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Apple: Mac Mini M1 Consumes 3X Less Power Than Intel

Apple
(Image credit: Apple)

Just in case you've ever wondered how much your shiny new Apple Mac Mini featuring the M1 SoC consumes in a burn-in test scenario, Apple has disclosed its own official data, and it's impressive.  

Apple finally published its official M1-based Mac Mini power consumption numbers showing that the unit consumes approximately just a third of its Intel-based predecessor's power. When Apple announced the transition to its own system-on-chips, it explained the move with performance, features, and power efficiency its SoCs can deliver without giving away any numbers. Then the company demonstrated some impressive performance figures for its M1-based MacBook Pro machines when it launched them but omitted any direct power-related details. 

The beefed-up 2020 Mac Mini M1 consumes 39W under high load, whereas the beefed-up 2018 Mac Mini with a six-core Intel Core i7 inside can pull 122W of power under load. At idle, a 2020 Mac Mini sucks 7W, whereas its predecessor devours 20W of power. 

Apple

(Image credit: Apple)

Power consumption of the whole system counts in consumption of all of its components, including memory, storage, connectivity controllers (with the new Mac Mini, we're talking about a bunch of chips that includes Apple's own Wi-fi/Bluetooth (and GbE controller) as well as voltage regulation overhead (something we know from 80Plus badges in the non-Apple world). Apple’s measurements are significantly higher than those obtained by AnandTech, which means that Apple indeed uses a burn-in test that stresses all parts of the system, something that arguably happens in any real-world situation. 

In fact, as far as power efficiency is concerned, the 2018 Mac Mini is the most power-hungry Mac Mini ever. Yet it was a quite powerful machine for its time. In fact, with up to 64GB memory onboard, it can still outperform the new M1-based Mac Mini in memory-intensive workloads, which ironically do not really require a lot of CPU horsepower at all times, and therefore its power draw in those workloads will not hit the ceiling demonstrated by Apple’s test. 

One of the interesting parts of the comparison is not exactly Apple's M1 vs Intel's previous-generation CPUs. It is against Apple’s very first generation of Mac Mini based on the single-core G4 processor based on the POWER microarchitecture. That model consumed 32W in idle mode and 85 Watts while being active.

Apple

(Image credit: Apple)
  • everettfsargent
    You have posted the exact same graphic twice, the 2nd time just after this paragraph ...
    "One of the interesting parts of the comparison is not exactly Apple's M1 vs Intel's previous-generation CPUs. It is against Apple’s very first generation of Mac Mini based on the single-core G4 processor based on the POWER microarchitecture. That model consumed 32W in idle mode and 85 Watts while being active. "

    Where I would expect a graphic of comparison with a G4,

    Oh and your 1st two links, neither one drops me into the Apple website benchmarks comparison(s). I end up here https://support.apple.com/?afid=p239%7C221109&cid=aos-us-aff-ir for both.
    Reply
  • drtweak
    I would assume anyone could have figured some of these numbers out just by using a Kill-o-Watt meter lol
    Reply
  • MRHOR
    When are editors going to realize that
    Admin said:
    Apple's minimalistic desktop computer consumes less than 40W of power.

    Apple's Mac Mini M1 Consumes 3X Less Power Than Intel : Read more
    When are editors going to realize that "3X Less Power Than Intel" is physically impossible? 1X less power is 0! Say it uses 1/3 the power of Intel is accurate, saying it uses 2/3 less power is accurate, but 3X less power is impossible!!
    Reply
  • spongiemaster
    MRHOR said:
    When are editors going to realize that

    When are editors going to realize that "3X Less Power Than Intel" is physically impossible? 1X less power is 0! Say it uses 1/3 the power of Intel is accurate, saying it uses 2/3 less power is accurate, but 3X less power is impossible!!
    It's an Apple PC. It's magical. While the Intel system uses 120W, the Apple system generates 240W while running and puts it back into the grid lowering your electric bill.
    Reply
  • MRHOR
    spongiemaster said:
    It's an Apple PC. It's magical. While the Intel system uses 120W, the Apple system generates 240W while running and puts it back into the grid lowering your electric bill.
    Finally! Someone who knows how to do magical math!!
    Reply
  • OriginFree
    Admin said:
    Apple's minimalistic desktop computer consumes less than 40W of power.

    Apple's Mac Mini M1 Consumes 3X Less Power Than Intel : Read more

    Any idea how much power that extra 48GB of memory on the Intel version consumes?
    Reply
  • HungLk
    It is not fair comparison.
    Of course previous generation 14-nano CPU, 64GB RAM system consumes more than 5-nano CPU, 16GB RAM one
    Reply
  • mdd1963
    MRHOR said:
    When are editors going to realize that

    When are editors going to realize that "3X Less Power Than Intel" is physically impossible? 1X less power is 0! Say it uses 1/3 the power of Intel is accurate, saying it uses 2/3 less power is accurate, but 3X less power is impossible!!

    I roll my eyes internally every time I see phrases like '3x less'...; presumably, it is intended to sound more impressive than 'uses 66% less power'?
    Reply
  • mdd1963
    I got in a minor spat online explaining to hardware reviewers how percentages work..and more importantly, do NOT work. It seemed a struggle in trying to explain that if one product is '40% faster', it does NOT/cannot mean the other is '40% slower'. The best example of which, if one product 'A' is 100% faster, then 'Product B' is 50% slower...
    Reply
  • kyzarvs
    MRHOR said:
    When are editors going to realize that

    When are editors going to realize that "3X Less Power Than Intel" is physically impossible? 1X less power is 0! Say it uses 1/3 the power of Intel is accurate, saying it uses 2/3 less power is accurate, but 3X less power is impossible!!
    Thanks - glad it's not just me!
    Reply