Mac computer could download and use them.[]

The Mid-2010 Server model was initially the only Mac Mini to entirely remove the optical drive, replacing it with a second hard drive in its place. However, from the Mid-2011 models onwards, all models of Mac Mini had the optical drive removed.

Greenhouse gas emission projections for the Mac Mini Server were several times those of the regular Mac Mini, in part because of the extra hard disk, but also due to increased expected lifetime energy use; the percentage of CO2 from usage rose from 39% to 77%.[60]

The Mac Mini Server hardware was discontinued with the Late 2014 model. However, the macOS Server software package can be purchased from the Mac App Store.[61] In 2018, coinciding with macOS Mojave, Apple shipped macOS Server version 5.71, which stopped bundling open source services, including DHCP, DNS, Email, Firewall, FTP, Radius, VPN, Web, and Wiki. Apple states that customers are able to receive support for these services directly from open-source providers. Other Apple-proprietary services, such as Airport, Calendar, Contacts, Messages, and Netboot were also removed, with no corresponding open source options.[62]

Alternatives for Mac users include running Linux or Windows virtualized, or installing third-party Unix packages via open source package managers such as Conda, Fink, Homebrew, MacPorts, Nix, pkgsrc, and Rudix [63]

A few services -- Caching, Files, Time Machine, and Web -- moved to the macOS Mojave client, but can have limited configuration capability via Mojave's Sharing control panel. The Apache server GUI manager is replaced by apachectl commands in Terminal. The only services remaining in macOS Server 5.7.1 are Open Directory, Profile Manager, and Xsan.[64]

Specifications

Obsolete Vintage Discontinued Current

First generation (PowerPC G4)

The serial number and specifications sticker on the underside of the latest revision do not carry the actual specs of the upgrade. For example, on a 1.5 GHz model, 1.42 GHz is listed. The product packaging also did not reflect the upgrade. Apple did not revise the official specifications on their web site.[65]

Model Early 2005 [66] Late 2005[67]
Component PowerPC G4
Release date January 11, 2005[68] July 26, 2005[69] September 27, 2005
Order number M9686*/A, M9687*/A M9686*/B, M9687*/B, M9971*/B M9687*/B, M9971*/B
Model identifier PowerMac10,1 PowerMac10,2
Model number A1103
Processor 1.25 GHz or 1.42 GHz PowerPC G4 (7447A) 1.33 GHz or 1.5 GHz PowerPC G4 (7447A)
Cache 64 KB L1, 512 KB L2 (1:1)
Front-side bus 167 MHz
Memory (one RAM slot) 256 MB of 333 MHz DDR SDRAM
Expandable to 1 GB
512 MB of 333 MHz DDR SDRAM
Expandable to 1 GB
Graphics ATI Radeon 9200 graphics processor with 32 MB of DDR SDRAM ATI Radeon 9200 graphics processor with 32 MB (1.33 GHz) or 64 MB of DDR SDRAM (1.5 GHz)
Hard drive 2.5" 40 GB (1.25 GHz) or 80 GB (1.42 GHz) PATA/100 at 4200 rpm 2.5" 40 GB (1.33 GHz) or 80 GB (1.5 GHz) PATA/100 at 5400 rpm
Optical drive Slot-in Combo drive Slot-in Combo drive or SuperDrive (available with 1.42/1.5 GHz)
Connectivity Optional or integrated Wi-Fi 3 (802.11b/g)
10/100 Base-T Ethernet
Optional or integrated 56k V.92 modem
Optional or integrated Bluetooth 1.1
Optional or integrated Wi-Fi 3 (802.11b/g) with Bluetooth 2.0+EDR card
10/100 Base-T Ethernet
Optional or integrated 56k V.92 modem
Peripherals 2x USB 2.0
1x FireWire 400
Built-in mono speaker
Audio-out mini-jack
Video out DVI (supports resolutions up to 1920x1200)
Latest release operating system Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard
Weight 2.9 pounds (1.3 kg)
Power 32W (Idle), 85W (Max)[70] (1.25 GHz model with 256MB RAM, 40GB drive, and Combo drive)
Dimensions 2.0 inches (51 mm) H × 6.5 inches (170 mm) W × 6.5 inches (170 mm) D

Second generation (Intel-based)

