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Mac mini 2018 Review: Apple's most powerful mini yet

With the Mac mini finally updated after four years, we finally have our hands on the latest model. 2018 Mac…

With the Mac mini finally updated after four years, we finally have our hands on the latest model.

2018 Mac mini

In the box

Apple’s Mac mini has always been a barebot machine. We have spent a long time using the ringtone to test Apple’s most powerful mini. and this new model is still only sent with the device itself plus a color-coordinated black power cord. Keyboard, mouse, monitor, all the necessities you need to get yourself.

We also have the usual, started the wizard, which goes through the new ports, and emphasizes the Mac mini connected to a screen that looks badly similar to an updated version of Apple’s long Thunderbolt Display. Apple has plagued a new Pro screen coming next year along with an updated and modular Mac Pro. Perhaps this is our first glance at it?

What You Get

Our review unit has an Intel i3 quad-core processor with a 3.6GHz, 8GB RAM and 128GB PCI-E flash storage. But if you’re so bad, there are i5 and i7 six-core versions, RAM options up to 64GB, and storage up to 2TB flash memory.

There is a wide range of configurations and is perfect for this machine that spans so many different usage scenarios, from a home media server to sitting in bars in a rescue yard.

If you want a maxed out, you’re ready to pay – it costs you over $ 4,200. Our configuration is sold for $ 799.

First impression

First, the Mac mini looks like much of the same. It has the same rigid body, only with a new finish.

Former Mac mini (top) and 2018 Mac mini (bottom)

Apple made a big note that Mac Mini Air, like MacBook Air, is made of 100 percent recycled aluminum . The quality of the metal looks as good as ever, giving a good and minimalistic look.

There is a quartet with Thunderbolt 3 ports, two USB-A ports, additional audio output, Gigabit or 10-Gig Ethernet depending on configuration and HDMI 2.0. The cooling system has been reformed, as well as the outer valve on the back of the machine, which is slightly narrower than the previous four-year model.

2018 Mac mini ports left to right): power, Ethernet, (4x) Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 2.0, (2x) USB 3.0 Type-A, 3.5mm headphone jack

We guess there will be a few tears over the lack of optical audio output , but in the end it will be a problem. For most users, HDMI 2.0 will do a better job and is more flexible than the optical TOSlink connector. It will pass Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio, and none of these can be transmitted over this TOSlink cable.

We chose to pair our new Space Gray Mac mini with Apple’s Space Gray Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Keyboard to complete all-black aesthetics.


Our base model came with 8GB of RAM, but it can go all the way up to 64GB. Given Apple’s cost of memory upgrades, the fact is that the chips are slit and not soldered in the board giant.

This means that a user can actually open the bottom and upgrade the RAM device itself.

Now that mini starts with a 3.6 GHz quad core 8th generation Intel Core i3 processor, it should show a pretty improvement.

Mac min with Space Gray Magic Mouse 2

We drove Geekbench 4 a number of times, an average of 4,769 and 14,202 on the single and multi-core test. It compares well with the Mac mini by the end of 2012 with an i7 processor – the former 2.3GHz multi-core master who pulled 3300 and 11480 on single / multi-core tests.

This also compares very well with the 2014 dual-core 3GHz Core i7 which was the previous single-core champion with respective 3705 and 7062 single and multi-core performance. Both of these tests put the new Mac mini minus before all previous models in the family.

The performance gap gets even bigger as you go up to the six-core i7 processor, which we will talk more about in the future.

For the CineBench R15 we were on average 40 fps on the OpenGL test and a field over 220 on the CPU test.

A maximum amount of mini improvements

Other than upgraded processors and ports, Apple packed in a ton of other enhancements to this year’s Mac mini.

Internally, we have Apple’s T2 security chip that performs a variety of features. Other Mac uses it to run Touch Bar and Touch ID, but Mac mini does not come with a keyboard and so far there is no option that includes these features. So for this machine, the T2 chip is relied on safe backup, disk encryption and hardware-assisted video encoding.

Mac mini with Thunderbolt 3 Akitio Node Lite SSD

We also love that there are as many Thunderbolt 3 ports as many as there is on a MacBook Pro. This opens up so many opportunities from external GPUs to crazy fast SSD storage.

An area that did not see much upgrade is the internal speakers. They exist, but they are not amazing. Especially when the volume rises, they start to sound a bit fuzzy and they really do not have much bass.

Distributed data processing

Once upon a time, Xgrid was, and it was promising, but in reality, finicky as hell and difficult to configure properly. Apple killed it as a discreet product in MacOS 10.8 “Mountain Lion” – but the concept of distributed computer communications lives on.

Apple randomly referred to users who had a stack of them, which resigned from speculation that Apple had some kind of handsome interconnection between machines. But truth is more everyday than it.

Apple’s compressor has the ability to distribute the “embarrassing parallel” multi-media coding task that is connected to a Gigabit Ethernet network, and this is what Apple both talked about on stage and demonstrated in the hands-on area after disclosure. However, currently distributed processing can not be used for jobs sent to Final Cut Pro X or Motion Compressor.

Encoder, however, can take advantage of this stack. Xcode enables distributed buildings, which in theory can quickly compile times on major projects, but your mileage may vary on any of the factors beyond the scope of this review.

A Big Upgrade at a Matching Price [19659005] The new 2018 Mac mini is impressive powerful, even for the entry level model. It’s encouraging to see Apple delivering such a thoughtful upgrade that was desperately needed.

We are sure that there will be a wide range of uses for the new mini, but perhaps not as wide audience as it may be. The price has now risen to $ 799 for the entry level model, an increase of $ 300 compared to the previous one. As a result, fewer people will be able to buy in the new mini.

2018 Mac mini

People who are looking for a basic Mac are fasting the price of the new blower or for the cheaper and very outdated predecessor, at least when it is still available from third-party retailers party.

Mac mini is still the cheapest Mac you can buy and it’s more powerful now than ever. While the “low-end” Mac mini packs a lot of performance in a small box and is a decent value provided you do not need a lot of storage space internally, the ecosystem can use a cheaper one for a $ 499 or $ 599. Appendix 2018 Mac mini is available for pre-order from Apple Authorized Reseller Adorama without sales tax collected on orders shipped outside of New York and New Jersey. Orders are sent first-order, and your shopping cart will not be charged until your Mac mini is ready to ship.

For a full list of offers and product availability from several Apple Authorized Resellers, check out our 2018 Mac Mini Price Guide . And for more information on saving up to $ 310 on Apple’s new hardware at Adorama, check out our Buyer’s Guide .

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