Identify your Mac mini model
Use this information to find out which Mac mini you have, and where it fits in the history of Mac mini.
Your Mac provides several tools to help you identify it. The simplest is About This Mac, available by choosing About This Mac from the Apple menu in the upper-left corner of your screen. The other is the System Information app. Learn how to use these tools to identify your Mac.
If you don’t have your Mac or it doesn’t start up, use one of these solutions instead:
- Find the serial number printed on the underside of your Mac, near the regulatory markings. It’s also on the original packaging, next to a barcode label. You can then enter that serial number on the Check Coverage page to find your model.
- The original packaging might also show an Apple part number, such as MGEM2xx/A (“xx” is a variable that differs by country or region). You can match the Apple part number to one in the list below to find your model.
List of Mac mini models
Mac mini models are organized by the year they were introduced, starting with the most recent. Click the model name for detailed technical specifications.
Mac mini models from 2014 and newer can run the latest version of macOS. For older models, the latest compatible operating system is noted.
Mac mini (2018)
Model Identifier: Macmini8,1
Part Numbers: MRTR2xx/A, MRTT2xx/A, MXNF2xx/A, MXNG2xx/A
Tech Specs: Mac mini (2018)
User Guide: Mac mini (2018)
Mac mini (Late 2012)
Model Identifier: Macmini6,1; Macmini6,2
Part Numbers: MD387xx/A; MD388xx/A, MD389xx/A
Newest compatible operating system: macOS Catalina 10.15.7
Tech Specs: Mac mini (Late 2012)
User Guide: Mac mini (Late 2012)
Mac mini (Mid 2011)
Model Identifier: Macmini5,1; Macmini5,2
Part Numbers: MC815xx/A; MC816xx/A, MC936xx/A
Newest compatible operating system: macOS High Sierra 10.13.6
Tech Specs: Mac mini (Mid 2011)
User Guide: Mac mini (Mid 2011)
Mac mini (Mid 2010)
Model Identifier: Macmini4,1
Part Numbers: MC438xx/A, MC270xx/A
Newest compatible operating system: macOS High Sierra 10.13.6
Tech Specs: Mac mini (Mid 2010)
Mac mini (Late 2009)
Model Identifier: Macmini3,1
Part Numbers: MC238xx/A, MC239xx/A, MC408xx/A
Newest compatible operating system: OS X El Capitan 10.11.6
Tech Specs: Mac mini (Late 2009)
Mac mini (Early 2009)
Model Identifier: Macmini3,1
Part Numbers: MB464xx/A, MB463xx/A
Newest compatible operating system: OS X El Capitan 10.11.6
Tech Specs: Mac mini (Early 2009)
Mac mini (2018) - Technical Specifications
3.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i3
6MB shared L3 cache
3.2GHz 6-core Intel Core i7
Turbo Boost up to 4.6GHz
12MB shared L3 cache
3.0GHz 6-core Intel Core i5
Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz
9MB shared L3 cache
3.2GHz 6-core Intel Core i7
Turbo Boost up to 4.6GHz
12MB shared L3 cache
of 2666MHz DDR4 SO-DIMM memory
- 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB SSD
- Support for the following combination of maximum concurrent display setups:
- Up to three displays:
Two displays with 4096-by-2304 resolution at 60Hz connected via Thunderbolt 3 plus one display with 4096-by-2160 resolution at 60Hz connected via HDMI 2.0
- Up to two displays:
One display with 5120-by-2880 resolution at 60Hz connected via Thunderbolt 3 plus one display with 4096-by-2160 resolution at 60Hz connected via HDMI 2.0
- Up to three displays:
- Thunderbolt 3 digital video output supports
Native DisplayPort output over USB-C
Thunderbolt 2, DVI, and VGA output supported using adapters (sold separately)
- HDMI 2.0 display video output
Support for one display with 4096-by-2160 resolution at 60Hz
DVI output using HDMI to DVI Adapter (sold separately)
- Built-in speaker
- 3.5 mm headphone jack
- HDMI 2.0 port supports multichannel audio output
Connections and Expansion
- Four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports with support for:
- Thunderbolt 3 (up to 40 Gb/s)
- USB 3.1 Gen 2 (up to 10 Gb/s)
- Thunderbolt 2, HDMI, DVI, and VGA supported using adapters (sold separately)
- Two USB-A ports (up to 5Gb/s)
- HDMI 2.0 port
- Gigabit Ethernet port (configurable to 10Gb Ethernet)
- 3.5 mm headphone jack
- 802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless networking
- IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n compatible
- Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology
- 10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45 connector)
- Configurable to 10Gb Ethernet (Nbase-T Ethernet with support for 1Gb, 2.5Gb, 5Gb, and 10Gb Ethernet using RJ-45 connector)
- Height: 1.4 inches (3.6 cm)
- Width: 7.7 inches (19.7 cm)
- Depth: 7.7 inches (19.7 cm)
Electrical and Operating Requirements
- Line voltage: 100–240V AC
- Frequency: 50Hz to 60Hz, single phase
- Maximum continuous power: 150W
- Operating temperature: 50° to 95° F (10° to 35° C)
- Storage temperature: –40° to 116° F (–40° to 47° C)
- Relative humidity: 5% to 90% noncondensing
- Operating altitude: tested up to 16,400 feet (5000 meters)
- Typical acoustical performance: Sound pressure level (operator position): 5 dBA at idle3
In the Box
macOS is the most advanced desktop operating system in the world. macOS Big Sur introduces a bold new design and major updates to apps — taking macOS to a new level of power and beauty.
