The upgrade kit includes 16GB or 32GB of 2,666MHz DDR4 RAM, the same type of memory Apple uses in the 2018 Mac mini, along with all of the tools and bits needed to complete the upgrade: an iFixit opening tool, a spudger, angled tweezers, a precision bit driver, and three types of 4mm Torx precision bits.
2018 Mac mini models are equipped with 8GB of RAM by default, but they can be configured with 16GB or 32GB of RAM on Apple's online store for an extra $200 or $600 respectively. By comparison, iFixit charges $164.99 for its 16GB kit and $324.99 for its 32GB kit, reflecting savings of $35 and $275 respectively.
Three things to keep in mind:
This is iFixit-branded RAM that matches Apple's specifications.
If you ever need in-warranty service on your 2018 Mac mini, and Apple detects that you opened up the computer, the Genius Bar may deny service. However, iFixit says this is illegal in the United States under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.
There is a risk of damaging the Mac mini if the upgrade is not completed carefully.
Tuesday November 20, 2018 1:42 pm PST by Juli Clover
Last week, the team behind the Luna Display adapter that's designed to turn the iPad into a second display for any Mac published an article outlining how the adapter was used to morph a current iPad Pro into a display for Apple's newest Mac mini.
The Mac mini ships sans display, which means if you have an iPad, it can be used as the Mac mini's sole display. We thought the idea was interesting, so we decided to try it out in our latest YouTube video.
The Luna Display is a little adapter that plugs into the USB-C port on your Mac (for older Macs, there's a Mini DisplayPort version). So to use the iPad Pro as a Mac mini display, you need to plug the adapter into the Mac mini and then download the appropriate software.
There's Luna software for both the iPad and the Mac, which you'll need to download to get this setup working. For setup, you're going to need a separate external display for the Mac mini so you can get the software installed, but once it's set up, the iPad Pro can be used as the only display.
Because the iPad and the adapter in the Mac mini work via WiFi, you'll need a strong connection for seamless performance and a zero lag experience.
Once the iPad Pro is set up as the Mac mini's display, it's a neat example of what it's like to use a touchscreen with a Mac machine. You can display full Mac apps on the iPad Pro, from Photoshop to Final Cut Pro.
What's neat is that you can control apps on your Mac mini through the iPad using the Luna Display app and then swipe out of it to access all of your standard apps. Switching between the two is flawless.
The iPad Pro is, of course, a super expensive display for the Mac mini so this is only useful if you happen to have both of these devices. Buying an iPad Pro just to use as a Mac mini display probably isn't a good idea since you can get a bigger display at a cheaper price.
You can also use the Luna Display with other Macs to turn the iPad into a secondary display. If you want your own Luna Display, it's available for $79.
What do you think of the iPad Pro as a touch display for Mac mini? Let us know in the comments.
Wednesday November 14, 2018 1:30 pm PST by Juli Clover
Apple's Mac mini machines ship sans peripherals, which means there's no display, keyboard, or mouse included. It's a bring-your-own desktop.
As it turns out, if you have one of the new Mac minis, you can use an iPad Pro as a display with Astropad's Luna Display dongle, which is designed to turn an iPad into a second display for a Mac.
Luna Display hasn't previously been used as a primary display because it's been paired with Macs that come equipped with a display, but since the Mac mini has no display, it's the perfect machine for testing an iPad Pro as a primary display.
In a blog post, Astropad explains how the Luna Display dongle, the iPad app, and Mac app can be used together to turn the iPad Pro into a Mac mini display, with full instructions available.
According to the Astropad team, using the iPad Pro this way was like a "whole new product" because it's essentially macOS on the iPad with the Luna app, and a regular iPad Pro when not in the Luna app
This setup truly combines the best of both Mac and iPad, with the processing power of the Mac Mini and the edge-to-edge retina display of the iPad. Using Luna, we're able to take full advantage of every pixel on the iPad at full retina resolution. It offers more ways to interact with your macOS too, where you can seamlessly flow from mouse, to keyboard, to Apple Pencil, to touch interactions. And since Luna runs over WiFi, you have the flexibility of a completely wireless workspace. It all just works.
