[Teardown] Late 2020 Mac mini: Apple Silicon M1, Thunderbolt 4, USB4, PCIe 4.0
@eightarmedpet, If I didn't have the 2018 i5 Mac mini, I'd buy the Intel version over M1 one. This is the first generation of a brand new architecture. While you see the performance benchmarks praising the new chip, I think it's skewed. Taking this unit apart was clear evidence the current design is a convenient shell that didn't require new tooling. The next Apple Silicon Mac mini with a redesign is the one to buy.
@mac_editor, Please feel free to make updates to the OP with your findings. I got a couple hours after work yesterday to do teardown and photos. Not much time to use it yet.
@itsage, I am writing up a separate post as there's lot of info to cover. Your teardown looks neat as it is so I wouldn't want to change its scope.
@leovinus, They're stock wallpapers in macOS Big Sur. They remind me of driving through Pacific Coastal Highway. Beautiful scenery through there!
Luxmark reports the speed of the M1's GPU as 1000Mhz.
I tested the M1 with 8GB memory.
Photoshop (Intel) performance is working well with very large TIFF photos. I didn't notice any lag there and I am a very fussy b'stard.
Lightroom and Premiere should work fine because they both use low res proxies in the viewport by default.
I next did an After Effects stress test using raw videos shot in S-Log with a Lut applied to the large comp. There are 66 layers in this comp, that would be too much for any machine with less than 32GB of memory. So I made only two layers visible. Playback after caching was OK but not smooth. Also, there was a large 6GB swap file so 8GB of memory is obviously not going to be suitable for any serious After Effects work. 16GB minimum should be for simple projects. 32GB minimum for real professional work.
@itsage, oof, I imagined it'd be faster, bc PCIe 4.0 and apple's "twice as fast ssd* *conditions apply" lingo, but hey, that's a data point we have now, thanks.
@itsage, people are saying it can do 5K on an LG UltraFine 5K display but I don't believe it because you can only connect one display to a Thunderbolt port of an M1 Mac.
Is it possible it can do 5K with dual link SST but not do two separate displays?
Do you have a Thunderbolt to Dual DisplayPort adapter and a dual cable 5K display to test?
The usual methods of checking the output resolution (AGDCDiagnose and SwitchResX) do not work on the M1 Mac. Is there a "log show" predicate that can show the info? #2,043
@joevt, I don't think M1 Macs are able to power the 1st gen LG 5K UltraFine at full resolution. I tested with a Thunderbolt 3 to dual DisplayPort adapter to two DP monitors and only one would work. I will test with the HP Z27q (a dual DP monitor) next. My guess is it will work at 4K@60Hz only.
@itsage, Why would the second gen LG UltraFine 5K be any different? As far as I know, neither gen has a single DisplayPort connection 5K mode, even if you lower the refresh rate to 30 Hz.