I don't own any Apple product and am thinking of buying the upcoming Mac Mini. Now considering that this Mac Mini will be my first Apple product, what hardware I may have buy if I want to use Mac Mini for software development? And please be specific if I need to buy that from Apple strictly.

For example, I have to buy a monitor, and as far as I know, I can buy any Monitor with DVI (as there is a HDMI to DVI cable provided) or HDMI port.


The only things you absolutely need that isn't already included are:

  • The monitor that you have already identified.
  • A keyboard; a Mac specific one would make sense, but any PC USB keyboard will do you just need to be careful to use the right settings as the layout will be subtly different
  • A pointing device of some sort. If you are coming from PCs, you may hate Apple mice (I do), but again any PC mouse will work just fine. Having said that, the Magic Trackpad is fantastic. I use one on my iMac and do not use a mouse ever on a Mac any more.

Things you don't not need but are highly recommended would include:

  • A backup drive! Backup your stuff! Make it big (2x your internal drive at least) and make it fast (USB 3 or Thunderbolt if you have too much money)

Things which you might fancy but aren't really needed:

  • A headset/headphones of some sort (iPhones headphones with the 3 pin jack work fine)
  • An external DVD reader/writer (any brand, USB)
  • USB cup warmers (any brand)
  • Novelty stickers (any brand, except Microsoft Plays for sure! and Windows license keys)
  • Budget is the problem. Can you please describe little more about the backup drive? Will an external HDD suffice? I am thinking of buying Mac Mini with SSD (256 GB). – shakib May 8 '14 at 7:30
  • 1
    That's fine, any USB 3 drive is great, it will be compatible but may require formatting. – stuffe May 8 '14 at 7:34
  • I'd dispute that a backup drive is 'not needed'. A backup drive is essential if you want to keep your stuff. – benwiggy Nov 23 '20 at 11:32

Regarding your choice of monitor - you're not limited to the HDMI port. You can also use the Thunderbolt port on the Mac Mini for the monitor. This will connect any monitor compatible with DisplayPort or Thunderbolt.

For example I use the Dell U2412M monitors which are great for development with its 1920x1200 resolution. It connects directly to the DisplayPort port without requiring any adapters. For development I would really consider having at least two monitors.

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