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All about the new mini Macs: replaceable RAM, faster SSDs up to 2TB and more

Exactly 1,475 days after the last update, Apple finally launched new Mini macs.

We've obviously talked about the big news in yesterday's post, but now let's break it down so it's clear that everything that's changed in this new generation of Mac is not as cheap as the entire Apple line.

Design

The case of the Mac mini remains the same, 19.7 cm in side and 3.6 cm in height, but its aluminum is now anodized in space gray and not silver. Gives a more "professional" little machine.

New Mac mini front half top

He got a little heavier: from 1.2kg to 1.3kg.

Connectivity

The back of the new Mac mini a little bit different:

  • From two Thunderbolt 2 ports, we move to four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C);
  • From four USB-A ports (3.0), we move to two;
  • We still have a Gigabit Ethernet port, but it can be customized to 10GB;
  • The HDMI port continues, but now 2.0;
  • The 3.5mm headphone output continues, but we lost the microphone input;
  • Apple also removed the slot for SDXC memory cards.

Rear of the new Mac mini

On the wireless side, Wi-Fi remains 802.11ac (aka Wi-Fi 5) and Bluetooth goes from 4.0 to 5.0. The old Mac mini also had an IR receiver for remote controls, which no longer exists in the new one.

Processors

Obviously, the leap in four years had to be big. We have the new 8th generation Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 mini chips, with four or even six cores each.

The base model a Core i3 quad core 3.6GHz with 6MB shared L3 cache, and the flagship Core i7 hexa-core 3.2GHz (Turbo boost 4.6GHz) with 12MB shared L3 cache.

Interior of the new Mac mini (components and parts)

Inside, we also now have the security chip T2.

Graphics

Here is a common / expected upgrade: before we had options for integrated Intel HD 5000 or Iris graphics. Now the UHD Graphics 630 option is up to 60% faster, according to Apple. No dedicated GPU on the mini Macs.

The new generation can output up to two 4K monitors connected via Thunderbolt 3 plus one 4K connected via HDMI 2.0, or up to a 5K monitor connected via Thunderbolt 3 plus and one 4K connected via HDMI 2.0.

Students using Mac mini

RAM

Previously, we had 4GB or 8GB versions of the 1,600MHz LPDDR3 memory and the Mac mini could be configured up to 16GB. Now all models come standard with 8GB and can be configured with 16GB, 32GB or up to 64GB (!) Of 2,666MHz DDR4 memory.

In addition, Apple says they are SO-DIMM memory sticks, meaning the user can open the Mac mini itself and upgrade RAM.

Mac mini RAM can be upgraded after purchase, but Apple strongly recommends that you take it to a certified location or an Apple Store for the procedure.

Storage

Goodbye hard drives! Previously, we had options with 5,400RPM 500GB or 1TB HDDs, configurable for 1TB or 2TB Fusion Drive, or 256GB, 512GB or even 1TB SSD.

Now, all SSD is much faster, by the way (based on PCIe). Standard versions are 128GB or 256GB, but configurable to 512GB, 1TB or up to 2TB. Obviously, these flash memories are soldered to the logic board, so we can't run from the high prices Apple charges for upgrades.

Prices

We have already seen that the prices of mini Macs have gone up a lot in Brazil, but outside the line was also * well * more expensive: before, the most basic model cost $ 500; now part of $ 800.

New Mac mini viewed from above

If you set up the new Mac mini on the stand (3.2GHz Core i7, 64GB RAM, 2TB SSD and 10 Gigabit Ethernet), you will have to spend a trifle in $ 4,200!

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This gives us a clearer view of the new Mac mini. Apart from the price hike, the upgrade was pretty much as expected (ok, it could have gotten a little smaller, will it) and now it's the cheer for the machine to get more frequent updates again.

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