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Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 in review: The most affordable M1 is also convincing

Large mini PC. Users who already prefer their own peripherals will find a relatively inexpensive and also powerful mini PC with an M1 processor in the Apple Mac Mini. We took a look at the performance of the entry-level model with 8 GB of RAM in our review.
Mike Wobker, 👁 Andreas Osthoff (translated by Stephanie Chamberlain), 🇩🇪 🇳🇱 ...
Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB)

After the Apple M1 has already shown its strengths in our reviews of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 13, we now take a look at the Apple Mac Mini. In addition to the M1 with an octa-core GPU, the entry-level configuration is equipped with 8 GB of RAM, and a 256 GB SSD.

At a price of approximately 800 Euros (~$944), it's one of Apple's more affordable products, which puts it ahead of the Apple laptops with the M1, at least in this respect.

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Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB)
Processor
Apple M1 8 x 2.1 - 3.2 GHz
Graphics adapter
Memory
8192 MB 
, LPDDR4X-4133
Storage
Apple SSD AP0256, 256 GB 
, 227 GB free
Connections
2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 2 USB 4.0 40 Gbps, 2 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combined audio
Networking
10Base-T/100Base-TX/1000Base-T (10/100/1000/2500/5000MBit/s), Apple AirPort Extreme M1 (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5/ax = Wi-Fi 6), Bluetooth 5.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 36 x 197 x 197 ( = 1.42 x 7.76 x 7.76 in)
Operating System
Apple OS X 11.0 Big Sur
Additional features
Speakers: integrated, mono, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
1.184 kg ( = 41.76 oz / 2.61 pounds) ( = 0 oz / 0 pounds)
Price
800 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

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Possible contenders in comparison

Rating
Date
Model
Weight
Height
Size
Resolution
Best Price
09/2021
Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB)
M1, M1 8-Core GPU
1.2 kg36 mmx
91 %
12/2020
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
M1, M1 7-Core GPU
1.3 kg16.1 mm13.30"2560x1600
91 %
12/2020
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 (M1, 8 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM)
M1, M1 8-Core GPU
1.3 kg16.1 mm13.30"2560x1600
91 %
12/2020
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
M1, M1 8-Core GPU
1.4 kg15.6 mm13.30"2560x1600
02/2021
Intel NUC11PAQi7
i7-1165G7, Iris Xe G7 96EUs
647 g56 mmx
08/2020
Beelink GTR35 II-G-16512D00W64PRO-1T
R5 3550H, Vega 8
843 g39 mmx

Case and connectivity - The Mac Mini with the M1 has two Thunderbolt ports

The Mac Mini uses the unibody design that we're already familiar with from its predecessors, and therefore its shape and dimensions remain unchanged. In contrast to the Intel models that come in Space Gray, the M1 Mac Mini is once again available in silver.

A further difference can be found when it comes to connectivity. The M1 model only has two Thunderbolt 3 ports instead of the original four in the Intel model.

Network connections can be established wirelessly via WLAN or by cable using the RJ45 port. The latter supports up to 10 Gb/s for an additional charge, while the entry-level configuration offers Gigabit LAN (1 Gb/s).

With our Netgear Nighthawk AX12 reference router, speeds of 661 Mb/s on average are achieved for transmitting data and 706 Mb/s for receiving data. This is on par with other M1 devices.

Apple's Mac Mini doesn't offer maintenance options. Only the fan can be cleaned when the black bottom cover is removed.

Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB)
Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB)
Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB)
Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB)

Size comparison

197 mm / 7.76 inch 197 mm / 7.76 inch 36 mm / 1.417 inch 1.2 kg2.61 lbs168 mm / 6.61 inch 120 mm / 4.72 inch 39 mm / 1.535 inch 843 g1.858 lbs117 mm / 4.61 inch 112 mm / 4.41 inch 56 mm / 2.2 inch 647 g1.426 lbs