To get the same setup, you'll need a Luna Display dongle to plug into the Mac mini's USB-C port, the accompanying apps, an iPad Pro (any will work, but best results will be seen with Apple's newest model), a keyboard, a mouse, and a reliable WiFi network.
The Mac mini's design hasn't changed, and it's still a 7.7-inch square box that's 1.4 inches thick, but it is available in a new Space Gray color rather than the traditional silver.
It's otherwise the same, but with the exception of a new selection of ports. The Mac mini is outfitted with four Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, two USB-A ports, an HDMI 2.0 port, an Ethernet port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
While the design is largely the same, the internals of the Mac mini have been entirely overhauled. There are new, more powerful components, which necessitated a bigger internal fan with twice as much airflow, expanded vents, and a revamped power supply that offers 70 percent more maximum sustained power.
The base Mac mini ships with a 3.6GHz quad-core 8th-generation Intel Core i3 processor, and this is actually the first time that all Mac minis have had at least quad-core processors. A higher-end 3.2GHz 6-core Core i7 processor is also available as an upgrade option.
In our testing of the entry-level Mac mini, it earned a single-core score of 4452 and a multi-core score of 12391. That puts the base model on par with lower-end 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro models from 2017 and 2018.
All 2018 Mac mini models ship with an included T2 chip, which makes sure all of the data on the SSD is encrypted using dedicated AES hardware, and offers a secure boot to ensure your software isn't tampered with and only OS software trusted by Apple loads at startup.
The Mac mini uses Intel integrated UHD Graphics 630, but with the Thunderbolt 3 ports, it's able to connect to an eGPU for workflows that require more graphics power. Thunderbolt 3 also lets the Mac mini connect to two 4K displays at 60Hz or one 5K display at 60Hz.
8GB of RAM comes standard in the Mac mini, but it can handle up to 64GB, with Apple offering an option to customize the machine with additional RAM when placing an order.
Likewise, the base machine also ships with a 128GB SSD, but it can be upgraded to 2TB of storage in total.
None of these new features in the Mac mini come cheap, and the base level model now starts at $799, up from the $499 starting price of the 2014 model.
Apple sells the Mac mini in two configurations: $799 for 3.6GHz quad-core 8th-generation Intel Core i3 chip, 8GB RAM, Intel UHD Graphics 630, and a 128GB SSD, and $1,099 for a 3.0GHz 6-core 8th-generation Intel core i5 chip, 8GB RAM, Intel UHD Graphics 630, and a 256GB SSD.
Unfortunately, as with many Apple products, the Mac mini is not really user upgradeable. You can upgrade the RAM, but you need to take the entire machine apart, which is tricky. The CPU and SSD, meanwhile, are soldered in place and can't be upgraded after purchase.
What do you think of Apple's new 2018 Mac mini? Was it worth the four-year wait? Let us know in the comments.
Disassembly of the new Mac mini remains fairly straightforward. iFixit popped off the plastic bottom cover with its opening tool and then used a Torx screwdriver to unfasten the familiar antenna plate underneath.
With access to the inside, iFixit then unscrewed the fan and popped out the logic board with some old-fashioned thumb pressing. While the RAM in the previous-gen Mac mini from 2014 was soldered to the logic board, the new Mac mini has user-upgradeable RAM, as discovered earlier this week.
As seen in older iMacs, the RAM is protected by a perforated shield that allows the memory modules to operate at a high frequency of 2666 MHz without interfering with other device functions, according to iFixit. To upgrade the RAM, the shield can be removed by unfastening four Torx screws.
Other silicon on the logic board of this particular Mac mini includes the Apple T2 security chip, a 3.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i3 processor, Intel UHD Graphics 630, 128GB of flash storage from Toshiba, an Intel JHL7540 Thunderbolt 3 controller, and a Gigabit Ethernet controller from Broadcom.
