You can use existing accessories or buy new ones, and connecting all of this stuff is dead simple. Connecting a wired keyboard and mouse into any of the USB-A or USB-C ports is the fastest way to get started using the Mac mini, but connecting wireless ones is relatively pain-free as well. I tried connecting various wireless keyboards and mice made by Apple and third-party companies like Logitech and the Mac mini definitely favors Apple's, identifying and connecting to them quicker. At the end of the day, speeds and feeds only tell you so much and what matters most is what you can do with the Mac mini.
In thinking of how to review the Mac mini, I wanted to throw meaningful projects at it and see if it could handle them.
Ultimately, I wanted to do more of the following creative things:. My inch MacBook Pro can handle all of these things okay, but not efficiently. Adobe's Creative Suite apps are known processor and memory hogs so whenever I run these tasks on my laptop I usually have to make sure other apps are closed. I had a hunch the Mac mini could do all of these things separately and maybe two or three of these things at the same time, but not all of them simultaneously.
So it took me by surprise to see my Mac mini — which isn't even the upgraded one with the faster processor equipped with two extra cores — capable of Turbo Boosting, chewing through Final Cut Pro X, Audacity, Photoshop, Lightroom, and Illustrator without so much as a spinning beachball. Not to mention, I also had other non "creation" apps such as FaceTime for video chat during cross-country recording sessions , Messages, Mail, and Chrome with a dozen apps open.
I'm not going to nerd over export times and how much faster an iMac or MacBook Pro with discrete graphics compares because you will see slower exporting and rendering times while video editing on the Mac mini. But it's nothing unusual.
It's by no means the fastest machine for video editing, but it's no stuttering slouch either. The apps you use will also dictate how much you can squeeze out of the hardware. However, if you use Adobe Premiere Rush, you'll find it to be zippier as well. I wasn't sure at first if the Mac mini would be able to crunch through so many things, but after using it, there's no doubt in my mind amateur creators will be able to get a lot of value from the Mac mini.
Creatives who need even more performance should consider the more powerful six-core version or look at the iMac or MacBook Pro or even connecting an external "eGPU" to it.
Inside the Mac mini: CPU, SSD, RAM, T2
The bottom line is: The Mac mini performed better than my somewhat high expectations. In many ways, the Mac mini is the mighty little Mac I wish I had in high school or college. Plus, it's even portable! There were a few days where I carried the Mac mini to and from work in my backpack. Think about that for a second: I carried a desktop in my backpack because it was more capable than any of my personal Macs. Good luck finding many non-custom PCs that are this small.
Excellent as the Mac mini is for editing video, recording podcasts, and graphic design in Photoshop and Illustrator, one thing it completely fails at is gaming. I tried playing Fortnite and at both Medium and High I'm not even asking for Epic graphics settings, and the game barely ran at frames per second, which is far below an acceptable 30 frames per second you'd get from a PC and worlds away from the 60 fps you'd expect to get from a high-end gaming PC. Emulators for playing legally owned ROMS will also work, but I'd hardly consider that desktop gaming. Needless to say, if you're looking at the Mac mini thinking it could help you become the next PewDiePie you're going to be extremely disappointed.
It'll for sure help you create videos, but you'll have to look elsewhere to play and capture game footage.source url
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It's really too bad that the gaming situation hasn't improved on the Mac. It was terrible when the Mac mini was introduced in and it's still awful nearly 15 years later. The Mac mini is never going to be the most popular Mac. Whether you're a designer, musician, coder, or whatever — the Mac mini can handle pretty much everything you need to do. Demanding professionals will always need more power and Apple has machines for them. Developers now often work in the office and at home. This has helped the MacBook Pro become popular for developers.
Portability is another factor then. A disadvantage of the iMac is that is you can end up throwing away a perfectly good monitor because some component of the computer inside has failed.
