Mac mini 2020: New release date, specs, and rumors
The Mac mini saw its last significant update in October 2018: Apple described it as its “biggest update ever.” It was a great update and it had taken a long time to arrive, four years to be exact.
A year and a half later, in March 2020, Apple updated the Mac mini again, but the only change was that the Mac mini got twice as much storage as before.
We believe that there is even more in reserve for the Mac mini in 2020 (or 2021), so in this article we try to get closer to what the next Mac mini could offer in terms of specifications. Will it work with an Apple processor?
Will Apple update its Mac mini again in 2020?
We don’t know why Apple didn’t perform a more significant update for the Mac mini in March 2020, but it’s not unusual for the Mac mini to go long periods of time without an update. The last major update to the Mac mini was in 2018 and it was its first update since October 2014.
Currently, the Mac mini shares some of its processors with the iMac, which has not been updated since March 2019.
It is possible that the apparent delay of these two desktop Macs is due to the lack of adequate Intel processors. That could well explain why the Mac mini’s processor was not updated in March 2020.
However, we believe there is another reason why Apple didn’t update the Mac mini’s processor in March. We think you have something more exciting planned: Apple has announced that it is working on developing its own processors and it seems likely that we will soon see an Apple processor inside the Mac mini.
The other new Mac mini
Speaking of Apple processors inside a Mac mini, there is already an Apple A12Z processor inside a Mac mini.
When Apple revealed its plans to move from Intel to its own Apple Silicon, it actually made a special edition of the Mac mini available to developers. This Mac mini has an A12Z processor, the same processor used by the iPad Pro.
It costs $ 500 as part of the Universal Quick Application Launch Program – but at some point Apple requires the unit to be returned to Apple.
Despite the fact that Apple told developers not to release benchmarks related to this Mac mini with A12Z chip, the benchmarks have appeared, and even though Geekbench is running through Rosetta 2, they are impressive.
The existence of this Mac mini may hint that the Mac mini will be one of the first Macs to have Apple’s Silicon inside it.
New Mac mini release date: 2020/2021
We’re going to ignore the March 2020 Mac mini for now, as we don’t think it’s the new Mac mini we’re all waiting for.
We believe Apple will update the Mac mini in late 2020, or early 2021, with new Apple processors. We expect to see a more significant update to the line in October 2020.
However, we may well wait until 2021 to see new processors on the Mac mini, as rumors suggest Apple will start adding Apple’s Silicon processors to the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air in 2020 before moving on to Mac’s. desktop next year.
Price of the new Mac mini
The Mac mini costs € 799 if you choose the quad-core model and 1,099 if you stick with the six-core model. There has been no price change since Apple updated the Mac mini in 2018.
As for the possibility that the Mac mini will drop in price, there are undoubtedly those who want it to be so. When Apple introduced the new Mac mini in October 2018, the price also went up.
The Mac mini, which used to be Apple’s cheapest Mac at the price of 499 (and many years before it was only 399), now costs 799. It’s still the cheapest Mac, but it’s considerably more expensive than it was before.
Will Apple reduce the price of the Mac mini? We highly doubt it. We believe that when Apple updates the range, prices will remain exactly the same as now.
New design of the Mac mini
The design of the March 2020 Mac mini is no different than the 2018 model. With the announcement of the small update for the Mac mini in March 2020, Apple emphasized that it is made of 100% recycled aluminum, but that it is not different from the 2018 model (assuming the aluminum has not replaced the 60% recycled plastic used in that machine).
Announcing the Mac mini update in October 2018, Apple revealed that the mini is a popular choice for server farms, and that video professionals often assemble multiple Mac mini for video editing.
As a result, the design of the Mac mini did not change, as doing so would mean that existing configurations would not adapt to new machines.
However, there was a design change back in 2018: Mac mini now comes in Space Gray, the finish that seems to be popular with creative professionals (based on reaction to the introduction of Space Gray finish on the iMac Pro) and developers (who are also big advocates of Dark Mode on the Mac).
As you will see if you continue reading, there are requests for some changes inside the Mac mini. While Apple is unlikely to make the Mac mini smaller, it could accommodate a discrete graphics card and better thermal system if there was more room inside the unit.
As Apple could make more room, one suggestion is to remove the power supply, which could be separated from the unit in the same way as with Mac laptops. We have more information on the requests for graphic enhancements below.
Specifications of the new Mac mini
The Mac mini saw what Apple described as its “biggest update” in October 2018. The March 2020 update was much less significant, it simply increased storage options. What can we expect from the next update of the Mac mini?
As we said before, there is already a Mac mini running on an Apple chip. That Mac mini is actually only using an iPad Pro chip, but it has already appeared in impressive benchmarks.
However, Apple is unlikely to ship a Mac mini with this iPad Pro chip to general consumers. Apple’s processor development team is likely considering the specific needs of this desktop computer and designing a processor for it, rather than using a processor designed for a different type of product.
We have examined what Apple Silicon could bring and how it will compare to Intel here: Apple Silicon vs. Intel.
When Apple updated the graphics for the 2018 Mac mini, the company claimed they were 60% faster, but that was after a four-year hiatus. To see similar improvements in the next version of the Mac mini, Apple could add the discrete graphics option.
This would be a very popular move, but the Mac may need an improved cooling system. As suggested before, this could be accomplished by removing the power supply from inside the box.
However, it appears that if Apple is going to move to Apple’s silicon inside the Mac mini it will be using its own integrated graphics.
In a development document, Apple said: “The GPU built into Apple’s processors is optimized for high-performance graphics tasks.”
There are requests for Apple to make the Mac mini easier to upgrade after its sale. It is currently possible to upgrade the RAM of machines through the hatch at the bottom (shown below), although it is not as easy to do as before.
However, once it was updated, it was possible to update many more components within the Mac mini and there are many who would like to see a return to this state.
March 2020 update for Mac mini
The March 2020 update means the lineup looks like this thanks to relatively small lineup changes:
799 mac mini
- 8th Generation Quad-Core i3 3.6GHz Processor
- Intel UHD 630 graphics
- NEW: 256 GB storage (from 128 GB SSD)
1,099 Mac Mini
- Eighth Generation 3.0 GHz Six-Core i5 Processor (with 4.1 GHz Turbo Boost)
- Intel UHD 630 graphics
- NEW: 512 GB of storage (from 256 GB of SSD)
- But that is not all that has changed. There are more changes to build-on-demand options: 1TB of storage or 2TB.
This is good news if you want more storage, and more storage is definitely a good thing, but those who expected Apple to update the Mac mini in a more meaningful way will be disappointed.
Luckily, it looks like this won’t be the only Mac mini update for 2020, so if you’re expecting a Mac mini with better processors and other enhancements, keep reading to find out what might be in the works.