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At Apple's "one more thing" event, the company debuted a new Mac mini equipped with the company's M1 Apple Silicon, and it starts at $699.
The M1 Apple-designed chipset features an eight-core CPU and an eight-core GPU, bringing the Mac mini up to three times the CPU performance and six times the graphics performance compared to the previous four-core Intel version.
Apple says that the new Apple Silicon Mac mini can compile code in Xcode up to three times faster, render a complex timeline in Final Cut Pro up to 6 times faster, and play graphics-intensive games like "Shadow of the Tomb Raider" with up to 4 times higher frame rates. ML workloads are seeing likely the most significant boost, and will be up to 15 times faster.
Compared to the top-selling PC desktop in the same price range, the M1 Mac mini is one-tenth the size but is up to five times faster. That is, it's worth noting, compared to a Intel Core i5-based PC with Intel UHD Graphics 630.
The new Mac mini now features two USB 4 ports with Thunderbolt 3 support, allowing users to run up to two Pro Display XDR monitors at full 6K resolution. The device also supports Wi-Fi 6 and features a new thermal design with a fan that allows it to sustain performance while keeping cool and quiet.
There are some differences compared to the Intel-based Mac mini. There are now only two Thunderbolt ports, down from four Thunderbolt 3 ports on the previous model, and 10-gigabit Ethernet is no longer available as an upgrade option.
The M1 Mac mini starts at $699, $100 cheaper than the previous Intel-based desktop. An upgrade to 16GB of unified memory costs $200. The model with 256GB of storage can be upgraded to 512GB for $200, 1TB for $400, and 2TB for $800.