Apple Mac Mini MC815LL/A Desktop (NEWEST VERSION)

Product Description

The Mac mini Desktop Computer from Apple is a quiet and compact desktop computer in a sleek aluminum unibody enclosure. The system, only 7.7" square and 1.4" high, is a great option for users who would like an inexpensive, yet fully-functional, desktop Mac. The mini ships sans keyboard, mouse and monitor, allowing you to choose the accessories that best suit your needs for use with the system.iLife '11, a complete suite of digital creativity applications, is installed on the system. Easy enough for anyone to use, iLife will help you edit your home movies, organize digital photos and compose original music. The system features an HDMI output port, making it a great option for users who would like a home theater computer for Internet video streaming and big-screen computer gaming. An optional remote control is available separately for purchase.The system is powered by 2.3GHz Intel Core i5 CPU and includes 2GB of RAM, a 500GB 5400rpm hard drive, Bluetooth 4.0, dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, an SDXC card reader and Intel GMA HD 3000 graphics. The computer is loaded with Apple's Mac OS X 10.7 Lion operating system. The 64-bit OS features Time Machine backup, which automatically backs up system data to an external hard drive.It also features intuitive natural scrolling, the innovative Launchpad application launcher and support for full screen applications. Mission Control combines the functionality of Dashboard, Expose and Spaces - giving you a bird's eye view of

Product Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #10 in Personal Computers
  • Brand: Apple
  • Model: MC815LL/A
  • Dimensions: 7.70" h x 1.40" w x 7.70" l, 2.69 pounds
  • CPU: Intel Core i5 2.3 GHz
  • Memory: 2GB SDRAM
  • Hard Disk: 500GB
  • Processors: 2


  • 2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 with 3MB on-chip shared L3 cache
  • 2GB of 1333MHz DDR3 memory
  • 500GB (5400-rpm) hard drive
  • Intel HD Graphics 3000 processor with 288MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory
  • Mac OS X v10.7 Lion

Editorial Reviews Product Description

Mac mini is even more of a powerhouse, thanks to a new dual-core Intel Core i5 processor and ultrafast Thunderbolt technology. It also comes with OS X Lion, the world's most advanced desktop operating system.

Apple Mac mini
The powerhouse Mac mini, now with high-speed Thunderbolt
(view larger).

This version of the Mac mini (model MC815LL/A) features a 2.3 GHz Intel Core i5 dual-core processor and Intel HD Graphics 3000 integrated graphics as well as 2 GB of RAM (expandable to 8 GB) and 500 GB of hard drive storage (see full specifications below). It also comes with the iLife software suite, which includes the latest versions of iPhoto, iMovie, and GarageBand.

OS X Lion

Every Mac comes with OS X Lion, the latest release of the world's most advanced desktop operating system. With over 250 features including Multi-Touch gestures, Mission Control, full-screen apps, and Launchpad, OS X Lion takes the Mac further than ever.

OS X Lion
Key OS X Lion Features
  • Mission Control provides a bird's-eye view of everything running on your Mac.
  • Launchpad puts all your apps front and center for easy access.
  • View apps full screen and switch between them with a swipe.
  • Interact with your Mac using intuitive new Multi-Touch gestures.

Key Features

Small Footprint, Excellent Versatility

The Mac mini features a precisely constructed unibody enclosure that even houses its own integrated power supply into the 7.7-inch square aluminum enclosure (that's also 1.4 inches thin)--eliminating the need for an external power brick. Additionally, the Mac mini helps contain your environmental footprint with a 10 watt power consumption.

Despite its smaller size, the Mac mini offers a full range of ports for connecting to your existing peripherals--from keyboards and mice to external hard drives and displays (via the Thunderbolt and HDMI ports). And when you're ready to add more memory, the Mac mini's bottom removable panel makes the upgrade process a breeze.

Apple Mac mini
Just add your own display, keyboard, and mouse--such as the Apple Thunderbolt Display, Wireless Keyboard, and Magic Mouse (not included; view larger).

