First look at the new space gray 2018 Mac mini

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited November 2018
After a four year gap, the updated Mac mini is here, and it is a powerful and versatile machine. AppleInsider got to spend some time with it and while it looks similar, it shows vast improvements over even the vaunted 2012 model.

Mac mini 2018
2018 Mac mini


Apple retained the rounded square exterior of the Mac mini, including the user-accessible bottom and a lineup of ports on the back. Mac mini's small but vocal user base was clearly heard as Apple took a lot of their considerations to heart. Memory consists of two user-upgradable SO-DIMM slots and the flat body design makes it a great choice for server farms.

Mac mini server
Mac mini stack


On the back we found several Thunderbolt 3 ports, HDMI, USB-A, audio out, and a Gigabit Ethernet port that can be upgraded at purchase to a 10-gig port.. What we found most impressive was a stack of five Mac Minis, connected over Ethernet, running tasks assigned by Final Cut, Logic, and Xcode while the primary machine carried on with its normal tasks.






We love the space gray body, but Apple maybe should have called it the Mac mini Pro to go with the Space Gray iMac Pro. The body, made from a proprietary recycled aluminum, looks the same as any other Apple aluminum other than the color as far as we could tell.

The real test of the Mac Mini is how it does in performance and that is something we could only scratch the surface on in Apple's demo area. We'll have the machines in our lab soon to put them to the test to see how they actually line up.

Apple's new 2018 Mac Mini is available to order starting today starting at $799.

Keep up with AppleInsider by downloading the AppleInsider app for iOS, and follow us on YouTube, Twitter @appleinsider and Facebook for live, late-breaking coverage. You can also check out our official Instagram account for exclusive photos.
Rayz2016
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 62
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,862member
    This review should be most interesting!   This isn’t the Mini I was hoping for but it is one impressive upgrade.   Now I just need to struggle with which is more desirable, the Mini or a new iPad Pro!    
  • Reply 2 of 62
    it is absolutely unbelievable what Apple charges for these things. The base model is $799 and only comes with an I3 processor, 8 GB RAM, and a 128 SSD drive. Want to upgrade to 256 GB? That'll be $200...the cost of a 1TB SSD on Amazon. 

    Ridiculous. 
    dysamorialaytechwilliamlondon
  • Reply 3 of 62
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,872administrator
    tylersdad said:
    it is absolutely unbelievable what Apple charges for these things. The base model is $799 and only comes with an I3 processor, 8 GB RAM, and a 128 SSD drive. Want to upgrade to 256 GB? That'll be $200...the cost of a 1TB SSD on Amazon. 

    Ridiculous. 
    Those SSDs aren't even close to equivalent in performance. The $200 1TB SSD is 1/6 the speed of the Apple drive. 

    I get where you're coming from, but compare like with like.
    StrangeDaysequality72521dysamoriadavenjeffharrisSpamSandwichcgWerksracerhomie3newBelieverwilliamlondon
  • Reply 4 of 62
    tylersdad said:
    it is absolutely unbelievable what Apple charges for these things. The base model is $799 and only comes with an I3 processor, 8 GB RAM, and a 128 SSD drive. Want to upgrade to 256 GB? That'll be $200...the cost of a 1TB SSD on Amazon. 

    Ridiculous. 
    Those SSDs aren't even close to equivalent in performance. The $200 1TB SSD is 1/6 the speed of the Apple drive. 

    I get where you're coming from, but compare like with like.
    What are the specs for the Apple drives? I have a really hard time believing that. Even the Samsung 860 SSD Pro (one of the fastest tested on Tom's Hardware) is only $300 for a 1TB. The best performing budget SSD is half the performance of the Samsung 860 Pro and costs $83 for a 500 GB version. There's no way the Apple SSDs perform 6x better than these lower priced SSDs. It's not possible.

    https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-ssds,3891.html
    williamlondon
  • Reply 5 of 62
    Seriously!  A fully configured Mac Mini without keyboard, mouse and monitor is over $4299!

    for what?  I7 6 core, with 64gb ram and a 1.5tb SSD.   That’s a $1800 PC.  Come on apple.  Get real.  
    tylersdadentropyscaladanianwilliamlondon
  • Reply 6 of 62
    tylersdad said:
    it is absolutely unbelievable what Apple charges for these things. The base model is $799 and only comes with an I3 processor, 8 GB RAM, and a 128 SSD drive. Want to upgrade to 256 GB? That'll be $200...the cost of a 1TB SSD on Amazon. 

    Ridiculous. 
    Those SSDs aren't even close to equivalent in performance. The $200 1TB SSD is 1/6 the speed of the Apple drive. 

