Latest Mini with Optical drive

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by gsxrpilot, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. gsxrpilot macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2011
    What is the latest model of the Mini to still have an optical drive and does it also have Gbps Ethernet? And the final question, what is the latest version of OSX that would run on said Mini?

  2. Jambalaya macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2013
    My 2009 Mini (with optical drive) I runs Mavericks so anything later will too? It doesn't support AirPlay multi screen mirroring to Apple TV though.
  3. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    This the last Mini before i5/i7 closed up the front of the case in 2011:

    "Connectivity includes an HDMI and a Mini DisplayPort, a Firewire "800" port, four USB 2.0 ports, combined "audio line in (digital/analog)" and combined "audio line out/headphone (digital/analog)" minijacks, a 10/100/1000Base-T Gigabit Ethernet port, built-in AirPort Extreme (802.11a/b/g/n), and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, in addition to an SD (SDXC) card slot."

    Attached Files:

  4. Micky Do, Jan 4, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2014

    Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

    Aug 31, 2012
    An island in the Andaman Sea.
    Mac Minis from early 2009 on can run OS X 10.9 (Mavericks), the latest. It came with OS x 10.5 (Leopard) and the base model had just 1 GB of RAM. You need to upgrade to at least 2 GB of RAM (though at least 4 GB is better), and OS X 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard) before you can install Mavericks.

    Etherenet; this is what mine has, if it means anything to you. With no telephone line to my apartment or wifi available, I use mobile broadband.


    Type: Ethernet Controller
    Bus: PCI
    Vendor ID: 0x10de
    Device ID: 0x0ab0
    Subsystem Vendor ID: 0x10de
    Subsystem ID: 0xcb79
    Revision ID: 0x00b1
    BSD name: en0
    Kext name: nvenet.kext
    Location: /System/Library/Extensions/IONetworkingFamily.kext/Contents/PlugIns/nvenet.kext
    Version: 2.0.19

    As others have said, the last Mini with a built in optical drive was the first generation of the present form, the 2010 model. It can run Mavericks.

    From the Apple website:

    Supported Models
    iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)
    MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)
    MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
    Xserve (Early 2009)
    MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
    Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
    Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)

    From 2011 on the Mini lost the optical drive, but you can connect one using a USB port. It makes sense; the reliability of optical drives is not up with other components. As an accessory, you can just unplug the drive and replace it if it fails, or transfer it to a new computer if it is still good.

    Optical drive is becoming increasingly irrelevant, though it is still convenient, and could still be round for a while.

    I do use mine to load (and save) any material that comes on CD (as a teacher, quite a bit), and still do watch DVDs occasionally. However, as a storage medium, CDs and DVDs do seem to be a bit wanting. They certainly don't have the multiple decades long life that was touted when they first came out, without even considering scripting and general wear and tear. With CD-R and DVD-R you are lucky to get 10 years…. 5 years is more like it.
  5. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000


    Jan 8, 2008
    Tampa, Florida
    The 2010 minis were the last with a built-in optical drive. Any mini can use an external optical drive.

    All Intel minis have Gigabit Ethernet.

    The current version of OS X, Mavericks, will run on anything from the early 2009 mini to the current models.
  6. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    I suspect the initial projected lifespans were rated for pressed (masses produced) disks, not burned as we are so used to, know.
  7. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    I really get a kick how people say discs are dead or whatever given that CDs, DVDs and Blu Ray sales continue along side of streaming etc.

    Reality is that there are discs that are meant for archival purposes but those that hate discs either are ignorant of the facts or simply unwilling to admit the facts surrounding using discs as an archival media.

    Discs are like hard drives - some are better made than others and if you want to use CD or DVD, there are exact brands by companies that specialize in truly long lasting media.

    Here is a quick read for those interested (as example ) -
  8. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    People don't know. The only proper format to hold movies in HD at the moment is BR. Netflix, iTunes, nothing comes close, especially when you are butthead and playing it back on a 60fps ATV.

    You can buy many BR's for 5-10 bucks, and even if I rent them in my old-fashioned store, I have enough with a Netflix subscription fee to rent BR's.

    And my ISP/Netflix don't determine the quality. It is always max quality.

    I would not worry about having an internal optical. Slot loading drives are very crappy. So you could in theory buy a slot loading BR player and mount it in a Mini 2009/2010, but that is both expensive, and low quality. A 20$ Ebay USB powered BR reader DVD burner will be much better than any internal solution.

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