Apple Mac mini
A full range of ports, including Thunderbolt and HDMI plus an SDXC card slot (view larger).
Revolutionary Thunderbolt Technology

Developed by Intel with collaboration from Apple, high-speed Thunderbolt I/O (input/output) technology delivers an amazing 10 gigabits per second of transfer speeds in both directions. Built into the Mac mini, the Thunderbolt port allows you to connect to new Thunderbolt-compatible peripherals as well as existing USB and FireWire peripherals using simple adapters. You'll be able to move data up to 20 times faster than with USB 2.0 and more than 12 times faster than with FireWire 800, and you can daisy-chain up to six high-speed devices without using a hub. Thunderbolt also supports DisplayPort for high resolution displays and works with existing adapters for HDMI, DVI, and VGA displays.

Key Specifications

What's in the Box

Mac mini; power cord; HDMI to DVI Adapter; printed and electronic documentation

Note: The Mac mini does not come with an optical drive, however OS X Lion offers the convenient DVD or CD Sharing feature, which lets you wirelessly "borrow" the optical drive of a nearby Mac or PC. So you can install applications from a DVD or CD and have full access to an optical drive without having to carry one around. Additionally, you can connect an optional optical drive (such as the MacBook Air SuperDrive) via one of the USB ports.

Included Software

Limited Warranty And Service

The Mac mini comes with 90 days of free telephone support and a 1-year limited warranty, which can be extended to 3 years with the AppleCare Protection Plan.

AppleCare Protection Plan

Because Apple makes the hardware, the operating system, and many applications, the Mac is a truly integrated system. And only the AppleCare Protection Plan gives you one-stop service and support from Apple experts, so most issues can be resolved in a single call. Extend the complimentary service and support on your Mac to 3 years from the original Mac purchase date with the AppleCare Protection Plan. You get direct telephone access to Apple experts for technical questions, and you get global repair coverage--including both parts and labor--for your Mac and select Apple peripherals.

Optional Accessories and Related Products

Thunderbolt Display

Apple Thunderbolt Display
The world's first Thunderbolt display doesn't just give you more pixels. It gives you more possibilities. Built-in Thunderbolt technology lets you connect as many as six devices through a single port and transfer data up to 20 times faster than with USB 2.0.

Time Capsule

Time Capsule
Time Capsule is the revolutionary backup device that works wirelessly with Time Machine in OS X Leopard or later. It automatically backs up everything, so you never have to worry about losing important files. It also doubles as a full-featured 802.11n Wi-Fi base station. Choose from 2 TB and 3 TB models.

AirPort Extreme Base Station

AirPort Extreme Base Station
Speed, range, and easy setup make AirPort Extreme the perfect wireless solution for home, school, and small business. It offers simultaneous dual-band support and lets up to 50 people share Internet access, a wireless network, a hard drive, and a printer.

AirPort Extreme Base Station

AirPort Express Base Station
AirPort Express is powerful enough to run a home Wi-Fi network for up to 10 people, yet small enough to take on the road. It also lets you stream music from your iTunes library through your stereo or powered speakers using AirPlay.


Apple MacBook Air SuperDrive
If you want to burn discs or install software you already own on disc, consider the external USB-based MacBook Air SuperDrive. It takes up very little space and easily connects to Mac mini with a single USB cable--there's no separate power adapter.

Apple Wireless Keyboard

Apple Wireless Keyboard
Incredibly thin and streamlined, the Apple Wireless Keyboard lets you type on your desk, on your lap, or anywhere within range. Wherever you put it, the keyboard will take up minimal space. Just like your Mac mini.

Apple Magic Trackpad

Apple Magic Trackpad
Magic Trackpad is the first Multi-Touch trackpad designed to work with your Mac desktop computer, and it supports a full set of gestures. Click, scroll, swipe, and rotate to control what's onscreen. Use it along with your mouse or as an alternative to one.

Apple Magic Mouse

Apple Magic Mouse
Magic Mouse is unlike any other mouse you've ever used. The Multi-Touch surface lets you use gestures to swipe through photos and scroll down web pages. And the entire mouse is the button, so you can click anywhere.

Apple Remote

Apple Remote
Control your Mac mini from afar with the sleek aluminum Apple Remote. Play, pause, adjust volume, move forward and back, and access menus while playing music and video.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

117 of 127 people found the following review helpful.
The Mac Mini has been updated on July 20th 2011. It no longer includes an optical drive. The price has also been reduced by $100. There are some major upgrades and minor changes between the 2011 base Mac Mini and 2010 model which I've detailed below.

Major Upgrades

2.3 GHz Intel Core i5 dual-core processor - a major upgrade over 2010's model which used the antiquated Intel Core 2 Duo processor.

