Within months, Apple should launch a redesigned version of the lone Intel-based Mac mini with the M1X chip, additional ports and other perks.
- The Intel-based Mac mini is getting an Apple silicon treatment
- Expect it within months, says Apple scoop machine Mark Gurman
- It will have more ports and Apple’s upcoming M1X chip
M1X Mac mini is coming within months?
Apple currently lets you configure the Intel-based Mac mini with either a Core i5 or Core i7 chip. But an upcoming refresh is expected to equip the pro-focused Mac mini with the same chip as the next MacBook Pro, dubbed M1X.
If true, you can expect a flagship Mac mini with a 12-core CPU and a 16-core GPU, up from the 8-core CPU and the 7-core or 8-core GPU in the Apple M1 chip. Other perks of the M1X include 256 execution units instead of the M1’s 128, the ability to drive three displays instead of two and more.
According to Mark Gurman of Bloomberg, the upcoming computer will have “an updated design and more ports than the current model.”
Last fall, as part of its trio of initial Macs to transition over to Apple Silicon chips, the company updated the older Mac mini design with the M1 processor. The Mac mini is used for more basic tasks like video streaming, but many people use it as a software development machine, as a server or for their video editing needs. Apple knows that, so it kept the Intel model around. Well, expect that to go away in the next several months with a high-end, M1X Mac mini. It will have an updated design and more ports than the current model.
Leaker Jon Prosser said in a video on his Front Page Tech channel on YouTube, that the redesign includes a thinner aluminum enclosure with a “plexiglass-like top” along with two-tone color options similar to the 24-inch iMac.
He also showed renders based on rumors which depict two USB-A ports, four Thunderbolt 3 (USB 4) ports, Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI and what appears to be a magnetic circular power connector like we saw on the 24-inch M1 iMac.
Completing the transition to Apple silicon
The miniature Mac mini was among the first Apple computers to ditch Intel chips for Apple silicon. Unveiled on November 10, 2020, the updated Mac mini with the M1 chip and starts at $699, $100 lower than the previous generation.
Apple offers two basic configurations, with additional build-to-order upgrades available at the time of purchase on Apple.com. Left untouched in the transition: the high-end $1,099 Mac mini model which uses Intel silicon.
That model has so far remained in the lineup. As Mark says, if you prefer Mac mini you’re going to love an upcoming, high-end Apple silicon version.
A roughly two-year transition, the move to Apple’s own chips should be completed with the flagship 27-inch iMac and Mac Pro models getting an Apple silicon treatment sometime in 2022.