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A Complete Guide to the Mac mini

| 2 hours ago


Apple's announcement of the newest Mac mini was a surprise.

The 2020 Apple Mac mini is the latest Apple desktop device and the first with Apple Silicon. It now uses Apple's M1 processing chip. The M1 chip means the Mac mini 2020 delivers exciting graphics with groundbreaking power for a computer of its size.

Apple claims it has "with up to 3x faster CPU performance. Up to 6x faster graphics. And the most advanced Neural Engine for up to 15x faster machine learning." This upgrade is another first as Apple's Neural Engine has never been used in a Mac until now.

Its simple, lightweight design is extremely portable if you are always on the move. The Mac mini encases a whole lot of power in its iconic 7.7-inch-square design.

Since the Mac mini is just a desktop console, you'll need a monitor, keyboard, mouse, and other accessories you want to use the Mac mini. But if you already have all of the equipment, then the Mac mini is easy to set up and budget-friendly.

In this Mac mini user guide, you'll learn about:

  • Key technical specifications
  • What you'll get when you unbox your Mac mini
  • What equipment accessories you'll need
  • How to set up your new Mac mini
  • Applications to download

Keep reading to find out everything you need-to-know about the Mac mini. Let's get started!

Technical Specifications

Mac mini (2020)
Dimensions 19.7 x 19.7 x 3.6 cm
Connectors Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C)
Processing Chip Apple Silicon M1 Chip
Memory Up to 16GB
Storage Up to 2TB SSD

The most prominent upgrade to the Mac mini 2020 is the brand-new Apple Silicon M1 chip. It is the first in-house processing chip for Macs made by Apple. The M1 ARM-based chip is engineered for energy efficiency and incredible processing power.

It has an 8-core CPU that delivers up to 3x faster processing performance than the previous Mac mini computers generation. It has an impressive 8-core GPU, too.

The remarkable CPU and GPU upgrades mean you can stream HD movies and countless videos and play games without pixelation and lag time.

If that's not enough, the new M1 chip in the Mac mini has a 16-core Neural Engine that optimizes machine learning functions. All these upgrades ensure your Mac maximizes and exceeds expectations.

Additionally, Apple released the new Mac operating system, macOS Big Sur, to coincidence with the latest Mac devices.

macOS Big Sur in the Mac mini is optimized for Apple's iconic user interface, apps, and user experience. It is also compatible with Continuity and SideCar so that you can integrate other Apple devices into your workflow.

While the old Mac mini (2018) Intel i5 chip was a fantastic computer, times have changed.

The new 2020 Mac mini with Apple Silicon is no competition for its predecessors. The Mac mini comes in several storage options, all in SSD: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB.

Don't let its size fool you. It's a mighty mini device.

Unboxing Your Mac mini


Nothing beats unboxing new products. When you unbox your new Mac mini 2020, you will see two components. The console, a power lead, and instruction manuals.

Most obviously, the Mac mini measures 19.7 x 19.7 x 3.6 cm and weighs 1.2 kg. Compared to traditional PCs, the Mac mini takes up very little space on a table and virtually no space vertically.

When you pick up the desktop, it's about the same weight as a bag with six apples.

When you turn the device around, on the backside, there are several Mac mini ports. There are two Thunderbolt/USB-4 and two USB-A ports for versatile support. There is an Ethernet port and an HDMI 2.0 port, too.

For audio, there is a 3.5mm headphone jack and a built-in speaker. The Mac mini is Bluetooth and AirPlay-compatible, again. Of course, the power port to plug in the power lead.

As for the console design, Apple only offers the classic Silver color. It's important to note that the latest Mac mini is manufactured with sustainable materials, including the following:

  • 100% recycled aluminum in the enclosure
  • 100% recycled tin in the solder of the main logic board
  • 35% or more recycled plastic in multiple components

The packaging the Mac mini comes in is also sustainably produced. Its responsible packaging is constructed out of 100% virgin wood fiber from responsibly managed forests.

Your Mac mini comes with 90 days of complimentary technical support and a one-year limited AppleCare warranty. You can increase your warranty to three years with AppleCare+. AppleCare+ adds up to two incidents of accidental damage protection every 12 months.

What Accessories You Need

As mentioned earlier, unlike most Mac computers, the mini is a stand-alone desktop. It does not come with a monitor. That means you will need several additional items to complete your setup.

You will need:

  • A desktop monitor
  • A mouse
  • A keyboard
  • Compatible cables

The Mac mini display port also supports display monitors that reach 6K resolution with the Thunderbolt-C port. And with the HDMI 2.0 port, you can connect a second display with up to 4K resolution.

Keep in mind the Apple does not provide these extra HDMI cables. You can purchase compatible cables at the Apple store, online retailers, or most electronics stores.

Make sure to check out a more comprehensive list of Mac mini accessories to see what can support a Mac mini.

How to Set Up Your New Mac mini

Now that you have all the necessary equipment with you, set up your new Mac desktop is super easy! It takes just a few minutes, and you can start working immediately.

Follow the steps below to set up your Mac mini.


To Set Up Your Mac mini:

  1. Connect your Mac mini with the power lead and plug into a power outlet.
  2. Attach your Mac mini to the monitor, keyboard, and mouse with the corresponding cables and ports in the back of the console.
  3. Turn on the Mac mini by pressing the power button on the back.
  4. Once turned on, follow the prompted instructions. Here you will set up your:
    1. Wi-Fi network
    2. iCloud
    3. Apple ID

Keep In Mind:

You have to set up your Mac mini with a wired keyboard and mouse. Once your computer is all configured, then you can set up your Bluetooth accessories.

Applications to Download

With the new M1 processing chip, the things you can do with your Mac mini is endless! There are thousands of applications on the Apple App Store.

You can find applications for coding, editing photos, or streaming and creating videos yourself.

Although Apple is steadily transitioning from Intel to Apple Silicon, developers are quickly updating applications to suit the new M1 chip.

Check out some of these applications that will soon be optimized for Apple Silicon:

Products Covered

allapplenews-product-Mac mini
Mac mini
Release Date
November 2020


• 256GB / 512GB
• 7.7" x 7.7" x 1.4"
• 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, and 16-core Neural Engine
• Apple M1 Chip
• 8GB of unified Memory


Equipped with the M1 chip, the Mac mini is more powerful than ever before while maintaining its compact form. Perhaps the most portable desktop in the world, the Mac mini is capable of incredible features such as running top-notch programs and displaying amazing graphics. For a compact yet powerful desktop choice, pick the Mac mini.

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