With the new Mac mini (M1, 2020), we finally see the tiniest Mac get a much-needed update. And, this time around, it’s making even bolder promises, with Apple promising up to three times faster CPU performance than the previous Mac mini and up to six times the graphical performance.
That’s all thanks to Apple’s new M1 System on a Chip (SoC). Debuting in the new Mac mini (as well as the new MacBook Air (2020) and new MacBook Pro 13-inch (2020) laptops, it allows the new Mac mini to compile Xcode up to three times faster, play intensive games, and render complex Final Cut Pro scenes much faster than the previous model. That’s all while keeping its small and compact chassis.
The new Mac mini (M1, 2020) will also come with macOS 11 Big Sur installed. This is the latest version of Apple’s operating system, and it has been built specially to take advantage of the M1 that powers the new Mac mini (M1, 2020).
The question is, will it actually deliver? We’ll just have to wait and see until we finally put it through its paces. Revealed at the Apple ‘One More Thing’ event, the new Mac mini (M1, 2020) will be out soon, slated for delivery starting November 17, alongside the two M1-based laptops.
In the meantime, here’s what we know about the new Mac mini (M1, 2020) so far.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The new Mac mini computer
- When is it out? Available to order now, deliveries starting November 17
- What will it cost? $699 / £699 / AU$1,099
Mac mini (M1, 2020) price
Price-wise, the new Mac mini (M1, 2020) starts at $699 / £699 / AU$1,099 for the model with 8GB of RAM and 256GB storage space.
Then, you’ve got a model with 8GB RAM and 512GB storage space for $899 / £899 / AU$1,399. Both of these have the same M1 chip.
That’s cheaper than the 2018 Mac mini, which cost $799 (£799, AU$1,249) to start. This updated version of the Mac mini is also thankfully giving users more than the previous refresh, which did little more than double the memory for the same price.
Mac mini (M1, 2020) release date
We were a tad floored at the unveiling of the new Mac mini (M1, 2020), considering the mini-computer only last got a refresh in March 2020. We did feel at the time that the specifications of that model didn’t fully justify the price, so we have our fingers crossed with this latest M1-powered machine.
The new Mac mini (M1, 2020) goes on sale on November 10, with units shipping out on November 16.
Mac mini (M1, 2020) specs
The big selling point for the Mac mini (M1, 2020) is the inclusion of the Apple silicon M1 Soc, a new 8-core chipset that combines the CPU, I/O, security and more into one.
Apple is making some big claims here, promising that the M1 will offer the world’s best CPU performance per Watt. The M1 Soc will feature an 8-core CPU consisting of four high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores to balance workloads, and which is claimed will allow tasks to be processed nearly three times faster than on the previous Mac mini.
Gaming performance was also thrown around. If for some reason you chose to game on your previous Mac mini, then the M1-powered Mac mini will allegedly play graphically intensive games with up to four times higher frame rates.
Also, in good news for graphics designers and videographers, rendering in Final Cut Pro is also promised to be up to six times faster than on previous models and can support up to two displays (one display with up to 6K resolution at 60Hz connected via Thunderbolt and one display with up to 4K resolution at 60Hz connected via HDMI 2.0).
The base model of the new Mac mini (M1, 2020) comes with the Apple M1 chip with an 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU, 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD storage.
There’s another model that comes with the same specs, but double the storage to 512GB. That’s the only difference.
You can also configure either model to come with 16GB of RAM and up to 2TB of SSD storage.
Port-wise you get Ethernet LAN, two Thunderbolt ports, HDMI, two USB ports and an audio jack for headphones.