Mac mini with M1 chip: everything you need to know

Apple has long marketed the Mac mini as being the company’s most versatile computer, and this year that has never been more true. The Mac mini was the third and final Mac to be given an upgrade at the company’s special event and sets the precedent for new desktop Macs running the M1 chip.

As with the other models, it seems as though developers did a straight-out swap from previous chips to the M1 chip, making no other changes to the hardware of the device, but that’s enough to take the Mac mini into a new league of its own.

Today, the Mac mini is used by businesses and consumers around the world. Introducing the M1 chip allows Apple to offer a staggering amount of performance and incredible new features in a tiny device, with the M1 offering an 8-core CPU that delivers three times faster performance than the previous Mac mini, ideal for demanding workloads.

The device also ships with an 8-core GPU which offers a six times increase in graphics performance, which makes it the number one choice for performance-intensive tasks like rendering 3D content. Machine learning has also been supercharged in what Apple describes as a “quantum leap forward” for the Mac.

On the Mac mini, machine learning tasks are now up to 15 times as fast thanks to the introduction of the Apple Neural Engine, news that will delight businesses and consumers alike. From running complex software that requires ML capabilities or even playing the latest game from Apple Arcade, the Mac mini is the most capable Mac on sale.

Apple was keen to stress the huge advancements in speed and power, comparing the Mac mini to the best-selling Windows desktop in its price range. When doing so, the Mac mini is just one-tenth of the size but offers five times faster performance, though independent tests and benchmarks often deliver their own, less-flattering results.

Still, the new Mac mini can compile code in Xcode up to three times faster, allow users to play games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider with four times higher frame rates, render a complex timeline in Final Cut Pro six times as fast, and take music production to new levels by using up to three times as many real-time plug-ins with Logic Pro. That’s whilst retaining an advanced thermal design to offer breakthrough performance, staying cool and quiet in the process. Apple’s Mac mini can support two displays at the same time, including Apple’s Pro Display XDR in full 6K resolution, and it features the Secure Enclave in M1 for best-in-class security.

When it’s paired with macOS Big Sur, the device is now more versatile and far more capable than ever, and starts at just $699 in the United States, $100 less than the previous generation.

Will you be upgrading to the new Mac mini? Let us know and check back soon for more news.

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