Learn more about latest operating system
Accessibility features help people with disabilities get the most out of their new Mac mini. With built-in support for vision, hearing, mobility, and learning, you can create and do amazing things.
Learn more about Accessibility
- Voice Control
- Increase Contrast
- Reduce Motion
- Siri and Dictation
- Switch Control
- Closed Captions
- Text to Speech
- Voice Memos
- Photo Booth
- App Store
- Time Machine
- Find My
- QuickTime Player
Configure to Order
Configure your Mac mini with these options, only at apple.com:
- 3.2GHz 6-core Intel Core i7 processor
16GB, 32GB, or 64GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory
256GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB SSD
Mac mini and the Environment
Apple takes a complete product life cycle approach to determining our environmental impact. Learn more about Mac mini and the Environment
Mac mini is designed with the following features to reduce its environmental impact:
- 100% recycled aluminum enclosure9
- Eco-friendly packaging
- ENERGY STAR® certified6
- Rated EPEAT Gold10
Apple and the Environment
Read our Product Environmental Reports for detailed information on the environmental performance of every Apple product.
Product Environmental Reports
- Logic Pro X
- Final Cut Pro X
Displays and Adapters
- LG UltraFine 4K Display
- LG UltraFine 5K Display
- USB-C to USB Adapter
- USB-C to SD Card Reader
- USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter
- USB-C VGA Multiport Adapter
- USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter
- Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter
- Space Gray Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad
- Space Gray Magic Mouse 2
- Space Gray Magic Trackpad 2
- USB-C to Lightning Cable
- Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) Cable (0.8 m)
- Blackmagic eGPU
- Blackmagic eGPU Pro
- AppleCare+ for Mac
Declared noise emission values in accordance with ECMA-109
|Sound Power Level|
L W A,m (B)
|Sound Pressure Level|
L p A,m (dB)
|Idle||1.3 (K V = 0.3)||5|
|Wireless web||1.4 (K V = 0.3)||5|
- L W A,m is the mean A-weighted sound power level, rounded to the nearest 0.1 B.
- L p A,m is the mean A-weighted sound pressure level measured at the operator position (rounded to the nearest 1 dB).
- 1 B (bel) = 10 dB (decibel)
- K v is the statistical adder for computing upper-limit of A-weighted sound power level.
- The quantity, L W A,c (formerly called L W Ad) may be computed from the sum of L W A,m and K v .
- The Wireless web test browses 25 popular websites.
- Configuration tested: 3.0GHz 6-core Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB memory, 256GB Fusion Drive, Intel UHD graphics 630.
- 1GB = 1 billion bytes and 1TB = 1 trillion bytes; actual formatted capacity less.
- Weight varies by configuration and manufacturing process.
- Acoustics measured from typical operator position sitting in front of standard Mac mini system. Acoustics may vary by configuration.
- iMovie, GarageBand, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote are available on the Mac App Store. Downloading apps requires an Apple ID and a device that is compatible with the OS version required for each app.
- Data accurate as of product launch.
