Apple updates Mac mini; now starts at just $499

Apple today updated Mac mini with the latest technologies and a new lower starting price, making Apple’s most affordable Mac an even better value. Mac mini now features fourth generation Intel Core processors, integrated graphics that are up to 90 percent faster,* 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Thunderbolt 2 and is still the world’s most energy efficient desktop.**

“People love Mac mini. It’s a great first Mac or addition to your home network, and the new Mac mini is a nice upgrade packed into an incredibly compact design,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “With the latest CPU and graphics, faster Wi-Fi, two Thunderbolt 2 ports, OS X Yosemite, and starting at just $499, the new Mac mini is the best value ever.”

The new Mac mini delivers new levels of graphics performance, expandability and connectivity. New integrated Intel HD Graphics 5000 and Intel Iris Graphics deliver up to 90 percent faster graphics performance than the previous generation.* Mac mini now includes two Thunderbolt 2 ports, each delivering up to 20Gbps of bandwidth to each port, as well as next-generation 802.11ac Wi-Fi that is up to three times faster when connected to an 802.11ac base station. Mac mini is still the world’s most energy efficient desktop, exceeding Energy Star 6.1 requirements by seven times the standard and consuming as few as 6 watts of power at idle.**

Apple's Mac mini
Apple’s Mac mini

Every new Mac comes with Mac OS® X Yosemite, a powerful new version of OS X®, redesigned and refined with a fresh, modern look, powerful new apps and amazing new Continuity features that make working across your Mac and iOS devices more fluid than ever.

iMovie®, GarageBand® and the suite of iWork® apps come free with every new Mac. iMovie lets you easily create beautiful movies, and you can use GarageBand to make new music or learn to play piano or guitar. iWork productivity apps, Pages®, Numbers® and Keynote®, make it easy to create, edit and share stunning documents, spreadsheets and presentations. iWork has been redesigned with a new look, support for iCloud Drive℠ and a host of new features, including a new comments view in Pages. iWork for iCloud® beta lets you create your document on iPad®, edit it on your Mac and collaborate with friends, even if they’re on a PC.

Pricing & Availability

Mac mini begins shipping today. Mac mini comes in three standard models: a 1.4 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 with Turbo Boost speeds up to 2.7 GHz, 4GB of memory, Intel HD Graphics 5000 and a 500GB hard drive starting at a suggested retail price of $499 (US); a 2.6 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.1 GHz, 8GB of memory, Intel Iris Graphics and a 1TB hard drive starting at suggested retail price of $699 (US); and a 2.8 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.3 GHz, 8GB of memory, Intel Iris Graphics and a 1TB Fusion Drive starting at a suggested retail price of $999 (US). Customers can order Mac mini through the Apple Online Store.

Customers can choose to configure their Mac mini with up to a 3.0 GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 processor, up to 16GB of memory, and up to a 1TB PCIe-based flash drive. Additional technical specifications, configure-to-order options and accessories are available online at

*Testing conducted by Apple in October 2014 using preproduction Mac mini configurations. For more information visit

**Claim based on energy efficiency categories and products listed within the EPA ENERGY STAR 6.1 energy database. EPEAT is an independent organization that helps customers compare the environmental performance of notebooks and desktops. For more information visit

Source: Apple Inc.


    1. But the one I want, the middle tier mini, by the time I add Apple Care, storage, and a super drive, etc. runs more like $900. Still, I’ll be buying one as soon as I can. The old Mac Pro, even with maxed memory and 2 TB of storage is just too slow. It’s quickly approaching being 10 years old. Time to make it a headless file server on the home network.

    1. Let’s say hypothetically that one already has an older Mac mini and display in another room of the house. Why exactly would one want to hook up a Mac mini to a television? If you still want to do desktop work, how would you network the two machines? Apple still hasn’t solved that hassle. Where’s the personal iCloud device, Apple?

