Next Mac mini will have M2 and M2 Pro Apple Silicon chip options

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware
A new source suggests that Apple's next iteration of the Mac mini will get a significant upgrade: Apple's M2 lineup of Apple Silicon chips.




On Tuesday, Apple announced its brand new Mac Studio -- a Mac mini-like desktop geared toward creative professionals who could benefit from significantly powerful hardware. The Mac Studio is the first of Apple's lineup to get the M1 Ultra, a brand new chip comprised of two M1 Max processors connected by an UltraFusion connector.

However, a new report by 9to5Mac suggests that the Mac mini may be the first Mac to see Apple's following lineup of Apple Silicon chips -- the M2 and M2 Pro.

According to the report, the M2 Mac mini (codenamed J473) will be powered by the next-gen entry-level M2 chip. The M2 chip will be based on the A15 chip and will allegedly feature the same eight-core CPU of the M1 but boast a more powerful 10-core GPU.

The M2 Pro Mac mini (codenamed J474) will feature the M2 Pro chip. Allegedly, this chip will feature four efficiency cores and eight performance cores -- making for a 12-core CPU. For comparison, the current M1 Pro features a 10-core CPU.

While this is the first report definitively saying that the Mac mini will have an M2 chip, it's also an obvious addition for the next generation. The existing Mac mini from the end of 2020 has the M1, and given the heat that the Mac Studio apparently generates, the lower-end of the M2 line makes sense for the next iteration.

Other additions to the line previously rumored are more Thunderbolt ports, the possible use of a magnetic power cable like the M1 iMac uses, and potentially a smaller enclosure.

Read on AppleInsider
Mitty
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 39
    MittyMitty Posts: 17member
    edited March 2022 d.j. adequateBeats
  • Reply 2 of 39
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,877member
    Okay great. When?
    I'm ready for that.
    williamlondonfred1
  • Reply 3 of 39
    My guess is the new Mac Pro will skip M1 Ultra or M1 Ultra Deluxe altogether and use M2 Max or Ultra in the 22Q3. If Mac Mini use M2 before Apple release Mac Pro with M1 Ultra Deluxe, it will be hard to market and justify the extra cost, even M2 basic is only 30% faster than M1 basic. 

    Mini being the cheapest Mac, I don’t think Apple will be rush to update it. The reason why Apple released M1 Mini before other Mac is they want people adopt M1 with the cheapest Mac and do the M transition asap. Now, apple will treat Mini like it treats  IPhone SE, there is not point to put the new shiny M2 in mini in a hurry. 
    ravnorodomtwokatmewjroyllama
  • Reply 4 of 39
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 2,077member
    Would a release at the same time suggest the M2 and M2 Pro are going to be the same die with features disabled for M2 models?

    Currently M1 Pro, Max & Ultra seem to be all the same die, sliced and assembled while the M1 is a standalone production. 



  • Reply 5 of 39
    Sure… I bet! 
  • Reply 6 of 39
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 1,606member
    This just in…the Mini after that one will have an M3 chip. You heard it here first. 
    williamlondonPascalxxBeats
  • Reply 7 of 39
    I hope the M2 will be based on the A16 coming in fall instead. It would be odd if the M series of processors lagged behind the A series cycle by a whole year.
    twokatmewllama
  • Reply 8 of 39
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 3,294member
    Has the two year cycle now been fixed by Apple?...

    For x=1 to 10: 
      Mac Mini gets Mx
      MacBook gets Mx Pro/Max
      Mac Studio gets Mx Ultra
      Mac Pro gets Mx Quad
    end loop

    mike1
  • Reply 9 of 39
    laytechlaytech Posts: 300member
    Mac mini needs a microphone at the very least.  I assume this is months away if it has not been released yesterday. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 10 of 39
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,946member
    First of all, the Mac mini with M2 chip (or whatever it ends up being called) has likely been in operational in a prototype before the M1 Mac mini debuted.

    And it's probably not just one M2 Mac mini, there are probably different chips of different capabilities at different TDPs. Same with the Apple Silicon 27" iMac Pro which Apple management killed off.

    As for this microphone thing, I'm sure Apple has included microphones in their prototypes. Apple should have a GOOD idea of where most of their Mac mini units end up and I'm guessing data centers is a substantial destination.

