Chapter in this post:
Beginning in 2023, Apple new models of Mac mini brought on the market. These can optionally with the M2 chip or the M2 per chip be equipped. In addition, they solve the Mac mini of 2020 off, the one with the M1 chip, Apple's first computer SoC. But what does all this mean? Is it worth upgrading from a 2020 Mac mini to a new model? And which of the two current chips should you choose? Here you get a starting point for the purchase decision with the comparison of the different models - also with the completely new purchase.
Apple Mac mini comparison: What do M1, M2 and M2 Pro mean?
First of all, let's clarify the most important terms. After that, comparing the individual chips and their technical details makes more sense. Below you will find an explanation of the different terms used in this post, which may be a bit overwhelming if you are thinking about buying an Apple computer for the first time. However, if you already know what a Mac mini is and what is behind the M chips, you can skip the following list:
- Apple mac mini: A small and light version of the Apple computer "Mac", which can now achieve high performance and can therefore be used beyond everyday tasks. It is just the computer unit; Display and input devices (keyboard, mouse or trackpad, microphone, etc.) must be connected.
- Apple M1 chip: The first "Apple Silicon" chip for computers. It was presented in 2020 and, in addition to the central processing unit (CPU), also contains the graphics processor (GPU) and other components or function blocks. These include the Secure Enclave for the secure storage of personal data and logins, the Neural Engine for machine learning, Media Engines for (de)coding video content and a fabric connection of all components. CPU and GPU can also be on one shared memory access.
- Apple M2 chip: This is the second generation of the Apple Silicon, which was introduced in June 2022. In 2021 the M1 further developments went to her M1 Pro and M1 Max ahead. Compared to the M1, this current standard chip has better equipped individual components and higher performance overall. Both CPU and GPU can deliver better performance with the same power consumption. The same performance is therefore associated with savings in power consumption.
- Apple M2 Pro chip: The Apple M2 Pro is a direct evolution of the M1 Pro. It brings almost 20% more transistors with it, which also translates into a 20% increase in performance. Furthermore, the graphics unit can now be selected with a maximum of 19 instead of a maximum of 16 cores, which benefits graphics-intensive applications (photo editing, video editing, creating effects, 3D applications, video games). Graphics speed is said to be 2% faster on the M30 Pro than the M1 Pro. The image calculation in Adobe Photoshop should even run up to 40% faster.
Head-to-head comparison: CPU and GPU cores, memory, ports and more
Here you will find a comparison of important technical data for the individual Mac mini models. I focus on the features of the above-mentioned "Apple Silicon" systems and the connections on the case. The same is similarly compact for all models. In addition, the devices are similarly light – up to 1,3 kg depending on the generation and configuration.
|Mac mini with M1 chip (2020)||Mac mini with M2 chip (2023)||Mac mini with M2 Pro chip (2023)|
|CPU cores||8 cores (4 x performance, 4 x efficiency)||8 cores (4 x performance, 4 x efficiency)||10 or 12 cores (each 4x efficiency and 6x or 8x performance)|
|GPU cores||8 cores||10 cores||16 or 19 cores|
|Transistors||16 billion||20 billion||40 billion|
|Random Access Memory (RAM)||8 GB or 16 GB||8 GB, 16 GB or 24 GB||16 GB or 32 GB|
|Memory Bandwidth||no exact information||100 GB / s||200 GB / s|
|SSD storage||256GB, 512GB, 1TB or 2TB||256GB, 512GB, 1TB or 2TB||512GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB or 8TB|
|WiFi technology||802.11ax WLAN 6||802.11ax WiFi 6E||802.11ax WiFi 6E|
|Bluetooth technology||Bluetooth 5.0||Bluetooth 5.3||Bluetooth 5.3|
|connections on the device||1x Ethernet, 2x Thunderbolt 4, 1x HDMI 2.0, 2 x USB-A, 1 x 3,5 mm jack, 1 x power supply||1 x Ethernet, 2 x Thunderbolt 4, 1 x HDMI 2.1, 2 x USB-A, 1 x 3,5 mm jack, 1 x power supply||1 x Ethernet, 4 x Thunderbolt 4, 1 x HDMI 2.1, 2 x USB-A, 1 x 3,5 mm jack, 1 x power supply|
|Number of supported displays (HDMI + Thunderbolt)||2||2||3|
|Option for 10 Gigabit Ethernet instead of plain Gigabit Ethernet||no||ja||ja|
|Price at launch||778,85 € - 1.899,85 €||699 € - 2.194 €||1.549 € - 5.229 €|
Information provided without guarantee; Typos and changes possible
Which Mac mini is best for me?
The M1 Mac mini and M2 Mac mini are both designed to handle everyday computing tasks as well as some professional applications. Due to the newer technology, the faster performance, the better connectivity with modern HDMI, WLAN, Bluetooth and optionally 10 Gigabit Ethernet, the M2 model stands out from the older M1 model in a direct comparison. So if you're looking for an entry-level Apple Mac for your desk at home or in the office and want to use the latest or more future-proof technology, then you should buy the current model. But you could get the M1 Mac mini used cheaper if the price is the main criterion.
The M2 Pro Mac mini is designed to run professional applications on up to three monitors. Video editing with 8K material, editing huge photos, 3D rendering, video game graphics like on current consoles and more should be possible with it. In addition to the graphics, the general computing power is also greater, which promises more power for programming, music production and other fields of application. This professional variant of the space-saving Mac, which can be easily transported to another workplace, is not only made for office and everyday applications, but also for computing-intensive software and thus for demanding work environments. The target group is therefore more likely to be self-employed creative people and companies.
Buy M1 Mac mini from Amazon
While Apple no longer offers the Mac mini from 2020 for sale on its own website, you can still order it new and in its original packaging and with Prime shipping from Amazon. However, it seems that only the least equipped version with a 256 GB hard drive and 8 GB of RAM is currently available - view here.
- M1 chip designed by Apple for a gigantic leap in performance in CPU and GPU and machine learning
- The 8‑core CPU delivers up to 3x faster performance, making workflows faster than ever
- 8‑Core GPU with up to 6x faster graphics for graphics-intensive apps and games
Buy M2 Mac mini from Amazon
You can currently get the Apple M2 Mac mini from 2023 in certain configurations with a few percent discount and with Prime shipping from Amazon. On this product page you can adjust the number of CPU and GPU cores as well as the size of the SSD memory to order the model that suits you.
- M2 chip for incredible speed and performance
- 8‑core CPU delivers up to 18% faster performance to get everyday tasks done super fast
- 10-core GPU with up to 35% faster performance for graphics-intensive apps and games
Buy the M2 Pro Mac mini from Amazon
And you can also buy the professional model of the Mac mini from 2023 from Amazon with Prime shipping. You can find the small Mac with the M2 Pro chip with this link. On the individual product pages you will also find the link to the Apple Store page on the Amazon platform. There are other devices and offers.
- M2 Pro chip for incredible speed and performance
- Up to 12‑core CPU delivers up to 1,9x faster performance for editing huge images
- Up to 19‑core GPU with up to 2,6x faster performance for video editing and 3D modeling
After graduating from high school, Johannes completed an apprenticeship as a business assistant specializing in foreign languages. But then he decided to research and write, which resulted in his independence. For several years he has been working for Sir Apfelot, among others. His articles include product introductions, news, manuals, video games, consoles, and more. He follows Apple keynotes live via stream.
The page contains affiliate links / images: Amazon.de