Mac Mini M2 Pro - Should you upgrade as a software developer?
With the arrival of the new wave of Macs announced by Apple a few days ago, one wonders how powerful they will be and if it is worth spending the money to buy a Mac Mini with the M2 chip or even if it would be better to buy the new top range with the new M2 Pro chip.
A few months ago I published an article explaining why I bought a Mac Mini with the old M1 chip late last year. In that article, I made some arguments based on my specific requirements at the time and on the future forecasts that were being considered about when the new Macs would arrive and what price they would have. At that time it was rumored that the new machines would arrive around March and that they could also arrive with a price increase of up to 30%... well, in the end, they arrived much earlier, and not only have they not had a price increase, but just the opposite: the price of the new Mac Minis, even though they are more powerful machines, has gone down.
What to do now?
At this point, you may be wondering if you should upgrade if you already have a Mac Mini M1, or if you don't have one you may be wondering if now is a good time to get these powerful mini-machines. Also, if you want to upgrade or are buying one for the first time, is it worth spending more money to get the new higher-end Mac Mini with an M2 chip?
In this regard, it is interesting to observe a series of leaks circulating on the internet recently about the performance of the M2 chip mounted in the Mac Mini. Let's first recall the scores that the current Mac Mini with an M1 chip gives in the well-known benchmark software Geekbench 5:
Single Core: 1765
These are the results that I have obtained myself by running the test on my machine, which has 16GB of RAM.
According to the information contained in the aforementioned leak, the scores of the new Mac Mini with M2 Pro would be:
These values would indicate an approximate increase of 10% in single-core and 93% in multi-core.
Regarding the performance result at the single-core level, it is quite probable that the observed value ends up being the value that the leak indicates; and we know this because all the cores of the M series chips are the same, the only thing that changes between the different ranges (base, Pro, Max...etc) is, among other things, the number of cores. So, it is quite likely that we will be able to observe this 10% improvement in tasks related to single-core operations.
However, the most interesting result is undoubtedly the multi-core score, where we see that the performance almost doubles. This would be aligned with what Apple exposes precisely about the performance of its new machine:
Note: this image is taken from the official Apple website.
So if all this information is confirmed, we would undoubtedly be facing a qualitative leap of impact in terms of performance with this new Mac Mini with an M2 Pro chip, something that can improve the workflow of many people who use their computers professionally with intensive tasks.
In any case, I've already ordered a Mac Mini with an M2 Pro chip and I intend to put it to the test to see how it performs and to suggest to you whether or not it's worth upgrading. Follow closely the content I publish in this blog because I intend to check how it performs compiling iOS projects, both from the command line and from XCode itself; I'll also check its performance with Android development, run build tests for Flutter as well, even try building the Godot game engine to see how it performs building C++ projects. And these are just some of the examples of what I am going to benchmark and that of course I will bring you this coming week so that you have all the information you need to make a firm decision.
This is all for today, see you next week with the promised material. Happy coding!