Port configuration

Back: Power supply, Gigabit LAN, 2x Thunderbolt 3 (incl. DP), HDMI, 2x USB-A 3.1 Gen 2, combined audio jack
Back: Power supply, Gigabit LAN, 2x Thunderbolt 3 (incl. DP), HDMI, 2x USB-A 3.1 Gen 2, combined audio jack
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Networking
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Beelink GTR35 II-G-16512D00W64PRO-1T
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200
1165 (807min - 1317max) MBit/s ∼100% +76%
Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB)
Apple AirPort Extreme M1
661 (594min - 726max) MBit/s ∼57%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
649 (611min - 664max) MBit/s ∼56% -2%
Average Apple AirPort Extreme M1
  (552 - 661, n=2)
607 MBit/s ∼52% -8%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple AirPort Extreme M1
552 (257min - 620max) MBit/s ∼47% -16%
Intel NUC11PAQi7
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201
546 (369min - 618max) MBit/s ∼47% -17%
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Beelink GTR35 II-G-16512D00W64PRO-1T
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200
1317 (1204min - 1380max) MBit/s ∼100% +87%
Intel NUC11PAQi7
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201
862 (809min - 916max) MBit/s ∼65% +22%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
757 (378min - 806max) MBit/s ∼57% +7%
Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB)
Apple AirPort Extreme M1
706 (505min - 824max) MBit/s ∼54%
Average Apple AirPort Extreme M1
  (672 - 706, n=2)
689 MBit/s ∼52% -2%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple AirPort Extreme M1
672 (614min - 682max) MBit/s ∼51% -5%
050100150200250300350400450500550600650700750800662824734725553628717675592753701770802687726745762650771745749786755764531673726696505771662824734725553628717675592753701770802687726745762650771745749786755764531673726696505771698622680634671646692726666607669714659682716714642645629722664613636594630705679601622638Tooltip
; iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø706 (505-824)
; iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø661 (594-726)

Performance - Comparable to the MacBook Pro

With the M1, Apple also uses its in-house developed SoC in the Mac Mini, which also integrates the GPU and RAM in one chip alongside the CPU. The switch to the underlying ARM architecture ensures compatibility with iOS apps. However, x86 applications that haven't been ported yet have to be emulated in return, which can result in a lower performance for such programs.

Processor

The Apple M1 is an SoC with eight cores that are divided into four fast Firestorm cores with clock rates of up to 3.2 GHz and four power-saving Icestorm cores with speeds of up to 2.1 GHz. While the latter run in applications that put a low load on the system, all eight cores can also be used simultaneously.

In our Cinebench R15 endurance test, the actively cooled M1 in the Mac Mini reaches the level of the Apple MacBook Pro 13, and it can also maintain it steadily over a prolonged period of time. Compared with the Intel Core i7-1165G7 in the Intel NUC11PAQi7, a performance that is about 10% higher is offered here.

Cinebench R15 Multi endurance test

05511016522027533038544049555060566071577082588093599010451046.931045.811046.351045.831047.641044.31047.011047.531046.381047.751046.851045.41046.741047.371045.071048.221045.941045.511048.331046.931046.981044.711042.891047.121044.251047.451039.991020.12933.47885.66869.13860.59844.68847.04844.02838.64838.5836.94830.03823.32825.05820.65817.01851.61842.28842.62848.23847.1844.26844.76842.74844.11838.57841.59841.2838.45841.34836.96835.75834.55834.65831.84837.59835.25834.2836.33833.92837.21834.64834.34830.1824.69834.08832.57831.01830.31832.5830.74833.35827.22825.05825.61829.071064.031068.351066.521063.941069.61067.261066.71067.521064.761066.441064.961067.181065.11065.561066.71066.271066.71066.811065.641065.811066.671062.051063.351067.181063.041066.441064.911065.051065.671064.881066.131065.641067.831066.891064.081065.331062.561067.071065.71066.351065.391066.841065.931065.051065.11067.291063.631066.181065.931066.55985.76969.74963.86964.81971.56963.48971.42970.12968.38968.22972.08967.94965.09970.38970.85978.35968.31965.44969.93964.2966.95970.99970.85972.48972.93972.95972.17965.16971.75969.7972.46968.62962.77970.76972.36971.04967.87967.96963.18970.87970.76968.57969.53964.16970.99963.76973.26965.65968.97972.74672.07505.38516.81498.97494.25500.53564.59611.97668.02668.9668.73668.04667.68668.02662.49669.62670.48666.81669.6669.78654.17669.77669.61669.25668.23667.86668.38670.66669.78668.02669.78668.2669.43671.01669.28670.3668.2668.38668.2663.13669.08670.3671.19668.57669.95669.96669.25670.48669.95670.13Tooltip
Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB) Apple M1: Ø1046 (1039.99-1048.33)
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry Apple M1; Rosetta 2: Ø843 (817.01-1020.12)
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB) Apple M1: Ø1066 (1062.05-1069.6)
Intel NUC11PAQi7 Intel Core i7-1165G7: Ø969 (962.77-985.76)
Beelink GTR35 II-G-16512D00W64PRO-1T AMD Ryzen 5 3550H: Ø649 (494.25-672.07)

The Mac Mini 2020 Entry shows results similar to the MacBook Pro 13 with the M1 in the individual tests as as well. The distance to the Intel Core i7-1165G7 is again around 10%. Only in the Geekbench multi-core test is the M1's lead significantly larger at over 50%.

