M2 Pro & Max GPUs are fast -- but not faster than M1 Ultra

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware
Metal benchmarks for the M2 Pro and M2 Max show a 30% improvement over the previous generation, aligning with Apple's claims about speed boosts.

Geekbench Metal scores for M-series processors
Geekbench Metal scores for M-series processors


Reviewers have their hands on Apple's upcoming MacBook Pros, so public benchmark scores are inevitably showing up in Geekbench. The GPU scores show that Apple's claim of a 30% increase in both chips is accurate.

The M2 Pro scored 52691, while the M2 Max scored 86805. That's compared to the M1 Pro scoring 38238 and the M1 Max scoring 58856.

Scores can vary slightly based on environment, battery level, and other active processes.

These scores follow the initial M2 Pro Geekbench scores that show a big improvement over the M1 Pro, and even exceed the M1 Max. The M2 Pro scored 1952 single-core and 15013 multi-core, while the M1 Max scores 1727 single-core and 12643 multi-core.

The M2 Pro can be configured with up to a 19-core GPU, and the M2 Max can have up to a 38-core GPU. The score for the M2 Pro are for the 19-core GPU and 32GB of RAM configuration. The M2 Max test had 64GB of RAM and didn't list how many GPU cores were available.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    jeromecjeromec Posts: 146member
    Nice results. But since there are different GPU (and CPU) configurations for M1 Pro, M1 Max, M2 Pro and M2 Max, I am not sure what to do with these scores.
    We only have info for the M2 Pro.

    And since the CPUs are exactly the same for the "full" M2 Pro compared to M2 Mac (and similarly for M1 Pro/Mac), it is no surprise that GeekBench CPU scores for M2 Pro/Max are better than those of M1 Pro/Max.
  • Reply 2 of 23
    retrogustoretrogusto Posts: 1,026member
    I’ll be interested to see if anyone does benchmarks comparing the top two processors available in the new Mac Mini. I’m wondering if the fastest one will have any issues with throttling due to overheating in that small enclosure. 
    cgWerkswatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 23
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,586member
    I’ll be interested to see if anyone does benchmarks comparing the top two processors available in the new Mac Mini. I’m wondering if the fastest one will have any issues with throttling due to overheating in that small enclosure. 
    There's a fan in the mini, shouldn't have any thermal issues. If I had to guess, and I do as I couldn't find any real numbers, the higher end M2 Pro probably doesn't draw more than 100W when fully loaded. That means all GPU and CPU cores working along with memory completely full. That enclosure with a fan should definitely be able to keep it cool enough to prevent throttling.
    watto_cobrad_2rayborezwits
  • Reply 4 of 23
    nubusnubus Posts: 128member
    Same tests reveal that M2 Pro (12 cores) in the new desktop mini is delivering a single-thread performance of 1952 compared to MBP 14" M1 Pro (10 cores) doing 1790. The new "mini Pro" is less than 10% faster than M1 Pro laptop on single-threaded. For HTML5 and PDF (graphic design) the desktop M2 Pro is just 5% faster.
    watto_cobrarezwits
  • Reply 5 of 23
    thttht Posts: 4,711member
    mjtomlin said:
    I’ll be interested to see if anyone does benchmarks comparing the top two processors available in the new Mac Mini. I’m wondering if the fastest one will have any issues with throttling due to overheating in that small enclosure. 
    There's a fan in the mini, shouldn't have any thermal issues. If I had to guess, and I do as I couldn't find any real numbers, the higher end M2 Pro probably doesn't draw more than 100W when fully loaded. That means all GPU and CPU cores working along with memory completely full. That enclosure with a fan should definitely be able to keep it cool enough to prevent throttling.
    Apple's Tech Specs page says the mini w/M2 has 150 W of continuous power draw and the mini w/M2 Pro has 185 W of continuous power draw. So, curious. They have increased the size of the power supply to 185 W for the M2 Pro model.

