Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Mac mini 2023

Apple (Hacker News, MacRumors):

Mac mini with M2 features an 8-core CPU with four high-performance and four high-efficiency cores, along with a 10-core GPU — perfect for users looking for superfast performance and incredible productivity at an even more affordable starting price of $599.


M2 Pro brings pro-level performance to Mac mini for the first time. Featuring up to a 12-core CPU with eight high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores, along with up to a 19-core GPU, M2 Pro has 200GB/s of memory bandwidth — double the amount in M2 — and supports up to 32GB of memory.


Mac mini continues to deliver extensive connectivity with a wide range of ports. The M2 model features two Thunderbolt 4 ports and support for up to two displays. The M2 Pro model includes four Thunderbolt 4 ports and support for up to three displays. Additionally, the M2 Pro model can support one 8K display, a first for the Mac. Both models feature two USB-A ports, an HDMI port, a Gigabit Ethernet port with a 10GB option, and an upgraded headphone jack to support high-impedance headphones. For wireless connectivity, both new models also feature the latest standards with Wi-Fi 6E5 for up to 2x faster throughput than before, as well as Bluetooth 5.3.

Federico Viticci:

My favorite announcement: four Thunderbolt ports on the M2 Pro mini 😍

Tim Hardwick:

Apple has stopped offering Intel-powered Mac mini models following the launch of new Apple silicon models featuring its new M2 and M2 Pro chips.


The Mac Pro is now the only Intel-powered machine that Apple sells, as the company continues with its transition to Apple silicon.


Update (2023-01-18): Wesley Hilliard:

The M2 Pro Mac mini bridges the gap between entry-level and high-end. Here’s how it compares to the baseline Mac Studio.

Meek Geek:

Agree that the Mac mini’s $100 price drop to $599 is nice. Alas, 8GB RAM is criminal on such a powerful desktop computer.

Kyle Howells:

The MacBook Pro AR files were compiled on October 11th 2022! Mac mini was October 18th 2022. @markgurman was right. November event was canceled.

Update (2023-01-25): Dan Moren:

However, upgrading the stock configuration of the M2 Pro Mac mini can close that price gap in a hurry. Move up to 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD, and you’re just $100 shy of the Studio’s introductory price—and that’s not even including that more powerful CPU and GPU option. All in all, a maxed-out M2 Pro mini will run you $4,499, surpassing the cost of the Studio’s standard M1 Ultra configuration—heck, now you’re in Mac Pro territory.

In short, the Mac mini is really two products. The base level $599 M2 mini is basically the equivalent of the MacBook Air: a pretty affordable machine that’s capable of handling almost any daily task thrown at it. The M2 Pro mini, on the other hand, is a mid-range Mac desktop that’s aimed at what you might have once called the prosumer market: a powerful Mac that can go the extra mile—for a price.


If there’s a disappointment with the design of this latest revision, it’s that Apple seems to believe ports on the front of its machines are a luxury to be reserved for those who want to spend two thousand dollars on a Mac.

Joe Rossignol:

A teardown of the new Mac mini shared by YouTube channel Brandon Geekabit reveals that the 256GB model is equipped with only a single 256GB storage chip, while the same configuration with the M1 chip has two 128GB chips. This difference explains why the new model has a slower SSD, as multiple NAND chips allow for faster speeds.

We have confirmed with the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test benchmarking app that SSD read and write speeds for the new 256GB Mac mini are each around 1,500 MB/s, which is anywhere from 30% to 50% slower than read and write speeds for the equivalent previous-generation model, although benchmark results and real-world performance can vary.

Update (2023-02-14): Helge Heß:

Ran some perf tests M1 vs M2 Pro (16/512GB vs 32/2TB), building SwiftBlocksUI (which also builds SwiftNIO, Macro etc). There is improvement, but relatively minor, I think primarily because Swift continues to fail making use of multiple cores (very little activity).

Update (2023-03-22): Jeremy Morgan (via Hacker News):

I returned my Mac Mini M2 Pro, and this is why.


According to this [benchmark], it should be marginally faster than the Digital Storm machine, yet less fast than my laptop (with an NVidia RTX 3060 Card in it). It turns out it’s slower than both when rendering.


Every tutorial said to do something different and something has changed since each of them were published, so I never did get Tensorflow to recognize my GPU. CPU only training was meh.

Now, I could have spent more time on it, but many people got the GPU to work with Tensorflow, and apparently, it’s super slow.


So, all things considered, the performance above is acceptable. I expected more, but it’s alright. If it were my only machine, I might be able to live with it all at this price point, especially if it were as reliable as my M1 has been.

He ran into lots of problems that are likely due to Ventura, but with the M2 Mac mini it’s no longer possible to run Monterey.

Dan Grover:

At first, I was excited that my M1 MacBook was powerful to do a lot of machine learning stuff. But so many of the libraries have bugs that only occur when using MPS/Metal that it’s better to just do it on Linux.


2 Comments RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

That AppleInsider comparison is short a bump to 10Gb Ethernet on the Mac Mini. Now, the gap is a mere £100, which is too small even for a storage bump. I'm not sorry we now have a Mac Mini, but the proximity to the Studio is problematic--if I don't upgrade anything but the RAM, which is better? I'll keep my Intel Mac Mini, but the M1 Mini is toast.

TB is meant for daisy chaining. So why the feature is rarely implemented?

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