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Mac mini with M2 and M2 Pro


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Mac mini with M2 and M2 Pro
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chucker
 
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2023-01-17, 09:16

  • starts at $599, down from $699
  • new M2 Pro option for $1299
  • Intel option gone
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turtle
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Formerly turtle2472
 
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2023-01-17, 10:46

Hmmm....

I was planning to get a Studio but the mini seems like a better option. Of course, I'm dragging my feet intentionally right now but my aging MBP is stuck on Monterey.

Press Release for mini.

Base M2 Pro with new white keyboard and Vet discount: $1,409.80

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.

Last edited by turtle : 2023-01-17 at 10:57.
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chucker
 
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2023-01-17, 14:24

Seems the M2 Pro Mac mini is a pretty good in-between price point (I would've guessed $1500).

Another $400 gets you 32 GiB RAM, so $1700. Another $300 gives you more CPU and GPU cores, and brings you to $2000, like the Mac Studio starting point. At that point, the Studio might be the better deal; it includes 10 GigE (for those who care about that rather than making that another $100 option), and while its CPU is presumably worse, its GPU is probably a lot better. It also offers more useful ports.

Should a M2 Mac Studio arrive, my advise would be "be light on Mac mini BTO options because the Studio might end up being the better deal".
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turtle
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2023-01-17, 15:02

Agreed on that. I was looking at the Studio for my desktop but now the M2 Pro would be enough for me. To be realistic for me, I won't even pay for the additional RAM. While I ALWAYS have upgraded in the past, the systems now manage RAM so well it is less critical. Plus for my workloads the CPU is now more important.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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chucker
 
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2023-01-17, 15:03

Yeah, if you can get by with 16, get the mini.
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Frank777
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2023-01-17, 17:26

It feels insane to pay CDN$3800 for a Mac Mini [M2 Pro, 32GB, 4TB, 10Gig-E].

But it's 2023, there's no large iMac, and the world has a pre-dystopian feel to it.

Where is that new Samsung monitor?
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chucker
 
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2023-01-17, 18:34

Hm. That iMac is almost two years old now. Is it going straight to M3? Will there be a Pro variant?
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Frank777
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2023-01-17, 18:38

There will probably, eventually, be a return to 27-inches. But it will be consumerfied, to ensure it doesn't mess with the Studio's market.

It's more likely to be an 'iMac Air' variant than iMac Pro. The Studio is the iMac Pro.
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PB PM
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2023-01-17, 18:48

27” iMac is dead, gone, not coming back. Long live the powerful Mini! Might just have to upgrade my late 2018 Mini for one of these beauties.
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chucker
 
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2023-01-17, 19:17

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
There will probably, eventually, be a return to 27-inches. But it will be consumerfied, to ensure it doesn't mess with the Studio's market.
Ehh. People were arguing the same 24 hours ago on why there would never be a mini with Pro chip. Now there is. Apple seems fine with a certain level of cannibalization.
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Frank777
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2023-01-17, 20:14

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
Ehh. People were arguing the same 24 hours ago on why there would never be a mini with Pro chip. Now there is. Apple seems fine with a certain level of cannibalization.
True. It's certainly possible. The 27-inch iMac could be limited to the Pro chip (like the Mini) giving the Studio the Max and Ultra chips.
Is that enough to differentiate them though?


And I'm serious about the Samsung Viewfinity S9 monitor. A lot of new Mini buyers are going to be looking for a new monitor starting next week.
Samsung needs to announce an availability date and price ASAP or they're going to miss a huge chunk of sales.
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dglow
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2023-01-18, 18:13

Hmm, the value of the M2 Pro Mini doesn’t at all deliver relative to an M1 Max Studio – check it out:



One could argue for the Mini buyer to save $300 by opting for the 10-core M2 Pro. Except… that chip only sports six performance cores. The comp above is Apples to Apples.
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PB PM
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2023-01-19, 09:46

It’s not like Apple was going to let the Mini replace the studio. Still, buying a fist gen M system now seems kind of silly, since the M2 chips do have a good boost in single core performance. If you don’t need max RAM, a huge SSD, and 10Gig Ethernet it’s not bad at all.
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Frank777
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2023-01-19, 10:07

The Studio will probably have the M2 silicon by WWDC at the very latest.
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turtle
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2023-01-19, 10:20

I think the mini adding the M2 Pro option just means people who don't actually need the beasts can still get solid performance without a major price tag. It comes down to value for dollar and actual use cases.

For me as an example, I ALWAYS went high end. I don't need high end much anymore. The heavy lifting I do now is minimal. I don't need a Max CPU or even Ultra, though I would have bought one prior to this mini being an option. I can handle a little lag in "production" for the few times I'll actually stress the CPU on a M2 Pro.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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chucker
 
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2023-01-19, 11:09

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
The Studio will probably have the M2 silicon by WWDC at the very latest.
Maybe. It'll be just 15 months old at that point. I expect Apple's higher-end Macs to be on a 12-18 month cycle, so don't be surprised to not see it before fall.
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Frank777
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2023-01-21, 14:21

Every time I look at the base Mini I shake my head.

I can understand Apple deciding to solder the RAM. I don't understand why they would then start the line at 8GB.

Chromebooks can have 8GB RAM, and that just a browser. Seems to me that a MacOS user who wants to use the media apps bundled with their mac, and/or MS Office, and/or Apple Arcade, would need 12GB minimum. Especially knowing that AR/VR stuff is coming down the line, well within the lifespan of a 2023 purchase. Who knows what that will mean for RAM needs?