Cinebench R23 / CPU (Single Core)
Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB)
Apple M1
1520 Points ∼100%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 (M1, 8 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM)
Apple M1
1516 Points ∼100% 0%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
Apple M1
1513 Points ∼100% 0%
Average Apple M1
  (1496 - 1520, n=5)
1513 Points ∼100% 0%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1
1496 Points ∼98% -2%
Average of class Desktop
  (446 - 1636, n=11, last 2 years)
1165 Points ∼77% -23%
Cinebench R23 / CPU (Multi Core)
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
Apple M1
7811 Points ∼100% 0%
Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB)
Apple M1
7799 Points ∼100%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 (M1, 8 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM)
Apple M1
7714 Points ∼99% -1%
Average Apple M1
  (7409 - 7830, n=5)
7713 Points ∼99% -1%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1
7409 (6401.39min - 7409.31max) Points ∼95% -5%
Intel NUC11PAQi7
Intel Core i7-1165G7
6862 Points ∼88% -12%
Average of class Desktop
  (1183 - 15186, n=12, last 2 years)
5523 Points ∼71% -29%
Cinebench R20 / CPU (Single Core)
Intel NUC11PAQi7
Intel Core i7-1165G7
582 Points ∼100% +44%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
Apple M1
406 Points ∼70% +1%
Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB)
Apple M1
403 Points ∼69%
Average Apple M1
  (401 - 406, n=3)
403 Points ∼69% 0%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1
401 Points ∼69% 0%
Average of class Desktop
  (156 - 632, n=22, last 2 years)
392 Points ∼67% -3%
Beelink GTR35 II-G-16512D00W64PRO-1T
AMD Ryzen 5 3550H
347 Points ∼60% -14%
Cinebench R20 / CPU (Multi Core)
Intel NUC11PAQi7
Intel Core i7-1165G7
2657 Points ∼100% +27%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
Apple M1
2109 Points ∼79% +1%
Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB)
Apple M1
2086 Points ∼79%
Average Apple M1
  (1863 - 2109, n=3)
2019 Points ∼76% -3%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1
1863 Points ∼70% -11%
Average of class Desktop
  (304 - 5847, n=22, last 2 years)
1755 Points ∼66% -16%
Beelink GTR35 II-G-16512D00W64PRO-1T
AMD Ryzen 5 3550H
1583 Points ∼60% -24%
Cinebench R15 / CPU Multi 64Bit
Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB)
Apple M1
1087 Points ∼100%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
Apple M1
1070 (1060min - 1070max) Points ∼98% -2%
Average Apple M1
  (1020 - 1087, n=3)
1059 Points ∼97% -3%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1
1020 (817min - 1020max) Points ∼94% -6%
Intel NUC11PAQi7
Intel Core i7-1165G7
986 (962.77min - 985.76max) Points ∼91% -9%
Average of class Desktop
  (204 - 2397, n=26, last 2 years)
730 Points ∼67% -33%
Beelink GTR35 II-G-16512D00W64PRO-1T
AMD Ryzen 5 3550H
672 (494.25min - 672.07max) Points ∼62% -38%
Blender 2.79 / BMW27 CPU
Average of class Desktop
  (197 - 2845, n=22, last 2 years)
1014 Seconds * ∼100% -146%
Beelink GTR35 II-G-16512D00W64PRO-1T
AMD Ryzen 5 3550H
670 Seconds * ∼66% -63%
Intel NUC11PAQi7
Intel Core i7-1165G7
468 Seconds * ∼46% -14%
Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB)
Apple M1
412 Seconds * ∼41%
Average Apple M1
  (382 - 412, n=2)
397 Seconds * ∼39% +4%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1
382 Seconds * ∼38% +7%
Geekbench 5.3 / 64 Bit Single-Core Score
Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB)
Apple M1
1741 Points ∼100%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
Apple M1
1740 Points ∼100% 0%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 (M1, 8 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM)
Apple M1
1730 Points ∼99% -1%
Average Apple M1
  (1710 - 1745, n=7)
1730 Points ∼99% -1%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1
1727 Points ∼99% -1%
Intel NUC11PAQi7
Intel Core i7-1165G7
1559 Points ∼90% -10%
Average of class Desktop
  (388 - 1784, n=23, last 2 years)
1104 Points ∼63% -37%
Beelink GTR35 II-G-16512D00W64PRO-1T
AMD Ryzen 5 3550H
903 Points ∼52% -48%
Geekbench 5.3 / 64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB)
Apple M1
7690 Points ∼100%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
Apple M1
7590 Points ∼99% -1%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1
7578 Points ∼99% -1%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 (M1, 8 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM)
Apple M1
7570 Points ∼98% -2%
Average Apple M1
  (7260 - 7710, n=7)
7539 Points ∼98% -2%
Intel NUC11PAQi7
Intel Core i7-1165G7
4975 Points ∼65% -35%
Average of class Desktop
  (1239 - 10709, n=23, last 2 years)
4261 Points ∼55% -45%
Beelink GTR35 II-G-16512D00W64PRO-1T
AMD Ryzen 5 3550H
3203 Points ∼42% -58%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
89.41 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
1087 Points
Help

