Apple’s Mac mini 2020
Image: Apple

During its third product release event of this fall, Apple announced an update to the Mac mini. It has been two years since the last significant refresh of this product.

Apple also shared the news of macOS Big Sur and the M1 chip.

We’ve rounded up everything we know about the new Mac mini so far and will update this document as we learn more about it.

SEE: Apple Silicon M1 Mac buying guide: 2020 MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro vs. Mac mini (TechRepublic)

What is the Mac mini 2020?

The Mac mini is a desktop computer in a very small form factor. The Mac mini doesn’t come with a monitor, keyboard, or mouse. It’s the first Apple desktop model to ship with Apple Silicon. This newest version of the device is $100 less than the last version.

SEE: Apple iOS 14: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)

What are the main features of the latest Mac mini?

The new Mac mini has Apple’s new M1 chip, which increases the CPU performance up to three times faster than the last version, according to Apple. Graphics are six times faster, according to the company.

The Mac mini can support two displays: One with up to 6K resolution at 60Hz connected via Thunderbolt and one with up to 4K resolution at 60Hz connected via HDMI 2.0.

The Mac mini comes with all-flash storage up to 2 TB SSD.

The new chip combined with macOS Big Sur offers advanced security and privacy features, according to Apple. The secure enclave coprocessor provides a silicon-level foundation for security features like Apple Pay. A dedicated AES storage encryption engine keeps keys safe and delivers good performance for encrypted storage and data protection.

SEE: How to migrate to a new iPad, iPhone, or Mac (TechRepublic Premium)

How does this new Mac mini differ from the previous model?

The big news is the M1 chip inside this latest iteration of the Mac mini. This new processor is based on 5-nanometer technology and has an eight-core CPU with four performance cores and four efficiency cores. The eight-core GPU makes it both powerful and energy efficient, as Johny Srouji, Apple senior vice president of hardware technology, told CNET. The chip also has a 16-core Neural Engine to bring machine learning to tasks such as video analysis, voice recognition, and image processing. This increases machine learning performance by 15 times, according to Apple.

SEE: Apple’s MacBook Air with M1 chip: Everything you need to know (TechRepublic)

The M1 chip has up to 16 GB of superfast unified memory. This high-bandwidth, low-latency memory allows apps to share data between the CPU, GPU, and the Neural Engine.

The Mac mini 2020 has a new thermal architecture that includes all-flash storage, a bigger fan, expanded vents, and a redesigned power supply.

The new Mac mini comes with Wi-Fi 6 with up to 1.2Gb/s throughput.

Apple is still selling the older version of the Mac mini with the Intel chip.

SEE: Apple Silicon and the rise of ARMs: How changing Mac’s processor could change the world (ZDNet)

What are the specifications for the Mac mini 2020?

Chip: Apple M1 chip; 8-core CPU with four performance cores and four efficiency cores; an 8-core GPU; a 16-core neural engine

Memory: 8 GB unified memory, configurable to 16 GB

Storage: 256 GB model with 256 GB SSD and configurable to 512 GB, 1 TB or 2 TB; 512 GB model with 512 GB SSD and configurable to 1 TB or 2 TB

Video support: Three Thunderbolt digital video outputs, including native DisplayPort output over USB-C, Thunderbolt 2, DVI, and VGA output supported via adapters; HDMI 2.0 display output with DVI output using HDMI to DVI adapter

Audio: Built-in speaker; 3.5 mm headphone jack; HDMI 2.0 port supports multichannel audio output

Connections and Expansion: Two USB-A ports; HDMI 2.0 port; Gigabit Ethernet port; 3.5 mm headphone jack; two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports with support for display port, Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1 Gen 2, and Thunderbolt 2, HDMI, DVI, and VGA supported using adapters.

Communications: Wi-Fi with 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 wireless networking and IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac compatible; Bluetooth 5.0; 10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45 connector)

Size: 1.4 inches tall; 7.7 inches wide; 7.7 inches deep; 2.6 pounds

Finish: Silver

SEE: All of TechRepublic’s cheat sheets and smart person’s guides

How much does the Mac mini 2020 cost?

The 256 GB model is $699, and the 512 GB model is $899.

SEE: Apple Silicon: Why developers don’t need to worry about the transition from Intel-based Macs (TechRepublic)

When and where can I buy the new Mac mini?

You can order the new Mac mini today and expect delivery between Nov. 17 and 18.

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Catch up on the latest tech innovations that are changing the world, including IoT, 5G, the latest about phones, security, smart cities, AI, robotics, and more. Delivered Tuesdays and Fridays