Mac mini evaluation (M2 Professional, 2023): Simply name it a Mac mini Professional

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For the reason that Mac mini’s debut in 2005, it has been Apple’s reasonably priced small type issue trooper. Want one thing low-cost to pair with an outdated monitor? Simply get the Mac mini! Need to begin a low-power media server, or a pc proper close to your TV? Mini, child. The road has had its share of ups and downs — the 2014 refresh was criticized for changing a quad-core mannequin with a dual-core chip, the 2018 update had notoriously weak graphics — but it surely made a full restoration with the M1-powered mannequin in 2021.

Gallery: Apple Mac Mini (M2 Professional, 2023) | 8 Photographs

This yr, although, the Mac mini is totally different. The $599 mannequin stays an entry-level champ, particularly because it’s $100 lower than the M1 model (possibly we’ll see the $499 choice return finally). However you may also pay over double that — $1,299! — for a Mini with a barely stripped down M2 Professional chip and 16GB of RAM. That may have sounded loopy a number of years in the past, however now it sits neatly into Apple’s desktop ecosystem. Not all creatives want the ability of a $1,999 Mac Studio with an M1 Max, however those self same people could really feel restricted by the bottom M2 chip. Eventually, there is a mighty Mini to serve them. (And no, the now-dead $1,099 Intel mannequin by no means actually stuffed that position.)


  • Glorious efficiency
  • Smooth design
  • Tons of usable ports
  • Close to-silent underneath load


  • Upgraded M2 Professional mannequin prices an excessive amount of
  • Upgrades are too costly
  • No front-facing ports

Identical to with Apple’s new MacBook Execs, the Mac mini would not look any totally different than earlier than. It is nonetheless a squat little aluminum field with a ton of ports on the again, and a barely raised black base beneath to permit for airflow. The $599 mannequin options an M2 chip with eight CPU cores, 10 graphics cores, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage — that is about as primary as you will get with PC {hardware} today. The $1,299 M2 Professional Mini provides 10 CPU cores, 16 GPU cores, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. For a further $300, you may also improve to the full-powered M2 Professional chip with a 12-core CPU and 19-core GPU (however that is in all probability not a smart thought, as I will talk about later).

On the rear, the bottom Mac mini provides two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C connections, HDMI 2.0 (with 4K 240Hz and 8K 60Hz output), two USB-A ports, a headphone jack and gigabit Ethernet (upgradeable to 10 gigabit). The M2 Professional mannequin provides two extra USB-C ports, making it much more helpful for creatives with a ton of equipment.

Apple Mac Mini with M2 Pro rear ports

Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

Most putting concerning the Mac mini is its mixture of simplicity and performance. In contrast to the taller and extra domineering Mac Studio, the Mini is supposed to vanish into your desk, a sliver of energy that does not should be seen. That may very well be a nasty factor if you should entry its rear ports steadily, although. The Studio, as compared, provides two USB-C ports and an SD card slot up entrance. You will want a separate adapter to make use of SD playing cards with the Mini — an inexpensive repair, however one which additionally results in extra desk muddle.

Our evaluation mannequin, which featured the pricier 12-core M2 Professional chip, carried out in addition to I anticipated. It is slower than the M2 Max within the 14-inch MacBook Professional in GeekBench’s CPU benchmark, but it surely additionally beats the M1 Max within the Mac Studio. The M1 Extremely-equipped Studio is way quicker, not surprisingly, as a result of that is primarily two M1 Max chips joined collectively. What’s most necessary for some creatives although is its potential rendering efficiency. The Mac Mini scored 2,000 factors larger than the M1 Max Studio within the Cinebench R23 benchmark, and it was on-par with the MacBook Professional 14-inch with M2 Max.


Geekbench 5 CPU

Geekbench 5 Compute

Cinebench R23

3DMark Wildlife Excessive

Apple Mac Mini (Apple M2 Professional, 2022)





Apple MacBook Professional 14-inch (Apple M2 Max, 2023)




18 ,487

Apple MacBook Professional 13-inch, (Apple M2, 2022)





Apple Mac Studio (Apple M1 Max)





Apple Mac Studio (Apple M1 Extremely)





In a extra sensible take a look at, the Mac Mini transcoded a minute-long 4K clip into 1080p in 37 seconds with pure CPU energy utilizing Handbrake — the identical job took 32 seconds with the GPU. Each figures narrowly surpassed the M1 Max Studio, which took 43 seconds with a CPU encode and 34 seconds utilizing the GPU.

Past benchmarks, the Mac Mini was an absolute dream for my typical workflow (coping with dozens of browser tabs, batch picture processing, and virtually each chat app on the market). However I’d count on the same end result from the $599 mannequin, as long as I lower down on demanding browsers to outlive with 8GB of RAM. The pc stays a strong entry for mainstream customers, and it’s doubtlessly a terrific dwelling theater PC for those who needed one thing extra customizable than an Apple TV.

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