I was interested in buying a Mac mini for work (I love Linux but it requires too much maintenance).

However, it turns out that it has no battery at all (different to a MacBook Pro/Air etc).

I have never owned a Mac and I would like to know what happens if electrical power is missing for a few seconds? (It happens.)

Does it have kind of "snapshot" function or would it result in losing everything I was doing (if not saved)?

  • No snapshot function, but MacOS/X does have a nice journalling filesystem. So you'll lose whatever was in memory and not saved to disk, but your filesystem should not be corrupted afterwards. (There is an Auto Save feature in OS X but I believe that is implemented only in applications that specifically use Apple's APIs to do so. support.apple.com/en-us/HT202255 ) – Jeremy Friesner Dec 20 '15 at 3:21

As with any computer which does not have a battery you will lose everything not saved to disk if you unplug the computer from the power supply. If you use a Mini in an unstable environment, adding a UPS might reduce the risk of data loss.

  • The other question you need to ask is how often does your power fail - I am in UK in a town and it is less than once a year or two - with an hourly TM backup the cost of adding a UPS or other precaution is not worth it. – Mark Dec 19 '15 at 23:08
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    @Mark, consider all the stuff you lose in an hour that can't be backed up, say for instance, a GoToMeeting Session you're hosting in hopes of getting a promotion/raise? For less than $150, a UPS is DEFINITELY worth it. – Daniel Dec 20 '15 at 0:06
  • I'd be more worried if the machine crashed or failed which enemy situation is MUCH more likely – Mark Dec 20 '15 at 10:27
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    @Daniel When power cuts happen at most every couple of years, and you're only at work for about 25% of the time (40hrs out of 168 per week), you're looking at a power cut affecting your work about once every eight years or, if you prefer, once every two to three computers. That doesn't seem boldface-shoutycaps-definitely worth anything, to me. – David Richerby Dec 20 '15 at 12:04
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    We have at least 20 power cuts per month, sometimes a few minutes, sometimes half a day. UPS'es are a useful buffer until the generator kicks in. That being said, they're also protect you from lightning and the occasional sorry I thought this was the printer's plug power cord situations. – EDP Dec 20 '15 at 13:38

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