Mac mini 2018 – a detailed review, features, price

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A detailed review of Mac mini 2018.

In 2018, Apple finally decided to update its most affordable computer – Mac mini. The new mini-PC from Apple came out as much as four years after the start of sales of the previous model, which during this time is hopelessly outdated. But as it turned out, Apple is in control. Mac mini 2018, modern, just as compact and inexpensive by Apple standards, came out! In this review, we talked in detail about the Mac mini 2018 and the impressions of using the Apple mini-computer.

Mac mini 2018

Equipment

Computers from the Mac mini line have never been famous for a wide bundle. In the case of the Mac mini 2018, Apple decided not to make any exceptions. The device comes with no additional accessories. There is only Mac mini and power cable in the box. Keyboard, mouse, display and everything that you may need to work will have to be bought separately.

In addition, the package has a completely normal user guide, which indicates the features of the new Mac mini. Nothing else.

First impressions

Mac mini 2018 looks about the same as the four-year-old model. The difference is noticeable only in small details – a slightly modified form of the body and slightly larger rounded corners. But if you put two Mac mini next to it – old and new – then it will be problematic to distinguish computers from each other. On the other hand, Apple didn’t have to seriously rework the design of the Mac mini. The computer looks stylish, modern and traditionally minimalist.

Mac mini 2018

The main changes on the body of the new Mac mini are in the connectors, which is much more important than the appearance. On the back of the computer case there are four Thunderbolt 3 connectors, two USB-A ports, a 3.5 mm audio output, an Ethernet port and HDMI 2.0. Such a wide range of connectors will be enough even for the most demanding users.

Mac mini 2018

Overall, the Mac mini 2018 makes a great first impression. Those who have never used Mac mini will be surprised by the compactness of the case – dimensions are only 19.7 × 19.7 × 3.6 cm. Users familiar with the ruler will definitely mark an impressive set of connectors. In the past couple of years, Apple has been killing connectors to the right and left, including computers. In the Mac mini 2018, the company did not sacrifice this to a new design or ultra-thin body. None of this is needed here.

Mac mini 2018 specifications

Mac mini 2018 is available in two basic configurations. The basic less expensive version is equipped with a quad-core Intel Core i3 processor with a clock frequency of 3.6 GHz (6 MB of cache memory), 8 GB DDR4 RAM with a frequency of 2666 MHz and 128 GB flash drive. This is the model that came to us for review.

A more powerful and expensive version of Mac mini 2018 has a six-core Intel Core i5 processor with a frequency of 3 GHz and Turbo Boost acceleration up to 4.1 GHz (9 MB of cache), the same 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB flash drive. Both computer models have an identical video card – Intel UHD Graphics 630.

It is important to note here that these particular Mac mini 2018 models are sold on the Russian market. For the United States and several other countries in the world, Apple offered the possibility of collecting “custom” computer assemblies. If you wish, you can put an Intel Core i7 processor in such a small box, up to 64 GB of RAM and as much as 2 TB of flash memory! Of course, paying for such technical improvements will have to be much more expensive. In the maximum maximum configuration, Mac mini will cost the buyer more than $ 4,200 or nearly 300 thousand rubles!

Even in the basic configuration with an Intel Core i3 processor and 8 GB of RAM, the new Mac mini is ideal for a working machine. The performance of the eighth generation Intel chip is enough to perform any tasks. Do you want to use your Mac mini as a regular home computer, create your own media server with it, or do video processing. Power “iron” will be more than enough.

Upgradeable

We had a base model Mac mini 2018 with 8 GB of RAM on the review. Several days of active use of the computer have shown that this volume is enough for all our routine tasks. But what if the “RAM” suddenly ceases to be enough? Buy a new Mac mini?

And no! In the Mac Mini 2018, the company showed an unexpected generosity and allowed users to update the computer in an extremely simple way. If desired, the bottom case cover can be unscrewed and accessed to the RAM slots. In this regard, updating the computer is not difficult and, best of all, it doesn’t really hit the spot.

Moreover, Apple does not prevent Mac mini 2018 owners from upgrading their computers themselves. If you install more RAM in your Mac, this does not invalidate the warranty on the computer. But it is important to know that if you change the original module of RAM from Apple, then it should be saved – it will be needed in order to contact Apple for warranty help if necessary.

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to install a larger flash drive in the new Mac mini 2018.

Performance testing

Apple fans around the world have been waiting for a Mac mini 2018 update, primarily because the previous model is hopelessly outdated in terms of specifications. The new Mac mini is fine in terms of “stuffing”, even when it comes to the base model with a fourth-generation Intel Core i3 quad-core processor with a frequency of 3.6 GHz.

In a series of tests in the Geekbench 4 benchmark, the new Mac mini scored an average of 4,765 points in a single-core and 14,195 points in multi-core mode. For comparison, the most powerful Mac mini 2012 with an Intel Core i7 processor scored 30% less in similar testing. There was a significant increase in productivity, which, however, was expected.

In the benchmark CineBench R15, the new Mac mini 2018 received 40 frames when testing OpenGL and an average of 220 points in the CPU test.

But what else is new in Mac mini 2018?

Apple not only equipped the Mac mini 2018 with a modern processor and memory. There are many other improvements implemented in the computer. Initially, it should be noted Apple T2 security chip, which performs a huge number of different functions. At the expense of the T2 chip, the computer gains the ability to securely download, encrypt data on the fly, and encode video using hardware.

Other newer Apple computers use the T2 chip to also work with the Touch ID fingerprint scanner and the Touch Bar panel. It is possible that in the foreseeable future, Apple will release a new model of the Magic Keyboard, which will have both a fingerprint sensor and a touch panel. In this case, the new keyboard will fully work with the new Mac mini and provide computer users with a lot of new features.

Also, in Mac mini 2018, there are four pleased with the presence of four ports of Thunderbolt 3, as on the MacBook Pro. This opens up a lot of options for users, ranging from the use of external graphics processors, ending with the connection of ultra-fast SSD drives. And this is without any restrictions!

The speakers built into the Mac mini 2018 have also been improved, but we cannot call their update cardinal. The sound of the speakers is not surprising. Bass, of course, no. On the other hand, at least some dynamics.

Mac mini price is the most annoying place

Mac mini impresses with its characteristics at such a compact size, even when it comes to the base model. But the price of the computer is sad. The new Mac mini 2018 has become immediately $ 300 more expensive than the model of the previous generation, which has not been cheaper in the past four years!

The basic version of Mac mini 2018 in Russia is sold for 68,990 rubles. A more advanced model with a six-core processor and at all for 93 990 rubles. Many such a high price, no doubt, scare away the acquisition of a computer. However, this is still the cheapest of the current Mac – MacBooks are even more expensive.

Should I take an old Mac mini or is it new?

After the release of Mac mini 2018, some of the potential computer buyers were disappointed with the price and wondered about buying a model of the previous generation, which, of course, began to rapidly decline. Our answer is that you don’t need to buy old Mac mini 2014! Its characteristics are seriously outdated. They will not allow you to enjoy the very experience of using macOS that you are looking for. And even more so, the old Mac mini is not suitable for work that requires serious productive resources from the computer.

It is better to save and buy a more expensive Mac mini 2018. The model will remain modern for many years.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Mac mini 2018 – an excellent mini-PC, which simply does not exist analogues. Powerful performance, lots of connectors, compact, minimalist body – all this makes Mac mini 2018 a really smart choice. There is only one downside to the novelty – the price. Because of her, the Mac mini 2018 definitely did not become an “Apple computer for everyone”.