The iPhone might be Apple’s best-selling product but the most useful product that Apple made, in my opinion, is the Mac Mini. It is not only the cheapest computer that you can buy from Apple, but it is also the most useful. Granted you can watch YouTube with your Mac Mini while lying down to sleep, but the Mac Mini is the most customizable, the most versatile, and the best bang for your buck.

Then and Now

The Mac Mini was first introduced in 2000 as Apple’s first headless Mac, before this, all Apple products was a complete standalone computer that you can use right off the box. Apple does sell that in the form of iMac, MacBook Pro, and Air, but the Mac Mini is one of the rare Apple items that you need to buy other accessories to make it work.

Now, the Mac Mini is popular because it’s not only cheap, it is very capable. When Apple switched to its own Apple Silicon, it gave Intel and PCs a run for their money. With $500, you can now own one of the most powerful computers on the market. It used a home (and sometimes business) server, video editing, gaming, and many more.

This is a guide on how you can customize your Mac Mini to fit your particular needs. All the links are Amazon affiliate links. I get a cut without any extra cost to you. Price are correct at press time, but do click on the link to get the final price.

Apple Approved

This setup is made with all Apple products. So this is of course tested and used extensively by Apple so you know you get what Apple envisions from the Mac Mini.

Some of the products from Apple you won’t find elsewhere like the TouchID from the Magic Keyboard. Apple does not have any speaker solutions, so you have to use AirPods for quality audio.

DisplayStudio Display (Amazon: $1,247.99)Pro Display XDR (Retail $4,999) + Stand ($999)
KeyboardMagic Keyboard (Amazon: $99)Magic Keyboard with TouchID (Amazon: $179)
MouseWhite Magic Mouse (Amazon: $67.99) / White Magic Trackpad (Amazon: $109.99)Black Magic Mouse (Amazon: $88.99) / Black Magic Trackpad (Amazon: $139.99)
SpeakersAirPods (2nd Gen) (Amazon: $89.99)AirPods Max (Amazon: $479.99)

Base Setup

This is a good setup for everyday use and if you need to do some work. We divide it into three self-explanatory categories. Broke if you barely have enough money to buy accessories, decent if you have around $1000 to buy, and rich if you, well, rich.

For displays, 4K might be a good idea but in reality, it is not. Apple designed its display to hit a certain DPI (dots per inch) and 4K isn’t on spec. So you should go for either FullHD display or 5K or 6K, not 4K. If you are using a 4K display, you will encounter scaling issues that might make your experience sub-par.

DisplayAcer KB272 27" IPS Full HD monitor (Amazon: $109.99)SAMSUNG 27" ViewFinity S9 (Amazon: $1099.99)Dell UltraSharp U3224KB 31.5" (Amazon: $2302.29)
KeyboardLogitech MK270 Wireless Keyboard And Mouse Combo (Amazon:$22.99)Keychron C3 Pro QMK/VIA (Amazon: $36.99)Keychron Q2 Pro RGB QMK/VIA Bluetooth Wireless Custom Mechanical Keyboard (Amazon: $219.99)
MouseRazer DeathAdder Essential Gaming Mouse (Amazon: $23.10)Razer DeathAdder V3 Wired Gaming Mouse (Amazon: $69.99)
AudioSENNHEISER HD 206 Closed-Back Over Ear (Amazon: $44.98) / Creative Pebble 2.0 USB-Powered Desktop Speakers (Amazon: $18.22)Display speakers + Sennheiser HD6XX (Amazon: $269.50)Display speakers + Sennheiser HD 660S2 - Wired Audiophile Stereo Headphones (Amazon: $499.00) + FiiO NEWK3 DAC (Amazon: $109.99)

Video Producer

Video production is the bread and butter for Macs. Depsite having more powerful alternatives in PC land, the ecosystem works better for video editors, which is why some video editors still hold on to their trash can Mac Pros when Apple is struggling to put out great Intel Macs.

The Mac Mini is useful because it has an HDMI port which you can connect to your master reference display and USB-C ports which you can connect to your reference monitor speakers. The Mac Mini is powerful enough that you can edit raw 8K footage with ease. It helps that you have M2 Pro if you need that extra oomph.

