Apple’s new $999 Mac Mini 2023 gets the M2 and M2 Pro treatment

Apple 2023 Mac Mini with M2 and M2 Pro chip
100% human

A new Mac Mini powered by the M2 and M2 Pro chips is coming soon, as announced by Apple overnight, offering an affordable desktop Mac device alongside the 2023 MacBook Pro models.

It’s the first new Mac Mini since 2020, bringing big improvements over the previous device based on the M1 chip. Notably, the older desktop device didn’t get the improved M1 Pro architecture, so this announcement signals an upgrade in more ways than one.

2023 Mac Mini details

For those unfamiliar with the Mac Mini, it’s a petite desktop computer with an impressively small footprint. It weighs just over a kilo, stands only 3.58 cm tall, and only takes up 19.7 cm in width and depth. Although the 2023 Mac Mini doesn’t benefit from the ultra-powerful M2 Max chip featured as part of this year’s MacBook Pro devices, the M2 and M2 Pro hardware ensures it will still be a capable multimedia-editing machine.

If you spec out a 2023 Mac Mini with top-of-the-line internals, including an M2 Pro chip, you’re looking at a 12-core CPU, 19-core GPU, 32GB of unified memory, and 8TB of internal storage. Purely looking at the spec sheet comparing the M1 and M2 models, the main differences include more memory, a couple more GPU cores and increased hardware acceleration for processing a wider array of media codecs. However, Apple’s internal testing shows improvements across the board.

With an M2 Mac Mini, Apple claims improvements over the M1 version such as up to 2.4 times faster ProRes transcoding in Final Cut Pro, up to 50% faster Photoshop filter and function performance, and up to 35% faster Resident Evil Village gameplay. In other words, if you’re looking to upgrade from an older Mac Mini or similarly-specced computer, there are plentiful performance gains on offer.

Apple 2023 Mac Mini device
The new Mac Mini gets a decent upgrade with M2 and M2 Pro chip support

Meanwhile, a 2023 Mac Mini with an M2 Pro chip is where things get fun. Apple says the more powerful model is made to be powerful yet power-efficient, capable of blazing through photo and video editing projects with minimal fuss. In comparison to the previous M1 Mac Mini, this year’s M2 Pro version produces up to 4.2 times faster ProRes transcoding in Final Cut Pro, 2.5 times faster graphics performance in Affinity Photo, and up to 2.8 times faster Resident Evil Village gameplay.

In practice, this means significantly reduced waiting times when editing and rendering media, and a much higher frames-per-second count when gaming. Just overall performance boosts all around. These boosts also extend to recent macOS Ventura features for improved productivity and cross-device functionality.

Connectivity, pricing and availability

Like the new MacBook Pros, the 2023 Mac Mini supports Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 for faster wireless connectivity. Depending on whether you get the M2 or M2 Pro model, there are some differences in available ports.

The M2 version has two Thunderbolt 4 displays, supporting up to two external displays. Conversely, the M2 Pro Mac Mini includes four Thunderbolt 4 ports with support for up to three displays, including one 8K display. Both new Mac Mini models have two USB-A ports, an HDMI port, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and a headphone jack.

Apple Mac Mini with Studio Display accessories
Apple recommends pairing the Mac Mini with its Studio Display and range of accessories

Here in Australia, the 2023 Mac Mini arrives on 2 February, with pre-orders open now. A base M2 model starts at a reasonably-priced $999, while the M2 Pro version starts at $1,999.

Read more desktop news on GadgetGuy