New Mac mini with M2 & M2 Pro - all the rumors so far

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited April 2022
Apple is expected to release a new Mac mini in the fall of 2022 with a complete redesign, M2 or M2 Pro processors, and more ports. Here's everything that's been rumored so far, and what it may look like.

The new Mac mini could use the M2 processor
The new Mac mini could use the M2 processor


The Mac mini was among the first Macs to receive an M1 processor, and now, it could be one of the first to get the M2. Apple also never replaced the high-end Intel-based Mac mini, so rumors expect a new model with at least an M2 Pro to be announced at some point in the future.

Rumors surrounding the updated Mac mini have been scarce, with rumors initially suggesting a "pro" version of the machine would be announced in the spring. However, Apple instead announced the Mac Studio with M1 Max and M1 Ultra and left the Mac mini unchanged.





One early leak from Jon Prosser, who has been highly accurate with only a few missteps, has shown the most detailed look at the redesigned Mac mini so far. He claims the renders he shared are based on schematics leaked to him by an internal source at Apple.

According to Prosser, the new Mac mini would have a plexiglass-like top cover, use a thinner aluminum chassis, and have an underside with two rubber feet for support. The vent has been moved to the bottom, and there is no longer a plastic base for easy access to the internals.

The matte-colored top and rubber feet on bottom
The matte-colored top and rubber feet on bottom


On the back of the Mac mini, the leak showed a power button and magnetic power connector similar to the ones used on the 24-inch iMac. It also showed four USB Type-C Thunderbolt ports, two USB-A ports, an Ethernet port, and an HDMI port. There is no headphone jack nor SD card slot, doubly confirmed by Prosser.

Prosser's design had the Thunderbolt ports too close together for cables to attach, and the magnetic power adapter seemed out of place on a small desktop. Even the Mac Studio doesn't use the new magnetic power adapter and it is much larger than the Mac mini.

The three-pronged power adapter would fit easily in the rear of a new Mac mini, and a magnetic connector doesn't seem to be solving any specific issues in the smaller desktop Mac. Despite these contradictions, Prosser and his render artist confirmed that this arrangement was precisely what was shown in the leaked documents.

The ports are spaced more evenly to allow easy access and connection
The ports are spaced more evenly to allow easy access and connection


The renders created by AppleInsider show the same port arrangement provided in Prosser's leaks. However, there is more space between the ports, and the USB-A ports have been turned on their side. No leaks have corroborated Prosser's renders, no further details about the redesign or ports have been provided by any source, and no updated schematics or renders have shown up since the Mac Studio was announced.

Apple may use the magnetic connector for power, but it will likely not need the same 143W power supply since the Mac mini doesn't have a display. Apple could use a smaller power supply or an internal one, thus making fitting an Ethernet port somewhere on the power cable impossible.

It is also worth noting that Apple doesn't include Ethernet on its low-end iMac power supply, but the 143W is still more than needed for the tiny desktop. These reasons could explain why the Mac mini render has both a magnetic power supply and an Ethernet port on the device.

Apple could keep the headphone jack and old A/C power connector
Apple could keep the headphone jack and old A/C power connector


The lack of a headphone jack is also odd, considering every Mac being sold today has a headphone jack. The Mac mini has an internal speaker, but not one meant for everyday audio use like music playback. The headphone jack in the Mac mini has always been useful for adding speakers or a set of headphones without having to deal with an adapter or dock.

Both Mark Gurman and leaker Dylandkt had previously stated the new Mac mini would get the M1 Pro and M1 Max processors. But those rumors were circulated before the spring Apple event. Gurman also expects the new Mac mini to arrive alongside a new Mac Pro and suggested it could use an M2 processor if not the M1 Pro or M1 Max.

