At WWDC in June, Apple announced that they would make a transition from Intel to in-house silicon for their Mac lineup, and that the transition would take 2 years, but offered developers a DTK, or Developer Transition Kit, which featured an A12Z Bionic processor. This is the same chipset found inside the 2020 iPad Pro lineup, but it was encased within a Mac mini. Today, Apple revealed the next generation of Mac mini that would be available for the public.
Even though the refreshed Mac mini is seeing a massive performance boost thanks to Apple Silicon, the body design has stayed the same as the previous model of Mac mini. The Mac mini also joins the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, and is now made of a 100% recycled aluminum enclosure.
The forthcoming Mac mini features an Apple M1, an 8 core processor, with 4 of the cores being high-efficiency, and those 4 cores deliver the same performance of current MacBook Pros. With the addition of the 4 additional cores, the M1 can provide 3 times the performance of todays most powerful processors, at half of the power consumption. The M1 also features the Secure Enclave found on iPhone and iPad for the increased security and privacy users know and love.
With the change to the Apple M1, the Mac mini also now has an 8-core GPU. It was also stated to be 6x as powerful as the most powerful integrated intel graphics. Machine learning also is seeing a 15 times increase in performance over the prior generation Mac mini
In a Final Cut X demo, there was a gain of 6 times performance boost over the prior generation Intel based Macs. Multiple developers also spoke of their new apps wrote for the new M1 chipset, and they were getting anywhere from 2 times all the way to a 10 times performance increase.
Thanks to the more powerful integrated GPU, the Mac mini can simultaneous support up to 2 displays. One display with up to 6K resolution at 60Hz connected via Thunderbolt and one displays at 4K resolution at 60Hz connected via HDMI 2.0.
The Mac mini starts at 256GB, but is configurable up to 2TB. It also starts at 8GB of RAM, but can be configured up to 16GB.
This refreshed Mac mini is the first to include WiFi 6 technology, a feature that the iPad Pro gained last year and iPhone 11, as well as this years iPad Air. WiFi 6 offers an improvement over WiFi 5. WiFi 6 compatible routers can output up to 9.6Gbps across multiple channels, compared to the 3.5Gbps of WiFi 5, making this the fastest wireless Mac to date.
Power and Expansion
It features 2 ThunderBolt 3 / USB 4 ports unlock the power of the Mac mini running external displays and the maximum speed available by ThunderBolt and USB-C storage devices. It also includes 2 USB-A ports, an HDMI 2.0 port, and gigabit ethernet.
The Mac mini now starts at $699, which is $100 less than current models. It is available for order today, and will start shipping next week.