Is a Mac mini Worth It Compared to Other Macs?

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The Mac merchandise statement has changed drastically successful nan past fewer years. We've witnessed brand-new Macs powered by refreshed hardware packed pinch caller features and capabilities.

Now that aggregate Macs successful nan merchandise statement person changed importantly since nan bully aged Intel days, it begs nan question: is simply a Mac mini still worthy it?

What Is nan Mac mini?

The Mac mini is Apple's astir affordable and portable Mac desktop, starting astatine $599. And for that price, you get nan guidelines exemplary pinch nan modular M2 chip. However, Apple besides sells a beefed-up Mac mini pinch nan M2 Pro chip. It packs tin specifications, a compact design, and a coagulated action of ports.

Apple introduced nan first Mac mini backmost successful 2005, and since then, it has been a awesome merchandise for group who want to commencement utilizing a Mac for nan first time. For a much in-depth look astatine nan Mac mini, beryllium judge to cheque our article detailing Apple's mini desktop computer.

The Pros of Using a Mac mini

The Mac mini offers galore benefits to users who want a mini desktop computer. We'll screen nan main positives users bask astir about nan Mac mini.

Small and Compact Design

Mac mini merchandise imageImage Credit: Apple

One of nan awesome trading points of nan Mac mini is its size. While it's not arsenic mini arsenic it could beryllium for illustration immoderate different PC desktops, it's still Apple's smallest desktop. Thanks to this, nan Mac mini doesn't return up overmuch abstraction connected your table and tin beryllium tucked distant easily.

Connect With Any Peripherals

Since nan Mac mini doesn't travel pinch a mouse, keyboard, aliases display, you tin customize nan setup to your liking. You tin spell pinch Apple's Studio Display, Magic Keyboard, and Magic Mouse, aliases find perchance amended alternatives that tin activity pinch nan Mac mini.

Also, if you already person your accessories and display, you will only person to walk $599 connected nan computer.

The M2 and M2 Pro Chips Are Best successful Class

It's nary astonishment to anyone that nan M2 spot delivers unthinkable capacity and efficiency. Apple's A-series chips successful iPhones are already very impressive, and nan M-series chips are nary exception.

The Mac mini features nan modular M2 spot pinch an 8-core CPU and 10-core GPU. You tin besides configure nan instrumentality pinch up to 24GB of RAM, which is amended than it sounds, fixed that nan M2 uses unified representation architecture.

Alternatively, you tin take nan M2 Pro spot that features up to a 12-core CPU and 19-core GPU and allows for up to 32GB of unified representation for moreover amended performance.

If you don't cognize really overmuch representation is bully enough, beryllium judge to find how overmuch unified representation you whitethorn need earlier purchasing since you can't upgrade it yourself later connected immoderate Apple silicon Mac.

The Cons of Using a Mac mini

Even pinch nan positives mentioned above, this machine has immoderate downsides arsenic it exists successful a much crowded Mac statement now. Knowing nan compromises is basal if you scheme to usage this instrumentality for imaginative aliases master work.

Using Multiple Displays Is Tricky connected nan M2 Version

Mac mini and Pro Display XDRImage Credit: Apple

Using aggregate displays pinch nan regular M2 Mac mini tin beryllium troublesome. For example, you can't link 2 6K displays simultaneously, according to Apple's support site. You'll request to upgrade to nan Mac mini pinch nan M2 Pro chip for that capability.

Flexibility pinch aggregate displays is important for galore desktop workflows, and utilizing nan Mac mini becomes a headache if you want to person accordant solution crossed aggregate monitors.

You Have to Buy nan Peripherals Yourself

This tin beryllium a downside, depending connected whether you already person immoderate peripherals aliases if you person a constricted budget. But if you don't person immoderate already, you'll person to acquisition them separately, efficaciously driving up nan costs to get nan complete setup. So, is simply a Mac mini really worthy it astatine this point?

Furthermore, immoderate of Apple's Macs person unthinkable displays, particularly nan high-end MacBook Pro models. You can't get a show for illustration that anyplace other from Apple, moreover if you walk $5,000 connected nan Pro Display XDR.

It Still Looks nan Same

The Mac mini has featured nan aforesaid creation for a while now. Just for illustration nan MacBook Air and MacBook Pro erstwhile they received Apple silicon for nan first time, nan Mac mini didn't get a caller design. And moreover pinch nan M2 version, location still was nary awesome redesign.

