Rethinking the Mac mini

Peter Cohen:

The Mac mini is overdue for a major refresh. It’s been well more than a year, and it’s been several years since the Mac mini had any significant work done to it. That’s got me thinking about what Apple could do it and probably should do to it.

It will certainly be interesting to see what Apple does with the Mac mini. Clearly, Apple’s interest has been with the iPhone and iPad, as well as the MacBooks and Mac Pro in recent years.

  • I hope they do so soon. I need to get a few.

  • satcomer

    I think just a processor upgrade that will include new Intel Iris Graphics and AC wireless.


    Apple is waiting for price of Haswell chips to drop. Intel did drop prices on Dec 29 on some of Haswell chips by 5-11% but not the one Apple uses.

    Haswell chips are expensive may be Apple will wait for Broadwell to come so they can buy Haswell even cheaper.

    HQ processor cost from $400-600 that are in MBP 15.

    U processor cost from $300-$400 that are in MBP 13.

    MacMini usually uses MBP 15 processor. If Apple removes hard drive then it will be more expensive.


      oh look, Intel just introduced two new variant of haswell chip.

      for MBP 15 Core i7-4860HQ – 4 – 8 – 2.4 GHz – 6 MB – HD 5200 – $434 (1ku) [Interestingly 4950HQ was priced $657 (1Ku) this past summer which has the same spec as above.]

      second is for MBA. Core i5-4360U – 2 – 4 – 1.5 GHz – 3 MB – HD 5000 – $315 (1ku)

  • Moeskido

    As I said in the iMore comments, we got one last month for my wife to replace a 2008 MacBook. So far, it’s a great machine. I hope Apple doesn’t remove too many of its connections or its user-upgrade access.

  • bbydon

    Why does Apple need to rethink it. It does everything it should do. The Mini’s have become powerful enough for animation production in our studio. That says a lot. Add updated ports and chips, that’s it. I don’t understand why people think everything that is left alone needs to be rethought.

  • John

    What I’d love to see is ARM 64 bit (a la A7) server with the mini form factor. Low power consumption, easy management, etc.

    Apple has all the little bits to actually take a big piece of the server market. Enterprise and business aside, Apple has never been in the business of having your data unlike Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and increasingly Amazon. What if all that mattered to you was on a home server? Mail, photos, contacts, docs, sharing, etc? Synced all to your iOS devices?

    Apple provides the hardware, stateless synchronization services, etc. And you own everything else.

    As an added bonus, your home server coordinates all your media consumption?

  • Rageous

    Don’t touch it! Drop FW800, give it 2x Thunderbolt2 and PCI-E SSD. Leave everything else exactly as-is. Mac Minis are secretly the best dedicated server solution on the market. MacMiniColo isn’t the only game in town — both datacenters my company uses have Mac Mini colocation services and they’re exquisitely well-serving for the purpose. Swap out the HDD to get rid of the last of the mechanical parts, put Thunderbolt2 in there to support PCI-E/Fibre Channel buses (like the kind Sonnet offers) and it’s good to go for another 4 years. Easily.

    • With PCI-E, it would mean no possibility of a lower-cost HDD option, and the prices would rocket.

      I have the ‘Server’ version from early 2012, and I shudder to think how much that model would cost with two SSDs in it instead of two HDDs …

      • Rageous

        Fair enough, but at least give us the SSD sticks used in the Airs/Retina MBPs. The point is to get rid of the last mechanical piece of equipment in them, thereby reducing the power and increasing reliability even further.