Mac mini (Mid 2011): External ports and connectors

Learn about the external ports and connectors on your Mac mini (Mid 2011) computer.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

Ports on a Mac mini (Mid 2011)

Note: All ports and connectors discussed in this article are located on the Input/Output (I/O) panel on the back of the computer.

Power port This port is for connecting the Mac mini (Mid 2011) built-in power supply. This connector has different design than previous Mac mini models.
Gigabit Ethernet port (10/100/1000 Gigabit Base-T) Mac mini (Mid 2011) has a built-in 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet port. Connect to an Ethernet cable from a cable or DSL modem, hub, switch, or router, or to another Mac computer; the Ethernet port also supports jumbo frames. The connected device can be a 10Base-T, 100Base-TX, or a 1000Base-T device; the port automatically detects which type of device is connected. You don't have to use an Ethernet crossover cable to connect to other Ethernet devices.
One FireWire 800 port Mac mini (Mid 2011) features one 800 Mbit/s FireWire (IEEE 1394b) port; 8 watts. 800 Mbit/s is a theoretical maximum load, and actual rates may vary. This port is used by older iPods and other devices such as video cameras or external hard drives or optical drives.
HDMI port Use the HDMI port to connect a compatible HDMI display or DVI display using the included HDMI to DVI adapter. Use extended desktop or video mirroring mode up to 1920 by 1200 pixels through this port.
Thunderbolt port

Mac mini (Mid 2011) has a Thunderbolt port that supports:

  • Mini DisplayPort output using a Mini DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort cable (optional)
  • DVI output using a Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter (optional)
  • VGA output using a Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter (optional)
  • Dual-Link DVI output using Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter. Supports 30-inch Apple Cinema HD Display (optional)
  • HDMI audio and video output using a third-party Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Adapter

Connect a Thunderbolt device using the Apple Thunderbolt Cable (2 m).

Four USB (Universal Serial Bus) 2.0 ports

Mac mini (Mid 2011) has a total of four USB 2.0 compliant ports. You can connect USB 2.0- and USB 1.1-compliant devices to these ports.

The USB ports use USB Type A connectors, which have four pins each.

The USB 2.0 ports support low-speed, full-speed, and high-speed data transfers at up to 1.5 megabits per second (Mbit/s), 12 Mbit/s, and 480 Mbit/s, respectively.

SD card slot The built-in SD card slot allows the Mac mini (Mid 2011) to read and write data to SD media. The slot accepts cards that are Standard SD (Secure Digital) 4 MB to 4 GB, SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) 4GB to 32 GB, and SDXC (Secure Digital Extended Capacity) 32 GB and larger.
Audio in/optical audio in port

The Audio In port accommodates both digital optical input and analog audio input.

Analog audio line input is accepted through a 3.5mm mini phone jack. The sound input port accepts line-level stereo signals up to 24-bit stereo 44.1-192kHz sampling rate. It also accepts a stereo miniplug-to-RCA cable adapter for connecting stereo equipment to the computer.

Optical audio input is SPDIF format and uses a standard TOSLINK cable with a TOSLINK mini-plug adapter, accepting up to 24-bit stereo and 44.1-96kHz sampling rate.

Headphone out/optical audio out port The headphone / line output port accommodates digital optical audio output, analog audio output with a 24-bit, 44.1-192 kHz D/A converter, digital audio output up to 24-bit stereo and 44.1-192 kHz sampling rate and supporting encoded digital audio output (AC3 and DTS). For analog headphone / line output, use a standard audio cable with 3.5mm metal plug. For digital audio, you can use Apple iPhone headset with microphone or a standard TOSLINK cable with a TOSLINK mini-plug adapter.
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