Intel HD Graphics 3000 integrated graphics processor - An upgrade but not really as benchmarks show that the I.G 3000 is worse or at best equal to the Nvidia 320m integrated graphics processor in last years model.

Thunderbolt port - a super fast data transfer port. Data transfer speeds (in daily use) are supposed to be as fast as USB 3.0 and firewire 800 if not more. As of now, no consumer level thunderbolt compatible products are available but should be available soon. The TB port also functions as a Minidisplay port. For connecting your Mac Mini to an external monitor, you'll need a Syba High Quality Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter If you want to connect it to a tv, you'll need a Kanex iAdapt MDPHDMIV2 HDMI V2 - Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Adapter with Audio Support

Bluetooth 4.0 technology - the latest version of Bluetooth. Useful for transferring data off your mobile phone and connecting other Bluetooth peripherals (keyboards, magic trackpad etc) to your Mac Mini.

500 gb (5400 rpm) hard drive - last years model had a 320 gb hard drive. A minor upgrade.

NOTE - the Mac Mini no longer has an optical drive (Superdrive)

STANDARD FEATURES - from last years model (minor changes noted in brackets) are

Unibody enclosure
2gb of 1333 MHz DDR3 Ram - 1gb ram sticks x 2 (It supports up to 8 GB. In the 2010 model it was 2gb of 1066 Mhz DDR3 Ram.)

HDMI audio/video output with support for up to 1920 x 1200-pixel resolution and multichannel audio output (HDMI to DVI output adapter included if required to connect to a DVI only monitor)

Four USB 2.0 ports
One FireWire 800 port
Combined optical digital output/headphone output

Secure Digital memory card slot compatible with SD, SDHC, and SDXC media
Gigabit Ethernet wired networking (10/100/1000BASE-T)
Wi-Fi - 802.11n specification; 802.11a/b/g compatible

Software included is OS X 10.7 Lion and a 1 year warranty on parts and 90 day telephone technical support is standard.

The new Intel i5 processor in the base Mac Mini is a speed demon, allowing the Mac Mini to obliterate 2010's model in performance benchmarks as well as real world usage. The Mac Mini is excellent when it comes to watching full HD videos, working on documents, listening to music, streaming movies / music, surfing the web and other regular computing tasks.

Something to be aware of though,there is no optical drive in this year's Mac Mini. If you need one, you'll have to purchase an external DVD drive and connect it to the Mini through one of it's USB 2.0 ports. Apple expects you to download all software from the internet (Amazon digital downloads,Itunes Store, etc etc). Taking away choice from the buyer is never a good thing in my humble opinion.

Apple is still including 2 gb of ram in this machine - which is shameful for a product being sold in 2011 but I'm sure they have their reasons (Upsell to the mid level Mac Mini or the Mac Mini Server. Higher profit margins. Etc etc) but this leads to a degraded user experience out of the box. I'd recommend adding 4gb (2 x 2 sticks) Corsair 8 GB DDR3 Laptop Memory Kit CMSO8GX3M2A1333C9 of ram if you want to multitask smoothly. It's easy to replace the ram, just twist the bottom cover, open it up, pull out the old ram sticks and add the new sticks. (I suggest reading through the manual once before you do so though) Apple has also bumped up the hard drive capacity from 320 to 500gb but it's still a 5400rpm hard drive. Another helpful way for contributing to a degraded user experience as programs take longer to launch.

Thunderbolt is a good addition to the machine but as of now, no consumer level (affordable) Thunderbolt products exist. The products that do exist like the Apple Thunderbolt Display and the Promise Pegasus NAS Hard Drive Array, both cost $1000. The Thunderbolt cable itself costs $50.

Last year, when I wrote my review of the 2010 Mac Mini. I said that the Mac Mini was a horrible value for the price considering it contained an antiquated C2D processor(and rightly so). However the changes in this year's model make the Mac Mini a worthy purchase at this point in time. With a $100 price drop and the new machine being twice as powerful as the old one due to the Intel i5 processor, the base model 2011 Mac Mini is recommended if you're looking for a capable, non obtrusive,power saving machine that will handle your daily computing tasks.

Notes of Interest - The power supply of the Mac Mini is still internal. This may look cleaner from a design standpoint but it can also be considered a design flaw. If the power supply ever malfunctions, instead of a power brick, you'll have to take your entire Mac mini in to an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider and leave it there for repairs which may lead to more downtime.