Model Early 2006[71] Late 2006[72] [73] Early 2009[74] Late 2009[75][76]
Component Intel Core Intel Core 2 Duo
Release date February 28, 2006[77] September 6, 2006 August 7, 2007 March 3, 2009[78] October 20, 2009
Order number MA205*/A, MA206*/A MA607*/A, MA608*/A MB138*/A, MB139*/A MB463*/A, MB464*/A MC238*/A, MC239*/A, MC408*/A
Model identifier Macmini1,1 Macmini2,1 Macmini3,1
Model number A1176 A1283
Processor 1.5 GHz Intel Core Solo (T1200) or 1.66 GHz Intel Core Duo (T2300)

Upgradable up to an Intel Core 2 Duo 2.33 GHz T7600 processor.[26]

1.66 GHz (T2300) or 1.83 GHz (T2400) Intel Core Duo

Upgradable up to an Intel Core 2 Duo 2.33 GHz T7600 processor. [26]

1.83 GHz (T5600) or 2.0 GHz (T7200) Intel Core 2 Duo

Upgradable up to an Intel Core 2 Duo 2.33 GHz T7600 processor. [26]

2.0 GHz (P7350) Intel Core 2 Duo
Optional 2.26 GHz (P8400) Intel Core 2 Duo
2.26 GHz (P7550) or 2.53 GHz (P8700) Intel Core 2 Duo
Optional 2.66 GHz (P8800) Intel Core 2 Duo
Cache 2 MB on-chip L2 cache 2 MB (1.83 GHz), 4 MB (2.0 GHz) shared 3 MB on-chip L2 cache
Front-side bus 667 MHz 1067 MHz
Memory 512 MB (2 × 256 MB) of 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM
Expandable to 2 GB (Expandable to 4GB after Core 2 Duo upgrade and macmini2.1 efi hack
1 GB (2 × 512 MB) of 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM
Expandable to 4 GB (only 3GB will be used)
1 GB (1 × 1 GB) or 2 GB (2 × 1 GB) of 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM
Expandable to 8 GB (4 GB supported by Apple)[79][80]
2 GB (2 × 1 GB) or 4 GB (2 × 2 GB) of 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM
Expandable to 8 GB (4 GB supported by Apple)
Graphics Intel GMA 950 using 64 MB of DDR2 SDRAM (up to 224 MB in OS X with sufficient RAM or Windows through Boot Camp)[81] Nvidia GeForce 9400M using 128 MB or 256 MB of DDR3 SDRAM Nvidia GeForce 9400M using 256 MB of DDR3 SDRAM
Shared with main memory
Hard drive 60 or 80 GB
Optional 100 or 120 GB
60 or 80 GB
Optional 100, 120, 160 GB
80 or 120 GB
Optional 160 GB
120 or 320 GB
Optional 250 GB
160 or 320 GB
2 × 500 GB on Server model
Optional 500 GB
Serial ATA 5400-rpm
Optical drive 8× DVD read,
24× CD-R and 16× CD-RW recording Combo drive
or
8× DVD±R read, 4× DVD±R writes or 2× DVD±RW writes,
24× CD read, 16× CD-R, and 8× CD-RW recording SuperDrive
8× DVD±R read, 6× DVD±R-DL writes, 8× DVD±R writes or 6× DVD±RW writes,
24× CD read, 24× CD-R and CD-RW recording SuperDrive
8× DVD±R read, 6× DVD±R-DL writes, 8× DVD±R writes, 6× DVD-RW writes, 8× DVD+RW writes,
24× CD read, 24× CD-R and CD-RW recording SuperDrive
No optical drive on Server model
Connectivity Built-in Wi-Fi 3 (802.11b/g)
Gigabit Ethernet
Bluetooth 2.0+EDR

IR Receiver

Built-in Wi-Fi 4 (802.11a/b/g/draft-n)
Gigabit Ethernet
Bluetooth 2.1+EDR

IR Receiver

Built-in Wi-Fi 4 (802.11a/b/g/n)
Gigabit Ethernet
Bluetooth 2.1+EDR

IR Receiver

Peripherals 4x USB 2.0
1x FireWire 400
Built-in mono speaker
Audio-out mini-jack
Audio line-in/digital audio input
5x USB 2.0
1x FireWire 800
Built-in mono speaker
Audio-out mini-jack
Audio line-in/digital audio input
Video out DVI Mini-DVI and Mini DisplayPort
Latest release operating system Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Mac OS X 10.7 Lion if at least 2 GB RAM installed, otherwise Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard[82] OS X 10.11 El Capitan if at least 2 GB RAM installed, otherwise Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard OS X 10.11 El Capitan
Weight 2.9 pounds (1.3 kg)
Dimensions 2.0 inches (51 mm) H × 6.5 inches (170 mm) W × 6.5 inches (170 mm) D