Everyone is still waiting for Apple to properly update the Mac Pro originally launched with great fanfare in Apple finally recently updated the Mac mini after four years. According to geekbench. It took just 63 seconds to build my app — more than twice as fast. I was stunned. I went for the Mac mini, because it was the cheapest option for me to get an increase in speed. I already had a big screen, keyboard and mouse. The power supply has been enlarged to provide the necessary power to the new components. On the bottom of the Mac mini's aluminum chassis is a black plastic disk, which does double duty as both the foot for the compact PC as well as a cover that opens to provide internal access.
Around the edges of the panel are cleverly concealed vents for air flow, and the simple black surface has "Mac mini" imprinted on it. This access panel has taken different forms over the last few iterations of the mini, with the model offering a simple twist-to-open design and the model requiring a special prying tool literally, a modified putty knife to open. Unfortunately, the model still uses the less convenient design that requires a special tool.
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The Mac mini is being touted as more upgrade-friendly than the previous model, which had its RAM soldered directly to the motherboard. It also means you'll be better able to keep the Mac mini up to date if Apple takes another four-year break before introducing the next model. Accessing the internals of the system is difficult. Apple has a well-deserved reputation for making its products hard to upgrade, and the Mac mini is no exception.
In a discussion with Apple representatives, it was explained that the Mac mini was meant to be "service upgradable" — upgradable by professionals at a Genius Bar or other approved Apple service provider — rather than "user upgradable. The access panel has to be removed with a special tool, likely the same modified putty knife used in the previous model we got a credit card to work. Once you open the access panel you will be faced with a metal grille secured with six Torx screws. Just to make things a little more irritating, a standard Torx driver set is not compatible with these screws, which feature a center pin inside the recessed driver slot of the screw.
So, even if you have a set of tiny Torx drivers, you'll probably need to get a different screwdriver, one with a hole in the center to accommodate that pin. Specifically, you'll need a driver for a TR6 Torx security screw. Additionally, while Apple has returned the upgradable RAM found on the and Mac mini, the upgradable storage is gone. In the model, you could remove the included Fusion drive Apple's hybrid SSD and hard-disk storage solution and replace it with an aftermarket SSD, boosting the performance of the machine and extending the life of the Mac mini — which many people found necessary in the long wait for this year's update.
In the model, that option is gone.
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The PCIe-connected SSD is soldered to the logic board, making the flash storage modules all but impossible to remove and replace. The good news is that, thanks to the bandwidth offered by the Thunderbolt 3 ports found on the rear panel of the system, you can connect external storage — even at jaw-dropping capacities — and use it without taking a hit on performance.
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Similarly, while there's no configuration for the Mac mini that offers a discrete graphics card, you can also bump up the horsepower for gaming and other graphics-intensive uses by adding an external graphics card enclosure , also connected via Thunderbolt 3. Those Thunderbolt 3 ports offer a huge amount of connectivity, thanks to speeds of up to 40Gbps. It's enough to connect two 4K displays, and you can also use an external GPU, not to mention all manner of storage and peripherals.
If you need even more speed for connecting a local network or network-attached storage, the Ethernet port can actually be configured as a 10 Gigabit connection, instead. It's a very cool business-friendly feature that media pros will appreciate, but won't be much use to the average user. And, it wouldn't be Apple without dropping a connection or two.
While you get more connectivity overall with the new Mac mini, you do lose the SDXC card slot from the model. Every configuration of the Mac mini is outfitted with quad-core Intel 8th-generation processors and all flash storage. Apple has been promoting the dramatic improvements in performance from the previous Mac mini, but those claims ring a little hollow when you consider that the last Mac mini update was in , and that the previous system was still rocking fourth-generation dual-core processors. During usage, I saw plenty to like. When web browsing, I could browse with 15 tabs open, while also streaming music and video.
I never experienced any lag. This chip serves as a co-processor, providing secure boot capability and full disk encryption. Apple also boasts that the T2 allows faster video transcoding, claiming up to 30 times faster HEVC video encoding than the model was able to offer. Whenever we test a Mac, we're limited because several of our standard tests are not Mac-OS-compatible. 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.