Apple recently announced a new addition to the Mac Mini lineup, this time sporting the latest M2 Pro Apple Silicon chipset.
Apple has already introduced several new products in 2023, but the most exciting announcement may be in relation to the new Apple Silicon M2 chipsets. The M2 Pro and the M2 Max are available on the latest MacBook Pro (2023) and seem to pack more power than we’ve ever seen before from the company.
If you want to learn more about how the M2 Pro and M2 Max stack up against each other in terms of power, then make sure you check out our dedicated versus article.
However, with the announcement of the Mac Mini M2, we now have to ask how it compares to what’s already on the market, like the Mac Studio. If you want to learn more about these two devices, then make sure you keep reading, as we will be running through all the key differences.
The Mac Mini M2 is a lot more affordable
The Mac Mini M2 is the most affordable option; the M2 model has a starting price tag of £649/$599 while the M2 Pro variations have a £1,399/$1,299 starting price. These prices will depend on which configuration you go for, as the amount of storage and memory will impact the overall price.
The Mac Mini M2 is already available for pre-order from the Apple website, with the hardware shipping on 24th January.
Meanwhile, the Mac Studio is far more expensive. It comes with either the M1 Max or M1 Ultra chipsets, with the pricing starting at £1,999/$1,999 and £3,999/$3,999, respectively. In the same vein as the Mac Mini, this price will fluctuate depending on the internals.
M2 vs. M1
As we already mentioned, the Mac Mini and the Mac Studio both come with different chipsets. Starting off with what we already know, the Mac Studio comes with either the M1 Max or M1 Ultra chips, which boast an enormous amount of power.
The M1 Max has a 10-core CPU, 24-core GPU and a 16-core Neural Engine while the M1 Ultra features a 20-core CPU, 48-core CPU and 32-core Neural Engine. On the other hand, the Mac Mini M2 comes with an 8-core CPU, 10-core GPU and a 16-core Neural Engine, while the M2 Pro boasts a 10-core CPU, 16-core GPU and a 16-core Neural Engine.
Apple claims that this is the hardest-working Mac Mini ever thanks to the improved architecture of the M2 chip compared to the M1. The M2 has over 20 billion transistors and the M2 Pro has over 40 billion, which is more than enough to power productivity work. The company also claims that this new chip can handle large creative workloads and a multitude of apps, such as Lightroom Classic or DaVinci Resolve, making it a good choice for any creative professionals.
While we don’t know exactly how these devices will differ in terms of performance, the high number of CPU and GPU cores on both the M1 Max and M1 Ultra chips may make the Mac Studio the most powerful overall. This is not too surprising as the Mac Studio is a new Mac desktop that has been designed with creatives in mind, suggesting that this is the best option if you’re looking for the rawest performance power.
A larger port selection on the Mac Studio
The Mac Studio features an impressive amount of ports. On the front there are two UBC-C Thunderbolt 4 ports as well as an SDXC slot. On the rear, you can find a further four Thunderbolt 4 ports, as well as a 10Gb Ethernet port, two USB-A slots, one HDMI port and a 3.5mm audio jack.
The port selection on the Mac Mini will depend on which chip you opt for, as the M2 Pro variation is a little more powerful. The base M2 model comes with Ethernet, two USB-C Thunderbolt 4, HDMI, two USB-A ports and a headphone jack. The M2 Pro model is almost the same, but it boasts a further two Thunderbolt 4 ports.
The Mac Studio has more memory and memory bandwidth
Since the Mac Studio comes with more powerful chips, it’s no shock that it boasts more memory and memory bandwidth than the Mac Mini M2.
The Mac Studio M1 Max can be configured with up to 64GB of memory and 400GB/s memory bandwidth, while the M1 Ultra goes all the way up to 128GB unified memory and 800GB/s memory bandwidth, which is more than enough for most creatives.
The Mac Mini M2 still packs impressive internals, with the M2 model being configurable for up to 24GB of unified memory and 100BG/s of memory bandwidth. The M2 Pro goes further, capping out at 32GB unified memory and 200GB/s memory bandwidth.