      1. Mac mini: 3.50GHz dual core i7


        3.0GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz)
        16GB 1600MHz LPDDR3 SDRAM
        1TB PCIe-based Flash Storage
        Intel Iris Graphics
        User’s Guide (English)
        Accessory Kit

        iMac 27-inch: 3.5GHz quad core i5 with Retina 5K display

        3.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i5
        Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
        8GB (two 4GB) memory
        1TB Fusion Drive1
        AMD Radeon R9 M290X with 2GB video memory

        1. … about? The faster Mac mini sports a 3.0GHz Quad Core i7. Yes, it offers “Turbo Boost”. Extra RAM may be too expensive, but not THAT expensive. And the Flash Storage is a mere $200 extra. Total package price of ~$1,400. The closest iMac comparison comes to $2,599! Of course, you get that honking great screen in that price! Give the mini the 27″ Thunderbolt screen and the price jumps by $999 – still below the iMac price, but the iMac has some extra goodies hidden away.

      2. … of $599 is hardly worth the loss of the Quad-core i7! And, while the new i7 upgrade is … 25%? … faster than yesterday’s model, it costs $300 more! OK … mixed in there you have twice the RAM and a significant boost in graphics capability, but that’s, potentially, quite a trade-off.

    1. Regarding the older quad- vs. newer dual-core i7 processors, there are design differences. The older quad-core (i7-3720QM) has 1.4 billion transistors, while the newer quad-core (i7-4578U) has 1.3 billion. Granted, that’s 100K fewer transistors than the older processor, so I guess we’ll have to wait until the Geekbench results are published for a fair comparison. (When I get my machine, I’ll post those results here…if I remember to do so.)

      Also, mainly due to having 2- rather than 4-cores, the newer i7 draws less TDP (Thermal Design Power), from 45 watts down to 28 watts. And at idle, the newer Mac mini is reported to draw only 6 watts, which is less than many AC adapters I own. Since I use Mac minis as ‘always on’ servers, the lower current draw is appealing.

      Then you add the better graphics (HD 4000 vs. Iris 5100), faster Wi-Fi (N vs. AC), and more Thunderbolt options (one Thunderbolt 1 port vs. two Thunderbolt 2 ports), and I feel like it’s a good upgrade. It may not be the ‘Mini Mac Pro’ we’d been hoping for, lest we forget that the Mac mini is still the least expensive Mac you can buy. And since the CPU is usually the single-most expensive component of a computer, Apple had to keep the Mac mini affordable AND profitable.

    1. Sadly, Apple screwed over the DIY crowd. The new iMac has soldered-in RAM, so you now have to pay the Apple ransom at time of order. The sealed box also means that the user can’t do future internal drive updates either. What was Apple thinking? Now instead of being simple inexpensive drive updates, every new mac user who wants more hard drive space needs to go out shopping for overpriced external hard drives and deal with the bundles of wire on the desk. Thanks for nothing Apple.

  1. While I just ordered a 3.0GHz, 16GB model to replace my aging 2010 model, I would like to say: Long live the Mac mini Server twin drive bays, and long live the built-in FireWire port.

    1. No Mac Mini called a server is no loss. It was always priced to high anyway.

      In any case, you can still easily use a Mini as a server. Simply download the Yosemite server software which rides on top of Yosemite. Then get a multi hard drive device and connect it to your Mini. Presto, you have yourself a good server for home or a small business. Plus, you can run RAID 1 storage so your data is redundant. The old Mini server, even with two hard drives, never could do RAID 1 very well, if at all.

      1. Server has gone. No dual drive option. That is a turn off for me. The sw. raid has saved my server more than once. I have two Mac mini servers. Running for years. With out a mirrored system disk it is a no go for me. Yes I can by all kinds of add on’s. But the idea of a small mac mini just sitting there without having to attach all kinds of gadgets is gone. Pretty silent and power efficient. That type of server no longer exist in the Apple product line. Sad!.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.