Mac mini upgrade? Intel Core i7 3.2 GHz > M1(or M2)?

We have been enjoying our Mac mini (2018) 3.2 Ghz 6-core Intel Core i7 w/ 16 GB RAM since its arrival - which was its launch time.

We are considering an upgrade to a new Mac mini M1 with 16GB unified memory with the 512GB SSD storage. We have been informed about M2 coming sometime too and wonder if waiting is all that important to us. What would be pros and cons? When might that its release happen?

We are not doing any heavy lifting of video files or cpu guzzling tasks. Our fan does come on a few times a week - not sure what causes that. We do appreciate faster performance and keeping up with newer technology.

If you made a similar transition or are considering doing so, would you be willing to share your experiences and process? What are key points to evaluate?

We look forward to hearing from the wisdom of this group.
Thank you.

From what you write, the base M1 version may work for your needs as well. Personally, I’m waiting for the M2 version (from the rumors it may have a slight redesign). Though with these annual upgrades of software and hardware, decisions are no longer as easy and obsolescence is even faster.

I am in the exact same spot. My main Mac is a 2018 i7 Mac Mini. And I have a M1 MacBook Air, bought in June 2021. The MacBook Air makes it hard to wait for the new Mac Mini to materialize.

I have been pondering about buying the M1 Mac Mini for quite some time now, but I have waited so long that I will keep waiting until the M2 Mac Mini materializes.

Regarding the rumors: I guess the Mac Mini is the perfect example for the question if we should give anything about rumors, to be honest. There has been this Prosser rendering about a redesigned Mac Mini which apparently does not seem to be true. Marc Gurman chimed in a few days ago about what he expects for the Mac Mini:

I do not need a new Mac Mini as of now, but I really would like to have a Mx one. I have waited so long, I will keep waiting until the M2 Mac Mini will be released - in 2 or 3 months from now, or in early 2023 (March). Whatever. :slight_smile:

The question is what Mac Mini you would like to buy. If you are thinking about getting the regular M1 CPU, the current model is just fine. The M2 will provide a speed bump, but it is not the same as migrating from Intel to Apple Silicon. I am interested in the Mx Pro version of the Mac Mini. Would I be fine with the regular version? Yes. But… :slight_smile:

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As always, if you need something now, buy what’s available, if you can wait, do so, but we don’t know when an M2 Mac Mini may be released.

The M1 is a powerhouse compared to all but the most powerful Intel Chips. it sounds like your needs are pretty minimal, so choosing an M1 shouldn’t be a bad decision


Don’t mess with Intel-based Macs. Get one with an M1 or M2 Apple chip. The performance of these chips are incredible.
Bud James

I used that same Mac mini model for three years and switched to a M1 MacBook Air over the last year.

Here are the GeekBench results for each Mac:

You’d see similar benchmarks on the M1 Mac mini.

The 2018 Mac mini was one of the best computers I’ve owned, and the MacBook Air gave a pretty noticeable speed boost for “normal” tasks (due to the higher performance CPU and the memory and disk/SSD throughput).

The M2 MacBook benchmarks higher than the M1 models, but the rumors are mixed in when an M2 Mac mini would actually ship…could be a few months, could be next year.

I think the M1 mini gives a nice speed boost, you likely won’t ever hear the fan, and they’re shipping now.

I think the biggest “jump” in the next Mac mini would be a higher RAM ceiling (hopefully at least 24 GB like the M2 MacBooks). That would be something I personally would wait for to upgrade, but if the 16 GB in your current mini is working for you and your workload is not “heavy lifting” or “CPU guzzling”, the M1 mini with 16 GB and it’s faster SSD should be fine.

I’m coming in a bit late to this topic, but I recently (3 days ago) got an M1 Mac mini and am really, really delighted by it. I’ve been using an M1 MBA since they were announced and was floored by it’s performance, the only downside was the inability to use dual monitors without some sort of 3rd party device. The M1 mini has dual monitor support, so it made purchasing it an easy decision when it came time to upgrade my home work set up.


The day has come. I am so drooling over this:

Apple Mac mini M2 Pro, 32 GB, 1 TB

Delivered between January 31st and February 2nd.

Built with exactly what I wanted to have - and replacing my Intel Mac mini from 2018. :slight_smile:


This is very tempting indeed. I would be replacing my 2018 i7 MBP, not my older Mac Mini that is still serving as a media server workhorse.

I do not feel that this is enough for a new topic, but …

I received my Mac Mini on Thursday (= earlier than expected). It is a fantastic computer. Absolutely silent so far. It consumes about 7 to 8 Watts most of the time (sometimes even less), which is mind-blowing. It is blazing fast. It is beautiful (yes, I know, the old design, but still…). In short: the perfect desktop computer for me (ok, a front USB and SD port would have been the icing on the cake, but apart from that: perfect, just perfect). :slight_smile:


I purchased a device like that in the link below for exactly those reasons for my 2018 mini. And I still use it with my Mac Studio, although as the Studio has front side ports it isn’t as useful as with the mini.

Similar less expensive units can be found from other brands.


I looked at this, but the write ups on Amazon were very mixed.

I got the vision without the SSD enclosure, when it first came out. I’ve had no issues with it.