    4 TB ports at 15 W. 2 USBA ports at 10 W. That's 80 W, with 105 W for everything else. 40 W for the CPU cluster and 60 W for the GPU cluster, give or take. I do wonder if it can actually deliver 15 W out of every TB port and 10 W out of the USBA ports, simultaneously.
    cgWerkswatto_cobratenthousandthings
  • Reply 6 of 23
    keithwkeithw Posts: 104member
    If I did the math right, the M2 Max over the M1 Max was 47.5% higher on "Metal."  Hypothesizing equal improvements, we may get 139,500 out of the M2 Ultra in the Studio (whenever Apple decides to release it.) That's ALMOST as fast as I'm getting with my AMD 6900XT eGPU on my 2017 iMac Pro. With all of this said, I can't imagine Apple releasing a Mac Pro (with any chip!) that can't meet the "Metal" result already posted by the Intel Mac Pro:  166946. 
    edited January 20 atonaldenimwatto_cobramuthuk_vanalingam9secondkox2rezwits
  • Reply 7 of 23
    keithw said:
    If I did the math right, the M2 Max over the M1 Max was 47.5% higher on "Metal."  Hypothesizing equal improvements, we may get 139,500 out of the M2 Ultra in the Studio (whenever Apple decides to release it.) That's ALMOST as fast as I'm getting with my AMD 6900XT eGPU on my 2017 iMac Pro. With all of this said, I can't imagine Apple releasing a Mac Pro (with any chip!) that can't meet the "Metal" result already posted by the Intel Mac Pro:  166946. 
    Completely agree.
    watto_cobra9secondkox2qwerty52
  • Reply 8 of 23
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,784member
    Awesome machines, love to get one.

    Unfortunately the sad state of CAD software on the Mac means I have to get a thinkpad. Sigh.

    I will get my long wished for Mac mini M2 Pro for personal use later when the dollars in the bankrecover.
    edited January 20 cgWerkswatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 23
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,087member
    Would be nice to see Intel-based Macs added to chart to show price/performance breakdown. Include standard graphics scores plus scores for higher end (expensive) graphics cards. My iMac with AMD Radeon Pro Vega 48 ($450 upgrade, thought it cost more) with a Metal score of 53883. That puts it in the M1 Max area but back in 2019, the Pro Vega was an expensive option. A "base" M1 Max MBP is half what was spent on the 2019 iMac and everything about the M1 Max MBP is much faster than the configuration I have. Having these comparisons should help consumers realize even the refurbished Intel Macs are no longer worth the price they're being sold for.

    Now, I'd like to see a Mac Pro built around a cluster of M2 Max SoCs with appropriate software. The M2 Max might be a more reasonable SoC to build a cluster around than the Ultra version. I would think the Max would have a lower rejection rate than the Ultra. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 23
    thttht Posts: 4,711member
    keithw said:
    If I did the math right, the M2 Max over the M1 Max was 47.5% higher on "Metal."  Hypothesizing equal improvements, we may get 139,500 out of the M2 Ultra in the Studio (whenever Apple decides to release it.) That's ALMOST as fast as I'm getting with my AMD 6900XT eGPU on my 2017 iMac Pro. With all of this said, I can't imagine Apple releasing a Mac Pro (with any chip!) that can't meet the "Metal" result already posted by the Intel Mac Pro:  166946. 
    Completely agree.
    They will ship a Mac Pro with an Ultra, and possibly an Extreme. If they deem it such that they need to offer more GPU performance then what the Ultra, and hopefully Extreme, they will backtrack and offer MPX modules with AMD 
    cgWerkswatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 23
    I’ll be interested to see if anyone does benchmarks comparing the top two processors available in the new Mac Mini. I’m wondering if the fastest one will have any issues with throttling due to overheating in that small enclosure. 
    What small enclosure? I was pointing this out in a "how was Apple able to drop the price on the Mac Mini" article on PCMag yesterday ... the Mac Mini enclosure is HUGE. It is 86 cubic inches, essentially unchanged from 2010. You have Intel Core i7 and AMD Ryzen 7 mini-PCs these days that have 30 cubic inch enclosures - practically 1/3 the size - that include heatsinks and fans. And you have Pentium and Celeron mini-PCs that are 18 cubic inches. An example: the Intel Core i7-1255U is a 10nm chip with 10 cores, and it is in the Acer Chromebox CXI5 that is so small that it will be able to fit inside the mounting bracket of a monitor (where the monitor stand attaches to the back of the monitor screen) to create an All-in-One: https://www.xda-developers.com/acer-chromebox-cxi5/