Despite the good news about the RAM, the CPU and SSD are soldered to the logic board, as are many ports, so this isn't a truly modular Mac mini.
iFixit awarded the new Mac mini a repairability score of 6/10, with 10 being the easiest to repair, topping the latest MacBook Air, MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac, and iMac Pro, and trailing only the 2013 Mac Pro.
"Back in the day, a Pro Mac meant a computer you could upgrade, configure, and connect as you pleased," iFixit's teardown concludes. "This new mini aligns so well with that ideal that we're surprised it didn't earn itself a "Pro" title—especially compared to the increasingly closed-off MacBook Pro line."
The new Mac mini earned its higher repairability score thanks to its straightforward disassembly with no tough adhesive or proprietary pentalobe screws and user-upgradeable RAM. However, it didn't earn a perfect score due to the soldered-down CPU, storage, and ports, impacting repairs and upgrades.
Thursday November 8, 2018 8:55 am PST by Joe Rossignol
Apple today shared environmental reports for the new MacBook Air and Mac mini, the first two Macs with 100 percent recycled aluminum enclosures.
The eco-friendly designs of the new MacBook Air and Mac mini extends beyond aluminum. The bottom cover and connector wall in the new Mac mini, for example, are made from 60 percent recycled plastic, while its fan contains 27 percent bio-based plastic made with renewable sources rather than petroleum.
Likewise, the vent and speakers in the new MacBook Air contain 35 percent and 45 percent recycled plastic respectively. The butterfly switches on the new MacBook Air's keyboard also contain 34 percent bio-based plastic, while the solder on the main logic board is made from 100 percent recycled tin.
Apple says the new Mac mini generates 45 percent fewer emissions than the previous-generation model, while the new MacBook Air generates 47 percent fewer emissions than the previous-generation model, each over a four-year lifespan.
Apple also says the new MacBook Air's packaging uses 87 percent less plastic than the previous-generation model's packaging.
Apple's ultimate goal is to use only recycled or renewable materials in its products, and source them responsibly, and it has certainly taken further steps forward with the latest MacBook Air and Mac mini.
Thursday November 8, 2018 3:10 am PST by Tim Hardwick
RAM replacement guides for the new 2018 Mac mini have appeared online, detailing what's involved if users choose to go against Apple's advice and upgrade the removable memory modules themselves.
Apple's official line is that it doesn't consider the new Space Gray Mac mini to be user-configurable, therefore the company recommends that later memory upgrades be performed by a certified Apple service provider.
However, going down that route increases costs significantly, because users need to factor in the relatively high price of Apple-supplied RAM as well as the additional labor charge for installing said modules.
On the other hand, while upgrading the memory yourself can save money, it also carries inherent risks.
For one, any damage done to the Mac mini during installation isn't covered under warranty, and even if the internals remain unscathed, Apple service staff will likely refuse to repair a 2018 Mac mini under warranty if they see third-party RAM modules have been inserted.
Having said that, experienced upgrade enthusiasts will be happy to learn that the process of opening up the 2018 Mac mini isn't too dissimilar to the 2014 Mac Mini (although that model had the much-maligned soldered-on RAM).
YouTuber Brandon Geekabit has uploaded a video detailing the process. And with help from MacRumors forum readers, Rod Bland has posted steps of the procedure on the iFixit website, along with the recommended opening tools, which include a TR6 Torx Security screwdriver, a T9 Torx screwdriver, and a Pentalobe screwdriver (also used to open the Retina MacBook Air and Pro). The entire process is said to take between 10 and 20 minutes.
Briefly, users must pop off the bottom cover using a plastic opening tool, then unscrew and remove the antenna plate below along with its attaching cable. Next, the fan assembly is unscrewed and removed. Then the mainboard is unscrewed so it can be slid out, after which the screws holding the RAM cage are undone to reveal the RAM modules.
Removing the rubber stabilizers and pressing the spring clips enables careful replacement of the existing RAM modules with the new ones, after which users must work their way back through the previous steps in reverse to re-assemble the mini.