Third generation (Unibody)

Model [83][84] [85][86] Late 2012[87][88] Late 2014[89]
Component Intel Core 2 Duo Intel Core i5 & i7
Release date June 15, 2010[90] July 20, 2011[91] October 23, 2012[92] October 16, 2014[93]
Order number MC270*/A MC438*/A(server model) MC815*/A MC816*/A MC936*/A(server model) MD387*/A MD388*/A MD389*/A(server model) MGEM2*/A MGEN2*/A MGEQ2*/A
Machine model Macmini4,1 Macmini5,1 Macmini5,2 Macmini5,3 Macmini6,1 Macmini6,2 Macmini7,1
Base Price at Launch US $699 US $999 US $599 US $799 US $999 US $599 US $799 US $999 US $499 US $699 US $999
Model number A1347
Processor Intel Core 2 Duo (P8600)
Optional 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (P8800)
Intel Core 2 Duo (P8800) 2-core Intel Core i5 (i5-2415M) 2-core Intel Core i5 (i5-2520M Turbo Boost up to 3.2 GHz)
Optional i7-2620M 2-core Intel Core i7
4-core Intel Core i7 (i7-2635QM) 2-core Intel Core i5 (i5-3210M) 4-core Intel Core i7 (i7-3615QM)
Optional i7-3720QM 4-core Intel Core i7
Dual-core Intel Core i5 (i5-4260U) 2-core Intel Core i5 (i5-4278U)
Optional i7-4578U 2-core Intel Core i7
2-core Intel Core i5 (i5-4308U)
Optional i7-4578U 2-core Intel Core i7
Frequency
(Turbo Boost)
2.4 GHz
2.66 GHz with P8800
2.66 GHz 2.3 GHz (2.9 GHz) 2.5 GHz (3.2 GHz)
2.7 GHz (3.4 GHz) with i7-2620M
2.0 GHz (2.9 GHz) 2.5 GHz (3.1 GHz) 2.3 GHz (3.3 GHz)
2.6 GHz (3.6 GHz) with i7-3720QM
1.4 GHz (2.7 GHz) 2.6 GHz (3.1 GHz)
3.0 GHz (3.5 GHz) with i7-4578U
2.8 GHz (3.3 GHz)
3.0 GHz (3.5 GHz) with i7-4578U
Cores(threads) 2 2 (4) 4 (8) 2 (4) 4 (8) 2 (4)
Cache 3 MB on-chip L2 3 MB on-chip shared L3 3 MB on-chip shared L3
4 MB on-chip shared L3 with i7-2620M
6 MB on-chip shared L3 3 MB L3 6 MB L3 3 MB L3 3 MB L3
4 MB L3 with i7-4578U
Front-side bus 1066 MHz DMI
Memory
two RAM slots pre-2014
2 GB (2 × 1 GB)
Expandable to 8 GB (2 × 4 GB)
4 GB (2 × 2 GB)
Expandable to 8 GB (2 × 4 GB)
2 GB (2 × 1 GB)
Optional 4 (2 × 2 GB) or 8 GB (2 × 4 GB)
4 GB (2 × 2 GB)
Optional 8 GB (2 × 4 GB)
4 GB (2 × 2 GB)
Optional 8 GB (2 × 4 GB) or 16 GB (2 × 8 GB)[94]
4 GB soldered on board[95]
Optional 8 or 16 GB available at time of purchase only
8 GB soldered on board[95]
Optional 16 GB available at time of purchase only
1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM 1333 MHz DDR3 SDRAM 1600 MHz DDR3 SDRAM[96] 1600 MHz LPDDR3 SDRAM[96]
Graphics
shared with main memory