    Yes, the M2 Pro's 1952 single core Geekbench score is faster than the i7-1255U's 1739 ... but not by a whole lot. (By the way .... the i7-1255U is for thin and light notebooks, which is why it ised used in mini-PCs. Their performance Core i7 chip, the i7-12800HX, used for workbooks and lower end workstation laptops, is a wash in single core and actually beats the M2 Pro in multicore. And this does not get into the Core i7 chips that actually are for desktops instead of laptops like the i7-12700K.) 

    The M2 Pro has 2 more cores - both performance - as well as way more GPU cores than the i7-1255U, but it is also on a TSMC 5nm process optimized for efficiency - 5NP - so it should definitely be able to fit into that Chromebox case. So even though the Mac Mini "could" be as small as an Apple TV 4K, designing a new exterior for it would have driven up the price. But this means that throttling and overheating definitely won't be a problem. 

    But down the line, Apple does need to make the Mac Mini smaller. If the 10nm Intel Core i7 CPU mini-PCs are that small, you can only imagine how small they will be  in 1Q2025 when the 5nm (Intel calls it 20A) chips will be in mini PCs. When that happens, tiny mini-PCs that offer the same CPU and graphics performance as these massive Mac "Minis" will be an embarrassment. (Yes, the graphics performance thing will happen. Starting with 13th gen, Intel is going to have their discrete GPUs, which are already being manufactured by TSMC, manufactured as "tiles" that will become integrated GPUs.) So a redesign will need to happen, even if Apple can't meet the $599 price point.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 23
    Did we think M2 Max would beat M1 Ultra? There is going to be a point when these increases will not be so large. Apple will not overcome physics. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 23
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,872moderator
    mjtomlin said:
    I’ll be interested to see if anyone does benchmarks comparing the top two processors available in the new Mac Mini. I’m wondering if the fastest one will have any issues with throttling due to overheating in that small enclosure. 
    There's a fan in the mini, shouldn't have any thermal issues. If I had to guess, and I do as I couldn't find any real numbers, the higher end M2 Pro probably doesn't draw more than 100W when fully loaded. That means all GPU and CPU cores working along with memory completely full. That enclosure with a fan should definitely be able to keep it cool enough to prevent throttling.
    The Mac Studio with M1 Max is listed as 115W, close to half the Ultra. Pro GPU is half the Max one so it should be well below 100W:

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT213100

    M1 Max doing just GPU tests was 70W here, CPU was 50W:

    https://www.anandtech.com/show/17024/apple-m1-max-performance-review/3
    Did we think M2 Max would beat M1 Ultra? There is going to be a point when these increases will not be so large. Apple will not overcome physics. 
    If it had been on 3nm it would have but these gains are close and it shows that 3nm will put more than M1 Ultra performance in a Macbook Pro next year. The Ultra can rival the 2019 Mac Pro in a lot of tasks, it's really nice to have that performance in a quiet portable.
    watto_cobra9secondkox2
  • Reply 14 of 23
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,874member
    keithw said:
    If I did the math right, the M2 Max over the M1 Max was 47.5% higher on "Metal."  Hypothesizing equal improvements, we may get 139,500 out of the M2 Ultra in the Studio (whenever Apple decides to release it.) That's ALMOST as fast as I'm getting with my AMD 6900XT eGPU on my 2017 iMac Pro. With all of this said, I can't imagine Apple releasing a Mac Pro (with any chip!) that can't meet the "Metal" result already posted by the Intel Mac Pro:  166946. 
    The problem is this is just benchmarks. We’ll have to see some real-world tests. Apple’s GPUs look OK, impressive even given power consumption. But, with the M1 (even the Ultra) they fall apart on certain tasks even a modest AMD/Nvidia will handle.

