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Desktop Mac buying guide: Mac mini, Mac Studio or Mac Pro?

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Want to buy a bare-bones desktop Mac without a built-in display? The offer is currently rich with three very different models offered by Apple. To help you choose, here is a buying guide for the current range, from the Mac mini M1 to the Mac Pro, including the all-new Mac Studio.

The three desktop Macs currently offered by Apple.

Mac mini: the perfect desktop Mac for most uses

The Mac mini hasn’t been physically transformed by the Apple M1 chip, it’s the same design as the 2010 Mac mini, minus the CD drive slot. We can regret this weak exterior evolution, but it is the chip designed by Apple that has transformed the smallest Mac, which is no longer mini in terms of performance. The transition has done a world of good to the computer, which has gained in performance on all fronts and lost in consumption, noise and heat compared to the old Intel models.

The Mac mini M1 in action.

For simple tasks that rely on just one CPU core at a time, the Mac mini is the most powerful Mac in this buying guide, tied with the Mac Studio and ahead of the Mac Pro. Its chip naturally gives way for complex tasks that rely on several CPU cores and on the graphics chip, but we must not lose sight of the fact that in simple use, office type, it will do as well or even better than other Macs. this selection.

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The Mac mini has its discretion on its side, in every sense of the word. Even if it is filled with emptiness and could be even more compact, it remains discreet on a desk corner with its 20 cm side and 3.6 cm high. And with a weight just over a kilo, you can even consider carrying it with you. It is also discreet in terms of sound, with a fan that is forgotten, even in intensive use. And with a base price of 799 €, it is the one that will do the least harm to the wallet.

Which doesn’t mean it’s a no-holds-barred Mac. It imposes several limits to keep in mind, especially in terms of connectivity. Apple cleaned up the back of the Mac mini M1 and there’s not much left, but that’s not gratuitous malice, it’s because of the limitations imposed by the M1 chip. Thus, the computer can only manage a maximum of two screens, one in HDMI (4K maximum) and a second in Thunderbolt / USB-C (6K maximum). If you need more, there are solutions, but it’s DIY.

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