Apple is poised to market the 2021 Mac mini next fall to “meet growing market needs,” says Bloomberg’s editor. New design, a more powerful SoC, and more ports are cited as new features.
The Mac mini can’t beat MacBooks in terms of portability or Mac Pros in terms of power. What it does offer, however, is a sweet spot between the two, in the form of a small, lightweight desktop that has served as a media server and software development computer for a number of Apple customers. And also for basic computing as Apple’s least expensive Mac.
No wonder Apple chose it as the development kit for its first ARM SoC for Mac. Being one of the first to benefit from the M1 Silicon served to raise the profile of this compact machine. And all indications are that it could debut the second generation, and Apple M1X would improve on the original in every way.
The new SoC would feature a 12-core CPU, eight high-performance Firestorms, and four energy-efficient Icestorm cores, running at a frequency of 3.2 GHz and with 28 Mbytes of total cache. The 12 cores represent a 50% increase over the eight cores (4+4) of the original M1. The GPU would get an even bigger upgrade, with 16 cores and 256 execution units, which is exactly double what is included in the M1.
Other new features cited will be the increased number of ports to accommodate more peripherals. One of these would be a magnetic power port similar to the one on the new 24-inch iMac. It would also arrive with a slight redesign, according to sources, with the use of a Plexiglas material (high hardness transparent methacrylate) as the top plate of a chassis that would be thinner.
Hot autumn awaits Apple, with the launches of the iPhones 13; the new basic iPads; the Watch series 7, and new computers like this Mac mini 2021 that will remain Apple’s most economical computer and an entry-level device for the macOS ecosystem. Could it be sold as a “Pro” version as previous rumors have suggested? We will know next fall.