Something to look forward to: The Mac mini has long been a good entry-level Mac for people who wanted a compact desktop computer that runs macOS. Apple introduced an M1 model last year as part of the transition to Apple Silicon, but a more powerful M1X-based model with plenty of ports may be coming later this year.
When Apple announced its first M1-powered Macs last year, the company effectively started its breakup with Intel, leaving the latter understandably bitter about losing one of its big customers in the consumer space. The reasons, however, are perfectly understandable -- M1 Macs have comparable or better performance to that of Intel-based Macs while being more energy-efficient, they don't easily overheat, and Apple saves billions in the process.
However, as much as the first M1 impressed with the ability to hold its own against the current crop of x86 processors for laptops, it also left Apple fans begging for more. The good news is that you won't have to wait much longer to see the second iteration of Apple Silicon -- a so-called "M1X" chipset that could give serious competition to desktop x86 processors from Intel and AMD.
According to a Bloomberg report, a high-end M1X-based Mac mini could arrive in the "next several months." This is important, as Apple supposedly chose to keep an Intel model alongside the M1 Mac mini to cover the needs of people who use it for software development, video editing, or as a server.
Not much is known about the performance of the M1X chipset, but it's widely rumored to offer only slightly better single-core performance, with the biggest gains being in multi-threaded workloads that utilize all cores. At the same time, one variant of the M1X is said to have a 32-core GPU capable of matching the performance of Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU with only half the power cost.
The new Mac mini may also have a redesigned chassis with a plexiglass top cover, as well as more ports. This includes a magnetic power connector akin to the MagSafe port on old MacBooks.