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uzapucax1

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 29, 2022
47
4
Hi people!

After the good help for this great forum i decided to discard the buying of a Mac Mini 2012 even tough at Max Configuration (i7 / 16 GB RAM) and low price its CPU might have little life left.

The next suggestion was to go for a used

Mac Mini 2018
(Mac Mini 3.0 GHz 6-Core i5 512GB SSD 8GB RAM)
$530

But Intel will be relative obsolete in the mid term so the idea on going for a Mac Mini M1 start to take place. Unfortunately if you want a longer use one might go for the 16 GB so it is $999 on final. As you can see the upgraded Mac Mini M1 it is almost double than the Mac Mini 2018 but i guess the M1 chip (even basic) should be a great leap from Intel i5, right? I am not sure you might know better. Should i wait for the upcomming of the M2 or black friday deals?

Now Macbook Pro 13" M1 shows at the scene at $ 950. I know it is 8GB Memory instead of 16GB but the good display is quite tempting too. I mostly work at graphic design (no video editing) at the office, portability is not a major deal, so even if i get the Macbook Pro it will be connected to an external display most of the time.

Any technical stuff i should be aware? Maybe the Macbook Pro at 8GB is more underpower than a Mac Mini at 16GB because of internal architecture, swap files, i don't know...

Sorry for the long post and many questions.
Thanks again for your generous help ;):)
 

Digitalguy

macrumors 68040
Apr 15, 2019
3,085
2,868
I went with a M1 Mini (16GB / 1TB in my case) and would not get the MacBook Pro.
For various reasons.
- I already have a much more portable 12 MacBook is I want to use a Mac on the go or around the house for some quick stuff... (I also have some very light Windows laptops)
The mini has many more ports and I am using them all.
16GB is a must for me as I sometimes use Windows but even without that 8 is not enough (even my 12 Macbook has 16GB).
I have several monitors and at home I find using a monitor much more ergonomic than a laptop display (the mini can run multiple external monitors natively)
I am not worried about killing the battery for a device that stays on 24/7 (it's also my plex server so it's always on).

Anyway I would say the main points are more RAM for the same price and more ports (I have several SSDs plugged in, including some via a TB dock, to expand storage), the mini has double the ports, plus ethernet plus one more video out...
 
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uzapucax1

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 29, 2022
47
4
I went with a M1 Mini (16GB / 1TB in my case) and would not get the MacBook Pro.
For various reasons.
- I already have a much more portable 12 MacBook is I want to use a Mac on the go or around the house for some quick stuff... (I also have some very light Windows laptops)
The mini has many more ports and I am using them all.
16GB is a must for me as I sometimes use Windows but even without that 8 is not enough (even my 12 Macbook has 16GB).
I have several monitors and at home I find using a monitor much more ergonomic than a laptop display (the mini can run multiple external monitors natively)
I am not worried about killing the battery for a device that stays on 24/7 (it's also my plex server so it's always on).

Anyway I would say the main points are more RAM for the same price and more ports (I have several SSDs plugged in, including some via a TB dock, to expand storage), the mini has double the ports, plus ethernet plus one more video out...
Thanks for the good advice!:)

You made some interesting points on chossing the Mac Mini M1 over the Macbook Pro 13 M1 like
- killing the battery if it is connected all the time
- ports
- maybe a 13" display used in a desktop fix setting is not as useful or practical as a regular monitor.

What docks or hubs do you use?

The Mac Mini at 256GB SSD might be a small SSD but could be upgradable in the future. A Thunderbolt 4 external disk would be nice for speed but they are still quite expensive. Do you know of any USB A or C SSD that could be fast but not as expensive as a TB model?
 

uzapucax1

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 29, 2022
47
4
Is there a lot of difference between buying the 16GB/256GB and conecting an external SSD or 16GB/512GB?
I mean if the CPU speed and performance in this model will not be considerable slower by reading works files in an external SSD compared to the internal disk?

