Is the Mac Mini (M1 2020) more powerful than the MacBook Pro 16-inch? In short, that depends on your use case. In fact, the latest Mac Mini has some novel technologies, yet the pocket function doesn’t override the powerful MacBook Pro. Here is our MacBook Pro 16-inch vs M1 Mac Mini ultimate showdown.

Apple’s new technology:

Apple has been designing new technology and integrating them into their newest devices. From macOS Big Sur to iOS 14. Let’s see some of their newest accomplishments.

  1. macOS Big Sur: With this update, Safari remains the fastest browser available. Now, users can customize many aspects of the app, making it a more personalized experience.
  2. Mac Catalyst: Now, developers can bring their iPad apps to the Mac. Mac Catalyst apps when using Big Sur automatically inherit the new look. It also provided the developers with powerful new APIs and absolute control over the look and behavior of their apps.
  3. iOS 14: The newest version of iOS has some great new features that include an App Library and intelligent surface apps.
  4. Apps Clips: They are designed to be discovered as the users need them. It can load a small part of an app for a very specific task such as renting a vehicle, getting coffee, or even filling a parking meter.

MacBook Pro 16-inch vs M1 Mac Mini – Overview

The latest MacBook Pro released by Apple was the 16-inch computer in November 2019. Many believe that by now, a newer version should have been released, and hoping for it to happen in the near future.

The MacBook Pro was quite a release at the time, introducing novel technology, like the magic keyboard, a new GPU, and the ability to upgrade from a 4GB Radeon Pro 5500M to an 8GB AMD Radeon Pro 5600M, making the laptop up to 75 % faster than with the previous RAM. 

Taking into account all of the wonders Apple did to this MacBook, is it possible that the Mac Mini can surpass its predecessor? Let’s take a look and decide.

MacBook Pro 16-inch vs M1 Mac Mini

The MacBook Pro released in 2019 and the Mac Mini from 2020 have some major differences. The three main distinctions are related to their power, speed, storage, design, and price.

Power: 

  • The MacBook Pro has up to fours options all using Intel CPUs:
Processor
2.6GHz 6-core Intel Core i72.3GHz 8-core Intel Core i9
2.4GHz 8-core Intel Core i9Turbo Boost up to 5.0GHz
  • The Mac Mini uses the new M1 chip:
System on Chip (SoC)
Apple M1 chip8-core CPU with 4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores
8-core GPU16-core Neural Engine
  • The newly released M1 chip has been designed by Apple to use on their products. They advertised it as the fastest and best CPU in existence. The main differences include an 8-core CPU and integrated 8-core GPU in the M1 chip. 
  • When testing the MacBook Pro’s higher-end model, the ones priced at $2799 we get some interesting results. The 16-inch model earned a single score of 989 and a multi-score of 6733.
  • The Mac Mini surprisingly scores higher with a single score of more than 1700 and a multi-score of around 7600.
MacBook Pro 16-inch vs M1 Mac Mini
  • Apple assures that their M1 chip is up to 2.8x faster than the Intel chip on any basic MacBook Pro, and the benchmark reports prove it. However, there are a few extra things to take into account when looking into a computer’s power performance. The new CPU technology surpasses that of Intel, but the lack of graphics cards truly takes a toll on the Mac Mini’s overall performance when compared with the MacBook Pro.

Speed:

  • When talking about the speed, we need to refer to the memory and possibly to the integrated graphics.
MacBook Pro 16-inch vs M1 Mac Mini
  • The MacBook Pro has a wide option of Graphics available, yet the Mac Mini has none:
MacBook Pro 16 inch
Intel UHD Graphics 630 (all configurations)AMD Radeon Pro 5300M with 4GB of GDDR6 memoryAMD Radeon Pro 5500M with 4GB of GDDR6 memory
AMD Radeon Pro 5500M with 8GB of GDDR6 memoryAMD Radeon Pro 5600M with 8GB of HBM2 memory
  • The Ram options for the MacBook Pro range from: 16GB up to 64Gb
  • The memory available for the Mac Mini is reduced to 8 GB and 16Gb.

All in the MacBook Pro is potentially faster, not only because it has the possibility to upgrade to a higher RAM capacity, but because it has integrated Graphics.

Storage

  • The MacBook Pro has from 512Gb SSD up to 8TB SSD of storage capacity.
  • The Mac Mini starts at 256GB SSD but only can upgrade up to 2TB SSD.

The MacBook Pro comes out victorious once more with the potential of large storage capacity.

Design

  • The design of both computers, the MacBook Pro and the Mac Mini are wildly different and serve different purposes.
  • The MacBook Pro is meant to be the substitute of a powerful desktop computer in the form of a laptop
  • On the other hand, the Mac Mini is a compact desktop computer. The main purpose is to be small and easy to travel with. 
  • While the Mac Mini is smaller (at 3.6cmx19.7cmx19.7cm vs 1.62cmx 35.79cmx 24.95cm) and lighter (at 1.2kg vs. 2.0kg), the difference is small enough to make the more powerful competitor a wiser choice.

Price

  • The Mac Mini is much cheaper at a starting price of $699, with the priciest option being of $1099. The MacBook Pro’s price can reach up to $2799, and the most inexpensive option costs $2099.
  • If we consider that the Mac Mini is cheaper by at least $1500 then it may look like the best choice to pick. However, the price of the MacBook Pro comes with some noticeable upgrades and features that make it worth every dollar.

MacBook Pro 16-inch vs M1 Mac Mini – The Bottom Line

For all purposes, the MacBook Pro 16-inch is the absolute winner. Is it older? Yes. Is it up-to-date with the newest technology? Not really. However, the laptop was built to mimic all of the features of a desktop computer, and they did a great job. On the other hand, the compact Mac Mini was a reduced desktop computer, meant to do the most basic jobs.

The Mac Mini has the M1 chips and the newest macOS Big Sur but still lacks the power to surpass the MacBook Pro. The RAM and storage ability is higher for the laptop. The ability to be a standalone computer with a screen and battery life makes for a better investment if the purpose of usage is traveling or moving around. 

The Mac Mini is cheaper than the 2019 MacBook by more than $1500. Even though we still recommend purchasing the older computer if power, speed, and high performance is what you desire.

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