I know Apple Silicon is more efficient with RAM, but it's not THAT efficient. The truth is, the base Mini is US$799.

Does anybody in the world in 2023 really still buy a new desktop with 8GB of soldered RAM onboard? Anybody?
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chucker
 
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2023-01-21, 14:45

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
Every time I look at the base Mini I shake my head.

I can understand Apple deciding to solder the RAM. I don't understand why they would then start the line at 8GB.

Chromebooks can have 8GB RAM, and that just a browser. Seems to me that a MacOS user who wants to use the media apps bundled with their mac, and/or MS Office, and/or Apple Arcade, would need 12GB minimum.
I agree that Macs should really start at 16 / 512 these days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
Especially knowing that AR/VR stuff is coming down the line, well within the lifespan of a 2023 purchase. Who knows what that will mean for RAM needs?
I guess I don't see what that has to do with anything. I imagine Apple's stuff will be entirely separate hardware, not run on a Mac.
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PB PM
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2023-01-21, 16:59

8GB is puzzling for sure, at least from the semi-power user perspective. I suspect Apple keeps it around as an up sell item, I doubt very many people are buying the base units for anything other than basic browsing and word processing. Maybe for store terminals? Not that I’ve ever seen a mini used that way. 8GB was painful to use 5-8 years ago, with current Mac OS it’s borderline useless for anything else.
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turtle
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2023-01-21, 17:53

I'm sure a base model would make a great file/media server. Even if you allow for transcoding it would be fine until you hit a large number of simultaneous transcodes.

That is assuming you can HW transcode with the AS chips of course. I think I read they can...

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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Frank777
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2023-01-22, 01:44

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
I guess I don't see what that has to do with anything. I imagine Apple's stuff will be entirely separate hardware, not run on a Mac.
Won't the interfaces/experiences themselves need to be designed on a Mac? While most developers will opt for a more powerful machine, if AR/VR becomes a real thing, I assume someone is going to come up with a Hypercard-like solution for hobbyists and entry-level needs.

I had thought I saw Adobe was jumping into this area recently with an app. Edit: Yep. It's called Aero.

Last edited by Frank777 : 2023-01-22 at 01:47. Reason: Added Adobe link
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dglow
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2023-01-22, 08:59

You are correct, the entry-level Mini will be insufficient for VR development. 8GB is hardly enough for Mac or iOS development.
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PB PM
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2023-01-22, 10:42

I suspect Apple’s AR is going to be focused on iOS, might not even work with Macs, so it could be a non-issue for people who are not developers.
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Matsu
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2023-01-22, 11:18

M2Pro vs M1Max could be an interesting set of benchmarks.
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dglow
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2023-01-23, 13:51

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matsu View Post
M2Pro vs M1Max could be an interesting set of benchmarks.
They certainly are. Results from Ars Technica's M2 Pro Mac Mni Review:

Geekbench Single-Core
1,957: M2 Pro Mini
1,780: M1 Max Studio

Geekbench Multi-Core
15,014: M2 Pro Mini, 8 P-cores + 4 E-cores
12,790: M1 Max Studio, 8 P-cores + 2 E-cores

Geekbench Metal Compute
51,629: M2 Pro Mini, 19-core GPU
51,620: M1 Max Studio, 24-core GPU
68,697: M1 Max Studio, 32-core GPU

Last edited by dglow : 2023-01-23 at 16:12.
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Matsu
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2023-01-24, 10:28

Did I read correctly in a review that the M2Pro model supports 8K out via HDMI?

That seems interesting to me. Likely Apple is simply adopting the latest HDMI, but maybe (in the not too distant future) displays could see a bump too. And it has thunderbolt 4 ports, which are supposed to be sufficient for a single 8K@60hz per port. A 3X UI scaling could make for a seamless transition between 2.5K, 5K, and 8K displays... 2560 -> 5120 -> 7680... 1X -> 2X -> 3X... Though as yet no evidence of this in MacOS AFAIK...

Even though I don't need the best possible display, I could convince myself to spend too much on that part of a new system. Dual 4K or 5K, or even a single extra special 8K.

.........................................
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dglow
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2023-01-24, 17:02

8K alone won’t demand 3X UI scaling, but screens with pixel densities significantly greater than ~218 dpi.
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chucker
 
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2023-01-25, 04:05

I don't see a ~327 ppi density being useful on Macs, and if Apple were to do a display like that, I would find it a bit strange, given 2x hasn't even become remotely common in the market.

More likely that a 7K ~35-inch or 8K ~40-inch (I'm too sleepy to do the calculations) display is coming, but even then — I wouldn't read too much into it; Apple itself probably isn't gonna do HDMI displays.
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Matsu
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2023-01-25, 07:17

Let me rephrase, I don't think Apple is in any rush to support 8K, they still list TB4 as supporting max 6K while other sources says 8K. Maybe because 6K is what they sell. Either way, 8K is still either eye-wateringly expensive or a bit kludge-y in any implementation that is even remotely affordable...

.........................................
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chucker
 
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2023-01-25, 07:49

I think it's simply that Apple increased the bandwidth. Their HDMI port works by converting the signal (from DisplayPort, I think); Apple's M chips have no native HDMI signal.

As for "latest HDMI", wellllll. HDMI did a USB and really muddied the waters on what that means. You can make an HDMI 2.0 port, with no modifications, and call it 2.1. Everything is opt-in. So Apple sidesteps that altogether and just uses more specific terms like "supports up to 8K".
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