    I really wish they’d just add eGPU w/AMD, but I’m probably going to have to wait for the M3 at this point. This is encouraging, though, as they must have gotten past some of the M1-scaling bottlenecks. I guess I’ll keep my hopes up for the M2 Studio and that it would be adequate. I really want one.

    tht said:
    They will ship a Mac Pro with an Ultra, and possibly an Extreme. If they deem it such that they need to offer more GPU performance then what the Ultra, and hopefully Extreme, they will backtrack and offer MPX modules with AMD 
    I hope you’re right, as that would mean maybe an eGPU could be added at some point as well. GPU aside, the Studios look great, or even the mini.

    thadec said:
    What small enclosure? I was pointing this out in a "how was Apple able to drop the price on the Mac Mini" article on PCMag yesterday ... the Mac Mini enclosure is HUGE. It is 86 cubic inches, essentially unchanged from 2010. You have Intel Core i7 and AMD Ryzen 7 mini-PCs these days that have 30 cubic inch enclosures - practically 1/3 the size …
    I suppose, but for me, it is less about what is doable, and what is going to perform as I’d like. Most PCs (including my Intel i7 mini) can’t adequately cool themselves, even though they are sold like that. And, they especially can’t do so in a quiet manner.
    watto_cobrakeithw
  • Reply 15 of 23
    thttht Posts: 4,711member
    thadec said:
    I’ll be interested to see if anyone does benchmarks comparing the top two processors available in the new Mac Mini. I’m wondering if the fastest one will have any issues with throttling due to overheating in that small enclosure. 
    What small enclosure? I was pointing this out in a "how was Apple able to drop the price on the Mac Mini" article on PCMag yesterday ... the Mac Mini enclosure is HUGE. It is 86 cubic inches, essentially unchanged from 2010. You have Intel Core i7 and AMD Ryzen 7 mini-PCs these days that have 30 cubic inch enclosures - practically 1/3 the size - that include heatsinks and fans. And you have Pentium and Celeron mini-PCs that are 18 cubic inches. An example: the Intel Core i7-1255U is a 10nm chip with 10 cores, and it is in the Acer Chromebox CXI5 that is so small that it will be able to fit inside the mounting bracket of a monitor (where the monitor stand attaches to the back of the monitor screen) to create an All-in-One: https://www.xda-developers.com/acer-chromebox-cxi5/
    retrogusto is talking about the Mac mini enclosure. retrogusto just wanted to know if there is "throttling" in the Mac mini M2 Pro, and he wasn't even responding to you. It was just a question. The answer is no. Very few systems throttle. They all work as designed for their given set of design constraints. "Throttling" is just a negative term that fanboys like to throw around to make fun of companies. Very few if any PCs throttle.

    The M2 Pro will be able to operate at its designed maximum frequencies in perpetuity in typical room environments. If you run it in the sun outside in 125 °F temperatures in Death Valley, and if its chip temperatures get too high - it will - it will downclock and use less power to protect itself. It may not even power on! If you bring it along up to 15,000 ft altitude on top of some mountain, it will probably downclock to protect itself.

    I don't get your response though. You go on about how there are such small SFF PCs, yet you link to a Chromebox CXI5, which looks to be about the same size as a Mac mini. Why not link to an actually small SFF that is 30% the volume of a Mac mini?

    There appears to be no published dimensions, but my eyeballs are definitely seeing something the same size as a Mac mini for this Chromebox CXI5. While surely it has fans and heat sinks inside, what it doesn't have inside is a power supply. A lot of these super small SFF PCs do not have internal PSUs. The Mac mini does. So it packs in more performance and more components inside while operating at lower power consumption. That's Apple's current design ethos. Yes, I was disappointed to see an external PSU for the iMac 24.


    thadec said:
    Yes, the M2 Pro's 1952 single core Geekbench score is faster than the i7-1255U's 1739 ... but not by a whole lot. (By the way .... the i7-1255U is for thin and light notebooks, which is why it ised used in mini-PCs. Their performance Core i7 chip, the i7-12800HX, used for workbooks and lower end workstation laptops, is a wash in single core and actually beats the M2 Pro in multicore. And this does not get into the Core i7 chips that actually are for desktops instead of laptops like the i7-12700K.) 
    You should probably wait on knowing what processor will be inside the Chromebox CXI5. All the information so far is that it will be a 12th gen Core i7 or lessor processor. And I will bet it won't have an i7-12800HX as an option. They will need to put in 150 W just for that, and would need a 250 W external power supply.

