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wncmacs

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 6, 2004
28
0
I am in the market for a new Mac and I'm dealing with the M2 Pro Mac Mini vs. M1 Pro Max Mac Studio for a new job I have begun. I've ran the configurator for both machines and there is about $200 difference between the two computers so the price is basically a wash. So that leaves me with figuring out which one will serve me best. I'm trying to understand the difference between the GPU and CPU portions of the M1 & M2 processors as that is the main difference between the two.

There are several threads that note the M2 Pro is the better CPU while the M1 Max is the better GPU. I will be doing web development, some graphic design, development of Keynote and PowerPoint presentations, and audio/video production (especially for YouTube). So, what that use case, which computer (the M2 Mini or the M1 Max) would be the better choice?
 

Basic75

macrumors 68000
May 17, 2011
1,995
2,340
Europe
The M2 Pro does have the faster CPU and slower GPU compared to the M1 Max, but in my opinion the differences are not decisively large. For your use cases I'd get the Mac Studio with M1 Max and 64GB of RAM, but I might be biased because that's what I have in my MacBook Pro.
 

playtech1

macrumors 6502a
Oct 10, 2014
678
847
The M2 Pro does have the faster CPU and slower GPU compared to the M1 Max, but in my opinion the differences are not decisively large. For your use cases I'd get the Mac Studio with M1 Max and 64GB of RAM, but I might be biased because that's what I have in my MacBook Pro.
What he said, although if I had to guess I suspect the faster CPU of the M2 Pro will be more beneficial to you than the faster GPU in the M1 Max.

I would expect the main differences in daily use not to be a massive performance difference, but rather the I/O - with the Mini having HDMI 2.1 (useful for 4K 120Hz to an OLED TV) and WiFi 6E vs the Studio having front USB-C and SD Card, 4 monitor support and 10Gb Ethernet as standard.

Personally I went with the Studio simply because I could get a refurb for significantly less than an equivalent M2 Pro Mini.
 
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Rnd-chars

macrumors regular
Apr 4, 2023
247
232
You’ve got an interesting combination of tasks that all stress different parts of the system. It might be helpful to categorize them by how much of each you’ll be doing.

If you’re going to be doing a lot of video work, then the extra encoders/decoders in the Max could be helpful.

Otherwise, the M2 Pro (assuming you’re talking about the 12 core version) will be faster in all CPU related tasks (which seems like the majority of them).

The neural engine is also 40% faster in the M2, which will be noticeable as the OS and apps add more AI capabilities.

They’re both going to be incredibly fast for the work you described, but I’d personally go for the M2 Pro.
 

theorist9

macrumors 68040
May 28, 2015
3,711
2,816
If noise is important to you, I would look into how the noise compares for the two of them. I'd imagine the Pro Mini is quieter at idle and the Max Studio is quieter under load, but don't know myself. Then of course there's also the coil whine that some (no idea what fraction) have complained about with the Studio.

Then again, this might be hard to tell without actually using it yourself, in your own environment....
 
Last edited:

ChrisA

macrumors G5
Jan 5, 2006
12,606
1,741
Redondo Beach, California
I am in the market for a new Mac and I'm dealing with the M2 Pro Mac Mini vs. M1 Pro Max Mac Studio for a new job I have begun....
I'd be more concerned with choosing storage. If you shoot a lot of 4K video it will fill up the internal SSD

Use some of your budget for a 10G Ethernet option and a NAS (like Synology) that has a 10G Ethernet interface. Fill the NAS with disks and then figure out how to do redundant backups of the NAS.

Buy high-end storage, even if you have to down-scale the computer to stay in budget. The studio or a maxed-p M2 Pro is overkill for YouTube

What is most important is versioned storage and versions, versioned backups.
 

wncmacs

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 6, 2004
28
0
The majority of work will be web design with social media and YouTube comprising other major areas.
 

dmccloud

macrumors 68030
Sep 7, 2009
2,994
1,730
Anchorage, AK
I'd be more concerned with choosing storage. If you shoot a lot of 4K video it will fill up the internal SSD

Use some of your budget for a 10G Ethernet option and a NAS (like Synology) that has a 10G Ethernet interface. Fill the NAS with disks and then figure out how to do redundant backups of the NAS.

Buy high-end storage, even if you have to down-scale the computer to stay in budget. The studio or a maxed-p M2 Pro is overkill for YouTube

What is most important is versioned storage and versions, versioned backups.

For external storage, I have two drives connected to my Mac at the house. One is a 5TB Lacie, which serves as both my Time Machine Drive and basic storage. I also have an 8TB WD Black external, which I keep my media and production assets stored on. For travel, I have a 2TB Samsung M.2 SSD in an external enclosure. That gives me some extremely fast and portable storage I can take with me as needed.
 

ChrisA

macrumors G5
Jan 5, 2006
12,606
1,741
Redondo Beach, California
I have two drives connected to my Mac at the house. One is a 5TB Lacie, which serves as both my Time Machine Drive and basic storage.

That is a REALLY bad idea. Never keep both data and backup on the same device.

You should read-up on how to plan backup. You are OK if all of the rules below are kept.
  • Your data always exists on no less than 3 physical devices, even while a backup is in progress.
  • Your data always exists in at least two different geographical locations. (A different building is good enough
  • New backup data should not overwrite old data, at least until the old data is past to age threshold
  • Bump the numbers to 4 copies and 3 locations if losing the data would mean your company would fail or clients would sue you.

There are lots of different ways to do this.
 
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Bodhitree

macrumors 68000
Apr 5, 2021
1,946
2,049
Netherlands
It sounds to me like all of the OP’s tasks are CPU-bound. The GPU is only really useful for games or certain GPU-accelerated tasks like 3D rendering. So you should be better off with the M2 Pro.
 

dmccloud

macrumors 68030
Sep 7, 2009
2,994
1,730
Anchorage, AK
That is a REALLY bad idea. Never keep both data and backup on the same device.

You should read-up on how to plan backup. You are OK if all of the rules below are kept.
  • Your data always exists on no less than 3 physical devices, even while a backup is in progress.
  • Your data always exists in at least two different geographical locations. (A different building is good enough
  • New backup data should not overwrite old data, at least until the old data is past to age threshold
  • Bump the numbers to 4 copies and 3 locations if losing the data would mean your company would fail or clients would sue you.

There are lots of different ways to do this.

Given that all of the data is also backed up to MULTIPLE online services as well, I think I have it well under control. But thanks for the lecture anyways /sarcasm
 

FreakinEurekan

macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
5,664
2,735
Given that all of the data is also backed up to MULTIPLE online services as well, I think I have it well under control. But thanks for the lecture anyways /sarcasm
It was a lecture-ish response. Doesn’t make it wrong. If you don’t need Time Machine turn it off. If doing that would make you nervous in the event of a data loss, use it properly.
 
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