    I get where you're coming from, but compare like with like.
    Here's an apples-to-apples comparison. This is a PCIe SSD drive. One of the fastest available. It's $200 for 512 GB.

    https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-970-PRO-Internal-MZ-V7P1T0BW/dp/B07C8Y31G2?tag=bom_tomshardware-20&ascsubtag=THUS80801540935735229-thaus:en_US_18_Review_3891&SubscriptionId=AKIAJLYKPRLXUSF4GDIQ&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&th=1
    dysamoriaracerhomie3
  • Reply 7 of 62
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,531member
    Price is my main concern, too. The starting price in Canada is $999. Not exactly a budget computer price, where the Mac mini originally filled a gap. Now it's been pushed into Pro space.

    I'm curious about the "Mac Stack" configuration. They dropped support for Xgrid, so what grid computing technology is in use here? Nobody is saying anything about this. It's exactly what I want.... a modular Mac solution. Don't replace entirely, but supplement with more compute modules.
    dysamoriacaladanianseanjargonaut
  • Reply 8 of 62
    toxicman said:
    Seriously!  A fully configured Mac Mini without keyboard, mouse and monitor is over $4299!

    for what?  I7 6 core, with 64gb ram and a 1.5tb SSD.   That’s a $1800 PC.  Come on apple.  Get real.  
    Who’s forcing you to order the maxed-out top-tier machine? Are you OK? Do you need help?

    Oh, you’re just whining about price. Would it make you feel better if Apple didn’t offer that top-tier? If everyone of all income-levels had to buy the same exact lower-tier machine? Would that make it better?
    edited October 2018 equality72521mwhitejeffharriswelshdogracerhomie3williamlondonrandominternetperson
  • Reply 9 of 62
    At those prices, the Mini will go they way of the Cube. Then Apple will claim that there was no interest... Um, duh!
    tylersdaddysamoriawilliamlondonlenn
  • Reply 10 of 62
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,872administrator
    Price is my main concern, too. The starting price in Canada is $999. Not exactly a budget computer price, where the Mac mini originally filled a gap. Now it's been pushed into Pro space.

    I'm curious about the "Mac Stack" configuration. They dropped support for Xgrid, so what grid computing technology is in use here? Nobody is saying anything about this. It's exactly what I want.... a modular Mac solution. Don't replace entirely, but supplement with more compute modules.
    This is not a fancy interconnect or something. This is software distribution of rendering tasks across multiple machines for embarrassingly parallel tasks.
  • Reply 11 of 62
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,850member
    Priced to ensure it isn’t a big seller.  Cook’s Apple sees iPad as the future.
    lenn
  • Reply 12 of 62
    toxicman said:
    Seriously!  A fully configured Mac Mini without keyboard, mouse and monitor is over $4299!

    for what?  I7 6 core, with 64gb ram and a 1.5tb SSD.   That’s a $1800 PC.  Come on apple.  Get real.  
    Who’s forcing you to order the maxed-out top-tier machine? Are you OK? Do you need help?

    Oh, you’re just whining about price. Would it make you feel better if Apple didn’t offer that top-tier? If everyone of all income-levels had to buy the same exact lower-tier machine? Would that make it better?
    Even the lower spec'd machines are ridiculously overpriced. I guess some people don't mind paying for "awesome engineering as a feature". Count me out. The value proposition just isn't there. And don't give me that crap about Apple using more awesomer components than every other computer manufacturer. They source the same parts as every other manufacturer. They don't get better Intel I3 chips. They don't get better RAM. They don't get better hard drives. 

    dysamoriawilliamlondon
  • Reply 13 of 62
    mwhitemwhite Posts: 205member
    tylersdad said:
    toxicman said:
    Seriously!  A fully configured Mac Mini without keyboard, mouse and monitor is over $4299!

    for what?  I7 6 core, with 64gb ram and a 1.5tb SSD.   That’s a $1800 PC.  Come on apple.  Get real.  
    Who’s forcing you to order the maxed-out top-tier machine? Are you OK? Do you need help?

    Oh, you’re just whining about price. Would it make you feel better if Apple didn’t offer that top-tier? If everyone of all income-levels had to buy the same exact lower-tier machine? Would that make it better?
    Even the lower spec'd machines are ridiculously overpriced. I guess some people don't mind paying for "awesome engineering as a feature". Count me out. The value proposition just isn't there. And don't give me that crap about Apple using more awesomer components than every other computer manufacturer. They source the same parts as every other manufacturer. They don't get better Intel I3 chips. They don't get better RAM. They don't get better hard drives. 

    Good hit the road jack and don't you come back no more no more......
    jeffharrisracerhomie3williamlondonrandominternetpersonStrangeDays
  • Reply 14 of 62
    tylersdad said:
    toxicman said:
    Seriously!  A fully configured Mac Mini without keyboard, mouse and monitor is over $4299!

    for what?  I7 6 core, with 64gb ram and a 1.5tb SSD.   That’s a $1800 PC.  Come on apple.  Get real.  
    Who’s forcing you to order the maxed-out top-tier machine? Are you OK? Do you need help?

