According to early benchmark results, the new Mac Mini is faster than the 27-inch Imac and the base model of the new Mac Pro. Geekbench is admittedly a synthetic test, but let it sink in. Even though the Mac Pro is superior in many other ways, it is still whimsical that a computer for 8,500 kronor can whip one for 72,000 kronor in any test at all.
The new Mac Mini with Apple’s M1 processor is here to shake up the market for simple desktops.
The first desktop Apple Silicon Mac
The Mac Mini differs from the Macbook Air and Macbook Pro in that it is a desktop computer that is powered via the wall socket and is not limited by either the need not to waste the battery or the cramped space in a laptop. Therefore, it is perhaps the most interesting of the new models. It can simply give a taste of what Apple can deliver when the processor can run harder and generate more heat.
The results from Geekbench 5 which probably comes from Apple employees who have already gained access to the computer shows around 1,700 points single-threaded and 7,000 multi-threaded. By comparison, the 27-inch Mac with Intel Core I9-10910 gets about 1,250 and 9,000 points, respectively. Intel’s processor still has the upper hand multithreaded, but what Geekbench does not reveal is how well it maintains the speed at high load for a long time. We therefore expect results from, for example, the Cinebench R23 to see how a couple of hours of hard work affects performance.
The old Mac Mini was already almost completely locked to the factory configuration, but still had replaceable memory with two so-dimming slots and thus the ability to upgrade afterwards and buy cheaper memory circuits from other manufacturers. The new Mac Mini has fixed memory just like Apple’s laptop, and in addition you can only choose between 8 or 16 GB while the old one could have up to 64 GB.
The memory architecture of the Mac Mini with M1 is not the same as in the Intel machine and the processor and graphics card can, for example, effectively share the same memory, but those who, for example, work with really large images with many layers in Photoshop and need as much memory as usual can get problems with only 16 GB.
Speaking of locked: Unlike Intel machines, you can not start any operating system other than Mac OS on M1-equipped Mac Mini, thus losing some of the computer’s flexibility.
Efficient and quiet
According to Apple, the new Mac Mini draws up to 60 percent less power than the old model with Intel chips. Although it still has a fan, with lower power consumption comes lower heat generation and we can therefore expect that the fan will be needed less often.
Mac Mini is sometimes used in clusters with many computers and here the new model really has the chance to shine. Companies like Mac Stadium that sell access to Macs in the cloud for developers and others are learning to sit and drool over the reduced electricity bills and the reduced need for heavy cooling in the server halls.
Pretty good connections
Like the new Macbook Pro, Apple has reduced the number of thunderbolt connectors in the new Mini, from four to two. But the Mini still has an HDMI connector and two old USB connectors for easy connection of, for example, external hard drives and a keyboard with a cord. It also has ethernet and an old standard headphone jack,
Another sign that Apple has skimped a bit on the pci express files in the M1 chip and therefore cannot include four thunderbolt connectors, is that you can not upgrade the ethernet connector to 10 Gb speed. One uses two pci express files and the processor obviously can not do without it
The computer is able to operate a screen with up to 6k resolution via thunderbolt and a screen with up to 4k resolution via the hdmi connector. By comparison, the Intel model can operate three monitors.
Price and availability
Mac Mini with M1 processor can be ordered from Apple now and costs from SEK 8,495.