Nvidia GeForce 320M using 256 MB of DDR3 SDRAM Intel HD Graphics 3000 processor with 288 MB of DDR3 SDRAM AMD Radeon HD 6630M graphics processor with dedicated 256 MB of GDDR5 memory Intel HD Graphics 3000 processor with 384 MB of DDR3 SDRAM Intel HD Graphics 4000 Intel HD Graphics 5000 processor Intel Iris Graphics 5100
Hard drive 320 GB 5400 rpm HDD
Optional 500 GB 5400 rpm HDD
2 × 500 GB 5400 rpm HDD 500 GB 5400 rpm HDD
Optional 750 GB 5400 rpm HDD
500 GB 5400 rpm HDD
Optional 750 GB 5400 rpm HDD, 256 GB SSD, or 1 × 256 GB SSD + 1 × 750 GB 5400 rpm HDD
2 × 500 GB 5400 rpm HDD
Optional 2 × 750 GB 5400 rpm HDD, 1 or 2× 256 GB SSD(s), or 1× 256 GB SSD + 1 × 750 GB 5400 rpm HDD
500 GB 5400 rpm HDD[97] 1 TB 5400 rpm HDD
Optional 1 TB Fusion Drive or 256 GB SSD[98]
2 × 1 TB 5400 rpm HDD
Optional 1 or 2 × 256 GB SSD(s)
[99]
500 GB 5400 rpm HDD
Optional 1 TB Fusion Drive
1 TB 5400 rpm HDD
Optional 1 TB Fusion Drive or 256 GB SSD
1 TB Fusion Drive
Optional 2 TB Fusion Drive or 256, 512 GB or 1 TB SSD
SATA II (3 Gbit/s) SATA III (6 Gbit/s)
Optical drive SuperDrive (writes: 6× DVD±R-DL, 8× DVD±R, 6× DVD-RW, 8× DVD+RW; reads: 8× DVD±R, 24× CD, 24× CD-R and CD-RW None included
(Optional External SuperDrive)
Connectivity 10/100/1000 Base-T Gigabit Ethernet
Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR Bluetooth 4.0
Built-in Wi-Fi 4 (802.11a/b/g/n) 2×2 chipset, up to 300 Mbit/s Built-in Wi-Fi 4 (802.11a/b/g/n) 3×3 chipset, up to 450 Mbit/s Built-in Wi-Fi 5 (802.11a/b/g/n/ac) 3×3 chipset, up to 1.3 Gbit/s
IR receiver
Peripheral connections 4x USB 2.0 ports 4x USB 3.0 ports
Mini DisplayPort
Supports one 2560×1600 display
Thunderbolt port
Supports two 2560×1600 displays
2x Thunderbolt 2 ports
Supports two 2560×1600 displays
FireWire 800 port None
SDXC card slot
HDMI port
Supports 1920×1200 output
HDMI port
Supports 3840×2160/30 Hz or 4096×2160/24 Hz output
3.5 mm Line out/headphone jack, 3.5 mm line-in jack
Latest release operating system macOS 10.13 High Sierra macOS 10.15 Catalina macOS 12 Monterey
Noise
at idle
13 dBA (2.4 GHz)
15 dBA (2.66 GHz)
15 dBA 16 dBA 17 dBA 12 dBA[100] 15 dBA[100] 16 dBA 12 dBA[101]
Power
Greenhouse gas emissions 270 kg (600 lb) CO2e[102] 710 kg (1,570 lb) CO2e[103] 280 kg (620 lb) CO2e[104] 1,130 kg (2,490 lb) CO2e[105] 290 kg (640 lb) CO2e[106] 1,020 kg (2,250 lb) CO2e[107] 530 kg (1,170 lb) CO2e[108]
Weight 3.0 lb (1.4 kg) 2.8 lb (1.3 kg) 2.7 lb (1.2 kg) 3.0 lb (1.4 kg) 2.7 lb (1.2 kg) 2.9 lb (1.3 kg) 2.6 lb (1.2 kg) 2.7 lb (1.2 kg)
Dimensions 1.4 inches (36 mm) H × 7.7 inches (196 mm) W × 7.7 inches (196 mm) D