System performance and SSD

Only browser benchmarks are available for evaluating the system performance of the Apple Mac Mini. The small Mac can often place itself at the top of our test field in these benchmarks, proving to be very performant. The system boots quickly in everyday use and always responds immediately and without unnecessary delays.

The built-in SSD also shows very high write and read rates, which correspond to the storage results in other M1 devices that we have reviewed.

JetStream 1.1: Total Score
Jetstream 2: Total Score
Octane V2: Total Score
Mozilla Kraken 1.1: Total Score
WebXPRT 3: ---
Speedometer 2.0: Result
Blackmagic Disk Speed Test: 5GB Read | 5GB Write
JetStream 1.1 / Total Score
Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB)
M1 8-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256
408.13 Points ∼100%
Average Apple M1, Apple M1 8-Core GPU
  (402 - 408, n=4)
404 Points ∼99% -1%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
M1 8-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256
403.1 Points ∼99% -1%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
M1 7-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256Q
401.5 Points ∼98% -2%
Average of class Desktop
  (87.2 - 408, n=7, last 2 years)
254 Points ∼62% -38%
Jetstream 2 / Total Score
Average Apple M1, Apple M1 8-Core GPU
  (177 - 183, n=4)
179 Points ∼100% +1%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
M1 7-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256Q
178.7 Points ∼100% +1%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
M1 8-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256
177.5 Points ∼99% 0%
Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB)
M1 8-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256
177.28 Points ∼99%
Average of class Desktop
  (59.9 - 203, n=8, last 2 years)
131 Points ∼73% -26%
Octane V2 / Total Score
Average Apple M1, Apple M1 8-Core GPU
  (62113 - 62946, n=4)
62560 Points ∼100% 0%
Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB)
M1 8-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256
62390 Points ∼100%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
M1 7-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256Q
62227 Points ∼99% 0%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
M1 8-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256
62113 Points ∼99% 0%
Average of class Desktop
  (24502 - 62390, n=5, last 2 years)
46669 Points ∼75% -25%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 / Total Score
Average of class Desktop
  (446 - 2457, n=21, last 2 years)
1175 ms * ∼100% -163%
Beelink GTR35 II-G-16512D00W64PRO-1T
Vega 8, R5 3550H, Silicon Motion AZW 512G NV428
1046 ms * ∼89% -134%
Intel NUC11PAQi7
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1165G7, Samsung SSD 980 Pro 500GB MZ-V8P500BW
632 ms * ∼54% -42%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
M1 8-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256
515.9 ms * ∼44% -16%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
M1 7-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256Q
489 ms * ∼42% -10%
Average Apple M1, Apple M1 8-Core GPU
  (446 - 516, n=4)
483 ms * ∼41% -8%
Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB)
M1 8-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256
446.1 ms * ∼38%
WebXPRT 3 /
Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB)
M1 8-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256
293 Points ∼100%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
M1 8-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256
281 Points ∼96% -4%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
M1 7-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256Q
281 Points ∼96% -4%
Average Apple M1, Apple M1 8-Core GPU
  (216 - 293, n=4)
253 Points ∼86% -14%
Intel NUC11PAQi7
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1165G7, Samsung SSD 980 Pro 500GB MZ-V8P500BW
248 Points ∼85% -15%
Average of class Desktop
  (83.2 - 293, n=20, last 2 years)
180 Points ∼61% -39%
Beelink GTR35 II-G-16512D00W64PRO-1T
Vega 8, R5 3550H, Silicon Motion AZW 512G NV428
162 Points ∼55% -45%
Speedometer 2.0 / Result
Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB)
M1 8-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256
219 runs/min ∼100%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
M1 8-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256
213 runs/min ∼97% -3%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
M1 7-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256Q
213 runs/min ∼97% -3%
Average Apple M1, Apple M1 8-Core GPU
  (209 - 219, n=4)
213 runs/min ∼97% -3%
Average of class Desktop
  (71.7 - 219, n=3, last 2 years)
151 runs/min ∼69% -31%
Blackmagic Disk Speed Test / 5GB Read
Average of class Desktop
  (last 2 years)
2870 MB/s ∼100% 0%
Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB)
M1 8-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256
2869.8 MB/s ∼100%
Average Apple M1, Apple M1 8-Core GPU
  (2728 - 2870, n=3)
2798 MB/s ∼97% -3%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
M1 8-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256
2797.6 MB/s ∼97% -3%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
M1 7-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256Q
2756 MB/s ∼96% -4%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 (M1, 8 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM)
M1 8-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0512
2727.6 MB/s ∼95% -5%
Blackmagic Disk Speed Test / 5GB Write
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 (M1, 8 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM)
M1 8-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0512
2895.1 MB/s ∼100% +31%
Average Apple M1, Apple M1 8-Core GPU
  (2194 - 2895, n=3)
2434 MB/s ∼84% +10%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
M1 7-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256Q
2431 MB/s ∼84% +10%
Average of class Desktop
  (last 2 years)
2214 MB/s ∼76% 0%
Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB)
M1 8-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256
2213.9 MB/s ∼76%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
M1 8-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256
2193.5 MB/s ∼76% -1%

