2018 Mac Mini Thoughts?

Apple has finally released the new Mac Mini and since my current 2010 Mac Mini is getting a little long in the tooth, I’m thinking now would be an optimal time for an upgrade. Any thoughts regarding the best specs on RAM and SSD to future-proof it for Roon? I pretty much only use my current 2010 Mac Mini for Roon Core and store my music on a Synology RAID. This is the current setup:

2010 Mac Mini Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz ; L2 Cache:3 MB; Memory:8 GB , 480GB Mercury Electra 3G Solid-State Drive > Roon > HQ Player (polysinc, NS9 upsampling PCM to 192 kHz) > Sonore MicroRendu (in NAA mode w/ Sonore DC-4 / LPS-1) > Benchmark HGC DAC2


See this:

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Buy a NUC and put ROCK on it. New Mac Mini is well overpriced. You can get a silent NuC way below the base mini price.

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Sorry, should mention, I’m pretty deep into the Apple ecosystem so would rather stay with a Mac Mini

Thanks! Very helpful. Missed this thread.

If you like and are comfortable with a macmini then whatever model you get from the latest model will be fine for replacing what is already an under spec model. Maybe opt to go 16gb otherwise if it’s just for Roon only 128gb ssd will be fine. I3 no problem, unless you plan to jump into hqp with dsd512 upsampling in which case the i7 might be better


To each their own.

Sure. If you’re only using it for Roon core, not sure how much difference it makes, though.

You may want to hold off on this upgrade until we find out how noisy the fan in the new machine is.


It’s overpriced for what you want with it. I don’t lie :wink:
Nuc is a nice choice.

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NUC would be good if the machine is only going to be used for Roon. Although if OP plans to use it for other things and is more comfortable with Mac OS, then Mac Mini may be the way to go.

For all purpose + Roon: 16 GB RAM should be good well into the future. Although, 8 GB seems to work fine as well. I think the RAM is user upgradeable on the Mac Mini, so it may be better to purchase RAM yourself for much less.

SSD I’d recommend 256 or 512GB.


Its really overpriced. Go with a NUC if you can.

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As a “deep Mac” guy too, I went with the NUC/ROCK. Very happy. Also, quite happy I use a single-purpose computer for the core.


Maybe one of these would make more sense for high-end audio, though. Better cabinets.

Thelio desktops

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I am looking at buying a new Mac Mini as well. Not just for a Roon core but for many other reasons including using it with Capture One.

For me the sweet spot is the i7 processor, with 8GB RAM and 512 SSD. This set up is $1,499 USD. Why? You can’t update the processor and getting the best and fastest will ensure that the mini will be useful as many years as possible. The RAM is upgradable. Buy the least you can get, then buy 32GB for half the price Apple charges afterwards. 512 SSD is more than enough for the programs and the processes that are best done on local storage, Everything else save to a NAS. Apple prices for SSD are way overpriced so get just what you need, saving everything else to long term storage is the best strategy.


I’ll be getting one. I’ve been looking for a machine like this to replace my primary media server, which is an aging 2008 Mac Pro. Yes I know, I can probably roll my own NUC for cheaper and I have the technical skill to do so. But I have a nearly Mac house and appreciate the time I don’t spend doing tech support on all the machines in the house. And the Mac Pro also functions for file service, Plex and HQ Player service.

With the new Geekbench marks showing up, I figure that the old machine is just 35% the speed of a new 6 core Mini. Even the 4 core i3 model is faster than the Mac Pro. So I think I will do well with the upgrade.

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Just wanted to add my voice to those who have already mentioned the same. I’m also deep into Mac ecosystem. However, if this really is just for running Roon core, I would go with a dedicated NUC solution. I would only go for a Mac Mini if you will use it for anything else as well, or just quite simply vastly prefer the aesthetics, if the computer will be on display. Firstly I think a dedicated machine for one dedicated task will always do the job better, secondly I think the pricing of the new Mac Mini is too much to pay for a single use when a NUC will do a better job anyway for half the price or less.

I would also agree, but there are many here who want a little more, like knowing what’s going on performance wise on their core, which ROCK does not support. and having more headroom for multiple streams with DSD and other DSP related which some NUC models might struggle with. HQP is also not supported on ROCK

Thats all for ROCK on the NUC…windows on the NUC will also give you more than the ROCK option but looks like the higher spec mini’s will cater more for some added performance related needs

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A lot of thoughtful responses here and lots to ponder. There are some compelling arguments here to go with a NUC. I suspect the migration path to a new Mac Mini will be less fraught with issues though:
— I can pretty much clone my old mini to the new one and be good to go
— My backups are all automated using Carbon Copy Cloner so I can plug in a portable usb drive, have it backup then back that drive up to my office Mac which has a cloud backup
— We do occasionally watch movies from the Mac Mini
— I’m less technically inclined than many on this forum and have more of a “set it and forget it” mindset

While the additional costs associated with the Mac mini aren’t trivial, they may be worth it in my case. Especially since I’m not particularly fluent in the Windows world although it sounds like going ROCK would obviate that. I’ll wait for some reviews to come in though since @Bill_Janssen’s point about fan noise is a good one and who knows what else may come to light after this latest mini is put to the test.

Good point. I need HQ Player support and the less fuss the better. I love HQP but it’s probably the most persnickety and fussy part of my chain softwarewise.

This seems really practical with a reasonable upgrade path. The Apple ram prices seem ridiculous. Are the ssds swapable on the new minis? I upgraded the drive on my 2010 mini. The process wasn’t too onerous.