However, in the tests we were able to run, we saw some excellent performance from the Core i3 Mac mini. File transfer speeds were fast enough that I did a double take. I took 2 seconds to copy over our 4.
In fact, it's identical to another member of the Mac family, the workstation iMac Pro, which had the same 2 second, 2, MBps speeds. Processing performance was nowhere near as dramatic, but it's still fairly impressive coming from an Intel Core i3 CPU. In Geekbench 4, the Mac Mini managed a score of 13, points. Running the JetStream 1. That's phenomenal for a Core i3-based system. If you plan to use the Mac mini as a home theater PC for streaming to a TV, or as a basic productivity machine that uses web apps heavily, you'll be set with one of the best mini PCs on the market, even in this basic configuration.
I was wrong. Even after I streamed video, ran benchmark tests and used the system to work on this review, the Mac mini never got warmer than 85 degrees Fahrenheit, which is only 15 degrees above the room temperature of our lab. That's barely enough heat for it to feel warm to the touch. It's well below the degree comfort threshold we hold laptops to, and it's significantly cooler than the HP Z2 Mini G4 94 degrees.
Compared with smaller, less powerful mini PCs, like the Zotac Zbox PI pico, which hit degrees during testing, and there's no comparison. The Mac mini is one cool customer.
Here's what you need to know before buying a Mac Mini
Even after I streamed video, ran benchmark tests, and used the system to work on this review, the Mac mini never got warmer than 85 degrees. It's also quiet. The Mac mini's larger fan lets it run slowly and silently, while still providing enough airflow for cooling. That's good news for audio pros and home-theater users alike, since it means you won't have to contend with a noisy computer when you're trying to get clear audio.
The Mac mini ships with macOS version See our full review of Mac OS Mojave for a more detailed look at the operating system, but suffice it to say, it's a decent step forward for the much loved Mac OS. You'll also get Siri, but without the built-in microphones found on other Macs, you won't be able to use the "Hey, Siri" functionality you may be used to from other Apple devices.
The Mac mini is covered with a one-year warranty, which includes hardware repairs through authorized Apple service providers. Included with the new Mac is 90 days of free phone support. With our top rating for tech support , it's hard to complain. You can also get AppleCare for an extended three-year warranty, which gives you both repair service and technical support. But it should be noted that, if the previous model is any indicator, those three years of coverage may not stretch far enough to keep you covered until a new model comes along.
If you bought a Mac mini in the first few months after release, you would also have spent up to a year with no warranty coverage while waiting for this model to be announced.
$ Mac mini review: Testing the GHz quad-core Core i3 | Macworld
While the Mac mini is generally sold on its own — the package contents are literally the Mac mini, a power cord and some documentation — Apple included with our test unit the space- gray keyboard and trackpad. It's no mechanical keyboard, but it's still comfortable to type on.
This lets you enjoy all of the unique contextual menus and expanded functionality that you'd get on a Macbook in the desktop environment. It's a must-have for media creators who need all of the tools and shortcuts that take advantage of Force Touch, but it's worth considering even for the regular user who might be used to those same dynamic controls from their Macbook Pro. The Mac mini comes in two primary configurations. Our test unit is the base model, which is equipped with a quad-core 3.
You can, however, connect an external GPU via the Thunderbolt 3 connections in back. You can bump up the storage to larger capacities, with several SSD options. Our recommendation? Unless you need it, you can skip the Ethernet upgrade, but you'll want to be smart when it comes to memory and storage.
When in doubt, keep the memory low, and upgrade later. Storage, on the other hand, cannot be upgraded, but can be supplemented via Thunderbolt 3. We'd recommend getting a healthy amount of onboard storage GB would be a good amount , and then adding external storage down the road.
We'd probably opt for the Core i5 processor option instead of the Core i3 we tested, if only to provide more power. But if you need real muscle for professional use, the hex-core Core i7 is your best bet.
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A note for the technically minded: The Core i3 model that we tested doesn't offer either Turbo Boost of Hyper-Threading technology. If you upgrade to a Core i5 model, you'll get Turbo Boost, which lets the clock speed ramp up for short bursts. If you opt for the Core i7 model, you'll get both Turbo Boost and Hyper-Threading for more multithread capability.
One major benefit of Apple's four-year gap between updates is that there's no confusion about the new Mac mini — it's better than any of its predecessors. And if you've been looking for a chance to upgrade from an older model, there's no reason to wait. It's also much more versatile, with a wide range of configurations that should appeal to home-theater users and media pros alike.
And Apple has trumpeted the Mac mini's flexibility for things like building computing clusters, offloading code compiling from a Macbook, or even racking multiple minis together as a server. Comparing against other mini PCs, the Mac mini also manages to squeeze exceptional power out of its Intel Core i3 processor, and I'd expect similarly optimized performance from the Core i5 and i7 models.