The other option if to go a 512 GB (more decent than 256 GB) but it $200 more that can be used in an larger external disk later. Apple always likes to overcharge on RAM and SSD. Some 2TB like Samsung i7 for example

 
Last edited:

Digitalguy

macrumors 68040
Apr 15, 2019
3,085
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I use the OWC Thunderbolt hub on one TB port (it's not very expensive for a TB device, costs $160), whose 3 TB ports are connected to 3 SSDs (a 4TB Sandisk extreme, a 2TB Samsung T7 Shield and a 1TB Samsung T7) and a simple USB C hub on the other TB port to plug an additional monitor (one is plugged via HDMI) (this is the USB C hub https://www.amazon.com/Adapter-Wakwlk-Ethernet-Compatible-MacBook/dp/B07YDLZ293) and other devices.
I also have wireless mouse and keyboard on the USB A ports.

I currently have 8 TB of storage while I paid for only 1 (and SSDs cost me a fraction of the price of Apple storage, I made a breakdown of the costs in another post) and I could even add more. So storage is not an issue, but I like to have enough internally as some things cannot use external storage like onedrive and I also use a Parallels VM which takes over 80 GB. I also have my iPad pro backed up to my Mac, which takes over 100GB and could not be done on external drives. I also have some big sample libraries (music stuff) which take over 100 GB and which honestly I could move to an external drive if I wanted and I will once free space is no longer comfortable enough (currently I have 320GB free out of 995). And my apps take 190GB.

In terms of speed, even just a SATA SSD is plenty. I just avoid using HDD, I don't need the speed of Thunderbolt drives, 10Gb/s is already plenty and even 5 would be ok.
 
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uzapucax1

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 29, 2022
47
4
I use the OWC Thunderbolt hub on one TB port (it's not very expensive for a TB device, costs $160), whose 3 TB ports are connected to 3 SSDs (a 4TB Sandisk extreme, a 2TB Samsung T7 Shield and a 1TB Samsung T7) and a simple USB C hub on the other TB port to plug an additional monitor (one is plugged via HDMI) (this is the USB C hub https://www.amazon.com/Adapter-Wakwlk-Ethernet-Compatible-MacBook/dp/B07YDLZ293) and other devices.
I also have wireless mouse and keyboard on the USB A ports.

I currently have 8 TB of storage while I paid for only 1 (and SSDs cost me a fraction of the price of Apple storage, I made a breakdown of the costs in another post) and I could even add more. So storage is not an issue, but I like to have enough internally as some things cannot use external storage like onedrive and I also use a Parallels VM which takes over 80 GB. I also have my iPad pro backed up to my Mac, which takes over 100GB and could not be done on external drives. I also have some big sample libraries (music stuff) which take over 100 GB and which honestly I could move to an external drive if I wanted and I will once free space is no longer comfortable enough (currently I have 320GB free out of 995). And my apps take 190GB.

In terms of speed, even just a SATA SSD is plenty. I just avoid using HDD, I don't need the speed of Thunderbolt drives, 10Gb/s is already plenty and even 5 would be ok.
Great info Digitalguy! :)

Good suggestions. I currently have 100 GB between Apps, Photos and iCloud. I don't know how much the OS takes. I have 300 GB of work files but can be external i gues. Nevertheless, think I might have to end up with a 512GB of internal SSD since 256GB could be short lived.

I will check that OWC hub as well. I didn't know i could connect regular SSD to TB ports. I thought they all have to be TB drives and ports. Silly me.

Thanks again ;-)
 

Digitalguy

macrumors 68040
Apr 15, 2019
3,085
2,868
Great info Digitalguy! :)

Good suggestions. I currently have 100 GB between Apps, Photos and iCloud. I don't know how much the OS takes. I have 300 GB of work files but can be external i gues. Nevertheless, think I might have to end up with a 512GB of internal SSD since 256GB could be short lived.

I will check that OWC hub as well. I didn't know i could connect regular SSD to TB ports. I thought they all have to be TB drives and ports. Silly me.

