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Apple details the power consumption savings of the M1 in the Mac Mini compared to previous models

The Apple M1 in the Mac mini consumes considerably less power than its Intel and PowerPC-based predecessors. (Image source: Apple)
The Apple M1 in the Mac mini consumes considerably less power than its Intel and PowerPC-based predecessors. (Image source: Apple)
We already know that the Apple M1 SoC offers substantial performance and battery life improvements compared to Intel-powered MacBooks. However, Apple has shared the rated-power consumption of the M1 in the Mac mini, providing comparisons between the ARM chipset and chipsets back to the PowerPC G4.
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The Apple M1 has already held its own in our reviews of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, shining compared to Intel-powered MacBooks with its excellent performance and low power consumption. Additionally, Apple has updated its Mac mini power consumption and thermal (BTU) support document, providing comparisons between the M1 SoC and older Mac mini machines.

According to Apple, the M1 in the new Mac mini idles at 6.8 W, which we have rounded to 7 W in our table. Power consumption peaks at 39 W, while heat output varies between 23.2 and 133 BTU/h. Hence, a large gap in power consumption and thermal output exists between the M1 and the Core i7 processor in the Mac mini 2018, for example. Many older Mac mini models have lower power consumption than the 2018 edition, but none can match the latest version's efficiency with its in-house chipset.

It is worth emphasising that while the latter is a desktop-class processor, the Apple M1 in the Mac mini is a laptop-class one. Nonetheless, outperforms the Apple M1 outperforms the Core i7-8700B in the 2018 Mac mini by over 50% in benchmark sequences like Geekbench. Bring on the Apple Silicon chipset with 32 cores.

Model Power Consumption (Idle) Power Consumption (Load) Waste heat (Idle, BTU/h) Waste heat (load, BTU/h)
Mac mini 2020 (M1) 7 W 39 W 23 133
Mac mini 2018 (Intel Core i7, 6 cores) 20 W 122 W 68 417
Mac mini 2014 (Intel Core i5, 2 cores) 6 W 85 W 20 290
Mac mini 2012 (Intel Core i7, 4 cores) 11 W 85 W 38 290
Mac mini 2011 (Intel Core i5, 2 cores) 11 W 85 W 38 290
Mac mini 2010 (Intel Core 2 Duo, 2 cores) 10 W 85 W 34 290
Mac mini 2009 (Intel Core 2 Duo, 2 cores) 13 W 110 W 44 376
Mac mini 2007 (Intel Core 2 Duo, 2 cores) 23 W 110 W 79 376
Mac mini 2006 (Intel Core Single, 1 Core) 23 W 110 W 79 376
Mac mini 2005 (PowerPC G4, 1 core) 32 W 85 W 110 290
The M1 Mac mini outperforms its predecessors by a wide margin, despite its improved power efficiency. (Image source: Geekbench via 9to5Mac)
The M1 Mac mini outperforms its predecessors by a wide margin, despite its improved power efficiency. (Image source: Geekbench via 9to5Mac)
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Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - Senior Tech Writer - 4593 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2018
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.
contact me via: @aldersonaj
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 01 > Apple details the power consumption savings of the M1 in the Mac Mini compared to previous models
Alex Alderson, 2021-01-29 (Update: 2021-01-29)