1 – Performance
The Mac Studio is overall more powerful than the Mac mini. Here, users have the choice between the Apple chip M1 Max, which is also found on the 2021 MacBook Pro, or the even faster M1 Ultra chip. The M1 Max itself is available in two different configurations, depending on the GPU, which can offer either 24 or 32 cores. The CPU, meanwhile, is limited to 10 cores and paired with a 16-core Neural Engine.
As for the chip M1 Ultraas Apple specifies, it is “resulting from the merger of two chips (“dies”) M1 Max“. It’s a real monster, offering up to 800 GB / s of memory bandwidth and to accompany 64 or 128 GB of RAM. A 32GB option is also available, but only in case you choose an M1 Max chip.
The Mac Studio will really make the difference for renderings 3D or bulk data processing. Now let’s compare it to the Mac mini.
Mac mini: Intel vs Apple silicon comparison
For Apple, the Mac mini is aimed at a somewhat different audience. Here, no need to be as greedy as with the Mac Studio: the developers and other Photoshop regulars are welcome. Compared to the Mac Studio, the results are necessarily slower, but it is a question of knowing your needs before making your choice.
Apple’s Mac mini is also available with two chips to choose from. The first is the M1, which is the basic Apple silicon processor with an 8-core CPU and an 8-core GPU along with a 16-core Neural Engine. The tower powered by 8 or 16 GB of RAM, your choice. That is much less than for the Mac Studio: here we are on a power difference of around 50% at least.
You can also choose the Mac mini Intel, but Apple’s comparisons show that it is less efficient than the Mac mini M1. Here, the proposed processors are the i5 or i7 that many know but it is possible to opt for 32 and 64 GB of DDR4 memory, which is not nothing.
Comparison Mac Studio vs Mac mini (performance): victory for the Mac Studio
2 – Design: Mac mini vs. Mac Studio
Without hesitation, the Mac mini adopts a much more portable than the Mac Studio even if it is not its primary destination. Indeed, we are here on really different dimensions, almost half as imposing.
Comparison Mac Studio vs Mac mini (performance): victory for the Mac mini
3 – Proposed storage options
- 256 GB SSD (not available on Mac mini Intel)
- 512 GB SSD
- 1TB SSD
- 2TB SSD
- 512 GB SSD (not available with M1 Ultra chip)
- 1TB SSD
- 2TB SSD
- 4TB SSD
- 8TB SSD
Please note: the price of Mac Studio and Mac mini differs depending on the storage requested.
Comparison Mac Studio vs Mac mini (storage): victory for the Mac Studio
4 – Support for screens
Again, the Mac Studio is the best if we compare the supported screens. This is because the Mac mini (M1) can only support a duo 6K + 4K while the Mac Studio can output its stream to four Pro Display XDRs and a 4K monitor on top of that.
Comparison Mac mini vs Mac Studio (screens): victory for the Mac Studio
5 – Mac Studio vs Mac mini: connectors
Surprisingly, the Mac mini Intel offers more ports USB-C compared to the Mac mini M1 (2020): four Thunderbolt 3 sockets compared to two for its successor. To this is added an HDMI socket to connect a screen, and Ethernet to connect to the web. The 10 Gigabit option of this sheet is however, again, only offered on Mac mini 2018 and as an option. Unlike the Mac Studio which integrates it automatically.
This is not its only advantage, since the Mac Studio is also the only one to embed a SDXC card reader. It is therefore better to opt for this choice if you are used to using this type of support, otherwise you will have to invest in a dedicated adapter. Finally, note that the Mac Studio also comes with two USB-A ports. If you have aging equipment at home, this is an option to consider.
Comparison Mac mini vs Mac Studio (connectors): victory for the Mac Studio
6 – Stand
To cover potential damages, AppleCare+ protects Mac mini with up to three years of technical support for 119 euros. For the Mac Studio, however, the price is higher: count 179 euros per machine, for the same guarantees.
The Mac mini M1, the Mac mini Intel and the Mac Studio are compatible with macOS Monterey and will undoubtedly be so with the version that will be released next. However, it should be borne in mind that the Mac mini Intel dating from 2018, it may no longer be supported very soon. Indeed, Mac mini released before the end of 2014 are no longer eligible for the update to macOS 12. It will therefore take approximately seven years before Apple abandons this type of machine: a delay that will be reached much less quickly with a Mac mini M1 or a Mac Studio, which have arrived on the market more recently.
Comparison Mac mini vs Mac Studio (support): equality
7 – Price comparison
- from 2,299 euro for version with M1 Max chip
- from 4,599 euros for the version with M1 Ultra chip
Mac mini M1
- 799 euros for the version with a 256 GB SSD and 8 GB of RAM
- 1,029 euros for the version with a 512 GB SSD and 8 GB of RAM
- 1,029 euros for the version with a 256 GB SSD and 16 GB of RAM
- 1,259 euros for the version with a 512 GB SSD and 16 GB of RAM
Mac mini Intel (2018)
- 1,259 euros for the version with 8th generation Intel Core i5 chip and 8 GB of RAM
- 1,499 euros for the version with 8th generation Intel Core i7 chip and 8 GB of RAM
- 1,489 euros for the version with 8th generation Intel Core i5 chip and 16 GB of RAM
- 1,729 euros for the version with 8th generation Intel Core i7 chip and 16 GB of RAM
Comparison Mac Studio vs Mac mini (price): victory for the Mac mini M1
8 – Which computer for whom?
The Mac Studio is for you if…
As its name suggests, the Mac Studio is intended… for studios. For us, it is indeed the only computer that will really hold its own among music producers, creators of video content for cinema and others. audiovisual professions. The difference in power between the M1 Max chip and the M1 chip is already colossal, that of the M1 Ultra chip even more: all the speed comparisons show it.
The Mac mini is for you if…
For the Mac mini, the sauce is a little different. Admittedly, this is an already very powerful computer, but its price under 1,000 euros also makes it the most affordable of all Macs. It is therefore the ideal gateway to the Apple ecosystem for iOS app publishers or beginner graphic designers, who believe they are masters of their own workstation by choosing the appropriate accessories (keyboard, mouse, screen, etc.).