- ENERGY STAR and the ENERGY STAR mark are registered trademarks owned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- Apple defines its restrictions on harmful substances, including definitions for what Apple considers to be “free of,” in the Apple Regulated Substances Specification . Every Apple product is free of PVC and phthalates with the exception of AC power cords in India, Thailand (for two-prong AC power cords), and South Korea, where we continue to seek government approval for our PVC and phthalates replacement.
- PVC-free AC power cord available in all regions except India and South Korea.
- Recycled material claim applies to the enclosure.
- Mac mini achieved a Gold rating from EPEAT in the U.S. and Canada.
Apple Mac Mini Dual-core i5 2.5GHz (MD387HN/A)
A Real Overachiever
Mac mini features third-generation Intel Core processors, faster integrated graphics, Thunderbolt and plenty of ports. Expect big things.
Processors up to 2x faster. Done and done.
With third-generation Intel Core processors, Mac mini keeps up with computers twice its size. You can choose a 2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5. Or go for an even more powerful 2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 for up to twice the performance of the previous-generation dual-core Mac mini.
When you’re using processor-intensive applications, Turbo Boost 2.0 increases the clock speed up to 3.6GHz. Hyper-Threading lets each core run two threads, so OS X multitasks even more efficiently. And an integrated memory controller connects fast 1600MHz memory directly to the processor, so it gets straight to work on your data. In short, Mac mini is a little box of vroom.
Intel HD Graphics 4000. It’ll really get things moving.
Intel HD Graphics 4000 delivers up to 65 per cent more pixel-pushing performance than the previous generation of integrated graphics. So the video you watch and the games you play are smoother and more responsive. Flipping through photo albums is a breeze. And you’ve got all the power you need to edit your HD video into a film worthy of a red carpet premiere.
Storage and memory. Make it big. And fast.
Up to 1TB hard drive.
Mac mini comes as standard with either a 500GB or 1TB 5400-rpm hard drive.3 So you can pack in your photo libraries, films, music, files and more, more, more.
Up to 256GB of flash storage.
You can configure your Mac mini with up to 256GB of flash storage in a solid-state drive instead of a traditional hard drive. Flash storage delivers nearly five times the performance of a disk drive4 — speed you’ll notice when you boot your Mac mini, launch an app or browse your photo library.
Introducing Fusion Drive.
Mac mini also offers a breakthrough storage option, called Fusion Drive, which combines a 1TB hard drive with high-performance flash storage — 128GB worth. Fusion Drive automatically and intelligently manages your data so that frequently used apps, documents, photos and other files stay on the faster flash storage, while infrequently used items move to the hard drive. You’ll enjoy shorter boot times, and as the system learns how you work, you’ll see faster application launches and quicker file access. Best of all, you don’t have to do a thing to make it happen.
Add memory with a twist.
Mac mini comes with 4GB of fast 1600MHz DDR3 memory. And thanks to a removable bottom panel, it’s easy to add more. Just give it a twist, and you’re in. Pop your new memory into the SO-DIMM slot, and you’re out.
No screen is too big.
It’s easy to connect Mac mini to the biggest screen in the house — your HDTV — courtesy of a built-in HDMI port. All it takes is one HDMI cable to start enjoying films and TV programmes from iTunes, surfing the web and flipping through your photo library, all in brilliant HD. There’s also a handy control that lets you adjust the output on Mac mini to fill even the biggest HDTV screen. And when you just want to listen to music, you can play your entire iTunes collection through your home entertainment centre, or stream it to a set of speakers in any room via an AirPort Express Base Station.
Bring your own display, keyboard and mouse. Use what you’ve got.
Plug your own display, keyboard and mouse into Mac mini. Turn it on. And just like that, everything works together. That’s one of the great things about Mac mini. You can mix and match it with almost anything.
Thunderbolt. The fastest, most versatile I/O in any desktop. Of any size.
Thunderbolt technology in Mac mini is phenomenally fast. It features two 10-Gbps channels for data transfer. That’s up to 12 times faster than FireWire 800 and up to 20 times faster than USB 2. But beyond speed, Thunderbolt gives you unprecedented expansion capabilities. You can daisy-chain as many as six Thunderbolt devices — including two Apple Thunderbolt Displays — to a single port. And since Thunderbolt is based on DisplayPort technology, Mini DisplayPort devices like the Apple LED Cinema Display plug straight in too.