* ... smaller is better

Graphics card

Apple uses an M1 with an octa-core GPU in the Mac Mini, resulting in a performance that is again on par with or slightly above that of the MacBook Pro 13. The Geekbench results also show that the graphics performance is about 40% higher than that of the internal Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs of the Intel Core i7-1165G7 in the Intel NUC11PAQi7.

This also makes the Apple Mac Mini with the M1 suitable for somewhat more demanding graphical applications.

3DMark - Wild Life Unlimited Score
Average of class Desktop
  (2773 - 114111, n=5, last 2 years)
64330 Points ∼100% +254%
Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB)
Apple M1 8-Core GPU, Apple M1
18177 Points ∼28%
Average Apple M1 8-Core GPU
  (17731 - 18326, n=5)
18054 Points ∼28% -1%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
Apple M1 8-Core GPU, Apple M1
17731 Points ∼28% -2%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 (M1, 8 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM)
Apple M1 8-Core GPU, Apple M1
17731 Points ∼28% -2%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1 7-Core GPU, Apple M1
16159 Points ∼25% -11%
Geekbench 5.3
Metal Score 5.1
Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB)
Apple M1 8-Core GPU, Apple M1
22378 Points ∼100%
Average Apple M1 8-Core GPU
 
22378 Points ∼100% 0%
Average of class Desktop
  (last 2 years)
22378 Points ∼100% 0%
OpenCL Score 5.1
Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB)
Apple M1 8-Core GPU, Apple M1
19613 Points ∼100%
Average Apple M1 8-Core GPU
 
