New M2 Pro Mac mini closes the gap to the Mac Studio

The Intel Mac mini is finally no more.

Apple just introduced M2 Mac mini at a reduced $599 price along the new “high-end” Mac mini with M2 Pro and up to 12 CPU cores, 19 GPU cores, and a 16-core Neural Engine. Both 10-core and 12-core versions of the M2 Pro again come with 200-GB/s memory b/w, twice that of the regular M2.

Not only is there now once again a serious Mac mini, Apple has also really closed the desktop gap between the low-end Mac mini and the Mac Studio Max. In fact they closed it so much, I’m not sure the better spec’ed out Mac mini is that great a value any more. Just check out what an extra $200 will get you.

  • Mac mini, M2 Pro 10/16/16 16/512GB 10G $1399 (and $1799 with 32GB RAM).
  • Mac mini, M2 Pro 12/19/16 16/512GB 10G $1699
  • Mac mini, M2 Pro 12/19/16 32/512GB 10G $2099
  • Mac Studio M1 Max 10/24/16 32/512GB 10G $1999
  • Mac Studio M1 Max 10/32/16 32/512GB 10G $2199

But the M2 Mac mini is certainly tremendous value either way.

And th M2 Pro Mac mini finally got all the necessary ports back. :slight_smile:

I can only hope they follow this up by updating the Mac Studio to M2 Max/Ultra as well as a return to a reasonable 5K 27". And maybe throw in a 32" iMac with M2 Max? :wink:

[Edit: broke up unwieldily post]


M2 Pro and M2 Max follow the logic we’ve seen with M1. Nice choice. :slight_smile:



And the price is lower than the 2018 Intel mini, at least for the configuration I bought.

I bought an Intel mini (6-core i7, 16G RAM, 2TB storage) in 2020. The price came to $1973.

A comparable M2 Pro mini (10-core CPU, 16G RAM, 2GB storage) costs $1900.

A comparable M2 mini (16G RAM, 2 TB storage) costs $1600. And a maxed-out M2 (24G RAM, 2TB storage) costs $1800.

Several times more performance for a lower price? What’s not to like.

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While I still feel like a sheep with Apple’s pricing/feature/tiers… the M2Pro Mini with 32GB/1TB or even 2TB is ideal for me. The MacStudio M1Max meant 32GB/1TB or even 2TB is only $200 more. While not a M2, the Macstudio pro at its low end, with same memory, more ports, 10GbE, isn’t that much more. I was going to bite the bullet on the M1 Studio with 64GB and 1TB for $2599. But it would jump to $3000 if I got 2TB. Where as the newer M2Pro Mini is $2500 for 32GB, 2TB, 10GbE. (only has 2 less cores than than the Studio.

I feel like getting the M2Pro Mini should be much less. The mini was supposed to be inexpensive desktop for those with their own KVM. (I know, the other M2 Mini are less and ideal. I’m just inbetween needing a M2Pro and StudioPro. I might go with the StudioPro as I want a front facing SD card slot (I can lose my unreliable TBolt dock now… more on that another time) but for $500 less, the M2Pro Mini (32GB/2TB/10GbE) would serve me.

But in all that is Apple, I am glad to see the Mini refresh.

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My impression is the M2 Pro Mac mini can still be really good value if you don’t need to bump the memory.

But if you start bumping up RAM or flash capacity, the Mac Studio Max starts comparing really well. The M2 cores are certainly more performant than those in M1, but if your work requires the GPU, any core improvement is unlikely to be able to outperform what you get by going from 16 GPU cores (M2 Pro mini) to the 24 GPU cores of the low-end Mac Studio Max. That Studio is just $200 more expensive than the mini, but it comes with the better thermal envelope and additional ports, which cold be attractive to some.

My impression is, the mini is the system of choice on the low end and on the higher end if small volume/footprint is crucial. But as soon as you start tweaking the config, chances are you’ll be pushed towards the lower end Mac Studio. And that certainly is Apple’s intention.

Well, I knew there would be some intersection between Mini and Studio, but I’ll be honest, I could have wished for a somewhat larger gap in prices. It’s true that these have good value on their Intel counterparts, though they’re limited to 32 GB RAM, and I do see myself getting a Mini over a Studio in future, but I’m not in a rush to replace my 2018 Intel Mini just yet (top configuration, including the 64 GB RAM). I look forward to seeing the benchmarks on these new models. The M1 Mini though, already in danger of gathering dust, is a prime candidate for sale, and it may be that the credit ends up on a new Mini.