The new Mac mini would be thinner and have more port options than the existing M1 model
The new Mac mini would be thinner and have more port options than the existing M1 model


Some code found in the Studio Display firmware mentions a Mac mini model that isn't on the market, the "Macmini10,1." This could be the expected M2 or M2 Pro model rumored in a March leak with the code names J473 and J474 respectively. New hardware appearing in code doesn't mean a release is imminent, but it does confirm that Apple has a new model in production.

There isn't any consensus on what chips could arrive in the new Mac mini. Since Apple is expected to move onto the M2 processor in the fall, some expect that will be the next processor, but others still think Apple could release a Mac mini with the M1 Pro and M1 Max in the summer.

The new Mac mini is expected to be announced sometime in 2022. Stay tuned to AppleInsider for more information and new renders as additional leaks occur.

Read on AppleInsider
patchythepirate
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 80
    Hank2.0Hank2.0 Posts: 151member
    Apple is expected to release a new Mac mini during a spring event in 2022 with a complete redesign...
    To me, two-tone colors, rubber feet, and a rearrangement of ports do not constitute a "complete redesign". A complete redesign would something like a resurrection of the Power Mac G4 "glass" Cube done right.

    Apple Power Mac G4 Cube computer with 15 Studio Display
    kurai_kagebyronlwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 80
    Wesley HilliardWesley Hilliard Posts: 117member, moderator, editor
    Hank2.0 said:
    Apple is expected to release a new Mac mini during a spring event in 2022 with a complete redesign...
    To me, two-tone colors, rubber feet, and a rearrangement of ports do not constitute a "complete redesign". A complete redesign would something like a resurrection of the Power Mac G4 "glass" Cube done right.
    Considering the Mac mini has looked the same since 2010 I'd call a new chassis, plastic cover, aluminum base, and new internals a redesign. There's only so many ways to design a rectangle that sits on your desk after all.

    Funny you mention the G4 Cube, considering that's aparently what will inspire the new Mac Pro design coming later this year.
    williamlondonpatchythepiratebyronlStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 80
    darkvaderdarkvader Posts: 1,010member
    Hopefully they keep the internal power supply.  An external brick is a step backward.

    Also, how do you open this one?  Back to the putty knife?  Annoying.  (And yes, I will be opening whatever Apple releases, it's part of what I do.)
    thtwilliamlondonseanjravnorodombyronl
  • Reply 4 of 80
    M68000M68000 Posts: 576member
    Still have the G4 cube and it works.  Amazing design.  The mini is also really good
    rare commentkurai_kagewilliamlondonseanjpatchythepiratebyronlargonautwatto_cobrasunman42
  • Reply 5 of 80
    The only sad thing here is the removal of the internal power supply. 

    The rest is gold.
    williamlondonbyronlwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 80
    I'd like to see the return of a Kensington lock slot...
    Would less be more...?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 80
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,927member
    darkvader said:
    Hopefully they keep the internal power supply.  An external brick is a step backward.

    Also, how do you open this one?  Back to the putty knife?  Annoying.  (And yes, I will be opening whatever Apple releases, it's part of what I do.)
    Yes or drastically reduce the size to a ‘nano’ enclosure but that would only make sense with an M1/M2 processor.
    Why would you need to open it? No RAM or storage upgrade is likely to be possible.
    auxiochadbagseanjpatchythepirateargonautwatto_cobracharlesatlas
  • Reply 8 of 80
    XedXed Posts: 1,805member
    Hank2.0 said:
    Apple is expected to release a new Mac mini during a spring event in 2022 with a complete redesign...
    To me, two-tone colors, rubber feet, and a rearrangement of ports do not constitute a "complete redesign". A complete redesign would something like a resurrection of the Power Mac G4 "glass" Cube done right.

