It’s almost two years since Apple introduced two Mac mini models with the M1 chip alongside an M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro (reviewed here: M1 Mac mini review). Of all the M1 Macs the Mac mini was our favourite as we thought it offered the best in terms of specs coupled with a low price – however, it’s now looking rather dated and our advice right now would be don’t buy because something better is coming.
Apple launched a M2 MacBook Air and M2 MacBook Pro back in June 2022, but the Mac mini was neglected in that round of updates. Mac fans are wondering when Apple will update the Mac mini with an M2 chip. In this article we will look at what the M2 Mac mini might offer, and when it will launch.
Work on a new M2 Mac mini is evidently taking place at Apple. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurmanhas reportedthat Apple is testing an M2 Mac mini, codenamed J473, with eight CPU cores and 10 GPU cores.Gurman has also indicated that Apple has been testing a Mac mini with an M1 Pro, codenamed J374 and an M1 Max Mac mini. Those Pro models still haven’t arrived and an M2 Pro Mac mini is now looking more likely – we discuss the M2 Pro Mac mini separately, so if that’s the Mac mini upgrade you are most interested in read: New Mac mini 2022 with M2 Pro: What you need to know.
M2 Mac mini release date: When will the next model arrive?
Apple introduced the M1 chip in the Mac mini, MacBook Air and 13in MacBook Pro at its One More Thing event on November 10, 2020. Two of those Macs now have M2 chips, so what about the Mac mini? The M1 Mac mini has now passed its two year anniversary and we continue to wait for an M2 Mac mini. (Read about why we say it’s not a good time to buy the Mac mini.)
In a Power On newsletter on in October 2022 Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman indicated that “Apple still has some Macs to debut over the next several months, including a new Mac mini and a MacBook Pro.” Then in a subsequent Power On newsletter on October 30, with the headline “New Macs coming next year” he wrote that “Apple’s next group of Macs probably won’t launch until early next year”. As for when: Gurman is banking on the first half of March.
As for how Apple will make that announcement, Apple issues a press release about new iPads and iPad Pro models, so it may do the same for the new Mac mini (and anticipated new MacBook Pro models). There have been suggestions (Gurman, again) that Apple’s upcoming new productsmight not be enough to justify an event.
So we could see a new Mac mini in March, or we could potentially see something sooner if Apple wants to reserve its Apple Spring Event for the launch of the VR/AR headset that has long been rumored.
The long delay in getting the M2 Mac mini isn’t entirely unexpected. Apple does have previous when it comes to neglecting the Mac mini which went from 2014 to 2018 without an update. But maybe there is something coming that warrants the delay?
Mac mini M2 design: Will the Mac mini look the same?
One explanation for the long wait for a new Mac mini could be that Apple is changing the design. The Mac mini has had a similar square design ever since Apple introduced it in 2005, over time it has gotten thinner, lost the CD drive, and had a color change. The next Mac mini could get a brand new look, according to reports.
Jon Prosser claimed back in June 2021 that the next Mac mini will shrink even further, which could put it at less than an inch tall. The body could be getting a change too. While the Mac mini has had its aluminum chassis since 2010, Apple is reportedly considering a “plexiglass” top, according to Prosser. That could mean Apple will bring a little pizzazz to the Mac mini with a new color. The Mac mini is currently limited to silver and space gray.
It should be pointed out that Prosser has been wrong on several occasions before—he’s had some big hits, but his misses include one so severe that he had to shave his eyebrows—so the information should be taken with a pinch of salt. AppleTrack currently gives him an accuracy rating of 74.2% (that score changes all the time). Read more about the Apple leakers in our round up: The Apple leakers worth following.
Ian Zelbo made some illustrations based on Prosser’s findings. The renders indicate that the new mini will come in silver and white, rather than one of the new bright colour options seen on the 24in iMac. These renders are based on information from Prosser’s sources, but they may still give a good idea of what Apple could unveil.
Render by Ian
Prosser isn’t the only one expecting a new look Mac mini. In August 2021, Mark Gurman of Bloomberg reported that the Mac mini will have “an updated design and more ports than the current model.” Furthermore, the circular rubber pad on the bottom of the new Mac mini is said to be replaced with two horizontal strips as we see on the underside of the 24-inch iMac stand.
However, there may be no redesign in the pipeline. In March 2022 a tweet from an account claiming to be for analyst Ming-Cho Kuo stated that the 2023 Mac mini will have the same form and design as the current model.