USB 3, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. You’re very well connected.
Plenty of ports make it ready for anything.
As powerful as Thunderbolt is, it’s just one of your options. If you have a third-party display, for instance, you can use the HDMI port and the HDMI to DVI Adapter that comes with Mac mini to connect it. You can even connect two displays to see more of your photos, films and documents at the same time. A built-in SDXC card slot makes it easy to import those photos and videos from your digital camera, and the FireWire 800 port works with a wide array of storage, audio and video devices.
With USB 3 built into Mac mini, you can connect your external hard drive and transfer large files in seconds instead of minutes. Every Mac mini comes with four USB 3 ports — with speeds up to 10 times faster than USB 2 — and you can connect all your USB-compatible devices, including your iPhone, iPad, iPod or digital camera.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Powerful 802.11n wireless technology is built into every Mac mini.6 It automatically locates your Wi-Fi network, so you can connect and start surfing the web, printing and streaming your music wirelessly. Bluetooth wireless technology is also built in, so you can connect accessories such as a wireless keyboard and mouse.
Desktop computer by Apple
‹ The templateInfobox information appliance is being considered for merging. ›
The Mac Mini (stylized as Mac mini) is a small form-factordesktop computer that is developed and marketed by Apple Inc. As of 2021[update], The Mac Mini is positioned between the consumer all-in-one iMac and the professional Mac Pro as one of the three current Macintosh desktop computers. It is the company's only consumer desktop computer since 2005 to ship without a display, a keyboard, and a mouse. The machine was initially branded as "BYODKM" (Bring Your Own Display, Keyboard, and Mouse) as a strategic pitch to encourage users to switch from PCs running operating systems such as Microsoft Windows and Linux.
In January 2005, the original Mac Mini was introduced as a base model of the PowerPC G4architecture. The following February, Apple announced the second-generation lineup, which featured advanced components and internal software updates. The third-generation, which was unveiled in June 2010, had a thinner, unibody aluminum case and an HDMI port, and was more readily positioned as a home theater device and an alternative to the Apple TV.
A server version of the Mac Mini that is bundled with the Server edition of the OS X operating system was offered from 2009 to 2014. The 2018 fourth-generation Mac Mini model has Thunderbolt, an Intel Core i5 or i7central processing unit (CPU), and also changed the case's default silver for space gray. This model also has solid-state storage and replaces most of the data ports with USB-C sockets. The fifth-generation lineup, operating Apple Silicon, was introduced in November 2020 in the original silver style. The fourth-generation model remained available alongside the fifth-generation model.
Further information: List of Mac Mini specifications
The Mac Mini was modeled on the shape of a standard digital media player, and runs the macOS operating system. It was initially advertised as "BYODKM" (Bring Your Own Display, Keyboard, and Mouse), aiming to expand Apple's market-share of customers using other operating systems such as Microsoft Windows and Linux. Mac Mini was the company's only consumer computer that shipped without a paired display, keyboard, and mouse since its original release in 2005.
A removable panel was attached to the bottom of the chassis of the Mac Minis to allow for Random Access Memory (RAM) upgrades. The cases does not void the product warranty and broken pieces were not covered. Since the 2011 third-generation revision, the Kensington Security Slot and the optical drive were removed from all models, leaving internal storage spaces for either a second internal hard drive or an SSD, which can be ordered from Apple or as an upgrade kit from third party suppliers.
First generation (PowerPC G4)
The first generation Mac Mini (pictured), codenamed G4,was meant as an entry-level computer for budget-minded customers in terms of its cheap pricing.
Component Specification labels, pictured to the lower portion from left to right: Power button, USB 2.0, Ethernet, HDMI, Component Videos, Analog Audios, and Digital Optical Audio
Apple's release of a small form factor computer had been widely speculated upon and requested long before the release of the Mac Mini. In January. 2005, the Mac Mini G4 was introduced alongside the iPod shuffle at the Macworld Conference & Expo; Apple CEO Steve Jobs marketed the "The cheapest, and most affordable Mac ever". The machine was intended as an entry-level computer for budget-minded customers. In comparison to regular desktops, which use standard-sized components such as 3.5-inch hard drives and full-size DIMMs, the Mac Mini G4 uses low-power laptop components to fit into mall cases and avoid overheating.
