I am an enormous fan of the M1 Mac Mini. Like all Apple silicon-powered Macs, it is notably sooner, runs quieter, and stays cooler than its Intel-powered predecessor. Though I exploit the 16-inch MacBook Professional day by day, the M1 Mac Mini stays a desktop staple for me.

However the M1 Mac, like all M1-powered machines, leaves room for enchancment in essential areas like storage, reminiscence, and bodily I/O. Watch my newest Again to the Mac episode as I discover the state of the Mac Mini from each an Intel and Apple silicon perspective. In it, I share my want listing of the options I would wish to see within the rumored Mac mini refresh and discover a number of the benefits that the Intel Mac mini at the moment has over the model donating Apple silicon. I will additionally see how present Intel Mac Mini house owners can breathe new life into their current machines.

2022 Mac Mini – An Imminent Refresh?

It’s rumored that Apple will host an occasion on March 8 the place it should seemingly announce three new Macs. A type of Macs will seemingly be a refreshed Mac mini, the primary new machine within the lineup for the reason that November 2020 M1 mannequin.

Again in Could 2021, Bloomberg reported {that a} new high-end Mac Mini was within the works. The report says the Mac Mini will characteristic the identical Apple silicon because the MacBook Professional with a 10-core CPU, in addition to build-to-order choices for as much as 64GB of built-in reminiscence and 16 or 32 graphics cores. May have a GPU. In response to a Bloomberg report, the up to date Mac mini may even have 4 bodily Thunderbolt ports.

Video: Again to Mac – My Mac Mini Want Checklist

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One other August 2021 report by Bloomberg states that the brand new Mac mini can have an up to date design and reiterate the declare about extra ports than the present era mannequin.

Extra rumors word that the brand new Mac Mini will characteristic a brand new industrial design that includes an exterior chassis with a Plexiglas-like reflective floor on prime. It feels much like the M1-powered iMac, indicating that the 2022 Mac Mini may take sturdy cues from Apple’s common all-in-one machine. It is also fairly seemingly that the up to date Mac mini can have a extra compact design, provided that there was loads of area left when Apple swapped out Intel guts for silicon.

Yesterday, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman famous once more that the Mac mini might be one of many new {hardware} introduced in the course of the March occasion. In response to the report, Apple plans to launch two new Mac minis in 2022, one with final yr’s M1 Professional chip, and the opposite with the still-announced M2 chip. It seems just like the higher-end M1 Professional mannequin will arrive first, with extra professional-oriented options in tow.

What does the Intel Mac Mini at the moment do higher…

The Intel Mac Mini, though nowhere close to as quick because the Mac Mini with Apple Silicon, holds a couple of distinct benefits over the present M1 model. A few of these shortcomings might be corrected with the upcoming refreshed mannequin.

  • The Intel Mac Mini has extra bodily I/O, with 4 Thunderbolt ports shared throughout two buses. Rumors counsel that Apple will handle this problem with the 2022 Mac Mini by offering 4 Thunderbolt ports.
  • The Intel Mac Mini could be configured with as much as 64GB of RAM, whereas the M1 Mac Mini solely maxes out at 16GB of built-in reminiscence. The refreshed Mac Mini ought to clear up this drawback by making it doable to configure as much as 64GB of built-in reminiscence.
  • Intel Macs characteristic unsorted RAM, which makes it doable to improve reminiscence utilizing an aftermarket SO-DIMM module. It isn’t doable to improve the reminiscence of an Apple silicon-powered Mac, because the reminiscence is just part of the chip.

Two Areas The place Intel Macs Preserve an Benefit

  • The Intel Mac Mini is appropriate with Boot Camp in addition straight into Home windows utilizing Mac {hardware}. There’s at the moment no Boot Camp-like possibility out there for Apple Silicon, so you may must depend on a digital machine to run Home windows.

Stories have prompt that Apple will discontinue the Intel Mac Mini on the launch of the brand new Mac Mini {hardware}. If that is true, it signifies that the 27-inch iMac and Mac Professional will stay the final Macs to characteristic Intel chips.

Enhancements I would Prefer to See within the 2022 Mac Mini

Right here are some things I would wish to see within the upcoming Mac mini refresh:

  • extra I/O
  • extra reminiscence
  • small kind issue
  • higher speaker?

From what we are able to collect from the rumors, it seems like Apple will certainly handle my first two bullet factors – given extra I/O and extra reminiscence with a system-on-a-chip improve – presumably the M1 Professional and/or M1 Max. The smaller kind issue additionally looks as if a possible as rumors are hinting that we are going to see a refreshed design.

The “Audio system” within the Mac Mini…

One space on my want listing that can’t be addressed is the concept of ​​including higher audio system. For the lifetime of me, I am unable to perceive why an organization so invested in music would put such a horrible speaker inside a Mac Mini. Granted, most individuals are going to make use of exterior audio system with the Mini, however not less than let the built-in audio system sound to some extent respectable. It is a minor catch, but it surely all the time annoys me after I hear a barely perceptible sound coming from the Mac Mini’s chassis.

