Battle of the Blocks: Here's how the new Mac mini takes on Mac Studio

Next generation Apple Mac mini with M2 processor or new M2 Pro processor introduced. It has more powerful CPUs and GPUs, up to 32GB of RAM, up to 3 external displays, 8K output via HDMI, WiFi 6E, and the base models are even more affordable. The new desktop complements the more powerful Mac Studio, making the lineup more diverse. But is Mac Studio overkill for most people with the new Mac mini? Here's a detailed comparison between Mac mini and Mac Studio to see how it all works.

After switching from Intel to M1 In 2020, Apple has significantly updated the Mac mini to start 2023. The new desktop has much more flexibility when it comes to configurations and will cover more use cases than ever, with the option to choose between M2 Chip or M2 Pro Chip.

  • Related: Mac Comparison mini: how the M2 and M2 Pro differ from the M1

Mac Studio remains the most powerful Apple Silicon Mac with an M1 Max or M1 Ultra chip. Whether you're looking for a new desktop Mac on the market or just curious about how things compare, let's dig in!


  • Mac mini vs. Mac Studio: how do they compare?
    • CPU, GPU, memory, neural engine
    • I/O
    • Sizes and color
    • Mac mini vs. Mac Studio: Price
  • Mac mini vs. Mac Studio

Mac mini and Mac Studio: how do they compare?

CPU, GPU, memory, neural engine

< img src="/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/7346b82558c99ead58330aaab2b614fa.jpg" />

The M2 is a moderate upgrade from the M1, but the M2 Pro brings a much wider range of power and features to the Mac mini – a step up without having to go to Mac Studio.

< strong>M2 Mac mini M2 Pro Mac mini M1 Max Mac Studio M1 Ultra Mac Studio
CPU 8-core Up to 12 cores 10-core 20 -core
GPU 10 -core Up to 19 cores Up to 32 cores Up to 64 cores
Storage Up to 2TB Up to 8TB Up to 8TB Up to 8TB
RAM Up to 24GB Up to 32GB< /td>

Up to 64 GB Up to 128GB
Neural Engine 16-core 16-core 16-core 32-core

Apple claims the M2 has up to 18% faster CPU and up to 35% faster GPU than M1. The M2 also offers up to 24GB of RAM, 50% more memory bandwidth, and a 40% faster neural engine than the M1.

In terms of more power, Apple says the M2 Pro delivers 20% faster CPU and 30% faster GPU performance than the M1 Pro. And the neural engine speed of the M2 Pro has increased by 40% compared to its predecessor (note: the M1 Pro was never available in the 2020 Mac mini).

You have up to a 12-core CPU and a 19-core GPU with the M2 Pro, plus up to 32GB of RAM.

And another upgrade with the M2 Chip Pro designed for ProRes encoding and decoding.

M1 Max and especially M1 Ultra greatly outperform M2 Pro with 20-core CPU, 64-core GPU, 32-core neural engine, up to 128GB RAM and more . While these numbers may look tempting on paper, remember that you will need very intensive workflows to harness this power.


Both the M2 Pro and M2 Mac mini are getting updates when it comes to I/O. First, you have Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 in both builds.

Then, the M2 Pro gets more upgrades with dual Thunderbolt 4/USB 4 (4) ports, support for up to 3 external displays, and output up to 8K via HDMI (presumably HDMI 2.1, but not specified by Apple).

M2 Pro Mac mini I/O

< td class="has-text-align-center" data- align="center">M2 Pro Mac mini

< td class="has-text-align-center" data-align="center">Gigabit or set to 10Gb

M2 Mac mini Mac Studio
USB-C/Thunderbolt ports (up to 40Gbps) 2 4 Up to 6
USB-A ports 2 2 2
Bluetooth< /td>

5.3< /td>

5.3 5.0
3.5 headphone jack
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 6E ( Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax) Wi-Fi 6 (
Ethernet Gigabit or 10Gb setup 10Gb
External display support Before 2 displays: 1 up to 6K/60Hz via Thunderbolt and 1 up to 4K/60Hz via HDMI Up to 3 external displays: 2 to 6K/60Hz with Thunderbolt, 1 to 4K/60Hz via HDMI

Or 1 display at 8K/60Hz or 1 display at 4K/240Hz via HDMI

Up to 5 external displays: 4 to 6K/60Hz plus 1 to 4K/60Hz

But, as you might expect, the more powerful Mac Studio still uses more I/O. It offers two USB-C or Thunderbolt 4 ports on the front along with an SDXC UHS-II slot. The rest (most) of the I/O stays behind.

While Mac Studio lags a bit behind Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and lack of 8K video support, it offers support for up to 5 external displays and comes standard with 10 Gigabit Ethernet.

M2 Mac mini < strong>M2 Pro Mac mini Mac Studio Height 1.41 inches (3 .58 cm)

< td class="has-text-align-center" data-align="center">1.41 inches (3.58 cm) 3.7″ Width 7.7 inches (19.7 cm) 7, 7 inches (19.7 cm) 7.7 inches (19.7 cm) Depth 7.7 inches (19.7 cm) 7.7 inches (19.7 cm) 7.7 inches (19.7 cm) Weight 2.6 lb (1.18 kg) 2.8 lb (1.28 kg) kg) 5.9 or 7.9 lbs (2.7 or 3.6 kg)

Both Mac mini and Mac Studio are available in one color: silver.

What's in the box

The only thing in a Mac mini or Mac Studio Box is a computer and a power cable.

Apple of course offers its Studio Display as its own external monitor. But there are also many great and less expensive alternatives:

  • Best USB-C and Thunderbolt Displays for Mac [New 2023]

You might also want to get Apple's Magic Keyboard and mouse, or try options like Logitech's popular MX Master line.

Mac mini and Mac Studio Price

A pleasant surprise for the new Mac mini is that the base M2 costs just $599, $100 less than the M1 models.

Upgrading to the M2 Pro Mac mini more than doubles the M2's starting price ($1,299), but you get a lot more power and double the storage and RAM. Mac Studio with M1 Max starts at $1999 and goes up to $7999 for custom configurations.

< td class="has-text-align-center" data-align="center">–

< tr>

< td class="has-text-align-center" data-align="center">Up to $4499

M2 Mac mini M2 Pro Mac mini Mac Studio
256/8 $599
512/8 $799
512/16 $999 $1299
512/32< /td>

Custom $1899 $7999

Mac mini wrapping up vs. Mac Studio

New Mac mini with M2 or M2 Pro is a great upgrade, a very welcome upgrade. It offers the flexibility to get (or create) the Mac desktop you want without having to upgrade to Mac Studio.

  • For anyone with basic to intermediate workflows, the M2 Mac mini is great suitable with memory options from 8 to 24 GB and storage up to 2 TB.
  • For those who work with more intensive workflows, such as creative professionals or emerging creative professionals, prosumers , and the like who don't need a Mac Studio, the M2 Pro Mac mini should be perfect.
  • I think a Mac mini will have enough power for 95%+ of customers. But if you regularly load your Mac with a lot of video exports, other creative work like 3D modeling, work with large datasets, etc., and also want to get that work done as quickly as possible, Mac Studio is for you.

The new M2 and M2 Pro Mac mini are available now at Apple, Amazon, Best Buy and more.

What do you think of the new Mac mini and how does it compare to mac studio? Share your thoughts in the comments!

More 9to5Mac comparisons:

  • MacBook Air vs. 2023 Pro: new M2 laptops compared
  • MacBook Pro comparison: what's different new M2 Pro/Max from M1 versions
  • Here is a comparison of HomePod 2 with original and HomePod mini

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