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Yebubbleman

macrumors 603
Original poster
May 20, 2010
5,863
2,454
Los Angeles, CA
With RAM, CPU, GPU, and SSD on these Apple Silicon Macs being set in stone once the Mac is configured and shipped, I'd imagine that the odds of someone buying a configuration that is either not high enough end for them or way too much computer for their needs is somewhat high. Especially given that Apple Silicon Macs are extremely performant at even the low to mid range.

Have any of you bought an Apple Silicon Mac (new, used, or refurbished), later found that it was either too much or too little for your needs and then had to sell (or otherwise repurpose/part with it) in order to replace it with a more optimal configuration?

I've had the base model 7 GPU Core; 8GB RAM; 256GB SSD configuration of both MacBook Air (M1, 2020) and 2-port model iMac (24-inch, M1, 2021) as secondary Macs for IT testing and for a few years now. While the 7 GPU Cores (binned) variant of M1 and 256GB of SSD are perfectly fine for my uses for those machines, the 8GB of RAM was starting to get sluggish. So, I'm now getting ready to sell all of them in favor of 16GB models because a RAM upgrade on these Macs translate into a whole machine replacement.

What's your experience been with buying Apple Silicon Mac configurations? Did you buy a Mac with a configuration that was perfectly comfortable for your needs or have you made the wrong call at one point, later having to upgrade or downgrade to pick something more optimal?
 
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CasualFanboy

macrumors 6502
Jun 26, 2020
369
667
I got the Macbook M1 Pro back in 2021, and I really was on the fence about whether or not to get 32 GB of RAM, but just went with the 16Gb.

Anything extremely taxing would be for work, which I'll do on my work computer.
 

RokinAmerica

macrumors regular
Jul 18, 2022
202
357
Only have the one, my new 15" Air with base SSD and 16GB Ram. I do not need much storage anymore and I know I use around 8-10 GB Ram while working, so I picked what I needed and am very happy.

As CF above me stated, anything taxing I do on my work pc (windows desktop).
 
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Jared G.K.

macrumors regular
Jul 23, 2023
123
160
I once bought a 16" pro M1 with 512GB SSD only, because I though something like 'if I manage storage smartly, the 512 should be sufficient"...... and the upgrade to 1TB was SOOO expensive.
And then the 512GB were not enough or, more precisely, it was a constant struggle to not cross the border, which drove me crazy.
So I finally bit the bullet, sold the 521 model and bought me the hugely expensive 1TB version. It took me a while to 'digest', but the storage extension made my life much easier.

P.S. 'optimize storage' with iCloud was not an option, as I needed all of my data to be backed up in Time Machine and in a cloud based backup service.
 
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FlyingTexan

macrumors 6502a
Jul 13, 2015
877
601
I'm on the 2020 m1 macbook pro. It's my daily driver. Base model across the board. Been perfectly adequate. Not everything is about video editing. But I did use an upgraded version and saw zero benefit. If only I could play Modern Warfare on it lol
 

rm5

macrumors 68020
Mar 4, 2022
2,392
2,736
United States
Uhhh, no... 16 GB of RAM was all that was available at the time (Nov. 2020), and I'm fine with keeping this Mac till the M3 comes out.
 

kasakka

macrumors 68020
Oct 25, 2008
2,363
1,060
Early this year I requested a new Mac from work to replace my decked out 2019 Macbook Pro 16". We have a 3 year cycle for replacements and I was close to hitting that. I got to choose the spec I want for the new Macbook Pro and since I'll be using this for 3+ years, I overspecced it just because of Apple's shenanigans.

I got more disk space than I needed because I wanted to make sure disk speed was never going to be a factor because the baseline models come with slower SSDs than the bigger capacities. I got a M2 Max chip because I wanted the maximum capacity for external displays, even though otherwise a M2 Pro would suffice.

I was given the option to buy my older 2019 model for a fair price, but I declined because I was afraid that I would run into issues like MacOS support for it being discontinued, or a hard drive failing over time, making it an expensive paperweight. For a top tier machine, it was already hot and noisy and performed poorly in my work use but would have been plenty for personal stuff.

