I5 vs i7 mac mini

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.

2018 Mac Mini For Music Production?

In the model, that option is gone. 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. 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.


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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.

What processor does my Mac have inside?

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. 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. Many similarly priced desktops come with a discrete graphics card either standard or as an option. That makes it the go-to for budget buyers. Many people will choose it not because they want the Mac Mini specifically, but because they want MacOS. If you prefer it, go for it. Learning a new operating system is a hassle.

The Mac Mini we tested, with a Core i5 processor, is a simple, intuitive desktop that will satisfy owners for years. However, their design and features aim the NUC line at hardware geeks.

All Mac models

These too are aimed at enthusiasts, not everyday people who just want a computer that works. Availability can be spotty for these brands, too. For most people, the real question is this. Do you need a desktop this small? If you do, the Mac Mini is a good bet.


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Modern desktops often last at least five years, and we doubt the Mac Mini will be any different. The standard one-year warranty is nothing special, but the Apple Store offers a superior service experience should you have a problem. Previous Next. The Mac Mini is the best value in the entire Mac line.

How to choose the best processor for your MacBook, iMac or Mac mini

Highs Compact, simple design Very quiet Excellent processor performance Best-in-class hard drive performance. Lows Terrible game performance MacOS updates are lackluster. DT Editors' Rating 8. Share on Facebook Tweet this Share.

How to Select a Processor Option for Your New Mac - The Mac Observer

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Apple Mac mini (2018) Review: This Little Mac Is Awesome

A lot is riding on the redesign and while I was once confident that the extra time Apple is taking means it is tweaking, fine-tuning, and refining the design, the Mac mini makes me skeptical. The specs are almost secondary to the Mac Pro update—it needs to deliver a completely new experience to make pro users happy.

What if Apple merely tweaks the case and adds a few Thunderbolt 3 ports? There was a time when Apple would blow us away with new Mac updates and set the trend for the whole industry. You can usually find him with his nose buried in a screen. The best way to yell at him is on Twitter. Get the Apple Watch Series 3 at Walmart for the lowest prices ever. What the heck took so long?