Yes, I bought a Mac Mini (and here's how I spec'd it out) | ZDNet
Prior versions of the Mac mini were much more difficult to open. Some Mac mini owners used a putty knife or a pizza cutter to pry open the cases of older models to gain access to the interior for installation of cheaper third party memory upgrades. It's also possible to use wires to pull the white plastic bottom case out of the metal top case. They switched to a non-socketed CPU with the model that did not allow an easy upgrade. With the June revision, the case can be readily opened to add RAM except for the Late models.
The Mac mini can be used for home cinema theater applications. The small footprint, multi-format video output, digital audio output, remote control IR receiver and the relatively powerful Intel CPUs make it easy to use the Mac mini as part of a home entertainment system.
Sound is provided by a combination jack that uses both mini- headphone analog and optical fiber cables digital. As of the July revision of the Mac mini, the computer sports an Intel HD graphics processor with an optional Radeon graphics processing unit available and Thunderbolt which makes decoding high-resolution video much quicker and efficient. The current Intel models of Mac mini can display video via the HDMI port at a maximum resolution of x and up to x via the Mini DisplayPort with a compatible monitor.
The chips in these models of Mac mini ran at either 1. This restricts both the maximum amount of available memory, which can greatly reduce performance by forcing the system to page to the hard disk, and, since the system is unable to take advantage of dual channels, maximum bandwidth. The Mac mini G4 uses a single 2. Because of its sealed enclosure, it is not possible to upgrade the hard drive without opening the enclosure and possibly voiding the warranty of the system. The original Mac mini includes two USB 2.
The modem was later omitted from the Mac mini, but an external modem remained an option. External displays are supported via a DVI port. In the last revision of the Mac mini G4, the internal mezzanine board was upgraded to accommodate the AirPort Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology onto one chip. In prior models, the Mac mini included an AirPort Extreme card taped to the mezzanine board and a separate Bluetooth module. Notes: 1 The serial number and specifications sticker on the underside of the latest revision do not carry the actual specs of the upgrade.
For example, on a 1. The product packaging also did not reflect the upgrade.
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Apple did not revise the official specifications on their web site. As of Mac OS X The specifications below are from Apple's "tech specs" page,  except where noted. The current [ clarification needed ] non-server Mac mini is available in two versions, one with a mobile dual-core bit Intel Core i5 processor that runs at 2. The and Mac mini models that come standard with a bit Intel Core Solo processor can be changed to an Intel bit Core 2 Duo processor through a simple upgrade.
- Removed features and Intel's convoluted CPU lineup make the Mini less versatile.;
- Price and availability;
- Apple Mac Mini with Fusion Drive review: A strong, new Mac Mini, with or without Fusion - CNET.
The following processors are compatible: 2. The more recent and later Mac mini models have the processors soldered onto the logic board and thus are not upgradable. Geekbench scores have shown that the 2. While the Mac mini G4 contained a separate graphics processor, all revisions of the Intel-based Mac mini contain integrated GPUs, except in the version where the 2.
Unlike the Mac mini G4, the Intel-based Mac mini uses a dual-channel architecture for memory. While all versions of the Mac mini up to and including the revision supports user upgradeable memory after purchase, the model does not,  because the memory is soldered to the logic board. Since the integrated graphics processor does not have its own dedicated memory, the system shares some of the main system memory with it. All models continue to use 2. A Combo drive was initially offered as standard, with the SuperDrive being an option, but through the models, all models that have an optical drive contain the SuperDrive as standard.
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Networking is supported with a built-in Gigabit Ethernet port and an integrated Bluetooth was also made standard. External displays are supported through a DVI port. A fifth USB 2. The AirPort card was upgraded to Bluetooth was also upgraded from 2. As of this revision, the Apple Remote is no longer included with the Mac mini. The Mac mini model gave access to 3 different USB busses on the back. Upgradable up to an Intel Core 2 Duo 2. Starting from the mid revision, there is a removable panel on the bottom, enabling the user to upgrade the RAM.