19613 Points ∼100% 0%
Intel NUC11PAQi7
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Intel Core i7-1165G7
13982 Points ∼71% -29%
Average of class Desktop
  (1738 - 71666, n=13, last 2 years)
13477 Points ∼69% -31%
Beelink GTR35 II-G-16512D00W64PRO-1T
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 (Ryzen 2000/3000), AMD Ryzen 5 3550H
10603 Points ∼54% -46%
GFXBench
Aztec Ruins High Tier Onscreen
Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB)
Apple M1 8-Core GPU, Apple M1
60 fps ∼100%
Average Apple M1 8-Core GPU
  (43.7 - 75, n=5)
57.7 fps ∼96% -4%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 (M1, 8 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM)
Apple M1 8-Core GPU, Apple M1
55.5 fps ∼93% -7%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
Apple M1 8-Core GPU, Apple M1
54.4 fps ∼91% -9%
Average of class Desktop
  (44.1 - 60, n=2, last 2 years)
52.1 fps ∼87% -13%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1 7-Core GPU, Apple M1
51.4 fps ∼86% -14%
2560x1440 Aztec Ruins High Tier Offscreen
Average of class Desktop
  (6.5 - 188, n=4, last 2 years)
88.7 fps ∼100% +9%
Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB)
Apple M1 8-Core GPU, Apple M1
81.7 fps ∼92%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 (M1, 8 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM)
Apple M1 8-Core GPU, Apple M1
81.2 fps ∼92% -1%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
Apple M1 8-Core GPU, Apple M1
78.2 fps ∼88% -4%
Average Apple M1 8-Core GPU
  (63 - 81.7, n=6)
75.4 fps ∼85% -8%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1 7-Core GPU, Apple M1
72.4 fps ∼82% -11%
Aztec Ruins Normal Tier Onscreen
Average Apple M1 8-Core GPU
  (60 - 102, n=5)
69.9 fps ∼100% +16%
Average of class Desktop
  (60.3 - 69, n=2, last 2 years)
64.7 fps ∼93% +7%
Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB)
Apple M1 8-Core GPU, Apple M1
60.3 fps ∼86%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1 7-Core GPU, Apple M1
60.1 fps ∼86% 0%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
Apple M1 8-Core GPU, Apple M1
60 fps ∼86% 0%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 (M1, 8 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM)
Apple M1 8-Core GPU, Apple M1
60 fps ∼86% 0%
1920x1080 Aztec Ruins Normal Tier Offscreen
Average of class Desktop
  (17.5 - 493, n=4, last 2 years)
233 fps ∼100% +8%
Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB)
Apple M1 8-Core GPU, Apple M1
215.4 fps ∼92%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 (M1, 8 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM)
Apple M1 8-Core GPU, Apple M1
214.4 fps ∼92% 0%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
Apple M1 8-Core GPU, Apple M1
207 fps ∼89% -4%
Average Apple M1 8-Core GPU
  (177 - 215, n=6)
202 fps ∼87% -6%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1 7-Core GPU, Apple M1
192 fps ∼82% -11%

Gaming performance

Games can definitely be run smoothly on the Mac Mini if you refrain from using high resolutions and maximum detail levels. In addition, older titles should be preferred since they tend to run better. On the other hand, the latest triple-A games should be avoided. The M1 has no problems with the titles included in Apple's Arcade selection.

The performance that can be expected in different games can be seen in our GPU Games article.

Borderlands 3 - 1280x720 Very Low Overall Quality (DX11)
Average of class Desktop
  (52.5 - 197, n=4, last 2 years)
148 fps ∼100% +182%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 (M1, 8 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM)
Apple M1, Apple M1 8-Core GPU
56.7 fps ∼38% +8%
Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB)
Apple M1, Apple M1 8-Core GPU
52.49 fps ∼35%
Average Apple M1 8-Core GPU
  (30.4 - 56.7, n=3)
46.5 fps ∼31% -11%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1, Apple M1 7-Core GPU
45.2 fps ∼31% -14%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
Apple M1, Apple M1 8-Core GPU
30.4 fps ∼21% -42%
Total War: Three Kingdoms - 1280x720 Low (incl textures)
Average of class Desktop
  (15.2 - 430, n=5, last 2 years)
257 fps ∼100% +157%
Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB)
Apple M1, Apple M1 8-Core GPU
100.1 fps ∼39%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 (M1, 8 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM)
Apple M1, Apple M1 8-Core GPU
100 fps ∼39% 0%
Average Apple M1 8-Core GPU
  (93.4 - 100, n=3)
97.8 fps ∼38% -2%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1, Apple M1 7-Core GPU
95.2 (88min - 102max) fps ∼37% -5%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
Apple M1, Apple M1 8-Core GPU
93.4 fps ∼36% -7%
Shadow of the Tomb Raider - 1280x720 Lowest Preset
Average of class Desktop
  (7 - 248, n=6, last 2 years)
138 fps ∼100% +116%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 (M1, 8 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM)
Apple M1, Apple M1 8-Core GPU
78 fps ∼57% +22%
Average Apple M1 8-Core GPU
  (64 - 78, n=3)
69.3 fps ∼50% +8%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
Apple M1, Apple M1 8-Core GPU
66 fps ∼48% +3%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1, Apple M1 7-Core GPU
65 (46min - 129max) fps ∼47% +2%
Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB)
Apple M1, Apple M1 8-Core GPU
64 fps ∼46%
low med. high ultra
Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2018) 64 45 43 38 fps
Total War: Three Kingdoms (2019) 100.1 32.2 20.3 15 fps
Borderlands 3 (2019) 52.49 32.5 19.03 fps

Emissions and energy - Frugal and silent

Noise emissions

The Mac Mini with the M1 is equipped with a fan, but it remains inaudible at all times, even under load. This means that Apple's mini PC can be operated silently.

