Jason Snell, writing at Six Colors back in March:
The Mac mini was last updated 1245 days ago, in October of 2014.
(And that was a lackluster upgrade.) Taking a cue from my
dreams about what a modern Mac mini might be like, I bought a
tiny Intel NUC PC and installed macOS on it. My Mac mini was
becoming unreliable and I was hoping to experiment with Intel’s
hardware in advance of a real Mac mini being released.
This was intended to be a temporary experiment. And, in fact, I
hope to replace the NUC with a real Mac mini just as soon as Apple
finally releases that all-new Mac mini that’s hopefully
percolating inside Cupertino. But in the meantime, I have been
running macOS on non-Apple hardware, and it’s been an instructive
Cheaper and faster, but a pain in the ass to keep updated software-wise. All of that is to be expected. But the striking thing to me is just how much smaller the Intel NUC is. It’s only a little bit bigger than an Apple TV. Calling the Mac Mini “mini” is absurd in 2018.
I wrote about this last September, when the Apple TV 4K came out:
Apple TV 4K is tiny compared to a Mac Mini, but judging by
Geekbench scores (Mac Mini; iPad Pro, which uses the
A10X in the Apple TV) it’s a slightly faster computer than even
the maxed-out Mac Mini configuration. Apple TV 4K probably has
better GPU performance too. In addition to all the performance
problems stemming from the fact that the Mac Mini hasn’t been
updated in three years, it’s also inarguable that it’s no longer
even “mini”. You could arrange four Apple TV units in a 2 × 2
square and they’d take up the same volume as one Mac Mini.
Apple TV proves that Apple can make an amazing compact puck-sized computer. They just seem to have lost any interest in making one that runs MacOS.