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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  • zepi - Tuesday, October 30, 2018 - link

    Psu for sure is internal, judging from the figure of 8 socket? Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Tuesday, October 30, 2018 - link

    Aye, it is. Thanks! Reply
  • crimson117 - Tuesday, October 30, 2018 - link

    Good to see a Mac Mini update! Any user-upgradeable parts in this revision? Reply
  • sbrown23 - Tuesday, October 30, 2018 - link

    RAM appeared to be SO-DIMM in the stream of the Apple event. So as long as you can get to it, you should be able to upgrade it. Reply
  • sbrown23 - Tuesday, October 30, 2018 - link

    In the picture above it looks like the RAM is easily accessible, on the top left. Reply
  • smartthanyou - Tuesday, October 30, 2018 - link

    Apple said they don't consider the memory user upgradeable but that system integrators could do it. I am guessing the install procedure is going to be much more complex than the picture indicates. Reply
  • sbrown23 - Tuesday, October 30, 2018 - link

    I don't think Apple has ever considered memory a user upgradeable component. For the Mac mini, the bottom pops off, and the RAM slots should be right there in view.

    This appears to be an easy upgrade, but Apple would rather have you pay out the nose for more RAM when you order the system, or pay the Apple store to upgrade it later.
    Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, October 30, 2018 - link

    We'll have to see when people get it. The 2012 model just had a screw off rubber bottom to get to the RAM, the 2014 model added a steel plate blocking your path just to be a PITA. They did say SO-DIMM though so it seemed like a wink at upgrades. Reply
  • gsalkin - Tuesday, October 30, 2018 - link

    Yes, it appears the ram slots are regular SO-DIMMs and not soldered! Reply
  • sbrown23 - Tuesday, October 30, 2018 - link

    Since when does an i5 have 6C/12T? Is that a typo?

    On Intel's site I see various i5 models with 6C/6T, but not even the 9th gen i5 has 12T from what I can see. What model is it that they are using?
    Reply

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