    [image of long out of date Mac Cube that makes no sense for a modern Mac mini]
    That doesn't mean that they're using a different casing material, a different footprint, or making it larger instead of smaller. Once you look at the internals you'll understand why the casing changes happened the way they did. You can look at he original M1 Macs that have a lot of extra space since they were designed for Intel chips which need a lot more cooling to see the difference.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 80
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,783member
    Not in the market for a new Mac, but if I were it would be a Mini. My 2016 era iMacs are puttering along just fine so I can’t at this point justify upgrading. But when they do start to have problems A mini is what I’m going to be going with. After letting them fall way behind for a number of years, they are now right up with the best of their products. 
    edited January 2022 williamlondonneo-techargonautwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 80
    thttht Posts: 4,806member
    It needs an intake and exhaust for the cooling system. The vent in the rear-bottom is maybe the exhaust where hot air comes out. So perhaps the intakes are hidden underneath the skids. This still isn't great for cooling either way. It could be like the intakes for the MBP, with slots in the bottom corners. Wish the air flow was front to back like it is in the Mac Pro. A square footprint limits them on having a good cooling system. Hoping the footprint is identical to the current model at least.

    Really don't like an external power supply, in the iMac 24, and this if it has it. I even include laptop power bricks in my hatred list. ;) I despised the one on the Xbox One we had. What a piece of shit hardware that Xbox was, where the external power brick had to be "reset" to fix some of its issues. Microsoft probably earned 20% margins on it, at least.

    Otherwise, this might be what I get after the 2013 iMac 27 goes kaput. A port extender dock, and two miniStacks all stacked on top of each other sounds reasonably tidy, but it will require 3, possibly 4, external power bricks with some arrangement shenanigans for the power strip.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 80
    AniMillAniMill Posts: 129member
    I’m assuming the need for the Ethernet chassis hardwired might be because it would support 10Gbe, like the previous Intel. Though I’d be perturbed if the headphone jack is removed.

    I just want this bastard released! Fully loaded, it should be $750 less than the fully loaded M1 Max MacBook Pro. 🤞
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 80
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,048member
    I have a maxed-out 2018 Mac Mini and love the compact design.  I'm not in the market for one yet, for a while but I really hope Apple goes all-out on providing an updated Mini at a price point that makes it competitive, along with making it affordable for users that do not want an iMac or MacBook.  

    I can see server farms buying palette-loads of these for cloud services.  
    williamlondonravnorodombyronlargonautwatto_cobramelgross
  • Reply 13 of 80
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,030member
    sflocal said:
    I have a maxed-out 2018 Mac Mini and love the compact design.  I'm not in the market for one yet, for a while but I really hope Apple goes all-out on providing an updated Mini at a price point that makes it competitive, along with making it affordable for users that do not want an iMac or MacBook.  

    I can see server farms buying palette-loads of these for cloud services.  
    I’m intrigued by that possibility too. I’d love to see that use case scenario reflected in the design and marketing.

    for myself, I’ve decided I’ll wait until the full ASI Mac lineup is out there before buying. My 2020 27” iMac should be adequate in the meantime.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 80
    Sounds like some backward steps in the design.

    No internal power supply - horrible decision. 
    Apple corrected this long ago and now they are going back in time to an inferior and much messier solution.

    plexiglass like top - sound like the original iMac. So not a new design.

    Just look at what it used. to look like:



    NASTY.

    "Oh, but the ethernet goes on the power supply now!" 
    Who gives a rip. If the new team wanted to make it great, they could still route ethernet through the cable via a redesigned plug - with the power supply still inside the computer where it belongs.
    edited January 2022 williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 80
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,567member
    Sounds like some backward steps in the design.

    No internal power supply - horrible decision. 
    Apple corrected this long ago and now they are going back in time to an inferior and much messier solution.

    plexiglass like top - sound like the original iMac. So not a new design.

    Just look at what it used. to look like:



    NASTY.

    "Oh, but the ethernet goes on the power supply now!" 
    Who gives a rip. If the new team wanted to make it great, they could still route ethernet through the cable via a redesigned plug - with the power supply still inside the computer where it belongs.

    I do like that design though tbh. I wouldn't complain if they sorta replicated it. As far as an external PS, not a fan but not a deal breaker at the same time. 
    byronlargonautwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 80
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    darkvader said:
    Hopefully they keep the internal power supply.  An external brick is a step backward.