The aluminum case, the top and bottom of which is capped with polycarbonate plastic, 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. Mac Mini G4 has no visible screws, reflecting Apple's intention the computer may 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 less expensively than Apple's offering. The company described this procedure in detail, including an official Apple part number for a "modified putty knife".
The Mac Mini G4 is based on a single-core, 32-bit, PowerPC CPU with 512 KB 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. The CPU can be overclocked to higher frequencies by either soldering or desoldering certain zero-ohm resistors on the logic board.
An ATI Radeon 9200graphics processor (GPU) with 32 megabytes (MB) of DDRSDRAM was supplied as standard; in the final 2005 model, Apple added a high-end option of 64 MB VRAM. In Apple's early marketing of the Mac Mini G4, it touted the superiority the discrete graphics board over the integrated graphics in many budget PCs.
The machine uses 333 MHz DDR SDRAM and has one desktop-sized DIMM slot for RAM, allowing a maximum of 1 gigabyte (GB) of memory, a relatively small amount that often forced the system to page against the hard drive, slowing operation considerably. The Mac Mini G4 uses a single 2.5-inch Ultra ATA/100 hard drive that offers a maximum transfer rate of 100 megabytes per second (MB/s). It is not possible to open the sealed enclosure to upgrade the hard drive without possibly voiding the warranty of the system. 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 that could write to DVDs was also an option.
The Mac Mini G4 has two USB 2.0 ports and one FireWire 400 port. Networking is supported with 10/100 Ethernet and a 56k V.92modem, while 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth were additional, build-to-order options. External displays are supported via a DVI port, and adapters for VGA, S-Video, and composite video output were available. The system contains a built-in speaker and an 1/8-inch stereo mini jack for analog sound output. The new Wi-Fi card no longer used an MMCX-Female connector for the antenna, as do prior models, but rather a proprietary Apple One.
The Mac Mini G4 was supplied with Mac OS X 10.4 and can run Mac OS 9 applications, as long as a bootable copy of the OS 9 system folder is installed from which to run the Classic environment, although the Mac Mini G4 cannot natively boot to Mac OS 9. As of Mac OS X 10.5, the ability to run the Classic environment was removed. Later, Mac OS 9 was able to run on the Mac Mini G4 through an unofficial patcher, though this was not supported by Apple.
The computer is compatible with operating systems designed for the PowerPC architecture. Users can install the AmigaOS-compatible MorphOS, OpenBSD, and Linux distributions such as Debian and Ubuntu.
Second generation (Intel-based)
In February 2006, Apple announced the second-generation lineup of Mac Mini, which is based on the IntelCore Solo or Duo CPU, which is four times faster than its predecessor. An updated server version of the machine was released in October 2019, having been marketed as an affordable server for small financial and academic uses; this model omitted the optical drive and used a hard drive instead.
The Intel-based Mac Mini (pictured from above)
Back panel of a late 2009 3,1 model Mac Mini. Pictured 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
The 2006 and 2007 models are fitted with 32-bit Intel Core Solo CPUs, which could be replaced with 64-bit Core 2 Duo processors through a simple upgrade. The 2006 and 2007 Merom-based Mac Mini models were supplied with socketed CPUs; the 32-bit processor can be removed, and replaced with a compatible 64-bit Intel Core 2 Duo processor. Models manufactured in and after 2009, the CPUs are soldered onto the logic board, preventing it from being upgradable. If the 2006 model is upgraded to a Core 2 Duo CPU, it can support up to 2 GB of memory and can run Mac OS X Lion through a minor modification. Some users have found such upgrades can make the 2006/2007 models perform better than the 2009 models. Geekbench has shown 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.
While the Mac Mini G4 contains a separate GPU, except in the 2011 2.5 GHz model has a separate AMD Radeon GPU, all revisions of the Intel-based Mac Mini contain integrated GPUs. The builti-in Intel GMA was criticized for producing stuttering video despite supporting hardware acceleratedH.264 video playback, and disappointing frame rates in graphics-intensive 3D games. Early and -ate 2009 models corrected these performance issues with an improved NVIDIA-based GeForce 9400M chipset.
