The Mac Mini (officially capitalized Mac mini) is a desktop computer made by Apple Inc. Like earlier Mini-ITX PC designs, it is uncommonly small for a desktop computer: 6.5 inches (16.5 cm) square and 2 inches (5.1 cm) tall. It weighs 2.9 pounds (1.31 kg); its external power supply is roughly one third of the size of the computer itself.
It was introduced at the Macworld Conference & Expo in January 2005, and has been updated with newer processors and other expansions several times since. It was announced at the same time as the iPod Shuffle, both scaled-down and less expensive alternatives to the company's main products in those lines. It was described by Apple CEO Steve Jobs at the time as the "most affordable Mac ever".
As of 2011, the Mac Mini ships with Apple's Mac OS X 10.7 operating system installed, and also includes software such as the Safari web browser and the iLife suite of Apple applications to create and manage videos, music, photos and DVDs. Trial versions of iWork and Microsoft Office are also included.
The Mac Mini is the first Macintosh desktop not to include a keyboard or mouse. (The Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh also shipped without a mouse, however it included a re-positionable touchpad). In addition there is no included display. The primary intended market for the Mac Mini was for "switchers" who would already own a display, USB keyboard and mouse, and other customers could easily purchase these if needed.
|Component||PowerPC G4||Intel Core||Intel Core 2|
|Model||Mac Mini||Mac Mini (Late 2005)||Mac Mini (Early 2006)||Mac Mini (Late 2006)||Mac Mini (Mid 2007)|
|Graphics||ATI Radeon 9200 graphics processor with 32MB of DDR SDRAM||ATI Radeon 9200 graphics processor with 32MB or 64MB of DDR SDRAM||Intel GMA 950 graphics processor using 64MB of DDR2 SDRAM shared by main memory (up to 224MB in Windows through Boot Camp).|
|Hard drive||40GB or 80GB Ultra ATA/100, 4200-rpm||40GB or 80GB Ultra ATA/100, 5400-rpm|| 60GB, 80GB|
Optional 100GB or 120GB, 5400-rpm.
| 60GB, 80GB|
Optional 100GB, 120GB or 160GB, 5400-rpm.
| 80GB or 120GB|
Optional 160GB, 5400-rpm.</br>
|Processor||1.25Ghz or 1.42Ghz PowerPC G4 (7447A)||1.33Ghz or 1.5Ghz PowerPC G4 (7447A)||1.5Ghz Intel Core Solo or 1.66Ghz Intel Core Duo (T1200/T2300)||1.66Ghz or 1.83Ghz Intel Core Duo (T2300/T2400)||1.83Ghz or 2.0Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo (T5600/T7200)|
|Memory|| 256MB or 512MB PC-2700 DDR SDRAM|
Expandable to 1GB
| 512MB PC-2700 DDR SDRAM|
Expandable to 1GB
| 512MB (two 256MB) PC2-5300 DDR2 SO-DIMM SDRAM|
Expandable to 2GB
| 1GB (two 512MB) PC2-5300 DDR2 SO-DIMM SDRAM|
Expandable to 4GB although not officially confirmed by Apple.
|AirPort Extreme||Optional or Integrated 802.11b/g||Integrated 802.11b/g|
|Optical drive||8x DVD read, 24x CD-R and 16x CD-RW recording, 8x DVD±R read Combo Drive or 8x DVD±R read, 8x DVD±R writes, 4x DVD±RW writes or 2.4x DVD±R writes, 24x CD read, 24x CD-R, and 16x CD-RW recording SuperDrive||8x DVD read, 24x CD-R and 16x CD-RW recording Combo Drive or 8x DVD±R read, 4x DVD±R writes or 2x DVD±RW writes, 24x CD read, 16x CD-R, and 8x CD-RW recording SuperDrive|
|Minimum operating system required||Mac OS X Panther 10.3.7||Mac OS X Tiger 10.4.2||Mac OS X Tiger 10.4.5||Mac OS X Tiger 10.4.7||Mac OS X Tiger 10.4.10, Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard|
|Weight||2.9 pounds / 1.32 kg|
|Dimensions||2 x 6.5 x 6.5 inches / 50.8 x 165.1 x 165.1 mm|
- All changes between models are marked by bold lettering.
The Mac Mini is also well suited for home theater applications. The small footprint, CD/DVD player, multi-format video output, digital audio output and remote control make it relatively easy to use the Mac Mini as part of an entertainment system.
It can be classified as a HTPC (Home Theater PC) with some limitations. The Mac Mini does not include a tuner card and cannot be upgraded to integrate one internally, instead, external devices like Elgato's HD HomeRun can encode and manage broadcast television from a cable or satellite receiver.
The video connector is compatible with DVI, HDMI (video only), SVGA, S-Video, composite video and component video with the appropriate adapter. Sound is provided by a combination jack that uses both Mini-RCA (analog) and optical fiber cables (digital).
The Mac Mini competes with the Apple TV: it has both iTunes for media rental, purchase, and management, and a similar front-end interface with Front Row. The Apple TV is limited to video in the mp4 format, whereas Mini users employing the appropriate QuickTime codecs can watch other video formats like Divx, Xvid, and Mkv without resorting to hacks. The faster of Mac Mini models can display video at a maximum resolution of 1080p, compared to the AppleTV's 720p.  The Mac Mini can also incorporate third-party front-end applications like XBMC Media Center, Plex, and Boxee. Unlike the Apple TV, the Mac Mini is backward compatible with televisions that have only composite or S-Video inputs.
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Attribution: Retrieved from Mac Mini on Wikipedia