New “High-End” Mac Mini With Apple’s M1X SoC to Launch In a Couple Months
According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple is set to launch a high-end Mac Mini with its cutting edge M1X SoC in the “next several months.” Now, this is quite an important bit of news, and that holds true for both Apple aficionados and devoted hardware enthusiasts.
The reason why is rather simple: Apple’s M1 SoC is nothing short of awe-inspiring. The things this venerable company has been able to accomplish and the power it has been able to cram inside such a small chip (one that can be passively cooled, no less) is simply astounding. One might even say “revolutionary” but we won’t go that far (at least not yet).
Apple’s M1X, therefore, will build upon a supremely potent foundation, and the fact that it’ll adorn the upcoming Mac Mini should come as no surprise. If the rumor mill is to be believed, it’ll pack twice as many high-performance cores (eight instead of four) while also retaining its four high-efficiency cores for those less intensive workloads.
Its GPU, however, is what interests us the most. Apple will reportedly double the number of GPU cores from eight to a whopping sixteen and will even have a 32-core variant for its Mac Pro line-up. Now, Apple and gaming don’t really go hand in hand. You can game on a Mac, but you probably shouldn’t — there’s too big of a performance penalty and compatibility issues tend to creep up a bit too often.
Still, if we learned anything from Blizzard’s M1 port of WoW: Shadowlands, it is that games can, in fact, run like a dream on Apple’s ARM-based SoC — assuming they’re ported with care.
So how powerful will the M1X really be in GPU-intensive workloads? You can check out some early estimates down below, courtesy of Dave2D.
Truly Astounding Numbers
These estimates, if true, are nothing short of mind-blowing. Pay close attention to the power consumption — Apple’s silicon draws a meagre amount of power and yet can deliver astounding performance. The 16-core GPU variant of Apple’s M1X could, therefore, perform a fair bit better than AMD’s 5500M which was already a pretty powerful mobile GPU to begin with.
And the best part? It would draw four times less power. Baffling, really.
What Does This Mean For Gaming?
The fact that Blizzard had a day one port of Shadowlands for Apple’s M1 says one thing and one thing only: they’re aware of its potential and the fact that ARM-based SoCs are the future. This future might not be right around the corner, but it is close.
Developers want to board the ARM hype train — they’re just waiting for this technology to become a bit more prevalent and widespread. A Mac Mini with Apple’s M1X could, potentially, usher in an era in which gaming on ARM-based machines isn’t as ludicrous and challenging as it is now. So, naturally, it’s well worth our undivided attention!