The Apple Mac Mini M1 edition has made its impact on STH. We now have three M1 Mac Mini 1GbE models. Two have 8GB of RAM but one has 16GB. During the latest Apple event, there was a small 10GbE update to the Mac Mini that was not mentioned. We immediately ordered one, and after it arrived we have a simple conclusion: it is really good. In this mini-review, we are going to discuss why we recommend this $100 10Gbase-T upgrade for those venturing into the realm of the M1 Apple Mac Mini.
We have a fun video for this one that you can see here:
As always, we advise opening this in a new YouTube window/ tab/ app for a better viewing experience. For those who have been watching our TinyMiniMicro series, there is a fun section in this one at the “Hiatus” chapter marker.
Apple Mac Mini M1 10GbE Edition Hardware Overview
Let us get to the hardware behind the Mac Mini M1 10GbE edition. First, we get the same chassis that we saw in the standard M1 that was launched in 2020. There is no surprise there.
The clean Apple aesthetic makes three of the sides barren except for a power indicator. A fourth side has the Apple logo. There is very little going on here.
The bottom of the unit has the Mac mini model and also has a vent for cooling. The fact that this is not a metal protrusion means that one does not have to worry about scratching a table as one would if it was metal. This is all going to look familiar compared to previous Mini’s.
On the rear, we get another vent but then the primary I/O of the system. In the middle of this I/O and above that vent we get two USB 4 (40Gbps)/ Thunderbolt 3 ports and a HDMI 2.0 port. One can get a different display output via a Thunderbolt port.
On the right rear, we get two USB 3.1 Gen2 ports which are 10Gbps Type-A ports and a headset jack below them.
On the left rear we get the power button and power input. Unlike Project TinyMiniMicro nodes, this has an internal power supply. While the Mac Mini M1 is larger than the ~1L corporate desktop PC segment as we showed in our Lenovo ThinkCentre M920x Tiny Review and Guide, the internal power supply makes up much of the balance.
The big feature though is the RJ45 NIC. In this case, we get a 10Gbase-T NIC which is a new option on the M1 Mac Mini’s for 2021.
Next, we are going to look at that 10GbE NIC and the impact it has on configurations.