Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

Ethosik

Contributor
Original poster
Oct 21, 2009
5,885
4,403
I have been up in the air with replacing my 2019 i9 iMac 128GB of RAM with the new Mac mini. I have tested my 1080p video editing workflow on 8GB and it runs perfectly fine, no difference other than a quick run to the restroom. And to be perfectly honest, coming from my 2010 Mac Pro 6-core 16GB to the 2019 i9 iMac 128GB offered no improvements to my workflow.....NONE. So 9 year difference in CPU technologies was literally no benefits.

The only downside I see is the lack of ports on the newer model. But I can certainly upgrade later if I need to - trade my M1 in for the next one whether it will be in the summer or fall of next year. I definitely prefer a headless Mac. So I could also hold off until the rumored Mac Pro mini.

After seeing this video, I am leaning more towards getting the new Mac mini.


I think I will go with 16GB just in case I need to dive in to some 4K work. Other than that, my tests with my 1080p workflow is fine on 8GB of RAM.

I do not mind losing the screen. What are peoples thoughts on this? The iMac does not have a T2 chip so I think video encoding would be faster with that alone right?
 

pmiles

macrumors 6502a
Dec 12, 2013
742
609
If the Mac mini doesn't give you what you need then I would wait until the other Mac models are announced to see if they offer what you need. It's like saying, I like this car, but it only has 3 tires but you know you need 4.

More Macs are coming and they will 100% absolutely be better than the 3 just offered.

Add to that, the issues that are starting to pop up now that the honeymoon period is wearing off and real world usage is in the mix. You may find that, not only does it not meet your needs, it doesn't even do it consistently without you jumping through additional hoops to make it work.

The real question is, are you looking for some improvements at the expense of other things or are you looking for improvements without sacrificing along the way? The new Macs come with caveats. If your current caveats are worse than what these bring to the table, then it may be worth the transition... if not, wait until something better comes along. Better things are on the horizon... we've only just started that 2 year window.
 

Ethosik

Contributor
Original poster
Oct 21, 2009
5,885
4,403
Well the 2019 i9 iMac, being 9 years later than my 2010 Mac Pro didn't offer any improvements. Will the Mac mini at least match that?
 

pmiles

macrumors 6502a
Dec 12, 2013
742
609
Well the 2019 i9 iMac, being 9 years later than my 2010 Mac Pro didn't offer any improvements. Will the Mac mini at least match that?
The Mac mini us just NEW architecture. It's faster by virtue of everything being on an SoC. ANY SoC would run circles around non-SoC based systems. So is it really leaps and bounds better than what it could be or is it merely better than an architecture which, by design, is inferior to an SoC. If AMD or INTEL had an SoC to compete with Apple's... would Apple's still be seen as faster?

Apple is switching to this architecture on ALL of their systems over the course of the next 2 years. At which time they will all be SoCs... in which their prowess will have to be defined by something other than merely being an SoC. Just what is that metric? We don't know yet. We will over the course of the next 2 years.

If your machines still function adequately, wait. If they curl their toes tomorrow, then get an new M1 Mac. Don't get a new M1 Mac today purely because it's faster than non-SoC Macs... get one because it meets your NEEDs. If it's fast but you have to give up XYZ just for that speed, did you really get an upgrade or a side grade?
 

Ethosik

Contributor
Original poster
Oct 21, 2009
5,885
4,403
The Mac mini us just NEW architecture. It's faster by virtue of everything being on an SoC. ANY SoC would run circles around non-SoC based systems. So is it really leaps and bounds better than what it could be or is it merely better than an architecture which, by design, is inferior to an SoC. If AMD or INTEL had an SoC to compete with Apple's... would Apple's still be seen as faster?

Apple is switching to this architecture on ALL of their systems over the course of the next 2 years. At which time they will all be SoCs... in which their prowess will have to be defined by something other than merely being an SoC. Just what is that metric? We don't know yet. We will over the course of the next 2 years.

