M2 Mac mini vs M1 Mac mini: Differences, Specs, Price, and More

Apple today unveiled its refreshed 2023 Mac mini, with a choice between the tech giant’s M2 and all-new M2 Pro chips. The new model directly succeeds the 2020 Mac mini, which was the first of the company’s small form factor Mac desktops to feature Apple Silicon in the M1 chip.

While the Mac mini’s form factor and physical footprint remain almost identical (this year’s model does appear to sport a slightly different shade of silver), there are plenty of changes on the inside.

Take a look at some of the differences between the M1 Mac mini and the base model M2 Mac mini below…

Processor

The 2020 Mac mini was powered by an M1 System on Chip (SoC) with an 8-core CPU (4 performance cores, 4 efficiency cores), 8-core GPU, and 16-core Neural Engine.

Apple’s new Mac mini offers a choice between the M2 and M2 Pro chips. The base M2 chip boasts an 8-core GPU (4 performance cores, 4 efficiency cores), 10-core GPU, and 16-core Neural Engine.

Buying the 2023 Mac mini also gets you a beefed-up media engine with hardware-accelerated decoding and encoding for ProRes and ProRes RAW along with a dedicated ProRes encode and decode engine, in addition to the 2020 Mac mini’s hardware-accelerated decoding and encoding for H.264 and HEVC.

Memory

While the 2020 Mac mini topped out at 16GB of unified memory, the 2023 Mac mini can go up to 24GB with the M2 chip. In addition, the M2-powered Mac mini also ups the memory bandwidth from the M1 Mac mini’s 66.67GB/s to 100GB/s (with M2 Pro configurations doubling even).

Storage

Both Mac mini models offer a maximum of 2TB of internal storage. Options include 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB.

While the 2023 Mac mini does have 4TB and 8TB SSD options, they are limited to configurations with the M2 Pro chip.

Display

Both Mac mini models support up to two displays.

Dimensions and Weight

The M2 Mac mini’s dimensions (3.58 x 19.70 x 19.70 cm) are ever so slightly smaller as compared to its predecessor (3.6 x 19.7 x 19.7 cm). It also weighs marginally less, down from the M1 Mac mini’s 1.2 kg (2.64 lb) to 1.18 kg (2.60 lb).

Audio

Apple’s new M2 Mac mini brings a welcome change to the built-in 3.5mm headphone jack, adding advanced support for high-impedance headphones.

Connectivity

The Mac mini gets a significant wireless connectivity upgrade this year, going from Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) and Bluetooth 5.0 on the M1 model to Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax) and Bluetooth 5.3 on the new M2 model.

I/O

Like the 2020 Mac mini, the 2023 Mac mini also sports two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports, two USB-A ports, and an HDMI port. Unlike its predecessor, however, the new M2 Mac mini offers an optional upgrade to a 10-gigabit ethernet port.

Price

When Apple announced the M1 Mac mini in 2020, the company dropped its starting price to $899. The M2 Mac mini keeps that trend alive this year, further slashing its sticker and launching at a starting price of $799.

Apple’s new 2023 Mac mini with M2 and M2 Pro is available to order today on Apple.ca, with an official launch and in-store availability slated for Tuesday, January 24.