Without a doubt my favorite Apple product of 2020 is the new M1 chip in the Apple Silicon Macs. I was fortunate enough to be able to purchase at our nearest Apple Store an M1 Mac mini on the second day of release and had it set up by night for my wife, Ruby. We purchased one with 8GB ram with 512GB of storage. We were unable to get a 16GB version in person.
Ruby has been using a 2015 MacBook Pro as her desktop computer since March of 2017. It is a powerful and capable computer with 16GB ram and a Core i7.
We did not realize what a difference an M1 Mac would make. As with everything Apple, setup was quick and easy. I connected a keyboard, mouse, and two monitors, and powered it up. We simply entered my wife’s iCloud information and all was setup and ready within minutes.
I was truly unprepared for how fast everything is on the M1 Mac mini. Ruby does all the standard computing things such as web browsing, email, etc. The most intensive thing she does is playing World of Warcraft with me.
On day one of the M1 availability, Blizzard Entertainment had a native M1 version of World of Warcraft ready. We downloaded it and the difference in gameplay is astounding. On her MacBook Pro, she would have to play at graphic settings of “3” and could only manage 25 to 29 frames per second.
On the M1 Mac mini, World of Warcraft can be played at max graphic settings, level 10, and still get 75 frames per second most of the time. Like all games, there are areas that tax that, but the game ]play is vastly superior.
The M1 Mac mini has made World of Warcraft a new game for her. She can now see vast distances, and all the graphic improvements in textures and particles made to the game over the years that she has never seen before. No matter how hard we push it, it has never locked up or had to be rebooted.
Ruby uses an Apple Keyboard and a gaming mouse. A 4K 27-inch monitor is her main display with a 22-inch 2K monitor on the right. This is a perfect desktop for her use case and will last for many years.
We have been so impressed, we ordered another M1 Mac mini with 16GB ram and 2TB of storage. She will be returning the original Mac mini and use the new one as her main computer. Since there is double the ram and 2TB of storage, I plan to use it as a server for Time Machine backups, and her media library.
We rarely travel, so we both heavily use desktops. When we do travel I can see the entry level M1 MacBook Air as being a perfect traveling computer, especially since it will be basically as powerful as the Mac mini.
Without hesitation I would buy a M1 Mac mini again. At this point, I have no doubt that my next computer will be some form of an Apple Silicon-based computer. The M1 chip has truly ushered in another era of computing, and it’s a very exciting time to be using Apple products. I currently use the 2017 iMac Pro and eagerly await what Apple Silicon brings to the iMac and Mac Pro systems.
My biggest accolade regarding the M1 Mac mini was when I heard Ruby say, “I love this computer.”