The Intel-based Mac Mini abandoned its predecessors' Ultra ATA/100 hard drive connectors for the newer Serial ATA interface, which offers a maximum 3 Gbit/s transfer rate. All models of Intel Mac Mini, however, are limited to 1.5 Gbit/s. All models continue to use 2.5-inch hard drives rather than the 3.5-inch drives used in standard desktops. A server edition of the Mac Mini, 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), was introduced in October 2009. A Combo drive was initially offered as standard, and the SuperDrive was an option but up to the 2010 models, all models that have an optical drive contain a SuperDrive as standard. The 2010 standard version of the Mac Mini—excluding Server—were supplied with a 0.3 TB or 2.66 GHz 0.5 TB of storage. Unlike the Mac Mini G4, the Intel-based Mac Mini use 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.
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, adding a fifth USB 2.0 and swapping the FireWire 400 port for a FireWire 800 port. An infrared receiver was added, allowing the use of an Apple Remote. Bluetooth 2.0+EDR and 802.11gWi-Fi became standard and the Ethernet port was upgraded to Gigabit. A built-in 56k modem was no longer available. The 2009 models added 802.11 draft-n and later 802.11n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth was upgraded from 2.0 to 2.1. External displays are supported through a DVI port. The 2009 models have Mini-DVI and Mini DisplayPort video output, allowing the use of two displays. The Mini DisplayPort supports displays with a resolution up to 2560×1600, which allows use of the 30-inch Cinema Display. The Intel-based Mac Mini has separate Mini-TOSLINK/3.5 mm mini-jacks that support both analog audio input and output, and optical digital S/PDIF input and output.
Third generation (Unibody)
Mac Mini 2010 optical drive (pictured from front)
Back panel of a mid-2010, 4,1 model unibody Mac Mini. Pictured 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
In June 2010, Apple released the third-generation of Mac Mini, which has a compacted, thinner unibody aluminum case that has an internal power supply, an SD card slot, and a HDMI port for video output that Apple marketed as HDMI 1.4 compliant, replacing the Mini-DVI port of the previous models.
In July 2011, a hardware update was announced; models were now fitted with a Thunderbolt port, dual-core Intel Core i5 and 4-core i7 CPUs, support for up to 16 GB of memory, Bluetooth 4.0, and either an Intel HD Graphics 3000 integrated graphics or an AMD Radeon HD 6630M dedicated graphics. The revision, however, removed the internal CD/DVD optical drive. 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. On October 16, 2014, the line was updated with Haswell processors, improved graphics, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Thunderbolt 2 ports, one of which replaced the FireWire 800 port. The price of the base model was lowered by $100. Two holes that were used to open the case were removed from the case because the memory, being soldered to the logic board, was no longer upgradable. Because the integrated GPU does not have its own dedicated memory, the system shares some of the main system memory with it.4K video output via HDMI was added.
Comparing the high-end models of both releases, the 2012 original model has a 4-core, 8-thread Intel Core i7-3720QM whereas the 2014 model has a 2-core, 4-thread Intel Core i7-4578U. The 2014 updated model has Intel Iris graphics (GT3), which greatly outperforms the Intel HD Graphics 4000 (GT2) in the previous models. The late-2014 CPUs were more energy-efficient: their maximal thermal design power (TDP) was 62% lower than that of the 2012 models.
Memory can again be replaced, although it is not officially user-replaceable according to Apple, and requires service by an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider. The CPU and flash storage are soldered to the logic board and cannot be replaced. The late-2014, third-generation issue underwent internal process transition to dual-core CPUs, performing a lower-quality of multi-threaded workloads compared to the quad-core processors in the original 2012 third-generation model, though the single-threaded workload interactions speeds increased.
Fourth generation (Coffee Lake)
The fourth generation Mac Mini (pictured from above)
Back panel of a 2018 Mac Mini. Pictured 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, and audio out
In October 2018, Apple announced the fourth-generation Mac Mini had been equipped with Intel Coffee Lake series CPUs, the T2 series chip for internal security, and connectivity to Bluetooth 5, four USB-C 3.1 ports, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, and HDMI 2.0. PCIe-based flash storage is standard with no option to fit a hard drive. The baseline storage was changed to 128 GB with a maximum of 2 TB. RAM was increased to a baseline of 8 GB and a maximum of 64 GB of SO-DIMM DDR4. The chassis is a carryover from Mac Minis released between 2010 and 2014, and has the same dimensions, but is only available in a "space gray" finish.
