Mac mini might skip Apple M3 processor


Mac mini might skip Apple M3 processor in favor of M4
With no M3 version on the way, iMac mini M2 will stay around until the M4 chip arrives.
Photo: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

There will never be a version of the Mac mini with the Apple M3 processor, according to a reliable tipster. Instead, the inexpensive desktop will wait for the next-generation chip.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that the wait supposedly won’t be terribly long.

Mac mini could pass over M3 in favor of M4

The Apple M3 launched in autumn 2023 in MacBook Pro and iMac, and came to MacBook Air early this year. It’s still rolling out, with a new, more powerful iteration of the chip supposedly headed for the Mac Studio desktop in mid-year.

But the replacement M4 is already on the horizon. And the next Mac mini will be on hold until that chip arrives, reports Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman in the paywalled section of the new edition of his Power On newsletter.

The M4 iMac mini will arrive at the end of 2024 or early 2025, and there simply isn’t time to squeeze an M3 version in before that launch, according to Gurman. Which means the M2 version will stay on shelves for longer.

When the next-generation Mac mini arrives, it’ll supposedly be available in both M4 and M4 Pro variants.

More about the M2 Mac mini

This compact desktop is the least expensive Mac — the base model is only $599 — and it’s aimed at budget-conscious consumers. It’s really not surprising that it’s not always kept updated with the latest-and-greatest processor.

That said, the M2 Mac mini is hardly underpowered. With an 8-core CPU and a 10-core GPU, the machine can easily handle a typical consumer’s browsing and light photo/video editing needs.

Those who need a significant step up in performance can get the version with the M2 Pro chip. This model ships with a 10-core CPU, a 16-core GPU, and 16GB of unified system memory. This variant also packs four Thunderbolt 4 ports alongside two USB-A ports so users can hook up as many high-bandwidth accessories as needed, including more than two monitors.


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