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Dr Mick Mach

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 17, 2016
8
0
MAIN QUESTION: What config will maintain the speed and usability best?

Want to buy an M2 Mini for my Grandparents. They're both in their 80's. Healthy, but, you know.
They currently have an old iMac that is super sloooooooooow, and they get very frustrated with it.

They use it for:
email and web browsing (and they have a habit of leaving ALL their tabs open, like sometimes 50-60)
keeping and typing files on word and excel
photo storage and very light photo manipulation,
playing the odd game like solitaire, bridge etc,
They'd watch more YouTube videos if it wasn't such a pain to do so on the old machine.
Video calling is also too slow on it (tho they have an iphone to do that)

So they're definitely not power users.

I want this to last them 5+ years, without the slow speed frustrations they have put up with for several years.

However, I'm a student on a budget, and only have the $ for one upgrade (if one is needed): either ram or HDD. I've seen on a lot of reviews that the 512gb HDD can significantly boost the Mini's performance/speed in some operations.

So what's going to maintain the speed and usability best (and calling me less for tech help hah) - M2 base, M2 16gb ram, or M2 512gb HDD?

Thanks
 

August West

macrumors 6502
Aug 23, 2009
349
400
Land of Enchantment
I'd go for the RAM, especially if they keep that many tabs open. RAM cannot be upgraded once you purchase the machine. While the internal SSD can't be upgraded either you can always add an external SSD like the Samsung T7 Shield at any time and they aren't all that expensive anymore. Won't be as fast the the internal drive but plenty fast enough for what they are doing.
 

ignatius345

macrumors 604
Aug 20, 2015
7,215
12,032
Inactive tabs aren't the issue people seem to think. Safari is pretty smart about not background refreshing stuff you're not looking at, and from what I understand Chrome is as well (right?)

Also if you can train them to use Tab Groups, they can chose entire windows full of tabs with impunity.
 
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Euroamerican

macrumors 6502
May 27, 2010
464
342
Boise
the real question is.

Which is the better hedge for long term usability

8 vs 16 gb of RAM

256 vs 512 gb of storage, with the 512gb being speedier storage as well.

You cannot add more RAM later, but you also cannot speed up "slow" 256gb either.
 
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Dr Mick Mach

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 17, 2016
8
0
the real question is.

Which is the better hedge for long term usability

8 vs 16 gb of RAM

256 vs 512 gb of storage, with the 512gb being speedier storage as well.

You cannot add more RAM later, but you also cannot speed up "slow" 256gb either.
yes that's exactly it, well put. Got any thoughts? I'd spring for both if I could but it's just going to be a bit beyond me
 

KaliYoni

macrumors 68000
Feb 19, 2016
1,749
3,864
yes that's exactly it, well put. Got any thoughts? I'd spring for both if I could but it's just going to be a bit beyond me

If you're looking to hedge, as in taking steps to offset future risk, I would choose adding RAM if I was facing a similar choice. Why? RAM is set forever with the Mac Mini; there is no easy way to swap or change RAM from its initial configuration. On the other hand, it is simple and inexpensive to plug an external HD or SSD into a Mac whenever more storage is needed. Plus files that aren't changed or accessed often, such as photos and videos, can even be stored on optical media or thumb drives without much hassle. Finally, many tasks such as using email, watching streaming video, and web surfing are much more limited by Internet connection speeds than by disk speeds.
 
Last edited:
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richmlow

macrumors 6502
Jul 17, 2002
384
281
MAIN QUESTION: What config will maintain the speed and usability best?

Want to buy an M2 Mini for my Grandparents. They're both in their 80's. Healthy, but, you know.
They currently have an old iMac that is super sloooooooooow, and they get very frustrated with it.

They use it for:
email and web browsing (and they have a habit of leaving ALL their tabs open, like sometimes 50-60)
keeping and typing files on word and excel
photo storage and very light photo manipulation,
playing the odd game like solitaire, bridge etc,
They'd watch more YouTube videos if it wasn't such a pain to do so on the old machine.
Video calling is also too slow on it (tho they have an iphone to do that)

So they're definitely not power users.

I want this to last them 5+ years, without the slow speed frustrations they have put up with for several years.

However, I'm a student on a budget, and only have the $ for one upgrade (if one is needed): either ram or HDD. I've seen on a lot of reviews that the 512gb HDD can significantly boost the Mini's performance/speed in some operations.