    Also, how do you open this one?  Back to the putty knife?  Annoying.  (And yes, I will be opening whatever Apple releases, it's part of what I do.)
    Why? An internal power supply takes up space and by far generates the most heat of any component. External power supply means additional hardware can be added. I respectfully disagree with your take on this.

    As for opening it up, that’s a non-issue. With the advent of the M1 SOC you can’t add RAM, you can’t install a bigger SSD, it’s all on the M1,so why would you need to open it up? You do know that RAM and Storage are fixed and not upgradeable, period, right?
    edited January 2022 williamlondonstompy9secondkox2neo-techmichelb76byronlpatchythepirateargonautwatto_cobramelgross
  • Reply 17 of 80
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    If Apple is going this direction with the Mini then they should also be developing an Apple branded display to go along with it. That’s my hope. I’ve been patiently waiting for the larger iMac but a Mini with a 27” or 32” Apple display would be worth considering for sure.
    argonautwatto_cobraiqatedoAlex1N
  • Reply 18 of 80
    So Apple is eliminating expandability, sealing up the mac completely AND requiring an external power brick - for no benefits.  This design is a huge step backwards versus the intel Mac minis.  It's essentially a headless laptop.  I won't bother with this model.  It would be compelling if Apple made the bottom or top easily flip up (that bottom round cut out for a square machine was truly absurd) AND they added a pair of m.2 storage slots - now that would be a tangible benefit of moving to an external power supply (and an actual upgrader over dual SSD mac mini server configs).  I know it won't happen - Apple and their f*ckin' walled garden of no upgrades & no repairs from a pretend green company.
    williamlondon9secondkox2muthuk_vanalingambyronlmac daddy zee
  • Reply 19 of 80
    lkrupp said:
    Why? An internal power supply takes up space and by far generates the most heat of any component. External power supply means additional hardware can be added. I respectfully disagree with your take on this.

    As for opening it up, that’s a non-issue. With the advent of the M1 SOC you can’t add RAM, you can’t install a bigger SSD, it’s all on the M1,so why would you need to open it up? You do know that RAM and Storage are fixed and not upgradeable, period, right?
    - The mac mini has had an internal GPU to keep things neat & clean for about a decade.  My intel mac mini server has two hard drives, intel chips, two user upgradeable RAM slots AND an internal PSU.  That's plenty of added hardware.  If all that can be squeezed into a tiny mac mini in 2014, it is objectively a regression to require an external power brick in 2022.  

    - Your second line disputes your first line.  You cite expandability as the key to the mac mini moving to external power...yet in the same breath state that the new mac mini will not / should not be expandable.  🤔If it is not expandable - than it should certainly not need external power per your logic!

    - Apple is going to have to solve the expandability issue for internal storage for the Mac Pro.  If it is to be released this year (per Apple's promised roadmap) than they must have solved such a basic necessity for a computer by now.  The next Mac Pro must have storage & PCIe expansion to succeed the current Mac Pro (which was the key selling & marketing point over the trashcan Mac).

    9secondkox2MplsPargonaut
  • Reply 20 of 80
    lucidcg said:
    So Apple is eliminating expandability, sealing up the mac completely AND requiring an external power brick - for no benefits.  This design is a huge step backwards versus the intel Mac minis.  It's essentially a headless laptop.  I won't bother with this model.  It would be compelling if Apple made the bottom or top easily flip up (that bottom round cut out for a square machine was truly absurd) AND they added a pair of m.2 storage slots - now that would be a tangible benefit of moving to an external power supply (and an actual upgrader over dual SSD mac mini server configs).  I know it won't happen - Apple and their f*ckin' walled garden of no upgrades & no repairs from a pretend green company.
    You are OBVIOUSLY in the wrong place.
    9secondkox2byronlStrangeDaysargonautwatto_cobraiqatedo
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