Temperature

Heat map under load - Back
Heat map under load - Back

According to our measurements, the surfaces of the Mac Mini only heat up to a moderate degree. With a maximum of 35.7 °C (~96 °F), Apple's mini PC never gets hot, and therefore, it can be touched at all times without any problems.

Max. Load
 33.5 °C
92 F
34.7 °C
94 F
34.9 °C
95 F
 
 33.2 °C
92 F
35.7 °C
96 F
35.6 °C
96 F
 
 31.5 °C
89 F
32 °C
90 F
32.3 °C
90 F
 
Maximum: 35.7 °C = 96 F
Average: 33.7 °C = 93 F
30.9 °C
88 F
29.5 °C
85 F
30.3 °C
87 F
29.9 °C
86 F
26.8 °C
80 F
28.9 °C
84 F
30.2 °C
86 F
29.6 °C
85 F
29.3 °C
85 F
Maximum: 30.9 °C = 88 F
Average: 29.5 °C = 85 F
Room Temperature 21.3 °C = 70 F | Fluke t3000FC (calibrated), Voltcraft IR-900
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 33.7 °C / 93 F, compared to the average of 28.4 °C / 83 F for the devices in the class Desktop.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 35.7 °C / 96 F, compared to the average of 33.3 °C / 92 F, ranging from 25 to 47 °C for the class Desktop.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 30.9 °C / 88 F, compared to the average of 33.6 °C / 92 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 24.6 °C / 76 F, compared to the device average of 28.4 °C / 83 F.
Heat map in idle usage - Top
Heat map in idle usage - Top
Heat map in idle usage - Bottom
Heat map in idle usage - Bottom
Heat map under load - Top
Heat map under load - Top
Heat map under load - Bottom
Heat map under load - Bottom

Speaker

Apple has installed a single internal speaker in the Mac Mini. It reaches a medium volume level and offers a sound spectrum dominated by high tones. Overall, it's more suitable for signaling system events, and it shouldn't be used for reproducing media content.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2031262525.8323127.832.24034.533.35033.534.66330.330.48033.933.410023.928.512525.437.31602444.620022.948.425021.849.831518.75340017.345.350016.643.263015.158.480014.866.7100014.171.8125013.164.6160012.962.5200012.664.9250012.861.7315012.866.8400012.76550001368.6630012.866.6800012.966.91000012.969.11250012.764.41600012.759.8SPL26.478.3N0.941.6median 13.1median 62.5Delta3.28.735.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6median 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseApple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB)Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB) audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (78.3 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 18.9% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 7.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (12.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 4.1% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (18.1% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 40% of all tested devices in this class were better, 40% similar, 20% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 18%, worst was 38%
Compared to all devices tested
» 34% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 58% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 20%, worst was 65%

Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 2% of all tested devices in this class were better, 1% similar, 97% worse
» The best had a delta of 7%, average was 19%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 2% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 97% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 20%, worst was 65%

Energy consumption

Our measurements show that the Mac Mini can consume up to 40.2 watts under load. However, this is an absolute peak value that is very rarely reached in everyday use, even under intensive load. The average power consumption is approximately 20 watts under load. A maximum of 4.4 watts is reached in our idle scenario.

According to Apple, the internal power supply can consume up to 150 watts, which is a sufficiently high capacity.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.12 / 0.6 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 4.2 / / 4.4 Watt
Load midlight 19.9 / 40.2 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Currently we use the Metrahit Energy, a professional single phase power quality and energy measurement digital multimeter, for our measurements. Find out more about it here. All of our test methods can be found here.