    If there other SFF PCs you want to discuss, I would love to.


    thadec said:
    But down the line, Apple does need to make the Mac Mini smaller. If the 10nm Intel Core i7 CPU mini-PCs are that small, you can only imagine how small they will be  in 1Q2025 when the 5nm (Intel calls it 20A) chips will be in mini PCs. When that happens, tiny mini-PCs that offer the same CPU and graphics performance as these massive Mac "Minis" will be an embarrassment. (Yes, the graphics performance thing will happen. Starting with 13th gen, Intel is going to have their discrete GPUs, which are already being manufactured by TSMC, manufactured as "tiles" that will become integrated GPUs.) So a redesign will need to happen, even if Apple can't meet the $599 price point.
    No, Apple won't need to make it smaller. They could, but they don't need to. What they need to do is to continuously update it.

    You should probably be skeptical of Intel meeting its fab schedule. Then, no, x86 SFF PCs will all get bigger. The only way around it is to use 10 to 20 W TDP systems, and keep the turbo power down. This isn't going to happen if they have multiple chip tiles in an SoC. Intel isn't going to drive down their TDPs either. They are all only going up.

    This has already been happening in the prior 5 years of SFF PCs. They have been getting bigger. Just look at the Chromebox CXI1 to CXI5 series. Every successive box has been getting bigger. Intel NUCs have been getting bigger every generation it seems. The Intel NUC with the Xe eGPU is basically the size of a small ATX PC. An SoC package with CPU tile, GPU tile, IO tile? It will require more power. The performant SoCs will be 150 to 300 W TDPs.

    I think I might be lowballing those numbers. The i7-12800HX can draw 180 W by itself. Add a GPU tile? 400 W for the SoC?
    watto_cobrad_2cgWerks
  • Reply 16 of 23
    I’ll be interested to see if anyone does benchmarks comparing the top two processors available in the new Mac Mini. I’m wondering if the fastest one will have any issues with throttling due to overheating in that small enclosure. 
    I would be willing to bet that M2 Pro in the mini will not have any thermal issues, even with CPU, GPU, RAM, and SSD and the power supply all going full throttle. 
  • Reply 17 of 23
    nubusnubus Posts: 128member
    thadec said:
    the Mac Mini enclosure is HUGE. It is 86 cubic inches, essentially unchanged from 2010
    The new Mini is clearly designed for racks and users that don't care about design (education + IT departments). It eats desktop surface, and with M2 Pro it makes fun of iMac. The new Mini Pro also kills the entry-level Studio configurations. Apple could have create a compact mini and a server blade. Instead we get a desktop eating muscle computer. It is not unlike PowerMac 4400 and Beige G3 - a lot of processing power at bargain price without style. Mini - the beige Mustang.


    rezwits
  • Reply 18 of 23
    tht said:
    thadec said:
    I’ll be interested to see if anyone does benchmarks comparing the top two processors available in the new Mac Mini. I’m wondering if the fastest one will have any issues with throttling due to overheating in that small enclosure. 
    What small enclosure? I was pointing this out in a "how was Apple able to drop the price on the Mac Mini" article on PCMag yesterday ... the Mac Mini enclosure is HUGE. It is 86 cubic inches, essentially unchanged from 2010. You have Intel Core i7 and AMD Ryzen 7 mini-PCs these days that have 30 cubic inch enclosures - practically 1/3 the size - that include heatsinks and fans. And you have Pentium and Celeron mini-PCs that are 18 cubic inches. An example: the Intel Core i7-1255U is a 10nm chip with 10 cores, and it is in the Acer Chromebox CXI5 that is so small that it will be able to fit inside the mounting bracket of a monitor (where the monitor stand attaches to the back of the monitor screen) to create an All-in-One: https://www.xda-developers.com/acer-chromebox-cxi5/
    retrogusto is talking about the Mac mini enclosure. retrogusto just wanted to know if there is "throttling" in the Mac mini M2 Pro, and he wasn't even responding to you. It was just a question. The answer is no. Very few systems throttle. They all work as designed for their given set of design constraints. "Throttling" is just a negative term that fanboys like to throw around to make fun of companies. Very few if any PCs throttle.