How one can get extra life out of an current Intel Mac Mini?

However what if you wish to maintain your Intel Mac Mini? There are some apparent (and never so apparent) issues you are able to do to increase its life. One such enchancment entails upgrading the machine’s RAM with an aftermarket SO-DIMM module. It takes some work, but it surely’s doable to improve the Mac mini’s RAM to 128GB by way of two 64GB SO-DIMM modules.

The subsequent apparent step is so as to add exterior storage. The Intel Mac Mini, with its 4 Thunderbolt ports, has loads of I/O for including quick exterior storage. Should you’re searching for one of the best efficiency, a Thunderbolt SSD is the best way to go, however in the event you’re searching for one of the best bang for the buck, a USB-C SSD, corresponding to Samsung’s T7 or SanDisk Excessive, each The choices are nice.

Sonnet Duomodo Modular Thunderbolt Enlargement System

One other option to achieve large efficiency features from the Intel Mac Mini is to make use of an exterior GPU. I’ve included tons of exterior GPU choices for this 9to5Mac years, however there’s one particular selection I need to focus on on this episode of Again to the Mac.

Sonnet’s Duomodo modular Thunderbolt enlargement system gives a barely completely different tackle the everyday eGPU setup. Utilizing Sonnet’s dual-module desktop enclosure, you may mix a Mac mini and a GPU right into a single enclosure for a super-charged Mac mini graphics expertise.

The Duomodo system has a number of completely different module choices, such because the XMac Mini module for housing a full-size graphics card inside, the eGPU module for housing a full-size graphics card, and the Echo III module – 3 for PCIe playing cards. -Slot Thunderbolt Enlargement Chassis.

Customers can combine and match two Duomodo modules in a twin desktop enclosure or rack mount-style enclosure. In my testing, I paired an xMac Mini module and an eGPU module with a robust Radeon RX 6900 XT graphics card. The result’s a formidable all-in-one desktop setup with much more graphics capability, storage capability, and I/O than a standalone Mac mini.

Along with housing a full Mac mini, the xMac mini module includes a full Thunderbolt 3 dock that includes two USB-C ports, a USB-A port, and a further Thunderbolt port to facilitate daisy-chain setup. There’s room for 2 M.2 SSDs contained in the xMac Mini module, giving customers the flexibility so as to add as much as 16TB of exterior storage.

The Mac Mini is infamous for its lackluster built-in graphics, so including an exterior GPU is a fast and simple option to enhance efficiency. This clearly goes with out saying, however in comparison with the built-in GPU, a beast just like the Radeon RX 6900 XT is a big improve by a number of orders of magnitude.

Sonnet’s modular system is a really fascinating idea, and it gives Intel Mac Mini house owners a option to improve their Macs – both by including an eGPU or by including three full-sized PCIe playing cards utilizing the Echo III module. Though M1 Mac Mini customers haven’t any use for the eGPU aspect of issues, they’ll use a PCIe enlargement module in the event that they want entry to a number of PCIe playing cards, such because the Avid HDX card for ProTools workstations. whereas setting. The xMac Mini chassis additionally contains an inner USB-A port, one of many annoying always-connected license dongles that apps like ProTools require.

The Duomodo modular system is not for everybody, but when the Mac Mini is the centerpiece of your workspace setup, it provides you an fascinating all-in-one enlargement possibility that appears neat and tidy. Should you’re an Intel Mac Mini person, combining it with exterior graphics by way of the eGPU module can lead to a big improve in efficiency. You possibly can construct your individual Sonnet Duomodo system, beginning at $499 for the xMac mini module.

9to5Mac’s Tech

This upcoming refresh is the Mac mini all of us needed because it turned clear for the primary time that the transition to Apple silicon was actually happening. The 2022 Mac Mini refresh ought to handle a lot of the issues that hinder the present M1 Mac Mini expertise, and even a significant design replace, which we’ve not seen in over a decade, appears doable. Is.

The present-generation M1 Mac Mini is a stable machine, but it surely’s a step behind in some methods when it comes to I/O, storage, and reminiscence. The subsequent Mac Mini ought to supply a lot of options that led me to crown the 2018 Intel Mac Mini as essentially the most versatile Mac within the lineup.

However what in the event you nonetheless have an Intel Mac Mini? Relying on how you utilize it, you could discover it value holding. There are tons of the way to get extra out of your Intel Mac Mini with RAM upgrades, eGPU upgrades, and even a full-on modular system like we now have with Sonnet’s Duomodo. And in contrast to the M1 Mac Mini, the Intel model can run Home windows natively.

What do you consider the present state of the Mac Mini? Do you at the moment personal an Intel or M1 mannequin? Will you improve when Apple releases model 2022? Pontificate beneath within the feedback along with your ideas.

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