The process allows users to install up to 64GB of RAM, using any combination of 8GB, 16GB, or 32GB DDR4-2666 SODIMM RAM modules, which are available from third-party brands like Crucial, Kingston, and Corsair at prices that significantly undercut Apple-supplied RAM.
Ultimately, customers wanting more RAM must decide which route suits them best: upgrade the Mac mini themselves and accept the risks; avoid the hassle by paying Apple a premium to upgrade the base configuration at checkout; or upgrade at a later time through an Apple authorized service provider, at additional cost.
Tuesday November 6, 2018 5:19 pm PST by Juli Clover
Reviews for the new 2018 MacBook Air and Mac mini went live this morning ahead of tomorrow's launch, and in a press release, Apple this afternoon highlighted reviews from several media sites that were able to spend some time with the new machines.
Apple shared review passages from sites that include CNBC, WIRED, Daring Fireball, PC Mag, Six Colors, Tom's Guide, and more.
Daring Fireball, for example, called the MacBook Air the MacBook that "most people should buy," and the Daily Express said "fans of this laptop" will love the new update because "it takes the concept of power and ultimate portability to a whole new level."
Gear Patrol said the MacBook Air is the "perfect computer" for anyone looking to do "normal things" like web browsing, answering emails, and watching movies, while Refinery29 highlighted the MacBook Air's 12-hour battery life.
As for the Mac mini, Six Colors said that the new update allows it to fill a wide range of needs, from basic server needs to "high-end applications that require a great deal of processor power."
Tom's Guide said that the Mac mini is the best option for those who want a compact Mac desktop for streaming media or getting into Apple computing, and ZDNet said the new version is "designed for all types of users" and is "no longer serving a niche market."
As with prior reviews roundups for devices like the iPad Pro, Apple has only highlighted the positive elements from each review. For anyone considering a purchase of one of these machines, it's worth taking a deeper dive into the reviews to get a full picture of both the positives and the negatives.
Tuesday November 6, 2018 1:48 pm PST by Juli Clover
Apple customers in Australia and New Zealand are always the first to get their hands on new devices on launch day because of time zone differences, and the Apple's newest devices are no exception.
It's morning time in Australia and New Zealand and customers who pre-ordered one a new iPad Pro, MacBook Air, or Mac mini are beginning to receive their shipments and have started sharing arrival news on Twitter, Instagram, and the MacRumors forums.
There are no Apple Stores in New Zealand, so customers in Australia are the first to be able to purchase one of Apple's new devices from an Apple retail location. Apple should have iPad Pro models available for walk-in purchases along with base models of the MacBook Air and Mac mini.
iPad Pro pre-orders sold out quickly after the new tablet was announced, so how much stock will be available for walk-in purchases is unknown.
Following New Zealand and Australia, iPad Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac mini sales sales will kick off in Asia, Europe, and finally, North America. Apple Stores globally are opening up at their standard times to allow customers to pick up reserved devices and make walk-in purchases.
In the United States, the first new device deliveries and sales will take place on the East Coast starting at 8:00 a.m.
Aside from Apple, other retailers including carriers and big box stores should also be stocking the new devices.
We'll be sharing first impressions of the new device from actual Apple customers in Australia and New Zealand, so make sure to stay tuned to MacRumors and if you've received a new MacBook Air, Mac mini, or iPad Pro, let us know what you think.
Tuesday November 6, 2018 3:54 am PST by Tim Hardwick
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.
In the last few years, Intel has pushed the idea of extremely small desktop PCs, leading people like me to speculate that perhaps the next Mac mini would be even more mini. That didn’t happen. Instead, Apple has decided to use the existing Mac mini design, a low-lying slab of machined aluminum with curved edges. The only real difference is that now it’s darker, the old silver look replaced with a new space gray finish.
The biggest turn on the I/O side of things, however, is the inclusion of an impressive four Thunderbolt 3 ports. That’s the same number found on the iMac Pro and twice as many as you get on the 2017 standard iMac. It opens things up to a lot more computing versatility. As far as my own desk is concerned, I welcome the ability to power the LG 4K monitor Apple sent along for testing purposes.
