Thunderbolt Devices

xMac mini Server


xMac mini Server

PCIe 2.0 expansion system 1RU Rackmount Enclosure for MacMini with Thunderbolt Port

Product Code: SON-XMACMSA

Suggested Retail Price £845+VAT

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The latest xMac mini Server includes a 150W power supply unit with an auxiliary PCIe power connector for higher draw PCI cards, such as the Avid Pro Tools|HDX or the RED ROCKET. This makes the xMac mini Server better suited to broadcast and media environments than ever.

Technology Guides

  • Adds Connectivity and Capabilities to Mac mini - Connects two PCIe 2.0 slots via Thunderbolt technology to the Mac mini, supports high-performance expansion cards
  • Server Room Ready - 1U rackmount enclosure with user-replaceable power supply and fans, built-in cable management features
  • Diverse PCIe Card Support - Supports Fibre Channel, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, pro video capture and playout, SAS/SATA RAID controllers, pro audio, and other PCIe cards
  • Thunderbolt 2 Interface - Maximum performance with Mac mini with Thunderbolt 2 technology; backward compatible with Mac mini and other devices equipped with 10Gbps Thunderbolt technoogy
  • Upgradeable - When available, upgrade to 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 Technology with a replacement Thunderbolt interface card
  • Supports Thunderbolt Expansion - Enables daisy chain connection of additional Thunderbolt technology devices through second Thunderbolt port
  • Front Panel Operation - Front panel power button activates power switch on Mac mini; USB 3.0 port enables connection of keyboard, mouse, thumb drive, etc.
  • Power for High Performance PCIe Cards - Integrated 150W power supply provides plenty of power for any cards you install; auxiliary PCIe power connector enables use of power hungry cards such as the Avid Pro Tools|HDX or the RED ROCKET
  • Rear Panel Connectivity - Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI and two USB 3.0 ports are mounted at the rear of the chassis for easy connectivity
  • Energy Efficient - Variable-speed fans automatically adjust to the unique needs of each configuration, and the auto power on/off feature ensures there is no energy wasted with cards powered on when the Mac mini is sleeping or off


  • Mac® mini or Mac mini with OS X Server [late 2012 (6,1) through late 2014 (7,1) with Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 ports]
  • Not compatible with Mac mini late 2018
  • OS X® 10.8.5+
  • macOS Catalina Compatible
  1. Mac mini and PCIe cards sold separately.
  2. Compatibility requires the installation of Thunderbolt technology-aware drivers, available from the manufacturer. See our supporting PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart for a list of up-to-date compatible PCIe cards.
  3. Thunderbolt 2 upgrade exchange kit for xMac mini Server is planned to be available for purchase at a future date, subject to Apple/Intel certification, compatible only with third generation xMac mini Server (part no. XMAC-MS-A); older models not supported. NOT part of the free Thunderbolt 2 upgrade program.
  4. Thunderbolt cable lock compatible with Sonnet, Apple and most other manufacturers' electrical Thunderbolt cables. The lock is not compatible with optical Thunderbolt cables.


All new Sonnet Products purchased on or after January 1, 2019, have a Two Year Limited Warranty, except as listed here. All new Sonnet Products purchased on or before December 31, 2018, have a One Year Limited Warranty, except as listed here.

A Great Design Made Better

With thousands of xMac mini Servers in daily use around the world, Sonnet has received great feedback from users, and we have updated this product with the features most important to them. This fourth generation xMac mini Server combines the best qualities of previous models and adds new features to make it the most capable model yet. The xMac mini server is now equipped with Thunderbolt 2 technology, making it fully compatible with the new Late 2014 Mac mini with dual Thunderbolt 2 ports. The xMac mini Server supports one full-height, full-length card, plus one full-height, half-length card. If you need to install a PCIe card that includes a daughter card, like the ones included with RME's HDSPe MADI FX card, Blackmagic Design's DeckLink 4K Extreme, and the Lynx AES16e-50, the supplied mounting bracket allows you to securely mount the daughter card inside the chassis next to the main card, leaving the second PCIe slot open for another PCIe card. The rear panel includes mounting holes for two BNC connectors used for HD/SDI output from cards like the RED ROCKET, or for MADI and word clock input and output from cards like the HDSPe MADI FX. A larger power supply plus an added auxiliary power connector enables this xMac mini server to support even more cards than before.

Built for Future Expansion

The xMac mini Server provides you easy access to its PCIe slots and the computer's ports; simply loosen two thumbscrews and slide the top cover off. Once inside, installing PCIe expansion cards is easy. An included Thunderbolt cable connects your Mac mini to one of the xMac mini Server's Thunderbolt 2 ports, linking the PCIe slots to the computer. The xMac mini Server's second Thunderbolt 2 port allows daisy chaining of additional Thunderbolt peripherals such as additional PCIe expansion (like Sonnet's Echo Express III-R rackmount chassis), pro video breakout boxes, video capture and playback devices, audio I/O devices, and more.

xMac mini Server as a metadata controller for an Xsan® storage area network? Yes, you can. xMac mini Server as an ingest station for uncompressed HD video? Absolutely. xMac mini server as a virtual sound check, pro audio plug-in DAW and record rig? Sure! This Sonnet solution enables you to expand your Mac mini's capabilities in ways you never imagined; click the Configuration Ideas tab for a few concepts. For PCIe card compatibility information, see our PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart for a list of cards that have been tested to be recognized over a Thunderbolt connection and compatible with Thunderbolt technology requirements.