Fourth generation (Space Gray)

Model 2018 2018[109]
Component Intel Core i3, i5, i7
Release Date November 7, 2018
Order Number MRTR2*/A MRTT2*/A
Machine Model Macmini8,1
Base Price At Launch $799 $1099
Model Number A1993
Processor Intel Core i3-8100B quad-core CPU
Optional Intel Core i7-8700B 6-core CPU at time of purchase only
Intel Core i5-8500B 6-core CPU
Optional Intel Core i7-8700B 6-core CPU at time of purchase only
Frequency (Boost) 3.6 GHz (Core i3) or 3.2 GHz (Core i7, boost to 4.6 GHz) 3.0 GHz (Core i5, boost to 4.1 GHz) or 3.2 GHz (Core i7, boost to 4.6 GHz)
Cores/Threads 4/4 (Core i3), 6/12 (Core i7) 6/6 (Core i5), 6/12 (Core i7)
Cache 6 MB (Core i3), 12 MB (Core i7) 9 MB (Core i5), 12 MB (Core i7)
Memory 8 GB (Optional upgrade at time of purchase: 16 GB/32 GB/64 GB)
DDR4 SO-DIMM 2666 MHz
Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 630
Video Support Support for the following combination of maximum concurrent display setups:
  • Up to 3 displays:

2 displays with 4096×2304 resolution at 60 Hz via Thunderbolt 3, plus 1 display with 4096×2160 resolution at 60 Hz via HDMI 2.0 or

  • Up to 2 displays:

1 display with 5120×2880 resolution at 60 Hz via Thunderbolt 3, plus 1 display with 4096x2160 resolution at 60 Hz via HDMI 2.0

Thunderbolt 3 digital video output supports

HDMI 2.0 display video output

  • Support for up to 1 display with 4096×2160 resolution at 60 Hz
  • DVI output using HDMI to DVI adapter (sold separately)
Solid-state drive 128 GB (before March 2020) 256 GB

Optional 512 GB, 1, or 2 TB available at time of purchase only. Before March 2020, 256 GB was optional.

256 GB (before March 2020) 512 GB

Optional 1 or 2 TB available at time of purchase only. Before March 2020, 512 GB was optional.

NVMe/PCIe 3.0 ×4 8.0 GT/s (31.5 Gbit/s)
Security Chip Apple T2
Connectivity Built-in Wi-Fi 5 (802.11a/b/g/n/ac) 3×3 chipset, up to 1.3 Gbit/s
Bluetooth 5.0
Gigabit Ethernet (upgradeable to 10 Gigabit Ethernet at time of purchase)
Peripheral Connections Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C 3.1 Gen 2)
2× USB 3.0 Type-A
HDMI 2.0
3.5 mm headphone jack
Noise (at idle) 4 dBA
Power 150 W (max continuous) [109]
Greenhouse Gas Emissions 226 kg CO2e[111] 255 kg CO2e[111]
Weight 1.3 kg (2.9 pounds)
Dimensions 3.6 cm (H) × 19.7 cm (W) × 19.7 cm (D)

Fifth generation (Apple silicon)

Model M1, 2020[53]
Component Apple M1
Release Date November 2020
Order Number MGNR3*/A MGNT3*/A
Machine Model Macmini9,1
Base Price At Launch $699 $899
Model Number A2348
Processor 3.2 GHz 8-core CPU with 4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores Apple M1
Memory 8 GB LPDDR4X memory (Optional 16 GB upgrade at time of purchase)
Unified memory
Graphics 8-core Apple-designed embedded GPU
Video Support Support for the following combination of maximum concurrent display setups:
  • Up to 2 displays:

1 display with up to 6016×3384 resolution at 60 Hz via Thunderbolt 3, plus 1 display up to 4096x2160 resolution at 60 Hz via HDMI 2.0

Thunderbolt 3 digital video output supports

HDMI 2.0 display video output

  • Support for up to 1 display with 4096×2160 resolution at 60 Hz
  • DVI output using HDMI to DVI adapter (sold separately)
Solid-state drive 256 GB

Optional 512 GB, 1, or 2 TB available at time of purchase only.

512 GB

Optional 1 or 2 TB available at time of purchase only.