    The M2 Pro will be able to operate at its designed maximum frequencies in perpetuity in typical room environments. If you run it in the sun outside in 125 °F temperatures in Death Valley, and if its chip temperatures get too high - it will - it will downclock and use less power to protect itself. It may not even power on! If you bring it along up to 15,000 ft altitude on top of some mountain, it will probably downclock to protect itself.

    I don't get your response though. You go on about how there are such small SFF PCs, yet you link to a Chromebox CXI5, which looks to be about the same size as a Mac mini. Why not link to an actually small SFF that is 30% the volume of a Mac mini?

    There appears to be no published dimensions, but my eyeballs are definitely seeing something the same size as a Mac mini for this Chromebox CXI5. While surely it has fans and heat sinks inside, what it doesn't have inside is a power supply. A lot of these super small SFF PCs do not have internal PSUs. The Mac mini does. So it packs in more performance and more components inside while operating at lower power consumption. That's Apple's current design ethos. Yes, I was disappointed to see an external PSU for the iMac 24.


    thadec said:
    Yes, the M2 Pro's 1952 single core Geekbench score is faster than the i7-1255U's 1739 ... but not by a whole lot. (By the way .... the i7-1255U is for thin and light notebooks, which is why it ised used in mini-PCs. Their performance Core i7 chip, the i7-12800HX, used for workbooks and lower end workstation laptops, is a wash in single core and actually beats the M2 Pro in multicore. And this does not get into the Core i7 chips that actually are for desktops instead of laptops like the i7-12700K.) 
    You should probably wait on knowing what processor will be inside the Chromebox CXI5. All the information so far is that it will be a 12th gen Core i7 or lessor processor. And I will bet it won't have an i7-12800HX as an option. They will need to put in 150 W just for that, and would need a 250 W external power supply.

    If there other SFF PCs you want to discuss, I would love to.


    thadec said:
    But down the line, Apple does need to make the Mac Mini smaller. If the 10nm Intel Core i7 CPU mini-PCs are that small, you can only imagine how small they will be  in 1Q2025 when the 5nm (Intel calls it 20A) chips will be in mini PCs. When that happens, tiny mini-PCs that offer the same CPU and graphics performance as these massive Mac "Minis" will be an embarrassment. (Yes, the graphics performance thing will happen. Starting with 13th gen, Intel is going to have their discrete GPUs, which are already being manufactured by TSMC, manufactured as "tiles" that will become integrated GPUs.) So a redesign will need to happen, even if Apple can't meet the $599 price point.
    No, Apple won't need to make it smaller. They could, but they don't need to. What they need to do is to continuously update it.

    You should probably be skeptical of Intel meeting its fab schedule. Then, no, x86 SFF PCs will all get bigger. The only way around it is to use 10 to 20 W TDP systems, and keep the turbo power down. This isn't going to happen if they have multiple chip tiles in an SoC. Intel isn't going to drive down their TDPs either. They are all only going up.

    This has already been happening in the prior 5 years of SFF PCs. They have been getting bigger. Just look at the Chromebox CXI1 to CXI5 series. Every successive box has been getting bigger. Intel NUCs have been getting bigger every generation it seems. The Intel NUC with the Xe eGPU is basically the size of a small ATX PC. An SoC package with CPU tile, GPU tile, IO tile? It will require more power. The performant SoCs will be 150 to 300 W TDPs.

