Apple has unveiled a new iteration of its Mac Mini desktop computer, which it said delivers “staggering performance” in an ultra-compact design.
Alongside a new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, the 2020 Mac Mini is one of the first Apple systems to feature the company’s own M1 System-on-Chip (SoC), which includes an 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU.
The company claimed the new model offers three times faster CPU performance than the previous generation Mac Mini, allowing for dramatic acceleration in demanding workloads – such as compiling millions of lines of code or building multitrack music projects.
It also boasts six-times faster graphics performance for better handling of 3D applications and rendering, while delivering 15-times faster machine learning (ML) capabilities.
Altogether, Apple claimed these enhancements mean the Mac Mini offers up to five times the performance of the best-selling Windows desktop in its price range, despite being one-tenth its size.
The company also provided a list of performance increases over the previous generation Mac Mini in various applications, including:
- Compiling code in Xcode up to 3x faster.
- Playing a graphics-intensive game like “Shadow of the Tomb Raider” with up to 4x higher frame rates.
- Rendering a complex timeline in Final Cut Pro up to 6x faster.
- Supporting using up to 3x as many real-time plug-ins in Logic Pro for music production.
- Increasing the resolution of a photo in Pixelmator Pro up to 15x faster.
- Utilising ML frameworks like TensorFlow or Create ML, now accelerated by the M1 chip.
Ports and cooling
The new Mac Mini’s I/O features several ports for connecting peripherals and external devices, including two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports, two USB-A, an HDMI 2.0, Ethernet port and 3.5mm headphone jack.
It also supports output to up to two displays – which can include Apple’s ProDisplay XDR monitor at its full 6K resolution.
Apple added that the Mac Mini comes with an advanced thermal design to sustain its performance while staying cool and quiet.
It further boasts Wi-Fi 6 connectivity and Secure Enclave in M1 for best-in-class security, Apple noted.
Pricing and availability
The Mac Mini will retail from $699, $100 cheaper than the previous-generation quad-core model.
It is now available for pre-order in the US on apple.com and will go on sale from Apple Store locations and authorised resellers next week.
Local availability, launch dates, and pricing remain to be confirmed.
Below are the specifications of the 2020 Mac Mini, as well as examples of the system running various applications.
|Apple Mac Mini|
|OS||MacOS Big Sur|
|Graphics||Apple M1 Graphics|
|RAM||Up to 16GB|
|Storage||Up to 2TB SSD|
|Connectivity||1x HDMI, 2x USB Type-A, 1x Ethernet, 2x Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, 3.5mm jack|
|Dimensions||197 x 197 x 36 mm (1.2kg)|