Connectivity Built-in Wi-Fi 6 (802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax), 2×2 chipset
Bluetooth 5.0
Gigabit Ethernet (upgradeable to 10 Gigabit Ethernet at time of purchase from April 20, 2021)
Peripheral Connections Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C 4)
2× USB 3.0 Type-A
HDMI 2.0
3.5 mm headphone jack
Power 150 W (max continuous)
Greenhouse Gas Emissions 172 kg (379 lb) CO2e[112] 197 kg (434 lb) CO2e[112]
Weight 1.2 kg (2.6 pounds)
Dimensions 3.6 cm (H) × 19.7 cm (W) × 19.7 cm (D)

Supported operating systems

Supported macOS releases

Supported macOS releases
OS release PowerPC-based Intel-based Apple Silicon-based
1st generation 2nd generation 3rd generation 4th generation 5th generation
Early 2005 Mid-2005 Late 2005 Early 2006 Late 2006 Mid-2007 Early 2009 Late 2009 Mid-2010 Mid-2011 Late 2012 Late 2014 Late 2018 Late 2020
10,1 10,2 1,1 2,1 3,1 4,1 5,X 6,X 7,X 8,1 9,1
Mac OS 9 With patch With patch With patch No No No No No No No No No No No
10.1 Puma

10.2 Jaguar

disc disc disc No No No No No No No No No No No
10.3 Panther 10.3.7 unofficial unofficial No No No No No No No No No No No
10.4 Tiger Yes 10.4.2 10.4.2 10.4.5 10.4.7 10.4.10 No No No No No No No No
10.5 Leopard Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 10.5.6 No No No No No No No
10.6 Snow Leopard No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes 10.6.1 10.6.4 hack[113] No No No No
10.7 Lion No No No No No With 2 GB RAM With 2 GB RAM Yes Yes Yes No No No No
10.8 Mountain Lion No No No No No With 2 GB RAM, Patch With 2 GB RAM Yes Yes Yes 10.8.2 No No No
10.9 Mavericks No No No No No With 2 GB RAM, Patch With 2 GB RAM Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
10.10

Yosemite

10.11 El Capitan

No No No No No With 2 GB RAM, Patch With 2 GB RAM Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
10.12 Sierra

10.13 High Sierra

No No No No No No With 2 GB RAM, Patch Patch Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
10.14 Mojave No No No No No No With 2 GB RAM, Patch Patch Patch Patch Yes Yes Yes No
10.15 Catalina No No No No No No With 4 GB RAM, Patch Patch Patch Patch Yes Yes Yes No
11 Big Sur No No No No No No With 4 GB RAM, Patch Patch Patch Patch Patch Yes Yes Yes
12 Monterey No No No No No No No No No No Patch Yes Yes Yes

Supported Windows versions (Intel Mac Minis Only)

Supported Windows releases
OS Release 2nd generation 3rd generation 4th generation
2006 models 2007-2010 models Mid 2011 2012 to 2014 models Late 2018
Windows XP

[Note 1][Note 2]

Yes Yes Yes No No No
Windows Vista

(32-bit) [Note 3]

Yes Yes Yes No No No
Windows Vista

(64-bit) [Note 3]

No Yes Yes No No No
Windows 7

(32-bit) [Note 4]

Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Windows 7

(64-bit) [Note 5]

No Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Windows 8

[Note 6][Note 7]

No No No Yes Yes No
Windows 8.1

[Note 8][Note 7]

No No No Yes Yes No
Windows 10

[Note 9][Note 7]

No No No No Yes Yes

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Windows XP can only be installed on Macs with Boot Camp 3 or earlier. This includes Mac OS X 10.6 or earlier and copies of Mac OS X 10.7 that have not been updated to Boot Camp 4.
  2. ^ Only 32-bit editions of Windows XP are supported.
  3. ^ a b Windows Vista can only be installed on Macs with Boot Camp 3 or earlier. This includes Mac OS X 10.6 or earlier and copies of Mac OS X 10.7 that have not been updated to Boot Camp 4.
  4. ^ The 32-bit version of Windows 7 can only be installed on Macs with Boot Camp 3.1 to 6.0. This includes OS X 10.11 and earlier.
  5. ^ The 64-bit version of Windows 7 can only be installed on Macs with Boot Camp 3.1 or later, running macOS High Sierra or earlier. Later versions of macOS no longer support Windows 7.
  6. ^ Windows 8 can only be installed on Macs with Boot Camp 5.0 to 6.0. This includes OS X 10.11 and earlier.
  7. ^ a b c Only 64-bit versions of Windows are supported for Windows 8 and later.
  8. ^ Windows 8.1 can only be installed on Macs with Boot Camp 5.1 or later, running macOS High Sierra or earlier. Later versions of macOS no longer support Windows 8.1.
  9. ^ Windows 10 can only be installed on Macs with Boot Camp 6.0 or later. It is the only supported version of Windows on macOS Mojave and later.

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  113. ^ https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3209335

External links



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Music Scenes