Apple upgrades Mac mini with powerful new processors
Alongside its new MacBook line, Apple has unveiled updates to its Mac mini range, which are kitted out with its newly announced M2 and M2 Pro chips. That gives these desktop computers a decent boost in speed and power over the previous models.
Positioned between its premium iMac and the portable MacBook, Apple’s Mac mini lineup consists of versatile computers packed into smallish boxes that easily fit on a desktop. It’s now been a bit over two years since the last update, so they’re about due for a refresh.
The main difference is the processor – the new Mac minis are running either Apple’s M2 or M2 Pro chips. The base model runs on an 8-core CPU, which apparently has four “performance” cores and four “efficiency” cores, as well as a 10-core GPU and 16-core Neural Engine. All up it has a memory bandwidth of 100 GB/s. The M2 Pro, meanwhile, adds two extra performance cores to its CPU, six more to its GPU and boasts twice the memory bandwidth.
The other specs are pretty powerful as well. The M2 starts with 8 GB of unified memory (read: RAM) with the option of 16 or 24 GB, while the M2 Pro starts at 16 GB with the option of 32 GB. Storage-wise, the M2 starts at 256 GB and offers expansions to 512 GB, 1 TB or 2 TB, and the M2 Pro starts at 512 GB and comes in 1, 2, 4 or 8 TB versions.
In practice, Apple says that the new M2 Mac mini can perform image editing tasks in Adobe Photoshop up to 50% faster than the previous M1 model, video editing tasks in Final Cut Pro at more than twice the speed, and gaming at around 35% faster. The M2 Pro, on the other hand, boasts improvements of 2.5 times faster image editing, 4.2 times faster video editing and 2.8 times faster gaming than the M1.
Both models have a wide range of connectivity options too. That includes Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, two USB-A ports, HDMI, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and an upgraded headphone jack. The M2 can support one or two displays of up to 6K resolution with its two Thunderbolt 4 ports. The M2 Pro packs four Thunderbolt 4 ports, and can support up to three displays – one of which can be 8K.
The new Mac minis go on sale on January 24, starting at US$599 for the M2 and $1,299 for the M2 Pro.