Over the years, as desktops have become smaller and notebooks have become more and more powerful, integration has become commonplace in the PC world.
However, most manufacturers are struggling to achieve what Apple did when it launched its own proprietary chipset: to make desktops and laptops the same.
The new Mac mini is technically a desktop, but its MacBook Pro and MacBook Air brothers have the same processing and graphics hardware. It is small and light, as long as you can connect it to a keyboard, mouse, and monitor, you can take it with you. So where is the border now?
The Apple Silicon Mac mini does not have many boundaries. It is best suited for those who need (or want) to use those extra peripherals and their flexibility (not to mention the classic USB port without a dongle), and those who are not the primary consideration for perfect portability.
There are a lot of people there (well, us), so the Mac mini may not only satisfy its built-in user base, but also be curious about Apple’s feature-rich design and powerful performance. Moreover, using Apple Silicon’s dazzling new features, it will crash the application again.
Mac mini M1 design
Like the previous products in its product line, the 2020 Mac mini is not bulky. Just like the recent predecessor, Apple Mac mini (2018) evaluation, It is 7.7 inches long, 1.4 inches wide, weighs 2.6 pounds, is light and easy to carry.
Its rounded corners, matte metal (called “Silver” in Apple) finishes and a glossy black Apple logo on the top, as well as a small Power button hidden in the back corner, make it a compact and stylish appearance. When the system is turned on, the precise white light at the front corner is still the only additional decoration.
The black disc with the system name engraved on the bottom acts as a heat dissipation hole, lifting feet and an access panel for accessing internal hardware. (You may not want to do this, because compared to most PCs, the disassembly is much more difficult and the upgrade path is narrow, but the potential is still there.)
Mac mini M1 specifications and software
|M1 Mac mini||2018 Mac mini|
|price||$699 (start)||$799 (start)|
|CPU||Apple M1 (8-core, 8-core GPU)||Intel Core i3-8100B (4 cores)|
|RAM||8GB / 16GB||8GB / 16GB / 32GB / 64GB|
|storage||256GB / 512GB / 1TB / 2TB||256GB / 512GB / 1TB / 2TB|
|port||Thunderbolt / USB 4 (2), HDMI 2.0, USB-A (2), Ethernet, 3.5 mm headphone jack||Thunderbolt 3 (4), HDMI 2.0, USB-A (2), Ethernet, 3.5 mm headphone jack|
|Dimensions||7.7 x 7.7 x 1.4 inches||7.7 x 7.7 x 1.4 inches|
|weight||2.6 pounds||2.6 pounds|
The CPU that supports Apple’s latest Mac version is the eight-core M1. It is divided into four performance cores and four efficiency cores. The former can complete work faster, while the latter can run with less power. (Obviously, it has nothing to do with the desktop, but it does not matter.)
Apple has paired the CPU with the onboard GPU. Like those on the MacBook Pro and top MacBook Air, the Mac mini’s GPU also provides eight additional graphics processing cores. (The lower-end MacBook Air suffers from interference from its seven-core GPU, and there are no fans on both Airs, which may limit the performance of demanding programs.)
The M1 Mac mini has two default configurations, each with 8GB of RAM: one with 256GB solid-state storage, priced at $699, and the other with 512GB, priced at $899. In both cases, you can add another 8GB of RAM for $200, and/or increase storage to 1TB for $200, or increase storage to 2TB for $600.
The full-featured Mac mini is priced at $1,699, then add any other software besides the common Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iMovie and GarageBand, although Apple offers you to add Final Cut Pro ($299.99) and Logic Pro ($199.99) opportunity. ) To the shopping cart and then checkout.
The Intel Mac mini starts at $1,099 and offers multiple upgrade options (including up to 64GB of RAM and 10 Gigabit Ethernet), and it is still available for sale.
Mac mini M1 port
If the Mac mini cannot guarantee a significant increase in performance, then why replace a more convenient laptop?
On the one hand, more screen space. Mac mini, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro all support external 60Hz 6K (6,144×3,160) displays, but Mac mini also allows you to connect 4K (3,840×2,160) displays, while the top of the screens of the built-in displays MacBook Air and MacBook Pro are respectively 2,560×1,600 and 2,880×1,800.
Usually, the port selection of the Mac mini is also a major advantage-after all, it actually has port space. Enough to accommodate two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports and a headphone jack (just like on the two models of the M1 laptop), then add Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI 2.0 (required for external displays) and two USB Type-A port.
On a laptop, you need to install dongles to connect to Thunderbolt, and these dongles can become expensive. Here, Thunderbolt is one of many connectors. And, if you are a keyboard and mouse snob (really just like you), and Apple’s unique designs in these areas are unpopular, you will find that this is a huge productivity benefit.
However, it is worth mentioning that this was removed from the previous Mac mini-you have lost two Thunderbolt ports-and it may disrupt your workflow. Apple may think that it is worth abandoning two ports to expand the display space. I personally agree, but your Mac mileage may vary.
In addition, the forward-looking support for Bluetooth 5.0 and 802.11ax (aka WiFi 6) provides more features and speed for your wireless adventure. Regardless, you still need to connect it to the wall outlet using the usually elegant power cord that Apple comes with, which plugs into the port on the back.