I don't buy Macs for personal use because of things like that. You either end up paying a lot of extra just to have that one feature you need, or to try to "future proof" your machine for longer term.

I'd buy something like a Macbook Air any day for personal use if it had multiple external display support and better base specifications, but instead have to bump up to Pro for that, which puts the price to a higher tier than I'm willing to spend for personal use, despite really liking my work MBP.
 

pshufd

macrumors G3
Oct 24, 2013
9,983
14,460
New Hampshire
I have an M1 mini 16/512 and it wasn't enough. I have a Studio and M1 Pro MacBook Pro 16 32/1 as my primary systems. I use the M1 mini for testing macOS updates and new versions of software before going live on my production systems.
 

Spaceboi Scaphandre

macrumors 68040
Jun 8, 2022
3,414
8,096
Well not because it wasn't high enough end. In 2021 I had an M1 Mac Mini with base storage but 16 gb of RAM. It was my first Mac, and I loved it. It helped me fully switch to macOS and was my driver throughout lockdown.

Then late in the year the 14/16 inch Macbook Pros got announced and I fell in love with that display and wanted a 14 inch just for the screen alone, plus I needed a new laptop as my previous one was 8 years old and big and heavy. Since I got a new Mac, and the fact I have a gaming PC and don't need two desktops, at Christmas I gave my parents my Mac Mini since they needed a new office computer. Now the cycle continues as my dad who was also once a longtime Mac hater now switched too.
 

AnonymousCward

macrumors newbie
Jun 6, 2023
9
10
If you’re a workstation user and this is your first Apple Silicon Mac then definitely overspec it if you want to avoid any potential disappointments. In the end, I went with an M2 Pro Mac Mini with 32GB RAM and 2TB storage to match what my PC currently has.

I’m so glad I did because I’m now easily racking up 26GB of active app memory usage day-to-day on my Mac, despite barely going over the 18GB mark on my PC (combined RAM+VRAM use) when working with the same cross-platform apps using the same datasets.
 
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mslilyelise

macrumors regular
Jan 10, 2021
116
153
British Columbia, Canada
Nah. I don't regret it enough to try and get a 16GB model, honestly. Everything I do with this machine flies, and I'm sure if it survives 5-6 years as I hope it'll still be hanging in there then as well. I'm not really a power user though. I found my M2 locally as a surplus unit (someone had ordered it for their parents but they didn't need one), so I paid less than the base price for an 8GB/512GB unit, so basically a free storage upgrade. All I do with my machine is social media, writing, and some light photo editing, which is well within the means of this machine's abilities. I also game on it for fun, and since moving to the Sonoma beta, I've found gaming performance improved substantially over Ventura, though I'm still not sure why and can't get Steam to show the FPS counter so I can verify that. I mostly play story based and 2D indie games so it's power enough for that. For AAA titles I just use the Xbox.

As a general rule though, I would recommend anyone buying a new unit opt for the 16GB just as a means of future-proofing, even if you're not doing a lot. This was just too good a deal to pass up and it's been far less difficult to live with than I figured.
 
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Tdude96

macrumors 6502
Oct 16, 2021
435
652
No, I bought a M2 MacBook Air with 10 GPU, 24GB RAM and 1TB storage to meet a very specific purpose, and it works admirably for that. Zero regrets on that purchase, it was a better choice than I even knew at the time, and I wouldn't change anything about it.

I am overworking the M2 Air far beyond what it really should be doing or what I planned, simply because of how much more powerful it is than my Intel iMac in many ways. But the plan all along has been to eventually replace the iMac with another desktop model. If they come out with a solid big iMac (27"+) that'll be a day 1 purchase for me. If they don't, I'll eventually get a Studio and the Air can return to its original purpose with fewer instances of getting overworked.
 

GaryPDX

macrumors member
Mar 8, 2008
80
29
Portland, OR USA
With RAM, CPU, GPU, and SSD on these Apple Silicon Macs being set in stone once the Mac is configured and shipped, I'd imagine that the odds of someone buying a configuration that is either not high enough end for them or way too much computer for their needs is somewhat high. Especially given that Apple Silicon Macs are extremely performant at even the low to mid range.