The 2018 Mac Mini removes legacy I/O such as 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. In March 2020, Apple doubled the default storage in both base models.
Fifth generation (Apple Silicon)
The fifth generation Apple Silicon Mac Mini (pictured from above)
Back panel of the fifth-generation Mac Mini. Pictured from left to right, first row: power button, power port plug, Gigabit Ethernet/10 Gigabit Ethernet, 2 Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C), HDMI 2.0, 2 USB 3.0. Second row: ventilation holes, and 3.5 mm headphone jack
The fifth-generation lineup, which uses the Apple M1 CPU, was announced on November 10, 2020, alongside the updated models of MacBook Air and MacBook Pro as part of Apple's CPU transition from Intel to Apple Silicon. It was released on November 17, 2020, and became one of the three Apple Silicon-based consumer computers. The price of the Apple Silicon-based Mac Mini dropped $USD 100 dollars from that of the previous model to $USD 699. It added support for Wi-Fi 6, USB4, and 6K video output to run the Pro Display XDR. Externally, it is very similar to the 2018 Mac Mini but has a lighter, silver finish similar to that of the models released from 2010 to 2014.
Options for more than 16 GB of RAM were no longer available. Support for external displays was reduced to one display over USB-C/Thunderbolt, though a second display can be connected HDMI; the previous Intel-based model could drive two 4K displays over USB-C/Thunderbolt. On April 20, 2021, 10 Gigabit Ethernet was added as a built-to-order option. Its internal cooling system has a thermal-based design that according to Apple performs five times more quickly than the best-selling Windows-based desktop computer in its price range.
On June 22, 2020, the release of the Apple Silicon-based Mac Mini was preceded by that of the A12Z-based Developer Transition Kit, a prototype for developers that has a Mac Mini enclosure. It was supplies with 16 GB of RAM, 512 GB of storage, and two USB-C ports.
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 CPUs, better graphics cards, more memory, and more storage. The small size has made the Mac Mini particularly popular for home theater use, and its size and reliability has helped keep resale values high.
Home theater and server
Due to its similarity, compact volume and functions, the Mac Mini is often as a home theater PC or as an alternative to the Apple TV. The system has a native interface with Front Row software that is based on the original Apple TV interface. Unlike the Apple TV, the Mac Mini is backward compatible with televisions that have only composite or S-Video inputs. As of the June 2011 revision, it includes an Intel HD3000 GPU; an optional Radeon GPU is available. It also has Thunderbolt, which makes decoding high-resolution video much faster.
Pre-2009 models have a video connector that is compatible with DVI, HDMI (video only), SVGA, S-Video, and composite video with appropriate adapters; for audio output, it has both the analog mini-headphone port and a digital optical fiber port. The addition of a HDMI port on the 2010 Mac Mini simplified connection to high-definition televisions and home theater AV receivers. The HDMI port supports video resolutions of up to 1080p and eight-channel, 24-bit audio at 192 kHz, and Dolby Surround 5.1 and stereo output. The 2014 model added 4K output, and the 2018 model supports Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, and HDR10, and uses the macOS Catalina operating system.
Apple offered a server configuration of the Mac Mini that was originally supplied with the OS X Server operating system, a version of OS X, but this was later switched to the standard version of OS X with an separate OS X Server package. The file included component applications such as "Server App" and "File Sharing". In June 2011, it was available from Mac App Store for other Macintosh computers. The mid-2010 Mac Mini Server was initially the only model without an optical drive, which was replaced with a second hard drive. The mid-2011 models also eliminated the optical drive.
The Mac Mini Server hardware was discontinued in the late-2014 model. The macOS Server software package, however, can be purchased from the Mac App Store. In 2018, coinciding with the release of 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 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.
Alternative operating systems for Mac users include Linux and virtualized Windows; they can also install third-party Unix packages via open-source package managers such as Conda, Fink, Homebrew, MacPorts, Nix, pkgsrc, and Rudix. A few services, such as caching, files, Time Machine, and Web, were moved to the macOS Mojave client but can have limited configuration capability via the 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.
Greenhouse gas emission projections for the Mac Mini Server were several times greater that those of the regular Mac Mini, in part because of the extra hard drive and the increased expected lifetime energy use; the percentage of carbon dioxide from use rose from 39% to 77%.
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