DisplaySame as BaseLG 27MD5KL-B 27-Inch UltraFine 5K (Amazon: $996.99)Dell UltraSharp U3224KB 31.5" 6K LED Monitor (Amazon: $2,269.99)
TV DisplayNopeSAMSUNG 55-Inch Class QLED 4K Q70C (Amazon: $926.36)TCL 98-Inch Class S5 4K LED Smart TV with Google TV ($1,998.00)
Monitor SpeakersEdifier MR4 Powered Studio Monitor Speakers (Amazon: $129.99)Yamaha HS4 Powered Studio Monitor (Amazon: $249.00) There's a $50 discount if you got approved for Amazon VisaKRK RP5 Rokit 5 G4 Professional Bi-Amp 5" Powered Studio Monitors (Amazon: $318.00)

Music Editor

Music editing is where Apple Silicon shines over Intel. Before this on Intel Macs, you could only run 8 to 10 virtual tracks when using the top-of-the-line Mac Pro. Now, even the weakest Mac Mini can play the entire orchestra.

Display, Keyboard and MouseSame as Base
Stduio MonitorSame as Video Editing
Mixer ConsolePyle 6 Channel Mixer DJ Controller with Bluetooth (Amazon: $147.37)Pyle 8-Channel Bluetooth Studio Audio Mixer (Amazon: $212.99)PSG AUDIO DM-1608 14-Inputs Digital Mixing Console (Amazon: $799.99)
KeyboardAKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 ($99.00)M-Audio Oxygen Pro 61 ($299.00)Korg i3 61-Key Music Workstation ($649.00)


Gaming on the Mac might be an oxymoron but do remember that Apple is one of the largest gaming companies in the world by revenue. This is due to all the microtransactions in mobile. The new Apple Silicon can play any games that run on iPadOS and iOS.

Keyboard/MouseSame as Base
Gaming DisplaySceptre Curved 24-inch Gaming Monitor 1080p ($89.97)SAMSUNG 32" Odyssey G55A QHD 165Hz ($329.00)SAMSUNG 49" Odyssey G93SC Series OLED Curved Gaming Monitor ($1,599)


The Mac Mini is of course a desktop computer that needs a continuous supply from a power outlet. However, the Mac Mini is small enough that you can take it anywhere and does not use a lot of power that a battery bank will last you a long time. Put everything in a backpack and you are good to go.

The strategy here is to get a power bank that has AC power to run the Mac Mini and a portable display to show what you are running. You can use a travel keyboard and mouse to control the Mac Mini and having an iPhone to provide you networking, you are good to go.

BatteryEID Portable Power Inverter for Makita 18V Battery (Amazon: $39.99)Powdeom 155Wh Portable Power Station (Amazon: $89.99, Retail: $139.99)ZeroKor Portable Power Bank with AC Outlet (Amazon: $99.98)
Portable displayKYY Portable Monitor 15.6inch 1080P FHD USB-C ($89.99)InnoView Portable Monitor 18.5 inch 100HZ (Amazon: $189.99)ZSCMALLS Portable Monitor 17.3 Inch 144Hz (Amazon: $199.99)

Home Server

Being small and powerful, the Mac Mini is perfect for a home server. The Mac Mini can be the basis of your home lab and here are the accessories to make it happen.

Mac Mini Rack Mount KitApple Mac Mini Rack Mount - 1U Server ($78.00)
Server/Network RackNoneTecmojo 6U Wall Mount Server Cabinet ($119)VEVOR 12U Wall Mount Network Cabinet ($135.14)
Network SwitchTP-Link TL-SG108 8 Port Gigabit Unmanaged Ethernet Network Switch (Amazon: $18.99)TP-Link 8 Port Gigabit Managed Switch ($29.99)Cisco Catalyst 1200-8T-D Smart Switch ($168.15)
UPSAmazon Basics Standby UPS 400VA 255W ($53.53)CyberPower OR500LCDRM1U Smart App LCD UPS, 500VA/300W ($199.95)APC Smart-UPS 500VA Lithium Ion UPS with SmartConnect ($411.29)
External StorageCrucial X9 4TB Portable SSD ($299.99)Yottamaster 10Gbps 5 Bay USB C Hard Drive Enclosure Daisy ($279.99) + 5x Seagate BarraCuda 8TB Internal Hard Drive HDD (Amazon: $109.99 each)BUFFALO TeraStation Essentials 4-Bay Value Rackmount NAS 32TB ($1,179.99)