Therefore, it is still overmuch larger than it needs to beryllium since Apple silicon is overmuch much businesslike than Intel. The size of nan Mac mini could shrink considerably successful volume, akin to really nan M1 iMac sewage dramatically thinner erstwhile Apple refreshed it successful 2021.

Mac mini vs. nan Mac Line: How Does It Stack up?

M1 iMac 24 connected desk

Apple offers aggregate computers for users to take from, but respective different models successful nan Mac lineup person received awesome upgrades compared to others.

The first 1 to return a look astatine is nan M1 iMac. Comparing nan Mac mini to nan iMac is important since nan iMac is nan different entry-level desktop machine for nan mean consumer. Unlike nan Mac mini, nan iMac is an all-in-one, which intends it comes pinch a computer, display, mouse, and keyboard for conscionable $1,299.

The M1 iMac starts pinch nan guidelines M1 chip, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage, akin to nan guidelines exemplary Mac mini, isolated from nan mini has nan newer M2 chip. While it is much costly than nan Mac mini astatine first, nan M1 iMac is an fantabulous instrumentality if you want a simple, collected experience.

There's besides nan M2 MacBook Pro that besides comes successful astatine $1,299. While it mightiness look overseas to compare nan MacBook Pro and Mac mini, location is simply a coagulated statement for it. While nan MacBook Pro and Mac mini characteristic nan aforesaid chipset, you tin bask laptop-specific features pinch nan MacBook.

Apple M2 MacBook Air With Liquid Retina DisplayImage Credit: Apple

Don't hide that location are different options successful nan Mac lineup too nan M1 iMac and MacBook Pro if neither piques your interest. For instance, nan M2 MacBook Air is perfect for astir consumers. And astatine $1,099, it's little costly than nan M1 iMac and M2 MacBook Pro.

It besides packs nan aforesaid magnitude of guidelines retention and RAM arsenic nan Mac mini. Additionally, since it's a laptop, it has features that nan Mac mini doesn't, specified arsenic a built-in FaceTime camera and amended speakers.

MacBook Air M2 MagSafe and ThunderBolt ports up close

One important constituent to statement astir nan Mac mini compared to different Macs is nan larboard selection. Other entry-level Macs connection constricted ports compared to nan Mac mini. You chiefly get Thunderbolt ports and a headphone jack for connectivity connected astir of those entry-level Macs. In contrast, nan Mac mini offers HDMI, Ethernet, Thunderbolt 4 ports, a headphone jack, and USB-A ports.

How important this quality is depends wholly connected which ports you often use, but it shouldn't beryllium nan main deciding facet connected which machine you choose.

So, really does nan Mac mini comparison successful position of value to different Macs? Well, it's a spot analyzable since, pinch nan Mac mini, you tin take betwixt Apple's aliases different third-party peripherals. But we'll comparison nan Mac mini pinch Apple's accessories and a operation of Dell and Logitech ones since those are popular.

Apple Mac mini and Studio DisplayImage Credit: Apple

Once you adhd nan Mac mini, a Studio Display, and a achromatic Magic Mouse and Magic Keyboard pinch Touch ID from Apple, you are looking astatine a value of $2,496 earlier tax. That's importantly much costly than nan guidelines exemplary M1 iMac.

And moreover if you don't acquisition Apple peripherals and alternatively bargain a Dell UltraSharp 27-inch 4K monitor, a Logitech MX Mechanical keyboard, and a Logitech MX Master 3S, you're still looking astatine a somewhat higher value than nan iMac astatine $1,454.96 earlier tax.

While purchasing nan Mac mini is mostly a awesome deal, nan "hidden" costs of purchasing nan remainder of nan peripherals yourself tin derail your determination to take one.

Is nan Mac mini Worth it?

The Mac mini is an fantabulous machine for galore group looking to participate nan Mac world astatine nan lowest value possible. However, different Macs successful nan statement characteristic a stellar redesign that only Apple silicon could person allowed. Also, while nan entry-level Mac mini is simply a decent bargain for regular users, nan M2 Pro type is simply a overmuch much tin desktop.

Unless you want nan guidelines M2 Mac mini for circumstantial reasons for illustration nan price, nan M2 Pro type is simply a instrumentality that you should earnestly see since it offers powerful capacity for little than nan value of a Mac Studio.

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