M2 Mac mini spec & features: What will be different
The one change we’re certain of with the new Mac mini is that it will get an M2 chip like the one found in the 2022 MacBook Air and 2022 13-inch MacBook Pro. Assuming it’s the same, these are the specs:
- CPU: 8-core CPU with 4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores
- GPU: 8-core or 10-core GPU
- Up to 24GB Unified Memory
To find out more about the M2 chip read: Apple M2 Chip: Everything you need to know.
There are reports that M3 Macs could launch in 2023, in which case an M2 Mac mini needs to arrive sooner rather than later to avoid being immediately obsolete.
The current Mac mini models offer two USB-4/Thunderbolt ports, two USB-A port, an HDMI 2.0 port, as well as Ethernet snd a headphone port. It’s likely that this will carry through to the new iteration. The M1 Pro version of the Mac mini could get two additional Thunderbolt/USB-C ports for a total of four, though rumors say the new mini likely won’t bring back the SDXC card slot that appeared on the MacBook Pro and Mac Studio.
M2 Mac mini price: How much will the new Mac mini cost?
Currently the M1 Mac mini is priced as follows:
- M1 Chip with 8-Core CPU and 8-Core GPU, 256GB: $699/£699
- M1 Chip with 8-Core CPU and 8-Core GPU, 512GB: $899/£899
- 3.0GHz Intel Core i5 6-Core Processor with Intel UHD Graphics 630, 512GB: $1,099/£1,099
It is possible that Apple will do the same as it did with the MacBook Air and keep the M1 Mac mini on at $699/£699 while introducing two new M2 models to replace the $899 and $1,099 options. We hope that Apple includes an M1 Pro or M2 Pro model in the line up though.
If you aren’t based in the U.S. expect prices to increase as they have for every other product Apple has launched in 2022. We’ve seen price hikes of as much as £150 per product in the U.K., for example.
Will Mac Mini be updated in 2022? ›
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman initially said that the Mac mini could be refreshed in 2022, but he later said that Apple has decided to wait until 2023 to introduce new Macs. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has also said that Apple won't release an updated model until 2023.Is there an M2 Mac mini coming? ›
The one change we're certain of with the new Mac mini is that it will get an M2 chip like the one found in the 2022 MacBook Air and 2022 13-inch MacBook Pro. Assuming it's the same, these are the specs: CPU: 8-core CPU with 4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores.Is it worth waiting for Apple M2 chip? ›
We still recommend that unless you're creating 3D content, making videos, writing apps, or doing other tasks that push the CPU, it's unlikely that you will notice the additional performance the 2023 MacBook Pro models will bring. But if you don't need a new Mac just yet, it sounds like you'll be rewarded for the wait.Is it worth upgrading to M2? ›
The M2 MacBook Pro is better suited to buyers who are upgrading from an older machine, rather than 2020's M1 model. Spearheaded by the M2 chip, the device's series of minor improvements offer a good overall package for these buyers, ensuring that they get a slightly more modern and capable machine.Should I upgrade Mac mini Monterey? ›
Yes! Upgrading to macOS Monterey is highly recommended, especially if you have a newer Mac powered by one of the Apple silicon chips, such as the M1 or M2 processors. Not only will you get better performance, but you'll also be able to take advantage of all the new features, some of which are really helpful.How long do Mac Minis last? ›
So, in answer to the question: How long do Macs last? We'd say five to eight years, but beware that you probably won't be able to replace any faulty parts in a Mac when more than five years has passed since Apple last sold it. Before you buy a new Mac, read our article about the best time to buy a Mac or MacBook.Is M2 better than M1 Apple? ›
In our testing, the M2 has an 18 percent faster CPU than the M1. The new chip doesn't just mean that the new Macs can accomplish more though, they use less power doing so: Apple promises an increased CPU performance of 18 percent with the same energy consumption thanks to various optimizations.What's better M2 or M1 Pro? ›
The M2 levelled the playing field in some senses by adopting the capabilities of the M1 Pro's dedicated media engine and the chip is more powerful in single-core tasks with its higher 3.49GHz CPU clock speed, but the M1 Pro is considerably better in multi-core and graphics tasks.Is Apple M2 better than Intel? ›
M2 MacBook is actually slower than a Core i7, Apple says. Expectations have been running exceptionally high for Apple's new M2 processor to outpace Intel's best CPUs, but in the end, the M2 won't beat Intel's fastest chips. That was the news from Apple's WWDC keynote Monday.Is M2 Mac worth it? ›
The MacBook Air M2 is Apple's latest swing at its fanless Air design. Like the M1 model, it's among the best laptops you can buy right now because of its excellent portability, battery life, and, above all, performance.
