Don’t expect M3 Mac mini before late 2024


Mac mini sitting on desk alongside LG display, LaCie hard drive, Model F keyboard and Magic Trackpad
Seems Mac mini with M2 Pro will be the fastest option for a long time.
Photo: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

A version of the inexpensive Mac mini desktop upgraded with a faster Apple M3 processor will not be on the market for over a year, according to a reliable source.

However, there are other Macs with the M3 chip expected before the end of 2023.

No M3 Mac mini in 2023

With a starting price of $599, the Mac mini is the most affordable macOS computer available. Add an inexpensive monitor, keyboard and mouse to make a computer as powerful as the average consumer needs.

That’s true for the current version with an Apple M2 processor, but some people are always ready for something more powerful. But it seems to move to M3 for the Mac mini is still many months away.

Bloomberg, in Mark Gurman’s most recent PowerOn newsletter, says a version of the compact computer with Apple’s next-gen processor is only in the very early stages of development. His unnamed sources within Apple indicate the product won‘t launch until late 2024.

More power is often redundant

The new chip should bring noticeable performance improvements. The M1 and M2 families were made with a 5nm process, but M3 manufacture will use a 3nm process. Shrinking the components allows them to work faster while generating less waste heat.

But don’t forget, there is already a solution for Mac mini fans who want more power. The diminutive desktop is available with an Apple M2 Pro, giving it a considerable performance boost over the base model — about 46% faster, according to Geekbench 6.

And Bloomberg reports that an M3 Pro version of their Mac mini is also in development. It is likewise not launching before late 2024.

Of course, the Pro chips add considerably to the cost. The wee little computer with an M2 starts at $599, as noted. The M2 Pro version starts at $1,299.

Those who want a macOS desktop with professional power should turn to Mac Studio, which can be configured with the Apple M2 Ultra. But that’s for professionals rendering 3D video in 8K. Anyone looking to access the web, read email, write reports, and other bread-and-butter tasks will find all they need in the M2 Mac mini today.

M3 is coming sooner

The lengthy wait for a Mac mini with M3 doesn’t mean there’s a problem with the processor. It’s expected to debut in several Apple computers in the next few months. There’ll reportedly be a refreshed version of the 24-inch iMac and a pair of MacBooks with Apple’s next gen chip before the end of 2023.

This will likely be followed by an M3 iPad Pro with an OLED display in early 2024.


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