Mac mini 2018 Reviews Roundup: Long-Awaited Update Should Impress Fans and Pro Users, But Upgrade Options Can Get Pricey

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Nov 6, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    The first round of Mac mini reviews were published online this morning. Below we've highlighted some of the key takeaways from around the web ahead of Apple's official November 7 launch.

    Four years in the waiting, the new Mac mini comes in Space Gray, features 4- and 6-core 8th-Generation Intel Core processors, four Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, support for up to 64GB RAM, and up to 2TB of solid-state storage. It also includes Apple's T2 chip for added security.


    Review Highlights

    On the new Mac mini's largely unchanged design:

    Six Colors's Jason Snell:
    On Apple's port choices for the Mac mini:

    TechCrunch's Brian Heater:
    Developer Marco Arment:
    On Apple's upgrade choices for the Mac mini:

    Macworld's Roman Loyola:
    Six Color's's Jason Snell:
    On the new Mac mini's performance:

    Marco Arment:
    CNET's Lori Grunin:
    TechCrunch's Brian Heater:
    On the Mac mini's price:

    Marco Arment:
    TechCrunch's Brian Heater:
    Review and Unboxing Videos

    More Reviews
    Tom's Guide's Brian Westover
    MobileSyrup's Patrick O'Rourke
    AppleInsider's Andrew O'Hara
    ZDNet's Jason CiprianiPricing on the Mac mini starts at $799 for the base model with a 3.6GHz processor, 128GB of storage, and 8GB RAM and goes up to $4,199 for a maxed out machine with 3.2GHz Core i7 processor, 64GB RAM, a 2TB SSD, and the upgraded 10Gb Ethernet option.

    The Mac mini is available for purchase from Apple's online store. Orders will be delivered on November 7, the day that it will be available for purchase in retail stores.

    Article Link: Mac mini 2018 Reviews Roundup: Long-Awaited Update Should Impress Fans and Pro Users, But Upgrade Options Can Get Pricey
  2. MandiMac macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2012
    Any info about temperature / fan noise? Deciding between i5 and i7 and I‘m curious how much further the i7 comes to the 65W thermal limit than the i5.
  3. Bug-Creator macrumors 6502


    May 30, 2011
    "The SSDs are PCI-e cards and Apple doesn’t consider them user-upgradeable."

    If thats truly the case, someone might just find a way to change those cards:)
  4. jb-net macrumors member

    Apr 7, 2012
    Sadly, depending only on the integrated Intel GPU, not even an Iris GPU (like on the 13" MBP) is killing my plans of switching to the Mac mini.

    This would have been the right choice:

    A little bit less CPU Performance (the new Mac mini has a lot, it wouldn't really matter) but much better GPU Performance. A more balanced system overall.
  5. emulajavi macrumors regular

    Dec 15, 2011
    Was it so difficult to include a dedicated graphics card inside this?

    You increase the price by $300 and not even include a dedicated graphics card?
  6. iHack13 macrumors regular


    Jun 10, 2009
    city of octoberfest
    I am confused about this product announcement.
    On the stage they were advertising the new mac minis as "Desktop" like machines with swappable RAM and a "Desktop" CPU.

    However the RAM is the only thing swappable. The CPUs are soldered on. The exact models that I found are i3 8100B , i5 8500B and i7 8700B. The i3 Model isnt listed on intels Website yet. So its probably something that Apple wanted them to produce for them.
    It's also noteable that those Processors are listed as "Mobile" on Intels Website... and not Desktop.

    I mean laptops tend to have swappable RAM too. (and in most cases the storage is also swappable). Not sure what makes this mac mini a Desktop now.

    And I think the current mac pro's design is the perfect fit for a mac mini. Its not like you are gonna need the big modular slots like PCIE for Graphics Cards for a mac mini (whereas for the mac pro you need them).

    Let the CPU be swappable. With that cooling architecture you wont have to bother with soldered CPU and Laptop heatsinks and fans.
    So an intel CPU with VEGA IGP would have been nice as a pro model.

    But oh well. Its a very fast Laptop that comes without screen and kb/mouse etc. But seeing how Apple cripples their Laptops, it makes this device stand out again with all its ports at the back ... I guess.
  7. Shivetya macrumors 65816

    Jan 16, 2008
    the 128G starting storage is not forgivable.
  8. ruka.snow macrumors member


    Jun 6, 2017
    In the lifetime the processor will be useful, the GPU will have been surpassed at least 3 times even if it was a top of the line RTX. The system with the minimal GPU needed to get it up with the fastest CPU they can shove in the space is the best use of the space. This way you can get a 580 and I can get a Vega 56 for instance. No compromises.
  9. rmendol1 macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2012
    I was between oil and water on either the Mac mini or a better specd HP Omen for same price. Ill wait until fixit reviews how easy it is to access the RAM and possibly SSD (IPC-cert solder) and decide. The integrated GPU (understandable to size) is still disappointing which would easily add another $500 for decent GTX with enclosure
  10. Amazing Ox Space Monkey macrumors regular

    Sep 21, 2015
    Seems like the base mini us a suitable candidate to replace my aging iMac 21.5” 2010. I don’t play games so the integrated GPU is not really an issue.
  11. saulinpa macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2008
    Every time I see this mini I think "Can't innovate anymore, my ass" - we gave it a new color!
  12. MacFather macrumors 6502a


    Mar 16, 2012
    Where is a $499/$599 configuration for the casual users and Windows switchers??
  13. rtomyj macrumors 6502a


    Sep 3, 2012
    While I knew people that where complaining about the lack of updates to the mini were complaining for complaining sake I’m gonna voice some reason here.

