Apple on Tuesday quietly added a 10GbE upgrade option to its M1-powered Mac Mini desktop computers originally introduced in November last year. Small form-factor systems featuring a 10Gb Ethernet port cost $100 more than PCs with a regular GbE connector.
When Apple introduced the Mac Mini powered by its own M1 system-on-chip last November, it only offered its customers upgrades for RAM and storage. The desktop came equipped with with Broadcom’s BCM5701 GbE controller and Apple did not offer any upgrade options, which probably disappointed those owners of Intel-based Mac Mini PCs that use 10GbE networks.
Along with the launch of its new iMac 24-inch (which does not have a 10GbE option) and iPad Pro on April 20, Apple quietly started to offer its Mac Mini with an unknown optional 10GbE controller that can be installed for $100. But at press time Apple did not list the upgrade option on its support page.
What remains a mystery is how Apple connects the 10GbE controller to its M1 SoC that that is not supposed to have many spare PCIe lanes.
Those who use Apple’s latest Mac Mini at home or in an office equipped with fast 10GbE network will now be able to take advantage of fast connections with Apple’s latest systems.