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  • Soon Kai Hong

Mac Mini M2 Pro Review: 1 Month Later & We Love It

The Apple Mac Mini is truly amazing. We never thought we would be able to say this but the Mac Mini is really a one of a kind machine that doesn’t really have a direct competitor. First with M1 and now with M2 and M2 Pro, this is arguably the most powerful creative tool you can have today that’s also one of the most compact. This is our review of the Mac Mini M2 Pro one month later and we just love it.

If you’re someone who wants to get into the Apple ecosystem and want to experience what MacOS is able to provide, the Mac Mini is probably the best starting point. Even more so with this generation as Apple has somehow managed to bring the price down a fair bit.

Apple Does The Unthinkable

The base model Mac Mini with the M2 chip, 8GB of Unified Memory and 256GB SSD will set you back a mere US$599 or S$849. To put things into perspective, all you really have to do is to grab a decent monitor, a keyboard and mouse and you’ll be all set. Not only is that going to be a great everyday computer for general use, especially for families and all that but you’ll also be surprised at how capable the M2 chip is even with just 8GB of Unified Memory. Heavy photo-editing, number crunching in Excel, numerous tabs and streams open, it can do all that and much more with relative ease.

Now sure, you can’t upgrade the memory post-purchase and you do get much slower SSD performance with the base 256GB model. For the professionals out there, sure, this would be of concern. But for most people who are looking to get the base model Mac Mini, it really doesn’t matter at all.

The one main difference between the M2 and the M2 Pro model would simply be the ports selection. With the M2 Pro, you do get an additional two Thunderbolt 4 ports for a total of four and this might prove useful if you want to hook numerous accessories that can make use of all that speed. But even with just two Thunderbolt 4 ports for the M2 model, you can easily get around it with third party accessories and such.

So we’ll say it here. If you’re looking to get the Mac Mini to simply just get started with what Apple has to offer, the base model is more than enough for you. For the price, it really is just value for money and that’s not something we can say often with Apple, especially not with such confidence.

But for us here today, we have the M2 Pro, fully unlocked with the 19-core GPU with 16GB of Unified Memory and 1TB SSD. This configuration will set you back US$1,799 or S$2,606 and this might honestly be the sweet spot for professionals who want more out of your Mac Mini without really breaking the bank.


If you’re in any way familiar with the Mac Mini in general, the design is basically the same. It’s Apple’s most compact Mac system that simply sits on your desk, right below your monitor. Space is of no concern and it looks great, especially when paired with the Studio Display. If you want to save even more space, you can even look for 3rd party VESA mounts where you can mount the Mac Mini behind the monitor, essentially making your whole setup like an AiO.

Which, speaking of, if you guys are interested in a video about such useful Mac accessories, let us know! And if you could, please subscribe so that we can do more of such fun content!

But you guys probably want to know more about the performance you can expect from such a nifty little machine. So let’s just get straight into it.


First up, we have Cinebench R23 and the M2 Pro certainly delivers. We managed a Multi-Core score of 14062 and a Single-Core score of 1614. Now since we’ve tested the MacBook Pro 16” with the M2 Max as well, that scored 14241 and 1589 respectively. As you can tell, not that much of a difference since Apple is basically using the exact same CPU configuration for both the Pro and the Max.

In comparison to the M1 Pro or the M1 Max from last generation however, those additional two cores do really make a difference, bringing a substantial performance improvement.

Next, tested video editing with DaVinci Resolve. Here, we tested our new benchmark project that spans 10 minutes and 30 seconds long. Rendering out in full 4K at 25 frames per second with a 30,000Mbps bit rate, the M2 Pro managed to finish the render in 5 minutes and 39 seconds. In comparison to the M2 Max, it’s just about half as slow. Even then, we’re talking about faster than real-time render here and that’s unthinkable with previous Mac Minis with Intel chips. It really is impressive.

Now for those of you who deal with much more demanding projects and software, we also ran Blender benchmarks with both the BMW and Classroom projects. For BMW, the M2 Pro managed to finish the image render in 2 minutes and 30 seconds while for Classroom, it managed it in 5 minutes and 57 seconds. But of course, now we have to talk about temperatures. Apple has always been known to prioritize noise levels over temperatures and the new Mac Mini isn’t any different from the rest.

Temperatures Ain't Great, As Usual

Basically, if you were to put the Mac Mini under any form of extended load that’ll utilize the CPU or GPU to its fullest potential, the M2 Pro is going to stick really close to that 100℃ mark.

In our month of experience, we found that the fans maintain 1,700 RPM all the way till about 97℃ before it even starts to ramp up. Even then, it would simply ramp up to just 2,100RPM and maintain 100℃ throughout.

We 100% agree that temperatures aren’t great. Even if it’s safe to operate at those temperatures, the surround chips might not fare the same after years of use. The upside however is that it really is a silent workhorse. Say what you may but we appreciate the fact that there isn’t any annoying fan noise in the background whenever you’re doing anything remotely heavy.

In addition, Apple has at least managed to run the M2 Pro at full throttle, running at 3.26GHz for the Performance Cores and 2.42Ghz for the Efficiency Cores throughout. And we seriously mean throughout. Not once did it dip at any point in time during the benchmarking process.

We Love It

Honestly, we’re just really impressed with what Apple has managed to do with the Mac Mini.

Thanks to the M2 and M2 Pro chip, there really isn’t anything else like it on the market. Sure, you can probably build an Intel NUC and get similar or better performance but not only is it going to be bigger, it’s likely to produce much more noise when loaded with heavy tasks. Moreover, you certainly aren’t getting four Thunderbolt 4 ports which you can easily expand with various accessories and more.

While the Mac Mini certainly looks best when paired with the Studio Display, this is an expensive setup. So we’ll suggest going for whichever configuration that best suits you and all you really have to do is to grab a decent enough 4K monitor with a keyboard and mouse. Give or take, just add about US$300 or S$500 on top of what you paid for the Mac Mini and you have a great general purpose computer that can also take on professional and creative work. And if storage space and speed is of a concern, you can also always plug in an external SSD.

If you’re in the market looking for a new Mac or perhaps you just want to try out MacOS and to that extent, the Apple ecosystem, there really is no better time than now. The Mac Mini with either M2 or M2 Pro is truly impressive and we really love it.

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