Have any of you bought an Apple Silicon Mac (new, used, or refurbished), later found that it was either too much or too little for your needs and then had to sell (or otherwise repurpose/part with it) in order to replace it with a more optimal configuration?

I've had the base model 7 GPU Core; 8GB RAM; 256GB SSD configuration of both MacBook Air (M1, 2020) and 2-port model iMac (24-inch, M1, 2021) as secondary Macs for IT testing and for a few years now. While the 7 GPU Cores (binned) variant of M1 and 256GB of SSD are perfectly fine for my uses for those machines, the 8GB of RAM was starting to get sluggish. So, I'm now getting ready to sell all of them in favor of 16GB models because a RAM upgrade on these Macs translate into a whole machine replacement.

What's your experience been with buying Apple Silicon Mac configurations? Did you buy a Mac with a configuration that was perfectly comfortable for your needs or have you made the wrong call at one point, later having to upgrade or downgrade to pick something more optimal?
I have been delighted—shocked at first, really—with the performance of my M1 MBP 2020. I always splurge and buy the plusher configs—16gb ram and 1tb SSD in my case.

Everything was wonderful until the USB port I use for power became flaky. I cleaned it up etc. But to me there's the weak point with those machines—no MagSafe and not trivial to replace those ports. Got a decent trade-in value and have a 15" M2 Air on order.
 

pshufd

macrumors G3
Oct 24, 2013
9,983
14,460
New Hampshire
I have been delighted—shocked at first, really—with the performance of my M1 MBP 2020. I always splurge and buy the plusher configs—16gb ram and 1tb SSD in my case.

Everything was wonderful until the USB port I use for power became flaky. I cleaned it up etc. But to me there's the weak point with those machines—no MagSafe and not trivial to replace those ports. Got a decent trade-in value and have a 15" M2 Air on order.

USB-C has such a small port and a lot of people use dongles, hubs, etc. which place strain on the port from gravity. I very seldom use the USB-C ports - going more for wireless access, and, of course, I use Magsafe all the time.
 
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poorcody

macrumors 65816
Jul 23, 2013
1,325
1,568
No, but I went with higher specs than I really wanted to to avoid that potentially happening. I bought an M2 Pro Mini with 32GB/1TB. I would much rather have bought 16/512 that I could upgrade later if needed, which I did with my last two Minis. So it was annoying in that sense.

I also thought I should be buying a Studio at that point but I felt like I was a cat running up a tree spending more and more on upgrades than I really wanted to.
 

phoenix-mac-user

macrumors regular
Sep 21, 2016
130
100
Yes, I regretted only buying one with 8GB of memory almost immediately. I upgraded to a base 16" M1 Pro about a month ago and sold the M1 Air that I used for almost 3 years and couldn't be happier.

Granted, the Air was super fast, the fastest computer I'd ever had, at least 95% of the time it felt that way, but when I looked under the covers, the amount of swapping it was doing with the SSD was insane and my proclivity for leaving Chrome browser windows open would cause things to slow down.

I am not a heavy user, mostly browsing and watching videos, but I frequently had Activity Monitor opened to see what was using my memory and slowing things down and would kill Chrome or, annoyingly, Logitech Options+ which has a serious memory flaw that Logitech apparently will never fix (I know that is Logitech's fault).

I still check Activity Monitor as a force of habit and the same culprits still take up a lot of memory, but I haven't seen it go to swap, and it never seems slow.
 

skottichan

macrumors 65816
Oct 23, 2007
1,109
1,294
Columbus, OH
I kinda did.

I had the yellow M1 iMac (8gb RAM/512gb), then I got a Thunderbolt Display for $100 right when the M2 Minis came out. I traded in the iMac and got an M2 Pro Mini.

That aside, I'm not a power user. I am a digital artist and tinkering with 3D modeling/printing, and didn't really have any issues with the iMac in that roll, but man I really dig my Mini.
 
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