Apple could be testing an M3 Mac Mini with 24 GB of RAM

Aug 7, 2023

Apple has a new version of its Mini desktop in the works. The company is reportedly testing a version of the M3 Mac Mini with 24 GB of RAM.

The news comes via Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The current gen Mac Mini, i.e., the M2 Mac Mini has an 8-core CPU and a 10-core GPU, with a 16?core Neural Engine. The device has 8 GB of unified memory (RAM), and a 256 GB SSD. The base model of the Mac Mini carries a price tag of $599.

(Mac Mini M2 image used for reference)

Apple is testing an M3 Mac Mini

Gurman writes in his PowerOn newsletter saying that Apple's next-gen mini computer will be powered by an M3 chip, and its CPU will retain the 8 cores, four of which are performance cores, while the other 4 are efficiency cores. The M3 Mac Mini will also have a graphics processor with 10-cores. The key difference between its predecessor and the upcoming system is that the latter reportedly has 24 GB of RAM.

This does not mean that the 24 GB version would be the base model of the M3 Mac Mini, as the switch from 8 GB to 24 GB could result in a significant price increase. And, it is worth noting that Apple does sell an M2 Mac Mini with 24 GB of RAM, which is the top-end version of the computer. The model in question costs a whopping $1,499, that is around 2.5x the price of the entry-level model. Apple has had a tough year with Mac sales this year, and the company admitted in a recent earning call that revenue from Mac sales could see a steep decline in the Q4, it may drop to as low as a double-digit percentage. That may come as a surprise, considering the recent launch of the 15-inch MacBook Air M2 which has been received warmly by buyers. But, really, it translates to people holding on to their older devices for longer.

Macs are expensive but not exactly upgradable, so on paper, it may make sense if Apple wants to throw in some upgrades to the hardware to attract more buyers. If the company does want to improve its sales numbers, it can't possibly switch to a more expensive build for the M3 Mac Mini's starter model. That's why I think the M3 Mac Mini with 24 GB of unified memory will probably be one of the pricier offerings. That said, 8 GB of memory is too low for modern standards, I do hope that Apple offers 16 GB RAM in the base model. The M3 chip, which will have the same number of CPU and GPU cores as the M2, is said to offer a substantial upgrade in terms of performance. The M3 SoC is built on a 3 nm process as opposed to the M2 which is manufactured with a 5 nm, so the battery life is also likely better on the newer chipset.

Interestingly, the report mentions that the upcoming model runs on macOS Sonoma 14.1, which is a surprise considering that the next version of the operating system is yet to be released. Apple is expected to announce the first M3 Mac in October, which is when the fiscal year for 2024 begins. This is likely the timeline when macOS Sonoma 14 will be released on a general basis.

So far, we have seen reports about a 13-inch and a 15-inch MacBook Air M3, a 15-inch and a 16-inch MacBook Pro M3, an M3 iMac, an M3 Pro, an and an M3 Max. Of course, there will be different versions of each model with higher CPU and GPU core counts, additional RAM and storage. There's no denying the fact that the Cupertino company has a strong lineup planned for the next gen.

Apple could be testing an M3 Mac Mini with 24 GB of RAM
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Apple could be testing an M3 Mac Mini with 24 GB of RAM
Apple is testing a Mac Mini with 24 GB of RAM and macOS 14.1 Sonoma.
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  1. bruh said on August 10, 2023 at 6:17 pm

    There is such a niche of things you can run on an “apple silicon” (cringe term) mac – what is the point, really?

    I recently acquired a mint condition E6410 – talk about premium! Sure it’s heavier, and the screen is not as high quality (I am comparing this to my 2017 macbook), but man, it feels like a privilege to use it. Dell had a professional line of laptops, I think called “Precision” (which the E6410 is not from), and I am just sick of the argument that only apple make quality hardware.

    I know these are two random products to compare, but I will anyway: both have near enough equal cooling, the Dell has a better switch/over from speakers to headphone jack (near instant, you lose zero audio) whereas the Apple takes a full second to get it’s bearings straight. Both have nice light-up keyboards, the dell has a nicer keyboard, the Mac has a nicer touchpad, and more powerful speakers, whilst the dell has a latching lid, and way more ports on it.

    I just hate how Apple has been deemed most premium, when many companies used to make nice, not janky, products, Dell is one such company, Acer too, and Thinkpads also used to be amazing.

  2. John G. said on August 8, 2023 at 2:07 am

    Thanks @Ashwin for the article! :]

  3. Mener said on August 7, 2023 at 11:40 pm

    “so the battery life is also likely better on the newer chipset” .What battery in Mini !?

  4. Kaz Packman said on August 7, 2023 at 7:59 am

    Unless Apple makes the memory upgradable on their Mac Mini computers again, I’m not buying it. I got burned by the M1 capping out at 16GB and its memory not being upgradable unlike the last Intel model, which had upgradable RAM. In fact, I’m in the process of selling my M1 Mac Mini to buy the last Intel model to replace it. Once Apple completely pulls the plug on Intel, I’m done with Macs personally. I refuse to support hardware that the user can’t upgrade or repair.

    1. Ashwin said on August 8, 2023 at 5:56 am

      Apple has dropped Intel completely. I was listening to their latest earnings call a couple of days ago. Tim Cook announced that the transition to Apple Silicon is complete.

    2. John G. said on August 8, 2023 at 1:50 am

      Anyway 16Gb should be enough for any M1 hardware. However you should know that a Mac is a Mac by its own wonderful reasons, like having and incredible designed hardware inside. Yes, the best reason is the best hardware you can afford with your money. Some days ago I have seen a Mac working perfectly after almost 20 years of intense use, like the very first day of use. It was an amazing iMac G3 (running the good PowerPC G3 233 MHz, 32 MB RAM, 4 GB hard disk, 15” screen and Mac OS 8.6 I think). It leaves the performance of W11 in a pure joke.

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