Is it worth upgrading to M2 from M1? ›
Not really. The M2 is basically just a slightly more improved M1 — it is an iterative upgrade. Nothing more, nothing less. If you already own an M1-based machine you shouldn't even think about upgrading as you're not going to notice any tangible difference.Is M2 chip worth the extra money? ›
The new MacBook Air M2 is here. Like the recently released MacBook Pro M2, this new notebook is the latest to feature the Apple M2 chip — making it one of the most performant and overall best laptops you can buy. Despite its steep $1,199 starting price, it's arguably worth every penny due to the value it provides.Can M2 overheat? ›
The new MacBook Air is thinner than its predecessors, and while it has received positive reception, there have been reports of users complaining that their MacBook Air is suffering from overheating and throttled performance.Is M2 faster than i9? ›
The Apple M2 takes its single-thread score of 4,130 points and creates a very small gap of +0.93% between itself and the highly praised Intel Core i9-12950HX. This result leaves the M2 as the laptop CPU champion while also holding fourth position in the desktop chart.How much faster is M2 Mac? ›
The M2 is the latest and most efficient Apple Silicon, with an 18% faster CPU, a 35% faster GPU and a 40% faster neural engine than previous generations, as well as 50% more memory bandwidth.Will Monterey slow down my Mac Mini? ›
Why is my Mac slow after Monterey update? Updating your Mac to the latest macOS Ventura build can slow down the performance as the new build is in Beta and has some bugs and other issues. In addition, apps and services are still being optimized for the new OS, so your system might be having performance issues.Can I go back if I upgrade to Monterey? ›
Before Downgrading macOS 12 Monterey
If your Mac originally shipped with macOS 12 Monterey, then that is its default version of macOS, and no earlier versions can be installed. If you've upgraded to macOS 12 Monterey from another version, then you can go back — and it's not too difficult.
To fix the issue where Monterey slows down your Mac, go back to a previous macOS version. Then, force-stop all the unnecessary programs running in the background. Additionally, delete your junk files, and uninstall the programs you no longer use to declutter your Mac. If the problem persists, reset NVRAM or PRAM.Should I turn off my Mac mini every night? ›
A good rule of thumb is that if you're only going to be away from your Mac for an hour or two or even overnight, letting it sleep is probably the best method. Any longer than that and you'll want to power it down, for reasons outlined in the next section.Should I always shut down my Mac mini? ›
Yes, it is 100% beneficial. What's more, restarting your Mac is the number one tip on any troubleshooting list. Shut Down mode can help fix many Mac issues; plus, it will also flush your RAM and allow your device to cool down, protecting it from overheating. Go to the main Apple menu > Shut Down.
How often should I turn off my Mac mini? ›
One question that new Mac users often ask is whether they should shut down their computers at the end of the day or just let them sleep. The quick answer is that sleep is better for your Mac, and in today's Tech Tip we'll show you why it's better to just let your Mac go to sleep than shut it down each day.Is the M2 chip better than i7? ›
The 12-core-based Core i7 outperforms the M2 chipset in terms of performance but falls short in terms of power efficiency. Yes, Apple admits that the 12-core Core i7 processor is faster than the M2 chipset. However, the M2 chipset retains an advantage in terms of power consumption.What's the difference between Mac M1 and M2? ›
One of the most important differences between the current and previous-generation MacBook Airs is their Apple silicon chip. The M1 chip, introduced in November 2020, is based on Apple's A14 Bionic chip. On the other hand, the M2 is based on the A15 Bionic chip from the iPhone 13.Is 256 GB of storage enough? ›
The reality is that 256GB of internal storage is probably going to be plenty enough for most people who don't already have (or anticipate having) a ton of locally stored photos, video, video games, or music that can't either be easily offloaded into the cloud, or to a backup drive.Is the M2 slower than M1? ›
Storage speed performance
Unfortunately, the MacBook Air M2's storage read and write speeds are much slower than the MacBook Air M1's same speeds. In our testing, the MacBook Air M2's SSD was up to 50% slower than the MacBook Air M1's SSD.