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This is kind of funny to read (nothing personal - you’re likely right), but one common theme I remember reading when the Studio came out was that there was too much of a price and configuration gap between the Mini and the Studio. Now the gap is too small.

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I would have absolutely been in the market for the M2 Pro Mini, but I took the plunge with the M2 Max Studio last summer. There was definitely a big gap there in what was available, and it’s good to see there’s something slotted in there now.


I don’t see it as a too-small gap. You’re comparing an M2 mini against an M1 studio. The M1 system shouldn’t be priced comparably to a similarly-configured M2 system.

When the studio gets its M2 upgrade (I assume in 6-12 months, since it was released in March 2022), then we’ll see that price gap open up again. :slight_smile:

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Indeed. But that is essentially what has happened. If the M2 Pro system is spec’ed out in RAM so it approaches the M1 Max system, there is almost no price gap left. In that sense the M1 system is either too cheap or the M2 system has become too expensive.

One way Apple could fix this wold be to hike the price of the M2 Studio when it comes out. Obviously, no user is really hoping for that to happen. :grin:


I’m not sure I see why that matters. Why does there need to be a gap?

In running these comparisons between the M1 MacStudio and M2Pro MacMini, there are also some additional factors to weigh:

  1. The MacMini has more advanced WiFi and Bluetooth capability (future-proofing).
  2. The MacStudio has more generous display capabilities
  3. The default Ethernet capacity is 1Gbps on the MacMini, with an option to pay $100 to upgrade to MacStudio’s standard 10Gbps. While many internal networks may not leap to 10Gbps for many years, upgrades to 2.5 or 5Gbps are starting to happen.
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I think the point is that, even if you count in the “aspirational” upgrades to the Mini, you should still be gaining on the Studio with a different and smaller form factor, fewer ports, and fewer GPU cores. We want more RAM and more processing power and more ports, just like the Intel Mini, but we aren’t after studio-level performance. Sure, the chip generation is different, but not by enough to justify the price of the upgrades. And, sure, this is the “degenerate” case; many Mini purchasers won’t be aspirational, and many Studio buyers most certainly will be. But economy is still a big part of the Mini’s appeal. Not to disagree with the contrast in the discourse of the past, when the M1 was the only option, but there you genuinely were looking at two different products for two radically different groups of people. But the Studio was simply out of reach for many of those in the middle, who just needed a bit more from the Mini.

All of which is to say that it rather looks as though we’re going to have to get used to different dynamics on Apple’s upgrade pricing. Perhaps it’s just inevitable that Apple Silicon upgrades will be expensive.

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This might help some AppleInsider
Wifi6E versus Wifi 6, Bluetooth 5.3 vs 5.0…

This mini fills the inbetween until the jump to M2Ultra Mac Studio arrives… perhaps in Fall’23.


I guess this new M2 Pro mini spells the end for the 27" iMac.

What I hadn’t noticed originally is that in the press release for the new Mac mini Apple actually compares it specifically to the 27" Core i7 iMac.

Mac mini M2 Pro 10/16/16 16/512 $1299
Studio Display standard glass and stand $1599
Grand total: $2898

That’s clearly more than a 27" iMac, but then again, the Studio Display is also clearly overpriced. Apple can fix that.

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The new Mac mini has just slightly different dimensions.
Width 7.7" → 7.75"
Height 1.4" → 1.41"
And the M2 Pro config is a tad heavier too, 2.6 → 2.8 lbs

I continue to be very surprised they haven’t already released an M version Studio. Moving what is one of its most expensive hardware products to more advanced, faster and better chips makes marketing sense, and would probably yield better profits.

I have little doubt we’ll see an M2 Studio in the next few months. The M2 Ultra has certainly already been in development for quite a while considering it’s expected to be crucial to the Apple Silicon Mac Pro.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the new Mac Studio increase in price by a couple hundred $ — especially if Apple decides to keep around the M1 Max Studio as a midrange desktop. I’m sure such a price hike would be rather unpopular with regular users. But considering the value proposition of the newly released M2 Pro mini when it’s spec’ed out, there would appear to be some room to hike the low-end Studio. (not that I’m advocating for it of course)


I’m guessing there was rounding going on before. It doesn’t seem like it would make much sense to change the tooling by those amounts for a product like the Mac mini in particular.

I strongly suspect that Apple Silicon has something to do with this: