New High-End Mac Mini: Everything Rumors Say We Can Expect
With Apple's "Unleashed" event just hours away, the focus has understandably been on the new MacBook Pro models that are expected to debut, but rumors suggest we could also see the company unveil a new Mac mini with a new design and a faster Apple silicon processor. Here's what we've heard from sources over the past year.
Kicking things off, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman in May said that Apple was working on a high-end version of the Mac mini, featuring a more powerful Apple silicon chip than the M1 and extra ports. Then, in August, Gurman followed up that report by saying that the refreshed Mac mini would be coming in the "next several months," which lines up well with this month's event.
Gurman's specific expectations about the new Mac mini are as follows:
- The new Mac mini is expected to use the M1X, the same chip as the next-generation MacBook Pro.
The next-generation MacBook Pro models are expected to feature an improved version of the M1 chip with a 10-core CPU, containing eight high-performance cores and two energy-efficient cores, and 16-core or 32-core GPU options, meaning this is also what we can expect from the new Mac mini. The processor they share however could yet have another name.
- Support for up to 64GB of memory.
This is believed to be a benefit of the M1X chip, which is said to support up to 64GB RAM, up from the 16GB maximum RAM supported by the M1.
- Four Thunderbolt ports will be included at the rear.
This would be up from the two Thunderbolt ports that are available on the rear of the current Mac mini with an M1 chip, and is also said to be a change supported by the M1X processor.
- The high-end Mac mini will replace the Intel Mac mini that Apple is still selling.
When Apple introduced the M1 Mac mini last year, it retained the Intel Mac minis with two additional ports in the product lineup as a high-end option. Apple did the same with the MacBook Pro and iMac, where the M1 option replaced the entry-level version of the machine, and kept the high-end Intel models with more ports on sale. Gurman expects that the new high-end Mac mini will be sold alongside the current M1 Mac mini.
According to Prosser, who has a mixed track record when it comes to Apple rumors, the new high-end Mac mini will have the following features:
- A mostly similar design to the existing Mac mini but a smaller overall size.
- The same ports currently available on the Intel-based Mac mini, which includes four Thunderbolt, two USB-A, Ethernet, and HDMI.
- A "plexiglass-like" top, which will sit above the aluminum enclosure.
- Two possible "two-tone" color options, similar to the 24-inch iMac.
- The same magnetic power port that debuted in the 24-inch iMac.
Bear in mind that there's no guarantee we'll see a Mac mini announcement at Apple's upcoming "Unleashed" event, and Bloomberg originally said Apple could scrap its plans to release this new high-end Mac mini anytime soon. Regardless, Apple will eventually replace the current Intel models with ones featuring Apple silicon chips. It's just a matter of when.
Apple will live stream its event later today, Monday, October 18 on its website and on YouTube. For those unable to watch, MacRumors will have live coverage of the event both on MacRumors.com and through our MacRumorsLive Twitter account.