Most people will be absolutely fine with 8GB of unified memory on their M2 MacBook. Those who know they need more – or who plan on undertaking increasingly intensive, creative workflows or complex software development – will do well to upgrade. It's that simple.What is next after M2? ›
M3: Late 2023
It will likely be its first Mac processor to use a 3nm process and offer a significant speed boost over the M2 due to a new architecture, possibly with more GPU and CPU cores, higher RAM limits, and extra Thunderbolt ports.
In other M1 and M2 devices, 8GB of memory would not be ideal but wouldn't lead to significant slowdowns. But part of the reason other M1 and M2 Macs can get away with only 8GB of memory is because they have super fast SSDs that the processor can use for memory in a pinch.How much faster is M2 chip than Intel? ›
Apple M2 chips are 1.4x faster than the M1 and 15x faster than Intel-based MacBook Air options. They also have more memory, better security, and other great Apple next-generation custom technologies.Which chip is better M2 or M1 Max? ›
Since the number of transistors correlates to better performance, it looks like the M1 Max is more powerful than the M2, despite its new architecture. The M1 Max also packs a lot more cores, with the chip packing 10 CPU cores and 32 GPU cores, compared to the Apple M2's 8 CPU cores and 10 GPU cores.
Is the M2 processor good? ›
The M2 chip is 1.4x faster than the M1, with an 18 percent faster CPU, a 35 percent more powerful GPU, and a 40 percent faster Neural Engine. Geekbench benchmarks have confirmed that the M2 chip is up to 20 percent faster than the M1 chip when it comes to multi-core performance.How much will the M2 Mac cost? ›
M2 MacBook Air: Price
The M2 MacBook Air starts at $1,199 in the U.S. and £1,249 in the U.K. There are two models that are priced as follows: M2 Chip with 8‑Core CPU and 8‑Core GPU, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD: $1,199/£1,249. M2 Chip with 8‑Core CPU and 10‑Core GPU, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD: $1,499/£1,549.
For comparison, Apple said the the M2 has seen an 18% CPU performance increase compared to the M1, while the GPU has seen a 35% graphics performance boost.How much RAM does the M2 chip have? ›
The M2 offers an 8-core CPU, 10-core GPU, as well as up to 24GB RAM. That's more GPU cores than the M1, which had 8 GPU cores, and a higher RAM limit, which topped out at 16GB RAM on the M1.Can M2 chip run Windows? ›
In the past, you could install Windows on your Mac using Boot Camp, but that won't work if you've upgraded to an M1 or M2 Mac—you need an Intel processor to run the app, but Apple doesn't sell Macs with those chips anymore. However, you don't need to install Windows to run Windows-only apps at all these days.Is 8GB unified memory enough? ›
For the M1-based 16 inch MacBook Pro (and MacBook Air), 8 GB of unified memory should be plenty for a regular user, much like 16GB RAM was on the Intel-based versions and Big Sur. While applications and the operating system used to require less than virtual memory of 8GB RAM, Intel considered it acceptable.Does M2 need a fan? ›
The new Apple M2 requires an active cooling solution and is even slightly throttled in the MacBook Pro 13. The first MacBook with Apple's new M2 SoC is the familiar MacBook Pro 13. It uses a cooling solution with a fan, but it still cannot handle the full performance of the Apple M2 for more than a couple of seconds.Does M2 need heat sink? ›
Do NVMe SSDs need heatsinks? The answer is Yes. M. 2 drives are not only faster and more compact but also eliminate the need for bulky power and data cables.What is too hot for M 2 SSD? ›
“The controller and all the other components … are good up to 125 degrees Celsius (257 degrees F),” he said, “but the NAND isn't, and the SSD will go into critical shutdown if it detects that the temperature of the NAND is above 80 degrees Celsius (176 degrees F) or so.”What Intel chip is M2 comparable to? ›
Apple has compared the M2's performance to “the latest ten-core notebook processor”, which essentially means the Intel Core i7–1255U found in Samsung's Galaxy Book2 360. Both builds were also said to come with 16GB of RAM. The M2 is then said to be 1.9× faster than the aforementioned Intel processor.
