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Definition: Mac mini


The smallest Mac desktop computer, the Mac mini weighs less than three pounds and comes in a 7.7" square case only 1.4" thick. Introduced in 2005 with PowerPC G4 processors, Intel-based units came out the following year.

In 2021, the mini was Apple's first desktop computer to offer the ARM-based M1 CPU as an option. Users have a choice of a 6-core Intel mini with up to 64GB of RAM and 2TB of solid state storage or an 8-core M1 mini with up to 16GB of RAM and 2TB of SSD storage. See Apple M1, Mac models and Mac computer.




A Mac Mini
Dwarfed next to Apple's 30" monitor, this 2012-vintage mini was also wired to a backup drive, keyboard, mouse, USB hub and macro keypad. Like all desktop computers, a separate monitor, keyboard and mouse are required, which can be from Apple or other companies.






Mac Mini Expansion
Both Intel and M1 CPUs are offered, and the ports differ depending on the CPU chosen. (Images courtesy of Apple, Inc.)






Early Mac Mini
This earlier mini model had a built-in optical drive. (Image courtesy of Apple Inc.)






The Mini's Predecessor
In 2000, the G4 Cube was Apple's first compact Mac. Award winning in its design, the Cube was soon dropped due to overheating and other maladies. (Image courtesy of Apple Inc.)