    I've owned a Mac mini since 2010 and I don't recall ever missing a built-in microphone. After all, I can just plug in a USB webcam or pair Bluetooth earphones (like the AirPods Pro). Hell, I think I can just plug in those wired iPhone earpods.

    Marginal product desires isn't going to sway Apple's product design decisions. They have demonstrated that for decades.
    twokatmewmarcotor949
  • Reply 11 of 39
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,724member
    I was very disappointed the Mini didn't get a release yesterday. I would have loved to see a snazzy design Mini as in the mockup, followed by 'one more thing', kinda thing - 'the Studio' should have been based on the new Mini but perhaps even snazzier - whatever that means (The recent flat iMacs were 'snazzy' as hell). The Studio as presented is a tired design based on a pretty old aesthetic. Its not ugly, but it ain't pretty. Just strikes me as lazy and signals no intent on Apple's part for a design update for the next mini. Ultimately I don't care all that much but looks and presentation are important marketing elements. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 12 of 39
    anoyllaanoylla Posts: 39member
    Mac mini needs to get rid of the power brick
    williamlondon
  • Reply 13 of 39
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,946member
    paxman said:
    I was very disappointed the Mini didn't get a release yesterday. I would have loved to see a snazzy design Mini as in the mockup, followed by 'one more thing', kinda thing - 'the Studio' should have been based on the new Mini but perhaps even snazzier - whatever that means (The recent flat iMacs were 'snazzy' as hell). The Studio as presented is a tired design based on a pretty old aesthetic. Its not ugly, but it ain't pretty. Just strikes me as lazy and signals no intent on Apple's part for a design update for the next mini. Ultimately I don't care all that much but looks and presentation are important marketing elements. 
    I expect Apple to understand where desktop Mac revenue is trending. The smart assumption is that Apple is following where the marketplace is headed. Let's remember that >80% of Macs sold are notebooks. The desktop market is small especially compared to the Windows PC consumer market.

    Let's not forget that Apple is a publicly traded corporation and they will do what they can to increase shareholder value. They really don't care what any given individual thinks about the product design if it results in better gross margins.
  • Reply 14 of 39
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,946member
    anoylla said:
    Mac mini needs to get rid of the power brick
    There's a power brick? Which model?

    My Mac mini 2018 has a built-in PSU. Same with my 2010 Mac mini.
    edited March 2022 roundaboutnowviclauyycdavenwilliamlondonllama
  • Reply 15 of 39
    If the Studio Display can power a MBP, maybe it could power a new Mac mini. I guess that might mean a return to external power bricks for the mini, which has downsides, but it sure would make for a neat desktop arrangement.

    (I still don't get why anyone would expect a desktop cpu -- other than an AIO-- to include a microphone).
    tenthousandthings
  • Reply 16 of 39
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,946member
    I doubt if the TB4 spec includes 320W power delivery.

    Sure, Apple could come up with their own proprietary power supply solution (putting more power capacity in the monitor's power system) but then if you plug the new Mac Studio into a monitor that doesn't have that capability, you'd be stuck with an external power source.

    Does it make sense to build extra power delivery (above and beyond the industry norm) in the monitor (which may not be used) or to put it in the device that actually needs it?

    Apple has sold Mac desktops for a long time and they have a good idea how the user base will welcome a desktop Mac that requires a power brick.
    edited March 2022 viclauyyc
  • Reply 17 of 39
    mpantone said:
    I doubt if the TB4 spec includes 320W power delivery.

    Sure, Apple could come up with their own proprietary power supply solution (putting more power capacity in the monitor's power system) but then if you plug the new Mac Studio into a monitor that doesn't have that capability, you'd be stuck with an external power source.

    Does it make sense to build extra power delivery (above and beyond the industry norm) in the monitor (which may not be used) or to put it in the device that actually needs it?

    Apple has sold Mac desktops for a long time and they have a good idea how the user base will welcome a desktop Mac that requires a power brick.
    I don't know if you're responding to my comment, but just in case...

    I was suggesting that a new Mac mini might be powered with the 96W available from the Studio Display.