If your machines still function adequately, wait. If they curl their toes tomorrow, then get an new M1 Mac. Don't get a new M1 Mac today purely because it's faster than non-SoC Macs... get one because it meets your NEEDs. If it's fast but you have to give up XYZ just for that speed, did you really get an upgrade or a side grade?
The longer I wait, the longer my $5,000 iMac goes without selling and can suffer a recovery of some of the cost. If the new Mac mini is not faster than my iMac which was not faster than the 2010 Mac Pro for the work I do, then is it slower? If its not slower, I can sell my iMac and get the Mac mini and pocket the rest of the money.
 
  • Like
Reactions: pldelisle

doboy

macrumors 68040
Jul 6, 2007
3,481
2,359
I plan to upgrade my 2018 i3 Mini to M1. Apple is offering $330 trade in for 128 GB version that I got for ~$700 so won't lose sleep over it. I also need more storage anyways :)
 

pldelisle

macrumors 68020
May 4, 2020
2,247
1,499
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
The longer I wait, the longer my $5,000 iMac goes without selling and can suffer a recovery of some of the cost. If the new Mac mini is not faster than my iMac which was not faster than the 2010 Mac Pro for the work I do, then is it slower? If its not slower, I can sell my iMac and get the Mac mini and pocket the rest of the money.
100% agree on this.
 

Ethosik

Contributor
Original poster
Oct 21, 2009
5,885
4,403
100% agree on this.
Do you think it would be some improvement? I have heard having the T2 chip will greatly help video editing/compressing. Since my iMac doesn't have one, do you think the Mac mini would be an improvement at all?
 

Tankmaze

macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2012
1,697
338
I'm curious with your 128 GB of RAM, does it still swapping to the hard drive with your current workflow ?
 

CC88

macrumors 6502
Sep 29, 2010
395
70
Sure the MM M1 is a more capable and useful machine than the previous one without an eGPU.

I will go for it in your case. Sell your iMac and go for it.

The only concern is two thunderbolt ports. Too few for me.
 

pldelisle

macrumors 68020
May 4, 2020
2,247
1,499
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Do you think it would be some improvement? I have heard having the T2 chip will greatly help video editing/compressing. Since my iMac doesn't have one, do you think the Mac mini would be an improvement at all?
Downgrading from a 128GB RAM computer to 8GB appears crazy to me. I’d at least give myself a chance and go with the 16GB.

T2 chip improves video exporting for sure. Many, many benchmarks show export times, when using T2, is as fast on a mac mini than a Mac Pro 28 cores. You *must* fit the T2 specs thought, using specific codecs or software that can benefit from it.

IF your workflow shows absolutely no speed improvement between a 5000$ machine and a 1000$ one, you gain no time, no more fun, no more excitement with this 5000$ machine versus a 1000$ one, then of course sell it while you can still have value for it and get the M1 Mini. You will lose the iMac display, but you can always go with the Ultrafine 5K which uses the exact same panel and you will still be far from the 5000$ value.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CC88

theluggage

macrumors 603
Jul 29, 2011
6,429
5,867
Add to that, the issues that are starting to pop up now that the honeymoon period is wearing off and real world usage is in the mix. You may find that, not only does it not meet your needs, it doesn't even do it consistently without you jumping through additional hoops to make it work.

Agree.

What the results so far show is that the M1 Macs are clearly a major improvement over the low-end Macs they replace. It's amazing that you can even think about editing 4k video or smoothy running Lightroom on the cheapest Mac available. However, just because a M1 Mini can nearly match a tricked out 16" MBP or iMac on a synthetic benchmark or quick-n-dirty rendering test, doesn't guarantee that it is ready to replace it on day-to-day realistic workloads, with multiple apps running. Then there are other considerations - like more ports, and support for more than 1-2 external displays. Also, on past performance, it's going to take 6 months to get all the glitches out of Big Sur - the early worm gets the bird. In general, I'd say wait for the "pro" Apple Silicon machines to appear - the performance of the M1 certainly promises great things for the M1X/M2/Multiple-M1 higher-end machines to come.

The longer I wait, the longer my $5,000 iMac goes without selling and can suffer a recovery of some of the cost.

