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Apple Mac mini M2 (2023) review: Compact performance

Apple Mac mini M2 (2023) review: Compact performance

Apple Mac mini M2 (2023)

There's lots of power packed into the Apple Mac mini M2 (2023). Inside its compact chassis lies Apple's capable M2 chip, and you can also get the more powerful M2 Pro version if needed. But even the base model is more than enough for 4K video editing.

Quick specs

  • M2 8-core GPU and 10-core GPU, or M2 Pro 10-core CPU and 16-core GPU
  • Memory: 8GB/16GB/24GB (M2), 16GB/32GB (M2 Pro)
  • Storage: 256GB up to 2TB (M2), 512GB up to 8TB (M2 Pro)
  • 2x Thunderbolt 4 (M2), 4x Thunderbolt 4 (M2 Pro), 2x USB-A, HDMI, Gigabit LAN, 3.5mm audio jack, built-in speaker

Like the earlier M1 version, the M2 Mac mini features the same square aluminium design, with the Apple logo featuring prominently on top. At the rear are a nice amount of ports, including two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports, HDMI, two USB-A, LAN, and a 3.5mm audio jack. Sadly, you can't use the Thunderbolt 4 port to power the Mac mini. That means you can't use the Apple Studio Display's 96W downstream charging feature to keep the mini powered. The Pro model features four Thunderbolt 4 ports, in case you need them.

Apple Mac mini M2 (2023)
Credit: Aloysius Low/Can Buy or Not

The 8-core CPU base model easily breezed through all our tests. Geekbench 6 reported a 2,481 single-core and an 8,924 multi-core score. It slightly outperforms the Apple MacBook Air with M2 (2022), too. As expected, it lags behind the multi-core performance of the M2 Pro chip, such as the one found in the Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2023). Because the Mac mini has better cooling, the M2 chip isn't throttled by heat during HandBrake, which encoded an one-hour 1080p video in 7min 6sec. The Air did it in 11min 32sec, while the M2 Pro MacBook 14 did it in just 4min 35sec. You can also do some light gaming on the Mac mini as well. Dota 2 ran at around 50 to 55 fps, while Resident Evil Village with Quality MetalFX upscaling setting scored 80-ish fps.

Apple Mac mini M2 (2023)
Credit: Aloysius Low/Can Buy or Not

The Mac mini's cooling seems to be pretty good as well. Even after 30 minutes of gaming, it didn't feel hot. The fans weren't that loud, too. I also tried video editing with Final Cut Pro, using a bunch of 4K and 6K ProRes video clips. And it ran smooth like butter after the clips were analysed. I was a bit worried that 8GB memory wasn't sufficient, but it was good enough to handle everything I threw at it. There were no issues with day-to-day work with plenty of open browser tabs. The Mac mini is obviously a very capable machine for video editing, and a good reason to get one. It also fits well anywhere: Under your monitor or just tucked away in a corner.

At S$849 for the base model, the Apple Mac mini M2 (2023) is surprisingly affordable. However, you will need to get a monitor, keyboard, and mouse as well. The price jumps up by S$300 if you want 512GB of storage. The M2 Pro version is S$1,849, but you get a more powerful processor, and more ports, as well. Get it from Apple for now. It's not yet available on Apple's official Lazada and Shopee stores.

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Note: Review unit provided by Apple.

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