|Product Dimensions||8.1 x 2.6 x 8 inches; 3.5 Pounds|
|Item Weight||3.5 pounds|
|Item model number||MRTR2LL/A|
|Is Discontinued By Manufacturer||No|
|Date First Available||November 1, 2018|
Apple Mac mini (3.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i3 processor, 128GB) - Space Gray (Previous Model)
|You Save:||$49.01 (6%)|
|Model Name||Mac mini|
|CPU Model||Core i5|
|Processor Speed||3.6 GHz|
About this item
- Quad-core i3 8th-Generation Intel Core Processor
- Intel UHD Graphics 630
- 8GB 2666MHz DDR4
- Ultrafast SSD storage
- Four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports, one HDMI 2. 0 port, and two USB 3 ports
- Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11AC Wi-Fi
- The latest version of macOS
Compare Apple Mac products
|Price||From: -||From: $1,294.95||From: $999.93|
|Display||N/A||21.5-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Retina 4K display||21.5-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display|
|Processor||3.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i3 processor or 3.0GHz 6-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz||3.6GHz quad‑core Intel Core i3 or 3.0GHz 6-core Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz)||2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor; Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz|
|Graphics||Intel UHD Graphics 630||Radeon Pro 555X with 2GB of VRAM or Radeon Pro 560X with 4GB of VRAM||Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640|
|Storage||128GB or 256GB SSD||1TB (5400-rpm) hard drive or 1TB Fusion Drive||1TB (5400-rpm) hard drive|
|Keyboard and Mouse||N/A||Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2||Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2|
Apple Mac mini (3.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i3)
3.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i3, 6MB shared L3 cache
Connections and Expansion
Four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports with support for: DisplayPort, Thunderbolt (up to 40 Gbps), USB 3.1 Gen 2 (up to 10 Gbps), Thunderbolt 2, HDMI, DVI, and VGA supported using adapters (sold separately), Two USB 3 ports (up to 5 Gbps), HDMI 2.0 port, Gigabit Ethernet port (configurable to 10Gb Ethernet), 3.5 mm headphone jack
802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless networking IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n compatible, Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology
In the Box
Mac mini, Power cord
1.4 inches (3.6 cm)
7.7 inches (19.7 cm)
7.7 inches (19.7 cm)
2.9 pounds (1.3 kg)
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Top reviews from the United States
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1. It's worse than last years model.
2. NVM doesn't last forever, eventually it will fail and the product that you spent a bunch of your hard earned money on will fail.
3. Apple is swindling their customers by forcing them to decide at the point of purchase how much NVM they will need for the life of their device, and overcharging for it.
(*) A definite upgrade from older Minis in speed, ports (in general), and graphics (not hard to pull off)
(*) While not an updated form factor, it's still a fantastic size and why I love Minis
(*) Quiet. I love how quiet these are
(*) Four Thunderbolt 3 ports, so adding on fast external storage drives is easy
(*) You can once again upgrade the RAM yourself to save some serious cash, but it will void the warranty
(*) Base configurations aren't unreasonably priced (more below)
(*) Personal preference, but I think that the new Space Gray looks super slick, and I'm a big fan of the original aluminum look
(*) Pricing aside, the only real design drawback that I see is the integrated graphics. They could have (and should have) included a better internal graphics option, as even low-power GPUs will trounce the Intel graphics. Yes, you can add an eGPU, but that'll more than double the size and increase the noise...and cost hundreds of dollars. That said, this newer version of the Intel graphics is a noticeable step up from my late-2012 Mini
(*) I hadn't thought about this before buying, but the new Mini requires an adapter (not included) to connect to Thunderbolt 1/2 devices. The cheapest that I can find right now is $50 for the Apple adapter, and reviews are mixed
(*) No dedicated digital audio output (such as optical) that I use on my older Mini every day, adding one more adapter to the shopping list if you also use it
My first Mini was a late-2012 model ( MD388LL/A with the quad-core i7). I absolutely LOVE the form factor and how quiet it is. Those are the reasons that I switched back to a Mac at home after years of using Windows boxes. It still works really well, but I've been itching for an upgrade. Like many folks, I waited (and waited...and waited) for a new Mini to come out. I hated the 2014 refresh that didn't allow us to replace the RAM, so I held out. When this generation finally got revealed this Fall, I found myself initially...underwhelmed. Now there is no user-replaceable drive, difficult (but thankfully once again possible) user-replaceable RAM, still integrated graphics, and a starting price of $800. I was pretty disappointed, until I actually looked back on what I spent on and did to my Mini years ago.
