Apple on Tuesday introduced its first new small form-factor PC in four years. The new Mac mini is based on Intel’s latest Coffee Lake processors with up to six cores and improves the SFF system in almost all ways possible, making the miniature PC almost as capable as regular desktops. With that said, the considerably higher performance enabled by the new Mac mini also comes at higher price points when compared to the predecessors.

Apple’s Mac mini desktops are designed for SOHO market segment as well as everyday workloads that normally do not require very capable hardware. Meanwhile, historically Apple used mobile processors for its Mac mini, which the company found good enough for the market segment. With its 2018 SFF desktops Apple is changing the game here: the company now calls its Mac mini a “workhorse” and therefore uses Intel’s custom 8th Gen Core CPUs with four or six cores operating at 4.6 GHz Turbo Boost frequency. In a bid to cool the processor down, Apple uses a brand-new cooling system featuring a blower.

To bring the Mac mini even closer to fully-fledged desktop workstations, the new PCs are outfitted with up to 64 GB of DDR4-2666 memory, up to 2 TB SSD, four Thunderbolt 3 ports to connect an external graphics adapter, a storage system, or an Ultra-HD display, as well as an optional 10 GbE NIC that we expect is based on Aquantia AQtion AQC107 silicon (since there are no other suitable controllers on the market). In addition, the new Apple Mac mini has the company’s T2 security chip for encrypted storage and secure boot. Meanwhile the system also has regular USB 3.0 Type-A ports, an HDMI 2.0 header, and a 3.5-mm audio connector for headphones.

Apple’s new Mac mini systems start at $799 for a quad-core Core i3-based model outfitted with 8 GB of DRAM, and 128 GB of storage. Previously Apple’s entry-level Mac mini used to cost $499 - $599, enabling people in budget to tap into Apple’s Mac ecosystem. Meanwhile, once configuration of the new Mac mini is maxed out with 64 GB of DRAM, 2TB of storage, and a hex-core processor, its price skyrockets to $4,199.

Apple Mac mini Brief Specifications
  Mac mini 2018
CPU Intel Core i3
4C
3.6 GHz
6 MB L3
Intel Core i5
6C
3.0/4.1 GHz
9 MB L3
Intel Core i7
6C
3.2/4.6 GHz
12 MB L3
PCH ?
Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 630
Memory 8 GB DDR4-2666
Configurable to 16 GB, 32 GB or 64 GB DDR4-2666
Storage 128 GB PCIe SSD
Configuratble to 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB, or 2 TB SSD
Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11ac Wi-Fi + BT 5
Ethernet 1 GbE or 10 GbE
Display Outputs 4 × Thunderbolt 3
Audio 1 × 3.5mm audio out
USB 2 × USB 3.0 Type-A (5 Gbps)
4 × USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C (via TB3)
Other I/O HDMI 2.0
Dimensions Width 19.7 cm | 7.7"
Height 3.6 cm | 1.4"
Depth 19.7 cm | 7.7"
PSU ~ 150 W (internal)
OS Apple MacOS Mojave
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  • Dug - Wednesday, October 31, 2018 - link

    T2 chip is the security. Mac users have long enjoyed simple clone to external hard drive and actually boot from that hard drive (unlike windows), but you now have to enable it. Personally I could care less if my desktop computer is encrypted as I don't have people breaking into my house and stealing my computers. Reply
  • nico_mach - Friday, November 2, 2018 - link

    Today, I WILL BE THAT GUY!

    If you 'could care less' then, logically, you care more than other people do about people breaking into your house and stealing your computers. You probably meant 'couldn't care less'.
    Reply
  • corinthos - Saturday, November 3, 2018 - link

    Get 128gb and then exclusively use tb3 ssd.. remove when not in use.. Reply
  • corinthos - Saturday, November 3, 2018 - link

    I'm on the fence between threadripper 1950x with 64gb on Windows 10 with davinci resolve for video editing.. or hackintoshed, using Vega 64 vs Mac mini 2018 which I can upgrade later to 64gb and add tb3 ssd plus egpu with Vega 64.. I think in Windows app windows will seem snappier due to maybe better single threaded performance, with Mac mini i7. But threadripper will smoke it in multithreaded.. the thing is for 4k video editing 6 cores may be enough.. plus some advantages of final cut pro like export times.. magnetic timeline.. and hackintoshed may be a headache.. more time spent fiddling than working.. upgrades will also be more painful.. if I ever go 8k editing threadripper may be smoother and I can swap out the Mobo and CPU.. with Mac mini I'd be stuck with the CPU.. I'd have to look at proxy media to maintain performance at 8k.. or sell it when a newer model comes. Or move it to other tasks.. Reply
  • corinthos - Saturday, November 3, 2018 - link

    Also we don't know if we will see throttling with i7 on new Mac mini.. Reply
  • Speedfriend - Wednesday, October 31, 2018 - link

    Well they are struggling to increase units sales of any of their products, so the only way to raise revenue is to gouge the suckers more... Reply
  • MiBi - Friday, November 2, 2018 - link

    You are badly informed. Apple is making billions in profits each quarter of computers sales alone. You can't do that without moving product. People are buying no matter what you tell yourself. Reply
  • corinthos - Saturday, November 3, 2018 - link

    Recent article says sales for quarter aren't up.. revenue is.. jacking up prices does the trick Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, October 30, 2018 - link

    How does the Xcode server stuff work in a stack? If I send a batch of automated testing to do to a stack, does the entire stack split the work, or does the first one take that job, then the next takes the next, etc?

    I can't imagine main memory accesses would be something you want to do even over TB3.
    Reply
  • Valantar - Wednesday, October 31, 2018 - link

    "therefore uses Intel’s custom 8th Gen Core CPUs with four or six cores operating at 4.6 GHz Turbo Boost frequency."

    Care to expand on "custom" here?
    Reply

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