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icemantx

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 16, 2009
500
464
This past Friday I received my M2 Pro Mac mini 10,16/2TB/16GB which is replacing my aging late 2014 5k iMac i5/32GB/2TB SSD. For fun I ran a Geekbench 6 comparison and the difference over 8+ years is pretty big, as expected. Overall, the M2 is also as expected noticeably quicker to open apps, safari browsing and can actually can encode 4k video files without waiting forever. Great upgrade paired with the ASD from Costco for $1299. Any tests anyone would like me to run or questions about the M2 Pro in my config?

Screen Shot 2023-02-18 at 8.50.25 AM.png
Screenshot 2023-02-18 at 8.50.48 AM.png
 
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Juicy Box

macrumors 604
Sep 23, 2014
7,495
8,803
GB6 compute (Metal), I would like to compare it to the 19-core M2 GPU in the MM I just purchased.
 

Paulyc

macrumors newbie
Mar 12, 2023
2
1
Hi icemantx,

I have a very similar iMac late 2014 5K 32GB 1TB fusion and am considering that it is now time to upgrade, and hoped to see a new 27 or larger iMac but am giving up on that idea at present, so considering the Mac Mini M2 Pro 10/16 16gb 512SSD.

Main use for my machine is Photogrpahy so 80% lightroom witt a bit of Topaz apps.

Was wondering if you have any experience of how Lightroom is working with your new Mac Mini and especailly how it is performing with 16GB ram?

Also what monitor do you use as I am loathed to spend £1500 upward for the Studio DIsplay at this stage so was conisdering either Del 2732QE or Benq 3220U both of whcih seem to get decent reports for Photo use. I don't need massive brightness and even with my current iMac brigtness is set at below 50%.

How are you are finding the M2Pro any regrets, any advice much appreciated.

Cheers

Paul
 
Last edited:

jim0266

macrumors member
Jun 17, 2009
53
25
I was leaning toward the Mini over the Studio... Until I trooped down to the Apple store to run my "real world" test. Looking at a bazillion YT videos reviewing the Mini or Mini vs Studio told me very little how MY experience with these Macs would improve. For context:

I don't make money off my Mac (2015 27" iMac 4 GHz Quad-Core Core i7 with 32GB RAM and 512GB SSD), other than using it over my crappy work-supplied Windoze laptop while I WFH 97% of the time.

Browsing the web and running the standard apps is still not a challenge for my iMac.

For photography I run LR classic and PS, but shoot very few images these days. Maybe the urge to shoot more will return, but I'm not exporting 3K wedding images at a time. I have about 50K images in LR. I would appreciate the increased speed to view images in LR.

I make a few videos a month out of my GoPro 4k or iPhone in 4k. Some can be up to 20 mins long. Most are ~5-10 mins. Nothing fancy in the editing. I need to cull my clips, put them in a timeline, add a few titles and transitions and export them.

Believing the biggest bottleneck of my current iMac is exporting videos is the reason I wanted to get a real head-to-head test between my iMac, a base Studio and a Mac Mini base Pro. To substitute the Base Mini Pro I used a 14" MBP M2 16GB/1TB SSD.

I took a 1 minute 4k/30FPS on my iPhone and Air Dropped it to the base Mac Studio and the MBP. For these tests I made sure only FCP was running.

In FCP I made 1,5,10 and 15-minute versions from my 1-minute 174GB file and added a simple title that spanned the video. I exported using the default Apple 4k devices with H.264 faster encode.

Below are the stats I recorded between the three machines to export the same video, from 1 to 15-minute versions. I ran each test export at lease twice, some three times, and averaged the result if there was a noticeable difference in export time. I stopped timing as soon as the notification window popped up on the top-right of the screen.

Screen Shot 2023-03-12 at 12.48.50 PM.png


Considering how often I export videos I was surprised how little difference there was between my old iMac and the Mini for the export time. A few times a month can I afford to wait an additional 2:47 to export a 10-minute video? I get it if time is money and you're a professional. As a hobbyist the equation changes.

I had to get to a 15 minute video before I saw any real difference for the amount I use this computer for these intensive tasks. The performance gap between the Studio and the iMac versus the gap between the Mini Pro and the iMac now has me leaning more towards spending a bit more for the Studio. Amortized over how long I keep Macs this seems to make sense.

For LR and PS I would guess either the Studio or Mini Pro would get me the same results in speed over my iMac. It's not the quantum leap for a non-pro computer user I was expecting to see. Perhaps getting a quiet computer that does spin up the fans and is snappier overall are the only real benefits day to day. Going on 8 years this iMac has been an amazing computer and is shocking how well it's still competing against newer models.

