I watched the Apple introduciton of the M1 chip in the Mini, and the 13" MacBook Air and MacBook Pro too. @cvdavis
When I went to their website to look into possibly ordering a new computer - Mini or MacBook Air - I found two issues not touched on in the Apple premiere online. One CAN order the M1 chips with internal memory only, and only 8 or 16 Gb. I understand having the memory in the M1 chip shortens the data path dramatically, but most of my machines have at least 32GB or 64Gb of memory - so I wonder how this will affect processing speeds for large image databases, since most of my use is for LightRoom and PhotoShop.
The larger MacBook Pros ( greater than 13 inch I think ) are all still available with multiple Intel CPUs and large amounts of RAM, so I will be curious to see how this all parses out. Greater battery life is nice, but when working at home I have unlimited 110V power.
I have no doubt that the M1 chip will continue to be upgraded and installed across the board in Apples larger iMacs and MacPro towers, but it may take another year or two. The current MacPro can hold 1.5 Tb of RAM and external video cards, so I am eager to see how this all works out - I am quite excited to see Apple join the RISC processor fray, but am not going to abandon my curent Apple iMacs which are only a couple years old just yet.
The raw computer power in Apples iPhone X, XI and 12 is truly remarkable, and I look forward to similar improvements on our desktops in the very near future - a year or two. But that means Adobe and other software vendors will have to keep their software updated as well, and despite what they always say, major hardware changes always seem to experience some minor software glitches that can be annoying for a while.
The future looks very bright for Apple users.
If the RAM and Video built into the M1 chip are fast enough, the Mac Mini might be a real bargain, but like you, I will wait until I see real world comparisons. The prices seem kind of attractive attractive, but will folks really be satisfied with 8Gb RAM these days?
I look forward to some nice reviews against machines with larger RAM and external video cards.