Back in 2012, I spent about $800 for the quad-core i7 version with 4GB of RAM. I then spent about $200 and a couple of hours to upgrade to 16GB of RAM and put in a 256GB SSD (for faster and quieter operation compared to the 1TB platter drive). So, a bit over $1000 for a system with 256GB of drive space and 16GB of RAM. Well, outside of having 8GB of RAM and not 16, I now have a much faster Mini with upgraded ports for that amount of money. That's why I no longer think that the base configurations are unreasonably priced, versus how I felt when I first saw them announced.
Yes, having Apple add more drive space or RAM is (as it has always been) obnoxiously overpriced compared to third party solutions. If you're new to shopping for Macs, the gut-wrenching cost of upgrading via Apple is not new, which is why most people choose to do it themselves. Thankfully, Thunderbolt 3 drives are pretty darn fast, and this Mini has four T3 ports - so hard drive space shouldn't be a big concern for most people. Plus, the internal SSD is fast. As for RAM, while not nearly as easy as adding RAM to a late-2012 model, you can add RAM to this one (but void the warranty) with less work than it was to swap out or add a second hard drive to the late-2012 model.
Transferring data and settings from my older Mini was pretty straight forward (if you do it, you'll want both hooked to a monitor and keyboard/mouse because you need to set up the older computer to do the transfer). This was my first time doing a comprehensive transfer, and I was amazed that the new Mini is set up exactly like my older one - same desktop image, same data on the desktop, same Firefox tabs opened up, same...everything. It was awesome to have such a smooth transfer over!
As I expected and hoped, this new Mini is very quiet. I actually can hear the electronics making a quiet buzzing noise when I'm doing tasks, but I have to be close to it to hear that. If this is sitting on your desk in a quiet room, you might also hear that. The fan is essentially silent unless the CPU is working hard.
I do wish it had some other ports (like Thunderbolt 2 and optical audio), but I can understand why Apple choose to move on to the newer connections. You can only keep legacy connectors for so long.
Okay, now for the elephant in the room (at least for me) - the integrated graphics. Apple could have included better graphics in this without much more (if any) size or heat load, such as using AMD’s integrated Vega M graphics. Sure, you can use an eGPU, and it's great that you have that option on Macs now, but that significantly increases the size and noise of the system. I buy Minis for the compact size and quiet operation, so an eGPU doesn't make sense for me, but it will for some of you. It's probably an option now so I'll do more research, but if I can use a fanless graphics card for a silent (but still larger) eGPU, I might just do that.
In conclusion, I wish they'd gone with better graphics, and I wish that some of the older connections were still included, but overall - I love it. If this was my first ever Mini, I'd love it even more because I wouldn't already be used to the fantastically small and quiet computer that it is. I balked at the price of these newer models given the harder to replace RAM and integrated graphics, but I don't regret my purchase at all. At all. Highly recommended now that I've actually used one.
Hope others don't make the same mistake I made!
As far as the mini itself, I’ll get the bad out of the way first. There is just no way most people will be satisfied with the stock GPU performance. It’s just unacceptable in a world where AMD is putting out very functional APUs that Apple can’t get decent graphics in the mini. I solved that problem with an external GPU at additional expense. The other bad is of course the lack of upgradability. Yes you can upgrade the RAM with some hassle, but to not have at least a SATA m.2 slot let alone nvme is lazy design. External SSD. Additional expense.
Ok now the good stuff. The thing is fast. OS boot is swift. Apps load in a couple seconds, and intense projects are a breeze (partially thanks to the eGPU). Video projects and music creation move along just as fast as I can go. I no longer have to wait on the Mac. It waits on me. I have seen thermal throttling in the i7 minis, but my i5 has not throttled yet. TB3 is a very noticible boost over TB2 and USB3. Now that I’m over the sticker shock and actually working, I really enjoy this Mac. It’s fast and responsive. If you will really make use of the advantages the Apple ecosystem can give you (and you’re willing to pay that premium) I think you’ll find this little machine a very positive experience.