Apple launched a new Mac mini Tuesday, an upgraded model that uses the M2 chip seen last summer in the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. A higher-end version runs on the brand-new M2 Pro chip, which also powers the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros, also introduced today.
“Bringing even more performance and a lower starting price, Mac mini with M2 is a tremendous value,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, in a press release. “And for users who need powerful pro performance, Mac mini with M2 Pro is unlike any other desktop in its class.”
The computers are available to preorder today and will arrive January 24.
New Mac mini is more powerful, more capable and $100 cheaper
The new Mac mini with M2 takes the place of the M1 model, one of the first three computers to get the new Apple silicon architecture way back in 2020. At just $599, the new Mac mini is the cheapest way to buy into the latest tech from Cupertino. A higher-end model with M2 Pro replaces the aging Intel version, which until today was unchanged since 2018.
“Compared to the previous-generation Mac mini, M2 and M2 Pro bring a faster next-generation CPU and GPU, much higher memory bandwidth, and a more powerful media engine to Mac mini, delivering extraordinary performance and industry-leading power efficiency,” Apple said.
The Mac mini is a budget way to build a powerful setup for those who cannot afford the Mac Studio.
A familiar face
The Mac mini doesn’t get redesigned very often. The PowerPC version from the 2000s came in an aluminum case with a white polycarbonate piece on top. A few years after Apple’s transition to Intel processors, the 2010 Mac mini slimmed down significantly and brought an aluminum unibody case.
While the new machine makes better use of its interior space, fitting more powerful chips and more ports inside, it looks all the same from the outside. According to Apple, “both models feature an advanced thermal system for exceptional sustained performance.”
Mac mini with M2
- 8-core CPU and 10-core GPU
- Up to 24GB unified memory
- Up to 50% faster performance in Photoshop compared to M1
- Up to 35% faster performance in games like Resident Evil Village compared to M1
- 9.8 times faster rendering in Final Cut Pro compared to previous Intel Core i7-based Mac mini
Apple touted the entry-level Mac’s performance in Tuesday’s press release.
“With all this performance, Mac mini is up to 5× faster than the bestselling Windows desktop,” an Intel Core i5-based system with integrated Intel graphics running Windows 11, “delivering incredible value to first-time computer buyers, upgraders, and PC switchers,” the company said.
Mac mini with M2 Pro
The new Mac mini with the M2 Pro chip inside takes kicks performance up a notch.
- 12-core CPU and up to 19-core GPU
- Up to 32GB unified memory
- 40% faster Neural Engine compared to M1
- Supports up to three external monitors
- Up to “14× faster than the fastest Intel-based Mac mini”
- Up to 4.2× faster performance in Final Cut Pro compared to M1
“With M2 Pro, Mac mini users can run high-performance workflows that were previously inconceivable in such a compact form factor,” Apple said.
More power at about the same price, coming soon
The base models of the new lineup remain largely unchanged: $599 for the M2 version (down $100) and $1,299 for the M2 Pro version (up $200). Purchasing either model through the Apple Education Store costs $100 less.
The new Mac mini is available to preorder starting today and will arrive next Tuesday.