It's been two weeks since I bought my Mac mini with the M2 Pro chip. Since then I've been using it to develop software projects, for my freelance document management and also to edit the videos that I upload to YouTube and Odysee.
As soon as it arrived, the first thing I did when I opened it was to run all the benchmarks that you could see two weeks ago, my goal at that time was to be as objective as possible, give real data backed by tests between the old Mac mini with M1 chip and this new Mac mini with the M2 Pro chip. This time my intention is the opposite: in this article I am going to give you my 100% subjective opinion of how I feel about this product. I will explain what has gone well for me, what has gone wrong and in general my opinion about this new Apple machine.
A lot of power in an extra small format
I am going to start with what I think is most obvious: this machine is very powerful, and I make this judgment taking into account its size and price. While it is true that other mini-computers on the market also perform very well, this Mac Mini with M2 Pro is capable of developing high workloads quickly, and efficiently, without crashing and keeping the system fluid at all times.
Specifically, what I have been able to verify is that I can carry out all the software compilations that I do every day without problems. Although it is true that with the old Mac Mini M1 I could also carry out these tasks, with this new M2 Pro I have cut a few seconds in the compilation times in general, it also gives me the feeling that the system is more fluid; that applications open, close, and generally respond with better timing than before.
You may be wondering if this level of efficiency isn't also possible with the model that has the base M2 chip; the truth is that I don't know because this blog is small and I don't have enough budget to buy so many machines, but what I do know is that this machine with M2 Pro does not disappoint in this regard.
What about temperature and noise?
Some of you asked me in my previous article about how hot this machine was getting when doing all those load tests. You were also interested in the noise level.
In this regard, I can tell you that I have not been able at any time to significantly heat the chassis of the device or to make the fan turn on.
My typical working scenario is: I have the browser open with several tabs, I also have some IDEs like Android Studio and Xcode open at the same time, and I also have other programs like Slack. Then I work on my programming tasks, with code executions, code analysis, compilations, etc. Even working in this way, which is not the most intense in the world, that is true, but it is not that it is a light load; even so at no time have I noticed this Mac mini overheating. Regarding the fan, more of the same, completely silent at all times.
It's fair to say that the same can be said of my previous Mac mini M1. I only managed to heat it and turn on the fan on one occasion: when I tried to run Unreal Engine (running on top of the Rosseta 2 translation layer). Although yes, this old M1 was not as fluid or finished tasks as quickly as this M2 Pro. And we must attribute all this to the enormous efficiency of Apple Silicon with its ARM architecture.
Size and I/O
Regarding the size and format of the device, I have little to say that is not already known to everyone. Apple has repurposed the chassis from past Mac minis in this one too...and honestly, that doesn't sound like a bad decision to me.
Although there are indeed many people who seem to be very interested in product redesigns, I do not usually pay attention to those things. What matters to me is that what I buy works well, fulfills its mission, and allows me to carry out my work in the most efficient way possible. And as long as the machine I buy can achieve this, Apple can maintain this design for another 100 years.
As for the rear ports, this version with the M2 Pro comes with the same ports as the M1 and M2 but with 2 additional USB-C ports. I admit that it is a great addition, it does not affect me personally since I do not have much to connect, but it is always positive and welcome to have more options to connect peripherals. Today I have little to connect... but who knows tomorrow...
The conclusion I draw is mostly positive, I have little to criticize this machine based on the work I do with it. It's powerful, silent and cold. With very low power consumption, many ports to connect things to, and a fluid operating system that allows me to work without problems. Even so, we will see how it ages over time and with use.
So far my quick 100% subjective review of this Mac mini with M2 Pro chip after having used it daily for two weeks. Thanks for reading this far, and happy coding :)