Apple's M1 Mac mini ditches the 10Gb Ethernet option that nobody chose
What you need to know
- Apple today announced a new Mac mini with the speedy M1 chip inside.
- But the new machine can't be configured with a 10Gb Ethernet port.
- An Intel Mac mini remains and it can be bought with the faster network port.
Apple announced a new M1-powered Mac mini today and it's already shaping up to be a bit of a beast. But there's one notable omission when placing an order – the option to select a 10Gb Ethernet port.
The previous generation Mac mini had a 10Gb Ethernet port as a configurable option and, in fact, an Intel Mac mini remains with that option still on the table. But anyone buying the latest and greatest Mac mini is out of luck. No super-fast network connection for you.
There's no indication of why this is the case, but there are a couple of potential reasons. The first is that people simply never chose the port when configuring their new Mac mini – I know I didn't – but that won't be comfort to those who need it. Mac minis find their ways into all kinds of environments and some of them require very fast network throughput. People buying for those kinds of environments will have to look elsewhere.
The other possibility is that the M1 architecture simply doesn't support 10Gb Ethernet for whatever reason. That seems unlikely given the other capabilities this new chip offers, but it's impossible to rule out for now.
The upshot of all this? If you really must go 10Gb Ethernet you're going to need to think long and hard before making a Mac mini purchase after today.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.
I would assume that a Thunderbolt to 10Gb ethernet adapter would be an option, even if it would be a little clunky. Probably anyone that wanted a 10Gb adapter is using the mini as a server, so the clunkiness wouldn't really matter.