The 2024 Apple Mac Mini Might Be Powered with an AI-Heavy M4 Chip

Apple equipped first the iMac and MacBook range with M3 chipsets (review) and expected that the upcoming Mac and Mac Mini refreshes will be introduced with the same silicon. However, it is now shaping up Apple could be skipping the M3 chip entirely in favor of M4 in the new Mac Mini according to a report.

Apple M4 Mac Mini launch

In the Q&A segment of the latest Power On newsletter of Mark Gurman, the Apple leaker forecasts that the new Mac Mini will be launched at the end of 2024. However, he says that these devices won’t be powered by Apple’s current M3 chip but will instead run on the unannounced M4 platform.

Gurman’s prediction makes sense for the reason of Apple being rumored to debut its custom chipset later this year. Hence, the timing for the Mac Mini launch at the end of this year aligns with the availability of the M4 chipsets. Moreover, it is possible that the iPhone maker would announce both the new silicon and Mac Mini desktops at the same time.

Mac Mini M2 Pro ports on the back
Apple’s M2 Pro Mac Mini features two extra Thunderbolt ports than the base model. / © nextpit

As regards the variations, Gurman added that the 2024 Mac Mini will enlist the standard M4 and more capable M4 Pro versions, which is similar to how the 2022 Mac Mini was offered in M2 and M2 Pro that our colleague reviewed. Other differentiations may also be copied such as with the M4 Pro Mac Mini bringing more Thunderbolt ports than the vanilla M4 Mac Mini.

What could be new in Apple M4 SoC

There are no details yet on changes and new features to expect in the M4 Mac Mini, although it might feature better connectivity in the form of a newer Bluetooth or Wi-Fi versions on top of Ethernet. Additionally, an improved display output via Thunderbolt and HMDI would be useful like a higher refresh support than the existing external display specifications in the M2 Mac Mini.

On the other hand, Apple’s M4 SoC is touted to feature significant upgrades including more cores in the Neural Engine or NPU to support generative AI features. The M4 chip is still believed to be built in 3 nm process node similar to the M3, but we could see the base model with increased number of CPU and GPU cores.

What are your thoughts on the Apple Mac Mini featuring skipping the M3 chip? What features would you like to see from this Apple’s desktop computers? Let’s discuss your answers in the comments.

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