So what's going to maintain the speed and usability best (and calling me less for tech help hah) - M2 base, M2 16gb ram, or M2 512gb HDD?

Thanks

If you have to choose between RAM or storage, I would definitely recommend RAM.


richmlow
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,744
12,860
M2 Minis have just hit the Apple refurbished store.

Get 16gb of RAM. DO NOT get 8.

Try to get the 512gb SSD, as well.

If your grandad is a veteran, it's easy to get the Apple veteran's discount.
I believe you need to go here to find out about it and sign up:

AND... you can "piggyback" the veteran's discount ON TOP OF the refurbished price, for an even better deal.
To do this, get registered for the veteran's discount FIRST, then sign into it.
Then, "move over" to Apple, and scroll to the bottom of the page and look for the refurbished items link.

One other thing...
By the time folks get into their 80's, their vision is usually "less than" it was in younger times.
For this reason, I'd suggest a 27" 4k display.
4k for clarity of text,
and
27" to make the text a little larger (when running at the Apple default setting of "looks like 1080p").

I predict they WILL like this very much.
 

Serge88

macrumors member
May 5, 2008
88
82
I just ordered a refurbished Mac mini M2 24gb of ram + 1tb SSD. Today 8gb is the minimum, in 3 years 16gb will be the minimum and in 6 years 24gb will be the minimum. This machine will last 9 years.
 
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mcnallym

macrumors 65816
Oct 28, 2008
1,192
925
I just ordered a refurbished Mac mini M2 24gb of ram + 1tb SSD. Today 8gb is the minimum, in 3 years 16gb will be the minimum and in 6 years 24gb will be the minimum. This machine will last 9 years.
When I collected my Mac Studio from Apple Store then Apple Employee waxing lyrical how it will last me 10 years.

so i asked if Apple would be providing OS support for 10 years as run FCP X on it and tend to find that updates for that tend to require you to update the OS, so no OS update, no FCP X update.

oddly enough he didn’t look too happy with my response.
 
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ovbacon

Suspended
Feb 13, 2010
1,596
11,505
Tahoe, CA
It sounds like a complete base model will be more than fine for them.

I have a 16GB/512GB and I do an extreme amount of photo editing and I have multiple browsers and tons of tabs open. I run Photoshop and Lightroom and Illustrator simultaneously and often have other applications running. My mini has no problem responding fast to any needs I have.

It does not sound like your gramps are having anything close to what I do so the base would most likely be more than fine for many years. Just add a external ssd for photo storage or even an hdd since they are not doing any heavy stuff.

Of course 16GB is better but really just get a good deal.
 

miniair2023

macrumors newbie
Jun 9, 2023
15
14
i think you can buy the m2 macmini 8G 256 GB setup and then buy an external SSD disk. the SSD disk now is so cheap right now
 

Longplays

Suspended
May 30, 2023
1,308
1,157
I'd just get them a $1299 iMac M1 or wait within 4 months for the iMac M2.

They'll appreciate something as familiar as their old iMac.
 
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Longplays

Suspended
May 30, 2023
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yes, that is a good idea too. For old people, familiarity is more important
And up spec'ing their Mac is honestly the wrong move.

For one thing are they using any app that merits 16GB memory?

Also, wouldn't attaching an $120 2TB external SSD be more cost effective? Just tape it to the back so they do not accidentally detach it.

If your grandparents are using something from 2013 & older they'll be amazed by how fast things are 10 years into the future.
 

miniair2023

macrumors newbie
Jun 9, 2023
15
14
And up spec'ing their Mac is honestly the wrong move.

For one thing are they using any app that merits 16GB memory?

Also, wouldn't attaching an $120 2TB external SSD be more cost effective? Just tape it to the back so they do not accidentally detach it.

If your grandparents are using something from 2013 & older they'll be amazed by how fast things are 10 years into the future.
yeah i can see there is the good and the bad with every choice. But what you said makes sense.
 
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sockdoggy

macrumors regular
Jan 21, 2002
235
163
Brooklyn
Bought my parents Mac Mini M2 8gb/512gb config.

They run Photos Mail Safari Music. 2x users. Hasn’t even thought about crawling.

Reason I went with storage upgrade over RAM: restart may simply fix the latter; running out of storage for non technical users is an absolute nightmare in my experience.
 
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