Apple could announce an M1X-powered Mac mini at WWDC
Last November, Apple announced its first ARM-powered devices with the new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini. As it turns out though, the Mac mini might be getting refreshed already, thanks to a report from Front Page Tech.
Notably, there’s a big redesign here. It’s going to be smaller, something that takes advantage of the new ARM architecture. Indeed, with the more efficient chips, you just don’t need as much space in the chassis. Also, it’s not like a laptop where you can fill that space with a battery.
The port selection adds two more USB Type-C ports, and Apple seems to have removed indicators of what each port is. You’ll still find two USB Type-A ports, HDMI, and Ethernet, although the power adapter has changed. Apple is using the same kind of magnetic adapter that it uses for the new iMac.
The report claims that all four USB Type-C ports are Thunderbolt. The new 24-inch iMac only has two Thunderbolt ports, with the other two USB Type-C ports coming in at USB 3.2 Gen 1. The ability to have more Thunderbolt is likely an improvement of the new chipset.
The Mac mini is set to arrive with the all-new M1X SoC from Apple. This is actually something that leaked earlier this month, as it should also show up in the new MacBook Pro laptops that are coming soon.
The new processor is expected to support up to 64GB of RAM instead of 16GB. Moreover, it should have eight performance cores and two efficiency cores, whereas the M1 chip was four and four. Indeed, the M1X in the new Mac mini is set to be a significant boost over the M1 in the current model.
Back to the general design of the product, there’s no more circular base. In fact, one thing you might notice from all of these images is that there’s very little ventilation on this unit, only having that one area on the bottom.
Fanless designs are one of the benefits of using ARM processors. They just don’t generate as much heat like that, although we’ve seen Apple boost the performance a bit by using a small fan to keep it cool, such as in the MacBook Pro. What’s interesting is that Apple didn’t design around its custom processors for the first generation of products.
Indeed, that first set of products in the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini all used the same chassis as their predecessors. Apple really pushed performance as the main advantage that Apple Silicon had over Intel, possibly to win over skeptics that didn’t believe ARM could be taken seriously over x86.
There’s one more big change to the product, which is that the top isn’t aluminum anymore. It has what Jon Prosser calls a plexiglass-like material on top of the aluminum. He says that Apple has tested using this for different colors of the product, but couldn’t confirm if those colors would come to market.
The WWDC keynote kicks off on June 7 at 10am PT, so if you want more information, you won’t have to wait too long.