Is i9 better than Apple M1? ›
Overall, it's safe to say that the new Intel Core i9-12900HK is performing better than both M1 Pro and the M1 Max in the CPU-centric benchmarks. Even in tests involving the graphics unit, the MSI is able to hold its own against the MacBook Pro.Is the M2 faster than the M1 Ultra? ›
With the M2, Apple uses four performance cores with a maximum clock speed of 3.49GHz, which, believe it or not, is faster than what you get in the 20-core M1 Ultra. That shows the power of the new high-performance cores in the M2 chip.Is M2 64 bit? ›
|Series||Apple Apple M-Series|
|GPU||Apple M2 10-Core GPU ( - 1398 MHz)|
|64 Bit||64 Bit support|
|Announcement Date||06/10/2022 = 218 days old|
Not surprisingly, the A16 Bionic in the iPhone 14 Pro is the fastest. The iPhone 14 and iPhone 13 both have an A15 Bionic processor, but the iPhone 13 has one fewer GPU core than the iPhone 13 Pro, which gives it better graphics performance.Is there a new Mac coming out in 2022? ›
Announced in June 2022, the MacBook Air is the newest Mac in Apple's lineup. The previous, M1-based MacBook Air was released in November 2020, but before that, Apple updated the MacBook Air annually.Will there be new macOS in 2022? ›
macOS Monterey was succeeded by macOS Ventura, which was released on October 24, 2022.Is there going to be a new Mac mini? ›
Apple is expected to release the updated Mac mini in early 2023. There were initially rumors that the Mac mini could get a design update, but more recent information suggests Apple will continue to use the same form factor if there is a refresh coming, with no notable design changes planned.How long do Mac Minis Get updates? ›
Operating Systems Support 4-6 years
Apple will generally upgrade the MacOS once per year. Most Macs will be able to be upgraded to the current operating system for about 4 to 6 years.
Apple's "Far Out" event was a media event held on Wednesday, September 7, 2022, where the company unveiled the iPhone 14 lineup, new Apple Watch models, and updated AirPods Pro. The iPhone 14 lineup included four new models: the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone Pro Max.What is Apple discontinuing 2022? ›
Following the introduction of the Mac Studio and Studio Display in March, Apple discontinued the 27-inch iMac, which was the final iMac model with an Intel processor. With the iMac Pro also discontinued last year, the 24-inch iMac with the M1 chip is currently the only all-in-one desktop computer sold by Apple.
Will there be a new Mac in 2023? ›
In an October report, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman wrote that the new MacBook Pro “probably won't launch until early next year ”. In a December PowerOn newsletter, Gurman reiterated that the “14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros are arriving early next year  with M2 Pro and M2 Max options.”What is the best Mac in 2022? ›
- Best MacBook Overall: Apple MacBook Air With M2 Processor.
- Best MacBook On A Budget: Apple MacBook Air With M1 Processor.
- Best MacBook For Creatives: Apple MacBook Pro 16-Inch.
- Best MacBook Pro For Portability: Apple MacBook Pro 13-Inch.
Introduced at WWDC 2022, macOS Ventura is the current version of macOS, the operating system that runs on the Mac. macOS Ventura is a significant update that introduces a new multitasking experience, overhauls multiple apps, and adds updated capabilities across the platform.What is the best Mac mini to upgrade? ›
The 2012 Mac Mini held a special place in many hearts thanks to how easy it was to upgrade. It remains Apple's last properly upgradeable Mac Mini, and even in 2020 can be a pretty handy little computer with the right bits inside. Here we'll walk you through breathing new life into your old Mac for not a lot of money.What is a Mac mini good for? ›
It's the most affordable Mac that Apple sells. It has built-in in apps such as FaceTime, iBooks, Maps, iTunes and Mail. There are multiple ports, making it more like a PC than a media device.Is the Mac mini the best value? ›
Is the Mac mini Worth it? The Mac mini is an excellent computer for many people looking to enter the Mac world at the lowest price possible. It offers a solid selection of ports, Apple silicon, and the smallest size for a Mac desktop.Why is my Mac update taking so long Monterey? ›
Various reasons lead to the Mac update taking so long in Monterey. For starters, if the internet connection is slower or you are downloading the macOS at peak hours, it might take more time. If upgrading from a much older version, expect a longer time to download the software.How many GB do I need to update my Mac? ›
How much space does macOS Catalina need on your Mac? macOS 10.15 Catalina requires 4.9GB of free space to download. You need 12.5GB when upgrading from OS X El Capitan or later, or 18.5GB from OS X Yosemite or earlier.How long should a Mac update take? ›
You may want to leave your Mac downloading the operating system update over night. And that's before you even start the installation at which point you won't even be able to use your Mac. Expect this to take up to an hour. Ventura is about 6.37GB, which can take a long time to download on a slow network.