No optical Drive - From now on, it's basically BYOMKM and D (Bring your own Mouse, Keyboard, Monitor and Disc burner) If you need to buy an optical drive, that will be $50 - $80 extra. Although you can wireless borrow another computers optical drive through the DVD/CD sharing feature. Certain reviewers are claiming that Apple was able to drop the optical drive which is why they have reduced the price by $100. That's not true. Keep in mind that that the Mini has always had an optical drive before this model. The Mac Mini when launched, first cost $499, then went up to $599 and finally $699. At all those earlier price points, an optical drive was included in the machine. Now the machine costs $599 but doesn't include an optical drive. So if you read a review telling you that Apple could reduce the price by $100 only because they removed the optical drive, that's not true. Apple removed the optical drive for their own reasons ( To push users towards digital downloads from their App store, etc etc)

Also, the standard Mac Mini now has space for a second hard drive due to the removal of the optical drive. So if you wanted, you could add a second hard drive. It's a complicated process (Why? Cus Apple wants it that way) and it may void the warranty IF you break something while doing so but it's possible. You'll also need a special SATA cable. For detailed instructions on how to, check

Value Equation - Even though the Mac Mini is the cheapest mac desktop, it can get expensive fast. Cost is an important aspect to consider before you jump into Apple Land. If you decide to upgrade the ram ($60) and also need to purchase a LCD monitor ($100 to 300) keyboard and mouse ($30 to 60) and optical drive ($50 - $80) and AppleCare Protection Plan for Mac Mini (NEWEST VERSION) ($144) once you total it all up, the Mac mini will end up costing almost as much as a Macbook Air (low end model which is more portable) or the entry level iMac (21.5 inch screen, 4gb of ram, dedicated graphics). If that's the case, you better off examining those machines as purchase options instead of buying a Mini or purchasing a Home.Theater.PC by any reputed PC maker.

Hope this helps!

42 of 51 people found the following review helpful.
5Incredible performance.
By Brian Stucki
We've installed a good number of machines at Macminicolo, here is what we learned

A quick list:

The base mac mini now starts at $599. This is a $100 decrease from the previous base mac mini.

The Mac mini has kept the same basic shape. You can still twist the bottom cover to upgrade RAM easily.

Apple has eliminated the optical drive across the board with this release.

There are a good number of build-to-order options. You can use SSD, upgrade any machine to 8GB of RAM, upgrade both internal drives for a total of 1.5TB. Amazon only offers the three stock machines.(But you can upgrade the RAM easily on your own.)

The Mac mini has left the Core 2 Duo family and now uses Intel i5 and i7 processors. A significant upgrade. In some cases doubling the performance.

The RAM has changed from PC8500 DDR3 1066MHz to PC10600 DDR3 1333MHz.The Apple avilable limit is 8GB, but we're hoping to test 16GB soon.

The Mac mini gains Thunderbolt. This will be a huge deal eventually as more ThunderBolt Accessories are released.

The mini machine still uses a ridiculously small amount of power and is nearly silent in operation.

37 of 45 people found the following review helpful.
4Good upgrade - UPDATE
By Hasodi
This is a great upgrade to the last model. I bought the 2GB base model with a side of Corsair 8GB ram kit. I am liking Mac OS X v10.7 Lion but I would like to try installing Windows 7 on here with an external dvd drive (Bootcamp). The sandy bridge chipset works wonders for video encoding. The exclusion of an optical drive was not a big issue for me as I like to use flash media anyways.

Wish it had USB 3.0 but we can't have it all. At least it has bluetooth 4.0 and gigabit ethernet.


I was able to install Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit onto this mini with no need for an optical drive. I used a flash drive and an offical Microsoft Windows 7 iso file.
Using BOOTCAMP you can switch from either OS.

Windows Experience Index
6.9 Processor
7.4 Memory (Corsair 8GB ram kit)
6.3 Graphics
6.3 Gaming Graphics
5.9 Primary Hard Disk

I can play youtube 1080 fine with flash player installed and Netflix works good with silverlight installed. I am not sure how much this will matter, but with the stock 2GB of ram I think the Intel HD shared 288 MB of ram with the system. After I installed the 8GB my Intel HD shared 512MB of ram with the system. This machine was not made for gaming but i checked out WoW and I got 30 fps on medium settings.

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