Thanks again ;-)
MacOS takes 15 GB. It depends on the dock, some only support TB but many also fall back to USB C gen 2.
 
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TallManNY

macrumors 601
Nov 5, 2007
4,574
1,394
I use a 2018 Mac mini (which I've installed 32gb of RAM into it) as my main home laptop. It works great for what I do, which is work and personal use. My job does not include any video or picture editing, so I don't push my computers hard. The 2018 worked fine with 8gb of RAM, though it was constantly swapping back to the SSD. It still worked fine, but I had to be at least a little bit aware of how many programs I had open at once.

The only scenario that I would buy a M1 Mini right now, when there is an M2 mini that is likely only weeks, maybe two months, away from release, would be if my current mini failed. And even then I think I'd try to limp along on my work laptop and my iPad for a few weeks/months and wait for the M2 mini to get released. The release of the M2 mini should at least drive the used M1 mini prices down a little bit. Though I suppose there is also a good chance that Apple raises the starting price of the Mac mini to reflect current inflation realities (or just for more profit, depends on how you look at it).
 
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uzapucax1

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 29, 2022
47
4
I use a 2018 Mac mini (which I've installed 32gb of RAM into it) as my main home laptop. It works great for what I do, which is work and personal use. My job does not include any video or picture editing, so I don't push my computers hard. The 2018 worked fine with 8gb of RAM, though it was constantly swapping back to the SSD. It still worked fine, but I had to be at least a little bit aware of how many programs I had open at once.

The only scenario that I would buy a M1 Mini right now, when there is an M2 mini that is likely only weeks, maybe two months, away from release, would be if my current mini failed. And even then I think I'd try to limp along on my work laptop and my iPad for a few weeks/months and wait for the M2 mini to get released. The release of the M2 mini should at least drive the used M1 mini prices down a little bit. Though I suppose there is also a good chance that Apple raises the starting price of the Mac mini to reflect current inflation realities (or just for more profit, depends on how you look at it).
Thanks for sharing your ideas :)

I decided to go for the Mac Mini M1, 16GB and 512GB SSD. I think it is a good balance for a work computer with some work in Photoshop but no video editing.

As you said the Mac Mini M2 might appear soon, but whatever Apple would do with prices is a deeper mystery than some Sherlock Holmes story. They just might discontinue Mac Mini M1 too, which is a great combo. Could they include the M1 Pro chip in the future? That could be nice, but I doubt it. In the MacBook Pro M1 and M2 there is a difference, but it is not the world apart in performance. So time will tell.
 

TallManNY

macrumors 601
Nov 5, 2007
4,574
1,394
Thanks for sharing your ideas :)

I decided to go for the Mac Mini M1, 16GB and 512GB SSD. I think it is a good balance for a work computer with some work in Photoshop but no video editing.

As you said the Mac Mini M2 might appear soon, but whatever Apple would do with prices is a deeper mystery than some Sherlock Holmes story. They just might discontinue Mac Mini M1 too, which is a great combo. Could they include the M1 Pro chip in the future? That could be nice, but I doubt it. In the MacBook Pro M1 and M2 there is a difference, but it is not the world apart in performance. So time will tell.

Yeah, mystery on pricing. But I'm going to guess that the M2 mini will be at least $100 more than the current M1 mini. Apple has inflation to justify this and the reality that there are few comparable computers out there to compete with the Mac mini. With the Mac Studio out there, I don't think Apple will put much in the way of processing power in the mini beyond the already powerful baseline M1, then M2 chip. Only "pros" really need more power than these chips and Apple will just point those folks to the Mac Studio.
 
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vasim

macrumors regular
Mar 12, 2017
122
65
I have the Mac mini M1 and the MBP M2 (Both base models)

The machines are great. I Have bind to the Mac mini this monitor and the experience is perfect.

But also for portability I am using the also perfect (for me) MBP M2.

1665522490567.png
 
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