Energy consumption during The Witcher 3 / Stress test

051015202530354011.917.418.918.418.419.118.418.118.818.220.81919.619.218.518.418.218.419.418.118.218.118.118.118.318.319.318.118.41818.618.618.118.318.61914.115.319.618.818.41919.119.216.420.319.12018.417.920.81918.320.820.815.819.219.521.316.420.419.421.22024.318.819.920.319.51818.715.914.320.719.82019.620.721.720.121.120.119.619.420.512.517.918.618.720.619.319.319.818.224.919.21919.520.12121.217.818.118.620.821.619.720.324.521.423.720.822.223.522.922.820.523.623.721.921.923.821.222.421.121.323.221.822.215.322.321.722.123.420.520.419.621.620.911.917.418.918.418.419.118.418.118.818.220.81919.619.218.518.418.218.419.418.118.218.118.118.118.318.319.318.118.41818.618.618.118.318.61914.115.319.618.818.41919.119.216.420.319.12018.417.920.81918.320.820.815.819.219.521.316.420.419.421.22024.318.819.920.319.51818.715.914.320.719.82019.620.721.720.121.120.119.619.420.512.517.918.618.720.619.319.319.818.224.919.21919.520.12121.217.818.118.620.821.619.720.324.521.423.720.822.223.522.922.820.523.623.721.921.923.821.222.421.121.323.221.822.215.322.321.722.123.420.520.419.621.620.934.834.834.83534.934.833.23434.332.733.733.733.933.733.632.734.93535.235.335.335.135.135.435.334.934.736.636.336.136.236.235.736.436.236.235.935.635.635.735.635.636.1363636.434.835.735.435.335.135.235.234.434.834.734.634.534.534.835.235.936.236.136.336.135.935.835.636.13635.735.635.635.735.63538.135.635.735.435.735.936.235.334.634.234.434.535.135.13535.234.934.834.733.934.434.633.934.63534.634.934.734.734.63535.13535.235.435.635.234.934.734.634.934.734.834.93534.834.633.534.634.735.433.634.2343433.834.434.534.734.934.935.435.1353534.935.735.635.235.335.935.93636.136.136.136.235.934.834.834.934.934.934.935.435.435.835.4363636.536.13635.835.935.835.735.435.735.93635.835.835.635.935.93635.831.335.635.835.735.835.935.936.336.236.229.240.234.935.435.135.235.435.935.935.235.635.73636.436.536.536.736.737.136.736.335.737.337.237.537.537.637.637.637.637.437.137.337.237.43837.837.636.93736.835.5Tooltip
; Witcher 3 ultra: Ø19.6 (11.9-24.9)
; 1280x720 Prime95 28.10 and Furmark 1.25: Ø35.4 (29.2-40.2)

Pros

+ very good performance
+ two Thunderbolt 3 ports
+ robust case
+ inaudible even with the fan running

Cons

- no maintenance options
- Wi-Fi 6 only operates at 80 MHz and is therefore relatively slow
- emulation of x86 applications can be unstable

Verdict - M1 performance at an entry-level price

In review: Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB). Test device provided by Apple Germany
In review: Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 Entry (M1, 8GB). Test device provided by Apple Germany

As mentioned before, the Mac Mini is best suited for using it with your own or already existing accessories. The M1's very good performance, which practically matches that of a MacBook Pro, is added on top of that. MacOS as well as natively available applications run smoothly, offering an overall very good performance.

The Apple Mac Mini delivers the performance of a MacBook Pro, while only costing a little over half as much.

Compared directly with other mini PCs, such as the Intel NUC11PAQi7, the Apple Mac Mini with the M1 always proves to be the better model. Only its build is now slightly larger than that of the competition.

Price and availability

At the time of writing, you can find the Apple Mac Mini in our test configuration on Amazon for $659 ($40 off).

Pricecompare

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Mike Wobker
Editor of the original article: Mike Wobker - Senior Tech Writer - 424 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017
I carried out my first IT experiments with a 386-based system and a whole 4 MB RAM. This was followed by work on various PCs and laptops that I maintained and repaired for friends and acquaintances. After training to become a Telecommunications Systems Technician and gaining a few years of experience, I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering. Currently, I pursue my fascination for IT, technology, and mobile devices by writing reviews and articles for Notebookcheck. I have also worked for Gamestar, Netzwelt, and Golem, among others.
contact me via: @mornoc_mw, Xing
Stephanie Chamberlain
Translator: Stephanie Chamberlain - Translator - 409 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2020
I've been fascinated with technology ever since I got my very first Android smartphone, which was quite a while ago. The power packed into such a small footprint still amazes me. Learning to program made my understanding of technology deeper, and at the same time, it expanded my interest to the area of desktop computers and laptops. All this led me to enjoy reading and watching reviews of new devices, and that's how I stumbled upon Notebookcheck. I immediately found their reviews to be very comprehensive, and luckily, I've even had the chance of translating them since 2019. When it comes to the huge field of technology, I'm currently also interested in specializing in Java programming.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Apple Mac Mini Late 2020 in review: The most affordable M1 is also convincing
Mike Wobker, 2021-09-15 (Update: 2021-09-15)