Best Mac mini Deals
Apple's compact Mac mini desktop is a budget-friendly option into the Mac line -- and even speedier with the latest M1 processor. Exclusive pricing and top Mac mini deals are in effect this December.
● Now equipped with Apple Silicon M1
● A budget-friendly entry point into the Mac line
● Exclusive coupon deals in effect for readers
● Discounted prices start at $649
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Best Mac mini Deals for December 2021
Mac mini pricing
Comparing prices across top retailers is easy when you visit the AppleInsider Price Guides. Find exclusive coupon savings and instant cash discounts on nearly every Mac computer. Here's how to access the Mac mini-specific Price Guides, with some of 2021's best Mac mini deals going on today on current M1 models:
M1 Mac mini Prices
|M1, 8GB, 256GB||$699.00||$50.00|
|M1, 8GB, 512GB||$899.00||$44.95|
|M1, 8GB, 1TB||$1,099.00||n/a||n/a||n/a||$54.95|
|M1, 8GB, 2TB||$1,499.00||n/a||n/a||n/a||$74.95|
|M1, 16GB, 256GB||$899.00||n/a||n/a||$110.00|
|M1, 16GB, 512GB||$1,099.00||n/a||n/a||$150.00|
|M1, 16GB, 1TB||$1,299.00||n/a||n/a||n/a||$100.00|
|M1, 16GB, 2TB||$1,699.00||n/a||n/a||n/a||$110.00|
Apple Authorized Reseller Adorama is offering AppleInsider readers exclusive discounts on every M1 Mac mini with coupon code APINSIDER when used with these activation instructions and this special pricing link.
This month, the exclusive offers deliver up to $150 off every configuration, including those with 16GB of RAM.
Which Mac mini is right for you?
There are two Mac mini models on the market, one with Apple Silicon and the other with Intel processors. Each model has pros and cons and it will depend solely on the customer's needs when choosing the right one.
Mac mini with the M1 processor
The M1 processor is a custom chipset developed by Apple for use in their desktop and laptop computers. It is the result of years of development surrounding the A-series processors used in iPhones and Apple's desire to control the entire technology stack in the Mac.
Benchmarking results show that the Mac mini with M1 processor is more powerful than any Mac mini before it despite having a low entry price. Single-core results rival the 16-inch MacBook Pro with Intel Core i9 and multi-core performing better than most other processors on the market.
Apple has implemented custom integrated GPUs in the M1 processor and does not allow additional external GPUs or other third-party option. Graphics card intensive processes are able to perform well on Apple Silicon, but will still fall short of a dedicated GPU stack. However, due to efficiencies related to Apple controlling the software and hardware, all but the most intensive processes can be run on an M1-based Mac mini without issue.
There are some limitations brought on by the M1 processor. There are only two Thunderbolt 3 ports versus four on the Intel Mac mini, and you can only connect one external display via Thunderbolt. These limitations are likely due to early compatibility issues between the ARM processor and Intel's Thunderbolt controller and may be resolved in future processor updates.
Like Apple's A-series processors there is only one option on the market. You can configure the amount of internal storage and RAM at purchase. Choose from 256GB to 2TB of internal storage and between 8GB or 16GB of RAM.
Mac mini with an Intel processor
Apple still sells the Mac mini with an Intel Core i5 processor. It is more expensive at $400 more than the base M1 model and can be configured to an Intel Core i7 for an additional $200. Price may not be a concern, however, since users still shopping for Intel-based Macs are looking for compatibility more than functionality.
The Mac mini is a computer with many niche use cases. They are used in server farms, for backend development programs, or as an interface for mass storage at a company. While the M1 processor is new and exciting, it is an ARM-based system that drops native compatibility with x86 applications and can no longer emulate Windows.
The Intel Mac mini has four Thunderbolt 3, two USB-A ports, and has an option for 10 Gb Ethernet. You'll be able to run up to three 4K displays or a 4K display coupled with a 5K display using Thunderbolt. The Intel-based Mac mini also supports eGPUs for additional graphics processing.
While most users will get by fine with the M1 processor and won't notice any difference from the Intel variants, there are enough niche cases to justify the Intel Mac mini's existence. You can configure the storage up to 2TB and internal RAM to 64GB.
Mac mini FAQ
What is the cheapest Mac mini?
Retail M1 Mac mini prices start at $699, but discounts offer up to $150 off the latest models.
Should I buy Mac mini?
Apple's Mac mini is the most affordable entry point into the Mac line, with the ability to connect a monitor of your choosing. With the inclusion of the company's M1 chip, the Mac mini is a viable option for business professionals, students, and home users alike. When considering whether you should buy a Mac mini M1, remember the memory cannot be upgraded like in previous models, so if you regularly use 8GB or more, it's best to opt for a configuration with 16GB RAM, the maximum offered by Apple in the Late 2020 line.
In closing, the best Mac mini deals for December 2021 can be found in the AppleInsider M1 Mac mini Price Guide, with exclusive coupon savings available on every configuration.