The new Mac mini has an all-aluminium enclosure, called unibody. The unibody manufacturing process was originally developed for the MacBook Air  and later also used in the MacBook and MacBook Pro , and the iMac before being introduced into the Mac mini range. The built-in power supply negates the need for an external power supply "brick" used on earlier models. There have been other changes in the revision. They include the elimination of the Kensington Security Slot ,  as well as the optical drive. While the fifth USB 2. Mac mini models released in late used dual-core processors, which perform worse in multi-threaded workloads compared to the quad-core processors from the model.
Meanwhile, single-threaded workload performance increased. PCIe-based flash storage is standard with no option of a hard disk drive.
Just like that, your Mac is a powerful server.
The chassis is mostly a carryover from the previous generation, measuring the same dimensions, though is only available in a darker "space gray" finish. Memory can again be replaced, unlike the models that soldered it to the logic board. Apple has offered a Server configuration of the Mac mini. Later on, Apple released the OS X Server packaged app as a single purchase from the Mac App Store , containing all the separate components apps, so that any model of Mac computer could download and use them.
The Mid Server model was initially the only Mac mini to entirely remove the optical drive, replacing it with a second hard drive in its place. However, from the Mid models onwards, all models of Mac mini had the optical drive removed. The Mac mini Server hardware was discontinued with the Late model.
Apple states that 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. Alternatives for Mac users include running Linux or Windows virtualized, or installing third-party Unix packages via open source package managers such as Conda, Fink, Homebrew, MacPorts, Nix, pkgsrc, and Rudix . The only services remaining in macOS Server 5.
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October 30, Years ago, the cloud virtualization company had a business built around people who would rent out virtual access to a small number of machines, generally running the Mac Mini architecture. But when it started offering that service—generally intended for remote access needs—something surprising happened. Most of our customers would have one or two.
Years and years ago, we had employees driving around to all Apple stores in the Southeast to buy enough Minis to fill that order. It became clear that, despite not being designed for a server environment, there was demand for a company to sell virtualized Macs that can scale up in the same ways that Linux or Windows servers can.
And in the years since, MacStadium has built much of its own architecture to maximize the reach of this gear, including patented server-centric mounting hardware. And the Mac Pro, being far smaller than the computer it replaced and therefore easier to fit in a server rack, played into the interests of MacStadium and some of its big-name users, including the email firm Litmus and the software-testing platform Travis CI. Both of these companies make tools that require access to a lot of machines at once for testing purposes—Litmus for presenting examples of how an email message shows up in Mac-based web browsers or email clients, Travis CI for compilation needs.
The most surprising part about the Mac Pro in the server room? The numerous IO ports, when used together, allow MacStadium to create a cluster of machines that can talk to one another and work in tandem. MacStadium says it buys hundreds of Mac Pros a month, even in as the platform grows increasingly out of date. The demand among developers who have to compile a lot of code for their iOS apps is just that high.
The very things that made the Mac Pro a bad bet for its intended consumer base of workstation users—the decision to offload upgradability externally and the dead-end proprietary graphics setup—made it perfect for the server room, where these things were more important and less important, respectively. Heck, it even has hardware, including Xeon processors and ECC error-correcting code memory, more commonly used in server rooms than on desktops. Really, the only thing that could make the Mac Pro better for MacStadium is if they were cheaper—as the firm generally buys its machines new, which means the company has a fairly close relationship with Apple.
That buying strategy is likely to continue. And the Mac Pro is already showing signs that it could find a new role: That of a potential bargain, given its specs. And if you look long enough, you can find a 4-core model, which Apple stopped selling in , for even less. Last fall, Peter von Panda, a YouTuber who specializes in product reviews of offbeat items such as an electric chainsaw , an Eagle Scout folding knife , and a bluetooth karaoke speaker , figured this out on his own.
He admits to being interested in technology, though perhaps not as familiar with the ins and outs of specs as someone who might build their own computer.