Mac Mini (2024): Everything we know so far about the M3-powered small desktop PC

Ever since Apple’s M series chips burst on the scene, the Mac Mini has become an ideal PC pick for those looking for an unintrusive desktop. Now, with M3 having been announced, there should be a Mac Mini (2024) coming down the line. Here’s everything we know so far.

One of the big benefits of Apple Silicon chips is improved efficiency and, as such, desktop PCs miss out on a big selling point of these devices. With the boosted efficiency, we saw both power and battery life enhanced on MacBooks when the M series came around. Obviously, with a desktop, this doesn’t apply to you but it doesn’t change how good the recent Mac Mini was.

Instead of boosted battery life, with the desktops, you get improved power consumption and whisper-quiet fans, if there are any at all. That’s extremely evident with the compact Mac Mini, which offers stunning power for such a small desktop, rivalling Windows machines more than several times its size. In 2024, we’re expecting to see the M3 chip debut on Apple’s small desktop offering. Let’s dive in.

Release Date

As is so often the case, the best source of information for incoming Apple products is Mark Gurman, veteran Apple report at Bloomberg. Gurman reports that we can expect new M3 and M3 Pro-powered Mac Mini models to arrive in early 2024 (via Bloomberg). When talking about the inbound M3 MacBook Air, Gurman has pointed towards a March release for that device, so it feels safe to assume these two new Macs could launch alongside each other.

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What we know so far

Mark Gurman has reported that the “next-generation Mac Mini” appears to have gone into testing, stating that Apple is currently trying out a device with 8 CPU cores, 10 GPU cores and 24GB of unified memory.

Mac Mini (2023)
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

From what we currently know about the M3 series of chips, we’d expect the standard M3 version of the Mac Mini to sport 8 CPU cores, 10 CPU cores and, likely, start with 8GB of unified memory. For the M3 Pro, you can expect a start of 12 CPU cores and 18 GPU cores. The new M3 series will mean that the Mac Mini can now offer Apple’s Dynamic Caching feature too. For ports and connectivity, it seems unlikely that will change, with the M3 series MacBook Pro models that launched offering up the same standards across the range, so it’ll likely be Thunderbolt 3 (Thunderbolt 4 for the M3 Pro model), Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 once again.

What we want to see

More unified memory

You might have noticed a big of an internet-based furore when Apple announced a MacBook Pro starting with 8GB of unified memory in 2023. It’s, admittedly, not great, even if Apple does declare its 8GB is worth 16GB RAM on other devices.

But, that was for a “Pro” device, we can’t expect more of the diddly little Mac Mini, can we? We say yes. Now, I don’t think the M3 model needs to start with more than 8GB of unified memory but, at the high end, it currently tops out at 32GB. We’ve been astounded by the capabilities of the Mac Mini in recent years and know what it can do with the unified memory headroom. Why not give it that extra boost to allow for even more intensive users to opt for this model? This seems likely but not a huge jump, with the M3 Pro-powered MacBook Pro now offering 36GB.

More colour options

A simple request here. The current Mac Mini is only available in Silver, we don’t even get the option of Space Grey, let alone Space Black. The Mac Mini may be a serious bit of kit but it is perfectly placed to warrant the vibrant set of colours offered by the likes of the iMac and iPad Air. Come on Apple, give us a bit of colour.

mac mini 2023 top down
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Fix the accessories

Sadly, this one feels unlikely as it didn’t choose to do this with the M3 iMac upgrade and we really don’t know why. In its quest to comply with the EU’s recent rulings on the use of USB-C, Apple has been on a tear to update its products, including the iPhone. Yet, we still have lightning ports on the Magic Mouse and Magic Keyboard. And, yes, that does include that awkwardly placed port on the underside of the mouse. There’s every reason to tweak them, but Apple continues to refrain.

A completely new design

Another shot in the dark here but the Mac Mini does feel due for a redesign. Not only does it only come in one colour but the design is barely any different to the Mac Mini that launched 13 years ago. It’s a nice, simple and stylish design, admittedly, but variety is the spice of life. The efficient capabilities of Apple Silicon surely enable the brand to get more adventurous with the look of the Mac Mini should it choose to do so. Switch up the colours, change from a rounded square to a circle or make it a more vertically-designed machine, the world is the Mac Mini desktop’s oyster.