...this is what changes things slightly - the above would be relevant if you actually needed a $5000 iMac for your work, but it sounds like you bought seriously more hardware than you needed, and want to cash it in and "downsize" anyway. It is no surprise that a 2010 Pro was more than adequate for 1080p, and I don't think there's much danger that a 16G M1 Mini will be worse (although there is the SSD size issue - and personally I couldn't survive with so few ports). You almost certainly don't need 128GB of RAM!

The question is, whether you think your needs will change in the near future, or if you're going to be upgrading from 1080p to 4k or 8k in the near future.

Do bear in mind, though, that nobody thinks these new M1-in-an-intel-body models are going to be "for the ages" and the second-hand market is likely to be flooded with the things when the second generation of Apple Silicon machines come out. Rather than aspirations of "trading in" I'd see them as potential file servers, set-top-boxes, emergency spares and hand-me-downs etc. On the other hand, there will be some software and peripherals that never make the jump to Apple Silicon - and x86 Windows is unlikely ever to be a great experience on ASi - so it will be a long time before Intel Macs are un-sellable (although obviously the value is only going to go down).

Personally I'd never factor in resale value when making computer buying decisions - too much danger of some game-changing technology turning what came before into landfill. Plan for 3-4 years, hope for 5-6+ years, any trade-in is a bonus and base "future proofing" on whether it would enable you to get another year out of it. Even though Macs have previously held their value well we've recently left an era where CPU design has been somewhat stagnant and the biggest single advance has been the switch to SSDs which could easily be retrofitted and/or replaced. We have now entered a new era of sexy new CPUs, soldered-in RAM and SSDs with finite lifespans, and software that becomes a liability without regular security patches.
 
  • Like
Reactions: pldelisle

CC88

macrumors 6502
Sep 29, 2010
395
70
T2 chip improves video exporting for sure. Many, many benchmarks show export times, when using T2, is as fast on a mac mini than a Mac Pro 28 cores. You *must* fit the T2 specs thought, using specific codecs or software that can benefit from it.

I have the T2 chip in my MM2018. And the export time in handbrake is amazing. But the output is also less quality than CPU based export. Am I wrong?

In which other software I can benefit from the T2 chip of my MM2018 for example?
 

Ethosik

Contributor
Original poster
Oct 21, 2009
5,885
4,403
Downgrading from a 128GB RAM computer to 8GB appears crazy to me. I’d at least give myself a chance and go with the 16GB.

T2 chip improves video exporting for sure. Many, many benchmarks show export times, when using T2, is as fast on a mac mini than a Mac Pro 28 cores. You *must* fit the T2 specs thought, using specific codecs or software that can benefit from it.

IF your workflow shows absolutely no speed improvement between a 5000$ machine and a 1000$ one, you gain no time, no more fun, no more excitement with this 5000$ machine versus a 1000$ one, then of course sell it while you can still have value for it and get the M1 Mini. You will lose the iMac display, but you can always go with the Ultrafine 5K which uses the exact same panel and you will still be far from the 5000$ value.
Well I went from a $4,000 Mac Pro at 6-cores in 2010, to a $4,400 iMac with a $600 after market RAM upgrade totaling in $5,000 in 2019. And I got no improvements. Not sure if its showing how slow Intel has been over the past decade, or if 1080p work can not get any faster.

And regarding the downgrading from 128GB of RAM. Since I just do 1080p editing and exporting, I was sure to test it out on 8GB of RAM. I am still leaning towards the 16GB version just in case I get in to any 4K work.

I would just like to know if it will be any improvements. Seeing videos from Max Tech and it performing better than the 2019 Mac Pro in some tests really surprises me.
 

Ethosik

Contributor
Original poster
Oct 21, 2009
5,885
4,403
The question is, whether you think your needs will change in the near future, or if you're going to be upgrading from 1080p to 4k or 8k in the near future.
I seriously doubt I will ever get into 4K or especially 8K footage. I work on instructional videos, mostly programming and graphics editing. Moving from 1080p to 4K offers no benefits and my customer base doesn't have super fast internet anyway.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.