    Also, the new 24" iMac has a power brick, so there's that. Not that I'm a big fan of external power bricks, but there is recent precedent.
  • Reply 18 of 39
    If the Studio Display can power a MBP, maybe it could power a new Mac mini. I guess that might mean a return to external power bricks for the mini, which has downsides, but it sure would make for a neat desktop arrangement. …
    I think it’s safe to assume this idea has been given due consideration inside Apple. The brick would be sold separately. The only thing in the box (other than the Mini) would be a Thunderbolt cable. 

    Doing so would seem similar to the choice they’ve just made with regard to the larger iMac(s). And of course it’s reminiscent of the decision to stop putting chargers in iPhone boxes. So, like the brick itself in the current iMac, there is precedent.

    Editing to add another point — if you’re right, it’s probably ready to go and the only reason we didn’t see it introduced with the Studio Display is because it’s M2. If I had to bet, I’d go Mac Pro with dual M1 Max/Ultra and an improved Pro Display XDR at WWDC, along with features in macOS and Xcode designed for dual-CPU computing. The terminology for that escapes me at the moment, but it’s a thing — I saw an interesting comment somewhere from someone pointing out that there are use cases for the Studio where buying two $1999 M1 Max would be better than getting one $3999 M1 Ultra.

    Then, like last year, a double event in September-October. The M2 event would introduce the redesigned M2 Air (colors), the redesigned M2 Mini, the refreshed M2 iMac (18 months after its release, in line with that prediction). The M2 iPad Pro would work at either event, with the Macs, or with the A16 iPhones.

    That leaves only one transition unresolved — the 13-inch touch-bar MBP, which sits in the price gap between the Air and the Pro. I think it’s possible the rumor that it will get a simple refresh for the M2 is correct, and it is basically a placeholder for an M3-generation product that is in the works (hint: the key word here is “touch”) …
    edited March 2022
  • Reply 19 of 39
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,028member
    Pascalxx said:
    I hope the M2 will be based on the A16 coming in fall instead. It would be odd if the M series of processors lagged behind the A series cycle by a whole year.
    I agree, and there is a precedent -- the A#X series skipped a core generation between A10X and A12X, and again between A12X and M1. 

    Also, the smaller volumes of the M chips mean that Apple could maybe sometimes roll out new core designs and new TSMC processes in the M chips first. So we might one day see Apple introduce an M chip with a new core design and process in the spring, followed by an A chip with that core design and process in the Fall. 
    tenthousandthingstechconcmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 20 of 39
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,028member
    viclauyyc said:
    My guess is the new Mac Pro will skip M1 Ultra or M1 Ultra Deluxe altogether and use M2 Max or Ultra in the 22Q3. If Mac Mini use M2 before Apple release Mac Pro with M1 Ultra Deluxe, it will be hard to market and justify the extra cost, even M2 basic is only 30% faster than M1 basic. 

    Mini being the cheapest Mac, I don’t think Apple will be rush to update it. The reason why Apple released M1 Mini before other Mac is they want people adopt M1 with the cheapest Mac and do the M transition asap. Now, apple will treat Mini like it treats  IPhone SE, there is not point to put the new shiny M2 in mini in a hurry. 
    Apple clearly stated the Ultra is the last of the M1 chips to be introduced. 

    So, one of these must be true (listed from least likely to most likely):

    1. Apple uses the Ultra in the Mac Pro, either as-is or clocked a little higher, and the only advantage of the Mac Pro is some degree of user-upgradability. I'd say this is highly unlikely.
    2. Apple uses two (or more) Ultras in the Mac Pro. I think this is also highly unlikely, given Apple's repeated and enthusiastic statements about unified memory, consistent programming model, etc. I just can't see Apple going NUMA after all of that. 
    3. Apple creates a different line of chips for the Mac Pro that aren't part of the M family. Unlikely, but not totally crazy. The small volume of the Mac Pro might make it *seem* totally crazy, but keep in mind that there are other very small volume chips out there -- the key is, you have to be able to charge enough for them to make the economics work. Maybe Apple could do that. Or maybe the volume isn't as small as it seems -- maybe Apple has plans for a Mac Pro that would also show up in an HPC cloud context.
    4. The Mac Pro will be based on a chip from the M2 family, probably connecting 4 M2 Max chips. Seems most likely *by far*. 
    techconcmuthuk_vanalingam
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