The M2 Pro Mac mini, which was released for the first time in 2005 and was the first BYODKM (bring your own display, keyboard, and mouse) Mac, had the potential to become one of the most widely used Macs that Apple has ever manufactured.
Even after nearly twenty years, we continue to believe that it is a superb entry-level Mac; but, it hasn’t lived up to the expectations, with features, pricing, and performance never quite reaching the levels we expected them to.
When Apple officially introduced the Mac Studio in March of 2022, it put an end to years of speculation regarding the company’s plans to update the Mac mini. The Mac Studio has a form factor that is analogous to that of the Mac mini, but its height is about equivalent to that of three Mac minis stacked one on top of the other.
The Mac Studio is a fantastic piece of hardware, and it comes equipped with M1 Max and M1 Ultra CPUs. However, there are presently no desktop Macs that deliver the M1 Pro, and this leaves a huge gap in the spectrum (which is only found in the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models).
Mac fans who had hoped that Apple will upgrade the Mac mini by including an M1 Pro processor now have their hopes set on Apple releasing a Mac mini that includes an M2 Pro. Additionally, there is a Mac mini that is in need of an upgrade: Apple is still selling a Mac mini for $1,099 or £1,099 despite the fact that it has an outdated Intel CPU.
Although Apple could have discontinued this model when it introduced the Mac Studio, it didn’t, which suggests that a professional version of the Mac mini is still a distinct possibility. There is evidence to suggest that an M2 Pro variant of the Mac mini will be released in the near future. Keep reading to find out when we can possibly anticipate seeing the M2 Pro Mac mini.
One more reason to anticipate an update to the Mac mini in the near future is the fact that Apple upgraded the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro to M2 CPUs during WWDC in June 2022, but they did not update the M1 Mac mini. It’s possible that this is due to Apple’s plans to launch an M2 Pro Mac mini alongside the standard M2 Mac mini.
Will an M2 Pro Mac mini be released?
We had hoped that Apple will reveal a new M1 Pro Mac mini at WWDC 2022 to replace the Intel-powered model that is still on the market, but they did not. It is also worth noting that Apple did not update the Mac mini in any way, but it did provide M2 CPUs to the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. The absence of the Mac mini from that lineup hints that Apple has something new and exciting in store for the Mac mini.
The introduction of the M2 chip appears to rule out the prospect of an M1 Pro Mac mini, but it does not rule out the potential of an M2 Pro Mac mini.
There is some evidence that Apple may soon introduce an improved version of the Intel-powered Mac mini. In April 2022, a software programmer named Steven Troughton-Smith noticed that the most recent software upgrade for the Studio Display featured a reference to an unreleased Mac mini.
Troughton-Smith first speculated that “Macmini10,1” would allude to a Mac mini with an upgraded M2 CPU. He later altered his thoughts and stated that it may be a Mac mini that is either M1 Pro or M1 Max.
A couple of days after Troughton’s tweet, Smith’s Mark Gurman of Bloomberg reported that Apple is internally testing a Mac mini with an M1 Pro, codenamed J374, along with an M1 Max Mac mini, but it’s possible that this latter model won’t ship.
Gurman also reported that Apple is testing a Mac mini with an M1 Max, codenamed J374, but it’s also possible that it won’t ship. A Mac mini with an M2 Pro chip, which has the codename J474, as well as an M2 Mac mini, which has the codename J473, are both in the testing phase at Apple. The M2 Mac mini has eight CPU cores and 10 GPU cores, which is identical to the chip that Apple debuted at WWDC.
M2 Pro Mac mini: Release date
Gurman mentioned the upcoming release of Mac mini models with M2 and M2 Pro CPUs in a newsletter titled “Power On” that was published in June 2022. According to Gurman’s article, “Apple will acquire extra momentum from the arrival of new Mac minis and high-end MacBook Pros later this year.” 
Gurman hypothesised that a “deluge” would arrive sometime between the fall of 2022 and the first part of 2023. Among the products that he forecasted to become available within that time frame are the following:
- An M2 Mac mini.
- An M2 Pro Mac mini.
- M2 Pro and M2 Max 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros.
- The M2 Ultra and M2 Extreme Mac Pro.
M2 Pro Mac mini: New design
Since its introduction in 2005, the Mac mini has consistently used a square form factor in its design. As time has passed, it has become thinner, it no longer has a CD drive, and it has changed colours. Based on renders, there are rumours that the next iteration of the Mac mini will be even more compact than its predecessor, which might bring its height down to less than an inch. On the other hand, these speculations about a more compact design appear to refer to the upcoming M2 version of the Mac mini.
Additional reports of a larger Mac mini are obviously connected to Apple’s announcement of the Mac Studio in March of 2022. The Mac Studio seems to be a Mac mini when viewed from the top, however, it is actually several inches taller than the Mac mini.
Because of their larger form factor, the M1 Max and M1 Ultra can provide the superior cooling that is required of them. To make room for the M2 Pro, would it be necessary for the Mac mini to be of a greater size?
We don’t believe that to be the case because the chip functions normally in the MacBook Pro.
An account that claimed to be for analyst Ming-Cho Kuo tweeted in March 2022 that the 2023 Mac mini will have the same form and design as the one that is now available.
It is expected that the new model will provide the same selection of connectors as the Intel variant that is already available, including up to four Thunderbolt/USB-4 ports, two USB-A ports, ethernet, HDMI, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
At this time, Apple does not include a keyboard with the Mac mini; therefore, you will either need to bring your own keyboard or purchase one from Apple. It is highly doubtful that this will ever change, however, Apple does have the option to replace the M1 Mac mini with the brand new Apple keyboard that features Touch ID.
Find out about all of the new items that will be released in 2022 by reading this article: every new Apple product that will be released in 2022.
M2 Pro Mac mini: Processor and RAM
Even yet, we continue to anticipate that Apple will present a successor to the Intel-powered Mac mini that will be powered by an M2 Pro CPU. Although Gurman claims that the business has been testing models with the M1 Max as well as the M1 Pro, we do not anticipate seeing the M2 Max or the M2 Ultra in it.
In the event that Apple decides to use an M2 Pro, we might see anything from 18 to 20 GPU cores, while the number of CPU cores might rise to 12. The difference in performance between the M2 and the M2 Pro could be much bigger than the difference that existed between the M1 and the M1 Pro. This is according to rumours that Apple may adopt a new 3nm process for the M2 Pro chips.
There is a possibility that the M2 Pro will offer support for more than 32 GB of RAM. Because the M2 can support up to 24GB, 48GB of Unified Memory is a distinct possibility.
M2 Pro Mac mini: Price
The base model of the Mac mini costs £699 or $699, and there is also a model with extra storage that costs £899 or $899. The Intel model, which we anticipate will be replaced by a Pro version, has a starting price of $1,099 or £1,099.
With the arrival of the M2 Pro-powered variant, it is probable that we could see a price increase in the near future. A price increase of this magnitude would have the effect of bringing it closer in price to the $1,999/£1,999 Mac Studio with M1 Max. If Apple wants to market the Mac Studio to a particular audience, it won’t want to offer the Mac mini an alternative that is too appealing to that audience.
The starting price of the 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro processor is $1,999/£1,899, which is a full $500/£400 more than the most expensive M1 model.
This could be a good spot to search for clues as to how Apple might price the next Mac mini. In light of these price points, we anticipate that the M2 Pro Mac mini will have a starting price of either $1,399 or £1,399.