The ports are different, and versatile. Like the iMac Pro, the Mac mini recognizes that it’s useful to offer both USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 and USB-A ports. There are four of those Thunderbolt 3 ports, two classic USB-A ports, HDMI, a headphone jack, and Ethernet—Gigabit by default, with up to 10Gb Nbase-T Ethernet available as a $100 option. You can hang two 4K displays or one 5K display off of the Thunderbolt 3 ports. You can use adapters to connect to Thunderbolt 3 or Thunderbolt 2 or to give yourself more USB-A or… really, whatever you can think of. It’s a lot of ports.
The $799 model comes with a 128GB drive, but if that isn’t enough, Apple offers upgrades all the way up to 2TB if you’re willing to pay. The SSDs are PCI-e cards and Apple doesn’t consider them user-upgradeable. So, if you prefer to house your storage inside the computer instead of attaching an external drive, you might consider shelling out more money for an upgrade.
The $799 Mac mini comes standard with 8GB of 2666MHz DDR4 memory, installed as a pair of 4GB SO-DIMMs. The mini supports a maximum of 64GB, and you can upgrade the memory later, but Apple doesn’t consider the Mac mini to be user-configurable, and it recommends that memory upgrades be performed by a certified Apple service provider.
Today the Mac mini is about flexibility and filling niches. This update allows it to span a wide range from basic server needs all the way up to high-end applications that require a great deal of processor power, fast storage, ultra-fast networking, and even beyond (via Thunderbolt 3). The high-end configurations might actually provide enough power for people to consider them over buying the Mac Pro, whenever it comes out.
The big story to me is how incredibly fast this thing is. Granted, I’m testing the fastest CPU offered, but damn.
Geekbench results are very strong. The i7 Mac Mini scored better on single-core performance than every other Mac today (!) at 5912, and its multi-core score of nearly 24,740 beats every Mac to date except the iMac Pro and the old 12-core 2013 Mac Pro.
"Performance-competitive with pro Macs" was not high on my prediction list for a Mac Mini update, but here we are.
For many pros, it may be hamstrung by Intel's integrated graphics processor. I'm not saying it needs a powerful gaming or rendering GPU. A Kaby Lake G CPU, for example, would be a nice alternative to the i3 simply to make the system low-end VR ready, to take some of the video decoding burden or to help reduce overhead in audio production.
Apple really seems to be betting on external GPUs as a solution for much of its graphics woes. But one of the benefits of the Mini is that it's mini. Having to make space for a big eGPU just for better-than-basic graphics acceleration kind of defeats the purpose of a tiny system, especially when you're likely going to be hanging a multitude of external drives and other accessories off it as well.
TechCrunch's Brian Heater:
Even the lowest-speced version should be plenty fine for most tasks. I've shifted my standard tech blogger work flow over the machine for the last couple of days and am perfectly happy with the results. On the other hand, if your workload requires anything processor or graphics intensive, you're going to want to pimp this thing out — or seriously consider picking up a desktop with the word "Pro" in the name.
On the Mac mini's price:
Apple lent me a high-end configuration for review — 6-core i7, 32 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD — which would cost $2499 (much of which is the SSD). This would’ve sounded crazy to spend on a Mac Mini a few years ago, but when it’s specced up like this, it’s targeting a much higher-end market than the previous model could. Compared to similarly specced iMacs and MacBook Pros, the pricing is generally reasonable.
TechCrunch's Brian Heater:
For the budget-strapped, it’s also easy to flinch at the $300 price increase on the base-level. While it’s true that the components are pricier this time, it’s hard to shake the feeling that the company has priced out the true entry-level user this time out, in favor of offering a product that’s more of a gateway into the Pro ecosystem.
Pricing 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.
Friday November 2, 2018 12:08 pm PDT by Juli Clover
The first Geekbench benchmark for one of the 2018 Mac mini models has surfaced (via VentureBeat), giving us an initial look at the performance we can expect from Apple's revamped desktop machine.