Mac mini M1 performance
As we expected, the performance of our Mac mini unit (default configuration, with 8GB of Apple’s “unified memory” and 256GB of storage space) is comparable to the same MacBook Air and MacBook Pro units.
|Geekbench 5.3||Handbrake video transcoding (version 1.4)||PugetBench Photoshop|
|M1 Mac mini||7,683||08:11||566|
|M1 MacBook Air||7,581||09:08||579|
|M1 MacBook Pro||7,571||07:46||577|
The Mac mini has a multi-core score of 7,683 on the general Geekbench 5.3 benchmark (optimized for Apple Silicon), which is statistically insignificant compared to the 8GB MacBook Air (7,581) and MacBook Pro (7,571).
In Apple Silicon-Friendly Handbrake 1.4, our video encoding test has changed slightly. The Mac mini takes 8 minutes and 11 seconds to complete the transcoding, while the MacBook Pro leads at 7:46, while the MacBook Air is a little later at 9:08.
As we saw in the tests using PugetBench for Adobe CC, applications that have not yet run locally on the Apple chip yielded similar results. This is a series of benchmark tests that make the system withstand large productivity programs A large amount of actual workload.
When dealing with a 30-minute Photoshop challenge, the Mac mini scored 566, which is comparable to the MacBook Air (579) and MacBook Pro (577).
We have also seen something similar to Premiere Pro, although the news there is not encouraging. Mac mini won the game with a score of 366 points, but neither this score nor the competition score (MacBook Air scored 329, MacBook Pro scored 336) were not particularly good.
For the record, we also benchmarked the 16GB models of MacBook Air and MacBook Pro and found that the performance difference with the 8GB version is very small. The main exception is Photoshop. Two scores (a MacBook Air score of 652.7 and a MacBook Pro score of 649.3) are significantly better, if not destructive.
|Civilization VI: Gathering Storm||Resolution|
|M1 Mac mini (@ 4K)||17.3||3840 x 2160|
|M1 Mac mini (@1080p)||31.5||1920 x 1080|
|M1 MacBook Air||37||1440 x 900|
|M1 MacBook Pro||38||1440 x 900|
Compared with the Mac, the Mac mini allows us to perform better tests at a higher standard resolution, so it is difficult to compare the game prowess. However, according to records, in “Civilization 6: Storm and Rain”, the frame rates are 1080p and 4K, 31.5fps and 17.3fps, respectively, which represents the game’s strong playability in the mid-range setting.
Its frame rate in “Tomb Raider: Rise of the Tomb Raider” is very high, 20.2fps at 1080p and 5.7fps at 4K, which indicates that more serious 3D games are not ideal for this machine.
The laptop does have a slightly higher frame rate at a lower resolution (for Civilization VI, the resolution is 1440×900, which is about 36-38fps; for “Tomb Raider: Rise”, the resolution is 25-29fps; for The resolution is 2880×1,800, which is about 8-9fps for “Raiders of the Rise” (Tomb Raider), but I still rarely send text messages home.
|Geekbench 5||Handbrake video transcoding (via Rosetta 2)||PugetBench Photoshop|
|M1 Mac mini||6,005||12:38||566|
|Lenovo ThinkCentre M90N||3265||20:23||Not applicable|
|Intel NUC 9 Pro kit (with Ine Xeon CPU, Nvidia Quadro GPU)||7,986||08:23||849.7|
How will the story change when the Mac mini is evaluated against the PC or its own previous generation version?
Again, it depends. The built-in warning here can be traced back to the M1 chip, and current benchmarks using it cannot be compared with benchmarks running on Intel processors. However, loading Rosetta 2 does provide us with a more general basis (if not perfect).
For example, the recent Lenovo ThinkCentre M90N achieved a multi-core score of 3265 in Geekbench 5, while the Mac mini scored 6005. It took 20 minutes and 23 seconds to turn over HandBrake, and the task for Mac mini filtered by Rosetta ended at 12:38. Lenovo’s Photoshop score and Civilization VI frame rate (13.6fps at 1080p) are also low (390).
Compared with the Xeon Quadro version of the Intel NUC 9 Pro Kit, the Mac mini was more visibly shaken, being defeated in Geekbench 5 (7,986), Handbrake (8:23), Photoshop (849.7) and Civilization VI (100.13fps).
Mac mini M1 appearance
No, Macs with M1 don’t always dunk. They provide dazzling processing and graphics capabilities at the low end, but the versions we see are not yet fully competitive with high-end Intel products and medium or better independent graphics systems.
This may change in the near future-rumors about how Apple will adapt its chip for the next version of the 16-inch MacBook Pro have already circulated-but for now, certain old rules still apply. The price of the Mac mini is undoubtedly attractive to the price you get, but if you want better performance, you still need to spend more money.
However, if the Mac mini has never been the main performance product, then these updates will bring the Mac mini closer to the field. For a system that can drive two large displays, it is almost useless on the PC side. Its port forwarding desktop settings mean you can use many hardware you already own and like, and for Apple, this is not an immediately available option . laptop.
If your computer rarely needs to go anywhere, the Mac mini is useful, even the more expensive configuration is still hundreds of dollars cheaper than the equivalent MacBook Air or Pro (if you already have one (or two) monitors, keyboards ), And the mouse used with it. Therefore, this Mac mini may be a great entry point to enter or expand the Apple ecosystem.
You need to wait for a while to see all the speeds that Apple promises to achieve with its native programs running on its own chip, but so far we have seen tantalizing glimpses, namely once the company writes for Apple Silicon All content, it may be worth the wait than Intel to consider how powerful this seemingly small Mac mini is.
to request modification Contact us at Here or [email protected]