The Apple Mac Mini has been a favorite budget by in our best desktop computers for photo editing for a while now - but the latest 2023 versions promise even more. The svelte miniature computer will now get Apple's latest M2 processor to offer more power – and for those who want even more there will be a 12-core M2 Pro chipped version too! And the good news is that the starting price has not increased from the current M1 versions - with the Mac Mini M2 going on sale from next week from $599 / £649.
"The new M2 Pro chip delivers pro-level performance to Mac mini for the first time," says Apple, "enabling users to run high-performance workflows that were previously unimaginable in such a compact design. As well as faster performance the latest versions will offer support for up to two displays on the M2 model, and up to three displays on the M2 Pro model.
See also Apple reveals the fastest, most powerful MacBooks ever
Compared to the Mac Mini M1, the new M2 version is said to offer 50 percent faster filter and function performance in Adobe Photoshop CC, and 2.4x faster ProRes transcoding when using Apple's own Final Cut Pro video editor. Mac mini M2 features an 8-core CPU with four high-performance and four high-efficiency cores, along with a 10-core GPU.
The faster M2 Pro version offers up to a 12-core CPU with eight high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores, along with up to a 19-core GPU. The M2 Pro has 200GB/s of memory bandwidth — double that of the M2 — and supports up to 32GB of memory.
Apple says the M2 Pro Mac Mini boosts a ProRes transcode in Final Cut Pro by up to 4.2x, when compared to the M1 Mac Mini; graphics performance in Affinity Photo 2 is enhanced 2.5-fold.
See our full Mac Mini M2 Pro (2023) review
The M2 Mac Mini offers two Thunderbolt 4 ports, whilst the Pro version provides four. Both models feature two USB-A ports, an HDMI port, a Gigabit Ethernet port with a 10GB option, and an upgraded headphone jack to support high-impedance headphones. They feature the latest Wi-Fi 6E standard for up to 2x faster throughput than before, as well as Bluetooth 5.3.
Mac mini with M2 starts at $599/£649 – or from $499/£539 if eligible for Apple Student Discount.
Mac mini with M2 Pro starts will sell from $1,299/£1,399 - or from $1,199 /£1,289 for those in education.
Both models go on sale from August 24 in the US and the UK - Australians will have to wait a further week until 2 February.