The next Mac mini refresh will be reportedly powered by the Apple M2 and M2 Pro chips

An M2-powered Mac mini is reportedly still on track for release sometime in 2022, with a higher-end model featuring a more powerful M2 Pro chip in the works too.

  • The next update to the Mac mini will reportedly include next-generation Apple silicon with both Apple M2 and M2 Pro chips offered.
  • The M2 is said to feature an upgraded GPU. The chip is also expected to power Apple’s next iPad Pro and iPad Air models.
  • Code-named “Staten”, the M2 silicon platform is apparently based on Apple’s existing A15 Bionic. The current M1, for example, is based on the A14 Bionic.

Is a more powerful Mac mini with Apple M2 Pro coming?

In other words, Apple will not only update the current M1-powered Mac mini it launched in November 2020 around an upcoming Apple M2 chip but also release a new, more powerful model powered by its unreleased M2 Pro silicon. Both should be significant upgrades to the M1 Mac mini—DigiTimes claims that the M2 will use TSMC’s 4nm technology versus the 5nm TSMC process for the M1 chip.

Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac:

Codenamed J473, the new Mac mini will be powered by the M2 chip, which is Apple’s next-generation entry-level chip for Macs and iPads. M2 will represent the first major upgrade to Apple’s “M” family of chips since the introduction of the M1 in 2020.

Internally known as “Staten,” the M2 is apparently based on the current A15 Bionic (the M1 is based on the A14 Bionic). The report states that the M2 will increase the number of GPU cores from eight to ten. The M1’s eight-core CPU (clustered in four performance cores and four efficiency cores) will reportedly carry over to the M2.

All of the above would imply that any speed increases in the CPU department would have to come from internal optimizations and, largely, a thinner process technology allowing for faster, more battery-efficient performance. For those keeping track of code-names, the new performance cores in the Apple M2 are code-named “Avalanche” while the efficiency cores are known as “Blizzard.”

The development of a successor to the M1 Mac mini is nearing completion, the report has it, with the release date “expected to be announced sometime later this year.” Apple is expected to launch new hardware in June, meaning we may get a preview of the next Mac mini update at WWDC.

What about a pro-focused M1X Mac mini?

A rendering based on rumors showing the back of the upcoming M1X Mac mini featuring more ports and a magnetic power connection
Image credit: Jon Prosser

Commenting on a pro-focused Mac mini that Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman said would feature a faster chip along with more ports and a thinner design, the publication states that Apple originally planned to update the Mac mini with the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, but abandoned the idea in favor of the new Mac Studio.

According to 9to5Mac’s sources, Apple had plans to introduce high-end versions of the current Mac mini with the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, but they were probably scrapped to make way for the Mac Studio.

The Mac Studio is powered by the new M1 Ultra chip—basically, two M1 Max chips connected together using Apple’s new UltraFusion interconnect technology, with a custom packaging. Read: Check out these useful Finder preferences on your Mac

This time, Apple has also been working on another new Mac mini (codenamed J474) that features the M2 Pro chip – a variant with eight performance cores and four efficiency cores, totaling a 12-core CPU versus the 10-core CPU of the current M1 Pro.

So this makes us wonder, should we be keeping our fingers crossed for a future Mac mini with Apple’s M2 Max and M2 Ultra chips? “Apple currently has no plans to release a version with the M2 Max or Ultra chips,” the report concludes. “Until then, the company will probably keep the Intel Mac mini in the lineup.”