    I bought my mini in 2014. I spec’ed up the base model and the price was roughly 1.1k. I just spec’ed this model to what I would have if I was in the same situation as I was back in 2014. Guess what? It’s $50 or so more expensive. I lose 3/4ths of storage that I don’t use now anyways. But I would gain extremely fast storage compared to by HDD and usb-c ports for 4K content. The mini is priced just right if you know how to purchase it.
  14. Mydel macrumors 6502a


    Apr 8, 2006
    Sometimes here mostly there
    I wish someone was selling the board with so many thunderbolt 3 ports so I can make myself mini... at the moment the miniITX boards have a very unsuitable ports for this kind of computer
  15. blairh macrumors 68040


    Dec 11, 2007
    Went from $500 to start to $800. Shame. Used to be an affordable entry into the Mac family.
  16. Floppsi macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2018
    is every journalist bought by Apple that no one is writing any critical article about the Mac Mini and complete Mac line.
    Why is every one so happy to get a one year old 8th gen i7 instead of a 9th gen i7 with 8 Cores.
    If i spend thousands of euros or dollars, I want to have the newest hardware with a great dedicated graphic card.
    The enthusiasm for the 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports, reminds me the articles of the Mac Pro in 2013. But at the end it was a dead end that is still sold for an incredible prize. For me that are just 4 USB ports - should be that standard for a desktop PC?

    I really like macOS as an operating system, I love to use it, but unfortunately Apple destroying it with no strategy in the Mac line. Mostly old hardware for too high prices.
  17. apolloa macrumors G4

    Oct 21, 2008
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
    This seems like a great little machine. Could be the Mac I’m looking for, but it all depends on how it handles egpu’s, but get one of those and this machine for me could fly. And cost a lot less then a MAC Pro whilst still being serviceable ish, well seems like at least the fan can be accessed, need to wait and see about the RAM.
  18. StrangeNoises macrumors member


    Jul 21, 2011
    well, i think Marco Arment's review answers the main outstanding question I had: It stays fast on a longer compute job, doesn't get itself thermally throttled to oblivion. (Specifically the ffmpeg test strongly implies that, as - AFAIK - it's a CPU-bound encode rather than using hardware acceleration.)

    I'll wait for iFixit to tear one apart, and maybe in that time get some extra corroboration on the above point, but really I think I'm just taking the deep breath before taking the hit to my credit card.

    (Geekbench scores told me my new XPS13 would be faster than my 2013 Haswell desktop. It is for about ten seconds, so it's great for jobs that finish in that time; then it gets too hot and has to throttle itself, whereas the old box can grind away at maximum utilisation for days. And that (the XPS13) is supposed to be one of the better modern laptops for that sort of thing. I wanted to be sure the new Mac Mini wasn't going to repeat that story. And it would be nice for the Fastest Computer In The House to be a Mac again. It's been a long time.)
  19. Zdigital2015 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 14, 2015
    East Coast, United States
    Well, heat, plain and simple. I am much happier that I have a 65w Desktop CPU in this mini than a 28w w/Iris Plus or even a 45w w/Iris Plus laptop CPU which would have driven the price up another $100-$150.

    Also, why would I want to be stuck with a Radeon Pro 555X in this chassis, anyways? Not when I can buy an prefab eGPU or roll my own when I actually want or need one. I do not need a dGPU and there are many others that will get great use out of this and never need one. However, I now have the option of adding 1, 2, 3 or even 4 if I wanted. I am not saying 4 would be performant, but I can do it.

    No, this mini is just fine the way it is.
  20. 69Mustang macrumors 603


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    I am disappoint.:(

    At least they finally upgraded the mini. I guess I can take solace in that. Could have been so much more.

    /starts searching the web for new toy
  21. dmylrea macrumors 68020


    Sep 27, 2005
    Apple rarely has released a product with bleeding edge new technology. They are always a generation behind (sort of playing catch-up to PC hardware with regards to general specs). It takes them so long to develop anything that it makes it almost impossible to design for a very new CPU, for instance.
  22. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 65816

    Darmok N Jalad

    Sep 26, 2017
    I was hoping they’d use the intel+Vega chip, the 8705G, or some maybe some updated version of it.
  23. Azeroth1 macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2010
    Grateful for the upgrades and very happy they kept this around. But if any of the announced machines were going to be more user upgradeable it should have been this one. People love being able to upgrade their 2012 machines - it’s one of the reasons they are still kicking and people have loved them for so long (that and a quad core). With such an unchanged form factor it’s too bad they didn’t keep that very welcome “feature”.

    People like to tinker. People want to tinker. People like the option to fix stuff on their own. Some devices I understand locking down, but this isn’t one of them.
  24. MandiMac macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2012
  25. dmylrea macrumors 68020


    Sep 27, 2005
    Oh, after a painful disassembly, I'm sure that PCI-e card can be changed, but would Apple take the easy route and use an off-the-shelf NVMe PCi-e card that is already available and blazing fast, or will they spend the time and R&D money and develop their own proprietary connector PCI-e card that has the same performance as an off-she-shelf Samsung, for example, but cannot be swapped out with anything off-the-shelf, nor purchased anywhere?

    I'll wager on the latter...

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