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
3.6 GHz
6 MB L3
Intel Core i5
3.0/4.1 GHz
9 MB L3
Intel Core i7
3.2/4.6 GHz
12 MB L3
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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  • 8steve8 - Wednesday, October 31, 2018 - link

    65W CPU? 45W? 95W?
  • AdditionalPylons - Wednesday, October 31, 2018 - link

    The hexa-core variants are likely i5-8500B and i7-8700B, so 65W according to Intel ARK. (B as in BGA, for soldered Ball Grid Array version.)
    Not sure about the i3 though. I don't see any BGA SKU of that, but it might be Apple gets a special one from Intel, like what happened in the 2018 rMBP 13.
  • TheinsanegamerN - Wednesday, October 31, 2018 - link

    So more CPU cores and RAM, less GPU performance, and an even higher pricetag.

    Meh. Apple tax is getting way too high to recommend anything they make these days.
  • lilmoe - Wednesday, October 31, 2018 - link

    I was looking forward to a Core i5 with 16GB RAM and 256GB of storage to get started with Swift.
    Is it really that hard for these guys to offer anything of actual value to people who're not iSheep??

    Like WTF. I'm NOT going to pay workstation prices for what is considered a STARTER configuration for development.
  • Zdigital2017 - Wednesday, October 31, 2018 - link

    You consider $1299 USD workstation pricing?
  • lmcd - Thursday, November 1, 2018 - link

    Entry level desktop is 600. 16 GB RAM and 256 Storage should thus be around 800-900.
  • nerd1 - Thursday, November 1, 2018 - link

    You can build a 2700X and 1700 in tiny ITX case for $1200. That's as powerful as an iMac Pro, so $1299 is definitely "workstation pricing"
  • MiBi - Friday, November 2, 2018 - link

    So just because some people care more about the features actually offered and hold the prices against expected downtime (less) and resale value, then you must offend this group? I have no respect for that.
  • corinthos - Saturday, November 3, 2018 - link

    Hackintoshed yourself an 8700k 6core system using gigabyte Mobo. Start dwift Dev. Enjoy.
  • hardwickj - Thursday, November 1, 2018 - link

    Very curious about those SO-DIMM's. For a max upgrade that will require 32GB modules, which are not common. Samsung is the only one I know that has them available ( but those are ECC registered.

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