Stays Cool and Very Quiet

The fourth generation xMac mini Server integrates a universal 150W power supply and includes an auxiliary PCIe power connector for cards that require supplementary power, such as the Avid® Pro Tools|HDX or the RED ROCKET. In short, there is plenty of power for any combination of compatible cards.

Built for Speed

With the introduction of the Late 2014 Mac mini, 20Gbps Thunderbolt 2 technology-equipped Mac minis are here. The previous Mac mini with 10Gbps Thunderbolt offered more than sufficient bandwidth to support the maximum performance of most PCIe cards. However, some cards such as the RED ROCKET and RED ROCKET-X, 16Gb Fibre Channel, multi-port 10Gigabit Ethernet, and other bandwidth-hungry cards require more than 10Gbps. Thunderbolt 2 removes this barrier by providing more bandwidth for demanding applications. The xMac mini Server's Thunderbolt 2 interface takes full advantage of this increased bandwidth to ensure optimum performance from installed cards when you install a new Mac mini, and yet it is fully compatible with earlier Mac mini computers with 10Gbps Thunderbolt as well.

Smart Design Inside and Out

The xMac mini Server has numerous thoughtful design touches. The power supply and fans are user-replaceable. The front panel USB 3.0 port connects to back of the Mac mini, enabling you to connect a keyboard, mouse, or thumb drive to the computer without having to access its ports from the back. Other Mac mini interface ports are extended to the back of the chassis and mounted on the rear panel for convenient interfacing of Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI, and two USB 3.0 cables. A cable passthrough opening on the back panel allows you to route other cables to the computer or the internal connections on an installed card. One USB 3.0 port on the Mac mini is left available to connect a software license control dongle, such as the iLok, securely within the xMac's enclosure. The xMac mini Server's power switch turns the computer on and off without the need for you to reach around back, and the PCIe slots power on/off with the Mac mini for maximum energy savings. An opening in the front panel allows the Mac mini's power indicator to shine through. There is a central power hub for the computer and power supply for the PCIe slots, enabling you to power everything with one power cord. Sonnet includes an easy-to-install lock that secures Thunderbolt connectors plugged into the xMac's Thunderbolt 2 ports and prevents accidental cable disconnections. Holes for cable ties enable you to secure cables inside, keeping them tidy while avoiding accidental disconnects. Threaded holes in the side of the enclosure match up with Sonnet's Rack Slide Sets, which provide you an easy way to pull out your xMac mini Server to access what is inside.

Strong Link in the Chain

These Sonnet solutions support daisy chaining of additional Thunderbolt technology-enabled peripherals such as an additional Echo Express, the Apple® Thunderbolt Display, video capture devices, and data storage devices. For connected devices requiring extra power, 10 watts is provided through the daisy chain port to peripherals.

Sonnet xMac Mini Server - Thunderbolt 3 Edition
xMac Mini Server - Thunderbolt 3 Edition

Thunderbolt 3 to PCIe card expansion system / 1U rackmount enclosure for Mac Mini with Thunderbolt 3 ports

Sonnet Thunderbolt 3 Upgrade Card for xMac mini Server
Thunderbolt 3 Upgrade Card for xMac mini Server

Thunderbolt 3 Upgrade Card for the xMac Mini Server (Thunderbolt 2 Edition)

Sonnet Rack Slide Set - 17.5 - 21 inch
Rack Slide Set - 17.5 - 21 inch

Rack Slide Rails for Rackmounted units - 17.5 - 21" Chassis

Sonnet Quiet Fan Module (Type A)
Quiet Fan Module (Type A)

Quiet Fan Module for xMac mini Server - Type A

Sonnet Avid Pro Tools | HDX PCIe Card Power Adapter Cable
Avid Pro Tools | HDX PCIe Card Power Adapter Cable

Connect one Avid Pro Tools | HDX PCIe Card in your Echo Express III Expansion Chassis (Thunderbolt 2 Editions only), xMac mini Server, or xMac Pro Server

Sonnet Turns The Mac mini Into A True Xserve Replacement by Ryan Faas

The xMac mini Server may not have the raw power of the Mac Pro or Xserve, but it does offer an energy-efficient server configuration that delivers much of the functionality of the Xserve. Beyond the standard rackmount form factor and PCIe expansion, it includes a range of rear mounted ports, efficient airflow and cooling, and a front-mounted USB port for easy access to removable storage devices or peripherals like a keyboard.
See full article
  • xMac mini Server, assembled
  • Daughter card mounting bracket
  • 0.5-meter Thunderbolt cable
  • Thunderbolt cable lock
  • Power cord
  • Documentation

Note: Mac mini and PCIe cards sold separately


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