The last time Apple introduced a Mac Mini was 2014, the year when Apple debuted the iPhone 6. Yes, it was really that long.
We finally have a new model ̵
Space Gray, More Connectivity
The internals of the Mac Mini can be completely different from its predecessor, but Apple does not think the design needs updating. All that's new is a Space Gray finish that looks slimmer than the old silver color. It is exactly the same size and weight. We want Apple to try something different with design here, just for a change.
Some people do not mind the static design, but technical stoppage there is not any. The world of compact PCs has developed very strongly in the last four years. You can attach one to the back of your monitor or even hang it on your keychain. This makes the "mini" feature of the Mac mini less impressive than it used to.
On the back there is an impressive array of ports, including four Thunderbolt 3 USB C ports, which means you can connect it to 4K or 5K Thunderbolt displays as well as an external GPU. This is a ton from Thunderbolt 3 ports. In fact, it could even be to many, if that's even possible. It's the same amount that the iMac Pro graces, and it has certainly increased the already high price tag of this PC.
The Mac Mini's Intel UHD Graphics 630 GPU will be available soon in Fortnite .
In addition to USB-C, there are two USB-A 3 ports, an HDMI 2.0 port and a 3.5 mm headphone jack. An Ethernet port is also available, and it is configurable up to 10 GB of Ethernet for super fast connections. All in all, we are glad that Apple has improved the port selection and has not withdrawn.
The only other significant change to the new Mac Mini is in the material. Like the new MacBook Air, Apple said the Mac Mini case is made from 100 percent recycled aluminum. There is little difference in texture or feel compared to the previous Mac Mini, and Apple said it retains the same strength and durability. It's nice to see a company adhere to its commitment to producing environmentally friendly products.
The configurations for the new Mac Mini can be confusing. First of all, there are two main models with eighth-generation processors – one with a quad-core processor and the other with a six-core processor. The base quad core comes with a 3.6 GHz Intel Core i3, while the basic six-core processor packs a 3.0 GHz Intel Core i5 with Turbo Boost up to 4.1 GHz. You can find an even more powerful Intel Core i7 model with six cores.
Apple claims that graphics capability has increased 60 percent, which sounds superficially good. But once again, compared to 2014, everything will make for an impressive leap in performance. The truth is that the Intel UHD Graphics 630 integrated into Fortnite will not produce high frame rates in the foreseeable future. We would have liked to see a configuration option that offers some graphics capabilities, such as the Core i5-8305G equipped with AMD Radeon RX Vega graphics cards. This would have brought the Mac mini not only an entry-level game performance, but also a raw power for demanding tasks such as video editing.
We are definitely not happy with the price situation of the Mac Mini.
The Mac Mini has a new thermal system that doubles the flow of air moving through the case, but Apple said it will still remain silent. The room we were in was loud, so we have to take Apple's word for now. We'll be particularly interested in how the tiny chassis handles the heat from the six-core model.
The Mac Mini starts with 8GB of RAM, but that is also configurable to 16GB, 32GB or 64GB. There are also many internal storage options – Solid State Drives (SSDs), which should provide even better performance – from 128GB to 2TB.
A novelty is Apple's T2 security chip, which debuted in the iMac Pro in 2017 and later found its way to the MacBook Pro. With this chip, Apple said that everything stored on the SSD is fully encrypted and you get a secure start. What's nice, HEVC video transcoding also takes place here, and it's supposed to be 30 times faster, which sounds like a blessing for professional video editors. The T2 also includes "Hey Siri" functionality for faster access to Apple's Voice Assistant.
Apple Mac mini (2018) Compared to
Price and Availability
The Mac Mini (2018) starts at $ 800 for the quad-core model and $ 1,100 for the six-core version. If you use all the features with the most powerful model, look at a $ 4,200 price tag. We are definitely not happy about this price situation.
The previous Mac Mini sold for only $ 500 compared to the base price. From now on, the upgrade does not feel up to the price jump. Switching to a four-core (or six-core) processor is pretty common in 2018, as will super-fast SSD storage and Thunderbolt 3 ports. We will save our final opinion once we have fully tested the system, but the pricing has made us a little cold.
The new Mac mini can now be pre-ordered and the official launch will begin on November 7th.