    I think I might be lowballing those numbers. The i7-12800HX can draw 180 W by itself. Add a GPU tile? 400 W for the SoC?
    Thank you for bringing up the internal power supply. I think that’s the main reason it didn’t change — the only way they would have redesigned was if they were going to follow the iMac and use an external power supply with Ethernet. 

    So I think we can look at this as Apple drawing a line there, with the Mini and the iMac on opposite sides of that line. 

    I still wonder about a future “Mac micro” that doesn’t need a battery or a power supply, and just uses power from the display via Thunderbolt… 
    edited January 21 cgWerks9secondkox2
  • Reply 19 of 23
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,874member
    I’m sure there are people/situations where the form-factor of the mini matters, and they’d like to see it done differently. I’m on the opposite side, though. I’d actually like to see it get bigger with a better/more-quiet cooling system (hence my preference for the Studio). So, I guess everyone has their wishes and reason, but for desktops, I loathe the trend of small, noisy, can’t cool itself products.
  • Reply 20 of 23
    thadec said:
    I’ll be interested to see if anyone does benchmarks comparing the top two processors available in the new Mac Mini. I’m wondering if the fastest one will have any issues with throttling due to overheating in that small enclosure. 
    What small enclosure? I was pointing this out in a "how was Apple able to drop the price on the Mac Mini" article on PCMag yesterday ... the Mac Mini enclosure is HUGE. It is 86 cubic inches, essentially unchanged from 2010. You have Intel Core i7 and AMD Ryzen 7 mini-PCs these days that have 30 cubic inch enclosures - practically 1/3 the size - that include heatsinks and fans. And you have Pentium and Celeron mini-PCs that are 18 cubic inches. An example: the Intel Core i7-1255U is a 10nm chip with 10 cores, and it is in the Acer Chromebox CXI5 that is so small that it will be able to fit inside the mounting bracket of a monitor (where the monitor stand attaches to the back of the monitor screen) to create an All-in-One: https://www.xda-developers.com/acer-chromebox-cxi5/

    Yes, the M2 Pro's 1952 single core Geekbench score is faster than the i7-1255U's 1739 ... but not by a whole lot. (By the way .... the i7-1255U is for thin and light notebooks, which is why it ised used in mini-PCs. Their performance Core i7 chip, the i7-12800HX, used for workbooks and lower end workstation laptops, is a wash in single core and actually beats the M2 Pro in multicore. And this does not get into the Core i7 chips that actually are for desktops instead of laptops like the i7-12700K.) 

    The M2 Pro has 2 more cores - both performance - as well as way more GPU cores than the i7-1255U, but it is also on a TSMC 5nm process optimized for efficiency - 5NP - so it should definitely be able to fit into that Chromebox case. So even though the Mac Mini "could" be as small as an Apple TV 4K, designing a new exterior for it would have driven up the price. But this means that throttling and overheating definitely won't be a problem. 

    But down the line, Apple does need to make the Mac Mini smaller. If the 10nm Intel Core i7 CPU mini-PCs are that small, you can only imagine how small they will be  in 1Q2025 when the 5nm (Intel calls it 20A) chips will be in mini PCs. When that happens, tiny mini-PCs that offer the same CPU and graphics performance as these massive Mac "Minis" will be an embarrassment. (Yes, the graphics performance thing will happen. Starting with 13th gen, Intel is going to have their discrete GPUs, which are already being manufactured by TSMC, manufactured as "tiles" that will become integrated GPUs.) So a redesign will need to happen, even if Apple can't meet the $599 price point.
    Although it would be nice to have a smaller enclosure there are some problems with going smaller in my opinion. I have a MINIX PC sitting behind me that I'm setting up for a customer and it is, as you say, smaller than the 2020 M1 Mini I have mounted on the back of the monitor I'm using at the moment. The drawback as far as I'm concerned is that it has ports on two sides of it's case so it's harder to do things like hide cables on it. And despite what Jony Ives said years ago people do in fact want to plug in devices on their computers. Plus I hate having external power bricks and much prefer a simple cable with a standard connector on the PC end.
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