    Oh, you’re just whining about price. Would it make you feel better if Apple didn’t offer that top-tier? If everyone of all income-levels had to buy the same exact lower-tier machine? Would that make it better?
    Even the lower spec'd machines are ridiculously overpriced. I guess some people don't mind paying for "awesome engineering as a feature". Count me out. The value proposition just isn't there. And don't give me that crap about Apple using more awesomer components than every other computer manufacturer. They source the same parts as every other manufacturer. They don't get better Intel I3 chips. They don't get better RAM. They don't get better hard drives. 

    We get it: Apple isn’t for you. Lots of other options out there. Have fun. 
    davenjeffharrisSpamSandwichracerhomie3williamlondonStrangeDays
  • Reply 15 of 62
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,850member
    highest specced out Mac mini, once you also get a display, keyboard etc is into iMac Pro price territory, all because of the disgusting price Apple charges for RAM and storage upgrades. And that isn’t for a 5K display.

    This would not be makiing me so disappointed if Apple had made the SSD to be user upgradable like the RAM.
    edited October 2018 dysamoriacaladanianwilliamlondon
  • Reply 16 of 62
    aegeanaegean Posts: 114member
    Price is definitely high. Anyone knows if audio out port on this new Mini is also digital out?
    dysamoria
  • Reply 17 of 62
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,764member
    tylersdad said:
    toxicman said:
    Seriously!  A fully configured Mac Mini without keyboard, mouse and monitor is over $4299!

    for what?  I7 6 core, with 64gb ram and a 1.5tb SSD.   That’s a $1800 PC.  Come on apple.  Get real.  
    Who’s forcing you to order the maxed-out top-tier machine? Are you OK? Do you need help?

    Oh, you’re just whining about price. Would it make you feel better if Apple didn’t offer that top-tier? If everyone of all income-levels had to buy the same exact lower-tier machine? Would that make it better?
    Even the lower spec'd machines are ridiculously overpriced. I guess some people don't mind paying for "awesome engineering as a feature". Count me out. The value proposition just isn't there. And don't give me that crap about Apple using more awesomer components than every other computer manufacturer. They source the same parts as every other manufacturer. They don't get better Intel I3 chips. They don't get better RAM. They don't get better hard drives. 

    And so it begins … 🤣
    seanjwilliamlondon
  • Reply 18 of 62
    majorslmajorsl Posts: 119unconfirmed, member
    Rayz2016 said:
    tylersdad said:
    toxicman said:
    Seriously!  A fully configured Mac Mini without keyboard, mouse and monitor is over $4299!

    for what?  I7 6 core, with 64gb ram and a 1.5tb SSD.   That’s a $1800 PC.  Come on apple.  Get real.  
    Who’s forcing you to order the maxed-out top-tier machine? Are you OK? Do you need help?

    Oh, you’re just whining about price. Would it make you feel better if Apple didn’t offer that top-tier? If everyone of all income-levels had to buy the same exact lower-tier machine? Would that make it better?
    Even the lower spec'd machines are ridiculously overpriced. I guess some people don't mind paying for "awesome engineering as a feature". Count me out. The value proposition just isn't there. And don't give me that crap about Apple using more awesomer components than every other computer manufacturer. They source the same parts as every other manufacturer. They don't get better Intel I3 chips. They don't get better RAM. They don't get better hard drives. 

    And so it begins … 🤣
    And how is he wrong? That observation is spot on, regardless of Mac model.
    tylersdadwilliamlondonmilleron
  • Reply 19 of 62
    hentaiboyhentaiboy Posts: 1,015member
    Mac Mini Base Price at Launch

    Mid-2010 $699
    Mid-2011 $599
    Late 2012 $599
    Late 2014 $499
    Late 2018 $799

    Perhaps Apple should have called it a Pro...
    edited October 2018
  • Reply 20 of 62
    I'm not sure why everybody complains about Mac RAM prices as if it's the first time they see that Apple RAM prices are high.  They've only been pricing RAM this way for 30 years.  At least they gave us an option this time of Bring-Your-Own-DRAM this time.  Try to feel fortunate for that.

    Yes, it's not the $500 machine it used to be but neither is the perceived customer base.  Originally this was a machine for switchers who got to keep their monitor, keyboard and mouse.  This machine is for power users (including the SOHO and home theater crowd), creatives who need something other than a laptop, developers and server farm companies.  That's what Apple is marketing this machine to.  Apple is going to sell 20 times more MacBook Airs than this machine in the first three months.  A general purpose machine is not why it exists.

    And yes, the easiest comparison is the Intel NUC machines which have grown popular among hobbyists and for specialized tasks. It's easy to find a stripper box for $300 that has a CPU, no RAM, storage and only a couple of USB 3 ports.  But if you want something similar, I found an Intel NUC with a quad core Core i7, 8 gigs of RAM, 256 GB of SSD and Thunderbolt 3.  All this for $850.  But the Intel chip is 6th gen, not 8th gen.  So you can't get a 6 core processor (at least not yet) and no 10GB ethernet yet.
    macplusplusSpamSandwichwelshdogcgWerkssailorpaultaddracerhomie3randominternetpersonkingofsomewherehot
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