Updated Mac Mini Still Coming With M2 and M2 Pro Chips
Prior to yesterday's spring event, rumors suggested that Apple might unveil a new Mac mini, but instead we got the all-new Mac Studio, which is something of a mix between a Mac mini and a Mac Pro. Apple isn't phasing out the Mac mini with the debut of the Mac Studio, and a new version is still in the works.
The Mac Studio uses the M1 Max and new M1 Ultra chips, but for the next Mac mini, 9to5Mac claims that Apple will transition to the M2 chip. Apple is allegedly working on two versions of the Mac mini, one with a standard M2 chip and a second higher-end model with an M2 Pro chip.
We've already heard a bit about the M2 chip from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. It's expected to feature the same 8-core CPU, but with speed and efficiency improvements, along with a 9 or 10 core GPU, up from 7 or 8 cores in the M1.
As for the M2 Pro, we don't know full details yet, but it could feature a 12-core CPU. The current M1 Pro chip has a 10-core CPU and 16-core GPU, so we could also see a GPU boost. Testing on the M2 is already underway as evidenced by references to the chip in the latest beta of macOS Monterey.
According to 9to5Mac, Apple "had plans" to introduce high-end versions of the Mac mini with M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, but these plans were "probably scrapped" in favor of the Mac Studio, with Apple instead opting for an M2 refresh.
Prior rumors suggested a future Mac mini could get a redesign with a smaller chassis, a plexiglass like top, and two-tone color options.
The Mac mini could see a refresh later this year, and perhaps the best supporting evidence that the machine is not being phased out is the fact that Apple left the Intel model in the lineup. For right now, the 2020 M1 Mac mini is still being sold alongside the older Intel version.
There's no word on specific timing for a refresh, but Gurman has suggested that Apple could introduce additional Mac updates as soon as May or June.