That said, there are plenty of reasons to choose something different. Tom's Guide. Editor's Choice. Our Verdict The Apple Mac mini model is finally back, and it's better than ever, with a new look, rock-solid performance, and even a bit of upgradability. Against Limited upgradability Very limited internal access Can get pricey.
Also: No, Apple hasn't activated a secret Mac repair kill switch -- yet.
Apple Mac mini
The bottom of the new Mac Mini has a circular foot that holds the unit off the table or desk a tiny bit. For those unaware, the Mac Mini is sold as a standalone product. Inside the box is the Mini itself and the power cable; that's it. You'll need to supply your own keyboard, mouse, trackpad, and display. But you can connect whatever accessories you want. Prefer a mechanical keyboard from Razer, an Amazon Basics mouse, and a p display? No problem. That's part of the appeal to the Mac Mini. It can be as expensive of a setup, accessory wise, as you want. Or it can be overly simple, and that's just fine, too.
Users can upgrade to a 3. I ran benchmarking software Geekbench 4 a few times. The Mac Mini averaged a single-core score of 4, and a multi-core score of 14, What do those numbers mean? Well, those results put the base model on par with a iMac equipped with an Intel Core i After plugging in a monitor and connecting the keyboard and trackpad Apple included in my review kit, I've used the Mini as my main computer for roughly four days. I tasked it with writing this review, editing some photos, streaming music, and editing a bit of video more on that below.
I used it for all the things one would normally use a computer for, especially one that's for work and personal use. As the Mini handily went from task to task, without any hangups or issues, I kept waiting for the fan to kick on. Even as I was exporting a video, streaming a YouTube video , and reading through my Twitter timeline, I realized I was yet to hear the fans. I felt the top of the Mini, and it was warm. So turned off all audio, and leaned really close to the enclosure.
Only then could I hear the whirr of the fans. They are stunningly quiet, which was something the company strived for. Often times, the Mini is used in music studios or on film sets where loud fans aren't welcome. The internal speakers on the Mac Mini aren't very loud. If you're going to use this device to stream music or watch a lot of videos, I would suggest picking up some external speakers or headphones.
The internal speakers are designed for minimal use. Think system alerts and the occasional song. Ideally, the base model would forgo GB of storage. Most users can get away with half that amount on phones and tablets, but in a computer, GB isn't enough. I haven't installed everything I have on my iMac, because eventually, the Mini has to go back to Apple, and because I currently have about GB of storage in use.
The Mac Mini should start at GB of storage, and allow the user to upgrade from there. The Mac Mini uses Apple's new T2 Security Chip for secure boot, encrypted storage, and tasks such as system management controller, audio controller, and the SSD controller. Even though I've been testing the base model Mini for the past few days, I'm somewhat mesmerized by the device.
I had always viewed the Mac Mini as a device that's better designed for use as a home server or a really powerful Raspberry Pi. As my workload has gone back and forth between having to edit and render videos or spend a lot of time in Photoshop editing photos, I assumed the Mac Mini just wasn't capable of keeping up. And several years ago, I was probably right.
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The Mini was a solid computer, but not one for resource-intensive tasks. With this year's update and my own rudimentary tests, I have little doubt the Mac Mini is more than capable of keeping up with my workload, and more intense workloads. I downloaded a handful of videos, imported them into an iMovie project where I spliced, added effects, transitions, and even some slow-motion magic, and then exported my quick creation.
The first video was around two minutes in length and exported at full p with best quality rendering in 1 minute and 20 seconds. I then lengthened the clip to over 17 minutes and exported with the highest settings possible, and it was done in just over 10 minutes, with a file size of That process took five minutes. Indeed, using more in-depth programs like Final Cut Pro or Logic Pro would push the system a lot harder than I did, but my experience has left me impressed. With four Thunderbolt 3 ports, with which you can connect monitors, external GPUs, external hard drives, and a myriad of other peripherals that take advantage of a high-speed connection, and the option to upgrade to a 10GB Ethernet connection, which can be used to share the workload across multiple Mac Minis, it's hard to imagine that a professional photographer, video editor, or developer would be left feeling underwhelmed by the Mac Mini.
It's not just built for now, but built for use well into the future. Pro users often appreciate the upgradeability of computers, whether it's adding storage or more memory. Although the process of getting into the Mini, and doing it yourself isn't going to be easy. When I asked Apple about user upgrades, I was told the company views the Mini as a service upgradeable device -- meaning users should use a certified technician or Apple itself for any upgrades.
That said, I would suggest waiting to see how difficult the upgrade is going to be once iFixit publishes its teardown and then decide which path you want to take. Nevertheless, the option is technically there.