Choosing a Mini or Studio is pure maximizer fun/hell.
 
Last edited:

entropyfl

macrumors 65816
Oct 12, 2009
1,059
806
I was leaning toward the Mini over the Studio... Until I trooped down to the Apple store to run my "real world" test. Looking at a bazillion YT videos reviewing the Mini or Mini vs Studio told me very little how MY experience with these Macs would improve. For context:

I don't make money off my Mac (2015 27" iMac 4 GHz Quad-Core Core i7 with 32GB RAM and 512GB SSD), other than using it over my crappy work-supplied Windoze laptop while I WFH 97% of the time.

Browsing the web and running the standard apps is still not a challenge for my iMac.

For photography I run LR classic and PS, but shoot very few images these days. Maybe the urge to shoot more will return, but I'm not exporting 3K wedding images at a time. I have about 50K images in LR. I would appreciate the increased speed to view images in LR.

I make a few videos a month out of my GoPro 4k or iPhone in 4k. Some can be up to 20 mins long. Most are ~5-10 mins. Nothing fancy in the editing. I need to cull my clips, put them in a timeline, add a few titles and transitions and export them.

Believing the biggest bottleneck of my current iMac is exporting videos is the reason I wanted to get a real head-to-head test between my iMac, a base Studio and a Mac Mini base Pro. To substitute the Base Mini Pro I used a 14" MBP M2 16GB/1TB SSD.

I took a 1 minute 4k/30FPS on my iPhone and Air Dropped it to the base Mac Studio and the MBP. For these tests I made sure only FCP was running.

In FCP I made 1,5,10 and 15-minute versions from my 1-minute 174GB file and added a simple title that spanned the video. I exported using the default Apple 4k devices with H.264 faster encode.

Below are the stats I recorded between the three machines to export the same video, from 1 to 15-minute versions. I ran each test export at lease twice, some three times, and averaged the result if there was a noticeable difference in export time. I stopped timing as soon as the notification window popped up on the top-right of the screen.

View attachment 2172487

Considering how often I export videos I was surprised how little difference there was between my old iMac and the Mini for the export time. A few times a month can I afford to wait an additional 2:47 to export a 10-minute video? I get it if time is money and you're a professional. As a hobbyist the equation changes.

I had to get to a 15 minute video before I saw any real difference for the amount I use this computer for these intensive tasks. The performance gap between the Studio and the iMac versus the gap between the Mini Pro and the iMac now has me leaning more towards spending a bit more for the Studio. Amortized over how long I keep Macs this seems to make sense.

For LR and PS I would guess either the Studio or Mini Pro would get me the same results in speed over my iMac. It's not the quantum leap for a non-pro computer user I was expecting to see. Perhaps getting a quiet computer that does spin up the fans and is snappier overall are the only real benefits day to day. Going on 8 years this iMac has been an amazing computer and is shocking how well it's still competing against newer models.

Choosing a Mini or Studio is pure maximizer fun/hell.

I think the same thing, if we don’t need to make money out of it there is no need to get a new machine. I also think it’s about what be become use to.. my iMac is fast enough for me but that’s because I don’t know any better ha.. think my main reason for upgradding would be to get latest os and larger ssd
 
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Melbourne Park

macrumors 6502a
Hmm ... my Eizo GC 243W monitor just karked it (failed). OK it was 11 years old. But my Mac Pro 5,1 still keeps keeping on. What a silent beast its been.

So I've been wondering about colour matching and things ... my macpro 5,1 still have PS6 photoshop, but if I go to the next OS, I will have to rent photoshop.

How to get OK colour matching (my Eizo was very accurate).

So I was thinking that an iMac Pro 27" might cheaply get me colour matching ... the 8 core ones are cheap it seems to me. I wonder how fast one of those would go compared to the m2 Pro mac mini ...
 

jim0266

macrumors member
Jun 17, 2009
53
25
I think the same thing, if we don’t need to make money out of it there is no need to get a new machine. I also think it’s about what be become use to.. my iMac is fast enough for me but that’s because I don’t know any better ha.. think my main reason for upgradding would be to get latest os and larger ssd
I installed https://dortania.github.io/OpenCore-Legacy-Patcher/INSTALLER.html#creating-the-installer and upgraded my 13" Early 2015 MBP to Ventura 13.2.1 with this. That mac is my guinea pig. So far so good.
 

icemantx

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 16, 2009
500
464
Hi icemantx,

I have a very similar iMac late 2014 5K 32GB 1TB fusion and am considering that it is now time to upgrade, and hoped to see a new 27 or larger iMac but am giving up on that idea at present, so considering the Mac Mini M2 Pro 10/16 16gb 512SSD.