The benchmarked model is a higher-end custom configuration that features a 3.2GHz 6-core 8th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, UHD Graphics 630, and 32GB RAM. At a minimum, this configuration would cost $1,699.
Two scores for the machine were uploaded today from the same user taken eight minutes apart. The first features a single-core score of 5070 and a multi-core score of 16818, while the second, which suggests much better performance, features a single-core of 5512 and a multi-core score of 23516.
The higher-end score set puts this particular Mac mini configuration right on par with the high-end 2.9GHz 2018 MacBook Pro, which earned a single-core Geekbench score of 5433 and a multi-core score of 22556. Given the price point of this Mac mini's configuration, its MacBook Pro-matching performance comes as no surprise.
The Mac mini also closely matches the 2013 Mac Pro models when it comes to multi-core performance and exceeds them when it comes to single-core performance. With the exception of the iMac Pro, it outperforms 2017 iMac models, which were not refreshed this year.
It's not clear why there's such a disparity between the two Geekbench readings, but it's possible with the first that background tasks produced a lower result, hence the retest.
We should see additional Mac mini benchmarks surfacing in the near future as the device is set to launch on November 7. Benchmarks of the base models will give us a better idea of what to expect from the lower priced versions of the device.
MacBook Air and iPad Pro benchmarks have also surfaced over the course of the week, with the iPad Pro also demonstrating MacBook Pro-class performance.
Tuesday October 30, 2018 3:39 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
Following today's Apple event at the Howard Gilman Opera House in Brooklyn, where the company unveiled new iPad Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac mini models, MacRumors received some hands-on time with the products at a nearby location.
As the iPhone X was to the iPhone, the new iPad Pro represents the most significant redesign of the iPad in its eight-year history, complete with a nearly edge-to-edge display that eschews the home button. That also means no Touch ID, replaced by Face ID, but the TrueDepth sensors fit in the top bezel without a notch.
The new iPad Pro looks and feels incredibly sleek. The bezels have been dramatically reduced in size compared to the previous generation, although they aren't as slim as those on the iPhone X and newer. As good as Apple's palm rejection technology is, the extra space helps prevent unintended tapping and swiping.
I'm not a display expert, but the Liquid Retina display on the new iPad Pro looks crisp with vivid colors. Apple said it is using the same anti-aliasing and other technologies as the iPhone XR to stretch the LCD nearly edge to edge, which is a truly impressive engineering feat. This is the best display on an iPad yet.
The new iPad Pro feels more like a true slate, with sharper, flatter edges complemented by more traditional rounded corners. And at just 5.9mm, the tablet is remarkably thin, with the 11-inch model weighing just over a pound. Both it and the new 12.9-inch model feel about the same weight as their 2017 equivalents though.
Apple has replaced the Lightning connector with a USB-C port to provide creative professionals with a more versatile connectivity solution for pairing accessories and peripherals, such as a 5K external monitor. The USB-C port also has power-out, meaning the new iPad Pro can charge an iPhone and other devices.
On the right edge of the new iPad Pro is a new Magnetic connector. A redesigned Apple Pencil attaches magnetically and begins wirelessly charging instantly. I shook the iPad Pro slightly and the Pencil maintained a strong hold.
Magnetic connector on new iPad Pro
The new Apple Pencil supports a double-tap gesture that can be customized to switch between drawing tools or to show the color palette.
Apple generally doesn't allow benchmarks to be run during its hands-on sessions, so we'll have to wait for that, but the new A12X Bionic chip with an eight-core CPU and seven-core Apple-designed GPU is said to provide up to 90 percent faster multi-core performance with up to twice as fast graphics.
The new iPad Pro packs smaller speakers, yet they are louder and produce stereo sound. Apple's hands-on room was not a good environment to test the speakers, so we'll have to wait until we get the tablet in our hands.
The new iPad Pro starts at $799 in the United States with 64GB of storage. It's available to order starting today ahead of its November 7 release date.
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