Developers Begin Receiving Mac Mini With A12Z Chip to Prepare Apps for Apple Silicon Macs

As part of WWDC last week, Apple announced that it will be switching to its own custom-designed processors for Macs starting later this year. As part of this transition, the company is allowing developers to apply for a modified Mac mini with an A12Z chip and 16GB of RAM to develop and test their apps on a Mac with Arm-based architecture.

As noted on Twitter and in the MacRumors forums, some developers are now beginning to receive this Mac mini, which is officially known as the "Developer Transition Kit."

mac mini developer transition kit photo

Image Credit: Axel Roest

Apple promises that its Macs with custom chips will have industry-leading performance per watt. Apple said it plans to ship the first Mac with its own silicon by the end of the year and complete the transition in about two years. One of the first Apple Silicon Macs will be a redesigned 24-inch iMac in late 2020, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Apple said that it will continue to support and release new versions of macOS for Intel-based Macs for years to come, and it also confirmed that it still has some new Intel-based Macs in development in the interim.


Top Rated Comments

Chundles Avatar
51 months ago

Amazing results? It was at 1080p and looked horrible.
It was being translated on the fly by Rosetta 2. Wasn’t running natively. The fact that it ran at all is amazing.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Cookie18 Avatar
51 months ago

Are the DTK supposed to be representative of low-end Macs, mid-level or high-end Macs? Just asking because in the Keynote they emulated Maya/Tomb Raider to amazing results (given that it is beta hardware/software).

People who did the DTK in 2005 may be able to shed light on how those machines were, for comparison.
They’re not supposed to be representative of anything. They’re for developers to convert their apps to Apple Silicon Mac OS. The chips inside of these are two years old at this point. Whatever we end up getting will be significantly more powerful. This isn’t even close to what we will actually be buying.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GadgetBen Avatar
51 months ago

FYI Running benchmark tests on the DTK is forbidden by Apple and much more. ('https://developer.apple.com/terms/universal-app-quick-start-program/Developer-Universal-App-Quick-Start-Program.pdf')
Yeah but this isn't going to stop people.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JPNMac Avatar
51 months ago

Given how fast the iPads are with only a few gigs of RAM, I'll be interested to hear how these minis perform with 16 gb.
FYI Running benchmark tests on the DTK is forbidden by Apple and much more. ('https://developer.apple.com/terms/universal-app-quick-start-program/Developer-Universal-App-Quick-Start-Program.pdf')
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WannaGoMac Avatar
51 months ago
All these negative comments about performance of a 2 year old CPU setup to port apps?? Are this many people negative or just ignorant? Feel free to be as negative as you want when the actual first computers come out, until then just chill the heck out.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tevion5 Avatar
51 months ago

Amazing results? It was at 1080p and looked horrible.
Guys people are really missing the point of that demo if that's what they're taking away from it.

What we saw was a relatively demanding x86 game running smoothly under Rosetta 2 on ARM hardware. Even if it's at 1080p and low settings that's fairly incredible. Anyone familiar with the PPC-Intel Rosetta will tell you binary conversion performance was nothing like that, especially regarding AAA 3D games at the time.

What you're basically doing is judging a French man by how spotty his German grammar is. The fact he speaks German fluently at all is impressive!

Wait until a high end Mac game is released that's actually compiled for the ARM chip before judgment. And then this is only an iPad CPU for the dev kit! We can expect a real ARM Macs to be a lot more powerful.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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