Main use for my machine is Photogrpahy so 80% lightroom witt a bit of Topaz apps.

Was wondering if you have any experience of how Lightroom is working with your new Mac Mini and especailly how it is performing with 16GB ram?

Also what monitor do you use as I am loathed to spend £1500 upward for the Studio DIsplay at this stage so was conisdering either Del 2732QE or Benq 3220U both of whcih seem to get decent reports for Photo use. I don't need massive brightness and even with my current iMac brigtness is set at below 50%.

How are you are finding the M2Pro any regrets, any advice much appreciated.

Cheers

Paul
My use of the Mac mini does not include Lightroom so I can’t compare or give any comparisons to my old 2014 iMac. I will say though that for me, the upgrade of the computer itself is noticeably faster in everything I do with it compared to the old iMac. I also did not want to fiddle with the hacking of unsupported MacOS versions. I did that with my old one to Ventura but I still had some flakiness that made me decide that was not the route I wanted to take. So I got the M2 Pro Mac mini and added the Apple Studio Display from Costco when it was $1299.

Fantastic computer and likely a lot more power than I need to be quite honest.
 
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Melbourne Park

macrumors 6502a
I installed https://dortania.github.io/OpenCore-Legacy-Patcher/INSTALLER.html#creating-the-installer and upgraded my 13" Early 2015 MBP to Ventura 13.2.1 with this. That mac is my guinea pig. So far so good.
I hate Ventura. The desktop duel windows when copying has gone. Which is the most basic pleasure of what Steve Jobs took from Parc/Xerox. The system icons have gone, replaced by a sort I cannot fathom, of ugly text which reminds me of Windows 7.

Deleting things from external disks is difficult now. I had to format a drive because Ventura refused to delete folders containing photo files.

And when I do something, its always asking for my permission.

So I thought - I'll just delete the whole Macbook Pro 2017's drive, and get a back from one of my back up drives, so I can go back to Monterey. OK my cloud will not longer work properly because Apple now insists on the latest OS being used, across one's phone and computers.

I grabbed an older back drive (I use two), this one being a 1 TB T-5 Samsung SSD. I plugged it in, hit the time machine icon, so I could view the backups. But instead, Ventura said my drive was no longer compatible. It wanted new drivers installed on the drive. I tried a few times, and gave up - and allowed new drivers. But of course, they would not install. So much for Apple supporting back ups.

Ventura resembles a virus to me. Not an upgrade at all.
 

Paulyc

macrumors newbie
Mar 12, 2023
2
1
Hi icemantx,

I have a very similar iMac late 2014 5K 32GB 1TB fusion and am considering that it is now time to upgrade, and hoped to see a new 27 or larger iMac but am giving up on that idea at present, so considering the Mac Mini M2 Pro 10/16 16gb 512SSD.

Main use for my machine is Photogrpahy so 80% lightroom witt a bit of Topaz apps.

Was wondering if you have any experience of how Lightroom is working with your new Mac Mini and especailly how it is performing with 16GB ram?

Also what monitor do you use as I am loathed to spend £1500 upward for the Studio DIsplay at this stage so was conisdering either Del 2732QE or Benq 3220U both of whcih seem to get decent reports for Photo use. I don't need massive brightness and even with my current iMac brigtness is set at below 50%.

How are you are finding the M2Pro any regrets, any advice much appreciated.

Cheers

Paul
Ok so here's an update, I went for the Base model Mac mini M2 Pro 16gb 512gb, I added to it an external 2TB thunderbolt drive, and as I simply could not justify the studio display opted for the Dell U2723QE.

During initial setup I thought I had made the wrong choice as rebuilding Lightroom library etc was painful - spinning beach balls etc, but once all done I can say this is so much faster than my aged iMac 27 late 2014 with 32gb.

Even when accessing phot archive on NAS its reasonable, and blisteringly fast if one the TB drive.

Using Lightroom and Topaz Photo AI is now so much faster.

So far really happy with my choice, had been concerned after reading about Ram issues and SSD speeds but in real day to day use use for Photos not had any problems. I have yet too try a massive panorama stick but given current expectation I think the unit will handle it without issue.

In summary, If you made your living from Photography then maybe you'd pimp the internal drive to 1TB and the ram to 32gb but for my needs this is more than enough.
 
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