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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.

First Mac Desktop with Apple Chips
In 2021, the mini was Apple's first desktop computer to offer the ARM-based M1 CPU with a 16-core neural engine for AI processing. In 2023, Apple upgraded the mini with M2 chips. See xMac, Apple M series, Mac models and Mac computer.

 CURRENT MINI MODELS

            CPU    GPU      SSD     Max
  CPU      Cores  Cores   Storage   RAM
  Chip    Min/Max Min/Max   (GB)    (GB)

 M2 Pro    10-12   16-19  256-8192   32
 M2          8      10    256-2048   24


 PREVIOUS GENERATIONS

 M1          8      8     256-2048   16
 Intel i5    6      -     512-2048   64
 Intel i7    6      -     512-2048   64




Mac Mini Expansion
Both Intel and ARM models have similar expansion; however, Intel offers USB 3 while ARM jumps up to USB 4 (M1 and M2 have two USB 4 ports; M2 Pro has four). See USB 4. (Images courtesy of Apple Inc.)






A Mac Mini
Dwarfed next to an Apple 30" monitor, this 2012-vintage mini was wired to a backup drive and USB hub. Like all desktop computers, a mouse, keyboard and monitor are required to operate a mini.






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.)