Apple just dropped a refresh to the Mac Mini. The new version of the compact desktop arrives with a choice of last year’s M2 chip, or the freshly arrived M2 Pro.
The system received a major refresh back in 2020, with the arrival of the first M1 chip. In his review, Matt called the system a “no-compromise, low-cost Mac.”
Apple says the new model compares thusly to its predecessor:
- Up to 2.5x faster graphics performance in Affinity Photo.
- Up to 4.2x faster ProRes transcode in Final Cut Pro.
- Up to 2.8x faster gameplay in Resident Evil Village.
The system — full name “Mac Mini with M2” — features an 8-core CPU and 10-core GPU, coupled with up to 24 GB of RAM 8 TB of storage. A fully specked-out M2 Pro system will run just over $4,099, without the display. Even so, it’s clear the company is positioning this as the low-cost alternative to its high-end Mac Studio desktop (which still sports the M1 Max or Ultra and starts at $2,000). In any case, it’s been a while since Apple offered up this many desktop options.
Likely the company will continue to push the Studio for “serious” pros — particularly if/when the M2 models arrive later in the year. In the meanwhile, however, this thing seems plenty capable on the video front, with the ability to “simultaneously play up to two streams of 8K ProRes 422 video at 30 fps, or up to 12 streams of 4K ProRes 422 video at 30 fps.”
You get four Thunderbolt 4/USB-C ports, with support for an 8K display. There are also two USB-A ports, plus an HDMI, Ethernet and a headphone jack. The system also supports Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3.
“With incredible capabilities and a wide array of connectivity in its compact design, Mac mini is used in so many places, in so many different ways. Today, we’re excited to take it even further with M2 and M2 Pro,” SVP Greg Joswiak says in a release. “Bringing even more performance and a lower starting price, Mac mini with M2 is a tremendous value.”
The new Mac Mini starts at $599 ($100 less than its predecessor) and is available to pre-order today. Shipping starts in a week, on January 24.