The new Mac mini M1 is easily one of the best compact PCs creatives can buy. Not only is this a beautifully designed small computer that can easily sit discreetly in any home, office or studio, but thanks to Apple’s new M1 chip (which replaces the Intel CPU and integrated graphics of previous models), it is also an incredibly competent machine that will easily handle the most complex creative workloads.
It’s not perfect, but compared to small Windows or Linux-based small form factor PCs, it crushes the competition in terms of style, price and performance.
In the box
Apple Mac Mini M1 comes in a square box with the PC, power cable inside.
- Apple Mac Mini M1
- Alimentation cable
If you liked the look of the latest Mac mini, you’ll like this too – nothing has changed. For this reason, we will not spend too much time on aesthetics in this review. As before, the Mac mini prioritizes a very low profile.Apple Mac mini M1 is essentially a screenless laptop within a 7.7×7.7-inch square.
It looks nice but unpretentious. It has that classic Mac silver color, while its predecessor was gray.The ports are all on the back, so it should work well with most cable management solutions.
The connectivity of the Apple Mac Mini M1 includes two USB 4 / DisplayPort / Thunderbolt ports, two USB Type-A ports, a Mini HDMI 2.0 port, plus a single Ethernet port and a 3.5mm headphone jack to integrate the in speaker.
Up to two monitors can be connected to the Mini M1 at the same time for dual-screen processing. It can consist of a display with resolution up to 6K at 60Hz connected via a Thunderbolt port and a second display with resolution up to 4K at 60Hz connected via the HDMI 2.0 port. Older DVI and VGA monitors can be connected via adapters.
The Mac Mini’s CPU is the eight-core M1, a brand new chip designed, developed and built by Apple.
The eight cores perform different functions. Four of the cores are responsible for supervising performance while the other four are responsible for efficiency. This combination of efficiency and performance-oriented cores allows the Mac Mini to save energy and better regulate its temperature depending on the workload.
It’s important to note that the Mac Mini M1 isn’t compatible with external GPUs, so you’re stuck with what Apple offers you outside the box.
While this GPU can handle intense 4K video editing, the emergence of 8K video could prove to be tiring for this GPU.
Like the Macbook Air with M1, the Mac Mini M1 delivers blazingly fast performance.
This applies to normal daily tasks and to heavier tasks like editing photos and videos. Many programs that weren’t designed to work with the M1 chip also work well and feel like they were made for the M1 chip.
The Mac mini M1 is great in almost every category, but audio isn’t one of them. There is a speaker inside that sleek aluminum block, but it won’t be something you will be interested in hearing. We recommend plugging in headphones or some kind of speaker or soundbar shortly after setting up your Mac mini M1, because the built-in speaker isn’t even suitable for watching YouTube videos, let alone listening to music or streaming your favorite. shows or movies.
Inside the Mac mini M1 are a couple of antennas for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The wireless chip is a combination of Broadcom 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 chip and Bluetooth 5.0 controller. There have been some online rumblings about Mac mini users especially with Bluetooth connectivity issues.
Rosetta in macOS Big Sur is like a sequel, but it’s for the most part a phenomenal success. It is better than the original. The last time the Rosetta name appeared, it was there to help PowerPC applications run on Intel Macs after Apple made the last architecture transition, in 2006. Now, as Apple leaves Intel behind, Rosetta 2 is here to build Intel Mac apps, works with new Apple Silicon, like Mac mini M1.
Rosetta 2 translates apps developed for macOS x86 to run on M1 or other Apple Silicon CPUs, which are unable to run said apps natively. It does this upfront, not on the fly, i.e. when you install the app or launch it for the first time (depending on your installation method) it recompiles for the new architecture. Additionally, the app is automatically recompiled as soon as Apple releases relevant software updates.
Clearly, there are some excellent pluses and some significant drawbacks to the Mac Mini M1. But you get this mix of pros and cons with any computer.
In the end, the incredible performance of the M1 chip makes the Mac Mini a great buy, in my opinion. The low base price and relatively low prices of the updated models only add to its appeal.
If you want something fast and inexpensive, this might be the new computer for you. But if you want external GPU support, tons of RAM, and the ability to upgrade components yourself, the Mac Mini M1 shouldn’t be on your radar.
However, given the smoothness of the move to the M1 chip so far, one can only imagine how good the next two generations of Mac Mini will be.
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